Category Archives: Featured

Strange Mountain

Album debut dari STRANGE MOUNTAIN, projek musikal terbaru dari Marcel Thee. Projek ini dulu tidak memiliki nama, dan sempat merilis digital single berjudul “Remembrance, East of Sadness” via Deathrockstar dan The Bronze Medal Recording Company.

Album ini dirilis oleh label butik asal Denmark, A Beard of Snails Records, dengan packaging handmade dalam jumlah terbatas.

Beli albumnya disini: abeardofsnails.com/boutique.html

Dengarkan “Essex Manor House” dari album tersebut disini:

Music Alliance Pact February 2012

Bulan ini kita mengirimkan band yang masih baru Spring/Summer ke Music Alliance Pact. :)
selamat menikmati.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Music Alliance Pact January 2012 : feat Belkastrelka

Bulan ini kabar bahagia menghampiri Belkastrelka yang musiknya terdistribusi ke 36 negara sekaligus, dan kamu pun bisa turut merayakannya dengan mengumpulkan 36 lagu-lagu dari band-band asoi pilihan dari 36 negara. Silahkan menikmati dan boleh juga lho disebarkan.
Kebetulan band ini juga merilis single nya di tautan ini, download juga ya.

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
Nubes En Mi CasaAceleremos
Nubes En Mi Casa is an indie-pop band led by singer Josefina Mac Loughlin. Aceleremos is a preview from their upcoming second studio album, Me Suelto y Vuelvo. The song sounds like an instant hit and we’re sure it will become one of our favorite tracks of 2012, so we can’t wait to hear the rest of it.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
SuresThe Sun
The Sun is a short burst of sunshine from Sydney duo Sures. It sounds like a Beach Boys outtake, which might sound boring given the number of bands out there paying homage to Wilson and Co. Fortunately, The Sun is just two minutes of harmonising over a dull melody – it’s a catchy tune that will have those of us in the southern hemisphere pressing repeat throughout summer.

AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
DiverIllusions
Quiet is the new loud. Diver, a folky trio from various places in Austria and Germany and now based in Vienna, play beautifully melancholic songs with three acoustic guitars and lyrics that go “everyday reality is an illusion of possibilities”. Illusions is the opener of their first full-length album Kites, which will be out later this month. In the meantime you can listen to their self-titled debut EP on Bandcamp.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Bixiga 70Balboa Da Silva
Bixiga 70 is what happens when you combine African beats, jazz and Brazilian swing in a city as hectic as São Paulo, where they’re from. Their first CD was released last year and is available to download at the band’s website.

CANADA: I(Heart)Music
HonheehonheeWe Only Go
There’s more than a hint of early Arcade Fire to We Only Go but, as someone who misses early Arcade Fire, I don’t see why that’s a strike against Honheehonhee. Besides, this song (not to mention the rest of their debut, Shouts) is exuberant, unhinged fun, and the world can always use more music like that.

CHILE: Super 45
Los EmbajadoresPeso
From all the tips made in the Chilean music scene for this year, Los Embajadores is one of the most interesting. Romantic goth-pop songs reminiscent of Cocteau Twins as well as the darkest hours of Miguel Bosé. Faisanes is the name of their soon-to-come new album, and Peso (“Weight”) is its first single.

CHINA: Wooozy
ElenorePsycho Man
Beijing-based Elenore formed in late 2009 and have developed a sound influenced by bands such as Oasis, Kasabian and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The single Psycho Man fuses 60s swing drum loops, fuzzy guitar riffs and a Middle Eastern instrumental chorus which became a hit on China’s popular site Douban. In February, Elenore will release their first EP both on CD and the band’s own digital distribution site.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Nelson CanApple Pie
Danish girl-trio Nelson Can release their eponymous debut EP this month as part of a triple EP release with The Freudian Slip and Echo Me. Punk aesthetics spoon with pop flair and hipster cool on their first single Apple Pie, which reaffirms that apples are indeed a good thing. Like the girls on Facebook and check out the video for Apple Pie on YouTube.

ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
MoneyWho’s Going To Love You Now
A four-piece based in Manchester, Money are part of that city’s tradition of earnest young men, “the weight on their shoulder”, as Ian Curtis once sang. They quote Austrian poet Rilke, while their Facebook features a “eulogy for the death of everything”. A recent Guardian New Band of the Day article contended that they “have a similar air of mystery and cerebral intensity to Wu Lyf, with a vocalist who can do enigmatically gruff as well as fervid and angelic”, positing them as the Mancunian Manic Street Preachers, with a shared sense of the sacred and intense.

ESTONIA: Popop
Zebra IslandFalling Through
Mysterious Zebra Island rocketed into blogs and social networks at the very end of 2011 and everyone in Estonia seems to love them, although no-one knows much about the band. Zebra Island is led by Rasmus Lill from Kosmofon (featured in the March 2011 edition of MAP) and beautiful vocals are provided by Helina Risti. Falling Through, their first and only song so far, is a lovely, pulsating electro-pop masterpiece that keeps you wanting for much more Zebra Island.

FINLAND: Glue
GreymouthThe Boy
Singer and songwriter Elisa Husu founded Greymouth in the summer of 2011 to recreate her folky songs with a full band. The Boy is the first taster of this project and highlights Elisa’s beautiful voice on top of epic acoustic sounds with a marked Fleet Foxes influence.

FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Concrete KnivesBrand New Start
A perfect title for the first song of the year, Brand New Start is a highly enjoyable pop song, so good it’s featured in a commercial, and so fresh with its choir and upbeat sound, I would name it song of the year. Very good proof that the French indie scene is better than ever.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
ApparatAsh/Black Veil
This month we’ve got one of the most discussed German artists of last year. Apparat’s 2011 album The Devil’s Walk took the concept of Sascha Ring, the man behind the moniker, further. The soundscapes created feels like a cairn, carefully layered and poised, yet built to last; but Ring has decided to use his falsetto, which has caused controversy with reviewers. Decide for yourself if this concept works well on Ash/Black Veil. I think it does!

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Hristos LainasH Thlipsi To Brady
Hristos Lainas’ first solo album, I Agapi Tha Lampsi (“Love Will Shine”) is stuffed to the brim with alluring pop melodies, drenched in skittering 12-bit samplers, filtered vocals, warm and luscious analog synths and infused with a pleasant aura of drowsiness. Lainas assembles an array of sounds and textures, adds sporadic splashes of static atmosphere and in the process creates a magnificent listening environment of rose-tinted optimism and disenchantment. H Thlipsi To Brady (“Sadness In The Night”) submerges a sense of intense feeling within its 80s fantasy electronic ether and instantly takes hold of your ears.

ICELAND: Rjóminn
ToggiLet Them Bleed
This catchy little song, taken from the Iceland king of pop’s second album Wonderful Secrets, should be the anthem for any self-respecting Occupy movement. Feeling a need to protest? Then let Toggi’s tune occupy your mind and fire you up.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
BelkastrelkaPujian Ekspatriat
Belkastrelka are an eccentric electronic duo who sample sounds from various sources – windows, the library, television, nature and everything else. Combined with the tiny but wild vocals of Asa Rahmana, they create feral dance music.

IRELAND: Nialler9
Collie Collins & MontoHow Does?!?
A collaboration indicative of Ireland’s growing insurgency against genre borders, Keep Her Lit is an EP which was released last year from Dublin rapper Collie Collins. Teaming up with producer Monto for four tracks of electronic-infused rap, the result is something wholly Irish yet globally progressive. It’s a free download too.

ITALY: Polaroid
EsperanzaAliante Giallo
Three skilled musicians and DJs put together a project devoted to an idea of music with no barriers. The sound ranges from chillwave to house, from trip-hop to psychedelia, and becomes a wide landscape. Featuring a collaboration with Banjo Or Freakout and released on the prestigious German label Gomma, this album works magic when the bpms slow down and the electronics becomes warmer and warmer.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Praha DepartPortrait Man
Praha Depart demand attention, the Tokyo band mixing constantly morphing guitar with drum smashes to create mesmerizing tracks that reveal new sonic details with each new listen. All of those elements appear on Portrait Man, but the highlight of the song is lead singer Mai and her jittery voice. Over the course of Portrait Man, her vocals bring to mind Lydia Lunch before zigging towards a style reminiscent of Sue Tompkins of Life Without Buildings.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Dolls For IdolsRun
Dolls For Idols are an electronic band underpinned by indie and pop sensibilities. Their music embraces 80s-inspired synthesised sounds and the 90s rave generation, all served up with an attitude that is very much rooted in the here and now.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Los MundosNi Un Segundo Más Sin Música
Los Mundos is a long-distance collaboration that perfectly speaks about musical memory and desertic solitude. The title of this lush pop-shoegaze song means “Not a second more without music”. Indeed, it’s the urgent need of a music lover: to spend all their time in a record store (how nostalgic), living their days wearing headphones with an obsession for everything that spins – very accurate for a band whose name in Spanish translates as “The Worlds”.

NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Hospital BombersTraditional Maori Fight Song #9
This self-proclaimed stadium-folk outfit have been in hiding for too long, sitting on a wealth of new material that they’ve struggled to shape into that ‘difficult second album’. Thankfully, this month they’ll finally release the sequel to 2008′s Footnotes – the grandly titled At Budokan. Their lovingly lo-fi folk-pop is always rougher and rawer in the live setting, but this new collection again shows them up to be masters of careful songcraft, albeit unashamedly quirky songcraft that’s emblazoned with handclaps and violins.

NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
Billie VanOn My Knees
Billie Van’s music makes me reminisce back to the 50s and the 60s, when country music was good and Nancy Sinatra was the one; when rock ‘n’ roll meant four chords and terrific songs; when guitar solos were mandatory and slapback echo came from the amps. Her music is all of this – great pop songs, tearful country ballads and hip-shaking rock ‘n’ roll, but it’s also new and done in a refreshing way.

PERU: SoTB
Chico UnicornioTriángulo
Once again, it is the independent scene that gives us another interesting musical proposal. Chico Unicornio is a one-man project that combines acoustic folk sounds with a nice Andean instrument called a charango. The music that this young man makes is new to our local sound, giving it a freshness and novelty.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
We TrustTime (Better Not Stop)
We Trust is André Tentugal’s one-man band. In 2011, Time (Better Not Stop) was one of the most-played tracks by a new independent artist on Portuguese radio. We are proud to have it here, exclusively, for download for MAP readers. You can also find it on We Trust’s debut album, These New Countries, which was released in November.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
CoughyPrecambrian
Coughy are an experimental duo residing in Bucharest, featuring former and current band members of The Amsterdams. Therefore it is regarded as a creative playground where everything is accepted as a form of expression without the self-censorship required when playing in a regular and quite popular indie-rock band.

RUSSIA: Big Echo
M A Y Г L E YFarfour
M A Y Г L E Y are getting ready to strike Russia’s cruel winter with an ancient God’s spell, drowned in a wall of sound. Religion, symbolism, adrenaline, isolated genres and the naked language of post-Stalin 60s influence this psychedelic shoegaze project, who have made a great record.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Make SparksYour Heart’s On Fire
Scotland’s rock scene is firmly in the spotlight thanks to the wildly successful exploits of Biffy Clyro and young pretenders Twin Atlantic. For those looking for the next band to follow in their footsteps, two contenders stand out: Make Sparks and LightGuides (featured in the July 2010 edition of MAP). Catchy choruses are fitted as standard on Make Sparks, who are making all the right noises with their relentless touring and recording ethic, slick promo videos and a vivacious pop sensibility.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Riot !n MagentaCTRL
Do androids dream of electric sheep? One thinks of such things when the contrast between the organic and inorganic meld together into a primordial blur of passion. Riot !n Magenta gently slip into the stream of your thoughts with Hayashida Ken’s dark, pulsing rhythms and Eugenia Yip’s wispful and forlorn vocal delivery. There’s tension in every stem as the words haze through: “I try to take it slow, you go faster…You need control…”. Definitely hoping to hear more from this special duo.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Jeremy LoopsThe Gypsy Opera
Jeremy Loops is not a traditional band. He creates music on the spot with his gamut of loop pedals and impromptu collaborations. With The Gypsy Opera, he brings together his delicate mix of folk, hip-hop, bluegrass funk and blues all by using his guitar, ukelele, harmonica and beatboxing skills. It is something rather magical to behold.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Galaxy ExpressAs Time Passes, Always Been Good
Galaxy Express is one of the best rock bands in Korea and have been for quite some time. During their Wild 30 project in 2010, a 30-day quest during which they recorded a piece of music for their Wild Days album every day, they showed that they put on the best of performances, even just going to karaoke. In late 2011, Galaxy Express released split EP Naughty Boy with Korean punk pioneers Crying Nut, which contained a re-recording of the somewhat atypical but gorgeous and engaging As Time Passes, Always Been Good from those wild days. Look out for more from Galaxy Express in 2012 as they’re heading for a US tour in March and playing SXSW for the second time.

SPAIN: Musikorner
DoloresVolcán
Dolores are four, they’re from Madrid and they are certainly one of the best hopes for noise-rock made in Spain. Post-punk and shoegaze are two of the genres Dolores mix for achieving their sound (which is also spiced up with a touch of good ol’ pop and loads of energy). A good bit of that power can be heard on Volcán (“Volcano”), whose stunning rhythm will invite you to dance the hell out of yourself. And you won’t be able to refuse.

SWITZERLAND: 78s
BlanketHailey Fought The Law
Want to watch a video starring the runner-up of the figure roller-skating world championships dressed as a rabbit? Here you go. Given that Blanket’s accompanying song is a fragile and psychedelic piece of awesomeness, we obviously have a win-win situation.

TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
HaossaaHolgar Godoni
Last year, Ozan Aktuna, Enis Özbek and Tolga Güldallı, three-pieced avant garde noise band Haossaa, became legends in the indie scene of Istanbul, mostly for their extraordinary live performances. And when their debut LP came out last September, their reputation finally got crowned.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Fantasy IslandAvenue
One of 2012′s more promising American groups is Fantasy Island, a Los Angeles duo responsible for a pair of intriguing, soulful jams since their formation in late 2011. They’ve got a new single out on UK label Stroll On Records and a debut album on the horizon. With a song like Avenue (and the equally fantastic Breaking A Heart) it’s hard to keep wild expectations in check… guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the rest of the year cooks up.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
OkillsNube
Okills is a band that started in mid-2010 and fuses alternative indie-rock with other genres, resulting in some fun music. In September 2011, they released their Iniciando Transmisión EP for free via the web in a pack that includes six songs, illustrations and photos of the band.