Category Archives: Mixes

Music Alliance Pact For March 2015

Music Alliance Pact For March 2015

I’ve got a train to catch…but new MAP! Caro Kissa!

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 21-track compilation through Dropbox here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Caro KissaSaturday Morning

Indie-pop shall truly never fade out of style. As long as there are young people out there with access to some instruments and a computer to record with, the twee stuff will keep on coming. Caro Kissa have released one of the first great indie-pop EPs of the year in Japan with Perfect Dream, and Saturday Morning is an easy-going highlight, showcasing their skippy tempo and solid singing.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Panda ElliotGuerrero (AlexPatri remix)

Panda Elliot is three in one: woman, band and producer. A fresh new face in the music scene, she recently launched her second album Forastera, which shows a more confident Panda Elliot, well established in her own style. After the eclectic single Ligerita, she released Guerrero, a rockin’ feminine song that forces you to move your head. The track is potent and full of energy on its own, so this remix by AlexPatri extends into the realm of fun, uptempo electronic dance.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
KučkaDivinity

A continuation of Kučka’s future R&B leanings hinted at in her previous work, Divinity is a lush, surreal affair. Undulating rhythms sync perfectly with the swirling, cough-syrupy synths and Laura Jane Lowther’s vocals, which sound at once sultry and innocent. Think an antipodean Purity Ring.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Passo TortoIsaurinha

Passo Torto is a quartet formed by renowned musicians from Sao Paulo’s contemporary music scene. Isaurinha is taken from their second album, Passo Elétrico, in which they explore guitars and effects on acoustic bass and cavaquinho (sort of a small guitar often associated with samba), with the lack of percussion elements leaving space for harmonic and melodic experiments.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
MunroeBloodlet

Fans of Lykke Li may enjoy newcomer Kathleen Munroe, who simply goes by Munroe. She makes chilling folk tunes like this one with a tinge of Americana (though I guess this would be Canadiana?). Production-wise, Bloodlet doesn’t have too much but it’s perfect just the way it is. Her lovely voice is all you need.

CHILE: Super 45
Patio SolarPintura

Guitars are back in Chilean pop and Patio Solar proves this. After a couple of self-produced releases (Patio Solar and Driminsún), these youngsters from a little corner of Santiago offer dreamy lo-fi melodies, sometimes close to shoegaze and psychedelia, on their 2015 debut album Temporada. The single Pintura is taken from the record, released through Piloto.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
OkraaHealing

Juan Carlos Torres, the frontman of Bogotá’s Globos de Aire, also goes by the pseudonym Okraa, and with this solo alias he makes deeper, more personal work within electronica. Okraa, who has done remixes for Scottish artist Turtle, shows the well-woven sounds that lead us to take a walk in our minds on Healing, from his debut Dreamachine EP.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Virgin SuicideVirgin Suicide

The quintet Virgin Suicide will release their eponymous debut album on May 18, co-produced and mixed by Sune Rose Wagner (The Raveonettes). Here is first single Virgin Suicide as a MAP exclusive download.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Behind The TigersBehind The Tigers

Behind The Tigers is a new, mysterious project from Santo Domingo. Their name is a literal translation of a colloquial Dominican way of referring to fun-loving guys as “tigres”. Their first song, Behind The Tigers, is a breezy electro-pop tune, but as simple as it sounds, the duo claims there’s more than meets the eye in their lyrics and wordplay.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
La Orden Del Baile AtrevidoSe Fue El Sistema

Se Fue El Sistema is the first single on the new EP by La Orden Del Baile Atrevido (L.O.B.A.), an electro-rock band with a euphoric style dubbed “rotten glamor”. This song mocks the nightmare of Ecuador’s paperwork, but it’s also a criticism of the system in which we live. L.OB.A.’s debut album, Musica Del Cosmos, will be released this year.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Zebra TracksWaves

There’s something totally irresistible about Zebra Tracks’ intoxicating third album, Waves. They make thoroughly exciting, perfectly executed music that brims with fresh ideas, shimmery guitars and thundering rhythms, sharp and moving melodies, bleak, brooding but hopeful arrangements. They have wisely retained the elements that worked previously, yet there is a depth of emotion here they have never accessed before. Zebra Tracks have made an impressive stride forward and you’d be mad not to follow them.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Nic FitMimpi Pergi

If you watched a lot of MTV and crowdsurfed at gigs during the 1990s, then you may have the era forever in your heart as one awesome memory where lots of weird-sounding bands emerged and you love them. Nic Fit will bring back those happy feelings.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
No Monster ClubI’ve Retired

No Monster Club is the solo guise of Bobby Aherne, an ever-present at the heart of some of Dublin indie’s more eccentric and memorable moments. I’ve Retired sees colorfully upbeat verses and bouncing choruses adorned with contrary lyrics: it’s themed around a departure from the scene that’s clearly not about to happen. What’s bound to happen eventually, though, is one of Aherne’s acts make a major, major impact. A space worth watching.

ITALY: Polaroid
Go DugongImagine Me And You

A Love Explosion is the new album by Go Dugong. Spring is approaching here in Italy, so a record full of love and sensuality seems appropriate. There are mellow beats and psychedelic melodies influenced by 60s and 70s Italian soundtracks plus samples from old school Northern Soul hits. The album is free to download via Bandcamp.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Animación Suspendida IICreepy Groovy Hell

Vapor and sine waves are certainly bubbling under the skin of Animación Suspendida II, a duo comprised of Beto Ben and Mou (formerly of Bam Bam, the space-rock band that delivered Red Bull Panamérika’s 2011 album of the year). With an amazing recording process, the pair improvise on iPad music apps, record to tape and then edit the final track. So, no Ableton Live here, just pure Monterrey psy-fi-phuture juice. The video is a must-see.

PERU: SoTB
The Deep Sea MonsterLike A God

The Deep Sea Monster, who formed in 2012, have emerged from Lima’s independent music circuit with a sound encompassing psychedelia and garage rock. Their new self-titled album is a perfect match of experimentation and euphoria. Their challenge is to not limit their music in any way and their full discography is available for free on Bandcamp.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Tape JunkThumb Sucking Generation

The Tape Junk, who first appeared on the Music Alliance Pact in October 2013, release their eponymous second album in April. It was produced by another talented Portuguese musician, Luís Nunes (Walter Benjamin), and recorded in a makeshift studio in Alvito, Alentejo. The calmness of the place comes across on the recording and its sound.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Tongues.Anymore

Tongues. is the electro project of Kill The Waves frontman Tim Kwant, who is wildly succeeding in his mission to create inspiring pop songs that combine raw energy with a delicate touch. Bold synths, deep subs and soaring vocoders have justifiably drawn comparisons to Alt-J, Hot Chip and fellow Glaswegians Chvrches. With around 50,000 plays so far, Colours In The Dark sparked an online stir after being “accidentally” left public on SoundCloud earlier this year. However, MAP exclusive download Anymore is an even more impressive offering, a perfect union of uplifting and emotive.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Flash Flood DarlingsIn The City

Seoul-based Flash Flood Darlings, who was raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, describes his music as romantic synth-pop. Debut album Vorab And Tesoro was released in February and is filled with a dreamy blend of genres. In The City has been well chosen as one of the album’s two lead tracks, offering a synth line that makes it the perfect soundtrack for a night drive through any city.

SPAIN: Musikorner
MIWA*Space Invad*r

MIWA* is the moniker under which Barcelona-based DJ and producer Sergi Miwa releases tracks inspired by avant-garde Japanese pop. His music is an open invitation to a galactic getaway, or a one-way ticket to wherever your imagination takes you.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Hip HatchetCoward’s Luck

There are thousands upon thousands of singer-songwriters in the world – and not a single one of them is like Hip Hatchet. His music is highly personal yet also universal. Every lyric packs a punch and every play reminds you just how powerful sound can be.

Music Alliance Pact February 2015

This month in the Music Alliance Pact, we spotlight young producer Eriqu, who has been making some really exciting electronic music out of Tokyo the last few months. Listen to him, and many more, below.

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 19-track compilation through Dropbox here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
EriquGang Star


Neck-twisting wonkiness has been a common trait in most notable bedroom-produced Japanese electronic music worth checking out. Eriqu has his fair share of all-over-the-place tracks, but when he focuses a bit on the thundering Gang Star, he comes up with one of his best numbers to date. It ploughs ahead, although Eriqu adds a few unsettling touches such as scrambled voices or what sounds like a man making dog barks.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Enero Sera MioHasta Encontrarte


“January will be mine” is the translation of singer-songwriter Sol Fernandez’s artistic project. Her music is a perfect match of soft melodies and dream-pop with carefully crafted arrangements and sound landscapes. This track is from Enero3, her latest work, which is being released through Bandcamp.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Nite FieldsPrescription


Prescription is the second single from Brisbane four-piece Nite Fields’ long-awaited debut record Depersonalisation. While the intricate guitar work and broody vocals echo The Church, there’s a humid, curiously distant tone here that is something totally their own. Starting with sparse prickly guitars and splashy drumming, the song folds in on itself towards the end, becoming slightly claustrophobic but in an intimate, whispery way. Nite Fields keeps you at arm’s length – you have to squint through the haze of effects and layers to get a hold of anything solid, but once you do, you’ve already fallen hard for this moody and mysterious band.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
WillowsThe Shape I’m In


Johnny McArthur and Eric Moore make up the electronic duo Willows. They venture into uncomfortable territory melodically. The swirling repetitive underlying of The Shape I’m In resembles the dizzying sensation of intoxication. The bursts of energy are like the highs that come back to the inevitable lows.

CHILE: Super 45
Sin ÓrbitaAtardecer


Sin Órbita is a duo formed by Paula Roa and Martin Perez Roa, who last year released their first record, Neón EP (Sudamerican Records). Flirting with electronica and soul, the band are a mixture of Massive Attack trip hop cadence and AlunaGeorge sensuality.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The Radar PostTraces


Songwriter and producer Esben Svane will release his debut solo album as The Radar Post in April. The record will also be titled The Radar Post (he’s keeping his real name for an album in Danish later on) and here’s first great single, Traces, which you can also download in WAV format on SoundCloud.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
MULAUp & Down


MULA is a new experimental project formed by Anabel and Cristabel Acevedo (the twins from folk duo Las Acevedo) and up-and-coming DJ Rach Ro. Even though their musical backgrounds are very different, they want to defy certain preconceptions about mixing electronica with more urban styles. Up & Down, their first single, takes from reggaeton rhythms and electronic accents to create a space-like musical journey. Their first full record is out on February 22 on their self-made label, Pulcra Records.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Mama Soy DementeLa Buena Suerte


Mama Soy Demente is an experimental rock band founded in 2005 by El Ermitaño and Jolgorio Vocal. La Buena Suerte is the first single from their third and latest studio album, El Disco Rojo, an eclectic record brimming with energy and power.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
MuchCarried Away


From Malang with Much love. The duo, consisting of Dandy Gilang and Aulia Anggia on vocals, will rock you with their fuzz-pop beat and embrace you with their warm distortion.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
Featuring XWild Love


A pop-rock teenage quintet from the back-roads town of Drogheda on Ireland’s east coast, Featuring X are fast gaining traction for their buoyant, lively sound and skilful axe-womanship. Wild Love is their distinctive cover of Rea Garvey’s classic, loaded with harmonies and feisty riffs. As well as new recordings, we’ve been promised something else, ‘something special’ in 2015.

ITALY: Polaroid
HavahMeno Di Metà


Jonathan Clancy from His Clancyness and A Classic Education recently started a new label called Maple Death. The inaugural release is a split 12” EP between His Electro Blue Voice (already on Sub Pop and Sacred Bones), who contributed a hypnotic 19-minute track, and Havah, the new project of Michele Camorani (from punk hardcore legends La Quiete and Raein). Havah have a darker, colder and more post-punk sound. They usually play fast and short songs, and they are incredible.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
YewsKeep Trying Till It’s Something


Singer-songwriter Yasmin Kuymizakis (Yews) composes and produces ethereal electronic pop music in her bedroom. Currently based in London, she has a different set-up every time she performs live, playfully changing and adapting her simple songs. Her debut Selene EP was released in 2014.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
SotomayorCielo


Raúl Sotomayor and his sister Paulina were part of Mexico City’s Beat Buffet, a hip hop combo that parted ways with its other members a few months ago. Not much time had passed when they announced this new project, whose introduction card is Cielo, a beautiful, downbeat, sensuous electropical tune.

PERU: SoTB
Los OutsaidersNiña


Los Outsaiders are a great garage-rock group based in Lima. Led by Charlie VTW, their sound is influenced by classic and contemporary rock’n’roll. They recently released their first album with the help of producer Gordon Raphael, known for his work with The Strokes.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Cave StoryRichman


Hailing from the city of Caldas da Rainha, Cave Story are Pedro Zina (bass), Gonçalo Formiga (vocals, guitar) and Ricardo “Caguincha” Mendes (drums). Their sound will delight fans of Pavement. Richman is an obvious tribute to the great American musician Jonathan Richman.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
MonogramAnno(mute)


Monogram, aka Liam Rutherford, first appeared in MAP’s August 2013 edition under his previous pseudonym Mast. The accompanying song, Romance, was my favourite of that year. Anno(mute) is a subtler, haunting offering, but remains true to his DIY ethic. Working from a remote cabin studio in the Borders, he plays all instruments, designs his own artwork and self-produces his promo videos to create an all-encompassing experience.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
JoJo BlowhardGood Night


Operating under the motto that “lying is OK”, JoJo Blowhard writes sad songs that make for great company. His first EP Good Night was released in late 2013, but he has come under the spotlight again with the recent release of the title track’s video. A sober melody paired with JoJo Blowhard’s sympathetic voice, the tones from Good Night will linger long after the song has stopped playing.

SPAIN: Musikorner
Buck & CakeBrillo Labial


According to a close friend of Buck & Cake, the music Douche Buck and Cake Moss play is about “leaving subtleness behind, marrying an old man and counting the days to his demise in order to inherit his fortune. It’s dying your hair blonde using cheap products… and refilling your Chanel bottle using that coconut cologne you bought in a dollar shop.” Basically, Buck & Cake’s electropop is about carelessly giving yourself over to the pleasures of life.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Twin LimbLong Shadow


The music of Twin Limb is that constantly folding and dancing smoke of a freshly blown-out candle. Minimalist sounds find itself turning into emotional highs as the pure talent of Twin Limb sneaks through the smallest mannerisms of brilliant songwriting.

Music Alliance Pact January 2015

New year, same old great Music Alliance Pact. This month, we highlight the experimental wonder of Tokyo’s X-Files. Listen to it…and many more good songs…below.

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 18-track compilation through Dropbox here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
X-FilesCleanfight

Yes, yes, this Tokyo-area project fronted by Sho Takeuchi has the same name as a certain sci-fi show from the 1990s. Yet his music is far more serious than that moniker implies. Cleanfight unfolds slowly, backed by a clattering beat and dashes of distant piano. Yet, as the song lumbers on, X-Files introduces guitar, which cuts through everything else. It is serious and ultimately focused.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Mariana PärawaySirena

Somewhere between Mendoza and the Andes, Mariana Päraway becomes a mountain siren who sings about entangled fates in her latest album, Hilario. Mariana’s music navigates through pop, folk and electronic landscapes resulting in a deep, refined sound exploration.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
AFXJIMDistant

Sydneysider Travis Baird is a multi-instrumentalist who earns a living scoring video installations, playing as a session musician and performing on tour with the likes of Melodie Nelson and Sounds Like Sunset. AFXJIM is Baird’s solo project, which consists of home recordings pieced together from loops, drum machines and field recordings of everything from kindergarten classroom chatter to police radio transmissions. It’s a subtle fusion of experimental electronica and acoustic songwriting, falling somewhere between Tortoise-inspired post-rock and the folktronica of early Four Tet. Distant is the title track of AFXJIM’s second LP. Carried on a bed of slide guitar and rumbling percussion, the track’s centrepiece sample features singing “recorded to MiniDisc in a bus-top karaoke bar in the Costa Rican backwoods”.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
DuaniAproveita

Aproveita is the first single from Duani’s debut solo album, which will be released this year. He became famous in Brazil in the 90s, playing forró (a very danceable rhythm strongly related to the Northeast culture of the country) with the band Forroçacana. In this single, he plays all instruments and sings. The lyrics are a manifest about comprehension in love and its different ways of desire, packaged with black music and soul.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Morning ShowI’m Listening

Alt-folk trio Morning Show features members of Bed Of Stars and The Archers. The multi-instrumentalists show a pallet that is heavily influenced by Canadian peers such as Dan Mangan, Hey Rosetta! and Wintersleep. I’m Listening is a beautiful, balanced single you will have on repeat.

CHILE: Super 45
Tus Amigos NuevosParaná

If we have to blame someone for why Chilean rock has been overshadowed by the pop scene, all darts would point to the extreme seriousness with which most of bands go on stage. Luckily, Tus Amigos Nuevos have been refreshing the idea that rock can be cathartic, danceable and, above all, very funny. This year they promise to be even more so thanks to their second album, from which Paraná is the first single.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Diamante EléctricoTodo Va A Arder

Bogotá power trio Diamante Eléctrico have a lot of blues influences in their DNA. Juan Galeano, the lead singer, bassist and producer, worked with Gavin Lurssen (Queens Of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters) to master their latest EP, called B. Todo Va A Arder is a good example of what Diamente Eléctrico can do, and will do on stage when they open for Foo Fighters in Bogotá this month.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
MOMOLemon

MOMO is what happens when a Faroese singer (Dánjal á Neystabø) and a Danish noise-guitarist (Stephan Sieben) clash in music. It also means “peach” in Japanese and the theme for the duo’s first electro-pop album is fruit. The first single is Lemon and it’s here as a MAP exclusive download.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
La Máquina CamaleönHoy (Más Allá Que El Mar)

La Máquina Camaleön is one of the most original bands in Quito’s indie music scene. Debut album Roja evenly blends folk, psychedelic rock, reverb guitars and organic sounds. Their song Hoy (Más Allá Que El Mar) is a clear example of the sonic versatility of this group led by Felipe Andrés María.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Vincent VegaRecreational Suicide

Vincent Vega is a rock band formed in 2005. Inspired by At The Drive-In, The Mars Volta, Mastodon, Tool and Queens Of The Stone Age, they released the album Always Hard To Make A Change, Just Like How To Stay The Same in 2008. They recently emerged from a two-year hiatus, and Recreational Suicide is one of the new songs that marks their comeback with a darker, heavier sound.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
Axis OfMunro Bagger

Having dropped their metal edge in favour of a rough-around-the-edges melodic punk-rock buzz, north-coast Northern Irish act Axis Of look set to explode in 2015. Famed for their vibrant live show, the three-piece were described by UK magazine Rock Sound as “the most exciting act to come out of Northern Ireland, possibly ever”. Second album The Mid Brae Inn, out this month, features this vicious, craggy melody and plenty more worth getting your teeth stuck into.

ITALY: Polaroid
Peter KernelHigh Fever

Peter Kernel are Barbara and Aris. They want to play pop-rock music “in a primitive and sexy manner”, and they can really do it. Thrill Addict is their third album and it is full of dark percussion and loud guitars, screams and whispers. Their sound is wild, unpredictable and, ultimately, beautifully seductive.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Francisco MartínezNichim

Nichim means “flower” in Tzotzil, an ethnic tongue spoken in the south-eastern state of Chiapas (yes, where the Zapatistas rose a decade ago, bringing attention to the conditions of the indigenous inhabitants all over Mexico). Francisco Martínez, multi-instrumentalist with alt-roots band Centavrvs, has this spin-off project filled with sensuous folkloric rhythms and the unique feature of rapper Slajem Kop making rhymes in Tzotzil. Truly beautiful.

PERU: SoTB
Astronaut ProjectNight

Formed in 2014, Astronaut Project sees Alberto Zegarra explore new musical sensibilities through alternative pop, in contrast to the style of his previous bands. In February, he will release an EP. Astronaut Project’s first single is Night and it’s great.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Imploding StarsEarthquake

Imploding Stars are a quintet who began playing in 2011. They classify their sound as post-rock and we are sure people who like Explosions In The Sky, Mogwai or God Is An Astronaut will become instant fans. Earthquake, taken from their new record A Mountain & A Tree, comes with this video.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
KLOËGrip

The hype around Glasgow electro-pop singer KLOË (aka 18-year-old Chloé Latimer) is at feverish levels – and for good reason. She has justifiably drawn comparisons with CHVRCHES and Ellie Goulding and, just like those two acts, her debut song was premiered on the website of New York label Neon Gold. The track in question, Grip, is both brooding and blissful, having been shaped into contemporary sublimity by super-producer/drummer Lewis Gardiner (Prides). The first live outing from KLOË in February is sure to be buzzing.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Kim Sawol X Kim HaewonGo To Hell

Both members of singer-songwriter duo Kim Sawol X Kim Haewon have been making fine music on their own, but in 2014 they teamed up for a joint EP called {Secret}. It stunned everyone with its dreamy sound and seductive atmosphere, inspiring comparisons with Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. Go To Hell is an attractive duet with a simple yet stylish arrangement.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Spirit AnimalParty In The Back

It’s always an all out funk-rock party with Spirit Animal, and they’ll never apologize for fusing their amazing talent with overflowing fun. Party In The Back is the perfect upbeat song to melt away the winter blues and get the body moving.

Music Alliance Pact December 2014

Ahhhh, another year in the books for the Music Alliance Pact, a monthly feature where blogs from all over the world share one song a month from a promising artist. To close out 2014, Make Believe Melodies swings the spotlight onto Kyoto’s There Is A Fox and his lovely “Sleep Well Sea Moon.” Listen to it – and many more great songs – below.

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 17-track compilation through Dropbox here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
There Is A FoxSleep Well Sea Moon

Based out of the city of Kyoto, There Is A Fox has kept quite busy in 2014. He launched a label, Dear Ear Records, and collaborated with the Los Angeles electronic artist Spazzkid on a song. Capping off a busy 12 months is a new EP, highlighted by Sleep Well Sea Moon. It is a sparse, reflective number highlighting the vocals, which ache with sweetness and longing.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Pablo Dacal y Fer IsellaLos Caminos

Singer-songwriter Pablo Dacal (MAP February 2009) invited fellow musician and friend Fer Isella to perform a concert together. In return, Isella proposed that they record an album. After years of conversations they finally got together, then the two artists visited Ulises Conti (MAP March 2009) at his Buenos Aires studio and invited him to produce the album. Right there, the newly-form trio recorded piano, vocals and other arrangements. The resulting album is called Los Caminos and here’s the self-titled first single.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
ScotDrakulaShazon

Steeped in a love for fuzz and 60s rock’n’roll, Melbourne trio ScotDrakula transcend the novelty of their name with songs so catchy they make Gangnam Style look about as appealing as week-old haggis. The band has just released their debut album and it’s drowning in two/three-minute garage super-soakers. Shazon is irresistibly charming, enough to convert the stalest individual to a headbangin’ conqueror of the dancefloor.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
LYONCut Me Loose

Cut Me Loose is the latest track from Toronto’s Lauren Malyon aka LYON. It’s a difficult one to get out of your head once you listen to it, like the girl next door you can’t forget.

CHILE: Super 45
SigObrilllAndoCampeón

The intermittent presence of Giancarlo Landini in the Chilean music scene is remarkable. From hardcore (Syndie), through indie-rock (Moreno), to pop and indietronic in his most recent project, SigObrilllAndo, Landini has proved himself as a restless and daring songwriter. Campeón, featuring Tessie Stranger (from Intimate Stranger), is a three-chord, clapping pop jewel with the perfect length: three-and-a-half minutes.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
WaitressBeneath Our Feet

Danish/Swedish alt-pop trio Waitress will release a seven-track EP in 2015 and here’s the third single, Beneath Our Feet, as a MAP exclusive download. As it should naturally leave you wanting more here’s the video for lead single Young In Mind and, because Christmas is near, the video for Beneath Our Feet.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
César PinedaCalma

A free soul roams around the city streets at dawn looking for a love to keep it tame. That’s the main feel we get from César Pineda’s debut EP, Alma Libre. The chillest vibes, soothing guitars and stories full of quiet feelings converge. Be sure to catch the rest of the EP, available as a free download on SoundCloud.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Moshi MoshiBoat

In Japan, “moshi moshi” is an expression meaning “hello”. In Ecuador, Moshi Moshi is an interesting new surf-rock/post-punk band. Formed in Guayaquil in 2014 with former members of The Cassettes and MuTe, Moshi Moshi release their second EP, Hello Hello, this month. Here is their first single, Boat.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
SnorgPlaces I Never Knew

Noise/experimental collective Snorg formed in 2002 and had been on hiatus for a very long time. They usually combine tracks sampled from anywhere with distortion, feedback and mumbling vocals. They’ve only performed live a few times and with some totally different members on stage. Their guitarist is rarely seen on stage with the band. This track might mark their return, but we never know for how long.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
OneKnownJST BKZ

Formerly secretive artist Unknown, now outed artist OneKnown (get it?), Chris Hanna’s latest grimy beat-laden dubstep is exactly the kind of stuff Ireland is starting to see buck its well-established musical trends/clichés. Seemingly inspired by the likes of Burial and Flying Lotus, Hanna’s work is a whirling yet slow-building crescendo for the more discerning clubber. Record label Champion Sound isn’t short of acts just like this Belfast gem either.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
FraserBouboulina Sunshine

UK born and Malta raised, Fraser is not a name many people know in Malta’s music scene, but it ought to be. Following a brief stint with Beangrowers (prior to their album releases), Fraser Gregory set out to find himself – travelling, writing and performing in various parts of the world. His album, A Garden At The Top Of The Tree, is available for free download via Bandcamp.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
MAWPadre Nuestro

From Chihuahua in the north of Mexico, we introduce the quartet MAW. In the shoegaze/psychedelia of Padre Nuestro, MAW declares the universe as the one and only god and fills the space with this eight-minute piece full of hallucinative colours, dreamy vocals and mind-bending guitars. Check out their MAW EP for free on Bandcamp.

PERU: SoTB
AmariyAAl Sur

AmariyA recorded their first EP, Al Sur, in 2012 and want to rouse listeners with their energy and positive messages. The band’s sound spans rock, pop, funk, disco and jazz. The song Al Sur features the powerful vocals of Pamela Fajardo.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Old Yellow JacketThe Man Who Knew Too Much

Filipe, Guilherme, Miguel and Henrique make up Old Yellow Jack, a new band from Lisbon. The Man Who Knew Too Much is taken their debut EP, Magnum, out in January 2015. You can watch the vídeo for this track here.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Dada BerlinSiete/Trece

There is no better way to end this gut-punch of a year than with Dada Berlin’s snarling denouncement of misogyny, Siete/Trece, from their just-released debut split EP with Puerto Rico’s Hungary Hippos. Singer Pequeña Vera is a commanding presence, weaving her voice in and out of her bandmate’s punk riot, an operatic force soaring theremin-like above the noise one second and landing straight into full-on scream mode the next. It all pays off big time during the song’s explosive chorus, built out of the ashes of alt-nation to haunt listeners throughout our entire 2015.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
New Year MemorialNoëlle

What a thrilling way to end one year and usher in a new one. New Year Memorial sprang up in the last week of November with an intriguing pair of songs on SoundCloud: Lovers, with its introspective piano interlude making way for full-on bombast; and Noëlle, a lush head-turner bristling with warm strings and keys which we are privileged to offer as an exclusive MAP download. Until now, it has been the studio project of Iain Thomson, ably insisted by musician friends including singer Nicky McManus. However, New Year Memorial’s debut live appearance in January 2015 promises a full-band sound that’s punkier than what we’ve heard so far.

SPAIN: Musikorner
NegrøNegrøJust Like

NegrøNegrø is a multidisciplinary project that mixes electronic music, visuals and generative arts. Their primary influences are Dirty Beaches, Dean Blunt et al. NegrøNegrø is the brainchild of José Venditti, an Argentina-born artist currently based in Madrid.d

Music Alliance Pact November 2014

This month for the Music Alliance Pact – a feature where blogs from all over the world share one song with one another, with Make Believe Melodies repping for Japan – we highlighted a bit of a different sounding artist. The spotlight falls on Toyohirakumin, who often gets lumped into the world of vaporwave, but who doesn’t fall for the trappings of that micro-genre on his most recent album. Listen to it and a lot more great music below.

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 22-track compilation through Dropbox here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
ToyohirakuminCliff

If the term ‘vaporwave’ gives you chills, either turn back now or try to think beyond whatever concepts of the internet microgenre you have. Toyohirakumin makes music that is often filed as – and in some cases sounds like – vaporwave, but Cliff is far more than an exercise in aesthetics. It is a slow burner, and a minimal one at that, but a compelling throbber from a promising Japanese producer.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Tomás FerreroCuando Te Hablo

In March 2013, a mixed group of musicians gathered together in Cordoba and Buenos Aires to play some songs and sound pieces composed with lyrics taken from the work of a federal collective of artists called Esta Vida No Otra. Some of them recorded the results several months later, and those tracks were then released as a compilation titled 15 Artistas Cantan Esta Vida No Otra. The song we have selected from this album, also available for free at Bandcamp, is Cuando Te Hablo by Tomás Ferrero from the band Rayos Láser.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Open SwimmerSugar Bowl

Open Swimmer’s version of pop is jarring, even discordant at first, but it’s this blatantly simple approach that has us hooked. (Dirty Projectors fans, pay attention now.) Sugar Bowl is a brilliant introduction to the band; playful yodelling is cut and pasted along a steady 4/4 drum beat, while witty banter takes the fore. Songwriter Ben TD was based in Glasgow for seven years, touring extensively and landing multiple sessions on BBC Radio One and a stint at T in the Park before settling in Melbourne. The band comprises some of Melbourne’s most admired independent music alumni (The Harpoons, Seagull). Expect to hear a lot more from this group.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Alessandra LeãoMofo

Alessandra Leão shows off her experimental side with Mofo, taken from her new EP, Pedra De Sal. Avoiding the world music sound from other works, this song has dark music and some weird programming that fits the angst of the lyrics.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Beach SeasonMidnights

There’s not actually much out there on Beach Season besides the fact the project is from Calgary. The smooth vocals of Midnights complements the hip-hop influenced rhythms. This is a duo that won’t be much of a mystery for long.

CHILE: Super 45
The Dagger ComplexVelvet Moon

The Dagger Complex were formed in 2013 by Hernán Díaz (vocals/guitar), Michaela Boman (vocals), Abraham Vicencio (guitar), Gonzalo Chandía (bass) and Ignacio Álvarez (drums). Their debut EP, Vibrant, released by Beast Discos, is a collection of songs inspired by early 90s shoegaze and dream-pop, one foot set in the cadence of bands such as Slowdive or Mojave 3, the other one in the fuzzy mass of noise of The Jesus And Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
IAmFireBurn Your Halo

IAmFire have their debut EP ready and apparently it sounds like a “massive drug experience” to frontman Peter Dolving. Come December, he and the rest of the gang will be releasing this groovy stoner metal dragon and here’s Burn Your Halo as a MAP exclusive download.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Gnómico & Victor VictorMesita De Noche

Hip-hop producer Gnómico has always been interested in preserving Dominican musical culture for the present and future generations. Now he’s embarking on a new project called Sinergia that will add an urban twist to many songs from past decades. The first one is Mesita De Noche, a famous 90s bachata by Victor Victor, now remade with a funky fresh attitude, Gnómico’s own rap verses and Mr Victor himself singing its signature chorus.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Da Culkin ClanSometimes You Make Love

From the city of Cuenca, Da Culkin Clan represents the most weird and experimental contemporary hip hop of the country. Their lyrics and music are a bunch of random, powerful and creative ideas – a mixture of carnival and fiction figures. From debut album Special Dark, we present its first single, Sometimes You Make Love.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Babis PapadopoulosSpring

Babis Papadopoulos blends the organic nature of Greek traditional folk music, rhythms rich with contemporary elements and avant-garde jazz and succeeds in creating a sequence of lush, varied and nostalgic tracks. Spring, the splendid first preview from his forthcoming album, Joy In Pain, Pain In Joy, is dominated by a delicate, recurring melody in bouzouki, mournful violins, a broody viola and the warm restlessness of his guitar.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
BarokkaBarapantura

Dangdut Koplo is one of the most famous electro genres in the shady underground clubs of Indonesia. This trashy dance anthem was created by the guy behind Dubyouth as an introduction.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
SPIESMoosehead

Hyped up by authorities as hefty as The Guardian and NME, Dublin’s SPIES are widely seen as the city’s next big thing. Moosehead is the latest of their slow to emerge singles, released on the band’s own Trout Records label. Leaning on the same glorious desolation that fronted Factory Records’ world-renowned soundscapes, it’s a jittery, dingy piece of indie-rock that brings atmospheric depression up to date. Think social awkwardness meets Interpol, and put a hefty bookmark on this space.

ITALY: Polaroid
KlamMess With The Best, Die In A Nuclear Test

On the cover of Bleak, the debut album by Klam, there is a foggy road, a city in the shadow, a storm seems to be approaching. It’s a perfect introduction to the sound of the band: dark shoegaze with post-punk sharp edges. They can create hazy clouds of feedback, but they can also write vibrant and trembling songs like this one.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
FastidjuKukkuzejt

Fastidju was born when Nigel Baldacchino (essentially a non-musician) started conceiving vague sung melodies and aural structures for existing pieces of writing compiled for the exhibition, Sajda, in 2012. Nigel started seeking collaborations with electronic producers he admired, such as Istishhad Hheva and Cygna, to provide flesh to his musical skeletons. An album was devised and a band took on the task of developing some of the structures – and even creating new songs. Cygna ultimately ended up being the main crucial guiding light in the final studio phase.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
PumcayóDon Jacinto

Hailing from Guadalajara, Pumcayó is a band that weaves their region’s folkloric heritage, with patterns found on Grizzly Bear or Fleet Foxes’ music. Following a Kino-Pravda aesthetic – as in Dziga Vertov’s Soviet documentary from the 20s – the video for the song Don Jacinto follows the semi-industrial art of making colourful papercrafts, a simple decor in Mexican celebrations with a beautifully complex craft.

PERU: SoTB
Mind BlackCocaine

Mirella Bellido is the songwriter and lead singer of Mind Black. These Days is her debut five-track EP that moves through different emotions such as anxiety, perversion, obsession and regret. Mind Black, as defined by its creator, is a balance between the emotional and rational.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
A JigsawNo True Magic

Coimbra band A Jigsaw are back with a new album, No True Magic. Jorri and João Rui, the two members of the folksy alternative band, invited Carla Torgerson (The Walkabouts) to join them on vocals for one of the tracks, Black Jewelled Moon. They also produced the record, which will find new fans in those who appreciate artists such as Tindersticks, Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Los VigilantesAhí Ya No Estoy

After an exhaustive and intense European tour, garage-rockers Los Vigilantes returned to Puerto Rico with a new record under their belt. Aptly titled Al Fin (At Last), it perfectly showcases the band’s brand of melodic surf punk: both infectious and melancholy, it makes your bones rattle, a bit from pain and a bit from joy. Los Vigilantes recently shared a video for the record’s second single, Ahí Ya No Estoy, in which a scorned lover wills himself into feeling hopeful for the future with a little help from his friends, cheering us all up in the process. Dance those blues away with Los Vigilantes.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Billy Jeffrey JnrEternal Blue

Billy Jeffrey Jnr’s debut album, Eternal Blue, received modest attention when it was released in early 2014 but – thanks to the power of word-of-mouth and mesmeric live performances – it continues to gain the Glasgow songwriter a host of new fans and followers with each passing week. Possessing the same otherworldly quality as Bon Iver, it is a record full of elegant moments, with title track Eternal Blue being a personal favourite.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
We Hate JH20

Emo/power-pop band We Hate JH made the finals of this year’s edition of the foremost South Korean rookie competition, Hello Rookie. A brand new single will be out very soon, but 20 is the charming and extremely likeable opening track off the official debut EP Officially, We Hate JH released earlier this year.

SPAIN: Musikorner
RoleShrine II

Role are a four-piece from Madrid whose sound is influenced by dream-pop, trip-hop and even art-rock. They have played live at Valle Eléctrico, one of the most important experimental electronic club nights in Spain, and their first album is due to be released in the first quarter of 2015.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Jenna DeanBlown

Funk-based hip hop is alive and well in the form of this brilliant track from Jenna Dean. Smooth guitars open into a locked groove that swarms around a controlled lyrical outpouring. It’s a song that builds and builds, never letting the listener down.