Regular readers of this website will by now be familiar with my recurring series featuring a heap of tracks from different genres, titled Monthly Favourites. There are some particularly good songs on this list, with a full playlist at the end so you can listen to them all.
Review by Jane Howkins
Picture by meadowhip
meadowhip – Iconic
First up on my list is the enchanting meadowhip and her seminal track, Iconic. This is one for all you pop heads out there, with the track also including parts of the jazz and r&b genres. It’s quite a slow song, with a smooth jazz feel, introduced by the piano melodies. The percussion is performed electronically, but it suits the rest of the music surprising well, seeing meadowhip’s soulful vocals aligning perfectly.
Juna N Joey – ‘Til Your Heart Breaks (Acoustic)
We’ve actually reviewed the original version of ‘Til Your Heart Breaks before, so it’s good to be able to hear a slightly different version of the song on this stripped-down number. The brother and sister duo that Juna N Joey consist of have taken this song back to its very beginnings, with a quiet piano and guitar melody acting as the main instrumentation here. Their vocals work in tandem, harmonising in lovely style.
The Gloom – Requie (for Joan of Arc)
The Gloom is an atmospheric alternative rock project created by Israeli musician and producer Yoav Landau, with Requie (for Joan of Arc) being the culmination of Yoav’s efforts. The track starts out with a dreamy sounding electric guitar melody as Yoav’s vocals weave their way over the music in a haunting fashion. Synths and other effects are slowly added to the piece, making for something that sounds quite experimental in tone.
ettie – Until I Met U
Until I Met U harks back to the glory days of the pop-punk movement, going back to the 90s and early noughties in style! ettie’s vocals suit the style of music well, being the main focus of the song on the slower verses until the riffs kick in on the heavier choruses. The dynamic changes between the verses and choruses works really well, highlighting the different pop and punk moments of the track well.
inestash – Para mi
Para mi is a really unique sounding song – whilst it’s definitely got a mainstream pop bent to it, it sounds very other ethereal and otherworldly, in part due to the backing effects used. inestash’s vocals drift through the piece in a dreamy way, building up slightly on the chorus, with the hip-hop style percussion and bass giving the music a somewhat darker atmosphere. This is one of my favourite songs on the list!
Roi Kraus – Inside Your Void
Roi Kraus is a hard rock musician who has recently released a new song, titled Inside Your Void. One of the things I noticed immediately about the track was that it had a lot of grungy elements within it, especially in terms of Roi’s strong vocals and the dynamic changes between the softer verses and heavier choruses. The guitar lines are quite interesting, also having a melodic side to them on the verses, adding even more energy to the music.
Olivier Pierre – Pactum Serva
Pactum Serva is one of the more divergent songs on this list, created by French composer Olivier Pierre. It’s a classical tune, featuring a beautiful piano melody as its opener, before the strings appear to accentuate the music. The orchestral elements build up over the course of the track, with the piano acting as the backbone of the piece. It’s extremely beautiful – definitely one for all you classical music lovers!
Micki XO – Light Me Up
Light Me Up has a dark energy from the start on this atmospheric number that Micki XO has created. The beat pulsates, providing a great foundation for the piece as the synths and bass align perfectly to make a tune that will seep under your skin instantly. The vocals use some amazing effects as the song progresses, with little bass and synth lines being added as the music continues to its climax.
Katmaz – Every Time I’m Away
American singer-songwriter Katmaz brings a great energy to his song, Every Time I’m Away. The track includes elements from many different genres, including indie, rock, folk, Americana and even 60s pop music, making for a very musically proficient song! The tempo is upbeat most of the time, although there are little breakdowns occasionally, breaking things up nicely. His unique vocal style suits the music well too!
Certain – It’s Alright
It’s Alright sounds upbeat from the start, with a driving bass beat mixing well with the percussion, running vitality through Certain’s latest release. It’s an indie pop song with a distinct American quality, although it’s hard to put a finger on just why that is. The song also harks back to the retro days of the 60s and 70s, with an organ playing underneath the lush vocals at times. This track is definitely more than alright!
gloomy june – Always Gonna Let You Down
We’ve featured gloomy june before, so I was very excited to see a new track by them, this time titled Always Gonna Let You Down. The song is upbeat from the start, having a funky beat to it, with lovely 80s style synths providing the main melody. The female vocals work really well with the style of music, having a sultry quality to them that stands out a lot! There are a lot of layers here, so make sure you listen to it more than once!
Mo Douglas – The Most Expensive Restaurant In Portland
The Most Expensive Restaurant In Portland oozes cool, with the opening guitar and bassline kicking the track into gear straight away! Mo Douglas’ track is a garage rock song that also has moments of surf rock contained within it, reminding me very much of the instrumental guitar music that became popular in the 60s. It’s an instrumental piece, featuring little motifs that break off from the main melody every so often. It won’t be for everyone, but I urge you to give it a go!
Craig Vill – The Cry For Help
The Cry For Help is a little different to most of the other tracks here, as it’s firmly contained within the hip-hop genre. However, it’s a hip-hop song with a difference, with the main instrumentation on Craig Vill’s song coming from a minimalist piano melody. The rapping lyrics have a soulful quality and are well worth listening to, telling a real story within them. It’s a surprisingly beautiful song, perfect for anyone who likes chill hip-hop.
DiDs Music – Warrior
DiDs Music is another artist that we’ve featured before – for those unaware, she is a topline producer and beat maker who writes her own music, as well as collaborating elsewhere. Warrior is a mainstream pop song with elements of the EDM genre present – the verses have a dreamy and ethereal vibe, until the chorus erupts into a massive burst of sound. The vocals are huge throughout, making you really believe that this vocalist is a warrior.
Everything But The Everything – Jump
Everything But The Everything is the musical lovechild of Bay Area music veteran Izzy The Gent, with Jump being their new release. It’s an indie rock song that also has moments of post-punk and the indie pop movement, making for a nice mix of overall sounds. The bass is very prominent, providing an eerie backbone to the song, as the echoed vocals shimmer throughout the track.
Hostile Array – Cult
Cult is quite a unique track in that it covers a variety of different genres, including hip-hop, pop, hard rock and post-hardcore. Hostile Array’s verses are very hip-hop/trap influenced, with stylistic percussion and eerie melodies being the name of the game here, before the chorus erupts into an immensely heavy crescendo, featuring chugging riffs and soaring vocals. It’s great to hear a band doing something a little different!
Snakedoctors – Friday Night
Rounding this list off in style is Friday Night, a synth-infused tune from Snakedoctors which sounds straight out of the 80s! The percussion sounds huge, especially when combined with the rhythm section, which consists of a cool bass and synth line, also providing the melody for the music. The vocals have that classic post-punk/new wave feel to them, fitting the themes of the track very well indeed!