These are the tracks I’ve been loving this week!
Nascar – MUNGMUNG
Turning heads with retro-groove and clever lyricism is Sydney Hip-Hip artist MUNGMUNG, who’s new release ‘NASCAR’ will have you strapped in for a wild ride. ‘NASCAR’ is a sparkly, cheeky, and infectiously fun track from the up-and-comer, with sexy lyrics that will make you smile, and glittery production that screams arcade nostalgia. Originally set out to have roots in a Reggae style, MUNGMUNG took a left turn with ‘NASCAR’, and ended up in the world of RnB Hip-Hop with producer Taka Perry. The track explores the reckless nature of wild physical relationships that we can often experience at the crux of young-adulthood, and the desire to keep the engine running for as long as possible. MUNGMUNG isn’t afraid to pack her music with personality, attitude, and charisma, and ‘NASCAR’ is a great example of her ability to write expressively, and allow the production to enhance her story telling and flair.
It Be Like That – Chelsea Warner
Chelsea Warner is quickly becoming Sydney’s very own born-and-bred Ariana Grande as she releases yet another effortlessly sultry earworm in ‘It Be Like That’. The new Bedroom R&B track is an exploration of Warner’s experience in lockdown, and her feelings around being a “recovering control freak” forced to go cold turkey and have life come to a halt. The vocal performance and adlibs are the real stars of the track as they create such a vibrant foreground, and in some ways, ‘It Be Like That’ feels like the organised mental chaos Chelsea was feeling amidst the productivity guilt and existentialism many musicians felt over the last two years. Chelsea once again showcases her detailed creativity in the production of this new release, combining elements of classic R&B grooves with a backbone in sophisticated restraint and dreamy guitars, and I can hardly wait for the entire EP to finally be released.
Do You – Alicia Kruger
‘Do You’ is the hypnotizing new R&B release from UK artist Alicia Kruger, and it will have you lighting candles, making tea, and indulging in some all-important self-care. Awash with shimmering keys and a wildly sexy bass line, ‘Do You’ is an effortlessly dreamy Lo-Fi Soul track about guilt-free enjoyment of the little things. Alicia’s vocal performance in the track is beautifully restrained and allows the overall essence of the track feel very candid and cyclical, like a track you could put on in the background as you do your skincare routine, hardly noticing it’s been playing on a loop for 20 minutes. With such soft head-bopping composure, ‘Do You’ is rich with subtle musicianship gold, and Alicia Kruger is setting herself up to be a permanent part of everyone’s self-care routine.
Choices – Anieszka
With another year of lockdowns and uncertainty finally coming to an end, something that has been a saving grace for me has been the cool and collected ethereal releases from Sydney writer Anieszka, who has blessed us once again with a third single this year in ‘Choices’. This dreamy track employs more of that Mauritian-inspired beat goodness we have come to adore from Anieszka, which makes the atmosphere of ‘Choices’ a gorgeous balance between danceable meditative. As always with her lyricism, Anieszka wrote from a place of introspection for ‘Choices’, with her personal journey of growth and learning becoming the foundation of her writing inspirations. ‘Choices’ is a swelling and melodic addition to Anieszka’s tapestry of musical self-affirmations, and she is fast becoming a musical guru of self-acceptance and personal development.
GEMINI – Kate Brunotts
‘GEMINI’ is the self-produced opening track from NY artist Kate Brunotts who’s music takes a microscope to the conclusive weaving of our natural and digital selves. Something particularly interesting about Kate’s work is the use of industrial, dissonant, and harsh sonic choices that exist in an overall major-sounding arrangement. Where you would typically expect jarring intervals and spooky chords, ‘GEMINI’ uses the production tactics to paint her digital world without a forbidding subtext. ‘GEMINI’ is the abstract confessional introduction to an EP packed with digital dismay, which uses clever idioms of nature- “tastes like honey, but stings like a bee”- to convey the ‘dichotomy of a person and their digital self. Kate Brunotts is already such a polished and sophisticated music maker in the electro-pop landscape; the entire “all caps” EP is a brilliant body of introspective work, with ‘GEMINI’ at the genesis imploring the listener to investigate their digital tendencies.
This Love Is Dangerous – Icevena
Sweeping the Sydney Electro-Experimental scene is underground producer and songwriter Icevena, who has just released her 6th single ‘This Love Is Dangerous’. The techno-industrial soundscape of ‘This Love Is Dangerous’ takes you on a Cyber-Punk journey of confrontation and intensity, with lyrics somehow more cutting than the prickly production. “Not sure if I need you, or I need an intervention” was a last-minute addition to the release, and works to up the ante of the theatrical nature of such honest and confessional writing. Something you can always count on in an Icevena track is her use of candid rhythm in her vocal delivery in a way that feels solidified in mantra, almost like listening to closely might activate an ancient sci-fi curse. ‘This Love Is Dangerous’ is a cinematic expression of power, self-preservation, and introspection, and showcases Icevena’s writing and production as something of epic proportions.
Flesh To Flower – Heirloome
The experience of first listening to ‘Flesh To Flower’ is one I truly wish I could have again, the insanely magical world crafted by the Folktronica genius Heirloome is one to simply marvel at in disbelief. The intricate production speckled throughout the dreamscape of ‘Flesh To Flower’ is packed with subtle rhythms that pull you in close to hear the whisper underneath the surface; that this is the kind of music that goes far beyond passive listening. Heirloome has bared all with ‘Flesh To Flower’, having weaved this whimsical world together to honour and make sense of a deep and agonising experience of grief in the loss of their brother. It’s moments like these when music reveals itself to be the captor and mirror of our sorrows, and a vessel through which to understand ourselves and our surroundings. ‘Flesh To Flower’ is music in its most pure and powerful form, and it’s a ferociously generous gift that Heirloome has chosen to share.
Nothing – Elly Kace
NY based Avant-Garde artist Elly Kace is carefully placing more tiles in her intricate mosaic-like body of work “Nothing I see means anything” with the second single and music video, ‘Nothing’, now ready to be experienced. Kace flexes her mastery over strange and unearthly production elements with ‘Nothing’, which is a track that almost feels like encountering an angel of biblical description. Elly Kace isn’t afraid to use her music as a platform for sonic and self-discovery, and her music feels like a real reflection of thoughtful experimentation and enjoyment of interesting sounds. The vocal performance in ‘Nothing’ is wild and free, with Kace’s voice reaching dramatic crescendos amidst the drones and prickly percussion. ‘Nothing’ is an exploration of emotional fatigue in a world that is heavy with suffering, but Elly Kace’s single is more of an expectation-subverting precursor to an album that encourages and cultivates healing.
The Noise – The Wattles
Off the back of another long stretch of lockdown, Sydney Indie band The Wattles have developed a contemplative, cinematic masterpiece with their dreamy new release ‘The Noise’. Opening with tumbling piano arpeggios, and patient swelling guitar strums, ‘The Noise’ is introducing us slowly into a sonic world that comes to eventually mirror the tumultuous discourse within stressful relationships. The halfway point of the track has a gorgeous turn of tonality that launches us into this sweeter perspective; that destruction makes way for growth and personal development. Lucy’s vocals on the track are gorgeously honest and bare, her thick Australian accent poking through like a declaration of vulnerability. ‘The Noise’ is a track that validates your theatrical and exposed emotions, and The Wattles are carrying you all the way through the climactic feelings that can overwhelm you in crisis.
Best Shot – MAXON
Melbourne songwriter MAXON has a writing tone so organic and natural that it feels like the music was just waiting to be uncovered by her candid vulnerability, and this is especially true with her newest confessional release ‘Best Shot’. MAXON is using this cinematic storytelling track as a platform to express her feelings around turning 30 in an industry obsessed with youth. ‘Best Shot’ harnesses the powerful indie tone that iconic Aussie artists are so great at capturing, with a chorus that will ripple throughout the rest of your day. MAXON also once again proves her proficiency as a vocalist who can inject a massive amount of emotion into a singing performance in a way that very reminiscent of song writing powerhouses like Sara Bareilles and Adele. ‘Best Shot’ is a powerful conversation piece around self-worth and the fleeting nature of time, and MAXON stands at the centre, exposed and fearless.