Budapest-based producer Nalestar has remixed Panuma, Tokyo Project and EMIAH's fantastic pop single "Siren" giving it a mesmerizing, darker dance edge. Like the stories of sirens who lure sailors to shipwreck, "[Siren] is about being trapped in a relationship in which you have no control over your feelings." Scottish singer/songwriter EMIAH's haunting vocals ring out over distorted synths and driving house percussion as Nalestar artfully steers the track's tension. The track is part of a remix EP on Spectrum Recordings alongside remixes by KPLR, Marc Brothers and Kaan Pars. Nalestar posts videos and live streams on YouTube going behind the scenes on his production process and also maintains a playlist on Spotify of his favourite new house and deep house releases.
New York-based artist Aaron Taos brings us a new pop banger called "Closure". In the track's music video Taos gets hit by a car whilst on his way to see a lover. After bandaging his wounds, he returns to discover that they've moved on with someone else. All in all, probably not the best night! But at least he got some closure right? Taos lays it all out in the lyrics, weaving a catchy melody over a dancey pop rock beat. If you want to hear more, check out his more indie-leaning recent album "Birthday Boy".
MC Guru and DJ Premier made up one of the most well respected MC and producer duos in hip hop history, Gang Starr. Premier's skill at tying jazz with impeccable hip hop percussion and scratching combined with Guru's writing and charismatic vocals gave them their star power. After six critically acclaimed albums, Guru and Premier went their separate ways in the early 2000s. Guru sadly later died of cancer in 2010, but Premier managed to obtain some of his unreleased vocal takes from DJ Solar who Guru was working with before his passing. He then set about putting together a posthumous album called "One Of The Best Yet". Considering the use of unfinished vocal takes and having to piece it all together without Guru, Premier has managed to turn out an impressively complete and enjoyable album, saying that he felt guided by Guru's spirit during the creative process.
The album's second single "Bad Name" features a funky hip hop groove from Premier underpinning catchy, critical bars from Guru. Making the track extra special, Guru's son plays his father in the music video in tribute, even going as far as to cut off his dreads to look more like him. Check it out below.
From releasing her glistening solo debut "Diamonds" in March to collaborating with electronic producer Olmos for their popular future pop track "Antidote", Geena Fontanella has made quite an impression this year. On her latest single "I Hate This City" she reflects on a former love and how perspectives can change over time. Fontanella's gorgeous vocals weave catchy melodies over light guitar work leading to an airy bridge and the titular hook. Despite the success of her releases, Fontanella tells us 2019 was a challenging year for her and in October she set about playing 30 shows in 30 days. "I started 30 in 30 because 2019 was a extremely rough year. It was something to get myself out of bed in morning, that turned into something fun and really connective with my fans." Check out her Instagram @geenafontanella and YouTube to see some of her vlogs and touring life! Keep an ear out for Geena Fontanella, she's on the rise!
Portuguese four-piece electro rock band ARY bring it home on their powerful new single. Erika Martyns' vocals shine through the moody verses leading the track into a big pop rock chorus. In 2018 they toured Europe for the first time with over 30 shows supporting their debut album "Drowning Inside". Their track "You're History" from the album is their most popular track on Spotify so far and features a more intense rock sound whereas "Bring It Home" has a more pop-oriented feel. We hope to hear more of both styles from them in 2020!
Talented Irish/Japanese-born artist Cecilia Gault burst onto the scene in 2018 with her popular single "If You're Gonna Lie" and a number of high profile collaborations, including co-writing and vocals for Audien on "Higher" and Kaskade on "Love Me Like You Used To". Her latest single "In Front Of My Eyes" is a well-crafted electro pop offering that opens with glistening melodic verses building to a clean chorus punctuated by a funky bassline. Between the bassline and her deft vocals, it's hard not to start tapping your foot and dancing!
While "In Front Of My Eyes" shows vulnerability, Gault's previous single "Lunatic" contrasts this showing a more confident side where she reclaims words like "lunatic" which she explains were "used against me in my previous romantic relationships."
She wrote: "I wanted to write about surrendering to romantic advances, even after the history or pain you had with them in the past. The inspiration for all my music comes from a personal place. After my past single, "Lunatic" which explored aggression and confidence, I wanted to find the weakness behind that. I'm excited to put out a song that is more dancey and melodic than my past two singles."
Californian alt pop band Little Dume bring us their heartwarming new single "As Always", starting off softly and building to a catchy anthemic chorus. The track makes great use of picked and strummed acoustic guitar lead by e-bow and gorgeous heartfelt vocals. What could otherwise be just another ballady pop song is given great power by the catchy vocal topline, lyrics and skills of these talented songwriters and musicians. Guitarist James Burnett explains of the track's inspiration: "I really want to explore and go see the northern lights. It's been something I've dreamt of doing for some time now. The song is essentially a love song and a promise to go make that journey to the lights." Having released their first single in 2018, hopefully "As Always" represents their commitment to sticking together and continuing to put out new music because we're loving it!
New York-based rapper Drama B has teamed up with Norwegian producer JOWST and German producer duo Hyperclap for their new single "Better Place". Appropriately released on label Tribal Trap, the track builds to a cool flute-led trap drop over booming bass. Drama B's emotive, charismatic vocals speak from experience in the verses of going through struggles in life and coming out the other side, "I'm living proof that you could change yeah, yeah, it's never too late." JOWST brings his pop edge to the track, a proven skill having represented Norway in the 2017 Eurovision grand final with his song Grab The Moment. Duo Hyperclap bring the trap and rose to prominence for their remixes on Trap Nation and Galaxy Music. Since 2018 they've started releasing more of their own music and honing their style. Stay tuned for a video clip dropping soon for Better Place!
Dutch electronic artists Nicky Romero and Mike Williams have teamed up with Australian singer/songwriter Amba Shepherd to crank out their banging new progressive house single "Dynamite". Romero wrote: "I got to know Mike by Instagram, we were in touch for a while when he asked if we could do a studio session anytime soon, so we planned everything and came out to the studio, worked on a few ideas and got this one going really fast. Great working with someone who is very hands-on with his production, the reason why we could work really fast!"
Nicky Romero rose to prominence with early hits like "Legacy" with Krewella and "I Could Be The One" with Avicii. He then launched his own radio show and label Protocol Records in 2012. Mike Williams has collaborated with the likes of Felix Jaehn, R3HAB and Hardwell, and he regularly posts cool behind the scenes videos about touring and music production on YouTube. He keeps a pretty tight schedule, having played around 100 shows last year and having matched that again this year with even bigger shows. Amba Shepherd has collaborated with some of the biggest names in EDM and her vocals have been heard on dance music festival mainstages all around the world. Together these stars have crafted a powerful dance anthem that definitely goes off with a bang.
NYC-based singer/songwriter GEM wins us over with her empowering new single First Place about: "putting your self-worth above validation from others. Not giving energy to anyone who's not willing to give you 100%!" The track opens with crackling vinyl and a latin-esque piano groove giving the track an immediately catchy lofi pop feel. GEM's vocals then drop cementing the track as a sure-fire hit. GEM has sung the American national anthem at multiple big sporting events and last year she won ASCAP's Robert Allen Award for Songwriting. First Place is her third track under the name GEM and we look forward to hearing more from her!