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Gwac paves the way towards acquiescence in his alt-indie-folk single, Stacks

South Korea-based singer-songwriter, Gwac, unveiled the quiescent alt-indie-folk melancholy in his debut EP, MOHO, on December 19th. Narrating themes of loss, denial, regret and acceptance, the 4-track EP flows through the grief cycle, hitting the most visceral spot on track two, Stacks.

With hints of Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea paired with the monoculturalism-shattering world music motifs, innovation mellifluously spills. The accordance set up by the angular guitar work and woodwind instrumentals fed through torrid effects reflects the storms we weather before we arrive at a state of mind where we break through the listless frustration and arrive at a place of acquiescence.

“Throughout the making of this EP and digging through past experiences, I learned that sadness has a lot of dimensions for me. Some of the saddest memories are sometimes the most beautiful things I know. There’s no need to try and erase them or run from them. By just letting it be, I see a bit of light in my unsettling mind”.

On that note, Gwac’s mind may be one of the most beautiful things I’ve encountered in 2022. His tangible songwriting and instrumentally conceptual talents are one thing; his ability to recontextualise pain and share a brighter philosophical perspective with his listeners is fundamentally requisite in these times.

Stream Stacks on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Tokyo’s Sumi has made her dark electronic debut with the hooky anxiety exposition, Closing In

Tokyo-based singer-songwriter Sumi made a strong debut with her dark electro-pop single, Closing in. By utilising metaphors that expose the most insidious aspects of anxiety in the imaginatively amalgamated soundscape that blends her sonic roots into the contemporary moody pop trends, Sumi became one of the most promisingly individual artists on the airwaves.

The emotions in Closing In may be intimately inspired, but in 2022, Sumi is speaking for the masses as we battle with the sharp claws of imposter syndrome and the claustrophobia of reality closing in, leaving our dreams in the rubble of the cortisol spikes.

Before making her solo debut, during her stint in LA, Sumi played with several bands and collaborated with artists and producers to create songs on network shows such as Naked and Afraid, Teen Titans Go and the Ellen Degeneres Show. We can’t wait to see how far her solo career takes her.

Closing In was officially released on September 21st and is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Bahrain-based band Hotboxgroove are at their groovy best on Midnight Blooms

With a mysteriously frightening intro that shall stun your senses awake, Hotboxgroove shows us why they’re so highly regarded on the underground with an instrumental gem to play loud right now on Midnight Blooms.

Hotboxgroove is a Bahrain-based indie alternative 6-piece band who fuses together a potent mix of jazz, blues and funky psychedelic to get hearts beating worldwide.

Displaying so much skill and precise timings to solidify a quite outstanding performance, Hotboxgroove has the power to change the mood of the world with a monumental anthem of patience with Midnight Blooms and they certainly deliver. Brimming with a head-nodding style which shall get your soul alive quickly, we find a rather special song waiting to be loved.

Midnight Blooms from Bahrain-based indie alternative 6-piece band Hotboxgroove is a track that might get even the sleepiest souls to awaken from the dead again. Circulating with a world class sound that has so much value in a world with so much sadness, and shall get that blood flow streaming properly again.

Listen up to this new single on Spotify and see more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Searching on Google: The Groovaban find that motorcycle on the cruising new track A Retro Dude

Feeling all happy and good after a long journey to get there, The Groovaban leads the way and shows us what it takes to find that merry place you shall never leave without a fight on A Retro Dude.

The Groovaban is a Kanchrapara, West Bengal, India-born indie RnB solo singer-songwriter and music producer who started his creative journey when he was 16.

With a chilled style that is never too much to stomach, The Groovaban shows us the way and into that guiding light to take all that stuffy darkness away. Bringing forth so much quality and hope, this is a touching song that will be stuck in your head for ages.

A Retro Dude from Kanchrapara, West Bengal, India-born indie RnB artist/producer The Groovaban is such a delightful song to brighten up your day. There is so much grateful charm here to truly admire, that seems to have a magnetic effect and put us in a better mood.

When you know what you want, everything changes forever.

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

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Srujanika is inspired by those who support her busy journey on ‘For You’

Vowing to be great and to show others that anything is actually possible if you have that fire burning bright when others are napping, Srujanika knows exactly why she does this and opens up her bedroom studio door with her latest aesthetic edit called ‘For You‘.

Srujanika is a Kolkata, India-based indie singer-songwriter who currently studying towards a Health Arts & Science degree while also following her music dreams.

From going to school to saving money to pursuing music, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.” ~ Srujanika

Leading us into current times while she waits for her next project to be mastered, Srujanika sings with such emotion and has dropped a reminder of what she is capable of. With serene class and a vocal depth that is such a wonderful listen, this is a raw track that has a genuine message to uplift yourself with if you have been overly stressed lately.

For You‘ from Kolkata, India-based indie solo singer-songwriter Srujanika is a really lovely single from an authentic artist who does this to make others happy. Her lyrics guide us deep inside her life and show us why she is loved throughout the world, as a musician who always keeps it real and relatable. Filled with honesty and packed with her likeable vocals, this is a dynamic single with plenty to remember.

See this delightful new video on YouTube.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

The Royal Leisure – Pastries: Get Your Indie Funk Pop Sugar Rush

Connoisseur of melodic indie funk pop hooks, The Royal Leisure has tackled the human tendency of indecision with his latest nostalgically sweet single, Pastries. It will groove you right back to the synth-driven culture of the 80s, only after taking a pitstop in 90s noise rock.

The Hong Kong-based singer-songwriter (AKA Horace Tam), started the project with the inclination to offer a reflection point to listeners looking for a sense of perspective on themselves, the world, and all the connections we make along the way.

One thing is for sure; Pastries is a refreshing reprieve from the contemporary sonic trends. Its playful approach to aural nostalgia and even more affable inclination to drip some colour into your psyche while it forces you to question your tendency to want your cake and eat it won’t fail to stir your soul. The reprise of “this could be the only thing I want” around the endlessly ascending melodies makes for one hell of an oxytocin rush.

Take a bite for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Singapore’s Nicco Homaili knows that the love is tainted with the devil’s whisper on ‘666’

Showing us a contaminated love that has sadly almost burnt to ashes, Nicco Homaili is at his soulfully stimulating best with a single that will have you wondering why things have to end rather viciously on ‘666‘.

Nicco Homaili is a Singapore-based indie alt-RnB/Hip hop/Trap solo artist who makes a blend of musical-architecture that is sonically pleasing for our ears.

Puts out music that embodies the blurring of lines between fantasy and realism and every musical work done is cited to being a conversation to listeners.” ~ Nicco Homaili

Sung with a tremendously crisp technique that has you edging forward in your seat, Nicco Homaili displays his current mindset to a situation that became as hot as a runway fire that couldn’t be stopped. Vocally fresh and with a catchy beat to match, this is that spark-filled moment to embrace as a life lesson for us all.

His music is a direct translation of his social thoughts during the after hours and while away from the working desk.” ~ Nicco Homaili

666‘ from Singapore-based indie alt-RnB/Hip hop/Trap solo artist Nicco Homaili is the type of release that will have you turning up the volume and feeling rather anxious about falling deeply in love again. Sung with a true insight into that past relationship that burnt away just as it started, to be remembered only for its destruction.

Showing us his growing excellence that is rather impressive – this shall be a song to contemplate alone with – when you recall a past romance that left hurtful scars all over your back.

Listen up to this new single on Spotify and see more new on his IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Moosa Saleem feels like something is missing that is so hard to explain on ‘Confide’ (feat. Jeremiah de Rozario)

Knowing that the radiant love could be so much stronger than it currently appears, Moosa Saleem doesn’t want the spark to be lost in the sky with the incredible new release ‘Confide(feat. Jeremiah de Rozario).

Moosa Saleem is a multi-talented Kashmir, India-born singer-songwriter, author, filmmaker and composer who makes that ear-warming music to heal your tired soul.

Sending our emotions into overdrive with smooth vocals and a backdrop that shall have you sensing you’re listening to something rather peacefully special, Moosa Saleem and Jeremiah de Rozario hold our awaiting hands and take us on a cinematic journey that you will find hard to forget.

Confide(feat. Jeremiah de Rozario) from Kashmir, India-born singer-songwriter and composer Moosa Saleem is one of the more beautiful songs you will probably hear all year. There is so much quality oozing from the fabrics of this fantastic experience that is all about wanting that true love to continue and never falter. With many obstacles crushing our dreams because of previous unimaginable circumstances, this is a track that shall have you feeling so reflective as you float back into your romantic life.

Sometimes you just need to speak up before the door closes, and it’s all over before you know it.

Listen up to this new single on Spotify and see more on the IG page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

LakiPak drops latest single about flowing right ‘To The Moon’ (feat. Kevin Maxim)

Urging that romance to conquer all other objectives for the evening, LakiPak sings with an ear-piercing style that will shatter all previous misconceptions on the awe-inspiring release, ‘To The Moon(feat. Kevin Maxim).

Kevin Maxim is an Atlanta, Georgia-born, Shanghai, China-based indie alternative artist and actor who is joined by a world-fusing project.

In 2009, he released his debut LP LOVOLUTION: The Urban Alternative under the moniker KEV.O, later co-writing and vocal producing songs for Eshe of the Grammy Award-winning hip hop group Arrested Development, including “You Make Me Wanna”, which featured NAACP Image Award-winning actor Omari Hardwick.” ~ Kevin Maxim

LakiPak and Kevin Maxim join forces rather wonderfully together and send us into a fantastic whirlpool of emotions that will have you sensing that you can indeed find your true love if you will do whatever it takes to get there.

LakiPak is a project of musicians from all places around the world who happened to meet at one place. Music for us is more than our job, passion, and daily routine, music for us is life. We all came from different backgrounds but one thing that brings all members of LakiPak together is music. The world is one and music is what holds it together.” ~ LakiPak

To The Moon(feat. Kevin Maxim) from LakiPak is a passionate single that has been made with a genuine love for the moment and all the possibilities that are ready right now. Sung with an energetic energy that shall warm up your senses and get you keen for a groovy afternoon with your lover, this is a track that takes you to that higher place that is awaiting your dance moves.

Listen up to this new single on Spotify and see more via the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

ku:hu shows us that striking moment when you knew it was over on, ‘by your side’ (feat. wroi)

With an honest tone and introspective lyrics that have been made with such care and tenderness, ku:hu brings us into the picture that is content about the final decision to stop something that isn’t working on, ‘by your side (feat. wroi).

ku:hu is a Vadodara, India-born London, UK-based queer non-binary RnB/Lo-fi musician and photographer who created this new single with a few mates while at Berklee College of Music.

Their love for music stemmed from the influences surrounding them growing up, such as Hindustani classical music and pop/rock music. This love for music further blossomed through classical piano lessons under the instruction of Australian pianist, Elaine Fenn, where her speciality in performance was from 20th-century western classical music, especially serialist works by Arnold Shoenberg and jazz works by George Gershwin.” ~ ku:hu

Bringing us a single that is so distinctive and packed with a stirring vocal experience that might have you feeling somehow sad and relieved at the same time, ku:hu leads us into a new experience that so many of us shall relate to. Your ears might be perked up and your thoughts on overload, from an insightful artist who has that inventive style that you can’t help but admire.

by your side(feat. wroi) from London, UK-based queer non-binary RnB/Lo-fi musician ku:hu is an enchanting track that brings us into a true moment that might shatter fragile hearts. The vocals are completely enthralling and shall change your mood altogether as there is such a reflective edge here, from an artist who is uniquely exhilarating and is always looking to make music that is completely real.

There is so much to close your eyes to as we are taken on a vivid journey, to where the moment is cherished but the closure is probably for the best.

Hear this wonderful new track on Spotify and follow the IG for more.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen