Much like the other artist I’ve featured today, Gordi, SG Lewis is an artist I’ve been following for a while now and also earned a spot as the only producer on my Artists to Watch for 2017 list. On top of that, this is also the first original music he’s shared of the year. I’ve been a fan of SG Lewis since I heard Shivers back in 2015, but it wasn’t until the release of his Yours EP last year that I was completely sold. It spawned some of my favorite tracks of the year, specifically All Night (feat. Dornik) and Yours (feat. RAYE). Since then he hasn’t released new solo material, but has still made a stamp on the year, releasing a remix of London Grammar’s Big Picture, and producing Dave’s latest single, 100M’s. Even though it’s great to hear any music from the producer, it’s particularly nice to hear his own vision come to light on new single Times We Had. It’s a thumping R&B number that will definitely get your head nodding along. On top of being a great producer, SG Lewis does a great job of picking his collaborators, in this case teaming up with the rising Toulouse whose soulful vocals pair perfectly with the sultry production. As of now it’s unclear if this is signifying a new music cycle (I sure hope it is), but for the moment, enjoy Times We Had below!
Gordi is an artist I’ve been following for almost two years now since I heard her first handful of singles, including the excellent Can We Work It Out and Nothing’s as It Seems. She also earned a spot on my Artists to Watch for 2017 list. Gordi stands out for her ability to marry impeccable songwriting with a mix of acoustic and electronic instrumentation. The last time we heard from Gordi was over a year ago with the release of her Clever Disguise EP, which collected the aforementioned singles with several new ones to make a really stellar debut effort. Since then she’s remained relatively quiet with the exception being a live performance video released earlier this year of her new song, Heaven I Know. At the time it wasn’t clear what was to come, but yesterday she shared the studio version of the track and announced her first full length album, Reservoir, to be released August 25th. In my Artists to Watch post, I noted that she was going to open for Bon Iver on several tour dates, which seems exceedingly fitting as sonically she has a lot in common with what Justin Vernon does. This is perhaps more clear than ever on Heaven I Know. Throughout the song, Gordi utilizes brass instrumentation, choral-like harmonies, autotune, and glitchy synths. It’s definitely her most ambitious track to date. On paper it seems like it would be too much, but in practice it all works together cohesively, primarily because underlying it is the classic songwriting I mentioned before. Listen to Heaven I Know below or click HERE if you don’t have Spotify, and be on the lookout for new music as Gordi rolls out her debut album, Reservoir, on August 25th.
The first time I heard Small Crimes, the debut track by Nilüfer Yanya, I thought it was such a strong debut and interesting track, but I wasn’t sure what kind of audience she would find or if it was a sustainable sound. Well now Nilüfer has just released her first EP, Plant Feed, and I am more in love with her music than ever. And clearly I’m not the only one; she has recently been featured both on Pitchfork as well as in The Guardian. I’m sure she’s only going to continue to get more popular in the coming months and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her topping lists of Artists to Watch for 2018. In the past few months she has shared The Florist and Golden Cage, both of which were covered here, and now I’m sharing the final and perhaps my favorite track, Sliding Doors. She has an incredible way of making songs sound complete while still remaining raw and vulnerable. Sliding Doors primarily has Nilüfer’s exposed vocals backed by electric guitar before adding in some background vocals and a minimal beat. Overall it makes for something truly special and I can’t wait to continue watching her rise! Check out Sliding Doors below and the rest of the EP HERE and HERE.
Dutch duo Secret Rendezvous are a new name to me. In fact I just came across them yesterday when I listened to their newest track, Don’t Look at Me That Way, and I’m already hooked. In a lot of music circles “pop” music can have a negative connotation as being a creative cop out as a way to achieve mainstream success. While I’m sure I’m guilty of falling into such snobbery on occasion, I like to think that I’m able to enjoy music for what it is and not care too much about genre labels. Luckily for me, there’s nothing to make excuses for when it comes to Don’t Look at Me That Way; it’s the epitome of pop music that you feel cool listening to. The dance-inspired syncopated piano sets the stage for singer Sietske Morsch’s vocals to shine. It’s an incredibly catchy track that will have you singing and dancing along. I’m currently in the process of exploring their back catalog and so far I’m very impressed. Get on board with Secret Rendezvous by listening to Don’t Look at Me That Way below!
After almost two years, UK singer/producer FAVELA broke his silence last month with the gorgeous Nevermore My Temples Leave. At the time it wasn’t exactly clear what it meant, but thankfully it was a signal of more new music to come, as he has since shared the title track from his upcoming EP, English Letters. Very few people make as captivating atmospheric electronica as FAVELA, and on top of that, he pairs it beautifully with his subdued vocals that consistently sound as though they’re being sung at a distance, in the best way possible. So far I’ve been a big fan of everything he’s released, and this new track and upcoming EP are no exception. If you’re looking for a chill song to ease you into the weekend, or simply enjoy good music, search no further than English Letters below!
I’ve been following Sorcha Richardson since I first heard Petrol Station back in 2015. I was immediately grabbed by her raw vocals, narrative lyrics, and bouncy synths. It was one of my favorite tracks of 2015 and is still one I listen to frequently. Since then she’s released a string of singles which are hard to collectively describe. One thing I really appreciate about Sorcha is that her music continually keeps me guessing; I’m never sure what sound she’s going to try next. While my first exposure to her was mostly electronic and synth-heavy, her next singles relied heavily on live instrumentation. However, while the backing changes, her vocals and songwriting are the glue that hold together what should be disparate sonic aesthetics and make them something cohesive. Yesterday she shared her first offering of 2017, 4AM. Interestingly, it’s again a more electronic effort than her immediate past releases, but again it has her signature all over it. Sorcha is an artist I’ve been excited about for a long time and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for the future. Check out 4AM below!
Earlier this year, rising star DYLN released her debut track, Better Things, that absolutely should be a hit. It’s an incredibly impressive first offering from the new artist that sets the stage for her to continue to build momentum and develop longevity. Of course, all of that is dependent on the quality of her second single and so on. Luckily for her (and for us), she has now shared her sophomore effort, Hold, and it doesn’t disappoint. While it takes a slightly more subdued approach than Better Things (which you should check out by the way; I covered it HERE), it builds to a anthemic chorus that will have you singing along. It seems as though DYLN has really caught on with the music blog world and I think it’s possible it’s just a matter of time before everyone else is on board as well. Listen to Hold below and be on the lookout for more music from DYLN!