Breaking artist, actor, poet and educator, Drew Drake’s standout single, ‘Grandmas Hands’ from his debut EP, ‘Golden’, is up there with the most heartfelt hip hop tracks to have ever hit the airwaves.
The open letter to his role model, his Grandma, may be deeply personal, but hearing Drew Drake’s adoration will inspire you to find plenty for the people who have guided you through life and left a positive impact. With a few references to covid struggles in the lyrics, the single is a powerful reminder that our adversity is temporary but cherished memories have the power to inspire us forever.
The soul in the lyrics is paralleled by the RnB hip hop instrumentals that will be a hit for any fans of Lauryn Hill. With choral hooks and lyrical verses that will leave you compelled to squeeze every drop of wisdom out of them, Grandmas Hands is a transfixing track that will happily take you back to better times to remind you that brighter days lie ahead.
Drew Drake’s debut EP, Golden, is now available to stream via Spotify.
FordOhhFord saved the best for last with their RnB soul album, ‘Girl Problems 2’ which dropped on Valentine’s Day. The concluding single ‘Last Breath’, featuring vocals from Ria706 is a testament to the up and coming artist’s ability to create a vibe and allow it to swallow you whole.
Last Breath is a soft jazzy declaration of love that may play with some cliches within the lyrics, but thanks to the intimacy of this stripped back and minimalist affair, the sincerity overrides the familiarity of the sentiment.
Girl Problems 2 is now available to stream and purchase in full via apple music.
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.
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.
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.
Charles Pam is a multi-instrumentalist composer, performer, and producer, with a background in classical composition and jazz. Working with lyricist Matthew England, ‘Give ‘Em Back’ is a soulful, jazzy dance groove with an upbeat R&B feel, bouncy, fun, and uplifting. It’s a cute little electro-pop tune, a touch urban at times but with a definite ‘club’ feel that should see it – and the forthcoming EP (due June 2021) – pushing club and radio playlists this summer.
Pam’s vocal carries the track, but there’s a great backing in the piano, bass, and electro-drum beat; it’s a proper little toe-tapper, lyrically catchy with an ear-wormy hook-line that will have you singing along well after the track finishes.
‘Give ‘Em Back’ is Charles Pam’s first – self-produced – single; we look forward to hearing more when the EP is released later this year.
Check out ‘Give ‘Em Back’ on Charles Pam’s website; follow Charles on Facebook.
Melbourne-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ceylon Rose released their debut single ‘Bubbles and Reflections’ on March 12th and shared some of the epiphanous thoughts that led to his transition from their anxiety-riddled state into someone with confidence in their ability.
One of the many stunning aspects of this track is how it reminds the listener that darkness can be overcome. Then there is the soundscape itself which unravels as a melodically soulful mix of RnB, pop, psych-rock and hip hop. The Hendrix-style solo gives you plenty of time to let the preceding introspection sink in and appreciate the multi-faceted nature of Ceylon Rose’s talent.
Bubbles and Reflections is now available to stream via Spotify.
To keep up to date with news on the artist’s following releases, connect via Facebook.
With a new message of healing, vulnerability and introspection, Próxima Parada are back with a song about living for the moment and forgetting the past few months ever existed on ‘24 Brand-New Hours‘.
San Luis Obispo, California-based indie soul four-piece Próxima Parada, make that hopeful music, that lifts you up and takes you to a happy place where you feel loved and welcome again. The new dawn is here.
With a vibe that has you dancing in your house, they bring delight to where there was anxiousness before. The story of looking to something new as we have been holding our breath for too long is so relevant and makes you think deeply. The world has been on pause but now is the time to step up and do what you need to do, so you can feel productive again.
‘24 Brand-New Hours‘ from California’s soulful Próxima Parada, is a look upwards to the sun away from doom and gloom, which has you thinking about what you can achieve with so little time. They bring us a joyful song full of that real groovy energy that has you smiling again, no matter what situation you find yourself in currently.
Today is a new opportunity so why not close the door of yesterday and open a new one which could lead to something fresh and exciting.
Stream this positive message on Soundcloud and check out the IG for more.
If you could imagine what it would sound like if the Smiths was a Caribbean pop outfit, you will be able to get an idea of the jangly magnetism contained in Kama Tala’s recently released single, ‘Honore’.
The Chicago-hailing artist crosses borders and merges everything from soul to rock to pop to jazz in their sun-soaked tracks, but that’s not the most notable facet of Kama Tala’s talent.
The ingenuity largely stems from the seamless melding of the genres while never detracting from the accessibility of his sound. But the true distinction comes through their heartfelt vocal delivery. In a time when physical communities are inaccessible and social media has become a minefield of toxicity, tracks such as Honore are utterly priceless for the way they reach out to you and offer freshly orchestrated positive connection.
Rise Up! is the latest single to be released by Tennessee-hailing minister and musician Reverend James Elmore Jenkins; the request won’t seem all that unreasonable once you’ve experienced the upraising melding of old school blues and psych-folk.
With dizzying electronic effect, potentially more mind-warping than anything that The Legendary Pink Dots have ever offered, infused into the soulful Americana soundscape – complete with lap steel guitar twangs, Rise Up! It is practically a transcendental experience. Any fans of the Blues greats such as Blind Willie Johnson won’t want to miss out on this release.
Rise Up! officially released on April 1st; you can check it out for yourselves via SoundCloud.