Essential Songs — New Tracks You Need to Hear

Dylan Joaquin
Jul 5, 2020 · 5 min read
Cover: Original God — Succumb

1. Original God, a diy genre-blender whose sounds takes from metalcore, rap and a number of other genres and aesthetic is based heavily around Japanese horror has released “Succumb,” a new single off of his upcoming project. The track exemplifies the “anime antagonist” label in his bio but also proves to be a further expansion and innovation of his certainly unique sound. “Succumb” is supported in large part by the wide variety of screams Original God brings into the mix, ranging from low, haunting villainous sounds to harsh vocals reminiscent of 2000s metalcore and post-hardcore to those that implement a hip-hop flow akin to the rap rock of days passed. However, the screamed verses are certainly in balance with those sung, as the autotuned melodica of the hauntingly beautiful sung pieces is instantly infectious. Your local anime villain and veritable Devilman Original God certainly has what it takes to make waves in the alternative branch of Soundcloud.

2. As a somewhat extended version of his 2020 album “Punk2,” Brakence has released an additional song to add the mix, “Sauceintherough.” Similar to most of Punk2, the song features melodic, pitch-shifted alternative r&b with live guitar spliced in, but features a bouncier, poppier instrumental, not far from the bubblegum bass trend that has appeared to smother the alternative pop music scene. The intense moments of instrumental reverb don’t take away from Brakence’s vocal skill, as he delivers appropriately rough r&b vocals no matter the set pitch. Blending his past influences from artists such as EDEN and Bon Iver with a more modern, electronic-inspired sound, there’s no question of Brakence’s ability to produce a catchy, unique track.

3. Teaming up with friend and artist Kyaru, indie-r&b magician Atwood is back at it again with a new song “SRT.” Initiating with a groovy, retro beat, the track bursts into some funky rap-inspired vocals and a classic disco-esque gang vocal tradeoff. In a manner that seems to be becoming increasingly popular, Atwood trades the indie pop riffs for a more electronic instrumental and alternative r&b styled vocals more similar to the rising “anti-pop” wave with influences from hip hop and even rock. A neon light anthem for a late summer spent out in the city, the track is the perfect ode to the synthy midnight anthems of the past. In preparation for a project that Atwood calls “all about the night time drives,” the track is exactly what the understated world of indie-r&b needed.

4. Unrestrained by genre, Thebreathingbackwards has made waves in his music scene, and now returns with a brand new song “bleeding” produced by “emo rap” giant nothing,nowhere. With a lofi, midwest emo-evocative instrumental that certainly feels like a nothing,nowhere beat. Thebreathingbackwards lays down an angst-tinged, appropriately whiny hooks reminiscent of the emo music of the past. However, he quickly switches to a lyrical rap theme, bending between the two to create a separation of the sound in a genre where they’ve been so intertwined. While the switch may come as a surprise, it’s something unique in a quickly homogenous sound that further proves Thebreathingbackwards as an innovator in the so-called genre. Whether it’s rock or rap, it’s sure to be emotionally vulnerable and heavily infectious.

5. Harkening back to the pop-goth craze of yesteryear, coldwave project Black Marble is back with a new single from the upcoming album, titled “In Manchester.” A now solo Chris Stewart blends icy atmosphere of dark electronic genres of the past with modern synthpop production to create a piece that is part old, part new and altogether beautiful. The theme of the city of Manchester ties into not Chris Stewart’s accent and UK roots, but also the era of British culture when post-punk, coldwave and gothic rock bands were emerging like weeds. While much of that nostalgia is retained within the track, it still feels new in its production and blending of a variety of gothic subgenres, with the haunting, repetitive vocals of post-punk buried within the shimmering keyboard melodies of the sadder kind of synthpop. In a world of gothic rock revival bands, Black Marble stand out with Chris’ songwriting skills and ability to craft beautiful singles that can stand alone.

6. Pop rap superstar Tuxx is back with yet another new single titled “2theend.” With a groovy, guitar-sounding beat, Tuxx heads straight into the vocals, bringing an instantly catchy, r&b inspired verse to the mix of the song. With almost pop rock undertones, the hook bursts into an airy bounce of pleasant sounds, a feel good anthem for blasting at late night summer get togethers or dancing alone to with headphones. If one thing can be said about Tuxx, it’s that he has an incredible propensity for crafting deliciously catchy hooks full of life and vibrance. While the song is definitely something of a pop rap anthem, the somber bridge provides variation in the sound of the piece, and shows Tuxx’s ability to tackle various sounds within a single project without seeming busy or disjointed. “2theend” is certainly a must-add to any summer playlist.

7. Abbot, a relatively new face to the “anti-pop” side of r&b who has been gaining traction fast has put out a new song featuring close collaborators Patchymate and Gordon Snyder. The plastic synths make for a vibrant beginning as the intensely pitch-shifted vocals come in, accentuating the modern form of the sound. The beat almost rocks back and forth, bringing the listener into a groove while being pelted with intensity of hyperpop-inflected r&b. Ultimately, the instrumental gives way for smooth vocal lines to come to the forefront, mixing up the sounds the listener takes in. Finally, there’s an almost dance ending, with the synth bringing a techno close to the diverse, idiosyncratic and altogether exciting piece of music.

8. If I Die First, a band comprised of a number of names in the alternative, rock-inspired hip hop scene as well as the guitarist of 2000s emo/post-hardcore band From First To Last recently released their debut single, “Where Needles and Lovers Collide.” Down to the song and band name, the group put careful care into reviving the lost sounds of 2000s “mall” emo and screamo. Composed of Lil Lotus, Zubin, Nedarb, Cayle Sain, Rake and Travis Richter, there’s a high level of emo influence and clout already in the band. It’s clear the influence isn’t wasted, as the screamed harsh vocals, perfectly imperfect, fit swimmingly with Lil Lotus and occasionally Zubin’s angsty vocals. The instrumentals offer a lot, too with nostalgic-yet-modern guitar riffs and intense breakdown-style drums that add to the overall vibe. If there’s one rock band to look out for in the coming months, it’s If I Die First.

9. Dani Washington, drummer of UK pop punk band Neck Deep has put out a summery new single “Lavender Laughs” under his alias, Dani Rain, yet again working closely with producer of nonstop alternative hits, Curtains as well as fellow Soundcloud producer Vendr. Aided by the intense melodica of the instrumental, Dani’s voice brings cool summer vibes to the track with the laid back delivery, reminiscent of more lofi r&b sounds. While the sadboy influences of emotive rock music still remain, the song is geared towards a more pop or hip hop direction, with Dani coming in to rap about halfway through. Overall, the song has a diverse sound profile and is perfect for relaxing by the pool on a sunny summer day.

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