Here are the tracks I’ve been loving this week!
Stranger In My Skin – Romanie
A massively common feeling for those who have experienced long and lonely lockdown’s over the last 18 months is isolation and alienation, and Aussie based Belgium artist Romanie has expressed those sentiments so beautifully with her newest release ‘Stranger In My Skin’. Romanie crafts the most romantic melodies that stay in your head for hours, and lines like ‘I don’t want to be exhausted anymore’ is a hopeful message that rings throughout the sparse and dreamy sonic landscape she has developed. 2021 has been a year of evolution for Romanie’s sound as she has ventured into the world of drums and bass in her newest releases, but the essence of honesty in her writing never changes as she continues to use her music as a platform for self reflection and catharsis. ‘Stranger In My Skin’ is a beautiful track built on this foundation of mellow guitar twangs and vulnerable vocal inflections, and is a beautiful thing to have come out of such a dark time
Stuck On Silver Linings – Waking April
‘Stuck On Silver Linings’ is your antidote to these wintery lockdown days in Melbourne, because this sparkly warm release from Waking April will have you dreaming of those summer festivals we all miss so much. The song speaks to the exhaustion of feigned optimism during such an emotionally brutal period like this last year, the line “I’ve been looking up, I’ve been going blind” speaking quite literally into those draining feelings. The glittery retro synths blended with the textures of the sampled claps and warm drones are really explosive in the chorus, and create this thick and unique soundscape filled with colour. The restraint in the final section speaks the loudest as the listener can’t escape the honesty in that chorus motif- that trying to see the bright side in all of this chaos and disappointment has left many creative’s feeling absolutely wiped out
Ready To Roll – Natalie Clark
Grab your sunglasses and your brightest lipstick because Natalie Clark is going to have you winding your windows down and feeling cool as hell with her new release ‘Ready To Roll’. For fans of bold female-fronted pop-rock acts like Paloma Faith and Little Birdy, Natalie Clark is giving all that personality and power in her rowdy upbeat track. ‘Ready To Roll’ is a little surfy and a little dancey, with a chorus that will make you shimmy and shake along with Natalie’s bouncing melodies. The ‘oooo’s in the chorus are especially fun to sing and clap along to, and this song can’t help but make you feel joyful and full of life. This is the first release following her partnership with Indie Label DVG Records, and is just the energetic kind of release destined to propel Natalie Clark towards stardom.
Better Tonight – Shae Brock
L.A based ‘Dream Rock’ songstress Shae Brock is definitely asking you for the first dance once this pandemic has wrapped up, and her dreamy new release ‘Better Tonight’ is ready to get the party started. This track will give you major bass-face from a low end that even Mark Ronson would envy. Shae’s vocals act like the inner monologue as your eyes connect to a handsome stranger across the room, “all I really want is to spin into your arms” being at the core of the story. ‘Better Tonight’ is a seamless blend of grunge and glamour with the sparkle in the vocal processing and synths working so effortlessly next to the guitar licks and bass. Shae Brock has developed a track with confident groove; a seriously fun song that sparkles from top to bottom.
Entertained – Madison Deaver
Madison Deaver is breaking down the door with her deadly new release ‘Entertained’ from the debut Pop Punk EP ‘Tongue Tied’. Taking inspiration from rock goddesses like Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani, Madison is bringing grunge into the now, as ‘Entertained’ employs some of the modern atmospheric elements of electronic pop, into a well established rock sound. Her new release hits hard with unapologetic power with the jittery double kick sending you flying through the room. The ‘Tongue Tied’ EP has a focus on the struggles in all forms of relationships, and ‘Entertained’ opens this saga with a confrontational snarl that really sets the tone for the rest of the EP. Pop Punk is quickly taking centre stage in the mainstream, and Madison Deaver is pulling up a chair at the table
She’s Mine – Eva Westphal
Eva Westphal is giving us all the fuzzy feelings with her syrupy new track ‘She’s Mine’. This super sweet, super gay folk-pop release is conversational and candidly affectionate, and makes you dream of a day when someone would love you so much to write a song this lovely about you. Eva’s melodies so organically fit with the folky, dreamy instrumental, and her song writing feels beautifully direct and sincere. There’s so much emotion between the lines in a song like this, with lyrics like “you’re so fucking weird” that can only really exist if there’s this deep connection between two people who care for eachother. ‘She’s Mine’ is an anthem of love, and there is so much importance in a song that is so open and honest in its celebration of queer romance.
Complicated – Savaiah
Bay Area Contemporary Soul artist Savaiah has dropped a groovy and charismatic track in ‘Complicated’, her first ever release at the age of 15. Underneath the slick R&B production, ‘Complicated’ is a really honest and vulnerable expression of insecurity and confusion for the young songwriter who hasn’t shied away from telling it how it is. Savaiah has packed this soulful track with a lot of retrospection and maturity, “I missed the old you, wait, I miss the idea of you” being lyrics that really showcase her music as being a personal diary for processing her emotions. The drowned out filter on the drums with the light reverberation on the bells set a beautifully mellow tapestry for Savaiah’s improvisations and vocal character. Savaiah is creating a lot of anticipation for her next release with ‘Complicated’, and her sophisticated musicianship is one to marvel at for such a young songstress
what’s love? – Luna Kat
Artists are so often an amalgamation of their surroundings and experiences, and this feels especially clear with an artist like Luna Kat; the indie-pop singer songwriter from Sydney, Shanghai, and New York. Luna has released her sweet new single ‘what’s love?’, a classic lo-fi bedroom pop track that absolutely shimmers with feminine youth and attitude. The slight rotary detuned tone in the guitar gives the overall track a foundation that feels really down to earth, and the stacked harmonies create a light airy feel next to the strong stabs of the sub bass and lo-fi percussive hits. ‘what’s love?’ feels like it could be on the soundtrack to a Netflix coming of age series, and its simple relatability and charm has that chorus line ‘what’s love got to do with it?’ staying in your head long after the song has faded off.
Love Me Back – Bri Fletcher
‘Love Me Back’ is the emphatic new release from vocal powerhouse Bri Fletcher, and it’s a track with production so clean you could eat off it. Bri has made a name for herself in releasing empowering and magnetic pop-rock hits, and ‘Love Me Back’ fits seamlessly into her catalogue of memorable melodies and incredible vocals. This new release has a bit of a sting to it in the lyrics, but this confrontational tone is a bit of a hidden gem underneath all the expertly polished production elements. Bri’s vocal’s are something to marvel at in this track, effortlessly floating around the guitar riffs and strums, with these beautiful open moments before the chorus’s that really let her improvisations and runs have a delicate moment to shine. This track is infectiously fun to listen to, and makes a bold statement for Bri as an accomplished songwriter and vocalist
still high – Holly Jade
If Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish collaborate on a stylish and eerie alt-pop track, it could end up sounding a bit like the juicy new release ‘still high’ from L.A based indie artist Holly Jade. In a whispery dark vocal performance, Perth raised writer Holly Jade is really commanding your attention as she conveys this narrative about a bittersweet and complicated past relationship. The slight grungy texture on her lead vocal has this great contrast next to the purity of her backing vocals as they dart between some really gorgeous harmonic choices in the chorus. This track is effortlessly cool, and the punch of the vocal rhythms has that slight R&B, Victoria Monet-ness that really makes you vibe along to the beats and atmosphere. ‘still high’ is a really interesting coming together of airy pop sensibilities and dark production, and leaves you in anticipation for what’s next