Browsing Tag

Pop

Alvinos Zavlis delivered sensually dark catharsis with his moody pop meets dark trip-hop mash-up, I Shouldn’t

The Cyprian Bristol-based artist and producer, Alvinos Zavlis, is in his experimental element in his fourth alt-electronica LP, After Sex All Animals Are Sad. With an album title that compels you to sonically explore the contents through eccentrically offbeat name alone, the bar is already set high. But evidently, Zavlis knows exactly how to transcend expectation and temporal boundaries with his dark syntheses of trip-hop, alt-pop, and artfully manifested electronica.

Sitting on the leftfield of Pop, one of the standout singles, I Shouldn’t, featuring Sae, is an ethereally hypnotic extension of the contemporary moody pop trends fused with 90s trip-hop that glitches and oscillates in the same vein of Massive Attack and Portishead.

The alchemic blend carries just as much cultivation and evidence of evocative rhythmic control as the latest releases from Chelsea Wolfe, but the way Zavlis locked into the collaborative chemistry between him and Sae allowed the release to resound beyond compare. The sensually dark catharsis is superlative evidence of how honed his sound has become after he took a hiatus and returned with fresh fervour.

In his own words:

“The main idea of the album is how the chase for perfection in your artistic craft can hinder personal relationships, health, and financial stability.”

For the full Alvinos Zavlis experience, stream After Sex All Animals Are Sad in full by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ana & Gene Interview: Crafting Harmonies and Breaking Boundaries

In an illuminating conversation with Ana & Gene, the dynamic duo behind the chart-topping hit ‘Narcissistic You’, we delve into the serendipitous beginnings of their partnership, born amidst the solitude of the pandemic and fostered through a shared passion for music and film.

Their journey is a testament to the power of collaboration, where spontaneous creativity and mutual respect for each other’s artistry have led to the birth of sensational tracks. As they discuss the genesis of their unique sound, a blend of retro and modern power pop, and their perspective on the evolving digital landscape of the music industry in 2024, Ana & Gene offer a glimpse into their creative process and future endeavours.

It is safe to say you have both earned your respective stripes in the music industry, what initially brought you together? 

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought us together and we found each other over Facebook.  We started talking about both our careers in the entertainment world of music and film.  We found out that we had so much in common and we appreciated each other’s talents. Then we decided to get together and become a new hit duo sensation to wow the world.”

It’s clear that you both complement each other’s talent and style, but what has been the most gratifying part of the collaborative experience so far? 

“The fact that we just flow so well together while we are creating.  A good example is when Gene started to warm up to play one of our new songs “More Than My Best Friend”.  He stumbled upon some beautiful chords, then I jumped out of my chair and leaned in towards him while he was playing and I started to sing Uh-Oh Who Do You Love.  So that is how our other song was born.”

Your single, Narcissistic You, has become quite the phenomenon on the airwaves and has been in high rotation on radio stations; what do you believe the key to the success of the single was? 

“The key to the success of Narcissistic You comes from the unique way Ana wrote the lyrics and hooks.  She wanted the song to portray as much realism as possible.  Also, the way I played the rhythm helped construct the melody, it brought the song completely together.  But also, our Recording Engineer Joe Bonadonna and our other musicians called “The Scene” including Buddy Woods (Lead Guitar), Michael O’Connor (Bass Guitar), and Rob Lela (Drums), helped and contributed to making the song what it is today.”

We love the retro yet modernised power pop aesthetic of Narcissistic You; were there any bands or artists who influenced the sound? 

“Well, I always loved pop rock, pop punk, and rock music, artists like Green Day and All Time Low.  I always wanted to create my own unique pop rock/pop punk rock music.  So, I explained to Gene what I wanted and then he helped give me his rhythmic flair.”

As you like to keep some of the elements of your music traditional, we’d love to get your take on the music industry as it currently stands in 2024. Is it a digital land of opportunity or a paltry effigy of what it once was? 

“We believe that it is a digital land of opportunity as it currently stands for 2024.  Today’s music Industry isn’t like how it used to be.  But everything is always evolving, and the best bet is to always go with the flow.”

What’s next for Ana & Gene?

“Right now we are in the process of making a new single called “Giving You Love”.  It is a unique blend of Tropical, Pop and Country music.  Just so everyone knows, Gene and I like to create a vast variety of Genres for our fans to enjoy.  Aside from this new single, we are also working on a new EP.  And very shortly, we will be playing with our band The Scene at venues near you.”

Stream Ana & Gene’s EP, Uh-Oh Who Do You Love on Spotify.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

Holly Lovelady alchemised around the rough terrain of reality in her scintillated by synths folk-pop ballad, Helvellyn

Holly Lovelady’s latest folk-pop single, ‘Helvellyn‘, is a meticulously crafted piece of aural alchemy. Lovelady, with her arcane vocal harmonies reminiscent of Stevie Nicks and synth lines echoing The Human League, brings a fresh, artful approach to the genre.

‘Helvellyn’ is a scintillatingly spiritual modern ballad that seamlessly blends electro-pop with folk melodies while delving into the highs and lows we’re all fated to traverse. Her enchantingly ethereal vocal timbre effortlessly weaves through the melodies, allowing you to instantly feel at home in her profound presence.

Lovelady’s musical roots, nurtured in the cosy embrace of her grandparents’ home, are evident in the depth and authenticity of her sound. Her journey from covering classics to creating her own path in the music industry is reflected in the song’s metaphorical exploration of the rough terrain of reality.

The single stands out for its balance of artfulness and accessibility. It resonates as an ornate feat, an affecting blend of modern and traditional, without falling into the trap of becoming a dusty relic of bygone eras. Lovelady’s skill in modernising the ballad form while maintaining its soulful core is nothing short of remarkable.

With support from BBC London, BBC Merseyside, and Radio 6, and following a year of personal and creative growth, Lovelady is poised to make a significant impact on the alternative pop scene. ‘Helvellyn’ is more than just a feather in her cap; it’s a bold statement of her artistry and a beacon for the future of modern ballads.

Helvellyn was officially released on February 6th; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Isla de Luca redefined the femme fatale archetype in her provocatively liberating alt-pop hit, I Already Am One

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Isla de Luca riotously fucked the gender binary with the launch of her debut alt-pop single, I Already Am One. With the rock licks augmenting the pop hooks and injecting them with adrenaline, the NYC icon staked a serious claim in the pop domain. After ensnaring just about everyone who crosses her on TikTok and Instagram, she’s more than ready to demurely dominate the airwaves with her scintillating synthesis of electronica, pop and rock.

While trad wives are falling over themselves to appease the male gaze as their sole aim in life, Isla de Luca has asserted herself as an indomitable queer pop icon with the refrain “I don’t need a rich man, I already am one”. It’s a subversive twist to die for and to live for. Through her mission to rip up the exploitative tropes around desire and empower others to embrace their provocative power, she stands just as tall as Kathleen Hanna in the feminist landscape.

If you thought femme fatales were all about seduction, feel the vindication cascading from Isla de Luca’s flawlessly electrifying vocal lines and realise the liberation of living as the archetype in their villain era.

For fans of MARINA, Paramore and Sophie, this single isn’t one you want to sleep on.

I Already Am One will be available to stream from February 16. Stream it and follow Isla de Luca on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Olen Filipe – Home 17: Authentically Augmented Indie Pop

Swiss-based Portuguese artist Olen Filipe’s latest alt-indie-pop single, Home 17, is a firestorm of evocative momentum, alchemised through a stridently lush blend of introspection, innovation, and unflinching soul.

The exposition of the complexities of love and self-discovery is guided by Filipe’s tender vocals and mapped with his candour-fuelled lyrics which transpose aching emotion into nuanced storytelling. The stylised and authentically augmented production ensures that the only thing that’s raw about Home 17 is the visceralism within the expression, which has earned the singer-songwriter a devoted following since his debut.

Filipe’s subtle harmonies leave a profound impact as they juxtapose the oceanic evocative nature of the release, which echoes the pain inflicted by self-conflict. There’s no understating the affecting nature of the production as it simultaneously stirs and comforts your soul.

Influenced by artists like Bon Iver and Neil Frances, Filipe stands out with his distinct sound in Home 17, which stands as a testament to his commitment to crafting music that not only resonates with listeners but also invites them on a passionate, introspective journey.

Home 17 was officially released on February 9th; stream the single on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Buddy John synthesised retro pop aesthetics with contemporary EDM magnetism in his debut release, Don’t You Give Up on Me

Buddy John’s debut single, ‘Don’t You Give Up on Me’, is a vibrant testament to the enduring spirit of retro pop, infused with the pulsating energy of Euro dance beats, and wrapped in the luxurious fabric of contemporary pop production.

Hailing from Nampa, Idaho, Buddy John has crafted a sound that revives the nostalgic pulse of the 90s and 2000s dance clubs, while injecting the bold energy of 80s synth and rock/electronic rhythms. His declaration of romantic resilience bridges the gap between eras, appealing to both devotees of classic pop and the new generation of EDM pop fans.

The track’s snappy grooves and luxe production are a nod to the likes of RuPaul, yet Buddy John carves out his own niche in the pop landscape. His strident vocal lines don’t just complement the instrumentals; they command attention, oozing fervour and proving that passion is the driving force behind his artistry and everything he does.

‘Don’t You Give Up on Me’ is more than a mere homage to the past; it’s a synthesis of retro aesthetics and contemporary commercial appeal. Buddy John understands the power of nostalgia, yet he doesn’t rely on it. Instead, he uses it as a springboard to launch into a soundscape that will speak to your soul as much as much as your rhythmic pulses. We can’t wait for the sophomore release.

Don’t You Give Up on Me is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ana & Gene scribed a modern love story with retro tones in their power-pop hit, Narcissistic You

Ana & Gene, the dynamic duo behind the fresh and invigorating EP, Uh-Oh Who Do You Love, have struck gold with their single Narcissistic You. The earworm is an infectious paradox through its synthesis of sticky-sweet retro power-pop and modern fusionist and lyrical touches.

The song is a masterclass in blending genres, contorting classic rock riffs into pop hooks without losing an ounce of their retro charm. Ana & Gene’s commitment to live elements in their recording process shines through, promising an electric replication of this energy in their live performances.

What sets ‘Narcissistic You’ apart is its playful yet piercing commentary on the modern lexicon and societal shifts. The lyrics cleverly weave in the increasing awareness of narcissism, striking a chord with contemporary listeners. The dual harmonies between Anastacia Bella and Gene Roberts are nothing short of magnetic. Their voices intertwine with a natural chemistry, elevating the song’s playful, tongue-in-cheek nature.

The track is a testament to Ana & Gene’s ability to craft music that appeals across generations. Their aim to reach audiences through radio, TV, commercials, film, and social media is not just ambitious but achievable with such a universally appealing sound.

Stream Narcissistic You with the rest of Ana & Gene’s 4-track EP, Uh-Oh Who Do You Love on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Dani Enli became the soul-pop supreme with her empowering RnB hit, used to it

Dani Enli’s debut RnB pop release, ‘used to it’, is a revelation in the world of bedroom pop. The Malaysian-Chinese Aussie artist, now an emerging icon in the pop scene, demonstrated swathes of talent that have been eagerly waiting to be unveiled. ‘used to it’ is a bold statement of Enli’s potential to not only hold dominion over the industry but to redefine the pop landscape with her contemporary sonic signature.

The track is a melodious, tonally tender anthem, resonating deeply with anyone who has felt burned by passivity and is ready to reclaim their power or find it for the first time. Enli’s skill as a singer-songwriter shines as she floods her own emotions into the production, ensuring the song unravels as a succinct, sweet, and rhythmically cathartic experience.

Enli’s background as a singer-songwriter, producer, and dancer, coupled with her journey from graduating as a doctor to pursuing her childhood dream in music, adds layers of authenticity and passion to her work. Her songs are not just melodies but vessels of healing and understanding, reflecting the power of music that has always resonated with her.

This track is just the beginning for Dani Enli. As she steps into 2024, poised to be the next pop trailblazer, there’s a palpable sense of anticipation for what she will bring to the table next. If ‘used to it’ is any indication, the future is bright for this talented artist.

used to it was officially released on February 2nd; stream the single on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

NY’s Cindy Rees turned on the ‘Effervescent Light’ in her latest EDM pop release

Cindy Rees’ standout single, ‘Effervescent Light’, is a vibrant testament to the power of healing in music. Clocking in at just under two minutes, this New York-based singer and dancer turns every second into a pulsating celebration of sound and spirit. Rees, who found her voice in the bustling cityscape of NYC, channelled her passion for dance and songwriting into a track that radiates positivity and energy.

The song is a kaleidoscope of genres, seamlessly blending elements of trance and house with pop sensibilities. It’s a bold move, but Rees navigates this eclectic mix with the ease of a seasoned artist. The beats are snappy, creating a rhythmic pulse that forms the backbone of the track. It’s this foundation that allows the rest of the musical elements to shine.

Rees’ Bollywood-esque vocal range is nothing short of phenomenal as she harmonises over the commanding bass-swathed beats. Her voice doesn’t just traverse different pitches; it explores a spectrum of emotions.

With some honing to her production style, she has some serious promise in the music industry.

Effervescent Light was officially released on January 5th; stream the single on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Romantic Rhapsody on Airwaves: Allen Miller’s ‘People Pretending to Be You’ Melds Indie Pop with Cinematic Love

Allen Miller

Allen Miller took the romantic comedy from the silver screen to the airwaves with his latest narratively panoramic indie-pop love song, People Pretending to Be You. The heart-in-throat hit jangle pops in the same vein as The 1975, carries all the sticky-sweet earworm potential of a Taylor Swift chart-topper, and flows with a flood of emotion, emanating the pop panache as Harry Styles.

To round off the influential smorgasbord, you’ll also succumb to the stylistic sonic gravity, which pulls you in with the same visceral pull of the snappy moody beats featured in the boygenius discography. Yet, the melodies and vocal magnetism fall by the wayside when you lock into the cunningly tender poetry within the lyricism, which proves that Allen Miller is a writer first and an artist second.

Exploring the sensation of everything falling into place as your soul cohesively connects to another, Allen Miller reached the paragon of romanticism by putting his heart on his guitar strings and paying such an affecting ode to the ethereal feeling that most screenwriters fail to sincerely capture.

People Pretending to Be You will be available to stream on all major platforms, including Spotify, from February 9th.

Review by Amelia Vandergast