Oxford electro-pop band, Candy Says, release their ‘Crave Easy’ single today, and upcoming EP, You Are Beautiful; We Are All Beautiful, digitally and on cassette, on 7 June. The band originally released the EP offline in November 2018, selling it exclusively on cassette at gigs as a protest against streaming culture and to reward the fans who turn up to support live music. The first two limited edition cassette runs sold out in two weeks. The new online version (and the third edition of the cassette) includes an extra track ‘Beautiful Feeling’, which was penned for the recent Netflix film Close, and reached the Top 100 in the international Shazam charts.

As for their playlist for FMS: “Weʼve discovered some great artists on Bandcamp over the years. Some of them had mainstream success, some have achieved indie cult status in the lo-fi or tape label world. All of them have influenced our music and our thinking, and we love to support them. So hereʼs our top 10 Bandcamp bands and a track from each that we hope will get you hooked.”

1. Palehound – ‘Pet Carrot’

“We heard the first few seconds of this song on the Bandcamp Weekly show back in 2014 and bought the EP immediately. Palehound have released some great music since then, but this is the song we always play to introduce people to them. The guitar riff and the voice have so much character, you just want to listen to it on repeat all day.”

2. The Japanese House – ‘Maybe Youʼre The Reason’

“We discovered The Japanese House when we supported them in Oxford a while ago. The combination of processed-but-still-human vocals, guitar and synths is right in our wheelhouse, and thereʼs something wonderfully honest and direct about Amberʼs voice and songwriting.”

3. Alvvays – ‘Dreams Tonite’

“We were late to the Alvvays party – Antisocialites was our entry point, and ‘Dreams Tonite’ was the song that made us lie on the ground with headphones on knowing that everything was going to be OK. Weʼve since delved back into their dreamier early releases, and theyʼre just infuriatingly good.”

4. Islet – ‘Clouds’

“Our first Islet experience was at a pub gig many years ago, where they absolutely blew the minds of everyone in the audience (all 20 of us). Since then they have been our reference point for rule-breaking – they make extremely unconventional pop that feels very connected to the Welsh countryside they inhabit. This is their first release in ages and weʼre thrilled that theyʼre back.”

5. Max Blansjaar – ‘Youʼre Always On My Mind’

“This is cheating a little because we actually put this song on Bandcamp rather than discovering it there. We run a tape label in Oxford called Beanie Tapes, and we released Maxʼs EP last year. But if we hadnʼt released it, we totally would have discovered it and put it on this playlist because it ticks all our Bandcamp boxes: smart, lo-fi, alternative indie pop with charm and attitude in equal measure.”

6. Emily Reo – ‘Peach’

“Emily Reoʼs sounds have been a big inspiration for us. We started playing with a MicroKorg and a ’90s vocal harmonizer after hearing her beautiful, meandering, emo-robot tracks on the Clubhouse Split, and have been surprised and delighted by everything she has released since. Her new album is poptastic and you should check it out AFTER youʼve heard this track from the Olive Juice album, which will give you just the right about of historical context to fully appreciate the new stuff.”

7. Cloud – ‘Cars & Itʼs Autumn’

“This is what being in a band is all about. We bought this on tape back when we first started buying tapes (again) and it sort of became our subconscious template for the perfect tape release. It sounds like real people, friends, making music because itʼs fun. Everything we were hearing on the radio or on *shudder* CD at the time seemed to be the opposite of that: fake people making fake music and having no fun.”

8. Chrome Sparks – ‘All Or Nothing (feat. Angelica Bess)’

“Itʼs strange that Chrome Sparks isnʼt as big as Tame Impala, but weʼre happy to be in on the secret. He makes mostly instrumental electro music, and has such an insane mastery of rhythm that his drum tracks could form a band without him and release a critically acclaimed solo project. We donʼt know where to place this music. Itʼs just excellent.”

9. Art School Girlfriend – ‘Come Back To Me’

“Weʼve been listening to Art School Girlfriend A LOT lately. Her production is so understated and tasteful. Itʼs music you can get lost in, and keeps revealing new layers of meaning and emotion the more you listen.”

10. Michael Fox – ‘We Had’

“Full disclosure: we produced this track. But we also listen to it all the time and weʼre legitimately big fans of Michael and his effortlessly beautiful voice. Itʼs probably clear from this playlist that we love the combination of acoustic sounds with vintage synths and modern electronic production, and youʼll hear all of that here.”

Candy Says’ You Are Beautiful; We Are All Beautiful EP is out on 7 June via Beanie Tapes. ‘Crave Easy’ is out today.

You can listen to all Ask the DJ playlists on the FMS Magazine Spotify CHANNEL.

Find Candy Says’ playlist below and HERE.

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