Music Reviews

New Releases Roundup – hidingthehurt, La Luz, WalkJog, Roma Radz, MAKJ, Madds and Mila Jam, Pattern Pusher, Elephante and Indigo De Souza

Close up of a needle on a record player
Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

Gemma and Kiah review the latest releases from hidingthehurt, La Luz, WalkJog, Roma Radz, MAKJ, Madds and Mila Jam, Pattern Pusher, Elephante and Indigo De Souza.

hidingthehurt – ily (Gemma):

Following the release of his previous single wait4me, hidingthehurt is back with ily. The new single is produced by blackwinterwells, a renowned and talented producer within the hyperpop scene.

As the title of the song suggests, the lyrics of the track are a declaration of love (“I need you / Please can you just never leave”). The vocals are drenched in autotune, used effectively for artistic and creative purposes. However, it soon becomes apparent that these feelings are not reciprocated (“My heart feels broken everyday”).

ily continues to demonstrate hidingthehurt’s unique storytelling ability through his lyrics, as he communicates his true feelings to the listener with raw honesty and integrity.

four stars

La Luz – Watching Cartoons (Gemma):

La Luz’s new single Watching Cartoons was released alongside the announcement that the band will be unveiling their self-titled fourth album on 22nd October 2021. Their previous single In the Country will also appear on the album. ‘La Luz’ will be their first album since 2018’s ‘Floating Creatures’.

This vibe perfectly matches the theme of the lyrics of the song: relaxing and watching cartoon TV shows in your bedroom

The Adrian Younge produced track fuses psychedelic and dream-pop sounds, with woozy, dreamy vocal tones and lush, relaxed guitar strums. This vibe perfectly matches the theme of the lyrics of the song: relaxing and watching cartoon TV shows in your bedroom.

Watching Cartoons is accompanied by a fittingly animated music video directed by Nathan Castiel, which you can watch here. They have also recently announced a UK tour, including a visit to Nottingham’s very own The Bodega on 27th April 2022.

three and a half stars

WalkJog – I Don’t Care (Gemma):

WalkJog have released their second single, I Don’t Care. The track has been taken from the SoCal duo’s upcoming EP which will be released in August 2021, and it follows their debut single Cyclonic Gold, which was released back in May.

WalkJog consists of married couple Keith and Emily Fernandez, who wrote I Don’t Care as an anthem for those who are receiving negative backlash whilst trying to pursue their dreams. The aim was to motivate people to believe in themselves and to keep chasing what they want, disregarding other people’s opinions.

The dream-pop track has an energetic and infectious beat, which successfully reflects the confident and carefree attitude within the lyrics. The track is a positive anthem for individuality and self-belief, an important message in today’s society.

three stars

Roma Radz – Token (Gemma):

London-based independent hyperpop artist Roma Radz has released her new single Token. It is her first new release since June, following her feature on the collaborative track lost n found alongside artists such as Sleepa, Voidie, and hidingthehurt.

Her sound is also similar to Hannah Diamond’s

Roma is affiliated with PC Music, having met Hannah Diamond whilst on a work placement for her university degree. She toured with her throughout 2019 and 2020 as a DJ. Her sound is also similar to Hannah Diamond’s, characterised by pitch-shifted vocals and warped, euphoric synths.

Much like Roma’s previous singles Like Magic and Really in Love, Token also speaks of themes of love, with lyrics such as “I feel so lucky that you exist” and “You put your love inside me like a token”. 

four stars

MAKJ, Madds and Mila Jam – Just Sayin’ (Gemma):

MAKJ has teamed up with Madds and Mila Jam for his latest release, Just Sayin’. South-African born, LA-based multi-hyphenate Madds (Madison Louch) is a talented DJ, producer, designer and model, whilst New York-based Mila Jam is a YouTuber-turned-popstar.

The song was “originally a 90s sit-in-the-car-and-reminisce track” that MAKJ wrote with Mila Jam, but they felt like they needed something fresh to mix things up a bit. So, Madds was added to the track and Just Sayin’ was born.

The track is the perfect summer anthem, destined to be listened to whilst partying on the dancefloor in the sun. It has an infectious beat, which is bound to bring positive, feel-good energy to the listener during the summer months.

three and a half stars

Pattern Pusher – Find The Light (Kiah):

Pattern Pusher have unveiled their new track Find The Light which was released right in time for the day coronavirus restrictions ended in England. The retro-pop trio have been releasing music since 2018 and are set to release their debut album this year. Find The Light was debuted in a live performance for BBC Music Introducing.

The track starts with a fast piano solo which is then blended with an energetic drum beat and bass guitar

Find The Light is an uplifting and lively song that perfectly fits the summer heatwave England had last week, and the freedom which the end of lockdown brought. The track starts with a fast piano solo which is then blended with an energetic drum beat and bass guitar.

Lead singer Alex Johnstone shared how Find The Light was written to be uplifting, which is “particularly poignant for me right now as I have just lost my father who was my biggest hero and musical mentor and I know he would want me to pick myself up and keep positive”.

Pattern Pusher have also released another single Come Along this year, following in the same uplifting retro-pop sound that Find The Light has.

four stars

Elephante – Holy Ghosts (Kiah):

Elephante, the LA based producer and singer, has released new single Holy Ghosts, which will be featured on his sophomore album due to be released later this year. The new single explores ideas of escapism with dark and rhythmic guitars.

When talking about the new single in his press release, Elephante shared “I frequently found myself daydreaming about how great things were in the past – touring, seeing friends, even just being around people. Even when I’d try to move on and accept the current state of the world, I felt like I was being haunted by these memories – my ‘Holy Ghosts’ that I was trying to out-run”.

The lyrics of Holy Ghosts picture LA during the peak of the pandemic, dark and isolated in contrast to its usual liveliness. The sound of this new single and previous release High Water contrasts Elephante’s usual releases, which are based more on an electronic club sound.

three and a half stars

Indigo De Souza – Hold U (Kiah):

Indigo De Souza has recently released Hold U as the second single from her upcoming album, ‘Any Shape You Take’, which is set to be released at the end of August. Dreamy and emotional, Hold U expresses community love and celebrates being able to be yourself.

The new track Hold U also highlights De Souza’s distinct vocals with the simple and minimal backing

De Souza began her career in North Carolina with the self-release of her debut album, ‘I Love My Mom’, which showcased her song writing talents and unique blend of sounds. The new track Hold U also highlights De Souza’s distinct vocals with the simple and minimal backing, emphasising their light and delicate sound.

Hold U is a turn away from the garage rock inspired sound in Kill Me, having a more experimental neo-soul sound. When discussing the inspiration behind Hold U, De Souza shared that “I wanted to write about a really simple kind of love that isn’t necessarily romantic, but that is just about holding space for other people to fully express themselves and to feel celebrated. Just simply seeing someone in their humanity and loving them.”

The song’s sentiment is replicated in the music video released for Hold U which perfectly captures the sense of community and belonging De Souza expresses through her lyrics.

four and a half stars

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

Featured image courtesy of Nina via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @hidingthehurt._ @walkjogband @MAKJ and @iamtheelephante via No changes were made to these images.

To listen to all of these tracks, check out the New Releases Roundup playlist on Spotify.

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