From new and just released songs to new albums (and so many that were released as a sign of hope for this new year). We picked some of the ones that meant the most to us, knowing truly that we are just persons, too tied to their jobs and to what comes from jobs, in order to eat, sleep and listen to music with each other. Especially during these times, where routines have taken a new turn, and hope has to be the word of the day, in order to keep sane. In this selection we like to call Thank God It’s Friday, a name that it’s just meaning for celebrating the weekend feeling, we also have the honor of counting with the contribution of our newest writer Tomás Rogeiro, and the introduction of several short reviews of our favorite new albums.
Have a nice weekend, we will all come out ot his.!!
A. Vos – Sweat
Sweat, released today, is the gorgeous and deep first single from A. Vos’ debut EP entitled Water Brings the Rapids. The Atlanta-based singer-songwriter does a kind of folk that turns into life introspection, but that also hangs on the indie-rock elements in the back that easily remind us of all-time favorites The National and Ben Howard. But it’s not only because of that that we love the track. The amount of feeling put into it. The way it leaves the listener space to breathe and always sounds like a friendly whisper. Sweat gives us every little peace of comfort we need to complete happiness. Even if that happens in a sort of melancholic way.
Alara – All You Care to See
All of us, here at WtMM, are 80’s and 90’s babies, and probably because of that we grew up with the dramatic tracks of Aimee Mann (at least a couple of some of the most well-known new movies that played in that time had her songs as original soundtracks too). Alara, at first listen, reminds us of her. And that’s a proper good way to stand out. Especially when you make a song like All You Care to See. A track that grows and grows and that finds in her impeccable singing (and story-telling calmness) the true highlight. The track talks about Climate change (the capital is intentional), and about the consecutive lack of humanity we see every day: both regarding earth and everyone else.
Ben Howard – What A Day
For Ben Howard fans, life has been rough. The amount of feeling those fans have for the first Howard’s albums is as immense as his songs. With a more experimental album, that kind of magic was also exchanged by a feeling of surprise, many times well interpreted, others not so much. The audacity right? Fans thinking they can interfere with the artist’s way of making music? Well, one thing certain, Ben Howard’s newest double-release features two tracks that take the fans closer to his roots. There is some beautiful folk in there, there is depth, there is a lot, and a lot, of feelings, and guess what? There is space for experimentation too. What A Day goes from folk to Americana, from a sensible voice singing about feelings of need, to a gorgeous guitar flying those feelings away. It’s magical in a lot of o senses. And it’s a beautiful thing to listen to.
Gus Benson – Write Your Ticket
Gus Benson is a 20-year-old multi-instrumentalist from Charlotte, North Carolina who took the COVID-19 pandemic and made it into a unique opportunity to dedicate his time to making music. Write Your Ticket is the debut track of this American new artist and it is an upbeat-catchy anthem over here. Gus plans to continue releasing singles throughout 2021 with a debut EP in the works. Not having a big portfolio yet, we can only infer based on the quality of what we hear – spoiler alert, it’s great and we can’t wait to see what 2021 Gus Benson has in store for us.
Lauren Cruz – Wonder
We are lovers of some good pop singles, and even though it is not easy to stand out as a pop musician as you need to sound new and fresh but still make the listener turn to memories to enjoy a track fully. When a song does that, we fell for it with no excuses. It’s the case with Lauren Cruz’s latest track Wonder. Described as a sonority close to The Weeknd but also drawing a lot of its vibes from a retro Sade (and particularly ’80s) sonority, the track is an instant stunner mostly because of the combination of those ’80s inspired drum-based progression, with some gorgeous vocals – that sound like a very controlled, calming but still very powerful -. And it’s a long-run stunner too, mostly because of that nostalgic feeling of an 80 song and a super modern and ultra-catchy chorus.
Foxtails Brigade – Gimme A Sign
Continuing the upbeat, danceable tunes, Foxtails Brigade released their first single of 2021, following Hurry Up John and Slave in late 2020. The alarm ringing at the beginning is an indication of what lies ahead – you better be awake and ready to keep up with Foxtails Brigade’s pace on Gimme A Sign. This track is best characterized as most of their work – bouncy, whimsical, and catchy.
HOLOW – Chemicals
HOLOW, also known as Arthur, is a 20-year-old music maker that recently retreated to a nook at the base of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps. There he makes music that sounds like the best yet coming from his creative process. Chemicals is an electro-pop track that will make you dance regardless of the genre you like the most. The pop elements are immense, and shine bright in the way they are easily singable and even more easily danceable. But most of all, because of the electronic power and good vibes the song emanates. The song is produced alongside Max Green and is one of the best songs this year for escaping our own heads and dig music carefree.
Hayley Williams – FLOWERS FOR VASES/descansos (New LP)
Hayley Williams will always be a synonym of Paramore, but the American singer continues to surprise us with her solo artistic skills. After Petals for Armor, Hayley put the petals together, reinvented the flowers, and inserted them in a vase – and voilà – we are left with FLOWERS for VASES/descansos, the second album of originals, made entirely at her home in Nashville, USA. The album is a sound experience, where various levels, styles, and ways of expressing music are thrown to our ears in a random way, making a lot of sense at the end of the day.
It is very interesting to see Hayley Williams’ style in this new future. After an indie/emo-rock version, we have Hayley, for a second time, testing the impossible. And the impossible is, in fact, the best medicine: it sounds fresh, it sounds new. In the middle of twelve songs, separated by 42 minutes, we highlight My Limb, the second track. It’s almost three minutes of pure pleasure, where we almost feel that Hayley is as close to us as one of our…limbs. It’s almost three minutes of pure musical emotion, with a chorus that makes the English band, Alt-J, blush.
Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams (New LP)
A huge paragraph of appreciation for Arlo Parks’ new album – Collapsed in Sunbeams. We are having a problem with sunbeams out there the day we wrote this, but the sound rays transmitted by Arlo were felt in our office. It’s smooth, it’s cool, and even though we anticipated it, Collapsed in Sunbeams is still a pleasant surprise and a mesmerizing first album. And this is what really marks a creative mind: we can’t catalog it, because it can be framed in more than one style. Be it Jazz, RnB, POP, Soul, Poetry, Hip-Hop, whatever you want to call it. Arlo is here to mark a season, and that season will Park(s) in our ears.
Anna B Savage – A Common Turn (New LP)
Anna B Savage released her first album, A Common Turn. And it is with her that we discover that a voice alone can definitely change the world. It’s forty-seven minutes, divided into ten songs that we listen to and cry for more. All this guided by an interpretation that many times feels divine, full of personality, that fills us, the room, and beyond. It may not be a common turn that for several times, her songs remind us of Antony and The Johnsons’ most emblematic tracks. There is also a similarity between the two in the way they are both able to takes into a state of levitating to heaven.
LNZNDRF – II (2021)
You “Brace Yourself” are humming the Lanz brothers – present in great weight in the indie-rock band Beirut, and the Devendorf brothers, better known for their work with The National – in the second track of the album II. As Professor Utonium, of the children’s series The Powerpuff Girls, once said, “Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice” and BOOM: the joining of these heavyweights of world indie-rock music results in the band LNZNDRF. With their sonority beautifully and so well crafted built into their first studio album, track after track we are faced with an inspiring journey of sounds that go through our ears over 40 minutes. Ah, and the feelings of nostalgia for a beautiful live concert…