Album Review: 2020 DIvision – JYellowL

Irish rapper JYELLOWL jumps right down to it with his highly-anticipated debut album, ‘2020 DIvison’ and addresses the issue of having self-worth through the introductory track ‘2020’, which possesses an intimate, stripped-back setting later joined by drums, idyllic runs of piano keys and a gusty thump of the b-line.

Melodic tones (which becomes patently clear that this is JYellowL’s trademark) against a seamlessly smooth hip-hop/R&B dropback and boisterous bass, continues through the first half of the album, putting a thought-provoking spin on serious topics such as systemic and institutional racism.

‘2020 DIvision’ then ventures into the realms tropical dancehall/Afrobeats (in ‘Hypocrite’ and ‘Change’), moving onto an air of tranquil trap-hop, 90-inspired afterhours in an acoustic setting and even elements of New Jack-ish era in ‘Tunnel Vision’. Along the breadth of genres, JyellowL continues to cover a breadth of tropics, including his experience in the music industry and taking proactive steps to elevating the youth in today’s society.

From the moment I hit play on ‘2020 DIvision’, it became very clear that JYellowL is more than just a musician who is instantly recognisable through his distinctive sound and catchy flow – he’s a strong activist that isn’t afraid to tackle political and social issues that intrigues as well as disturbs him, urging his audiences to find that inner flame to do the same.

Even through his singles ‘Ozone’, ‘Jewels’, ‘Doesn’t Feel Like’, ‘Mademoiselle’
and ‘Tunnel Vision’ were all well received ahead of the album’s release, JYellowL (personally) will be now further placed as one of the most intriguing and promising artists from the Irish rap scene and perhaps beyond – and may well be look upon as a Juggernaut-like political figure among his peers with ‘2020 DIvision’.

Check out 2020 DIvision check below plus the blog’s songs recommendation:

Must Listen: 2020, Call It What You Want, Doesn’t Feel Like, Change, Tunnel Vision 

Album Review: Delta – NTHN

Tackling the issue of male mental health, NTHN presents his latest album titled ‘Delta’. Written, produced and recorded by the Runcorn producer/artist himself, NTHN takes us through various stages of his own rollercoaster journey with mental health…

Barely audible airy soundscapes coupled with loops of daunting voices starts the turmoil journey with ‘Aware’ which leads on to feather light bed of electronica/pop backdrop which is almost overshadowed by a jarring bass through efforts, ‘Denial’ and ‘Falling’.

The sole presence of the woeful piano (in ‘Wasting Time’) replaces the alarming drive, before the album ventures into the realms of bluesy hip-hop/emo rap and grunge/metal (think along the lines of Nirvana). ‘Delta’ concludes with tranquil layers of feathery light electronica through ’03:35′, which reflects NTHN’s road to recovery to self acceptance and love.

It’s great to see such issues  – such as male mental health – becoming less of a social taboo. Although this album is NTHN’s personal journey, it’s also a sign of encouragement for others to break down the wall of shame and loneliness (two most common feelings that are associated with this issue) and reach out for help.

Have a listen to ‘Delta’ below and view the song recommendations below…

Must listens: Wasting Time, Conflicted

EP Review: This is Korie – Korie

With KORIE‘s EP, ‘This is Korie’, personally I feel there are subtle influences of the once-popularised Yo pop – a mixture of jazz, funk, reggae and Afrobeats – fused with acoustic, almost stripped -back performances led by the guitar. When you listen to each track in this set, it feels like this young Nigerian singer/songwriter is performing right in front of you in an intense, intimate setting of an underground jazz club.

Her pronounced Motherland-esque vocals, which holds so much passion, paints a vivid storytelling of her fears in life, the pursuit to find true love and the determination in becoming a better person. It’s very clear that from the EP that Korie lives and breathes music…and it’s very rare I come across any material of music, where you can actually feel the musician’s love for music.

So ladies and gents, let me introduce you to the very talented Miss Korie in her purest and rawest form…

Must Listens: Foe, Change Me, Ife (Love) 

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: Igbotic – Ike Chuks

One of UK’s hottest talents, IKE CHUKS‘ new EP, ‘Igbotic’ sees him slamming down a laid-back smooth flow delivered in English as well as Pidgin and Igbo.

The first half the collection delivers a gutsy warmth of Afro-Swing tribal-esque bass, featured in ‘What Happened To Kate’ and ‘Ego’. Influences of UK urban/hip-hop creeps in, creating a seamless fusion with the beats originated from the Motherland, as featured in the wavy joint, ‘Money’ and ‘Fire’

In this mini five-piece set, Ike has created really special here, that can be easily appeasing to the audiences beyond the UK urban circuit. Check out Ike’s EP below…

Must Listens: What Happened To Kate, Never Been