Music Genre

Jeni Schapire – Libby (Spotify)

“Very interesting low Bpm Dark wave release from Jeni Schapire. The track "Libby" starts with a smooth intro and goes on with some unexpected elusive vocals. Sometimes, great music appears all of a sudden, but in fact it was always present.”

Tennessee-based Jeni Schapire shares her story through song and is ready to share the gorgeous, cinematic single "Libby." Hailing from Princeton, New Jersey, Jeni now calls Tennessee home –a fitting place for the rising artist and producer whose sound is a unique blend of folk-pop that leans into the electronic and cinematic sphere.

Jeni caught Billboard's attention with her self-produced single "Casual" (2020) from her What's In A Name EP, released last year. Billboard wrote, "There's something heart-rending about Jeni Schapire's voice as she sings...The incisive songwriting only stands to bolster Schapire's stunning vocals, as she emotes through every syllable of the heart-breaking song."

In her new self-produced single "Libby," dark, echoing synths and gorgeous reverberating vocals make you feel some type of way. "Libby" is a slow burner with understated but impactful production, which leans into a moody, cinematic space. The low-key nature of the soundscape paves a way for Jeni's beautiful words about the memories of her grandmother.

She shares, "When I was 15, I took a flight by myself for the very first time and visited my grandparents for a magical Minnesota summer. As she aged, my grandmother lost her sight. So, during this trip I sat on their couch and read Their Eyes Were Watching God aloud to her. In the novel, the protagonist begins to discover her hopes and dreams while lying under a pear tree. When I think about my grandma, Libby, many years after she died, I come back to this memory over and over. I’ve memorized every detail of us sitting in that living room. The lyrics to 'Libby' are all those details. I wrote them down after a dream where I was back there, reading about coming of age under a pear tree. It felt so real that the song shaped itself almost immediately. And all these years later, I think of their couch as my pear tree. Helping me grow and find out who I was supposed to be."

"she emotes through every syllable of the heart-breaking song." - Billboard

"one of our favorite new discoveries this year" - Bsides & Badlands

"textured and atmospheric" - AudioFemme

"melodies that gently soar across sonic space" - Imperfect Fifth

Jeni began performing when she was 15 under the moniker, Jennifer Rae. However, she soon came to realize that name didn’t truly reflect who she was as a songwriter. To step into her authentic identity as an artist meant a reclamation of her name: Jeni Schapire. From this reflection, her EP, What's In A Name, was born. The EP was crafted out of necessity and stepping into her own identity. Jeni shares, "It's been a long journey. Like a lot of queer folks, it took a long time to even be honest with myself. Learning to embrace my queerness has been crucial to feeling like my truest self and is weaved into the storytelling in these songs."

"Name is identity—an often subconscious influence into how you perceive your place in the world. So what is in a name—if it’s not yours?" she adds. "What is your place in the world—if it’s not an authentic reflection of who you really are?" As Jeni powerfully steps into her artistry, her own story, her own name, and her own identity, you are invited to do the same.

LukHash, Meredith Bull – Dying Breath (Spotify)

“A mysterious and truly memorable piece. -Dying Breath- combines the melody and rhythm of dark and synth wave, in which the union of electronic, experimental and neo-gothic music makes this track neo-romantic of the 21st century. Definitely in the collection!”

“Загадочное и по-настоящему запоминающееся произведение. -Dying Breath- сочетает мелодику и ритмику dark и synth wave, в которой союз из электронной, экспериментальной и неоготической музыки делает этот трек неоромантикой 21 века. Однозначно в коллекцию!”

LukHash returns with a darkly atmospheric, retro synth track featuring the ethereal vocals of LA-based artist, Meredith Bull. ‘Dying Breath’ is the final single released from, ‘We Are Stardust’, the new album from LukHash, forthcoming April 9th on influential, retro synth label NRW Records. The classically trained musician from Poland, now Edinburgh-based, is making waves with his innovative blend of modern electronic music production, 80’s nostalgia, dystopian cyberpunk and retro arcade gaming culture. His fanbase is global and growing fast with his last two albums topping the electronic sales charts on Bandcamp (with ‘Transient Offworld’ hitting #8 in the overall Bandcamp sales chart). His music has broken the 10 million streams barrier on Spotify, while videos of his experimentation with custom-modified Commodore 64 computers and hacked, original Nintendo Gameboys went viral on YouTube (and more recently TikTok). LukHash is an exciting and creative artist set for big things in 2021. ‘Dying Breath’ is out now on NRW Records – stream / download here:

LukHash embraced the nostalgia of the 8-bit and 16-bit machine-generated sounds of the old Commodore 64’s and Nintendo Gameboys that he grew up listening to. Together with the 80’s pop and rock his parents loved, these influences became a significant part of his music as he began to fuse them with his contemporary productions. He became fascinated with the classic computer sound chips and shared videos of his ideas to his YouTube channel which took on a life of their own, as retro synth fans, ‘chiptune’ fanatics gamers and electronic music lovers across the world joined him in his obsession. With his skills honed LukHash now has a unique sound which he sometimes describes as ‘Chipwave’ – a fusion of synthwave, chiptune and modern electronic music.

Meredith Bull is a hugely talented artist, going viral on her own accord thanks to a creative and amusing TikTok presence, where she has now reached over 2.5m likes for her creations. She has collaborated with artists including Elijah Kelley, LSDream, and Taylor Kade. She first joined forces with LukHash last year on ‘Big In Japan’, a cover of the 80’s Alphaville classic, which was so well received that the duo have been working on more collaborations, starting with ‘Dying Breath’ – watch this space!

‘Dying Breath’ pulls the listener into a futuristic world with big chords, a jagged synth bass and acid riff creating a sense of flying through the unknown. The retro electronic beats drive things forwards while Meredith Bull’s angelic, almost dreamlike vocals add to a deeply emotive track. The chorus keeps building with the strength of a classic power ballad adding to the dystopian imagery, but somehow the track is still infused with hope for the future.

‘We Are Stardust’ will be LukHash’s ninth album underlining how prolific this artist is. NewRetroWave is recognised as the key driving force behind the burgeoning retro synth scene and NRW Records is the ideal label for LukHash. NewRetroWave has provided a platform for every significant artist creating this sound at some point as its YouTube channel has grown to over 1.13 million followers.

LukHash’s musicality is undeniable but his desire to create something new while so clearly enjoying his influences makes him an artist who stands out. His futuristic, cyberpunk vibe has roots in the sounds of an electronic past. LukHash’s music is connecting across the generations and excitement for his new album continues to grow.

Alex Stolze, Ben Osborn, Anne Müller – Babylon (Spotify)

Alex Stolze, Ben Osborn, Anne Müller – Babylon

Dark Wave

New single Babylon sees songwriter and producer Alex Stolze at his starkest, with a sparse arrangement led by a soaring vocal melody, pulsing piano chords and haunting deep cello tones. A collaboration with British lyricist and pianist Ben Osborn, Alex set Ben’s words to an original melody and arrangement. Approaching the song with a highly cooperative process, Alex asked Ben to play the piano part and added a cello line for his long term collaborator Anne Müller. In this way, Alex, explains, "the song is tribute to community."

“Ben's lyrics talk about what’s happening in Europe at the moment, and all over the world,” says Alex. “My favourite phrase is I was walking home through the streets unknown when a fist struck out of the silence, and a voice called ‘yours is to walk alone’. It’s an image our time, when nationalist and far right fear coincide with stock market crashes and it feels like we’ve gone back to 1929.”

Known for his blending of classical violin, electronica and alternative pop, here Alex put aside his violin and reduced the electronic elements of the track to a minimal layering of ambience. A complex, shifting harmonic structure shows the influence of classical and renaissance music alongside contemporary alternative music, resulting in a sense of symmetry: while the lyrics describe a contemporary Europe in need of rebirth, the music draws on a time of rebirth in Europe. In this way, Alex has crafted a protest song for our time that still manages to feel timeless.

Alex Stolze has generated a well-deserved reputation for his unique blending of different musical worlds, shifting seamlessly between stark modern classical works, fiercely intelligent electronica and off-kilter indie pop. Already widely acclaimed for his work with electronica acts Bodi Bill and Unmap, and the experimental avantgarde trio Dictaphone, his emergence both as a solo artist and as head of new label Nonostar Records has opened up a range of new musical possibilities.

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