Browsing Tag

London Pop

Belinda Vodea flourished through the retro 80s aesthetic in her pop single, EOM

Belinda Vodea’s debut single EOM (Eyes on Me) is a lustrous nod to the 80s pop era, artfully infusing modern sensibilities with retro flourishes. This London-born British-Albanian artist’s sound resonates with the familiar warmth of a bygone era, yet her approach is refreshingly contemporary, much like her predecessors Dua Lipa and Rita Ora,

Vodea’s airy and soulful vocal delivery is a standout feature of EOM, beckoning listeners with its natural ease and emotive quality, drawing comparisons to the bright and edgy tones of Zara Larsson. Her voice, coupled with the backdrop of lightly distorted electric guitars and expansive, reverberant 80s drums, creates a soundscape that is both nostalgic and bracingly new.

The collaborative spirit of the track’s production, led by Ashea (known for her work with Alan Walker), reflects the power of female artistry, a choice that Vodea emphasises as key to capturing the song’s essence. EOM is a musical journey of love, longing, and self-discovery, with lyrics that explore the universal need to feel noticed and remembered, yet also the determination to progress and thrive. The song’s thematic content is echoed in its composition—dramatic drums and nostalgic synths underpin the narrative of romantic disappointment and personal growth.

Belinda Vodea, who has honed her craft from a young age, balancing her passion for music and dance with academic studies, is poised to make an unforgettable entrance into the pop scene. With her influences ranging from George Michael to Rihanna, and from Bryan Adams to Jhené Aiko, she has developed a unique sound that pays homage to the music that resonated in her household during her formative years.

EOM is more than a debut; it’s a statement of intent from an artist who has been preparing for the spotlight her whole life. From performing mini-shows for her family to aspiring to sell out stadiums, Vodea’s ambition is as clear as her talent. With the single set to release on all major streaming platforms on December 1st, Belinda Vodea is a name to watch in the evolving landscape of pop music.

Stream EOM on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lilypads found room to organically blossom in their affectingly sweet debut single, Ode to You

Lilypads set their bar transcendently high with the die-hard romanticism instilled into their debut single, Ode to You. With commercial and cross-over appeal by the smorgasbord as a result of their cultivated charm and endearingly articulate lyricism that is effortlessly complemented with the equally as affable melodicism, the tenderly refined duo is set to take the reverence for their sound far beyond the London music scene.

If your soul doesn’t stir with the dreamily accordant delivery of “I guess I never really knew just how much I ode to you”, you may want to check you’ve still got a pulse. Love songs may proliferate the airwaves, but Lilypads still found room to organically blossom as one of the premier indie pop acts of 2023.

The relaxed yet complex melodies are as innovative as they are innovative; the side serving of comforting nostalgia is a harmonious bonus element, which makes losing yourself in the gratitude of the single even more affectingly sweet. As Lilypads continue to rise, this track may well be remembered as the genesis of their ascent.

Ode to You hit the airwaves on November 3rd, stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

All isn’t fair in love and war in millar’s indie alt-electro-pop single, hunting ground

By drawing parallels between blood sports and romanticism in her indie alt-electro-pop single, hunting ground, the up-and-coming London-based singer-songwriter, millar, delivered a striking exposition of how nothing is fair in love and war when unsuspecting diehard romantics are forced to play by the rules of mind games.

As the atmospheric space progressively shifts from light to dark in the same vein as The Neighbourhood, Cigarettes After Sex and Perfume Genius around the strikingly angular indie guitar work which bears reminiscences to Slowdive and the driving backbeat that gives the single a punchily vindicating energy, hunting ground, is one of the most stunning UK indie tracks to spill up from the underground in 2023.

We can’t wait to hear where millar’s candour and inexplicable talents in euphonically visualising melancholy take her next.

hunting ground was officially released on September 1st; stream it now on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

London’s queer pop queen Tana reached peak supremacy in her single, Kiss Me Like We’re Gonna Die

The queer pop queen, Tana, hasn’t fallen short of success and supremacy since we last heard her in 2022 with her pop-rap hit, Supermodel. For her latest single, Kiss Me Like We’re Gonna Die, the London-based genre-fluid originator stripped back the tempo to unveil an RnB pop single that is steamier than *that* scene in Titanic.

Instead of painting a portrait of perfect – and therefore unattainable – romance, Tana played it pure in Kiss Me Like We’re Gonna Die by nuancedly alluding to how promises of perpetual bliss only leave us lingering in naivety further down the line. Despite the visceral pain projected into the release, there’s a sense of romanticism that visualises the realities of love instead of paying homage to Hollywood tropes that never actualise in material reality.

In addition to orchestrating originated and awakeningly installations of candour, Tana has hit the main stage at UK Black Pride 2022, performed at NXNE Festival, London Pride and Tallinn Music Week, while being spun BBC Introducing, Soho Radio, Gaydio and Trace Urban. Even if you don’t watch this space, Tana is enough of a phenomenon that you’ll hear about her regardless if you put her on your radar.

Kiss Me Like We’re Gonna Die is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Forget your ex, fixate on Good Time Locomotive’s debut new wave pop-rock hit, Lines of Symmetry

The London-hailing prodigal sons of jangly new wave pop-rock, Good Time Locomotive, put the silver lining on your last sanity stripper of a relationship with their debut single, Lines of Symmetry, which allowed them to more than stay true to their moniker.

If you thought that Stranger Things delivered a potent shot of 80s nostalgia, you’ll be wishing your hair was bigger from the first time the crooned-over chorus hits in Lines of Symmetry. This wholly relatable dance-worthy hit is the nearest thing to closure that most disenfranchised hopeless romantics out there will get; consider the absolute earworm of a melody as bonus material.

Good Time Locomotive may be a fresh-faced outfit, but it comprises a collective of seasoned musicians who have enough musical chops between them to officially dub themselves as a powerhouse. We can’t wait to roll with the emotional punches in their forthcoming EP, due for release this summer.

Lines of Symmetry will officially release on May 13; hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Krystal Scarlet attests that fantasies can come true in her euphonious pop hit, Wonderland.

London-based pop breakthrough artist, Krystal Scarlet, dropped in on the airwaves for the first time since her infectiously vindicating 2021 hit, Won’t Forget, with her new 80s-inspired single, Wonderland, on December 16th. The funky indie guitar chops pop around the snappy percussion and colourfully vibrant electronic synthetics create an uplifting earworm that all too easily takes you to the titular destination.

With pitch-perfect euphonious harmonies, Krystal Scarlet carries the Taylor Swift effect before coming into her own via the authentically indie grooves in the track that will leave you humming to the tune of the fantastical euphoria for days on end.

The track that celebrates the kind of love that can abstract you from your own daydream and take you somewhere even sweeter isn’t one that you can passively let pass you by. Obsession is non-optional.

Wonderland is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Gemma Felicity shared her bitter-sweet learning curve in her evocative indie pop single, Better Without You

With a guitar tone as chorally compelling as Slowdive’s in their latest album, the London-based independent singer-songwriter Gemma Felicity rendered us heartbroken by proxy with her sophomore single and official music video, Better Without You.

The steadily ascending pop artist has been refining her performative and songwriting talents since she was nine years old. After taking a hiatus for her undergrad degree and enduring mental and physical illness, she returned to music with the vow to express her deepest emotions.

Stylish, sincere and self-reflective in equal measure, Better Without You transcends the archetypal breakup song to get to the crux of tangibly resonant emotion. Unless your soul is completely defunct, you can’t help but invest in the matured indie pop masterpiece that fills you with compassion for the vulnerable powerful protagonist she portrays.

With her debut EP, Baggage, in the pipeline, we’re stoked to have her on our radar.

Watch the official video for Better Without You on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Alex de León counts the ‘Minutes & Hours’ in her compellingly tender piano pop narrative of lost time

London-based Mexican singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Alex de León has released her captivatingly tender single, Minutes & Hours. The instrumentally minimalist single captures the ephemeral nature of time, where the sands that are always pouring can leave the best of us behind.

Anyone with a proclivity towards burnout will resonate with the lyric, “I wish I could stop and smell the flowers, but all I see are minutes and hours”. It pulls you into the depth of this intimately vulnerable single which blossoms to the tune of the gentle neo-classic piano keys and her soft Tori Amos-Esque vocal harmonies.

Alex de León’s single Minutes & Hours was officially released ahead of her upcoming debut EP of the same title. Stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Maella brings the house down in her sultry alt-pop earworm, Tudu Tudu Tu

Prague-born, London-based Alt-Pop artist and producer, Maella brought a smorgasbord of Eastern European flavour to her latest single, Tudu Tudu Tu, which merges juxtaposing nostalgic sonic textures to allow a new wave of retro to crash across the 90s dance percussion and seductive bass.

It is as cinematic as any Tarantino cult hit, and a poignant exposition on a chapter of her life that closed the book on difficult breakups, unfulfilling romances, and the claustrophobia of lockdowns. If Shiny Toy Guns wrote Seven Nation Army, the earworm wouldn’t be a million miles away from the electrically serpentine rhythms that will leave you dying to come back for more. Empowerment never sounded sweeter.

Tudu Tudu Tu, which is part of the Slow Burn EP, is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sharnelle McLean has released her artfully emboldening soul-pop single, Little Girl

One of the most artistic soulstresses of her generation, Sharnelle McLean, is back on uplifting form in her consolingly resounding latest single, Little Girl. Instead of just leaning into one genre, the inexplicably talented London-based singer-songwriter, composer and producer melded RnB, poetry, gospel, pop, hip hop and orchestral sounds under the influence of Hans Zimmer’s style to achieve her achingly stunning sonic palette.

The lyrical quality of the single easily rests on a par with the aural alchemy that spills around McLean’s organically vibrant vocal timbre. Whether you’re 13 or 59, Little Girl should be on everyone’s playlists for the way that it reminds you to speak to your inner child and make sure that she’s getting all of the mental sanctity she deserves.

Little Girl is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast