This monthly feature seems to be flying by as we return with yet another treasure trove of new and interesting artists, all discovered over the course of February whilst ploughing the internet for jewels. Kicking things off we have the worthy krapka;KOMA with their silky track Ghost (ft JAGARA), add into the mix a sprinkling of indie-punk from Sweet, Coins! and why not finish with an inextricably beautiful piano composition by David Baron. It’s the usual genre-crossing, melting you’ve come to expect.
krapka;KOMA » Ghost (ft.JAGARA)
It looks like I was gravitating towards nostalgic, chilled-out music in the month of February, because setting the tone is a track filled with sumptuously laidback beats and floating, ghostly melodies. Sitting on a rich bed of jazzy piano, lush horn embellishments and rumbling bass, the infectious vocals of the artists are what stay with you long after the music has faded. This song feels like a journey of exploration, not just lyrically with the idea of constantly overcoming the various ghosts we face on a daily basis, but musically, the tiny piano flourishes and echoing lines of horns all contribute to the sense that we’re lifting the veil on a moment in time. The stop and start, ebb and flow progression of the instrumentation creates a series of seamless transitions between the verses and chorus parts, re-affirming the sentiment of the song. Chill out to this languid track and let it give you a moment’s respite from all your day has thrown at you.
Junkheart » Typhoon
Let this deeply meditative track by Junkheart take you away on nighttime drives and towards the late-night summer sunsets that we’re all craving. The production on this moody, alt-pop offering is drenched in expansive synths, truly refined textural details and the smoothest of R&B melodies and trip-hop style beats. The opening of the song immediately catches your attention with that satisfying, arpeggiated synth and by the time those laidback, downtempo vocals come in, the rest is just a treat of interspersed percussion and harmony. This is an artist totally in tune with their own sound and nothing has been done gratuitously or offhandedly. I love discovering music like this, where you feel privileged to be able to submerge yourself in someone else’s art. In Typhoon, Junkheart’s use of space and subtle layering and textures are all a testament to just how artfully restrained his songwriting is. I’m a fan.
Kaitee Page » What Day is it Today
A song for the pandemic you say? I have just the thing to affirm your lockdown experience and loss of reality and it’s this electro-fused pop track by Dallas based indie Queen, Kaitee Page. What somehow makes this track even more impactful is the knowledge that prior to this, Page was on a self imposed hiatus from songwriting, but it seems the power of the pandemic drew her back into the music world and thank goodness it did. Rippling beats and industrial percussion sounds help to build up a ‘lightly apocalyptic’ atmosphere with moments of relief coming from the ’80s infused synth melodies and Page’s irony-tinged lyric. The details and nuances in production are enough to make your brain fizz with satisfaction, let alone the hugely resonant lyric and restrained delivery that all help to make this song feel like a transient experience, as together, we relive this collective experience.
Alice Pisano » Crush
Have you been missing out on listening to genuinely great pop music, filled with juicy production and incredible vocals? Me too. Well, let me satisfy all your possible wants and wishes in this smashing track by Italian-born and London-based artist Alice Pisano. There is something so heartwarming and uplifting about this track and I think that’s something we could all do with embracing at the moment. Despite the lyrics suggesting that this is not the perfect love story, ‘Crush’ embraces all the feel-good fun and optimism surrounding the moment you discover you’re pretty into someone, as well as acknowledging the emotional rollercoaster that can entail. The pop-filled production is sophisticated and effective in its delivery with edgy embellishments and high impact beats, but what stood out to me was just how well crafted and honest the song is as a whole. Keep the positive vibes coming, I say.
Sam Newton » Ground Me
There are so many elements that come together to make this song by Sam Newton a truly accomplished, but the thing that hooks you in is unquestionably Newton’s rich and velvety vocal. Upon hearing that voice I could feel my whole body relax as I sat back waiting to hear what other treasures this track was going to uncover. Sure enough, what sounded like the guitar from a vintage western film immediately grounds the track as the slow, swirling drums begin and that sun-soaked slide guitar is the cherry on top. The female vocal joining the artist for harmonies here and there is another testament to how reserved and subtle the components of this song are. Nothing is overdone and the simplicity and steadiness of ‘Ground Me’ are just what is needed to capture the lyric and transport the listener. I hereby crown this genre ‘sadcowboy’ and I am here for it.
Sweet, Coins! » Delusion
Sweet, Coins! is a five piece self proclaimed indie-punk band hailing from Hertfordshire. I don’t often find myself listening to indie-punk, but hearing the diary-like entry and the skilled use of dynamics by this band, I was completely sold on their latest track ‘Delusion’. The confessional songwriting is left out in the open for all to hear at the start of the track but before you get too swept up in these deep and dark lines, the production bursts through and everything opens up. Gritty guitars and refined melodic details all combine to create an accomplished ebb and flow and build to that ‘punk’ release of tension we could all do with turning to now and then. What could have been a darkly downtempo and melancholy track, gives life to something hugely transforming and empowering. Turns out I’m an indie-punk fan, who knew?
Lake Notion » Every So Often
I am a huge sucker for atmosphere and those little earworm details that bring so much satisfaction to listen to. Well, let me tell you, this track has all of those things in bag loads, wrapped up in a sunny package. Perhaps it’s because we haven’t been to see live music in so long or hung out with our mates, but somehow Lake Notion has captured that joyous feeling in ‘Every So Often. I don’t think it’s just me who is lapping up feel-good music at the moment and if that’s what you’re craving then lean into the rustling drums, plinky plonky piano (in the best sense!) and the kind of wholesome guitar you’d want to be there with you at the end of the night, whisky in tow. Please can I come hang/party with Lake Notion when this 2020/21 malarkey is over? They clearly know how to have a good time.
SLICK DIVISION » Runaway Love
Another poptastic entry for February is this infectious track by SLICK DIVISION. Slick production, a radio-worthy tagline and just generally tasty melodies dispersed through this entire track, what more could you ask for? I’ll let you know what the prognosis is, but I am actually scared that I won’t be able to get this earworm out my head…like ever. When I get taken in by a pop track it really has to offer something new and be seriously well crafted for it to capture my attention. ‘Runaway Love’ is one of the best examples of the craftsmanship that goes into truly good pop music. The attention to the delivery of the vocals, the mastery of melody writing, and the innovative and creative production are all working together to make this band totally worth your time. Go check them out.
David Baron » The Han
To end this week we have the most gorgeous and soothing piano track from composer David Baron. Delicate motifs and deeply moving melodies bring a sense of peace and calm as you’re carried away on a velvety bed of rich keys. There is a cinematic quality to this music and, as such, your imagination is instantly prompted to create the breathtaking vistas and lush greenery that such a piece of music deserves. I was interested to read that Baron not only produces accomplished and serene piano compositions but is a musician who is widely known for working with the likes of The Lunmineres, Lenny Kravitz, Bat for Lashes and the artful indie princess Phoebe Bridgers. It’s not hard to imagine what draws these artists to work with such an intuitive and emotionally connected musician as Baron. Let yourself drift off to this sweet, piano gem.
Late To The Party » Feb 2021 » Monthly Compilation