It’s not easy to listen to someone being mentally torn apart, to have their innermost personal thoughts laid bare on a song is often a heartbreaking experience. With RnB riser sV, however, his stripped-back single ‘Summer Snow’ may be a lesson in heartbreak but is a refreshingly cathartic and emotionally relatable experience.
With a history soaked deep in fashion design, experience producing music for acts in China and Korea as well as crafting his debut EP (or self-proclaimed ‘mini album’) around his war with depression – sV is ever the intriguing artist as all great names tend to be.
The track itself is the sound of genuine anguish. As sultry loops of electric guitar fill the reverb-laden soundscape, sV accompanies a wave of soft, crashing beats with his own sorrowful deliveries – begging us to “not let him fade away”.
One could write books on the track’s compositional accomplishments – with its crescendo-like structure bringing a natural evolution to such a short track – but track’s crown jewel lies in how well sV translates his own emtoional strife into something almost tangible.
This, of course, relates to the entire ‘AnxiousAlbum’ project from which ‘Summer Snow’ originates – a collection of material spawned from a harrowing grief.
“I created this album at the height of my depression. After years of not being able to create anything.The album is dedicated to my cousin who passed three years ago. Bringing mental health to the forefront; the impact of anxiety, depression, and stress in one.” – sV
It’s certainly a message that resonates with the strength of the artist that laid it before us. It doesn’t matter what your musical affiliations might be as, with such emotional poignance on display, ‘Summer Snow’ is required listening for everyone and anyone.
Despite the world of real estate not being the expected driving force for musical invention but Vietnamese electro-pop icon and real estate executive, Kiey, is not one to let such stereotypes hold him back. The artist’s lead single that borrows its namesake from his latest EP, ‘Sunday Sanctuary Part. 1’, is an eclectic journey through some of the year’s most enchanting pop music.
The track arrives as a lighter insight into the rising stars palette, especially when compared to the likes of the exec’s darker 2019 debut EP ‘Night To Myself’ with a focus on an assault of striking strings and beats that appear to swell and fade with each rising verse. It may mark a stylistic change but only proves to explore the artist’s versatility. It’s a soundscape that will be as easy to lose yourself in as is it is hard to get out of your mind; a true earworm incarnate.
What is, perhaps, most surprising about the track is its maturity and professional production value. I don’t think anyone would have batted an eyelid for a slightly wooden performance or sloppy mastering – considering Kiey’s drastic swap between his day job industry – but instead Kiey arrives on full form with no intention on letting his inexperience be anything other than a reason to heighten his ambition.
Overall, there is no better introduction to the shimmering and glistening world of Kiey, there is something here for those of any tastes. Plug in, take note and pay attention; Kiey is one to watch.
Nothing quite tops a serving of saucy, suave singer-songwriter Latin pop right? Confident, empowering and abundant with charm and charisma – the genre has all the characteristics of legendary musical heartthrobs throughout history and newcomer SENTI seems to know just how to harness such features. His debut single ‘He She It’ is a powerhouse in suave seduction and, yet, comes armed with an unexpectedly poignant message for ‘love’ in 2021.
The more traditional elements of the genre present within ‘He She It’s DNA are a fantastic foundation for SENTI to provide his smooth-talking deliveries upon. Through a balancing act of gently plucked Spanish acoustic, foot-tapping percussion and satisfying electronics, this is a soundscape that is a pure joy to be submerged in.
With a lyrical protest against the arbitrary judgements and barriers that plague modern love, SENTI’s message is clear in this initial glance at the multi-instrumentalist’s musical persona.
“The song is essentially a stand against toxic mentality in modern love and to say that other people’s opinions don’t matter. All that matters is that you’re happy together…” – Senti
This is only helped by SENTI’s well-arranged hook harmonies which provide the track’s key moment of goosebump-raising influence. So, we have fantastic instrumentals, good pacing and a chorus with enough earworm value to make the Beejee’s jealous; the complaints are simply absent.
In fact, all this becomes all the more impressive when the context of the track’s composition is laid bare. SENTI (aka Adil) recorded all the instruments himself and, unbelievably still, his musical endeavour are only a backdrop to the artist’s heroic efforts as a junior doctor working on the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic. With such circumstances, you would expect and forgive rough production and a general lack of inspiration but SENTI clearly has no intention of cutting corners with ‘He She It’ as concise proof.
This is everything that we expect from a genre veteran and more. Charisma, spirit and a desire to innovate; SENTI has it all.
Dropped July 23rd, ‘Used To’ is a sinfully rich dark pop single, overflowing with style and R&B influences; the track is the perfect introduction to Toronto based singer LOR and her refreshing authenticity.
A clean and straightforward piano-led instrumental is enriched with LOR’s distinct vocals as she croons about an unfulfilling relationship and flawed romance. Whilst the topic is effortlessly relatable, LOR manages to take ownership of it and not only infuse her musical spin but honest and deep cutting lyricism to keep the track mature and fully realised. This isn’t a breakup song; more, it is a recounting of how being lost in ‘love’ can keep you from finding yourself or your self-worth.
Using her vulnerability to radiate control, LOR takes a sour experience and turns it into audio magic, turning pain into power and demonstrating her skills as a lyricist and creative force. ‘Used to’ combats broken promises with smooth melodies, ethereal harmonies and certain vocal runs that will give you goosebumps every time. Coming in just under three and a half minutes, the track is all-encompassing and doesn’t waste a second, keeping a solid pace and bursting with a bittersweet narrative.
“Used to is about being in a relationship with someone who constantly lets you down but knows how to make it up to you every time, just enough that you don’t have the guts to walk away.” – LOR
‘Used to’ is available for streaming now, why not listen below?
Hailing from East London, Zac Hurst is going from strength to strength with his newest single, ‘Falling In Love On My Own’. Modern pop excellence dripping with realistic emotion, Hurst’s latest offering comes after the hugely successful ‘2020’ which stormed the iTunes charts, and offers a tale of genuine feelings and relatable experiences.
Teaming up with Tik Tok famous couple Shan Wills & Ryan Snellings for the accompanying music video (see below), the story is further weaved from colour pallettes, or lack of, and real people back up the raw lyricism in the track. The stylistic yet straightforward video is refreshing and compliments the contemporary production and tone of the song. There’s no need for flashy visuals or over the top effects; instead, the narrative-driven video perfectly offers another look into the music and the songwriter.
‘’This project began during the first lockdown. I wanted to write a song about being away from someone you love, without being able to do anything about it… hence ‘falling in love on my own’. I’ve played this song close to 100 times on live streams/live gigs now, with some of my followers knowing all the words, so it’s tried and tested, and I would say this song is probably around a year’s work on and off which makes it very exciting to finally release’’ – Zac Hurst
Overall, ‘Falling In Love On My Own’ (released July 2nd) is clean and showcases a smooth and powerful vocal performance from Zac Hurst that perfectly wraps up the sentimentality that oozes out of each note. It’s an excellent example of modern pop devoid of cliches, replacing them with frank honesty and solid storytelling.
The ‘Summertime Sadness’ singer has taken to Instagram to share little teasers for her forthcoming release ‘Blue Banisters’. She has set the tone for what will be her eighth studio album by sharing the artwork for the proposed album in an Instagram post on July 4th.
Whilst her 19.8 million followers were not given a release date; they were treated to a snippet of an unreleased song earlier that day. Accompanied with the caption “Album out later later… Single out soonish. Have a good fourth x”, the clip contains a melancholy piano piece and Lana singing the lyrics “my body is a map of LA”. The clip delivers what people can expect from the singer as her clear voice produces an emotional performance. Even just from this small snippet, fans should be excited for more of her trademark style so soon after her March 2021 release, ‘Chemtrails Over The Country Club’.
With three singles already released: ‘Wildflower wildfire’, ‘Text Book’ and the titular ‘Blue Banisters’ (all dropped May 20th), the music world should be gearing up for the album to be gifted soon. After a supposed release date of July 4th, which Del Rey gave in April of this year, who knows when it will see the light of day.
Lorde dramatically returned to the current music landscape with her single ‘Solar Power’, which dropped June 11th, just days after announcing her upcoming album of the same title. The track, released to correspond with the solar eclipse that occurred on June 10th, came as a surprise to the world and is now set to act as the highest new entry on the official singles charts – as reported by officialcharts.com.
Racking up over half a million streams since its initial drop, the single listed in the number seven position on the Official Chart: First Look, which will come to fruition on the standard official chart if the hype around the track continues. If this occurs, it will mark the singer’s second top ten UK single and her first since 2013, when ‘Royals’ dominated the charts.
The forthcoming album, ‘Solar Power’, will be Lorde’s third studio album, following on from Pure Heroine (2013) and Melodrama (2017). Initially scheduled for a release in June 2020 but delayed due to the singer’s pet dog Pearl passing suddenly, the album currently has no confirmed release date. However, the singer has seemingly hinted more natural time stamps to fans with the line “look to the natural calendar for clues”. Regardless of when it drops, ‘Solar Power’ is being described as “light, playful and fun” by Lorde herself and promises to be a moment in music pop culture after the response to the single drop.
Taking place virtually for the second time, ‘Radio 1’s Big Weekend’ has just added more acts to its already exciting lineup. Due to Covid restrictions, the event will occur online May 28th-30th and broadcasted across BBC Radio 1, BBC Sounds, and BBC iPlayer.
Coldplay and Jorja Smith, who have just performed on the ‘Live at Worthy Farm’ Livestream on May 22nd, have been announced alongside the likes of Ed Sheeran, Royal Blood, Anne-Marie and Wolf Alice in live sets, some of which have been recorded all around the country. In addition to the live sets, there will be ten new sets from some of the biggest names in dance music.
With over a hundred performances and easy access, this will be another chance for people to enjoy live music in the wake of lockdown letting up. After ‘Live At Worthy Farm’ had to compete with Eurovision and some technical difficulties with the initial streaming, hopefully, the ‘Big Weekend’ will run smoothly and keep music fans nourished until more live music venues and events open for business.
‘Drivers License’ singer Oliva Rodrigo carries on storming the pop world with her debut album ‘Sour’. After the success of ‘good 4 u’, a single that dropped last week in preparation for the album release, which also showed off Rodrigo’s versatility in the pop genre, ‘Sour’ is a monumental addition to her story as an artist, and it doesn’t hurt that it sounds good too.
The eighteen-year-old singer, who got her start on Disney Channel, went viral with her track ‘Drivers License’ earlier this year and has gone from strength to strength, proving she is not a one-trick pony. ‘Sour’ has everything from pop ballads to spunky, 90s inspired alt tracks, giving Rodrigo depth far beyond a simple pop artist. The album is expertly stylised and explores the full scope of adolescent experiences, offering a highly energetic, relatable soundtrack to a post lockdown summer.
Do not underestimate ‘Sour’; it is a boiling pot of modern Gen Z culture presented in a raw and visceral way. Olivia Rodrigo has cracked the code, and I hope she reaps the benefits. Stream ‘Sour‘ now.
Marina (previously Marina and the Diamonds) debuted the title track from her upcoming album, set to be released on June 11th, ‘Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land’.
This will be the artist’s fifth album, joining the likes of ‘Electra Heart’ (2012) and ‘Love + Fear’ (2019), and to celebrate, Marina is offering a live global one time concert stream. ‘ANCIENT DREAMS Live from the Desert’ will take place on June 13th showcasing the new album in full as well as featuring some all-time fan favourites, and as the name implies, it’s going to be taking place in a desert.
Fans can purchase tickets for the event itself and an afterparty invite, merchandise, and the potential for a virtual meet & greet from Moment House whilst listening to the freshly released single (which can be found above) to prepare them for what’s to come.
Alongside all this exciting news, the tracklist for the forthcoming album has also been released. It promises other great tracks alongside the titular single, ‘Purge The Poison’ and ‘Man’s World‘, which were previously dropped on April 14th.