Here are the tracks I’ve loved listening to lately!
Up All Night – Eilish Gilligan
Aussie twitch-streaming pop-princess Eilish Gilligan has transformed a year of disappointment and uncertainty into an opportunity for growth and reconfiguration, and this fact couldn’t be made clearer than with ‘Up All Night’. Bold and beaming with excitement, this carefree glittery track unapologetically indulges in the power of a solid night out after a shitty situation. Whether that be a draining relationship, or a draining global pandemic, needless to say this song finds a home in our current tumultuous reality. Eilish Gilligan and Alex Lahey team up to explore the complicated and vulnerable process of getting over someone, and this message coupled with the explosive confidence of the synth-pop production we’ve come to adore from Gab Strum (Japanese Wallpaper), creates a track that hits hard and implores you to dance your troubles away. This is a collaboration we definitely want to see more of.
Home – Jeffe
Jeffe has been making waves in the Australian scene for the last few years, and her new single ‘Home’ fits seamlessly into her catalogue of infectious tunes. Returning with firm, low strikes on the piano, and airy choirs, Jeffe’s fingerprints are all over this new track, having crafted a dancey pop number that’s full of light and energy. ‘Home’ is Jeffe at her most honest, and comes as a hopeful breath of fresh air in a circumstance that felt dark and claustrophobic. The chorus in ‘Home’ is everything you want from a classic indie-pop track, effortlessly blending emotion, drive, and joyfulness, and you can’t help but want to put the windows down and scream along to it. ‘Home’ is evidence that Jeffe is a force to be reckoned with, and it goes without saying that we’re so happy she’s Home.
Forgive Me – Helen
The newest release, ‘Forgive Me’, from DMV alt-pop artist Helen takes you to an otherworldly place of intimacy and retrospection. The fluttering electronic production, blended with the honesty of the piano, lays the ground work for her eruptive vocals to take centre stage in the chorus. The delivery of Helen’s vocal performance emphasises the key message communicated in the lyrics- that the damage has been done, and the toxicity of the relationship has created something unable to be repaired by an apology. ‘Forgive Me’ creates a wide sonic atmosphere with few instrumental intrusions with the vocals and message of the song having the room to shine. Instead of battling for the listener’s attention, ‘Forgive Me’ expertly balances the delicate vocals with an alternative production style. This is new-wave pop at its finest- an uncomplicated and sophisticated take on minimalist production, in a way that can convey the heart of the song writing without compromise.
Caught In the Middle – India and the Jones
It’s rare to find a modern indie-pop track that pulls off the effortless class and charm of a classic bond movie theme song, but India and the Jones is no token dame in distress, and ‘Caught In the Middle’ is the soundtrack to her self-discovery. India has crafted a dreamy and eclectic world with her new song, and her innate musicianship is something to marvel at as she dances tastefully between modulations and tonal centres. ‘Caught In The Middle’ is intrinsically cool, and makes you want to put sunglasses on and wander a strange city. India and the Jones is defying expectations with this release, having created something unique and nostalgic, grounded and airy, personal and universal. ‘Caught In The Middle’ is setting the stage for more to come from India and the Jones, and if it’s anything like this release, then expect to be transported somewhere cinematic and celestial.
We Remember Now – Sofia Dragt
Dutch indie-folk act Sofia Dragt released ‘We Remember Now’ in May as an ohmage to the stories of WWII veteran Herman van Brussel. Her folk-inspired song writing tone reels the past back into the foreground, and reflects on moments in history that may have otherwise been lost. The swelling pace of the guitars, and drive of the drum beat circle around her airy vocals accentuating the message of looking at the past to make the most of the future. It’s clear that Sofia has a personal connection to the stories that swirl around in her dreamy track, as she expressed that she herself grew up in the setting of these lost stories. You can hear the power build behind her voice in the chorus, before coming to an intimate end, and a firm declaration that ‘we remember now’. Sofia’s track has an undeniable hopefulness and confidence to it, that inspires her message to not fall onto deaf ears
Too Many Bad Times – Niki Sabrina
With production reminiscent of FKA Twigs and Banks, UK based artist Niki Sabrina brings a distinct new flavour to the field, trading dark minor progressions for a warmer, major vibe. ‘Too Many Bad Times’ showcases Niki’s vocals front and centre, playfully darting between filters and effects to push her melodies beyond predictability. The restraint and precision of Sabrina’s production has you holding your breath to hear every detail, before there’s an explosion in the few moments where the warmth of synths enter the scene. Her message is simple- too much has happened, too much has been said to rectify the situation, and though her vocal performance is delicate and intimate, there’s no mistaking the boldness behind it. ‘Too Many Bad Times’ appears on Sabrina’s debut EP ‘Forever Misunderstood’, a passionate display of her creativity and inspirations, and confirms that Niki Sabrina is just at the beginning of a long and evolving journey in music.
Listen to Niki Sabrina on Spotify, and connect with her on Instagram
Piggyback – Medusa
‘Piggyback’ is the unrelenting opener to the ‘S.O.B Story’ album from formidable force Medusa. Its thick, industrial sonic textures provide the landscape that challenges the superficial and fleeting nature of rainbow capitalism. It’s clear that ‘Piggyback’ is well crafted from all angles, as Medusa showcases a finesse over writing clever and tailor-made flows, so much so that you would assume rapping was their native language. The dark, provocative production on ‘Piggyback’ sets a strong and indomitable tone for the rest of the ‘S.O.B Story’ album; a collection of songs that objects to the assumption that a queer person must reside in their suffering. ‘Piggyback’ throbs like a protest about to go wild, and is alarming in a way that has you feeling electrified and motivated, leaving you eager for future collaborations between way2wavybaby and Medusa.
Here’s To You – Gina Royale
New Jersey based songwriter Gina Royale weaves emotion and strength into her graceful recent release ‘Here’s To You’. Reminiscent of our favourite early 2010 pop ballads, ‘Here’s To You’ has a distinct modernity to it in the textures of the sonic scenery. Gina uses her track as a vessel to open the conversation on mental health, particularly for musicians, with the message being an ode to her personal struggles and experiences. ‘Here’s To You’ takes you on a clear emotional journey by starting off gently and intimately, before rising and gaining energy for a dramatic finish. Gina’s vocal performance in ‘Here’s To You’ is packed with personality and conviction, and her skills as a singer are put of full display as her harmonies are belted throughout the chorus’. Gina has developed a cinematic and memorable power-ballad that not only sets the stage for her future releases, but also brings an important and necessary conversation into the limelight.
All My Failures – Elizabeth II
‘All My Failures’ is a track bursting with energy, and sounds like it’s come fresh from an iconic 2000’s teen movie about lovable, reckless youths. Elizabeth II’s guitar shredding and bold vocals are as vibrant as her cerulean hair, and the gritty drive of ‘All My Failures’ will have you wishing you had bigger speakers. This track is an instant classic, and will get you banging your head along to the power of the kick drum. The variation in guitar textures’ never overwhelms the mix, showing Elizabeth II’s meticulous tone sensibility, and that she holds her own as a guitarist and instrumentalist in her song construction. ‘All My Failures’ expresses a stark honesty about how insecurity and a damaged past can weigh you down as you try and move forward with your life, and in the same way the song develops into different forms and sections, the process of emotional recovery is a long and complex journey.
Waiting – LUKA
‘Waiting’ is the torrent of emotional flood water you’ve been trying to ignore, and LUKA has blasted those dam wall to pieces with her brutally raw and vulnerable new release. It’s the kind of song you sing amidst a night of periodic sobbing; the song that wraps its arms around you in support when your world is collapsing because of something as simple as unrequited love. “If I wait long enough you might come to your senses” are the words whispered on this indie songwriters breath, and as the 80’s inspired synth rolls in and the harmonies resound, you find yourself feeling all too familiar with this deep sense of longing. LUKA has packed a lot of vulnerability into this classic school-dance slow song, and makes me wonder if I should book in a few therapy sessions before hearing her next release