Truth Grenade is a recent single from UK-based hip hop artist, Xwisdom. He’s released 3 albums already, and a 4th is currently in the works. True to its title, Truth Grenade hits hard and fast, clocking in with a runtime of just over a minute. Blended with a crisp and prominent beat, the backing music is colorful and melodic, featuring an earthy, video game overworld-like ambiance. Xwisdom has a conversational, stream-of-consciousness style delivery that flows evenly.
His voice takes on a cheeky and pleasantly nonchalant tone as he casually relates common sense facts and expresses positive sentiments. The sound is much more “musical” than most hip hop, partially due to the vibrant melodies in the music itself but also as a result of Xwisdom’s delivery, which has a naturally poetic quality. The artist comes off as unassuming and sincere, almost innocent. There is something instantly likable about his personality. He has a fairly well established youtube channel, with vids on a wide variety of subjects (not just music related.) It’s worth checking out. Keep your eyes peeled for his upcoming album, Harmony. XWisdom’s a prolific artist, so if you blink, you might miss it.
Pasttime(s) is a new single from artist, Kaleidanoyse (the name for the musical project of Aureus Nova Solis). The artist has a unique series called Remnants, where he revisits tracks from his most recent album to create a remix/b-side. He does this in the final quarter of each year. In the case of Pasttime(s), it is a “remnant” release relating to the album, Kaleidanoyse V.
The song blends elements of jazz, dance, classical, ambient and new age to form an abstract and avant garde sound. The ambiance is meditative and hypnotic in a way that’s creative and original. I honestly haven’t heard anything quite like this. “Kaleidanoyse” really is an appropriate moniker, as the music really does resemble a kind of kaleidoscopic collage. There’s a slightly mystical and futuristic quality, reminiscent of retro science fiction. However, this aspect combines with an organic and nature-oriented vibe. There’s even a jazzy, quiet urban nightlife component thrown into the mix as well. From a musical perspective, it’s all very melodic and well put together. The sound can be both relaxing and provocative, depending on what the listener chooses to get out of the experience. Pasttime(s) is top notch mood music. It’s artistically comprehensive without coming off as pretentious. I’d recommend this to anyone who wants to enjoy music on a deeper, spiritual level.
STAY! is a new single from artist, William Wood. This high energy pop/rock song has already managed to get played on BBC radio, and its easy to see why. The production quality is top notch, mainstream friendly and on the level that’s on par with what one would expect from high budget, major label releases. William Wood goes about as far as you could go with an indie jam.
The beat is tight, and there’s some decent bass. Rockin’ guitars give the sound a nice, assertive kick and help to differentiate the vibe from something like EDM. This is one of those fast paced pop tracks with euphoric action coming from all directions. The mix is full and bright and provides perfect party atmosphere. William Wood is a capable singer, but just as importantly, his performance is brimming with enthusiasm, affable personality and casual charisma. Lyrically, this is a romantic song featuring a passionate appeal to rekindle passions with a former crush/partner. The presentation though is fun, and upbeat. There’s nothing dreary here. Ultimately, the specific subject matter of the song won’t matter much to the people on the dance floor, who will be too busy going wild and singing along. STAY! is a solid release that knows exactly the kind of song it wants to be and succeeds in getting there.
Giving It 54% is the debut cassette album from Springfield Missouri-based band, Wölframandhartiger. The artists describe themselves as “two professional thumb wrestlers.” I don’t know much about the sport, but the manual dexterity involved should at least theoretically translate to some interesting music. In addition to digital format, Giving It 54% available as a limited run cassette (which firmly establishes the release’s indie cred).
With song titles like Mothman Prophecies and Castor Troy(named after Nicholas Cage’s iconic character from the 90’s film, Face/Off), you just can’t go wrong. The album is filled with these kinds of clever pop culture references, which are incorporated rather artfully. Containing 14 fun-filled tracks, there’s quite a bit of material on this release, too much to cover in this space. Musically, the songs blend elements from a wide variety of genres. They include synthwave, rock (various flavors), alternative, country, spoken word poetry, etc. My favorite track on the album is Representative, a peppy and melodic indie pop gem. The song features a voiceover portrayal of a disgruntled customer speaking with a customer service representative over the phone.
The presentation in Giving It 54% is creative and entertaining. While the artists obviously like to have fun and don’t take themselves too seriously, the humor works in this album because the music is actually enjoyable and the skill level is there. I’d recommend this to anyone who likes quirky and offbeat music. Those who pick up on the random references will appreciate it more, but there’s something for everyone. Giving It 54% is performance art in compact cassette form.
Body (Ft. KZ $ L X M) is a new single from artist, ST1XX. Blending elements of R&B and hip hop, the song is backed by a chill, synth-driven beat. The music has an exotic, almost dreamlike “trip hop” quality, which distinguishes it from more standard hip hop and R&B. The pacing is mellow, and the vibe is relaxed for much of the track, while there are moments where the action really amps up, and we’re treated to some solid rhymes. The vocal delivery style is versatile and melodic, ranging from casual to exciting. It’s a collaborative effort, and everyone adds their own unique flavor to the sound with their contribution. The melody becomes quite catchy after a couple of listens as well. This single has a dreamy musical flow, and the beat has a nice boom to it. I would imagine this jam would sound even better in the car with the bass cranked up.