These are the tracks I’ve been loving this week!
Lie to Me – Dunebug
It’s the first warm day of spring, you’re lazing about on a picnic rug, soaking up the warmth and beauty around you, and ‘Lie To Me’ by London indie writer Dunebug is what you simply must be listening to to soundtrack the afternoon breeze. The candid melancholia of Chi’s vocal performance is the perfect heartbroken tone for this story of longing and fear about progressing past the agreed upon casual nature of a relationship. There is such a dreamy sadness to the sonic palette of ‘Lie To Me’, the combination of the intimate whispery vocal presence with the echo of the drum reverb really accentuates the feeling of gentle loneliness. The summery surf-tones in the guitars, and the breezy harmonies bring so much sincere beauty to Dunebug’s writing, and ‘Lie To Me’ becomes such a clear example of a track with a lot of offer if you scratch beneath the surface.
To Be Free – Roos Meijer
An art-form we have almost lost in music creation is the vivid emotional response found in dynamic structure, something that is often birthed out of a sincere and raw performance. This is a technique harnessed expertly by Netherlands folk songwriter Roos Meijer in her recent release ‘To Be Free’, a track best experienced in a quiet environment to better hear the delicate use of volume and space in a track that grows over time. ‘To Be Free’ is the kind of track that feels like a gift hand made personally for you, an intimate and well crafted thing that reflects the heart of the giver. Roos Meijers performance as a vocalist really showcases her vulnerability as a writer, and the evolution of the track over four and half minutes is a testament to her trust in delivering a message that is personal, and in no way rushed.
Quiet Morning – Sehruhtonin
When music can perfectly capture the essence of a moment, when it feels like the melodies and instruments are entwined with tangibility and familiarity of the world around you, it leads you to believe that we are not alone on this floating rock, that our experiences are universal and connected; this is how I felt when I listened to ‘Quiet Morning’ by UK artist Sehruhtonin. The dreamy guitars swirling around your brain feel like liquid morphine, slowing your heart rate down and calming your spirit, and Sehruhtonin’s intimate vocal presence is like a gentle touch of understanding and comfort. Sehruhtonin is exposing her experience living with mental illness, in hope to normalise the conversation around silently suffering, and bring light to a reality not talked about enough. ‘Quiet Morning’ is an honest example of creating beauty from hardship, and Sehruhtonin’s openness is a key ingredient to the track being so beautiful to listen to.
With You – Linzi Clark
‘With You’ is a track so injected with a pure Indie-Folk/Pop vibe, that you would think could be the catalyst for the genre itself, and UK artist Linzi Clark isn’t slowing down with what she’s serving up. This new release is a bittersweet wave that feels straight out of a coming of age movie, the slight whimsy to the chord structures, and light radio effect to the lead vocal really ground the textures in a tangible familiarity. The song writing in ‘With You’ is introspective, and the melody is one that reflects the core of Linzi’s message- the up’s and down’s of love in all its forms. Linzi endeavours to have her listeners follow a journey of growth within a relationship, and the notion of safety, insecurity, vulnerability, and adoration are all keenly felt in not only the lyricism of ‘With You’, but in the arrangement and instrumentation too.
September – Kelaska
States Rock-Pop writer Kelaska is giving out all those warm fuzzy feelings with her love song ‘September’. With bold guitar strums, and Kelaska’s vocals sitting polished and vibrant in the mix, ‘September’ is the perfect track to take a sunset drive to, ideally with butterflies in your stomach. There’s a bit of punch in the verses that really remind me of this nervous timidness you might have in a new relationship, where you feel like you could burst at any time, which is what makes the explosiveness of the chorus feel so satisfying. This is the first love song Kelaska has written, leading me to believe it’s a real culmination of all those things that are so hard to express when you’re entering new love, and is a testament to her true and honest feelings. ‘September’ is a track to fall in love to, and to fall in love with, and Kelaska is one to remember
Traces – Cate Hamilton
Brooklyn artist Cate Hamilton has drifted directly down from an ethereal cosmic plain to gift us with the angelic indie-pop track ‘Traces’. This newest release from the theatrical songwriter is a great exhibition of tasteful experimentation weaved seamlessly into a pop format. The sonic textures in ‘Traces’ are swirling, unearthly, and unique, but don’t feel out of place in the commerciality to the overall sound, especially when paired with the 70’s inspired chilled out bass rhythm and beat. ‘Traces’ was created from a vivid and dynamic LSD trip from the artist, and endeavours to ask the existential questions of why it is that we do the things that we do; Cate herself finding a sense of peace and gratitude in her decisions to pursue music amidst feelings of self-doubt. I can’t wait to see where the next trip takes Cate Hamilton
Hanoi – Marie Minet (Kel-P Remix)
A fusion I haven’t encountered too much that I am really vibing with is the coming together of sultry French Jazz, with Afrobeat grooves, and no one does that better than Marie Minet and Kel-P. ‘Hanoi’ feels straight out of a ballroom dance scene that two spies need to attend in order to relay confidential information in whispered underneath elaborate masquerade. This song forces your body into a trance, you can’t help but move along to tasteful horns, and nylon plucks. The electric collaboration came about after a spontaneous trip Marie took to Ghana at the first sign of a break in lockdown, which is something that really showcases Marie’s commitment to discovering new sounds and opportunities even amidst such grim contexts. ‘Hanoi’ is internationality incarnate, a real window into the euro-afro world that feels so far away amidst restrictions, so on behalf of everyone in stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne, thank you Marie and Kel for this masterpiece!
Sugar Rush – Helen
Something you can always expect from a Helen release is polished production, sweet saturated vocals, and an infectious groove, and we get all these things and more with her newest track ‘Sugar Rush’. Scattered with nostalgic retro synths and hard hitting trap beats, ‘Sugar Rush’ is a syrupy take on the dance banger format that makes you want to dress up like a princess and go clubbing. Light-hearted and a little tongue-in-cheek, ‘Sugar Rush’ is about having options available to you for romantic partners, “play them like candy crush” is a particularly amazing line that stood out to me. ‘Sugar Rush’ is playful and confident, and at the core of the track is this bad-bitch feminine attitude that we don’t get to see too much in commercial music, and is something that showcases Helen’s artistry as a songwriter with diversity in her style.
S.E.X- queen mars
‘S.E.X’ is the new melancholic R&B-Pop release from L.A artist queen mars, and puts a microscope to our sexually-charged cultural landscape. The minor backbone to the throbbing and drowned out beat give off this tinge of cynicism and attitude to the message of ‘S.E.X’, and reinforces the tone of performativity in hook-up culture. The blending of the powerful and confident maturity in the overall message of the release, with this innocent naivety in referencing the early 2000’s animation ‘Power Puff Girls’ in the lyrics, is the centrepiece of the tracks intention; we’re all grown up now, and are products of our behaviour, environments, and actions. ‘S.E.X’ acts as a mirror to the frivolous nature of these passing relationships, and queen mars upholds her intrinsic intentions to keep you on your toes, questioning reality around you
The Fire – Austen
‘The Fire’ is the electro-pop summer banger you’ve been waiting for, as Austen is lighting a trail out of lockdown and into the sun. The new glittery release is a bit of a tangent from the darker sounds we’ve come to know from Austen, however the slight grunge to the drive in the bass end of the track really ties her previous releases with this new sonic palette in ‘The Fire’. I’m obsessed with the juxtaposition of the fast drive in the kit and the repeated motif next to the more elongated melodic notes in Austen’s lead vocal, which to me really represent the heart of the songs content; the “sweet spot of intensity”. It’s the kind of song that bursts out of you when you can’t hold the feelings in any more, it’s psychedelic, gritty, fun that you can’t get enough of. Needless to say we’re in great anticipation for what’s next from Austen, but for now, ‘The Fire’ will keep us plenty warm.