We return with our first news post in more than three months (but we promise we’ll make it a frequent habit from now on). Here’s what we’ve been listening to over the past week(s):
Calvin Harris – Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2
Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 marks Harris’s first album in five years! It was released in August by Columbia Records, serving as a sequel to his 2017 album. It features guest appearances by Snoop Dogg, Young Thug, Normani, Pharrell Williams, Dua Lipa, Busta Rhymes, Justin Timberlake, Chloe Bailey, 21 Savage, Latto, Charlie Puth, Tinashe, Swae Lee, Stefflon Don, Offset, 6lack, Pusha T, Donae’o, Halsey, Lil Durk, Shenseea, and Jorja Smith. If you want to find your lost lust in tropical lanes… Close your eyes and hit that play button. – Vlad
ELIO – ELIO’S INFERNO
It’s as if Timbaland and Neptunes are still producing something relevant in 2022 and Elio kidnapped them for this mixtape. Taking her moniker from a Call Me By Your Name character, the Canada-via-Swansea artist – real name Charlotte Grace Victoria – returned to life after her debut with My Friends Online in 2020 to confuse all generations at once. Fresh Pop to go with saying no to drugs at late-night parties. – Vlad
NewJeans – New Jeans
Let the Against Classic K-Pop Wars begin! “Pop music is a culture that is very close to our daily life, so it is like the clothes we wear everyday. Just as jeans have withstood the test of time and found popularity among many regardless of their age and gender, NewJeans aspires to become an icon of generations – one you never grow tiresome of putting on”, says Min Hee-jin, the chief executive of HYBE’s independent label ADOR who unleashed this EP into the hot summer air. I would otherwise be concerned when lyrics like Looking at my cookie / Do you ever smell it different? (Taste it) / What’s with a bite isn’t enough?” and Made a little cookie / Come and take a lookie / Only at my house, come over and play! can be heard from the mouths of a group of 14- to 18-year-olds… – Vlad
Omar Apollo – Highlight
You are not a stranger, it’s been a minute since I felt commitment
The way you touch my body, feels like there’s no parallels around me
Apollo is openly gay. In an interview with NPR, he discussed the labelling of his sexuality, saying I feel like in the beginning, I was trying to be mysterious and stuff, but now I’m just like — I’m very gay, so I’m just like, whatever. He released his debut Ivory this April, and will return on August 12th with a deluxe edition called Ivory (Marfil), featuring five additional tracks. Highlight is one of the fresh new bonus tunes and is infectious as fuzz.
Born to Mexican parents, Apollo grew up in Hobart, Indiana with his three older siblings. Apollo’s parents both worked multiple jobs to support the family. His family is from the Mexican city of Guadalajara, Jalisco. He danced ballet folklorico when he was a child and was also part of a Catholic church choir. At his request, Apollo’s parents bought him a guitar when he was 12; however, it was an electric guitar without an amp. Apollo traded the guitar at a pawn shop for an acoustic guitar and started playing by watching YouTube cover videos. Apollo was also taught by his uncle and practiced playing at church (he would go on to form a short-lived band with a friend at church).
I can relate a lot to being gay and spending my whole childhood singing in church. He brings a charming mix of alternative R&B-Pop with elements of Latin Music, Trap, and Funk. I could be in love… – Vlad
Aeneh x Bucky – Frontier
Ukraininan-based musician Aeneh makes “different types of atmospheric and deep, mostly dark sound in various genres of modern electronic music”. Meanwhile, Bucky is a future-garage producer from London who also takes a multi-genre approach to his work, with a prolific bandcamp page to boot. Teaming up for Frontier, the duo make the best soundtrack for your neon-lit metropolis night-drive. A hardwave track for our increasingly digital existence, one which is also featured on one of my favorite Youtube channels, The GΔmes We PlΔy. Big, deep sounds for inhaling and exhaling. – Mihail
Banoffee – Angel Girl
The first of a series of five singles to come from Australian forward-thinker Banoffee, one of my favorite artists – ever since she released the oh-so-addictive Got It – who crafts sublimely infectious electronic pop, a great (imaginary) fit for both the PC Music and OWLSA labels. Angel Girl is a track about returning to an urban life and being reminded of lost love around every corner. Filled with Martha Brown’s signature vocal manipulations, airy textures, catchy hooks and playful snares, I can’t imagine not playing this at least a couple hundred times this year – just like I did with Tennis Fan and Contagious. – Mihail
Fawn – Anemone Tattoo
The song title of the month goes to Anemone Tattoo, blending a trip-hop beat with dream-pop vocals, permeating bass and fuzzy structures, providing just enough reverberation & cinematic repetition to make this one a timeless entry for fans of both genres. Fawn is the collaboration between Glass Candy’s Ida No and Chromatics’ Nat Walker, and they have been delighting fans with a series of stellar releases since February – including videos for Grafitti in the Hall and Change Angel. – Mihail
POOLCVLB & Woodes – Till The End
This highly addictive, ethereal synth-pop anthem marks the collaboration between Australian producer POOLCLVB and singer/songrwriter/producer Woodes (featured last month as part of Bigsound’s lineup playlist, also one half of Tornado Club). Till The End feels like waking up in the middle of the night, floating out the window and somehow ending up on the playground swing. Just as POOLCLVB’s Youtube channel states, “love of house, infectious vocals, full-bodied basslines, and mesmerising hooks is the POOLCLVB way of business”. Till The End is a track with evocative power and a couple of brilliant choices, production-wise: the way the vocals seem to emphasize every syllable, every verse always spreading over half a musical measure, fading into the catchy synth riff and then bubbling up again, the song feeling like a slowed-down version of a stunning liquid drum&bass original. A holding spell with a guaranteed 100% accuracy and a strong competitor for my favorite August track. – Mihail
Featured image is Swing Boy by Yvan Favre
About the artist (source: saatchiart.com)
Influenced by the new American realistic painters such as Jeremy Lipking, Casey Baugh or Alyssa Monks, but also by a strong film culture whose characteristic frames he has used as inspiration, Yvan Favre also likes to paint characters who tend to evade the surrounding world.
His cryptic compositions often represent portraits of women in a situation of waiting, reverie, and contemplation. As if time stood still.
The imperative need to capture the moment is accompanied by an irrepressible desire to translate subtle contrasts of light and shade.
Other works by Yvan Favre