Here’s a run down of some of the tracks I’ve been loving!
True – Anieszka
Our favourite RnB princess Anieszka has come down from the clouds and blessed us with the amazing female fronted, Chelsea Warner, Charlotte Adelle collaboration ‘True’. This dreamy, celestial track is a masterclass in pairing subtle and airy vocal inflections with a fine-tuned and finessed production style. ‘True’ has this lush and intimate vocal presence that plays next to the throb of the bass and absolutely delicious chord choices, and communicates this message of living your authentic self to the fullest. The simplicity of the chorus melody allows Anieszka to really play with her rhythms in the verses, with her lead vocal dancing around and with the strong pulse of the kick. The contrast between the intoxicating drive of the beat, and the velvety angelic harmonies has created something completely enchanting. ‘True’ is a hypnotising call to feel liberated in being genuine, and I genuinely can’t wait to see what Anieszka has cooked up for us next
Wonderful – Silver Cup
If songs could hug you, they would feel the way that I feel when I listen to ‘Wonderful’ by Silver Cup. This Utah sibling duo have created something so delicate and light, that still somehow has this intense power of emotion behind it. The vocals behind this track are packed so perfectly next to the muffled radio tones and reverberating bells, and each section has a clear craftsmanship behind it where everything feels in perfect balance with each other. This song captures the loneliness of adolescence, but in a way where you feel optimistically retrospective on the experiences that shaped our growing up. I feel like I’ve looked through a window to the past, saw my own self battling with unforgivable seas of teenage hood, and felt almost nostalgic for those precious moments of my development- plus, this song is so sweet that I’ll need to see the dentist ASAP.
Something About You – Maita
‘Something About You’ is the airy debut track from UK artist Maita, and is a gentle window into her personal world. With the blend of lush vocal harmonies, tender guitar strums, and subtle electronic moments, ‘Something About You’ has a real cinematic lightness to it. Maita has described this song as being about having a fondness towards someone, yet not knowing exactly how to put it into words- this is why music is so precious in those moments, because artists are able to invoke the emotions that’s words can sometimes lack. ‘Something About You’ journeys through two main textures: an intimate whisper, and this grandiose gesture, where Maita is able to travel between the worlds quite effortlessly. ‘Something About You’ leaves you feeling refreshed and like the air around you is clean and clear, and is a beautiful first release for this emerging artist
Ghost Ships – Island Empire
Island Empire are the alt-pop synth wave duo out of London, here to make all your electronic pop dreams come true with their newest release ‘Ghost Ships’. This track sounds like it could have been the featured track in an animated 80’s movie about a dystopian future, but the restrained vocal performance with no sign of overwhelming reverb really brings this track into a modern landscape. ‘Ghost Ships’ is offering a helping hand to listeners who feel held back by self-doubt and feel unable to be their true selves in the world around them, a sentiment that feels ever-so relatable as we start to work our way back into ‘normal’ life. Island Empire have designed a really special world with ‘Ghost Ships’, and I look forward to where their next release might transport me
Dance With Me – Jade not Jane
You can rest assured that any release coming from Jade not Jane is going to have some great parts to belt out, and some sick bass and drum action, and ‘Dance With Me’ is certainty no exception. Jade’s new release is bold and confident, and stunningly captures the ache for human connection we can feel at night. There’s a punch in ‘Dance With Me’ that we haven’t heard before from Jade, the instrumental seems just that little bit more reserved to let the vocals sit in this intimate speaking range for the verses. The chorus then explodes into action as Jade’s vocal performance reaches this climax in emotion. ‘Dance With Me’ fits so well into the resurgence of pop-punk appreciation we’re seeing in 2021, and as always, I’m keen to see what she releases next
Lovely – Serene
First generation, Ghanaian-American born, Dallas raised, soul superstar Serene is capturing all the best bits of 2000’s RnB with a modern twist in her newest release ‘Lovely’. Serene’s vocals make her stand out as a cool and charming lyricist that smoothly works in these strong down beats amidst the minimalism of the verse production, and is complimented with this strong and infectious groove once the track ramps up. The chorus has these rich harmonies to accompany the simple sentiment of the lead vocal- a call to hold onto, and progress the feelings of this moment because it’s just so lovely. The adlibs throughout this track provide a great contrast to Serene’s mid-range, rhythm based melody, and also showcase her chops as a seasoned vocalist. ‘Lovely’ is a great addition to any late-night drive playlists, and will make you want to live in the world she has created for as long as possible
Going Under – Carley Varley
‘Going Under’ is the ironic, joyful sounding release from rising UK pop/rock sensation Carley Varley. The track is designed to throw you off guard, enticing you with bright and cheerful instrumentation from the backline, and Carley’s vocals punching through with catchy pop melodies, but it holds a deeper message under the surface. Carley Varley really pours the dark thoughts from being isolated in lockdown into this fun track, and the lyrics by themselves are deeply honest and personal. “I can’t stop myself from going under anymore” are the kind of feelings at the crux of how this lockdown period has weighed on people, but these messages packaged into this boppy, pop-rock soundscape don’t leave you feeling heavier with the realities of isolation. ‘Going Under’ has such a colourful flavour to it, and rewards listeners who like to dig deeper into the music that connects with them
Drown – Tori Boltwood
‘Drown’ is the romantic new pop ballad from U.S songwriter Tori Boltwood, and is a dreamy number that searches for deeper meaning in the social landscape of fleeting hook-up culture. It’s clear that art and music have a way of romanticising and mystifying the experiences of everyday life, and Tori’s new release is a hopeful embrace of the future possibility of a truer and authentic experience of love. I especially like the dry reverb at the beginning of verse 2, and the way the watery ambience of the production is halted momentarily so the punch of the vocals can jump through. ‘Drown’ is packed with the expression and cadence of a classic pop ballad, and is the kind of track you expect at the end of the movie when the leads finally realise their love for each other.
Afterlife – Emmrose
It’s obvious that society finds something intoxicating about fictional destructive relationships, and it’s from that twisted place that Emmrose and collaborator Richard Orofino developed the dark synth-pop track ‘Afterlife’. The essence of something chilling and almost vampirical is clear in both the subtle vocal effects, and sinister chord choices, with the lyrics having this this voice of cold desperation amidst a power imbalance. The textures in ‘Afterlife’ combined with the distant drum reverb and intimacy of Emmrose’s vocals convey the perfect spooky message, and have you looking behind you in fear of being watched. ‘Afterlife’ could be the love child song of Billie Eilish, Evanescence, and a creepy jewellery box you found in an abandoned cabin in the woods, and like every teenager that gets killed off first in those movies, curiosity takes the better of you and you sink deeper into their world
Was it You or Was it Me – Jewelia
‘Was it You or Was it Me’ is the shimmering and creamy-sweet new release from bedroom pop artist and producer Jewelia. The London-based Romanian writer has crafted a solemn track about the insecurity around a failed relationship, but has packaged it in this syrupy and ethereal way. The subtle texture dissonance in the retro synths and nostalgic bells really elevate this track, and Jewelia’s harmonies are such a memorable addition to each section. ‘Was it You or Was it Me’ explores all the emotions attached to a breakdown between two people, particularly the guilt and unworthiness you can feel when trying to piece together the remnants of what happened, but Jewelia hopes to take listeners through the spectrum of emotions in order to arrive at the conclusion that sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. Jewelia’s track romantically retrospective, and showcases her talent not only as a writer, but as a producer and all-rounder.