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Weird Times – [Oscar Welsh]

By Lucas Garrison // 8 Apr 2020

If you are in need of a new quarantine anthem and looking to tap into those uncertain, lonely feelings while stuck inside alone in these weird times, I suggest  Oscar Welsh’s “Weird Times.” Making his LL debut, the teenage crooner (who hails from Suffolk, UK) has a powerful track on his hands. Though it definitely evokes some melancholic energy–with his light, emotional crooning, and a  home-grown, nostalgic VCR-tinted video– there’s still light, breezy glimmers to the board work. The strings and brushstrokes of gloss on the production side, push “Weird Times” into a pop space to create a bittersweet feel; the perfect touches of warmth and sadness.

Nicotine – [Pretty Boy Aaron] ft. [Bruhnice] & [Sabz]

By Lucas Garrison // 6 Apr 2020

A few weeks ago, Pretty Boy Aaron dropped of a funky, incredibly catchy track in “Nicotine.” In the event, you are still sleeping on the rotation-ready effort consider his new video your alarm clock. Supported by an infectious backdrop, Aaron’s unique growling vocals and his charisma really make this one a winner; it’s easy to get drawn into Aaron’s authentic, quirky persona. Director Michael del Rosario really plays on that for the visuals, putting Aaron’s unconventional charm at the forefront while still capturing the warm groove of the track with a ton of color. With “Nicotine” being one the perfect example, I love what the video aspect does for Aaron in terms of showcasing unique style and personality.

Spooky – [Mir Fontane]

By Lucas Garrison // 30 Mar 2020

Mir Fontane had the distinct honor of being the last concert I attended before Corona canceled anything fun. Obviously I’d love to be at more shows, but Mir was a good “last” show. His great stage presence and anthemic sound really translates well to the live setting and has been keeping me going in this concert void. His latest offering “Spooky” is yet another example of that sound. Even with some lighter elements–a brisk flow, and a piano-driven backdrop–Mir creates an ominous, booming atmosphere that reflects the song title and would absolutely knock live. On “Spooky,” Mir also demonstrates his ability to create a memorable, sing-along-able hook; another key part of the live show and definitely one of the New Jersey native’s strongest assets.

DUN – [Clairmont The Second]

By Lucas Garrison // 23 Mar 2020

I tend to associate Toronto with R&B, but Clairmont The Second shows (in the most demonstrative way possible) there’s more than just singers up north. The T-Dot emcee makes quite the LL debut with an impressive, visually-assisted single in “DUN.” From the jump, “Dun” carries a brutish tone with an off-kilter beat laced by a dizzying whirr. Clairmont matches that energy wrangling the beat with his potent flow and brash attitude, perfect for expressing his “fed-up-ness” with lines like “DUN letting you slide/ Dun going outside” (#socialdistancing). The striking power of “DUN” is magnified by the visuals, which are directed and edited by Clairmont The Second himself (with cinematography help from Beee). Almost like two videos in one, the videos match the frenetic energy of the song by drawing your eye back and forth with some really amazing shots. I was super impressed by this clean (yet raw as fuck) offering and am definitely looking forward to more from Clairmont!

Whatever You Got (Live) – [Niia]

By Lucas Garrison // 19 Mar 2020

Last month, Niia dropped off a stellar album in II: La Bella Vita. Now, the talented crooner is following up with some really amazing live renditions of cuts from the album. I was really looking forward to these live renditions, because the ones she released with her prior album, I, ended up being some of my favorites. With “Whatever You Got” leading the charge it looks like the trend will continue.    “Whatever You Got,” was initially released last November, but remains one of my favorite tracks on the album, so I was thrilled to see it get the live treatment. With an absurd amount of groove to it, the track doesn’t have a typical, orchestra feel but I think that’s what makes this so effective. The orchestra really highlights the lush, ornate texture Niia excels in creating in all her music and it fits her velvety vocals to a T. The live setting is still the best way to separate the real deal from the fake, which makes it perfect for an artist who has the pure, natural “chops” like Niia. It also serves as a great example for artists looking to supplement a release with additional content because it adds another layer to the …

Do Not Disturb – [Angelo Mota]

By Lucas Garrison // 15 Mar 2020

Angelo Mota is becoming a frequent visitor to the LL pages and it’s not hard to hear why. On his last feature, January’s ” Look In The Mirror” Chuck highlighted Mota’s “willingness to leave it all out on the record.” The exact dame could be said for his latest offering “Do Not Disturb” as well. The difference? “Do Not Disturb” has a sneaky bounce to it. What makes “Do Not Disturb” a winner is that blend of a catchy, uptempo R&B vibe with his rumbling vocals. Mota brings his signature personal, melancholic feel but still match the catchy feel the dense, whirring boardwork (produced by Mota, Tim Gunter, and Mike Moraes). The blend of authenticity with melody and a crisp sound is a portent combo and I’m definitely looking forward to more.

Wasted & Lonely – [jaydafuckingkelly]

By Lucas Garrison // 12 Mar 2020

Though it was released in February (which is basically a year in internet standards)Jaydafuckingkelly’s “Wasted & Lonely” has been haunting my rotation. No matter what mood I’m in, or what I’m listening too, “Wasted & Lonely” has been constantly creeping up, going neck and neck with heavy hitters like Uzi and Lil Baby. It’s pretty crazy for a track that seemingly came out of nowhere from an artist that only has 89 monthly listeners on Spotify, but it’s a testament to the unique atmosphere the Canadian artist builds. Fitting the title, the stoic WoodOxha-produced instrumental is set off by a distant whistle that beckons you further into the dark. Kelly’s soft, airy crooning laces the production to create an almost unsettling yet hypnotic environment; the way she weaves between English and French adds an extra dash of uniqueness to the already unconventional sound. Credit to kelly for creating something really different. I haven’t heard anything like this recently and it’s been very hard to pull away from. Be sure to check out her latest EP, The Fool.

Hold It Together – [The Marías]

By Lucas Garrison // 9 Mar 2020

Emerging as one of my favorite band around, The Marías have been keeping my appetite for new music bay with a series of live renditions of cuts from their library ( like “Loverboy”). As great as the live cuts are (this group can literally do no wrong) I’m really excited to see them back with new music that brings a really fresh, new vibe. Typically, The Marías live in a dreamy, light environment. While “Hold It Together” certainly has those elements–mainly the intoxicatingly smooth vocals of María Zardoya– it also has a little more edge to it. I think the song’s sharp electricity stems mainly from the instrumental, engined by that powerful, plunging bassline, as well as the stellar switch-up/pace change that caps off the effort. Described as part A of an A side/ B side expect more new grooves from them soon!