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Forgot How To Breathe: Kayla Friend longs for that sweet kiss again on valentine’s day

Witnessing that torn page and reminiscing for a tender touch to change the day, Kayla Friend propels us through the lonesome nights and sings with such an affectionate beauty on valentine’s day.

Experienced in both the desert and the big city life, Kayla Friend is a Hemet, California-born indie singer-songwriter who appears to have the resourceful tendencies needed to succeed.

In some strange culmination of recent events, Kayla Friend’s valentine’s day is an accurate representation of our current world. There is so much love to give. Some would say endless. Somehow however something is off like a cruel game is being played on those who crave a genuine touch. In a sometimes meaningless and plastic time for humanity, this is the sad reality when the heart gets broken too many times.

valentine’s day from the San Antonio-based creative Kayla Friend is such a sweetly-toned track to rid all worries away into the closet. Helping us heal with a true story, this is a hold-me-tight-single for anyone feeling rather let down. Reminding us to go back into the moment and appreciate the love, no matter how short the kiss was.

Love can be harsh sometimes after all.

Hear this fine song on Spotify. See more on the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Darius Marquis takes us ‘Higher’ with his alt-RnB single

With a similar tonal palette to the one used in Nirvana’s iconic track, Something in the Way, in addition to the faint reminiscences to Hozier, the up-and-coming independent RnB artist Darius Marquis, well and truly came into his own through his artfully experimental single, Higher.

We fully attest to the single’s ability to take you higher through the transcendental feel of the soundscape, which breaks through from the grungy indie guitars in the prelude. The calm and collected nature of the vocals makes it all too easy to meditate on the laidback lyrics that illuminate a more mindful way of living. For your own sake, make it a playlist staple. The hypnotic textures of the track have what it takes to strip ennui from the soul by sonically alluding to the emotional quiescence we should all be striving for. The Houston-hailing artist and producer is definitively one to watch.

Watch the official music video for Higher on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chizabam cranked up the heat in Dallas with his head spin of a hip-hop anthem, Shame

Dallas rapper, lyricist, poet, producer, and sound engineer Chizabam cranked up the energy to the nth degree in his almost nuclear hip-hop hit, Shame. With the grit of hustler hip-hop, the blazing beats of a body-rocking hip-hop anthem and enough vocal twists to get your head in a spin, Shame is a track you will need to be concussed to forget.

The luminary artist stepped to the mic with a tragically rare sense of authenticity and fiery motivation to verse vindication to his fanbase that is rapidly expanding across the globe in reaction to his juggernautical ability to charge right through his bars like a one-man sonic stampede.

It is only a matter of time before the world recognises Chizabam for the hip-hop heavyweight he is. He’s not an icon in the making; he’s already the complete dynamic package.

Watch the official music video for Shame on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

In A Basement: Tony Kurtiz knows that a new way is necessary on I Gotta Stay Fly

Above and flying high, Tony Kurtiz feels up his pot as he has realized how to be happy away from the small-minded senseless which can tangle you like a fish in the sea on the fresh new single I Gotta Stay Fly.

Tony Kurtiz is a Dallas, Texas-based indie hip hop artist and music producer who stretches bars like an outlaw and firmly rampages through all speakers.

Living in areas from Desoto, Lancaster to Irving and even Oak Cliff, before moving to Houston at the age of 14. Tony has been a long time producer turned rapper since the age of 12 and even releasing his first album at the age of 17.” ~ Tony Kurtiz

With a dynamic aura and an old school beat which is rather excellent, Tony Kurtiz is quite transcendent on this scintillating track which is a rather elevated listen.

I Gotta Stay Fly from the Dallas, Texas-based indie rapper/music producer Tony Kurtiz in an OG soundtrack for anyone who gets it. Keeping fashionable no matter what the weather or circumstances, we find a top echelon release with so much to savour from a quality creative with sword-like fluidity to marvel at.

Hear this fine single on Spotify. See more on the IG page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Sweet Limb – Straight Up: Upbeat & Soul-Bleached Texas RnB

With speaker-blasting bass reverberating under the jazzy keys and colourful dream-pop melodies, Sweet Limb’s alternative RnB single, Straight Up, is a straight-up masterpiece.

His direct spoken-word hip hop-style vocals over the intricately layered instrumentals pull you right into the centre of the playful, upbeat, and soul-bleached record that will spill dopamine every time you hook into the high-vibe release. “I don’t trust anyone but us” may be a simple lyric, but the romanticism within it is powerfully profound in the context of the dreamy single that pays homage to the salvation in connection.

Straight Up is just one of the singles found on Sweet Limb’s sugar rush of a 2022 EP, Vibes, which is everything it says on the tin. The Texas-based DIY independent artist Chris Robinson always draws from real-life experience to give the guarantee that every release you dip into that has seeped from his stunningly creative mind will resound on a resonant level.

Straight Up is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Run Away: Houston alternative artist Differentchris says goodbye for good on I Don’t Need You

With shirts never mandatory and so much intriguing beats to sip on, Differentchris deals with an overload of lies on the trippy new single to feel rather deeply during a traumatic breakup on the moody gem, I Don’t Need You.

Differentchris is a 19-year-old Houston, Texas-based alternative artist who is best known for his exploits on SoundCloud and his constant evolution.

On a hazy soundtrack to that feeling when you are torn in between a love which is actually over, Differentchris performs with so much mellow brilliance which shall get many ears perked up rather expeditiously. Hoping that things will be fine, we are thrilled with bones by a quite sublime single.

I Don’t Need You from Houston, Texas-based alternative artist Differentchris shows us deep within a striking feeling which could change with one kiss. Sparking up our attention and not letting go for a second seems to be the mission, as we are left breathless by a release so welcomely honest.

With a smooth style intertwining throughout each split second, this is a surely a track which shall take so much into a reflective state of mind.

Turn this up loud on Spotify. See more on the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Suspenseful and Seductive in the Instrumental Realm

This has been a great week for new lo-fi tracks. In addition to the stellar producers that I’ve been handed earlier, a couple of days ago, I also get to talk about playNo’s newest instrumental “My Chick.” The Texas born producer and composer has released a fantastically psychedelic music video on his YouTube channel. The music is great, but the swirling colors looking like a tie-die fractal is something I could stare at for days.

The track is simultaneously upbeat and laid back, which in and of itself is quite an accomplishment. Beginning with some sound-design cascades offering a mood setting intro, the track breaks into new chords and pulsating static notes that take over the tune. The playful marimba and piano dialogue make for a mysterious sound – but not something that takes itself too seriously, which is nice. If you could cross some of the best music from “Plant Vs. Zombies” with an upscale jazz club in Harlem, you might get a sense of what I’m describing. Background vocal samples round out the dazzle with “My Chick” and we have a lovely listening experience.

Hopping over to playNo’s Instagram page will be a joy for dog-lovers. Many of his stories feature his pet pit-bull which is an adorableness overload. It’s nice to see the personal side of a gifted producer who obviously works very hard on his craft but isn’t afraid to play also.

Jaytovxn is on the prowl in his dynamic rap track, Pink Panther

Using the Pink Panther theme tune in his hot summer hip hop drop was a bold move for the 18-year-old Southern rapper, Jaytovxn, but given that the official music video racked up over 40k streams before it fell into our ears, it more than paid off.

His track, Pink Panther, with Ja Morant is a fiery, polished new wave production that lures you in with its convictive charisma, collaborative chemistry and the concise delivery of the bars that snap as hard as the beats.

If you loved the creativity within Pink Panther that uses conceptual twists and turns to keep you immersed in the artistry, you’ll be a sucker for Jaytovxn’s recently released EP, Eclipse. It stands as a testament to the luminary’s ability to meld genres to create his blazing signature that others will undoubtedly be keen to forge and assimilate.

Watch the official music video on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Starleen cinematically exhibited what it means to be human in her debut art-pop LP, To Give In

After making her art-pop debut in 2020 with her beguilingly dark EP, Life is Strange, Starleen came into her cinematically ethereal own through the unveiling of her ceremonially humanistic LP, To Give In.

To Give In explores our desires to succumb to the forces keeping us on our knees while celebrating our unwavering determination to endeavour the myriad of storms that our chaotic world unleashes upon us. With soundscapes that spill a jarring sense of unease around the assuredly celestial vocals that moodily paint the imperfection of the human experience around the pulsating indietronica rhythms, anyone who accepts the idiosyncratic beauty of the human experience will find a wealth of resonance across the seven soundscapes.

All too often, lyricism paints humanity, as a collective, as what we wish we were, what we aim for; an endless series of pretences held up by scarcely anyone for any enduring length of time before perfectionism becomes a crushing weight. Starleen breaks the mould by upholding the truth behind the facades. Paired with the cathartically artful structuring of the soundscapes, her bold daringness to encapsulate the most harrowing facets of the human psyche in To Give In unleashes a wealth of emotion.

For me, the highlight of the LP came in the form of the penultimate single, Out of Touch, which efficaciously reflects the multi-sensory nature of disassociation. Before the album concludes on the tranquility of the reverb-drenched melodies in From Myself. Any fans of London Grammar and Chelsea Wolfe won’t want to skip it. Actually, that goes for the entire LP. It’s officially in my collection of sad girl playlist staples.

“With this project, I knew I wanted to create a dark world. The message I try to convey is that in life, we have choices. Although going back may tempting, we have to move forward. People and their strength to overcome life’s battles always has been an inspiration to me.

Lyrically I have always gravitated towards artists like Nina Simone, Tom Waits, and Leonard Cohen because they talk about what it truly means to be human. And that is something I try to bring in my music.”

To Give In is available to stream on Spotify.

Keep up to date with new releases via TikTok and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Walk Alone: dankmt stood his ground on raw new single dead rage

Tearing through the cage and tumbling heartily into the sea to heal all those wounds, dankmt grips us tightly and takes us into a world which so many will truly feel deep inside each carefully created cartilage on dead rage.

dankmt aka D’Monta Markeith Jaleel Evans is an outcast Dallas, Texas-born indie hip hop artist and music producer who shall stimulate every listener with an interwoven blend of incomparable music.

Been through a lot within the last year.” ~ dankmt

Healing through music after the harsh tragedies of recent times, dankmt shall take your emotions through a whirlpool-like galaxy which has so much courage and insightful vividness.

dead rage from Dallas, Texas-born indie hip hop artist/music producer dankmt is an impassioned track which will take you for a ride and scorching heat-filled fire inside our speakers. Packed with such an honest tone and sailing with utmost frequency, this is a raw track to dial up rather loud.

Listen up on SoundCloud and see more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen