EP Review: Turns Out We Should have Stayed At Home – Lucky Iris

Consisting of vocalist Maeve Florsheim and instrumentalist Jasper Exley, electro pop duo LUCKY IRIS‘ EP, ‘Turns Out We Should Have Stayed At Home’, maybe a concept collection that promises a blinding night out that didn’t go to plan, but it’s far from a disappointment (sorry for giving the game away way too early!)

The ‘sparkyness’ of single, ‘Get Ready With Me’, kicks off the EP with its distinctive intermittent electronic flow that gives off a ‘bright eyed and bushy tail’ sensation. Changing the EP’s mood completely, comes the intimate setting of second effort, ‘Take 5 (Why Can’t You See Me)’ where the lone, melancholic piano keys along with Florsheim’s woeful vocal performance, which somewhat gives off a jazzy/bluesy vibe, mirrors the image of watching everyone enjoying themselves in which you don’t feel a part of.

Picking up the tempo is ‘Glitter Vision’ with its feathery soft four-on-the-floor pattern, leading to a jarringly delightful drive, which tells of the moment where you attempt to make a night of it. Concluding the EP is ‘I Fell Backwards’, another intimate, piano-led piece, which reflects on a disastrous night through Florsheim’s heartfelt vocals which gains strength and becomes soulful.

With ‘Turns Out We Should Have Stayed At Home’, the duo offers some solace to an experience that we all had in some point on our lives, through pleasantly experimental numbers and classic pieces that will be well received by a wider audience. Definitely worth a trial…have a listen below…

Must Listens: Get ready With Me, I Fell Backwards 

EP Review: For The Uninformed – Nicki Knightz

I’ve always known NICKI KNIGHTZ to be that rapper who fiercely take on the boldest of the boldest arrangements with her no nonsense flow, but her latest EP, ‘For The Uninformed’, has caught me off guard. With the exception of the drum bass heavy/Congolese guitar sample, ‘Blacker the Berry,’ which pays homage to her father’s work ethic, the EP shows a soft and perhaps a more vulnerable side to the Hackney native.

The three-track set sees Nicki focusing on the neglected identity issues of being biracial, eliminating any glamorized images of being a light skinned person. In second effort, ‘India Arie’, Nicki gives a vivid account of the problems her parents faced when contending with her hair, over a warped soulful/jazz instrumentation. An old-school soulful drive makes its presence known and runs sombrely throughout concluding track, ‘1964 Howlett Drive’, serving as the perfect backdrop for Nicki’s uncharacteristically emotive delivery, which gives an insight of her experiencing her mother’s culture and its heartbreakingly stark contrast to their life in the innercity area.

A complete 180 to her sonically boisterous 2018 debut EP ‘Hate’, ‘For The Uninformed’ takes on a more minimalist theme, allowing the uninformed to really soak up and resonate with the experience of her childhood.

Have a listen to ‘For The Uninformed’ below…

Must Listen: India Arie

EP Review: KWESBAAR RMXS – Neak

NEAK‘s latest project, ‘KWESBAAR RMXS’ maybe a mini set of just five tracks, but it burst with influences, with his spin on hip-hop from the golden era (circa late 80’s), which is often met with rhythmic loops of 70s-style soulful vocals. Third effort ‘The Gift (Mashup)’, brings a little something different to the project as it taps into the boombap vibe working in unison with bluesy jazz tones for that tinging sensation.

‘KWESBAAR RMXS’ is a spin off from Neak’s critically acclaimed/self-produced full-length album, ‘KWESBAAR’ as it entails four new interpretations/remixes from that set plus new track, ‘Nothing To Lose, Inner City Blues’. Released year ago, ‘KWESBAAR’ accumulated over 30,000 streams with the first few weeks of its release. Neak’s lucid delivery gives a hard-hitting account of the trials and retributions of being an African-American male in America which, personally, feel (at times) that Kanye West is taking a shot on the collection.

‘KWESBAAR RMXS’ carries on the same theme of his everyday struggles that’s definitely worth a listen…check it out below…

Must Listens: The Gift (Mashup), My Life

EP Review: The Guild of Artisans – Redd Tunes Productions

Producer Rob “Redd Tunes” Brazao’s second project of the year, ‘The Guild of Artisans’  is the perfect chill out escapism from lockdown.

A melodic haziness of boombap/hip-hop works its way through the set, with guest emcees’ delivery easing through the tranquil bars.

One thing that certainly didn’t go unnoticed is the dopely askew vocals in intro track, ‘Distance’ by MansasWorld.

For all you hip-hop heads out there, it’s to immerse yourself into Redd Tunes’ ‘The Guild of Artisans’. This guy has been in the game for over 30 years, so you’re about to listen to some quality stuff…hit that play button below…

Must Listens: Distance by MansasWorld

Mixtape Review: Beats And Pieces: Volume Two – Joshua Luke Smith

JOSHUA LUKE SMITH‘s latest mixtape, ‘Beats And Pieces Volume Two’, stemmed from a difficult time when his wife and his father were in hospital – at the same time.

The result of his latest set could have been predictably dark and melancholic. Instead a soothing and comforting presence of soulful boombap runs throughout the best part of the collection, with Joshua’s lucidly smooth delivery adding some hope and optimism.

Tracks ‘Joy’ and ‘Circles’ provides another dimension to the set with intensively imitate arrangements, prompting the prospective listener to really home in and resonate with the message in each productions.

Now this guy has produced the entire mixtape under a month – he wrote the lyrics of each song in a hospital waiting room whilst being with his wife and father. Joshua gets my utmost respect as, in a time of distress, he produced a stunning collection that displays an unflappable appreciation for life.

‘Beats And Pieces, Vol.2’ should be a reminder to us all that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel…no matter how hard life gets…Check it out below…

Must Listens: Meaningless, Spinnin’, Stay