Seven Fresh Songs #48
Irene Skylakaki — Sutherland Avenue
Greek singer/songwriter Irene Skylakaki does something of an experiment with her song “Southerland Avenue:” while she ostensibly sings about a failed relationship of her own, she does it in a way that invites you to fill in the blanks. Then the song fades out with a 80 seconds long instrumental part, leaving you alone with your thoughts. Will a similar episode from you life pop up in your mind? It totally worked for me, even before I read Irene’s explanation:
I would prefer it if anyone who listens to ‘Sutherland Avenue’ connects with it through their own experiences. The lyrics to the song are quite self-explanatory and raw and after various tries, I insisted on keeping them as they are unsophisticated and honest.
Aly Jett — Bad Dreams
While “Reverie”, one of Aly Jett’s previous singles featured a melodic piano backdrop, she changes gears drastically in “Bad Dreams”, replacing the mellow piano with fierce guitars and steady percussions. Alone her soft, appealing vocals provide a reprieve from the feeling of unease. We reached out to the California-based singer/songwriter and asked her for some context. Aly replied to us and explains:
Bad Dreams was created after having a dream that really haunted me. I wanted to create a sound that would match the feeling of fear I had when I woke up that morning. I enjoy listening to this song, especially because it’s one of my first songs to have a defined guitar solo part. It really helped me get over the visuals of that terrible dream.
Ugh, sounds like quite a nightmare! Mission accomplished though because “Bad Dreams” keeps the listener on the edge while simultaneously luring us in and keeping us under the song’s spell. Well done!
Listen to “Bad Dreams”, our Song Pick of the Day:
Kat Duma — System
Our collective 2020 experience surly will long resonate in the arts. “System,” the new song by Toronto-based singer and producer Kat Duma is a good example: almost an instrumental and without much of an explicit intention, it perfectly reflects the unique melange of this year’s emotions: uncertainty, worry but also the glitters of hope are expressed by guitar and synth layers while a steady beat drives you forward until the end.
With “System” Kat enters a new phase of her musical project. Listen to our Song Pick of the Day below:
Dawson Gamble — What You Don’t Know
Toronto-based singer/songwriter Dawson Gamble just released “What You Don’t Know”, his most personal and maybe also ambitious single to date. The track swirls and builds, with an infectious catchiness, and I get quite the Panic! At The Disco vibe, aka the appeal of Brendon Uri’s vocals.
Dawson is not only a fantastic vocalist and great guitar player but he also shows a skilled hand with words. As typical for artists who write their own songs, the lyrics for “What You Don’t Know” come from a deeply personal place. Dawson explains:
What You Don’t Know” is the ghost of an old relationship, and that lyric is as true as the sky is blue. Breaking down the line a little more, when I found music and songwriting it was a breathless feeling; I was completely immersed in the idea of writing stories and sharing them through song, it was as though I found a new God.
He says further:
This lifestyle I began to pursue was not conducive to the relationship I was in at the time, which unhinged a string of problems. The lyrics are contradicting throughout the whole piece. “What You Don’t Know” is that I’ll do anything to stay in this relationship, although I recognize it’s bad for me. This is one of my favourite songs I’ve written to this day, highlighting the mistakes I’ve made in changing myself and my life, to fit somebody else’s vision of who I should be.
Listen to “What You Don’t Know”, our Song Pick of the Day:
Sólveig Matthildur — Venus
Sólveig Mathildur is a musician from Iceland, maybe best known as keyboardist and singer in the spooky dark wave trio Kaelan Mikla. Solo she shows a gentler side with beautiful Nordic synth pop, bright but with a good dose of melancholy. Her latest song “Venus” is a moving ballad about star-crossed lovers, one that you could imagine listening while looking up to the evening star in a clear Icelandic night.
Watch the video for our Song Pick of the Day “Venus” here:
Hilang Child — King Quail
“King Quail” is every bit as mesmerizing as you would expect from a song with royalty in the title. It is the super gorgeous new single by Brighton-based singer, musician, and songwriter Hilang Child, ahead of his upcoming album “Every Mover”. Leading up to his album, the Welsh-Indonesian artist nee Ed Riman has released a series of stunning singles and videos: “Good to Be Young”, “Seen The Boreal” and “Anthropic (Cold Times).” His second full-length record is scheduled for January 8th, 2022 out via Bella Union.
When asked about “King Quail” Ed Riman says:
King Quail is about taking a step back and realizing the absurdity of modelling one’s life and appearance around what you think others want to see, rather than living for yourself. It’s about learning to be comfortable the way you are, breaking away from that fear of rejection and the feeling that we have to exaggerate ourselves into some showpiece to gain the validation of others.
Ed details further how the track became life and substance:
The song started one night in Wyldest frontwoman Zoe Mead’s basement studio in Greenwich. I had this OP-1 loop and a motorik 808 beat, which I’d been messing around with for a while. We spent the night jamming over it and shaping it into a psychedelic, krautrocky pop-song with Zoe adding spacey guitar and myself reworking the drums, allowing the groove to loosen up. We ended up using a large chunk of the demo in the final version with my co- producer JMAC (Troye Sivan, Haux, Lucy Rose) adding some finishing touches to hone the song.
Much to our utter surprise and delight, Ed mentions a musician we not only are fans of but saw live a few times already. Most recently at this year’s The New Colossus Festival. Joyful, personal trivia: the hugs we had exchanged with Zoe were also the last ones we gave and received outside our two-person glamglare-bubble. What a wonderful collaboration! More of this please with a result so irresistibly pleasing as “King Quail”.
Like with his previous singles, “King Quail” also received a visual treatment. The music video is directed by Ed Riman himself and filmed by Elliot Tatler. Listen to “King Quail”, our Song Pick of the Day, and check out the video:
Alaska Reid — Big Bunny
Alaska Reid is a singer, songwriter and guitarist originally from Montana and now residing in Los Angeles. After playing in the band Alyeska she is now recording music under her own name. Her latest release is “Big Bunny,” an infectious track with a fuzzy guitar over electronic beats, which reflects on a fantasy from Alaska’s past. She recalls:
When I was younger I wanted a bunny so bad that I would chase after wild rabbits, trying to catch them. I was obsessed and convinced myself that if I could just catch one that I would have this magical connection with it like Lyra and her daemon in ‘The Golden Compass.’ We filmed it during a freak snow storm a few weeks ago. Trust me, the snow was real — it was hard to play guitar in a blizzard in 12 degrees.
“Big Bunny” is the title cut of Alaska’s excellent upcoming 9-track EP, out December 11 on Terrible Records. Watch the video for our Song Pick of the Day here: