The art of any cover is bringing something new to a song. There are many ways to do that from a faithfully reworking using a new voice to a complete deconstruction and rebuild to the point where the song almost becomes a musical anagram of the original, both options have varying degrees of success depending on just how invested the listener is in the original song. Sinnie Kravitz has found a whole new approach. He takes a much shorter version of Roy Wood’s Balance and uses this merely as his platform on to which he builds a whole new vocal.
As the inherent sweetness of the original plays out in the background Kravitz adds a more robust vocal sound, one that comes from the harder streets, speaks with an authentic voice and raps tough in contrast to the tender R&B vibe it is threaded through. The result is actually something which is part cover and part creativity, a familiar slice of music subsumed by a wholly new creation. The lines between comfort zones and the cutting edge just became much more blurry.
Good Vibes have always found a home in urban music. Whether it be in R&B or Reggae, we can’t get enough of the upbeat playful sounds to accompany our less than mellow lifestyles.
US Rapper & R&B SeanGon has created the ultimate sound to unwind to. His sweet and sonorous take on R&B is enough to make it all slip away in a lucid state of awe as you unwind to his playful Reggae style in his latest track Let It All Go.
After exploring the rest of his 420 friendly tracks, it’s clear that SeanGon has developed a stand out style through tackling less than happy subjects such as death and still manage to remain so upbeat, usually when lyrics include “I think I could die”, it’s more than a little depressing. Yet SeanGon has the gift of being able to shed light on the darkest of contemplations.
The transgression in the track is a seamless mix of harmony tinted with euphoric reverberation, immersive acoustic instrumentals and of course the smooth vocals of SeanGon.
It’s all to easy to fall in love with SeanGon’s inventive Reggae sound, check out SeanGon’s latest track on SoundCloud via the link below:
She may have once been part of 90’s girl group First Class but Nina Simone Williams is back ready to carve a career out in her own right and I Wanna Be Free is a great calling card. It mixes pop accessibility with a dance floor R&B, infectious beats with sultry break downs and is the perfect musical product for the clubland movers and shakers, DJ’s and taste makers.
The clever thing about Nina is that whilst she very much appeals to the late evening, high – octane dance groove set, she also manages to bring something new to the sound. That the song is infectious goes without saying but with its soulful break downs and wonderful use of dynamics to shift the pace and control the mood, it displays a subtle and supple quality that many of her peers lack. Put it this way, in a busy club land district of the hottest scene in town, with music blasting from the venue doorways out into the night time streets, the streets filled with the young, hip and fashionable, this song is going to be the one that draws the coolest movers and shakers to that club’s dance floor. No so much a song, more the soundtrack to a new scene just waiting to happen.
I love feel good music. Music that transcends labels and genres. Songs that introduce you to a different side of an artist; “Space Cadet,” by Novi is just that as it enters with a solid electric piano. This is feel good music. It’s a lascivious display of beautiful craftsmanship, it’s not exactly just pop music, its also an infused display of vocal prowess. Novi’s voice is not only light and refreshing it’s clean and concise with amazing tone and pitch.
Her ability to harmonize is both endearing and welcomed (no auto tune over here). I love the vocal range displayed throughout the musical score. The lyrics are fun, the chorus catchy, and the beat is bouncy. Generally speaking Novi is a pretty good vocalist with great musical styling and these days that’s incredibly appealing. Her melodies are soulful and the piece is one that I could definitely see rising to the pop charts!
Crash The Audi ties a relentless and ruthless rap salvo to a mid-paced drive built of skittering percussion, pulsing back beats and clever electronic weaves to build a track which bristles with energy without resorting to flooding the track with tricks and gimmickry. And that is the art of it, capturing the energy of the idea and the live performance via the studio process, an art that this Queens trio seem to have nailed down.
And it is the balance of pumping underground cool and far reaching commercial potential which is their greatest asset, chart accessible yet cultish enough for those who like to act as the movers and shakers and stay ahead of the curve, mass appeal yet walking with a select minority, that’s the real trick. And if that is the case then Bhagboyz have things sown up.
In this age where “singer-songwriter” seems to have become a genre, a certain image appears in my mind when I read those words. A young man working on his first beard, in a wide brimmed hat and black, skinny jeans with designer rips on the knees. These days it seems as if you could blindly throw a stone and not fail to hit some over-entitled, gap-year troubadour treating us to his accumulated life experience since leaving home six months previous. Common Jack does indeed have a hat but thankfully that is where the similarity ends.
It comes as no surprise that John Gardner, the man behind the pseudonym spent two and a half years as part of the touring version of the film Once, as Glen Hansard’s wonderful music seems to be a reference point, as does the dynamism of Damien Rice and the confident drive of David Gray. But they are merely reference points and Common Jack create a wonderfully original sound and Restless is a fine example of a song that starts in folk territory and ends up in anthemic, sing-a-long acoustic rock. Throw in some sweeping violins and a stomping back beat and it is like Mumford and The Whale never existed. If only!
Outrageous is a brand new, exciting single from NAKD. The song also features a collaboration with Kooly Bros and No Choice Ricco, who helped take the track to the very next level.
This single clocks in at slightly over the 3 minute-mark, packing a wild punch and a lot of sexy, heated grooves. This song blurs the lines between deep house, trance and hip-hop, going for a truly eclectic and unique production approach. I love the multi-dimensional sound of this production, which remains catchy and appealing, while taking listeners through some really unexpected pathways. The lyrical flow is smooth and direct, echoing artists such as Pitbull. The production aesthetics are modern and vibrant, with massive doses of low end and a crisp, silky top end to smooth things out. This is a perfect club banger, but it is also a great rhythm-driven track that showcases the lyrical talented of some really high level performers throughout the song.
The matching music video, currently available via Youtube, is a perfect way to describe the song visually.
Duality feels like the sort of song that people say, “they don’t make them like that anymore.” Not that it feels retro or stylistically outdated, it is just something in its make up, its integrity, its perfect generic splicing which marks it out as a sound apart from the main pack of the modern musical race. There is an inherent soulfulness and rhythmic groove, it is driven when it needs to make a point, soothing when it wants to seduce. It also works in, if not the dark corners of pop, then certainly amongst the shadowed and exploratory fringes.
And pop it is, but as far from the usual chart fare as you are likely to find. Yet when you hold up the pop yardstick to Duality it ticks all the right boxes. Accessible, clever, memorable, dynamic, emotive (bordering on brooding) and showing more of the rock and blues roots, to which all modern pop owes its living, than most cares to expose. Maybe this isn’t a reflection of what pop used to be but a template for its possible future. The fact that Lily Oakes has a scant on-line presence normally only reserved for winners of The Voice, only adds to the mystery.