Usually, the long Easter weekend is the perfect opportunity to take a short break from curating music—but not this year. Although not many artists released new tracks, I still managed to compose five songs to recommend.
And since I'm off work this Friday, I was already able to finish the Weekly5. So why wait until Sunday, right?
Today's selection ranges from bright indie-pop and rock tunes to darker sonic themes. From Switzerland, Austria, and the United Kingdom, we travel across the pond to the States and, ultimately, further south to sunny Mexico.
Stefanie Stauffacher – Friedhof Sihlfeld
In 2021, Stefanie Stauffacher released their debut record, Stefanie, containing a haunting rendition of Taxi's 1977 hit Campari Soda. In an instant, the project by Lukas Marty and renowned slam poet Lara Stoll became a phenomenon of sinister sounds. They pulled off the unlikeliest of combinations: Swissgerman lyrics and gothic ambience.
On Friday, Stefanie Stauffacher delivered the EP Friedhof with four fresh tracks, including a reference to Bauhaus' Bela Lugosi's Dead. However, the song deserving the biggest spotlight is Friedhof Sihlfeld.
Friedhof Sihlfeld features an electro-pop outfit tailored to foggy dancefloors. Stoll's lyrics sway between self-referential darkness and ironic tourism information, delivered with hilarious sincerity.
Siddhartha – No Es Antes Ni Es Después
Sometimes, I discover artists in unlikely ways. Leaving the shuffle on YouTube running, Jorge Siddhartha González Ibarra came to play his latest record, 00:00, released end of March. The Mexcian artist's album is definitely worth your time.
As an ambassador for Siddhartha, I highly recommend the record's final track, No Es Antes Ni Es Después, which translates to "It's Neither Before Nor After."
No Es Antes Ni Es Después is a beautifully arranged indie-rock track, interlaced with fizzing synthesizers, heavily relying on Siddhartha's unmistakable voice. The song has undeniably hymnic qualities; it's big, optimistic, and daring.
No es antes ni es después
Es lo único que puedo tener
It's not before and it's not after
Is the only thing I can have
Siddhartha's No Es Antes Ni Es Después is a song about living in the moment, taking chances despite apparent risks. It's an empowering ode to life itself.
Porridge Radio – The Rip
Brighton's Porridge Radio are proof of the UK's still vibrant alternative scene. In May, the band will release their third studio record, Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky.
With the single The Rip, the quartet presents another glimpse of their encouraging mixture of pop attitude and fuzzy indie rock. Driven by singer Dana Margolin's unique voice, The Rip starts innocently in a danceable rhythm. And yet, the repetitive lyrics already point towards a more hypnotic nature. "We wanted it to sound like massive pop, like Charli XCX, but with the instrumentation of bands like Slothrust or Deftones," explains Margolin.
Ultimately, The Rip gains aggression. Margolin's voice transforms into a desperate shouting, raw and pleading, while the sound becomes rough, heavily stomping, and distorted.
HEALTH – THESE DAYS 126.96.36.199.
Since 2005, HEALTH have been hailing a distinct sound from Los Angeles into the world. Their signature is supported by massive beams of noise rock and industrial-styled electronica. The finishing touches by Jake Duzsik's vulnerable voice contrast the violent arrangements.
I first crossed paths with HEALTH's exceptional sound in 2019. I curated their track FEEL NOTHING for Weekly5 when it was still part of Negative White. A week ago, HEALTH released a new record. DISCO4 :: PART II contains 12 tracks, many of them collaborations with artists like Lamb of God, Poppy, or The Neighbourhood.
The album's final song, THESE DAYS 188.8.131.52., isn't as brutal as some of its siblings. Although it still features the droning walls of guitars, the focus remains on a beat-driven electronica sound. THESE DAYS 184.108.40.206. is an easy entry into HEALTH's sonic universe but an intriguing one.
Alfred Oslo – We are one sound (feat. RememberCollins)
It's a utopian message, delivered with universal sounds. Alfred Oslo's We are one sound is pulsating escapism that isn't trapped in the forced happiness of electronic dance music. The Austrian producer sprinkles sparkling hooks on top of the infinitely deep bass.
We are one people
We are one sound
While the sound by itself paints a picture of flickering lights and glimmering disco spheres, it's RememberCollins' melancholic lecture that transforms We are one sound into a thoughtful tune. RememberCollins is the pseudonym of Georg Nöhrer, whose band YUKNO might be a familiar name to some.
We are one sound is a sonic kaleidoscope, somewhat dark and reflective, and undecided whether its message is an optimistic outlook or rather just hopeful thinking.