Pollena Offers Optimism In Dark Times With EP, ‘Rising.’

Following earlier tips from the likes of BBC 6 Music, Line of Best Fit, Notion, Radio 1/1Xtra, Under the Radar, Beats Per Minute, Earmilk – to name a few – London-based artist formerly of neo-soul outfit Girlhood – POLLENA returns with her debut EP ‘Rising’ on Team Talk Records.

Pollena isn’t afraid to tackle a darker world in her debut EP, finding power in the fight for a better life. ‘Rising’ stands out by giving us a reason for optimism even – especially – in challenging times. Featuring raw and honest themes delivered with Pollena’s signature rich, smooth vocals, the EP blends genres, from neo soul to house, electronica and RnB, in an accomplished celebration of individuality, resilience and vulnerability and a call for hope.

Co-written and co-produced with Barney Whittaker aka Footshooter, following the success of their previous collaboration ‘Stand Up’, ‘Rising’ reveals a fresh and rejuvenated sound for Pollena that melds together elements of neo-soul, house and RnB.

The leading ‘Black Holes’ is an exploration of spacey synths, glowing keys, and commanding bass lines accompanied by powerful yet ethereal vocals. “I’m searching for a way out of the darkness, trying to hold on to a glimpse of light through connection. ‘Black Holes’ speaks to our innate desire to feel whole and an understanding that good times shared together are the answer.” Pollena.

The following ‘Diamonds’ is a glowing house and UK garage-inspired bop with a powerful message. “I’m sick of society pressuring us into lives we don’t want. We blindly follow the paths set out for us and do what’s expected, we simply don’t have to. I want ‘Diamonds’ to encourage listeners to fight for a better life.” Pollena

‘Lemons’, the first release prior to the EP’s launch, reveals waves of sun-kissed harmonies accompanying glowing jazz keys and a rich, Latin-inspired rhythm to create a summer vibe full of hope and optimism. “I want to celebrate living a life that feels true to me and inspire others to do the same. ‘Lemons’ is all about slowing down and connecting with what makes you happy.” Pollena

Rounding up the EP is the hazy, lo-fi ‘Bask In Blue’. A mellow R&B beat blends warm, soulful harmonies with balmy keys. “Bask in Blue tells a story of letting uncomfortable feelings in and embracing sadness whilst holding onto the hope that things can change.” Pollena

So if you’re suffering from the January blues, I reckon this mini EP will offer up some comfort. Have a listen below…

Must Listens: Black Holes, Lemons

BRAND NEW: Listen To Demi Jordanae’s EP ‘How Did We Get Here’

Modern soul songstress/songwriter DEMI JORDANAE takes us on an emotional rollercoaster with self-produced EP, ‘How Did We Get Here’.

Each song offers up a cocktail of different mood, emotion, sound and style, some that that takes you down the lane of smooth slows jams of yesteryear and the boisterous soulful sounds of Beyoncé.

Dem says of her new EP: “I had no narrative or idea whatsoever for the EP. I was just creating and writing about anything I felt. I don’t write from personal experience but from imagination. I get inside a character’s mind with lyrical places that can resonate or relate with other people’s life experiences.”

Listen to ‘How Did We Get Here’ below…

Must Listens: I Never Do, This Ain’t No Tyranny

OUT TODAY: Listen To Yaz León’s EP, ‘It’s only takeout Ma’

Led by the two well-received singles she released this summer ‘August’ and ‘Silent Mode’, and having been championed by the likes of BBC Introducing, Vogue Paris, Worldwide FM, Dummy Magazine, and British Council’s Selector Radio recently, emerging West London neo-soul singer, musician, and producer YAZ LEÓN releases her resounding new debut EP, ‘It’s Only Takeout Ma’.

Written and produced by Yaz León herself, with additional production from Ess West, and live instrumentation from Luke Bachuss, Seun Folayan, Jack Oliver, and Starkey the Messenger, the six-track EP sees the Spanish Iraqi native exploring her familial and romantic relationships, while also having conversations with herself about these emotional ties. Sonically, she experiments with interesting production and soundscapes, weaving through and merging genres such as soul, funk, R&B, and pop music, to tell her stories, and explore topics like nostalgia, distrust, intimacy, and toxic masculinity.

Citing influences such as Childish Gambino, Erykah Badu, Paco de Lucia, George Benson, and Kendrick Lamar, Yaz León pushes her songwriting to new heights on this project, making use of multifaceted storytelling and lyrical narration to create a work of art that can truly speak to everyone – whether it’s ‘August’ where she reminisces about falling in love with a girl for the first time and comes out to her family, or ‘Spend Your Coins Here’, which pushes against fragile pride and selfishness, or the narrative ‘Dunya’ about maturing through life’s growing pains.

‘It’s Only Takeout Ma’ was released today (28th October) across all good music platforms. Have a listen below…

Must Listen: August, Spend Your Coins Here

Tilly Valentine Delivers New EP, ‘Half Empty/Half Full’

BBC 6-approved singer-songwriter TILLY VALENTINE‘s new brand EP, ‘Half Full/Half Empty’ symbolises love and loss, with each song is written from a different perspective taking us on a journey from hope to heartbreak.

Pop and soulful soundscapes set the tone for the EP, with hints of jazz and R&B. The optimistic narratives in opening tracks ‘Plus One’ and ‘Gin & Tonic’, tell the story of meeting your perfect match. Valentine’s love songs have been added to playlists such as New Music Friday, Riffs & Runs, Low-Key, Winter Moments, Starbucks and more. The EP later includes the sassy break-up singles, ‘XOXO’ and ‘Thinking of You (Déjà Vu)’.

The newest EP track, ‘Birthdays & Funerals’, is co-written with Easy Life’s producer, Ben Matravers, and samples real voice notes of Valentine’s loved ones. It’s about a relationship that has gone full circle; from growing together to grieving the loss. “Birthdays can be as hard as funerals when the ones you love aren’t there”, Valentine says. “Realising that you’ll never see someone again after a break up can be so heavy. It’s grieving a loss that feels like a death”.

Released last Friday (21st October), ‘Half Full/Half Empty’ is an honest and reflective EP that touches on both the good and bad experiences of love. Have a listen below…

Must Listens: XOXO, Thinking of You (Déjà Vu)

Oloye Coldman Reflects On Life’s Saga With Latest EP, ‘Olúwamáyọ̀wá’

Olúwamáyọ̀wá by OLOYE “Oluwamayowa” COLDMAN is the reflection of a life saga and true story being depicted in just four tracks, but can be viewed as just a picture in your mind from lines to verses.

It’s a story of how he fractured his wrist whilst playing football and despite being in excruciating pain, he never give up and carried on with a smile.

Olúwamáyọ̀wá aims to inspire each and every soul, reviving the saddened mind and putting a smile of triumph on the faces of people. Have a listen to the inspirational set below…

Must Listens: Sat All Day, Elevation