104 posts by

John Matraia

104 posts by

John Matraia

Most Recent Posts

George Arthur Calendar – Lente Oscuro a.k.a Calypso (feat. Claude)

By John Matraia // 9 Feb 2021

The season of winter is still operating in full force. Spring isn’t too far away, but the bone-chilling temperatures outside are saying otherwise, at least in the northern part of the country. When I heard George Arthur Calender’s new song, “Lente Oscuro a.k.a Calypso,” it immediately became apparent that this song is made for the summer months.  This track features some wavy synthesizers and whimsical vocals that give it a very psychedelic and dreamy feel. It wasn’t a surprise to hear that George has shared a stage with Mild High Club, a band that makes great music in a similar style. “Lente Oscuro” creates a comforting atmosphere through pleasant guitar melodies and a floaty bass line. Claude also appears on the track for a very fitting feature.  This is one of those tracks that despite clocking in at almost five minutes, still feels like it ends too early. Let’s hope George has more music like this coming in time for the summer months. In the meantime, check out the visuals for this great track below and listen on Spotify here.  Directed by Abby Young Photography by Z Edited by Abby Young  

Blood Diamond EP – [sexafterchurch] & [SUIQE]

By John Matraia // 9 Feb 2021

Florida native sexafterchurch’s fresh sound caught my ear this weekend with the EP “Blood Diamond” from him and SUIQE. The five track EP clocks in at just seven minutes, but it’s quite dense, and there’s a lot to love here.  There are many special things about this project, but the first thing that caught my attention was the production from SUIQE, who resides in New Jersey. It’s quite skeletal, and despite featuring some prominent vocal samples, it doesn’t detract from the rapping on the project. It’s hauntingly beautiful, and compliments the brutally honest lyricism that sexafterchurch contributes.  The track “Runaway” is a standout, with a strange bassline and off-kilter drums that give the track an unsettling feel. Along with this, the way the verses collide with the main vocal sample used on the track is genius. Another standout is “These Days,” which features maybe the prettiest sample-based beat on the project. The sincere vocals from sexafterchurch are perfect and end the project on an unforgettable note. Both sexafterchurch and SUIQE have real talent, and hopefully these two collaborate once again for some new great music. In the meantime, check out their incredible new EP on Spotify down below and all other …

how 2 find hope – [redveil]

By John Matraia // 4 Jan 2021

Few artists had a year as exciting as redveil. Back in April when he made his Lyrical Lemonade debut with the track “Soulfood,” he had less than one thousand monthly listeners on Spotify. Today, a mere eight months later, he has over two hundred thousand and just landed on Tyler the Creator’s favorite songs of the year list. “Soulfood” showed potential, but no one expected that potential to turn into an album like Niagara that would set the internet on fire just four months later. Where the sixteen-year-old will go from here following a year like this is unclear, but he’s already carrying his 2020 momentum into the new year with a track released today called “how 2 find hope.” It features uplifting production (done by redveil himself) with grand horns and soulful vocal samples that set a perfect backdrop for his reflective lyricism. Some of his best flows yet land on here as he weaves between the song’s verses and hooks seamlessly, and he also shows off some impressive vocal melodies that elevate the track and make it his best yet. With “how 2 find hope,” redveil is already expanding and improving on his sound from his recent project and …

Zoom – [$avvy]

By John Matraia // 10 Nov 2020

Nashville native $avvy is back with yet another great track in 2020, this time called “Zoom.” The song is a bubbly trap banger with an addicting hook, and it proves that $avvy only gets better with time. This is the first single from his upcoming album boys wear pearls, and if this track is any indication, we are about to have a very special project on our hands. $avvy’s flow here is the best it has ever been, and he switches it up with a number of different vocal inflections that guide the track from start to finish. The hook is infectious but feels effortless coming from $avvy. The beat here, produced by @cam.flp,  features multiple synthesizers that compliment each other along with some strong drums that drive the track forward. $avvy is only leveling up with each new track he puts out, and it’s only a matter of time before people start recognizing his incredible talent. Check out the neat visualizer for “Zoom” down below, shot by @ecnarc, and check out the track on all streaming platforms here!

Before – [James Blake]

By John Matraia // 20 Oct 2020

What initially drew me to James Blake’s music was his impressive ability to create meaningful, but subtle progressions, most notably on a song like “The Wilhelm Scream.” Everything he has done since his breakout self-titled album has been impressive, and his new Before EP takes us back to his electronic roots, while showcasing his strong songwriting skills that he has built up over the years. Before is a concise project, but quality-wise it is up there with Blake’s best work. Here, he delivers a collection of songs that can feel like ballads at certain points but also very dancey throughout. The production is compelling from start to finish, the vocals are hypnotizing, and the lyrics are quite pretty.  The title track ”Before” represents the range of this EP perfectly, featuring thumping bass and electronic synthesizers along with a beautiful refrain. James clicked the right buttons with this EP, and the result is a fresh and exciting project combining a multitude of sounds with a beautiful result.  Hopefully soon we hear a whole album that builds off of this sound, because it’s a winning formula. Check out this project on Spotify down below and all other streaming services here.

666 Central Ave. – [They Hate Change]

By John Matraia // 18 Aug 2020

My attention span music-wise has gone down since quarantine started. Why that is scientifically, I have no idea, but what I do know is that I’m loving short projects where artists aren’t afraid to experiment with their sound a bit. They Hate Change is back with their first EP of 2020, titled 666 Central Ave., and it’s another great one. It’s clear Andre & Vonne have been working hard this year and their growth has been inspiring to watch, with this project featuring some of their most impressive production yet, along with great chemistry and energy as usual. The standouts on here have to be “Burn My Sh*t” and “Screwface,” the latter of which features production that wouldn’t sound out of place on the last clipping. record. These tracks, along with the rest of this project, feature the duo’s tightest and catchiest flows yet, and they also continue to flex their impressive, professional-sounding mixing ability, which really stands out this time around. Check out this EP now on Spotify down below and other streaming services here.

Sum Bout U – [645AR] feat. [FKA twigs]

By John Matraia // 5 Aug 2020

Love him or hate him, 645AR brings a truly unique sound to rap. He just recently released a new track and music video featuring FKA twigs, called “Sum Bout U,” proving further that he will not be put in one box. FKA twigs is a generational talent who has put out a number of great albums over the past decade, and to see her dive deeper into the hip-hop genre is an exciting indication that she’ll dominate this decade as well. She kills it on the track with a pitched-up, extremely catchy refrain on the hook, and a tight verse. The production here, done by SenseiATL and El Guincho, is a laidback and moody trap beat with a melody that manages to play to both artists strengths. 645AR and twigs go back and forth here and display an impressive level of chemistry that will make this song one to look back on. While both do tend to experiment in their music, it was still quite the surprise to see these two artists work together. The fact that this exists in 2020 is something to celebrate. Check out the music video down below. Director: Aidan Zamiri Exec Producer: Morgan Clement Producer: …

Adam Snow – [42] ft. [Freddie Gibbs] & [Josh Alias]

By John Matraia // 28 Jul 2020

Freddie Gibbs can do no wrong. He’s been on a legendary tear ever since the release of 2019’s Bandana, his second joint project with Madlib, and after the recent release of his collaborative project with The Alchemist, Alfredo, he’s already proved that 2020 is his year too. Not only has he been putting out some great songs himself, but he’s dropping amazing guest verses effortlessly, the latest of which lands on Adam Snow’s new track “42,” which also features Josh Alias. This track features production from Adam Snow, who comes through with a solid chipmunk soul beat to set the stage, and it suits the two rappers well on the track. The song starts off with a verse you’d expect from Freddie Gibbs, which means it’s great as usual, and Josh Alias picks up right after this with a reflective verse that carries the track to a strong finish. This is not the first time producer Adam Snow has worked with Freddie Gibbs, and hopefully, it isn’t the last. They proved their strong chemistry on 9 to 5, a track from earlier this year that is just as great as this new one. Snow has the ability to chop a sample …

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