Arliston – Mountaineer
Immediately reminiscent of my all time fave Bon Iver, Arliston’s new singe ‘Mountaineer’ is an absolute beauty. Beautiful falsetto vocal harmonies, delicate piano, subtle electronics and beats over a track which builds to a warming The National-esque climax. Packed with depth, genuine emotion and warming, beautifully produced instrumentation this is a faultless introduction to the London based three piece.
REUNIØN – Under the Wild Sea
Sticking with the melancholic piano vibe, duo REUNIØN capture something majestic and magical on ‘Under the Wild Sea’. A ballad pulled forward by it’s innovative production, squelchy vocal processing, dappled synths and subtle beats the track is delicate, calming and rich. Having both worked with big names, Eliot James and Jon Green have come together to make some absolutely stunning music across their releases and this single is no acceptation.
Tony Shades Feat. Jessie Westreich – Nightmare Fuel
Camelphat meets Disclosure on the new single from Tony Shades. Building a danceable, atmospheric soundscape of soft synths and tight beats under Jessie Westreich’s haunting lead vocals, Tony captures a stunning impact. Catchy, danceable and yet also mildly alternative with it’s reverb drenched production, the track has immense depth and is more that the sum of its parts, more than just a dance tune.
Scrawny – Space
The brainchild of Jesse Dill, ‘Scrawny’ was the nickname he was given as a kid. His skinny relatively stripped production fits his namesake perfectly. Keeping things simple on the new single ‘Space’ has only the instruments he truly needs to get the song to flow expertly without lumbering the track with too much weight. The result is a track which glides effortlessly through it’s 3 minutes 13 with an airy bedroom-pop charm.
Conner Eko – Christmas Mordning Goodbye
The only Christmas track I’ll be reviewing this year is from Conner Eko, an emerging indie synth pop singer-songwriter from California. Returning in 2021 after years in hiatus from music, Eko shares the new single ‘Christmas Morning Goodbye’.
More of a piano ballad than an instantly recognisable xmas romp, Eko relays on piano and his soaring vocals while the track carries a powerful message of saying goodbye to a loved one with the lyrics. The themes of this holiday track are refreshing, facing the facts that a lot of people experience heartbreak and sadness during the xmas season and may want a change instead of hearing the same overly joyful corporate tracks every year. A solid track with more to offer than your standard Christmas tune.
GraFted Culture – Ivory Stands
Dutch/American sisters Gabriëlle and Michaëlle, known formally as Grafted Culture shine on their haunting new single ‘Ivory Stands’. Dark folk intertwined poetic, almost pagan lyricism and effortlessly beautiful vocal harmonies, the pair demonstrate a deep understanding of their sound. Like a darker, more intense The Staves, the duo show immense potential on this track.
Anita Luki – LYM – ‘Love’ Version
The appeal of Anita Luki’s comes from its bravery as a stripped R&B Pop track. With no drums entering ;LYM – ‘Love’ Version’ until the mid point the track instead builds layers of keys, deep synth under Anita’s effortlessly impactful vocals which sit beautifully among layers of reverb and delay. This stripped section makes it all the more impactful when the drums finally enter and help pin down the chorus’s subtle yet poignant vocal hook.
A release which shows immense musical maturity and huge potential for the future, there’s a lot to be admired in Anita’s performance as well as her honest and heartfelt songwriting.