We are now in lock-down here in Portugal. Once again. Outside things are not looking so good, and even the cold weather has given its space to warmer temperatures, but there are clouds in the sky all the time, and rains constantly now. It’s like the weather is trying to change things and wash away the virus (and with it, some of our sadness from being kept too long inside our houses). But music continues to provide the silver lining to our lives. Continues to fill us with joy and good moments, making us sing aloud or jump around inside our heads. And these are some of the best tracks we listen to all week. Enjoy and keep safe, let’s focus on the good stuff:
Andy John Jones– Closer
British, soulful, and sexy, Andy John Jones presents his newest single which fits in the same adjectives. He sings about relationships and sex, inspired by a quote from Oscar Wilde “everything we do is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power.” basically the artist writes about the “going and coming” of a relationship, a cycle of break-ups and reconciliations that puts sex on the middle of it. Apart from that, Closer is a really smooth and balanced song that builds amazingly around Andy’s powerful voice, one that can whisper in our ears and then suddenly becoming harsh and almost “rocker”. Just come closer and check it yourself.
Cole Scheifele – All The While
Waving between the likes of Lou Reed and Tallest Man On Earth, for instance, Cole Scheifele presents his newest single All The While and we should listen to it all the while we have time since it’s about enjoying life and seizing the moment. Scheifele made an ode to Life, a song to celebrate in every sense of it: the way Cole built the song transports us to many memories and reasons to smile and be alive even in this strange pandemic scene where it seems to have not many opportunities to smile. All the While starts a bit rock-ish but suddenly changes to a pop-folk with every element we can expect from it, inclusively a magnificent strings arrangement in the end. And his voice is mesmerizing.
Jaco – Baby
From Italy to London, UK, Jaco has already done so much with only 23 years old, having participated in the Eurovision Contest for Armenia reaching the top 10, Jaco also directed shows in the West-End and scored music. Baby is a great example of what the artist can achieve: catchy, pop-ish melodies and a notch of electronic are the keys of Jaco’s second release and a promise of an upcoming popstar. The song is nothing less than a hit and Jaco added simple verses to be sang by anyone while it’s playing outloud on the radio. The young artist says Baby is his new beginning and we’ll watch closely to what’s coming next.
Juniper Vale – Away
“Juniper Vale is a multimedia project that combines EDM Banjo music with illustrations to explore the experience of home and belonging” is what you can read on almost any Juniper Vale press release. Exploring the horizon of ambient music, but mixing in elements from post-rock, jazzy bits, and bites, and also a soulful voice that acts as a reflection of our thoughts. The project formed by Nashville-based musician, Sara Jane Wood has already received world acclamation with millions of streams, but is, however, new to us. And Away (or Take Me Away, as you can listen many times in the track) worked like charm as the ambush track to make us understand the concept. Mixing electronic hooks with percussive banjo might be bold, but it’s also mesmerizing and addictive. There is a sense of calm and breathing in the track’s sonority that always takes us away. And we don’t need to say how necessary that is with the world like it is now.
Lea Rye – Movement
Movement is about growing into your own skin in a world that is constantly changing. Curiously, I feel this is the biggest lesson I learned during all lockdowns the crazy stuff 2020 brought. Allow yourself to grow, even when growing doesn’t really follow the path you’d envisioned for yourself years ago. The slow beginning combined with all variations the track sustains for 4 and a half minutes is itself the tangible representation of growth and everything changes! It is very interesting that this is only Lea Rye’s second single – and we’re eager to see what’s next for her.
The Lemon Lovers – Pocket
It is not that common that we write about the tracks that were released some time ago. But we do have our own exceptions. One that is worth having is to write about tracks that somehow bring back to life with a touch of modernity that makes an “older” track feels new and necessary. Lemon Lover’s newest release with Pocket is definitely one of those cases. The track that was originally released as part of their 2016 album Watching the Dancers was re-released as a live version with footage from the concert live at Spring Break Festival in Poznan, Poland, during the year of 2020 (in one of many performances the band managed to do despite a lot of concert cancelation due to the Pandemic crisis). The best part about it is the way the (huge) band on stage seems to perform for our dreams to hear. The amount of gentle guitars whipping is precious and sounds like dreams are electric and acoustic. While the stage lighting and the slow-building progression in the track (leaving space for small but gorgeous guitar solos) bring back vivid memories of live shows. There is a Boy & Bear sonority to it, an Americana-folk vibe that seems to come from within every single one of the band members. And the slow-build only makes the track last forever in our brains.
Pace – Runnin’
Taking a bit of Lemon Lovers echoed folk-like base, Runnin’ – the newest track from the 20-year-old Chicago-based Pace – starts obvious, but soon surprises. Mixing pop with hip-hop and several other alternative genres, the track convinces because of its distinct feel and good vibed sonority. The track talks about having a difficult time realizing you have to grow up and wanting to run away from those responsibilities, but it’s entire sonority sounds chilled and easy, almost like a needed song to take us of the hook of responsibility or giving us a break from our own minds. Passing by like a breeze, the almost four minutes of the track never sound less than positive and high vibing, leaving the listener asking for more when it ends. And we all know what that means. Pace released a frankly incredible EP in 2020 entitled CrossRoad where he founded this new sonority, and Runnin’ follows brilliantly.
Keep safe and strong with music driving you away from these strange world,