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Los Angeles-based, Baltimore-raised artist Dijon has shared ‘Sci Fi 1’, his charming debut EP which features the previously released singles ‘Cannonball’ and ‘Drunk’. Over the course of the EP’s seven songs, Dijon explores a variety of sounds, but one constant remains – his soaring, fragile, powerful, heartwarming voice. Whether it’s those serene tones that are accompanied by gentle guitar chords on ‘Dog Eyes’ or the distorted delivery on ‘Bracelet’, Dijon’s ability to capture emotion and convey a narrative is second to none – ‘Sci Fi 1’ is a gift that keeps on giving from start to finish.
Toronto based five-piece Jaunt share their shimmering new single ‘On Your Mind’, their first taste of new music since last year’s ‘Cue’ EP. An absolutely blissful and dreamy affair, the track’s sparkling instrumentation serves as the perfect complement for those soft vocals to traipse across with ease – offering a comforting hug. With ‘On Your Mind’, Jaunt have created one of those songs where you can’t help but lose yourself to the sound – forgetting everything and just letting yourself be taken away by the music.
Boston born, Nairobi raised, New York based artist emawk’s newest single ‘Later’ is a breathtaking affair. The minimalist production creates a spacious and swelling atmosphere, one that envelopes and draws you in as emawk’s mesmerising voice carries you deeper. Each layer of instrumentation sees the track blossom with each note a moment of magic. With ‘Later’, emawk has concocted something truly special.
Sometimes the simplest of songs are the ones that resonate with you the most, and that’s exactly the case with ‘Breathe’, the stunning new single from New York based duo CUTTS (Lillian Cutts and Peter Bonaventure). The emotive ballad presents a more subdued sound compared to the duo’s previous releases, yet once again, it’s vocalist Lillian Cutts’ soaring tones that steal the show here. Wonderfully intimate and enchanting, ‘Breathe’ blossoms into a swirling vortex of a distant love affair as the ardent lyrics and gentle composition come together to create something truly special.
Seventeen year-old rapper and producer Aaron May proved that he’s one of the most exciting rapper to come out of Houston with ‘Ride’, his powerful debut single from last year. On his latest offering ‘Let Go’, May lays down his clever wordplay over a jazz-inflected, self-produced beat that boasts a killer bass. With just these two singles, Aaron May has proved himself as a refreshing voice in an otherwise saturated landscape.
Every now and then a voice comes along that simply takes your breath away – that’s exactly the case with Brooklyn based singer-songwriter ZSELA and her sensational debut single ‘Noise’. Carried by its simple yet heavenly instrumentation courtesy of Daniel Aged from inc. no world, unsurprisingly, it’s ZSELA’s gorgeously smooth and haunting vocals that steal the show here. Utterly enchanting and comforting, ‘Noise’ is a stunner that soothes your soul from start to finish.
Chennai-born, Bay Area-based singer, songwriter and producer Sid Sriram’s music oscillates between progressive R&B and soul with classical Indian (Carnatic) influences. His long-awaited debut album ‘Entropy’, which features previously released single ‘It Isn’t True’ and ‘6 weeks’, is packed with gems that exhibit Sriram’s poetic songwriting, heartwarming voice and magnificent production.
Peppered with moments of spoken word magic, ‘Entropy’ depicts stories of love, family, identity, loss and heartbreak in a way that’s both refreshing and powerful. From having his ‘Eyes Open’ in the first track to seeing ‘Limitless’ in the closer, Sriram brings ‘Entropy’ full circle, leaving the listener content and enlightened.
Rising from the underbelly of Virginia’s dystopian suburbia, Ms Proper experiments with a unique synthesis of sweet talking R&B and filthy mouthed Trap, all at once spouting melodic insults and adlibs of forgiveness in her signature, tender vengeance. Reflected in the blend of fierce low end production and smooth chords from collaborator LA Chase, her song ‘Wicked’ is a slow wind of whispered secrets. This month she drops her latest project ‘The Aquarius Tape’ that addresses everything from old lovers across the spectrum of the zodiac to her moving to Los Angeles with nothing but $5 in her pocket and a ruthless dedication to her pursue her dreams.
Altoparlante is a music project formed by Adrián Rentería and Ernesto Natarén that originates from Mexico City. Founded in 2017, the duo’s sound is mainly composed of Latin rhythms and harmonies fused with electronic intonations. Ernesto, who studied percussion in Cuba, is in charge of the melodic and rhythmic aspect of the music, contributing the “organic” element, while Adrián, an audio engineering enthusiast, takes charge of the electronic and technical side of the project.
Influences range from the funk of James Brown, through traditional Cuban music, to electronic music in general. The musical constant in the songs is the use of Latin percussive instruments (conga, yembé, batá, timbaes), metal section (saxophone and trumpet) and analogue synthesizers to create the harmonies. All of which can be heard in their latest single, the smooth and groove-inflected ‘Ando Chilango’.
Minneapolis based multidisciplinary performing artist Dua Saleh showcases their unique and eclectic sound on debut EP ‘Nūr’ which is executive produced by Psymun. The five track project boasts the newcomer’s poetic wordplay, intriguing flow and subtly smooth voice over bold and captivating soundscapes. From the haunting, self-produced opener ‘Sugar Mama’ to the equally arresting ‘Warm Pants’ and ‘Kickflip’, Dua Saleh effortlessly tackles everything from politics and gender identity to self expression, proving why she’s one of the most exciting creative voices around.
Montreal based artist Shay Lia is one of the most exciting R&B voices to come out of Canada. Her slew of enticing singles wonderfully accentuate the rising singer’s mesmerising and velveteen voice whilst production from the likes of Kaytranada and Sango offer a slick finesse. From the funk-filled bounce of “Funky Thang” to the spirited atmospherics of “The Cycle”, the singer showcases her incredible versatility as a singer/songwriter. Shay Lia’s latest offering ‘Feels’, produced by Stwo, is another gorgeous soul searching number which serves as her most intimate and personal release to date.
Based in Minneapolis, Lizzo is a playfully fierce wordsmith and dynamically diverse artist. Practising powerful versatility, she bangs out unconventional bars and in the next breath, breaks to belt out a classic bridge. Lizzo is responsible for lyrical revolutions in the modern rap world that most might first recognise from groups like Grrrl Party, but she’s since set a steadily burning fire under her own “Big Grrrl Small World” solo career. She spans genres, styles and aesthetic personas from funk infused battle raps to pop inspired ballads and soulful glam slams like her latest single, ‘Juice’.
Sri Lankan-born, Toronto-based rapper Shan Vincent de Paul teams up with fellow native Navz-47 on his smooth and mellow new single ‘Heaven’. Having released two spectacular albums in the form of ‘Saviors’ and ‘Trigger Happy Heartbreak’ in 2016 and 2017 respectively, the sideways member’s music touches on a range of topics from politics and family to identity and love through his powerful lyricism and thought provoking music videos. With the LA+CH produced ‘Heaven’, Navz-47 takes centre stage as she sings/raps in Tamil over the lush soundscape whilst Shan Vincent de Paul offers up his own smooth vocals for the chorus.
Intentionally acclaimed duo The Reminders offer an eclectic blend of beats born from hip-hop’s classic era with soulful vocals and funk filled bass lines, founded upon a lyrical focus toward fiercely positive, empowering poetry. Their high energy shows weave wild dance breaks with anthemic choruses and reggae drops in a unique collage of shamelessly openhearted, self expression and a diverse style that is entirely their own. Married in life as well as partners in music, The Reminders, who’re comprised of Brussels-born Big Samir and Queens-born Aja Black, purposefully share their personal stories to inspire people to transcend any separation that might exist between the artists and their audiences, reminding their listeners that we are one family. This is wonderfully embodied in their brilliant track ‘I Remember’ which is lifted from their ‘Born Champions’ album.
Ethiopian-American musician and songwriter Mereba yields a voice that heals, warms and soothes on gorgeously textured songs that evoke the deepest of emotions. Her latest offering, the unequivocally beautiful and relaxing ‘Bet’ which dropped towards the end of last year, sees the L.A. based artist capture a love that’s worth fighting for against all odds. Mereba’s golden tones flutter across the gentle guitar-laden soundscape, before lifting off in an unexpected but poetic spoken word piece that adds another layer to the track. With her debut project set to be released later this year, allow the tranquillity of ‘Bet’ to soothe your soul.
Born parallel to the 2016 US presidential election in response to xenophobic declarations and actions against Latin immigrants, Tulengua identify themselves as “a bilingual hip hop supergroup from both sides of the most crossed border in the world”. Tulengua seeks to demonstrate how Mexicans and North-Americans, Spanish and English speakers, can be combined through the universal language of music to reflect the beauty of the neighbouring countries and dissolve political, geographical, linguistic and racial boundaries.
All the profits from their latest record ‘Baja Funk’ were donated to an immigrant rights organisation. With lyrics denoting awakening and conscience, the protest tone is evident, yet they maintain a message of hope and positivity; the band’s aim is to recover the humanity that unites people instead of dividing them, using music as medicine to heal the world of hatred and excessive division.
Today we take a look back 18 years, to recall a jewel from legendary Mexican duo Plastilina Mosh. Founded in 1996 by Jonas González and Alejandro Rosso, the band released their second album “Juan Manuel” in 2000; a 13-track masterpiece, the album features a diverse range of sounds that make it almost impossible to classify by genre, mood or language whatsoever, with lyrics in English, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese.
The journey begins with “Nordic Laser”, an entirely instrumental krautrock piece, perhaps the simplest piece of the album before the madness is unleashed; the grooves of “Boombox Baby” and “Bareta 87” give the album a retro dancefloor sensation, drawing on Giorgio Moroder-esque richness, while “Shampoo” and “Aropador” are subtle and seductive and the likes of “International Stereo (Bassass)” and “Let The Speaker Speak” demonstrate a raw aggressive energy.
A classic record that is powerful, unpredictable, and truly timeless.
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Claire Mortifee’s debut album “Medicines” possesses several gems and her collaborative track “No Rollies” with David Morin is one of the smoothest. The combination of Mortifee’s songwriting and Morin’s sweet vocals make for a timeless cut, with all the softness of old school R&B melodies, as harmony stacks and the suspense of a standout bridge bump against a warm fat bassline and shamelessly sassy snare hits. Active in her hometown community of Toronto, Mortifee pops up often in California for her uniquely dynamic live shows, displaying her depth of lyrical delivery and showcasing the physicality of her music as she snakes across the stage in metallic spandex with an endless smile and powerfully natural magnetism.
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La Garfield emerged five years ago in the Mexican city of Guadalajara as the victors of a high school band contest project. The 8-piece group were originally focused on jazz, but have been adding elements of funk rock, pop and disco as their sound has progressed over their three released albums to date. The intention of the band is to spread positive and loving sensations through their music; grooving basslines, rhythmic percussion and melodic wind sections provide the idyllic bohemian sound to La Garfield’s latest release “Todo Lo Rico”, while the soulful voice of lead singer Sofia contributes latin flavour and pure uplifting vibes.
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Dead Wicks is a self proclaimed “psycho-delic grunge-hop” group of New York-grown artists wielding a unique talent for re-working motown songs. Their recently released debut EP ‘Curses’ gifts its listeners a pandora’s box of irreverent genre-bending anthems filled with unusual chord progressions and twisted guitars through alt-pop craftsmanship and poetically chaotic lyricism. The first track on the EP, entitled “Glyph Trip”, kicks things off with a hard electro funk bass line and breathy staccato vocals, before flipping into sitar sounds echoing in a void of synth breakdowns and soulful wails.