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Pop Music

As the trends in music evolve, as does the definition of pop music. Pop started as an abbreviation for popular; since the mid-20th-century, it has become the go-to term to define the music currently holding the most favour with the public. The evolving nature of pop makes it hard to pinpoint the pioneers; some say it all started when performers needed a catchy and memorable song in the Victorian area, while others say that pop began with the original crooners in the 30s.

The introduction of the pop music charts in 1952 allowed a cultural shift to form around music. It was at this point in history that teenagers became a massive target for the media. Before this new social reconstruction, there had been no in-between for children and adults. Just as it is now in the TikTok age, where teenagers can make an unknown artist go viral in minutes, teenagers effectively ran the music industry in the 50s too!

After Elvis Presley reigned supreme in the late 50s and early 60s, the Beatles dominated the charts for eight years until they disbanded in 1970. Throughout the 80s, synthpop took the pop limelight until the Boy Band era was born in the 90s. The selling power of East 17, Take That, Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync gave Bob and Chris Herbert the idea to manufacture the world’s ultimate girl group; with the Spice Girls, they discernibly succeeded. After the Spice Girls topped the charts, more manufactured pop acts, such as Britney and Mariah Carey, started to surface. Manufacturing is still a massive part of the pop industry, but more and more pop artists are becoming brave enough to break the mould (think Billie Eilish, St. Vincent and Lorde).

Even though the pop charts are more diverse than ever, with Ed Sheeran sitting next to the Weeknd and Dua Lipa next to Tom Grennan, there are still common factors in their pop tracks. Today, most songs that fall into the pop category follow the extensively tried and tested pop formula. Generally speaking, pop tracks are 3 – 5 minutes in duration, use just one key, contains melodically lyrical soundbites that include the title, have a repeating chorus and keep to 4/4 time signatures. Repetition is quite literally key.

Unless it is a ballad or a stripped back acoustic number, pop tracks usually unfold to danceable tempos and rhythms to complement the lyrical hooks. Elements from every genre can be pulled into pop, the main ones being rock, RnB, hip hop, country, Latin and dance. Indie pop was a force to be reckoned with at the start of the millennium, but two decades in, it has lost its foothold to hip hop and RnB, which have become pop genres in of themselves.

I Was Terrified: Lovable Portland folk singer-songwriter Tirlyn Sky tells us about the familar romantic dream on ‘I’m Okay With It’

As she ponders a time and place that felt so eerily similar and deja-vu like, Tirlyn Sky sings with growing confidence on a sweet story that will probably give you butterflies in your stomach with ‘I’m Okay With It‘.

Tirlyn Sky is a youthful 17-years-old Portland, Oregon-based indie-folk/pop singer-songwriter who sings with a likably shy nature and sings about love, life and finding your destined path in this overly-complicated world.

Music from other artists has helped me so so so much and it really does heal. Like, when you find that one song it’s literally therapy. You play it on repeat, you get to sing, yell, cry, and just express yourself. I hope I can bring that to people, and that would mean the world and so much more.” ~ Tirlyn Sky

There is much to love about a soulful artist like Tirlyn Sky, who performs with a natural smile and writes lyrics of real-life experiences. With a blossoming technique that seems to flow smoothly through your whole curious consciousness. this is a pure musician – who makes music to help herself and others get through any heartbreak or sadness – with the end goal being that ultimate recovery.

I’m Okay With It‘ from the Portland, Oregon-based indie-folk/pop solo artist Tirlyn Sky, is a journey through her late-night dreams as she sees the girl she likes right in front of her and forgets to breathe. Sung with a loving and heartfelt attitude and an authentic nature, you feel like she is only going to improve after each track. With more experience and the support of those who she respects, there is no reason why we won’t be hearing more gems from this lovely young musician who sings from the heart. Expressing yourself through music is a great way to fulfil all your creative urges after all.

Hear this delightful new single on Spotify and see more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Endless Oceans: Breathlessly talented Slovakian duo Dennyiah are quite brilliant on ‘Sense of the Rain’

After soothing our heartbroken ears on the excellent ‘Autumn 2015‘ from September 2021, Dennyiah shows us a natural way to live on the beautifully-projected new single ‘Sense of the Rain‘.

Dennyiah is a world-class Slovakian indie-pop/country/soul and blues-fusion duo who make an important blend of musical soundscapes that actually matters, with eloquently-written lyrics that shall bring you much hope in times of apparent hopelessness.

Dennyiah is at its brilliant best with a supremely stunning earth-hugging experience that will have your whole sensitive body in euphoric raptures. They seem to make the type of rare stimulating sound that is so genuinely made – and filled with only positive energy – that wraps gently all of your fragile heart to help it feel better again after all the unnecessary destruction recently.

Sense of the Rain‘ from the brilliant soulfully-enlightened Slovakian indie-pop/country/soul and blues-fusion duo Dennyiah, is such a pure track that might send day-changing shivers all over your naked soul. The superb drum-filled beat is rather compelling and the stunning vocals of a glorious singer who is clearly in tune with the world’s core, takes you to a much better mindset than before. Music has the power to heal after all.

Hear this stunning single on Spotify and see more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Bad Ideas: Outstanding Philly indie-pop artist Samryebread is at her honest best with ‘Softie’

After learning new skills behind the boards for the past 5 years assisting others to master their sound, Samryebread returns to much-awaited acclaim via her extremely courageous self-acceptance gem called ‘Softie‘.

Samryebread aka Sam Rosen is a well-respected and much-loved Philly, USA-based indie-pop/folk artist, cat lover, and sound engineer, who is based at the multi-Grammy award-winning MilkBoy the Studio.

You feel like you are witnessing a strong woman that is reborn musically who is an ever-evolving creative with music flowing in her inventive veins at every turn. Her highly imaginative mind is on top form here – with an inspiring release – that is so relevant in a society that cages so many inside and discourages us from truly stretching for our goals.

Samryebread is brilliantly dreamy with her gorgeous vocals that just seem to trigger so many emotions in your glowing soul. This beautiful song is all about learning to accept yourself no matter your faults, as you just want someone close to love you and be there for you, helping you make better decisions and not judging you as so many small-minded folks do.

Softie‘ from the Philly-based indie-pop/folk artist and sound engineer Samryebread, is one of those tracks you just can’t help but love. The production is world-class, the lyrics so inspiringly honest and with her lusciously honey-tipped voice, this is a real treasure that you just want to listen to all day long.

Hear this deep new track on Spotify and see more via the IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Hide In My Head: SVNDRA is quite ravishingly resplendent on the excellent ‘STAY’ (feat. wifisfuneral)

On a breathtaking rhythm that has your entire foundation vigilant and eager for anything, SVNDRA is quite sensational on her more-loving-please new single called ‘STAY(feat. wifisfuneral).

SVNDRA is a naturally-creative Estonian-born, Los Angeles, California-based indie-pop singer-songwriter and classically trained dancer, who blends hip-hop and sensuous synth to pack a refreshing ambience into each one of her gorgeous tracks.

SVNDRA dreamt of being a singer and living in Los Angeles from the time she was a child growing up in the beautiful forests of her country and she let nothing get in her way. Alone, and only 17 years old she made her initial trip to the United States and wound up recording her first demos in a basement in Queens. The following year she returned, this time to LA and started her life in America.” ~ SVNDRA

This is the sensually evocative narrative of desiring your partner to stay no matter what, as the enchanting SVNDRA pulsates the airwaves like the world-class artist that she is. There is so much to lather lovingly into here, with a smoothly comprehended production that is simply flawless from all corners.

STAY(feat. wifisfuneral) the compelling Estonian-born, Los Angeles, California-based indie-pop singer-songwriter SVNDRA, is one of the finest singles yet from 2021. There is so much extraordinary pure essence all the way through, and the combination of a singer in her prime and a rapper reaching the peak of his powers is quite a beautiful combination. This is the type of hot track that is perfect for any time of the day or night, as you just turn this up on full and see where you end up next.

See this new music video on YouTube and find out more on her IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

billon dailey is set to make his hook-filled alt-indie-pop debut with ‘Pull on My Heartstrings’

billon dailey

If the Beach Boys made their debut in 2021 and picked up some Midwest Emo tendencies, their bright and instantly infectious melodies would have plenty in common with the ones found in singer-songwriter, billion daily’s triumph of a debut single, Pull on My Heartstrings.

The intricately and anthemically layered single breezes through the whole tonal spectrum as it runs through the frenetic choruses and verses where you can drink in the lush accordance of shimmering notes. It is anything but your average debut, which has plenty to do with the artist cutting his teeth as a songwriter under the moniker, iamsleepless, for years. After turning away from music to explore faith, having an existential crisis from that decision and returning to music armed with weed and a guitar, he started work on his debut release; we’re beyond glad that he did.

Pull on My Heartstrings is available to stream from December 3rd 2021. You can catch it for yourself on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

I Know I Shouldn’t Need You: Sensational Leeds singer Pixia is addicted to the taste on ‘Pink Sugar’

After dazzling our minds on the exceptional single ‘If I’m On Your Mind‘, Pixia stuns our tastebuds with her brand new lip-loving release all about questioning why you miss that taste you shouldn’t like on ‘Pink Sugar‘.

Anna-Rose aka Pixia is a Leeds/Manchester, UK-based indie electro/dark-pop singer-songwriter who sings with such genuine beauty which warms up your whole consciousness to believe that anything is actually possible if you believe in yourself enough.

”” I originally wrote ‘Pink Sugar’ at 16 years old on acoustic guitar. The finished product has been inspired by a variety of influences: from new wave bands such as Japan and The Cure to contemporary female artists such as Melanie Martinez and LANA DEL REY. My range of influences inspired me to experiment with the sound of ‘Pink Sugar’ to create something pleasantly familiar, yet also very unique to my listeners.” ~ Pixia

Pixia is on top form with a stunningly propelled single that is sung with her signature sweetly-tipped vocals that somehow has your heart beating faster than you can ever remember, as she takes us into her angelic world of lust. She has a world-class ability that is unconditionally spellbinding and is one of the most alluringly classy singer-songwriters around.

Pink Sugar‘ from the scintillating Leeds/Manchester, UK-based indie electro/dark-pop singer-songwriter Pixia, is a quite brilliant single from an artist who seems to tingle your ears like no other artist around at the moment. Her lusciously expressive vocals and intelligently-created lyrics – are quite gorgeous and she shows us into this story about feeling sick – that you are still thinking about a former lover who you know isn’t good for your ravenous soul.

Hear this highly captivating single on Spotify and see more via her growing IG music account.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

You Were Waiting For Me: The Killing Tapes left with absolutely nothing on ‘Never Going Home’

With an energetically vibrant performance that has your heart beating so much faster than a few seconds before, The Killing Tapes remind us that travelling is a beautiful experience but certainly doesn’t shake off the past with ‘Never Going Home‘.

The Killing Tapes is an indie dark-pop duo that radiates brightly and brings us back to a time when things were so much more peaceful, as they forge a palate-pleasing sound that is quite mesmerizing at times.

As our minds race and we think back to that liberating feeling while away from our own home, The Killing Tapes show us into their world – with a quite astonishing performance here – that will have you recalling when you ran away from a predicament you thought would go away while you were gone.

Never Going Home‘ from The Killing Tapes, is an ear-warming experience from a highly experienced duo who pour through with tremendous quality and give the world something to truly treasure here. This is the story all about leaving as you get away from your issues but come back with real gold – as you wonder if it will be the same when you return – or if it’s best to keep on your mission. Sung with weighted energy, this is a glorious track filled with class.

Hear this ravishing single on Spotify and see more on the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Jay Zayat has released his fieriest RnB Hip Hop track with ‘FACE IT’

Jay Zayat

Melbourne-based alt hip hop artist, Jay Zayat, created the ultimate drunk in love grab the bull by the horns track with his latest fiery indie RnB rap release, FACE IT.

On top of the sun-kissed grooving instrumentals that carry a fair amount of reminiscence to Timberlake’s Cry Me A River, Jay Zayat’s rapid-fire bars drip magnetism as they work through the witty wordplay. Lyrically, the track bounces from hook to hook while the beats make it all too easy to get lost in the grind. It is only a matter of time before Jay and his high vibe style goes viral.

Check out Jay Zayat on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Alyssa Keen & Nickay – thanks but no thanks: emboldening ‘over you’ indie pop

For her latest single, singer-songwriter Alyssa Keen teamed up with Nickay to create the ultimate emboldening ‘over you’ track “thanks but no thanks”

Alyssa Keen’s natural, elysian and airy vocals make it all too easy to succumb to the soul in the romantically scorned track that reminds the listener how sweet it is to take back emotional power over yourself.

Around the easy acoustic guitar chords are stunning nuances of shoegazey indie and elements of style that fans of Kurt Wilde will instantly want to melt into. The single is so much more than your average bitter and coming age of single. Alyssa Keen’s motivation to pull optimistic perspectives out of the bad to enlighten the world is enough to restore your faith in humanity.

thanks but no thanks is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Castle KYD pulls visceral emotional punches in ‘The Mess You Left Behind’

On November 26th, Idaho indie singer-songwriter Castle KYD brought accountability in trend with his artfully expressive single, The Mess You Left Behind. In the Waitsy intro, there is little but solemn vocal notes and the quiescent murmurs from the acoustic guitar; as the track builds up to the pre-chorus, that’s when the sharp hook digs in and pulls you deeper into the intrinsically melodic work.

The Mess You Left Behind truly is the pinnacle of contemporary indie-folk pop. His innocently sweet scorned vocals, the celestial accordance in the choruses and lyrics that prove the extent of his determination to transfuse raw emotion into art makes Castle KYD one of the most gifted artists of his generation.

We didn’t need the self-taught artist’s bio to tell us that his music is an amalgamation of desire for connection, a means to cope and a way to turn banality into something meaningful. You can hear it in every ounce of passion poured into this evocatively bruising seminal release.

Here is what Castle Kyd had to say about his latest release:

“Mess You Left Behind was written on a sleepless night, thinking about someone I lived with and had to leave because it was so toxic. In 15 minutes, every feeling, anger and blame poured out of me and formed a poem which became a song in those minutes. After months, I still miss and crave them despite their emotional abuse; I blame myself for craving that, the person who instilled a lot of hurt in me. After struggling to get over it, I’ve become paradoxical; I am the mess this person left behind.”

The Mess You Left Behind is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast