Best Tracks of 2015
selected by IndieBerlin

Alice Phoebe Lou
“Berlin Blues”

Alice Phoebe Lou has come up through the most honest possible grassroots way: From South Africa, the small, slight blonde girl went travelling in Europe, feeding herself by juggling.

Landing in Berlin she found the juggling wasn’t working so she started playing guitar and singing in train stations and on the streets. She sings so beautifully and with such a clear, pure voice – avoiding the use of vibrato for example – people would stop and listen; these became small groups, and the groups became crowds. She started selling CDs, and got bigger and bigger, still just playing on the street.

Deciding to release an album, she booked her first ever gig in Heimathafen Neukölln, a good-sized and well-known venue, and managed to sell it out. Alice is now hunkered down in a studio somewhere recording her first album, helped by the ex-Whitest Boy Alive. (Noel Maurice)

Alice Phoebe Lou on Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, www.

Bersarin Quartett
“Sanft verblassen die Geschichten”

Most of the time I’m travelling alone, and I like to wake up in a new city and to make discoveries just by my own. Bersarin Quartett is my soundtrack to these journeys.

I really love their first two albums, by when their new effort “III” came out in November after three years of waiting, it became my perfect reord to walk through an unknown city, and feel the history of the town.

Beautiful strings and the ambience of the track “Sanft verblassen die Geschichten” (“Softly, the Stories Fade Away”) might make you slightly melancholic about the past, and you can imagine stories of people who lived long before us. All you need is to listen carefully to this mesmerizing album. (Norman Zielasko)

Bersarin Quartett on Facebook, www.

“We Were Here”

Valeska Steiner comes from Zurich, and Sonja Glass’ hometown is Hamburg. They have met at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Hamburg in 2005 and they started the band in two years later.

After playing many concerts over the years, in 2011 they released their debut full-length album “Mutual Friends”, and I’m sure that you all know the single “Little Numbers”. The album was a huge success, Valeska and Sonja were touring all around the world and you could hear their songs in every radio station.

After taking a break, they released their second album “We Were Here” in August 2015 and the title track is also the first single. This time, the record’s got nine songs: well-produced, with interesting lyric and heartwarming voices of Sonja and Valeska.

They really know how to write a catchy pop song and I’m sure this album will stay here for a long time. (Norman Zielasko)

BOY on Facebook, Twitter, www.

Dan Freeman and the Serious

Dan Freeman, originally from Tasmania, has been based in Berlin since 2011. Originally playing saxophone and piano, he studied music at the renowned Hans Eisler school in Berlin before starting his band Dan Freeman and the Serious, and releasing their first album “I Lie A Lot” on Solaris Empire in 2011.

Disappointed with the reception of the album, he hid in a studio for a long time working up the music for what will be his second album. With songs that sound like Radiohead and a voice that is reminiscent of Jeff Buckley, he’s released two video singles from the intended album.

Both songs have received critical acclaim and the second video single, “Dagner”, has garnered over 60,000 views on Vimeo since its release in November 2015.

Dan is playing his music around Berlin and further afield and planning the release of his second album. (Noel Maurice)

Dan Freeman and the Serious on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, www.

Die Wilde Jagd
“Der Meister”

Quality and maturity of Die Wilde Jagd’s self-titled debut album is a thing of wonder. But those guys have been known each other for about 10 years now, and they seem to have it all well-thought-out.

Steering between live instruments and electronic music – yes, with some krautrock influences as you’d expect from a band formed in Düsseldorf – the three-piece group from Berlin already created a music world for themselves.

Die Wilde Jagd (The Wild Hunt) compare their music to the experience of a dark, beautiful yet somehow disquieting forest. “Der Meister” is one of the highlights from their debut, but you should certainly try the full hunt.

Die Wilde Jagd on Facebook, Twitter, www.


The young electronic duo from Mainz, Dynarchy was founded in early 2014, but Djitó and Nadjana took some time to bring their self-titled album to life.

It came out in July 2015 and it was worth all the wait. With great attention to detail, beautiful guitars, electronic elements and of course with the unique voice of Nadjana, this album became easily one of my this year’s favourites

While you can check out the whole album on Bandcamp, “Blossom” is one of the record’s highlights and a great introduction to Dynarchy’s music. Hopefully, we’ll get to hear more of it soon. (Norman Zielasko)

Dynarchy on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter.

“Grab The Sunset”

Hundreds are a brother/sister electro-pop duo from Hamburg. Eva’s six-years-older brother Phillipp studied jazz piano and after having sung and played together at family gatherings, they decided to add synthesisers and beats.

They’ve deliberately kept their biographical details murky, claiming that they prefer to let the music speak for itself. What we know is that they released an inspiring new EP at the beginning of the summer last year.

Titled “Tame the Noise”, it contains eight well-written and thoughtfully arranged songs, with “Grab The Sunset” among the highlights. (Noel Maurice)

Hundreds on Soundcloud, Facebook, www.

“Last Living Dinosaur”

The latest album from Kadavar is called “Berlin” and its not so difficult to guess where the band is from. Released in August, the record hit the German Chart immediately on the spot no. 18.

They went on a massive tour through Europe with many sold out shows and an enthusiastic audience. Which didn’t surprise after hearing Kadavar’s new material.

“Last living dinosaur” is one of the 12 new tracks and the first single off the album. If you like heavy metal and classic rockers like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple – you will love it from the first moment. (Norman Zielasko)

Kadavar on Soundcloud, Facebook, YouTube, www.


A new band from Offenbach in the west-central Germany, Kaili released their debut EP “Melancholy Drift” late Spring giving us exactly what you would expect from talented young musicians these days.

The mini-album combines soulful songwriting with modern production, somewhere between electronic music, electro-pop and this very dense atmosphere James Blake has made one of 21st century’s trademarks.

The 7-track record is a carefully composed story steering your emotions through ups and downs, and therefore best to listen in its entirety. But if we had to choose one highlight, it would be “Drift”.

Kaili on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook,

Kitty Solaris
“Silent Disco”

A well known Berlin singer/songwriter following in the footsteps of her all-time favorites – Velvet Underground, Patty Smith and Catpower – Kitty Solaris has been around since the 1990s. She’s also been running a renowned underground Berlin label called Solaris Empire.

She plays pop rock with electro bits and is always straight to the point with her lyrics and catchy hooklines. In 2015, she released a new album titled “Silent Disco” with the first single that appropriately borrows its name from the album.

But here’s her latest video from this record, “Mind Matches”, a mellow yet gripping story in black-and-white. (Noel Maurice)

Kitty Solaris on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, www.

Missin Cat

Orginally from Northern Italy, Caterina Barbieri also known as Missin Cat has lived for some years in Berlin. For a long while she played soft songs on an acoustic guitar.

Her most recent material, however, saw a departure, bringing in odd instrumentation and expanding her sound. The result, an record called “Wirewalker”, ended up winning her a lot of fans and an award for best album.

The catchy single “Pirates” is one of the songs you can´t get enough even after months. You can hear the piano – she started to sing and play piano very early, and afterwards she learned guitar and bass as well – and some finger snapping in the background.

Then comes the warm voice of Caterina, and for three minutes you want the world to stop spinning. (Noel Maurice / Norman Zielasko)

MissinCat on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, www.


Dramatic soundscapes and opulent beats through which the dreamily disturbed vocals of singer Delhia de Frannce float, single “Ghosts” comes off “Ouroboros”, the second album by a Berlin/Leipzig/Amsterdam band called The Pentatones.

Their extensive external work in theatre, performance, video and visual arts help their music achieve its cinematic effect. Production by Robot Koch (Casper) didn’t hurt either.

And you can see an example of how their wide-ranging experiences work together in the video for “Ghosts”, certainly one of the most gripping videos of the last year. (Noel Maurice)

Pentatones on Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook, www.

“Followe Me Me Me”

Superb song “Follow Me Me Me” is the first single from “Evropi”, the second album by the Greek-German duo of Eleni Zafiriadou and Daniel Benjamin, also known as SEΛ + ΛIR. In the Greek language, “Evropi” stands for “Europe”.

Talking about the origin of the new record, the duo mention hundreds of concerts they’ve played around the old continent. And when you are on tour around Europe these days, they say, you have to experience a lot. That’s why “Evropi’s” lyrics deal with current issues such as expulsion, flight and the consequences of homelessness.

Eleni and Daniel define their songs as “Ghost Pop”. That’s a good name to describe this fascinating record with unusual instruments (like Bouzouki), perfectly discordant vocals of this unique couple and much more. (Norman Zielasko)

SEΛ + ΛIR on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, www.

Skin & Bones

Terranova’s new album “Restless” was a long-awaited follow-up to their previous effort, “Hotel Amour”, released in 2012, and it was recorded with the support of “their old and new friends.”

The superb single “Skin & Bones”, for instance, features the Copenhagen duo Lydmor & Bon Homme.
This track is also a great example of how Terranova keep making us forget about the difference between analog and digital, and between music that’s supposed to be listened while standing, sitting or in bed.

This year, the DJ/producer duo of Fetisch and &ME will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Terranova, which started in 1996. Sounds like the party is only starting. (Norman Zielasko)

Terranova on Soundcloud, Facebook, www.

Von Eden
“Sommer Ist”

Von Eden started as auspiciously as can be: Christoph Letkowski, a reasonably well-known young German actor, was cast in a film; in between takes he strummed his guitar and came up with a song. The song was then used as the title track of the film; the film hit big in Germany.

Christoph got the band together and Van Eden was born, their first single already out, associated with the hit film where Christoph played the lead. From all this though you can imagine the band being an actor’s ego trip, his name front and centre to promote it. But Christoph was a musician before he went into acting, he’s surprisingly humble and the band is very much a band.

You can hear that in the music, and it’s that kind of optimistic good-naturedness that shines through and gives the semi-acoustic shuffle rock band its particular flair. (Noel Maurice)

Von Eden on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, www.


His voice reminds me of Antony and the Johnsons, and when you know that Tracy Chapman and Erykah Badu are his influences, then you can imagine how emotional and full of love his music is.

Yates came to Germany from Australia for a reason he still hasn’t explained to us properly. But he apparently fell in love with Berlin, and Berlin loved him back and gave him an inspirations to write such amazing songs as “Virtue”.

His impressive recent single, it starts with a simple guitar chord and an electronic beat, but then comes the real highlight of the song – Ben’s slighty melancholic and warm voice.

This March, Yates will release a new EP called “Mercury”, followed by a five-city tour around Germany. If you’re somewhere close, be sure to see him live. (Norman Zielasko)

Yates on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.