March 2024

MISUNDERSTOOD by EMILY STORM

Emily Storm is an upcoming indie, alt-pop musician from South West London. She strives to create music that people can relate to and we think she’s nailed it with this latest track.

‘Misunderstood’ as an immersive soundscape, inspired by the likes of Evanescence, Linkin Park, The Cranberries, unified by Emily’s alt-pop production. The layers of ethereal vocal harmonies are spectral, combined with a powerfully raw and soulful lead. Underneath, 80’s-inspired synth’s swell, and distorted bells chime, as we are lured in and out of dizzying, vocal chants.

Writing and recording everything herself, Emily demonstrates a real talent for creating both a sense of escapism and connection. Exactly what you would want from an electronic production, exploring miscommunication in relationships, right? As such, she hopes that this release will hopefully help listeners to feel less “misunderstood” in their own lives. Complimented by her colourful pastel visuals, Emily’s eclectic sound is authentic and alluring. It’s musically and vocally innovative. It’s emotive and powerful. Given that it’s only the multi-talented artist’s 3rd ever single, I feel like Emily Storm is a true creative, that we need to be keeping our eyes (and ears) on!

CHANGELING by UNDER STARLING

Under Starling proudly took their place in the independent music scene with the release of their EP “Portals” in 2023 and only continue to solidify their growing success. Their latest release is a clear and professional display of their craft. ‘Changeling’ is a fresh and developed offering from the Alt-Rock outfit, veering into realms of dreamy indie-rock, with clear pop sensibilities, all whilst retaining their signature gritty edge. 

Musically inspired by the likes of The Cranberries, Kings of Leon, and U2, Biffy Clyro and The 1975, Under Starling always defy expectation, blending layers upon layers of musical influences. In this case, as mellow guitar vibes meet dark distorted riffs and soaring, reverb-soaked vocals, ‘Changeling’ lies somewhere between an indie-rock anthem and an epic pop-rock ballad. 

The poignant single, alluding to the heartbreaking story of Bridget Cleary, is a masterful display of songwriting and production. Narrated by a spectral vocal and poignant foreboding soundscape, it perfectly captures the complexities of love, superstition and the unforgiving grip of distrust. The resulting atmosphere arouses a sense of bittersweet euphoria, shrouded by a pervasively dark undertone, which feels both restless and aching, yearning toward a sense of escapism. It’s a commanding and emotive track that will have you fully engrossed from beginning to end- a skilful showcase of musical storytelling.

MAN DOWN by BEAR BEAT

Headphones at the ready! Prepare to be absolutely absorbed by this entrancing chilled dance vibe. Combining a house-inspired groove with captivating production and masterful use of sampling – echoing the likes of Moby – Bear Beat has crafted a soundscape that’s infectious, as it is intriguing.

With a meaningful fusion of lyrical soundbites, Man Down paints a powerfully emotive picture. The ambient, dance-worthy track has the power to put you in a trance – it’s meditative, with a passionate edge. Yet, you can equally see yourself compelled to belt out the words: in a club, hands in the ear, two-stepping, fully immersed an atmosphere that pulsates from beginning to end. Truly, it’s a masterful showcase of versatility and craftsmanship in the electronic music space, supported by his diverse and boundary-pushing back catalogue. 

This newest outing is a tantalising peek at the producer’s musical direction of late. It marks the beginning of an exciting chapter for Bear Beat, hinting at even more compelling releases to come in 2024.

LIGHT by TINKR

‘Gritty yet soulful’, this track aches with emotion, as strings pine alongside TINKR’s vulnerable vocal oscillating, like grief itself. ‘Light’ began as a bedroom demo consisting of TINKR’S raw, disturbed vocals and acoustic guitar. Since layered with haunting piano, on a bed of masterful alt-pop production from Poykin, ‘light’ encapsulates the sensation of travelling back to your parents after a breakup. 

The ambient ballad is magnetic and compelling, but emotionally confronting. It’s dark and haunting, but warm and comforting, all at the same time. The consistent intrusion of the electronic thud punctuates melancholic harmonies like a pang in your heart. ‘Light’ is truly a stunning and authentic portrayal of heartache. It’s made for your Heartbreaker playlist. 

The Brighton-based singer-songwriter has mastered the art of candidly expressing turbulent tales of human emotions and the messiness of existence, in the most sincere and captivating way. Touching upon heavy, prominent issues, such as loss, substance misuse, mental health and the perils of heartbreak, TINKR wears her heart on her sleeve. With such earnest and captivating delivery, TINKR’s music is cathartic, offering a sanctuary for the modern day misfits. TINKR and Poykin are already working on their next single together – we eagerly anticipate its release next month. They are also working together to make an 8-track EP, featuring ‘light’.

ANIMA by NAOMI RUSH

Naomi’s music is a multi-faceted journey in exploratory sound that’s as truly ethereal as it is powerfully raw and confronting. And, ANIMA is truly unique. Incorporating her love of anime into her artwork, Naomi’s soaring vocal defiantly delivers the complex narrative, through allegorical lyricism that similarly draws from her true love of fantasy. Musically, the track is infused with a diverse range of influences, creating a euphoric atmosphere, tinged with lofi, shoegaze bedroom-pop, subverted by punches of metal and emo-rock. Prepare for epic battle between darkness and light, with awe-inspiring shifts between heavy guitars and drums, versus the more playful and charming arrangement of synth’s and softer guitars.

These musical contrasts act as a powerful metaphor for a conversation between an emotionally fatigued adult and their child self, who had been neglected by their adult-self for years, due to people-pleasing, self destructive behaviours and falling victim to religious trauma. Hence, this striking new single purges the darkness and heaviness of human emotions, yet soothes with the contrast of the magic innocence in the human experience. The latter, perhaps symbolic of a child-like character, like her younger self, or perhaps a glimpse at forgiveness?

It’s a compelling track either way, with heart-wrenching invocations of pain and anger versus a sweet, heart-warming tenderness. In tackling such heavy subject matters, the experimental approach to this song’s execution – stylistically embedding itself into an art-pop, progressive art-rock, emo fusion – is the most fitting canvas, guaranteed to stir an emotional response from listeners.

OUT OF LIFE by JAY WILLIAMS

Out Of Life is the first track released from Jay William’s upcoming EP, which he has dubbed ‘the master of emotion’. And I can see why… Out Of Life is the perfect sonic metaphor for feeling a little lost and hopeless, whilst still retaining a small glimmer of optimism. The track yearns with piano arpeggios echoing a combination of Evanescence meets Massive Attack, grounded by a more soothing, familiar arrangement – seemingly signifying a sense of apathy. Jay’s vocal is soulful and comforting, yet almost detached, so perfectly narrating an honest portrayal of displacement. Underpinned by his own personal experience of navigating his feelings about leaving school, Jay has audibly encapsulated a painful search for a sense of self.

Williams emerged on the local Hertfordshire and Essex gigging scene at the age of 12 and has a host of live music experience under his belt. Notably, after 10 years of attending ‘Music In The Park’ in Stansted annually, Jay finally found himself on the festival stage, ‘rather than in the queue for the burger van’!

Jay’s original instrument was piano on which he learnt until the age of about 6 when he moved mainly to guitar. However, the piano has started re-emerging in Jay’s live performance roster and now, his new releases, as showcased in ‘Out Of Life’, where he so effortlessly blends his mastered instrumentation.With authenticity at it’s core, Jay hopes that sharing his relatable new music, and music yet to be written, can be a source of inspiration and hope for everyone who hears it.

100 WAYS (REMIX) by STRINGFELLA

Officially launching the “100 Ways Remix” in the well-known establishment “John Lee’s bar and venue” on March 9th 2024, StringFella builds on the momentum of his previous singles. His 2023 album made the top 15 on the beatport progressive house charts. And, unsurprisingly, the DJ and producer from Ireland has played with all the big names on the electronic music scene.

True to form, StringFella blends a range of electronic influences, serving us another club-worthy house track, packed with old school flavour, catchy saxophone riffs and driven vocals. Allowing Peyton’s original vocal to shine, this immersive new remix is everything you could ever ask for in a feel-good, house summer bop. 

Stringfella draws inspiration from Boris Brejcha, Phaxe, guy j and boral kilbil, amongst others, combining elements from different styles to form what he affectionately calls his own electronic cocktail style. This particular cocktail is a taste of Ibiza Club Vibes. Beach, sun, dance into the early hours. 

Lusciously building just enough suspense, before liberating our eager ears with a jazzy riff, transporting us to a warm summer’s evening, uninhibited and compelled to dance our cares away. The techno-style synth stabs, transform into smooth, glossy slides and back again, over a pulsating house-driven beat to charge any dancefloor. It feels both classic and original in style and substance, reflecting his masterfully creative back-catalogue, whilst exciting us for more.

JUPITER AND MARS by ISABELLE METTLE

‘Jupiter and Mars’ is the first single from Isabelle’s upcoming EP ‘Super Moon’, set for release later in 2024. This beautifully immersive new single is about “recognising the insignificance of our worries in comparison to the expansiveness of our Universe”. Aptly celestial, Jupiter and Mars is an escapade of musical exploration, painting a vivid picture of the desire to escape during conflicts. 

From the grit of earthly disputes to the serene silence of the cosmic realm, ‘Jupiter and Mars’ is an interstellar journey, seamlessly narrated by Mettle’s effortless, but thoughtful and soulful vocal. Grounded by captivating hooks and infectious rhythms, the track reflects a tapestry of influences from R&B, Pop, Jazz and Alternative genres – notably an ambient throwback to Trip-Hop. The result is a dance-worthy soporific audio balm perfectly fitting to soothe our existential dread. It really is as if you’ve been propelled into space, where the only thing that exists is serenity. A true testament to the power of music and its ability to transport us to places we’ve never been before. 

Isabelle says: “It’s not just about the physical desire to get away, but also the mental and emotional need for space and tranquillity”. 

It comes as no surprise to learn that the future EP ‘Super Moon’ has received praise from the similarly experimental fusion band ‘Snarky Puppy’. Add ‘Jupiter and Mars’ to your most vibey of ‘escapism’ themed playlists immediately, and keep up to date with Isabelle Mettle on socials for more information on the upcoming release of her ‘Super Moon’ EP. We can’t wait to see where we might be transported to next!

THINGS by LAERTIS

Originally from Athens, Laertis is London-based singer-songwriter, with a real talent for storytelling, covering themes of love and humanity, as well as more complex explorations of existence, and internal struggles. 

Inspired by Jungian Shadow theory, his new single ‘Things’ is profoundly philosophical. The track is equally as complex from a musical perspective, with an alluring fusion of stylistic features from Western and Mediterranean Folk, Soul and Latin, combined with Rock, Hip-Hop and Electronic elements. Yet, once again, Laertis has struck a perfect balance with his experimental approach to songwriting, creating a fresh, reimagined Alt-Folk sound, which is just so easy to listen to. 

This sonic dichotomy is masterful. It’s a track that tackles theories of human consciousness in a way that is accessible – even tempting! – inviting listeners to challenge the ways in which we might suppress our true selves in our attempt to adapt to cultural expectations. 

Laetris says: “Things’ is a journey to the appreciation and acceptance of all the characteristics and idiosyncrasies that proudly belong to us. Often, it feels that our seemingly open, but at the same time very framed adult mind, likes to rebuke all those things that have shaped who we really are”…

For Laertis, ‘Things’ is a song that came together very naturally, as a result of experimentation with organic and electronic elements inside a studio of a cocktail bar in Soho called ‘The Thin White Duke’. Seeking a sense of understanding and self-acceptance, ‘Things’ is a personally meaningful track, written during a period of significant change in life. He hopes that this track can similarly help other people to process and accept changes beyond their control, whilst remaining true to themselves.

SOMETHING OF NOTHING by TALK IN CODE

Talk in Code are a new band to us here at Future Hits Radio, but our ears are certainly delighted to make their acquaintance with the release of their sparkly new single Something of Nothing. The song feels like a tongue-in-cheek way of approaching the potentially awkward scenario of one person wanting more than the other from a relationship! Touching on taking things at face value versus over analysing. Super catchy and listenable indie-pop, this energy-packed, 80’s flavoured single oozes character and – honestly – borders the realms of anthemic. Think ‘The Killers meets The 1975, with a big splash of Duran Duran’. 

Recorded by Sam Winfield at Studio 91, Newbury (Amber Run, The Amazons, Fickle Friends), Something of Nothing is simply a perfectly packaged Indie-Pop track. Both nostalgic and exuberant. It gets me excited for festival season. I’m ready to put my hair in unicron braids, get a glitter stencil and dance in my wellies in a field, on a warm summer’s evening. And if you feel the same, you’re in luck! The Swindon-based 4-piece will be returning to the festival scene this year, having recently announced that they are on the bill for Home Farm Fest 17 (7th-9th June), amongst others.

In fact, with a plethora of dance-worthy tracks full of ear candy, it’s no surprise that Talk in Code are filling up their events calendar with live shows. Live is indeed where the band feel their true strength lies, having appeared alongside big household indie A-listers, such as Years & Years, Scouting For Girls, The Feeling, My Life Story and Nik Kershaw. No doubt, Talk In Code are being added to my list ‘Ones to Watch’ for 2024.

HEAVY HEARTBREAK by DUKE KEATS

Marking the next chapter in his flourishing musical journey, Coventry-based artist Duke Keats has unveiled a beautifully wistful new single ‘Heavy Heartbreak’. Effortlessly fusing a sophisticated lo-fi sound with elements of electronic, rock, funk, and vintage styles, Heavy Heartbreak offers a glimpse into the upcoming EP, Bornstar. Recorded, mixed, and mastered in Duke’s hometown, with collaboration from Tin Angel Records artist Mase Le Long (of the indie pop duo Batsch), the song weaves melancholic lyrics with sentiments of love, heartbreak, and youth.

As 2024 unfolds, Duke’s music evolves, showcasing his unparalleled ability to seamlessly blend and reshape genres, crafting a sonic world uniquely his own. The eclectic sound palette canvassing this cool new bedroom indie-pop track is audibly influenced by pop psychedelic veterans like, David Bowie, Prince, and Jimi Hendrix. Coated with more contemporary sounds, such as the likes of Toro y Moi, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Sonic Youth. The result is ridiculously listenable – and you’re guaranteed to spot something new with each listen. You won’t regret adding this song to any indie-pop playlist.

On an ongoing journey of self-discovery through creativity, Duke Keats demonstrates polished and dexterous craftsmanship, resulting in captivating performances both in the recording studio and on stage. Hence, we see the return of Keats to Coventry’s Godiva Festival in 2024 (5-7th July), sharing the stage with the likes of Paloma Faith and Sam Ryder. Pretty cool. With our ears as tantalised as they are chilled and satisfied, we eagerly anticipate the next indie-pop gem from the upcoming BORNSTAR EP.

LAST BEST LOVER by ETTIE
Rumour has it that if you play ‘Last Best Lover’ on a loop for 69 hours, your crush is going to fall in love with you. Only one way to find that out, says ettie. However, whilst it is SO catchy, that you’ll have absolutely no problem listening to this new tack on repeat, you only have to listen to ettie’s brand new single once to fall in love with their fresh, yet familiar sound. 

Similar to fellow Future Hits A-List alt-pop/rock regulars Mazckenzie and Abz Winter, with inspirations from the likes of our early noughties pop-rock icon Avril Lavgine, ettie’s music is quintessentially honest. 

The self-described ‘connoisseur of mid-20s angst’ used to think she would never be the girl someone would write love songs about. Spending most of her life as a romantic cynic and slowly navigating her sexuality, those beautiful, romantic love songs seemed distant to her life every day. Now, a little bit older and a lot less jaded, she’s provided us with an upbeat, honest and truthful track about queer love and life to the backdrop of the melodies you grew up with. With electric guitars reminiscent of early 00s Blink-182 and Paramore, paired with catchy hooks and a chorus that you can’t help but sing along to, ettie’s new track is an authentic and unashamed love song, served with a heavy dose of self-awareness and emotional wit. 

Here, queer, and full of existential fear, ettie’s sharp-witted edge on modern pop-rock truly is the perfect introduction to what they describe as ‘your extra gay emo phase’.“Like pop-punk but gay” – ettie’s gf.

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