Here are the top tracks I’ve been loving this week!
Watching – Lou P Scarlett
Coming in like a girl on fire, ‘Watching’ is the eclectic latest addition to Sydney self-proclaimed ‘garbage-glamour showgirl’ Lou P Scarlett’s catalogue, and is a track that transports you into the not-so-distant dystopian surveillance future. Influenced by the dynamic theatricality of her burlesque roots, ‘Watching’ has a sensuality to it’s portrayal of the sci-fi Big Brother authoritative entity, and the disco-electricity of the production feels oh so futuristic Hollywood glamour. Lou P Scarlett has incorporated a myriad of textural influences in ‘Watching’, and listening closely to the production is like a masterclass in piecing together gaudy effects to create something sophisticated and fun. Using her project to explore the wide-world of love, technology, and connection, Lou P Scarlett is main act of the robot sex circus endeavouring to teach us humans how to let go
My Oh My – Ezrae
Ezrae is a down-to-earth noise-maker with a shtick for tongue-in-cheek realism in her lyricism, and this all too obvious with her firecracker of a debut release ‘My Oh My’. Crossing her fingers to him staying oblivious, Ezrae has burst into the music scene with a pretty direct message to the player she dodged a bullet in dating, and with lyrics written only hours before recording, the clarity of her emotions feels fresh and sore. Inspired by the sparkly guitar-based rhythms of bands like The 1975 and Beabadoobee, Ezrae wanted to keep this track grounded in the organic instrumentation that screams ‘vulnerable-youth’. The melodies in ‘My Oh My’, coupled with phat bass slaps, and percussive rhythm instrumentation, gives off this really established feeling from Ezrae’s project, which goes to show how important good influences, polished production and honest song writing is in making a name for yourself with a debut release
Shore Out Of Reach – Sahana Naresh
Seemingly straight out of a Pixar movie soundtrack, ‘Shore Out Of Reach’ is bright homage to the sun-soaked memories of childhood nostalgia as Sahana Naresh recounts her vivid fondness for ocean breeze and sandy shores. Sahana Naresh really flexes her storytelling in ‘Shore Out Of Reach’, outlining a whimsical tale of time travel, seashell boats, and peach coloured skies, all while her candid vocal performance dances atop a colourful percussive foundation. With a double bass that bounces up and down against the rhythm, and guitars synonymous to lazy beach-day afternoons, ‘Shore Out Of Reach’ is a track that leaves you hopeful that these cold wintery lockdown days will end soon here in Melbourne, and we will all be to celebrate warm summer nights together again soon.
Luxury – Salti Ray
U.S based indie Pop-Rock outfit Salti Ray have been using their music as a platform to dive headfirst into the issues that have weighed on their hearts during the last few years of global insanity. With a darker palette to their previous releases, ‘Luxury’ paints a grungier picture to showcase the top hits of 2020’s mosaic of political unrest, with a particular focus on the injustice’s felt in the southern states in the U.S. The close and sharp reverb of the vocals place this track in a particularly echo-y space, reinforcing the overall confrontational cry in the lyricism and message, and the cinematic crescendo in the production and samples at the mid-way point of the track builds a wall of tension and aggression that perfectly heightens the emotion that’s been injected into each beat. Awash with dreamy guitar tones, and bold vocal inflections, ‘Luxury’ is an unapologetic anthem of unrest, and Salti Ray are taking names at the podium
I’m Not Sorry – Darrian Gerard
With blaring guitars and intense hits on the snare, Canadian punk rocker Darrian Gerard is bringing all the nostalgic angsty-rock vibes into the now with her release ‘I’m Not Sorry’. This basement-recorded, emo-punk, indie-rock track is inspired by efforts to take back power and control after being a self-identified over-apologizer. ‘I’m Not Sorry’ has clear sonic references to the most powerful attitude-packed tracks of the 2000’s, Darrien Gerard stating her adoration for our favourite rockers like Avril Lavigne and Blink-182. This track is a time capsule of the most potent emotions around a heart break from long ago for Darrien Gerard, and has become an opportunity to reflect on the unadulterated brokenness that only time can heal. ‘I’m Not Sorry’ would fit seamlessly into a cult classic coming of age movie, and Darrien Gerard is reminding us of why it’s so cathartic to just scream your emotions out when they start to overwhelm you.
Made For This Time – Howe
‘Made For This Time’ feels like the last moments of summer, the days are getting colder and you feel a melancholy vignette to your surroundings; even though there is so much sparkly warmth to the production in Howe’s latest release, her vocal performance really is letting you in on the sadness inside. I’m a massive fan of the climbing bass tones at the turn of the chord progression, it reminds me of a train chugging along with no fuel left in it’s tank, much like the mental monotony of pretending you’re fine 24 hours a day. Howe is really expressing her exhaustion with the incessant connection to technology we are expected to maintain in this digital age; that we are obsessed with distraction and tend to feel unable to live in the moment. The pointed social commentary in ‘Made For This Time’ elevates the project to be more than just music, and though she may feel a sense of disconnection to the age we live in, Howe certainty has created a platform for people to feel community in their mutual feelings of displacement
Humans Weep – Momoko Rose
Drawing from a deep well of entangled feeling of existentialism and apathy, ‘Humans Weep’ is the raw and emotionally explorative release from Geelong artist Momoko Rose. On the dynamic vessel of neo-soul arrangement, ‘Humans Weep’ outlines Momoko’s vulnerability around her personal life, lines like “what if I wake up and all my friends are gone? All I realise is I’m not loved by anyone” being one of many stark expressions of the bareness in her lyricism. Apathy is ironically a powerful emotional defence mechanism that kicks in at the apex of overwhelming feelings, and it’s from this place that the dreamy landscape in ‘Humans Weep’ was developed. The instrumentation in this track is a blend of modernity and classic sensibilities, which all contributes to the overall feeling of dreamy introspection and retrospection, with Momoko Rose at the centre of the vulnerability constructed world.
7:30 – Daniella Spadini
Boston bedroom-pop singer-songwriter Daniella Spadini has painted the all too familiar coming of age loneliness narrative with her lofi pop release ‘7:30’. With a sparse backdrop of crushed piano chords and long reverbs, Daniella is setting the scene; someone isolated and rejected coming to learn of their own deep rooted value and power, and the burning fire within them to instigate self-worth. ‘7:30’ really hits its stride by the end of the track, ramping up with electric guitars, double kicks, and a touch of industrialism and dissonance to really capture the essence of passion and drive. Daniella Spadini’s vocals have a strong characteristic nature that makes you feel as if you’re getting to know who she really is through the inflections and vulnerability in her writing, ‘7:30’ being another example in her catalogue of her honesty packaged in a sweet lo-fi release.
Patience – Macarena
‘Patience’ is the syrupy new release from Amsterdam artist Macarena, and is a bedroom pop track that will have you feeling ready for a summer romance. With a gentle groove in the sampled drums and sub bass, and with Macarena’s sweet vocals sitting in this buttery high register, ‘Patience’ paints a picture of cheeky frustration in the face of waiting, but leaves you feeling hopeful that the waiting will be over soon. The strong and straight sub line has such an effortless coolness to the track, very in the realm of groovy songs like ‘Super Rich Kids’ by Frank Ocean, and the femininity of the vocal’s is confident and creamy amidst the fun beat. The light modulation in the pre-chorus sections is especially tasty to listen to, and Macarena really puts her rhythmic sensibilities on full display as she finds these improvisational melodies in-between the hits of the kick.
Lonely – Annette Gregory
In a world obsessed with finding the next new thing, there is such a simple pleasure in indulging in the richness of classic sounds and sensibilities, and ‘Lonely’ by Annette Gregory is a shining example of celebrating the beauty of Jazz. Written amidst the ever-present wash of loneliness during the global pandemic, ‘Lonely’ incorporates themes relating to a conversation Annette had with her late mother about the way that this feeling can creep into your life even if you are surrounded by people. The warmth of the harmonies in the chorus are such a subtle yet effective texture that gives this already cosy and melancholic track a deeper emotional response, and the guitar tone really sings brightly as a characterisation of yearning. ‘Lonely’, much like the lyrical content, has an intense familiarity to it, and Annette has crafted something so velvety and smooth that we can’t wait for what’s next from her.