Wow, what a month for music! It was incredibly hard narrowing this down, but I got there. In no particular order, my 10 favourite songs from February...
NATHAN BALL – COLD HANDS
I first came across this guy last year when his previous single “Right Place” was featured on the BBC Introducing website and immediately I found myself hooked on his indie folk-rock style that is slightly reminiscent of Ben Howard. The UK singer-songwriter has gone one better this month with “Cold Hands”, an honest song about lost love and new opportunities and although it seems a little darker, we are still treated to some intricate guitar riffs and catchy hooks. It’s a song bleeding with emotion and my favourite from February, hands down.
SAATSUMA – ISOLATE
Melbourne electronic outfit SAATSUMA return with third single “Isolate” and it’s a real shiner. A slow build of synths and gentle vocals, the track evolves into a pulsating soundscape of glistening beats and samples which on paper, may sound complex but it’s an effortless fusion of layers thanks to SAATSUMA’s highly impressive production skills. Expect more of this textured goodness from their debut album, set for release in 2017.
BAYNK – POOLSIDE
I already regarded this Kiwi quite highly for his top notch producing and beat making skills, so much so that I listed him as one of 7 artists to watch this year. A choice that has been further cemented with new single “Poolside”, a warm, laid back number that oozes with coolness and will have you hanging on to summer. And those smooth vocals? Well, turns out that’s BAYNK too! Is there actually anything this guy can’t do?
OKBADLANDS – PTY LTD
These girls blew me away with their single “Dust & Gold” back in September but to say that they have backed it up would really be an understatement. The duo have gone above and BEYOND with “PTY LTD” a luscious wave of textured sounds and jazzy vocals that lyrically challenges the idea of consumerism and how we measure our success. The rhythm, the melodies - everything about this is so, so divine. Definitely love at first listen.
THE KITE STRING TANGLE – SELFISH
FINALLY! HE’S BACK! Whilst it may seem that TKST has been laying low for quite some time now, he’s actually been as busy as ever, launching his own record label and of course, working on new music. “Selfish” is definitely more of a banger with some heavier trap style beats but Danny manages to match that intensity with some impeccably layered production and sharp synths, and all without losing his heart-wrenching vocals in the mix. Itching for more.
FAZERDAZE – LUCKY GIRL
Amelia Murray aka Fazerdaze has been impressing my socks off the last 6 odd months and she fails to disappoint on new single “Lucky Girl”. Picking up the pace from previous offering “Little Uneasy”, “Lucky Girl” is a sunny slice of indie dream pop that’s lyrically bittersweet but sonically quite urgent thanks to some punchy, lo fi guitars and urgent percussion. It’s hazy, nostalgic and a promising indication of what’s to come from Fazerdaze’s debut LP, Morningside.
OSCAR KEY SUNG – SHALLOW
This guy’s been pretty busy zipping between Melbourne and LA as of late, but he’s certainly delivered on “Shallow”, the first cut from his forthcoming debut album. Think euphoric pop/RnB beats laced with a totally relatable lyrical sentiment of perplexing love. And of course, those smooth as hell vocals. HUGE fan.
AIRLING – NOT A FIGHTER
Another sultry, electro-pop number from one of my biggest lady crushes, Airling. Earnest in its lyrics and blissfully delivered through her gentle vocals, “Not A Fighter” sees the Brisbane artist step away from her RnB sensibilities and instead focus on some more sparse synths and percussion. A total ethereal beauty and taken from another debut album I cannot WAIT to hear this year.
LEO – HIGHER
Total sucker for this Adelaide outfit and their vibrant take on pop music. It’s like some glorious mash up of Phil Collins and Journey – think vibrant synths, soaring hooks and a bopping good time. The 80’s never looked so appealing!
JANEVA – YOU & I
This is the debut single from Melbourne’s JANEVA, who you may recognise from that epic London Topaz track “Let You Go” and also if you’ve caught L D R U live over the last few months. Now JANEVA is breaking out on her own and doing it in style with this bold pop number that puts those vocals front and centre. Huge tune and a fresh take on Australian pop, keep an eye on her.
This gorg pic of Nathan Ball was taken by Daniel A Harris Photography. You can check him out here!