Song of the Day: Overnight – Alamay & Omar Cassius

Bristol-based emerging stars vocalist ALAMAY and OMAR CASSIUS (fka skiimsk) announce their second self-produced EP How tTo Swim, dropping 13th July 2022, and share the heady and soulful single ‘Overnight’. The follow up to their debut release, Aurora, and their lauded Boiler Room debut, ‘Overnight’ is a heart-rending track, with Alamay reflecting candidly on past relationships. A gorgeous, melancholic slice of R&B produced by Omar Cassius, his minimalist percussion, sparse sparkling guitar and brooding bass provide the perfect backdrop for Alamay’s heartfelt vocals.

Gaining an education in Soul and Jazz from an early age, Alamay’s style draws on inspiration from these rich, timeless sounds as well as her Ethiopian heritage. One of Bristol’s most promising new talents, Alamay is bringing a refreshing take on modern R&B/Soul. She first entered the scene in 2019 with her collaborative project with Omar Cassius, Aurora, followed by a track entitled ‘Miirror’ featuring KNWGD in 2020, and made serious waves with her impressive live Boiler Room set, performing alongside deconstructed club titans, Giant Swan and Jabu. Already gaining tastemaker support and a dedicated fan-base, Alamay has laid the foundations for many more impressive projects to come.

Bristol-born artist Omar Cassius (fka skiimsk) entered the scene in 2019 with his collaborative debut EP alongside Alamay titled Aurora. As co-founder of the 1999 platform (a Bristol-based creative collective) he can be found working on multiple other projects – often behind the scenes – with other budding creatives in the city’s buzzing, tight-knit community. To date, most of his creative output and contributions have been his carefully honed, intricate productions. However, How to Swim EP sees the rising artist making his first foray into contributing vocals and bars on releases, with his sights set on further collaborative and solo projects.

Have a listen to the pair’s stunning single below…

Jamie Beale Shares Tantalising Debut Single ‘Borderline’, Taken From Upcoming Album

Taken from his upcoming debut album, expected for release later this year, Bristol-based songwriter JAMIE BEALE‘s debut single ‘Borderline’, sure hits like a sugar rush. The track – an enchanting blend of indie-rock, dream-pop and acid-funk- boasts dewy guitar textures, soaring harmonies and synth-laden soundscapes backed by the shuffling drums and tantalising grooves.

‘Borderline’ was written during the winter lockdown in the middle of an increasingly isolated period of his life. His relationship was coming to an end, he was alone in lockdown and his music and touring career within Novatines was looking uncertain, along with his idea of a future within music at all.

Speaking about the time, Beale states: “I was spending the majority of my time living in a hazy dreamworld, searching for something positive to hold onto, I felt that no matter what, I still had me and my own personal freedom of mind, and there was something comforting about that. Somewhere between my partially self-induced cabin fever madness and a sense of unshakable positivity in an unusual time, I wrote Borderline. I guess it’s a song for people with nowhere to go, and how not knowing where you belong isn’t always a bad thing.”

As vocalist and songwriter of rock band Novatines, Jamie has an array of musical achievements already under his belt, having toured the UK and Europe extensively as well as receiving national airplay on stations such as BBC Radio 2, 6 and Radio X. Have a listen to the tantalising ‘Borderline’ below…

Song of the Day: Not Very Well – Tuff Bear

UK-based artist TUFF BEAR‘s single, ‘Not Very Well’ which combines ambient synthesised melodies and melancholic vocals that play out over a pulsing, funk-inspired groove, all with the intention of creating a feeling of optimism and joy in the face of a familiar sadness.

The upbeat, disco-charged buoyancy that dominates the song is designed to contradict the more introspective notions of anxiety and worry that are explored in the lyrics, thereby presenting a sort of defiance in the embrace of one’s shyness.

With a sound that draws on 70s disco, 90s dance and contemporary indie-pop, Tuff Bear – an alias for Theo Vernon – developed his sound and aesthetic over the course of the pandemic taking what had been a lifelong hobby. He started playing music from the age of five, learning the tuba, piano and cello before joining a choir – into something of a creative endeavor, writing and recording songs in his student bedroom. Work started on this first instalment of the Tuff Bear project back in April of 2020 before Vernon signed to Acrophase Records and began piecing together the collection with label mate, PWNT.

‘Not Very Well’ follows his bb sway-featuring debut single, “Talk To You” which found fans Stereofox, Dope Cause We Said, Also Cool Mag and more. Tuff Bear’s debut EP, Tuff Bear’s Picnic is set for release via Nashville-based label, Acrophase Records (V.V. Lightbody, PWNT, Ginger Root) on June 3, 2022.

Have a listen to ‘Not Very Well’ below…

Album Review: Sameways – Oloff

OLOFF circles back to the limelight with second project of the year, ‘Sameways’, which sonically takes on a more sombre route than its predecessor, ‘Expat’, which carries an appeasing presence of retro soul and samples that’s associated with the Golden Hollywood era.

A downtempo, yet somewhat airy electronic drive dominates the ten track set momentarily interrupted by melodic chants (as heard in intro track, ‘Always’), 808/hip-hop beats (in ‘Bonce’ and ‘Half Open’).

Covering the themes of eternal recurrence, amphetamines, paranoia and circular living, ‘Sameways’ concludes with alternating sounds of industrial soundscapes, that can pierce through the coldest of souls, and hypnotic chants.

Sometimes, I wonder what goes through the mind of this indie rapper, who creatives extreme off-the-cuff material that somehow (I think) has potential widespread appeal. If you’re inquisitive enough to enter Oloff’s world, why not hit the button on the album below.

Must Listens: Bonce, Half Open, Ten

Hector Who Lived Releases Debut Single ‘Monkey’

Bristol-based indie-pop / electronica artist HECTOR WHO LIVED‘s debut single, ‘Monkey’, was written when the first lockdown hit as an acknowledgement of one’s headspace being the first step towards self-help.

With sharp DIY production and earnestly self-aware lyrics, it’s a raw communication of mental struggles throughout lockdown and slipping into bad habits. Noise samples from a gameboy are sprinkled throughout to add texture to the track. ‘Monkey’ widens as it drops into the chorus where it sits atop a pulsing, funk-infused electronic bass. It reaches its pinnacle as it enters the final chorus; the vocals becoming stronger and more confident as they represent the willpower to get through bad mental states.

Hector has an array of musical achievements under his belt since his move to Bristol in 2017, having played venues such as The O2 Academy Oxford, The Bullingdon, Jericho Tavern and Truck Festival with his band ‘The Outside’. With his current band Try Me, Hector has a variety of festivals coming up this year including Dot To Dot. Hector has also featured on a charity album ‘Poland Has A Task’, alongside Lynks, Jessica Winter, Brodka and more; raising awareness for Women’s and Queer rights in Poland.

‘Monkey’ is now out on various digital music platforms. Why not have a peep at the accompanied 70s-inspired video below…