It’s only been about a month since he shared his last track, “Times We Had (feat. Toulouse)” (see the write up HERE), and now SG Lewis is already back with the Col3trane-featuring Smart Aleck Kill. I’ve been following Lewis for quite a while now and I’m always so impressed by how he is such a musical chameleon while still staying easily recognizable. Part of that success is his ability to choose and get the best out of his collaborators. On each track there’s always a piece of the artist he’s working with present, but still remaining fully SG Lewis. Smart Aleck Kill definitely stays in Lewis’ brand of smooth R&B while also incorporating some trap elements. Col3trane makes for an obvious collaborator as his smooth vocals fit beautifully with Lewis’ signature wobbly synths. As of now it’s not clear what SG Lewis is working to, but hopefully this recent trend will continue and we’ll get more music soon! In meantime check out Smart Aleck Kill below!
After sharing the title track last month, we weren’t exactly sure when we were going to get the full English Letters EP from FAVELA, but luckily the wait is over as he shared it in full yesterday. It includes previously covered songs “Nevermore My Temples Leave” and “English Letters” (read about them HERE and HERE), and new tracks “Your Hand on Mine” and Worship. Those of you who follow FAVELA will recognize that “Worship” is not an entirely new track; it was released earlier this year as a live acoustic video. I usually wouldn’t cover music that isn’t totally new here, but “Worship” is really something special and deserves your attention. FAVELA does an excellent job of building up the sonic atmosphere with gentle synths and subtle percussion, laying the groundwork for his delicate vocals. This is truer than ever on “Worship”, which starts out with only piano before slowly building to a non-climax throughout the song. While sometimes that would be a disappointment, here FAVELA’s restraint pays off and makes something truly special. Now that he’s shared the full EP, I’m not sure what’s next for the UK singer/producer, but here’s to hoping we won’t have to wait another two years for the next taste! Check out “Worship” below (or click HERE if you don’t have Spotify) and listen to the rest of the EP if you like what you hear!
KWAYE has made quite the impression since unleashing his debut track, “Cool Kids”, earlier this year. He was one of the rare acts that gets coverage from just about everyone immediately, showing how special his output is. Like with joan yesterday, I definitely thought I covered “Cool Kids” here and am frustrated that I didn’t because I love it. KWAYE followed up his debut with “Little Ones”, and has now shared his third, and in my opinion his best track, Sweetest Life. Starting off with simple synths allowing for KWAYE’s vocal to shine, it eventually opens up into a disco-tinged party, complete with banging piano chords, gospel backing vocals, and a mellow saxophone. It’s another incredible example of using a throwback vibe but making it modern and unique. After three tracks, it’s clear that KWAYE is something special and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon. Get on board and checkout “Sweetest Life” below!
I’m genuinely annoyed with myself that I didn’t cover the debut song by joan, “Take Me On”. I heard it the day it was released and loved it, and even had in my head that I had shared it here, but unfortunately I’m realizing that’s not the case. Anyway, if you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing “Take Me On”, I’m going to include it below because it’s definitely worth hearing. It also serves as a great precursor for the second track released by the duo, Love Somebody Like You. Starting out as a laid back ballad which showcases the smooth, R&B-inflected vocals, the track eventually picks up to an 80s indebted anthem by the chorus. While it’s very “in” at the moment to take inspiration from the 80s, it’s not easy to do without sounding derivative, and joan definitely have that down. Seeing as though “Take Me On” seemed to get the music world’s attention, I’m sure “Love Somebody Like You” is only going to continue their rise. Quick shout out to their label, 20XX, who seem to be signing some of the most exciting talent around and managing them impeccably well. Do yourself and check out joan’s first two tracks below and get on board before they blow up!
I’ve been following Joy Crookes since the release of her debut single, “New Manhattan”, which grabbed my attention because of Crookes’s incredible vocals and songwriting. Because of that, it’s such a pleasure to see her successfully release her debut EP, Influence. Collecting her previous works as well as sharing new material, it’s a stunning first effort and solidifies Joy Crookes as someone to keep an eye on. Today I’m sharing the track that we hadn’t heard yet, Mother May I Sleep with Danger? When I first started hearing about Joy Crookes, she got a lot of comparisons to Lana Del Rey for her initial releases but has since developed her own unique sound. I find it very clever, then, that the track opens with an intro that sounds like it would have fit beautifully on Lana’s Born to Die, before opening up into a much smoother, jazzier sound. Like always, despite the excellent production and instrumentation, it’s Crookes’s vocals that steal the show. All of her releases so far have been great and I’m so excited to see what she continues to do. Check out “Mother May I Sleep with Danger?” below (or click HERE if you don’t have Spotify) and listen to the rest of the EP while you’re at it!
Today I’m introducing another new name to the blog, but unlike TWINKIDS, I’m not too behind on German artist Queen Alaska, who released her new single, Under My Skin, last Friday. Starting off with erratic synths and a booming bass, “Under My Skin” sees Queen Alaska pondering a love that isn’t quite tangible, begging for closure either way. Her vocals float beautifully over the intricate production that at its peak resembles that of a dance hit. It’s an extremely strong offering that the music world has already started taking notice of, and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before even more people are listening to and supporting Queen Alaska. “Under My Skin” as well as previously released track, “Hometown”, will appear on Queen Alaska’s debut EP, Interlude of the Inner Voice I/II, set for release on September 1st. Be on the lookout for that and in the meantime, check out “Under My Skin” below!
TWINKIDS are a new name for me which is a shame because they started releasing music almost two years ago. Luckily I’m not too late to the party since they’ve only released a handful of tracks, starting with “Dreamer”, an excellent ballad that builds to something more, displaying excellent production and even better vocals. After a fairly lengthy silence, the duo have released a new track, Overdressed, and in my opinion it’s their best yet. Opening with a fairly straightforward R&B/pop sound, by the time the chorus hits it’s opened up into late night low key dance track. It’s the kind of sound I’m a total sucker for and TWINKIDS do it extremely well. While the production is what initially grabbed my attention, the smooth vocals should definitely not be overlooked as they make the song as good as it is. Even though they’re new to me, TWINKIDS have quickly become a duo I’m going to have my eyes on. Listen to “Overdressed” below and be on the lookout for their debut EP, Boys Love, being released August 18th!