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Euro Sounds - Volume 5: Ice In My Eyes, Neon Apartments & Blanks
Ice In My Eyes
There is something instantly dark and tempting about ‘Arpeggiator’, the latest single from Luxembourg outfit Ice In My Eyes. The electro infused intro has a New Wave drama to it with the slightly performative vocal delivery and thick synth buzz setting the fast tempo which it maintains throughout the track. The industrial instrumental undertones create an enticing yet somewhat sinister opening for what actually develops into a pretty fun sound.
The chorus is built from a series of strange echoed vocal lines with each word repeating itself and merging with the rolling beat to form a sound that is Psychedelic without being over indulgent and remains a chorus that wouldn’t be out of place on your Indie dancefloor. The deep and dramatic vocal delivery is reminiscent of early 00s Indie bands such as The Futureheads and, especially combined with the self-deprecating lyrics and deep synths, Spector.
Norways Neon Apartments state that they make Indie Rock for the Anthropocene (the geological time period starting from when humans began to have an impact on the earth) and although this may be an off hand witty remark it does well to reflect the earthy nature of their sound. As you can see in the video below, their acoustic textures and blissful natural elements like the delicate xylophone notes create a really layered ambiance that feels like the perfect soundtrack to the Nordic landscape.
Their new single 'In Tombs' is the first glimpse of their debut album. It begins as an intimate solo performance that rings of The Maccabees' 'Toothpaste Kisses' before building into a huge cinematic experience. The rousing drums start to pound and the soft backing vocals provide a glowing resonance. As the track reaches its fullest it is hard not to be uplifted. The earthy power that it generates is overwhelming, leaving you inspired to take on epic journeys into the wild.
One of the biggest artists coming out of The Netherlands right now and certainly someone to keep tabs on with his debut album in the works. It is not only the loveable summer roadtrip tracks that he produces that have gained him his following but it is the entire package. He is at the forefront of the next wave of young Indie artists harnessing their online support to the best of their ability. From creating songs with his Insta followers to offering online music lessons and shedding light on the entire process behind songwriting, keeping up to date with Blanks offers so much more than just some funky pop bangers.
His new EP 'Never Have I Ever' maintains his bright summer aesthetic yet it holds more depth than many previous releases. It is as if the four tracks map out all stages of summer emotions. There is the freedom and ecstasy of 'Never Have I Ever' and 'What You Do To Me' which emulate the joy of a summer romance with their 80s synth melodies and catchy chorus lines. Meanwhile 'Classic Armstrong' offers a slightly more bittersweet tone which captures the more subtle emotions of night time drives and campfires. On the whole its a great sampler for what Blanks is about and seems him deliver his most rounded collection yet.