Now Hear This! More recently released, unnoticed music that more than likely would continue to be deprived of attention unless we highlight it. This week, we present four new artists/bands for you to check out: Lilla Veneda, indie-pop from Mall Girl, Malena Cadiz, and the lonesome indie-folk of Sofia Talvik’s sad Christmas song.
We’ll bring you a new post each week, songs from which will regularly be added to our accompanying “Now Hear This” Spotify playlist.
Find all past Now Hear This! installments right here: https://v13.net/features/now-hear-this/.
Lilla Veneda – “Biomechanic Algorithm”
Polish black metal outfit Lilla Veneda just dropped “Biomechanic Algorithm,” a track from their upcoming album, Primordial Movements, slated to release on February 29, 2024.
The band’s name – Lilla Veneda – was borrowed from one of Poland’s famous romantic tragedies, Lilla Weneda, written by Juliusz Slowacki.
Talking about the forthcoming album, guitarist Virian says, “The core of the lyrics since the demo, then continue on the debut album is a riddle of existence. It’s a mix of science, philosophy, and poetry. On the newest LP, we try to present the latest discoveries from science and philosophical trends to explain who as humans we are, where the world comes from, and where, as a civilization, we are going. Probably it’s not hard to understand it but to accept it. Hence, we don’t want to lie to ourselves but try to be as curious and rational as possible. Of course, the rule of science is to constantly question what we already know to make progress.”
Starting slowly, “Biomechanic Algorithm” escalates to fearsome levels of edgy energy highlighted by fiendish vocals.
Mall Girl – “Super Lazy Girl”
Oslo trio Mall Girl recently released their new single, “Super Lazy Girl,” the latest taste of the band’s new album Pure Love, set to drop on January 26, 2024, via Jansen Records.
Pure Love is the second album from the Oslo art-pop experimentalists, following the band’s acclaimed 2022 debut long player, Superstar.
“Super Lazy Girl” opens with a spidery guitar refrain as Bethany Forseth-Reichberg’s angelic voice ponders over “giving love a real go” before the song explodes into its shapeshifting core section, fusing elements of buoyant indie-pop and dream-pop, flavored by the trio’s intricate math-rock/Midwest emo inflected guitars and shuffling, jazz-laced percussion.
Speaking about the song, Forseth-Reichberg shares, “Love: it’s really nice and really scary. This song feels like a bridge between the sound of the young and the slightly older Mall Girl we are now. The song is in simple terms about (the oh-so-stupid and very-2023 term) ‘situationships’ – and in more complex terms about the fear of committing to something that feels real and more sustainable than hazy nights when you’ve lost your phone and possibly some of your integrity. So, when true love suddenly comes around, how do you know that you are ready for it? I don’t think you know, just have to jump into it and stop being a lazy girl.”
Malena Cadiz – Hellbent & Moonbound
Hellbent & Moonbound, the fourth album from Los Angeles-based indie-folk singer-songwriter Malena Cadiz, is the artist’s first new album in seven years.
Cadiz explains, “I found solace in being creative. I’d gone through so many transitions – it was a moment to be still and examine who and how I wanted to be, letting go of anything that wasn’t serving me, and leaning into what was…it’s been a long marinating process.”
Decorated by Cadiz’s deliciously scratchy, sandy voice, complex and intoxicating, there’s a delightful dreaminess running through the album’s ten tracks. Entry points include “Shatter,” “My Kind of Thief,” and “Easy.”
Sofia Talvik – “Alone for Christmas”
Every year, Swedish folk/Americana artist Sofia Talvik releases a new Christmas single, always on the theme of the darker side of Christmas. This year, it’s about being involuntarily alone on the holidays.
Sofia’s latest album, Center of the Universe, was released in August 2023 to general acclaim, charted folk radio in the U.S. with singles in the Top 10, and was considered for a Grammy Nomination for Best Folk Album.
“Alone for Christmas” features a soft, melancholic cello that infuses the melody with aching, melancholic tones as Talvik’s translucent vibrato imbues the lyrics with forlorn, poignant surfaces.
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