Leo Islo is the moniker of Portland-based producer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Matt Pahler. Born in Chile and raised in the small mountain city of Flagstaff, AZ, he began touring as a drummer playing at venues across Arizona at the early age of 17 and it wasn’t long before his passion for music led him to songwriting. Artists like Neon Indian, Toro Y Moi, Caribou and Washed Out became early influences in his production style, a well-balanced mix of retro synths, ethereal vocals, warm guitars and analog beats.
2015 was a breakout year for Leo Islo and saw his transition house-driven beats through a series of single releases that garnered accolades from influential bloggers and won him a devoted fanbase. “Oh Dystopia” charted on the Spotify Viral Charts while “Higher Living” went on to place well on the Hype Machine Charts, peaking at #10.
In 2016, Leo Islo continues to build on his previous achievements with the Golden Grave EP. The release shifts seamlessly between lo-fi, house and indie pop, incorporating aspects of each of these styles to build the foundations of Pahler’s unique sound.
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With their subtle mix of alternative psychedelic lo-fi and dreamy chillwave, Danish duo Slowes create evocative pop soundscapes with an electronic twist. Jack Kilburn (vocals) and Anders Hamann (drums) formed Slowes in 2015, under the name More, and have since released two singles: “I Need You” and “Sweet”.
With a string of live performances scheduled over the summer, as well as a couple more singles expected before the end of the year, the boys are keeping busy ahead of the release of their highly anticipated debut EP in early 2017.
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Swedish trio Wildhart only have a few singles under their belt and yet they have already managed to attract media attention for their sparse, atmospheric tunes which have already seen comparisons to other Scandinavian acts like Little Dragon and Niki & The Dove. Unveiled last month, “We Made Up a Dream” is taken off EP1, which was recorded by the band in keyboardist Kiwi Berg’s basement and subsequently mixed and mastered in Little Dragon’s own studio.
Once again breaking new musical ground, this song finds Wildhart in a more melancholic mood. Icy, ethereal electronics offer a cinematic backdrop for vocalist Ylva’s delicate vocals and, combined with some top-notch pop songwriting and polished beats, “We Made Up A Dream” is another great track from Wildhart’s exciting debut.
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Emerging Swedish duo Canvas is made up of brothers Andreas and Robin Schulz, who share a background in hardcore bands. Their current collaboration is an electronic and soulful project with a sense of Scandinavian melancholy spread across every beat.
After a string of high-profile remixes for the likes of Seinabo Sey and Shura, Canvas return with new single “Spell it Out” which follows previous releases “Another Time” and “You & Me”. Taken from their forthcoming EP, the song pairs ethereal vocals with trademark Canvas production. Playful keys, deep bass and subtle beats make this new tune the perfect soundtrack for the first warm days of spring.
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Melbourne-based outfit Clubfeet have a brand new single out and it’s stunning! ‘We Are Affected’ is the four-piece’s first splash of new music since 2013’s critically acclaimed Heirs & Graces. Recorded with co-producer Beni Single and mixer Eric J (Flight Facilities, Chet Faker) the new track is lifted from their forthcoming EP, due for release in early 2016.
Clubfeet first sprang to local and global attention when they released Gold on Gold through cult NYC house label Plant Music in 2010. Their sophomore release, Heirs & Graces, saw the band mature and expand their palette – spawning breakthrough tracks like ‘Heartbreak’ and ‘Everything You Wanted.’
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