If singles charted on the strength of their titles alone, the Michigan-duo, MYB’s single, ‘Pessimistic Panorama’ would be a chart-topper, but that’s not to say the seductively upbeat soundscape itself isn’t aural gold.
The experimental artist who take influence from The Beatles, Prince and Journey deviated from archetypes when orchestrating this uniquely enamouring hit which is a minefield of aural curveballs. While we could never have anticipated being thrown into a jazz-blues style instrumental breakdown, we more than appreciated the jazz piano progressions jaunting next to the soaring guitar riffs; they seemed to parallel the enigmatic soul which MYB effortlessly exuded in their latest single.
With vocals as evocative as Tom Odell’s and a charisma which captivates you just as much as his artfully powerful sound, it’s impossible to imagine a dull future for US singer-songwriter and performer, Mo Safren.
The perfect introduction to their constraint-less sound is ‘Bagels and Coffee’; the soulfully slick piano pop ballad carries all of the accessibility of a mainstream pop track and all of the improvised unpredictability of jazz. Attempting to affix genres to this powerfully progressive single would be an act of futility, but you will be able to note Safren’s dynamic array of influences which includes everyone from Chopin to Sinatra.
Bagels and Coffee is one of those phenomenally rare singles which you feel like you could listen to a thousand times and still not have picked out the beauty in every subversive curveball.
The official music video to Bagels and Coffee is available to stream via YouTube.
We can’t fast-forward 2021, but we can escape it by delving into the past, Georgia and the Vintage Youth’s latest single ‘Colour Blind’ is the perfect aural TARDIS to jump into. While you’re consoled about the state of present-day, the comfort from the anachronistically styled soul will abstract you from it.
Anyone lucky enough to hear it will be able to better understand their own lockdown-inspired feelings after hearing Colour Blind. With lyrics as strong, meta and almost serendipitously astute as ‘I don’t wanna die, I’m just tired of feeling colour-blind’, Colour Blind isn’t a track which you can listen to half-heartedly.
Unlike many retro-inspired singles, Colour Blind isn’t a tea-stained faded photograph of the past. Georgia’s vocals carry the same grace as a 50s chanteuse. Sure, there’s a nod to Winehouse in her sound, but her sound stretches right back to the roots of dreamy blues pop. It’s the kind of track I could imagine Dolly Parton having on her playlists.
Smoky, sultry, husky, and bluesy, with a wicked swagger and singer/rhythm guitarist Paige Lee’s amazing vocals ‘Vintage Slide’ is the third single from Boston, MA., retro-rockers Ten Gram Tang, and it’s simply stunning. Dragging in 60’s and 70’s rock and blues references left, right, and centre – Hendrix, Joplin, Grace Slick – mixed with some more modern touchstones in the form of the Tedeschi Trucks band, the White Stripes, The Dead Weather, Beth Hart, a dash of Melissa Etheridge, a huge dose of Elle King, with some of Lorde’s ‘Perfect Places’ melancholic breathiness, a bit of Lana Del Rey, and perhaps some Linda Perry in the background.
That by itself is a pretty heady mix, and Lee’s vocals really are that good, but once you throw in guitarist Connor Powell’s killer lead work throughout the track, and the stop-start groove driven by Kevin Reilly’s bass and guest/co-writer Michael Samse’s staccato drum patterns, you’ve got a stunning 4’20” of bluesy 70’s-inspired retro rock’n’roll with a large helping of soul thrown in for good measure.
Ten Gram Tang release their debut album in February 2021, but in the meantime, ‘Vintage Slide’ is an absolute must-have.
With a delicious blend of folk, pop, rock, and Americana comes ‘Three Hearts’, the new single from Charlotte Morris’ new album ‘Songs For My Next Ex’, and that title probably gives a pretty good lead into what’s on offer here; beautiful, soulful, confessional and personal, soft and gentle and tugging on the heartstrings. There’s a little of Joni Mitchell, a little Sheryl Crow, and a lot of Delta Rae and Brandi Carlisle; a tender and compassionate vocal sitting over gently strummed acoustic guitar chords and a sensitive backing of drums and bass.
Listened to in its entirety, ‘Songs For My Next Ex’ is a soul-bearing ‘story album’, tracing the highs and lows of relationships; her first full-length album, following up 2018’s ‘To New York With Love’ EP, it’s a perfect showcase for Morris’ stunning, plaintive voice. ‘Three Hearts’ is the impeccable, sublime introduction.
Beatles-y, Kinks-y, Small Faces-y, harmonious, sixties-mixed-with-nineties, classic indie-influenced pop-rock, ‘The Ballad Of Tin Shaker’ is a glorious, catchy pop song in the absolute best sense of the words.
Hailing from the small town of Claymont in the state of Delaware in the US, Jimmy Jimmy, and his new seven-track album ‘Do The Jimmy Jimmy’, is proper, lasting singer-songwriter americana-influenced pop with a delicious, laid-back hook that worms its way into your head and stays there. Relentlessly. And refuses to leave again.
Try it. Go on. And tell me that you’re not still wanting to be a ‘tin shaker’ by this time tomorrow.
Check out Jimmy Jimmy here, and watch the video for ‘The Ballad Of Tin Shaker’ on YouTube now.
Irish artist Joolz Jones is set to drop their most cutting single yet. ‘Lovesick’ merges a myriad of genres, from Big Beat to Blues to Pop to Hip Hop but it is the emotional dynamism which hits the hardest. Lovesick was penned and recording during lockdown as an aural ode to the epiphany which happened to many of us simultaneously. During our isolated months, we had the perfect opportunity to find perspective and realise what truly matters in life, Lovesick poignantly captures the torrid emotions which can manifest when we’re transfixed by desire which is fresh from its inception.
The evocative weight of the single is only matched by the intensity of the bass which creates a solid structure for Joolz Jones to experiment within. By mixing acoustic instruments with electronic effect, the instrumentals run through with no reminiscence to any artist, preceding or current.
Undoubtedly, Lovesick is one of the most entrancingly unpredictable tracks we’ve heard this year. There isn’t a chance this release will fall flat. You’ll get to hear the track for yourselves from December 10th.
You can keep up to date with news of the release via the artist’s Instagram.
If we still believed that exceptional artists sold their soul to the devil in exchange for their talent, we’d be making that very same accusation about up and coming singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Nathan Fox.
“Trouble” is their forthcoming intoxicating feat of Alt-Pop which puts Alex Turner’s attempt to be bluesy and cool to shame.
The atmospheric alchemy which comes from the collision between the funk-led arrangement and Nathan Fox’s harmonically raspy vocals is unparalleled from anything else I’ve heard before. I’m pretty sure it will be the same for anyone else that hits play on this trailblazingly ingenious record.
Trouble will be available to stream via all major streaming platforms from October 9th. In the meantime, you can check out their former tracks on their website and keep up to date with news of the release via Facebook.
NYC has spawned an innumerable number of sensational artists, another act which can be added to that list is the smoother than smooth up and coming Electronic Blues Pop act The Meta4 Revue.
May 2020 saw the virtuosos of stylistic soul drop their debut album “Magnum Opera”, the perfect introduction to their ambiently entrancing funk-soaked style is undoubtedly “Maltese”. It doesn’t take long for the magnetic grooves to pull you into the Bluesy feat of Electronically crafted Art Pop which you’ll undoubtedly want to give repeat attention.
I never thought I’d see the day where I’d get to hear an artist offering more sensual evocativeness than Cigarettes After Sex, but here we are.
You can check out the debut album from The Meta4 Revue by heading over to Spotify.
Rising Indie Pop act Alexandra Ayoob has unleashed an alluring earworm onto the airwaves with her darkly atmospheric debut hit “Something’s Missing”.
If you could imagine what a Hozier, Bjork and Billie Eilish mash-up would sound like, you’ll have a good idea of the kind of aural alchemy which Something’s Missing will throw your way.
Similarities aside, the almost overwhelmingly resounding distinction found in Something’s Missing. Through the style, performance and passion, Alexandra Ayoob set herself from any other artist around in 2020. She’s definitely one for the radar, no other artist parallels her ability to ooze sensuality and soul simultaneously.
Something’s Missing is due for release on October 3rd. You can pre-save or pre-purchase the track via this link.
Keep up to date with news of the release via Instagram.