Here are the tracks I’ve been loving this weeks!!
Separate – Kaitlin Keegan
It’s never been a secret that Kaitlin Keegan is an impressive writer and vocalist, ‘Separate’ being the latest addition to her vast mosaic of musical prowess and emotional vulnerability. With gorgeous harmonies and a concrete-solid backline, ‘Separate’ is your personal guide to navigating long-distance relationships (a reality for countless pandemic experiencers). ‘Separate’ is the kind of track that immediately gets stuck deep into your synapses because of its effortless catchiness and Kaitlin’s magical talent of transporting you into her vivid experiences; maybe I have been to Texas? The Melbourne based Indie-Mullet-Pop muso has made a name for herself as a proficient teller of stories and master melodic manipulator, and this new release is no expectation to Keegan’s ability to write an instant classic.
Hazy – Nia J
‘Hazy’ is the dreamy R&B introduction to Nia J’s EP of self-reflection titled ‘Rabbit Hole’; an atmospheric tapestry of her lyricism and groove. This release has a backbone in summery beats and fluttering vocal inflections, which allows Nia J to play with her melodies in a rhythmic allusion to rap and spoken word. The pre-chorus includes a moment where the line “but don’t it feel…” lingers without the obvious conclusion of the word ‘good’, which is a tiny detail that feels so gorgeously potent when it’s contextualised in an entire album of self-exploration and introspection. The idea of admittance that something outside of your societal expectations could feel good (whether that be sexuality, career aspirations) creates such a deep intimacy into the mind and experience of the artist. ‘Hazy’ feels both light-hearted and personal, and acts as a really grooving high point to the rest of Nia J’s soulful self-expression in the ‘Rabbit Hole’ EP.
Say – Breakfast for Dinner
Based out of New York is the love child of the 1975 and Imogen Heap in the dream pop outfit Breakfast for Dinner who have offered up the confessional, bitter-sweet romantic new release ‘Say’. With the washed out guitars and retro synth production at a highly polished calibre, ‘Say’ has a very late-night heartbroken drive to it as it explores the story of letting someone go for the better. It has a deep and grounded sense of nostalgic familiarity in it, like watching your favourite 80’s romantic comedy, while still maintaining a modern vulnerability and intimacy. The weekend-long DIY recording process was swift, uncomplicated and natural, and this is an essence that feels true to the experience of listening to ‘Say’ as a track that feels so comfortable to listen to. Breakfast for Dinner have captured a feeling hard to describe with ‘Say’, reminding us that music is sometimes the best way to understand ourselves and our surroundings.
Overcome – Night Talks
If you’re someone who likes to pretend that their life is a coming of age blockbuster, ‘Overcome’ by L.A band Night Talks needs to be at the top of your playlist for its total glistening re-listenability. The intoxicating energy of the band drive, coupled with the powerhouse vocals and charisma of lead singer Soraya, combines to create a pop anthem of overcoming painful friendship breakups. Platonic loss isn’t a topic explored enough in a musical landscape obsessed with romance and sex, but Night Talks have really taken the reigns with exploring the weird and hurtful process of growing apart from a close friend. The production and melodic arrangement of ‘Overcome’ create the perfect anticipation for a massively satisfying chorus that makes you want to jump out of your seat and dance along, and Night Talks are making it clear that they are creating good times out of all situations.
Rage – Aly Mazarine
French-Canadian songwriter Aly Mazarine is exploding into the pop scene with her debut release ‘Rage’; a track with a fiery message hidden underneath the groove. The added grunge texture in kit of ‘Rage’ puts the listener in a good spot to question whether the song really is as chilled out as it feels. Despite the vibes, ‘Rage’ is about the harmful reality that is ever-prevalent in a misogynistic world that uplifts and exonerates abusers, and the impact of the #metoo era in promoting accountability. To use the energy of a first release as a platform to speak out on this kind of exhausting and seemingly universal injustice, is a sign of an artist who is entwined with a need to express their emotions through music, as well as understand the power that music can have when used as a force of action. Aly Mazarine is making a bold statement in this first release, and starting her project with an intention to uphold what is an important use of her platform, all while keeping the indie-pop vibes very much intact.
a dream i dream – MY BABY
The new electro-indie release ‘a dream i dream’ from Netherlands band MY BABY is a grungy and modal exploration of our current absurd reality. With gruff kit sounds, and a leading drive in the bass, the alt-pop release will have you convinced that the chaos and insanity that has bleed into our everyday lives is simply a manifestation of a dream-like state we’re all collectively in. ‘a dream i dream’ is innovative and playfully creative as it darts back and forth between psychedelic instrumentation and cosmic futurism, the tribal folk melodic shape in the lead vocal grounding the track before it gets too wacky to enjoy. The production in this release is stellar and completely creative, and becomes the perfect sonic backdrop for a track that makes light hearted fun of the sci-fi like conditions many people’s last few years have been. ‘a dream i dream’ is nothing short of sophisticated chaos, and labels MY BABY as a fearless force in the industry.
Love Is The Key – Little Drum
After such a long period of distress and global heartache, finding a song that centres yourself and reminds you of beauty in the world is nothing short of god-sent, and ‘Love Is The Key’ off the new EP from Little Drum really does feel like a warm wash of sunlight after a cloudy day. Mutual folk circles is what brought the members of Little Drum together to develop the Darling Ocean EP, ‘Love Is The Key’ being adequately described as dreamy, foot-stomper. The choral and orchestral wave that rises from the midway point of the track captures the folk essence of community and shared enjoyment of music as a craft through which to enjoy life. ‘Love Is The Key’ truly feels like a collection of expert folk-lovers, and good-time-havers decided to come together and create an antidote to the universal dejection we’ve become so used to, and I look forward to Little Drum continuing to cure my down-trodden spirit.
Afterthought – Sophie Edwards
Canberra songwriter, and all-round goddess of music, Sophie Edwards has finally released her impassioned debut EP ‘Feel Again Soon’, with the perfect heart-breaking emo-fuelled midpoint in ‘Afterthought’. The powerfully solemn release is a pure display of candid desperation packaged in delicate lyricism and haunting melodies as Edwards explores the painful aftermath of unreciprocated romance. The rising nature of the chord structure that comes to rest on this devastating minor at the end of every rotation leaves you feeling a graduating sense of hope that is constantly growing and being destroyed. There is such a captivating essence of honesty in this track, the raw textures in the strings and piano are so cinematic against Sophie’s matter-of-fact lyrical approach to feeling unimportant and left behind. The wizardry behind Sophie’s writing is nothing short of severally emotive, and I extend an emotional content warning to any fragile listeners who are about to embark on listening to ‘Afterthought’.
Hydra – Norrisette
Feeling an intrinsically mammalian desire for safety of home and habitat has manifested itself in Norrisette’s most recent release ‘Future Dream’; an EP injected with beauty and exploration around themes of climate change and destruction. The Art-Pop musician from the UK has divided her compelling emotions into four distinct chapters, each track untangling her emotions around certain aspects of climate change and abuse. ‘Hydra’ is the complex opening number for the project, and is a percussive avant-garde look at water as a powerful and devastating force, as well as a scarce necessity. The sampling of running water and spoken word in ‘Hydra’ evokes vivid imagery around water as a contentious subject for some who’s feelings of destruction and desperation are keenly linked to their experience of water. The entire Future Dream EP is injected with an intense feeling of passionate creativity, as well as a fantastic display of folktronic arrangement, ‘Hydra’ truly acting as the opening act for rest of the comic EP.
Never Go Out – Finch Faux
Melbourne Alt-Pop artist Finch Faux is effortlessly showcasing her ability to blend light spacious vocals with a soundscape thick with grit and metallic harshness in her electric release ‘Never Go Out’. Even with a production atmosphere of industrialism and mechanical percussion, ‘Never Go Out’ still has a distinctive groove that gives this infectious balance of both Electro-Pop and Indie-Rock. The turmoil in the tracks production is partly a reflection of the artists message in the song; a strong desire to go out and party, but feeling weighed down and unable to leave the house. It’s within this frustration that the song really comes alive, as the beating groove feels like both a fake version of a skipped wild party, and the dissonant heart-throbbing physical experience of an anxiety attack. ‘Never Go Out’ works as a precursor to the artists upcoming 2022 album, and solidifies Finch Faux as someone who can bring the party, even if they can’t go.