Usually, Pop ballads tend to narrate love stories which only seem to reflect Hollywood-style romance, with their latest single, ‘Overwhelmed’, London-based Pop artist LIIYO cut the pretence and projected plaintive resonant emotion which we have all felt at some point during lockdown.
Ultimately, Overwhelmed is reassurance that no matter how powerless you feel, no matter how much you feel like your sanity is slipping, those feelings will fade.
Overwhelmed is a sonorously cathartic aural extension of the artist’s compassion and tenacity when it comes to offering his fans exactly what they need to hear. It may have been their first time orchestrating a ballad, but LIIYO was able to bring a striking amount of maturity to Overwhelmed which followed on from their two precious releases ‘Bad Reaction’ and ‘Dizzy’.
With their affinity for KPOP, 90s RnB, Soul and 80s Electro all feeding their way into the mix, which was produced by Will Henderson, the instrumentals are as tender as the lyrics and vocals which offer pitch-perfect Pop harmony.
LIIYO may have only made his debut in Summer 2020, but previously, they were lending their talent to KPOP-inspired UK Pop groups who were responsible for bringing plenty of KPOP fever to this side of the pond. As a solo artist, LIIYO started to strive to find their own sound, instead of celebrating a pre-existing one. The result? Darker, deeper, more meaningful music that will undoubtedly become plenty of people’s playlist staples.
You can check out LIIYO’s latest single Overwhelmed for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.
Keep up to date with new releases from LIIYO via Instagram.
Last year’s trio of singles from South East-based indie darlings Stranger Girl saw them, amongst other accolades, hitting BBC Introducing’s Track of the Week. Now, despite Covid, lockdown, and the dearth of gig opportunities currently threatening the music scene across the UK, they’re back with 3’10” of gorgeous, glittering alt-pop in the form of new single ‘Bad Side’.
Take a large portion of Sleeper and Elastica and a little of an imaginary female-fronted Candyskins, mix them up in a huge Britpop cauldron with a liberal helping of Blondie and The Strokes, and add in some ‘21st Century’ flavouring for good measure, and you’ve pretty much got the recipe for ‘Bad Side’. It’s sublime, an absolutely perfect slice of classic, chart-ready indie-pop. Singer Melissa sounds like Louise Wener with a side-order of Saffron from Republika and a little of the obvious Debbie Harry, the guitars shimmer and sparkle, and the sparse-but-snappy rhythm section powers and bounces the track along. There’s rawness but humour in the lyrical storytelling, but amidst the melancholy and geekiness there’s a hook that sticks in your head alongside the shouty gang vocal chorus. It’s upbeat, poppy, and just a little bit fantastic.
After being discovered by Glastonbury supremo Michael Eavis and supporting Paloma Faith in front of a 10,000-strong sell-out crowd at the Glastonbury Extravaganza in 2018 to having your most recent single ‘I’m Choosing Me’ played by Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 (describing it as so good he wanted to play it twice), things have, it could be said, been going pretty well for ‘half lioness, half songbird’ Yazzy.
Now she’s back with the bewitching ‘All I Can Do Is Cry’, a fragile, piano-and-strings-led power-ballad which showcases her smoky-yet-soaring voice and lead-crystal falsetto alongside her engaging lyrical storytelling and emotional, mature arrangement. A drop here, a key change there, all the time offsetting the raw, heartfelt narrative of a lost love and a broken heart. And we can feel that with her, Yazzy’s vocal delivery poignant enough that the pain and desolation of emptiness and longing carry through, the vulnerability and sensitivity plain to hear in a delivery which feels at once confessional and beseeching, an entreaty and a question over a delicate minor key verse, all held together by Yazzy’s alluring, refined vibrato.
“Blind” is the intensely euphoric latest EDM Pop single from up and coming Boston-based duo Fire Jane. It finds the perfect balance between emotion and energy by running through as an undeniable testament of the artist’s ability to not only create a radio-ready earworm but to create an infectious drop which will leave you psyched every time you hit play.
Blind feels like an almost serendipitously timely release, when the world is sitting in their respective anger or apathy, Fire Jane is reminding us what visceral emotion feels like. The unapologetically empowered edge to the harmonically succinct vocals is something that I’ll never forget.
You can check out Blind by heading over to Spotify.
We’ve been lucky enough to get a sneak peek of Emily Koko’s soul-driven RnB Pop single, ‘More Than That’, a lockdown-born single which navigates the relationship between love, confusion and feeling as though you’ll never be quite enough.
More Than That boldly proves that feelings of inadequacy are more of a commonality than we realise on a day to day basis. Those feelings are the trap door which allows us to fall into toxic relationships with people who not only allow us to question our worth but tell us that we deserve for all the self-deprecating talk to run through our heads.
Emily Koko’s lyrics are and smoothly soulful harmonic vocals are perfectly paired with the slow-tempo grooves in the Indie RnB Pop soundscape. More Than That may only be her sophomore release, but she’s already exhibiting nuanced maturity in her sound. She’s undoubtedly one to watch.
You’ll have to wait a little longer before you check out More Than That. In the meantime, you can head over to Spotify and check out her debut single Together Alone.
If you thought the title to TriPed’s latest single “Driving with Tears in My Eyes” is candid, just wait until you hear the raw, fraught introspection which acts as a window into the melancholic soul of this exceptional artist.
It’s an organ-tensingly evocative experience which is sweetened by the striking talent on display in the Synth Pop hit.
Driving with Tears in My Eyes will throw you back to the 80s with the throbbing synth notes while simultaneously projecting you into the future, which will undoubtedly be bright for the London-based solo Pop artist.
Whether you’re a fan of the Midnight or still a staunch fan of the Human League, you won’t want to miss this electrifyingly powerful release.
You can check out TriPed’s latest single via Spotify.
Chicago-based Alt Indie Pop artist Luan Seguim has crashed onto the airwaves with their unapologetically authentic track “Terminator” which still fizzes with commercial potential in spite of the arrestingly visceral distinction.
Remember when Imagine Dragons dropped Radioactive in 2012? Yeah, it’s as stylistic and fresh as that. With an eclectic array of influences behind their futuristically grooving sound, Luan Seguim was able to serve up a genre-defying hit which Indie, Rock, Dark Pop and Electronic Pop fans will all undoubtedly approve of.
You can check out Luan Seguim’s track Terminator by heading over to SoundCloud now.
Smoky, sultry, and initially piano-led, Natasha Jane Julian’s ‘West Coast Girl’ resolves into a beautifully, chilled alt-pop ballad telling the story of a California girl, dreaming and searching amidst sun-baked summer sadness.
Julian’s thoughtful, evocative lyrics and soulful, atmospheric vocal carry the song over keys and bass, a sophisticated and distinctive vocal performance that’s both commercial and individual. Julian is currently working on new material with UK composer/producer Ian Barter, but ‘West Coast Girl’ is the perfect late-summer antidote to darkening evenings and lockdown malaise.
From the first lyric in Rya Park’s latest Funk-soaked feat of stylistic Pop “The Lucky Ones,” you’re hooked. Her scathing wit perfectly pairs with her romantic air and the vibrance offered by this tonally stunning single.
The chorus is guaranteed to stick to your synapses like superglue. The concept which Rya Park plays around with in The Lucky Ones is enough to shift your own perspective when it comes to dissecting your romantic tragedies and successes.
It’s a flawless radio-ready Pop hit. If anyone has got what it takes to climb the Pop charts, it’s Rya Park. The Australian-born singer-songwriter and instrumentalist is never afraid to tackle issues which delve far beyond the surface. With her tracks touching upon mental health, toxic relationships and melancholy, she’s everything the airwaves need right now.
I wish there was someone so compassionate, candid and insightful releasing records when I was younger.
You can check out Rya Park’s single The Lucky Ones via this link
NOFAR WAINBERGER’s debut Pop earworm Stay with Me leaves lingering resonance which stays with you for long after the uniquely inviting modern hit has faded to a close.
There’s a rare sense of sincerity within the vocals which run clean and free from autotune, NOFAR WAINBERGER’s flawlessly harmonic passion-soaked vocals needed absolutely no assistance. The trancey energetic beats provide the perfect platform for her equally as galvanizing vocals.
Stay with Me is the perfect Summer Pop pick-me-up if you’re looking to infuse a little romanticism in your playlists. Pop debuts are infrequently as promising as this. We’re already stoked to hear what’s next.
Stay with Me is available to stream on all major platforms via this link.