Anthemico Records

Anthemico

Í apríl árið 2014 opnaði vefur örútgáfunnar Anthemico Records heimasíðu með kvikmyndaskotinni instrumental tónlist úr öllum áttum eftir Pétur Jónsson.

Pétur hefur starfað á bak við tjöldin í íslensku tónlistarlífi í mörg ár, en árið 2007 stofnaði hann Medialux, sem er leiðandi fyrirtæki í auglýsingatónlist og tónlist fyrir kvikmyndað efni á Íslandi. Erfitt er að horfa á sjónvarp í heilt kvöld án þess að heyra eitthvað sem Pétur hefur samið eða komið að upptökum á. Auk þess hefur hann látið að sér kveða sem upptökustjóri með ýmsum tónlistarmönnum.

Á Anthemico síðunni kveður þó við annan tón en í þeirri tónlist sem Pétur gerir vanalega fyrir auglýsingar, en á síðunni er að finna allt frá hádramatískri vísindaskáldsögutónlist yfir í mjúkar instrumental ballöður, og allt þar á milli. Hljóðmyndin er sambland af sinfónískum strengjapörtum og rafpoppi, stíll sem við þekkjum orðið vel úr kvikmyndum.

Eitthvað af tónlistinni hefur verið sérsamin fyrir kvikmynduð verk, eins og tónlistin úr norðurljósamyndinni Iceland Aurora, sem er að finna hér en önnur verk eru gjarnan samin í kringum þema eins og óravíddir alheimsins eða vorið sjálft.

Music Alliance Pact : Febrúar

Þá er komið að föstum lið hér á Rjómanum en það er afrakstur hins alþjóðlega samstarfs tónlistarblogga sem kallast Music Alliance Pact.  Fulltrúi Íslands að þessu sinni er hljómsveitin Morgan Kane með sitt allra nýjasta nýtt, lagið “Nine”.

Þeir sem hala vilja niður öllum lögunum í einu geta gert það hér.

Morgan Kane

 ICELANDRjóminn
Morgan Kane – Nine
Nine is a song about a guy trying to get to a girl to tell her that she was right and strong, when he was wrong. Morgan Kane’s songwriting is influenced by Serge Gainsbourg.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
The OmelettesPerfect Wave
The Omelettes’ sophomore album seeks to part from the 60s British sound of their first work and the result is something much more psychedelic and introspective. Perfect Wave is one of our favorite tracks from the new record, The Drawing & The Traveller. You can also watch a video of their song Mondays here.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Them SwoopsToo Fast For Love
Never trust a happy song, right? While Tame Impala are still trumping the globe with Lonerism and Gotye’s break-up song is STILL unfortunately stalking us everywhere, we do make mood-lifting songs here in Australia. Indie-pop ain’t a dirty word, especially when bands like Them Swoops make tracks like this. Too Fast For Love will probably sound like the first time you heard The Shins. Felt good, hey? We’re not such a sombre bunch after all.

AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
Sex JamsShark Vs Apple
The alternate girl/boy singing on Shark Vs Apple and its saucy, playful lyrics make it an instant favourite. Basically, the first single from the new Sex Jams album Trouble, Honey is what Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta would have sounded like had Grease been a noise-rock musical. Half of Sex Jams also play in May 2012’s MAP band and this year’s Eurosonic favourites Mile Me Deaf.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
SambanzoXangô
Sambanzo is one of the projects of saxophonist Thiago França, also a member of Metá Metá and collaborator of artists such as Gui Amabis and Romulo Froes. Xangô is taken from the album Etiópia, which features some experimental music with strong influences of jazz, Candomblé, Afrobeat and rock.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
BarbarosaSinking West
The title track of Barbarosa’s debut EP calls up images of the Wild West – rugged, romantic, ruthless and without rules. Sinking West’s menacing undertone is brightened by modern pop sensibilities, and the playing is fast and fierce. The full EP is available now on the band’s website.

CHILE: Super 45
PerroskyA Mil Millas
Perrosky, a duet formed by brothers Álvaro and Alejandro Gómez, offer a local interpretation of the music styles that gave birth to rock ‘n’ roll in the USA. Their fifth album Vivos is swarmed by distorted guitars, vocal effects and, of course, a great set of songs. Our highlight is the touching blues ballad A Mil Millas (“A Thousand Miles Away”), which depicts a man searching for himself but whose possibilities seem blocked to him.

CHINA: Wooozy
Tengger CavalryWar Horse
Deeply influenced by the nomadic culture of north Asia, Tengger Cavalry’s music evokes ancient times when wandering warriors, steeds and wolves danced across the great grasslands. The melody of horse-head fiddle, the rhythm of heavy drum, the echo of Mongolian throat singing and the distortion of guitar all create an expressive scene of pagan culture.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
La PulpafonicCamelia
Jam for the ears, that’s how we can describe the sound of La Pulpafonic. A project born in Bogotá, it aims to present Colombian folklore within a new context and a new flavor: the taste of the fruit pulp. Electronic sounds literally extracted from fruits, mixed with an eclectic explosion of dance rhythms from this century. From their first work released in 2012, we squeeze out the song Camelia.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Freja LoebW.O.M.D.
Earlier this month Freja Loeb followed up her 2011 debut album Odyssey with the release of a new EP titled W.O.M.D. Where the album stood on the shoulders of the 1980s pop scene, the EP finds its sources of inspiration in the same decade’s rock scenes. Here’s the title track as a MAP exclusive.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Las AcevedoCena En La Terraza
Love is still in the air, after a Valentine’s Day full of fresh romantic tunes brought by several Ibero-American bands. Las Acevedo, the hippie twin sisters of folk, present this breezy love song about dining in terraces, chasing fireflies and packing away your significant other inside a trunk with flowers in their hair.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Marley Muerto Dorado Salmon Violeta (featuring Frances Possieri)
Marley Muerto is led by Daniel Pasquel, a musician and producer who was born on the same day that Bob Marley died. This project sees him play with a range of electronic sounds and collaborate with some important local artists. Pararmar is his debut album released while his band, Can Can, takes a break.

ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
GNODVisions Of Load
Taken from GNOD’s forthcoming album Chaudelande (released on February 25 by Rocket Recordings), Visions Of Load captures neatly – that is to say, powerfully and sprawlingly – the krautrockin’, shoegazin’, prog-metallic sludginess of this Salford band at their most freakily magnificent. “It recalls Can’s ga-ga go-go music while the singer yelps like Alan Vega doused in even more echo,” said our New Band of the Day writer, who nevertheless promised that, notwithstanding the far-out sonics and instrumental melee, you could still dance to it. He just didn’t specify what type of shoes you might need.

ESTONIA: Rada7
Candy EmpireLucky
Candy Empire is a new band founded late 2011 by restless multi-instrumentalist Ervin Trofimov of acclaimed experimental rock band Opium Flirt. Trofimov has previously recorded in various genres such as instrumental prog-rock, acoustic folk and electronic pop, but Candy Empire’s sound can be described as a futuristic version of Blondie with Neil Young on guitar. They have unveiled their new single Lucky with a colorful animated video.

FINLAND: Glue
HexvesselWoods To Conjure
Inspired by the mysticism of Finnish nature, Hexvessel mixes an acoustic folk vibe with psychedelic and electric doom sounds, creating dense, spaced-out atmospherics. Woods To Conjure is included in the band’s second album No Holier Temple. Hexvessel will be heading to the SXSW festival in Texas in March.

GERMANY: Coltran
PollyesterConcierge D’Amour
The most advanced band in Munich’s music scene is Pollyester. Although Polly Lapkovskaja and Manuel da Coll play in several other groups, the duo found a unique and remarkable style on their latest record Earthly Powers. Relying heavily on a groovy rhythm section with drums and bass, the rediscovered synths and Polly’s vocals add up to something between disco and New Wave, and has been met with critical acclaim.

INDIA: NH7
Apu And The DentistNo Messages For Rumi
Apu And The Dentist is the experimental rock project of Mumbai-based duo Saurabh Roy and Achint Thakkar. With this track, which also features local musicians Suraj Manik, Jeremy D’Souza and Krishna Jhaveri, they have created a psychedelic rock soundscape. A debut EP is slated for release in 2013.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Backwood SunSeven Shadows
Backwood Sun is one of the most promising indie acts in Jakarta. The band are often described as an Indonesian version of Fleet Foxes, but even if they are heavily influenced by them, it doesn’t stop Backwood Sun making humble, honest music.

IRELAND: Harmless Noise
Girl BandWhy They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage
Few could predict a post-punk version of a techno track that took its vocal sample from a hip hop song. This cover version, however, was recorded for the third and final Quompilation album of Irish bands’ favourite songs. Blawan’s original Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage is a psychotic, six-minute stamp through disturbia and the four males of Dublin’s Girl Band managed to eke out almost two extra minutes, using that time and their canny production values to flesh out and reanimate bare bones, breathing life through a spirited reiteration of the vocal hook.

ITALY: Polaroid
Brothers In Law(Shadow II) Leave Me
Brothers In Law is a young three-piece band from Pesaro, on the always surprising Italian east coast. The dirt of the sea has sneaked dirty sounds into their songs. File under: dream-pop bandits, C86 catchers, Captured Tracks lovers. Brothers In Law just released their debut album Hard Times For Dreamers and they have been invited to play at next month’s SXSW. A dream coming true.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Hotel MexicoA.I. In Dreams
Hotel Mexico, hailing from the historic city of Kyoto, have been one of the most chirped about bands in the Japanese indie scene for several years now. Many cite them as the first chillwave group in Japan, but that label does them a disservice. A.I. In Dreams, taken from new album Her Decorated Post Love, is laid-back but never lazy, the guitars creating a lush sound while voices dart by in the back. It is a song rich in detail, something this outfit excels at.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
The SuburbaniteBlow My Mind
The Suburbanite is the project of Maltese-Canadian Robert Pisani, backed by a floating collective involving a number of other local band members who have helped shape their sound. A Field Guide To The Suburbanite is a seven-song collection which embraces the spirit and naivety of the past; a frolic on the beach, the first love, Saturday nights indoors… all with hummable melodies. Listening to that debut EP is like taking a walk through Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, without the Oompa-Loompas chanting those annoying moralising ditties.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
60 TigresPicoso
One of the country’s best live acts, 60 Tigres started as a six-piece in 2005 in the northern city of Monterrey and has had many member variations since then. They mix Latin grooves with great melody lines, sparkling keyboards and the heritage of early-90s strident indie guitars. Take a chance with their anthemic, danceable new single Picoso.

NETHERLANDS: Subbacultcha!
APRILThe Rise And Fall Of A Beautiful Bird
Last year I had the privilege to witness APRIL’s first ever gig. Amidst the seedy rock ‘n’ roll crowd this enigmatic duo generated plenty of attention – both frontwoman and man rockin’ high heels while channelling Bowie-esque vibes like it was nobody’s business. On stage it soon became clear that their originality did not stop at their taste in fashion, combining drum computers with reverberant guitar melodies, groovy basslines and intricate, contrasting vocals. With their new single, due to be released on February 23 via Subroutine Records, APRIL has replaced their drum machine for a real drummer and their melodramatic side for a sound that embodies the same confidence they project in a live setting.

PERU: SoTB
Rafo RáezLos Regalos Del Viento
Rafo Ráez has been creating songs since high school, with his catchy compositions making him one of the most beloved musicians in Peru. With eight albums under his belt, Rafo’s music has gone through rock, trova, punk and Peruvian folklore. And with a penchant for poetry, they have also been part of theater plays.

POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
Południce vs. Liquid MollyDolina, Dolinuszka
Południce are a female vocal group who sing traditional, folklore, Polish and Ukrainian (sometimes Belarusian) songs. On their album Południce / Elektronice, they couple these with modern electronic productions from guest musicians – Dolina, Dolinuszka features heavy bass beats from Liquid Molly. If you think about it logically it should result in disaster, but it is in fact majestic.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Little FriendSunken Low
John Almeida is not a freshman as a musician or a composer. Before this first solo single, he played with some major Portuguese indie artists (The Weatherman, We Trust) who, as a sign of friendship, have returned their gratitude by appearing on his first solo record. The video for Sunken Low was directed by Lewis Arnold and has Jo Hartley (This Is England, Dead Man’s Shoes, The Young Victoria) as the protagonist.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Los PepiniyozEntre Las Paredes
Los Pepiniyoz have been making their brand of high-energy, melodic punk for more than a decade now – writing songs that reach for the heart without losing any attitude. Throughout the years the band has served as a sort of workshop for a lot of local rockers and now, after a long hiatus, have returned to the boricua scene with a new line-up and a solid three-song EP. Entre Las Paredes is the catchiest tune of the bunch and will probably make you lust for new material from Los Pepiniyoz.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
SubumbraGood People Are Rainbows
Subumbra started like an art audio-video project, a punk band made up of three brothers who recorded their lo-fi songs in a poor home studio. Recently, the project took a new direction as they began to use more electronic instruments and sampling. Subumbra is about taking the core of punk music and merging it with contemporary influences such as chillstep, dubstep and hip hop.

RUSSIA: Big Echo
Dasha ShultsKite
Dasha Shults, a 16-year-old wonder from Saint-Petersburg, has taken her first steps from covering her favorites by Ellie Goulding and Laura Marling to making her own simple, beautiful songs. She sings about kites, nightmares and, of course, love.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Kevin HarperKingdom Of Wires
Influenced by warm, fuzzy guitar bands of the American West Coast, Kevin Harper first appeared in the Music Alliance Pact in March 2011 under the guise of Little Eskimos, a solo project that evolved into a group. He’s back on his own again, not that you could tell from this talented multi-instrumentalist’s canny knack of sounding like a full band is at work. Mr Harper is probably one of the most accomplished pop songwriters in Scotland, yet he’s still little-known in his native land. If there’s any justice, his forthcoming debut solo album Kingdom Of Wires should change all that.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
HalcyonBuilding With Sticks
One of the artists we’ve got on our radar this year is Halcyon (Zhong Ren Koh), who’s managed to come out just a little more broken in Singapore’s cookie cutter society. We love the singer-songwriter, and we love even more that Halcyon has broken out from that particular mould to become an emerging multi-instrumentalist. His arrangements are delicate and achingly heartfelt – sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, but it’s more real than most of the crap out there.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
From The AirportColors
Electro rock duo From The Airport formed in 2012 and they’re not afraid to throw other genres in the mix. Second single Everyone’s Alright was released last month but here we get to hear them as they first came out with electro-pop debut single Colors, which brought the two producers plenty of positive attention when it was unleashed in October.

SPAIN: Musikorner
MegaafoníaSeñor Gutiérrez
Formed in 2005, Megaafonía have been active until this month, when they decided to split due to creative differences, although they will remain friends. They released two albums, Despechado and Tutto, and we will certainly miss their fresh pop (influenced by the likes of ELO, Xavier Cugat and Bom Bom Chip) and their irreverent and highly ironic lyrics.

SWEDEN: Ja Ja Ja
Dödens DalBakom Stjärnor, Bakom Tiden
Dödens Dal is a duo with a fingertip feel and fondness for gloomy, instrumental and really rather mind-boggling electronica. They first came to our attention last year with their brilliantly dark debut single Det Står Skrivet, and now they’re back with the pitch-black follow-up Bakom Stjärnor, Bakom Tiden. Both tracks come from the album Gå Ensam Förbi Horisonten, released this month via Flora & Fauna.

SWITZERLAND: 78s
Last Leaf DownFake Lights In The Sky
Last Leaf Down is a shoegaze outfit from Solothurn. Heavenly, ethereal sounds and distinct, dreamy vocals make them deserving of your attention. Here’s their new track Fake Lights In The Sky.

TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
BaykuşGel Yeter
Baykuş (once known as Kaotik) comes from the grey city of Ankara where our grunge acts always sprout fertile. Anatolian tunes bound up with post-grunge styling are common but Baykuş succeed in making their sound more solid and more garage-like. Gel Yeter is catchy enough to start a pogo party on its own.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
The Long WivesThe Hollow Fin
The Long Wives’ standout track The Hollow Fin is deceivingly gentle. The softly-plucked guitar and the eased restraint of the vocals invite the listener to get close to the speaker and its warm, wispy, radiant sounds. But there’s more to this track than meets the ear. Like most great pieces of art that explore the juxtaposition between surface appearances and the evils that can lurk below, the power comes from an unidentifiable element onto which the listener just can’t seem to put their finger.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Los ParanoiasNo Hace Falta
After almost two years of absence, Los Paranoias return to the scene with No Hace Falta, a single released last month and the first cut of their next studio album Que Se Activen Las Alarmas, scheduled to come out in the coming months.

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Hymnalaya – Hymns

Hymnalaya

Tónlistarárið hér heima var með eindæmum gott í fyrra og man undirritaður vart annað eins. Svo virðist sem góðærið ætli að halda áfram á nýju ári og hefst tónlistarárið 2013 byrjar með látum. Út er komin plata sem ekki hefur farið mikið fyrir en mun eflaust vera á hvers manns vörum áður en langt um líður. Plata þessi heitir Hymns og er með stórsveitinni Hymnalaya.

Á Hymns er öllu til tjaldað enda samanstendur hljómsveitin að strengja-, lúðra- og áslattarsveit auk gítara, píanós, orgels og söngs. Lögin á plötunni byggja á gömlum sálmum sem búið er að klæða í nútímalegan búning (indie/folk/ambient) en einnig má vel greina áhrif heims- og frumbyggjatónlistar.

Platan verður fáanleg til niðurhals endurgjaldslaust á vef Hymnalaya www.hymnalayamusic.com frá og með 8. febrúar næstkomandi og er nú einnig aðgengileg á tónlistarveitinni gogoyoko.

Music Alliance Pact : Desember

Music Alliance Pact

Þá er komið að desember útgáfu hins alþjóðlega tónlistarverkefnis sem kallað er Music Alliance Pact. Fulltrúi Íslands að þessu sinni er Sindri Már Sigfússon (Sin Fang, Seabear) með lagið “Black Eye” undir listamannsnafninu Pojke.

Sem fyrr er hér allt á ensku og fyrir þá sem ekki nenna að hlusta sig í gegnum herlegheitin geta halað öllum lögunum niður með því að smella hér.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
OlgaDolor De Nuevo
Before you ask, Olga is not a solo artist but a band led by Roger Delahaye with Florencia Zavadivker and Luciano Lasca. Together they deliver electronic pop songs that near perfection, so it was hard to pick just one for MAP. Olor De Nuevo is our favorite from their new album, Gracias Tonales, which you can stream and buy from Bandcamp.

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AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Sunk JunkJr
If Sunk Junk represent the calibre of young bands coming out of Oz, no-one can justify not being able to find decent new music ever again. Sunk Junk have only released one home recorded EP, but it’s definitely the most impressive thing we’ve heard all month. The elaborate percussion in Jr only feeds this assertion – weaving its labyrinthine way around intricate guitar lines and a hypnotic croon that could be easily mistaken for Jeff Buckley’s ghost. A sprawling track which teeters on the stark side of melody and mania, Jr is definitely a marker of good things to come from this band.

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AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
Clara LuziaMorning Light
Morning Light contains some of my favourite lyrics: “We held hands and cried until the morning light”. Isn’t the idea of sharing one’s sadness with someone else just such a beautiful thought? After four successful records in Austria, singer-songwriter Clara Luzia recently released her international debut album The Range, a compilation of songs from her previous albums.

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BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Metá MetáMan Feriman
Ethno math-rock could be a way to try to explain the sound of Man Feriman, a song from the album MetaL MetaL from Paulistan project Metá Metá. Sung in Yoruba (a West African language), it has elements of African liturgical music, free jazz and alternative rock, with a three-verse lyric that is repeated over the song to create an experimental, dark mantra.

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CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Elephant StoneHeavy Moon
Montreal “Hindi rockers” Elephant Stone defy easy categorization. Echoes of The Stone Roses, The Kinks, Sloan and Big Star abound, but in the end the band crafts their own unique sound. Their sophomore self-titled LP is due early in 2013, but Elephant Stone have been teasing Canadian fans for the past few weeks with Heavy Moon.

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CHILE: Super 45
ProtistasGranada
In just a few years, Protistas has become one of the most active bands in the Chilean indie rock scene. They frequently perform in Santiago, with appearances on blogs’ multimedia shows and local festivals (Primavera Fauna, Pulsar), along with tours across Chile and Argentina. They have released two albums and an EP since 2009. Their melodies combine the poignancy of Sebadoh with the urgent impact of Guided By Voices, in a style they’ve named “wild pop” – bittersweet songs with an explosive, intense guitar sound.

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CHINA: Wooozy
Rainbow Danger ClubThe Gathering Of Fools
As one of Shanghai’s most talented new bands, Rainbow Danger Club has been wowing music fans since 2010. Their theatrical live shows, fantastical lyrics and lush arrangements have drawn comparisons to Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Hector Berlioz. Last month they released their new 12-track Into The Cellar EP.

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COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Lucrecia DaltConversa
Lucrecia Dalt’s musical journey has taken her from the city of Pereira to Barcelona, Spain, where she currently lives. With guitar and drum machine she makes introspective music with many layers that stirs the imagination of the listener. She has traveled the road of independence and now with Conversa, from her 2012 album Commotus, she grabs our attention again.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The Woken TreesOrders
I know December is supposed to be all about lights and happy times, but here’s a MAP exclusive track and a band that is almost exactly the opposite. There are six of them, they call themselves The Woken Trees and they’ve recorded an awesomely bleak and hard-hitting post-punk debut album which is sure to make waves everywhere when released on January 28.

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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Juango Dávalos6PM
Juango Dávalos borrows his musical inspiration from the 80s, but the songs he composes are surprisingly fresh and modern. 6PM is part of his most recent album, Réplica, which is also available as a free download.

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ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Swing Original MonksTucán
Swing Original Monks broke into the musical scene in early 2010. The band offers a proposal that is both visual and aural, feminine and masculine, provocative and subtle. The inventiveness of these musicians extracts the essence of popular music with the picturesque landscapes and absurdities of our society. Swing Original Monks is not a fusion band, it’s an infusion band.

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ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Swiss LipsCarolyn
Swiss Lips are a five-piece from Manchester who are more Delphic than Courteeners. Carolyn is part of the city’s electronic history rather than its less illustrious trad-rock one. They use the fizzy electro-pop medium to express feelings of longing for better days. “Most of the songs we’ve written seem to be about looking back on being a teenager and that wide-eyed optimism about the world,” they say, which might explain the giddy chorus to Carolyn – “Hey, hey, Carolyn, get into my car/Keep your feet up on the dashboard” – and its memory of illicit abandon.

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FINLAND: Glue
MurmanskMercury
Helsinki band Murmansk play loud noise-rock built from powerful guitars and upfront bass and drum beats. Their songs are notable for their propensity for melody and the energetic performance of vocalist Laura Soininen. Mercury is part of the band’s recently released third full-length album Rüütli.

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FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
LescopLa Forêt
Mathieu Lescop, singer for the rock band Asyl, recently started a solo project and released an eponymous album in October under the name Lescop. Heavily influenced by the French (Étienne Daho, Daniel Darc) and British (Joy Division, New Order) coldwave and new-wave, he achieved much success in France with his single La Forêt, and consequently is the most talked-about artist in the country.

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GERMANY: Coltran
BinoculersMonsters
Binoculers is an artist you might easily overlook, given the reserved attitude of Nadja Ruedebusch. But you would miss some of the most thoughtful folk music Germany can currently offer. This is the kind of thing you might like to hear on a foggy winter’s day or a sparkling spring afternoon when you lay down in the grass for the first time that year. Binoculers’ third album, There Is Not Enough Space In The Dark, has just been released.

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GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Manolis AggelakisApoleipein o Theos Antonion
Manolis Aggelakis’ fourth album, O Anthropos Vomva (“The Bomb Man”), is yet another sensational landmark on his long, well-traveled path. Guitars, tightly tied drums, dirty electronic sounds and noises gently form otherworldly landscapes. Along with his distinctive voice and disarming performance, the lyrical themes portray an authentic troubadour recording signs of difficult times with a gloomy nostalgia for bygone eras. Apoleipein o Theos Antonion (“The God Abandons Antony”) is a poem by Constantine P. Cavafy.

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ICELAND: Rjóminn
PojkeBlack Eye
Sindri Már Sigfússon, singer and songwriter for bands such as Seabear and Sin Fang, has recently been exploring his electronic side through a side-project titled Pojke. So far he has released two songs as Pojke on his SoundCloud page which can be downloaded and remixed freely.

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INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Funny Little DreamBe With You
This is the latest single from Funny Little Dream, aka Ganesh and Peppy, whose cute indie-pop songs have received a great response from fans around the world.

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IRELAND: Harmless Noise
WindingsThis Is A Conversation
A five-piece band from Limerick, Windings released This Is A Conversation as a single in September. Introduced with a clean guitar and racy keys, the light pop intentions go slightly awry when Steve Ryan starts belting out the vocals, repeating nine lines of lyrics in chorus-like bursts. There comes a mighty bass riff that lays down the heavy element, and a few light taps of cymbal domes mark time for the band to gather up and go all-out towards a hugely satisfying rock crescendo.

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ITALY: Polaroid
Life & LimbBefore The Flame And The Flood
Andrea Mangia comes from Lecce; Mike McGuire comes from New York. They have both released solo albums on the prestigious German label Morr Music, which is how they met in 2006 and started collaborating. They are now releasing their self-titled third album, and it is gorgeous as always: uplifting electronic sounds full of lush synths, fat downtempo beats and ultrasweet melodies. If you like M83 or The Postal Service, you’ll be carried away by Life & Limb.

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JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
HNCI Will Make You Sad
HNC (short for Hazel Nuts Chocolate) has been in the Japanese music scene for more than a decade, originally operating as a hyperactive pop maker. Now, though, she is making music grounded in reality, shaped by actually living through the ups and downs of time. I Will Make You Sad is a sparse meditation on inevitable disappointment, HNC and her music sounding melancholy but all the while aware that she is the one who is going to let someone down.

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MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Claire TonnaAge Of No Age
Singer-songwriter Claire Tonna is known for her profound, exceptional voice and awe-inspiring performances. Tonna’s innovative acoustic debut studio album The Port, which contains collaborations with acclaimed writer Maria Mar, gets its first international release in New Zealand this month.

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MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Verano PeligrosoCulpable
Verano Peligroso (translated as “Dangerous Summer”) is the boy-girl pet project of an omnivorous studio-rat and a gorgeous radio presenter for a Mexico City indie-rock station. They just released their debut EP on which Culpable stands as a naive call-and-response song that, in contrast to its twee-pop sound, tells a story about a crime of passion. This pair really spend their time in a peculiar way!

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NETHERLANDS: Subbacultcha!
KleinindustrieRepetition
Kleinindustrie emerged from out of nowhere in 2010, wowing live audiences and winning two big music competitions in Utrecht, the band’s hometown. After this sudden burst to the surface, the band shrouded itself in a veil of mystery. Although some said they emigrated to Norway to live off the prize money, 2011 turned out to be the quiet before the storm. Since February 2012, Kleinindustrie has released three EPs and toured all over the Netherlands. Repetition stems from their latest release, Hit It!, which meanders loosely between no-wave and straightforward noise-rock. With a relentless drummer, menacing singer and a bass player and guitarist in one, Kleinindustrie have created a huge sound that’s naturally fit for repetition.

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PERU: SoTB
Sergio CubasRuteando
Ruteando is taken from Sergio Cubas’ debut album Revolución Caliente. For this album, Sergio performs a mix of different musical styles such as dub, lounge, jazz and reggae linked to various Peruvian influences such as Afro-Peruvian music and Festejo. Revolución Caliente (listen on SoundCloud) features 11 songs that are an invitation to relax.

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POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
Afro KolektywCzasem Pada Śnieg w Styczniu (Zakazane Warzywo)
Afro Kolektyw is one of Poland’s most distinguished bands, with a music career spanning nearly 14 years, from organic hip hop, jazz and funk origins to electronic elements in more recent tunes. Although Afro Kolektyw have never been tied to only one style, their latest album, Piosenki Po Polsku, shocked listeners. With songwriting inspired by 80s Polish pop and sarcastic lyrics, this journey seems to be Afro’s most risky and ambitious one yet.

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PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
A JigsawLet It Snow!
A Jigsaw, who were on the Music Alliance Pact in March 2012 with their fantastic song The Strangest Friend, have been kind enough to let us share their exquisite cover of the classic Let It Snow!, which was on a very limited edition benefit CD for a children’s hospital in Coimbra. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to them and all of you.

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PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Alegría RampanteHotel Puercoespín
When Puerto Rico’s indie darlings Superaquello disbanded in 2011, they left behind four remarkable LPs and a disappointed fanbase not ready to miss them. A year later, fans can breathe easier thanks to vocalist, composer and dramatist Eduardo Alegría, who has emerged with a new musical project – Alegría Rampante. Eduardo and his group of skilled collaborators from the local indie scene have quietly built an arsenal of melodic earworms to be released over the next few months as the digital singles collection Se Nos Fue La Mano. Hotel Puercoespín is the second song from the cycle, an upbeat baroque pop-rocker full of Eduardo’s trademark playful lyrics and sincere delivery. Alegría Rampante is Latin Alternative’s best kept secret – but not for long, so get in first.

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ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
StoneboxWelcome To My World
Stonebox are an alternative band from Bucharest with 90s rock influences, in particular grunge. Thanks to their mesmerizing live performances and energy they have played at the major festivals in Romania and gathered an impressive number of fans.

RUSSIA: Big Echo
AstrocowboysWe Give Blood
Using a Soviet LEL DR-8 drum machine, cheap synthesizer and jangly guitar, Astrocowboys from Saint Petersburg create their familiar, yet distinctive sound. Their deep, sweet-sounding lo-fi album Olympic has an unusual combination of influences from New Order-esque synthpop to old school hip hop and early electro.

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SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Three Blind WolvesParade
Three Blind Wolves may be from Glasgow, but it’s the American Deep South that resonates most emphatically in their music. They are a little bit country, a little bit hillbilly rock ‘n’ roll, yet their versatility means they’re equally at home in indie and folk circles. Their new album Sing Hallelujah For The Old Machine comes out in April, with the coil-sprung standout track Parade released as a single in October (alongside this promo video), but here it is as an exclusive free download.

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SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
.gifDiatribe
.gif embodies the illusion of data passing off as real-life moving images by giving us an electronic amalgamation of observatory life with shades of melancholy, hope and resolution. While usually accompanied by ukulele, Weish finds the embrace of warm textures courtesy of Din, with synthesizers and beat arrangements assembling base emotions into the soul of a machine.

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SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
SasquatchMannequin
Sasquatch emerged this year with a retro synth sound reminiscent of the very best of K-pop of the 80s and the 90s, bound to charm even those with no knowledge of Korean music prior to Gangnam Style. Debut album Utopia was released last month, with lead track Mannequin and its addictive harmonies and melody lines serving as the perfect introduction to the band.

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SPAIN: Musikorner
NITCHBon Dia, Capità
NITCH are a three-piece rock/shoegaze act based in Barcelona. They started in 2007 and so far they have played in almost every (cool) venue in town and supported important underground local bands. Now it’s their turn to be in the spotlight, and this month they played at the Primavera Club festival, Primavera Sound’s little brother.

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SWEDEN: Ja Ja Ja
VEDDin Egen Spegelbild
VED is a five-piece project from southern Sweden inspired by old film scores, obscure audio recordings, progressive rock and folk music. A collection of their experimental, epic creations was recently released through the ever-reliable label Adrian Recordings, and Din Egen Spegelbild (translated as “Your Own Reflection”) is the latest track to be shared from VED’s self-titled album.

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SWITZERLAND: 78s
Mama RosinSorry Ti Monde
The Cajun/folk/garage trio released their new album Bye Bye Bayou in October, which was produced by Jon Spencer from the legendary Blues Explosion. Cyril, Robin and Xavier from Mama Rosin are consistently entertaining on stage and entirely passionate about their art. Plus they are good at a party!

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TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
MerivaHepberaberyalnız
Meriva formed with five close friends in 2007. They get their musical inspiration from people’s struggle to win back their self-esteem and therefore reflect urban life complications in their alternative rock sound, which is often danceable and catchy. Meriva hope to progress their career with the release of their debut album in 2013.

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UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Teen MomI Wanna Go Out
Washington DC trio Teen Mom are the type of band that act as a reminder that simple music can pack a punch. Staying away from flash or gimmicks, they focus on a splashy guitar, rattling bass and fast-paced drums to craft Mean Tom, one of the most infectious EPs of 2012.

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VENEZUELA: Música y Más
PlaneadorAl Diablo
Planeador returns to the Music Alliance Pact, this time with a track from Barcelona 10C, certainly one of the best albums released this year in Venezuela. Its deeper lyrics and more elaborate melodies reflect the musical maturity of the band.

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Ný plata frá Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band

Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band sendir frá sér sína 4. hljómplötu stútfulla af sjóðandi hrynheitri músík. Tónlistin sem er eftir Samúel er undir áhrifum frá Nígerísku Afróbíti, Eþíópískum jazzi, brasilískum samba töktum, bandarísku funki og stórsveitarjazzi blandað við íslenska veðursveiflu og eyjaskeggja þrjósku.

Platan, sem heitir 4 hliðar, mun koma á 2 vinilplötum annars vegar og 2 geisladiskum hins vegar og hefur 4 album cover.

Útgáfutónleikar verða í Gamla Bíó fimmtudag 20.12. árið 2012 kl 20:12
miðasala á www.midi.is

Music Alliance Pact : Nóvember

Þá er Rjóminn enn og aftur að ranka við sér úr enn öðru rotinu. Meðfylgjandi er fimmtugasta útgáfa Music Alliane Pact sem lesendur Rjómans ættu að vera farnir að kannast við. Fulltrúi okkar að þessu sinni er Biggi Hilmars með lag sitt “War Hero”.

Þeir sem vilja ná í öll lögin í einum pakka geta niðurhalað honum hér.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
PlásticoCinicos
For the 50th edition of MAP we have chosen a brand new band from a western suburb of Buenos Aires. Plástico’s sound is a mixture of trip-rock with some electronic and acoustic elements that caught the attention of famous producer Raphael Gordon (The Strokes). Together they recorded a couple of tracks. One is Subir Al Tren, which was used on their first video. The other is Cinicos, previously unreleased, which is a great preview of their upcoming debut album.

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AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Courtney BarnettHistory Eraser
It’s hard to pin down what exactly defines that distinct ‘Australian’ sound. For all the ringing guitar riffs and choruses sung in unison etched into our collective memory, there’s something about Australian music that still flails an antipodean flag. We isolate ourselves on the coast; we recycle stories about strangers, lovers and backyard melancholia; we make poetry championing the suburbs. Melbourne singer Courtney Barnett is certainly at home on her track History Eraser. A colloquial ode to The Triffids, ticket inspectors and nights with good company, this track is a perfect summary of the earnest freewheelin’ and rambling wit that makes music from this end of the world just so great.

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AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
MauracherOuter Space Dancer
Outer Space Dancer is the first single from the new, fourth Mauracher album Super Seven, out now on Fabrique Records. For this album, Tyrolean electronic musician Hubert Mauracher has teamed up with singer Sonia Sawoff (of Sawoff Shotgun). Together, they create synth-filled dream-pop with ethereal lyrics such as, “When I close my eyes, I stop thinking”.

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BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Sexy FiPequeno Dicionário Das Ruas
From our capital Brasília comes Sexy Fi, a band that knows how to make a good first impression. Their debut album was produced by John McEntire (Tortoise) and received great reviews in Brazilian alternative blogs. Pequeno Dicionário Das Ruas is the song that opens the album and sees them experiment with indie-rock, resulting in a tropical, alternative sound.

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CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Some Minor NoiseTape Experiments
Toronto duo Some Minor Noise’s Tape Experiment gets its name from the fact that every sound used, except the kick, snare and vocal, was recorded through a 13-year-old cassette deck, an Optimus CTR-117 (Google it), to a very worn cassette tape that’s at least 10 years old. The end result has a richness and humanity that’s very often missing from electro-pop, and a perfect example of Some Minor Noise’s refreshing take on a familiar genre.

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CHILE: Super 45
Nader CabezasDoble En El Espejo
Synthesizer layers, guitars with heavy feedback and a lo-fi sound are the attributes of duo Nader Cabezas. On their new album, El Hijo Del Mounstruo, released through LeRockPsicophonique, their music goes deeper into this direction, resulting in dense and obscure rock but without losing focus on what matters – the songs. Doble En El Espejo is taken from this album.

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CHINA: Wooozy
Chui WanBerber
Chui Wan is a four-piece experimental psychedelic rock band from Beijing. Their lush arrangements of guitar, keyboard, viola, other assorted instruments and random sound samples often eschew reliable melodies and vocal harmonies in favor of occasional passages of minimal drone or maximal sonic layerings. They will have their debut release tour with Brooklyn-based band Psychic Ills in China this month.

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COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Alfonso EspriellaCielo Adentro
Alfonso Espriella is a tireless and dedicated musician who has been making alternative rock for more than 10 years. Joel Hamilton produced his most recent EP, Anima, from which Cielo Adentro (“Heaven Inside”) is taken. It evokes marked influences of acts such as Caifanes from Mexico or Robi Draco Rosa from Puerto Rico, with deep lyrics and an emotive sound.

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DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The Savage RoseSoldier On The Run
On Love And Freedom, The Savage Rose’s 21st album since their eponymous debut in 1968, the legendary rock outfit stage love and politics on an amazing backdrop of hauntingly soulful rock – just as they did when they were a young band – taken to magical heights by frontwoman Annisette’s breathtaking vocal and a performance I could never do justice to in words. Because it’s anniversary time on MAP, here’s a mindbogglingly exclusive download of Soldier On The Run.

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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Janio LoraMi Nueva Edad
For this MAP special edition, singer-songwriter and dreamer Janio Lora has recorded a new demo. Produced by Argentinian composer Pablo Dacal, Mi Nueva Edad blends elegant tango melodies with poignant lyrics as a preview of what to expect from Janio’s upcoming album.

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ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Da PawnCasi Siempre
A band’s music lasts over time when its songs become part of a generation’s culture. Da Pawn, one of the revelations of this year, reworks a popular single by the important electronic indie-pop band Can Can into a beautiful folk-rock song. This track is taken from the free download album Malas Influencias (Remixes y Reversiones), which celebrates the 10th anniversary of Can Can.

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ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Dan CrollFrom Nowhere (Ben Gomori’s Staring You In The Eye Remix)
Dan Croll is a Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts graduate who doesn’t like The Beatles, a folkie who’s gone electronic, and a bespectacled boffin who is no softie – in fact, he could have played rugby for England until an accident waylaid his plans. Instead he’s the new golden boy of indie Afro-tinged synth’n’b. From Nowhere is his debut single, a catchy slice of electro-pop with a breezy vocal about losing control and a hook designed to lodge in your skull.

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FINLAND: Glue
Statues Made Of MatchsticksIf I Didn’t Comb My Hair
Folk trio Statues Made Of Matchsticks joins the 50th MAP post celebration with an exclusive song recorded at their rehearsal room this month. If I Didn’t Comb My Hair features the band’s signature laid-back acoustic sounds and a sweet pop melody to create a perfect sunset-on-front-porch kind of song.

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FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Colours In The StreetPaper Child
Colours In The Street’s members are still in high school but have acquired a big following with only two years behind them thanks to delightful pop songs with strong English influences and a very thorough sense of composition. Having won several contests with only the few songs from their first EP, Euphory, they decided to push further and have been recording a second EP, Paper Child, due out on December 15, from which this song is taken. Watch them playing an acoustic set in a bathroom here.

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GERMANY: Coltran
Touchy MobSeven Hills (Afternoon Touchymap version)
I’m very proud to present an exclusive recording by my favourite German artist Ludwig Plath aka Touchy Mob, who was first featured on MAP in February 2011. He has reworked his song Seven Hills with guitar, bass and rattle – resulting in something he calls ‘fuzzybuzzy’. I love his velvet voice and how his attention to detail and songwriting skills make my hair stand on end.

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GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Le PageIleana
Le Page is a secret worth knowing about. They are clearly ready to step out from the shadows and play timeless music intended for dreamers and romantics. Their new digital single feels like the product of careful, thoughtful growth, bringing in new influences while maintaining the group’s core sound. It makes an indelible mark. Shimmering, beguiling and evocative, Ileana is a song that boldly merges the subtle and the overt. It will haunt you for many days to come.

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ICELAND: Rjóminn
Biggi HilmarsWar Hero
War Hero is the second single from Biggi’s upcoming solo album All We Can Be. It is a rearrangement of Ponds, one of Biggi’s most sought-after compositions, which has been featured on numerous films, TV series and commercials around the globe. Biggi wrote the lyrics and dedicated the song to his sister Agusta, who had been fighting cancer for years. She is the War Hero.

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INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Harlan BoerKiri Kanan
Harlan Boer is a humble singer who writes simple yet sophisticated lyrics and infuses them in melodic, acoustic arrangements. Kiri Kanan is a glorious indie-pop tune.

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IRELAND: Nialler9
OwensieDistance Of Her Love
Distance Of Her Love is possibly the first song that could be called an Irish bossa nova tune, but that description doesn’t tell the whole story. Lilting bright guitar with a Brazilian slant and Michael Owens’ threadbare falsetto lead the way on a song about a mother’s faraway son, while the mournful brass underscores the lyrical sentiment. It’s taken from Owensie’s confident second album Citizens.

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ITALY: Polaroid
Crimea XEssential
Crimea X is the project of Jukka Reverberi, from cult indie band Giardini Di Mirò, and DJ Rocca (Maffia Soundsystem). They play cosmic disco with krautrock and Marxist influences. If space stations have radios, they’ll definitely be playing some Crimea X on repeat. In February 2013, Crimea X will release their second album, Another, produced by Bjørn Torske (Smalltown Supersound), and Essential is a MAP exclusive preview.

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JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
For Tracy HydeShady Lane Sherbert
Over the past year, Japan has been experiencing a boom in indie-pop music, with artists from every corner of the country embracing twee sounds. New Tokyo trio For Tracy Hyde are similarly enchanted, but unlike a lot of their peers they incorporate more experimental touches into their music. Shady Lane Sherbert brings in a sprinkling of chillwave, but does so in a way that keeps the song bouncy.

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MALTA: Stagedive Malta
BeangrowersRanchero
For more than a decade, Beangrowers have been Malta’s indie ambassadors, having released albums and played tours on both sides of the Atlantic. The female-fronted trio can always be counted on to deliver quirky, off-the-wall but nonetheless catchy numbers. With all three members living in different countries for the past couple of years, the good news is that they have now regrouped and a new EP is in the works.

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MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
NiñovanPequeño Folk
Apparently the beautiful Baja California landscapes are inspiring enough to write and record simple, innocent folk songs. At least that’s what we imagine while listening to Niñovan, a boy/girl duo from the coastal city of Ensenada. Karina Niño and Efraín de la Rocha released their first album, Pequeño Folk, this year and won a place in this month’s MAP through an open announcement we recently made at Panamérika. Their song Pequeño Folk (translated as “Little Folk”) puts the emphasis on the infantile aura of this project, projected even in their own name (“niño” means “child” in Spanish), and perfectly sums up their ideas and imagination.

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NETHERLANDS: Subbacultcha!
Vox Von BraunDig A Hole
Vox Von Braun are the undisputed chroniclers of the seedier aspects of Dutch provincial life. Habitual stoners, gonzo wannabes and possibly the laziest and unluckiest of outfits, you’re more likely to see them mooching about all-night bars in Groningen than performing anywhere near you. But there’s strength in adversity: this most charming of bands harness their kitchen sink romance to one of the most beautiful, crystalline walls of sound you’ll encounter. And for such a horizontal bunch they have influential fans: the new LP was mixed by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and recorded in Brighton by Matt Thwaites from The Electric Soft Parade. MAP exclusive track Dig A Hole features Brenda of bozo poets Spilt Milk, with their second LP, Rich & On Wheels, out in December.

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PERU: SoTB
Francois PeglauLife Is Indefinable
This month the Music Alliance Pact turns 50 and, to celebrate, we bring you an unreleased song recorded by Francois Peglau especially for the landmark. Life Is Indefinable is dedicated to his newborn son and has a beautiful acoustic warmth and much tenderness. The London-based Peruvian is working on his second album. You can watch the video for his latest single Everybody Loves Me, filmed in New York, here.

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POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
Plug&PlayCities I’ll Never Go To
Plug&Play is changing. Having been on the Polish alternative scene for about six years, they’re moving from post-punk/dance-punk origins to more sophisticated song structures, a good example of which is Cities I’ll Never Go To. The lyrics of this track are a metaphorical journey through different cities all over the world. Since we’re on MAP check if your hometown is one of them.

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PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
BallaA Casa (Wall Of Sound Mix)
For this very special 50th post/month, multi-instrumentalist and producer Armando Teixeira, one of the most talented Portuguese composers, offers MAP and its followers an exclusive new mix for A Casa, one of his tracks from Balla’s new album, Canções. The original version as well as the full album are available for free from his website.

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PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Los Niños EstelaresSatya Yuga Está Por Comenzar (Sesión Archipiélago)
Clearly the product of an internet age, Los Niños Estelares unleashed their brand of heartfelt and biting satire on an unsuspecting Puerto Rican populace four years ago via YouTube. Half a million views later, the duo is back with Satya Yuga Está Por Comenzar, a direct sequel to their most popular song. Fernando Castro-Álvarez barely catches his breath as he lays out the path to righteousness through internal struggle, while Darío Constaín keeps things simple on the guitar, allowing the lyrics to take center stage. This special live take, a preview of the band’s upcoming fourth album, was recorded for Puerto Rico Indie’s Archipiélago video series and is available exclusively for download here.

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ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
We Singing ColorsCantec De Seara
As a special gift for the MAP anniversary, our friends from We Singing Colors have prepared a simple but intense song in their familiar acoustic/electronic style. Their intimate set-up combines vocals, guitar, handmade instruments and beautiful lyrics in Romanian.

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RUSSIA: Big Echo
DZAI Love U
After the successful launch of his Surrender EP, DZA drops a new tune, I Love U, on his SoundCloud. The famous Russian beatmaker twists the classic chiptune-style sound into the house playground. Big up, Sasha!

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SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Roddy Hart & The Lonesome FireQueenstown
When I launched the Music Alliance Pact with a dozen blogs in October 2008, I never imagined it would be going as strong as it is today, with 40 countries around the world now part of the project. For this, the 50th consecutive month of MAP, I’m returning to where it all started with my first ever Scottish pick, Roddy Hart, albeit in his full-band guise. The Glaswegian has vacated the singer-songwriter path and is aiming for a Springsteen meets The National vibe with Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire’s self-titled album, due out in spring 2013 and produced by Danton Supple (Coldplay). From it, savour the compelling Queenstown, a MAP exclusive download.

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SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
GemaBefore
Gema’s debut EP Before is a sprawling canvas of sounds, textures, layers, beats and samples that come together to form a cohesive theme of soulful disturbia. I’m somewhat afraid of what I might find inside Gema’s head. Every sound seems to have a sort of nascent meaning, which is scary because such premeditated behaviour has no place in the hands of a musician capable of carving another world straight into your skull. He’s one of the newest additions to the Syndicate stable, and we hope the marriage of the two will equal three.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Diamond ThugLipstick Stains
A smattering of synths, piercing vocals and some cutting lyrics turn Diamond Thug’s Lipstick Stains into instantly addictive listening. The trio is made up of Danilo, Dylan and Chantel, and while the project is in its infancy, given the quality of work they are producing they’ll soon be making waves.

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SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Hugh KeiceWe Are Islands (acoustic)
Originally from Seoul, London-based singer-songwriter Hugh Keice counts both John Mayer and Jamiroquai as influences, owning to a sound that ranges from acoustic pop to neo soul. His third EP, Slow Tree, is scheduled for release in January. He has recorded an acoustic version of his new song, We Are Islands, exclusively for MAP.

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SPAIN: Musikorner
CeremoneyMorning Body
We are always pleased to hear new tracks we can dance to, and that’s exactly what Ceremoney has delivered with Morning Body. They describe their sound as post-tropipunk, probably influenced by the crossbreeding of Hispanic and British cultures you find in the Balearic Islands, where they’re from. They craft post-punk with tropical, danceable roots, which is fresh to listen to and perfect to move your body to.

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SWEDEN: Ja Ja Ja
Last LynxKilling Switch
Last Lynx is a Stockholm-based band inspired by the organic 60s, howling wolves and modern electro-pop. When those worlds collide and become one, magic happens. The young quartet mixes slick guitar grooves with well thought-out electronic elements and wonderful vocals, with amazing and highly addictive results. Killing Switch is the first single off their as-yet-untitled sophomore EP, due out in early 2013 via SoFo Records.

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SWITZERLAND: 78s
The MonofonesDrop Dead
The Monofones hail from Berne and play straight-edge garage rock right in your face and heart. They’ve just released their third album Super Hits. For the 50th edition of the Music Alliance Pact they have made an exclusive recording of Drop Dead, which is straightforward, raw and dirty.

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TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
Seni Görmem İmkansızTarçın Gezegeni
Kadıköy, on the Asian side of Istanbul, always boasts Turkey’s most interesting new acts. The two young women who make up Seni Görmem İmkansız are BFFs who down doubles of rakı, our national drink, on stage. It actually fits when you consider their band name means “impossible to see you”, a line from an unnecessarily depressing Arabesque song from the 80s that goes instinctively well with rakı. In Tarçın Gezegeni, synths and drums take us back to that decade, with the sultanic melody of a toy melodica creating a weirdly elegant and hard-drinking piece of work.

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UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
The PassReal Summer
For MAP’s 50th month of posting, electro-rock outfit The Pass have allowed us to post a web exclusive track off their new album Melt. Real Summer is a tornado of sound that builds and builds with each note. Have your ears perked from the three-minute mark to close – it’s one of the best stretches of music this year.

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VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Audrey HolderCuando No Sé De Ti
Audrey Holder is a young woman from Caracas whose melodious voice is part of the Cantoría José Antonio Anzoátegui, one of Venezuela’s leading choirs. She’s preparing her first album, but here we can hear an acoustic track she recorded earlier this year.

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Music Alliance Pact : Október

Þá er komið að októberútgáfu Music Alliance Pact. Fulltrúi íslands að þessu sinni er Borko með titillagið af nýútkominni plötu sinni Born To Be Free. Eins og áður þá fer hér allt fram á ensku en það ætti nú ekki að hindra neinn í að njóta þeirri fjölbreyttu heishornatónlistar sem hér er í boði.

Njótið vel og lengi.

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 whole 39-track compilation through Ge.tt here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
TrebianModernidad
Trebian is a folk trio from Buenos Aires. Their songs are acoustic-driven with wood percussion and, above it all, the beautiful voice of lead singer Sofía Galarce. Modernidad is a preview from their upcoming second album, which will be released later this year.

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AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Mansion, AlaskaSteps
If a ‘best of’ compilation was made featuring the top American indie tunes of the last four years or so, this track would probably sum them all up. Mansion, Alaska may be channelling a sound similar to Local Natives, Grizzly Bear or even Volcano Choir’s debut at times, but comparisons aside – what an impressive track from this young Melbourne band. Steps is seamless: beautiful harmonies, flowing piano arpeggios, sharp percussion and some dreamy guitar work gravitating around stratosphere level.

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AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
B. FleischmannI’m Not Ready For The Grave Yet
Working in a bookshop and on various musical projects as well as composing scores for TV series, electronica veteran Bernhard Fleischmann is a busy bee. On his new album I’m Not Ready For The Grave Yet, he uses his own voice for the first time instead of inviting guest singers. Occasionally he also adds film snippets, such as in the album’s title track.

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BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Abayomy Afrobeat OrquestraAfrodisíaco
Afrobeat is the sound of the moment in Brazil. Bands such as Bixiga70 and Iconili are presenting the genre to a new generation and in Rio de Janeiro the main representative of this trend is the Abayomy Afrobeat Orquestra. Afrodisíaco is an example of the band’s trippy music.

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CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
The Wilderness Of ManitobaWhite Woods
Like their namesake, The Wilderness Of Manitoba is a Canadian national treasure, and one of our best kept secrets. Their lush harmonies, delicate melodies and sparkling arrangements seem to always be attuned to their environment, creating music that sounds like it’s sprung from fertile patches in the Canadian Shield, blooming against all odds. White Woods is taken from their new album, Island Of Echoes, which introduces electric guitars to give their music a whole new pulse and feel.

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CHILE: Super 45
ShogúnUnciónextrema
Cristián Heyne, a producer whose output ranges from mainstream (Enrique Iglesias, La Ley) to indie (Javiera Mena, Gepe), has always kept his own musical project, Shogún, under a discrete, hermetic cover. With only a few limited edition records and a handful of shows, he has attained a faithful cult following that has endured the last 15 years. His complete recordings were recently released via iTunes, giving a new life to his previously hard-to-find and unavailable works. Unciónextrema is El Brujo’s opening track.

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CHINA: Wooozy
The GarLove Will Lost Your Love
One of China’s most beloved cult indie bands, The Gar is without equal in both substance and acclaim. Wholly unconcerned with the trappings of stardom, they arrive, play their hearts out and exit stage left, blending seamlessly back into the crowds. On stage, however, the band transports audience members to a sonic wonderland coloured with soaring harmonies and unforgettable lyrics. The Gar just released their new EP, The City Of Burning Identities.

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COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Ondatrópica3 Reyes De La Terapia
This is what we call a supergroup. The union between Colombian musician Mario Galeano, from Frente Cumbiero, and English producer Will Holland, aka Quantic, resulted in Ondatrópica – a musical research project through Colombian tropical sounds. Both Galeano and Quantic, scholars of Colombian and electronic rhythms, were given the task of recreating traditional sounds with vintage equipment and old recording techniques, but searching for its contemporaneity. Proof of this is 3 Reyes de la Terapia (“3 Kings Of Therapy”), featuring Juan Carlos Puello, which was made using a marimba, accordion and beatbox.

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DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Kjartan BueRosen And Danny
Half Norwegian, half Danish and raised in Denmark, Kjartan Bue debuts his five-track alt-country EP Man Riding Backwards on November 15 (I’ve heard it and it’s great). Here’s Rosen And Danny as a MAP exclusive download, and do make sure you also check out the title track and closing ballad Old Woman here – the latter is also up for free download.

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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
El Gran Poder De DiosaMoriviví
A Moriviví is a minuscule tropical plant that has an unusual reaction when touched: it folds up and “dies” then “comes back to life” after several minutes. This song by reggae/Caribbean-influenced band El Gran Poder De Diosa reflects that internal debate between life and death, good and evil, through soothing tunes and clever wordplay.

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ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Clo SismicoCassette Pirata
Clo Sismico is a renowned musician, producer and MC. He is founder of two important bands in the local independent music scene, 38 Que No Juega (hip hop) and Punto De Encaje (hardcore). This year Clo Sismico released his second album, Cassette Pirata, which blends rap, funk and Latin music with explosive, direct lyrics.

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ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Nadine ShahAching Bones
Straight out of Whitburn comes this singer and pianist-guitarist of Norwegian and Pakistani parentage who actually sounds more like the love child of Nick Cave and Polly Harvey. Shah’s tales of lust and loss, revenge and regret are female takes on Trent Reznor’s industrial blues, her voice redolent of the battle-worn Marianne Faithfull circa Broken English. The title track of her EP is vengefully dark business as usual for Shah as she roars over an insistent clang that provides the rhythm for the song. Her debut album Love Your Dumb And Mad, due early next year, should be a fiery, passionate hoot.

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FINLAND: Glue
PaperfangsEveryday
Paperfangs is a dream-pop trio that draws inspiration from old movies, visual arts, geometric shapes, late-night biking trips, vintage girl groups, chamber pop and shoegaze as well as the latest indie gems. A debut album will not be ready until next year, but in the meantime we can enjoy the band’s take on one of the greatest melody makers ever as the trio covers Buddy Holly’s Everyday.

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FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Total Warrxxx Hate xxx
Total Warr are not complete unknowns in the blogosphere, having been widely praised for their sweet electro-pop. Stereogum premiered xxx HATE xxx back in May and now that the Corbay EP is out, you don’t have any more excuses not to listen to it.

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GERMANY: Blogpartei
VIMESUpStairs
It’s getting cold really fast these days so let’s turn to some music which may give us comfort. Cologne newcomers VIMES is a duo with a penchant for vibrant electronic music. The voice of Azhar Syed gives the electronics of Julian Stetter a melancholic and yearning touch, thereby making VIMES recognisable. Live they are accompanied by VJ Till Beutling for a complete audiovisual experience. They are currently recording their debut album.

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GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
CircassianEastern Patterns
Circassian is a quartet formed in Athens in 2008. Their music demonstrates their traditions and habits, while their philosophy is based on bringing together experimental, neo-psychedelic patterns and forms of atonality along with ethnic melodies drawn from parts of Asia and Northern Africa. They create an eerie yet intimate atmosphere with a distinctive sound. Their second EP, Procrastinational, is available on Bandcamp.

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ICELAND: Rjóminn
BorkoBorn To Be Free
Born To Be Free is Borko’s first single from his long-awaited sophomore album, also named Born To Be Free, released in Iceland this month through Kimi Records and on November 2 through Sound Of A Handshake for the rest of the world. Borko’s first LP, Celebrating Life, was released to rave reviews.

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INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Rock N Roll MafiaNever Give Up
Indonesia’s finest electro band is back with their new album Prodigal, produced by Widi Puradiredja. Their sound is so fresh, optimistic and definitely danceable.

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IRELAND: Nialler9
Lar KayeEffector
While his main band Adebisi Shank are between things, guitarist Lar Kaye has been at his musical toy box and that bout of activity has resulted in a dizzying five-track solo EP. Effector is a hyperactive child of a song featuring pounding drum crashes, 8-bit melodies, cartoon samples, R&B female vocals and spiralling guitar notes. The sound of one man having a lot of fun and dishing it out for free. Infectious.

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ITALY: Polaroid
MontgomeryRefrigerator
It was very hard to choose just one song from the split EP by Montgomery and ED (available for free download on Bandcamp). Every track captures a perfect moment of acoustic pop, both light and moving, so my advice is to check out both acts. I picked Refrigerator by Montgomery because it’s the best ‘goodnight’ song I’ve heard in a long time. Montgomery is a promising new group from Verona with members from the bands Canadians and Le Man Avec Les Lunettes.

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JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
mus.hibaMagical Fizzy Drink
Magical Fizzy Drink features vocals courtesy of Yufu Sekka. Thing is, Yufu Sekka is not a real person but rather a character tied to something called Vocaloid software, a singing synthesizer program. Tokyo-based artist mus.hiba uses this program in a way few in Japan have – instead of using the digital singing as a diva stand-in, Yufu Sekka gets turned into an electronic ghost haunting the background of this gorgeous, heady production.

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MALTA: Stagedive Malta
BrikkuniFil-Gallinar Tas-Sultan
Torn between their arty pretensions and a morbid fascination with kitsch, Brikkuni (“scoundrels”) try to have a stab at both. With Fil-Gallinar Tas-Sultan, the band leaves no stone unturned in its determined quest to marry reluctant bedfellows. The lyrics, sung in Maltese, recount a particularly tense day in a chicken coop owned by the titular Sultan. Riffs rise and ebb and rise again, leading to an an epic conclusion underscored by horns, strings and a pulsating bass line, all strung together by an insistent keyboard motif and… a purple chicken struggling to take flight. The song is taken from Brikkuni’s sophomore album Trabokk.

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MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Los MacuanosSangre, Bandera, Cruz
Like a reveille amidst times of war against drug trafficking, Tijuana’s Los Macuanos have released what may well be the curfew at the sunset of president Felipe Calderón’s administration, with his six years of futile strategies having left more than 70,000 human losses. Sangre, Bandera, Cruz (translated as “Blood, Flag, Cross”, written with witchcraft-associated symbols) is an ironic testimony that pictures the zeitgeist of Mexico during 2006-2012.

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NETHERLANDS: Subbacultcha!
WOLVONUnicorny
This summer, Dutch bands WOLVON and Neon Rainbows set off on tour through the Balkans, playing in four countries of the former Yugoslavia. Whilst battling the blistering heat, bored/corrupt border police, broken vehicles, stray dogs and their own preconceptions about Southeastern Europe, it was decided they’d release a split 7″ to commemorate the experience. Unicorny is WOLVON’s side of the record, launched during the independent culture festival Incubate last month. This noisy dream-pop trio has made a name for itself while touring the Dutch underground, thanks in part to their maniacal live antics. They’re currently recording their debut full-length, which will be released through Subroutine Records in spring 2013.

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PERU: SoTB
Pamela RodríguezRe-conozco
Pamela Rodríguez is one of the best female voices in Peru, and recently received a Latin Grammy nomination for her third album Reconocer, which is both fresh and intense with a lot of pop inclination. The truth is that when her music starts to play, something magical happens in the ears of the listener. No matter what style she chooses, the true protagonist of her songs will always be her voice – sweet, free, sincere and perfect. Re-conozco is a beautiful and exciting piano song like few others.

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POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
KAMP!Cairo
It’s no exaggeration to say that KAMP! is the most popular band in Poland without an album to their name (although their debut record is due in November). Their elegant pop songs and fantastic live shows, which has included SXSW in Texas, have created a great buzz around this trio. Cairo was originally released as a single on Portuguese label Discotexas.

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PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
The WeathermanProper Goodbye
Alexandre Monteiro (aka The Weatherman), after his presence on MAP in January 2009, is back with a new single which opens the way for his new album, Weatherman. A more intimate and autobiographical set of pure pop songs than his previous two albums, it’s a sort of trip to outer space with plenty of time to think about life, where one can be viewed but can’t view the observers.

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PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
FantasmesRedness Moon
Mario Negron and Dario Morales have been working together in psychedelic ensemble Fantasmes since 2007. For their third release, Redness Moon, Fantasmes required a space where they could compose, rehearse and record at their own pace, free from external pressures. And so a house in Santurce – San Juan’s vibrant arts mecca – became Casa Fantasmes, where the duo worked tirelessly for months. The outstanding result of these sessions is their first release for New York indie label Last Bummer Records – a trippy, sci-fi, end-of-days dystopian video for first single Redness Moon was directed by Danilo Parra and is well worth your time.

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ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
ManfellowWhy
Manfellow are an alternative rock band founded in Bucharest in 2011. They are known for their energetic and extravagant live performances and their fusion of many genres, including post-rock, progressive rock, alternative rock and electronic music. In December, they will represent Romania at The Global Battle Of Bands world final in London.

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RUSSIA: Big Echo
Anton MalinenRain Song
After his successful debut Cape Of Good Hope, Anton Malinen from Saint Petersburg has released several songs through social networks. His impressive guitar and piano-based folk music continues to charm an online audience, but if Anton wants nothing more than some nice green tea for his songs, let it be the best supply for a few years at least!

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SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Kitty The LionDuck!
There’s cute and then there’s Kitty The Lion cute, and the promo video for Duck! really does take this Glasgow band to unsurpassable levels of adorability. Frontwoman Anna Meldrum seems to set herself a personal challenge of writing songs about subject matters that are as mundane as possible, but first impressions can be deceiving. Closer inspection of her lyrics reveals exceptionally clever wordplay and crafty double entendres. What isn’t ambiguous is Kitty The Lion’s pop heart, with a near-flawless grasp of melody flowing through their indie-folk veins.

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SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
GalacticaSaul’s Tighs
In a little-known recess in Singapore’s music scene, there existed a group of science fiction aficionados with a common love for the space odyssey Battlestar Galactica. They went on to write some dreamily-inspired shoegaze with titles such as Saul’s Tighs and Gaius Is Crying… Again, referencing series characters Colonel Saul Tigh and Dr Gaius Baltar. While the concept is an inside joke, the music is anything but. Their songcraft and taste in melodies evoke an immense sense of loss in the immeasurable vastness of space. It takes you back to the heyday of science fiction when the music was sprawling and searching, as opposed to present-day equivalents of over-budgeted pyrotechnics.

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SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
404Water
Two-piece band 404 comes from the most interesting part of Korea’s indie music scene. Not looking to put a label to their music, they say it’s simply “what a guitar/drum two-piece band would sound like in Korea in the year 2012”. They recently released their first album, aptly titled 1, featuring their take on post-punk, modern rock, noise, folk-pop and a hint of blues in a surprisingly coherent mix. Water progresses playfully in a way that makes it impossible to sit entirely still while listening.

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SPAIN: Musikorner
Wilhelm & The Dancing AnimalsElephant
Wilhelm & The Dancing Animals are from Pamplona, home town of a new wave of indie bands. Their sound can be described as folk with punk/rock influences and the animal kingdom is a feature that is often repeated in their work. They’re certainly a band to follow, as we can tell from listening to their first album.

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SWEDEN: Ja Ja Ja
Thus:OwlsWhite Night
Thus:Owls is a Swedish/Canadian five-piece led by singer and composer Erika Angell. Together they craft carefully arranged, moving and melancholic pop with cinematic elements that’s just simply beautiful. Their widely and rightfully praised sophomore album Harbours is out now via Avalanche (North America) and Hoob Records (Sweden), and will be released in the rest of Europe next year on 
Kytopia.

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SWITZERLAND: 78s
MonotalesIt’s Alright
Velvet Underground, country, Americana, college-indie-rock, hair metal… you name it, Monotales have got it. They’ve just released their sophomore album Hidden Thrills. Anything other than a lot of fun would have been a disappointment. And we looked anything other than disappointed after hearing it for the first time.

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TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
Surrender!Conflicted
Surrender! is one of the newest, emerging electronic music producers in the Turkish dance scene. Conflicted is one of his older tracks, but we are already excited about the upcoming album which will definitely be worth checking out.

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UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
The Cairo GangEverybody Knows
The Cairo Gang make drifting seem like the only way to go about life. Their music hovers slightly above, moving at its own pace and coming down in a soft swoop at all the right moments. Hailing from Kentucky, The Cairo Gang bring warmth and introspection to the harshest country winters.

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VENEZUELA: Música y Más
SincrónicaEsCupido
Sincrónica is a power trio formed in Caracas in 2001 when they participated in a college rock festival. Between 2002 and 2010 they recorded several EPs, before finally releasing their first album, Todo Lo Que No Sabes, in 2011. From this, we present the simple song EsCupido, which is also being included in the video game Rock Band.

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Music Alliance Pact : September

Þá er komið að enn einni útgáfunni af Music Alliance Pact, alþjóðaverkefni tónlistarbloggara. Fulltrúar Íslands að þessu sinni er sveitin Monotwon með lagið “Can Deny” sem birt var myndband við hér fyrr í mánuðinum. Þeir sem vilja hala niður öllum lögunum í einu handægu .zip skjali geta gert það hér.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Sobrenadar1859
Born in Chaco, Paula García relocated to Buenos Aires for the first time in 2006 to study music production. Since then, coming and going between Chaco and the capital, she adopted the Sobrenadar identity, developing it through two LPs and three EPs, self-released digitally. 1859 is her latest album, and the highest point of that constant evolution. Released through Bandcamp during the first half of this year, it has already obtained several reviews that name her as one of the most promising new local electronica artists. The song 1859 is a bonus track from a special reissue by Mamushka Dogs Records.

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AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Bad DreemsToo Old
Any of our overseas friends who are fans of The Twerps, do tune in. Sydney via Adelaide four-piece Bad Dreems are one of the best Australian bands at the moment (in our humble opinion). Too Old is about a fizzling relationship, with a nod to the humdrum routine somewhere in between. Its delivery is anything but boring, though. Loose treble riffs, vocalist Ben Marwe’s casual drone and arguably the catchiest hook being passed around all make this track so great. If only everyone else took a cue from these guys and stopped trying so hard to sound good. Downer-pop at its best.

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AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
Dust Covered CarpetFragile Soul / Heavy Heart
“A rooftop above concrete or a cliff above the shore or an accident on the street.” The first lines of Fragile Soul / Heavy Heart set the tone for the rest of this strangely calm, reduced and peaceful song that is, after all, about suicide. It is no surprise, then, that Dust Covered Carpet are based in a city with a well-known affinity for all things morbid: Vienna.

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BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
DibigodeMariposa (A Lagartixa E O Urubu)
Dibigode is a creative band formed by five young multi-instrumentists who make post-rock music full of melodic lines and dynamic sounds. This version of Mariposa (A Lagartixa E O Urubu) is part of the new remastered version of their debut album, Naturais E Idênticos Ao Natural De Pimentas Da Jamaica E Preta, available for free download at the band’s website.

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CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Evening HymnsArrows
On his second album as Evening Hymns, Jonas Bonnetta has made public his very private and personal response to his father’s passing. There are moments of sentimentality and sweetness, and there are times when raw nerves are exposed, stinging with pain and heartache. Arrows is a touching, haunting song about the ghosts that linger long after a loved one has passed away.

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CHILE: Super 45
Ases FalsosLa Sinceridad Del Cosmos
Ases Falsos present their debut album Juventud Americana (Arca Discos), a collection of songs that refer to the Latin American ideology yet manage to sound contemporary at the same time. The classy use of synthesizers, the meticulous vocal harmonies and the melodic wrapping are, along with irony-filled lyrics but with a strong political and social meaning, the highlights of this work. Our pick is La Sinceridad Del Cosmos (“The sincerity of the cosmos”), a song that questions police brutality… from an animal’s point of view.

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CHINA: Wooozy
Baby FormulaWarm Song
Baby Formula, currently the only shoegaze band in Beijing who plays dream pop live, are formed by an artist who dedicates himself to being a loser, a senior who doesn’t know where to get a master’s degree and a writer who hasn’t sold any piece of work yet. Their music is influenced by a wide range of bands from Slowdive to The Radio Dept.

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COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Bomba EstéreoPa’ Respirar
After four years of waiting, electro-cumbia group Bomba Estéreo returns with a more reflective album in which they explore their essence, but without forgetting their Caribbean power. Pa’ Respirar means “to breathe”, a theme that reflects the band’s new vibe, where you can feel the world they inhabit.

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DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Indianna DawnI Always Miss You
There’s been a new wave of Americana and country music sweeping Denmark in the past few years (I say ‘new’ – I don’t really think there ever was one before) and one representative of this is the quintet Indianna Dawn, centered around singer and songwriter Dianna Dønns. MAP exclusive download I Always Miss You is from their great debut album Somebody’s Dead.

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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
DulucLa Mano Partía
From the depths of rural laments, La Casetera’s first MAP submission is all about Dominican folklore. José Duluc is part of our musical history, playing alongside iconic rock star Luis “Terror” Días for many years. His nostalgic approach to peasant work on his latest song, La Mano Partía, makes us contemplate the aspirations of the less fortunate and their longing to be generously rewarded someday.

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ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Woodpecker WooliamsCrow
Woodpecker Wooliams aka Brighton girl Gemma Williams is a 27-year-old singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, and for once that term is true: the former midwife plays harp, kora, omnichord, keyboard, harmonium, electric organ, accordion, penny whistle, clarinet, bells, glockenspiel, electric shruti box, recorder and drums. She’s also more Björk than Beyoncé, a kookstress with a high chirrup of a voice and a back-story involving a bird obsession and a bee fetish. Don’t expect wall-to-wall cute, though. On Crow, one of several avian-related titles on her The Bird School Of Being Human album, she sings about building “a great funeral pyre” as the music becomes increasingly clanging and industrial. Prepare to be haunted long after it ends.

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FINLAND: Glue
Skip ZoneLeaving Planet Boredom
Skip Zone is a six-piece folk-rock band from Helsinki that performs mid-tempo cosmic Americana songs with some outstanding vocal harmonies and catchy pop melodies. A little bit early Wilco here and a little bit Ryan Adams there create well-crafted songs. Skip Zone’s debut EP can be heard on SoundCloud in its entirety.

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FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
AudViolets
Aud is a folk-pop duet hailing from Nancy, heavily influenced by Patrick Watson, Sufjan Stevens, Beirut and other indie acts. Their first EP, Origami, released in 2010, brought them much success and Violets is taken from their second one, The Death Of The Stag God, released on September 14. Not only are they brilliant lyricists, but also exceptional multi-instrumentists who use guitars, drums, pianos, glockenspiel and harmonica to create a diverse spectrum of sounds and feelings.

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GERMANY: Blogpartei
Stabil EliteHydravion
Let’s conclude our series on new Kraut with this fine trio from Duesseldorf, whose debut Douze Pouze had quite an impact on German music scene. They combine the charm of monotony and repetitive patterns with distinctive lyrics reminiscent of Neue Deutsche Welle. But Stabil Elite is not just one of those retro bands – it’s mature, handmade music with a great range of originality.

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ICELAND: Rjóminn
MonotownCan Deny
Monotown just finished their debut album in a collaboration with four-time Grammy-winning mixing engineer Michael Brauer. While the album’s narrative may have roots in their motherland, its sound will be equal parts American western film score and Beatles psychedelia, flavored with haunting textures reminiscent of contemporary indie-rock bands.

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INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Brilliant At BreakfastGundala Putra Petir
Brilliant At Breakfast are one of this country’s finest indie-pop/twee-pop bands. Hailing from Yogyakarta, they already enjoy a global reach, distributing their records around the world via Apple Crumble (Japan), Hands And Arms (France), Susy Records and many more. Enjoy their heartfelt tune Gundala Putra Petir.

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IRELAND: Nialler9
ForrestsTarifa
The duo of Paul O’ Reilly and Owen O’ Mahony only have two Forrests tracks available online but form from their other band Channel One and a couple of super live shows have confirmed them as a vital prospect. Their music reaches for the night sky, à la M83 or Fuck Buttons with a crisp digital sheen and warm breaths. Tarifa is a beauty.

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ITALY: Polaroid
Go DugongWhite Sun (feat. Welcome Back Sailors)
Listening to this song in September may be painful: the level of nostalgia for the summer that just faded away (at least on this side of the globe) can become dangerously high. In any case, the music Go Dugong makes is so good it’s worth it – sunny synths, samples lost in the echoes and lots of beats. Go Dugong is the solo project of Giulio Fonseca (from the brilliant band København Store) and he just released his first EP on the Czech label AMDISCS.

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JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Fancy BooksSister Carry Stars
Saitama duo Fancy Books takes a lot of cues from groups currently generating buzz in Tokyo, especially blog-approved outfits Jesse Ruins and Sapphire Slows, whose sounds swirl dance music with unsettling ambient touches. Sister Carry Stars, though, leans closer to pop, with a jaunty melody and sweet vocals that sound inviting. Still, Fancy Books take an otherwise summer-friendly number and turn it woozy with their synths.

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MALTA: Stagedive Malta
TollensBeautiful Day
Tollens (real name Ryan Formosa) bought his first guitar at age 13, but it was only recently that he started recording proper songs. He came up with the name as a nod to Bernhard Tollens, the German chemist. After unleashing his first EP on SoundCloud to good feedback from friends and even people he’d never met, he decided to take it further. Beautiful Day is taken from the EP Drowning In A Dream – a proverbial bedroom-pop rollercoaster, available as a free download from Bandcamp.

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MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Eddie MercuryIn Mexico
September 15 marks Mexico’s National Day, and to set the mood for a chauvinistic party we’ve brought in local Electrique Music genius Eddie Mercury. On this eight-minute bouncing trance, a digitally bloated voice emphasises he wasn’t born in New York, Chicago or Detroit – he was born “In Mexico”. So let’s dress in red, white and green and insanely dance to this new national (house) anthem.

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NETHERLANDS: Subbacultcha!
Spilt MilkOur Despised Decay
During the dark days of December 2011, Amsterdam-based quintet Spilt Milk found comfort in the first eight published poems by American modernist poet Wallace Stevens (1879-1955). Gathered under the title Carnet De Voyage (“Travel Notebook”), these songs are full of stars, sunsets, landscapes and rivers. Although Stevens’ poetry may not be the easiest or permeable, listening to Spilt Milk’s drone-folk adaptations makes entering his Buddhist-like, abstract view of the world a rewarding experience.

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PERU: SoTB
The CocainersLet’s Dance
Although The Cocainers’ career is very new – they formed only five months ago in Lima – it looks very promising. They are in the process of making their first album, but already we can find songs at the level of Let’s Dance. With its old school rock, vibrating vocals, electro touches and an inherent indie flavor, it’s a powerful song which will make your muscles move without you noticing.

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POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
Muzyka Końca LataDokąd
OK, so this track might be from 2011 and the name of the band means “music of the end of the summer”, but Dokąd is earning international fame, having been voted Song of the Summer 2012 in a contest run by popular Seattle-based podcast Too Beautiful To Live. Muzyka Końca Lata is influenced by bigbit – a popular genre in Poland in the 60s – and you can check out the beautiful lyrics of Dokąd here.

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PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Minta & The Brook TroutFalcon
Minta & The Brook Trout are one of the most interesting Portuguese bands around. They were first in MAP in December 2010; Now they are back with their new album, Olympia, out on September 17. To celebrate the release, here’s the first single, Falcon.

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PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Dandy And The WalkersVideo Ho
Out of the blue, Dandy And The Walkers broke into the Puerto Rican independent scene late this summer with this single, Video Ho. A shared love of The Shirleys and The Ronettes brought Michelle Fernández, Melissa Collazo and Enrique Olivares together, while their sonic exploration led them to recruit Laira Díaz, César Jiménez and Juanto Arrroyo. Mario Negrón (of psych-rockers, Fantasmes) got them to record at Casa Fantasmes, producing this track which showcases the raw talent and contagiously fun vibe the ensemble is able to create. Dandy And The Walkers are currently recording their first album.

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ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Popa SapkaStinky Bastards
The music of Popa Sapka, heavily influenced by Balkanic melodies and rhythms, is a mix of ska, pop, punk, gypsy, reggae, folk and the traditional music of ‘mother Russia’. Their lyrics, originating from the band’s multicultural background, present a twisted mix of English, Russian, Romanian and Gagauzian languages. The light-heartedness and sincerity of their songs are what makes Popa Sapka so appealing.

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RUSSIA: Big Echo
FPRFCrystallization Point
Novosibirsk-based shoegaze band FPRF prepares for its next full-length release with Crystallization Point, a calm and beautiful slow-burning jam backed with remixes by beats producer Ta-ku and future garage from Nocow.

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SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Siobhan WilsonAll Dressed Up
Siobhan Wilson’s music pursuits have taken the 24-year-old from her native Scotland to a surprise pop career in France, back to Scotland and now London, where she finds herself charming all-comers with her folky, jazzy bilingual storytelling and cartoon-like glamour. Unrequited love is the dish of the day in All Dressed Up, the captivating standout track of her just-released mini-album Glorified Demons.

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SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
FAUXEBe My Love
A mysterious force has been brewing in Singapore, bubbling beneath the shiny veneer of saturated city lights. The glitchy imperfections of static haunt the corridors of abandoned buildings, a sign of life from androids realising self-awareness. FAUXE leads a charge into this unknown realm, stirring up quite the storm with his debut EP Ubuntu and letting his music trickle down your window panes on a rain-sodden day.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Al BairreYouth De Freitas
Symphonic indie-rock band Al Bairre was formed at the begining of 2011, drawing influences from bands such as Arcade Fire, Ra Ra Riot, Vampire Weekend and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. The five-piece have seemingly perfected the indie-dance genre, combining cello, violin, keys, Fender guitars and ukulele to produce an exciting sound that has seen them scale the local scene.

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SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Big Baby DriverMy Goodbye
After many years of crafting lovely music, singer-songwriter Big Baby Driver recently rose to fame after having a few songs featured in Korean television drama series A Gentleman’s Dignity. Last month she released a collaboration single with former MAP artist Kim Mokin. My Goodbye, with its bossa rhythms, is Big Baby Driver’s contribution to the release.

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SPAIN: Musikorner
Naturalesa SalvatgeSota L’aigua
Naturalesa Salvatge are a five-piece from Barcelona who make melancholic but dreamy melodies. Their main influences are The Smiths, Teenage Fanclub and The Radio Dept. Formed during a national lo-fi explosion, Naturalesa Salvatge have shown they’re not as ephemeral as similar acts, most of them now defunct.

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SWEDEN: Ja Ja Ja
Caviare DaysYou’ll Qualify
Swedish sisters Lina and Maja Westin formed Caviare Days in New York, which isn’t at all surprising since one could easily compare them to a couple of other female-fronted garage bands linked to the city’s scene. This is a good thing, of course. Their 60s-inspired psychedelic rock is as refreshing as it is really, really good. The duo’s self-titled debut LP is out now in Sweden and will be released in North America on October 9.

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SWITZERLAND: 78s
Fai BabaPeach Orchard Mama
The first time Fai Baba was on a stage he had just come back from a spiritual journey through India. Then he picked up his guitar, wrote a few songs and played his ass off in cellars, whisky bars and squatted houses. His psychedelic blues-rock is best enjoyed during live shows, they tend to get ecstatic. His debut album Snake Snake was released in August.

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TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
On Your HorizonUntitled #1
On Your Horizon is a four-piece experimental post-rock gathering from Eskisehir and Istanbul. Their album Home is a DIY production released for free in 2010 via Bandcamp. Having made a tremendous impact, the band’s self-confident has increased and their new track Untitled #1 is an ironclad song which builds splendidly.

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UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
SeamonsterNormandy Landscape
The music of Seamonster is a slow-moving invasion of simple yet powerful movements of sonic exploration that ultimately transports the listener to another world. Every layer upon layer reveals itself slowly until every instrument is swirling and floating above. Melt into this track, let itself wrap around you and take over.

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VENEZUELA: Música y Más
HolySexyBastardsGetting Over You
When we decided to include HolySexyBastards in this month’s MAP, they were just another competitor in Festival Nuevas Bandas, one of the biggest new music festivals in Venezuela. Today, this power trio formed in Valencia are the winners (along with Okills, who were on MAP in January 2012). HolySexyBastards offer us the track Getting Over You, included on their self-titled album released in May.

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Music Alliance Pact : Ágúst

Þá er komið að Music Alliance Pact tónlistarbloggssamkrullinu fyrir ágústmánuð. Fulltrúi íslands að þessu sinni er enginn annar en Jónas Sigurðsson með fyrsta lag sitt af væntanlegri plötu.

Sem fyrr er hér allt á ensku en þið reddið ykkur í gegnum það áfallalaust trúi ég. Þeir sem vilja hala ósköpunum niður mega vinsamlegast beina bendlum hingað.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Liza CasulloRojo Lojojo
After alt-rock band Doris broke up in 2007, most of its members started their own musical projects (Onda Vaga and Valeu!, among others). Singer and guitarist Liza Casullo decided to go solo, but she took some time off to develop her acting career. A couple of months ago she released her first official album, Velvetbonzo. It’s a great record in which a minimalistic acoustic sound blends with psychedelia, garage and folk. Rojo Lojojo is our favorite song, which we also managed to capture on video during one of her shows.

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AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
CogelFelusine
It’s a guarantee that tidy string sections and pulsating drums will typically heighten melodramatic feelings of bad love and melancholy, but you can’t pass over this glorious track from Sydney’s Cogel. Those violins and cascading treble guitars which duck and weave out of the chorus provide a nice backdrop to the band’s quieter moments and slight Arcade Fire stylings that mesh together so well. If Felusine is a pitch into the musical void, someone needs to sign these guys real soon.

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AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
PlaidedFreaks And Geeks
“Would you run run run run run run run to my place and watch Freaks and Geeks all night long?” We totally would! Plaided is an acronym that was inspired by a Girls Rock Camp participant’s band and thus matches the feminist background of Veronika Eberhart and Julia Mitterbauer. The duo will go on a US tour with Grass Widow in September and also record a 7″ record there. Freaks And Geeks is taken from their debut album Playdate, recorded by Wolfgang Möstl (of previous MAP act Mile Me Deaf).

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BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
IconiliO Rei De Tupanga
The fusion of jazz, experimentalism and African beats is the guideline for Iconili, formed by eight young musicians from Minas Gerais. O Rei De Tupanga is their new single, taken from their forthcoming album.

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CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
ExpwyWarm And Stricken By Lashes
With Little Hand Fighter, Expwy’s fifth album in two years, one-man band Matt LeGroulx sets his sights on the oft-neglected genre of bossa nova, imagining how it might have sounded if, instead of originating in the 50s and 60s, it was borne out of late century indie-rock sensibilities and lo-fi production values.

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CHILE: Super 45
The PaintingsSunrise
Eija-Lynn and Hieronymus are The Paintings. Besides being a couple in real life, the duo revisit the vigor of 70s garage, Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound and the apathetic rage of The Jesus And Mary Chain. The music speak for itself, though, and this song Sunrise is their newest single.

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COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Planes (Estudios Universales)Lonelii
Within the new movement of pop/rock bands in Colombia, Planes (Estudios Universales) feels like a blast of fresh air. The quintet have no borders or limits in their search for folk and electronic sounds. As we wait for their first studio album, enjoy Lonelii.

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DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Alcoholic Faith MissionRunning With Insanity
Released in 2011 in Denmark, Alcoholic Faith Mission’s fourth full-length, Ask Me This, is now available worldwide and thus there are no good reasons not to check out the outfit’s alternative pop. Begin here with the excellent Running With Insanity.

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ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Stealing SheepShut Eye
This all-girl Liverpool trio’s debut album Into The Diamond Sun is more Staves/Warpaint than Atomic Kitten. The fact that one of the members hails from an area with a rich folk tradition seems to have seeped into their music, which has a pagan-ish, medieval quality to it. Elsewhere it is possible to detect influences as varied as The Go-Go’s and The Monkees, The Doors and Talking Heads, and there is a blend of good old-fashioned “played” instruments and electronic drones and effects, but always the folk elements shine through.

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FINLAND: Glue
Satellite StoriesAnti-Lover
Indie quartet Satellite Stories have delivered several party songs over the last couple of years to become one of Finland’s most promising acts. Anti-Lover is the first single from their debut album Phrases To Break The Ice which will be released this autumn. It is three minutes of energetic guitar-based, dance-oriented indie-pop.

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FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
The AerialClarity
The Aerial are one of France’s top up-and-coming bands. Hailing from Nancy, they released their first EP in April, in which each of their songs show a different influence, all while staying very danceable. In just four songs, they manage to sound like The Rapture, Foals and Foster The People. Clarity is their most electro-pop oriented song and is supported by a killer beat and an impeccable production. Don’t miss unreleased single Running on YouTube.

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GERMANY: Blogpartei
CameraAusland
Let’s continue our little series of new Kraut with Berlin trio Camera. Although they connect to the old Kraut by playing with Michael Rother and Dieter Moebius, their music sounds refreshing. First single Ausland keeps the typical meandering melodies and synths but brings back rock to Krautrock. Their debut album, due out this month, incorporates many more influences and will, of course, be released on Bureau B.

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GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
The Last DriveChild Of The Sky
The Last Drive are regarded as one of the most important and influential bands of the Greek underground music scene. They were formed 30 years ago and, through their explosive live performances and unique sound, became rapidly popular. After their dynamic comeback in 2007 (they split up in 1995), they released Heavy Liquid, a crafted mix of intense, raw rock ‘n’ roll songs, blurred melodies, addictive fuzz guitar riffs and almost primitive drums that unites disparate musical elements into blasts of noisy cohesion and howling passion. Right before the recording of their new LP, they have just unleashed News From Nowhere, an imprint of the difficult times we’re living.

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ICELAND: Rjóminn
Jónas SigurðssonÞyrnigerðið
This is the first single from Jónas Sigurðsson’s upcoming third album, Þar Sem Himinn Ber Við Haf (“Where The Sky Touches The Sea”). Jónas, who is widely considered one of the most inventive musicians in Iceland, reinvents himself yet again by introducing electronic influences to his otherwise soulful, folksy and rhythmic sound. If you like what you hear you should really check out his first two albums.

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INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
AwlAlbertine
Awl is Joan Lumanauw (The Wispy Hummers) and Mickey (Tenderpaw) creating noises and melodies for the world to dance to. You might think of The Raveonettes or Best Coast but if you listen carefully you’ll find something of their own.

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IRELAND: Nialler9
OrquestaKokomo (feat. Jape, Kathi Burke & Katie Kim)
His recent acceptance into the prestigious Red Bull Music Academy is yet another reason to pay attention to Dublin producer Orquesta. Previously, he shot to attention with this gorgeous cover of The Beach Boys holiday anthem Kokomo. Featuring the vocal talents of Irish stalwarts Jape and Katie Kim, the song is a modern tropical uplift.

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JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Greeen LinezPalm Coast Freeway
Greeen Linez take a lot of inspiration from City Pop, a style of music that was popular in Japan during the late 80s and early 90s. Palm Coast Freeway captures this luxurious sound quite well, the elegant synths and bass suitable for both a dance club and a bank lobby. Palm Coast Freeway is on the album Things That Fade, which features even more modern takes on the City Pop sound.

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MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Hey Sus!The Press
Mike and Andrew write tunes under the name Hey Sus! They try to create surfy indie-pop-folk with hip hop beats, provided by Thom. They recently released a split EP on cassette with Clandestines, titled Summer Camp For Pale Young Boys, from which The Press is taken.

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MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Soul CompasPor Insurgentes
Soul Compas is a rap group formed by Eric El Niño, Konceptos and Milio Boogie, three well-known MCs from the Mexican rap scene. With the influence of Native Tongues, G-funk and post-Dilla movements, they have created Al Compás Del Soul, a humorous and fresh album that can be downloaded for free on their website. Por Insurgentes is one of their most interesting tracks. Aside from those swell samples, they’ve pictured an imaginary trip on one of the most important avenues of Mexico City, Insurgentes, which happens to be the longest road that crosses the city north to south, and shows most of its contradictions and emblematic places.

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PERU: SoTB
HerzchenschmerzchenTic Tac
Herzchenschmerzchen, a word written in German and difficult to pronounce, is the name of Maria Jose Jordan’s solo project. This young woman reveals her indie-folk interests in her self-titled debut EP. Get ready to open a Pandora’s Box of musical gems such as the sweet Tic Tac.

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POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
Fair Weather FriendsFortune Player
As MAP’s first ambassador for Poland, I bring you some catchy electro-pop from Fair Weather Friends. Fortune Player was used in an official commercial for this summer’s Heineken Open’er Festival (and Coke Live Festival) and caused some internet buzz thanks to its goofy video. You may have heard dozens of pop songs based on synth hooks on MAP but what you might not realise is that this singer is white, with Michał Maślak originally from guitar band Searching For Calm.

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PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
PAPERCUTZWhere Beasts Die
PAPERCUTZ returns to MAP with an exclusive track. Where Beasts Die is from their new album, The Blur Between Us. Bruno Miguel’s impressive project has paved its way with hard work, gathering a considerable fanbase outside Portugal. They were recently selected for the Red Bull Music Academy, which will take place in New York next year.

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PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
PasajeroEn La Playa
Daniel Vicente brings a delicate blend of pop, rock and electronic flourishes to his art and music project, Pasajero. His most recent EP boasts three layered tracks that highlight this idiosyncratic mix of influences, ranging from local acts like Superaquello to international names such as The Postal Service. En La Playa is a powerful tune featuring guest vocals by Carolina Martinez. With a dreamy pop quality that reminds us of waves slowly crashing at the beach at dusk, the song also addresses Puerto Rico’s current state of affairs and the alarming apathy that seems to have taken over its inhabitants. A great lead-off track for a “political dream-pop” playlist.

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ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Changing SkinsPerfect Foes
Changing Skins is an eclectic Bucharest-based band who rock the thin line between alternative and electronic music. They plan to release their debut album in October. NME recently posted a live video of their song Baby on their website.

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RUSSIA: Big Echo
Cream ChildWith The Wind
School Skulls is not just another sweet summer record with soft beats – it’s a great balance of good and evil, happy and melancholy, that results in tunes inspired by Russian folklore, candy, death and marvelous melodies like With The Wind.

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SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
QuickbeamSeven Hundred Birds
Quickbeam play at a volume that requires pin-drop silence from the audience and they’ve got the talent to write songs that demand such reverential obedience. Harmonium and strings shepherd Seven Hundred Birds into beautifully fragile and exquisitely precise spaces, marrying the raw intensity of Low with the melodic emotiveness of Sigur Rós. Cinematic stimulation is provided by the song’s staggeringly ethereal promo video.

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SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
MUONAqua Assault
The muon is an elementary particle similar to an electron. MUON is also a musical entity that exists in Singapore, whether as one person (Nick Chan) or more (currently, Jordan, Ren and Adam). Despite its varying states of existence, MUON’s music is rather akin to its sub-atomic namesake with its deconstruction of pedantic structures, but also as intelligent, intense and cryptic aural and visual forms. Always exciting and always new, MUON has been forged in its singularity, and their craft emerges through parallel universes.

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SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Lang LeeHahaha
Lang Lee could be likened to a Korean Daniel Johnston, but with her own crazy and quirky, sometimes delightfully whimsical, storytelling ranging from teaching Yoda enough Japanese to be able to order green tea to love stories inspired by Kurt Vonnegut. Hahaha is an example of the latter and comes fresh off her just-released first album Yon Yonson.

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SPAIN: Musikorner
PajaritaAnimals (ASIMO Remix)
Pajarita began in March 2012 as the musical project of Norah Alexandra Vega and her ukelele and, a few months on, she’s already about to release her first album via Discosdelrollo. Pajarita’s style can be described as lo-fi pop, dreamy and awesomely catchy for its simpleness and discretion. Animals (ASIMO Remix), though, might be the exception that confirms the rule about her music.

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SWEDEN: Ja Ja Ja
PictureTrue
Picture, aka David Kyhlberg from the enigmatic duo Sail A Whale, makes elusive, trance-inducing electronic pop that’s nothing short of amazing. True, the title track and first single from his debut EP, is no exception. This is probably as close to The Tough Alliance as you can get in 2012. The EP is out now on one of our favourite labels, Cascine.

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SWITZERLAND: 78s
BigglesLet A New World Begin
Sven Rüf aka Biggles from Zurich is a singer-songwriter with a special talent for making music that sounds simultaneously humorous and fragile. His songs always come with a decent dose of mischief, which is why we love him so much. His fifth long-player Cloudspeaker is released this month, guaranteeing pop music without boundaries.

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TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
Adult MonkeySupermarket
Adult Monkey is one of the cutest groups in Istanbul. They nestle all kinds of genres, especially chillwave, ambient lo-fi stuff. Besides being a band, Adult Monkey also contains illustrations and animations. In fact, Adult Monkey is a whole life portfolio for the two cartoonists who put together the band. Supermarket, their newest release, is a knockout track for the hot hot HOT summer.

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UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
HoundmouthPenitentiary
Louisville, Kentucky’s Houndmouth writes music that I like to call “recession rock”. Their music echoes the dirt roads of back-country counties during the night, the discarded bar stools in the back lot of an abandoned whisky joint, or the overall beauty that can sometimes be found in despair. Houndmouth, while young, bring the similar sounds of The Band back into contemporary rotation.

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VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Los PolaroidEl Blues De Sus Piernas (Chicago Blues)
Los Polaroid formed in Maracaibo in 2010 with the idea of creating a musical proposal inspired by genres like jazz and blues. So far they have released two EPs and are currently on a tour that will take them around the country.

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Music Alliance Pact : Júlí

Þá er komið á miðsumarsútgáfu hins alþjóðlega samstarfsverkefnis tónlistarbloggara sem kallast Music Alliance Pact. Fyrir hönd íslendinga að þessu sinni kemur fram hljómsveitin Útidúr með nýjan diskóslagara af væntanlegri plötu. Sem fyrr er allur texti á ensku en það ætti nú ekki að vefjast fyrir mörgum.

Þeir sem vilja hala niður öllum lögunum geta smellt hér.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Los Coming SoonNo Way
This is one of our favorite releases from 2012. We Are Family is Los Coming Soon’s first album, in which they deploy 10 great songs filled with electronic textures and a soft, minimalist funky-disco base, all played with real instruments (no programming whatsoever). It was hard to pick one song for MAP, but we think No Way is representative of the whole record (you can buy it here).

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AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
RunnerFlaws
Flaws is an understated instrumental track that drives the emotive dream-pop at the heart of Runner. These guys originate from the west coast of Australia but their sound would sit perfectly with any shoegaze stoner melody coming out of 90s Melbourne. Flaws builds beautifully to a crescendo layered with harmony and a wall of hazy guitars.

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AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
Ogris DebrisSexy Chair
This electronic duo is best known for their onomatopoetic track Miezekatze, a club and radio hit in 2010. Mixing such diverse genres as house, funk and soul, the tongue-in-cheek track Sexy Chair is taken from the Affine Records compilation What A Fine Mess We Made. The most recent Ogris Debris release, The Way feat. Ken Hayakawa (listen on Soundcloud), has a more Arabesque vibe to it.

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BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
BNegão & Seletores de FrequênciaEssa é Pra Tocar No Baile
It took almost 10 years for BNegão & Seletores de Frequência to release their second album, but now their music is even more influenced by black music and rhythms such as Afrobeat, soul and samba rock. Essa é Pra Tocar No Baile is one of the breakthrough tracks of the record.

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CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
DigitsWhere Do You Belong?
My heart melts every time I hear Alt Altman – the one-man techno R&B band known as Digits – purr: “It’s just a broken heart/but you ain’t had a broken heart/like this,” on Where Do You Belong? A song this catchy and infectious should come with warning labels: “May induce repeated listens and become lodged in your head for weeks at a time.”

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CHILE: Super 45
La Big RabiaNos Gusta Que Sea Así
Music abounds during times of crisis, and La Big Rabia is one of the symptoms of this social unrest we are living with in Chile. Their EP, La Bestia, and their shows begin with a disruptive speech made through a loudspeaker by singer Sebastián Orellana, a sort of tired and furious crooner. After this, a retro rock disposition is unleashed on songs like Para Todos Los Hijos De Puta, with its chorus: “Todos contra los poderosos / Todos contra los que tengan sed de poder” (“Everybody against the powerful ones / Everybody against those thirsty for power”).

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CHINA: Wooozy
Glow CurveBrain Washer
Glow Curve formed in Beijing in 2011 and are influenced by post-rock and electronic music. The quartet absorb and explore new elements to blend complex instrumental sounds from contrasting emotions – manic or quiet, warm or cold.

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COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Zalama CrewNo Hay Marcha Atrás
Zalama Crew is a collective based in Cali, a city very close to the Colombian Pacific coast. An excellent example of what is happening in these lands, their project mixes hip-hop, urban and world music. No Hay Marcha Atrás (“There’s No Turning Back”) is taken from their first album Zalama Lekum, which fuses African rhythm with electronic sounds.

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DENMARK: All Scandinavian
KúraAnchor
With the amazing vocal of Fanney Ósk Þórisdóttir as a general highlight, Danish/Icelandic trio Kúra’s debut Halfway To The Moon is a dark, melancholic and rather enticing affair mixing electronica, trip hop, dub and (indie) rock. Here’s single Anchor, co-produced by acclaimed DJ and producer Buda (Lulu Rouge) and accompanied by this beautiful video by Kristian Touborg and Jesper Dalgaard.

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ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
JosephinePray That I Move
Manchester’s Josephine Oniyama is not another soul girl, even though some early breathless accounts of her work and voice are of the “you won’t believe this isn’t a classic lost R&B or blues recording” variety. Actually, as Pray That I Move shows, Josephine’s vocal delivery and idiosyncratic lyrical vision have more in common with Morrissey than Mahalia Jackson. She’s already made a big stir on the regional scene with Elbow’s Guy Garvey and singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt among her champions. Her debut album, Portrait, is out on October 8.

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FINLAND: Glue
Minttu & OlliCorduroy Boy
Minttu & Olli are a graceful couple homebrewing sweet pop songs. With great vocal harmonies, a gentle folky spirit and smooth melodica sounds, the duo is a Nordic version of She & Him that could have easily been featured in the soundtrack of (500) Days of Summer.

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FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
The Lemon QueenSailing In A Wild Love
The Lemon Queen hails from Angers, east of France, where the music scene is flourishing at the moment, with everyone trying to play their cards right. The band makes a difference with their psychedelic pop-rock sound, reminiscent of Klaxons, a comparison particularly true on Sailing In A Wild Love. With catchy melodies and an undeniable energy, this quartet should be followed very closely.

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GERMANY: Blogpartei
Sandy BirdRevoke
Little is known about this band from Berlin which formed in 2008 and have already experienced some member changes. Revoke is taken from their Bambaloo EP. Expect to hear more of this promising post-rock act soon.

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GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Electric LitanySad Part
Bleak and broody music has never been quite so thrilling. Sad Part is an elaborately orchestrated, inherently dark, minimalist, piano dirge, like a sad dream scented with rain, with searingly compelling lyrical imagery, eerie vocals full of intuitive swells and fades, pauses that embrace some of the pious silence of a prayer and tremolo guitars that do an excellent job of creating a beguiling atmosphere. Electric Litany’s highly anticipated sophomore album is set to be released later this year.

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ICELAND: Rjóminn
ÚtidúrGrasping For Air
This latest track from the ambitious chamber-pop 10-piece sees them entering almost disco-like realms. A new album should see the light of day in the coming months but those who want to get to know this joyous collective better should check out the band’s 2010 debut album This Mess We’ve Made.

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INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Marcel TheeEndless Heart
After more than 10 years channeling his creativity with the indie-rock band Sajama Cut, Marcel Thee is now the only original member left. Here he pursues his passion for lo-fi, layered sounds, gospel music and poetry. If you love W.B. Yeats, the album is a tribute to him.

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IRELAND: Nialler9
No Spill BloodGood Company
Formed from members of Adebisi Shank, Elk, Magic Pockets and Hands Up Who Wants To Die, No Spill Blood’s first EP is released this month on Sargent House, home to Fang Island, Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Les Butcherettes. If you’re familiar with any of the bands mentioned then it won’t surprise you to hear that No Spill Blood play it fast and furious, running on the noxious interplay between drums, effect-laden synth, low-end bass fuzz and bellowed vocals.

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ITALY: Polaroid
CosmeticLa Fine Del Giorno
Cosmetic may sing in Italian but I’m sure their songs will speak to you anyway. Their rough and nervous shoegaze sound often drifts towards more muscular music as it makes way for an explosion of guitars. When I saw them live the first name that came to my mind was Dinosaur Jr. The motto on their Facebook page – “Noise and melodies that fight to get the better of each other” – pretty much sums up Cosmetic.

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JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
CuusheI Dreamt About Silence
Tokyo artist Cuushe last brought out an album three years ago, and it turns out she spent the stretch of time after it was released building her own world. I Dreamt About Silence sees her stretched-out vocals covered in hazy synths, every sound wrapping around one another to create a glowing track you want to be enveloped by. Cuushe shows the best way to escape the rush of the modern world is to construct your own dreamy universe.

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MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Bark Bark DiscoLet’s Do This
Bark Bark Disco is a lo-fi pop band fronted by former inventor Morris Woodcock (great-grandson of Manfred von Richthofen aka The Red Baron). Their songs have a raw immediacy with catchiness befitting a Broadway musical. Let’s Do This is from their latest EP of the same name.

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MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Sonido Gallo NegroLeticia
Chicha is a psychedelic mixture of cumbia with rock ‘n’ roll elements, originating in Peru during the 70s. Mexico City’s Sonido Gallo Negro have unearthed the genre and hybridized it with local surf and rockabilly. Supplemented by the spooky visuals of design wizard Dr Alderete, their live shows are an intoxicating display of collective hypnosis. Throughout July 2012, this song and 13 more will be available for free download from Red Bull Panamérika as part of our fourth birthday compilation.

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NETHERLANDS: Subbacultcha!
EARTH CONTROLMijn Nieuwe Steekkar
Art-school punks Bert and Marcel met at Groningen’s local venue Vera. Every week they formed a brand new band, recorded an album and played one show. But with EARTH CONTROL, things didn’t go exactly as planned; the duo decided to continue under this capitalized moniker. Though barely audible due to their lo-fi production and sub-par electronic equipment, EARTH CONTROL sing in their native Dutch tongue. Their sardonic lyrics deal with everyday subjects such as cell phones, sweaters or, in this case, the online purchase of a new trolley.

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PERU: SoTB
Grita LobosMr Danger
Grita Lobos is a musician who hides behind an Ethiopian mask, his sound influenced by New Order and Depeche Mode in mesmerizing electronic songs that suggest dark stories. Mr Danger is taken from his debut self-titled album which features vocals from actress and singer Anahí de Cárdenas.

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PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Micro Audio WavesCartoon Real
Micro Audio Waves, who made history in 2004 by becoming the first Portuguese band to have a John Peel session, have released four albums and a fifth is due soon. Cartoon Real is a MAP exclusive free download, taken from their Zoetrope concept album, developed with choreographer Rui Horta and released with a DVD featuring one of their unique multimedia and performance live shows.

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PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
El MedioHasta Caer
El Medio is the solo project of Leonardo Balasques (Oscilador 4, Balún). Since 2004, Balasques has used this outlet to release very personal songs about life, friendships and love. Using his bedroom (and subsequently his living room) as a recording studio, Leo has crafted an expansive discography that experiments with the confrontation of synths and traditional instruments to create a folk/pop hybrid that warms the heart and stimulates the brain. El Medio has just released the album No Le Tengas Miedo Al Amor, on which you’ll find Hasta Caer, featuring strings by Balún’s Angélica Negrón and an unexpected, yet much welcomed, dose of blistering guitar noise and distortion.

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ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
SubcarpațiUnderground Folclor
Subcarpați is an explosive mixture of old and new. It’s an eclectic combination that brings together melancholy Romanian folk songs, Romanian unity songs, traditional instruments and the rhythms of trip-hop, dubstep, hip-hop and dancehall.

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RUSSIA: Big Echo
Lomovolokno22
On this short preview from his upcoming album, beatmaker Lomovolokno moves to the next level of romantic harmonies, leaving us excited for a full-length release. He is one of those people who needs time and space to make music, so you need to wait patiently. But when the tracks are finally out, there is nothing as beautiful to compare.

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SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Holy EsqueRose
There’s a tangible buzz about the Glasgow music scene right now and part of that has to do with the emergence of Holy Esque. There’s a dark magic about their sound. The rasping, quivering vocals of Pat Hynes calls to mind The Undertones or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, while the squalls of guitar elicit comparisons with Joy Division or Glasvegas. The anthemic Rose, a MAP exclusive free download, is taken from their excellent debut EP.

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SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
KiatRiding Past Draco (feat. Klose)
Exciting times are looming in the urban jungle of Singapore as audio-visual super-collective Syndicate turns up the heat, dropping influential honcho Kiat’s new album like an A-bomb of intricate beats and samples that warp you into the inner workings of string theory. Featuring stellar collaborations with artists such as Vandetta, Klose, Digital and Isaac Aiesili, the album – titled The Inner Galaxy – decisively proclaims that electronic music from Singapore has come of age and is a force to be reckoned with. Evolution never happened this fast.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Fire Through The WindowHey!
Meet Fire Through The Window. They have the ability to take a simple melody, add their very own quirky styling and turn it into something truly infectious and endearing, all while maintaining a fun pop sensibility. That is wholly true with their song Hey! – it is fun, funky and best shows off the band.

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SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
WagwakArabian Night
Loud indie-folk duo Wagwak have been around for a few years and made themselves a name at home. They recently left Korea to travel through Europe, playing gigs where they can, and having sung in English all along they’re well prepared to bring their sound to an international audience. Before moving from their native Seoul, Wagwak released EP The Way To Drive Into The Arabian Sunset, opening with the slightly psychedelic Arabian Night.

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SPAIN: Musikorner
Stand Up Against Heart CrimeI Can’t Stand Myself Sober
Stand Up Against Heart Crime are five desolate souls whose lives have been touched by unease and unhappiness, five romantics who create the soundtrack of a loser who has grown up through the years. They are from Barcelona, and they have played in one of the most important festivals in Spain, Sónar. I Can’t Stand Myself Sober is a pitiful fable of lack of self-esteem.

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SWEDEN: Ja Ja Ja
HannaLioness
Hanna is Gothenburg-based Hanna Göransson, formerly known as Hanna Lovisa and one half of Cat5. As Hanna, she has teamed up with acclaimed Swedish producer Dan Lissvik (of Studio) and Canada’s Young Galaxy to record her new EP Lioness, where feisty pop á la a certain Robyn meets Lissvik’s characteristic grooves. The Lioness EP is out now via Sunshower Records and a first full-length is in the works.

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SWITZERLAND: 78s
MarochineBraunvieh Express
Marochine is an instrumental band from Lucerne which alternates its style skilfully between jazz and noise to create beautiful soundscapes. They have released a four-song EP that can be downloaded for free on Bandcamp.

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TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
SoakedGroove On
Soaked is a synth-pop band based in Istanbul. They formed in 2003 but their first EP only came out in 2010. With the success of it they recorded the Aftermath album at the end of 2011. In their own words, they describe themselves as “not only a musical ensemble but also a creative artistic platform, determined to provide the quality performance and art that Turkish audiences crave”. It might sound pretty pretentious but it sure is true.

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UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
PoolsideSlow Down
New-to-the-scene DJ duo Poolside, from Los Angeles, couldn’t have found a better way to jump into the public consciousness than funky superjam Slow Down. Sounding like a sublime mix of Sebastien Tellier and LCD Soundsystem, the track glows and shimmers in every way – and now it’s perfectly positioned to dominate summer mixtapes across the world.

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VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Tomates FritosEterna Soledad
Tomates Fritos returns to the Music Alliance Pact after first appearing in July 2010. This time they have released their fourth studio album, Hotel Miramar (free to download on Bandcamp), in which they dare to show a “purest” side to the band – a slight departure from the folk sound that featured in previous records.

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Music Alliance Pact : Júní

Þá er komið að júní útgáfunni af hinu fjölþjóðlega tónlistarbloggara samstarfi sem kallast Music Alliance Pact. Fyrir hönd íslendinga koma fram drengirnir í Múgsefjun sem nú kynna nýja plötu sína með miklum móð.

Þeir sem ekki nenna að smella á “play” á öllum lögunum hér að neðan geta halað þeim niður í heildarpakka hér.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Valle De Muñecas – Dos

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Dos is our favorite track from Valle De Muñecas’ third album, La Autopista Corre Del Océano Hasta El Amanecer. This is their best work to date, with 10 songs that leave behind the folk-rock vibe of their 2007 effort, Folk, and return to their original rock and ballad-driven sound. You can listen to and download the whole album for free from Bandcamp.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Seven Year ItchErn Champion

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This young Melbourne quartet have their obvious musical heroes done right up to the top polo button. Ern Champion takes the popular concept of four white guys making calypso and throws in some restless treble guitars, counter-beat drums and echoed vocals, all in the Surfer Blood/Vampire Weekend vein. Clean, twee surf pop at its best. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, make sure you drop this on your summer playlist.

AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
LikewiseHope Upon My Heels

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There must be something in the water in Upper Austria’s Kremstal region. Part of a collective of remarkably talented young bands, five-piece Likewise released their full-length debut Prometheus Run earlier this month. Covering topics ranging from Greek mythology to wanderlust to romance (obviously), the 12 songs on the album oscillate between folk and Americana.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Os SkrotesEstupro Dos Cisnes

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They look like three surfers from the city of Florianópolis, south Brazil, but when you listen to the sound of Skrotes (a deliberate wordplay on Strokes) you could get a real surprise. Their music goes through influences of progressive rock, 70s funk, dub, jazz, classical music and even punk rock. Estupro Dos Cisnes shows their progressive rock approach and some virtuosity in the use of synths.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
PS I Love YouSentimental Dishes

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The thing that sets PS I Love You apart from other guitar-and-drum-based duos is the combination of Paul Saulnier and Benjamin Nelson. There is an instinctive interchange between Saulnier’s fretwork and Nelson’s taut rhythms that doesn’t come from drill and practice. Theirs is a natural partnership that works to serve the song. And they play with such fervency on Sentimental Dishes that I’m overcome with the desire to air-drum every time I hear it.

CHILE: Super 45
La Golden AcapulcoDa La Beleza Dab

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Ervalizer, Poli Jah and Dr Leinad make up the trio La Golden Acapulco. Through the use of machines and sound effects, the band have been experimenting with dub and Jamaican music, starting with the sonic expansion of reggae and its processed and remixed forms. Da La Beleza Dab is taken from their album Encuentra Las Joias Del Dub, available for free download here.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Resina LalaMi Salto Mortal

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When you hear the sound of Resina Lala there is little option but to move your feet and feel this contagious, addictive music. Their first release is called Influjos Plásticos, a six-track journey through experimentation in a genre they call post-nuclear visual punk. But better than their music is the live show, where lead singer Cristina is quite the performer.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Penny PoliceAs Long As You Watch My Heart

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The purchase of an electric autoharp in 2009 was the beginning of what was to become Penny Police – the alias of singer and songwriter Marie Fjeldsted – and a lauded first album titled The Broken, The Beggar, The Thief (released in Denmark earlier this year), from which the excellent As Long As You Watch My Heart is offered here as a MAP exclusive download.

ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Alt-JFitzpleasure

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This Cambridge four-piece have just released a debut album called An Awesome Wave that has received an awesome wave of glowing reviews for the band’s superb musicianship, excellent quirky songwriting and generally off-kilter approach to pop. Fitzpleasure – based on a chapter from Hubert Selby Jr’s book Last Exit To Brooklyn, so you already know this is going to be a notch or two above standard indie fare – is a typical example of what they do, in that it’s utterly unclassifiable, seemingly belonging as much to the world of dubstep as it does to folk.

FINLAND: Glue
Big Wave RidersWaiting In The Wings

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There’s no better summer song than this one. Big Wave Riders will deliver their long-awaited debut album at the end of the summer, but before that we can enjoy the refreshing first taste of it. Waiting In The Wings is two-and-a-half minutes of modern-day surf pop.

FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
sHEPARD electrosoft in public gardenA Tribute

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sHEPARD electrosoft in public garden studied classical music and played organ before he decided to break free from classical rules while making his first album, Chroma, to compose electronic tunes. Influenced by the likes of Air, The Chemical Brothers, Björk and Aphex Twin, sHEPARD makes dark, ambient tracks that slowly build up to a peak that makes you eager to hear the sequel, like a movement in a piece of classical music would do. A Tribute is an excerpt from his latest album of the same name, released this month.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
UrsprungKalte Eiche

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German artists are finding nature again. Lots of bands have started to include organic sounds and noises in their acoustic or electronic music – you may call this ‘new kraut’, pun intended. The newest and perhaps most elaborate piece comes from Ursprung. The self-titled debut of Hendrik Weber, aka Pantha du Prince, and Stephan Abry, a member of Workshop, was released in May via Dial Records.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Psychedelic Trips To DeathWithin My Head

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With moments of breathing room and stripped melodies, Psychedelic Trips To Death delve into their psychedelic wall-of-sound identity and explore the conflict between noise and harmony. For all its familiarity and formula, debut single Within My Head sounds great. Here’s hoping they carve their own unique sound out more in the future. Their upcoming release, Malibou, is definitely something to mark on your calendar.

ICELAND: Rjóminn
MúgsefjunSendlingur Og Sandlóa

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Sendlingur Og Sandlóa is a song about relationships in which one partner spends long periods of time away from home. The lyrics paint a fairytale picture of a sedentary bird (the sendlingur) who’s in love with a migratory bird (the sandlóa) and the cyclic shift of emotions he goes through each year as the couple is reunited and then separated again. This song is from the highly-anticipated sophomore album from Reykjavík-based Múgsefjun.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
SemakbelukarBe(ren)cana

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Palembang-based Semakbelukar add some attitude to this local, melancholy Malayan tune and push the boundaries of folk music. The title of this song about fate is a wordplay of Berencana (‘planning’) and Bencana (‘disaster’).

IRELAND: Nialler9
FawsWhitney

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Another to add to the growing ranks of talented Irish electronic producers, Faws has wisely chosen to remain anonymous so that the local scene would judge his music on its own merit first. But the wider world has also noticed and sites like XLR8R, Truants and Disco Naïveté have posted about his music since appearing with the downtempo Antonym EP in December 2011. New track Whitney seals the deal, slowing down Whitney Houston’s It’s Not Right But It’s Okay and shrouding the R&B track in an industrial cloud.

ITALY: Polaroid
The TunasThe Autumn Stoned

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The Tunas started as a garage rock band, and a damn good one. With their self-titled third album, out now on the excellent Wild Honey Records, their songwriting has become more open to psychedelia, 60s beat and folk. But they still sound as powerful as ever. Rock in its purest form.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
LLLLBecause Of My Eyes

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Tokyo project LLLL exists in a Japanese scene crawling with bedroom-based acts making shadowy electronic music. What makes LLLL stand out, though, is their refusal to shy away from pop sounds. Because Of My Eyes features skittery drum programming and swirling electronics, but also puts pop-worthy singing high up in the mix, making this inward-looking song very accessible.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Monobrow MPWilliam

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After relative success as guitarist and vocalist in now-disbanded local band The Imagery, Lukas Grech and Jorje Bosios continued writing together. Having invested in some home studio equipment, they recorded the songs that had been written up to that point and released them individually – each with a video – over the course of a few months (2010-2011). This is the project that became Monobrow Musical Produce (MMP). The band has just released their debut album, Carpet Clown.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Mexican Institute Of SoundEs-toy

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Mexico is living election-time turmoil. On July 1, a new president will be elected for a six-year term. Students have risen to stop an imposed candidate, from the party that ruled a smooth dictatorship from 1929-2000, and now has plans to strike back. The so called ‘Mexican Spring’ couldn’t be a better time for Camilo Lara’s Mexican Institute Of Sound to release his fourth studio album, appropriately titled Político. It’s a work full of ironic cumbia, rockabilly and tropical-tronica tunes, with a straightforward commentary on the zeitgeist of our beautiful but convulsive country.

NETHERLANDS: Subbacultcha!
Nouveau VéloWhat To Do

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“I wanna be like Marvin Gaye, sexual healing every day.” The words of What To Do don’t just call out some of this band’s more and less obvious influences (Morrissey, Josef K), they might also give you some clue as to why these boys from Helmond describe their sound as ‘healing pop’. One thing you can be sure of, though, is that you’re bound to feel better after hearing Nouveau Vélo’s sunny, reverb-heavy tunes.

PERU: SoTB
The BasurersLa Desdicha Del Perro Salchicha

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It’s time to show off one of 2012’s best new bands, The Basurers, a quartet who define their music as rock-blues, although this doesn’t do justice to the energy of their songs and their exceptional lyrics. La Desdicha Del Perro Salchicha is taken from debut EP, Váyanse Al Tacho, which you can download for free here.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
WraygunnDon’t You Wanna Dance?

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Wraygunn (named after legendary guitarist Link Wray and the Blake Edwards character Peter Gunn) are a band formed in Coimbra who mix rock ‘n’ roll, blues and soul. MAP exclusive download Don’t You Wanna Dance? is taken from their just-released fourth album, L’Art Brut.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
TachdéLotus Eaters

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Tachdé is an experimental ensemble that delights in exploring the juxtaposition of psychedelic sounds with ambient and noise. Formed in 2006, the group has earned a reputation as one of the best sounding live groups in Puerto Rico. Lotus Eaters is a track from their sophomore effort, Deluge. This track showcases their ability to create a strong sense of beautiful longing.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
CyclerBroken Mirror

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Cycler’s Polymath is an outstanding example of the glitch genre: beautifully layered, glitching and clicking in all the right places, flowing well and topped off with some very crisp production. There’s chaos and structure, chill and energy.

RUSSIA: Big Echo
Everything Is Made In ChinaBrittle Crystal

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Being one of the most popular indietronica bands in Russia, Everything Is Made In China never stops looking for new sounds. Brittle Crystal is a broad musical canvas with complex patterns and contrasts, and has a surprisingly good video which makes fun of Pitchfork, Stereogum and Gorilla vs. Bear, showing the usual path of a consumer from iBorn to Cool Cool Death.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Olympic SwimmersFather Said

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Olympic Swimmers’ debut album No Flags Will Fly triumphs in every path it treads, pushing exquisite, dreamy melodies through genres not typically associated with pop accessibility such as slowcore and post-rock. Star of the show is frontwoman Susie Smillie, who makes every lyric feel indispensable in her thick Scottish brogue. Here’s an exclusive free download of album opener Father Said – let it seep into your soul as it bubbles to the surface in a procession of searing crescendos.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Basement In My LoftJust Desserts

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Basement In My Loft’s second album, Subject To Change, features some of the most heartfelt and emotive rock music we’ve heard in a while. Maybe it’s got something to do with frontman Adrian Jones leaving Singapore and returning to Wales, or that urgency from recording and producing the entire album in five days. The band sounds exceptionally tight, with guitar lines and intense riffing shearing through the mixes with white-hot clarity, and Jones providing the purest and most painfully honest of vocal deliveries.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Tristan WaterkeynTo The Hills

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Tristan Waterkeyn has been around. He was born in Tanzania, moved to Kenya, then on to Zimbabwe and finally South Africa. It was here that he learned to play guitar, resulting in his debut solo album, Hay Day. His music has been described as “a combination of languid lyrics, effortless acoustic guitar, jazzy rhythms and gentle vocals”, which perfectly sums up To The Hills. This mellow song makes for easy listening.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
MukimukiManmansuAndromeda

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MukimukiManmansu is one of the most interesting acts in Korea right now. The two young girls dub their unique acoustic sound “supranational intelligent punk” and they scream and shout according to temper. Their debut album, 2012, came out recently and it opens with Andromeda, a perfect introduction to the awesomeness of MukimukiManmansu. The title is Korean slang for something weird, crazy or stupid – and that’s exactly what this song is in the very best way possible.

SPAIN: Musikorner
Reina RepublicanaQue Cunda El Pánico

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Reina Republicana are a a five-piece band from Pamplona and, together with Kokoshca (with whom they even used to share a member, Maite), they are Navarran noise-pop flagship bands. Formed in 2009 by Israel Medina, Reina Republicana are taking off in Spain’s indie scene, playing all around the country and becoming the talk of the town. Clearly influenced by noise acts such as The Jesus And Mary Chain, their lyrics can be romantic as well as melancholic and very dark. Que Cunda El Pánico is a love song set at when the world comes to an end.

SWITZERLAND: 78s
The DropsEleanor

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Up-and-coming indie act The Drops, from Basle, are a safe bet when it comes to a Swiss contribution to a playlist with summer hits. Their first single Fire On Your Feet (see video) was already a catchy tune, and now they drop their second haunting melody with Eleanor.

TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
She Past AwaySanrı

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She Past Away is a new wave / post-punk band from Bursa, the opposite shore of Istanbul. Gothic lyrics with buzzsaw guitars, allegedly broken vocals and sensory drum effects, the band evokes the cavernous experiments of the darkwave era with the likes of The Sisters Of Mercy, Bauhaus and Suicide. The band recently released their debut album, Belirdi Gece.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Tropic Of PiscesSymmetry

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Brooklyn’s Oberhofer affiliate Tropic Of Pisces make Graceland-inspired hi-life, complete with lushly plotted atmospherics, bubbly harmonies and buoyant, summery melodies. They’ve released a few songs so far, all of which could easily wind up on a best-of-summer playlist, and all taken from an upcoming EP out soon.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Melancólicos AnónimosTonto

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Melancólicos Anónimos is a collective formed in Caracas in early 2011 who describe their music as “angry rock for gentle people”. Earlier this year they released their first album, Inscripciones Abiertas, which comes with four music videos that can be viewed on the band’s website. They are currently working on their second album.

Nýtt frá Yeasayer

Undirrituðum þykir það nokkrum tíðindum sæta þegar nýtt efni ber á fjörur frá hinni forvitnilegu sveit Yeasayer. Meðfylgjandi er lagið “Henrietta” sem er fyrsta smáskífan af væntanlegri plötu sveitarinnar sem bera mun titilinn Fragrant World.

Music Alliance Pact : Maí

Þá er komið að maí útgáfu hins alþjóðlega samstarfsverkefnis tónlistarbloggara Music Alliance Pact. Að þessu sinni er það hin efnilega sveit The Lovely Lion sem kemur fram fyrir hönd okkar íslendinga og sem fyrr er hér einnig að finna nýja og ferska tóna frá öllum heimshornum. Hægt er að ná í öll lögin til niðurhals með því að smella hér.

Líkt og áður er allur texti á ensku en það ætti nú ekki að vefjast fyrir lesendum geri ég ráð fyrir.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Prietto Viaja Al Cosmos Con MarianoEy, Esa No Es Forma De Decir Adiós
PVACCM is a psychedelic rock duo (Mariano, drums and vocals; Prietto, guitar and vocals) from Buenos Aires. Their first recordings were kind of lo-fi experiments but in the last couple of years they’ve developed a unique sound with melodies and lyrics that grow on you in a melancholic way. This track is their rendition of Leonard Cohen’s classic tune Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye and features on their last album, a 28-song double record that you can purchase from Bandcamp.

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AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
Mile Me DeafWild At Heart
Mile Me Deaf is one of the other bands Killed By 9V Batteries’ Wolfgang Möstl plays in. And although side-projects – such an unfair name for a 500+ songs oeuvre – are usually a space for weird shit your band mates didn’t agree to, their first album Eat Skull, and especially the first single Wild At Heart, is surprisingly free of noise and distortion. Instead, it creates the last-day-of-summer-holidays feeling you know from Girls and Beach House.

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BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Leonardo MarquesLinha Do Trem
Nostalgic melodies are the hallmark of Dia e Noite No Mesmo Céu, the debut album of Leonardo Marques. His songs recall a bucolic scenery, romantic and lonely, as we can hear on Linha Do Trem. Leonardo recorded all instruments on his solo work (except drums) in a homely, intimate setting. His music is likely to appeal to fans of Elliott Smith, Clube Da Esquina and Jon Brion.

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CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
The RestAlways On My Mind
The story of The Rest’s new album, SEESAW, will be one of legend. First, their dear friend and producer Dan Achen passed away suddenly just as they started recording. Then, a month away from finishing the record, a hard-drive glitch deleted everything they’d done so far. It took a black box recovery team six months to retrieve it. Now, more than a year later, it’s here. And it’s stunning. The beautifully hazy Always On My Mind just hints at SEESAW’s orchestral brilliance.

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CHILE: Super 45
Daniel KlauserSimply Swag
If we had to put all our money on one name from the Chilean dance scene, it would definitively be Daniel Klauser. The young producer skillfully brings together elements from 90s house, ghetto-style hip hop and tribal music, and has so far gathered a considerable amount of positive reviews from local and international media. This track open his Simply Swag EP, which you can download for free from Diamante Records.

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CHINA: Wooozy
SnaplineSustaining
Beijing-based trio Snapline just released their second album Phenomena through Maybe Mars Records. Their music puts a contemporary Beijing spin on the sounds and ideas produced by the noise and minimalist musicians of the 70s and 80s, especially focusing on the New York scene of that period. They also explore the dark, industrial music coming out of England during that period, especially from bands such as Joy Division and The Cure.

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COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Like Some Cat From JapanJohnny Ramone
Like Some Cat From Japan (LSCFJ) take their name from a line in one of David Bowie’s masterpieces, Ziggy Stardust. This electro group from Bogotá have a dance-punk sound that is perfect for the sweaty throng of a nightclub and dancing from dark until dawn.

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DENMARK: All Scandinavian
SLOWOLFSee U In My Dreams
This summer Andreas Asingh, one third of lauded electro-pop outfit SMALL, will release his debut as SLOWOLF. Not much is known about the project but he says that black metal, hip hop and dream pop will unite, perhaps for the first time, on the album which will also feature a chorus written by a seven-year-old boy and Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan. Here’s the excellent first single See U In My Dreams, a Music Alliance Pact exclusive download.

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ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Sarah YoungAjambo Si
Sarah Young, noted the Guardian’s New Band of the Day writer, is the queen of moombahton, the genre that fuses Dutch house and reggaeton, soca and dancehall. If anyone is going to cross over and “do a Katy B”, as such a manoeuvre is becoming known, it’s this 22-year-old graduate of the Academy of Contemporary Music turned DJ, producer and all-round moom-bassador. Ajambo Si, the opening track on her new EP, features Lioness and Slick Don and is based on a kuduro rhythm, but to the NBotD writer it sounded “like dubstep meets dancehall or Caribbean grime, like Dizzee if he went to St Lucia on holiday and never came back”

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FINLAND: Glue
All Will Be QuietThe First Day Pt. 2
Post-rock band All Will Be Quiet releases its debut album On The First Day this month. It is a concept record about the collapse and rebirth of society with an optimistic view on the how the future will be for mankind. Equally ambitious is The First Day Pt. 2, a grandiose and cinematic instrumental song that opens the second part of the album.

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FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
BirkiiHoly War
Birkii brought us the joyful pop song Shade Of Doubt last year on the great Kitsuné Parisien compilation, and then appeared in many mixes and playlists, including Edwin van Cleef’s April mixtape. Now she’s back with Holy War, a catchy synth-pop song from Kitsuné Parisien II that will also be on her debut EP out on June 4, with remixes from Equateur, Pol Rax, Pegase (last month’s MAP artist) and Zemaria.

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GERMANY: Blogpartei
Christian LoefflerEleven (feat. Mohna)
There are many subtle things in Christian Loeffler’s debut A Forest which make his music very contemporary – there is swishing, there is rustling, there is clacking, there is tinging. In the pleasantly moody track Eleven, Mohna, singer of former MAP band Me Succeeds, adds another level to Loeffler’s calm but vivid opus.

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ICELAND: Rjóminn
The Lovely LionInto The Forest
Representing the new wave of Icelandic folk-pop revival, The Lovely Lion are ones to watch for the future. Though this young and extremely talented band have only recorded a handful of songs and are still unsigned, their unique approach to songwriting and polished sound is sure to grab the attention of music lovers everywhere.

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INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
AASBonaparte
Raw, lo-fi, angry dark punk from Medan with added passion about world history which lead us to a song about Napoleon Bonaparte.

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IRELAND: Nialler9
Not SquaresFall Far
Northern Irish electro punks Not Squares have ditched the ultra high-energy in favour of a more restrained dancefloor synth-pop sound for their new single. While Fall Far’s new direction can be compared to the kind of stuff coming out on the Kitsuné label, it must be said that this is a very good look and a surprising one for the band. The best Irish song released in April bar none.

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ITALY: Polaroid
The MojomaticsYou Are The Reason For My Trouble
You Are The Reason For My Trouble is the fourth album by The Mojomatics, one the best and coolest garage rock bands around Italy and Europe. The duo from Venice brings into their sound echoes of Rolling Stones, Kinks and Dylan, but what I deeply love about their songs and concerts is their tireless energy.

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JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
WallflowerCure Your Heart
Indie-pop music never left Japan, as bands trying to sound twee have been popping up since the C86 tape dropped. Yet this year has seen a boom in jangly rock groups, with Osaka outfit Wallflower being one of the catchiest. They take cues from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and even opened for that American band when they came to Japan earlier this year. This song shows they learned well from The Pains, as they nail dreamy indie-pop yearning in just over three minutes.

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MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Stolen CreepThrow Your Heart To The Sea
Stolen Creep is the brainchild of childhood friends Marie Borg Alden (guitars, vocals) and Rebecca Theuma (drums). The band has had many different members, recently settling into the current line-up of Marie, Rebecca and Katryna Storace (guitars, vocals). Following a busy year of writing, rewriting and rehearsals, they chose their favourite songs and retreated to record their first EP, Throw Your Heart To The Sea.

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MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Andy MountainsHoy Me Gusta Mi Peinado
The title of this song, translated into English, is “Today, I Like My Hair”. With the naive viewpoint of early college students, this Mexico City quintet portrait everyday existential nuances with an optimism only an iPod advertisement would reach. But don’t classify Andy Mountains as cheap, feelgood jingle-makers. Their sound thrives in high-brow references that go from Animal Collective to the minimalism of La Monte Young. Give this tune a try and have a good hair day!

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PERU: SoTB
AudioleySame Old
Audioley is a new project by Francois Peglau and Jules Drade, two Peruvian musicians based in London. Audioley started as an experiment, with the duo meeting one night every week to make a song a day. First single Same Old is feelgood electronic pop and comes with a curious and funny video.

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PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
T(h)reeStarlight
T(h)ree was featured in MAP in February 2011. T(h)ree is not a band but a project which brings together musicians/bands from Portugal and, for this second volume, Philippines and Singapore. In the featured track, we have Stealing Orchestra (Portugal), Maze (Portugal) and The Analog Girl (Singapore) playing together.

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PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Harry RagTiny Painting
Harry Rag is the solo project of Kristian Prieto (Coleco, Alegría Rampante), who wanted to figure out just how many sounds and moods he could generate with his acoustic guitar. Prieto has released seven ‘web albums’ under the Harry Rag name, all recorded in his bedroom straight to a four-track, each one expanding on his guitar experiments and polishing up his sound. Tiny Painting is a great recent example of his prowess as a young musician and is taken from his latest album, The Ghastly Adventures Of Ghost Goat.

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ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
JazzadezzFairy
Jazzadezz is a dream pop/new wave band formed by Alin Zabrauteanu (synths, guitar, production) and Dezdemona Mihaescu (vocals). For their 2010 debut album Inimani Mal, Calin Torsan (Domnisoara Pogany and NU & Apa Neagră) joined the band playing clarinet, recorder and caval. In 2012, another two members were added, Alex Stanciu on guitar (also in Domnisoara Pogany) and drummer Eduard Gabia, a renowned choreographer and contemporary artist. The second album, Panta Rhei, was released last month and experiments in new areas such as ambient, post-rock and trip-hop.

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RUSSIA: Big Echo
2muchachosStriwi Kri4at
Striwi Kri4at is a beautiful instrumental piece from romantic dream pop band 2muchachos, who released their Vesnywki!! EP last month, a perfect soundtrack for spring.

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SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Julia And The DoogansDown The Line
Julia Doogan has everything you’d want from a pop singer – a genuinely distinguishable voice, a breakable heart, just the right amount of melancholy, and lyrics that are honest but not mushy. MAP exclusive free download Down The Line is taken from Julia And The Doogans’ achingly graceful new five-track Diamonds EP (buy on Bandcamp), and shows off the talents of Julia and her lush band to near perfection.

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SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Sze KiatOnce In A While
No man is an island, yet one gets the sense that the musical ideas that transpire in Sze Kiat’s mind were born from the stillness of time. There’s an unhurried approach to his songwriting and an intimacy that evokes a strain that could only come from a sort of crying out from some terrifying or forsaken place. Featuring traditional Chinese stringed instruments such as the erhu and the zhongruan, the sparse instrumentation serves as the background to Sze Kiat’s simple yet emotive lyrics.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Nate MaingardThe Open Space
Nate Maingard is an indie-folk singer-songwriter from Cape Town whose music often brings the likes of Damien Rice, Coldplay and Jack Johnson to mind. His voice has been compared to Thom Yorke and Ben Gibbard, and his easy style and sense of melody shine through on The Open Space with a passionate undertone throughout.

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SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
E9My Little Flutter
E9, short for Edward Nine, wish to combine the pureness of Edward Scissorhands with the rampage of Nine Inch Nails. Their sound is influenced by groups like Placebo and Muse, while their lyrics tell fairy tales. The band has been around for several years and are preparing to release their first EP. My Little Flutter is a perfect sample of E9’s mixture of grunge, punk and Britpop with electronic sounds.

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SPAIN: Musikorner
BorealsLuciérnagas
Boreals are probably younger than any of you beloved MAP readers but that doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re doing. And what they do is deliver a fine mixture of cosmic post-rock (clearly influenced by Explosions In The Sky) embellished with clouds of synths that makes their sound epic and heart-touching, just as post-rock should. Luciérnagas, one of their most atmospheric tracks, is taken from their second EP, Grecia, released through Barcelona-based label Irregular, home of former MAP acts Lasers and The Suicide Of Western Culture.

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SWEDEN: Swedesplease
SkatanControl
The new record from Skatan is out on May 23 and is called Seven Trees. The first single, Control, features a little more eclectic instrumentation than in the past and Simone Andersson Wingfors’ voice is less processed and more immediate, resulting in a song that hits all the right chords.

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SWITZERLAND: 78s
Baba ShrimpsAngel
This five-piece from Zurich play impulsive pop music with a blend of country and rock. Baba Shrimps will release a new record at the end of 2012, but to shorten the waiting time they have dropped a live version of a new, unreleased song called Angel.

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TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
SolardipLeap Of Faith
With their French electro/indie-influenced sound, Solardip is one of the few live acts of their genre in the country. In a short time, these three Istanbul youngsters have attracted a big audience. Debut album Future Now came out in March through Remoov Records after the release of the spectacular single and sexy video of Dance Like Wolves.

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UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Nicole MiglisStay Small
There’s no hiding my affection for Gainesville’s Hundred Waters, one of 2012’s best new bands. Just as bewilderingly complete, elegant and worth exploring is the solo work of their frontwoman, Nicole Miglis. Stay Small is from her debut self-titled EP, which you can download for free here.

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VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Ulises HadjisDonde Va
Ulises Hadjis is a young artist from Maracaibo. Despite his fledgling career, he already has two albums and a Latin Grammy as a music producer to his name. His second record, Cosas Perdidas, was released last month. In his own words, it is “an honest collection of songs” and shows more maturity in his lyrics and compositions than its predecessor, Presente.

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Music Alliance Pact : Apríl

Þá er komið að Music Alliance Pact fyrir aprílmánuð og sem fyrr er hér að finna forvitnilega og spennandi tónlist frá öllum heimshornum. Fulltrúi Íslands að þessu sinni er enginn annar en sjálfur Prispóló með stuðlagið “Föstudagsmessa”.

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 whole 35-track compilation through Ge.tt here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
DiosqueMelancolía Del Futuro
Diosque is a singer-songwriter born in Tucumán. Melancolía Del Futuro is our favorite song from his brand new album, Bote, in which Diosque enjoys playing with samplers and acoustic instruments like guitars and percussion. It was released by QQ Records on vinyl and can also be downloaded for free by visiting his website.

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AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
A Thousand FuegosNo Up No Down
“Don’t you know that everything we build up once will fall apart someday?” Time and religious metaphors are recurring themes on The Treachery Of Things, from which No Up No Down is taken. The album circles around the notion that we can never grasp the true identity of the things around us; they remain passive while we assign attributes to them. A Thousand Fuegos started out as a lo-fi project and these days focuses on beats, loops and spacey synths that create a mystical atmosphere.

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BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
SibaCanoa Furada
Canoa Furada is one of the liveliest songs from Siba’s new album Avante, on which the unusual formation of his band stands out with a fanfare vibe and a cool feeling that combines contemporary music and regional rhythms. Avante is available to download for free at Siba’s website.

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CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Kalle MattsonWater Falls
Kalle Mattson recently racked up over a million views of their Thick As Thieves video, which is impressive for any indie band. The attention generated by the video shouldn’t be dismissed as hype. Kalle Mattson are impressive songwriters and musicians, and have fans across Canada eagerly awaiting their new EP (from which Water Falls comes from) at the start of May.

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CHILE: Super 45
Poki TataneEsclavos Rumbo Al Virreinato
Behind the peculiar name of Poki Tatane hides one of the most interesting projects in the Chilean electronic scene. Esclavos Rumbo Al Virreinato is from his first EP, Breve Explicación De Las Partes (available for free at Discos Pegaos), which takes elements from a more organic dubstep, adding a particularly melodic sense to the compositions.

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CHINA: Wooozy
XibanDrunk Ghost
Xiban is a contemporary world music band who describe themselves as being “fresh, wild, wandering, funny, and direct”, with the added tag of “folk music phoenix nirvana” thrown in for good measure. The musicians are from China, France and the United States. Combine Shanxi opera with Beijing and Jiangzhou drumming, add some Yellow River chanting, Tibetan long tune, Australian Aboriginal music, Indian organs and elements of modern electronic music and you have an idea of how eclectic their brand of music is.

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COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Crew PeligrososMedayork
From Medellín, we present you Crew Peligrosos – 16 people tearing up the scene with their urban sounds and mise-en-scène. Medayork contains the best flavors of old school hip hop with the song title paying tribute to two cities key to the development of hip hop culture in Colombia – Medellín and New York.

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DENMARK: All Scandinavian
LydmorLamppost Light
This acoustic version of Lamppost Light was (and is) originally a video shot in a theater in Denmark’s second city, Aarhus. But since I really, really like Lydmor aka Jenny Rossander’s take on her otherwise electrofied pop self, I had my people tell her people to give all you people the song as a MAP exclusive. Oh, and if you want to watch the video here it is.

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ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
SeyeWhite Noise (Olugbenga Edit)
Seye Adelekan’s urgent floor-stomper gets held gently by the shoulders and told to take a minute thanks to a pitched-up, slowed-down remix by the Nigerian-born scenester’s older brother, Metronomy bassist Olubenga Adelekan. Seye, who’s been a gun for hire for Lana Del Rey, The Noisettes and Ellie Goulding in the past, is just coming into his own through an upcoming debut album of globe-trotting pop that had the Guardian’s Paul Lester hail the Bromley-based star as “like a younger, cooler Paul Simon around the time of his African adventure or Peter Gabriel circa So”. If Seye’s original suggests the woozy slip of a party on the turn, Gbenga’s remix is the regretful aftermath.

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FINLAND: Glue
WeepikesWhat About
Weepikes was an alternative rock band in Helsinki that called it a day in 1997 after three intense years. A little wiser, a little older, the band reformed some months ago and recorded new songs with the help of American producer and musician Kramer. Now Weepikes are ready to deliver more of their characteristic blend of punk and progressive rock, or, as a journalist called it back in the day, PRONK.

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FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
PegaseWithout Reasons
Pegase, known for being the singer of the successful band Minitel Rose, started his solo project with the single Without Reasons. Its immediate appeal lies in the fragile emotion it emanates, the simple rhythm backed by airy and cold synths, and a superb, dreamy choir. Signed to the same label as Rhum For Pauline, Pegase will, without a doubt, be just as successful. Watch the wonderful video for Without Reasons here.

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GERMANY: Blogpartei
HundredsFighter
The music of Hundreds is breathing, a bit like an asthmatic whose gasps always make a little swish. The Milner siblings tend to garnish their songs carefully, patterns of shivery sounds which texture warm rhythm beats, airy and clasping at the same time. Fighter is taken from their free Under The Icicles EP, which you can download via the lovely label Sinnbus.

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GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Thanos AnestopoulosXanarthan Ta Sunnefa
After the blossoms of a long journey with Diafana Krina, Thanos Anestopoulos blazes his own musical trail with a beautiful, bleak and intimate solo album. Os To Telos (“To The End”) is brimmed full of personal memories and wrapped in warmth and emotional sincerity. It works best as a concise listen, as each song segues naturally into the next. Xanarthan Ta Sunnefa (“The Clouds Have Returned”) is a finely detailed hymn with a deceptively light touch, led by his soulful, baritone voice and brittle acoustic guitar.

Xanarthan Ta Sunnefa

ICELAND: Rjóminn
PrinspólóFostudagsmessa
This is the first new song Prinspóló has released since his debut album Jukk in June 2011. Fostudagsmessa most likely does not make sense to you, since it is in Icelandic, so let Prinspóló himself explain: “The song is about the place you don’t want to be at. For example, a dark and dirty nightclub where everybody is pretending to have fun and everything is great.”

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INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Mushafear – Meats In
Even though most people in Indonesia only knew Kurt Cobain from television, magazines, CDs and the internet, there are a handful of devoted fans who still yell their angst to the establishment, family and social system. One of the best bands from the community are Mushafear, who are fronted by Mirantie Boreel, an angry young lady while on stage but a humble girl off it.

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IRELAND: Nialler9
Wonder Villains33
The sense of exuberance and energy coming from the speakers when a Wonder Villains track is playing is almost too much. This pop punk band from Derry make music that could only come from young minds and (relative) inexperience, but that primal energy makes it so infectious. Revel in their youth. It’s a lot of fun.

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ITALY: Polaroid
Drink To MeFuture Days
“Life is an experiment and that’s why it is interesting,” says the first line of Future Days, and it’s something that could fit with the music of Drink To Me as well, especially with their new album, S. Amazing percussions, a lot of spacey synths, echoes of Animal Collective and MGMT – you can never tell what’s going to happen next. “We’re wide awake and we’re working on the future days”, and judging by this song, Drink To Me appear to have a lot fun doing it. And us too!

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JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
MFPTheme For The Movement
MFP, the recording name of Osaka’s Masaki Konagai, named his latest album Mindful Beats Vol. 2, but the music within is more than rapper bait. MFP cites the late beat-maker J Dilla as a major inspiration, and album highlight Theme For The Movement carries the same this-does-not-need-rapping-over-it quality so prevalent in the best works of Dilla. It surges with more electricity, though, making it one of the most energetic tracks from an album brimming with them.

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MALTA: Stagedive Malta
MegaFunYou’re So Cool!
MegaFun is 16-year-old Daniel Abdilla. When not fronting his band Clandestines, he is churning out bedroom recordings under the MegaFun moniker. He forms part of a Maltese DIY scene which has blossomed over the past couple of years.

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MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
CentavrvsEl Caudillo Del Sur
The Mexican Revolution started in 1910 and during the centenary festivities, a group of deviant jazz, funk and electro musicians from Guadalajara formed Centavrvs. Their cunning mixture of old “corridos” (speeches and folk songs) from the Revolution and contemporary aesthetics create a Mexi-tronica sound that departs adventurously from the roads explored by the Nortec Collective over the past decade. Viva la Revolución!

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NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Aafke RomeijnStella XVII
Aafke Romeijn is no shrinking violet singer-songwriter. Having fronted the all-female folk-rock band Mister Blue Sky for six years, she recently released a pleasing debut solo album titled Stella Must Die! As a solo artist, she calls to mind Amanda Palmer, not simply because this record is based heavily on piano and accordion, but because the songs are as theatrical and lyrically conceptual as Palmer’s are renowned for. As Aafke says: “It’s a record about pretty girls, secretly making out during school lunch breaks, throwing kitchen knives and, of course, about Stella.”

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PERU: SoTB
XilófonmáticoLa Aventura De Los Insectos
An album doesn’t require large studios to impress and excite. Take, for example, the home project of Xilófonmático (a compound of xylophone and automatic). His first work, La Aventura De Los Insectos (Ipod EP), mixes instrumental and sung songs with playful and surreal touches. The EP is a rollercoaster of emotions, with the same ups and downs.

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PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Walter BenjaminAirports And Broken Hearts
Walter Benjamin is the artistic name of Luis Nunes. He is a singer and songwriter from a new generation of Portuguese musicians, some of whom he has played with and/or produced (for instance, MAP alumni Noiserv, Minta, Julie & The Carjackers). His new album, The Imaginary Life Of Rosemary And Me, is out this month and we proudly present the first free download from it.

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PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
SimilarCíclope
Similar began as a studio project between Daniel Vicente and Ariel Hernandez back in 2009. Their debut EP showcased a mean pop sensibility with striking noise textures and was well received. The duo recruited musicians to perform as a live ensemble, but with the departure of Vicente to concentrate on his solo project, Pasajero, Ariel moved to consolidate a more psychedelic and aggressive sounding band. Cíclope is the first track recorded by its most recent line-up, which includes guitarist Gaby Vidal of local metal group Ongo. It will be part of the band’s first full-length, expected later this year.

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ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Mojo BarrelCatch The Devil
Mojo Barrel are a young band from Cluj who successfully merge rock with funk and blues. In their own words, they have the mojo – the magic, the charm, the inspiration, the creative trigger, the talent – and the barrel – the place where it all begins, blends, becomes and finally breaks through.

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RUSSIA: Big Echo
VideatapeCoastal Lights
Parad Planet, the debut album of St Petersburg rock trio Videatape, combines amazingly melodic songs both in English and Russian with soft lyrics, a great vibe and beautiful sadness.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
JERCADHD
JERC is the alter-ego of self-confessed music obsessive James Campbell. The 22-year-old from Aberdeen started producing hip-hop tracks for local artists when he was a teenager before moving on to DJing in clubs, remixing and setting up his own label, Why Not Records. Most significantly, he is creating his own solo work and the pounding, delirious, sleazy-synthed electro house of ADHD is as intoxicating a debut track as you could ever hope to discover.

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SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
WinterhalterSquirrel Land
Don’t take the music of Winterhalter too seriously. It’s great if you can name all the references in any given song, but doing so seems counterintuitive to what’s intended by Shaun Soh, the brains behind the project. Performing sporadic shows within Singapore’s shores, Winterhalter is a sort of myth, but recordings of the music are available if you ask nicely, just like we have. So go on, have a listen. A real treat would be the four-track EP, I Am Worthy of God’s Love, released as an entire song on Soundcloud.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
SaintfearlessConventional Love Song
With their dynamic, rich sound and equally watchable stage performance, Saintfearless is making waves around the country as well as within the music industry. With a frontman to rival any other and talented musicians to back him up, Saintfearless offer fresh, catchy indie-rock songs.

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SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Byul.orgPacific
For as long as they’ve been around, Byul.org have been one of the most interesting entities in Korea’s music scene. Last month the collective had their first proper album Secret Stories Heard From A Girl In An Opium Den released in the US and Europe through Burnt Toast Vinyl, putting a decade’s worth of intriguing work on display. Though Byul.org are not usually afraid to experiment, Pacific (see video) is a retro pop number on the electronic side with an invitation to both dance and dream.

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SPAIN: Musikorner
Evripidis And His TragediesTeeth
Evripidis And His Tragedies are a familiar face in Barcelona’s indie music scene. Led by Evripidis Sabatis from Athens, Greece, they deliver carefully handcrafted pop, inspired by 60s innocence. Evripidis opens up his heart in every song, as we can tell by the sincere, melancholic and emotional lyrics that most of us will feel like our own. Teeth may be the darkest but most necessary song they have recorded, and there’s also a video for it.

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SWITZERLAND: 78s
Domi ChansornLeaving In A Gentle Way
A tragic incident brought Domi Chansorn to his first drum kit. His dad, also a drummer, died in a car accident. Now, 15 years later, he has won the m4music Demotape Clinic – Switzerland’s most important contest for young musicians – with his first album Bright Times Can Be Dark As Well (free download), which he recorded completely on his own. His singer-songwriter-approach is genuine, playful and brisk.

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TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
FarfaraWater Air
Farfara is a dream-pop trio from Istanbul and Berlin. The members say the band invented itself with a psychedelic brew of kraut drums, shoegazing guitars, airy synths, ethereal vocals, lots of Love and a clear commitment to pop. They convey a simple though profound expression. Their second album is released this month – keep an eye on their Bandcamp page and drown yourself in the dreamy waters of Farfara.

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UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Alabama ShakesOn Your Way
We often try to give you some unearthed gems every month and who knows, maybe you’re unfamiliar with Alabama Shakes? If so, we’re gonna change that ASAP by introducing you to the soulful Southern rockers and their gem On Your Way. This band blew up from obscurity last autumn, signed to ATO Records and will open for Jack White on his solo tour. It’s good to know all the new fame won’t change their sound, though.

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VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Alfred Gómez JrOn The Ground
Alfred Gómez Jr has changed everything with his new album Simple (name your price on Bandcamp). In his previous album, La Reina Peinándose, we could hear urban and Latin rhythms merged fairly harmoniously. This time he has incorporated elements of jazz and pop-rock that will take his music to a whole new audience.

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Útgáfutónleikar fransk-íslensku hljómsveitarinnar Klezmer Kaos á Nasa

Fransk-íslenska verðlaunahljómsveitin Klezmer Kaos blæs til útgáfutónleika þann 28. apríl næstkomandi í tilefni fyrstu plötu sveitarinnar, Froggy, sem kom út í Frakklandi og á Íslandi í byrjun þessa árs. Hljómsveitin hefur komið fram um alla Evrópu, tekið þátt í alþjóðlegum keppnum og samið tónlist fyrir ljósvakamiðla í Frakklandi. Ef marka má íslenska fjölmiðla verður um að ræða seinustu tónleika sveitarinnar á NASA, en hún hefur tvívegis haldið þar tónleika fyrir troðfullu húsi.

Platan Froggy leiðir hlustanda í gegnum glundroðakennt ferðalag sem hefst með fugla-, flugu- og froskahjali, kemur við í óbyggðum íslenskrar náttúru en endar í rafmögnuðum rokkfílingi. Platan var tekin upp í Tankinum á Flateyri og sá Önundur H. Pálsson um upptökur og masteringu, en mastering var í höndum Hafþórs Karlssonar. Hægt er að nálgast plötuna í verslunum Skífunnar, 12 Tóna og Smekkleysu.

Húsið opnar kl. 20:30 og sér hin fjöruga hljómsveit Varsjárbandalagið
um upphitun. Miðasala er hafin á midi.is og miðaverð er 3.000 kr.

Music Allience Pact : Mars

Þá er komið að þeim tíma mánaðarins að músíkbloggarar víðsvegar um heiminn taka höndum saman og skella í eina alþjóðalega fimbulfærslu. Sem fyrr er allt á ensku (sem ætti nú ekki að vefjast fyrir nokkrum íslendingi) en tónlistin allavega og allskonar í öllum regnbogans litum og á mörgum framandi og skemmtilegum tungumálum.

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 whole 38-track compilation here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
YataiansWhat A Man’s Got To Do
Yataians is a Buenos Aires-based band with a rocksteady sound heavily influenced by Jamaican artists from the 60s and 70s, such as The Ethiopians, The Gaylads, The Heptones and The Paragons. It’s also a product of global age, with members from France, Colombia, New Caledonia and, of course, Argentina. This song is from their first album, Ô Tulop, which came out a couple of months ago, courtesy of the independent label Estamos Felices.

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AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Shady LaneDumb Hope
Dumb Hope is the gorgeous lead single of Shady Lane’s forthcoming album, Built Guilt. Once the solo guise under which Sydneysider Jordy Lane put out a diverse range of odds and ends, Shady Lane has grown into a four-piece (officially?) with more hooks, vocals and a nostalgic pop sensibility not unlike fellow New South Welshmen Belles Will Ring.

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AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
GiantreeCommunicate
With past major label experience, the founding members of what is now Giantree found a new home on an indie label, but without denying that what they are doing is pop in capital letters. Their debut album We All Yell comes with synthesizers and catchy hooks. Communicate, a song about fragile beginnings, was a radio hit in Austria.

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BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
DJ CremosoSay It Ain’t So
In the film Be Kind Rewind, Jack Black and Mos Def produce their own lo-fi version of movies, which they call “sweded” versions. What DJ Cremoso makes is like that, “bregalizing” songs – turning international hits into tecnobrega rhythms (a popular style from northern Brazil). There’s almost always the same beat and silly synths are its trademark, as we can hear in this tecnobrega of Weezer’s 90s hit Say It Ain’t So. DJ Cremoso’s identity is unknown – all he has is a profile on 4shared with his remixes.

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CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Bronx CheerleaderCamelot
Bronx Cheerleader have been a regional treasure in and around their hometown of St. Catharines, Ontario, for years now but their new album, Real Punks Don’t Sing About Girls, deserves to be heard by a wider audience. Camelot is a deliciously dirty lo-fi anthem-in-waiting, and one of the stand-out moments on this record, of which there are many.

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CHILE: Super 45
Matías Cena & Los FictionsRaíz
Matías Cena used to be a solo artist from the folk scene in Santiago, and he made himself relatively known via an acoustic guitar and MySpace. Gradually, Ryan Adams and Conor Oberst’s influence diverted him to the ensemble format, which has developed into this six-piece that shines in a land not used to country-like rock. Raíz is a taster of Matías Cena & Los Fictions’ second album Arauco Cajún.

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CHINA: Wooozy
Modern ChildrenMongolia
Modern Children is a six-piece band based in Hong Kong that formed in 2006. “Colorful” is the best word to describe them. They play music in different styles, from indie-pop to post-rock. Their songs are filled with all kinds of sounds by using a wide range of instruments, from guitars and bass to rainbow bells and erhu. The band released their self-titled debut album in January.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
1280 AlmasAntipatriota
1280 Almas is the biggest cult band from Bogotá. More than 18 years of history, six albums and a life of independence on the underground make them local legends. Now, they present a new song called Antipatriota (“Unpatriotic”), a declaration of national nonconformity.

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DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Ring Them BellsWhen I Hear That Whistle Blow
A MAP exclusive, When I Hear That Whistle Blow by Ring Them Bells is only the second great taste of the quartet’s loud combination of 90s noise-rock and 60s psych-pop in circulation. The other, titled Technicolor, is also available for free at the band’s website, and both will most likely be part of Ring Them Bells’ debut album slated for release later this spring.

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ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
SubmerseLove You Down
Rob Orme alias Submerse is a 23-year-old DJ and producer from Runcorn, now living in Tokyo, who happens to be making some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful (dance) music anywhere on the planet. Influenced equally by 2000-era UK garage and Japanese pop (J-pop), it combines the skittering rhythms of 2-step with sad female vocals and wan melody to make J-garage. If you thought Rustie was a maximalist, try this ADHD pop. It’s like bubblegum Burial, Orme filling every second of space with infinitesimal bursts, droplets, clicks, spasms and lovelorn cries, dubstep given a sugary coating.

Love You Down

ESTONIA: Popop
Lack Of EoinsSudden Death Mode
Lack Of Eoins came together in late 2005 and recorded their first demos the following year. In 2008, they won a garage band contest in Estonia and recorded their debut album, which was mastered at Abbey Road Studios. They’re back now with the single Sudden Death Mode, which was released along with three remixes as a free download on the first day of 2012.

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FINLAND: Glue
Cats On FireA Few Empty Waves
Many argue that Cats On Fire are the best indie-pop band in Finland at the moment. This bold statement may easily be true thanks to well-crafted pop songs with a melancholic and dreamy twist, solid lyrics and distinctive vocals. This month, Cats On Fire release their third album All Blackshirts To Me. It is their best yet. So good, in fact, that the band can afford a terrific outtake like A Few Empty Waves.

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FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Rhum For PaulineI Can Reach The Top
Rhum For Pauline are an indie-pop band formed in Nantes in 2009 who released their first mini-album, Miami, in 2010, and their first EP, Can Reach The Top, in January. Their upbeat songs are incredibly enjoyable, the kind you like immediately after the first listen, the kind you’ll put on repeat for days. Be sure to check out the very cool video for I Can Reach The Top, directed by The Incredible Kids.

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GERMANY: Blogpartei
Juli KapelleTreiber
Juli Kapelle is a collective from lovely Aschaffenburg, built around mastermind Achim “AS” Sauer. They are guitar-driven, reminiscent of a laid-back and bit krauty Dire Straits. All in all, music for a sophisticated afternoon.

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GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Playground NoiseThis World
Playground Noise’s new single, Swinging Lowdown, is a delicate combination of finely arranged brooding melancholy and redemption. The two indie-pop songs infuse soaring guitars with a tense, literate sense of foreboding, adding strings and brass to strike the perfect balance between moody, underground noise and melody. They are built on restraint, tinged by poignancy and wrapped up in poetic human emotion that sticks with you long after the final note. Their sophomore album is set to be released later this year.

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ICELAND: Rjóminn
1860For You, Forever
For You, Forever is the third single from 1860’s self-released debut album Sagan. Drawing inspiration from bands such as Fanfarlo and The Avett Brothers, the song has a modern folkish vibe to it, with small-town sentiments featuring heavily in the lyrics. The song was recently included in the short documentary Íslander by Grasshopper Films.

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INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
BromocorahBromocorah
Bromocorah means “repeat offender”. They’re a thrash metal recidivist and I don’t think they’ll be changing their way of life any time soon.

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IRELAND: Nialler9
Young WonderTumbling Backwards
Ian Ring and Rachel Koeman recently teamed up as a producer/vocal duo under the name Young Wonder. Their sound is hard to define as any one genre but is recognisable by its big beats, euphoric synth rushes, pitched vocal samples and emotive lead vocals from Koeman. Yet another excellent new Irish band to watch. A debut EP drops on April 14.

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ITALY: Polaroid
Man On WireA Thousand Legs
The name of the band is a reference to Philippe Petit, the French acrobat who walked on a rope between the Twin Towers, but their sound is definitely Americana. Man On Wire play that kind of warm and emotional folk-rock that you can find in certain songs by Arcade Fire, Wilco or The National. Their debut album is a rope from the music to your heart. And they are walking on it.

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JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Occult YouPsychic Feelings
Tokyo artist Occult You loves to explore new sounds, each new release from this moniker and his other alias Taquwami (Google it, totally worth it) sounding like a new artistic swerve. Psychic Feelings is one of the newest tracks from the young producer, an irresistibly funky jam recalling the synth-heavy songs created by Ford & Lopatin and the Beverly Hills Cop theme tune. This is not needless nostalgia, though, rather a great song from a promising contemporary artist.

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MALTA: Stagedive Malta
The ShhSo Over
The Shh’s music emerges, in secret, from a place in between the city of Paris and the island of Malta. Their debut EP, The Burning Love, evokes surf-rock sounds with warm Summer Of Love-esque vocal melodies.

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MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Descartes a KantConvince Me
Descartes a Kant is about to release their sophomore album Il Visore Lunatique, a lovingly crafted treat of madness from this exquisite riot grrrl band. While their music speaks for itself, Descartes a Kant has brought to the surface a collection of fears and obsessions through very tight and twisted imagery filled with schizoid violent punk episodes, cabaret, electronic glimpses and a disturbing cheerleading attitude embraced in a well-accomplished match between roughness, eroticism and femininity.

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NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Kim JanssenTors
Singer-songwriter Kim Janssen has had plenty of international experiences to date. He has recorded and performed around the world with The Black Atlantic (a previous MAP tip), he has followed his parents around Asia as a youngster, and even experienced English boarding school life. It’s the latter that most influences his lush and gentle new album Ancient Crime. He describes it as “a concept album that takes place in an old idyllic school, in a remote village in north-west England during the winter”. Like traditional folk, it’s a mixture of history, myth, memories, old and new verses. Along the way he’s aided by Marla Hansen’s Oriel Quartet and a 100-piece choir, resulting in ambitious, delightful arrangements.

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NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
The AvalancheThrow Away The Rest
The Avalanche play noisy pop with both feet firmly planted in a classic shoegaze tradition. Catchy melodies hidden beneath endless layers of distorted guitar, driving drums and fuzz bass paired with the wonderful sound of dying synths throws the listener back and forth between waves of delicious pop and dirty noise. Their debut album will be released this autumn.

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PERU: SoTB
I Am GenkoBobblehead Sphynx
I Am Genko is a live electronica act from Lima consisting of one person and some machines. They all get along pretty well. Bobblehead Sphynx, from Awkward Teenage Years EP, is a really fun, exciting song – a succession of catchy beats that take us back to our youth or childhood.

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PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
A JigsawThe Strangest Friend
A Jigsaw, named after a dEUS song, are from Coimbra and have already won an honorable mention in the 2009 International Songwriting Contest. The Strangest Friend is the first single from their third album, Drunken Sailors & Happy Pirates. They have received enthusiastic reviews in Les Inrockuptibles (France) and Heaven Magazine (Holland) and will gather many more fans after this month’s MAP.

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ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Lights Out!Origin
Lights Out! are a bunch of high school kids from Cluj (the heart of Transylvania). In the past two years, since existing as a band, they have kept growing, managing to make a name for themselves among Romania’s alternative/indie bands. The start of this year found them in the studio, recording their first material – Patience EP – which is about to come out. With the smooth combination of psychedelia, dreamy guitars and indie sounds, topped with Teo’s amazing voice, Lights Out! could be one of the best musical products Romania has to offer.

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RUSSIA: Big Echo
Human TetrisSilver Tears
Moscow-based post-bunk band Human Tetris have just finished their debut LP, Happy Way In The Maze Of Rebirth, and a European tour that covered Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and France. As cold and raw as the Russian winter, Silver Tears cuts right to the bone.

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SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Mike NisbetNot Long
Originally from Oban, Mike Nisbet possesses an enchanting backstory that could give Justin Vernon a run for his money. Living a genuine nomadic existence, acoustic guitar in hand, this wandering troubadour has a Dylan-esque timeless quality to his songwriting, a voice that soothes and shatters hearts, and a gorgeous debut album, Vagrant, that could/should earn this remarkable 23-year-old talent devotees in any continent, any generation, any decade.

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SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
ShelvesStar Alright
The much-anticipated debut album by Shelves was released this month on both vinyl and digital, resurrecting not just the choicest cuts of Britpop and college rock, but the very essence of the 90s Singapore scene. Yet the record sounds anything but dated, with its clever balance of crisp melodies and generous distortion pointing the way forward for indie rock today. That vision is epitomised in Star Alright, a song that rides above the crackle and feedback to poke fun at the studded-leather ironies of pop stardom.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Sterling EQBach’s Kittens At Play
Sterling Electric Quartet, affectionately known as Sterling EQ, burst on to the scene with their genre-defying musical style and sensational live performance. What started out in 2007 exploded into a musical phenomenon that has continued to take the South African entertainment industry by storm. Bach’s Kittens At Play shows off their eclectic stylings and versatile influences. It takes you on a lovely journey. With a twist. Simply delightful.

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SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
No ControlTime
Noise-rock band No Control started out making loud punk explosions, but have since learned the importance of harmony. Influenced by Sonic Youth and with some post-rock and shoegaze thrown into the mix, their first studio-recorded release will be out this month, but already we can savor the captivating sound of Time.

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SPAIN: Musikorner
KokoshcaLa Fuerza
If there’s a band that can show off the creation of a hymn for those Spaniards who usually party like there’s no tomorrow, that band is Kokoshca. They are a three-piece from Pamplona and they have already released five records (some demos, a live album and EPs). Heirs of the biggest Spanish pop bands of the 60s but with an irreverent, garage spirit, Kokoshca have recently re-released their well-known single, La Fuerza, via Elefant Records, an indie-pop institution in Spain.

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SWEDEN: Swedesplease
Fucking Werewolf AssoKeep My Adresse To Yourself, Cause We Need Secrets
Honestly, I think I’m mainly posting this for the shock value. Both the band’s name and their odd amalgam of genres are, to say the least, unusual. Have you ever wondered what 8bit electronica and punk might sound like as a mash-up? Well, wonder no more. Here’s a new song from Fucking Werewolf Asso.

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SWITZERLAND: 78s
Castling Queen’s SideRise And Fail
The starting point for six-piece Castling Queen’s Side was an Arcade Fire gig in Zurich in 2005. There they got to know each other and decided to form an indie band. Now, seven years later, they have their debut record Cinema ready with 11 splendid songs full of depth, melancholy and catchy crankiness.

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TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
The Away DaysDressing Room
The Away Days carries influences from Northern music sounds and actually presents an unfamiliar style for us in this terrain, which is indie-rock. What distinguishes them from other bands in Turkey may be their desire and aim to make themselves known in Europe. While The Away Days is preparing to release their first EP in a couple of months, we can also see the band perform in various festivals during the summer. Dressing Room has an exceptional unity of quality structure, lyrics and music that can’t be ignored.

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UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Hundred WatersMe & Anodyne
There’s not really much you can say about Hundred Waters that will do justice to their brand of experimental dream-pop. You’ve really just got to hear it for yourself. Me & Anodyne is from Hundred Waters’ self-titled debut, an early album-of-the-year contender.

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VENEZUELA: Música y Más
BuenaparteCon Lucy In The Sky
Buenaparte formed in mid-2010 and released their debut album, La Caída De Lucy, in 2011. Third single Con Lucy In The Sky is a love song with lyrics inviting us to get lost with the person we desire.

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Music Alliance Pact – febrúar

Þá er febrúar útgáfa Music Alliance Pact komin í loftið í allri sinni fjölþjóðlegu dýrð. Fyrir Íslands hönd að þessu sinni tekur þátt hljómsveitin Vigri með lagið “Animals” af plötunni Pink Boats sem kom út í fyrra.

Eins og fyrr er allur texti á ensku en ég efa ekki að það vefjist nokkuð fyrir lesendum okkar. Njótið vel.

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 whole 36-track compilation here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
CosmoCazador
Cosmo is an indie-pop band which features members or former members of other groups that are well-known to the Buenos Aires independent music scene (Pablo de Caro from Mataplantas, Ayar Sava from Interama, Pablo Font from Les Mentettes and Andrés Ravioli from Mompox and Brian Storming, among others). A couple of months ago they released their self-titled first album, with songs that combine vintage synthesized sounds and beats with acoustic instruments and fine arrangements. You can download the whole album for free.

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AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
SqualloscopeDomino
Anna Kohlweis has released three albums as Paper Bird, however these days she prefers her new alias Squalloscope. Goodbyes in bus terminals, long train rides, sitting on planes and bottles of wine have influenced her upcoming album Soft Invasions. Domino is a singer-songwriter take on R’n’B combined with postmodern lyrics: “I’m a copy of a copy of a copy of a woman, you’re the copy of a copy of a copy of a guy.”

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BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Graveola e o Lixo PolifônicoInsensatez: A Mulher Que Fez
Graveola e o Lixo Polifônico is a creative band that experiments with MPB (mainstream Brazilian pop music) and makes organic mashups, appropriating themes of bands from various genres to create new works. Their new record is available for download from their website.

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CANADA: I(Heart)Music
Amity BeachJake’s Version Of Paradise
Seeing as Amity Beach a) only have a three-song EP to their name and b) look like they’re probably still in high school, I might be jumping the gun on praising them. Still, listening to this track (along with the other two), it’s hard not to be excited. They’ve got a great ear for catchy pop and I’d be surprised – not to mention a little disappointed – if this doesn’t lead to some great things.

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CHILE: Super 45
Survey TeamValdivia De Viña
A couple of years ago, Survey Team was just a frail bedroom duo with singer Carla Bolgeri adding colorful and sweet melodies to folk-guitar patterns created by her bandmate, Francisco Marín. They’ve certainly changed. Today, they are a powerful quintet with sounds that shock and hit with electric sensuality. Valdivia De Viña is a summer première, soon to be included in their debut album Suriname, which validates Survey Team as a pop delicacy from the current Chilean pop wave and a highly versatile band by successfully flirting with reggae.

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CHINA: Wooozy
Mr. GracelessMr. Li
Mr. Graceless is a Beijing-based indie-rock trio. They try to keep a low profile, moving forward step by step. They are tepid and unassuming, and have a clear-cut stand on what to love and what to hate. The love, pain, fantasy and fervor of youth are the best tags for their music. They prefer beautiful melodies and independent attitude. Mr. Graceless is touring around China with their debut release The Tree Ever Green.

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COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Julián Mayorga¿Cómo Llorar Al Revés o Regresar Al Asfalto o…?
¿Cómo Llorar Al Revés o Regresar Al Asfalto o Espantar Mi Propio Cuerpo Inerte o Desaparecer y Volver a Aparecer? – this is the complete title of this piece by singer-songwriter Julián Mayorga, born in Ibagué. It’s an interesting, poetic union between pop and folk that hides, in what he calls La Pequeña Orquesta Sintética (synths and computers), the deep and very personal landscapes that his soft voice creates.

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DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Spleen UnitedBright Cities Keep Me Awake
“We are still wild animals,” Spleen United proclaim on Bright Cities Keep Me Awake, from their long-awaited and impressive third full-length, School Of Euphoria. It’s a sentiment carrying truth and one somewhat defining for principal songwriter and frontman Bjarke Niemann’s lyrical appendage to the dark, synthesized rock reminiscing 90s electro, house and (euro)dance. It makes School Of Euphoria a rather despondent, while immensely awesome, listen.

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ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Wild CombinationGreat Expectations
Wild Combination’s sound itches and twists in an effort to etch itself across indie’s sonic history. It shouldn’t worry so much. The Essex trio responsible know how to channel the best of recent backbeat melancholia (Foals, The Postal Service) and that’s more than enough. This demo version of Great Expectations – mixed specially for MAP – clips along, the addition of a swarth of dreamy synths tying it just to the right side of funky.

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FINLAND: Glue
Black TwigLake Song
Noise, pop, fuzz, sound experiments. Black Twig is one of the hottest bands in the Finnish indie scene at the moment with their just-released debut album, Paper Trees. In their own words, Black Twig’s sound has echoes of modern fuzzed-out pop experiments as well as of 60s garage-rock gems, sometimes developing a sensibility for hypnotic, repetitive drones.

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FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Cracbooms@soleil
Cracbooms are more than a band. They are a group of friends who sing about how sweet and simple life is when surrounded by your loved ones, when there are pretty girls around and the sun shines above your head. Their lyrics are filled with humor and casualness, and are written with an unsettling easiness. As for their sound, it’s a mix between the guitars of Two Door Cinema Club and pop à la Young Michelin. I think they’ve found the perfect combination.

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GERMANY: Blogpartei
Wooden PeakPills Start Work
The two guys behind Wooden Peak are getting famous for their gigs where they occupy a whole stage while just sitting on their stools, carefully watching each other. Although their set-up with guitar and drums seems quite like a garage band, their singing and acoustic play triggers very different emotions – calm and dizziness, homeliness and wanderlust. Pills Start Work is a great MAP exclusive which slightly resembles early Whitest Boy Alive. The album Lumen has just been released on the lovely label Analogsoul.

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GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
BokomolechTalk About Fires
Nine years is a long time to wait, but new album Mass Vulture finds Bokomolech embracing and sifting through the finer moments of their past over the course of 10 outstanding songs. The record is once again exceptionally crafted and gorgeously composed, richly textured and potently rhythmic, instilled with instrumental mastery and consistent music ideas, powerfully expressive vocals, remarkable melodic turns, lovely harmonic noises, sleek and slippery riffs. They have created a sparse and thrilling work of strikingly expansive ambition with the arresting delicacy of the quieter, dreamier tunes capable of ripping up your emotions.

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ICELAND: Rjóminn
VigriAnimals
Animals is from Vigri’s debut album Pink Boats. The band decided to travel around many of the small churches in Iceland’s countryside to record the song, but the end result is from what they recorded in the Flatey island church.

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INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Spring/SummerTonight
Spring/Summer come from Bandung and are the freshest breed of (what we Indonesians call) Britpop revivalism. With a twist of The Smiths, Joy Division and Blueboy and a bit of attitude, they make tasty, raw music. They probably won’t be the next big thing, but their music provides enjoyable reminiscing of teenage years spent looking for second-hand Smiths CDs at the local thrift store.

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IRELAND: Nialler9
RedahanRu In Daejeon
If I could, I would pick the entire Loud Mouth collective as Ireland’s MAP representatives this month. They are a coterie of producers, rappers, musicians and DJs who have released three volumes of freely downloadable new music taking in electronica, rap and post-dubstep. Redahan is one producer at the heart of the collective and his evocative and expansive Ru In Daejeon is indicative of the collective’s scope and vision.

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ITALY: Polaroid
Heike Has The GigglesBreakfast
On their sophomore album, Crowd Surfing, the young Heike Has The Giggles pin down even more precisely the range of their influences – from the lighter Nineties pop-punk full of fun to the stronger Noughties punk funk à la Gossip. And damn, they are very good at mixing these. Breakfast is the new album’s first single.

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JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Cloudy BuseyUp To You (If You Love Me)
Cloudy Busey takes many cues from house music on Up To You (If You Love Me), yet this long-burning song never feels exuberant. Rather, the Osaka-based Busey inverts the sounds of a club into something apt for a shadowy alleyway. The beat pounds on relentlessly, but the spacey synths and singing evoke the loneliness of long, solitary walks home early in the morning set against neon lights. If nights out tend to bring you down, here is the jam for you.

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MALTA: Stagedive Malta
DanjeliMidnight Carpet Ride
Besides being a maverick club DJ and an accomplished musician in his own right, Danjeli is also a member of the renegade Maltese folk band Brikkuni. This year he released another solo album, KontroNatura, available for free download from Complex Sound Sagacity.

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MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
UvilovDe Tantos Universos Paralelos
“Playing dreampop since 2005,” is the slogan of this pioneering band. De Tantos Universos Paralelos is the gigantic overture to their new album El Desprendimiento, which promises to be an overload of feedback and chaos restrained under a structure. Uvilov might be intending to picture a party where the mankind of tomorrow is invited only if its conscience allows it to.

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NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Wooden ConstructionsFull Brother
There’s been a buzz brewing for Amsterdam’s Wooden Constructions for a year or two already, their edgy live performances stealing the limelight from a host of international indie wannabes along the way. Well, it’s all set to reach boiling point when they finally unleash their debut album People Now People in spring. A barrage of taut dance grooves, minimalistic riffage and unsettling narratives, they provide a contemporary glimpse of post-punk at its maniacal best. Check out first single Full Brother for a taster of their danceable gloom, making the bold promise that the intensity of their live shows will carry over onto tape.

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NEW ZEALAND: Einstein Music Journal
Grass CannonsWendy’s
If hissing noise and warm melodies are your buzz then Auckland four-piece Grass Cannons should be on your radar. They’ve just released their debut EP Vet Dream, containing five darting guitar songs that each take a different path but ultimately lead to the same satisfactory conclusion. While a noisy mess rides heavy throughout their music and kidnaps a bit of their style, within each song there are several minutes of genius song structure that highlights their ability to write amazing pop-influenced punk music. Deerhunter, The Clean and Grooms come to mind when describing their sound, but Grass Cannons seem good enough to leave those influences out of the equation.

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NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
Storm The BastilleCircle Robotics
You never know quite what to expect when listening to a song by Storm The Bastille. Their schizophrenic and mildly cacophonic music is unpredictable, strange and full of surprising twists. The only constant is the great energy the band possess. It’s fast, energetic, melodic and a bit dark with a sense of impending doom that creeps up close.

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PERU: SoTB
Los ZappingCine Mudo
Los Zapping began toying with music when they were still in school, but their garage-rock soon won a place in Lima nights and an authentic touch of freshness was about to be born. Their first EP, released in 2007, was considered the best of that year. Teoría De La Televisión y La Radio was released in 2011, an album that reaffirms the strength and talent of this band.

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PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Sun GlittersThey Don’t Want To Let You Know (Sumsun Remix)
Victor Ferreira aka Sun Glitters, born to Portuguese parents in Luxembourg, has been praised by The Guardian, FADER and Pitchfork. For this reason, his newest release, High EP, which came out on January 30, was highly anticipated. On it, Victor continues his voyage through a dreamy electronic world. This track is a remix of one of the songs on the EP.

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ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Methadone SkiesVs. Evil
Methadone Skies are a bunch of young guys from Timisoara playing the music they themselves like to listen to – psychedelic, progressive, stoner, post-rock, ambient or just noise – most of the time jamming in the studio with excellent results. Keep your ears opened for them as they’re about to release their new album, Enter The Void.

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RUSSIA: Big Echo
BrodskyDeath Note
Brodsky plays beautifully-orchestrated romantic folk with flowery melodies, youthful vocals and sad eyes that might remind you of Beirut or Jens Lekman. Nowadays, it’s truly a blessing to find such an artist in Russia.

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SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Craig_FSGrass Stain (feat. Rachel Tesfaye)
Grass Stain is a musical head-turner – an 8.5-minute electro/house fusion with an outstanding soulful female guest vocal that takes you on a trip of a lifetime labelled bliss-euphoria-bliss. Craig_FS has been been making and uploading songs to Soundcloud for the past year, and the potential is certainly there for him to follow in the mainstream footsteps of compatriot Calvin Harris.

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SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Obedient Wives ClubFragments
The first release by 60s indie-pop distributors Happy Teardrop Music is the debut self-titled EP by Obedient Wives Club, and what a hit it’s been with all physical copies selling out within a month. The band, cheekily named after a controversial Muslim organisation of the same name, plays a delightful blend of girly noise-pop – or what they helpfully term “Spectorgaze”. Fragments indulges its Jesus And Mary Chain obsession with generous doses of saccharine melodies and interstellar fuzz.

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SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
MDSInsomnia
DJ duo MDS released their first album in July last year, full of remixes of songs from some of the best artists in Seoul’s indie scene. In January, they released a digital single with a couple of songs of their own, showing that they’re also capable of crafting great pieces of music themselves. Insomnia is a smooth electronica track that lends itself very well as a soundtrack to a walk just about anywhere.

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SPAIN: Musikorner
Novedades CarminhaPesetas
Novedades Carminha are a garage-rock three-piece from Santiago de Compostela, and they’re starting to be the talk of the town. Their songs are energy-packed and irreverent, making fun of everyday topics but vindicating them at the same time. Their lyrics hold true punk spirit. Pesetas, taken from their first album Jódete y Baila, released in early 2011, is a true jewel of dirty Spanish rock.

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SWEDEN: Swedesplease
KidsMy Sincerest Apologies
Electronic pop duo Kids are shockingly good. Sure there a few cheesy moments in the single My Sincerest Apologies but it gives the song a bit of fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

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SWITZERLAND: 78s
John CarolineRobine
John Caroline is a young six-piece from Baden who make playful, jittery and dreamy indie rock. Their debut EP is released as a free download on February 18.

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TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
The Ringo JetsCollar
The Ringo Jets, consisting of two guitarists and a drummer, is a rock ‘n’ roll band inspired by 60s garage music and blues rock. They made a big splash in Istanbul indie circles with their Limited Lunchpack EP, which you can download for free from Bandcamp. After signing with Aisha Records, they’re planning to release their debut album by the end of the year.

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UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
That GhostMorning Now
Californian lo-fi bedroom artist That Ghost has been making music since before he could drive a car. His sound has grown and changed as much as he has from tween state to young adulthood. OK, he was never a tween but a pure artist whose latest EP Rosalind is a gem. Check out the slow-burning Morning Now, like, right now.

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VENEZUELA: Música y Más
McklopediaGuardián
Mcklopedia is a young man who, back in 2001, identified with a genre and took it as his philosophy and way of life. He explicitly shows the reality of the world’s great cities, the everyday stories that come to a close in households every night. Superlirical, his debut album, seeks to represent a new concept in urban music, combining soul, reggae, funk and hip hop.

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