Fresh Finds: Kim Petras, underscores, Brando, and more… – 9/26

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Fresh Finds: Kim Petras, underscores, Brando, and more… – 9/26

There’s always something new to parse through in the EDM space—this week alone, we’ve got new Avicii footage, an upcoming Burning Man docuseries, and an Illenium graphic novel to contend with—but, as usual, I’m here to focus on the music. And what a week of new music it’s been!

Before we continue to my favorites of the week, I want to welcome you back to Fresh Finds, Nexus Radio’s weekly column, where I break down all of my favorite releases from big and small names alike.

Now, without further ado, let’s get into this week’s drops:

• ALBUM: Kim Petras–Problématique

Fresh off the release of her debut album, Feed the Beast, as well as a monumental Grammy win, Kim Petras surprised the world last week with the release of her second studio album, Problématique, featuring production from Dr. Luke, Vaughn Oliver, and Aaron Joseph.

At just under thirty minutes long, the album is a disco-laden, glitzy ode to pop music, drawing from Eurodance and German techno in its pursuit towards pop perfection. With several banger tracks— “All She Wants (feat Paris Hilton)” and “Treat Me Like A Ho” among them—Problématique is one of my favorite pop releases of the year.

• ALBUM: underscores – Wallsocket

One of the most exciting and unique voices operating within (and outside of) the hyperpop space, underscores’ sound is as self-assured as it is groundbreaking.

The project of San Fran-born April Harper Grey, underscores independently released their debut album Fishmonger in the midst of the pandemic to critical claim, appearing on The Atlantic’s list of Ten Best Albums of 2021 and drawing the attention of industry titans like Camelphat, 100 gecs, and Travis Barker. Fishmonger included some of my favorite COVID-era releases— “Spoiled little brat” and “Bozo bozo bozo” to name a few—and has remained a definitive record that emerged from the dark underbelly of hyperpop.

Fast-forward to last week when underscores released their sophomore album Wallsocket, a narrative-driven sonic reckoning with the current state of hyperpop whose every track vibrates with emotion and a diligent, purposeful intensity. There are some truly inspired moments—the interpolated nursery rhyme of “Johnny johnny johnny”, the caddy monologue of “Old money bitch”, the tender moments of “Horror movie soundtrack” and “Good luck final girl”—but the record’s strength is its big picture narrative and the visceral characters that spring from the artist’s imagination. It’s the sort of album that surprises and delights at every turn and which could very well cement underscores as a generational talent.

• TRACK: DAN:ROS – “Yeah”

San Marino-native DAN:ROS shared a new single, “Yeah”, last week—it’s the latest in a series of tracks, including the fiery “Carioca” and “Baila” from the summer. “Yeah” offers a techno-house take on a familiar Jenny From The Block track, bouncing with energy—it was an instant add to the club playlist.

• TRACK: ManyFew, Janne Schaffer – “Back to Back”

ManyFew are back with a house track for the ages. “Back to Back” is a collaboration with Swedish songwriter and guitarist Janne Schafer, featuring the veteran’s excellent playing as a floating descant over a bed of tightly-produced house. It’s just so fun, and exactly the kind of genre-bending release we’ve come to expect from this duo.

• TRACK: Brando – “Too Close”

Launched into the zeitgeist with a feature on Loud Luxury’s massive hit “Body,” Brando’s been busy this year, releasing a string of singles through Armada Music, including “Burn It Down” and “Do Me Like That.” The LA-based artist’s latest track, “Too Close,” is in line with the rest of Brando’s releases—cleanly produced, strongly-written dance music that centers the artist’s excellent vocals.

That’s it for this week! To keep up to date with all things electronic music, including exclusive coverage of some of the genre’s biggest festivals and more editions of “Fresh Finds” (published weekly on Tuesdays), make sure to check back here at Nexus Radio.

And, as always, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @nexusradiodance.

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