When we think of piano driven pop music, thoughts naturally go to either high-concept artists such as Tori Amos or the kitsch commercially of Elton Jon or Billy Joel. But Brighter Light offer another way. Theirs is not only the sound of pop as high drama, dynamic whirlwind, it is also the sound of the boy band ethic taken to a sophisticated conclusion. It is highly accessible, effortlessly classy, classical and yet still cool, emotive, eloquent and elegant.
An honest, heartfelt song, emotions worn openly on the sleeve, a tale of love and loss and set to a slow burning musical journey that moves from piano bar balladry to ultimate musical theatrics, and it is glorious at every step of the way. It is the combination of the underlying classical beauty of serious music and the deftness of the commercial and accessible and it is this play off which sets up a wonderful balancing act at the heart of the song. Some music aims for the head, some the heart, Silver by-passes both and goes straight for the soul.
Sarah Hollins is on a mission to remind us what pop music should be about. Forget the gimmicks, the marketing tricks, the style over substance that many of her rivals employ to hide the fact that they don’t have a particularly strong track, this girl bases her songs on one thing. Confidence. The beats drive hard, the grooves look you in the eye, challenging you not to move to the track…by the chorus you will be grooving some sultry footwork anyway so you might as well just get on with it from the start… and the vocals land powerfully and with intent.
She is a back to basics girl, she has figured out the key factors that make pop music so potent and used that knowledge to deliver perfect, state of the art, music of the moment, chilled, dance floor, future classics and Heartbeat is the result. Sometimes the simplest of plans reap the greatest results and this approach of just getting the core ideas locked down so that the rest will follow, is working perfectly for her and I think Sarah Hollins is a name which will soon be a fixture in the modern pop landscape.
If your view of pop music is as something which is part of youth culture, throw away tunes that serve their purpose and then move on, then you need Smooth Panda in your life. Addiction is the sound of pop music being made for a more mature audience, of the genre growing up…this is pop with a Phd! Yes, it will tick all the right boxes with the younger element but it is put together in such a slick and deft way that it will find a lot of favour with a more discerning audience, and that’s the trick isn’t it, mass appeal, a song that remembers that pop is short for popular.
Addiction is a dark, sassy and groove laden tune, from the lyrical content down it speaks to a more switched on audience, mixes R&B undercurrents, rock guitar muscle and pop beats. If most of the pop canon is designed for the dance floor and party vibe, this is a song that exists way out on the fringes, in the shadows of the genre, in a more charged and edgy place. Smooth Panda is what music fans will graduate to when the disposable, throw away, pop posing and chirpy tuneage just doesn’t cut it any more.
Johari isn’t short of competition being a Northern UK artist, yet with his latest EP, he’s created a sound that is incomparable to any of the iconic sounds that have come from these parts, as a Mancunian, that’s not something I say lightly.
Being a Blues-Rock Soul Artist, he has a lot to live up to in the instrumental department, yet he absolutely knocks it out of the park in the first track on his EP ‘The Losing Game’, the empyreal riff unravels to leave you in pure, undulated audio bliss. The up and coming artist takes his inspiration from artists such as John Mayer & The Eagles to create his own mesmerizingly notable sound with the help from an array of blinding talent from professional session musicians. Every note that makes up Johari’s EP is faultless, it’s got everything a Northern Soul aficionado could hope for and more, from soaring harmonies to stomach churning hooks that will leave you hooked on his sound.
Johari’s EP is now available to listen to on Spotify:
Often my biggest criticism when it comes to Pop music is the fact that it sounds just too plastic, too happy too unbelievable. Yet, Kid Indigo’s latest track Head Change is a pioneering Pop masterpiece that fuses its earthy synths with a perfect pinch of rhythmic melancholy. The emerging artist uses influences from Hip Hop, Indie, Folk and Electronica to create his stand out style that is helping him to achieve his mission of changing the world of music, one note at a time.
The Portland, Oregon based singer songwriter has the ability to style his relatable lyrics to Head Change create a track that’s all too easy to connect with. When the chorus hits, and the beat really kicks in Head Change is transformed into what could be the ultimate party anthem of 2018. It’s hard to believe an artist at the age of 19 can display such show stopping talent, but that’s exactly what has put Kid Indigo amongst some of the best Pop acts under 20 on the West Coast today.
Check out Head Change on SoundCloud using the link below:
The remix of It’s Too Late, by the sensational musician Phil Parker is one of the most uplifting sounds I’ve heard this year. The track starts with the infinitely catchy hook of the bass before this psyched up Indie Pop hit unravels and unleashes its psychedelic fury on you through the bouncing chorus. The funk style chords reverberate through the track against Parker’s uplifting voice making It’s Too Late almost too perfect for radio. The Manchester based artist must have taken a few hints from the legendary Peter Hook (Joy Division) when coming up with this smash hit of a debut track. I have no doubt that in a few years he’ll be up there with The Smiths, Chameleons and Happy Mondays with the rest of Manchester’s iconic music acts. His playful demeanour definitely left me with the appetite to devour some more of his tracks, so it came as no surprise when I was blown away by some of his earlier releases such as Some Girls & The Fighter. I can’t help but fall a little in love with his sweet, almost innocent undertone to his sound.
It’s not too late to check out the remix of It’s Too Late, head on over to SoundCloud and soak up the uplifting vibes:
On My Own featuring The Ready Set is the fresh new track from R&B Urban Soul artist Mike Martinez which flows as one of the most succinct melodies I’ve heard this year. The almost bashful lyrics are as relatable as they come from the humbly sweet artist. His inspiration for his tracks come from his passion to inspire creativity in others, can a musician get any more adorable? Probably not. I’ve fallen a little bit in love with the Pop singer songwriter with all of his charming sensibilities that have allowed him to travel across American with his music since he released his first album back in 2016. Long after this Pop track fades out the catchy lyrics from this anthemic hit will stick with you. In short, On My Own is a sensational feel good track that will leave you more empowered than when you first hit play.
Check out the lyric video to On My Own via YouTube using the link below:
Even after the 5th time of listening to the new track Travelling Heart by the artistic collective that Unit 48 is comprised of, I couldn’t quite get over the fact that a band so fresh from their inception could create a sound as resounding as this Jazz soaked sensation. Within their 5-minute debut single there isn’t a moment which you’re not sat on pins appreciating this absolutely flawless masterpiece.
The soaring wail of the guitar in the instrumental section curtesy of Michael Lawrence is enough to make the hairs stand up on your neck, then comes the brass and the synthy euphoria that bleeds through their enviable talent, but before that, you’re eased into the bands authentic sound by the frankly unbelievable vocal talent of lead singer Michael Gadsby. Everything about this track moves with its own synchronicity. Now I’m totally stoked to hear Unit 48’s first album. The North Kent, UK based band formed back in 2017 when they established their instantly iconic sound.
Check out the jazz-soaked sensation which is Travelling Heart on SoundCloud using the link below:
At once historical and eerily current — like an A-list artist that belongs to where the game is all headed at the moment, Ari B a distinctively talented female music artist from Boston, Massachusetts. She laid it down in the right position once more time with this new song she titled “Just Get Me”.
Ari B is an extraordinary female artist who works as an army of one. She can sing, she sure knows how to move that body so damn well and she’s a pretty good performer. The release of her highly anticipated new single “Just Get Me”; which was due for release in all major stores since February 9th has in it a delectable number of various collaborators like Justin Gerrish (Charlie XCX, John Mayor, Vampire Weekend), Sangwook and ‘Sunny’ Nam (Barbara Streisand, Carole King, Billy Ray Cyrus).
This new single from Ari B is accompanied by a powerful visual. This song is so beautifully stuffed with nice choreography moves, good sound quality and an excellent visual quality. She is seemingly unstoppable.
“Just Get Me” is that type of song that confirms the notion that whatever a man can do, a woman can equally do same even better. Ari B gave us a pop song that can as well translate to a “Body-Shake-Anthem” kind of song.
The melody of the song is quite catchy and it’s even more enchanting to watch those dance moves. Watching those dance moves will always keep you wanting more. The lyrics of this song are written with an unflinching clarity.
Overall, this song is just searingly, beautifully written and well laid in terms of its portraiture, sound quality and choreography.
Some artists try to turn pop music into something new, they fuse their music with the past or try to force the future, undertake musically questionable and culturally ethical experiments in basement studios or pretend not to be pop at all, creating weird sub-genres and new labels to try to sound cool and detached. Nicole Radon is too honest for all of those sorts of games. And whilst her music is built of slick, modern electronica, the music is pop, unashamedly so, it is here and it is now.
Solid beats, intricate soundscapes and a vibrant verse build the anticipation before a truly monumental chorus delivers everything you want from a pop record. When it hits the pay-off it is big, bombastic, infectious and memorable. If you can’t sing the chorus of a dance or pop record by the second time it comes around then it is not doing its job. In the case of We Will Love One Another, I’ll be surprised if it even takes you that long.