Browsing Tag

neo-soul

Hip hop Music

Get your soul-fix with Drew Drake’s single ‘Grandmas Hands’.

Breaking artist, actor, poet and educator, Drew Drake’s standout single, ‘Grandmas Hands’ from his debut EP, ‘Golden’, is up there with the most heartfelt hip hop tracks to have ever hit the airwaves.

The open letter to his role model, his Grandma, may be deeply personal, but hearing Drew Drake’s adoration will inspire you to find plenty for the people who have guided you through life and left a positive impact. With a few references to covid struggles in the lyrics, the single is a powerful reminder that our adversity is temporary but cherished memories have the power to inspire us forever.

The soul in the lyrics is paralleled by the RnB hip hop instrumentals that will be a hit for any fans of Lauryn Hill. With choral hooks and lyrical verses that will leave you compelled to squeeze every drop of wisdom out of them, Grandmas Hands is a transfixing track that will happily take you back to better times to remind you that brighter days lie ahead.

Drew Drake’s debut EP, Golden, is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music RnB

FordOhhFord gives us dreamy Sunday Morning vibes with their single, ‘Last Breath’, featuring Ria706

FordOhhFord

FordOhhFord saved the best for last with their RnB soul album, ‘Girl Problems 2’ which dropped on Valentine’s Day. The concluding single ‘Last Breath’, featuring vocals from Ria706 is a testament to the up and coming artist’s ability to create a vibe and allow it to swallow you whole.

Last Breath is a soft jazzy declaration of love that may play with some cliches within the lyrics, but thanks to the intimacy of this stripped back and minimalist affair, the sincerity overrides the familiarity of the sentiment.

Girl Problems 2 is now available to stream and purchase in full via apple music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music RnB

The LOOP – See Me Beyond My Skin featuring MZ Starr & Marcia

Boston-based RnB pop duo the LOOP made their debut in February 2021 with their soulfully interrogative single, ‘See Me Beyond My Skin’, featuring collaborative artists MZ Starr and Marcia.

It’s the pinnacle of elegance as it confronts subconscious and conscious prejudice and invites the listener to look deeper when attempting to understand women of colour. The single possess plenty of sonic power, but the real weight in this single is how it allows you to find compassion for people who are in view but never truly seen.

Hopefully, one day, tracks such as See Me Beyond My Skin won’t need to exist; for now, we’ll have to heed the words of artists such as the Loop who are bringing that day closer with their melodic grooves, unfiltered lyrics and harmonically sweet vocals.

See Me Beyond My Skin is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Mantra is ‘Funny Like That’ in their crooning indie-rock track

Starting off with a cute solo acoustic guitar pattern before the rest of the band arrive with a slightly jazzy feel to this, the new single from alt-indie groove Mantra. It’s chilled, mellow, with a relaxed, off-beat feel, and a summery, ‘the-days-are-getting-longer’ kind of vibe.

There’s a touch of Beck or Mika to this, in that ‘the only rule is there are no rules’ sort of way of making music, a little of the Plain White Tees ‘college radio’ feel mixed with some Pink Floyd psychedelia, and overall there’s a sort of meandering kookiness that sets this aside from the run-of-the-mill guitar-bass-drums indie set-up; the vocals have that laconic laziness that seems to sit quite regularly with bands from the American South-East, and the whole thing sort of grooves and chills its way along letting you recline into its mix of effortless cool.

You can hear ‘Funny Like That’ on Spotify now.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music Pop

Beth Macari’s ‘Gotta Get Back’ to 90’s soul.

Beth Macari

Boom! What goes around, comes around, it seems, and ‘there ain’t nothin’ new under the sun’, and in the case of ‘Gotta Get Back’, that’s a very, very good thing indeed: The spirit of 1990’s soul and R&B artists like Lisa Stansfield, Dina Carroll, or Gabrielle, lives on through Newcastle-based chanteuse Beth Macari’s new single. That’s Newcastle UK, not North-Eastern Wyoming, although you’d never necessarily know that from Macari’s smooth, soulful voice and deliciously well-polished delivery. This is solid gold old-school UK pop-tinged soul/R&B (and if you think that’s hard to say, you should try writing it) that equally sounds beautifully up-to-date, immediate, and fresh. It’s got that Ian Devaney/Andy Morris/Nigel Lowis/CJ Mackintosh production feel courtesy of long-term collaborator ‘Phil The Beat’, opening with smoky vocals and stabbed electro-piano before those retro Linn/TR-808 beats kick in, chokky little funk guitar chords and deep, deep bass carrying the melody behind Macari’s stunning vocal delivery and multi-layered chorus earworm hook. It’s catchy, bouncy, upbeat, hopeful, and danceable all at once.

Macari is already lined up to support Alexandra Burke and Will Young later this year; on the basis of ‘Gotta Get Back’, those won’t be the only high-profile artists coming calling for her services in the near future.

‘Gotta Get Back’ is released on April 13th through all major streaming services; in the meantime, you can check out Beth Macari here or on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Ceylon Rose has made their debut with the psych-laced RnB pop-rock track, ‘Bubbles and Reflections’

Melbourne-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ceylon Rose released their debut single ‘Bubbles and Reflections’ on March 12th and shared some of the epiphanous thoughts that led to his transition from their anxiety-riddled state into someone with confidence in their ability.

One of the many stunning aspects of this track is how it reminds the listener that darkness can be overcome. Then there is the soundscape itself which unravels as a melodically soulful mix of RnB, pop, psych-rock and hip hop. The Hendrix-style solo gives you plenty of time to let the preceding introspection sink in and appreciate the multi-faceted nature of Ceylon Rose’s talent.

Bubbles and Reflections is now available to stream via Spotify.

To keep up to date with news on the artist’s following releases, connect via Facebook.

Music Pop

Kama Tala has unleashed their Caribbean funk-soaked jangle-pop single, ‘Honore’

https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/Fj6L1R9JyNCWryUx5

If you could imagine what it would sound like if the Smiths was a Caribbean pop outfit, you will be able to get an idea of the jangly magnetism contained in Kama Tala’s recently released single, ‘Honore’.

The Chicago-hailing artist crosses borders and merges everything from soul to rock to pop to jazz in their sun-soaked tracks, but that’s not the most notable facet of Kama Tala’s talent.

The ingenuity largely stems from the seamless melding of the genres while never detracting from the accessibility of his sound. But the true distinction comes through their heartfelt vocal delivery. In a time when physical communities are inaccessible and social media has become a minefield of toxicity, tracks such as Honore are utterly priceless for the way they reach out to you and offer freshly orchestrated positive connection.

Honore is available to stream via SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music Pop

Making History: Nanguaq put together something supremely special on ‘N1: Rising Stars of Modern Indigenous Music from Taiwan’

Making such beautiful soundscapes on this ten-track wonderland for the heart to heal again, Nanguaq are here to bring the world a statement of their intention to teach us about their incredibly soulful music which has been hidden away for too long on ‘N1: Rising Stars of Modern Indigenous Music from Taiwan‘.

Nanguaq is a team of fantastic artists who have teamed up together to change the tide away from previous music styles, to rather show their original creations in a sensational electronica, neo-soul and pop explosion of stunning ear-hugging delight, that clears the mind from all anxiety.

”Taiwan’s indigenous people make up just over 2% of the population today, which makes it all the more extraordinary that Abao won the Best Album and Best Song categories at the Golden Melody Awards  — Taiwan’s highest music honor — in 2020.”-Nanguaq

”The seven singer-songwriters, whose ages range from 17 to 29 years old, hail from four of Taiwan’s 16 recognized indigenous ethnic groups: Paiwan, Bunnan, Amei, and Rukai. On N1, they each sing in their respective native languages.”-Nanguaq

You feel the talent oozing in class here, as they all sing with undoubted quality and heart, lead by a magnificent artist who sets the standard with a world class song of such unrivaled beauty.

N1: Rising Stars of Modern Indigenous Music from Taiwan‘ from Nanguaq, is a lovely collection of tremendous songs that showcases what you can achieve if given the chance. This is a remarkable ten-track album that will have you thinking about opening your mind to new music that is truly special. The goal of featuring Abao and an assortment of young artists to give them the global platform, has certainly been achieved and looks to grow even more worldwide thanks to these excellent efforts, to unite the music community as one team.

Stream this new compilation on Spotify and see more on their IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Music

The Musical Doc serves a sonic smorgasbord of aural culture with her latest single ‘LOFI’

There’s an art to lo-fi, and RnB soul singer, The Musical Doc, may be the Picasso of her generation. Her latest single, LOFI, produced by Aravind Reddy and LO, is a carnally protestive attack on the duality which consistently presents itself in our conformist society.

Not only does The Musical Doc allow the listener to enjoy a brand-new sonic experience. But through lyrics such as, “They don’t see colour, they’re living so blind, wish they could see the rainbow in my mind”, The Musical Doc can utilise meta poetry to add light to the dark dystopic times we’re all enduring.

With her praises sung by Rolling Stone Magazine and her hits being selected for Track of the Week by BBC Radio, London, it’s hard to imagine that anything could stand in her way to the top.

LOFI released on March 26th; you can check it out for yourselves via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Time To Move On: Chanel Young ends the games played on her with ‘Better Than Me’

As her sweet soul starts to heal from the narcissistic energies that have flooded her heart from a previously toxic relationship, Chanel Young releases all of the tension built up with ‘Better Than Me‘.

Chanel Young is an emerging Houston, Texas-based neo-soul/indie pop singer-songwriter, with an effortless vocal gift that simmers into your consciousness, with an uplifting but thoughtful feel of wondrous beauty.

”From early on, she has had quite a diverse-centric background between the back and forth of living in both Houston and Montreal and coming from two culturally different environments, so she was always exposed to various musical stylings both from her parents, and her surroundings.”- Chanel Young

Her voice brings you into her eyes, as she feels that they have taken too much without adding value into your life. With a stunning pitch, you feel warm but sad all at the same time – as she moves the table around to suit herself – realizing that they don’t actually deserve her kindness.

Better Than Me‘ from the deeply thoughtful Texas-based singer-songwriter Chanel Young, is a lesson to us all who are in or have experienced those harsh relationships where one person uses you, to get what they want when they are lonely. The heart will soon start to feel weak if you are exposed to this for too long, so moving on and flying free again, is the only way to fulfill your true romantic desires.

Stream this fine new single on Spotify and head through to IG to get more news.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen