Smooth, soulful, and full of spirit, 59Fifty – the new single from Canada-based Nemesis Records artist Jae Cabrera – is a classic little R&B/pop single, all dancefloor groove, neat little programmed hi-hat patterns, and high-register vocals. Cabrera’s voice has a kind of sexy, crooning quality, that Michael Jackson high-end that’s almost but not quite breaking into falsetto.
‘59Fifty’, the track, is a mix of Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, and Charlie Puth, that perfect mix of dance-oriented beat and grind and sincere, lifting vocal-line, expressive and passionate yet equally poppy and immediate, catchy without being disposable, with a hook that sticks around long after the final bars have decayed to silence. It’s a perfect summer pop record.
For their latest single, London-based electro-pop duo ColourTelly explored paranoia in the age of disinformation, as the soft jazzy hip hop tones gently resound, hushed vocals quiescently relay observations of disillusion and distrust. The succinct poise of the vocals in Paranoidallows the message to hit even harder than it would if the lyrics were forcible. You can sense the frustration and exhaustion which manifests when exposed to such relentless pedantic conflict.
Speaking as someone who has heard their fair share of ‘lockdown inspired’ singles, Paranoid is easily amongst the most profound and provoking. Here’s what ColourTelly have to say about the single;
“The lyrics bemoan the confusion of the Covid age. An age where through lack of clear leadership and infinite sources of conflicting information, rational thinking has, in the minds of many, given way to fear. The song asks simply whether in the face of adversity humanity is capable of composure or whether as a species we are too anxious and reactionary to forgo panic buying and other such self serving activities. Is it really the virus we are afraid of or ourselves?”
Paranoid officially released on April 24th. You can check it out for yourselves via SoundCloud.
The debut single from Brighton-based artist VALE, ‘Outrun The Sun’, was produced entirely in lockdown and totally DIY – but that’s not to understate the quality or the passion here. Growing up in Switzerland and a classically trained pianist Vale wrote her first song aged six, but her passion for electronic and pop music came to the fore as she studied composition and songwriting at Brighton’s Institute of Modern Music.
‘Outrun The Sun’ is a cute little electronic-pop single in the style of Sia, Billy Eilish, or Dua Lipa; a more subdued verse and then upbeat, catchy chorus with a nice little hook on the ‘what if we outrun the sun’ vocal line. It’s a great little summery pop song, instantly familiar and with that proper ear-worm quality that means you can’t help humming it for hours after listening. Expect to hear a lot more of Vale in the coming months.
With their tendency to consistently switch up their sound, Super Love’s new releases always explore another facet of their expressively creative talent; their latest single, ‘Bored’, is no exception.
After the scuzzy NIN-reminiscent intro, the soundscape shifts into a funk-brandishing feat of alt-pop that allows Super Love to stay true to their NYC roots. With elements of indie-pop-rock and 80s synthpop, Bored unravels as a refreshingly relatable track that captures the frustration of lockdown boredom without ever resonating as melancholic or piteous. Instead, it speaks to listeners facing brand-new levels of boredom as they realised that the phrase, ‘only boring people get bored’, really doesn’t apply during lockdown times.
Next time you feel like you’re going to be *that* person and complain to your friends, hit play and get the compassion from Super Love instead.
Genre- and gender-fluid, LA Westside based SER grew up as a jazz-playing alto saxophonist, but – multi-instrumentalism to the fore, taking in guitar and piano – now goes the full electronic route with sequencing, beats, and vocal loops to bring us ‘Green Light’, A gentle vocal track overlaying chilled, mellow backing and clipped, electronic drums. SER’s arrangement is sparse without being empty, their vocal delivery light and fluid atop the space created by the composition. There’s touches of chilled out psyche-pop indie a la the quiet bits of Glass Animals or Alt-J squirrelled away in here along with the downtempo EDM backdrop and rising chords, SER creating a mixed-up and, yes, genre-fluid cool pop track that mixes up a bunch of influences, gives them a good shake, and produces something neat and original.
UK-based multi-instrumentalist and producer, Endless Wires (Tom Evans) established themselves as one to watch in the Vaporwave scene with the release of his arresting debut single, Accept to Enter, featuring vocals from Kabelle.
With vocals that will take you right back to the 90s and remind you of the forcefully resounding timbre of Cher, Whitney Houston and Madonna falling into the synthwave reverb-laced soundscape that kicks off with moody synth notes and transgresses into a stridently electrifying aural experience, it is an entrancing and evocative ride from the start. The addition of the classic rock guitar solos in the tense build-up to the highest crescendo was undoubtedly the cherry on the cake.
Stockholm’s indie synth-pop outfit The Mermaids have made their debut with the atmospherically sensual bi-lingual track, ‘L’auntre’. Any fans of the Midnight, Gunship, Wolf Club, St. Vincent or any other act experimenting with retro-inspired chillwave tones will want to delve into the ambience of the polyphonically immersive single.
With the glassy notes brushing up against the moody pulsating throbs of the bassline in the unapologetically 80s-inspired mix, L’auntre is contemporary as synthwave gets, which undoubtedly puts The Mermaids in good stead for success in the future. You’ll want them on your radar with chilled summer nights being not too far in the distance.
After making an unforgettable impression on us with his 2020 single, ‘You Keep Running’, Copenhagen-residing pop artist 3oland has released his brooding, glassy single, ‘Whatever You Want from Me’ and left us even more assured that he’s one to watch with his contemporary yet undeniably accessible sound.
If you could imagine what it would sound like if 90s pop artists carried the style and gravitas of contemporary alt-indie-pop icons, you’ll get an idea of what is on offer in Whatever You Want from Me. It’s a touching lyrical tale of self-sacrifice and an invitation to one of witness the sincerest forms of unconditional love; there’s no doubt it came straight from the soul.
Whatever You Want from Me is now available to stream on SoundCloud.
After spending years as a session guitarist working alongside Greta Isaac and Hannah Grace, Lloyd Jerwood made his solo debut with his single, ‘To New York’.
The dream-pop track speaks to dreamers, to the ones who live vicariously through fantasy instead of inviting real-life chaos into their lives. Considering that we’ve all had plenty of time to spend with our fantasies and exploring meta possibilities during pandemic life, it is safe to say plenty will find resonance within this evocatively fiery release that utilises driving indie jangle-pop guitars and shimmering synths, to exhilarating radio-ready effect.
After such a promising debut, the rest of 2021 looks bright for Lloyd Jerwood.
To New York is now available to stream via Soundcloud.
Before singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Peter Horton’s relocation from NYC to Tokyo, he performed with artists such as El Niño. After putting down roots in Japan and being inspired by the culture, he was ready to make his debut as a solo artist.
His debut album, Spirit of Inquiry, released in 2020, containing 20 tracks that meld elements of 00s alt-rock with 80s synth-pop. The lead track, Out of My Head, kicks off with angular indie jangle-pop riffs before the synths start to do the heavy lifting with the melodies while the guitars lace the soundscape with effervescently brash garage rock tones.
The eccentricity, combined with the sonic innovation, which Peter Horton brought to Out of My Head, will be a fresh experience for even the most discerning indie-pop fan. The lyrics are sure to resonate with anyone struggling to get back on track and feeling on top. Given that we have all just collectively endured a global pandemic, Peter Horton’s intended audience will have expanded exponentially.
You can check out Peter Horton’s debut album by heading over to Spotify.