Browsing Tag

US Pop

Succumb to the sonorous resonance in Sophie Lilah’s latest indie dream pop single, Hazy

Sophie Lilah’s latest single, Hazy, took a few leaves from the songwriting books of Big Thief and Angel Olsen but left plenty of room for her own dreamy indie pop innovation by crafting a soundscape that entwines the ethereal with profoundly grounding magnetism as the lyrics traverse stratospheres of emotion and experience.

The song is a breath-taking ode to its title, sweeping listeners up in melodiously airy tides that reveal new depths with each listen. It’s a dreamscape that keeps giving, a testament to Lilah’s ingenuity and ability to create music that resonates on multiple levels.

There’s something so seductive about surrendering to the soul in the melodies that have been polished to indie pop perfection and strike a delicate balance between accessibility and depth in the ambience which alchemically becomes intimately expansive. The themes of longing, boredom, guilt over laziness, and everyday maladies are handled with a deft touch, offering resonance and relatable catharsis in no short measure. Her lyrics transcend language to open windows to her vulnerable yet juxtaposing empowered soul. We can’t rate Sophie Lilah highly enough. Get her on your radar and anticipate her next ahead of the curve move.

Hazy was officially released with the B-side single, Take Back the Power, on December 19. Stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Misty Drinx reinvented 80s nostalgia with his soul and funk-wrapped RnB pop hit, You’re So Cool

After bearing witness to a Toto show in LA, the up-and-coming singer-songwriter and pop icon-in-the-making Misty Drinx Americanised his infectious perception of pop and lavished his sophomore single, You’re So Cool, with layers of soul and funk-wrapped RnB that radiate reinvented 80s nostalgia.

With lustfully intoxicated exoticism oozing from the pores of the sax lines and synth-driven melodies, Drinx brought swathes of colour to UK shores with You’re So Cool. Fans of George Michael and Boy George will undoubtedly want to savour every drop of the delicious aural cocktail which envelopes you in the hazy hues that transform the mind’s colour palette when you’re lucky enough to be ensnared by someone.

With the eclecticism Drinx has already exhibited in his sound, we’re stoked to hear what will follow.

You’re So Cool was officially released on October 20; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Classic piano pop made a comeback via Dana Powell’s single, Have I Found You

Dana Powell is reflectively resounding in her debut 4-track EP, Mirrors, featuring the standout piano pop score, Have I Found You.

The Canadian, US-residing singer, songwriter, and pianist applied an elevated classic pop touch to her arrestive single, produced by the Grammy Award-winning engineer Philip Larsen, who has also worked alongside the pop legends Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue. Clearly, Powell fits right into that iconic triad of pop icons; her songwriting pulls you through the progressions by your heartstrings as the minor piano keys hammer against her evocatively glassy vocal lines and a vignette of romantic malady and euphoria plays out with arresting panoramic colour.

The tentative romanticism which lingers through the lyricism is the ultimate testament to her maturity as a songwriter. Can we agree as a society to stop championing the 18-year-old artists churning out pop tropes about loving someone forever when they’re just experiencing lust and uphold artists in the same superlative pop vein as Dana Powell?

Have I Found You was officially released on July 10th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Azure Kai went hypersonic with her latest alt earworm, Gotta Get the Girl

Utilising her inherent passion for creativity, the artist and Monmouth University student Azure Kai went hypersonic with her latest alternative earworm, Gotta Get the Girl. With a beatboxing and record-scratching prelude, it was an easier-said-than-done feat to keep the energy just as high through the release, but the momentum never falters in the melting pot of genre and style.

From frantic EDM synthetics to funk-dripping basslines to Eastern rhythms and classical strings to syncopated pseudo-trap, this amalgamated tour de force is an all too welcome attack on the rhythmic pulses. Let the track take control and you will soon feel as exhilarant as this declaration of determined passion sounds.

The honeyed and harmonised vocal lines which wrap their soul around the reprise, “gotta get the girl” create a quintessential magnetic centre of gravity in the turbulently pioneering hit.

Stream Gotta Get the Girl on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Luminary Lyricist J. Matthews is set to unveil his debut coming-of-age EP, Courage

J. Matthews

After a phenomenally hooky alt-pop debut, Connecticut’s sharpest lyrical narrator, J. Matthews, will release his debut EP, Courage, on March 3rd.

If All the Small Things by Blink-182 reserves a special place in your soul, you will need to make room for the opening single, Courage for Fools. It abstracts the punky bite and implants sticky-sweet melodies comprised of innocently hesitant romantic lines, euphoric beats and buzzing synths.

Wanderlust is a dreamily honeyed indie-pop masterpiece which brings the titular allusion aurally to life. Jack Kerouac would have been enamoured by the restlessly adventurous soul, spurred on by a lust for life.

For You toys around with 80s-ESQUE nostalgia before bringing the indie-pop polaroid of affectionate intoxication into the modernist realm with the poetic lyrical lines that tie together the seamless shifts between indie, electro, and future pop.

Nothing to Fear, which traverses personal growth in an infectiously gratified style, is a resonantly impactful conclusion to the EP that is sure to see the singer-songwriter go far in his career.

It is only a matter of time before the songwriting accolades start cascading upon J. Matthews. His razor-sharp lyrical hooks coalesce with the ensnaring immersivity within his melodies, making each track a soul-awakening hit of sonic ecstasy.

J. Matthews Said:

“My Courage EP carries the weight of my experience, starting as an insecure college kid and growing into confidence. From figuring out love and life in Courage for Fools to the narration of lockdown stagnation and fear of missing out in Wanderlust. For You is a love song, through and through, capturing the serendipity when your idealised partner manifests as though they appeared from the production line in your own mind.

The concluding single, Nothing to Fear, celebrates the freedom of a new-found perspective, such as the one you gain from returning to your hometown after college when you find pride in your scars because, without them, you would have never become better than you were before.”

Courage will be available to stream in full on Spotify and SoundCloud from March 3rd.

Connect with J. Matthews via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Hana Katana pierced through the veil of plastic pop tropes with her pop-rock anthem, Friends Don’t Make You Cry

California-born, Austin-raised artist Hana Katana tore through the plastic pop cliches with razor-sharp precision to deliver the emboldening indie pop-rock single Friends Don’t Make You Cry. Turns out, wholesome content can sit hand in hand with kickass volition.

The lyric “friends don’t f**k you with their eye” is all proof you need that Hana Katana, who took her adapted adage “the tongue is mightier than the sword” for her moniker is one of the wittiest rising artists on the airwaves.

With touches of Paramore with the sonic glam of Marina and the Diamonds around the gorgeously angular indie guitars, Friends Don’t Make You Cry is a triumph. Kathleen Hanna would be proud. Especially, as the rising artist is doing stunt training while working on her visual album that will feature fight scenes to represent the conflict in each song.

Check out the official music video on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Kouvaris The Universal Prince affirms his royalty in his pop floor-filler, The Universal Prince

Someone may want to let Ru Paul know that there’s a new world-ruling pop artist on the scene under the moniker  Kouvaris The Universal Prince. The singer-songwriter and composer is fresh from the release of their self-titled album, The Universal Prince, which effervesces with the infectious charisma of Shakira while pushing even further back into pop for the rhythmic influence.

With the blazing dance-worthy beats propping up Kouvaris’ unfalteringly energetic vocal lines in the title single, it is impossible not to be taken in by the fusion of soul, pop, and pulsating electro-synthetics. Since making his debut, Kouvaris has garnered over a million streams and views in addition to gracing platforms such as Fox, CBS and NBS. The airwaves are his domain now. I for one accept our new ruler.

Kouvaris The Universal Prince’s 2022 album is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Texan trio, Tough on Fridays take us through a tender transition in their indie pop track, Growing Pains

With hints of the Cranberries and other iconic 90s pop contemporaries, Tough on Fridays delivered nostalgia with a cinematic edge that could make their latest single, Growing Pains, the highlight of the OST for the next coming-of-age Hollywood blockbuster.

The momentously oceanic single is definitive proof that the Texan trio has come a long way from where they started five years ago as an angst-driven duo. Lauded for their energetic performances and acclaimed in their home state, it is only a matter of time before Tough on Fridays reach the heights they are destined for. Growing Pains is undoubtedly one of the finest testaments to their songwriting tenacity to date; getting carried away with the simple yet efficaciously magnetic chords is pretty much non-optional.

Tough on Fridays’ latest single, Growing Pains, is now available to stream on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Gemïny has unveiled his electrifying soul-pop reflection on destruction, ‘Hesitation’

Stoking the soul-pop fire that he started with his debut and sophomore single, the Columbia, US-hailing artist, Gemïny, has added even more fuel through his third single, Hesitation.

Around the snapping beats, the kaleidoscopic glow of the delayed guitars, and funk basslines that amplify the amorous energy, Gemïny’s soulfully forceful vocals drive the single forward through its myriad of expressive progressions.

Lyrically, Gemïny spoke to everyone who knows how it feels to lose composure and descend to the depths of destruction in affection-inspired mania, which proves that love & lust are some of the most powerful drugs of all.

After racking up over 50k streams on SoundCloud with his sophomore single, Too Close, there is seemingly little in the way of Gemïny’s ascent to soul-pop fame.

Here is what Gemïny had to say on his third single:

After the heavier content in my previous two releases, with Hesitation, I used a lighter narrative while addressing the story at hand. It speaks to everyone that has done crazy things for a crush (if you haven’t, please keep it to yourself, the thought helps me sleep at night).

It draws from when I uncharacteristically got into a fight at a house party over a girl. I’m extremely prideful, but there I was, a 12-shots-in freshman, breaking walls and smashing tables. A bad look overall, but it encapsulates the essence of hesitation. The juvenile way you impress a crush in grade school; that conflicting mix of excitement and fear that reeks of teen spirit.

Hesitation will release across all major streaming platforms, including SoundCloud and Spotify on July 27th.

Follow Gemïny on Facebook and TikTok.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ladyv777 has unleashed her sticky-sweet advocation of autonomous talent, ‘Diamonds’

Pop meets hip hop in the dreamy bubble gum atmosphere of Ladyv777’s latest single, Diamonds. The Illinois-born and raised singer, rapper, and songwriter, AKA Victoria Russell, has used music as a means of purpose and escape since early childhood; she poured every inch of sonic passion into her debut single and every track that followed.

There is always an overarching advocation of authenticity within Ladyv777’s singles, and Diamonds is the perfect testament to that with its sticky-sweet pop vocals around the hooky rap bars that rest on beats that are playful and convicting in the same progression.

Diamonds is available to stream on Spotify and available to purchase on Apple Music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast