‘Cash App’ is the salaciously fresh latest RnB Hip Hop drop from Yung Tilla, a Burlington, NJ-hailing artist who has garnered plenty of hype around his mischievously hedonistic sound since making his debut in 2018.
Tune out of the lockdown misery and into Cash App which blazons with late night high energetic vibes. If you could imagine what it would sound like if Chris Brown and Tory Lanez had an aural lovechild, you’ll get an idea of how adrenalizingly smooth the grooves in Cash App are.
Yung Tilla’s energy is infectious enough to allow you to shake off any apathy which has creeped into your psyche in recent months, but if there’s anything bigger than their creative energy, it is his motivation. Yung Tilla created ‘Tilla Tuesdays’ to drop a new song every month during lockdown and with their new album due to drop in 2021, he’s definitely one to watch.
You can check out Cash App by heading over to Spotify.
With ‘Walking on the Moon’, Siena Bella vented the frustration which we’ve all been feeling since the start of the pandemic. We’ve heard plenty of lockdown-inspired singles, but few artists dare to go deep with their exposing introspection as Siena Bella did. Walking on the Moon may carry some heavy emotion, but the main thing you’ll take away from this unforgettably moody electro pop hit is the resonance which it implants.
With lyrics such as ‘No desire to look at my phone and see the hundreds of wars going on, everyone putting a show making me feel so small’ and the relatable ennui projected through the vocals, Walking on the Moon became one of the most essential singles released in 2020. For your sanity’s sake, get her on your radar in 2021.
Walking on the Moon is available to stream on all major platforms via this link.
While most of us spent the summer of 2020 in enforced sun-and-over-drinking (the lucky ones with gardens, anyway) or locked down indoors, it seems Musicismost were not just forming in Chiswick, West London, but recording this, their first single.
‘Pheromone Too’ is a fast-paced, high energy rock track in the style of the Chilli Peppers, Muse, or Royal Blood, with maybe a little funky Lenny Kravitz vibe thrown in for good measure. It rocks hard, distorted guitars vying with up-front breathy vocals for attention. Releasing your first single all about pheromones – something invisible which can’t be detected but which influence our behaviour – is a pretty bold stroke, but it seems Musicismost can just about pull it off.
Vienna-based, Russian-born singer/songwriter/producer Aygyul mixes up the genres on her new, bilingual single “I’ll Be Alright”, throwing in Indie-pop, Electronica, and a little dash or two of R&B, to produce a classy little dance-pop track.
Created during lockdown from Aygyul’s bedroom music studio, and working with poet Pati Avish (who writes all the lyrics for Aygyul’s songs), this is a reminder that, no matter what’s going on around us, we need to look internally, to our inner resilience and strength, and to take the time out to care for ourselves and give ourselves time to recover; ‘I’ll Be Alright’ is a strong track, dance-oriented but still poppy and uplifting.
If UK alt-rock five-piece Divisions had scripted 2020, they still couldn’t have come up with a more appropriate time to release their eponymous second album (due out March 12th). In preparation, they lead in with this, the opening single from the ten-track album, available via Bandcamp and with an accompanying ‘lockdown-special’ video on YouTube.
‘Quiet Frustrations’ is a powerful track, a statement around social division, post-truth politics, the frustrations of pandemic-stricken Britain, and that horrible over-arching ennui and exhaustion that’s seemed to blanket us all for the last couple of years. It’s a great song, potent, intelligent, thoughtful, and unusual yet with enough commercial nous to appeal to a wider audience; think Thirty Seconds To Mars with a little more introspection and inner-city tower-block feel, and you’re pretty much on the money.
See the lock-down video for ‘Quiet Frustrations’ on YouTube. Buy ‘Quiet Frustrations’, and pre-order ‘Divisions’, from Bandcamp.
If Marvin Gaye hadn’t fatally intervened in his parents’ argument in 1984 and had, instead, continued making music, it might have sounded very much like Sir Jeremy Green on new single ‘Cruise’, a deep, classy nu-soul cut that simply oozes with class.
Mixing up a little of the retro, sexual, sensual ‘70’s Motown vibe with a modern take and a little bit of 90’s Brand New Heavies, a little jazzy funk, and just enough old-skool hip hop beat to add some groove, ‘Cruise’ is an absolute dope stunner of a track, Green’s rich, smooth vocal perfect over the top of a full-on retro track, all movie-soundtrack (like the accompanying official video), Rodgers-style funk off-beat guitar and Rhodes-style electric piano stabs. And then there’s that bassline, before the track resolves to drop into grooving-yet-chilled middle eight and breakdown.
‘Cruise’ is the first single from Green’s new EP; if the rest is as good as this, 2021 is going to be a VERY good year for Sir Jeremy Green.
See the awesome video for ‘Cruise’ on YouTube. Follow Sir Jeremy Green on Facebook.
In his day job, Vincent Sonder – the alter-ego of celebrated filmmaker Joe Connor – has worked with bands as diverse as The Rolling Stones, Sam Smith, Coldplay, Paul Weller, The Maccabees, and Placebo (among others), and that shoulder-rubbing pedigree has obviously stood him in good stead when it comes to his own creative flow. Recorded in 2017 but only now available across streaming services, ‘Vincent Sonder’ the album is a gorgeous, glorious affair, and ‘Camel Lights’ is a perfect introduction.
Beautiful, exquisite piano accompanies Sonder’s mellow storytelling vocal, the lyrical flow creating a perfect mood of contemplation and reverie, dreamlike and meditative, with a narrative feel that tells the story of ‘the memory of a man that I can’t find’. It’s bewitching, evocative, and anecdotal, made all the more memorable by the interplay with the second, female vocal intertwined between Sonder’s lead and those plaintive minor piano chords; you listen, and you can practically see cigarette smoke drifting from a discarded ashtray, monochrome, in the rain. It’s beautiful.
Follow Vincent Sonder on Instagram; hear ‘Camel Lights’, and the rest of the album, on Spotify.
Blending 90’s/00’s alt-pop/punk with some tidy guitar work and pushing, urgent drums comes ‘Liplock’, the debut single from Stopnowstartagain; swamped in overdriven, distorted guitar, the track takes its cues from the guitar-led indie of Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du, and Bob Mould’s follow-up project Sugar, all vocal harmonies and catchy pop sensibilities over Superfuzz pedals and Tube Screamers delivered into the front end of cooking amps.
It works, too – catchy pop-rock vocals, chiming picked single-note guitar lines, and those layered swathes of distortion; it’s one of those sounds you didn’t realise how much you missed until you heard it all over again; I’m gonna go and dig out ‘Bug’, ‘Green Mind’, ‘Copper Blue’, or ‘Beaster’ now, too. Cracking stuff.
26-year-old singer-songwriter edja’s self-released debut debut single ‘Happy’ (released 3rd January) is a crashing, contemporary upbeat rock track taking the pain and destruction of a relationship breakdown and turning it around, highlighting the strength and growth which comes with change and personal resilience.
The track perfectly showcases edja’s voice, marrying her vocal delivery and excellent lyrical storytelling to the excellent guitar and piano work of collaborator (and fellow Italian) Luca Chessa, who arranged, mixed, and mastered the track along with edja.
It’s a great debut single, upbeat, catchy, and modern, reminiscent of The Cardigans, maybe a touch of Texas in the arrangement, or the Cranberries, edja’s vocal powerful and distinctive over the chugging guitar and thundering drums. ‘Happy’ really does bode well for edja for 2021.
New York based singer-songwriter Alexa Marino has spent the last twenty years honing her craft around NYC venues such as Rockwood Music Hall, Shrine World Music Venue, The Bitter End, and Groove, all the while studying vocal technique. Now, she’s marrying her brand of narrative beauty and storytelling lyrics with a superb voice on her debut album ‘Laid Bare’, and it really has been worth the wait.
‘Laid Bare’ – the single – is the lead (and, obviously, title) track from the album, co-written with and produced by established New York musician Alex Hayes, and it’s an absolute cracker; poppy yet soulful, intense, beautiful, with a style a little reminiscent of Florence and The Machine mixed with Natalie Imbruglia and Katie Melua, Hayes’ production sparse yet mellifluous, a lovely mix of electronic instrumentation managing, unusually, to still sound organic and ‘real’, perfectly matching the timbre of Marino’s voice.
The rest of the seven-track album is excellent and out now, but ‘Laid Bare’ is the perfect taster of Alexa Marino’s undoubted talent.