i m a n i, “pretty boi”

i m a n i, “pretty boi”

Columbus-bred R&B talent I M a N I is coming at us with a sultry, gorgeous new video for her track “Pretty Boi.” Not only does this song perfectly display the artist’s insane proclivity for vocal range, it’s kind of the perfect track for a meet-cute at a (socially distanced) house party. (Or going through your scrapbook of memories and exes alone in your apartment with your cats. Whatever.) Explains I M a N I of the track:

This song has two phases, the love-struck phase and the heartbroken phase. In the beginning I basically explain how I’m “lost in a daze” with this guy, totally not understanding that he is only with me for his pleasure. The second verse goes into me “confronting” him, telling him my intentions while his intentions are easily seen. The guy is “pretty” but he is also a boy which displays immaturity. I knew this situation was pretty relatable and knew that there would be people who can relate this song to their life. I want the people who listen to “Pretty Boi” to understand their worth. You are definitely worth more than a “booty call”. Don’t settle down for Pretty Boys, settle down with someone who has the time and love for you.

The video was shot outside, gorgeous sunsets and greenery surrounding I M a N I as she captivates us all with the most vibe-worthy song of autumn 2020. (Seriously, read the Youtube comments if you’re not convinced. We are NOT the only ones fawning over her.)

valley, “sucks to see you doing better”

valley, “sucks to see you doing better”

The members of VALLEY have a strong work ethic and are perfectionists by nature.   This shines through in the lyric video for the title track of their new EP, sucks to see you doing better.  The video was released as part of a pair of visuals put out from the EP, the other being “homebody”.

Set on a high school track field, “sucks to see you doing better” shows VALLEY taking a more lighthearted approach to the visualization of a tune that expresses some rather heavy emotions about watching someone you love happier with someone new.  The band are creative in choosing how the lyrics appear.  Rather than simply displaying the lyrics using some magical postproduction software, they opt for a more personal touch, handwriting.  Throughout the entire video, members of the band take turns writing the lyrics on the screen while the other members partake in various, sometimes silly, activities behind them.  This makes for a viewing experience that you can relate to without having to get the tissues out.  The song easily could have been a heartbreaking ballad, followed by a sad visual.  Instead, the sadness cuts deep while still allowing you to let loose.  Watching the song come to life only solidifies the notion that sadness can be expressed in seemingly myriad ways.  It accomplishes their goal of bringing positivity into a negative, heavy world.

odario, good morning hunter

odario, good morning hunter

With his newly released EP, Good Morning Hunter, Odario combines poetry and hip-hop to craft a phenomenal piece of storytelling.  With several guest artists throughout the 7-track EP, each track feels like a coming together of various ideas.  A celebration of people.

“Peace” begins this celebration.  The dominant piano that plays throughout is a staple of this up-tempo introduction.  Filled with optimistic chants and goal-driven lyrics, you are welcomed into Odario’s ambitious thoughts.  Things are slowed down with ‘Reprise”, a more somber and reflective addition that proves rather poetic.  A distant echo towards the end connects it with the previous song, providing a more vulnerable view of those ambitious thoughts.  The title track, “Good Morning Hunter” takes you back to the groove of the first song.  The lyrics tell the story of somebody who is prepared to tackle whatever is being thrown their way that day.  This same sentiment is echoed in a more electronic take with “Good Morning Hunter: Ok Dub”.  Each song adds on to the other, creating a cohesive whole that tells a real story.From top to bottom, Good Morning Hunter tells the story of a person who is determined to do great things with his life.  It doesn’t shy away from the reality of life and how struggles can get us down.

neon dreams, “house party”

neon dreams, “house party”

When Neon Dreams lead singer Frank Kadillac found himself suffering from insomnia, he turned to meditation.  After using music to cope with the sadness for so long, he finally was able to use his music to shine a light on positivity.  Now, they have an upcoming album titled The Happiness of Tomorrow.  Included on the album is their new song, “House Party”, a magical alt-pop track.

Kadillac sings about his struggles with finding himself amidst the chaos of the party he’s attending.  It is a highly relatable feeling, the one that enters your mind when you are sitting on a couch surrounded by people but somehow still alone.  In capturing the way our minds wander when we are in stressful or lonely situations, “House Party” is not only a song that people can enjoy for all of its sonic glory but also one that people can turn on when they need to feel heard. Kadillac explains:

When I was a teenager, experiencing party culture for the first time, I wouldn’t really say anything and would just sit with my thoughts. But at house parties I’d meet these weird people like me, and we’d have these great conversations.

saroon, our transparent future

saroon, our transparent future

Going in to record their latest collection of “existential psychedelic soul music”, Saroon had to get the tape ready.  This is to say that every head-turning moment of their new album, Our Transparent Future, was recorded to tape.  But the method of recording isn’t the only unique part of this record.  From vocal style to the overall highs and lows that it reaches, Saroon have crafted a unique record.

“Masters of the Road” illustrates this with ease.  Here, you are reminded that despite social expectations, we are in charge of so much, yet we miss out because we are trapped in the cycle of doing things the “right” way.  Mostly consisting of soft-spoken lyrics and a gentle guitar that speeds up towards the end, it has all the elements of a classic folk song.  Immediately following is “Old Fashioned Protest Song”, which actually seems to focus on the things we as humans have less control of.  Simply put, Saroon call into question those who put money ahead of more important and worthy causes.  Seemingly calling attention to current social movements, they make it a point to reject the idea that we should just stand by and let ignorance win.  One of the final songs, “Golden Age”, is both a reflection on the past and a nod to the present, urging us to think of the current moment as the height of our lives.

Our Transparent Future makes its way to various corners of life, all which come together to form an idea for what the future may look like not only for the world, but for individuals.  It remains hopeful while not shying away from the heartbreak and struggles that come with being human.

Principle songwriter Ayal Alves explains: “There’s always the element of hope to it, and an acknowledgement that the nature of reality is that there is pain and suffering. The relationship between those two things is a transformational process.”

samantha margret, “feminist gf”

samantha margret, “feminist gf”

Samantha Margret’s newest release is a badass anthem for those who have experienced frustration when talking to someone who thinks they are more “woke” than they are.  Margret was inspired by a man who claimed to be a feminist, while his actions seemed to fall short of these claims.

The video reflects the fierceness of the lyrics.  With a dark theme present in both the song and the video, Margret takes no prisoners as she exposes the hypocrisy in identifying as feminist while having no issue talking down to the people you claim to support.  Perhaps the most defining moments are the close-up shots of her face, letting the viewer know that she is an unapologetic boss who is not willing to put up with being patronized.  In every way, it is a gripping visual that asks the viewer to sacrifice comfort in exchange for real commentary on being a woman in 2020.

Margret says of the experience that led to the track:

Sometimes it cuts deeper when that kind of patriarchal hurt comes from someone you think is on your team. I think of myself as really outspoken and try to be the first to speak up when another woman is in trouble, but I sometimes have trouble when the comments are directed at me.