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Urban Pop

Music

MADHAPPY prove that pop, trap and electronica combined is the perfect formula for high-vibes with ‘Freethrow’

MADHAPPY is the electronic alt-pop project by bedroom producers, Adam Coe and Spencer Vann, with their influences combined, they’ve created the perfect formula for high-vibe EDM.

With nuances of pop, trap and punk grooving through their latest track, Freethrow, the earworm isn’t just fresh, it’s galvanising. After starting with muted staccato guitar chords, the track doesn’t hang around before revealing the infectious potency of the melodies. From there on out, the hooks will leave you ensnared until the dizzyingly  subversive breakdown.

When dancefloors are accessible, Freethrow will undoubtedly fill them. If this is the future of EDM pop, colour us excited for the electronica of tomorrow.

Check out MADHAPPY’s latest mix via Spotify

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Jaxn Faw wants us all to get ‘Next To Me’ with this perfect slice of RnB-tinged indie pop

Clocking up almost a quarter of a million streams and landing on some of Spotify’s biggest playlists in your first year producing your own music is the sort of impact new artists dream of when starting out, but South Australia’s Jaxn Faw has pretty much taken those numbers and run with them. With his first independently written and produced single, ‘Block Your Number’, being name-checked on New Music Friday across Australia and New Zealand, he’s now back with new track ‘Next To Me’.

A delicious slice of slightly chilled out indie-pop, ‘Next To Me’ is a catchy little love story set to a mildly electronic backbeat and nicely bouncy synth chords, all backing Jaxn Faw’s classy upfront vocal delivery, part pop, part hip-hop flow. It’s got some R&B soul in there, alongside the catchy pop sensibilities and charming little end chorus, a touch of old school Boyz II Men or Keith Sweat sitting comfortably alongside the more obvious Ed Sheeran, James Arthur, or Lewis Capaldi references. Put simply, ‘Next To Me’ is a great little radio-friendly indie-pop song, and on the basis of this Jaxn Faw is destined to go on to greater and greater things in 2021.

Listen to ‘Next To Me’ on Spotify; check out Jaxn Faw on Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

 

Music

Andrea Charls ‘Arrow’ – a beautiful, soulful, indescribable whirlwind of exquisite vocal delivery

Andrea Charls is already an internationally recognised singer-songwriter, working with artists as diverse as Bobby McFerrin, Annie Lennox, Javier Limon, Pepe de Lucia, and Mario Frangoulis, with work recognised by the Latin Grammy Awards, The International Songwriting Competition, and the Hollywood Music and Media Awards.

Her new single ‘Arrow’ is a whirlwind of deep, rumbling bass, sequenced synthesisers, and Charls’ stunning, delicate multiply-layered vocal parts. There are elements of Suzanne Vega’s work here, mixed in with a vaguely Latin feel and obvious hints of Charls’ Cypriot heritage (Andrea was born and raised in Cyprus before moving to Boston, Mass., to pursue her career). It’s a dazzling track, melancholic, uplifting, charming, and elegant all at once, choir-like in parts and upbeat in others, all held together by Charls’ exquisite vocal delivery. Lyrically thought-provoking and contemplative, beautifully performed, and intricately put together; ‘Arrow’ really does deserve to be heard. Often.

Listen to ‘Arrow’ on Spotify; follow Andrea Charls on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Kaedo has dropped their dynamically eclectic debut album ‘Overwhelmed’

After a string of successful singles, breaking Pop artist, Kaedo, has finally released their highly-anticipated debut album, ‘Overwhelmed’. Given that we’ve all spent a significant amount of time with that very same suffocatingly dizzy feeling lately, Kaeodo’s unpredictably immersive album is well worth delving into.

Each track exhibits the artist’s dynamic approach to crafting relatable hits, in the space of a single soundscape, you’re bounced from Ambient Acoustic Pop to Moody Electronic Pop with hints of RnB and Hip Hop in between for good measure. Another thing which remains constant through the 12-track release is the directness of the lyricism. With tracks such as ‘I Feel Used’, ‘What Have I Done’, ‘Lonely’ and ‘Terrified’, you’ve practically got an encyclopaedia of emotion laid out in front of you. The album leaves no room to wonder why Kaedo has been able to attract so much hype since making their debut.

You can check out Kaedo’s album Overwhelmed for yourselves via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Joolz Jones is set to drop his entrancingly unpredictable genre-mashing hit ‘Lovesick’

Joolz Jones

Irish artist Joolz Jones is set to drop their most cutting single yet. ‘Lovesick’ merges a myriad of genres, from Big Beat to Blues to Pop to Hip Hop but it is the emotional dynamism which hits the hardest. Lovesick was penned and recording during lockdown as an aural ode to the epiphany which happened to many of us simultaneously. During our isolated months, we had the perfect opportunity to find perspective and realise what truly matters in life, Lovesick poignantly captures the torrid emotions which can manifest when we’re transfixed by desire which is fresh from its inception.

The evocative weight of the single is only matched by the intensity of the bass which creates a solid structure for Joolz Jones to experiment within. By mixing acoustic instruments with electronic effect, the instrumentals run through with no reminiscence to any artist, preceding or current.

Undoubtedly, Lovesick is one of the most entrancingly unpredictable tracks we’ve heard this year. There isn’t a chance this release will fall flat. You’ll get to hear the track for yourselves from December 10th.

You can keep up to date with news of the release via the artist’s Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Reject your nihilism with Etoile Marley’s alchemically eclectic track ‘LockItDown’

I would probably sell my soul to be able to exude as much confidence and positivity as Etoile Marley did in her latest release ‘LockItDown’ which throws back to 70s Funk Rock, weaves in elements of Neo Soul and finds its structure around Old School Hip Hop.

The jazzy-soul driven hit is practically an intervention, you’ll feel any lingering apathy or pessimism evading you as soon as you hit play. LockItDown is an accordantly high-vibe hit, but it makes no bones about confronting you with the very real fact that you’re in charge of your mentality.

Only an artist with an insurmountable amount of talent and vision could blend elements of Hip Hop, Blues Rock and Dark Pop to such an alchemic effect. It’s safe to say that you’re going to want her on your radar.

You can check out LockItDown via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Music

Cedriss – Beautiful Queen: Sultrily Flavoured RnB-Inspired Pop

Possibly the most keenly-awaited and anticipated album of Haitian-born singer-songwriter Cedriss’ career, ‘Golden Child’ drops in late November. Following on from the hit lead single ‘Woah’ comes ‘Beautiful Queen’, a deliciously sexy and sultry chilled helping of R&B-inspired pop that’s a perfect flavour of the album.

A mix of Hip Hop, Reggae, and R&B, and taking in Cedriss’ influences such as Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson, ‘Beautiful Queen’ is a gorgeously chilled, expressive love song. The sing-song vocal sitting atop a backing track laced with almost calypso strings, mellow jazzy bass, and snappy snare beats. ‘Golden Child’ is Cedriss’ first full album; ‘Beautiful Queen’ is the stunning, perfect taster.

Find out more about the artist at https://cedrissmusic.info or follow on Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Variety has released their mercurially playful Pop-Hip-Hop-EDM Hybrid ‘Dancing On Ice’

Variety is a performing and producing duo from Space Coast, Florida, and like their home state ‘Dancing On Ice’ is a perfect melting pot of influences and styles.

There’s a definite East-Coast hip-hop-influenced pop drive to the track, but like the Sunshine State itself there’s a definite Latin-American feel in places, with an added sprinkling of jazzy beats, and just enough ‘EDM’ to add sparkle. There’s an ‘Akon’ feel to the vocal, for sure, and enough tempo and stylistic shifts to constantly entice your attention. ‘Dancing On Ice’ waits until you think you know where it’s going before playfully mixing things up with an impish little grin. It’s mercurial, whimsical, and mischievous; that can never be a bad thing, right?

‘Dancing On Ice’ is on Spotify. Follow Variety on Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

evan. – ‘Do It All Again’ (Feat. Xodrew)

https://theevanliu.bandcamp.com/releases

What do you do when you’re 19, going through a breakup, and quarantined at your grandparent’s house with no microphone? Well, you call up your friend and get him to ‘Voice Memo’ you vocals to your new track, of course. Never let circumstances get in the way of creativity.

And with that, evan. wrote and produced ‘Do It All Again’, his debut single, with vocals added by Xodrew – a plaintive, trappy hip hop epic, all deep beats and synth tags, Xodrew’s rapped delivery pushed high, front and centre. Sitting at a slightly-hotter-than-dubstep 150 BPM, ‘Do It All Again’ falls just in the perfect groove between dubstep and drum & bass, but with a melancholic piano hook and a deep, reverby feel that perfectly matches the lyrical subject matter. ‘Do It All Again’ is a mature, intelligent debut from a songwriter who’s clearly got significant potential.

Hear ‘Do It All Again’ on Bandcamp, and follow Evan on Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Bennett – Secrets (How You Want It) Feat. Dribbz

Raised in New York City, Bennett (formally E. Bennett)’s passion for music started at the age of two, before starting out in his music career in 2012 when he was signed to LookALikesUSA as a Justin Bieber impersonator. Moving on to writing and performing his own tracks, Bennett has gone on to work with artists like Bizarre from D12 and Conan, and producers like Eldar-Q and Legion Beats, and now onto his third solo album, “Secrets (How You Want It)” is his latest single, featuring UK rapper Dribbz on verse vocals.

Familiarly old-school pop-based hip hop, “Secrets (How You Want It)” takes in Bennett’s diverse influences – Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey through to Chris Brown, The Weeknd, and Drake – turning out a fresh, hooky beats-based tune that should grace radio through this autumn.

Hear “Secrets (How You Want It)” on Spotify, and follow Bennett on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes