Browsing Tag

US Pop

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

Fair Verona roll their cigarettes with ‘Starlight’ in their latest evocative alt indie pop single.

‘Starlight’ is the latest sorrowfully ornate single from the Charlottesville, Virginia-hailing up-and-coming alt-pop duo, Fair Verona. In a sea of Phoebe Bridgers, Angel Olsen, Daughter and Lorde assimilators, Fair Verona gracefully went against the tide in their raw candour led soundscape.

While the lyrics bite into your sense of empathy, delicate piano keys and the twilight textures envelop you in their efficacious ethereal catharsis. It is impossible not to take on the emotional weight of the single. Unless you are a complete sociopath, in which case, I pity your immunity to the lush spacey blows hammered home by Mickey Vaughan’s evocatively glistening vocal timbre.

Check out the alternative mix of Starlight by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Gemïny delivered a vindicating high in his soul-pop debut Too Close

Don’t look to your icons for the hottest soul-pop drop of the year. Find a new one by hitting play on the debut single, Too Close, from the artist and mental health advocate, Gemïny.

I don’t know what I love more, the juicy efficacious hooks up against the stridently raucous energy of rock or the Columbia-based artist’s lyrical vulnerability and intellect. Too Close isn’t just one hell of a debut. It’s a public service announcement to those confined in toxic dynamics wrapped up in an earworm that demands repeat attention.

After experiencing the crazy-making fallout of a toxic relationship that had an appetite for boundless destruction, Gemïny stepped up to the plate to speak for everyone carrying trauma from past relationships and those still confined within the malevolent grips of one. It’s enough to change your perception of Crazy in Love for life.

The inspiration for the track may be heavy; with the poetic wordplay, the nuance in Gemïny’s narrative, the Usher-Esque vocals and the seductively lush production, few singles will leave you on a better vindicating high.

In his own words,

“Too Close is a song that places you in a climactic chapter of a toxic love story, where limits are pushed past desperately failing actions, and everything spins out of control. It is a reflection on my role, a separation from the damage done, and an acceptance of how my actions played into the traumas placed on me.

My biggest goal is to resonate with those in a darker place and show them that there is life beyond that darkness. Not saying you have to put on a smile like Batman, but there is still light out there, and I’m trying to bring that out, despite everything.”

After garnering over 20k streams on Spotify alone with his debut, the humbly prodigal artist is definitively one to watch. Especially with the release of his sophomore single, Avalanche, in the pipeline.

Too Close is now available to stream on Spotify & SoundCloud.

Follow Gemïny via Facebook and Instagram

Shayla Hamady – LMWYC V2 featuring KnovaT27: horror trap pop has never been hotter

With a music video that could rival American Horror Story and the way that Shayla Hamady entwines horror with moody trap melody, her latest release, LMWYC V2, featuring KnovaT27, is a work of scintillating multi-media art.

The sultry timbre of her dark pop vocals brings a transfixing edge to the track that gets even sharper when KnovaT27 brings his cutting rap bars to break up the accordance that lingers after Shayla Hamady’s ultra-vivid lyricism, which plays with dark themes and romanticism. We didn’t need the Detroit born and raised artist’s bio to tell us that she’s inspired by Eilish. Yet, Hamady still came into her authentic own in LMWYC which stands as a testament to her commitment to expressive art.

The official music video for LMWYC is available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Demure dream-pop royalty, speakeazie has released her debut album, Prohibition Hippie

The Minneapolis-based alt dream-pop artist that is never short of mesmeric material, speakeazie, has released her highly anticipated debut album, Prohibition Hippie, featuring the standout single, Disintegrate, which spins an engrossing narrative tale of a young girl losing control. Anyone that has ever felt their mask of sanity slip will undoubtedly want to delve into this compassionately orchestrated single.

Disintegrate shares a tonal palette with Echo and the Bunnymen’s earlier material. But with the instrumentals distorted via the wobbly tape delay effect, the bedroom pop single takes an authentically demure form.

speakeazie’s vocals parallel the evocative power of Florence Welch while keeping in line with the contemporary moody indie-pop vocal trend. By that we mean they are alchemic leagues ahead. Also written into Disintegrate’s mix is speakeazie’s influence of dreamy retro aesthetics and the 1920s. It is inarguably one of the most distinctive releases that we have heard so far this year.

speakeazie’s debut album is now available to stream on Spotify. Or you can check out the video on YouTube. 

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Alternative singer-songwriter Laura Lang shares artful introspection in her debut single, Lithium

Tennessee-based independent singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Laura Lang is fresh from the release of her debut single, Lithium. With a voice as arresting as Angel Olsen and Phoebe Bridgers and the artful baroque nuances, you can’t help getting caught up in the captivating chord structures paired with the pop-inspired melodies.

After a melancholy bleeding intro, Lithium shifts into a testament of Lang’s introspective intellect, creative imagination and ability to create an ethereally captivating soundscape from the unravelling of her emotions.

With her debut album, All Downhill from There, which promises to echo suffering, beauty and nature due for release in January 2022, saving space on your radar for Laura Lang will undoubtedly pay off. Her debut single, Lithium, is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast