[TGIF] – The last of the year

Fresh tracks from up-and-coming artists. It's TGIF!

Welcome to the last "Thank God It's Friday" of 2023! As we bid farewell to another exciting year, we can't help but celebrate the incredible tracks that have graced our ears in recent weeks. From infectious pop hits to electronic and rock-ish stirring records, this post is dedicated to showcasing the best of the best. Get ready to discover your new favourite songs and let the music take you on a captivating ride. It's time to turn up the volume and embrace the magic of these incredible releases. Let the music speak, and let this year's last weekend begin in style.

Devansh – Trust

On his third time on our notes, London-based Devansh, originally hailing from New York City, emerges as a versatile artist, seamlessly weaving together elements of psychedelic soul, modern funk, jazz, indie pop, and world music in his genre-defying compositions. Collaborating with top-notch London musicians, including Rudi Creswick and Ellis Dupuy, Devansh amalgamates his international upbringing and New York City jazz roots into an exhilarating, singular psychedelic sound.
His latest release, “Trust“, navigates the existential journey of a modern musician, questioning conventional notions of success and the trust placed in the creative process. The track blends funky verses, expansive choruses, and crispy lo-fi drums and counts on contributors like Rudi Creswick and Jamie Houghton, along with a dreamy, funky outro reminiscent of Tame Impala and Jordan Rakei. “Trust” encapsulates the artist’s synth-forward, psychedelia-tinged style, emphasizing the fulfillment found in the act of making music.

Lucy McWilliams – Follow Me

Dublin-born singer Lucy McWilliams, now based in London, infuses her music with Ireland’s storytelling tradition. With over 16 million Spotify streams, her genre-defying sound spans indie, R&B, and ’90s-style rock. Influenced by classic singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell, McWilliams explores themes of love and vulnerability, drawing on personal experiences. Her knack for heart-on-sleeve storytelling is honed through band experience in Berlin, fostering a mutual understanding in the creative process.
Closing out an impressive year that featured acclaimed singles like “Slow Dancing” and “Plastic“, Lucy McWilliams wraps up 2023 in style with her dreamy new track, “Follow Me“. Embracing a sweet and serene dream-pop aesthetic, the song reflects McWilliams‘ innovative year, promising a strong start to 2024. The emotionally rich and heartfelt lyrics combined with soaring production capture the essence of a straightforward love song. McWilliams describes the track as an exploration of the excitement and endless possibilities that come with newfound love, portraying a unique experience of feeling at ease in a brief window of time.

Mystic Tea Party – Aftertaste

Mystic Tea Party boldly transcends genre limitations with their eclectic blend of electronic rock, dream pop, trip hop, and electronica, crafting an atmospheric and compelling sound. Anchored by Melbourne native Blume, the songwriter and vocalist, and the production virtuoso Sebastian, hailing from Polish-Australian roots, the duo creates a sonic landscape that seamlessly merges emotive vocals and poignant lyrics with expressive soundscapes. Drawing inspiration from the evocative tones of the 90s and early 2000s, Mystic Tea Party skillfully weaves together an ethereal tapestry of sound that elicits both nostalgia and a contemporary allure.
Aftertaste” serves as a nostalgic homage to enduring vices. Embracing influences from the indietronica, trip hop, and alternative rock of the 90s and 2000s, Mystic Tea Party skillfully crafts a sonic journey that invites listeners to immerse themselves in a captivating soundscape, allowing them to drift off into the abyss of the past.

Smallpools – Night Shift

Smallpools made a splash with their debut, “Dreaming“, a certified Gold hit that topped charts and earned them acclaim on alternative radio and late-night TV. With a successful debut album and two EPs, the trio—Sean Scanlon, Michael Kamerman, and Beau Kuther—has amassed over 400 million streams, showcasing their indie rock prowess. Known for infectious melodies and anthemic hooks, Smallpools has shared stages with major acts and graced festivals like Lollapalooza. Now signed with Nettwerk, the band teases a highly anticipated third album, promising electrifying singles that blend their signature sound with new vibes.
On “Night Shift“, Smallpools exposes the idea that individuals can find themselves trapped in an unbreakable routine. The night shift may offer a sense of comfortable anonymity, but the band contemplates whether to break free from this cycle or continue within the familiarity of the night shift, questioning if they will bring to life a lingering dream or remain caught in the loop.

Stella Starfox – Hot Dogs

Formed in 2018 on a Massachusetts college campus, Stella Starfox, comprising Tommy Fuccillo, Matt Hatch, and Ben Gardner, brings a gritty, beachy indie-alt sound they playfully refer to as “mystery pop”. Hailing from Providence, they’ve made a mark in the music scenes of Providence and Boston. Their debut single, “Sardines“, earned them unexpected fan support, leading to performances, in-studio sessions, and subsequent releases like “Run“, “Slapped“, “Castaway“, and “Cig No Filter“. Influenced by modern acts like Mac Demarco and STRFKR, Stella Starfox crafts a distinctive sound with plucky guitars, raw vocals, tight rhythms, and candid lyrics.
Their most recent release, “Hot Dogs“, emerges as an indie anthem, skillfully encapsulating the humor and acceptance that accompany life’s aimless wanderings. The lyrics whimsically portray the odyssey of a self-proclaimed loser, discovering delight in the simplicity of activities like devouring hot dogs and exploring thrift stores. Infused with a vibrant rhythm, the track wholeheartedly embraces the unburdened essence of navigating life’s unconventional dance. Notably, it stands as the second release from a fresh project featuring “demos” that, unfortunately, fell victim to an untimely hard drive deletion, adding a layer of serendipity to its candid charm.