Staff Picks: The LANDR Distribution Artists We Loved in October
Thousands of artists trust LANDR Distribution to get their tracks on streaming platforms worldwide. But did you know we listen to every single submission? In this series, we highlight some of the incredible musical talent that comes through our distribution community.
Remember when summer was here? We do, too.
Fall is well underway in our corner of the world and its brisk weather is bringing on waves of nostalgia.
That’s why this edition of Staff Picks features LANDR Distribution releases that embody this mid-season mood.
From Japanese shoegaze, to bright Spanish indie-pop, here are some of our favorite emerging and established artists.
1. otom – Brilliant Sky, Pt. 2
Tokyo-based otom is a mainstay in the Japanese Shoegaze community with more than 16 years of recorded material under his current project.
The blissful layered arpeggios and understated vocals of “Brilliant Sky, Pt. 2” perfectly embody the nostalgia of fall.
Layers of sustained vocals punctuate the track serve as the melody that carries the song throughout its 7-minute runtime. Even so, the track’s meticulously-crafted progression is an easy listen.
This recording-only project is part of Japan’s established shoegaze scene and appears regularly on Shoegaze radio station DKFM and the Muso Japan blog.
otom’s work features a lot of takeaways for those new to this branch of the cult-favorite genre. With its focus on melodies and atmosphere, “Brilliant Sky, Pt. 2” is a great entry point to this localized sound.
Sounds like: Tokyo Shoegazer, Real Estate, Goji-Sanpun
2. Xenia – Sería Lo Mejor
There’s something endearing about listening to Xenia’s “Sería Lo Mejor.” This new addition to Spain’s growing indie-pop scene is part of Valencia-based indie label Futuras Licenciadas.
Xenia’s release echoes the days-gone-by with old school synths and programmed beats that are just plain cool. Its air of intentional innocence recalls the staples of the twee and indie-pop classics.
“Sería Lo Mejor” translates roughly as “Would Be the Best” in English. It’s a track that feels like a perfect reminder of life’s past possibilities.
Sounds like: April March, The Field Mice, Talulah Gosh
3. freddyboy – Foyer
There’s a lot to love about Toronto-based Freddy Kwon aka freddyboy’s “Foyer”.
Another nostalgia trip, “Foyer” is a throwback to the early 2010’s-era of normcore, jangle pop and lo-fi goodness.
The droning guitar and the almost canon-esque vocals put you in a daze as Kwon obsessively voices out his longing.
“Foyer” is part of a collection of “short love songs and beats” recorded on a Tascam 244 portastudio called Vignette 001.
This DIY mixtape showcases Kwon’s versatility as a solo artist and band member of Heaps.
Sounds like: Connan Mockasin, HOMESHAKE, Toro y Moi
4. thanks for coming – Selfishly
“Nothing is good enough. I am what I am. What am I? What could I become?,” opens Rachel Brown (aka thanks for coming) 24-seconds into “Selfishly”.
The track is part of their latest collection of raw, acoustic tracks labeled as “bummer pop.” It isn’t hard to hear the influence of bedroom pop legend Daniel Johnston in the earnest, emotional sound.
Brown is able to convey feelings of vulnerability with pure honesty through matter-of-fact lyricism and an intentional lack of embellishment.
With more than a year since no problem was remastered and released through Spain’s Beauty Fool Records, I’m excited to see what’s next.
Sounds like: Daniel Johnston, Mitski, SASAMI
5. TEEN BLUSH – Graveyard Girl
The warm and inviting sound of Chicago’s TEEN BLUSH (Kenneth Foss) will take you back to the youthful days of teenage yearning. Their recent single “Graveyard Girl” captures the nostalgic mood perfectly.
TEEN BLUSH is an indie favorite among YouTube playlisters and joins otom as a dreampop highlight on DKFM Shoegaze radio.
What makes TEEN BLUSH so accessible?
The simple melody and washed-out vocals make the lyrics “Graveyard girl / I don’t know where I’m going” hit you right in the feels.
Sounds like: Wild Nothing, Beach Fossils, CASTLEBEAT
6. Fisherman Sweaters – Turtle With a Gun
Fisherman Sweaters’ “Turtle With a Gun” takes a similar approach to teenage melancholy with muted vocals and warbly synth lines.
The track is a downtempo lo-fi bop that brings indie dream-pop contemporaries like Cemeteries to mind.
The minimal production creates a stark contrast between the lead synth and Fisherman Sweaters’ prolonged vocals. The result sounds like an evening drive through the suburbs as you think back on the good ol’ days.
Their ability to convey this energy throughout their discography makes the prospect of an EP or full length something to anticipate!
Sounds like: Cemeteries, Future Islands, Craft Spells
Nikki Celis is a writer and editor at Sticky Rice Magazine. When he’s not writing songs for Calm Lake, he indulges in his hyper-focuses like Malaysian recipes, Muay Thai, and Asian shoegaze.
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