Hailing from a small town in Oxfordshire, TILLY VALENTINE starts the New Year with new single ‘Calendar Girl’.
Opening doors with her very own advent calendar counting down the days until release, the narrative of ‘Calendar Girl’ is about dreaming of a perfect future.
Valentine says of her latest release: “It’s easy to feel like other people are in love with perfect “calendar girls”, but by the next month they’re on to the next. ‘Calendar Girl’ is about commitment, longing for something long term.”
Earning its spot on New Music Friday, ‘Calendar Girl’ effortlessly reveals her trademark jazzy influences; an elegant vocal blended with retro alternative pop. The vintage inspired artwork hints at the underlying characteristics; wholesome, delicate and empowering.
So turn a new page for 2021 and watch the lyric video for ‘Calendar Girl’, available on your preferred music platform from 1st January.
LA-based singer/songwriter BLÜ EYES unveils official lyric video for her fifth release of the year, ‘Just Life’, The relatable track, co-written with Jonny Shorr and Haley Joelle, tells a story of fights between friends that feel like actual breakups.
“The first line of the chorus is, “There’ll be nights you wanna punch the wall / spend ‘em crying in a bathroom stall,” and during that rough, emotional time, I lived out those lines like they were some sort of freaky premonition,” she explains. “I quite literally cried in several bathroom stalls while listening to that demo on my phone, speaker pressed up against my ear, trying to reassure myself that I was going to get through it.”
‘Just Life’ will appear on BLÜ EYES’ debut album, due next year.
It’s been a long 4-year stint since South London Hip-Hop artist, AKS, released his sophomore EP, ‘Train of Thought’, seeing the likes of BBC 1Xtra, Earmilk, HipHopDX, DJ Booth and the MOBO Awards among the tastemakers who added their plaudits for the seminal record. The offering went on to earn the rapper two nominations at the inaugural Unsigned Music Awards (Best Record, Best Urban Act) as well as giving him viral moments with his Chas Appeti directed visual efforts for singles ‘Stay with Me’ featuring Sincerely Wilson, and title track ‘Train of Thought’, both being picked up by UNILAD.
Now with the close of 2020 fast approaching and against the backdrop of the current world climate the “three-letter man” returns with his new soul infused single ‘Up & Up (Heavens Above)’, an aspirational offering appealing to each of our underlying ambitions.
Merging unconventional organ phrases with lush and vibrant guitar licks throughout, the track plays as an ode to the jazz greats of yesteryear; fusing traditional musicianship with the off kilter syncopated bounce of contemporary hip-hop and neo-soul. Continuing his previous form as a genuine lyricist, AKS weaves together thought rich rhyme schemes whilst delivering a soulfully melodic vocal in a way that is easily becoming the calling card of the South London native.
Exploring themes of dogged determination and new found responsibility, the passion driven track displays AKS’ lyrical ability as he pens painfully frank verses professing his recent frustrations, the pressures of becoming a new father and questions surrounding legacy.
Speaking further about the inspiration behind ‘Up And Up (Heavens Above)’, AKS says, “Following the birth of my son, having taken some time away from music in the lead up to his arrival and in the time since, I found myself questioning my existence and contributions both from a parental and an artistic perspective. This song was born out of a desire to do better for my son’s sake and ascend irrespective of the obstacles I may face or how low I’ve felt at times. It’s my reminder to myself of my hopes and dreams, that my contributions are long lasting and impactful, at the very least, on my son”.
‘Up & Up (Heavens Above)’ is the first single taken from his forthcoming project ‘As Plane As Day: Departures & Arrivals’, which concludes the wordsmith’s three-part ‘Modes of Transport’ series, the record sees the rapper award himself production credits under the veiled moniker #3Letters, whilst enlisting the collaborative efforts of prominent musicians Adrian Remedy (Ed Sheeran) on guitars, Benjamin Muralt (Ledisi, Ill Camille, Pixie Lott) on bass, and AdeKeys (AfroB) on keyboards.
Featuring melodic guitar riffs and light percussion, RYAN WHYTE MALONEY‘s new single, ‘I Am the One’ was written in one of the darkest times of his life. Fueled by negative feelings and traumatic past experiences that left a deep scar in his being, Ryan pushed through it all and channeled those feelings to make art.
‘I Am the One’ contains a strong anti-suicide message, in words of Ryan himself about this song: “I hope this song can be a mantra or a beacon of light in your life to merely say you’re not alone and everyone thinks of the dark thoughts that appear like a dark twin mirrored reflection. Wipe away that tearful reflection and know that tomorrow is another day to see what you’re still capable of becoming. You are worthy of live and were put on this earth to give energy and to be a working cog in this game of life. It’s never too late to start over again, it’s hard but every happy ending starts with a first step, so take yours today and make HISTORY remember you!”
Released today (14th October), VOGUES’ second single, ‘Tony & Moses’ possess a soulful, laser-focused example of modern alternative pop, which chronicles the idea of losing someone. Written from the perspective of the one left behind, it succinctly captures the emotions of the character reckoning with loss.
Challenging the listener with unusual melody lines, yet delivering his lines with undeniable passion and sincerity, Londoner Vogues’ unique voice weaves elegantly around soothing strings, electronic drums and moving piano motifs.
Musically inspired by the likes of Julia Holter, Brian Eno, Group Listening and Penguin Cafe Orchestra – the name ‘Tony & Moses’ originally came from a video of Tony Allan teaching Moses Boyd how to drum afrobeat – which is where the drum machine pattern comes from – a very slowed-down afrobeat pattern tentatively played by Moses under Tony’s fixed stare.
‘Tony & Moses’ was originally written by Ted Mair, who along with Vogues make up part of The Golden Dregs’s live band.
Vogues says: “Ted sent me ‘Tony & Moses’ over lockdown and I instantly thought ‘I have to do a version of this’” explains Vogues. “The beauty of the song just really struck me. I asked him if he would allow me and if he wanted to collaborate on it. He had kinda distanced himself from it and thought it was going to lay dormant forever. However once I had a go at singing he was inspired to rearrange the instrumental, recording new material on double bass, clarinet, piano and bass guitar.”
Vogues counts artists including Dev Hynes and Solange as key sources of inspiration – and those influences can be heard within the soulful, diverse tracks he has released to date. Sounding in places like his voice has been lifted from a bygone era, Vogues, along with collaborators Benjamin Woods (AKA The Golden Dregs who produced Vogues’s debut single YH4M) and Ted Mair, neatly incorporate elements of soul, electronic and alternative pop to create something truly encapsulating.
‘Tony & Moses’ is out now via Nothing Fancy. Check out the lyric video for single below…