There was a time when teen pop singles followed very predictable templates, appealed to a very specific age range and were built with a short shelf life. Shannon K reminds us that all that is in the past, we no longer have to take age into consideration and even music aimed at the youngest musical market can be as slick and sophisticated as anything that the more established performers can deliver. A level musical playing field indeed.
Lately is a soulful pop master class built on purposefully lazy backbeats and minimal instrumentation that allows the vocal to become the focal point of the song. A blend of innocent teen narrative and universal wisdom run through the simple but direct lyrics and the whole package takes pop to new heights of soulful finesse.
As always the joining of an artists musical dots often follows the joining of geographical ones and so it is no surprise that Lately is an effortless blend of London style and West Coast cool, with a wonderful taste of Indian exoticism creeping in around the edges. They say East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet! But when it does, as Shannon K proves beyond doubt, the results are spectacular.
Sometimes all you need is a fun tune. When you have had enough of the inward looking and earnest indie kids, the cliché riddled rockers and the production line pop, something light, sassy, self-aware and playful is what is called for. Sometimes all you need is Stela Cole.
Balancing the pop infectiousness of Ellie Goulding, the darker undertones of Lana Del Ray and the street smarts of Lily Allen, her “beats from the Bible Belt” are as cool and contemporary as anything currently filling the dance floors, yet they still sounds like nothing else you have heard from any of the competition. Living up to her mantra that “trying to fit in gets you nowhere, standing out is what life’s all about,” Secret Lover is a mercurial and original blend of cartoon theme tunes, wonky, staccato dance grooves and bubble-gum pop beats making the most addictive cat nip for the very coolest of cats.
And the odd thing is that for all its apparent throwaway pop nature, this is throwaway pop that you just can’t stop listening to. How do you even do that?
It’s all about paying your dues and TyC has certainly done that. After establishing his name as part of the band Carousel he has spent the last few years honing his production skills and song writing craft by shadowing and working with a wide and diverse network of artists and labels. The time now felt right to put his own release out and ahead of the forthcoming ep, the track All 2 Myself acts as a musical teaser and calling card for what is to follow.
And it is an intriguing mix. The ghosts of eighties electro explorers loom large over the song for sure but the more immediate vibe is a slick and sunshine fuelled west coast dance vibe. Add to that big production values, innate pop infectiousness and a polished modernity to his approach and you have a song that not only knows where it comes from but also sure as hell knows where it is going.
It is a busy sound with rock guitars and pulsing bass lines blending effortlessly with the more usual dance-floor elements but through clever production and a careful approach to space, nothing is lost and even the subtlest of sounds has its moment in the spotlight. Now that’s value for money.
Bat and Ball bring the political and the personal together with Worth, the new release from their upcoming debut album.
Worth is beautiful: vocals so fragile you fear they might break; haunting melodies; delicate synth and guitar soundscapes. Beneath that enchanting surface, though, Worth is a lament for what women have lost and the things they have never had in society.
‘Worth must feed our waist down’ – Abi Sinclair’s unique lyrics explore the ways that body image defines how women are valued and how they value themselves. They combine a personal voice of adulthood, looking back enviously to a time of innocent certainty, and a political voice, despairing at the ways our self-obsessed society’s pressures bruise, break and imprison us.
‘My face is turning, ageing leaving you/youth:’ the elegiac mood and gothic cathedral sounds of Worth reveal another side of the upcoming album. Previous releases, Cruel Cats and Be Mine, were savage, frantic and satirical antidotes to the conventional love song – Worth looks with longing into our dislocated and unforgiving selves: ‘so I forget I love loving wide.’
Bat and Ball’s critically acclaimed debut EP, We Prefer It In The Dark, was followed by Guardian ‘Single of the Week,’ Stops My Mouth. Worth is the third single from their highly anticipated album, which will be released later this year. Worth will be accompanied with a music video directed by Chris and Abi Sinclair. A song-video collaboration with international artist Sarah Choo Jing will follow in the lead-up to the album release.
Independent Pop/R&B artist Cortez Shaw today announced his debut single “Burn,” set to be released worldwide on June 6th, 2017.
Written by Shaw, the track features collaborations with producers Jalex and Taji Ausar (Kehlani,Usher, Ne-Yo), Grammy-nominated mix engineer Beau Vallis (Pharrell, Kelly Rowland) and Grammy-winning mastering engineer Randy Merrill (Chris Brown, Mark Ronson, Justin Bieber). “Burn” was inspired by real-life experiences, and tells the relatable story of love, betrayal, and heartbreak – with a twist. It features classic R&B-inspired verses and a soaring, powerful hook, showing off the dynamic vocal
range Shaw is known for.
A two-time finalist on the hit Fox television show “American Idol,” Shaw has earned high praise from around the world, and was recently cast in an upcoming major-network drama. His debut EP RAW is
slated for release later this year.
To learn more about Cortez, visit http://cortezshaw.com
Contrast would be the best word to describe singer-songwriter/producer Rushes. Growing up in a small rural town in Ireland isn’t something you normally associate with soulful cutting edge electronic sounds. The time had finally come for Rushes to fly the coop and explore his opportunities by moving to Dublin permanently to refine his craft and link up with innovators who understood his vision.
In 2017, Rushes joined creative collection Diffusion Lab, who has the likes of Soulé and Jafaris in their ranks to bring his diverse ideas alive. Rushes draws inspiration from artists like N.E.R.D, D’Angelo, Frank Ocean, Radiohead, Jai Paul, Kanye West, Marvin Gaye and Prince but never limits his sonic palette.
Rushes debut single “Wild High” droped on May 26th. An alluring blend of electro-RnB infused with smooth wavy vocals and perfectly polished production.
With “Wild High”, Rushes launches himself into the eye of the music industry with the intent of being heard. For visuals, he teamed up with Gorilla – Nathan Barlow, responsible for Soulé, Jafaris recent music videos.
Where ‘Ivory’ gained the pop newcomer some impressive praise, ‘Shake The Room’ is poised to floor the fence sitters in proving this 24-year old Londoner has what it takes to stamp his mark all over 2017 and all off his own back.
In the man’s own words : “’Shake The Room’ is about losing confidence in yourself, not trusting your gut and allowing others to control your future”. In pure defiance, he sings “I don’t need your reverence, I don’t need your approval” – constantly striving to be the individual that he was always destined to be.
A songwriter and vocalist who cites influences from current pop giants Adele and Kanye West to 80’s pop heroes Terence Trent D’Arby and Tears For Fears. ARLO displays a natural knack for story-telling with a wise head on his young shoulders, his narrative is delivered by his distinctive vocal all wrapped up in uplifting pop rhythms and triumphant percussion
Shake The Room is the second in a series of songs to come from ARLO across the summer and gives you some insight into what he has to offer.
Naïka is a singer/songwriter born in Miami, Florida, who developed an interest in music from an early age while living and traveling internationally with her family.
Naika was born from a Haitian mother and Malagasy father, and growing up with the influence of European, African and Caribbean cultures has shaped her both musically and individually, and continues to define her artistic perspective and outlook. Her music reflects a blend of pop, soul with a World Music influence.
Naïka currently majors in Performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she is pursuing her creative aspirations full time. Within her first year as a student, she was selected to tour with GRAMMY-winning artist Michael Bolton, and participate on NBC’s The Voice. Her songwriting ability also earned her a second place prize in the BMI John Lennon Foundation Scholarship in 2015.
As her academic chapter is coming to an end, Naïka’s music is beginning to flourish. After the release of her debut single “Call Me Marilyn”, the artists’ next pop banger “Ride” is scheduled to hit streaming platforms on May 6th.
Naïka continues to develop her vocal and songwriting expertise with an exemplary work ethic, that will stand her in good stead throughout her journey as an artist, wherein perseverance, dedication and hard work are essential.
Amy’s gift for melody really gets under the skin. Her songs instantly hook into people’s brain, leaving them wanting more. Raised in Chicago (alumni of nationally heralded Second City), and trained as an actress and a dancer, Amy has worked as a voice-over, commercial, stage and screen actress, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Painting from the University of Kansas, and is a certified yoga teacher. However, she considers singing and songwriting her true passion.
While living in Nashville to focus on songwriting, Amy spent several years touring solo as an opener for established acts with loyal fans such as John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Christopher Cross and others. She now lives in Los Angeles and continues to perform and write. Among her film and television placements are “Surrender”, on the soundtrack of the film “One For the Money” starring Katherine Heigl, and her newest single “Follow the Sunshine” (I Don’t Have a Life) on “Sons of Anarchy”
Amy’s 5th independent album “That Whole Entire Time” was released in June of 2015. It was followed by a 5-track EP in 2016 entitled “Keep on Movin.’
She is releasing one song a month in 2017 for the next six months beginning with “On The Inside” in March. Her newest single, “Home Together” is just released this April.
Emerging UK singer Jamie Light is proud to unveil debut single “Lies”, released independently via his own label, Ninth Park Records . The self-penned and produced track immediately stands out with its catchy hook and Jamie’s soulful vocals laid over glitchy electro beats—stemming from the singer’s love of electro music and the R&B/soul he has been influenced by since his early years.
“I always wanted to mix glitch elements with R&B to give my music a unique vibe and the result was ‘Lies’, which I wrote about a previous situation”, Jamie says of the track. “The song is about confronting the demise of a turbulent relationship and moving on when you can no longer gain anything from being in it.”
“Lies” is available to stream now and is the first single to be taken from Jamie Light’s forthcoming debut EP, RITUALS, scheduled for release in June. Keep up to date with all future releases and news by following Jamie and Ninth Park online: