It is the penultimate weekend of January 2021, and it seems that the question of how well this year will go still hangs in the balance. Until things are made more certain, we are back to take your mind off the worries of the year, with a batch of brand new tunes from independent artists.
While we normally vouch for giving you our 9 top picks of each week, we saw so much versatility in this week’s new load of tunes, that we couldn’t help ourselves from just adding one more this time around.
So without further ado, let’s dive into our top picks for New Music Sunday…
Track Of The Week
Paperwing » Blackbirds
Although it seemed like a tall order to top Paperwing’s 2020 material, ‘Blackbirds’ achieves this with its gorgeously warm sound.Indie top 39
2020 was an incredibly memorable year for Swedish artist Paperwing, and thanks to the sheer amount of phenomenal tunes, and the equally marvellous sophomore album she had released, it felt like an incredibly memorable year for us too. And while, the sheer level of productivity that Paperwing had put in to 2020, made a short break all the more deserved, she has no desire to settle down just yet. ‘Blackbirds’ marks the start of Paperwing’s musical 2021, and it is certainly fair to say that she successfully kicks this year off impactfully. The incredible amount of warmth that ‘Blackbirds’ bring resonated with us instantly, and already allows it to give us the sense of a new stylistic chapter, that heads off from her sophomore album. We truly cannot get enough of just how heavenly this track is.
Allison Lorenzen & Midwife » VALE
Allison Lorenzen begins her discography, by adopting the fuzz-heavy yet dreamy sound provided by Midwife, in this enchanting debut single.indie top 39
Denver based artist Allison Lorenzen, collaborates with multi-instrumentalist Madeline Johnston, under the moniker of Midwife, to create her debut single ‘VALE’. Right off the bat, the fuzz-heavy, yet simultaneously dreamy sound of ‘VALE’ feels reminiscent of what Midwife had released previously, and this style of sound wonderfully compliments the vocal style of Allison Lorenzen. Given that this is the first exposure many listeners have had to Lorenzen, we wouldn’t be able to tell just where her aesthetic will venture in future projects. However, the chemistry between these two artists feels incredibly clear. It is fair to say that Lorenzen’s horizons are broadening, and we hope that this awesome mood sticks around on future singles.
Cigarettes for Breakfast » Wait
The productivity of Cigarettes for Breakfast continues into 2021, with one of their two newest singles ‘Wait’, carrying great vocal harmonies, and their signature rock sound.indie top 39
There’s no denying that 2020 was a tricky year to begin a musical project. However, that didn’t stop the Philadelphia alternative rock group Cigarettes for Breakfast, from igniting their discography with a bang. Throughout last year, the band had released two single releases, in the lead-up to their debut album Aphantasia. The band’s sense of productivity only seems to continue with their newest release, a duel bunch of singles released together, while the year of 2021 is still young. The former of these two tracks, stands as a beautifully progressive tune, which works well as a lead-up track for ‘Wait’. The cavernous rock sound pairs tremendously with the vocal harmonies, to create a truly standout effort from Cigarettes for Breakfast.
Ella Eliza » ALONE WITH YOU
Spending the days of 2020 conceiving new music, the amazingly progressive pop sound of ‘ALONE WITH YOU’ offers the first glimpse of her new musical chapter.indie top 39
After taking a break from musical releases in 2020, to spend her days during the first lockdown creating her newest batch of tunes, London pop artist Ella Eliza is back in full swing in the year of 2021, with her brand new single ‘ALONE WITH YOU’. Along with this, her signature sonic blend of R&B, Soultronic, and Pop, definitely feel more well-mixed on this new track. What we also adored about this track is its amazing progression, which starts listeners off with a dreamy and hazy pop melody, before exploding into a brilliantly engaging and hard-hitting tune with fuzzy brass instrumentation implemented in spade-loads. With this being the first track to tease her upcoming EP, we are thoroughly excited to see what follows.
Gaby K » Nope.
Gaby K develops upon her colourful, upbeat, and accessible pop sound even further with her first single release of 2021.indie top 39
After Birmingham-based singer/songwriter Gaby K guided her music into a more upbeat, and R&B-inspired direction in 2020, she seemingly only aims to develop upon this even further, as shown by her first 2021 single ‘Nope.’. Having actually written the lyrics for this song a few years ago, Gaby K implements them onto an instrumental that feels comparable to a lot of prominent pop artists in 2020. In other words, the production is as accessible and as catchy as they come. An anthem which tells Gaby K’s story about a past relationship, which eventually made her realise that her love was being taken for granted, this track resonated with us, just as much as we imagine it does with Gaby K herself.
Jackfruit » I had gay sex with god (it could’ve gone better)
Encapsulating the life of a queer teen in America, Jackfruit’s newest single oozes with emotive fragility.indie top 39
The fourth single to be released from New York singer/songwriter Jackfruit, along with their first release of 2021, ‘I had gay sex with god (it could’ve gone better) serves as a vulnerable ballad, that encapsulates the life of a queer teen living in America. The themes of fragility are expertly reflected in this track’s soft, luminous instrumentation. Pairing this, with the wordplay that’s sprinkled across the track, and you have a track that had our full attention from start to finish, while compelling us completely with its emotive atmosphere. ‘I had gay sex with god (it could’ve gone beter)’ is also the first single to tease Jackfruit’s upcoming EP, titled when they find your body, and we are highly anticipating how this track’s brilliant atmosphere, spreads across said project.
Maida Rose » Harmony of Heartache
Maida Rose’s debut single perfectly displays the chemistry and partnership between the two artists that make up the musical project.indie top 39
‘Harmony of Heartache’ is the debut single from dream-pop duo Maida Rose, who emerged from Dutch seaside city The Hague. The musical project came as a result of the partnership between Roos Meijer and Javièr den Leew. After spending the past five years writing music together, 2021 serves as the year they finally released their first single. ‘Harmony of Heartache’ truly does their dream-pop influence justice, with a melody that truly fills the soul of the listener with its warm, dreamy indulgence. The duo did incredibly to really give this track a kind of life of its own, and it feels apparent through just how compelling this song feels. It also does well to encapsulate the feeling of love that we imagine is a driving force behind this duo, and we can’t wait to hear more.
SHN » do ya
‘do ya’ masterfully highlights the experience SHN had with a previous record label, and serves as the primary anthem of her newfound independence.indie top 39
A lot of what we do is inspired by artists taking an independent approach towards making their music. With that said, it seemed like a no-brainer to pick the newest single release from electronic pop artist SHN. ‘do ya’ details the artist’s experience working with a previous record label, and how her and said level had a very different sense of what direction to go in. This track begins with the lyrics “you don’t get it, do ya?’, which instantly made the story behind this track a key focal point. Taking her music in the direction she wants is not only reflected in the lyrics, but also the style of the track. This track, along with her previous independent single, 2020’s ‘so cool’, are noticeably more upbeat, and has us in firm belief that SHN is broadening her own horizons for the better.
Simon Paparo » Pirates
Carrying a very introspective sentiment behind it, ‘Pirates’ was a track that truly warmed our hearts.indie top 39
The first 2021 release from Perth-born folk singer/songwriter Simon Paparo, ‘Pirates’ feels wonderfully poetic in its lyricism, which highlights the idea of looking inside ourselves, and nourishing our souls. The introspective sentiment feels like the perfect contextual accompaniment to this brilliantly progressive instrumental, which begins with an intimate acoustic melody, before bursting into a dynamic and warm rock-inspired sound. When all of this comes together, ‘Pirates’ is a track that really had our attention, as well as our hearts; much like a live acoustic ballad typically would. On top of this, ‘Pirates’ is said to be the final single release to tease Paparo’s upcoming LP, set to be launched later in 2021.
Three Day Monk » I wish you were dead
Starting the next chapter of Three Day Monk’s seasonal EP’s, ‘I wish you were dead’ sets a dark and moody tone with its theatrical composition.indie top 39
‘I wish you were dead’ is the first 2021 release from Bedford-based rock project Three Day Monk, and serves as the continuation of their set of seasonal EPs. Following the release of their first EP Natsu, ‘I wish you were dead’ marks the start of Three Day Monk’s following chapter. This track uses a sense of theatricalism and subtle progression to set a very dark and moody tone, which really does this track’s title justice. With a piano-focused melody on the first half, one might’ve half expected this to be a singer/songwriter ballad. However, the gritty rock sound returns in the later half of the track, to become the final stamp of approval when it comes to its convincingly dark atmosphere.
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