MANNEQUINS ON 7TH STREET – OUT OF SIGHT (STREAM)

Mannequins on 7th Street is an electronic duo from Belgium currently living in London formed by Alexandre Lambrecht and Tim de Fontain. We’re loving their new single “Out Of Sight” with its sparse and fragmented production, a sort of masterclass on intimate electronica reminding us once again that spaced synths and beats don’t always have to sound cold and distant.

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CEO - WONDERLAND (STREAM)

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CEO’s sophomore album is out today and we’re celebrating that fact by sharing its fantastic title track. Like an invitation to enter a fantasy world, “Wonderland” opens with a cacophony of samples which morph into a classy pop melody, before reaching a chorus that basically consists of voice chants and an uplifting synth line.

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FKA TWIGS - HIDE (VIDEO)

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FKA Twigs might just be one of the coolest ladies in music right now. Last year she mesmerized us all with her EP2 release and two breathtaking videos for “Water Me” and “Papi Pacify” while landing on the top spot of everyone’s “Acts to Follow in 2014” list. She’s signed to London’s hip Young Turks label and there’s a new video out shot in Mexico earlier this year, part of a feature on visionary artists that is now showing at Dazed & Confused's website.

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SEA CHANGE - LET’S DANCE (VIDEO)

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Who knew a Beck album would name a new artist in 2014? Sea Change is the moniker of Ellen A.W Sunde, a musician who lives between Oslo and Berlin and creates music with a mixture of improvisation, noise, acoustic instruments and synth pop. She has a great single out titled “Let’s Dance” that strikes us for having a very cold, low-fi electronic vibe and yet the whole affair sounds rather intimate and cozy.

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BLACK CHANNELS - ORACLES (STREAM)

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New week, new music. Introducing Black Channels, a two-piece from London we discovered recently who have a rather good debut single out now titled “Oracles”. The track has this gloomy ethereal vibe that we really like but it’s actually a bit on the fence between darkness and light, starting with a noisy bass line that is suddenly overtaken by subtle synths and delicate vocals which emanate a radiant stream of beauty, a sort of quiet, almost intimate, goth-tinged electronica sound that will gradually pull you in.

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KING KRULE - A LIZARD STATE (VIDEO)

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King Krule has premiered the video for “Lizard State”, a track  taken from his 6 Feet Beneath The Moon debut (and A First Class Riot’s album of 2013). The black and white video is inspired by Alfred Hitchcok’s Dial M For Murder movie and starts with an actual clip of the murder mystery maestro himself.

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LUPA – EYES UNCLOUDED (STREAM)

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Imogen Jones is a young artist from Sydney who goes by the moniker of Lupa and her music is now starting to reach a wider audience. We’re loving her new track “Eyes Unclouded”, a solid indie electronica piece made of staccato strings, heavy bass beats and a clap machine that halfway through the song get all mixed with layers of delayed vocals for an extra sense of darkness and mystery.

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OSCAR KEY SUNG - ALL I COULD DO (STREAM)

Oscar Key Sung is a twenty-three year old singer/producer from Melbourne that experiments with minimalist R&B elements mixed with a spacious house production. His single “All I Could Do” is a rather good example of this, an hypnotizing track filled with uplifting synths, layered house beats and pitched down vocals that underline Oscar’s smoky crooning.

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BROODS - NEVER GONNA CHANGE (STREAM)

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Is New Zealand taking over the music scene? After the immense success of Lorde’s “Royals” there’s a new example of musical talent coming from dark synth-pop duo Broods (brother and sister Caleb and Georgia Nott) who are set to release their debut EP on January 28.

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SONGS OF THE YEAR LIST

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We published our top albums of 2013 list a week ago and now it’s time to reveal our favourite songs of the year. As a rule, we only took into consideration tracks that were first released during this year (which automatically excluded Chvrches "The Mother We Share", out since November 2012) and which were also officially promoted as “singles” one way or the other, be it with specific videos or other forms of individual releases (physical or digital). So, sorry "I Am A God", but that also excludes you out. With that in mind and no further ado, here are our top songs of 2013.

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ZOOT WOMAN - THE STARS ARE BRIGHT (STREAM)

Better known for being a side-project of super-producer Stuart Price, Zoot Woman have just released a brand new song after a four-year hiatus and we’re loving it here at the Riot’s HQ. “The Stars Are Bright” is its title and it’s actually quite a revealing one.

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YEO - GIRL (VIDEO)

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Yeo is an artist from Melbourne who has just premiered the first video taken from his forthcoming EP due out next year. Girl is the song in question and we instantly fell in love with this smooth number that cleverly mixes electronica with R&B to the sound of glitchy synths and fuzzy bass patterns.

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BEYONCÉ - HAUNTED (VIDEO)

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We’re still processing the magnitude of what happened yesterday at Beyoncé’s world and it will probably take some more time for us to fully digest the whole experience as it should and deserves to be. After all, there’s 14 mind-blowing songs accompanied by 17 even more mind-blowing videos, all released at once. But for now, there’s something that has already stood up as one of the many highlights of the whole project.

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ALBUMS OF THE YEAR LIST

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It’s a difficult task to translate a year into exact lists when those are prone to be influenced by mundane things such as lifetime events, subjective opinions or even humor changes. The fact is that each record has a different meaning to each one of us and those meanings sometimes lose their sense (or acquire new extra layers) with time. So this is mostly our way of crystallizing our personal opinions at this specific moment in time and trying to put some order in the chaos. An impossible feature, considering how diverse, unexpected and genuinely good this year was in terms of music. Here’s our top albums of 2013.

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ELEPHANT – SHAPESHIFTER (VIDEO)

The Christmas spirit is already in full bloom here at the Riot HQ and this new track by British duo Elephant seems like the perfect way to warm our hearts. With a retro-vibe that evokes 60’s girls groups and vintage Phil Spector’s arrangements, “Shapeshifter” is loaded with melancholia and a fuzzy atmosphere.

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