Browsing Tag


Indie RnB Meets Jazzy Neo-Pop in JOSÉ’s debut single, In Love With You

JOSÉ wore his diehard romantic heart on his indie RnB meets jazzy neo-pop melodies in his debut release, In Love With You, which makes no bones about flooding the melodiously succinct score with the hazy hues of affection and proclamations of unbridled passion.

The hit that boasts swathes of cross-over appeal wouldn’t be out of place on a prom dancefloor, a Hollywood OST score, or your easy-listening playlists. As soon as you hit play, the lush layers of reverb which swell around the seductive instrumentals and hushed-with-luxe-style harmonies envelop you in a dream-like atmosphere, which you’ll want to revisit time after time for the way the head-over-heels aesthetics remind you that there’s no other drug like love.

It’s an incredibly strong debut for the Chicago-born and raised singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. With the promise of more releases in the pipeline, we can’t wait to hear the next installation of soulful candour from JOSÉ.

In Love With You was officially released on February 2nd; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Etherdene filtered her latest indie dream pop release ‘You Are My World’ through rose-tinted lenses.

In her ethereal alt-indie pop single, You Are My Word, Etherdene captured the transcendence of someone walking into your life and completely redefining reality around the light and colour they use to infuse your perceptions with renewed vibrance. To ground the track in realism, Etherdene used the all-too-relatable fear of rose-tinted glasses being shattered under the realisation of lack of reciprocation.

The ever-ascending melodies within the ardent yet sublimely tender track amplify the sticky-sweet romanticism drifting through the lyricism. Far from your average head-over-heels hit, You Are My World will leave you on a plateau, constructed by tentatively pure poetry which cohesively coalesces with the dreamy melodies that will easily be placed on any playlists featuring Cigarettes After Sex, Sigur Ros, and Beach House.

With over 10k monthly listeners behind her, Etherdene’s trajectory will only be upwards from here on out. Her rapid ascent after her 2023 debut reflects the affecting resonance within her self-expressive self-produced releases.

You Are My World was officially released on January 5th. Slip into the etherealism via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ilustrado painted in love’s luminous tones in his latest soul single, Incognito

Illustrado became a conduit of soul as he tapped into the tendency of cupid’s arrows to bathe your world in luminous colour in his latest release, Incognito; every note resonates with the genre’s rich heritage. Slip into the single and find yourself in a world where gratitude is as tangible as the air you breathe and the coffee which slips past your lips.

Incognito is a masterful blend of classic soul and contemporary flair; Illustrado’s roots in opera and musical theatre shine through, lending a unique depth and sophistication to the track which subtly evolves by bringing in staccato guitar chords, reminiscent of Nile Rodgers’ iconic funk, to create a rhythm that pulsates with life. By the time the outro rolls around, the vocal harmonies reach skyward to touch the sweet spot and lift the listener to new emotional heights.

Even though the world may be more divided than ever, this personal narrative speaks to the universally transformative power of love and inspiration, resonating across borders and cultures. As Illustrado continues to chart his course in the realms of rock, soul, and dance, one thing is certain: his future is as bright as the melodies he crafts.

Stream Incognito on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chemistry becomes biology in Anna Salman’s seminal indie dream pop single, Blood Rush

Anna Salman’s single, Blood Rush, is a masterful blend of tender etherealism and emotionally charged lyricism. This track stands out as a poignant exploration of the transformative power of romantic chemistry on our very biology. Salman’s indie pop sensibilities are on full display, as she weaves a narrative that is both intimate and universally relatable.

The delicate balance of dream pop and nuanced orchestral elements creates a reverb-soaked atmosphere that perfectly complements Salman’s introspective songwriting. Her passionate vocals, glide effortlessly over the lush, evocative arrangements.

Introducing Turaab’s vocals adds a compelling dynamic to the track. This duet opens a dialogue, exploring the complexities of a relationship that leaves Salman’s protagonist in an affectionate haze, a sentiment mirrored in the song’s rich tonal textures. However, Blood Rush is not just an ode to love’s euphoric highs. Salman skillfully acknowledges the duality of passion, acknowledging that the sweetest of synergies often come with their share of misery. This acknowledgement adds a layer of depth to the track, resonating with anyone who has experienced the bittersweet nature of love.

Anna Salman, originally from Pakistan and now making waves in the U.S., has already proven her mettle with her performance on Nescafe Basement and her nomination for “The Best Emerging Talent” at the LUX Style Awards. Blood Rush further cements her status as a formidable talent in the indie pop scene. 

Blood Rush was officially released on December 1st; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Emissary of Impassioned Nostalgia, Donnell Isaac Has Come Through with His Latest RnB Single, Through Love

If your 80s & 90s RnB playlists need a fresh kick of soul, the latest single, Through Love, from the emissary of impassioned nostalgia, Donnell Isaac, will deliver a potent shot of sweet sensuality.

The Portsmouth, Virginia-hailing singer-songwriter and composer allowed RnB fans to delve far deeper than Frank Ocean hits with the staunchly traditionalist track that reaches the epitome of cinematic soul.

Through Love, which explores the all-consuming gratitude love evokes, pays an ode to the celestial capacity of true love; in an era of superficial connection, the single is a testament to the rewards for romantic vulnerability. Between his Gospel-grown vocal lines and the arresting electric guitar solo towards the outro, Through Love efficaciously leaves the senses alight.

Through Love dropped on September 8th; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Belle: From Dreamer to Achiever – A Musical Journey of Passion and Purpose | Interview

In the realm of music, there are dreamers, and then there are those like Belle, who transcend aspirations and manifest their dreams through unwavering authenticity and dedication. Hailing from California, Belle’s journey is a testament to turning dreams into reality, and she’s achieved it by staying true to herself. A Grammy-nominated songwriter, Belle’s life story is a symphony of creative achievement, lived on her own terms. Currently sharing stages with Kanye West and the Sunday Service Choir. As she unveils her latest labour of love—a mesmerizing EDM/disco EP—we sit down with Belle for an exclusive interview that offers a captivating glimpse into her journey and artistry.

Your journey is a remarkable example of turning dreams into reality while remaining true to oneself. Could you share how your upbringing influenced your unwavering pursuit of a music career and the key factors that kept you grounded in your authenticity?

My upbringing was a mashup of good and bad times. I grew up in watts, ca. I have been singing as long as i can rennet it’s just been in my blood with my dad being a gospel singer (lead vocalist of the five blind boys of Mississippi) his name was big Henry johnson. I’d say seeing him perform and sing all of the time made me stay up all night. All I could ever think about was music. I didn’t even feel poor until i had gotten into my teens. Then the motivation turned into me wanting a better life.
Touring with Kanye West and the Sunday Service Choir is a unique experience. Can you share some insights into how this collaboration came about and the impact it has had on your artistic perspective?
Kanye West got it in his spirit to start a choir. I auditioned and joined the choir in 2019.  There was so much i took from that experience as we went on to tour the world, win prestigious awards and make great albums. That was all great but the one takeaway from this experience came from Kanye himself. When you have an idea you have to put your head down and tune the nay daters out. People will never believe until someone else does. Our choir under the leadership of Kanye west had some of the best talent this industry has to offer and I’m proud to have been apart of something that made such an impact,

“Building Bops” is a heart-warming tribute to family and early education. Could you elaborate on the inspiration behind this project and how your role as a mother has played a pivotal role in its creation?

I have two beautiful boys and one thing they know about their mom is that  she’s always singing. My second son was learning how to read and his abc’s at the same time and so I had to go on the road for work for a couple weeks. I wrote an abc song for him and had my dear friend Brian waters mix the vocals for me.  He hit me back and said hey, you need to make a whole album and so we did.  I was able to work with my sister friend and great songwriter/vocalist Mika Lette on it. It was also fun to have our kids singing in the album. My kids inspire me daily to always try and press forward.

Your upcoming music video release for “Just Be Good to Me” has generated significant anticipation. Can you provide us with a sneak peek into the inspiration and creative process behind the video, and how it aligns with the song’s energetic vibe?

“Just be good to me” has been a favorite song of mines since I was a kid. It was made famous by the sos band an rnb soul sensation. The music video takes the audience into how I see the lyrics. It’s energetic, electronic with beautiful visuals. Just be good to me was released July 21,2023 and produced by Brad Grobler of big productions worldwide . It has an amazing future rave mix that was released august 18th (Here’s a sneak peek of the video) My album is filled with the influence from some of my favorite euro dance and house artist one of whom I sing Lead for Labouche famous for be my lover and sweet dreams. I’m so excited for the dance world to embrace me.

Your versatility as a songwriter has led to placement in Erica Campbell’s gospel album “Love.” How do you approach crafting music across different genres, and what were the highlights and challenges of collaborating with Erica Campbell?

I love working with other writers and singers. This song “trust and obey” came about from a situation that i knew wasn’t okay but it was so good that it made it hard to trust and obey.  I wrote this song with a good friend of mine songwriter Gromyko Collins and the super producer warryn Campbell of my block resources produced the song. Each song is different most times you don’t sit in the studio with the artist and most times you do. There’s was no challenge working with Erica Campbell at all. She’s such an amazing and anointed talent. It’s my honor to be on her labor of “love”.

Spotlight Feature: Emilio Lanza embraced the moody future of pop while looking back in ‘Rearview Mirror’

For his latest single, Rearview Mirror, the Naples-born singer-songwriter Emilio Lanza darkened the doorstep of 90s boyband pop and weathered the torrid storm of heartbroken introspection.

With acoustic percussive fingerpicked guitar motifs scattered amongst the dark and reverberant moody pop sensibilities, Rearview Mirror is a triumph of evocative ingenuity for the way the light melodicism juxtaposes the harsher elements to sonically allude to the rollercoaster you’re forced onto when distance becomes definitive disconnection.

Careful to balance light and shade, Lanza, also instilled resilience into the release that will efficaciously embolden any hopeless romantics searching for hope; it is in Rearview Mirror by the visceral smorgasbord.

With over 2 million streams on Spotify and after receiving plaudits from the likes of Ed Sheeran and James Bay, Emilio Lanza has already conquered the world of pop; be a part of his legacy and delve into his latest elevated production.

Emilio Lanza Said:

“My song, Rearview Mirror, is a metaphor representing our past, nightmares, breakups or scary thoughts; it can be anything, but the message is positive, as reflected by the cover art depicting a sunset ahead and struggles in the rearview mirror. I wrote the song following the end of a six-year love story and other life hardships.”

Rearview Mirror will hit the airwaves on the 25th of August. Stream it on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Nawniee reached the epitome of eloquence with her alt-soul hit, Words

When words aren’t enough, melodies fill in the gaps of expression, especially when they’re as ambiently arresting as the grooves that flow right through the latest alt-RnB single, Words, from the up-and-coming artist, Nawniee.

The slick with synthesised 80s nostalgia prelude arrests you from the first note before the downtempo flows start to act as a bedrock for Nawniee’s soaring vocal lines that share proclivities with hyper-pop icons through inventive the use of autotune.

It was a bold move to augment her glassy vocal lines to the nth degree, but it more than paid off; Words became all the more visceral for it as the singer and songwriter reached the epitome of eloquence with her lyricism. You’d be seriously hard-pressed to find a more convincing declaration of passion on the airwaves.

Check out the Radio Edit of Words by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Saw the Moonlight: Preston Scott Straus hears the vociferation booming from the distance on Storm

Feeling the light shine through for a few seconds before everything changed forever, Preston Scott Straus is in breathtakingly inspiring form via the teardrop-fueled single to huddle close with rainjackets on called Storm.

Preston Scott Straus is an emerging pop singer-songwriter, music producer and a massive example for reminding others about love and compassion in an often cold world.

Scintillating all listeners with a dynamic performance, Preston Scott Straus shows us what belief sounds like. This is must-listen stuff and deserves all the love in the world.

Storm from the young pop singer-songwriter and music producer Preston Scott Straus is a movie-like single to play on loud. Honest and beautifully haunting, this is a song to hold hands with no matter the weather.

Teaching us to come closer and to seek the support needed to survive, taking us to a much better place away from the madness.

Feel the waves crashing on Spotify.

See the vibes continue on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Chazz Oliver & Amanda Marie dug deep in the trenches of their soul to come up gold with their single, Feelin’ Fine

In their latest single, Feelin’ Fine, the neo-soul sensations Chazz Oliver and Amanda Marie flipped the script on feel-good RnB. Instead of creating another run-of-the-mill track soul track to flood your psyche with superficial positivity, the dynamic collaborative duo dug deep into the trenches of their impassioned imagination.

If you have ever known true love, you will also know that it is synonymous with the compulsion to make reality glisten around whoever stirred those feelings in you; their happiness not only becomes paramount, but your sanctity rides on it. Feelin’ Fine mellifluously flows through the groove pockets around Amanda Marie’s divinely magnetic vocal lines to send compassionately sweet vibes surging through your senses. The London-hailing artist isn’t an icon in the making, she’s fully and flawlessly formed.

Feelin’ Fine is due for official release on April 14; stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast