Our top ten picks for this weeks New Music Friday.
1. The Clause release ‘Time Of Our Lives’
Time Of Our Lives is an anthem for this freak era, the year that never was, and the anticipation of breaking free from the viral chains which bind us all to our homes. There is a summer of love coming and this is the song to usher it in, starting on March 26 – throwing doors wide open and escaping into a world we will appreciate like never before.
Like all of us, The Clause frontman Pearce Macca found himself spending Saturday nights home alone rather than at shows or festivals – but he spent those long lonely lockdown nights locked in the shed at the bottom of his garden, coming up with tune after tune. A shedload of them, you might say. While many artists find their lyrics understandably reflecting the sense of isolation we all feel, Time Of Our Lives was different from the moment the chorus slammed into Pearce’s mind as a ready-made flash of inspiration.
2. Alaina Castillo release latest track ‘Indica’
Houston born Mexican-American bilingual singer-songwriter Alaina Castillo just released her newest single “indica” from her forthcoming debut LP out this year. The sultry pop song celebrates weed culture alluding to feeling a special kind of intoxicating love. Indica strains often refer to a relaxed and therapeutic state of mind and this song puts a creative spin on it.
“’indica’ is about escaping into an alternate reality. i want it to be a reset button that puts you in a different universe once you’ve listened to it,” says Alaina.
The fast rising pop star will make her award show debut at the 2021 Latin American Music Awards and was recently named Billboard’s Latin Artist to Watch.
3.Lil Nas X releases ‘Montero’
Lil Nas X has officially launched his most revealing musical offering to date with “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name).” The track was produced by Take a DayTrip, Omer Fedi and Roy Enzo and is an honest, vulnerable, yet confident telling of who Montero has become. The title is a homage to the award-winning film of the same name and begs the question: do you truly love your neighbor as yourself, enough to call them by your own name?
Based on a concept imagined by Lil Nas X himself, the accompanying video is packed with biblical references and nods to Greek mythology, while offering his own personal story of temptation, judgement, and standing in the full power of his sexuality.
The story opens in a lush Garden of Eden where Nas first introduces the theme of duality, which is displayed throughout the video. He plays the role of Adam as well as the snake that tempts him into giving in to the carnal desires he was forbidden to explore, and we see the two merge and become one. Following a nod to Plato’s Symposium displayed on the tree of life, a shackled up Nas finds himself at his execution day in the Colosseum, where he is surrounded by and receiving judgement from various versions of himself. Once he has been executed, he ascends to heaven only to be pulled down to hell where he harnesses his sexuality to seduce the devil and strip him of his power as an evil force—and dismantling the throne of judgement and punishment that has kept many of us from embracing our true selves out of fear.
4. Kings Elliot releases ‘Bitter Tonic’
The rising London-via-Switzerland singer-songwriter opens up and shares her most vulnerable moments with courageous songwriting and stunning, glacial vocals.
Bitter Tonic is the third single to come from London based Kings Elliot. Reflecting on the times when her inner saboteur has taken control, Bitter Tonic is a brave and intimate offering, raising the curtain on the darkest corners of her mind.
Kings Elliot shares:” ‘Bitter Tonic’ is about self-sabotage, self-hatred, self-destruction… all the things I’ve always felt too uncomfortable to talk about.
“The bitter tonic is mine” is the idea of desperately clinging onto my pain, defiantly refusing any help, because at my lowest it’s all I possess, all I have control over.”
Having racked up over three million streams from all over the world on her first two singles ‘I’m Getting Tired Of Me’ and ‘Dancing Alone’, this impressive newcomer has already captured the hearts of scores of new listeners with her devastatingly human and heart-on-sleeve approach to music. Early support from the likes of Billboard, CLASH, DIY, COLORS, The Line Of Best Fit, Lyrical Lemonade plus inclusions on heavy-hitting Spotify and Apple playlists earmarked Kings Elliot as one to watch in 2021.
5. Rianne Downey releases ‘Stand My Ground’
If Dolly Parton grew up just to the east of Glasgow. That’s the formidable prospect music fans face with the emergence of defiant, street-smart singer-songwriter, Rianne Downey, whose second single, Stand My Ground, extends an immaculately-painted middle finger to ‘the people who put you down’. OUT NOW on Run On Records in assoc. with Modern Sky, it pours petrol on the fire raging around Downey, lit by her February debut, Fuel To The Flame.
Turning 21-years young just days releasing that first single, a moment that officially planted Downey’s flag in the fertile landscape of exciting, new British musicians aiming to make 2021 their own, Stand My Ground is the sound of towering, feminine strength sung with deceptive, country-scented serenity.
6. Ward Thomas release acoustic version of ‘Don’t Be A Stranger’
Following the surprise new mix of album highlight ‘Don’t Be A Stranger’ featuring Grammy-nominated US country star Cam, Ward Thomas today release a mesmerising acoustic version of the single. The track is taken from their acclaimed 2020 album, Invitation.
Ward Thomas’ acoustic version of ‘Don’t Be A Stranger’ adds a new depth in sound with Cam adding a further touch of country class as her voice effortlessly blends with Catherine and Lizzy. Alongside the track, the sisters have released a beautiful up close and personal video directed by budding figurative artist Sophia Burnell.
In line with the acoustic release, Ward Thomas have also announced a duet competition for fans. To enter the competition fans can film themselves dueting with Catherine and Lizzy using the blank verse version of ‘Don’t Be A Stranger’ (downloadable HERE) and posting it to their own socials using the hashtag, #wardthomasfeatme or by dueting with them on TikTok HERE. Three entries chosen by Catherine and Lizzy will win a mastered version of their duet with the sisters and one very lucky winner will be invited to play a three song support set at their choice of one of their November tour dates.
7. Mimi Webb release ‘Good Without’
Mimi Webb releases her highly anticipated new single “Good Without.” The new track is produced by Freedo and written by Mimi Webb alongside Fridolin Walcher and Sam Merryfield. The record serves as an immediate follow up to Mimi Webb’s viral single “Reasons” released earlier this year.
Raised in the English countryside, Mimi Webb knew fairly early that she wanted to be a performer.
At 16, she left her home and traveled two hours to Brighton where she attended the renowned BIMM (Brighton Music College). Most recently, Mimi Webb captivated fans and tastemakers with “I’ll Break My Heart Again.” It has already generated 2.5 million Spotify streams and 149K YouTube views
8. ZieZie and Ya Levis release ‘Show Me’
Platinum selling South-London talent ZieZie and French artist Ya Levis have teamed up to deliver their new single ‘Show Me (Montre Moi)’ through RCA UK. Listen HERE.
Serving as the first collaboration between ZieZie and Ya Levis, their new single ‘Show Me (Montre Moi)’ channels African and French influences – a nod to the pair’s Congolese roots – and is laced with a catchy hook and infectious vocals.
Speaking about the release ZieZie says: ‘Show Me (Montre Moi) is my first song entering the French scene, I’ve got multiple French songs in the pipeline but the reason I decided to go with this is mainly because everything was so organic from the first time we met. Ya Levis was in London doing his first UK headline show and we got in a studio session and from there everything went smooth’.
9. 84 Controller releases ‘U & Me’ feat Caitlyn Scarlett.
19-year-old Moroccan producer 84 Controller follows up his impressive debut on Warner Records with ‘U & Me’, featuring Caitlyn Scarlett.
Originally produced on an old, run-down computer rescued from his father’s internet café in his hometown of Casablanca, ‘U & Me’ showcases the rising star’s ability to craft a stunning record with the barest of setups. His combination of cast-iron club-ready grooves and striking melodies provide the perfect foil to Caitlyn Scarlett’s powerful, tantalising vocals on this infectious and vibrant track.
Not afforded a ’scene’, studio, or music support network many of his peers in electronic music take for granted, rising star 84 Controller is carving out his own niche, and with the likes of Leftwing : Kody, Generik, Piem, and Mirko Di Florio already as firm supporters and a sophomore single as strong as ‘U & Me’, this is undeniably a unique artist and story to watch.
10. Nile Rodgers, Wh0 & Josh Barry collab for a “Better Day”
Uniting at Abbey Road Studios in London, esteemed duo Wh0 recruit dance royalty Nile Rodgers and rising artist Josh Barry for their new collab single Better Day via Wh0 Plays / THRIVE MUSIC.
The new single marks a timely release that now inherits a whole new meaning with the recent news that inspires hope, confirming that ‘better days’ are on their way following the hurdles of the pandemic.
With their releases heavily influenced by disco, Wh0 were inspired to breathe new life into Norma Jean’s High Society, originally written by Nile Rodgers. Also a big fan of Wh0’s productions, Rodgers invited them to record a fresh version of the track at Abbey Road Studios along with Josh Barry, whose rich and soulful vocals marked the perfect match for the release.
Combining their undeniable talents that offer their individual expertise and background, Better Day was born. Only emerging back in 2018, Wh0 now have over 20 million streams to their name and multiple no.1’s on Music Week’s Chart. Their hits have graced labels like Universal-Island, Toolroom, Musical Freedom, Ultra and more, earning them regular support from BBC Radio 1 and Capital Dance.
CHIC member AKA Nile Rodgers needs no introduction. The man also behind hits for the likes of David Bowie, Sigala, Madonna, Avicii, Pharrell Williams and of course Daft Punk’s Grammy award winning album Random Access Memories, Rodgers has continued to maintain his appeal by collaborating with rising stars like SG Lewis for his critically acclaimed times album. Meanwhile, Josh Barry initially emerged on the scene touring as Gorgon City’s vocalist, now his solo efforts have seen him land support from BBC Radio 1 whilst performing at Glastonbury, Coachella and supporting Rag’n’Bone Man on tour.
A triple threat collaboration that makes for a stellar combination of house, disco, soul and pop, Wh0, Nile Rodgers and Josh Barry’s Better Day is a crossover hit destined for global appeal.