Browsing Tag


Def Ember synthesised the future into retro melodies in their expansively fusionistic track, Quiddity

Def Ember’s latest seminal release, ‘Quiddity‘, from their double A-side single established the aural alchemist as a forerunner of genre-obliterating innovation. Released on January 26th, this track is a bold venture into unchartered melodic waters. Known for their genre-fluid approach, the Los Angeles-based artist ensured ‘Quiddity’ stands out with its warm meandering rhythms that guide listeners through a serenely dynamic soundscape.

The track skillfully balances a solid, kicking backbeat with mellifluous synth lines and soulfully arresting guitar licks, creating a mesmerising contrast that you can lose yourself in time after time without any of the magic in the polished production getting lost. While the synths bring a touch of nostalgia, the other layers in this smorgasbord of style push the release into the future.

The layered synthetics add depth and complexity without overwhelming the rhythmic pulses, thanks to the track’s meticulous construction and sci-fi-esque ambience. It’s a track that doesn’t just play to the ears but engages the soul, marking an exciting chapter in the artist’s evolving musical journey.

Stream the latest release from Def Ember on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Rukudzo called time in her fiery pop hit, Big Things

The Hertfordshire, UK singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rukudzo exhibited what a perfect pop hit should sound like in 2023 with her latest hook-rife and soul-lavished single, Big Things, which allows indie guitars to weave an intricate melodic tapestry across the lush layers of reverb and the Afrobeat rhythms that give the genre-fluid track a solid backbeat.

The sonic ingenuity, which also leaves room for Rukudzo’s signature rock attitude, is only matched by the poignant lyrical message which unravels as a fiery vignette of a depiction of the necessity of knowing when to be forbearing in a relationship and when to draw the line and call time.

In every conceivable way, Rukudzo made an unforgettable impression with Big Things. You’ll be humming the melody for days and revelling in the introspection for even longer.

Big Things will drop on November 3rd, stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jasno sharpened his hooks for his ethereal alt-pop earworm Runaway

Sink your senses into the latest synthesis of trap, dream pop, synthwave and indie rock from the Michigan-hailing genre-bending evocateur, Jasno, whose experimentalism knows fewer bounds than his talents in creating texturally sublime modernist masterpieces.

With a song structure which keeps the level of scintillation visceral through a never-ending barrage of aural curveballs to emanate the same progressively exhilarant air as the most infectious tracks from Mumford and Sons, the artist who keeps his sound fresh with each new release has exactly what it takes to go far in the industry which increasingly favours genre-fluid and stylistically uninhibited orchestrations.

If the instrumentals which are all self-recorded and produced by the artist’s fair hand aren’t enough to reel you in hook, line, and sinker, the clever confessionalism and candour will drag you into the candied gravity of Runaway.

Runaway dropped on September 15; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jaeya poured the perfect sonic summer cocktail in her genre-fluid hit, 510

Taken from her seminal retrowave hip-hop EP, BAYANI, the up-and-coming artist, Jaeya’s slick with sublime style standout single, 510, is a melodic cruise through ingenuity and gripping grooves that will hold your rhythmic pulses like a vice.

Her sun-kissed amalgamation of RnB pop vox and tropic hip-hop beats unravels as the perfect sonic summer cocktail that you can savour time after time to devour her witty wordplay and the introspection that allows her bars to hit so resonantly hard.

Even at a young age, the Bay Area Filipinx artist’s creativity knows relatively few bounds; she’s made herself known in Cali and beyond for her songwriting and emcee skills. Her debut EP flawlessly exhibits her cultural contribution to the music industry, and her ability to fuse urban genres until they’re an intoxicating pool of refreshingly curve-transcending bliss.

Stream 510 on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Luminary Lyricist J. Matthews is set to unveil his debut coming-of-age EP, Courage

J. Matthews

After a phenomenally hooky alt-pop debut, Connecticut’s sharpest lyrical narrator, J. Matthews, will release his debut EP, Courage, on March 3rd.

If All the Small Things by Blink-182 reserves a special place in your soul, you will need to make room for the opening single, Courage for Fools. It abstracts the punky bite and implants sticky-sweet melodies comprised of innocently hesitant romantic lines, euphoric beats and buzzing synths.

Wanderlust is a dreamily honeyed indie-pop masterpiece which brings the titular allusion aurally to life. Jack Kerouac would have been enamoured by the restlessly adventurous soul, spurred on by a lust for life.

For You toys around with 80s-ESQUE nostalgia before bringing the indie-pop polaroid of affectionate intoxication into the modernist realm with the poetic lyrical lines that tie together the seamless shifts between indie, electro, and future pop.

Nothing to Fear, which traverses personal growth in an infectiously gratified style, is a resonantly impactful conclusion to the EP that is sure to see the singer-songwriter go far in his career.

It is only a matter of time before the songwriting accolades start cascading upon J. Matthews. His razor-sharp lyrical hooks coalesce with the ensnaring immersivity within his melodies, making each track a soul-awakening hit of sonic ecstasy.

J. Matthews Said:

“My Courage EP carries the weight of my experience, starting as an insecure college kid and growing into confidence. From figuring out love and life in Courage for Fools to the narration of lockdown stagnation and fear of missing out in Wanderlust. For You is a love song, through and through, capturing the serendipity when your idealised partner manifests as though they appeared from the production line in your own mind.

The concluding single, Nothing to Fear, celebrates the freedom of a new-found perspective, such as the one you gain from returning to your hometown after college when you find pride in your scars because, without them, you would have never become better than you were before.”

Courage will be available to stream in full on Spotify and SoundCloud from March 3rd.

Connect with J. Matthews via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


How to Market Genre-less Music


In 2022, more than ever, it is less about the genre and more about the mood for music artists and consumers. The loss of arbitrary and constricting labels isn’t exactly something to mourn. Yet, it can make the industry a minefield for independent artists that have obliterated genre constraints with their music – if they are approaching their PR with a traditional mindset and approach.

In this article, we will cover how that shift happened and the best way for artists to move along with the tides and market music to younger generations of music fans, considering that 78% claim that their music tastes can’t be defined by genre, as recently shown in a Vice Magazine survey.

How Music Became Genre-less

Unlike everything else in 2022, music is becoming less partisan; the days of music tribalism are numbered. It is getting rarer to see hip hop and rock fans refusing to believe they have anything in common as boundaries between genres disintegrate, enabling the ascent of the genre-less fan. That doesn’t just boil down to how artists, such as the music-culture-unifying Lil Nas X, curate their songs; it has plenty to do with the trend of psychological playlists on streaming platforms.

The modes of music discovery have taken tectonic shifts in the past few decades. No longer do you head to the part of the record store that houses crates of your preferred genre, pick up a genre-specific magazine, watch music TV (RIP MTV), or rely on the radio. As cringey as the phrase is, it is all about the vibe and how music fits into people’s lives to become a soundtrack. Just been dumped? There’s a playlist for that. Playlists to chill out cats? Yeah, that too. Playlists for when you see a goose, yep!

cherie on Twitter: "i was wondering whether *every* Spotify user would get  the "You were genre-fluid" slide on their Wrapped recap, even if their music  listening habits were rather homogenous... and then

In 2022, almost 524 million people currently use streaming services to discover new artists, and for many, the best means of discovery is by listening to playlists curated by mood. That isn’t great news for artists releasing EPs and LPs. Especially considering that many people listen to artists they can’t remember the name of, and the majority of them would need the Clockwork Orange treatment to actually sit through a whole album, let alone memorise all the lyrics to one.

Somewhere in this century, there was the death knell of the die-hard music fans. Again, this isn’t exactly a bad thing. If you’re only in the industry to amass a ragtag band of sycophants, you’re everything that is wrong in the industry; take your vanity elsewhere. For everyone else, take this new shift as a sign you need to switch up your self-promotion tactics.

How to Promote Genre-Fluid Music

Coming up with a niche genre to describe your music might feel clever, but it is time to think far beyond genre-defined niches. In our oversaturated market, a new sub-genre may as well be born every minute, and there is certainly not enough of an appetite for them all. Seriously, no one wants to listen to your psychedelic pirate jazz; or whatever it is you’ve come up with.

Know Your Place Beyond Genre on Streaming Platforms

Genre isn’t the only way that music is categorised on streaming platforms. Geographical locations, instrumentation styles, moods, and song styles should also factor into indie music promotion.

Love them, or loathe them, Spotify knows how to market to the new generation of music fans that are indifferent to music genres, as long as the music matches their mood or music styles. Soundcloud and Bandcamp have also started enabling artists to use mood tags. Just like record collectors liked to deep-dive into crates, digital music consumers also head into music tag rabbit holes to find more music to suit their mood.

From sad to sexy, ballads to beats, study playlists to morning commute playlists, there are tags and playlists for everything, and more often than not, there’s plenty of range between the featured artists on any given playlist. It is all about the emotional connotation and the energy of your music.

If the mood and style of your music away from the genre isn’t immediately evident, look at similar artists and pay particular attention to their music tags and the playlists they feature on. Once you know your place, submit your music to the relevant playlist curators and allocate the appropriate tags.

Submit Your Genre-Fluid Music to Bloggers Covering All Music Styles

Take the fall of genre-focused print magazines as a major clue to how much the music industry has changed. A&R Factory has always welcomed talented independent artists who have struggled to garner press and critical acclaim from other sources due to the narrowness of the pigeonholes.

A&R Factory has been ahead of the genre-obsession game for a decade. Knowing that independent artists that paint across the sonic spectrum with little mind to using the same strokes as the artists that came before them are some of the most talented. Just as there are genre-inclusive blogs, indiscriminative record labels are springing up at a rapid rate.

Create An Aesthetic

With the popularity of social media rising in line with the tendency for humans to see themselves as a ‘brand’ while they are online, sadly, and surreally, any chance of an independent artist succeeding rests on their ability to create an aesthetic and appeal to a niche.

From the album artwork to press photos to your stage outfits to your music video, each visual is an opportunity to appeal to your intended fan base by sharing the personality of your music after mapping out the colours, imagery and tone.

If your skills are lacking in the visual art arena, use building your visual brand as an opportunity to collaborate with visual artists; you will also benefit from sharing a fan base with your collaborator.

In conclusion, even while we are in this transitional phase where artists are ditching genre and much of the PR world still relies on categorization, not all hope is lost. Especially for artists willing to put their differences with certain music streaming platforms and social media apps aside.

A little self-promotional creativity will go a long way for artists already thinking constraint-less ways with their sound. Other blogs, labels, radio stations, event promotors and magazines may take their time to get in line with the rapid changes in the industry. However, that doesn’t mean you need to sell your creative souls to appease the archaic dinosaurs, too stubborn to loosen their capitalist and commercial grip on the industry.