It’s always exciting to hear a debut track from an artist and instantly be able to see a load of talent and potential, and that’s definitely the case for Kailee Morgue. How I understand her story is: following a very DIY post of her singing what would become her debut track Medusa (check it out HERE), it built up enough traction to get the attention of fans and eventually Republic Records. Now, almost nine months later, Kailee Morgue has shared the full studio version of “Medusa” and it has absolutely delivered on the hype. Starting out with bouncing synths, it’s Morgue’s voice that’s going to be turning heads. It’s so pure and clear while still sounding capable of power, all of which comes across as completely effortless. The song itself is extremely catchy and will have you going back for more. Be sure to check out “Medusa” and get on board with someone who is definitely worth paying attention to moving forward.
I know I just talked about Morgan Saint a few days ago, but a release as good as her debut EP, 17 Hero, deserves all this attention and more. After having a little more time with it since its release on Friday, I can honestly say I think it’s my favorite EP of the year. I had high hopes going into it with her debut track, “You”, being one of my favorites and last week’s “Glass House” being equally incredible, and they were absolutely met. In addition to the first two tracks I mentioned (check them out HERE and HERE), the three new tracks definitely stand up. I could be posting about any of the three here, but my favorite has to be Just Friends. As soon as the minimal beat kicked in with Morgan Saint’s gorgeous voice lilting on top I was hooked. “Just Friends” takes a lighter, more upbeat approach than her previous songs, but it works beautifully and shows how versatile she is. Morgan Saint is definitely one of the artists I’m most excited about moving forward so be sure to check out “Just Friends” below and then the rest of the EP!
Just like yesterday, I’m covering a Norwegian act for the first time, but beyond their nationality, Dagny and today’s artist, SASSY 009, don’t have much in common. While Dagny is releasing accessible but still excellent pop music, SASSY 009’s output is unlike anything else I’ve heard. Although the trio has only shared two tracks so far, I think it’s clear they’re going to be an act to watch. At the beginning of last month, they shared “Pretty Baby”, an eclectic mix of heavy dance beats, distorted distant vocals, and reverb. I’m sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it has me hooked. They have since followed it up with the equally great Are You Leaving, which definitely exists in the same world as “Pretty Baby” but still diverges quite a bit. It’s a little lighter sounding and more vocally driven, but still plays with song and melody structure in interesting ways. I also have to throw in a shout out to the flute, which if the video is any indication is coming from one of the three band members, which is used beautifully throughout the track. It seems SASSY 009 are turning heads and the right ones at that; Pitchfork has covered both of their tracks so far. Personally I’m really excited to see what they come up with next and hope you’ll be along for the ride. Check out “Are You Leaving” below.
Hot on the heels of last month’s disco-tinged cover, “More More More”, that was used in a Target commercial, Dagny is back with another banger. I was surprised to find I hadn’t covered the Norwegian singer on the blog yet seeing as though her previous single, “Nothing At All”, is easily one of the best pop songs of the year in my opinion, making her someone I’m definitely keeping an eye on. Fueling that fire is her latest release, Love You Like That, another infectious tune that will have you singing along after the first listen. Starting off simply with gentle synths, the track does an excellent job of showing off Dagny’s vocals, which are impeccable. Part of what truly won me over about her was listening to live performances and realizing she was the real deal vocally, unlike a lot of current stars. In pop music, repetition is a tough line to walk; too much and the song becomes boring and predictable, too little and it’s not catchy enough to grab you on a first listen. “Love You Like That” finds the balance beautifully; even though the lyrics and melody in the chorus are repetitive, the chord progression and building harmonies make it interesting every time. Dagny is definitely an artist I’ll be watching going into the new year so get on board and listen to “Love You Like That” below!
Boniface made his debut at the end of August with the excellent indie pop “I Will Not Return as a Tourist”. The track showcased his raw and narrative songwriting as well as a unique blend of acoustic and electronic elements to make a strong impression (check out my post about it HERE). I’ve been interested to see what he would do next and now he’s back with the B-side to the single, Again and Again. While “Tourist” eventually builds to a danceable track, “Again and Again” takes a much more stripped back approach and leaves Boniface’s voice vulnerable with only a guitar and sparse backing vocals to fill out the song. Although it’s fairly simple, it feels complete and shows an entirely different side of the budding artist. Speaking on the track he says “I always find myself drifting towards the intimacy I tapped into on “Again and Again”. I wrote it just after finishing up “I Will Not Return as a Tourist” and I think in a lot of ways it was a reaction to the way “Tourist” ended up. “I will Not Return as a Tourist” is really massive in scope – such huge feelings of restlessness and sprawling production. “Again and Again” is the other side of that. I wrote it about the simple, sweet, intimate moments you experience while feeling stagnant. The routines you settle into and only realise were precious in hindsight.” Be sure to check out “Again and Again” below and get on board with Boniface now.
Rationale has finally shared his self-titled debut album!! It’s been a long time coming, but the wait has absolutely been worth it. Although some of my favorites of his earlier releases are missing, all together the album is a masterpiece in modern soul-pop. Opening with his first ever track, the slow grooving, “Re.Up” was such a smart choice before jumping into newer material that shows off more of his upbeat side. In fact the second track off the album, Oil and Water, is probably my favorite of the unheard tracks present. Bouncing synths set the stage for Rationale’s one of a kind vocals to take the spotlight. He really has one of the most unique voices I’ve ever heard, and I’m always so impressed with how he can take something so distinctive but still be a musical chameleon. The rest of the album is absolutely worth your attention, as there really isn’t any semblance of a weak point. Even though it’s been a long process getting to this point, Rationale and his team obviously knew what they were doing, because this final product is incredible. Be sure to check out “Oil and Water” below (or click HERE if you don’t have Spotify) and definitely listen to the rest of the album as well.
Mabel is another artist who has had a stellar 2017 and has really catapulted herself to stardom. Earlier this year she released her debut Bedroom EP, from which I covered the title track (check it out HERE). The EP also spawned “Finders Keepers” which went on to be a top 25 hit in the UK. Sadly she hasn’t experienced the same success here in the US yet, but if she keeps releasing music as strong as newest single, Begging, I’m sure it’s only going to be a matter of time. “Begging” picks up where her previous work left off, utilizing minimalistic but danceable beat to set the stage for her powerful vocals to soar over; the UK-based songstress sounds more confident than ever here. The single comes with the announcement of a new mixtape, Ivy to Roses, set for release tomorrow, October 13th, so be on the look out for that and in the meantime check out “Begging” below or click HERE if you don’t have Spotify.