Laura Welsh and Ang Low form the perfect duo on Lifeline, a charming thing of beauty on which the two grace a pretty experimental production with their voices. Laura Welsh is basically one of our favorite artists that’s always releasing brilliant tracks, but in particular combined with Ang Low’s high voice that comes from deep within, her groove is strong. It feels like both of them found a safe place, and just out of that a pretty spectacular track came out of it. “I’m throwing you a lifeline, tell me where you’re going” - we’ll basically hold on to whatever rope these two may be throwing.
It’s probably too obvious too say Vérité is the truth, but sometimes the most obvious things to say are the best. While introducing track Strange Enough was up that typical Brooklyn pop street (“slow down / pick up the pieces” is a genius lyric), with it’s stretched-out synths and MS MR-feel, follow-up Weekend shows the guts of the young lady, with her very much taking charge of things romantically (we could fall in love for the weekend) and standing strong over a very vocally layered drum-driven production.
There’s very few (popular) female producers, and barely any that capture both femininity and bass at the exact same time - MORLY however found the perfect balance. On her debut Seraphese the Minnesota-based producer flirts up the piano with some aaah’s and a really warm, complementing but subtle bass. It very much feels like a “hello, there’s much more to come, you ain’t seen nothing yet” kind of track - a bit like that amazing press pic of hers.
Karen Harding picked up MNEK’s attention through a series of Youtube covers (and X Factor performances), the two hooked up in London and worked on some #bangerz together. Say Something is the first piece of their collaborative labor, a BPM’d club jam that is just full of that typically UK house sound everyone goes nuts for nowadays. “I want to bring what Whitney Houston brought to ’80s and ’90s R&B to house” says Karen, who falls for sweet harmonies, ad-libs and strong vocals - Say Something is all that and more. To be filed next to the likes of Sinead Harnett and Becky Hill.
Clare Maguire somewhat kept her cannon of a voice hidden lately (even though her magnificent Light After Dark was full of it), but this new collaboration with d&b man High Contrast certainly puts a fire on it. Who’s Loving You is split into two parts, with Clare banging up Part One as of today (and premiering here on DN) (Part Two has less of Clare but can be heard here). Clare wrote the original track under the sheets, High Contrast turned it into something that has you jump on those same sheets. The piano basis recalls John Newman’s Love Me Again, and we all know how massive that was: add High Contrast’s splashing production to it, and you’ve got a monster hit.
Grace Mitchell recalls the confidence and sound of a young singer we were first confronted with when we heard Lorde’s The Love Club - she has the ability to not just have you sit down but also on the edge of your seat. The production is very minimal to add to the dramatic effect of the drums in the back, but mainly to highlight that voice of her which definitely speaks to you. While Broken Over You is the better pop-structured radio song, it’s the spellbinding atmosphere of Your Design that quite literally stops you. Did we mention she’s only 16? Gosh. “Somebody tell me this is real life”, cause it certainly feels like a charm.
Rae Morris makes her piano arrangement sound all twinkly and magical with some help from Kid Harpoon (Florence, Jessie Ware, endless list of other pop stars) on her new single - it results in a warm and beautiful new single titled Closer which somehow contrasts and compliments with the emotional Cold at the same moment. With the incredible chorus “You’re moving away from me / but I feel you closer, I feel you closer” sounding like something you’d whisper your departing loved one in his or her ear seconds for their solo world trip, you’re destined to win over their heart for all those separated months.
Minnesota-raised and Brooklyn-residing Carlie De Boer doesn’t beat around the bush on debut The Honeymoon Stage: “I wanted to be famous / you needed some entertainment / so I decided to follow you, follow you, follow you”. The “follow you, follow you” serves as a mantra through the entire song, which kind of sounds like a Tove Lo demo recorded in a dark room (quite literally a dark room, you pervs) on a dreadful winter day - the video on the contrary is quite NSFW (taking back that dark room comment as we speak) and puts the song in the perspective it aims for, namely the kind of subordinate situation you can find yourself in if you decide to give yourself to someone in exchange for fame, money, or whatever.
"Smile, the worst is yet to come, we’ll be lucky if we ever see the sun." Mikky Ekko isn’t exactly optimistic on his long-awaited new (US) single Smile, which compliments perfectly with this eclectic, semi-dramatic sound he set with former single Kids. It’s all about pushing through, as “the future is forever”, with a lot more chances to come for all of us: never give up smiling, there’s a good chance you’ll conquer everything with it on your face (and well if you don’t you still enjoyed that bit at least). (pic by Faith Silva)
Twin brothers Formation caught our attention with Waves which touched upon various classics and put the best of them all together in a timeless, subtle disco jacket. Today the duo unveil a stream of their debut white label 12” EP in full and have final original track All The Rest Is Noise join the internet for streaming purposes. It’s more organic pop with that subtle disco nudge, with a cowbell clearly determining the rhythm through the entire song. It feels like the brothers are holding back, as the key lyric (“oh, all the rest is noise!”) is that kind of thing people would easily chant along (live), but it’s the playful production that hides the brilliance it of it all.
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