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Linn Willner stood at the vanguard of emotionally intelligent pop with ‘Dancing on Roses’

For her latest single, Dancing on Roses, the indie pop enchantress, Linn Willner, melodically pulled on the parallels between blossoming naturalism and the early days of relationships, where we can’t see the thorns for the petals.

The orchestral strings in the indie chamber pop score carved a cinematically immersive atmosphere that evokes notions of romanticism while spurring the listener to remove their rose-tinted glasses and view the full kaleidoscope of betrayal-laden complexity when exploring love and human connection. Life will always find a way to strip away your naivety; it is better to pull back the layers with piano pop expositions on the highs and lows of relationships, which portray vulnerability as a strength.

The 22-year-old Swedish singer-songwriter became an icon of our enlightened times with Dancing on Roses. Beyond her beguilingly evocative vocal lines and command over minor piano keys, she’s at the vanguard of emotionally intelligent pop.

Dancing on Roses will debut on the 26th of September; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The indie raconteur Zarko let it flow in his acoustic expedition to ‘River Town’

If you still revere Closing Time by Tom Waits as one of the best albums of all time, you’ll find the latest single, River Town, from the Serbian indie folk raconteur Zarko just as resolving in its acoustic rapture.

The instrumentals may be minimal, but that didn’t get in the way of the up-and-coming singer-songwriter when he put his masterful mind to painting a panoramic picture of barflies in a town which used to conjure brighter emotions. I’m sure we can all relate to the alienating sense of dejection that ebbs away at our ability to feel anything but numb. With River Town on the airwaves, the sensation feels infinitely less lonely.

On the basis of River Town alone, Zarko should be celebrating the same success as Amigo the Devil with his delectable brand of folk blues. For your own sake, pay the hit song a visit.

River Town was officially released on September 2nd; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sentia released the most seductive synthscape of the summer with ‘Make You’

Sentia’s latest single, Make You, kisses you through a cosmic installation of smooth analog synth-swathed rock grooves, comprised of velveteen guitars and basslines that funk up the seductively seminal reimagining of alt-rock just enough to put you on a proggy star-roving plateau of pure euphonic appreciation.

If you gave Editors the sex appeal of Alex Cameron, you still wouldn’t come close to what Sentia have crafted in their hit that encompasses the kind of carnal desire which leaves your psyche rife with indecision as the prospect of taking a chance leaves the line between right and wrong obscured with wanton lust.

With their consistently evolving discography, the iconic anomalies of the Australian alternative scene are increasingly hard to pin down, but considering that all their synthscapes are underpinned with sheer sonic beguile, fool on you if you want to force them into a pigeonhole choked with uninspired assimilators.

Make You hit the airwaves on August 18; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Unknown River set the bar for honkytonk hits plateau-high with ‘Outlaws on My Trail’

The Floridan singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Unknown River set the bar for penning immersive escapist honkytonk hits plateau-high with the standout single, Outlaws on My Trail, taken from his debut album, The Dead River Passage.

The fiddle and banjo-driven single delivers a vignette of a man coming to regret the repercussions of his down-and-out actions; the combination of the simple country living exposition and the upbeat arrangement and vocals is enough to make the experience of outlaw-evading sound like a riotous way to see the sands of time slip away, and therein lies the beauty of Unknown River’s indomitable magnetism.

By taking the influence of bluegrass, delta blues, country, rock and old-timey traditional tunes, Unknown River’s amalgamated Americana signature is designed to strip away the plight of modern-day malaise and entrench you in the ease and euphoria of eras that are far from bygone – roots-crafted sanctuaries are just one hit on play away. Press it.

Outlaws on My Trail is available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The San Diego Emissary of Soul, Sedríque, Held No Prisoners in His RnB Pop Hit, Sick Of

Taken from his ingeniously titled debut LP, Seduction, the standout single, Sick Of, which has racked up 50k streams on Spotify to date, is the perfect introduction to Sedríque’s fiery brand of contemporary RnB pop.

Sick Of captures the raw, messy, and visceral emotions that follow a toxic relationship and an even more toxic breakup. Some songwriters write what they think their audiences want to hear, and others stay committed to melodising harsh truths, Sedríque well and truly put himself in the latter camp with the soulful vitriol in Sick Of, which will be a hit with any fans of Chris Brown and the Weeknd. The razor-sharp rhythmics of the lyrical blows against the steady tempo of the soul-heady instrumentals created intoxicating aural alchemy that you will want to intoxicate yourself with time and time again.

After finding his voice at the age of three when he started to perform solos in the church choir and learning how to accompany himself on piano by the age of ten, the singer-songwriter’s teeth were well and truly cut by the time he focused on creating one of the most seminal RnB pop records of 2023.

Check out the Radio Edit of Sick Of by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Leah Nawy is the ultimate contender for originator of the year after releasing her debut single, NUISANCE

By combining the soul of Sade with the tongue-in-cheek charm of Kate Nash and leaving plenty of room for her own striking rock-licked sonic signature stylings that open the floodgates to a rush of 90s pop nostalgia, Leah Nawy hit the ground running with her feisty and fresh debut single, NUISANCE.

If you’ve still got the attention span to appreciate a perfect three-minute pop hit, lose yourself in the vibrant tones, groove-driven and funk-dripping instrumentals, and some of the sweetest sugared-with-attitude vocal lines you will hear this year.

With a polyphonically jazzy rock n roll outro that enabled Nawy to dig her heels into her authenticity, NUISANCE is a debut that no one will be quick to forget. Even with the industry more saturated than it has ever been, there’s no denying Leah Nawy is a promising triple threat with her charisma, talent, and ear for earwormy melodies.

After she finishes her Masters degree in songwriting and production at Berklee NYC, she will be an unstoppable force.

NUISANCE hit the airwaves on the 28th of July; stream it for yourselves on Spotify.  

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Nawniee reached the epitome of eloquence with her alt-soul hit, Words

When words aren’t enough, melodies fill in the gaps of expression, especially when they’re as ambiently arresting as the grooves that flow right through the latest alt-RnB single, Words, from the up-and-coming artist, Nawniee.

The slick with synthesised 80s nostalgia prelude arrests you from the first note before the downtempo flows start to act as a bedrock for Nawniee’s soaring vocal lines that share proclivities with hyper-pop icons through inventive the use of autotune.

It was a bold move to augment her glassy vocal lines to the nth degree, but it more than paid off; Words became all the more visceral for it as the singer and songwriter reached the epitome of eloquence with her lyricism. You’d be seriously hard-pressed to find a more convincing declaration of passion on the airwaves.

Check out the Radio Edit of Words by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ted brewed the ultimate blend of jazzy indie-folk dream pop with ‘The Coffee Shop’

There was no forgetting Ted’s folk-meets-dream-pop hit, Revolution Then, which reminisced on the times when revolution action was a feasible act of retribution amongst the repressed masses.

In his latest single, the Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist waltzed into The Coffee Shop to share a jazzy and intimate vignette of an unassuming female protagonist who inspired the laidback with luxe style from the fleeting observations made on her curious reticence.

With touches of the Beatles melding with a dreamy iteration of the 70s folk style, The Coffee Shop is far from short of beguile. Ted captured the coffee shop mood perfectly. The snug comforting atmosphere breathes right through the sax-infused kaleidoscopic melodies.

Visit The Coffee Shop for yourselves by heading over to Spotify first.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Amy Corey instilled compassion into country pop with ‘If I Could’

When Amy Corey isn’t writing and recording radio-ready hit singles, she’s giving TEDx talks, being an Ambassador to the HCMC Peace and Development Foundation in Vietnam and being proactive in her role as a mental health motivational speaker.

The Vietnam-born artist, who was adopted to America at six months old, has melodically extended her mental health advocacy in her latest single If I Could, which soulfully shares some of the sonic proclivities with Taylor Swift’s country pop records as Corey strides into her own with her compassionately compelling vocal and lyrical lines, which allude to the immense crushing gravity of loss.

There’s just enough ambiguity in the lyrics to allow the listener to wrap their own meaning around the lyricism, which amasses an emboldening energy through the momentum of the classic pop crescendos. It’s a stunning release from an artist evidently intent in her mission to spread empathy and understanding in a world that can all too often feel devoid of it.

If I Could was officially released on August 8th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lex the Visionary artfully revolutionised alt-hip-hop with ‘Stretch’

If you like your rap tracks dark, decadent and full of hooks, delve right into the debut EP, LOTUS, from the Atlanta-based originator Lex the Visionary. Between the four tracks, the evocative trailblazer invites the listener on a journey from heartbreak to the discovery of her authentic self; the cinematic proclivities of the release give you a panoramic view of the roadmap of actualisation and redemption.

The standout single, Stretch, pushes the hip-hop envelope into artfully authentic new territory underpinned by Lex the Visionary’s delectable way of constructing moody melodies. The juxtaposition between her vocals, which give a view into her history with church choirs, and the spacey, at some points transcendent sonic motifs, is nothing short of arrestive.

After the midway mark in Stretch, the soundscape takes an ambient turn; the lush reverb drifting from the synth lines reaches the pinnacle of ethereal catharsis while giving you space to reflect on the introspective gold relayed into this elevated with luxe ingenuity release.

Stream Lex the Visionary’s EP via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast