The Playlist: April 2021
Does it feel like summer yet? With live shows now on the horizon and the days getting warmer, we’re excited to bring you our favourite new releases of the month to soundtrack the world finally kicking back into gear.
In this feature we’re collating our favourite songs of the past month, every month.
Little Simz, Gillie, Wallice, Fräulein, Becky CJ, LAILANA, görl, Try Me, Maya Lakhani, Kinder, moshimoshi, Anna Leone, Thallo
Words: Amy Albinson & Molly Davies
Cover Art: @alexandraisart
Introvert | Little Simz
Introvert is Little Simz’ first offering from her highly anticipated forthcoming album ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’. Grand orchestral elements, all recorded at Abbey Road, lift the track to a majestic and beautifully cinematic level as lyrically the tune shifts from inner turmoil to that of social and political upheaval, and from poverty to corrupt governments. As its title suggests, one of Introvert’s main focuses is of Simz’ introverted nature and ability to express innermost thoughts and feelings only through art.
Reset | Gillie
In the lead track from their latest EP Retirement Paradise, Welsh singer-songwriter Gillie conjures feelings of resilience, determination, and hope whilst at their lowest. Drenched in reverb laden guitars, Reset is a turning point. Healing is non-linear but almost everyone who has struggled with low-mood is able to identify a point at which they knew it was time to try and get better. As Gillie explains, ‘it felt as though it wasn't possible to be a real adult without breaking at every opportunity. This track was a much needed externalisation. It was me signalling that enough was enough’.
Hey Michael | Wallice
Doesn’t Michael sound absolutely awful but also the red flag-filled embodiment of at least 10 guys I’ve known? Thankfully that’s past tense. In her latest single, Wallice beautifully delivers a slow-paced, tongue-in-cheek revenge anthem with ‘those guys’ set firmly in her crosshairs. It’s wonderfully executed and oh so very relatable.
Pretty People | Fräulein
Bristol-based Fräulein released their debut single Pretty People this month, a song "about refusing to be small, even if the people around you are telling you to be”. Having created quite a buzz for themselves as a live act before lockdown, the single is surprisingly full for a duo, with Joni Samuels enticing vocals and electrifying guitar combined with Karsten van der Tol's solid drumming, heavily loaded for a captivating lo-fi garage rock sound.
I Could Never Love the Same | Becky CJ
With her new 4-track EP Woman just released, singer-songwriter Becky CJ has delivered a spellbinding collection of alt-pop, piano-led ballads all with a resilient, pervading strength at their captivating core. EP highlight I Could Never Love the Same is a soulful look at ways of loving and its ever changing nature, decorated with emotional outpourings and confessional songwriting.
Pixelated Soundwaves | LAILANA
Highly conceptual and poetic in its lyrics, Pixelated Soundwaves by LAILANA is multilayered in execution. On the surface the rack verges on avant-garde pop whilst still being easily accessible. With song, title, instrumentation, and video working synonymously, the track portrays the cyclical nature of drug abuse, chasing something greater than yourself as a justification to use, and noting that if you choose drugs ‘then you love an albatross’ and are ultimately doomed. The accompanying video is highly creative and well worth a watch.
I Messed Up | görl
Hailing from New York, indie pop group görl's new release I Messed Up finds the band sitting somewhere in the realm between Maggie Rogers and Lorde. Softly spoken, the tune is an infectious exploration of being caught up in your head, spinning the same narrative on repeat, all fed through saccharine bedroom pop synths. It’s a sweet little number, and a group definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Heavy Lunch | Try Me
A bop about food - what more can you ask for? Like a twisted mashup of The Mighty Boosh, IT Crowd, and Green Wing, the music video for Heavy Lunch sees the duo portray a witch who tricks a greedy pig man into eating a magic tomato and subsequently giving birth to a baby made of cheese, eggs, beans, toast, Linda Mccartney sausages, and avocados. It is somehow more batshit crazy than it sounds and oh-so-very-catchy. An anthem with one foot firmly tapping the dancefloor.
Walk Alone | Maya Lakhani
Walk Alone is an excellent example of how lucious self-produced bedroom alt-rock can sound. The latest single from emerging artist Maya Lakhani, she highlights the obvious candidly - it's not a big ask or a wild dream to want to walk alone, but as a woman in a sexist and violent world it’s as much of a pipe dream as walking on mars. This sentiment is succinctly captured in the chorus’ main refrain and we’re very much here for it!
Gently | KINDER
A perfect match for an evening lost in reverie, the first taste of London-based KINDER’s upcoming album is an alluring look at an artist finding hope in simplicity. Floating somewhere between Keaton Henson and Blaenavon, the emotionally touching Gently grazes the orchestral, complimented beautifully by Paige Bea’s husky vocal outpourings.
When Spring Came | moshimoshi
I’ve been raving about this Helsinki-based melodic emo quartet since stumbling across their first single last month, and damn does their debut EP deliver! Raw, crunching guitars meet twinkling instrumentation crossed with howling vocals and an energetic delivery. The opening track When Spring Came is an inviting drum roll of nervous energy that I’ve left on repeat for days.
Still I Wait (Official Live Session) | Anna Leone
With melancholic beauty and a warm, comfortable openness, Anna Leone’s acoustic live session of recently released single Still I Wait is made more poignant by its simplicity. Shot on location at Italy’s Lake Como, the accompanying video shows Leone performing Still I Wait solo on an acoustic guitar whilst standing waist-deep in water surrounded by breathtaking mountains. The serene yet imposing landscape dwarfs Leone, perfectly reflecting the heartbreaking lyrics which centre on overcoming feelings of isolation and vulnerability.
The Water | Thallo
Love is best when told allegorically as in the case of The Water by emerging North Walian artist Thallo. Bittersweet and deadly, The Water compares falling in love with drowning on a riverbed cradled by soft moss with a lover lying gently on your chest. The fear of heartbreak is a universal emotion ever-present in relationships whether fledgling or not, with the risk of separation always near. Still, in the lush jazz-infused textures of The Water, Thallo proves it may be possible to find solace in cherishing the sensation of being immersed in love, however fleeting that may be.