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.
With all the style of Portishead, the soul of Seal, and the sonic beguile of Erykah Badu, the latest single, Waves, by the RnB visionary Stephanie Michelle draws you into a transcendent connection with something far beyond the self.
The intimate approach to the production created an aural phenomenon that will leave you sinking deeper into the tranquilly euphonic experience as it explores epiphanies that lead you to overcome what no longer serves you. Despite the lyrics leaning into aching emotions, the Detroit-born singer, songwriter, and producer ensured that Waves is as cathartic as watching water rhythmically lap against the shore.
With her influences ranging from Tori Amos to Depeche Mode, and her time spent in a synth-pop band, Stephanie Michelle’s sonic signature is rendered in deeply distinctive calligraphy. If you always want to tune into artists who charter unique paths with their sound, get on board with this phenomenal artist.
Marilyn Joy’s latest single, ‘HeartSchool’, is a sticky-sweet journey back to the innocence of first loves and schoolyard romances. This London-based artist, known for her alternative pop/rock flair, has once again captured our hearts with her quintessentially quirky style.
The lo-fi polyphonic pop vignette is a sweet, nostalgic trip down memory lane, guided by tender melodies which evoke the simplicity of young love, untouched by the complexities of adult relationships. Marilyn’s playful vocal timbres weave through the melody like a gentle reminder of days gone by while bearing reminiscence to the uninhibitedly expressive air of the Legendary Pink Dots.
Marilyn’s influence in the London music scene is evident in her live performances, described as ‘exciting’ and ‘unpredictable’. The track is a testament to her ability to blend genres and influences, from Blondie to Starsailor, into her distinctive sound.
With her previous releases, including ‘Crystal D’Arke‘ and ‘Killjoy Was Here’, she has consistently demonstrated skill in crafting songs that resonate with a wide audience. ‘HeartSchool’ continues this trend, solidifying her place as a significant voice in the alternative pop/rock genre.
HeartSchool is now available to stream and purchase on Bandcamp.
If Grandaddy’s polyphonic melodies never fail to stir your soul, consider the latest single, Tell Me Something, from Evolution 9 as an unmissable sonic event. The unbridled synthesis of sound and emotion resonates with exhilaratingly rare depth. The rock-amplified synth-pop hit, which shares the same rhythmically cosmic air as Inspiral Carpets will envelop you in a kaleidoscope of colour as it vibrantly through its meticulously carved progressions.
The Beach Boys-esque vocal harmonies are a standout feature, adding layers of warmth and nostalgia to the track. These harmonies intertwine seamlessly with the synth melodies, creating a sound that is both familiar and fresh. The effect is akin to rediscovering a beloved classic while experiencing something entirely new.
Evolution 9’s ability to balance complexity with accessibility will undoubtedly see them go far in the current climate that necessitates singles that exude as much zeal as this dynamic, almost serendipitous gem.
Is there any better feeling than hitting play on a track and being greeted by lyrical depictions of the frustrations that keep you scathed? If you’re inclined to say no, you’re going to want to tune into Dylan Galvin’s latest hit, How to Write a Pop Song, where there are countless lyrical shots fired at the artists and producers cheapening the pop industry with every new ‘perennial pop earworm’.
The efficacious new wave synthpop hooks are buried under a myriad of lyrical layers which subversively make the single a revelationary exposition of how pop music has been plasticised and commercialised beyond recognition. With echoes of 80s greats in the same vein as George Michael reminding you of what pop used to be in its golden era fused with a modern synth aesthetic reminiscent of John Mayer, How to Write a Pop Song is a disparaging sign of the sonic times that will exhilarate you through the vindication you extrapolate.
With acerbic wit in no short supply, the track is a satirical triumph, especially with the inclusion of “choruses have got to big, thoughts have to be small”, and “just sing about your ex and how things used to be”. It was a bold move to be so damning of a genre he is contributing to, but Dylan Galvin more than pulled it off. While taunting the artists whose songs will be quickly be lost to history, he became unequivocally unforgettable.
How to Write a Pop Song will hit the airwaves on January 19; stream it on SoundCloud.
Navigating through the cosmic corridors of sound, Robert Stone’s latest single, ‘Kissing Glass’, is a celestial journey, taken via the route of a harmonious blend of spacey funk and alternative rock, laced with a synth-infused new wave vibe that boldly steps beyond the shadows of Bowie-esque influences, showcasing Stone’s unique musical identity.
Stone, known for his early start in the music scene with Oblivion Grin and his intriguing hiatus, has returned not just to the studio but to the very essence of musical innovation. ‘Kissing Glass’ is a testament to this voyage, a fusion of his seasoned artistry with a fresh, modern sensibility. The track resonates with echoes of the interstellar bliss found in Inspiral Carpets’ ‘Saturn 5’ and the dark, experimental tones of Magazine’s ‘Real Life’, yet it stands firmly on its own artistic ground.
The song’s structure is a labyrinth of auditory pleasure, where each turn reveals a new layer of musical gravitas as Robert Stone’s crooning vocal performance is a revelation in itself. The charm and dedication to being a conduit of space pop-soul is an alchemic pairing which won’t fail to endear you to his experimentalism. We can’t wait to hear what follows.
‘Six Hands’ from Aegra’s double A-side release is an echo chamber of the past blending with contemporary indie fervour. The sublime fusion of new wave indie and the timelessness of synthpop is reminiscent of Policia, Crystal Castles, and Warpaint, with plenty of room for Aegra’s sonic signature to scribe through the mellifluous progressions.
The track is built on a foundation of robust electronic basslines and the rhythmic pulse of choppy indie guitars, creating a backdrop that is both invigorating and grounding. The production of Six Hands is a masterclass in balance and subtlety. Ethereal reverb wraps around each note and each beat to create an atmosphere that is both intimate and invigorating.
At the heart of this sonic odyssey is Aegra’s vocal prowess. Her voice, airy and consoling, weaves through the melodies, offering comfort and a sense of deep, introspective contemplation. The mantra “everything will be just fine” resounds as an emotional anchor, a soothing reassurance amidst the whirlwind of melodies and harmonies.
Aegra’s journey – from being burnt by the industry to finding solace in a ‘real’ job, and then back to the arms of music – resonates in every note. This isn’t just a comeback. It’s a reawakening and a testament to the enduring power of music as a companion, a healer, and a muse.
From the Inside/Six Hands was officially released on December 22. Stream it on Spotify.
Stepping out from the shadows of their former band, Ruby Jones and Patrick Spillane of The Exotic Ices Project ignited a fuse on a synth-pop explosion with their seminal single Disciples. The standout from their debut album, Sunshine Desserts, is a vibrant testament to their musical evolution and a bold statement in the world of new wave synth-pop.
Opening with a cascade of twinkling synths, reminiscent of stardust spanning the entire colour spectrum, the auditory spectacle sets the stage for a journey through a soundscape that is both familiar and refreshingly, chaotically, novel.
After capturing the essence of the 80s and propelling it into the modern era, the track takes an unexpected turn as choppy, staccato guitars enter, bolstering the composition with a raw, electrifying energy. This shift creates a synthscape driven by the tumultuousness of unchained emotion.
While Disciples may not align with everyone’s musical palette, it is a treasure for those who revel in the brighter, more intense shades of retro synth-pop. The track encapsulates the fervid dedication of its namesake, transcending into a realm of electro-rock fervour. It’s a daring composition, one that challenges the listener while remaining undeniably captivating.
With their bold colours and explorative sonic universes, Ruby and Patrick are not just riding the wave of synth-pop; they are redefining it.
The official music video for Disciple is now available to stream on YouTube.
Berto’s debut single papi guapi is a striking entry into the synth-pop landscape, marking him as a promising new talent to watch in 2024. Hailing from the vibrant locales of Los Angeles and Orange County, Berto brings a refreshing and eclectic sound to the table, one that defies the constraints of a single genre.
The track stands out for its seamless blend of bilingual Spanish and English vocals, which Berto croons with a captivating finesse. His voice, an evocative elixir, gracefully flows over the new wave instrumentals which break free from the monocultural mould. The production is richly layered, featuring reverb-drenched motifs that infuse the track with an exotic 80s-tinged flair.
The track possesses an almost magnetic quality, seducing listeners into a dreamy haze reminiscent of the era’s best synth-pop offerings. Yet, it remains distinctly modern, thanks to Berto’s innovative approach to music production and his skill in blending traditional and contemporary elements. As the final track of Berto’s debut album Relampago Romantico, papi guapi holds a special place in the album’s narrative arc.
With a sentiment as resonant as the one that echoes through Sinatra’s You’ll Never Walk Alone, Laptop Singers extolled the virtues of perseverance and soulfully commanded resilience through the storms the soul is fated to weather in their latest single, Just Keep Walking.
As the soft vocal harmonies reach out across the retro analogue synth lines, it is almost as though Laptop Singers painted a silver lining through the centre of the instrumental progressions, which reach their luminous peak through the shimmer of the gospel-reminiscent organ tones that allow Just Keep Walking to transcend sonic mediocrity.
Time after time, the Swedish pop duo prove their capacity to craft compelling tracks, which speak to the rhythmic pulses as eloquently as they create an open dialogue with your emotions. With Just Keep Walking on your playlists, even the darkest days will present themselves as ephemeral storms you have the power to overcome.
Just Keep Walking was officially released on November 11; stream it on Spotify.