AJ Mclovely proved how she came about her moniker in her intimately heartfelt alt-pop single, Hold On, which tackles the very real problem of our tendency to convince ourselves that misery is forever and happiness is fleeting.
Hold On soulfully narrates that our experience of reality is all just a matter of perspective as AJ Mclovely’s 90s pop-inspired vocals compassionately breeze over the folky pop guitars. The lockdown created single is just one of the reasons that the Aberdeenshire-based singer-songwriter and mental health advocate has developed a staunch fan base. So many pop artists have got into the habit of creating from the ego. Yet, with Hold On, there’s a real sense that it was created to resonate with souls that are lacking the light that is by the smorgasbord in this simple yet powerfully otherworldly single.
The official video to Hold On is available to stream on YouTube. And you can connect with AJ Mclovely via Facebook.
While plenty of artists rushed to drop their lockdown-inspired tracks in 2020, the lyrical hip hop luminary, Griegz, meditated on the causality between isolation and anxiety to create a cutting track that sympathetically validates any lingering feelings of fear and frustration.
If you needed any affirmation that you weren’t alone in the world as you questioned your sanity, you will find it in My Own Enemy featuring Aria & Nyukyung. The concepts explored in My Own Enemy couldn’t be darker, but optimism still shines through this contemporary indie hip hop release that will be a hit with any fans of Tyler, the Creator, Post Malone, Mac Miller and J Cole.
My Own Enemy is now available to stream on Spotify.
You can laugh, or you can cry, and we have been doing plenty of the latter during our mania-inducing isolation during lockdown (don’t lie), it’s always refreshing to get a fresh perspective, such as the one in Bob Ballard’s light-hearted lockdown track, Locked Up.
The dusty desert rock hit carries some staunchly rock n roll hallmarks; to amplify Ballard’s playful, freshly ambivalent attitude, jazzy psychedelic tones weave their way into the mix.
In essence, Locked Up proves just how well the devil-may-care attitude would have served us if we’d adopted it from the start. After all of the anxiety, we’re still breathing; we can still enjoy sardonically ingenious tracks such as Locked Up that take some of the sting out of our dystopic existence.
Get a serotonin hit from Locked Up for yourselves by heading over to Bob Ballard’s official website.
Soft, arpeggiated piano, big, gated snare, and emotional, reverb-soaked vocals are the order of the day here for Perth-native Alexis Naylor’s ‘Stealing Moments’, a story of love and loss and the easy, open-ended social media world of single-click engagements. It’s a compelling track, made more potent still by the excellent narrative video which accompanies it. Naylor’s voice is powerful, alternating between soft and sorrowful and angry and accusative, the lyrics telling a tale of trust, tears, and uncomfortable truths.
Taken from her debut album ‘Pages From A Past Life’, and fully in the best traditions of solo female singer-songwriters, there’s elements of Delta Goodrum and Dido in Naylor’s vocal, the track melancholy without ever over-stepping into maudlin, emotive without ever becoming over-earnest. There’s elements of ‘rock ballad’ sneaking in there from the production, but it’s by no means worse-off for that, the big drum sound adding to the punch of the track and contrasting nicely with the softer piano and Naylor’s downcast vocal performance, adding to the evincing of heartbreak and pain from a relationship that just can’t, quite, let go.
You can check out the superb video for ‘Stealing Moments’, including the excellent choreography of Peta Coy and the narrative moves of dancers Lockie Ransom and Madeline Dona, on YouTube; follow Alexis Naylor on Facebook and Instagram.
It feels like there’s been a seismic infusion of soul-baring sincerity on the airwaves since the pandemic began, yet, not many candid tracks can hold a candle to Kevin Neary’s, ‘Hopelessly True’.
If a global pandemic isn’t enough to make you feel lost and uncertain, I don’t know what is, so for those feeling disjointed and deflated; you’ll find plenty of comfort in Hopelessly True. The indie folk-pop offers an impossible-to-resist feeling of solidarity which is enough to remind the listener that feeling lost is part of the journey – metaphorically and literally.
The 25-year-old Irish singer-songwriter has picked up plenty of accolades and acclaim for his unique yet distinctly familiar style. With the same tender magnetism as Tom Odell, Hozier and Paulo Nutini, his sound that stemmed from busking roots soon feels like home.
You can check out the animated music video via YouTube, or you can add the track to your Spotify playlists.
Imagine a world where Rage Against the Machine never existed; it would suck. No one would know how sweet it feels to be adrenalized by being surrounded by strangers all venting their relatable socio-politically inspired angst in a mosh pit. It’s also unlikely that we’d get to hear tracks such as ‘World on Fire’ by the up and coming alt-rock powerhouse, X Wire.
A sequence of depressing news broadcasts serves as the prelude and introduces over-driven guitars, growling bass and Bryce Kelley’s soaring hard rock vocals that are accessible from the first note. X Wire swerved every cliché and established themselves as one to watch. If World on Fire was judged on the guitar solo alone, I do not doubt that X Wire would quickly climb the charts. At the age of 17-years-old, Liam Eastwood already boasts a distinctively original guitar style.
World on Fire is available on apple music, or you can check out the official music video which premiered on November 4th 2020 via YouTube.
Essex, UK-residing Afroitalian R&B singer-songwriter, Benny Elom, has released their ethereally soulful single ‘I Do’ which unravels as an all too indulgent blend of RnB, jazz and soul.
The mellifluous single explores romantic uncertainty without lacing any bitterness or melancholy in the soundscape, instead, through their humility, the artist reminds us how pure love can be. With his affably honeyed lyricism, his mesmerising vocal timbre and the sense of modernity which he brings through jazz fusion, Benny Elom’s sound is a recipe for success.
You can check out Benny Elom’s latest single which officially released on February 5th via SoundCloud.
Wisconsin-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, cp howes, lyrically captured the monotony of a lockdown lifestyle while freeing us from it with his liberatingly soulful infusion of Blues, RnB and Gospel in their latest single ‘Situational Worldwide Blues’.
‘situational worldwide blues’ sounds like it should be a paradox, the clever juxtaposition drives home the devastatingly unifying reality of our lives while refusing the listener to be saddened by it. The honkytonk piano, shimmering organ wails and the unique acoustics of a cigar-box-6-string guitar ensure that nothing but good vibes are transmitted on the airwaves through Situational Worldwide Blues.
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.
Get nostalgic about your pre-Covid life with Melbourne artist Kelli Brogan’s latest soul-arresting Pop Rock single ‘I Miss the Little Things’ which will make 2019 sound as sweet as the Summer of ’69.
Through jangly Indie Pop Rock guitar melodies and energetic synth lines, the soundscape spills euphoria as it progresses in synergy with Kelli Brogan’s consoling vocals which run through all of the things which we took for granted in our past lives.
A track such as I Miss the Little Things could have so easily become an invite into apathy, but Kelli Brogan succeeded in creating a track which will fill you with gratitude for what you had and optimism for what you will have again.
I Miss the Little Things is available to stream via Spotify.