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new music

Raelle transformed grief into grace in her orchestral RnB Jazz Fusion, Cruel Nostalgia

Following her phenomenally successful single Grace, the London-based breakthrough artist and producer Raelle is here with a gleaming fusion of jazz and orchestral RnB, Cruel Nostalgia.

After losing a close friend to suicide at the start of the year, Raelle was locked in a spiral of grief, where nostalgia was the only comfort and reprieve. Anyone who has ever suffered loss will know how impossible it is to envision anything but the wrenching depression that alienates you from everyone else that carries on in their on-kilter world.

Without the context, Cruel Nostalgia is a stunning score of soul, complete with cinematic flourishes which embrace the fleeting beauty of the bitter world through the live orchestral arrangements and acid-style percussion. In context, it radiates even more beguile by resonating as a sonic redemption story and definitive proof that even if you have to look to the innocence of youth to feel joy, it is still there for the taking.

Cruel Nostalgia will be available to stream from December 2nd. Check out the sensuous single via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Templemind reached the pinnacle of life-affirming alt-rock anthems with, More to This Life

I don’t make a habit of head-banging alone at home but I’m only human, and when Templemind’s latest single, More to This Life, flooded the room with visceral energy and hooky guitar riffs, getting caught up in the cathartic momentum was non-optional. The meditative yet rhythmically arresting propensities of the monolithic alt-rock track started to make a little more sense upon learning the single was tuned to 432Hz, which is proven to lower heart rates and heightens perception.

Starting with a disconcerted scratchy prelude that threw me right back to my teen days obsessing over Linkin Park’s raw introspection and catapulting into an alt-rock soundscape which raises the vibe with funky angular guitar chops around the massive synth lines and grittier tones, More to This Life is a life-affirming lesson in vindication.

I’m going to throw professionalism out of the window and confess to fucking ADORING Templemind. Although I guess I’m not alone. After his 2022 debut, the mastermind behind the project, Philipp Schardt, amassed over 500,000 streams.

More to This Life is now available to Stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Interview: Marshall Stain Teased What’s To Come in His Debut EP and Spoke on Creativity

Ahead of the release of his debut EP, VILLAIN YOU LOVE, A&R Factory caught up with the dynamically contemporary world music artist, Marshall Stain, to discuss inspiration, creativity and the cutting-edge releases making their way to the airwaves.

Marshall Stain, welcome to A&R Factory! We loved your latest single, ZOMBIE; would you say you found your signature sound with this release?

“I wouldn’t necessarily say Zombie is my signature sound, to be honest, but it’s definitely inspired by the sounds I’ve been taking in, particularly Amapiano, and you kind of hear that with the use of the “log drum” on the hook.”

What is your songwriting process?

“It varies, some records start as a random melody that’s in my voice memos, and some are written according to where the instrumental takes me. I’m in between pen and no pen; it depends.”

Is there anyone else involved with the production of your music?

“Of course, mainly my engineer/producer who helps me steer the music typically in the postproduction phase to a whole new sonic direction. That is why I call every song I record an idea.”

And how would you describe your lyrical style? We’ve noticed you go dark with your song titles.

“Honest. The music will always reflect the place I was in when writing the song. So, when it’s all rainbows and sunshine, the titles will be parallel.”

Which artists had the greatest influence on you as an artist?

“A bunch, to be honest, because I used to rap, but it’s mainly been Burna boy, J Hus and Frank Ocean.”

Aside from other artists, what inspires you to write music?

“Artists always inspire me. I’m an athlete at heart; everything and anything can be competitive. I’ve written some of my best records after hearing a song and wishing I wrote it. I apply my own experiences as subject matter, but it all stems from the artists.”

What should we expect from your upcoming releases that are in the pipeline?

“Zombie is the lead single off my EP, which by the time this is published will be out. My debut EP, VILLAIN YOU LOVE, is out on the 4th of November, and I’m pretty gassed to share it with the world. The next EP is ready too. So, let’s see how soon it needs sharing.”

Interview 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

Ariana Molkara showed us the epitome of country-pop class in her coming of age debut single, Birdies Gotta Fly By

With all of the class and arcane beguile of a Parisian Chanteuse, the alt-country pop singer-songwriter Ariana Molkara has made a theatrical yet intimately captivating entrance with her debut single, Birdies Gotta Fly By.

Cinematic scarcely covers the luminous production, which comes complete with pianos that would leave Ben Folds weak at the knees paired with infectiously upbeat percussion and orchestral strings to amplify the bitter-sweet coming of age sentiments expressed in the profoundly flawless single.

If this is her coming of age single, Ariana Molkara has a seriously bright future ahead of her.

Birdies Gotta Fly By was officially released on June 3rd. You can hear it for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lucifers Beard is flawlessly frenetic in his alt-rock hit, Shake on the Floor

Lucifers Beard

Shake on the Floor is the latest scuzzed up and writhing alt-rock hit from the UK based artist, Lucifers Beard, AKA Christopher Barnes.

With its filthier than Eagles of Death Metal feel and energy that makes you want to throw away every façade you’ve ever known, there’s no denying that Shake on the Floor is an addictive earworm from the first hit.

I always find a deep sense of irony in how the true power of autonomy is quashed by culture and its oppressive associations – even amongst alt scenes; there’s always an element of conformity. Shake on the Floor refreshingly proved that I’m not alone in this social dissection. So much of our modern anxieties stem from fear of judgement. How much saner would society be if we refused to subjugate to the banality of normativity?

Shake on the Floor will officially release on April 4th. You can check it out for yourselves via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Tanisha Sharma has made her euphoria-breeding debut with her single, Ecstasy

Tanisha Sharma made her prodigious dance-pop debut earlier this year with the release of the progressive indie synth-pop hit Ecstasy, which definitively proves that style and soul against substance is always a winning combination.

When anyone creates music for any reason but the true love for it and the inclination to breed positive sensation within the listener, it’s as disappointing as it is notable. Sharma finds a way to let her intent effortlessly resonate in the dance-worthy hit that more than has the capacity to fill a floor.

Tanisha Sharma has been honing in on her songwriting craft since the age of eight years old. It more than shows in the way Ecstasy doesn’t falter after making euphoria a theme; it resounds in every energised progression. We can’t wait to hear what follows.

Ecstasy is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Sam Handy is ‘Done’ in his soul-fix of a pop hit

Reading UK-based solo artist, Sam Handy, has been lauded by Jeff Beck, the BBC and everyone lucky enough to catch his soul-spilling sound live. After his latest single, Done, he’s set to take his career to even greater heights – the world can’t sleep on this.

Like all of Sam Handy’s recent releases, Done was produced by Ed Stokes. Discernibly, Stokes shares Handy’s passion in keeping the focus on stellar songwriting and instrumental ability; instead of over-producing the raw elements out of the track.

With the funk of Nile Rogers in the light instrumental hooks, the raspy, harmonic neo-soul vocals that carry reminiscences to D’Angelo and the sniping lyricism, Done becomes so much more than a sum of its parts. The single that explores toxic relationships is an intoxicatingly all-consuming track that allows the instrumentals to bring the warm catharsis while the lyrics prove that soul and resilience go hand in hand. In an emboldening way, Done reminds you that everyone deserves a backbone. We can’t wait to hear what follows.

Done is now available to stream on Spotify. To keep up to date with new releases, follow Sam Handy on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Stevie B brings it back to ‘Old School’ in his latest elevated rap hit.

Up and coming hip hop artist, Stevie B, put his own spin on the old school style with his latest rhythmically captivating rap single that unfolds as an ode to old school like no other.

Instead of trying to brand old school styles as his own, the New Delhi-based rapper championed the records he was raised on and used enough passion to leave anyone enthused and gratified for the movement that the OGs created. It’s impossible not to be hooked in by his lyrical wit that is just as sharp as the hooks in the Eastern-inspired melodies.

The official video for Old School premiered on November 6th. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Art-soul goes pop in James Asare’s latest single, Star-Crossed

If all artists were as ambitious with their storytelling narratives as James Asare, the airwaves would be a utopia of expression that brings the world closer through shared experience and emotion. The singer-songwriter’s latest art-folk single, Star-Crossed, goes back to the roots of storytelling while planting modernist marks in the soundscape.

With Pavement-style guitars sporadically ringing in the quiescently folkish single that ambiently twists and turns through the azure melodies, Asare perceptibly made the single his own while making it as heart-wrenchingly soulful as Dusty Springfield’s You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.

Star-Crossed is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast