Neo-soul artist Ego Ella May released her debut album Honey For Wounds, an album of honest lyrics backed by smooth instrumentals. A year after the release of her debut EP, So Far, this comes as the first release off of John Boyega’s UpperRoom record label. The album has a solid foundation to be a hit with May’s effortlessly warm vocals taking you through a journey of pain, love, and power. The South London artist took to Instagram to share her feelings about the release saying, “I made it to heal myself, but in turn my intention was and is to provide music to heal to for you as well! I hope I’ve done so. I hope it helps you feel validated, and held.”
“Alright” featuring Theo Croker is a great introduction for what is to come on the album. There are few vocals, but they stand strong alongside the delicate sounds of the trumpet. It is the most calming track off the album, although they all have this similar relaxing vibe. “Tonight I’m Drowning” is the end of a relationship, but still missing that person. The steady click of the drums keeps the song moving against the lyrics. Similar to “Song For Bobby” with light melodic patterns, May faces changes and deals with running through memories. Like many others after a relationship, there are these past memories that are haunting. Her vocals effortlessly float through lyrics like, “Raindrops, minimal light, and Etta James / Always the cure when you leave / You show up out of the blue, I cloud you with green / This distant thing still haunts me.” Not only does she reference Etta James, but in “Give A Little” she mentions Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”, “Joni said You don’t know what you got / Til it goes away.” In the midst of her lyrics, she shows some of her music taste, while remaining graceful. Here May is trying to navigate a neutral ground and find her footing, after being down a familiar path of heartbreak.
However, she is not afraid to sing about things other than relationships and heartbreak. Both “Girls Don’t Always Sing About Boys” and “How Long Til We’re Home” bring up current societal issues like environmental pollutants, problems for same-sex couples, and with the government and media. Songs about love and breakups might be easy and what sells, but May is not afraid to go beyond those and she does it effortlessly. If one doesn’t listen closely to the lyrics they might end up liking the song without realizing the messages weaved into it. “How Long Til We’re Home” is a perfect example of creating a beautiful song with an important message, but not having it overpower the song. “In The Morning” is a fresh start, indicating the struggles of women with lyrics like, “Reading about trauma In our daughters / Has got me shook I got things to learn, / I got fears to burn … Been here before, kinda sick of myself / But also quite proud / It’s hard, being at the mercy of man / And dealing my cards with my wrong hand.”
“Never Again (Marlissa Interlude)” showcases May’s sweet vocals, with a repeated set of lyrics throughout. It echoes the struggles and feelings she has put into the other tracks. In “Science” the lyrics are very poetic and a personal look into her life. Mentioning little details like a blue Cadillac and her roots in Igbo, provide a clear background about memories in her life. “Table For One” might be the best song on the album. With all the right elements packed into a six-minute track, it shows her vocal range and unique style. May shines here brighter than ever before. She finds her way through all of this on “For Those Who Left”, coming out with lyrics at her most confident. It is simple, but a fitting ending to all the emotions in the tracks before it.
Honey For Wounds already is catching people’s attention and recently was Tidal’s Rising Album of the Week. The production on these 11 tracks is strong with graceful touches of horns and drums to match her delicate vocals. Ego Ella May released a powerful record that comes from navigating and experiencing the ups and downs in life. If you are looking for something new to listen to right now make sure to check out this album, you won’t regret it.
Tell all your friends that MagicBronson is back with another single off their upcoming album. “Surfin” is a spacey four-minute break-out track from the Long Angeles based duo. Matt Lieberman and Michael Nicastro have made waves in the indie-pop rock scene, gaining attention from names like Kendall and Kylie Jenner, who used the duo’s song, “Nervous”, in an Instagram ad for their fashion line. MagicBronson is breaking boundaries while delivering powerful and unique music.
They are not afraid to switch things up, giving us different combinations of sounds to create a discordant soundscape. Although you can get lost in the pop-rock beats in the track, it is important to listen to the lyrics. The duo has a way of writing lyrics that fit perfectly together with the beats. With “Surfin”, it gives you the perfect vibes for a trip to the beach, although the lyrics don’t deal with actual surfing. If you’re just finding out about MagicBronson, they’ll have you wondering where have you been all my life.
Following the release of his last EP, bandaids, Keshi is back with a new track, “More”. With global streams exceeding 500 million, the singer-songwriter continues to expand his fanbase and forge his own path. After teasing the single in a tweet earlier in the year, fans were eager to hear the track. He even delayed the release of this single to avoid taking the focus away from the Black Lives Matter movement that is happening in the United States and across the world.
After two weeks, Keshi released “More” and it definitely was worth the wait. With lo-fi beats and a catchy chorus, he might have another success on his hands. The 25-year-old opens up about being away and this relationship taking a hit, especially with the pre-chorus, “Like hasta la vista, dyin’ to see ya/ In a dream that I had where I sing in arenas/ Hasta la vista, dyin’ to see ya, baby/ It ain’t so bad when there’s nothin’ between us.” Keshi wrote, recorded and programmed the song, showing his talents don’t just stop at his smooth voice. His passion for music definitely shows here so don’t sleep on Keshi, because he might just become your new favorite artist.
Microcosms released its newest single “Scenes,” focusing on the post-punk sound. With angular guitar and bass lines, the trio is crafting up their sound. The track is moody and carried by the heavy sounds of the drums and bass, playing into a dark alt-rock sound. Instead of just putting out a song we’ve all heard before, Microcosms is releasing music that is authentic and raw. After building up the local fan base, the Chicago-based band is ready to put themselves out there and show the world its sound. Following up the last single “Tightrope,” the band continues to release thought-provoking music that keeps you rocking your head to the beats. This is only the beginning for the group with a bright future ahead in the alternative rock world.
For the first time in six years Mina Tindle, the project of Parisian singer-songwriter Pauline De Lassus, released the single, “Lions” off her upcoming new album SISTER. Mostly made in New York City alongside producer Thomas Bartlett with additional production by Sufjan Stevens and Bryce Dessner, the album has a depth that departs from her typical alt-pop albums. De Lassus says about her songwriting, “Instead of feeling nostalgic for the past or worried about the future, I’m living more fully in the present, and it makes all the colors feel deeper and more contrasted than they were before.”
“Lions” is a great introduction to the album with silky transitions and airy vocals. The lyrics are about encouraging yourself in the face of self-doubt. “If the roads are made for a parade / Go march with the lions,” gives you the boost to rethink how you act and to be brave. It’s about going on, even when you think you don’t have anything left. Make sure to check out Mina Tindle’s new track “Lions” and keep an eye out for SISTER in October.
R&B artist Emanuel released his debut EP Session 1: Disillusion, the first installment for his debut album ALT THERAPY. The four-track EP is full of melodies that will have you falling in love with the Ontario singer. With a voice that resembles John Legend, but with his own unique sound, Emanuel crafted a beautiful and immersive introduction to the music world. Emanuel released the EP on June 19, Juneteenth, and introduced it by saying:
“Debuting to the world on Juneteenth, a symbolic day in the celebration of freedom and emancipation for all enslaved Blacks in America … immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of love, hope, and healing as the world shifts right before our very eyes.”
“Need You”, the first track on the EP, is all about falling in love with someone and wanting it to be different. The first verse deals with exactly that, with Emanuel even saying he fell in love like a song on the radio, but wanting it to be different than past relationships. This powerful ballad is Emanuel expressing his need for this pure love. It is the perfect introduction to how honest he is on this record.
“Thought It’d Be Easy”, is Emanuel’s most honest and vulnerable track. He goes deep inside his heart and comes to the realization that he is not over a past relationship. Being with another girl does not stop him from thinking about this girl, something that many people can resonate with. Listen carefully to the lyrics and hear the pain in his voice, because he carefully lies his heart out on the line here.
“Addiction” has you floating in and out of a high. With Emanuel’s vocals layered on top of a head-bopping beat, the track is all about getting high and wanting to stay in that feeling. Even though he knows it might not be right, he embraces the nights like these. The lyrics, “I get a funny feelin’ when the plane goes down / It’s the same feelin’ when the drugs run out / I’m so high, I don’t wanna come down / The buildings and the people look like ants right now” give a chill vibe, similar to the sounds of Frank Ocean. This song has the potential to rise up the charts and become the next addition to your jam playlist.
The EP ends with a remix of “Need You”, wrapping up the EP perfectly by adding a little extra to the track. It is fun to listen to, spicing up the original version without going overboard. Deeper beats and more instrumental gives the song a new life and speeds it up. Including the remix along with the original shows he isn’t afraid to switch things up in his music.
Session 1: Disillusion is the strong first collection of music Emanuel needed to showcase his talents. Dealing with self-reflection, drugs, sex and relationships seems to be his forte, and it is working out in his favor. With Idris Elba as the Executive Producer, as well as curating the video for “Need You”, and Gary Noble mixing the record, the R&B singer has already surrounded himself with big names in the industry. After listening to the tracks, I think you will find yourself listening on repeat until the next collection is released.
SUMif is releasing her new single, “Move Out”, on June 26. The electro-pop artist takes us through a rough patch of a whirlwind romance. With a catchy chorus and lyrics echoed throughout, she stands her ground in a relationship and pushes for her partner to move on from a past relationship. It sounds like there is a clock ticking in the background at one point, as if time is going to run out if changes aren’t made. SUMif shares a past experience in a relationship and gives listeners something to belt in the shower, similar to artists like Tove Lo and MØ.
Steph Wells, SUMif, reflects on the inspiration for this track specifically by admitting “When I wrote this song I wish that someone had given me this advice: If you start dating someone who lives with their most recent ex and is in no rush to move out, do yourself a favor and run.”
Following the singles “Collide” and “Want Me”, the San Francisco-based artist continues to release songs showing her bold emotionality. If this is what her debut album is going to look like, we can’t wait to see what else she has in store. Check out the new single “Move Out” and be sure to keep an eye out for SUMif’s debut album set to release later this year.
Singer-songwriter Jazz Mino dropped her latest empowering single, “Like a Drunk Girl.” The track is the second in a series of witty and relatable singles from the alt-pop singer. No one is going to get in the way of Mino’s carefree spirit and getting lost in her own world when she is dancing like a drunk girl. Dealing with the struggles of being confident in a world where you’re always getting knocked down can be hard, but letting go is Mino enjoying living in the moment.
After being discovered busking on the streets of London by Austin Daboh, Apple’s Head of Editorial, Mino has started to create a name for herself. With over 10 million streams on Spotify, she continues to gain fans and followers including having her music featured on the popular reality show Love Island. The alt-pop singer continues to release music with unique pop beats and lyrics that you’ll find yourself questioning if she’s talking about you in the songs. Keep an eye out for Jazz Mino, she is creating a new path and being unapologetically herself.
Are you looking for fresh music to play this summer? Look no further because there is a new remix album of DianaRoss singles that will give you the perfect tracks to dance along to in the car. Supertonic, which was mixed by Eric Kupper and produced by DianaRoss herself, turned nine of her classic tracks into a collection of party jams. These songs remixed just add to the incredible sonic atmosphere Ms. Ross has been producing for years. Whether it is “Love Hangover,” or “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” you will find yourself bopping your head, if not full out dancing, and singing the lyrics you already know by heart.
Earlier this year “Love Hangover 2020” topped Billboard magazine’s Dance Club Song Chart, making it her fourth consecutive No. 1 remix with a song that had been No. 1 for its original release. This only proves further the power and legendary status Ms. Ross has in the music industry. Not only is Supertonic available now, but she and Kruper released Supertonic: Instrumental Mixes which can be found on digital release and cd or crystal-clear vinyl on June 26. Enjoy the magic of Ms. Ross and stream Supertonic now.