Northern Irish singer Lilla Vargen is one of those kids you read about. They’ve barely a handful of tracks and nary a column inch to their name, but look on their Spotify and they’ve amassed more streams than would have once been thought possible. This is how music works now, ‘undiscovered’ artists regularly clock up millions of streams and the industry is left playing catch up to the savvy teenagers and playlist algorithms that got their first. Baffling though it may be, in Lilla Vargen’s case it’s hard to argue those numbers are anything but justified.
Blessed with a voice that swells like a church organ, she crafts a brooding mix of singer-songwriter fair and electronic goodness. It’s a sound that worked perfectly on her cover of Majical Cloudz haunting ‘Downtown’ and one that works just as well, if not better on her new single ‘Believe Me’ which she’s premiering on Notion today. Inspired by a complex relationship with a friend, the track is a hymn to missed signals and managed expectations. Vargen’s sombre voice floats over a heady mix of yawning synths and the occasional burst of 80s drums. It’s wintery and brooding but there are hints of blue sky throughout, the ominous background chords lifting to a sparkling melody three-quarters of the way through the track. Imagine Lapsley’s first singles mixed with the pop world’s obsession with the sound of the 80s and you’ll have something close. Listen to ‘Believe Me’ below.
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