EP Review: The Crusaders Of The Lost Art – Redd Tunes Productions

REDD TUNES‘ latest EP, ‘The Crusaders Of The Lost Art’, is relatively shorter than his previous projects. It shifts from the London producer’s hazy stance on the golden hip-hop/boom bap era – as featured in previous EPs – to a fresh and crisp feel, showcasing string-laden productions, against the semi-menacing b-line, where guest rappers take their turn in giving the EP a retro boom bap feel with a fierce edge.

If you’re a regular on NEW LEASE MUSIC, then there’s a chance that you’re familiar with Redd Tunes’ work..and if you dig the vibes of his past work, then you’ll definitely welcome ‘The Crusaders Of The Lost Art’ into your collection…check it out below

EP Review: Bad – Ricco Barrino

When I came across RICCO BARRINO‘s EP, ‘Bad’, I had to sit up, take note and give it a trial. If the surname brings a bell, well this R&B powerhouse is the older brother of Americana Idol winner, Fantasia Barrino and although he appeared on her single, ‘Bore Me (Yawn)’, he’s definitely a star on his own right.

Ricco has consistently been in and out of the spotlight since the early 2000s, lending his vocals to T.I.’s chart-topping single, ‘Whatever You Like’ and Colonel Loud’s hit ‘California’. A former signee of T.I.’s Grand Hustle label, Ricco has been hard at work on new music since his peak in 2015, landing records with Blacc Zacc, Da Baby, and other A-listers.

Ricco has now released a collection of these records, including those that were previously unreleased, across a series of new EPs via Common Cents/EMPIRE. Serving as a follow-up to ‘Good’ EP, released earlier this month, ‘Bad’ EP, the second installment in the series, which contains the new catchy single ‘Quavo’ as well as other previously unreleased music.

Roaring guitar riffs introduces the five piece set with track, ‘Give It To You’, leading to an uptempo summery drive, working in perfect harmony with Ricco’s robustly soulful vocals…and that vocal performance is turned up a notch or two through second funked-up, soulful effort ‘Fire’.

Changing the tone of the project, comes ‘Nothing I Would Not Do’, which brings in an intimate setting of vibrantly airy vibes later joined by rhythmic claps…and of course that vocals provided by Ricco, where he delicately shows off his falsetto range.

Flaring up to an emotional state, Ricco’s voice takes centre stage in the final atmospheric track, ‘Pray For Me’, which is guaranteed to leave any prospective listener quenching for more…

It’s a good job there’s more as BAD EP, will be quickly followed by Ricco’s third and final installment – Ugly EP – coming out 3rd September – now, that’s going to be pure FIRE! Pre-save your copy here:

Must Listens: Nothing I Would Not Do, Pray For Me

EP Review: Chances Ocean – Isaac B

Released earlier in the year, the piano-led single ‘Love Yourz’ leads the way with in ISAAC B‘s latest EP, ‘Chances Ocean’. The melodic piece which encourages us to be grateful for what we got, rather pining after other’s success stories, sets the tone for this conscious mini set.

‘Chances Ocean’ then takes on a meditative and somewhat a seductive stance on hip-hop and R&B, which arguably has a Tom Misch twang to it. The promising rapper covers a ray of topics – from paying homage to prominent figures who paved the way in hip-hop (in ‘I’m Here’), to contemplating the reason why the good die young and his desire to get a Grammy in honor of his late grandmother (in ‘Did You Further) and having that ego boost, while staying humble, as his career progresses (in ‘Lean’.)

When I first discovered Isaac B through his bass-heavy joint, ‘See No Evil, Hear No Evil (SNE HNE)’ last year, from that moment I knew he was a serious hip-hop contender who isn’t worry about following the crowd. Tracks ‘Oceans and Chances’ and ‘Yourz Truly’ (to me) reveals that side of him as a musician. Although he has sheer determination to make an impressive dent in the game, his priority is to stay true to himself rather than chasing ‘the fame’.

Sonically, I expected to hear some roaring thuds as in ‘SNE HNE’ – but it doesn’t mean that I was left disappointed. ‘Chances Ocean’ reveals to me that this conscious spitter can turn his hand to anything and I cannot to see how far his musical journey will take him.

Have a listen to ‘Chances Ocean’ below…

Must Listens: Love Yourz, Oceans and Chances, Higher Power

EP Review: Random House of Evil – Henny Knightz

HENNY KNIGHTZ‘s self produced/written EP, ‘Random House of Evil’ takes on avant-garde approach to alternative hip hop, alternating between the warped instrumentation with deep 808 thuds, that goes to the core of your soul, and the semi-tranquil melodic bass lines.

Lyrically, Henny – who makes one half of The Knighthood Society with fellow rapper Nicki Knightz unapologetically narrates the darkest moments in his life – his battle with poverty and depression – in the rawest form.

Although this his personal journey, the six-track EP could somewhat offer some comfort for anyone who has been struggling with the aforementioned issues and has came out the other end much stronger and harder.

For anyone who is currently going through depression and/or is stuck in the poverty rut, well think of ‘Random House of Evil’ as your much needed therapy. Have a listen below…

Must Listens: Soul, Pontiac Black

EP Review: Away From The City – Melanie Crew & Ross Palmer

MELANIE CREW and ROSS PALMER have been performing together for several years but EP, ‘Away from the City’ is their first release as a duo. The EP features six songs, three by each writer, and was produced at their home in south London, including two songs that were written and recorded during lockdown (‘Nobody’s Watching’ and A ‘Different Place’).

Melanie leads the way on the EP with the purest of vocals, later supported by a male light baritone performance in guitar-led piece, ‘Seven Mountains’, setting the intimate theme of the collection. BBC Essex/Kent-backed artist went on to add a real mystical glow to spellbinding ‘Holborn Hill’ and ‘A different Place’, which boasts warm glow of country/indie folk.

Also beginning with a stripped-back performance with guitar-led, ‘Restless Heart’, Ross then takes the EP on a slight soulful route, giving the acoustic theme a full-body sound in ‘Nobody’s Watching’, where his soothing vocals eases into the arrangements, that somehow has a revival, Dr. Hook twang. Ross – also a BBC Essex and BBC Kent-approved artist – concludes the set with ‘Darkest England’ which carries on that full-bodied sound to the almost stripped performance, which allows his rich storytelling to take centre stage.

Even if you’re not the greatest fan of the folkore, singer/songwriter approach, you will find the ‘Away from the City’ appeasing as the moment you hit play the set, there’s a comforting warmth that immediately releases any weighty troubles away. Hear for yourself; have a listen below…

Must Listen: Holborn Hill, Nobody’s Watching, Darkest England