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Medallion – [Jenevieve]

By Lucas Garrison // 19 Feb 2020

I’m not a producer by any means, but I do love samples. Listening, researching, but also finding new ones that I would sample if I had any clue how to produce. When I heard Jenevieve’s debut single “Medallion” I couldn’t help but want to pick up an MPC. Her throwback vibe and silky vocals would be perfect for a flip. “Medallion” is way more than just a “sample-able” track, though. Even though this looks to be her first single, released with she shows the command and understanding of that classic, timeless sound; there’s a simple, pure feel to ”Medallion.” An added bonus “Medallion” scores the black-and-white video, which also puts an emphasis on Jenevieve’s sleek simplicity.

BRUISE BOY – [Jean Dawson]

By Lucas Garrison // 13 Feb 2020

When it comes to Jean Dawson, expect the unexpected. I recently came across Jean Dawson and it’s definitely been one of the most interesting experiences getting to know his music. Each song is a vastly different experience, sound, and, in some cases, language than the one before. What they all share is Jean’s palpable energy. His new video-assisted “BRUISE BOY” only reinforces and encapsulates Dawson’s star power and diversity. The hook has a distinct pop/rock feel with Dawson’s off-kilter crooning backed by devastatingly catchy riff, but he seamlessly transitions into more of rap feel with a jutting flow. In the second verse, he uses a slower, softer crooning that sets up the genreless, cascading instrumental outro. All of this brought to life with a trippy, colorful, video that captures the songs frenetic beauty to a T. Rock. Rap. Pop. Call it what you want, but one thing’s clear, Jean has “it.”

Easy To Love – [Rylo Rodriguez]

By Lucas Garrison // 13 Feb 2020

It may be my first time hearing him (and his first time gracing the pages of Lyrical Lemonade), but Rylo Rodiguez has been putting in work. “Easy To Love, his third single of the year (equipped with his second video) has garnered over 150,000 views in just two days, and it’s not hard to hear why; it’s most definitely rotation ready. I always find it weird when people are concerned with the length of a song. If it works who cares if it’s two minutes or ten minutes? “Easy To Love” is the perfect example. I didn’t even realize it has a sub-two minute run time, partly because I replayed like seven times, and partly because it’s a complete track the way it is. Rodriguez has a real understated style and his introspective (yet still braggadocious) wordplay combined with the (always) stellar strings from Seph Got The Waves, gives the song a “full” atmosphere that has the perfect accentuations of R&B sprinkled into his rap framework.

Fuck The World – [Brent Faiyaz]

By Lucas Garrison // 11 Feb 2020

With two stealth,video-assisted singles, and an amazing guest verse on Flee’s “Swish/Use 2” Brent Faiyaz has done a job of building some steady momentum while keeping his effortless, organic feel. The slow-burn approach (that’s also reflected in his music) has really worked well for him and now, with the release of his new album, Fuck The World, he’ll look to cash in. Cash in he does. The album is stellar! What impresses me most about Faiyaz, is his ability to have brung a smooth feel and that R&B bounce, but still emit a cold, murky feel. A perfect album for winter, Fuck The World has this dark bite to it that gives it more intrigue and atmosphere than your standard, warm R&B album. I think a large part of this is due to the production. Faiyaz uses space really well, letting his crooning almost echo over the instrumentals, occasionally lacing them with a layered effect or a subtle vocal chop. The result of his unique sound is a sinuous listen that still maintains a very cohesive and sharp aesthetic. This is most definitely a huge win for Brent, and with his consistency and direction, it won’t be his last. Standout Tracks: “Fuck The World (Summer …

It Is What It Is – [L.A. Salami]

By Lucas Garrison // 6 Feb 2020

If I was a rapper and I needed to hire a ghostwriter, I would throw a huge sack of money at L.A. Salami. He may not be what you think of when it comes to a ghostwriter, in fact, he doesn’t rap at all, but Salami is one of my favorite songwriters around. The way he creates compelling stories and describes things so vividly and uniquely all without ever losing a sort of natural poetic feel is incredible. Often times it’s just him and his guitar, which can sometimes feel more like poetry than music, so I always enjoy when we get full-fledged, denser songs from Salami, like “It Is What It Is,” off his new EP, Self Portraits In Sound. The standout track boasts Salami’s sharp pen but when it’s supported by a grungy, no-frills instrumental, his words carry that much more weight. An added bonus, the cut comes with a video that does a great job of highlighting his lyricism.

Someone Like Me – [Tommy Newport]

By Lucas Garrison // 31 Jan 2020

With an EP, a full-length album, a COLORS show, and a European tour under his belt, Tommy Newport, has built a  solid foundation rooted in his fresh, genre-bending sound. All the while, the Kansas native is still developing as an artist and it’s left me quite impressed. A fan of just about everything Newport has dropped, I’m not surprised I dig his latest, “Someone Like Me,” but I was surprised by the growth he demonstrates; this might just be his sharpest, most refined offering yet. I particularly love the way he uses space on this one. He’s not trying to force anything, simply letting the combination of his mellow vocals, the crisp drum beat, and the strutting riff simmer and blend together. It’s always great to see an artist with so much potential really grow into it and blossom before our eyes ears.  I think that’s happening with Tommy.

Balance/Contrast – [City Park]

By Lucas Garrison // 29 Jan 2020

I serendipitously discovered City Park as I was headed to Amsterdam in the Fall and found myself frequently going back to “Getaway,” as it was only one of a few tracks release. Last week the Dutch Duo dropped off their Balance/Contrast EP and it’s filled with songs, much like “Getaway,” that will be surprisingly hard to pull away from. It’s not surprising in the sense that the music not up to par or anything. Actually, quite the opposite. It’s is really well produced and the vocals and instrumentals really blend well together. However, with a softer sound that combines R&B with a cushioned pop/electronic feel it’ a little softer and mellow. Even though it’s more of a slow burn, it’s easy to get into (or vibe out to rather) which will keep you coming back for more. The perfect example is the final cut “Garden (Draft).” Even in it’s rough, incomplete state it effects; I guess that’s par for the course for City Park. Excited for more already!

Studio Monk – [Junia-T]

By Lucas Garrison // 27 Jan 2020

Since posting “Ooowee,” the first single, all the way back in June, I’ve been really excited for Junia-T’s album Studio Monk. Each subsequent release only built up the hype and showcased the Candian producer’s versatility in the process. With three distinct singles, it should come as no surprise that the selling point of the complete Studio Monk experience is the range of sounds, styles, and colors.  From no-frills, stark hip-hop beats to hazy R&B-inspired backdrops, and even some Dub/reggae influence, Junia broadens his horizons; the one consistent, however, is some really crisp drums. It’s not just about the production either. Putting artists in a position to win is the mark of a great producer and Junia definitely does it all over this album. Junia does a stellar job of picking the right guest to man the vocals, so each track feels natural. He really succeeds in this with the female vocalist; Faiza, in particular, shines on everything she’s on.  Standout Tracks: “Try Me,”‘ “WYAT?,” “Puzzles”