Even though this whole year has been a Horror movie, many of us are still celebrating this October as spooky season is here. To commemorate the favorite holiday of us weirdoes, Montreal-based singer/songwriter Maryze has released a brand new single titled “Squelettes,” and it’s her most ambitious track yet. I know I probably sound like a broken record, because every time Maryze drops something I describe it as “her most ambitious yet,” well, that’s because she continues to reinvent herself and experiment with new sounds, some even outside of her comfort zone, and that’s the mark of a true innovator. Meaning “Skeleton” in French, “Squelettes” is her darkest track yet. With hard-hitting production from Margo, and an explosive verse from Backxwash, the track is hauntingly catchy, but instead of delving into the typical “ghouls and goblins” tropes affiliated with Halloween, Maryze speaks on addiction and mental illness, which is far more disturbing than ghosts and zombies. Many of us have been forced to deal with our demons during this pandemic, and a lot of us have used unhealthy coping methods, and Maryze doesn’t sugarcoat this subject. The shouts of “what the fuck are you doing here?!” from Backxwash is all of us as we deal with that inner voice that tries to sabotage us, even when things are going well. It’s a dark yet inspiring track that dives deep into the darkness to trudge through the mud in order to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. “Squelettes” is a taste of what’s yet to come on Maryze’s debut album which is set to be released next year on “Hot Tramp Records.” You can listen to “Squelettes” below:
Less than a week after the official release of her new single “Muse,” Maryze has shared her new music video to accompany it. It features wonderful videos from people all over the world during the COVID-19 quarantine, and it also has cats! You can watch the music video for “Muse” below:
Following the release of two brand new tracks “N.S.T.” and “Things Can’t Stay the Same,” both of which have unfortunately been removed, “BROCKHAMPTON” have returned with two more brand new tracks titled “M.O.B.” and “Twisted” featuring Ryan Beatty and Christian Alexander. The two songs have been released on the group’s official “YouTube” channel. You can listen to “M.O.B.” and “Twisted” below:
This pandemic ain’t stopping Maryze from working. During this time she has written and performed a beautifully heartfelt song dedicated to her family and friends, performed for a live stream show, and has been interactive with her fans inviting everyone to send quarantine clips to be in her new music video for her new single “Muse.” The video will be out soon, but today “Muse” has been officially released, and it’s unsurprisingly astounding with smooth production provided by Super Plage and lush vocals sung entirely in French. You can listen to “Muse” below:
Artist: Tanya Nambiar
Song: Stranger in Our Bed
Genre: Pop/R&B/Easy Listening
It’s that feeling of betrayal no one should ever have to face. That heartbreaking moment when you find out your lover has been unfaithful to you. Upon this discovery you can either unfairly blame yourself and ask what you did wrong while rage fills your heart as you try not to murder your significant other and the person they’re having an affair with, or you can realize your self-worth and take the high road as you break it off with your cheating partner and move on to a life of self-discovery and self-empowerment. New Delhi based artist Tanya Nambiar chooses the latter on her new single “Stranger in Our Bed.” Backed by lush and smooth instrumentation that features an easy listening blend of Pop, R&B, Funk, and Rock, Nambiar paints a vivid picture of this scenario with her ever so smooth vocals that are soulful and inspiring as she breaks it off with her partner as opposed to succumbing to rage. We’ve all heard countless songs about infidelity that are embedded in anger and vengeance, but it’s rare when we hear songs about said subject that are upbeat and hopeful in tone, and Nambiar tackles this subject in a way that feels universal. Even though many have thankfully not gone through this scenario, EVERYONE will feel something and identify with the message of self-empowerment, and that’s the sign of a true artist. A visionary that draws you in.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
Montréal-based musician Maryze released one of the most enthralling and immediately captivating EPs of 2019. Titled Like Moons, the five-song EP was an exploration in Electro-Pop, Synth-Pop, and R&B. Her lusciously smooth vocals and inward looking themes combined with her ambition to experiment with various musical styles has made her an artist to watch in the world of Pop and R&B. Without a doubt one of the most standout tracks on the EP is “Dis-Moi.” Sung entirely in French, the song represents Maryze’s French heritage. When translated to English for people like me who aren’t fluent in French but admire the beauty of it, it’s clear that the song is about wanting to tell your significant other everything you keep inside. Your secrets of your past, the darker thoughts that surface in your mind, or maybe a mental illness, these are all things that can frighten one into not letting someone in for fear of being judged or losing someone over it. Is it a form of lying not telling my loved one everything about me? Will this person stay if I tell them my darkest secrets? These are questions most of us have asked ourselves at some point, and Maryze beautifully conveys this theme over smooth 80’s driven production that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Nicolas Winding Refn film. Today Maryze has released a new music video for “Dis-Moi,” and it perfectly captures the sensual but dark nature of the song. The video is intentionally lo-fi evoking the nostalgia of the days of VHS, and it also pays homage to Dario Argento with a color scheme similar to his style. The video even features various scenes from his film Suspiria, and being a Horror fanatic you can imagine my excitement when watching this video. It’s clear Maryze has a vision for every song she creates and there’s never a second of filler. You can watch the music video for “Dis-Moi” below:
There’s just something about Maryze’s music that will put you in a meditative state. A meditative state of self-realization and self-acceptance. Anyone can listen to her smooth, sensual, and thought-provoking sound and find solace regardless of what background you come from, so it’s no surprise that her single “B.O.Y.” resonates greatly. Off her latest E.P. Like Moons, an E.P. that displays her eclectic talent with mood-shifting “R&B” with an experimental side, “B.O.Y” (because of you) is described by Maryze as “reclaiming control from whatever toxic pattern is holding you back, whether it’s within yourself, or with another person.” Produced by BrotherNature, the track carries a 90’s R&B/Hip Hop feel, but manages to stand on it’s own while Maryze’s vocals carry a balance of melancholy and upliftment guiding the listener to liberation. The music video, directed by Mexican-Canadian artist Malaika Astorga is wonderfully shot with an earthly look displaying the spiritual beauty of mother nature. You can watch the music video for “B.O.Y.” below:
Montreal-based R&B artist Maryze has had quite the year. Her debut E.P. Like Moons was well-received and garnered much attention, and following her tour across the U.S. and Canada, her following continues to grow. Much of the Pop/R&B world feels a bit oversaturated at times with countless artists recycling the same clichés and predictable styles, but there are those who innovate, and Maryze is one of those artists. Whether she’s delivering her beautifully soulful vocals over a myriad of musical styles such as R&B, Hip Hop, and Electronic Music, writing thought-provoking content that allows you to look inward and search for self-acceptance, or incorporating French representing her bilingualism, she never fails to display her versatility. As colorful as her music has been thus far, it feels as if there’s always been a darker side just waiting to come out, and now on her new single “Bad Bad Dream,” that darker side is front and center. Produced by Toronto’s “Mouth Breather,” and also featuring a spoken word verse from British artist “Forever Next Door,” “Bad Bad Dream” is a dark yet fun banger that speaks on the terrors of sleep paralysis, and it’s cleverly disguised as a song about a toxic love interest. The song deals with darker subject matter yes, but it’s also not afraid to be playful with it’s bouncy Halloween-like production and sexy vocals. On the surface it can be a fun track to add to your Halloween playlist, but if you delve deeper into the lyrics you’ll find Maryze acknowledging her sleep paralysis and embracing it. She’s making light of it to the point where it’s almost as if she welcomes it. Does she hate it? Does she love it? Does she hate it and love it? Sleep paralysis is a subject that’s seldom explored in Halloween-themed music, and it’s a lot more terrifying than vampires and zombies, but don’t let that scare you off, because this song is immensely catchy with a hook that will stick in your head for days, proving that not all spooky music needs to be embedded in doom and gloom. Maryze is having fun with the darkness, and it’s refreshing.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
Artist: Kari Faux
EP: Cry 4 Help
Genre: R&B/Hip Hop
Label: Change Minds
Kari Faux is quickly becoming an essential name in music. Following one full-length album, an EP, and various singles, Faux has released a new EP filled with her most enthralling work yet. Cry 4 Help is the title, and it is a necessary title, because the songs on this EP are deeply personal and honest. Unapologetically wearing her heart on her sleeve, the five tracks on this album carry a consistent sense of melancholy. Ranging from topics such as toxic relationships, depression, self-medication, and self-doubt, these songs are gut-wrenching confessions from someone who is using music to improve herself. It’s evident that this is therapy for her, but her knack for crafting catchy R&B-laden tunes with lush production and crisp beats that can have a Trap flavor on one song and a Boom Bap flavor on the next compliment the sentimental tone perfectly. “I don’t wanna be medicated. I don’t wanna be sedated. Rather have you call me crazy,” sings Faux on the smooth opener “Medicated,” and though this is an introduction to a deeply vulnerable experience, she assures us that she’d rather face the hurt with a clear mind than fall down the rabbit hole of substance dominant escapism. The following track “Leave Me Alone” is a lush and subtle anthem for those who have gained the courage to rid themselves of toxic relationships that are based solely on convenience, and Faux has an impressive way of creating an uplifting experience with simplistic lyrical content. “In The Air” is a bit of a celebration of weed with Curren$y adding a smooth verse, but after this fun track the final two tracks get even more personal. “Night Time” speaks on how relationships based solely on sex can be damaging when there’s no real connection, but it’s the closing track “Latch Key” that really ends the EP on a gut-wrenching but inspiring note. This track unsparingly details some painful experiences Faux has had to endure such as having a miscarriage when she was a teen and not having much of a relationship with her parents, using TV and her imagination to cope, but with the final words “Felt overlooked but now i’m getting booked for shows in different states where people dance and sing my hooks,” the EP ends in a positive and optimistic tone. I don’t think anyone saw a personal musical memoir of Faux coming, but here we are, we have a short but effective release that showcases her songwriting versatility. Kari Faux knows how to utilize the healing power of music.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
Album: When I Get Home
Genre: R&B/Alternative R&B/Hip Hop
Label: Columbia Records
Back in 2016 Solange Knowles released a powerful album named A Seat At The Table. An album that was just as much a statement as it was an adventurous exploration in the realm of “R&B” and it’s many sub-genres. With a smooth and sexy sleekness, the album touched on topics such as race, anger, and escapism through our many vices, and as important as this subject matter is, the album was never obnoxiously overbearing. Instead, Solange lured us in with her soothing vocals that displayed the importance of subtlety. As groundbreaking and acclaimed as this album was, you can imagine how much hype a follow-up would get, so naturally her new album When I Get Home is definitely receiving that hype. Unfortunately, the album does not live up to the hype. Following a highly successful album isn’t easy. The bar has been set, and most will want you to create something that is on par with the predecessor. We all know Solange has the talent to do so, but instead, most of the tracks on When I Get Home fall incredibly flat. This leads to a frustrating listen. Like A Seat At The Table, When I Get Home is filled with interludes, but the ironic thing is that all of the full-length tracks on this album sound like interludes. Each track has imaginative and quite innovative production at times thanks to a laundry list of collaborators such as Pharrell, Tyler, The Creator, Panda Bear, Dev Hynes, Steve Lacy, and Metro Boomin, but each track is anticlimactic with it’s repetition. Solange most definitely wanted to experiment more and offer a Psychedelic experience, but her ambition to explore as much as possible was a detriment to this album, making the whole thing sound completely scatterbrained. Songs like “Way To The Show” and “Stay Flo” feel like they should be a lot more impactful, but like the rest of the album, the tracks sound like unfinished rough drafts with lackluster lyrics and underwhelming vocals that get cringeworthy at times. Yes this album does feature thought-provoking subject matter, but that subject matter is translated through lackluster songwriting. Important subject matter doesn’t suffice when it comes to constructing a full album where every other element has to be up to par. Solange can do much better. Hopefully her next release will be an improvement.
Written By: Steven Sandoval