Birdie – [KOTA The Friend]

A calculated rollout filled with influencers, Instagram beef,  high production value videos, and merch drops is cool, but I think there something to be said for keeping things simple and organic. KOTA The Friend is a perfect example. He first came to my attention when I stumbled across his “UltraLight Beam” freestyle, and I quickly got addicted to his mini-videos, and in turn, I quickly became hip to his stellar 2018 project, Anything. Needless to say, Kota’s natural, colorful feel was super refreshing, just as he keeps up with his latest release today. A week after announcing his May-bound debut album, Foto, Kota returns with the first single, “Birdie,” and it’s the perfect introduction to those who may be new to the Brooklyn emcee. Built around a mellow, understated beat — perfect for his smooth approach — he spits a love song about his lady, which, in true Kota fashion, is littered with illusions to traveling the world. Par for the course, the effort comes with a single-shot video, reflecting his personality and easy-going, fluid style. This is yet another fantastic release from KOTA The Friend, so be sure to check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments! Extra Credit: …

Faded – [Alex Mali] ft. [Thutmose]

I don’t normally put limits on where or when you should listen to a song, but if you put Alex Mali’s  “Faded” on after midnight (or after a few drinks), we are not responsible for what may happen next. By all means, go ahead, but there’s no way your drunk Hail Mary sent from the back of the club after a few too many shots is going to be nearly as smooth and inviting as this one from Mali. Setting the stage on the hazy effort, Producer TGUT captures the essence of the track perfectly with a chime-laden backdrop that is understated yet intoxicatingly catchy. Armed with the perfect beat for the occasion, Mali shoots her shot with an approach that is both light, feathery and still sultry and alluring; a difficult balance, but the Brooklyn-based crooner nails it. Returning the favor from their 2018 collaboration, “Karma,”(where Mali handled guest duty) Thut joins Mali in the club, his raspy vocals adding a nice contrast to the standout cut. Check out “Faded” below and let us know what you think in the comments!

Evisu – [Lauren Declasse]

In an age where many artists are beginning to compromise quality in favor of volume and immediacy, music videos are becoming a lost art, in many ways. The dimension of perspective and visual context that they add to a given song simply can’t be recreated purely with audio, and furthermore, the value of the medium is being lost in low-quality videos that have little to nothing to do with the message of the music. Today, however, reassuring my hope in this medium, a Brooklyn artist named Lauren Declasse is here with a brand new set of visuals for his song, “Evisu.” First things first, I originally found this video on Twitter thanks to a post from my good friend, @Kyledoscope. After clicking play, I immediately noticed that Declasse’s latest release seamlessly displays the power of imagery and cinematics to a beautiful, enthralling extent. Using gorgeous scenes of what I presume to be a reflection the Brooklyn artist’s upbringing, “Evisu” follows around a young Declasse, taking note of his aspirations, struggles, and attitudes toward life along the way. Additionally, scenes of the current Declasse grace the screen, creating a duality between the old and young versions of the artist while stringing together …

I C U U C ME Pt. II – [Sebastian Mikael]

Heading into the warmer months of the spring, it’s always refreshing to hear music that reflects this change in weather, energy, and overall mood, whether that be through lyrics or instrumentation. Here to answer the call on both accounts is a brilliant Brooklyn native by the name of Sebastian Mikael and his stellar new project, I C U U C ME Pt. II. Just 7 tracks long, this project bottles up the sun-soaked energy in the air right now and spills it out with a burst of colorful production, impassioned deliveries, and deeply soulful lyrics, all of which reflect Mikael’s outstanding artistry. Not only is this release remarkably well-executed, but the diversity in both sound and style that it displays are simply beautiful. Themes of love, happiness, being broke, growing up as a byproduct of life lived, and every emotion in between simply glide across the tape, and the end result is an inimitable allure that makes I C U U C ME Pt. II such an essential listen for all of our readers out there. I’ve written about quite a bit of music this year, but Sebastian Mikael’s latest simply has to take a top three spot on my favorite releases …

Table of Context – [Cautious Clay]

You know an artist is worth checking out when all of your favorite artists are the ones reposting them. RnB/Soul songwriter Cautious Clay has been popping up consistently over the past year or so, and as evidenced by his latest EP, there’s a good reason for that. On Table of Context, the Cleveland-raised, Brooklyn-based musician makes a case for himself as an artist on the verge of breaking into mainstream success. The project’s cover art describes it as “an extended play exploring the notions of purpose and happiness”, and as you play through each song, this intention becomes clear through Clay’s songwriting. “Sidewinder” serves as a slow-burning opening track where Clay retells what sounds like the ending of a relationship. He folds each instrument into the production, setting each layer one-by-one. Things come to an abrupt shift on the next track, “Reasons”, introduced by distorted synths and blaring horns. Clay delivers a stadium-level chorus on this song, mixing lullaby-like melodies with lyrics resembling a moment of self-reflection. The rest of Clay’s songs fit in a similar space; he pens verses filled with emotions like vulnerability, heartbreak, and restlessness sung in a distinguishably smooth voice. He gets across a feeling of …

A Closer Look Into Wicca Phase Springs Eternal

On the Road Again, Wicca Phase Springs Eternal Talks the New Approach of Latest Project “Suffer On,” the Impact of Lil Peep’s Death, Major Label Wooing, and the Future of GothBoiClique For the first time ever on a headlining tour, Adam McIlwee, the Pennsylvania  electronic angst auteur who records as Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, has gone out with a stage backdrop, and it’s impressive. But last week in Brooklyn, he didn’t use it. No need, really, as the artist was performing in front of one of the most dramatic views a New York venue has to offer: the elevated tracks of the J, M and Z trains, which rumble by periodically mid-set, just outside the beloved indie venue Market Hotel. It feels like a moment for Wicca Phase. Maybe not a splashy, look-at-me moment, but then, flexing is not really for McIlwee, who at 29 has already logged several notable chapters in an unlikely musical path, one that’s bridged punk, hip-hop, emo, and most recently evolved into singer-songwriter acoustics. He’s still based in his native Scranton, PA, where in the late 2000’s he fronted the indie outfit Tiger’s Jaw, until more electronic and experimental tendencies led him to split from …

Trap – [SAINt JHN] ft. [Lil Baby]

Last year I stumbled across SAINt JHN at a festival and was immediately drawn in by his energy and unique sound. Both qualities were also ever-present on his 2018 project, Collection One, which drew the eye of Roc-A-Fella Co-Founder Kareem ‘Biggs’ Burke. Now, signed to Burke’s Circle of Success Management Company, SAINt JHN’s looks to keep the momentum going with one of his best releases to date, “Trap,” the latest off his next album Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs for Christians. Already a winning formula, SAINt JHN links up with his go-to producer, F a l l e n, who has handled a bulk of JHN’s production in the past, and clearly knows how to get the best from SAINt JHN. Bridging the two sides of JHN’s style, the beat is rooted in a trap sound thanks with a dense, thunderous, feel, but F a l l e n incorporates some lighter string-work to accentuate the Brooklyn crooner’s more melodious side resulting in a track that has a big, towering feel yet smooth and light on its feet. With a sound that bridges the gap between R&B and trap, combined with a feature from one of rap’s biggest faces right now in Lil Baby, SAINt JHN might just have a hit on his hands.

Parachute – [Sebastian Ade]

Brooklyn singer and songwriter Sebastian Ade and his genre-blending debut “Parachute” are probably one of my best submission finds of the week. Sebastian credits his sound to various inspirations and hardships he had to overcome while growing up. Obstacles ranging from financial problems and moving constantly because his mother was in the military were some of where these problems deviated the most from. Ade started using singing and songwriting as an outlet to escape and build a safe haven to find serenity. Sebastian stated via email that “his longing for community in a world he often feels is averse to openness, where in a world where images of sensitive black men are few and far between” as inspiration. He’s able to team up with fellow Brooklyn based duo Bird Language to construct a soulful masterpiece which serves as a more than impressive debut single. Stream Sebastian Ade’s single “Parachute” below.

Turning The Camera Around: Interviewer Spotlight

Even in the age of social media, where artists can constantly connect and speak to an endless number of fans with the click of a few buttons, the art of the sit-down interview will never be lost or, for that matter, replaced. From the intricate details of Nardwuar interviews to the knowledgeable conversations of Elliott Wilson, these interviews are what adds a dimension of background and personality to the musicians we know and love, and for that, they demand appreciation. Whether explaining obscure childhood stories, the meaning of albums, their influences, or any other plethora of topics, musicians tend to open up when paired with the right interviewer, and the benefit of these conversations is for all to enjoy. Interviews provide fans with background, insight, and nowadays, viral moments, offering up endless entertainment that satisfies casual listeners and stans alike. They allow artists an opportunity to communicate their messages and aspirations on a level far more profound than a simple tweet, and consequently, an opportunity to breathe new life into the music that soundtracks the lives of so many. Here at Lyrical Lemonade, we’re constantly posting new interviews with all of our favorite artists to learn more about the masterminds …

All I Want – [T-Pain] Ft. [Flipp Dinero]

Just a few minutes ago the legend T-Pain unleashed his brand new offering titled “All I Want” featuring the red hot Flipp Dinero, and it’s an absolute banger! That’s expected at this point though from T-Pain, he has always released the most quality material throughout his career, he is as conssitent as they come & this new joint is the newest of that long list of hits. The feature one the back end of this record from Brooklyn’s own Flipp Dinero was the cherry on top of this all around ear pleasing jam, I hope that these two work on more music in the future. Produced by Bishop Jones