I love anyone and anything that sits outside the usual boundaries of what people consider “normal”, which if you’re conservative is pretty much anything outside the beige and the banal.
Rather than decrying people who push boundaries and are exceptionally, interestingly creative, we should celebrate them, hold them high, thrown them a parade and thank them for standing outside the mainstream of life and for interpreting life in a wholly unique way.
All five of these artists do that to some degree or another and we are all the better for it, possessed of new perspectives and some killer music to get us through the day, and that crucial extra bit of difference that elevates who we are and the life we’re trying to lead.
Be thankful for the different.
“Shadows” by iZNiiK
Ah, the great and glorious mystery that is iZNiiK, an artists who seems to exist only through the amazingly catchy music he creates as Billboard points out:
“There are mystery producers who wear helmets and color-coordinated outfits to hide their faces, then there are mystery artists who literally say nothing, post nothing, and otherwise don’t even exist other than through the music … Good luck finding anything about this person. Even iZNiiK’s Twitter is a ghost town.”
A blank, riddle and enigma all rolled into one he may be but good god his music is the catchiest, most funky R&B-influenced stuff out there.
“Shadows” in particular catches its creator’s penchant for samples of music, pop culture elements and inventive vocals, a melange of irresistibly catchy influences that dares you to play it only once.
You may as well get ready for the fact that you’ll playing this over and over and over and … well, you get the idea.
“Diamonds in my Chest” by Raindear
Declaring her genre as a beguiling mix of “desert pop” and “samurai sounds”, Raindear aka Rebecca Bergcrantz, who hails from the fertile musical hotbed of Stockholm, Sweden, is certainly a unique artist in many respects.
The artist and producer has shown a knack for creating wholly extraordinary immersive pop like “Diamonds in the Chest” that isn’t so much listened to, although you’ll definitely want to do that, as experienced.
This makes sense when you take a look at how she describes her 2016 debut album Embers:
“It’s about life, death and all the weirdness in-between.”
Her songs are as far from disposable pop as you can get, full of brilliantly-good music, which We Are: The Guard describes as a mix of “addictive beats and fantastic highs”, and emotionally-resonant voice par excellence, but also some very insightful thinking, evidence that she is an artist who wants to say something as much as delight our ears.
“Miss You” by Cashmere Cat
Norwegian DJ Cashmere Cat, known to friends and family as Magnus August Høiberg, is a multi-talented artist, leaping with beat-heavy alacrity between DJ-ing, producing and musician duties.
His song “Miss You”, shows him wearing his many hats but also making good use of the likes of Diplo’s Major Lazer crew and Toronto-based singer/rapper Tory Lanez, and according to his Instagram account, Ed Sheeran, Benny Blanco, and the dancehall experimentalist Palmistry.
That’s some high-powered collaboration for a gorgeous piece of mid-tempo dance but as Stereogum points out, that doesn’t mean you end up with some feature-less mishmash of competing influences:
“Even with an army of people involved, though, ‘Miss You’ sounds loose and effortless. It’s a dazed, lovely piece of bubble-dancehall.”
The song, and the artist who got the ball rolling on this engaging team effort, is proof positive that working together can result in something utterly beautiful and highly listenable, a lesson our fractured world could do well to learn.
“Saint” by VÉRITÉ
New Yorker VÉRITÉ, who amply demonstrates that you can wear a lampshade on your head and still make an attractive style statement, clearly has a thing for mannequins.
Not, of course, as Jerry Seinfeld would note, that there’s anything wrong with that.
She also has a deeply-appealing affinity for lush pop production, soaring ethereal vocals and melodies that stick in your head, heart and soul and will not be dislodged, all qualities evident in the captivating brilliance of “Saint”, off her 2017 Somewhere Inbetween LP, which followed a series of very well-received EPs.
The song is exquisite, all fuzzy intro and loping beats that starts off quiet before building into a grandly epic pop effort that rises and falls with operatic intensity and an intense lyrical appreciation for the vagaries and complexities of relating to another human being
“Ice Glitter Gold ” by Dana Buoy
Dana Buoy aka Dana Janssen – winner of this post’s most creative name competition: OK there isn’t one but if there was one, hands-down winner – has been a little quiet of late.
Try no new music since 2014.
But that all changed 23 February when he released new album Ice Glitter Gold, recored in New York with frequent collaborator Justin Miller, of which this track is the obvious title track.
It’s a crunchy piece of driving melodic electronic pop, with shades of darkness and light, lyrically and musically, that comes out swinging and will definitely leave an impression, a very good one at that.
Which after an absence is exactly the entrance you want to make.
NOW THIS IS MUSIC EXTRA EXTRA!
I love French pop music.
Artists from Phoenix to Télépopmusik, Charlotte Gainsbourg to Petite Meller and beyond fill my iPod and finding a new artist to add to my listening roster is always a joy. Hence my happiness at stumbling across Polo & Pan, an electro DJ duo composed of “Polocorp” (Paul Armand-Delille) and “Peter Pan” (Alexandre Grynszpan), whose music is quirky, languorous and poppy all at once.
And their clips are a delight such as this for one of their more recent songs “Pays Imaginaire (Imaginary Country)” which is trippy blissfest of imaginative visual storytelling …