As the WtMM team grows, more music is highlighted in this TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) (almost) weekly section. To the best of our efforts, there is still a lot of good music that is left out of this compilation because more than ever – and against all that would be humanly advised in the context of this sort of home-arrest we’ve been feeling – the time is rare. Still, when you have some time, there is a lot of new songs and genres to discover here. For this Friday we highlight the following nine:
Lord Huron – Not Dead Yet
When one of our favorite (ever) bands releases a new single, we can get excited. When they send us their latest single so we can write about it, we don’t know what to say. But we can try. Well, Lord Huron released their latest track Not Dead Yet, and we’ve must have listened to it more than a tenth of times in a couple of days. The reason for that continues to be the reason why Lord Huron got a special place in our hearts in the first place. The sonority that emanates a chilled car-drive across the desert, with a sun that is not too warm or too cold, but the perfect temperature with nothing but blue skies. The video for the track features the band performing in the Whispering Pines studio and also works as a proper homage to this iconic studio. In all, the is wholesome. Perfect from any point of view. Good music, from a band that does not know how to make a band song.
Mackenzie Morris – Sunset Plaza
When we thought GarageBand was obsulete, that’s when young LA-based artist, of only 20 year-old, comes with Sunset Plaza. The screenwriting student recorded his song during his final weeks of highschool, having lately soldout his debut show. Sunset Plaza is actually the first song the artist put out, followed by its video. In thhe words of Morris, the song is “the ideal soundtrack for a late night drive”, maybe because his voice sounds tired or a bit raucous and the whole vibe of the instrumental and beat used transmit the peace and tranquility of the night. The artist had the capability to captivate us only with a waddling and never-changing sample. It’s hypnotizing and Mackenzie’s voice helps a lot on that. Sunset Plaza is more than a late-night-drive soundtrack, it’s a song to be heard every time you need to get out of your head and just sit back and enjoy the ride (even if you’re sitting on your workchair).
Beta Radio – Year of Love
We’ve told you about Beta Radio before and the way they decided to explore Love this past year, during pandemic times. Apparently, this has been precisely their Year of Love, after the two EP’s Way of Love and Afraid of Love. This is a whole new universe for the duo, and what was before a tabu, now seems to be their motto. Love is the word to be said, sang, shout, and heard and Beta Radio are doing their part as much as they can to spread the word and try to turn the world into a more colorful, bright, and sympathizing place. Year of Love is less dynamic when compared to the songs of Afraid of Love, but that makes it more raw, pure, and authentic: it’s evident all the heavy heritage the word Love carries and Ben expels a lot of emotions while singing it. This is introspective and it’s a key to open every heart out there. How hard is it to make our year a Year of Love too?
AKA Block feat Dana Williams – Waiting for the Rain
We posted about Dana Williams 6 times (here, here, here, here, here, and here) and that alone probably makes her the most-posted solo artist in this blog. The reason is quite simple: her capacity to wow us with her voice. Be it in terms of power, or in terms of what captivates a listener. She is incredible. In her newest track, she fuses her sonority with the Dutch R&B artist-producer AKA Block (the same collaboration from which resulted in the track Roses two years ago). The difference now is that they already have more than 100 M streams combined. And sometimes when that happens the song is inferior. Well, none of that. Waiting for the Rain has both the electronic RnB feel and Dana’s vocal capacity to touch the listener’s soul. “They” say rain can wash troubles away, and that’s also the way we feel this tracks sounds: a beautiful composition capable of isolating us that feels like medicine, one that is both organic and captivating.
Shelly Perel – Cherry Pie
Shelly Perel is a (recently-)23 year old Tel Aviv-based singer-songwriter and producer. Earlier today, Shelly Perel released Cherry Pie with rising producer Kuji. This track immediately picked up out attention specially for its groovy R&B flow. Cherry Pie is highly reminiscent of early 2000’s hip-hop/R&B cross-overs, playing with male/female duet/conversation like vocals. Not only it portrays perfectly the early days of this millennium, it also incorporates some really modern Lo-Fi elements that really bring Cherry Pie to the next level. In our eyes, this collaboration is a fruitful one. We’re excited to see what’s next.
Alex Runo – Devil
Here on Where the Music Meets are big (BIG) fans of anything that brings a modern twist to the gospel and soul’s already powerful sonority. Take for instance the cases of Raleigh Ritchie, Steven A. Clark, Rationale or even Jacob Banks. But we’re here today for Alex Runo. Alex released on February 24th the third single of his upcoming album: Devil is Alex’s “raw, naked testament about giving in but not giving up“. This whole track seems to be written on dichotomies only. It is both delicate and aggressive, familiar and fresh, soft and provocative, filled with ramp ups and drops, breaks and surprises. There’s space for main vocals to shine, for choir vocals to shine, instrumentals to shine, silence to shine. Alex Runo’s Devil is an absolute banger to consume with both headphones on and volume on max.
Jenna Fournier – Heavyweight Champion
Something that’s always very refreshing and uplifting to see is when people evolve into the next level, when someone invests time in themselves and develop a new skill, and puts it to good use. This is the case of Jenna Fournier. Jenna is a singer-songwriter from the USA and “In the late dawn of the pandemic, after bars and venues had closed their doors, a friend reached out and gave singer-songwriter Jenna Fournier $50 to write a song about what she was going through. So came her very first self-recorded and self-produced release“. Talk about taking a bad situation and turning it into gold! Heavyweight Champion is almost like a shoegaze ballad, exploring themes of depression while staying positive for others and their battles. This 5-minute piece seems to pull inspiration from mid-tempo, melancholy pop ambiance and fits perfectly with a cup of coffee and a rainy day.
Owlle – Sounds Familiar
Sounds Familiar does indeed sound familiar, and it is in this context that we move from the international version, sung in English to the Owlle artist’s native one – French, of course. Anything sung in Charles Aznavour’s language stirs anyone. In this track, everything sounds like a declamation, a blatant passion that you can’t see, but with the right sound, it reaches your heart. And Owlle’s voice makes our minds shudder with this soft, sweet beat.
Balthazar – Sand (NEW LP)
Handing out Belgian sweets continues the princes of international indie-rock Balthazar. After Fever in 2019, the beginning of 2021 brings us intimate rhythms that promise to move our spine for 43 minutes. We are talking about Sand, the band’s fourth studio album. An invigorating journey, from beginning to end. Have we told you that we feel younger after eleven songs with Maarten Devoldere, Jinte Deprez, Simon Casier, Michiel Balcaen and Tijs Delbeke? Sand, of the good type, for our ears.