Whatever your preconceptions of current South African music may be, cast them away and be prepared for three refreshing surprises in the tropical indie-pop of Beatenberg, the commanding noirwave of Petite Noir and the sultry R&B vocals of songbird Red Robyn.
Nothing hits the spot quite like summery, yacht club indie-rock. It’s a genre that immediately brings to mind the nostalgia of long sun-soaked days and whispers of young romance. That’s the sentiment of Beatenberg’s “Chelsea Blakemore”, a track that merges acoustic beach-bound elements of acoustic guitar and maracas with the retro sounds of tropical synths and the undeniably catchy lyric, “Chelsea Blakemore, I don’t want to play this game.”
This Cape Town band have actually been releasing their infectious indie-pop for the past couple of years, but it appears the project of Matthew Filed, Ross Dorking and Robin Brink is still picking up momentum.
Listen to more: soundcloud.com/beatenberg
Yannick Ilunga, better known as Petite Noir, had a rather impressive emergence into music with a feature on Solange Knowles’ Saint Heron compilation and yet that couldn’t have prepare listeners to what was to come.
A few singles led us to The King Of Anxiety EP, a disorienting mix of new wave electronica, slick Future Island-esque indie-rock and and South African culture. The Belgian-born, Cape Town-based artist has continued to subvert expectations with his debut album La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful, a truly avant garde, polyrhythmic piece of “noirwave”, as Ilunga himself places it.
Listen to more: soundcloud.com/petitenoir
South African singer-songwriter Red Robyn invites us to “come fly with me” in the minimalist, melodic track “Taekwon”, a collaboration with musician and romantic partner Jaedon Daniel. Set against a backdrop of sultry hip-hop beats, a continuous synth key arrangement and acoustic-style drums, Red Robyn’s sultry R&B vocal entices the listener further into the head-boppping rhythm.
Currently based in Durban, Red Robyn continues to spread her creative wings as the vocalist for Blvck Crystals and recently working with producer Skatta on a beefy house track called “Wild Dream”.
Listen to more: soundcloud.com/ashleigh-robyn-de-gee