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The ShortListen - July 2014

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Every day we'll search the globe to find the most interesting new track to give to your ears. Exclusives, remixes, hidden gem album tracks, long-awaited returns and brand new buzz tracks hot and fresh out the kitchen: you'll find them all here.

Listen to all of them as they become available, on this Spotify Playlist

July 31st

Who is it? Honne

What's the story? Here's a slice of true US slow jam R&B - but from Somerset and Wiltshire via Bow. Honne are a duo that hail from the West Country, met at University and then turned their hand to making music; Warm On A Cold Night is their debut track and it's a slinky, sensual number, so smooth it could be in a Galaxy advert. It's being released on Super Recordings, formerly home to AlunaGeorge, so the pedigree is there; hopefully one day they'll write their own Ignition (Remix), then we'll really be talking.

For fans of: Frank Ocean, R Kelly, Bill Withers

In Three Words: Smooth as Silk



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July 30th

Who is it? Benjamin Clementine

What's the story? Benjamin Clementine is probably the most captivating new artist you will hear this year. A jaw-dropping performance last year on Jools Holland, when unsigned, demonstrated that he was a serious new talent and, now armed with a record deal, he follows it up with this bewitching song, the lead track from a new EP, Glorious You, which arrives on August 25th. There are hints of jazz, classical and hip-hop in there, with the song unwinding, growing and unfolding, drawing you in. Listen below without delay.

For fans of: Woodkid, Roots Manuva, Antony Hegarty

In Three Words: A Special Newcomer



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July 29th

Who is it? Ryn Weaver

What's the story? Despite having under 7,000 Facebook likes and being on a tiny indie label, Ryn Weaver's debut song Octahate has rocketed to a million Soundcloud plays in next to no time. It's probably helped that super-producer Benny Blanco and Charli XCX are involved, but it seems that the love for the track is genuine and real. And that's probably because it's brilliant - understated yet big, sonically it's a close relation to Lorde's Royals and doesn't outstay its welcome either. It's simply a great song, and could be a surprise summer hit when it finally comes out.

For fans of: Lorde, Broods, Lykke Li

In Three Words: Intelligent Minimalist Pop



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July 28th

Who is it? Years & Years

What's the story? A new soul pop trio from London, Years & Years look perfectly placed to ride in the Sam Smith and Disclosure slipstream from blogland into the mainstream. There's more to them than just those influences though; this fantastic, slow-building track has a reggaeton beat, while Olly Alexander's vocals are arguably an improvement on Smith's - less affected and with more natural quality. If there's any justice, this will be a huge hit when it's released at the end of August.

For fans of: Disclosure, Sam Smith, Leftfield

In Three Words: Classy Electronic Soul



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July 25th

Who is it? Jungle, remixed by Lxury

What's the story? Jungle look set to be inescapable for the next year, with their soul and funk-infused debut album hitting the top 10 last Sunday and their music ripe for adverts and soundtracks. So it's actually quite nice to hear this remix from the up-and-coming Lxury - hotly-tipped himself to follow in Disclosure's footsteps - which takes the track Time in a completely different direction, all soft, twitching house beats and bubbly synths, topped off with a nice bit of synth string action. Light and airy; perfect summer club music.

For fans of: Disclosure, Route 94, Julio Bashmore

In Three Words: Airy House Reworking



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July 24th

Who is it? Club Kuru

What's the story? Club Kuru is producer/singer Laurie Erskine and he follows up his debut All The Days with an intriguing slice of R&B meets glitch meets electro meets pop. In fact, there even more influences present than just those, but it works, adding up to a twisting, thrilling 4 minutes, held together by Erskine's pleading vocals. Very promising.

For fans of: Leon Else, Sam Smith, Ben Khan

In Three Words: All The Sounds



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July 23rd

Who is it? Charli XCX, remixed by Aeroplane

What's the story? It's scientific fact that you cannot go wrong with an Aeroplane remix, and the Belgian nu disco man produces the goods yet again with this funky Gallic house take on Charli XCX's hit. It sounds like Madonna's Into The Groove and is just the right side of sugar sweet. A few more of these and Mr Aeroplane will have to be elevated alongside Poirot, Stella Artois and Enzo Scifo in the list of Belgian heroes.

For fans of: Madonna, Chromeo, Giorgio Moroder

In Three Words: Irresistible French House



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July 22nd

Who is it? Chaze, featuring Benjamin Diamond

What's the story? The sun keeps beating down, so we're going to keep providing summer soundtrack songs for you. And they come no finer than this, which we're delighted to exclusively premiere here on The ShortListen. It's the debut single from New York via Paris producer Chaze, who started life as a graffiti artist, and features the considerable vocal talents of Benjamin Diamond - yes, the voice of Stardust's mega-hit Music Sounds Better With You. It's a juicy slice of bouncy electronica; resistance is futile.

For fans of: Le Youth, Tensnake, Todd Terje

In Three Words: Summertime funk house



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July 21st

Who is it? Racing Glaciers

What's the story? A five piece from Macclesfield, Racing Glaciers could, finally, be that British guitar band that breaks through into the mainstream. They've been building a fanbase over the course of two previous EP releases and, crucially, seem to have secured Radio 1 support. This song, VHS, is a fantastic dose of widescreen, yet intense, driving rock, which reminds us of the best moments of My Vitriol's debut Finelines. If they fancy covering Always (Your Way) when they get on the Live Lounge, that'd be fine with us.

For fans of: Editors, My Vitriol, Kings of Leon

In Three Words: Huge Driving Rock



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July 18th

Who is it? Slam Dunk'd, featuring feat. Dave 1 & Al-P

What's the story? Well, if this doesn't get you ready for the weekend, then nothing will. No Price is a song that legendary producer Arthur Baker wrote back in 1979. It never got released and sat gathering dust in a studio until recently rediscovered by Baker, who sent the track to Mstrkrft's Al-P to remix. He then got Chromeo's Dave One in to add some vocals and - hey presto - an instant disco classic was ready for our consumption. It's a cross between Music Sounds Better With You, One More Time and Everybody Dance and, therefore, is utterly amazing. It's simple science when you think about it.

For fans of: Armand Van Helden, Daft Punk, Chic

In Three Words: Long-lost Disco Classic



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July 17th

Who is it? The Album Leaf, featuring Peter Broderick

What's the story? We've been huge fans of The Album Leaf ever since the stunning In A Safe Place was released back in 2004. Led by Jimmy LaVelle, they specialise in beautiful electronic-adorned, intimate yet widescreen music, and this new track, a collaboration with one-time Efterklang member Peter Broderick, is another fantastic addition to the canon. Featuring an intriguing time signature and equally intriguing lyrics, this was recorded in a single afternoon. A welcome return; hopefully a new album is not too far away.

For fans of: Sigur Rós, Boards of Canada, The Knife

In Three Words: Quietly Epic Brilliance



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July 16th

Who is it? Broods

What's the story? We first featured New Zealand duo Broods (Caleb, 21 and Georgia, 19) back in November, when their debut track Bridges, taken from the EP of the same name had just emerged. Since then they've signed major deals in the UK and US, worked that EP and built a lot of anticipation for their forthcoming album Evergreen. Now, the video for Mother & Father, their first new material since then, has been premiered, and, thankfully, it's just as good. Taking serious sonic inspiration from Chvrches and Lorde (not surprising, since her producer Joel Little is also in charge of this), the video is also stripped back, working perfectly with the track.

For fans of: Chvrches, Lorde, Purity Ring

In Three Words: Washes of synths



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July 15th

Who is it? JP Cooper

What's the story? A singer-songwriter from Manchester, JP Cooper takes in a host of musical genres in his sound. Having self-released a series of EPs and toured with Angie Stone, he's now just signed to Island so expect to start hearing a lot more of his work soon. If this track - a gorgeous gospel-tinged electronic neo-soul effort - is an indicator of things to come we're in for a good time ahead.

For fans of: Leon Else, John Legend, Ed Sheeran

In Three Words: Smooth Downbeat Soul



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July 14th

Who is it? Black Honey

What's the story? The Lana Del Rey juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down, as her well-received Glastonbury slot demonstrated. And her influence is clearly spreading to new acts, judging by the debut effort from Brighton's Black Honey. Sleep Forever takes the slow, cinematic aesthetic of Lana, mixing it with a slightly more energetic vocal, not a million miles away from Gwen Stefani's more laidback moments. It'll be interesting to see what direction they go in for the next track, but for the moment, and for a debut demo, this is seriously good.

For fans of: Lana Del Rey, Gwen Stefani, Velvet Underground

In Three Words: New Bond Theme



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July 11th

Who is it? Luke Osborne

What's the story? A track so fresh out of the kitchen we almost burned ourselves; Skin is Luke Osborne's first track, released on to Soundcloud yesterday. We don't know a lot else other than the fact that he's from London, so we'll let the music do the talking: it's glitchy, minimal and dark with a vocal that's unafraid to be laid bare. We're hearing echoes of Burial and Thom Yorke's solo stuff here; an intriguing start and one to watch.

For fans of: Burial, Leon Else, Thom Yorke

In Three Words: Dark & Minimal Electronica



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July 10th

Who is it? Dream Lake

What's the story? A Stockholm-based duo, comprising Isabella Svärdstam and Niklas Willar Lidholm, Dream Lake do exactly what their name suggests, specialising in floating, delicate dream pop. And it's something they do extremely well, with their latest single Let Us Stay In The Light following on from their self-titled debut EP. Breathy vocals, chiming guitars and waves of synths. Perfect sunset iPod listening; why not take a walk with it tonight?

For fans of: Pure Bathing Culture, Cocteau Twins, Curve

In Three Words: (A) Warm Musical Bath



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July 9th

Who is it? Usher, featuring Nicki Minaj

What's the story? As yet another Pharrell-produced track drops, 2014 is turning into a rerun of 2002, when the Neptunes were in the middle of their imperial phase. While the melody is strikingly similar to 90s hit Dub Be Good To Me, it's a great track, with the Jacko-style bridge break giving a lovely jazzy feel to proceedings. Who knows if this will be the big summer hit we're looking for (this track is being tipped by Radio 1 right now) but it's great to hear Usher giving a proper vocal again and Nicki sticking to what she's best at.

For fans of: Chic, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson

In Three Words: Sleek Summer Funk



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July 8th

Who is it? Death From Above 1979

What's the story? So the influential dance-punk duo Death From Above 1979 finally make their comeback after eight years away - and the good news is that it's very good indeed. It's unexpectedly poppy, but there's big riffing and a scorching vocal from Sebastien Grainger; most importantly, there's just a huge energy running throughout. New album The Physical World is released in September and, on the evidence of this, should be a must-listen.

For fans of: Royal Blood, Arctic Monkeys, LCD Soundsystem

In Three Words: A Blistering Return



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July 7th

Who is it? Florrie

What's the story? Florrie has been threatening to break into the mainstream since 2010 and the brilliant Call 911, but her time might finally have come with the synthpop rush of Little White Lies. There's no messing about: an energetic verse and a huge chorus which, weirdly, reminds us of a Version 2.0 Garbage track. Euphoric, and a statement of intent. More of this please.

For fans of: Foxes, Garbage, Indiana

In Three Words: Big, classy pop



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July 4th

Who is it? Indiana, remixed by Grum

What's the story? Nottingham singer Indiana picked up a top 15 hit with Solo Dancing (previously featured on The ShortListen) in April, and she follows that up with Heart On Fire, which is altogether more downbeat and Robyn-style 'crying-in-a-disco'-tastic. While the original is great, this fantastic remix from Grum takes it up to a whole new level, retaining the melancholy but upping the energy. You may be crying to the original but this mix will get you back out on the dancefloor strutting your stuff.

For fans of: Robyn, Underworld, Pet Shop Boys

In Three Words: Banging Remix Klaxon



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July 3rd

Who is it? Sivu

What's the story? Sivu may have a Finnish name, but he actually hails from leafy Cambridge and has been quietly building a following over the last 18 months. He specialises in delicate, yet sweeping indie electronica, with a nice side line in excellent videos (the one for previous single Better Than Me saw him sing the track in an MRI scanner with the scans forming the visuals). This new track, Miracle (Human Error), following in the footsteps of other excellent tracks with 'miracle' in the title, is no exception, with a cinematic feel to both song and video. Sit back and enjoy.

For fans of: Radiohead, Alt-J, Lana Del Rey

In Three Words: Sweeping Orchestral Excellence



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July 2nd

Who is it? Royal Blood

What's the story? Fresh from a storming Glastonbury set, which saw queues outside of the John Peel tent, Royal Blood unveiled another new track from their forthcoming album - due in August - last night. It's yet another strong song, which would have fitted seamlessly on the Them Crooked Vultures album; Mike Kerr's honey sweet vocals sitting over some pounding skinhitting from Ben Thatcher. Their third appearance on The ShortListen, and well deserved. By a distance the best new rock band around at the moment.

For fans of: Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age, White Stripes

In Three Words: Another Winning Track



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July 1st

Who is it? Basement Jaxx, featuring ETML

What's the story? Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe rarely disappoint, and they're sounding fresher than ever with this new track, taken from their seventh album, Junto, due out on August 25th; their first long-player since their 2011 soundtrack for Attack The Block. They've clearly been listening to a bit of Duke Dumont, with some classic house piano chords and steel-drums-but-not-steel-drums featuring heavily, along with a classy vocal from South London newcomer ETML. It's actually quite understated, but a serious grower: a perfect summer sizzler.

For fans of: Duke Dumont, Route 94, Gorgon City

In Three Words: Laidback Summer Hit



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Related

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The ShortListen - October 2014

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The ShortListen - June 2014

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The ShortListen - May 2014

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