Our 2023 first Thanks God Is Friday compilation is here!
Ben L’Oncle Soul – A Rose
With five acclaimed albums under his belt and over 200 million streams, the French soul star is certified multi-platinum in his home country France, where he has also won a Globes de Cristal award for “Best Male Singer” and a Victoires de la Musique award – the equivalent of the Grammy Awards in France – for “Live Breakthrough“. Internationally, Ben L’Oncle Soul has also achieved chart success in Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, and Switzerland, among other countries, while also touring all over the world, including Montreal’s International Jazz Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival, to mention a few.
After teasing his new project at the end of 2022 with “Levitate” and “Sky Has Open Doors“, which have already garnered nearly half a million plays online, award-winning French Soul troubadour Ben L’Oncle Soul is excited to announce the upcoming release of his sixth studio album Is It You? set for release on February 17 via his own independent label Enchanté in collaboration with Believe. Along with the album announcement, Ben L’Oncle Soul has also unveiled this lush new track A ROSE to serve as the official lead single for his highly anticipated album. Speaking about the inspiration behind A Rose, Ben L’Oncle Soul says, “I’ve always been fascinated by roses… Every time I look at one, I fall in love again. When my friend Alex read me this poem by Robert Frost, the instruments just started to dance. The accompanying video for ‘A Rose’ is a journal style collection of visual fragments and scribbles. Glimpses of the everyday. And it is at the same time, an exploration of the vertical video that due to smartphones and social media has not only become commonplace, but also a way we look at the world”.
District Five – Walkin’
District Five break through generational boundaries. Math-rock, post punk, jazz, electronica, film music: those are corner stones of a new sound through which the four visionaries from Zurich are permanently leaving gridlocked genres behind and begin to build their own avantgarde. This music isn’t called jazz anymore, yet that doesn’t mean it’s pop either. No, in fact it is rather a process of finding new liberties and at the same time it sets an example for diversity as well as long-lasting friendship.
“We‘re just vibing here, with no pressure“: this phrase by the band District Five from Zurich describes their new track Walkin’ accurately. A poignant bass line, driving beat and spherical vocals, guitar and synth parts blend into a relaxed groover, that withdraws from all stylistic blinders and advocates freedom. Or differently put: A mix of Bill Laswell’s Dub Chamber, TV On The Radio influences and meditational music mantra, produced by four Swiss musicians entirely on their own and born out off a one-take-jam during band practice.
Heartworms – Retributions Of An Awful Life
Jojo Ormes oozes coolness – that’s the first thing you save into your mind after a small pick into her Instagram page. It’s also the first thing you’ll notice once you start listening to the music she puts out as Heartworms, a project/band that explores cathartic, avant-garde post-punk, more than capable of embellishing Jojo’s take on poetry.
Currently signed to Dan Carey’s Speedy Wunderground, it’s no wonder Heartworms are one of the most exciting bits of music coming out of the United Kingdom right now. Their latest single, “Retributions Of An Awful Life“, is a goth-influenced, post-punk banger, atmosphere drenched in eerie synths, banging danceable drums, reverb-filled guitars – and, yes, of course, coolness. It’s drenched in coolness, and it’s another stepping stone (or a full-on confirmation, though you can make the case that was their previous single, “Consistent Dedication”), for Heartworms into becoming one of the hottest new properties in British music.
Don’t believe us? Then check out their performance at ESNS 2023. You won’t regret it.
Malena Zavala – I Can’t Make You Love Me
Malena Zavala was born in Chaco, Argentina. At the age of three, Zavala moved to the UK and maintained her connection to the Latin world through music. She wrote, recorded and produced her debut album “Aliso” alone in her parent’s garage, learning from YouTube Tutorials and wired on Yerba Mate. Inspired by her native Argentina, Aliso’s ten tracks recall Brian Eno, Tame Impala, Latin folk music and Argentine tea.
In her second album, “La Yarara” (already featured in WtMM), Malena delved deeper into her Latin roots. She explored the great Latin musical traditions of Cumbia, Bolero and Andean folk. La Yarara’s title song explores with venomous intent, the world’s fear of a woman with something to say. She continues that journey with her new songs, blending the challenges and dilemmas of her inner life with the forms of her musical heritage.
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” is one of those new songs. An upbeat indie pop song that circles around the acceptance of letting go of someone who doesn’t choose you. Groovy, hooking, and gorgeous all around. And catchy. Very catchy.
Malou Madi – What We Don’t Say
Singer and producer Malou Madi just released the third and last single What We Don’t Say out off her homonymous EP . The song dives into the importance of what we don’t say to each other, an exploration of the desire to create a safe space for things to be said, or not said.
The song seats blissful and introspective, a whiff of Minnie Riperton meeting Steve Lacy in a dimmed light cafe. Old school flair meets galactic celestial sounds, the alt RnB track showcases Malou‘s unique style as a songwriter and producer. Its quiet impact offers the possibility of loving the unsaid, letting it exist without the necessity to be pronounced.
Kraków Loves Adana – Hiding In My Room
Kraków Loves Adana – the alias of Hamburg-based artist and producer Deniz Çiçek about who we’ve written already 6 times (e.g.: here and here)- unveils the new song “Hiding In My Room” as another foretaste of the upcoming album “Oceanflower“, due February 14th. Surrounded by pulsating synth arpeggios and 80s disco flair, Çiçek whispers hopeful thoughts about loneliness and adolescence into our ears. The accompanying animation video was directed and realized by Swedish illustrator and animator Johannes Helgelin.
“This song is a rebellion against depression, isolation, and hopelessness. It is also a testimony of me pulling myself out of a very dark place mentally. Music helps. Therapy helps even more. I am proud of how far I have come.“
Kowloon – This Dream
Kowloon is a musician and filmmaker from Los Angeles, California. His debut album, “Come Over“, released in 2021, was written, performed, recorded and mixed in his home-studio in the industrial outskirts of the city. Blending vintage synths, drum machines, and bubbling bass lines with vocals inspired equally by The Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, and Sly Stone, “Come Over” is 35 minutes of danceable love songs.
Looking forward, Kowloon is now dropping his latest single. This Dream is a mid tempo slice of hazy psychedelia – jazzy chords, a pulsing bass line, country-inflected telecaster runs and dusty, punchy drums. The second half explodes into a fuzzy guitar solo over a crashing breakbeat. Lyrically it explores the passing of time, of life slipping through one’s fingers, and of a life lived in an intoxicating, nostalgic stupor. Chill, nostalgic indie pop. Written and performed by Kowloon, who also played all of the instruments, it was mixed during a bout of COVID, making the lyrics suddenly very prescient.
Paul Jacks – Left in a Haste
Bringing back some of the magical 80s meet 90s energy that we miss so much at times, Paul Jacks‘s latest track “Left in a Haste” is a gorgeous gem that makes us feel at home, in our infancy. Mixing evident pop with retro notes but also some nice notion of variation and how to draw the listener from start to end, the chorus is strong but the whole song is very well put together to entertain. A beautiful track to start the year.
Scoobert Doobert – Feels So Good
Born on the internet (and raised in San Diego, California), Scoobert Doobert is a multi-instrumentalist, producer-engineer, burrito-connoisseur, and abundant songwriter. Having a grasp of multiple languages, notably being a Japanese speaker , in additional to his native English, his vibe-of-the-times releases fit within the fresh pop realm while being full of surprise spices. Scoobert Doobert lives and breathes nostalgic futurism—with releases and videos on the regular. Including an introspective and educational podcast called Music Appreciation 101 on Mondays. It’s a classroom with the most bizarre music professor, who happens to wear a dog-mask and know his stuff.
Back with another ode to feeling good, Scoobert Doobert brings in the new year with a refreshing chill style that’s consistently attracted fans to his inviting vibe. He’s recently garnered sync placements with Coors Light and official Spotify editorials playlists. He has upcoming collaborations with emerging and established artists for this year. “Feels So Good” delivers the good news that there’s positivity to tap into, and pleasantness to experience.