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Notion 066: Now Hear This

In each issue of Notion, we bring you a rundown of the tracks currently titillating our wizened – but certainly never cynical – ears. Here, Dan Carson, Alex Cull and Lauren Down walk us through the tunes that are exciting us to no end.

Wolf Alice – Blush

Cut from the quartet’s recent EP, ‘Blush’ is a crushing cocktail of delicate vocals and reverb drenched guitars almost visibly eeking sorrow that builds and builds and completely triumphs. An extremely promising teaser for the band’s next release – Will Richards

San Mei – Brighter

Australian San Mei’s homemade soaring pop sounds anything but homemade. ‘Brighter’ is polished, bright and swimming in beautiful, glistening synth lines. The mind boggles at the heights to which a professional studio could take these sounds – Will Richards

Mapei – Don’t Wait

Crumbling together auto-tuned soul, trashcan percussion and a bottomless pair of lungs, Sweden’s Mapei returns triumphantly on ‘Don’t Wait’. Whether she’s belting out ground-shifting choruses or dabbling in mini-raps clearly touched by M.I.A., the Stockholm vocalist has never sounded so good. A true gem that’s sprung as if from nowhere – Alex Cull

Jungle – The Heat

Catapulted to blog superstar status thanks to their B-Girl Terra-featuring breakdance vid for ‘Platoon’, the elusive Jungle’s second single, ‘The Heat’ represents a strengthening of their already idiosyncratic sound. Backed by intermittently jolting synths and subtle percussion, the sultry warmth of that instantly recognisable vocal packs a seriously potent punch – Dan Carson

Kelela – Keep It Cool

Perfectly understated, minimal production, crisp pop vocals and faultless taste ensure that US singer Kelela is going to dominate our playlists for months to come, for now the number that has been spun the most is the Jam City produced ‘Keep It Cool’ whose industrial façade protects a warm core – Lauren Down

Indiana – Mess Around

A dark, addictive late night jam, Indiana’s latest single offers up everything we could possibly want from the fringes of pop – it swells with hypnotic vocals set against a seductive backdrop of pulsating R&B rhythms whilst working its way so perfectly under your skin – Lauren Down

HAERTS – Hemiplegia

Yes! HAERTS are back. Never knew they were gone? Well then we’re jealous of the feelings of tempestuous impatience you’ve managed to avoid. No longer though, this latest track from the Brooklyn five-piece will be your addiction for the encroaching winter – Lauren Down

Oceaán – Neéd U

The debut effort from 20-year-old Manchester native Oceaán is just about the most perfect bedroom produced sound we’ve heard all year – it’s cyclic rhythms pulling against an undercurrent of falsetto vocals and snapping percussion driven beats – Lauren Down

Broods – Bridges

Not much is known about Auckland siblings Georgia and Caleb Nott but good god their first forays into the world of electric pop – all introspective lyrics and bold ebullient synths wrapped in rich production layers – sounds too perfect to be true – Lauren Down

This iteration of Now Hear This originally appeared in Notion 066, which you can purchase now via our online store. Alternatively, if you have an iPad or iPod, you can download our app here.

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