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Soul Pop

Music Pop

Narley Tree puts a warming funk twist on their indie pop-rock debut ‘In Your Head’

Soul pop fans are going to want to pay attention to Narley Tree’s debut indie single, ‘In Your Head’,  which comes with a warming funk twist while never compromising on the international commercial potential. After spending years as a session guitarist, founding member and singer-songwriter, Alex decided to release their debut; based on In Your Head, he was well overdue.

With a Maroon 5-style level of smooth, In Your Head is an intimate declaration of affection sweetened by high-octane power-pop melodies. By switching from dreamy grooves to massive pop-rock choruses, In Your Head offers everything you could possibly ask for. But if that wasn’t enough, Narley Tree will be releasing their forthcoming debut EP – you’ll want them on your radar before that drops.

To fully appreciate In Your Head, head over to YouTube and check out the official music video that premiered on February 12th.

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 RnB

About ‘Last Night’ – Beatnik drop us some deep cut soulful grooves.

There’s an immediate familiarity around Beatnik to anyone who’s ever whiled away their entire teenage school holidays playing the old coin-op road-race game ‘OutRun’ over and over, or spent, say, 29 hours straight watching 70’s cop-show re-runs on Paramount. Not that we’ve done either, of course. Heaven forbid. But it’s exactly that sort of jazzy, funky, 70’s disco-tinged soulful chill that leaps out of the speakers when hitting ‘play’ on ‘Last Night’; a deep-groove old-school funk-pop dance track, all wandering bass, off-beat drum fills, syncopated Nile Rodgers-style guitar chords, Rhodes piano, and stabs of perfect, jazzy brass, all underlying keyboard/vocalist Peter LaBarge’s awesome soulful vocal delivery.

It’s an absolute killer of a track, a bouncy, beach-and-palm-tree infused love letter to South Florida wrapped up in Acid Jazz Brand New Heavies Chic-meets-Jamiroquai catchiness; we’ve been humming the chorus refrain from ‘Last Night’ all day since first listening to the track, and – given the amount of music we get to review – there doesn’t get much higher praise than that.

‘Last Night’ is taken from Beatnik’s ‘Night Shift’ EP, due for release on April 1st. You can pre-save ‘Night Shift’ through BandCamp now, listen to ‘Last Night’ on Spotify, and follow Beatnik on Instagram.

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

MYB served a cocktail of pop, blues and jazz with their latest soul-filler, ‘Pessimistic Panorama’.

MYB

If singles charted on the strength of their titles alone, the Michigan-duo, MYB’s single, ‘Pessimistic Panorama’ would be a chart-topper, but that’s not to say the seductively upbeat soundscape itself isn’t aural gold.

The experimental artist who take influence from The Beatles, Prince and Journey deviated from archetypes when orchestrating this uniquely enamouring hit which is a minefield of aural curveballs. While we could never have anticipated being thrown into a jazz-blues style instrumental breakdown, we more than appreciated the jazz piano progressions jaunting next to the soaring guitar riffs; they seemed to parallel the enigmatic soul which MYB effortlessly exuded in their latest single.

You can hear MYB on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music Pop RnB

Feel the apathy dissipate with My-Key’s hazy RnB-pop track, ‘Mint’.

Throughout his career, My-Key’s aspiration has been to transmit good vibes and frequencies through his hazy pop tracks, based on their most recent release, ‘Mint’, he succeeded. As soon as you hit play, you get the instant shoulder-drop-catharsis as you render the grooves well-worth sinking into.

Instrumentally, there is an intricate mix of indie, pop, soul and hip hop that pulls together with plenty of magnetism to create the perfect platform for My-Key’s humbly-sweet vocals that don’t hold back on vulnerability or the grit of reality. My-Key has a unique way of grounding you with his grind and making sure he imparts ennui-abstracting wisdom. If you could bottle My-Key’s charisma and optimism, it would out-sell Coca-Cola.

Mint (produced by L!tino) is available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Music RnB

Laderis Lorne shares his ‘Heartbreak’

From Laderis Lorne’s new single, ‘Heartbreak (The Pain Of It All)’, ‘Heartbreak’ ,the title track, is a call to a lost lover, an ode to – as you might expect – heartbreak and sorrow, the end of a relationship, and longing and recrimination amidst the ‘what ifs’. Hailing from Oklahoma, Edwin ‘Laderis’ Lorne delivers two tracks of open, honest insight into life and loss amidst the swells of synths and thundering TR808 beats.

Horne’s got some flow, a sweet high register just bordering on falsetto at times, and a nice set of lyrical metaphors to go with his beats and basslines, and ‘Heartbreak’ is soft yet aggressive, wanting yet indignant, and all over downright fly.

Check out ‘Heartbreak’ on Spotify; follow Laderis Lorne on Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Josh Sky have us in a ‘Love Daze’ with their latest indie soul pop single

Under the influence of Frank Ocean, Boy Pablo, and Tame Impala, up and coming indie three-piece, Josh Sky orchestrated their own melodiously romantic signature sound that is just as prestigious.

Their latest single, ‘Love Daze’, is the perfect introduction to their genre-melding nostalgic sound. The mellow grooves make sure that your attention never falters from the affable sincerity as it drips from the vocals while they capture the anxiety and adrenaline which manifest when you start to feel rifts widen in a relationship.

Love Days is as stunning as it is smooth. If any up and coming artist has what it takes to ascend from the underground in 2021, it’s Josh Sky.

Love Daze is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

A sight to see: Daniel Levi sings with such pure love on the gorgeous ‘Jasmine’

With his fantastic long hair flowing with the wonderful band beside him, Daniel Levi shows us what is possible if you give it a second chance on ‘Jasmine‘.

Daniel Levi is a lively five-piece contemporary pop group from Tallinn in beautiful Estonia. They make that sweet soul-pop fun type of alluring soundscape, that makes you happy and sets you free.

After the massive success of “On & On”, that has racked up over 518 million plays on Spotify and YouTube, this is the no-pressure follow-up, that entrenches their name all over the globe once again.

This is that likable music that your whole family can enjoy as it is peaceful, loving and without hidden agendas attached. We are joyfully introduced to the story of giving love a second shot, after it didn’t quite work out the first time and being together closer while dancing around and being silly. Life is so harsh and serious, so to have this moment really bonds a couple together and induces only fun memories forever.

He sings with that genuine joy and seems content with his happy band with him for the ride of a lifetime, as his vocals reflect a man just going for it and seeing where the next road shall lead.

Jasmine‘ from Estonian five-piece act Daniel Levi, is that surge of energy when we needed it most, with their vibrant style that captures your mind and clicks the mood gauge up a notch, to highly welcome levels of smiles for days.

Hear this fantastic new track on Spotify and see more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Music

Soul, moody electronic pop and rock converge in NAURIA’s debut single ‘Girlfriend Material’

Dublin-based pop singer-songwriter, NAURIA has released her enliveningly soulful debut single ‘Girlfriend Material’ and left us enraptured with her uniquely captivating vocals and stylish mash of soul, moody electronic pop and rock.

Even while avoiding every archetypal pop cliché in the book, NAURIA created an infectious hook-laden earworm capable of amping up the energy in any room, but Girlfriend Material is so much more than just an energetic feat of pop.

The delivery of the message adds a resounding amount of depth to the release. The frustration which manifests when men attempt to adopt women and think they’re doing them a favour is palpable. It’s an essential anthem for anyone who doesn’t find the prospect of being ‘wifed’ by someone in a desperate bid to ‘settle down’ attractive . I feel like every incel in the world needs to hear this track.

You can check out NAURIA’s single via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast