Hurricane is a new single from New Orleans based band N2BLÜ. We took notice of one their previous releases back in December. Their latest effort, Hurricane, retains all the energy of EDM but is distinctive for its romantically tempestuous ambiance. Brimming with passion, the song deals with the futile attempts to salvage a failing relationship as the inevitable storm builds and approaches. Fortunately, N2BLÜ gives us some solid synth action to jam out to as we await the fallout. You can feel the pressure emanating throughout the music, which flows at a frantic yet melodically soothing pace. The vocals are powerful and filled with melodramatic metaphors. These metaphors are effective precisely for their indirect realism. When someone’s in a relationship that’s struggling, it may not seem like a big deal to outsiders, but to the person who’s actually infolved and emotionally invested, it really does feel like the waves are crashing down. So much of contemporary electronic music is just “feel good” fluff and wall to wall happiness. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it’s cool to see artists in these genres willing to explore and experiment with expression of more complex ranges emotions. Hurricane is energetic and fun enough so that it won’t depress you while you relate the subject matter to your personal experiences.
Monster is a new single from Jackson, MS based hip hop artist, LADY CAJUN. Originally from New Orleans, LADY CAJUN has earned the informal nickname, “Beat Killer.” In this spicy jam, she delivers her lines with an assertive ferocity and showcases a charismatic vocal presence. What’s interesting about this song thematically is that it’s about how someone innocent can be transformed into a monster by the cruel and dishonest behavior of others they’ve come into contact with. It’s akin to the old saying “you created a monster” and as LADY CAJUN eloquently points out, “You reap what you sow.”
The backing music gives the track a delightfully eerie and almost Halloween-like ambiance. Production is clear and professional, without a bunch of autotune and unnecessary processing. Just a nice crisp and clean sound. Performance-wise, LADY CAJUN has an incredible sense of timing, and her lyrics flow with geometric precision. Almost anyone can randomly rattle off catchy rhymes, but from a technical standpoint this is very well done. To call her a beat killer is putting it mildly. This woman is a beat assassin. You really have to appreciate an artist who demonstrates confidence and can back it up.
With You is a new single from Turkey born artist, TheUmutmusic (also known as Umut). A seasoned veteran, Umut has been producing, writing and performing music for over a decade. Production-wise, the song is well made and has a colorful R&B sound. Umut isn’t shy about conveying emotion, as the lyrical content is passionate and romantic, something which is further emphasized by his expressive vocal delivery. An above average singing ability combines with an impressive flow, blending together elements from his background in both rap and R&B. His voice is backed by delicious synths and a mellow beat. This song is vibrant and sentimental, with a modest, underlying sensuality. This is just a straightforward, quality, mainstream friendly track which functions effectively within its target genre. The video for With You is professionally shot and features vivid forest scenery, giving the track an organic, down to Earth feel.
Cash Checks ATM is a new single from Luke ATME, an artist from Naples, Italy. This lively party jam gets right down to brass tacks. As the title suggests, Luke ATME wants money and is not afraid to go after it. The piano driven backbeat is thrilling and lends the song a formidable and businesslike intensity. Luke ATME’s delivery is mellow paced yet confident, and his timing is impressively on point throughout. The lyrics are catchy and often surprisingly clever for a song of this style. He desires the good life and believes he deserves it, laying out his case in a very “matter of fact” way. The song incorporates cash register and ATM sound effects into the beat rather effectively. This jam is creative and Luke demonstrates an eccentric sort of charisma, which is further enhanced by his accent. Someone send this man a bitcoin.
Won’t Let Go is a fresh new single from California born artist, LA Sinclair. Having spent most of her time in Acapulco while growing up, she often alternates between Spanish and English language while singing. Musically, this track features a deep and ambient backing filled with synths and various intriguing sounds. The song has a dreamy, almost aquatic ambiance. LA Sinclair’s vocals are seriously entrancing as she sings about past lives and holding on to lost love. Her delivery is notable for her sentimental voice and quiet intensity. The lyrics also deal with the blurring of fantasy and reality, which juxtaposes nicely with the ethereal synth backdrop. LA Sinclair at one point invites her loved one to join her in her fantasy, giving audiences a subtly voyeuristic experience. When you listen to this track, you really do feel as though you’re right there in her dream as a tourist. Won’t Let Go is a contemplative and romantically expressive piece of music that’s sure to make a few waves.
The Witches is a new single and video release from Tampa based three-piece band, Vetnough. This synth oriented indie gem is captured vividly in a neo-psychedelic visual style. Stylish and avant garde without trying too hard, the video makes excellent use of color and narrative to create a darkly kaleidoscopic viewing experience. The group’s sound reminds me a bit of one my favorite indie bands, “Magic Wands.” Ambient, hypnotic synths that build into an explosive, rock energy. I would describe both the music and video as retrofuturistic. There are elements of 80′s synthpop and contemporary darkwave. Visually, this video is a great example of what can be achieved with color manipulation and creative editing. The actual setting and props don’t even really matter, as the colorful visions of motion cast their spell on you and transport you to another dimension.
Heart On My Sleeve Stunna is a new EP from artist, Stunna Quad. This soulful, R&B mini album has a smooth and melodic energy. The pacing is mellow and the vibe is chill, yet the ambiance is bursting with charisma. Thematically, much of the content conveys Stunna’s reverance for sincerity. The message promoting honesty living and openness is hinted at in titles like Real One,Cheating, and of course, even the title of the album itself. The mix does a fine job of blending in backup vocals, adding layers of complexity to the tracks which effectively lend the album an impressively sophisticated feel. Where Stunna really shines though in my opinion, is in the lyrics. He has a knack for writing relatable and catchy lyrics, rattling off a plethora of pop culture references (X-Box, Redd Foxx, etc) and memorable one liners like “working 9 to 5 got you feeling like an old lady.”Heart On My Sleeve Stunna is filled with these kinds of gems. Doin It contains probably the most straightforward “hip hop” elements in terms of beats and lyrical delivery, while Cheating is almost entirely R&B. This EP punches above it’s weight and the theme makes it an excellent item for Valentine’s Day.
Sunshine is the debut single from criibaby, a multi-talented, socially conscious singer/songwriter. With the aim of cultivating a more inclusive Valentine’s Day experience, this (self identified) queer artist has released a song which may succeed in redefining, perhaps even expanding the scope of the budding genre of inclusive music. Honestly, this song blew me away. Often times, noble intentions can be accompanied by a lackluster recording if too much consideration is paid to the theme/message and not enough to the substantive musical aspects. Thankfully, that’s not the case here. Everything about this track is stellar. Stylewise, Sunshine combines elements of neo-soul, jazz and R&B. The best way to describe it is it’s like if you took a 50s-60s soul song and gave it a modernized, contemporary production sound. While the track has a deliciously retro feel, it will dazzle and impress today’s audiences with its timeless talent and “major label” quality mix.
I’m amazed that this is criibaby’s debut single, as the vocal performance is so flawlessly professional that if one were to randomly hear this song playing on the radio, they’d assume they were listening to an iconic recording artist with framed platinum records on the walls. Seriously though, this is better than any music I’ve heard on the radio in the last few years.
Colorful, peppy and optimistic, Sunshine channels that universal feeling of falling in love with someone new. The strength of criibaby’s vocals ultimately drives the song, backed by jazzy melodies and D’Angelo-influenced backup vocals. Brimming with creative structure and stylish layering, this track represents a songwriting, production and performative tour de force. Sunshine is an inclusive song on both a social and musical level. It’s truly a listening experience that anyone in the world would enjoy. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Credits: criibaby (vocals, music, lyrics)
Mixtape Seoul (producer, music)
Big Soda (bassist, producer, engineer, mastering engineer)
Pandaraps (contributing engineer)
Alberto Rodriguez (contributing composer)
Peaches is a new single from Brazilian-American artist, Jubilee. This stylish and avant garde jam features laser-like synths and entrancing vocals, creating an exotic atmosphere that’s ripe for dancing. The song is futuristic and cutting edge, while maintaining some culturally Brazilian musical elements to give the track its organic flavor. Jubilee’s voice is effectively magnetic against the mysterious backdrop, which is comprised mainly of a hodgepodge of synth sounds and metallic beats, creatively layered to enhance the brooding ambiance. The pacing is mellow but the substance is full and energizing to the core. This darkly expressive track takes pop to a heightened level of artistic suspense. Peaches is pure 21st century.
Alright with Me is a new single from folk singer, Kolby Knickerbocker. What’s extraordinary about this particular release is that the recording of the vocals and guitar were recorded live. It’s just one single, full take. Anyone who has recorded music before knows what a difficult achievement that is. This is especially impressive as the song is rather minimalist, so you can hear every delicate detail of the acoustic guitar sound. It’s not as if everything is processed and buried in some distorted mix. Kolby’s vocals are also clear as a bell, and his performance would earn him a rightful round of applause at any cozy little forest venue. Alright with Me is sentimental, inspired by his daughter, who gives Kolby him strength and purpose in life. Even in its calm tenderness, the song is uplifting and filled with emotional spirit. Kolby Knickerbocker has the technical skills and the heart to be successful in the crowded contemporary folk music scene.