The Brillboard is a curated list of fresh, new tracks by independent and up-and-coming artists. Tracks on the Brillboard fit a mood – sometimes broad, sometimes very specific, always useful to you. Follow for the soundtrack to your life, by artists you wish you knew.
This week’s Brillboard focuses on space.
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“Latch” – Sorcha Richardson
Let’s start with the obvious. If you were anywhere with a radio in the mid 2010’s, you’d know that “Latch” is a 2013 sleeper hit, featuring Sam Smith’s voice and Disclosure’s electronic productions. For a time the song was unavoidable, endlessly blasting Smith’s high-pitch vocals and Disclosure’s beats into clubs and airways. I was right there with you; I heard it a lot. I even watched the flirtatious music video a few times. You could play it today and I’d recognize it immediately. Or at least, I thought so. Enter Ireland’s Sorcha Richardson, who released her version of it a few weeks ago. I say version, because I take issue calling it a cover. This version is so far removed from the original that she transforms it into something entirely her own. Richardson – who first came on my radar with her 2015 single “Petrol Station” – proves herself a funambulist, straddling the delicate, rarely visited line that divides an original song with a cover. This is “Latch” as it should be. Barred of anything extraneous, it is just Richardson’s peaceful vocals accompanied by the slides and strides of a guitar. “Could I lock in your love, baby?” Richardson earnestly inquires. You can actually make out the lyrics in this rendition of “Latch”, and with a version this stripped down, you hear the lyrics differently. I’d go so far as to say, you hear them correctly. “Latch” is a vulnerable and transparent expression of love, of the desire to hold onto the space between you and another. Experience it.
“Passing Ships” – Swimming Tapes
Five-man band Swimming Tapes returns to the indie scene with “Passing Ships”, the lead single off their debut album “Morningside”. As the title suggests, this song is about two people that briefly cross paths before continuing on with their separate lives. Even though they fleetingly share the same space, they don’t interact; like the dueling guitars that open the song, they run incongruous and in parallel. They miss each other, and between the vocal delivery and the vividly visual lyrics, you get the feeling that they don’t just miss each other physically. They really miss each other. There’s an air of nostalgic melancholia to it all. These people probably once knew each other. Their branches of connection were likely once blooming, but now they’re just “dropping their leaves rusty on the green”. “Passing Ships” is based on a true story for one of the band members, and through this song, we earnestly process the moment alongside him. It’s almost therapeutic. Maybe one day that person, whoever it was, will hear it. For now, at least we get to.
“Ear to Ear” – ANIMA!
ANIMA! is an intercontinental alt-electronic duo, with one half living in California while the other is in South Africa. That setup is pretty atypical but ANIMA! is a pretty atypical band. Their sounds are experimental and otherworldly, with Arielle Vakni’s vocals and Vicente Espi’s productions bringing you to the deep, unchartered waters of indietronica. Their songs are Sylvan Esso on steroids, and “Ear to Ear” is no different. Its lyrics talk about frequencies and vibrations, energy and sound waves; the words deal with the literal and somewhat abstract concept of interpersonal space, of how thoughts make it from one person to another. Challenging the idea that prayers sometimes feel like they fall on deaf ears, ANIMA! empowers and encourages you to keep the faith. For “she is a queen, she is listening, [and] what you’re sending is what you will receive”. “Ear to Ear” follows “Toughest Man”, the first single ANIMA! released from their upcoming album, Grow Your Garden. Garden, a nine-track record with some stunning cover artwork, drops May 10th.