The ethereal, electronic-infused rock of The Odd Neighbourhood will immediately draw listeners in on Spill Your Drink On Me. This single shines with stretched-out synth and haunting vocals ceding the spotlight to each other. One can just imagine a neon-lit, rainy city street when they put on this effort. A thick, ropy bass line calls back to Subdivisions-era Rush, while there is the same infectious instrumentation that hasn’t been heard since the halcyon days of acts like Journey and Asia. A lust production ensures that each part of The Odd Neighbourhood is able to shine alone or as a vital part pushing Spill Your Drink On Me to its inexorable conclusion.
Bang Bang has a very traditional sound to it, looking back to the earliest decade of the 20th century. With more overt overtures to Sonny & Cher and Switchblade Symphony, this lead-off track to the Noir EP will garner some serious attention. The deliberate, sultry approach taken to Nomad & Lola’s take on Pink Floyd’s classic The Wall is unique, further differentiating the duo from radio-friendly acts. The march of the instrumentation during this cover marries the original subject material with the pair’s new take on the effort. A blending of Summertime (Sublime) and While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles) concludes this extended play; Nomad & Lola have boldly tied together well-known singles from two distinctive rock acts, all while imbuing them with their special approach to things. We’re excited to hear more from them in the future.
Don’t You Dare is a pop track that incorporates a bit of dubstep and trap. What results is a very stunning effort that is able to adopt a number of distinct styles, joining them into a comprehensive and cohesive effort. The rising and falling action present in Don’t You Dare keeps fans firmly planted on the edges of their seat. It is the considerable vocal range achieved here by Red Tan that pushes the track to an entirely higher plateau. The instrumental section that leads to the cut’s last minute provides the perfect counterpoint to the titular statement brought home like a jackhammer.
On Didn’t Know I Was Fallin’, Kim Cameron is able to blend a beautiful piano roll with an emphatic drum beat. The tender beginning of Cameron’s latest single gradually shifts into a track that draws upon the dance / electronic styles of the 1980s and 1990s. Kim is able to pull double duty here in both telling fans a story and adding considerably to the backing instrumentation. Extended synth and bass sections highlight these vocals as well as keep things fresh and interesting for Didn’t Know I Was Fallin’s second half. Together, these two elements combine to create a single that will stick around listeners’ brains for months after its initial play.
Blessing is the latest cut from Jae Mansa. Adding the skills of Tee Grizzley and SL to the mix ensures that the finished effort hits the same standard which Jae Mansa is known for. Hitting listeners over their heads with a tremendously infectious hook, the trio are able to make a track that will appease those like hard-hitting rap fare, those that want a good song to go out on the dance floor to, and for those that wish to have something substantially different from the typical fare that’s currently being disseminated through the radio waves. An A+ effort for Blessings.
Take You There goes all the way back to the early 1990s for inspiration. Mix up a bit of Jodeci, a heap of “Mr. Ice Cream Man” and DJ Jimi’s “Where They At”, and a luxuriously layered composition, and MSC Jay has a hell of a hit on his hands. Bouncing between street-wizened rap flow and a hook that is infectious as all get out, Take You There will have fans roll out en masse to the dance floor. Short, succinct, and sweet as candy, MSC Jay’s new single is a sight to behold. Love the call back to Trick Daddy that’s baked in here.
Gang Starr and J.Cole go back to the 1990s with their latest collab, Family and Loyalty. Vibrant visuals combine the NYC before the millennium’s turn with a vibrant community. The laid-back flow of Gang Starr represent the framework of this cut as J.Cole as a bit of intricate lyrics and rapid-fire patois to the mix. Together, these two distinct approaches make for one of the strongest rap cuts we’ve heard so far this year. Blending together a twinkling piano roll with a nuanced delivery in Family and Loyalty’s second half, Gang Starr ensures that this song will tumble around listeners’ brains for months after.
Gang Starr feat. J.Cole “Family and Loyalty” / Twitter /
On Cold Heart, Luh Kel is able to tie together the R&B style of performers like The Weeknd with performers from the mid-to-late 2000s, including both Trey Songz and The Dream. The amount of work that Luh Kel puts into Cold Heart far outstrips similar performer. With a production that is fairly spartan, only reaching a crescendo at those moments where LK becomes silent, Luh Kel ensures that each note rings clearly. Cold Heart is one of those tracks that could easily garner rotation airplay on pop and R&B stations like. We’re stoked to hear more from Luh Kel in the months and years to come. Video for Cold Heart is below.
Yearwood has a huge hit on his hands with his latest single, Teddy Massacre. Listeners will immediately be confronted with a booming bass and downright evil synths before Yearwood’s flow reaches its full glory. The blending together of grime with 1990s NYC is truly inspired, making for an effort that lays out a soundscape that hasn’t been approached since the horrorcore genre shook things up back in the mid-nineties. The lyrical flow of Yearwood does double duty here in establishing a narrative for fans to clamp onto, while bolstering the synth line playing in the back side of the composition. Check out the video for Yearwood’s latest and let us know what you think.
On Give It All Up, viseMènn are able to infuse the alt-rock of Weezer and The Smoking Popes with a vibrancy for the current era. Whether it is through the crooned-out vocals (themselves drawing upon The Smiths) or the intricate guitar/bass/drum dynamics, the act is able to put forward a single that hits on all cylinders. Fuzz and distortion are used to meld together distinct sections. We’re particularly enamored with Give It All Up’s middle section as it adopts a more math-rock (e.g. The Red Hot Valentines) approach. Together, these sections make viseMènn’s latest single a must-listen. A solid introduction for individuals that may not be familiar with the act up to this point.