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