Michael FK is a Moldovan musician who creates hypnotic chillout tracks with a mixture of ambient and atmospheric sounds. What I like about his songs is that he tries to transmit something to you, rather than simply repeating sound patterns in a robotic way. In the case of his latest single, Towards The Dawn, Michael wanted to convey a feeling of optimism and hope. I think he accomplished just that.
You can listen to this gorgeous track below. It will become a staple of your chilling afternoons.
You probably know Mélanie Laurent for her famous role in Quentin Tarantino‘s film Inglorious Basterds or from any of her many other films (with my favourite one being this one), but it is a lesser-known fact that she’s also a musician. In fact, back in 2011 she released her first and only (so far) album, En t’attendant, to moderate success. It was basically a French pop album, with many of those pop songs co-written with Damien Rice. However, the reason why I decided to highlight Mélanie’s album for this week’s Throwback Thursday, is because of the two wonderful piano solos that open and close the record: Début and Fin.
I decided to feature here Début, but I might just as well have chosen Fin. Both songs are incredibly beautiful and delicate, the type of tracks you can listen on repeat without getting tired of them. Unfortunately, there is no “official” video on Youtube, but you can listen to Début on the mixtapes below (or the one on the sidebar here). Enjoy!
Maybe the name Amelia Warner does not ring a bell to you, but it’s quite probable that you have listened to her work before. Perhaps it was back when she used the moniker Slow Moving Millie and her gorgeous song Beasts was everywhere after it got featured on a popular Virgin Media ad. Or more recently when she started to score movies such as Mary Shelley . If nothing else, you for sure must have heard about her husband, the actor Jamie Dornan, a.k.a. Christian Grey. Since 2017, Amelia has released a few EPs and one album under her own name, consisting of beautiful piano melodies.
Last month, Amelia put out a new EP: Haven, with Drawing Room being its first track. It is a touching and melancholic piano song that is the perfect soundtrack for a moment of solitude on a Sunday afternoon. Check it out at the resources below.
I love listening to cinematic rock –also known as post-rock, although I dislike that name– when I need to focus or relax. Something about the atmospheric sounds and the different acoustic textures that cinematic rock artists often use elicit joyful yet peaceful emotions in me. Unfortunately, it is not a massively popular genre yet, so the number of artists creating this kind of music is still somewhat small (and the best ones all seem to be signed by Deep Elm Records), but the good news is that this seems to be changing with a number of new “post-rock” bands that have been popping up lately.
The 93 is one such band. Based in Cardiff, the group is formed by two talented brothers from Poland and started in 2017. I discovered them on Instagram when they liked one of my posts and started following me (I love to discover new music that I like this way). They got some samples of their songs on their profile there that got me interested and then I listened to their EPs, which are available on most streaming platforms. They say in their official website that they were originally rooted in punk-rock and you can definitely sense some Angels & Airwaves influence in their songs, which can never be bad. 03 is their latest single, which was released earlier this year, and it encapsulates perfectly the gorgeous kind of music they make.
There is no video available yet but you can listen to this song in the playlists below. Give this band a chance. You won’t regret it.
U137 was a “cinematic post-rock” duo from Sweeden formed by Adam Tornbland and Oscar Gullbrandsen in 2013. Unfortunately, Adam passed away at age 27 in 2017 (and I strongly urge you to listen to the beautiful “Adam Forever”, which Oscar released as a tribute to him), so nowadays Oscar is the sole member of U137.
Back in April this year, Oscar released U137‘s latest single, Have Hope, which he wrote as a message of optimism during these uncertain times. The song has the rich textures and layers for which U137 is known for within the genre enthusiasts and makes you want to hear it again and again. As other U137 songs, it evokes feelings of euphoria and has a calming effect. I find this kind of music ideal to listen to while I work or have to focus on something. I guess the best adjective for Have Hope is, quite simply, beautiful.
If you are into Indie Rock, then I’m pretty sure you are also into “Sweet Disposition” –the song released in 2008 by the Australian band The Temper Trap– which has been described as an “indie anthem“. Besides being a great song, it also became popular after being featured in the soundtrack of one of my favorite movies,500 Days of Summer. Needless to say, I love this song.
It should come as no surprise, then, that when I heard the first chords of this sublime cover of “Sweet Disposition” by classically trained harpist, composer, and arranger Kirsten Agresta Copely, I was simply blown away. The song’s distinctive intro is beautifully emulated by Kirsten’s harp, and the rest of the song is just as charming. Copely has had a successful career performing for heads of state and alongside a wide array of top artists, ranging from Andrea Bocelli and Beyoncé to Evanescence.
Listen to the song below, and later, visit Kirsten’s channel on YouTube or the usual streaming platforms to hear her original compositions and other covers. You’ll thank me later.
This website is already turning out to be useful for discovering talented artists I wasn’t aware of before. Cristina Spinei is a great example of that. The Nashville-based composer and performer, who attended the prestigious Juilliard School in New York, liked my post about Hania Rani on Instagram and that led me to her page there, where she has uploaded some of her pieces. Fortunately, her work is available on all streaming platforms, which allowed me to listen to her brand new (literally released 10 days ago) single, Five O’Clock Waltz, which is a beautiful piano-based piece with a relaxing melody.
Update: When this post was originally published, there was no video accompanying Five O’Clocl Waltz. Luckily, Cristina has just released it today (June 10th) and you can watch it below. It is a collaboration with dancers from both the contemporary and ballet worlds.
You can also listen to this outstanding piece by going to any of our mixtapes below. Highly recommended if you are looking for beautiful music.
Polish pianist, composer and singer Hania Rani just released her second album, Home, of soothing melodies, with its centrepiece being the relaxing F Major. Although not very famous –yet–, her first album, Esja, was widely successful and won her several awards in her home country.
F Major is a great piece but equally great is its accompanying music video, which you can watch below, in which Hania plays the piano against a stunning Icelandic backdrop.
Yosi Horikawa‘s Bubbles has been featured on the popular series of Chill Out compilations: Café del Mar, so it isn’t exactly unknown. However, most people have probably never heard of either this track nor the Japanese composer, which is a shame because Yosi Horikawa is one of the most original artists out there. Just listen to Bubbles below to see why I honestly believe that.
Also, do yourself a favor and listen to it using headphones or some good speakers. It takes the experience to a whole new level because of something called stereo imaging.