HEAR THIS NOW: THE MUSIC SOUNDCHECK EDITION 10
Welcome to Hear This Now! The ultimate music soundcheck is back with Edition 10 and the first roundup of 2022. Here, I dive in with some of the best tracks you may have missed so far in this first quarter of the year
In edition 10, I’m highlighting songs starting from the past week dating back to January of this year. It has been a while, so I felt a super-sized mega-post chockfull of great music picks was needed. I’ve sprinkled some music videos throughout and linked a playlist with all the songs mentioned at the end. Enjoy!
Leading off the week, we have a pristine new collaboration from South London boys Bastille and Brazilian producer Alok. ‘Run Into Trouble’ superbly blends the impassioned melodic pop and catchy dance floor vibes into a bombastic anthem just in time for those Summer festivals (and playlists). ‘Run Into Trouble’, and my next tune are the perfect vibes for the 2022 festival season. Pop Chameleon Harry Styles is back with a new era and album titled Harry’s House. This debut single from it ‘As It Was‘ dropped today along with the vibrant visual. Whether or not you dig Harry’s sound or vibe. It’s still exciting to see someone change up every album era. I think that’s something all three artists I mentioned in the leadoff have in common. Harry’s new single gives us major dance-rock vibes a la Bryan Ferry, and a bit of The Strokes. It will be interesting to hear where the rest of the record and single go musically. To close out the lead-in is the British Alternative legends PLACEBO. They return with their eighth studio album ‘Never Let Me Go’. ‘Never Let Me Go’ is the duo’s first release in almost a decade and their best and most cohesive to date. It’s dark, weird, and poignant in only a way that Brian Molko and his conspicuous and eccentric songwriting could be.
Dead Oceans artist Toro y Moi is back with his third release ‘Déjà Vu‘ from his forthcoming album, MAHAL, and is set for an April 29th release. The incredibly groovy Pop-funk track features a Justin Morris-directed music video and follows previously released songs, ‘The Loop‘ and ‘Postman‘. Young 17-year-old rapper redveil drops a new collab with Sam Truth titled, ‘better‘. His new single (and his upcoming album, learn 2 swim) showcases the artists’ skills and provides commentary on that pivotal coming-of-age era. redveil is set to go on tour opening up for Denzel Curry who always has a super spicy recent music video with T-pain called ‘Troubles‘.
Top Dawg Entertainment‘s newest signee Doechii has a hot new track out. ‘Persuasive is a futuristic melting pot of bold and sassy R&B. In the attached visual, Doechii portrays a dizzying array of personalities via fashion. Another fierce femme in R&B/Hip-Hop music, ilya makes her highly-anticipated return with ‘Sad Bitch Bad Bitch’. For some great sounds within this genre coming from across the pond. Check out Ibeyi teaming up with Jorja Smith on ‘Lavender & Red Roses’. Ella Mai and her smooth vocals deliver on her new romantic slow jam, ‘Leave You Alone’. Dancehall artist Leon Jacques drops Parts’ a reggae-influenced track.
Jazz Pop vocalist Celeste returns with ‘To Love A Man’, and finally, Emeli Sande offers up ‘There Isn’t Much’. Kae Tempest finds home in unexpected collabs, like their latest ‘I Saw Light’ with Irish Singer Grian Chatten. The spoken word artist continues to push boundaries of where music can go and what it is with each release. As Kae brilliantly fuses kinetic wordplay and bare-bones synths to create magic flowing through every line. Korean-Australian Rap super crew 1300 come through with the raw and powerful energy on their new hyper pop-tinged track ‘Oldboy’.
For some fresh Alternative and Rock songs, we have a new single from English Folk singer Tom Odell. Blossoms release the jangly Paul Simon-inspired ‘Sulking Poet’. Music chameleons Yelawolf and Shooter Jennings team up on the music project titled Sometimes Y. They create a debut that is a bombastic mix of Country, Rock, and everything in-between. Irish Alt-Rock band Rowan drop the rollicking and guttural new track ‘Honesty’ off their forthcoming debut record. For some musical eccentricity, listen to the Art Pop duo Mattiel and their song ‘Cultural Criminal’, then there’s the grimy track ‘Cigarette Smile’ by the buzzy Nordic band The Daze. Singer-songwriter Wallis Bird, whose seventh studio album ‘HANDS’ is out May 27th. Her third single from the upcoming album is ‘Aquarius’ and is a highlight. Bird‘s pensive songwriting shines on this quietly reflective track that explores change, identity, and the questioning of the authority of control. Great Pop tunes are up next.
MICHELLE is the NYC-based music collective catching ears with their groovy and gorgeously layered soundscape. The predominantly queer and POC group is anchored by the four female vocalists whose beautifully intuitive and in sync vocal interplay, and sparse production. The collective is currently on tour have found a home in their well-crafted lush synth-pop with plenty of influences ranging from R&B to Disco and Bedroom Pop. MICHELLE is a band to something to truly take note of, with track three ‘Pose‘ being a prime example. An infectious pop tune that feels like a slow burn in the best way possible.
Shelf Lives‘ song ‘I Don’t Think I’ll Go Out Today’ finds the based South London duo tackling experimental pop via gritty post-punk and a Riot grrrl fierceness. This single is the last release from their upcoming ‘Yes, offence’ – mini album. They will also join punk rock legends Skunk Anansie‘s U.K. tour starting on April 25th. On ‘Anybody Else’, 17-year-old L.A. artist KALI adeptly rides the rollercoaster of emotions that is love and relationships on the dreamy and jubilant track. London-based singer-songwriter Carmody drops the meditative ‘Hurricane’, the opening track on her upcoming debut. ‘Hurricane’ pays homage to Carmody‘s Grandmother in all her glory, including her imperfections and complications.
DREAMER BOY has an insanely catchy new bop, ‘Over Everything’. The artist fuses sugared electro-pop with hazy nu-disco. There is a trippy switch up towards the end that brings this pop daydream home. For more major ear candy, and so does newly minted Best Song OSCAR winner FINNEAS with his new track ‘Naked’. Japanese-American Pop artist iamkyami teams up with Lazygirl for a slice of bubblegum pop perfection on the single ‘When I Call’. Lyrically, the song is quite the razor-sharp and tongue-in-cheek takedown on f*ckbois.
The edition 10 roundup ends on South Korean music producer and DJ 250 and his vibey track ‘Royal Blue’. There is where the producer creates the lushest and most gorgeous soundscapes, filled with distinctive sounds that will have you ready to dance or chill. ‘Royal Blue’ is lifted from the DJ’s recently released new album ‘PPONG’. Lastly, Rex Orange Country teams up with Tyler, The Creator, on the funk-infused pop jam out ‘OPEN A WINDOW’. It marks the first time the two have collaborated since Tyler‘s 2017 album Flower Boy.