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Italian Sounds: Ash Code, New Candys and Qlowski

Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past month or so, you'll know that Italy were the deserved winners of Euro 2020/21, Europe's most prestigious soccer tournament. That might be their most recent achievement, but the country has an incredibly rich musical scene, and we're delighted to present, in conjunction with Italia Music Export, three terrific Italian bands for this special Italian Sounds Session. Hosted by Brad Wagner, the session will take place at 5pm ET on Thursday July 22, and will feature Ash Code from Naples, New Candys from Venice and Qlowski, who are based in, erm, London (but who have Italian members). You can watch this very special episode via:

Ash Code have been making sinister and damaged darkwave since 2014, blending goth sensibilities with ghoulishly catchy electronics. While the trio had planned to release a full-length to follow-up 2018's third album, Perspektive, the pandemic instead caused them to scrap that almost-finished album because they didn't feel it fit with the reality of these times. Instead, they went to work on an EP of new and remixed songs called Fear. Take one listen to the title track below and you'll likely agree its menacing paranoia matches our current 21st century experience extremely well.

There's a similar vibe present in the stark shoegaze that New Candys make, but at the same time there's also a slightly more optimistic, slacker strain of DNA running through their blood. Now a decade into their existence, the Venice band released their fourth album, Vyvyd back in June, and it's the sound of a band who a truly comfortable both with who they have been and who they've become. Ambitious and moving, familiar yet exciting, it's a record full of contradictions and confused but heartfelt feelings, songs that could only be written now, but which feel as if they've been around forever. Check out the "Twin Mime" video below.

Last, but certainly not least, Qlowski technically reside in London, but the band has roots in Ravenna, Italy (about an hour outside of the more well-known city of Bologna). They've been together for a few years now, but just released their debut full-length, Quale Futuro? (What Future?) in June. It's a wonderfully experimental take on post-punk, which injects that genre with unexpected doses of twee melodics and an energetic sense of hope and purpose underneath it all that tempers the usual ennui of the genre with devastating effect. Watch the video for the mesmerizing "A Woman" below.

The session will begin at 5pm EST on Friday, July 22. We'll see you there!

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