Here are our top international picks that are out this week.
1. Cigar Club release ‘Like White Flats in Winter’
Canadian rockers Cigar Club are storming the scene with this brooding, bone-chilling, goosebump-inducing new single, “Like White Flats in Winter” — available now!
The song lands ahead of the Toronto-based band’s forthcoming and highly-anticipated debut album, Day, Now, and serves as yet another pitch-perfect introduction to the crew, offering you a little bit of everything and more.
“Like White Flats in Winter” is the third and latest single from the upcoming record, and quite possibly the band’s most unique to date. It kicks off with a simple, yet catchy, chord progression, which is accompanied by the longing vocal phrases of frontman Trev Coughlin — which instills a powerful feeling of sadness and doom within the listener.
Coughlin’s voice, no matter how buttery, carries so much weight and emotion in this song, it begs the question: ‘Who hurt this man?’ “I feel like we really got it right with this song,” Coughlin says. “It’s like that first line: ‘Walking off pavement into stars’… I hear that like walking off the edge and then gradually falling, while getting louder and louder.”
Lead guitarist Dan Amato adds that it’s an “emotionally” powerful song for them. “It feels really good to really love the music you had a part in creating … I suppose that’s why we do this.” “We were initially going to save this song for our next album,” Coughlin reveals of the song, “but COVID-19 hit and pushed everything back, and we were too excited to wait with it.” “This song was influenced by the new Ontario rock scene on the rise, and the energy associated with it,” drummer Tyler Booth says of the track’s sound. “It’s my favourite to play by far.”
2. Tilian releases ‘Caught In The Carousel’ prior to album release
Factory Reset is both highly personal and wholly universal. Tilian began writing the album just a few weeks after the pandemic forced California into lockdown. “I was searching for meaning in isolation and found it in creating this album,” Tilian shares about the process. He decided to write, record, and produce the album himself, eventually remotely bringing in drummer/frequent collaborator Kris Crummett to help button it up.
Having full creative control allowed Tilian to experiment more than ever, and truly be himself in the process. “[I wanted] to make the album that I want to hear. ‘What would be my favorite band?’ as opposed to, ‘What is everyone’s favorite band?’” This resulted in his most thrillingly eclectic work to date: a falsetto-laced brand of alt-pop that spans everything from trippy psychedelia and heavy prog riffs to warped hip-hop beats and dembow grooves.
3. Harry Hudson releases ‘Take My Time’
Harry Hudson has released the music video for “Take My Time,” the latest single from his sophomore album, Hey I’m Here For You (out now via MSFTS/Roc Nation). “Take My Time” unfolds with a subtle hypnotic power, textured by Harry’s warm, soaring vocals over a propulsive beat, exploring the juxtaposition of patience and anxious longing as Harry follows his heart and experiences the euphoria that comes with finding true love. “It’s about taking your time and waiting for the right one,” Harry shares. The video made its broadcast premiere on MTV Live and mtvU and its digital premiere with Cosmopolitan.
“Take My Time” comes on the heels of the recently announced completion of the first Hey, I’m Here For You Teen Lounge at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital atVanderbilt University Medical Center, which was funded by friend Kylie Jenner who made a $500,000 donation in Harry’s honor, along with additional funds from Teen Cancer America. A steadfast believer in using his voice to help others and anambassador for Teen Cancer America, Harry led the charge on the lounge to provide adolescent and young adults undergoing cancer treatment with a comfortable space to pursue their passions. Inspired by his own passion for music which helped him not just survive but thrive during his personal battle and recovery from cancer, the state-of-the-art lounge is a fun and creative sanctuary located on the sixth floor of the Children’s Hospital, offering electronic equipment including video games and a big screen television, a selection of movies and streaming capabilities, a meditation room, and more. Harry’s own charity, aptly named Hey, I’m Here For You, will launch this year as a subsidiary of friend/collaborator Jaden Smith’s nonprofit company 501CTHREE to continue providing special spaces and opportunities for teen cancer patients.
4. Briston Maroney releases latest track ‘Why’
Nashville-based recording artist Briston Maroney has today unveiled the official standalone music video for his track “Why”. Today’s news comes on the heels of the Knoxville-native’s debut album Sunflower – released earlier this month via Canvasback Music (listen here) – which has now amassed 4 million global streams, with 1.3 million streams last week alone.
The album was accompanied by a feature-length companion film envisioned by Maroney and longtime creative collaborator Joey Brodnax – with each song on the album bearing its own cinematic accompaniment. Watch Sunflower: The Visual Album here.
Sunflower debuted at #7 on Spotify’s Top 10 US Album Debuts and #8 on Apple Music’s Alternative Albums chart, with Maroney hitting #6 on Billboard’s Alternative New Artists chart, and #16 on the overall Top New Artists chart. With the release of the album, Briston has now amassed over 100K album equivalents, 3 million monthly listeners, and 150 million streams globally.
5. ConKi debuts on Astralwerks with “Hey Now, Hey Now (Don’t Dream It’s Over),
Polish house DJ and producer ConKi debuts on Astralwerks today with “Hey Now, Hey Now (Don’t Dream It’s Over),” a gleaming cover of Crowded House’s iconic 1986 hit. In the decades since the original’s release, the song has become a timeless ballad of hopefulness and joy, and ConKi’s reimagined version only emphasizes the feelings of freedom, updating the track’s iconic melodies into a modern-day tropical house groove. Listen HERE. Watch the visualizer HERE.
“Hey Now, Hey Now (Don’t Dream It’s Over)” is airy and bright, opening with acoustic guitar and a spacey vocal take before settling into a low-key house shuffle. It offers a new spin on a familiar song, lending bliss and color to an already vivid cut. It’s the perfect track to arrive as the world starts getting warm, ideal for basking in the glow of a lazy summer afternoon. It’ll no doubt hit especially hard this year as everyone emerges from a long year inside. “Hey Now, Hey Now (Don’t Dream It’s Over)” feels carefree—an emotion that’s more precious now than ever.
6. Joseph Black releases ‘Always & Forever’
The rising Duluth, Minnesota, singer, rapper, and producer Joseph Black returns today with a visual for his lovesick single, “Always & Forever,” depicting a vivid moment of betrayal.
Inspired by American filmmaker Wes Anderson known for his symmetry, eccentricity and distinctive narrative style, the visual opens up with a dirty run-down apartment that reveals a lonely Joseph drinking intercut with a montage of blurry film. Black bravely gives viewers a glimpse into the life of a hopeless romantic experiencing love lost while he stumbles around his apartment. The nakedly honest pop-rap track is the perfect soundtrack for this widely complex visual that effortlessly captures Joseph’s raw & emotional inner struggle to cope with betrayal. As the story continues to unfold, Joseph finds himself fully clothed and submerged underwater fighting to stay afloat – a visual eerily similar to the way Joseph feels inside.
7. Nick Batterham releases ‘Thirty Four’
Melbourne’s Nick Batterham is thrilled to reveal another stunning cut from his forthcoming album Lovebirds, with his latest single ‘Thirty Four’. Following the subdued harmonies of ‘No Perfect Man’ and the propelling cacophony of sounds on ‘Turbulence’, the accomplished composer and songwriter is rounding out a trio of gems lifted from Lovebirds with his latest offering ‘Thirty Four’. To celebrate the release, Nick is excited to announce that he and his band will launch Lovebirds to a live audience at the Primrose Potter Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre this June.
Out via Cheesquad Records & Tapes today, ‘Thirty Four’ is a breathtaking display of Nick Batterham’s lush songwriting and truly emotive lyricism. Classical instruments and a slide guitar join forces to build the feeling of a storm brewing. ‘You’re making me stay,’ Batterham sings, ‘holding my arms like I might fly away.’ The track was recorded in Nick’s studio with collaborators Ben Wiesner on drums, Jethro Woodward on bass and Nick Murray on electric slide guitar, with Kelly Day joining Nick and Jethro on backing vocals. Once again, the band tracking was augmented with strings performed by Zoe Black, Christopher Moore and David Berlin.
8. Lilhuddy releases ‘Americas Sweetheart
LILHUDDY (aka Chase Hudson) releases his brand-new single entitled “America’s Sweetheart” along with the music video. A departure from his first two singles, “America’s Sweetheart” showcases a softer side to Chase’s artistry. Powerfully emotional in both his lyrics and instrumentation, “America’s Sweetheart” excellently highlights the vulnerability LILHUDDY implements into his music. The track was written by Chase along with Nick Long, Jake Torrey, Andrew Goldstein, Halatrax (Jeff Halavacs), and Phem (Olivia Marsico), and it is available now at all digital retail providers via Polydor Records.
LILHUDDY says about “America’s Sweetheart,” “This is the most personal song I have written and released to date. It was inspired by the worst night of my life and all of the emotions I felt as I overcame such a difficult time. I’m looking forward to sharing a more vulnerable side of myself and hope this song can help anyone else going through a challenging time as well.”
The music video for “America’s Sweetheart” was directed by Sophie Muller and features Charli D’Amelio. Dreamlike, abstract, and removed from reality, the video leans into the song’s production and lyrics, lending itself to beautiful slow-motion imagery and thought-provoking scenarios. Just like LILHUDDY’s previous music videos, “America’s Sweetheart” picks up the storyline where the last video ended with Chase’s hands sticking out from the grave he is buried under. Charli is seen trying to pull him from the ground but never quite manages to free him from the darkness holding him down. Throughout the video are scenes of Charli dancing, interspersed with a silhouetted slow dance between both Chase and Charli, and scenes of Chase smashing a room to pieces. The demolition of the room serves as an incredibly poetic metaphor for self-destruction, which perfectly depicts LILHUDDY’s extreme mental state as he weathered the experiences that inspired the song.
9. Light By The Sea release debut single ‘Eleanor’
Light By The Sea – a musical journey which wasn’t planned, but meant to be. Born during the quarantine times, this project is the lovechild of Eszter Anna Baumann and Davy Knobel, whose music consists of rock, avant garde and folk music elements with a catchy pop vibe. They recorded their first three singles with their producer Eddy Bopp this winter, and now they are ready to go back to the studio to finish their debut album, which will be released later this October.
Getting inspirations from their musical role models — Dead Can Dance, U2, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Phil Collins, Clannad, Fleetwood Mac and The Dandy Warhols —, they map a unique sound of self-discovery and self-realization in their artistic realm, in which a lot of listeners will feel comfortable with as Light By The Sea’s aim is to bring back the ‘forgotten sound’ with their music.
10. VEPS release their new track ‘Ecstasy’
Introducing Oslo’s next big exports, VEPS. Poised to take Europe by storm this summer, the band have released their nineties tinged new track ‘Ecstasy’, along with the chaotic homemade and self-directed video. The track is taken from their forthcoming EP Open The Door, out June 11th on Kanine Records.
An ode to a guy, drenched in raw pop hooks and crunching tones, singer and keyboardist Helana Mariero Olasveengen says of ‘Ecstasy’, “The song is about a guy who’s afraid of commitment. A guy who’d rather waste his time on self validation through hooking up with numerous people, rather than exploring his true feelings with a special person.”
Shot in guitarist and vocalist Laura Dodson’s basement over a weekend, the band don’t lose their DIY sensibilities for the video. “Helena made all the amazing cakes, and the most time consuming thing about the whole process was cleaning ourselves up from all the cake and frosting in our hair. We won’t be having cake for a while…”