Amber Mark – Love is stronger than pride
“Sitting here waiting for you would be like waiting for winter / it’s gonna be cold”
Amber Mark is a New York musician who rose in recognition after her song was picked up by Zane Lowe from Sound Cloud in 2016, pushing her up the global charts on iTunes and Spotify. Mark has used music to cope through the grief of losing her mother in 2013 and has made beautiful melodies since. Played in the end of Season 3 Episode 4 of Insecure, Mark’s cover of Love is stronger than pride is sang with brassness, soft harmonies, and assured runs. Sade’s original also still captivates. *Click on the picture for her stunning live performance.*
Jamila Woods – Lonely feat. Lorine Chia
“I put a sun in my lamp”
“Meet me in outer space”
“they call you shy always ask why you listen before you speak / Black girl braids filled with bubbles”
“woke up this morning with my mind set on loving me / I’m not lonely, I’m alone”
Soul and RnB singer, poet, and activist, Jamila Woods has collaborated with the likes of artists including Chance the rapper, Noname, and Saba on her 2017 HEAVN album. Lonely incorporates a low fi beat track that brings an infectious rhythm to an essentially sad song. Stellar is acoustic, angelic, and has ampule escapist lyricism. The song shows off the side of Jamila that is a breath of fresh air. Holy has been dubbed as a self-love, self-empowerment track, with the video encouraging self-love and acceptance for black women as her braids are lifted up like lifted spirits in the dancers around her.
The Kooks – No pressure
“no need to apply no pressure”
The last song on the new album Let’s Go Sunshine, No pressure is simply about good times and brings back the sound of the old Kooks that we love. The chorus brings instant joy, and a summer feeling with beautiful guitar riffs and Luke Pritchard’s all round vibrant vocals.
Still Woozy – Cooks
“Just lay me on the lawn”
“Oh what they think about you”
“just can’t shake this off, I will try”
Cooks is happy go-lucky, slow and romantic, using low fi indie and gentle guitar strums. Californian musician Sven Gamsky goes by Still Woozy for his solo project. Having performed for the first time in December 2017, Gamsky is still an underrated artist with a small discography of just five songs; yet, Still Woozy already exemplifies authenticity and humble beats in this brief body of work. Goodie Bag and Wolfcat are both a gentle sound, an indie serenade, an alluring hushed voice combined with electric and smooth instrumentals.
The Internet – Hold On
“I know you love me”
“as long as you’re with me I’m definitely yours for the takin'”
“maybe we should stay cooped up like we don’t know what moonlight is”
The band’s latest album Hive Mind is collectively brilliant – an ensemble of seductive sounds created with the vocals of Syd and Steve Lacy, and slowly-strung guitars and bass accompanied by Matt Martians and Patrick Page ll. Hold On incorporates the aforementioned with Syd’s silky vocals, the alluring bass as well as the pervasion of funk that surrounds the whole album. Stay the night continues the same pattern of allure on the LP, as the lyrics, the whispered vocals heard from one earphone to the other, and the guitar and bass solos set a mood.
Brockhampton – Face
“They don’t know how to ride the tidal waves that crash in your thighs”
A year later this song is still being discovered for Joba’s hook and the repeated beat that follows it each time. Recently one member, Ameer Vann, has been kicked out the RnB/hip hop ensemble following saddening sexual abuse reports from girlfriends, but Brockhampton are getting ready to release their next album in the upcoming months having deleted Ameer’s verses. I could list a lot of their other songs (Hottie, Sweet, Infatuation, Rental, 1999 wildfire etc) but it would go on- Brockhamapton’s entire discography is worth a look which I just came to know myself this summer. Brockhampton is Kevin Abstract, Matt Champion, Russell Boring (Joba), Dom McLennon, Ciarán McDonald (Bearface), Merlyn Wood, and Rodney Tenor.