“Pop music shouldn’t always get a bad rap,” says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of indie pop highlights across a selection of styles, updated every month to keep you on your dancing toes. This month, the delightfully mysterious Connan Mockasin presents new tracks alongside soulful female musicians Tei Shi and My Midnight Heart, while Belgian Fog, Widowspeak, and Jungle. offer up more.

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Connan Mockasin

If you know what’s good for the inner reaches of your unknown mind, get privy to to the music of indie pop’s mysterious Connan Mockasin. His upcoming LP, Caramel, is an 11-track record of his spin on lo-fi, almost Ariel Pink-esque bedroom pop — but Mockasin’s spin is always a bit of a strange one. In his singularly cryptic way, he has described the new album’s premise, saying, “It starts with the dolphin leaving, and the boss who is so in with love with the dolphin is sad, and then it kicks into the new album, and he is happier. But there’s a car race and a crash.” Those of you who have heard his last record, Forever Dolphin Love, will understand the reference. Those of you who haven’t… GET ON IT; he made it because his mother told him to. True fact.

My interview with him will be published shortly — but in the meantime, enjoy these two tracks or stream the entire record, out November 5th on Mexican Summer!

Photography by Jen Carey


Tei Shi – “M&Ms”

Tei Shi manages to entice listeners with the barest of instruments — the human voice, nearly acapella. Her latest EP, Saudade, comes out November 12th, and my, is its minimalism compelling. Stay tuned for a full review of the release — but in the meantime, may she stop you quick in your tracks with the simplicity of “M&Ms”.

 

My Midnight Heart – “Chest of Hearts”

A little like a more polished and less experimental version of last month’s Jessy Lanza release, My Midnight Heart’s “Chest of Hearts” incorporate the same upper-register vocals reminiscent of Mariah Carey — but set atop airier instrumentation. Their debut EP, of the same name as the track, will be released November 5th on MNRCH.

 

Belgian Fog – “YouDriveMeToMadness”

“YouDriveMeToMadness”, the project of Seattle solo musician Robert Dale, lives up to its title with subtle structural homages to the inconsistencies of madness. Vocals stumble over fluttering percussion and whirly synths, making one lose sense of space, joyfully.

 

Jungle. – “The Heat”

Jungle.’s debut EP on B3SCI Records, Heat, is a wonderful example of clever instrumental dynamics at play. Complex and varied in its methods of expression yet never excessive, tracks like “Lucky I Got What I Want” and “The Heat” contain instrumental components that occupy comfortably their own spaces of existence, to fit perfectly into pockets left open by the others. It’s a sound that’s hard to detail in its rich combination of electronics, soulful vocals, and constant movement — but perhaps a visual component will help. Check out the music video for “The Heat”; directed by JLW-OHP and featuring High Rollaz, it’s rollerskate dance skillz on fiyuh!

 

Widowspeak – “Calico”

“Calico”, the lethargic, daydream-prompting track by Captured Tracks musicians Widowspeak, is the type that absorbs listeners completely in its dizzying brand of folk-oriented psychedelic rock. Simple and compelling is the name of the game, as vocalist Molly Hamilton reiterates the textured fabric again and again to highlight its gentle aural beauty. Stream the entire EP now on SPIN.

 

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