New music Friday is here again and here are out top ten international picks from all the latest new releases.
1. Robert Corbett releases love song ‘Drive85’
Canadian pop-rock singer/songwriter Robert Corbett sets a nostalgic scene with this, his new synth-laden love song, “Drive85” — available now. His sixth single, the Toronto-based artist uses the song to usher audiences on, not only a metaphorical musical journey, but one of the highs and lows of being in love too.
Though the sonic elements of this spacey love song might inspire a happy-go-lucky feeling, the lyrical content is much deeper than it may seem on the first spin; Corbett reveals its creation spawned from the concept of trying to navigate one’s way through the denial of being in a great relationship — one that’s almost-ethereal — and the fear of heartbreak. “If you don’t put yourself out there, it’ll never work,” he considers. “Facing the possibility of heartache and loss is worth the gamble of potentially gaining real love.
“If we’re lucky, we may meet someone who makes us feel whole,” Corbett continues. “If we’re really lucky, that feeling is reciprocated. I find we give up too easily, and move on when things get ‘real’ as our own way of coping with things that make us feel like we’re alive and have something ‘real’ to lose.
“It’s only through acceptance that you can truly love someone and let them in your life. It’s about having patience and understanding with the one you love… Seeing their faults and accepting them.”
The only reasonable vice to have with this romantic earworm is that it ends too quickly; at the snap of a finger, it’s over. But that’s why there’s a repeat button, right? With an undeniably catchy drum, bass, and synth loop, this one will have audiences bopping heads and tapping feet for days.
2. Daine releases infectious ‘Boys Wanna Txt’
With a slew of rapturously received singles under her belt released throughout 2020, Filipino-Australian artist daine has, within the space of 12 months, carved a unique niche within the modern pop landscape. On tracks such as ‘Ascension’ and ‘Angel Numbers’ she has consolidated a reputation as emotionally-driven pop’s next great hope; drawing on her love of the rich sounds of the glory days of midwest emo. Today, daine presents her own take on another burgeoning online sound; taking to hyperpop with her brand new single, ‘boys wanna txt’.
Featuring scene stalwart ericdoa and produced by Dylan Brady of the pioneering duo 100 gecs and Ryan Jacob, ‘boys wanna txt’ takes daine’s traditional formula and forces it into warp speed. Set to a frantic cacophony of digitised bleep tones and crushed 808 hits, the track’s production adds new colour to daine’s usually soaring sonic palette; a hyperactive moment of madness amongst the serenity that proves daine’s artistic versatility. Elements of her nostalgia-rendering songwriting remain throughout the song; exploring romantic apathy and a love of material things in a style that recalls the golden era of pop punk alongside her most infectious hook to date, before ericdoa delivers a freeform verse of lovelorn flows that act as the perfect counterpoint to daine’s melodic disinterest.
3. Bad Child shares ‘Rouge’
Canadian singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist known as BAD CHILD shares the cinematic music video for his latest single “Rouge,” with Capitol Records stateside along with 21 Entertainment and Universal Music Canada and Virgin Records in the UK. Watch the video below. The video was shot in Iceland and was funded by RBC through the MVP Project.
On the music video concept and imagery, director Clara Milo says, “The decision to shoot ‘Rouge’s’ music video on volcanic land arose from yearning to unify two opposite realities, cleverly personified in BAD CHILD’s song as mere change of hue. In our case, the black and white look allowed to simplify this concept to its very core, without running the risk of getting entangled in an inorganic clash of colors,” she explains, adding: “And thus, the dark-ashened smoke which hunts down the two characters in the first half of the film turns into glittering white by the embrace of the song’s climax. The explosive chorus needed to be burnt into the surreal, a soft-spoken fireball – a volcano releasing love and awe over the dark landscape of its past.”
The emotive track, featured on BAD CHILD’s debut album Free Trial, conveys an unfiltered outpouring of vulnerability. Speaking about the song, BAD CHILD says: “When I wrote ‘Rouge’ I really wanted to create a vignette of my experiences surrounding love and loss. From romance to family, I wanted it to be a nebulous status of a song that is reminiscent of an airplane terminal or a bus station. The video was really important to me and I really entrusted Clara Milo (Director) with the vision. She painted a truly wonderful earthly visual masterpiece to accompany the song.”
4. Cannon release new track ‘Light In The Fog’
Proving they remain an epic live force to be reckoned with, beloved noughties rock outfit, Cannon are sharing a new video for their latest pulsing jam, ‘Light In The Fog’. Following from last year’s instant classic, ‘Enemy’ and breaking a lengthy hiatus, ‘Light In The Fog’ is the second taste of the band’s forthcoming debut album, Connexion landing Friday 4 June via local label, Quixotic Records.
For the video, Cannon teamed up with filmmaker and director, Andrew Watson of Semiconductor Media to capture a small taste of what’s to come when they finally get back on the stage. Seeing double, the epic band rehearsal video features psychedelic mirrored imagery, saturated lighting, riffs galore, and an abundance of smoke. The result is a perfect visual accompaniment to Light In The Fog’s infectious energy and non-stop rock rhythms.
5. Wolf Colony releases stunning new single ‘Hunger’
Rising Middle Eastern singer-songwriter Wolf Colony makes stunning inroads into 2021 with new single ‘ Hunger’, a glistening electronic pop cut which represents a stellar return from an artist who has racked up millions of streams.
It’s time for Wolf Colony to speak his truth. Returning after his emphatic debut album ‘Unmasked’ he’s done with being silenced, and through with holding his tongue. If his inaugural LP was a powerful alt-pop statement, then what is set to follow is Wolf Colony unleashed, a potent songwriter moving into fresh spaces, exploring powerful new situations, using the full range of the vocabulary available to him.
But it’s been a long journey. Wolf Colony has always been aware of the power music can hold. A member of a Middle Eastern royal family, he lived within certain strictures, one that divorced him from his own independence. As a small child, he wasn’t even allowed to listen to music, and he was outright banned from performing it – but this repressive environment simply reinforced its value in his life, both as an anchor in a troubled world, and as a means of much-needed personal expression.
This year will bring a series of singles, with Wolf Colony building his work into compact EPs. The bulk of this work was completed during lockdown, writing and recording in an East London flat, using a keyboard loaned to him by an absent flatmate. Spending long hours looking inward, Wolf Colony came to a greater realisation of who he really is; now he has to make good on a promise he made to himself a long time ago – one that he is determined not to break. “think it’s very rare in life that you get a second chance,” he sighs, “and this feels like I’m giving myself a second chance. I would never want to make that mistake again.”
6. Moguai, Selva and Bright Sparks release ‘Nitro’
Bringing a stylistic slick of pumping house that is underpinned by a grooving electro-meets-progressive sound, ‘Nitro’ is a flame to the scene. As the hyper-manipulated vocal boomerangs “It feels like nitro”, reaching raw and ready above a musing temperament that switches between the deep, the moody, and the melodic, make no mistake that the union of Moguai, Selva and Bright Sparks are here to soar.
Making a sublime, enigmatic debut on CONTROVERSIA, all artists stand tall alone in their own right, as much as a collective force, Moguai known for being one of Germany’s most electric exports thanks to his PUNX imprint, as well as Selva having previously also working with CONTROVERSIA head honcho Alok, Bright Sparks are a glowing UK duo that have provided vocals for names including Oliver Heldens, Hardwell, Sam Feldt and more. Get poised for ‘Nitro’ to soundtrack your Spring!
7. ’40 Days’ the latest release from Raina Solokov-Gonzalez
Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez is a singer/composer based in Brooklyn, New York. Born into a family of musicians, music was Raina’s first language and it runs deep within her veins. Rooted in Jazz and R&B, the songwriter invites us into her unique sonic world with harmonic nuance and lyrical poetry.
Raina’s cross-genre style is built from the bottom up. With improvisation as a starting point for her songs, Raina draws on her emotionality and leans into her perception of the world around, uncovering hidden depths within daily life and articulating personal truth with vulnerability and bravery. Songwriting is her way of processing and understanding life in all its complexity.
Her latest single “40 Days” is a subtly complex story about a struggle to let go. Some of that holding is portrayed and experienced as strength, “I won’t let it go, let it strip all my pride”, a stubborn vigilance. Later in the song, that same holding takes form as an unhealthy attachment, “I fought for you when I knew it wasn’t right.” It’s hard to let go and it’s especially hard to let go of people who have hurt you, as backwards as that may seem. At the core of “40 Days” is the desire to let go, to be soft, to live in expansive harmony, and the accompanying choir embodies that desire. Community, shared truth and recognition set us free.
The single is a slow burn. Flickering with a tender tempo, the intro and verses keep us close; their delicate specificity is complimented by the fullness and warmth of the chorus and choir. Keeping intimacy at the centre, the simplicity of the song demands a high level of craftsmanship and restraint. “40 Days” is entirely full and romantic in its sonic appeal. Captivating from the start, this New Yorker produces smoky, sensual vocals that glide over the track melting into a surge of passion and honesty.
8. CJ Pandit releases ‘New York Time’
Beautifully melancholic, this cathartic offering is a flawless response to a love lost. Effortlessly penned, Cj has been building a reputation for his clever and honest songwriting over the last year and New York Time is a testament to that. Sharing more, Cj explained:
“I never understood the idea of a song being plucked out of the ether or ‘given’ to you by some kind of higher musical power until I wrote New York Time.
I was at the lowest point in my life, I couldn’t shake New York, or a person and situation there, or the weight of my own expectations for creating. I was manic, working all over the place with so many different people, but then went up to Liverpool to write some new songs. Those few days were a real blur, filled with hallucinations and something I can still never quite put my finger on. Like watching a sunset, the knowledge to describe it never quite matches the sight or the experience of it. It’s the most honest I’ve ever been. I have little recollection of that time, but it’s a period and a song I’m incredibly grateful for that means so much more than I could ever put into words.”
Since his debut single ‘Karelu’, which launched hand in hand with exhibitions, events and a zine, the multifaceted musician has been cultivating a reputation for his heart-on-sleeve, anthemic releases. In the process, Cj has been tipped in the NME 100 as an ‘Essential Emerging artist for 2021: “Cj Pandit has proven he’s a dab hand at making yearning indie that you’ll want blasting in your ears for your next cinematic hand-against-the-train-window moment.” NME.
With that and a wealth of support from tastemaker press, a loyal growing fanbase and ongoing support from BBC Introducing, Cj is definitely one to watch.
9. Andra Day releases ‘Phone Dies’
The Grammy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning singer-songwriter, activist and Andra Day today shares her new single ‘Phone Dies’, which is out now on Warner Records.
On ‘Phone Dies’, Andra’s vocals radiate a heart-melting warmth, supported by slick electro-soul production courtesy of Anderson .Paak. “This must sound crazy, but be my baby,” she coos, letting a brassy fanfare carry her into the chorus. “It’s so amazing, being my baby. I’ll let you feel these vibes until my phone dies.”
‘Phone Dies’ follows the huge success that Andra has achieved with her feature-acting debut in Lee Daniels’ film ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’. Her critically acclaimed performance as Holiday won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama, and she is also nominated for the coveted Best Actress award at the Oscars later this month. Andra recorded soul-stirring version of Holiday’s classic songs for the soundtrack, including ‘Strange Fruit’ and ‘Lady Sings The Blues’, plus the Golden Globe-nominated original ‘Tigress & Tweed’, a stormy, piano driven ballad that she co-wrote with neo-soul pioneer Raphael Saadiq.
In addition to winning Best Actress at the Golden Globes, Andra was also honoured at the Critics’ Choice Association’s third annual Celebration of Black Cinema for her work in ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’. Her international press attention has included UK coverage including a feature in The Times and the cover of Echoes.
10. George Ragan The Dead Son releases new single ‘All Gone’
George Ragan The Dead Son—a.k.a. Hollywood Undead co-founder Johnny 3 Tears—shares his latest single and video, “All Gone” This is the latest offering from his upcoming full-length debut solo album, The Abyss, available on May 14, 2021 via BMG. Pre-order/pre-save HERE.
“’All Gone’ is about finding out who we really are, sifting through ashes to find the spark that started the fire,” Ragan shares about the emotional single. These lyrics are reflected in the heavy metaphorical visual, directed by Sam Shapiro, which depicts Ragan symbolically finding forgiveness for himself.
“The Abyss is a record I’ve been writing my whole life, maybe not musically, but in diaries and on shredded pieces of paper,” Ragan shares. “It’s my story…my search for meaning within myself and everything I found. Good and bad, for better or worse…a search beyond my reflection, and into the great unknown.”
Enter The Abyss with George Ragan The Dead Son.