Give your RnB playlists a fresh soul fix by introducing it to the lead single, Drown Tonight,from Jimmy G. $hi’s 2022 album, P.T.H.B.
After warm saturated tones have eased you into the smooth contemporary track that unfurls around hip hop percussion and spacey electronica synthetics, Jimmy G. $hi goes in heavy with the sultry romanticism. The affectionately demure energy resonates through the lyrics as much as the steady vocals that affirm the message of the single; pace is the trick.
With the stellar production, the mellifluous soul that spills from the vocals and the evocative heights that Drown Tonight takes you to, the up-and-coming artist can definitively be seen as a triple threat.
The official music video for Drown Tonight was released on July 22nd. Check it out for yourselves via YouTube.
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.
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.
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.
While everyone is jumping on the Kate Bush hype, it isn’t a far hop across to the up-and-coming art-pop singer-songwriter and producer, Anjalts’ latest sensually provocative single, On Your Side.
The minor keys in accord under the 80s-Esque production wrapped in haunting reverb create the perfect atmosphere for Anjalts’ translucently lucid vocals to bleed into. It is a full-on sensory experience that naturally words alone can’t capture. On Your Way leaves no room to wonder why it is on its way to going viral. We can’t wait to hear the alchemy that undoubtedly lingers in the LP that is set to follow On Your Way.
After teasing us title single from his 2022 album, The Concept of You, we eagerly awaited the full length of Ethan Mark’s sophisticated psychedelic-soul experimentalism.
With the opening single, The Unravelling of Every Day, equally as sublime as the openers on your favourite 90s Shoegaze albums (surely, everyone has some of those!), it is instantly affirmed what kind of production the Canadian artist constructed. One that is defined by its quiescence and the ability to hold your attention through the jazzy indie-soul juxtapositions.
Track 3, Gunslinger, is a trippy ethereal masterpiece, colourful enough to rival the fantasy-like escapism in tracks from Cosmo Sheldrake. Reminiscences fall by the wayside in the boundlessly experimental world music title single which breaks the monocultural mould with the percussion and throws in some flamenco guitars around the RnB grooves.
Not that The Concept of You has any skippable tracks, but special attention should be paid to Weight of it All. The lofty intricate work is a sublime pool of lyrical vulnerability, Avant-Garde ambience, and quintessential folk escapism. It is gravitas sonically personified.
Here is what Ethan Mark had to say on his album
“The Concept of You, and the upcoming album, came about from a challenge from my partner. She, a listener of neo-soul and jazz, challenged me to pare my usually elaborate and busy musical style down to something more organic, soulful, and pretty.
The result was a series of love songs encompassing many facets of love. The title single refers to her, the sepia-toned memories of summers, the roots we have put down together, and the love for home.
These themes felt especially important after a long period punctuated by isolation, introversion, and cabin fever. It’s accentuated by nylon guitar strings, cascading violins, gentle pianos, and the frailties of harmonised vocals.”
Concept of You is now available to stream on Spotify.
Sheffield’s most infamous producer, DJ, events promoter, and label runner, Dalts, has contributed more than most to the UK music scene in the past five years. Now, he’s here with his latest single, No Time, featuring Jez, SK1NT and Charla Green.
The garagey hip-hop track uses old-school grooves, oscillating bass and skippy beats to keep the flow kicking under the clever vocal layering, which merges the originality of every featuring artist. From deadpan rap bars to distorted and transcending vocal samples, No Time is a hypnotic vibe tapestry which reminds you how great and gritty UK hip hop can be.
Ahead of the release of her third LP, the Melbourne-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Laraland has unveiled the soul in her latest seductive jazz-pop serenade, In the Morning, featuring bassist Nama.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. ‘They’ have never succumbed to the succinctly revelatory lyrical style of Laraland. “In the morning you won’t know my name but I’m the same” perfectly encapsulates the hangover from the cocktail of alcohol, fleeting affection and amicable rejection. At least the love affair with this loungey jazz revival is built to stand the test of time.
With all the timeless class of Ella Fitzgerald nestled up against the modernist resonance in the groove-deep production, easy listening just became infinitely more arrestive. Voices like this don’t emerge every day; Laraland is notably a golden souled diamond in the superficial rough. Get her on your radar.
In her own words, here is what Laraland had to say about her latest single,
“In the Morning was written during another long lockdown in Melbourne in late 2021. It reminisces on the idea of being able to go out and meet new people at a bar, club or anywhere the night takes you. I am drawing on the idea that sometimes you form a connection with a stranger in a bar and want it to last longer than its bitter-sweet one-night expiry.”
In the Morning will officially release on June 20th. You can hear it for yourselves via Spotify.
Interest in the LP format may have waned in recent years. If anyone can make a case for them in 2022, it is the Sydney singer-songwriter Robbie Maroon, with his riotously eclectic blend of funk, pop, RnB and rock in his third album, Reckoning.
The opening single, The Fighter,doesn’t set the tone for the album that throws everything from soulful ballads to rock anthems to groove-led jams. Instead, it throws you head-first into the captivating energy and expressive soul that Reckoning was created with. The consistently evolving nature of the release never allows you to get complacent with the unpredictable transitions in tone, style and lyrical influence. Yet, each visceral piece of the puzzle binds together seamlessly.
After the early Faith No More meets Go West opener, the album careers into funkier and playfully synthy territory with Track 2, Cyberlovestory, which will resonate with everyone who had the displeasure of experiencing the surrealism of dating during the lockdowns. Crafting the track in the form of an 80s synthwave love song was cunningly clever. I think the extent of the ridiculousness of the past few years finally just hit me with its full force.
After two infectiously protestive tracks, in track 3, Maria, Maroon delivers the indie funk-pop ballad, which celebrates the sanctuary that only certain people can open the door to. The upraising vocal layering, Men at Work-reminiscent horn stabs, and the sticky sweet melodious essence is enough to make you pick up your phone and tell your favourite person you love them.
Track 4, Rewind, is the perennial soul-pop earworm of the album that gives you a view into just how much command the Prince-inspired artist has over funk-bridled rhythm. From rap bars to vocal lines that would give Seal’s soul a run for its impassioned currency, the vocals stick to your synapses like superglue.
Track 5, My Love, allows Maroon to wear his James Brown and George Michael influences on his sleeve through the slick-with-salacious-funk-disco-grooves. The hand claps against the Nile Rodgers-Esque chops bolster the nostalgic euphoria, while the smooth vocals and equally as smooth lyrics scribe Maroon’s unrelentingly sonic signature.
With track 6, Falling out of Love, Maroon proves that love goes as quickly as it comes in quick to burn love affairs before he grooves into the striking funk aesthetics of Stand. Track 7 gives plenty of limelight to the female backing vocals that raise the energy throughout the album with their shimmering old-school soul.
Track 8, I Won’t Be Doing That, leaves a similar question springing to mind as Meatloaf’s I Won’t Do That. The intriguing ambiguity in the rock-licked track grips onto grooves reminiscent of Hall & Oats, and there is plenty of room for the unpretentiously virtuoso solos. Strangely, they amplify the sense morality mystery while you wait for more clues.
In Track 9, Maroon is out of his funk in the harbingering 80s rock title single, which grieves the normalcy that forgot to get a return ticket after the pandemic. I can quite honestly say that listening to The Reckoning was one of the most vindicating and affirming aural experiences I’ve indulged in this year. While the mainstream media keeps trying to sell us fear and hate, the masses find new brands of tribalism, and everyone secretly loses their sanity in the privacy of their bedrooms; it is impossible to find a voice of reason. Thank god one exists on my playlists now.
I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing the closing single, Take a Bow before, but my tear ducts still opened the floodgates to the ode to Prince. Simultaneously a celebration of his legacy and an illustration of the impact that inspirational people have on us, the subtle and quiescently yearning single is a tribute like no other. Hell, it’s a ballad like no other.
Don’t look to your icons for the hottest soul-pop drop of the year. Find a new one by hitting play on the debut single, Too Close, from the artist and mental health advocate, Gemïny.
I don’t know what I love more, the juicy efficacious hooks up against the stridently raucous energy of rock or the Columbia-based artist’s lyrical vulnerability and intellect. Too Close isn’t just one hell of a debut. It’s a public service announcement to those confined in toxic dynamics wrapped up in an earworm that demands repeat attention.
After experiencing the crazy-making fallout of a toxic relationship that had an appetite for boundless destruction, Gemïny stepped up to the plate to speak for everyone carrying trauma from past relationships and those still confined within the malevolent grips of one. It’s enough to change your perception of Crazy in Love for life.
The inspiration for the track may be heavy; with the poetic wordplay, the nuance in Gemïny’s narrative, the Usher-Esque vocals and the seductively lush production, few singles will leave you on a better vindicating high.
In his own words,
“Too Close is a song that places you in a climactic chapter of a toxic love story, where limits are pushed past desperately failing actions, and everything spins out of control. It is a reflection on my role, a separation from the damage done, and an acceptance of how my actions played into the traumas placed on me.
My biggest goal is to resonate with those in a darker place and show them that there is life beyond that darkness. Not saying you have to put on a smile like Batman, but there is still light out there, and I’m trying to bring that out, despite everything.”
After garnering over 20k streams on Spotify alone with his debut, the humbly prodigal artist is definitively one to watch. Especially with the release of his sophomore single, Avalanche, in the pipeline.