These are the tracks I’ve been loving this week!
Don’t Have the Time x – The Letter Elle
We love a queen that can girl-boss close to the sun without getting burnt, and none does better than R&B music powerhouse The Letter Elle with her newest release ‘Don’t Have the Time x’. Endeavouring to develop the perfect ‘sass-queen anthem’, ‘Don’t Have the Time’ is a layered song about self-preservation amidst the draining nature of bad romantic and business relationships. Crafted and engineered in her home studio on the Sunshine Coast, the confident and catchy R&B-Pop track is meticulously textured and polished to the highest degree, and perfectly captures the all-important ‘talk to the hand’ boundary many women need to have in their personal and professional lives. ‘Don’t Have the Time x’ is unapologetic, and infectiously groovy, and really highlights The Letter Elle as a feminine force not to be fucked around.
FIASCO – FancyNormal
When I hear a track that actually gets me excited about summer, I know it’s something pretty special, and Melbourne outfit FancyNormal has got me dreaming of warm nights with their absolute heater ‘FIASCO’. This Indie-Electro release is packed with Synth-Pop excellence; the intoxicating funk of the sub-bass and sample kit, paired with the shimmering synths and plucky guitars are a solid foundation for Noni’s dreamy vocals to sweep up and down to paint a picture of romantic realism. The beat is strong with this one, and the candid lyricism in the chorus, “if you’re not talking, I don’t want this, I’m walking away” perfectly captures the direct message the duo are expressing. ‘FIASCO’ is an “ode to miscommunication”, and is a great example of an act like FancyNormal subverting your expectation on what a lament of relationship fatigue should sound like.
Peace In The Sky – Mid Ground x Ellen Mara
‘Peace In The Sky’ is the glittery neo-soul collaboration between Sydney siders Mid Ground and Ellen Mara, and is a showcase of rhythm and groove in song writing. Mara’s vocal line in ‘Peace In The Sky’ resonates in this mid-range register with these long bouts of lyrical expression which teeters on being considered rap or spoken world. The backline produced by Mid Ground acts as this dynamic lofi-jazz atmosphere that swells underneath the lead vocal, pushing and pulling the beat along in a strong side chained groove that has you moving your head around to the changes. ‘Peace In The Sky’ is a gorgeous coming together of the solid instrumental chops of duo Mid Ground and Ellen Mara’s elegant and soulful melodies, and has us hoping they continue to collaborate and create together.
Become Undone – Sunflower Summit
Chicago based singer-songwriter Sunflower Summit is introducing us to her elegantly honest world with her release ‘Become Undone’; an introduction to her upcoming album ‘In This Moment’. With a subtle blend of electronic effects and folk sensibilities, ‘Become Undone’ reflects on the inevitability of endings and beginnings, and an encouragement to make peace with the cyclical nature of our experiences. The melody in the chorus of this new release has such a beautiful folk-inspired shape as it lifts and drops around soulful drive of the guitar and drumbeat. The effect on the vocals in ‘Become Undone’ has a tangible grit to it that is reminiscent of a wild animal on the prowl, and Sunflower Summit’s performance on this track feels organic and completely injected with raw emotion. ‘Become Undone’ feels cinematic and intimate, and sets up a lot of excitement for the upcoming works of Sunflower Summit
Love Departed – Prime Panda
Prime Panda is the eclectic Acid Jazz collective from the UK bringing all the serpentine jazztronica energy with their layered new release ‘Love Departed’. Tess Williams’ vocals in the track beautifully weaves a simple and gratifying melody that feels like a cornerstone amidst the keenly controlled chaos that is the backline. To me, it feels like observing an awe-inspiring but tumultuous storm from the safety of a soft and safe cloud. This track is extraordinarily dynamic, and moves seamlessly between differing sections over the course of its 4 minute duration, all while painting this picture of emotional confusion and introspection. Prime Panda are putting out music that goes well beyond predictability by harnessing gorgeous textures and rhythmic nuances to develop a story telling style that pushes boundaries and expectations, ‘Love Departed’ proving to be a sonic experience that reflects the inner turmoil we can often hide from view.
Retrograde World – Sylvee
With a swirling backdrop of industrial synths and detailed percussion, ‘Retrograde World’ is a commentary on society spinning out of control, and New Zealand artist Sylvee is hoping to ground us in a sense of mutual chaos. The new release from the Alt-Pop songwriter uses clever sonic motifs to reinforce this overall sense of a world that feels like it’s falling apart, this repeated ticking tone in the beat reminds me a monotonous passing of time as the build-up of global injustices start to overwhelm a person. It was important for the artist to share her platform with Maori artist Lucid Hiest in the poignant and charged up electronic track, Isiah’s voice also creates a welcomed juxtaposition to the melodies in Sylvee’s lead. ‘Retrograde World’ is a punchy release that has you feeling communally understood amidst the destruction of your surroundings, and Sylvee and Lucid Hiest’s performance is confrontational and powerful.
Seltzer – Ha1ey
Miami artist, producer, and dancer Ha1ey is making a bold stand with her Pop/Electronica release ‘Seltzer’; a track bubbling and bursting with textures and confidence. The powerful pop anthem works as a call to arms for anybody who feels diminished in their spaces, that place being the male-dominated music engineering world for the artist Ha1ey who independently producers her works. ‘Seltzer’ employs a myriad of textured percussion and synth choices, however upholding the overall sense of space and minimalism in the mix, which gives the track a tone of cunningness and sophistication. Ha1ey’s vocal’s in the track have a very classic feel, and the pairing of this style of singing with the sporadic nature of the production makes for a very interesting listening journey in ‘Seltzer’, like a convergence of two assertive sonic styles that together create something formidable.
Primrose – Mum’s Favourite
Adelaide never fails to bring Australian rock to the forefront of the global stage, and next in line could be Indie-Rock group Mums Favourite as they blast through the scene with their head-banger ‘Primrose’. The 5-piece up-and-coming group have made waves in the Indie-Rock scene after supporting Teenage Jones in 2019, and have successfully pulled together a single with punch and grit amidst the uncertainty of live music in Australia over the last two years of lockdowns. ‘Primrose’ is an ode to the Shakespearian concept of shallow deception, and how the enticing path can often be the one that leads you astray, and it’s this sort of sophisticated and theatrical lyricism that elevates Mums Favourite as a collective. Rock has always pushed boundaries and caused a stir, and Mums Favourite feel comfortable in this world of breaking expectations and exposing the performative nature of society in all it’s forms.
Friends – Charlotte Grayson
When you take a bit of Rock, a bit of Lo-Fi, and a bit of Indie-Pop, and mix it all together, you might get something that sounds a little like the gorgeous new summer groove ‘Friends’ by UK songwriter Charlotte Grayson. The percussive Pop track explores new friendships and connections, and the emotions that surround being understood and heard, and Charlotte does this with a candid and conversational tone in her lyricism. A pre-curser to her upcoming sophomore album ‘Grow’, ‘Friends’ is a showcase of Grayson’s versatility in her style and writing, and is an example of the creative flow that came out of adapting to restrictions and lockdowns. Charlotte Grayson’s melodies are adorably catchy, and the unexpected Synth-Wave production elements are weaved seamlessly in between the Indie-Rock backbone of ‘Friends’, making it a track that keeps on giving the more you listen.
Are you ready? – Elly Kace
Elly Kace is the ethereal mastermind behind the intricate and gentle work ‘Are you ready?’, the precursor to her debut album ‘Nothing I See Means Anything’, a track that will transport you a heavenly an unfamiliar plane. The last 18 months have taught Kace to relinquish control over her life, and to see beyond the pain and suffering of her surroundings, ‘Nothing I See Means Anything’ becoming this almost optimistic-nihilist outlook that got her through many low moments. This light, celestial register Elly Kace’s voice hangs in for ‘Are you ready?’ feels very gently authoritative, like the voice of an almighty figure, the vocoder just accentuating this sense of benevolence and majesty. The track ‘Are you ready?’ sets up the haunting and nuanced journey listeners will embark on through the upcoming album that will entice fans of Björk, Kate Bush, and Lady Gaga.