Monday 30 September 2019



"Just getting into bad relationships over and over. Then one day you realize that these relationships are just a reflection of what’s going on inside of you," writes Steven A. Clark of 'Karma'. With the skewed bassline cutting a warped groove, the cyclical – yes, karmic – guitar twinkling out of focus, and lyrics that speak of that "internal battle", the spills into your mind, seeping through the cracks.

At its centre swirl the vocals of Steven A. Clark himself. Worn, cradled in woozy effects and cutting an infectious R&B glimmer in lines like "Everyday, everyday, everyday / Telling me lies disguised as truths" and laying himself bare (literally) in the opener, "I'm naked / Over you..." it swings between these flying falsettos and a soothsaying mantra crooned in a plasma gravel: "Cause when the karma comes / The karma comes / karma's coming your way." A feverish warning.

"We do some much external shit looking for people, places, things, activities to make us happy, or distract us from the way we feel about ourselves," he explains more about the track. Something like Tame Impala analysing the uglier sides of the brain, 'Karma' is a psychedelic saunter around the block, a me-and-my-thoughts gloopy, gossamer tangle.

  • πŸ”” 'Karma' is taken from Steven A. Clark's upcoming album Hypervigilant, actual release date TBC. Stream 'Karma' by clicking this text and choosing from one of the various streaming services that you desire.

Steven A. Clark Internet Presence ☟
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Friday 27 September 2019



From the very beginnings of 'Bright Future', with its curdled kazoo crunches and icy shards of synth, there's something in the sound that wrestles with the title of Teplice's track. Sub-bass tumbles along and a mellow miasma of plasma synth is ambient in the background, seeping into your skin when it all suddenly sinks into a mire of doom come chord-change.

The vocals do the hoping, literally. "I hope... / For a bright future" Berlin-based, London-born Teplice opens the song, unaffected and in a tired monotone. Later, insomniac lines – "I lay awake at night / Thinking of the moon / Sleep will greet me soon" – rise up and look likewise into a positive, albeit near, future. Alongside hoping is questioning, a haunted interrogation at the heart of this song like a mantra.

In harmonies that conjure spoken nonchalance like spoken spells under spectres that twang and lilt, something vocally like The Cranberries or maybe Warpaint, the existential inquiry curls out like smoke: "Is anything out there / Is anything out there / Is anything out there / Is anything..."—cut short at a moment of sudden discovery or resignation of futility. These vocals especially expel warmth, in tone, in rhythm, that makes the song bounce.

The simplicity of the lyrics stand the sentiment and imagery of up as monoliths, symbols and vignettes in a nocturnal frame of frozen electronica, driven by an unstoppable marching beat: the slow, officious plod of time. As ghostly as it is a real, true voice, 'Bright Future' wonders about the world outside—not outdoors, but outisde what you know, in something that summons the choice of music in Twin Peaks (inhabiting a realm similar to Rebekah Del Rio's 'No Stars', for example).

All the lilting vocals, all the sense of falling off the face of the Earth. And yet by the end of the track, the density of the track has lightened, the clouds begin to part; minimal and angular, 'Bright Future' is still warm and human, still hopes.

  • πŸ”” The product of working at producer, label owner, radio show host E.M.M.A's Producergirls workshop, this track is taken from Teplice's upcoming Bright Future EP, inspired, she says, by "contemporary feelings of angst, stagnation and uncertainty" as well as wanting "to capture a sense of time elapsing at a personal, social and historical level."

    "In this sense," she continues, "considering how individual lives intersect with historical moments, my grandma has been a massive inspiration. [...] It was important to me that she was represented [in the artwork]."

  • πŸ”” The Bright Future EP is set to be released on Pastel Prism Records on 18th October, and marks the inaugural release on the label. Pre-order it on Bandcamp.

πŸ‘‰ Read our interview with E.M.M.A by tapping these words πŸ‘ˆ

Teplice Internet Presence ☟

Thursday 26 September 2019



The gooey shimmer of the guitar in 'Frank Ocean' by okay(K) is the track's soulful foundation, the fuzzed out, lo-fi quality of it echoing his recent New York EP. It's a mellow mood-setter that balances between emotion and total chill, which is reflected in the lyrics, breathlessly, nonchalantly recited in a stream of hefty layering and warp that puts a cloudy distance between listener and emotive lines.

Things like, "Nike kicks are in the dirt / I don't ever wna work / What are Nikes even worth" as well as "She gon show up where I live / please don't show up where I live" summon a kind of nihilism, ceasing to care but without the outward doom that goes with it. Even when okay(K) mentions "demons at my neck" they are merely "gross", the same sense of humour that also has him rhyming "lazy" with "Lays-y" (the adjective describing Fritos obviously).

The (mostly) seven syllable lines of the track's midsection give every statement a natural pause, staccato space for the lyrics to breathe, to be thought about, furthering that pensive mood; hearing his actual recorded voice in the gloop and crunch of the layered vocal effects becomes poignant after a while.

All set to a clanking, slow shuffle of a beat, okay(K) succinctly explained the horizontal R&B feels of 'Frank Ocean' when we asked about the track over email: "the ocean be flowing man," he wrote to us. "im just tryna flow like the ocean, to be frank." It's a moment of self reflection, as witnessed through a prism of lyrical versatility and skewed chill.

okay(K) Internet Presence ☟