Evvol – ‘Release Me’

Photo by Wilkosz & Way

Sometimes I tend to think that society already came quite far (despite all the Trump nonsense) but then again… well, who am I – a white, heterosexual male from Europe – to have a full understanding? Wrong representation and stereotypes are still sensible everywhere and the road towards equality is still a long one. Berlin-based two-piece Evvol and their latest music video Release Me shed some light on the under-representation of queer females in mainstream media and a general censorship of female bodies. And the two artists did it in the most explicit way – via a lo-fi almost porn-like music video for the single.

Director Matt Lambert follows the life of a group of queer women in the capital as the clip gets really close to the intimate aspect of it. ‘Queer women should be equally as strong and loud as gay boys,’ he explains in a press statement. ‘They should be powerful in their sexuality and not hidden in the way some people perceive queer women to be.’ And that really is the point of this NSFW but still very enjoyable music video. On top of it, Evvol really deliver a great piece of pop music with this one, proving that you can combine a catchy song with an important message. It might sill be a certain way to go but you can definitely count on our support. (Norman)

Lokoy – ‘Malibu (feat. Girl In Red)’

Well well well, all the Norwegian stars are here. Lokoy is the solo project of Lasse Lokøy, who you’ll recognise from his day job in our favourite art-punks Sløtface. As a solo artist he’s moved into the realm of pop producer, and Malibu, his debut single, features a guest slot from Girl In Red, who’s also popped up on this


Photo: August Fossmark & Otilie Brubæk Stokseth

site previously (and mixing from Odd Martin Skålnes of Strange Hellos). Malibu is very different territory to that in which either Lokøy or Girl In Red have trod in before. What would be dreamy air-pop is cast into something weirder by Lokøy’s production, which dabs little splashes of instrumentation and effects in and out to keep the song on its toes and ready to bounce off in different directions. It even sounds like a stray Gorillaz song at times. It’s not quite experimental, but it’s certainly adventurous pop music. But Sløtface always had a way with a chorus even behind all their guitars, and Lokoy shows here that his pop instincts are razor-sharp, because Malibu’s dreamy, soaring chorus is something that would light up any song. It’s out now on Propeller. (Austin)

The Shacks – ‘Follow Me’

Last week, on the longest day of the year, I stumbled upon this wonderful gem while having breakfast (listening to my favourite Berlin radio Flux FM) and it got stuck in my head ever since. Despite being released back in January this single by The Shacks feels like the perfect song to welcome the summer season. Follow Me got this relaxed and smooth summerly vibe, carried by a lush psychedelic groove and the charming voice of singer Shannon Wise who delivers an almost Nico/ Velvet Underground-like performance. Ther debut album Haze was released back in March and it continues the vibe of this single, delivering a grainy, saturated world of analog beauty. Back in the days when radio still mattered this one might have actually been a proper radio hit that would have followed you throughout the entire summer. But in the age of digital democratization you can be your own radio host, put The Shacks in all of your favourite playlists and make it your very own summer companion. You won’t regret it. (Norman)

Kine Hjeldnes – ‘Cruel’

Norway’s Kine Hjeldnes first came to our attention with the outstanding double-hit of the Feathers/ Morpheus split single last year. And her new single shows that her talent for dramatic art-pop is still Kine Hjeldnesintact. Cruel operates in slightly different territory to that double-single though – it moves away from their heavy musical darkness and into sparkling synth-pop. Cruel is a song that’s all about time and air – occasionally the drums and synths tumble in time with Hjeldnes’ vocal. At other times they pull back, and yield the spotlight to her soft, silvery voice. Wrap it all together, and Cruel‘s a peppy pop song with real emotional weight: as any track with the line ‘tell me how I can mend your heart – I don’t think I could mend something that hard’ will be. It starts off so softly, like sunlight slowly filling a room, before swelling up and expanding into something enormous. Expect, and hope for, more from Hjeldnes later this year. (Austin)

Phoria – ‘When Everything Was Mine’

It appears a bit odd to list British five-piece Phoria as a musical discovery right here, considering the fact that we featured them quite a few times in the past, for example with an exclusive guestmix they once produced for us. But things have gotten a bit silent since the release of their lovely 2016 debut Voilition. According to the band they really needed a bit time off before starting the band again and that also included a new understanding of their creative  collective and musical relationship. Phoria have always been a band that constantly pushed its music into new territories and their freshly released double-single – When Everything Was Mine/ RROTOR – proves that once again. Especially the first piece is tender and emotional ride that carries the listener to highest heights. When Everything Was Mine unfolds soundtrack-qualities, unravels cinematic ambient songwriting and great emotional power, making us really excited for the second coming of Phoria which will hopefully happen pretty soon. (Norman)

NBHAP’s Daily Tunes from June 2018

Find all of those songs and plenty of other new music in the following playlist which – obviously – gets updated daily.