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Enjoy the high life with Emil’s dreamy synthpop sonic story ‘Up in the Hills’

Escape reality with Emil’s latest feat of fusionist alchemy, Up in the Hills. At just 18 years old, the Sydney, Australia-hailing artist has already perfected the art of crafting soundscapes that scarcely seem of this world.

With the artful originality, which pairs dream pop with nuances of jazz and RnB, on par with the likes of Brian Eno and Kate Bush, Emil set himself apart from the rest with his hazy, smoky, summer serenade. The best part? The complete lack of pretence while the narrative lyrics are soulfully being run through. Up in the Hills is pure sonic expressive bliss.

Up in the Hills was officially released on June 26th, 2022. Check it out for yourselves on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Kasey Butler – Love Like That: No Indie Alt-Pop Artist Has Worn Scorn Better

Kasey Butler

“You’re the darkest daydream in my mind” is one hell of an opening lyric; the poetry doesn’t falter from there on out in Kasey Butler’s latest progressive indie hit, Love Like That.

From a folky, vocally flooring intro into a fiery scorned proclamation of contempt for the people that send our orbits off-kilter to the tune of massive EDM pop beats, Love Like That is a summer stormer that just keeps on raging.

Ingraining even more gravitas, there is also a touch of theatrical piano-pop sewn into the hit around the arrestive orchestral swells. In every conceivable way, Kasey Butler constructed the perfect pop hit. It keeps you guessing; the monolithic shifts in tone and momentum happen as easily as breathing and that voice… That mindfully poised voice wrapping around the earworm choral lyric, “I know you don’t have dimension, broken heart was your intention, forgive me I was naive”. It is safe to say we are hooked.

Love Like That will officially release on June 30th. Get it in your ears via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sharif Hassan embraces the highs & lows in his soul-bleached hip hop single, Youtruth

Leaning on his early days as a slam poet, the Harlem, New York-born and raised songwriter and rapper Sharif Hassan wore his authentic heart on his sleeve in his standout 2022 single, Youtruth.

The intuitive percussion constructs fluid rhythm around the contemporary beats that solidify the sonic platform Hassan’s sweetly harmonic bars fall into.

Even though it only runs through for 1:48, the urban poet doesn’t fail to wrap you up in his infectious vibe, which balances optimism with realism. For those chilled summer nights, you couldn’t ask for a better hip hop earworm. If his vocals don’t make you recognise your soul as much as his, you can probably consider it defunct.

Youtruth is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

South Australian soul singer, Bree Gregory, has made her sultrily smoky debut with Only You

With a vocal timbre as smoky as the bluesy RnB groove pockets, The South Australian soul singer, Bree Gregory, is the epitome of seductive soul in her debut single, Only You.

Inspired by contemporaries such as Black Pumas and Erika Badhu and the icons of soul, her soulful love letter fuses nostalgic warmth with cutting style while delivering an open invitation to drink in the highs of affectionate intoxication that ebb and swell through the soundscape.

By the time the outro rolls around any sense of pretence or restraint tears away through the intensity of Gregory’s strident vocal dynamism. So yeah, it is one hell of a debut from one exceptionally talented artist. We can’t wait to hear what follows.

Only You will officially release on July 1st; you can hear it for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Beth Macari bites Ouroboros’ tail in her Indie RnB single, Circles

To say that Beth Macari’s latest single, Circles is one of the best UK RnB singles from the past few decades doesn’t come close to hyperbole.

“I don’t think you know what it’s like to be a woman” is something that every woman will have felt in her lifetime. That makes it no less profound when Macari uses it to let solidarity spill from her soundscape, which proves that soul and emboldening energy fit hand in glove; when the grasp of the gravitas is so tight.

The jangly indie-pop elements in the emotion-driven single are nothing short of electrifying as they find their charge through creating friction between the sonic past and an empowered future. We honestly couldn’t love her more.

Circles drops on July 1st; check it out on SoundCloud or by heading to Macari’s official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

MARC.MADE is good for it in his subversively seductive rap track, CA$hAPP

After his discography racked up over 700k streams, the Detroit-born, Atlanta-raised indie rapper, MARC.MADE is here with his subversively seductive summer track CA$hAPP.

By running his funk-grooved prelude through plenty of warm tape delay, you instantly feel the heat in the expressively dynamic track that allows digital transactions to resonate as affectionate proclamations. If that isn’t a striking mark of ingenuity, I don’t know what is.

The surprises when it comes to MARC.MADE don’t end there either. The full-time scientist, entrepreneur and crypto investor has also co-starred on VH1’s Dating Naked S1-E5 & S1-Wedding Special & CBS’ Face the Truth S1-E12.

Although, the visceral chemistry that breeds between his charisma-dripped bars and the female vocals in CA$hAPP starts to make infinitely more sense with his profession in context.

CA$hAPP is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Skinny G Radio burst ‘Delusions of Grandeur’ in his theatric piano pop single

If you abstracted the annoying aspect to Tim Minchin, you would be left with something akin to Skinny G Radio’s standout single, Delusions of Grandeur, from his debut album, The Heightening.

The piano-led melodies around the organs and synths jauntily add a touch of theatrical flair to the baroquely tinged single, inspired by the likes of John Mayer and Billy Joel, while the vocals animatedly wrap around the vindicating lyricism.

“Don’t get caught up in their pretension” may just be one of my favourite lyrics of the year. It completely bursts the bubble of ego-driven self-importance that most artists drift around the industry in.

Whichever way he is infiltrating it, the Connecticut-born and raised, LA-based artist, songwriter, producer, and performer will perceptibly brighten the creative crevices of our late-stage capitalist world. We can’t wait to hear what follows.

Delusions of Grandeur is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

LUXTHEREAL has unleashed the alt-rock soundtrack to our destruction, Humanity’s Fall

The latest single, Humanity’s Fall, from the Phoenix Arizona hailing artist LUXTHEREAL, sonically resonates like a sombre-breakup track but the only thing that has departed is the promise of an empire that will stand the test of our destruction. The concept is stunning; the execution of the atmospherically hooky harbinger is equally sublime.

With a touch of proto-punk, garage rock and post-punk, there is a protestive vein running right through the intrinsically melodic body of the single, which forces you to contemplate our failures. And sure, it’s nice to dissociate and shop for your favourite nerd items on Amazon while the anthropocene raises the temperature and the parasites with shoes, otherwise known as our world leaders, carve out a new ring of hell on this side of the earth’s crust, but we can only hide our heads in the sand for so long before they boil in there. Kudos to LUXTHEREAL for being true to their moniker and delivering raw realism.

Humanity’s Fall Remastered by LUXTHEREAL is available on SPOTIFY & ALL major streaming services, you can view the video here!

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Area 51 has nothing on Koosha Azim’s psychedelically sensory experience, ALIEN

Haunting and transcending are two rarely joined adjectives; the Iranian American contemporary artist, Koosha Azim, pushed them into a tight-knit while exploring alt-hip hop and psychedelia in his sensory soundscape, ALIEN.

The bleeding vocals, cinematically ethereal layers, and playfully unpretentious creativity are a stellular pleasure which scarcely resembles any Avant-Garde score that experimentalists have left behind before.

If he keeps pushing in this gratifyingly trippy and obscure direction, the San Francisco Bay Area artist will have the airwaves at his feet in no time. Naturally, we can’t wait to hear the transcendence that follows.

Koosha Azim’s latest single, ALIEN is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Graffiti Welfare tells his anxious coming of age story in the trippy meditative alt-electro album, Revolving Shores

Revolving Shores is the gravity-defyingly meditative debut album from the up-and-coming artist and producer Graffiti Welfare. After appearing on the airwave in 2018 through his EP, Into the Soul of Space, which has been extensively playlisted & lauded by critics, the Austin-born, Denver-based artist let the world in on his coming of age anxiety.

Regardless of your age, there is ample resonance in the LP that explores the profoundness of loss in context to perceptions of reality. As someone who has only recently lost their mum after a long illness, I’m pretty reasonably qualified to attest to the efficaciously comforting gentle tenacity in the 10-track release.

Revolving Shores gently eases you in through the minimalist melodic opening score, To Be It, which almost rings with neo-classic cinematic atmosphere, then cruises right on into my personal favourite, Just Follow, which reflects the feeling of unravelling as you lose direction.

DejaBlue picks up a little more melancholy through its genius titular metaphor for carbon copy ennui before Good News flirts with elements of coldwave EDM. What is easily the biggest experimental triumph the album, Synesthesia, dips into far more indie territory, with nuances of post-punk in the chilling, stabbing and distorted angular notes. SeaShell as the closing single was an all too efficaciously entrancing way of ensuring that Revolving Shores doesn’t leave you without sticking to your synapses first.

Graffiti Welfare Said

“Revolving Shores evolved from watching my childhood fade into the unknown as grandparents and friends passed away while I was coping with coming-of-age anxiety. By day, I was trying to finish my thesis and escape the clutches of graduate school with my sanity intact.

By night, I wanted to make sense of everything by creating something sincere, unique and tangible. Each track represents a lucid perspective that builds from the last, guiding a quiet meditation towards the unknown and back into waking life. Rinse, float, repeat – cause who knows where you will wake up next?”

Revolving Shores was officially released on June 17th. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to Spotify and SoundCloud.

To keep up to date with the latest releases from Graffiti Welfare, follow him on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

Review by Amelia Vandergast