Author Archives: Zara Hoffman

UK Artist of the Week: Abby Power

Conscious hip-hop artist Abby Power does North West London proud with the release of her innovative new single “Thoughts Of An Artist,” out now.

The UK hip-hop scene is having an absolute moment right now and what’s better is that it’s jam-packed with some extremely talented females. Abby Power is our latest discovery and we sure are excited to see what she gets up to next. Her latest cut, “Thoughts Of An Artist” is a celestial slice of lo-fi hip-hop that merges the old school with the new, and we’re so here for it.

Talking about the single, Abby explains, “‘Thoughts Of An Artist’ is a song I was drawn to immediately because for some reason it reminded me of the old Marc Ecko game Getting Up… more specifically one of my favourite songs from the game, Mobb Deep “Survival of the Fittest,” so it reminded me of my early teenage years, and turned it into a song about the life me and majority of the world are living right now, adults working a 9-5 and paying the bills.

I don’t care about the fact I’m not flashy and don’t have money like a lot of the rappers out these days, but regardless of how broke I am, it still doesn’t take away from my pen game. In the end I’m just happy to have hip hop in my life, and I’ll be alright as long as I don’t let music leave my side again!”

“Thoughts Of An Artist” is taken from Abby’s second EP “Class of ’94” which is also in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Yoji

Rising R&B songstress Yoji goes retro on new single “Old Fashioned” and it certainly pays off. Special shout-out to the super suave saxophone that’s jamming throughout as well.

London-born newcomer Yoji returns with the release of her third EP “Retro Romance,” of which “Old Fashioned” is the leading single. “Old Fashioned” channels the likes of Alicia Keys with Yoji’s velvet vocals soaring over seductive R&B soundscapes. Talking about the EP, Yoji explains, “‘Retro Romance’ is a soulful classic celebration of love and passion for life unravelling my experiences of true love.”

Born in London and later raised in Suffolk, Yoji is a soulful pop singer, pianist, and award winning songwriter. No stranger to the live circuit (when there was one), she has already performed at the O2 Arena to a 20,000 capacity crowd and supporting Kool & The Gang at the Electric Soul Festival—not a bad start for the young artist! Watch this space…

“Retro Romance” is in stores now.

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Needle Drop:
Josh Thorpe,
Love & Weather

It may be a questionable choice to move from Canada to Glasgow but we won’t hold that against him. Alt-rock newcomer Josh Thorpe recently released his latest album Love & Weather, taking you on an off-kilter journey from start to finish.

Opening with the super lo-fi “Rita and George,” the eight minute long release sets the tone for the album wonderfully. Discordant guitar twangs are met with Josh’s colloquially Canadian vocal tone, allowing Josh to introduce the listener to the release in his own weird and wonderful way.

Next up is Thorpe’s debut single “Manhattan” and probably the most “commercial” rock tune on the album. Channelling the likes of Pulp, Thorpe creates a sound that is both infectious and introspective. The single is a dissonant celebration of New York, idle moments—and not getting to meet Thurston Moore, naturally.

Thorpe’s latest release “Down To The Ground” feels instantly reminiscent of the likes of Lou Reed as Thorpe shows a more vulnerable side to himself and his voice as well. The song is subtle, charming, and a welcome change-up among the already diverse album. “Why Try” then picks up the pace once more with its raucous guitar twangs that gives the track an almost blues-y element to it.

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UK Artist of the Week: Gracie Convert

Neo-soul newcomer Gracie Convert is giving us jazz-fuelled goodness on her new single “Stay” but we’re not going anywhere, that’s for sure.

London-based songstress Convert combines jazz, neo-soul, and R&B sensibilities on new single “Stay” and it’s stunning from start to finish. Fans of the likes of Mae Muller and Cleo Sol will feel at home here.

Talking about the single, Gracie explains, “I really don’t want to be tied down to a genre. Most of what I write is heavily based on improvisation, that’s what I enjoy. I can’t imagine having to monitor the process so heavily whilst writing. I’m influenced by so much and it would take the love out of it.”

Gracie has already shared stages with with Jamie Isaac, Yakul, Jerkcurb, Oscar WorldPeace, Boadi, and Luke Burr, so we can’t wait to see what she gets up to next (post-lockdown of course). She is due to release a catalogue of songs throughout 2021, exploring the topics of vulnerability, love, and mental health.

“Stay” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week:
DD Darillo

Boy Azooga’s Dylan Morgan has decided to helm a brand new musical project and we’re pretty excited about it. DD Darillo deliver a psychedelic masterclass with the release of their debut single “Time Will Tell,” out now.

Channelling the likes of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Pond, DD Darillo create neo-psychedelic soundscapes that are packed with grooving melodies, infectious hooks and glorious harmonies. A song about not feeling at home anywhere, “Time Will Tell” explores the desolate solitude of growing up in the outback of the Welsh hills.

A chiming, fuzz-filled banger scattered with soulful harmonies and uplifting beats, “Time Will Tell” is the perfect introduction to DD Darillo as they showcase a marriage of genres spanning neo-prog, new-wave pop, and college rock.

“Time Will Tell” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: The Actions

We’re getting trippy this week with The Actions and their atmospheric new single “Flourish,” out now. The single is taken from the dynamic duo’s forthcoming album of the same name, due for release on 15th February 2021—just in time for Valentine’s Day no less!

Combining brooding synths with thundering percussion and Marta Argenio’s celestial vocals, “Flourish” is a perfect slice of dark, ambient electronica to usher your mind into a world of self-discovery. Fans of the likes of Portishead and Little Dragon will feel at home here.

Talking about the single, the band explains, “it’s an exhortation and an encouragement in believing in yourself and enjoying the gift of life once again, now that fears seem to fade out. To flourish is an active process. Most of the time you need to find out what is deceiving your sight, what is making you feel bad, and let your heart rule against what your mind is telling you.”

The Action’s forthcoming album Flourish is in stores on 15th February 2021.

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UK Artist of the Week: Mick Dimitri

This week’s artist of the week is Italian singer-songwriter Mick Dimitri. The emerging artist has already made a friend in Ed Sheeran and it’s looking as though 2021 could be a very exciting year for this budding pop star.

Mick’s latest single “End of The Ride” is an infectious slice of anthemic pop that just keeps on giving. Channelling the likes of Shawn Mendes, “End of The Ride” combines synth-laden hooks with rich, warm vocals, creating a fun-filled contemporary pop sound. The single is the first to be released from Mick’s debut EP “Take My Hand,” which is out on 19th March 2021.

Mick’s claim to fame is that he once waited on a table for Ed Sheeran no less, who then invited him to open for him on his Divide tour a few years back. Not a bad claim to fame if you ask us!

“End of The Ride” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Elisa Imperilee

The UK R&B scene is having a real moment right now and we can’t get enough. Our latest discovery is South London’s Elisa Imperilee and her slick new single “Water” which is out now.

Produced by Srigala, the single oozes sass and style as jazz-hop beats hum underneath Elisa’s ethereal vocal effortlessly. Honestly, it’s like honey. Talking about the single, Elisa explains, “people always told me that time was a healer. But sometimes time isn’t enough and the difficult truth is that you have to put in work to heal yourself.”

“When I wrote this song I was in a dark place yet somehow this felt more comfortable than the prospect of facing the feelings I had been avoiding for a long time. I was becoming aware of the trap I was in and this song chronicles my coming to terms with the fact I had to dive into those difficult emotions to get out of it.”

So, what are you waiting for? Lose yourself with Elisa Imperilee and her smokey, R&B-infused single “Water,” in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Cristina Hart

This week’s Artist of the Week is Swiss-born, alt-pop songstress Cristina Hart. She had quite the year last year—despite the chaos—and released her critically acclaimed debut EP “Sell A Dream” in December. Keep an eye on this one, we’re sure 2021 is going to be an exciting year for Cristina.

“Sell A Dream” is a perfect collection of alt-pop vignettes for any pop fanatic looking to spice things up this winter. Opener “I’m a Mess” is a celestial delight from the offset, oozing with infectious melodies that will have you singing along in no time. “Bad Girlfriend” and “Vanilla” similarly follow suit, with Cristina’s relatable lyricism and rich, soulful vocal always on point.

Closing with gorgeous power ballad “Will You,” we’re privy to a more vulnerable side to Cristina that we haven’t seen previously. Her effortless vocals soar over subtle piano chords, creating a sound akin to that of Gabrielle Aplin.

Cristina Hart currently resides in London where she is no doubt a discovery on the live circuit. For now, however, we highly recommend enjoying her ethereal tones from the comfort of your own home.

“Sell A Dream” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Millar Jukes

We’re kicking off 2021 with a powerful new artist who we feel will resonate with many, especially given the current climate. Americana troubadour Millar Jukes is due to release his debut album later this year, but he’s given us a poignant taste of what’s to come with his latest cut “Home”—and it feels like a warm cuppa Joe…

“Home” combines country, blues, and Americana-based soundscapes to create a sound that is undeniably heartfelt and nostalgic. Taking influence from the likes of Ray LaMontagne, Jukes’ beautiful soul-tinged vocal compliments the soft, intricate musicality. This track is best served by a burning fire with a warm mug of whiskey if you ask us, and we won’t be told otherwise.

“Home” is a song about feeling lost in life and burdened with heavy anxiety until you find that one person who picks you up and makes life worth living—something everyone can resonate with in one way or another at the moment, we’re sure.

“Home” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Jack Stark

We made it guys! 2020 is nearly over and we can honestly say we couldn’t be happier about it. We close the year with a very special release from Scottish newcomer Jack Stark, who’s new single “As Feathers” is a stunning slice of indie-folk that feels aptly fitting for the winter months. So get those fires burning, sit back, relax and enjoy…

“As Feathers” feels instantly reminiscent of the likes of Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, as intricate guitar plucks compliment effortless harmonies throughout, creating a sound that is just otherworldly. Jack’s distinctive baritone soars magnificently, giving the song another level of intimacy and poignancy.

There’s something incredibly unique about Jack’s storytelling charm that will literally give you chills as you listen, and for that, we are extremely grateful. It’s been a tough year for all of us and sometimes a bit of ethereal indie-folk is all you need.

“As Feathers” is the first single to be taken from Jack’s upcoming album Echobounds, due for release in 2021.

“As Feathers” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Chris Short

You’d better have some tissues handy, because this week’s Artist of The Week is bound to to get those tear ducts working! Irish newcomer Chris Short recently shared his stunning new single “Higher” and it’s the perfect winter warmer to get those emotions flowing.

“Higher” is instantly reminiscent of the likes of Foy Vance or Newton Faulkner as he combines elements of folk and pop to create a sound that is powerfully poignant. The charming lyrics compliment Chris’ distinctively gritty vocal tone, allowing the intricate guitar twangs and lo-fi electronics to hum supportingly in the background.

“Higher” was written about Chris’ wife of ten years and his ongoing love for her. “Higher” is the first single to be taken from Chris’ forthcoming EP, “Somewhere,” due for release in May 2021.

“Higher” is in stores now via Beardfire Music.

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UK Artist of the Week: Josh Thorpe

Get ready to get a little fuzzy this week with Josh Thorpe and his experimental new single “Manhattan,” out now.

Taken from his upcoming album Love & Weather, “Manhattan” is the perfect introduction to Josh’s unique blend of off-kilter alternative rock. Reminiscent of Velvet Underground and Kurt Vile, Josh combines colloquial lyricism with minimalist rock beats creating a sound that is undeniably adventurous and obscure.

Josh is originally from Canada but now resides in Glasgow where he continues to work as a visual artist who has made psychedelic installations of threads, balloons, and “a big public work of flags flying with stupid drawings on them.” If “Manhattan” is anything to go by, we’re excited to see what Love & Weather will bring. Watch this space…

Love & Weather is in stores on 5th February 2021 via Unusual Music Exchange.

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UK Artist of the Week: Camden Place

With the pandemic still running wild all over the world, it’s sometimes hard to feel optimistic about when things will be back to normal again. Now, more than ever, we need to look after our mental health and remind ourselves it’s ok to feel low or anxious in these unprecedented times. Collaborative dance project Camden Place remind us of just that on their ambient new single “Will I Make It To Springtime,” out now.

Blending woozy synths, transcendent drum beats, and singer-songwriter Grainne Hunt’s soft, celestial vocal, “Will I Make It To Springtime” is the perfect lo-fi slice of electronica to get you through the winter months. Grainne has teamed up with Irish songwriter Seán Silke, electronic producer Magician’s Assistant, and label Beardfire Music for this release and it certainly seems like the new found collective are onto something good if this debut is anything to go by. Fans of the likes of Bonobo and Four Tet will feel at home here.

“Will I Make It To Springtime” is a song about facing your fears and accepting your anxieties, something that feels extremely relatable at the moment.

“Will I Make It To Springtime” is in stores now via Beardfire Music.

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UK Artist of the Week: Sans Soucis

PHOTO: CHIARA BRUSCHINI | As the UK goes back into lockdown for another month, it’s tough to not to get bogged down and forget about all the positives in your life, and that’s ok. Get lost instead in Sans Soucis’ hypnotic new single “Air,” a song about finding your focus and facing your fears.

London-based artist Sans Soucis has us entirely entranced, and we’re not complaining. Her new single “Air” showcases her haunting vocals and poignant lyricism perfectly. The richly textured electronic beat throughout is totally mesmerising as well, by the way.

Talking about the single, Sans explains, “I spent quite some time wallowing in my insecurities and fear of failure, that I almost forgot how much courage it takes in a time like this to be real, to still believe we can inspire each other, to believe we can support and help people around us by simply being a great example. It’s a tremendous responsibility that I can only actively do while I am alive. “Air” is vital for our survival, which is something that we’ve started reconsidering during this tough year. With this song, I am trying to talk to someone who has lost focus, their compass or purpose.”

“Air” is in stores now.

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