(relatively) new music fridays
METTE - METTENARRATIVE EP
"it won't be long before METTE is headlining her own tour the way her 2023 is going. her first single of the year, Mama's Eyes, has proved to be a go-to track for clubs across the UK, and she followed it up with one of my favorite pop songs of the year, Van Gogh. on her debut EP, she beautifully and powerfully takes charge over the bounciest of rhythms, citing inspiration from Janet Jackson and Christine and the Queens. the versatility she shows across only six songs suggests that her potential is exceptionally high, and it's just a matter of time before her name starts getting bigger on posters."
Dumb Buoys Fishing Club - WRECKED
"i have been following the Dumb Buoys since they released a pair of seaworthy singles in collaboration with Merlyn Wood earlier this year, now having successfully co-captained their sailing-themed debut record. the album has a surprising amount of range, riding in the wake of artists like Run The Jewels, Twenty One Pilots, and Gorillaz - it *surprisingly* gives off a bit of Plastic Beach energy. honestly, the theming was so strong that it left me a little disappointed that there wasn't a track titled, 'Jack Sparrow pt. 2' (featuring Lonely Island and Michael Bolton). it's an entire ocean adventure wrapped into a neat little package.... a ship in a bottle if you will."
Jalen Ngonda - Come Around and Love Me
"ooooooo i have been waiting for this release for a minute! as the son of my father, i have a special place in my heart for Marvin Gaye, and Jalen Ngonda has done about as much to recapture that vibe as anyone. he sticks to the tried and true formula, serving us an album about being in love with insanely beautiful vocals and live instrumentals backing up each track. i tend to gravitate towards very futuristic-sounding music, so it's refreshing to be so enthused about an album that i can use to class up my next dinner party."
Casper Sage - Synthesis+ EP
"as of this recording, you can find Sage gracing the cover of Spotify's Fresh Finds playlist, a weekly honor that Casper absolutely deserves. combining casually cool r&b rhythms with a voice that gives undeniable shades of Frank Ocean, this may be the closest we come to getting a follow-up to Blonde in the 21st century. the emotion coming through in his dreamy hooks will quickly have you closing your eyes and mouthing along with the words (or maybe that's just me). at only 22, with a couple of other short albums already under his belt, the sound of this EP definitely shows how much he's already grown. "
April - Starlane EP
"having released late last year, this project has been in my regular rotation for a while, and it's high time i stopped gatekeeping. featuring an intoxicating blend of bright, blissful beats and melancholy hooks, April has made magic out of misery. It's uncomplicated modern pop that shows off how much you can get out of focused production, featuring collaborations from producers of Arlo Parks and Tom Misch. i've been eagerly waiting for a full-length debut album, and every time i come back to this release, i get more excited for what's next."
INJI - LFG EP
"last month INJI dropped her debut EP, and i'm already overwhelmed with obsession. her instantly iconic debut single GASLIGHT started blowing up on TikTok last year (recently garnering a remix from Disco Lines), and she followed it up with an equally iconic debut EP. combining ridiculously infectious rhythms with some of the catchiest hot girl lyrics i've ever heard, INJI seems primed to take over everyone's AirPods very soon. it's a bubbly flavor of dance-pop that everyone can get into, and this week's pick isn't as much a recommendation as it is an insistence that you metaphorically hop onto this rocket ship because it's already about to leave the atmosphere."
Godly the Ruler - the world is big, get over it
"2023 is the year of the aliens, evidenced not only by government hearings but also by the prolific use of otherwordly sounding machines in new music. Godly the Ruler shares a fascination with how many levels of abstraction from "normal" sounding pop-punk we can go with phat synths and samples that are glitchy as all hell. the artist claims inspiration from some of my favorite experimentalists, Death Grips and underscores, playing into another theme of the year, a complete disregard for genre. i'm not sure we'll ever see a Yeezus 2, but the internet seems content to figure it out without Ye. "
2hollis - 2
"2hollis sits in the middle of a triangle whose corners are something like Brakence, 100gecs, and Skrillex. the album is filled with high-energy, emo-infused heaters, and i found myself wanting to start moshing halfway through the first song. it gets you dancing with hard-hitting house beats, but also provides great punk lyrics to yell along with - two of my favorite things to do, so it's great to get it all in one place. it all goes by in a blur, so it's hard not to just hit repeat and go again."
TURQUOISEDEATH - Se Bueno
"releasing their debut album at only 16, TURQUOISEDEATH is carving out their own space in the breakcore world, one of the (too) many microgenres within EDM, best known for featuring ultra-fast tempo drum loops. hype has been slowly building for this album with singles being sprinkled into some of my favorite Spotify playlists, turning this release into a niche phenomenon amid the other high-profile releases on the day of this recording. it's beautifully atmospheric and moody, mixing shoegaze rock with breakneck beats to form one wildly immersive record that you can easily lose yourself in. my favorite description i found on the internet of the artist was "Gen-Z Aphex Twin," which i felt was appropriate to share considering they both released music today."
DARGZ - Happiness
"we are all feeling the heat of summer right now, so what better way to cool off than to relax on the beach with some tunes - and for that, may i suggest this beautiful record from DARGZ. the artist's debut album is a jazz/hip-hop fusion, patterned with excellent instrumentation, solid rap features, and catchy chipmunk vocal hooks. it's a pure form of feel-good music, the kind that i imagine plays through some main character's heavenly dream sequence. reminds me of getting hyped on Vulfpeck back in the day. "
grouptherapy. - i was mature for my age, but i was still a child
"this is the fourth album from grouptherapy., a joint project by Jadagrace, SWIM, and TJOnline. the album is absolutely packed with incredible levels of creativity, everything from undeniable hip-hop bangers to tracks that sound like they're straight off of Speak Now. the trio has amazing chemistry and gives each other enough room to show off their talents while also harmonizing on some of the hooks. the steady cool on a lot of the songs makes it that much more impactful when they suddenly start throwing fastballs. in an era when people are ready to declare the death of hip-hop, this album shows there's still so much that can be explored."
Pocket - Love Disc EP
"Pocket is one of my new favorite electronic artists, mainly because of his ability to glide between very bright, lush dance-pop and darker, UK garage tracks. he sits somewhere between artists like Porter Robinson and Overmono, incorporating stylings from both and other similar artists, all in one short project. the beats are super sharp with a nice variety of chords and melodies to compliment, plus a couple of well-placed features for the more vocal-heavy tracks. together everything plays like a breezy, relaxed rave.. if that's even a way you can describe a rave."
Bricknasty - INA CRUELER
"hailing from Ireland as the resident artist at The Suger Club in Dublin, Bricknasty is serving up a variety of stylings - indie, hip-hop, funk.. you name it! the members of the band are all supremely talented with their instruments and can swim in the waters of any genre. a couple of key features for the true singles bring the whole project up a notch, though the interlude-type songs add to the overall feel. the music make me want to go back to a small Irish pub and sway while sipping on a Guinness "
Regularfantasy - New Glow
"the algorithms are hard at work for this week's pick that comes straight off my discover weekly. i do have to say that this EP really fits my taste to a tee, funky beats with echoey pop vocals. Olivia Meek aka Regularfantasy has been releasing music for a decade already, but this EP is still a major step up. she features her voice much more than she ever has, now using some very pretty sounding vocal effects. this makes the hooks much more addicting, plus the production is a lot sharper too, maximizing just how danceable the tracks really are. overall, it reminds me of my favorite albums - Nothing's Real by Shura - though now clearly made by someone who DJs."
googly eyes - Demos 4-11
"googly eyes is the alter ego of Deza, who doesn't even have an album to her main persona's name. while I appreciate the minimal vocal effects on Deza's voice, I'm much more into the experimentation in googly's demo tapes. her vocal talents are still on full display, but the added layering on top actually gives more weight to the emotions she wants to convey. reminds me on a small scale of how Bon Iver achieved that perfect balance of acoustic folksy tones complimented by a digital choir. not to mention that the sound design is now more playful, incorporating a variety of synths and sequenced drum patterns rather than just some strumming on a guitar with occasional snare hits in the background. i'm certainly hoping these demos aren't just a one-off."
Downtown Kayoto - Lite
"originally from Zimbabwe, Chiko Chinyadza, a.k.a. Downtown Kayoto comes to us today with a fresh and punchy set of songs. having released singles as far back as 2017 without an album to date, this EP represents a change in pace and energy. his rapping has a lot more impact thanks to a little extra juice from the drums, and the production overall has a very full, live sound. he has a great singing voice as well, which affords him the ability to do a variety of styles - usually excelling in each way. plus, the hooks are super infectious, making sure this tight 11min project is always hitting."
Portraits of Tracy - Drive Home
"i usually would be hesitant to recommend a record coming in at over an hour long, but this album is such an achievement that i have no other choice (plus you can just skip the skits on the second playthrough). at only eighteen, multi-instrumentalist Couren Bowman has put together an incredible blend of alternative hip-hop and r&b. their vocals, lyricism, production, creativity...everything is beyond expectation for someone this fresh. each track offers something new and still seems to float effortlessly into the next. this album oozes talent, tells a heartfelt story and, for me, is easily one of the best to come out this year."
yunè pinku - Babylon IX EP
"it seems there is no end to the triple threats lately with yunè pinku standing in as yet another singer/producer/dj. at only 20 years old, Asha Yunè is already putting everyone on notice with this second EP, featuring a seriously infectious collection of dance rhythms and breezy hooks. it reminds me a lot of songs like 'better' from Joy Orbison, light pop vocals running over beats with plenty of bounce. this only being a one-person show, however, i think helps result in a more cohesive project from lyrics all the way to final production. can't wait to see what more she has in store for a full album debut."
Strath - I Can't Do This Without You! EP
"Strath originally started his career with a very light, indie pop sound, but has now rebranded himself with this EP, adding in mixtures of house rhythms and basslines to create a sound more like Tourist or Caribou. the drums still have that live band sound, but now with a strong emphasis on the kick and drum patterns. he then layers each track with these repeating, very pretty and spacey vocal loops. a lot of the sounds are also a lot more moody and down-tempo, but then will be offset by the sudden emergence of some brighter synths. the waves of emotions i get while listening to this are telling me that Strath appears to have landed on a winning formula. "
SPIDER - HELL OR HIGH WATER EP
"i'm glad that there seems to be a new wave of solo punk stars coming in to revitalize 'alternative' music. SPIDER recently joined the party last year, and has put together all her anger and frustrations into this second EP. the intensity of the drums matched with blaring guitars and loud, repeatable lyrics make it such a blast to be mad. i too will always get the most pumped up singing about how we need to bring down the patriarchy. "
wes mills - nintendo 64 EP
"maybe i'm biased because this project is named after the first console i owned as a kid, but i'm very much digging the vibes off of mills' first ever EP. the title track has been in my rotation for months simply because it fits all situations. whether you're at the gym, the beach, or stuck in your parents car in desperate need of some dance music, "baby i got u." this is the kind of dance music that allows you to just melt into the groove, never getting so in your face that you can't just enjoy whatever vibe you've curated for yourself. it's soft-spoken, but very effective. it's that dreamy sort of feel that puts you into a higher state of bliss than you were already in."
Frost Children - SPEED RUN
"SPEED RUN is the fourth album in as many years for the cold kid duo. they have been experimenting with their exact mixture of hyperpop/dance/rap/punk-rock band, landing somewhere between full-on gecs in 100 gecs and djing a b2b set with umru. it's easily one of my favorite projects of the year thus far. they may call themselves the Frost Children, but all these tracks are fire.. (sorry). the overall sound is so consistent, but the album is also constantly switching gears, dropping you into all new flavors of punchy, bouncey, glitchy, and groovy. Anna and Elsa really outdid themselves here."
ATRIP - Fever EP
"UK dance music is certainly having a moment, and ATRIP is officially a part of it. he has been laying the groundwork for this for weeks, throwing heater after heater leading up to the release of the final and title track of the EP today. it's easy to get lost in the spaced out vocal loops backed by extremely bouncy kicks - the song All Night is aptly named. the production is pristine, everything flowing neatly together and always switching up the pace at just the right time. it's a good thing i'm going out dancing tonight because this music has me ready."
King Isis - scales EP
"with their debut EP now out and already drawing attention, King Isis is likely going to be someone you hear more from very soon. they perform a very fashionable style of indie punk rock featuring crafty lyrics, plucky guitars, and sweet sounding vocals with just enough edge to draw you in. it feels similar to Willow's latest record if it were much less angry and a lot more acoustic. a sound with perfectly broad appeal, like Olivia Rodrigo stepping onto the scene with relatable problems and just the right amount of swearing."
Kurupi - Late Night Car Ride EP
"Kurupi calls himself a one-man Latin punk rap band, a combination of elements that he seems to effortlessly travel between. the EP goes by fast with punchy drums and atmospheric electric guitar riffs backing up Kurupi as he spits bars on the chorus in both English and Spanish. additional inspirations taken from bands like Gorillaz and Avalanches play out perfectly on the song Copilot with a spacey lyrical section and echoing vocal samples. the whole project plays so well together, especially with song transitions like the one between Con Mi Gente and 25 Tracks, that i don't even even blink as the EP starts over again."
Rose Gray - Higher Than The Sun EP
"this is Gray's second EP since her debut album, and i think it's the best showing she's had in her early career. she has perfected that infectiously energetic, retrofuture popstar sound that artists like Dua Lipa have made so popular. the entire EP is laced with extra funky basslines that will make you move your body and slick lyrics that roll right off the tongue. it's the kind of music you can throw on in any context, with any crowd, and it's going to be a fun time."
camoufly - In Plain Sight EP
"this is the fourth EP from camoufly, a true SoundCloud bedroom beats veteran. In Plain Sight's beauty is in it's simplicity - a vibrant electronic dance EP that makes the most out of its elements. each track brings together some combination of insanely catchy vocal chops, tight drum loops, and flavorful synthesizers for texture (and the occasional solo). the execution is exceptionally clean, with very focused sound design, leading to something that is impossible not to have fun listening to. send help, i can't stop dancing."
Model/Actriz - Dogsbody
"if LCD Soundsytem decided to make an almost demonic, noise rock album, i think this would be it. Model/Actriz is an interesting band, staying all but dormant after their 2017 EP, but returned last week with their debut album. that time jump makes for a very mature sounding debut, and the group has a very clear creative vision throughout this project - go hard. there is an undeniable sense of rhythm underneath the disturbing, screeching guitars topped by a possessed sounding version of James Murphy. each song makes me wish i was back in 2008 and going absolutely nuts on my plastic guitar."
Ella Rosa - anxious attachment style EP
"Rosa has previously taken inspiration from her favorite r&b, and this third EP signals a slight change for her into a more modern, internet influenced direction. the faster pace of the percussion and added vocal effects are why Rosa's new style is something PinkPantheress fans will love. there's now more of a beat backing up everything she does, and it really enhances her overall sound. still, similar to SZA, she is also not afraid to slow it down and show off her raw vocal talents coming from years of opera singing prior. Rosa's ability to easily change gears really makes her music so engaging to listen to."
Internet Girl - parasocial interaction EP
"Internet Girl became one of my favorite new artists last year after releasing a variety of highly energetic singles. Internet Girl jams out on drums and electric guitars like your favorite garage pop-punk band and then throws in a ton of distortions and computer samples until they sound like All Time Low in the year 2030. the band adds to their dimension by infusing influences of hip-hop and hyperpop, and their second EP shows just how well they've honed that unique mix of sounds. i would love to see them expand on this current iteration of their identity into a full album."
Nana Lourdes - Wyoming
"for her debut album, solo singer/writer/producer Nana Lourdes puts together a unique blend of indie rock and pop to create something that sounds like a Tame Impala/Britney Spears collab. it has bright, psychedelic & groovy production, featuring all kinds of different instrumentation with catchy pop lyrics to top it all off. it's truly impressive how well Lourdes manages to refine all her musical influences into one cohesive album, combining all the sounds she loves. i'm completely obsessed, and this album is so sticky that every time i start listening to something else, i somehow wind up back in Wyoming."
jev. - the color grey.
"the color grey. is the debut album from jev., a rapper out of Ontario, and it's a fantastic first showing. he makes his influences and inspirations clear, while also showing off his own style. the production keeps it simple, but is so creative and colorful, pairing perfectly with his steady flows. the addition of some talented features really puts a nice bow on the whole project. play track one and you will instantly be sold."
Two Shell - Icons EP
"Two Shell have arrived from deep space (the UK) to deliver us some of the most futuristic and fun electronic music i've ever heard. i had been listening to their bubbly, hyperpop single 'home', but just recently fell head over heels for their latest EP that has a much more rhythmic, techno sound. the momentum shifts and high energy from the hard-hitting drum loops mixed with glitchy vocal chops and robotic samples make for something i'm completely addicted to. this is what i assume chatGPT raves to."
Jackson Homer - MM EP
"with just a handful of songs to his name, Jackson Homer is already showing he is a master of the smooth, catchy dance groove. the funky synths, tight drums, and slick vocal features all come together in a very clean sounding EP that's endlessly replayable. it's definitely early, but VIBE will likely appear very high in my top played songs of the year"
Memphis LK - Too Much Fun EP
"Memphis LK is making some really catchy, dancey girl-pop, and this second EP includes a few hits i've had on repeat for a couple months now. she makes her own beats and is crushing it imo. this is definitely in my typical girl-pop wheelhouse and i'm happy to see where she goes from here."