We’ve had our ear on Nikki Nava since last year, when we included her in a Local Outsider column. We’ve always liked how she does so much with what seems to be little. That’s on full display with the release of her first proper single, “Secrets”, and with more new stuff on the way, we asked her to tell us the five songs she can’t live without. Warning: there are some surprises on her list.
Shy Shy Shy is Astrid Cordes and Simon Kjeldegaard, a duo from Denmark who have subverted our expectations of Scandinavian indie pop with a synth-powered mix of awkwardness and confidence. We’ve been writing about them for the past three years or so, across which we’ve seen them push their boundaries while keeping that sense of fun. This Friday they release their debut full-length, Make Up, and to make the occasion we’ve dusted off this feature and asked them about the five songs they can’t live without. It’s not entirely synth-powered.
We first wrote about Carlos Castaño a couple of years ago, in which we said he sounded like John Mayer – and got an email in return, saying he doesn’t like him except for his Continuum album. (It is a good album.) He’s released several albums and has worked the live circuit all over the region – most notably performing at the Singapore Grand Prix in 2014 – but after taking a year off, he returned a couple of weeks back with his new album Scratch. Today, he picks the five songs he can’t live without, and yes, they’re completely different from the music he performs – but, in his words, “a lot of our songs start with grooves and I almost always pull from hip-hop to get it with master drummer boy Michael Gemina.”
From my nascent time directly observing the local indie scene, April Hernandez is one of its quiet yet most effective workers. While she does a bunch of things for other artists, you more likely know her as TheSunManager, whose music bursts with an effortless optimism. On Friday she will release her first full-length debut, Worth, and we’ve taken the chance to ask her about the five songs she can’t live without. Her selections have actually surprised us – and it’s a good thing, we must add.
We were feeling adventurous, so, we figured, why not get a foreign act for The Five Songs I Can’t Live Without? We thoroughly enjoyed Swiss-Japanese duo Tim & Puma Mimi’s new album, Der Die Das, which dropped last Friday (and which we wrote about exactly a week ago), so when the opportunity came to get them involved in this thing, we said yes. On this installment they talk about the five Japanese songs (see, there’s a theme, even) they can’t live without – and which has clearly informed their music.