1. Luke Royalty – ‘High Llife’
After a run of blistering sun-drenched singles earlier this year and the September release of ‘Toy Story’, his recent collaboration with Sweets, rising Darlington new boy Luke Royalty returns with his infectious new single ‘High Life’. The single is out now on Soul Kitchen Recordings.
Produced by Josef Page (Saint Raymond), ‘High Life’ is the strong dose of pop medicine to get you through those summer blues. Full of swagger, his sweet mellow vibes and an undeniably catchy chorus, Luke said of the track ‘I just really enjoy writing catchy pop music and try to write choruses that give you that release of euphoria.’ He continues ‘It’s written about the insecurities that play in your head even when things are going well and not trusting yourself when you’re on the up with the looming thoughts that a down could be just around the corner.’
2. Freddie Long – ‘Hide and Seek’
Freddie now delves deeper into his emotionally revealing narratives with his brand new single ‘Hide and Seek’. Listen HERE. Despite his growing skills as a songwriter who uses music as a release for turbulent feelings, ‘Hide and Seek’ almost immediately confesses, “I knew the words but couldn’t get them out.” The production constantly upscales its dramatic zeal, moving boldly from austere piano to a sophisticated soundscape of cinematic percussion and subtle flourishes of guitar. But Freddie’s vocal is never overwhelmed, as he delivers each pained lyric with utmost regret for the problems he explores.
Freddie says, “‘Hide and Seek’ is the third song from this latest EP and it’s probably the most personal track on there. It was a tough song to write. Going through hard patches in my relationships with others made me realise my mistakes. I wanted this song to be a message about that. Looking back at the moment I didn’t see that I was letting people down and not giving them 100%.”
3. Rmarni – ‘Back and Forth’
Dudley-born R&B newcomer Rmarni today unveils her much anticipated second single ‘Back & Forth’, out now. The earworm of a track follows her debut offering ‘So High’, which drew widespread praise from the likes of DJ Target, Dotty, Complex, MTV and more.
‘Back & Forth’ sees Rmarni’s seductive R&B vocals sit perfectly over a lively, afro-inspired and beat and reggae teasing heavy bassline. “‘Back & Forth’ is a vibe. Something you can be sexy and dance to,” she explains.
Inspired by turn of the century R&B legends like Beyoncé, Aaliyah, Brandy and Ashanti, Rmarni merges these influences with the sonics of today, drawing from elements of afrobeats, neo soul, drill and more to inform her smooth and unapologetically honest sound. Born and raised in Dudley in the West Midlands, Rmarni is creative in many mediums; painting and filming comedy sketches for her social media followers, alongside her first love: music. Debut single ‘So High’ saw her widely tipped by tastemakers including MTV, Radio 1, Vevo, 1Xtra, Trace Hits, Complex, CLASH, GRM Daily and more. Following the release of ‘So High’, Rmarni has been back in the studio, busy finishing up her forthcoming debut EP. With ‘Back & Forth’ she continues to lay down a marker as one of 2021’s most exciting new voices.
4. Julius Black – ‘Do You Still Dream’
Julius Black’s debut EP ‘Dopamine’ took the young singer-songwriter from his roots as a bedroom producer in Christchurch, New Zealand, to picking up attention right across the globe. His creative slant on alt-pop engaged the interest of numerous influential tastemakers, leading to premieres from Complex and DIY, a cover placing on Spotify playlist The Local List NZ, and his first million streams. Suddenly he was being namechecked alongside leading talents as varied as Frank Ocean, Phoebe Bridgers and Rex Orange County.
Seven months later, and the 20-year-old’s sound is already evolving in new ways as proven by his brand new single ‘Do You Still Dream?’, which is out now. Listen HERE. It’s the first track to fuel anticipation for his upcoming second EP ‘Together We Go Down In The Dark’, which follows on November 19th.
‘Do You Still Dream?’ is a brighter, bolder production than what he unveiled on the anxiety ridden ‘Dopamine’ EP. Luscious waves of suitably dreamy vocal harmonies weave around an instantly compelling melody, providing a cocktail that’s two-parts Ashe and one-part Beach Boys. The classical leanings of his songwriting are matched by the inventive touches to his production, with a wide range of reverby lead vocals, bursts of programmed beats, and a spiralling guitar taking it into the alt-pop landscape.
5. NUUXS – ‘Part Of Me’
Alt-pop artist NUUXS releases the music video for her latest single ‘Part Of Me’, taken from her debut album Heirloom, out now.
Arguably the most powerful song of her catalogue to date, ‘Part of Me’ delves into the time spent in a cult as a child, and the abusive behaviour of her step father. With its eerie sound and caustic quasi-rap matched with ethereal, FKA Twigs-esque vocals and visceral and unsettling lyrics such as “Cut off your hair so the boys don’t stare / you belong to me now”, the track is an outlet where NUUXS can let go of the anger she has felt. The accompanying visual is creative and artistic, with a mirage of black and white slow motion shots adding to the emotion of the song.
NUUXS says about the video: “I co directed “Part Of Me” with Jidoh. They took beautiful black and white shots in slow motion expressing the anguish that comes with the song and it’s meaning. I later added more of storyline on my side and filmed my neighbours daughter who was absolutely fantastic with everything. It was all playful but she has these beautiful big eyes that say so much.”
Her debut album Heirloom, which was released earlier this month, is a collection of personal stories, fragments of her life steeped in memories. It picks up from her previous project ‘Red Tape’, but this time, leans more into the dissonant side of pop, personified by silky vocals and glimmering sonics,
6. Little Boots – ‘Silver Balloons’
Electro-pop artist, producer and DJ, Little Boots AKA Victoria Hesketh releases “Silver Balloons” via her own imprint On Repeat Records. “Silver Balloons” is the first single from her upcoming self-produced album set for release in 2022.
“Silver Balloons” marks a return to the artists original true DIY disco pop roots, with Victoria not only penning the track but also stepping up as a producer for the first time. With a bouncing analogue bassline that begs to be strutted to, trademark squelchy synths, soaring keys, and spooky, sweet pop melodies delivered by ethereal vocals, the new music harks a return to form and Little Boots in her very essence.
Of the track Victoria says, “Silver Balloons is in many ways a metaphor for all the cancelled plans and parties of lockdown, all of the disappointments as one by one we watched many of our hopes and desires burst like shiny balloons at the end of the night. All we have left is each other; coming together and holding tight to hope is the way we have all seemed to get through the last couple of years. Sonically, I was listening to a lot of classic 70s songwriters during the making of this record while really putting the piano at the centre of everything, so you can hear echoes of Elton John, Carole King, The Bee Gees, even Wings. The piano and vocals in this track also really remind me of one of my all-time favourites Saint Etienne. I’m also especially proud of 100% writing and producing this record myself, and it being totally powered by my fans via their support on Patreon.”
7. Jack Savoretti – Too Much History
Following the release of his UK Number 1 album Europiana earlier this year, Jack Savoretti today releases the video for his new single ‘Too Much History’, taken from the chart topping, critically acclaimed record.
Written with Joel Pott and co-produced by Cam Blackwood and Joel Pott at Abbey Road Studios, ‘Too Much History’ features a backdrop of beats, strings and Jack’s wife and daughter on backing vocals. The accompanying video, directed by collective RUTA, tells the story of two old ladies playing the most nerve wracking game of chess of their lives, with each piece and move from the game controlling the world around them.
On the video Jack said, “So excited about working with Santiago and Horatio (RUTA) and so grateful to them for bringing to life the aspiration, eccentricity and glamour that is Europiana.” Watch the video HERE
Europiana is the follow-up to Jack’s breakthrough 2019 album ‘Singing to Strangers’, his third consecutive gold seller and first UK number one. While that album was recorded in Rome at Ennio Morricone’s studio, this new disc was conceived in between lockdowns at Jack’s Oxfordshire home.
8. Amy Allen – ‘A Woman’s Worlds’
The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Amy Allen today shares the single ‘A Woman’s World’. The track is the first from her debut EP ‘AWW!’, which is due out on November 5th via Warner Records. ‘A Woman’s World’ is accompanied by a thought provoking visual co-directed by Amy and Jared Asher Harris.
“The moment I wrote ‘A Woman’s World,’ I was like, ‘All right, I know what this EP is,’” says Amy. “I was way zoomed out, and then the second I had the idea for this song, everything came into hyper-focus, and I could really see what the next body of work I wanted to make would be. When I wrote the line ‘I know you think you’re God’s gift to earth / But you’re living in a woman’s world,’ I was able to say what I had been feeling for a really long time.”
In the accompanying visual, Amy finds herself in a blank expanse, with menacing clouds hovering overhead. A force to be reckoned with, Amy surfaces from the haze and battles the elements until she emerges triumphantly at the top of a monument dedicated to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Through her symbolic trek and profound lyrics, Amy pays homage to the empowering women who have made her journey possible.
9. Meridan B – ‘No Time For That’
Meridian B is the alias of Bristol music producer and song writer David Johnston. His passion for music began growing up on a diet of Orbital and FSOL which led to a deeply entrenched fascination with synths, drum machines and electronic music. At 18 he bought his first toy, a Roland Juno106. As a gay party animal his unwavering devotion for classic disco and electro fuses the Studio 54 spirit with sharp modern production. Influences ranging from T-Connection, Larry Levan & Gwen Guthrie through to Maurice Fulton, Henrik Schwarz and LCD Soundsystem. The music from Meridian B is infectious. With good song writing as the key, tracks often have vocals punctuating the sweaty dancefloor. He may be a new artist but he certainly knows what he’s doing.
Leading track “No Time For That” is a bouncy, bassline driven dancefloor hit. Tight drum machines, sharp synth lines & shimmering arps create the perfect backdrop to a slick vocal hooks. With singer sensation Ruth Royall at the helm the track is elevated to a higher class. The lyrics are sharp witted and catchy, leaving melodies and words echoing round your head long after the track subsides.
“Shut You Down” again features Ruth Royall, this time with a more sultry tone. Lyric influences can come from anywhere and this song retells a dream whereby a homophobic pub landlord needed putting in his place. Framed by signature drum machines and catchy synth hooks. The past 18 months have been one of Ruth’s most prolific years to date. With consistent features on Radio 1 and 1Xtra, over 8 million streams on Spotify alone and a nomination for best vocalist at the Drum and Bass Awards, Ruth has become an established part of the UK electronic scene.
10. Duran Duran – ‘Tonight United’
Duran Duran share the fantastic new track ‘TONIGHT UNITED’, produced by the band alongside the legendary Italian producer Giorgio Moroder, the fourth song to be taken from their fifteenth studio album, ‘FUTURE PAST’, set for global release on October 22 via TAPE MODERN for BMG. Pre-order/save/add HERE.
‘TONIGHT UNITED’ was produced by the legendary composer, songwriter and electronic dance music pioneer, Giorgio Moroder, who adds his magic to create an instant future classic. “Giorgio Moroder, Duran Duran… this is music for a world that’s coming back together.” says Simon Le Bon. Listen HERE. The track shows off even more dimensions to the forthcoming record after the fantastic ‘ANNIVERSARY’ dropped last month. After two homecoming shows in Birmingham last week and a fantastic Isle of Wight Festival headline set all receiving rave reviews across the board, the band proved themselves to still be one of the most exciting bands on the planet