Ghostpoet & Federico Albanese Collaborate On “Feel Again”
Ghostpoet (Obaro Ejimiwe) is a UK artist whose output defies categorization. His incisive lyrics and soulful delivery put him in the same hemisphere as rappers like Roots Manuva, or trip-hop acts like Massive Attack. He has collaborated with both – but is more comfortable, in his own words, as “an artist who experiments with sounds and loves guitars.” One of the more interesting aspects in Ghostpoet’s delivery is that he always emphasizes the last word in a verse and makes it seem like a minor question in a sea of thoughts. Over cinematic piano orchestration from Albanese, Ejimiwe talks about everything that sets us apart from one another. He tackles heavy issues such as bloodshed, greed, and fear – but also emphasizes the need to feel connected and mankind’s capacity for healing. The video, featuring a dancer in a darkly lit interior, is a free interpretation of the lyrics, and Albanese has also collaborated with Marika Hackman on “Summerside.”
CIFIKA Delivers Massive Club-friendly League of Legends-adjacent Remix, “Burn It All Down”
CIFIKA is one of the most interesting South-Korean electronic acts, her live performances showing ingenuity and a deep sense of wonder. Riot Games had a fantastic 2021, with “Arcane” wowing both critics and fans and rightfully being appraised as the best animation of recent years. After Riot released an amazing animation video for PVRIS’s Let It Burn celebrating the 2021 League World Championship, CIFIKA turned it into a stunning dancefloor track. Her remix adds more texture, horns and a distorted, thumping saw-synth that plays in stark opposition to the epic, melodic nature of the original. If League is perceived to be one of the most toxic videogames ever, Riot sure knows how to hype and has some of the best musicians and animators on their team. CIFIKA deserves her spot on the soundtrack for season 2 of Arcane once it drops on Netflix.
Ghostly Kisses’s new album “Heaven, Wait” Tackles Love, Death And Rebirth
Ghostly Kisses (Margaux Sauvé) is a Canadian musician who first came into our attention with her amazing “Empty Note” and “Heloise.” Managing to encompass a wide sound, (reminding us of London Grammar, Ivy, Ex:Re and even Plumb) Sauvé makes use of a restrained, subtle production quality and multiple instruments. “Heaven” is a minimalist, ethereal, piano-powered electronica album that feels like opening a box of chocolates: trance leads, dream-pop hooks, arpeggiated synths, effusive choruses, and somber, moody melodies build up an airy space in between heaven and earth, keeping the listener suspended in flight until the final song is over.
Ibeyi’s “Sister 2 Sister” Is A Sisterly Declaration Of Love
Ibeyi is a duo comprised of twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz. Their music draws inspiration from Yoruba mythology (their name is a reference to a deity which governs mischief) and encompasses the sound of trip-hop, alternative R&B Afro-Cuban jazz, and even reggae. Family, death, and magic are major themes in Ibeyi’s songs, and after impressing us with “Made Of Gold,” the duo released Sister 2 Sister, a more upbeat track in which the siblings reveal their differences and just how they important they are to each other. With honest, powerful lyrics and a stunning beat, this is one of the year’s best singles, the accompanying video encapsulating a tornado of emotions.
Amber Mark Completes Her Three Dimensions Deep Visual Journey With “Bliss”
Amber Mark is a rising star in the alternative R&B scene, describing her own music as “R&B mixed with a little tribal and topped off with a little soul.” Her debut album, “Three Dimensions Deep,” is described as “a musical journey of what questions you begin to ask yourself when you start looking to the universe for answers.” Bliss benefits from a touch of funk and a set of colorful visuals which see Mark in conversation with herself, the moon, the forest, and the river, celebrating love and the power of dance. And if you were wondering – yes, Amber Mark has covered Sisqo’s infamous “Thong Song” and turned it into a magical, albeit less scandalous, summer anthem.
Wet Leg Feel Sorry About “Ur Mom” In Newest Music Video
Wet Leg, a British band that has quickly ascended to indie stardom, has taken fans on a musical ride filled with ironic lyrics and an attitude that blends (post-)punk, pop-rock and disco. Chaise Longue is instantly recognizable because of clever innuendos like “I went to school and I got the big D,” and Angelica is a total jam. On “Ur Mom,” the band – which has been associated with acts like The Ting Tings and the “sprechesang” vocal technique – just can’t help themselves and deliver the best “your mom” joke of the year. Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers play clerks Fanny and HC, going on a deadpan, drug-fueled dream-ride where they get to practice the longest scream and make fun of braggarts. It’s wildly funny, but also truthful – at one point, the lyrics state, “Yeah I loved you/ That was crazy/ ‘Cause you just don’t/ Motivate me.” According many, Wet Leg brings the fun back to the guitar-band “genre,” and kzyx.org appreciates their “prickly, raunchy way of looking at the world”.
Kelsey Lu’s Live Performances Are “Lu-thereal” And Mindblowing
Kelsey Lu have seemingly done it all: worked with visionary director Aoife McArdle on “Due West,” delivered visuals which deconstruct the patriarchy by way of ancient forces, collaborated with Boys Noize twice, and were even featured in Marvel’s Runaways. Their genre-defying output and use of the 432 Hz frequency give pause to many: one moment you’re simply declaring them to be the next Twigs because of how creative and different they are in a very crowded and busy world, only to find yourself lost in thought (because of the music’s meditative nature and its classical roots) moments later. Their 2017 Boiler Room performance is one of the best ever, and on “let all the poisons that lurk in the mud seep out,” Lu and Kelly Moran provide a three-act journey in just over four minutes, switching from stirring cello performance to piano-accompanied vocals and ending up in an incredibly immersive place. For more Lu magic, check out the Hydroharmonia series (episode 3 is a Bandcamp exclusive) and their stunning 360-degree video, “Morning Dew“.
Featured Image is RACS by Margaret Whitehurst.
Reading Material: “Perfect Pitch: 432 Hz Music and the Promise of Frequency,” an incredibly well-researched article about 432 Hz as defense, one which poses a thought-provoking question: is music always “good”?