Tag: Folk Rock

HEAR THIS NOW: THE MUSIC SOUNDCHECK EDITION 9

HEAR THIS NOW: THE MUSIC SOUNDCHECK EDITION 9

Welcome to edition nine of ‘Hear This Now’ Let me know in the comment section your favorite songs right now or by hitting the tweet button below!


Here’s another roundup of my essential listens and perfect playlist adds!


Rejjie Snow // ‘Disco Pantz

Dublin born rapper Rejjie Snow continues to set a commanding tone with his latest release from his upcoming July album. His new track “Disco Pantz” features R&B singer/dancer Tinashe and grouptherapy. This playfully funky summer groove sees all artists in fine form, finding Rejjie Snow word play clever and poignant. This is the fourth offering from the hotly anticipated album, “Baw Baw Black Sheep”, which also features a track from the late MF DOOM which you can listen to here.

Twin Shadow // ‘Sugarcane’ + ‘Lonestar

Twin Shadow makes his return to the scene prepping for the release of his eponymous new album due out July 9th. His latest pair of singles ‘Sugarcane’ & ‘Lonestar’ are the latest and final releases for the artist before the album drops. Each song also finds Twin Shadow aka George Lewis delving into his and embracing his Dominican heritage, with each track dripping in a tropical grooviness, and African inspired beats and drums. Although it may be a new sound for Twin Shadow fans, for Lewis’ himself it’s one that comes straight from the heart and homeland. You can stream both tracks here.

Ariana Grande // ‘POV

After a few days of posting teasers on her account which were a series of photos of herself of performing live. The teasers were revealed to be a collaboration with VEVO Originals which debuted the first live performance of (mind you one of favorites from the album) the track ‘POV’. The slightly paired back performance features Grande in a gorgeous purple two piece pants ensemble giving it her all vocally. This is only beginning with more to come in this collaboration from these music titans. All I can say is.. Yes, please!


Gavin James // ‘Sober

Dublin based Singer-Songwriter Gavin James new single takes on a timeless question of love or lust with “Sober”. An artist whose known for his unwavering ability to craft melodic folk-pop numbers that are full of emotion and authenticity. Gavin dives deep on this new track pulling forth a poignant albeit sad story to tell about being in love with someone then in the morning they don’t love you back. The track is sure to catch your ears quick and features production from Patrick Pyke Salmy and Ricardo Muño, with mixing from Mitch McCarthy.

Pongo // ‘Bruxos

Pongo marks her return to music this year with the single “Bruxos”, meaning sorcerer in Portuguese. The Angolan-Portuguese singer takes on jealousy and the belief the jealous people would cast curses on those who succeeded in this fiery, high energy, and magnetic track. Pongo is one to watch creating her own unique vibe from an amalgam of cultures from South America to Africa. Mixing in dances like the Kuduro, Break, Malanje, dancehall in for good measure. You can stream the new single here and watch her COLORS live session below!

Calica // ‘Letting Go

Taking major inspiration from disco-pop and artists like LCD Soundsystem & MGMT. Singer-Songwriter Calica creates the ultimate vibe with her new track, “Letting Go”. A fun and breezy bop that will quickly put anyone listening into a happy and fresh mood. The Florida born artist and producer seemingly finds the perfect mix of nostalgic vibes with dance-ready grooves, on this sweet tune about an old flame.

Rarin // ‘Toxic Ends

Newcomer and Hip-Hop artist Rarin dropped his debut mixtape today and instantly a banger. The nine track mixtape titled ‘Toxic Ends’ is one of the aspirational sort with lots of self-growth and pump up anthems, and songs about not letting the haters get to you. My favorite track ‘Toxic Ends’ is two parts pop punk anthem with emo rap that’s super catchy and quite ready for it’s Tik Tok moment! You can go here to listen to Rarin’s mixtape and you can view the video for my favorite track which below!

Yebba //October Sky

Another stunning, poignant and melancholic number from Yebba combining neo-soul with touch of 60s psychedelic pop. The artist truly lets her vocals play around the melody and shine her never over doing it creating a track that stays with you long after. If you want to catch some pretty wistful vibes (expertly produced by Mark Ronson ) then hit that play button below.

BIM //OTR

The London based R&B songstress new track ‘O.T.R’ is giving us full 90s soul diva vibes and yes, I am loving it. ‘O.T.R’ beautifully showcases Bims vocals and vocal range in a way that we don’t always get to hear with her work as a sessions vocalist. The control with her vocals and deliberate choices she makes, the minimalist choice for instruments and music are what truly elevates this song. Which when all put together create a nostalgic and sweet take that feels like a delightful hymn.

Yoshi Flower //Slow Dance

Always an artist that thrives on being genreless, and left of centre. Yoshi Flower latest jam is an immediate head-nodder. Yoshi quickly paints a picture in this 2: song of ideal Cinderella as they slow dance and in the most effortlessly cool kind of way. Want a cool Summer jam? Then definitely hit play on this one.

NEEDTOBREATHE // ‘Sunshine

Grammy-nominated band NEEDTOBREATHE are prepping for the release of their upcoming record Into The Mysterydue out July 30th via Elektra Records. It’s the band’s eighth album and their current single from it ‘Sunshine’ is a foot stomping country pop number. The piano at the end closes the track nicely. The band is fresh off a CMT Awards performance with Carrie Underwood (she is a featured collaboration on the new record). The band states the forthcoming album they explore more of their Country music roots. So expect those sounds like lush acoustic guitars, fiddles and other strings, heart warming melodies, or collabs with artists like Carrie Underwood. You can catch the video for ‘Sunshine’ below and check out their previous single here.

Maple Glider //Friend

Anyone who is a fan of unique Indie voices and great storytelling will surely find a home in the latest release from Tori Zietsch aka Maple Glider. The Melbourne/Naarm-based singer-songwriter released her debut album “To Enjoy is the Only Thing” off Partisan Records. ‘Friend’ the last release and video prior the album showcases a skillset similar to that of Sharon Von Etten. A deliberate, raspy, yet haunted vocal delivery like no other..


Here is the new playlist for this series on Spotify and now Apple Music.

Thanks for checking out edition 9 be on the lookout 👀 for edition 10!

Until then,

Brittney x

INTERVIEW WITH… TORONTO’S BROODING FOLK POP ARTIST ALEX SOUTHEY

INTERVIEW WITH… TORONTO’S BROODING FOLK POP ARTIST ALEX SOUTHEY

Singer-songwriter Alex Southey is well-known in the Toronto songwriter music scene. Immersing himself into the scene, he was becoming a bigger part of it as well. As the artist was now regularly performing around the city, and running an open mic at Toronto’s Imperial Pub. Alex’s songwriting itself is a blend of contemplative and confessional. His new single ‘On the Dance Floor’ hone into that feelings and abilities. Southey cultivates a beautifully atmospheric track. One that celebrates love, dating, and nightlife in his beloved city of Toronto. A music video accompanies the single ‘On The Dance Floor’. It features nostalgic sourced material of home movies and vintage videos. It drives home that feelingof nostalgic the track feels solely. The music video features art direction from Linda Badgley. As Southey continues to work on his forthcoming tentatively titled record ‘…And the Country Stirred’. Alex had a quick chat with me at TRB about his new single and more. You can read it below.


THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Let’s talk about your new single ‘On the Dance Floor’? What’s the inspiration behind it? And how was the writing and recording process?

ALEX SOUTHEY:On the Dance Floor” was inspired by just wanting to write something very “Toronto”. That meant including references specific to the city, and using past experiences of my own to flesh out the song. The writing process flowed pretty quickly. Some catchy stuff just kind of flows together after long enough. Once I had the bare bones, I let the song kind of sit around for a bit. Only when I begin recording the song do I really build an arrangement. I knew I wanted the sound to be different from my last record, and what I ended up with was something with hints of country, and bluegrass, ultimately sounding kind of alt-country, in the lineage of, say, Wilco, or Bahamas, or Feist. I got Kenny Feinstein and Tommy Drinkard (two members of California folk band Water Tower Band) to play fiddle and lap steel, respectively, all across the record and it took on this different personality. It was like putting on a new coat. It changed everything else.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: You also released a music video with it. How did the music video come together? What’s was that collaboration process like?

ALEX SOUTHEY: One of the first great reviews I got was from a local Toronto outlet called The Spill Magazine. Aaron Badgley wrote it, and we hit it off. After chatting off and on over Facebook, he mentioned one of his daughters is a film student in New York. She and I got to chatting after I took a look at some of her work and I asked her to put together a video! It was a dream to work with her and truthfully I’ve been trying to get her on every project since.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: How has been adjusting as an artist and musician to the ‘new normal’ after covid?

ALEX SOUTHEY: As much as I don’t love being in large groups of people for too long, going this long without it has definitely screwed with me, and many others I know. It’s weird to live basically the same day over and over again. Of course, you can fight against it, and fix that, but it is as easy to slip into a schedule where the days blur as it is to work in bed. I also do that. For me, the greatest benefit from this is having time. Time that I would have used for commuting I now use for… whatever I want, and that’s a big general increase in quality of life. I think commutes are a huge part of burnout. We should be up and going places every day, at least some walks, but rollercoasters of fury and anxiety for over an hour every day to get to and from work is not normal I want to return to.

Alex Southey

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Switching gears… Who are some of your favorite Toronto artists?

ALEX SOUTHEY: Zoon is a big one, I just purchased his record on vinyl. He’s a shoegaze artist out of Toronto-Hamilton, and he’s always doing something interesting. His record Bleached Wavves seems to have tons of staying power on college radio. I love it. It’s great for walks. Great to get lost in. I very recently found out about Pantayo and I’ve been listening to their self-titled for the last little while. It’s so far from anything I normally listen to and yet because it pulls from different influences it all sort of… sits comfortably once you adjust to its logic. It’s a great record and one that invites you to participate. I’m also a big fan of Tired Kid’s last EP.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What is one album that you can never get tired of?

ALEX SOUTHEY: One I’ve been revisiting every 9 months since it came out is In Rainbows by Radiohead. I’m a huge fan in general but like many people I am a sucker for that one in particular. For a long time I knew The Wall by Pink Floyd inside and out. I liked the theatrics of it… and I liked that it was theatrical without being corny. Roger Waters’ greatest gift is his sense of phrasing words a certain way, and then dressing them up another way (or in exactly the way you expected) to emphasize emotion. I realise now most of my favourite songs are sort of built like little movies. Probably why I tend to go “Hey Jude” on every one of my songs at first.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: If you could collaborate with any artist who would you pick and why?

ALEX SOUTHEY: I think something with Pantayo would be really cool. They’ve got everything figured out as far as I can see. I’d like to see their creative process and how they arrive at such unique music. It’s got such a clear personality.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Recommend something in pop culture that you’re obsessed with?

ALEX SOUTHEY: Peep Show. It may well be my favourite comedy series ever. It is both so of a time, yet timeless. The comedy is a mix of the selfishness and pettiness on shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Seinfeld, and what can only be described as Englishness. Buried deep, deep down, too, there’s a little pathos. Mostly, though, it’s fun seeing exactly how pathetic these men allow themselves to become.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: And to close, what’s next on the horizon for you, Alex? Thanks for taking the time out!

ALEX SOUTHEY: Thank you! I’m planning on releasing some more music way later in 2021, but the main focus now is giving my upcoming album …And the Country Stirred and “On the Dance Floor” the attention they deserve. In the past, I’ve rushed to release music, but now I want to sit with each release and sort of observe and-or take it through its phases of absorption.

You can stream Alex’s new single ‘On the Dance Floor’ out now everywhere.