Music Reviews

New Releases Roundup – Hypothetics, Flowvers, Kristen Merritt and Grayscale

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

Featuring some of the best new up-and-coming talent, Gemma and Kiah review the latest releases from Hypothetics, Flowvers, Kristen Merritt and Grayscale.

Hypothetics – 351 (Gemma):

Bristol quartet Hypothetics have temporarily abandoned their punk roots for a more emotional and contemplative moment on their latest hip-hop infused single 351. The track was released alongside B-side Say Nothing, a solo song by guitarist Dan Pacini about an unsuccessful experience with love.

Lyrically, 351 speaks about the creative frustration that rises from feeling like you’re caught in a repetitive loop. Lead vocalist George Bailey felt like he was stuck on repeat as he looked through his lyric book that he had been filling for the past year – “I wrote the same songs; I spoke the same rhymes” – a feeling that triggered the inspiration behind the track.

Despite the hip-hip influences, Hypothetics have not completely abandoned their instruments on 351. The guitar, bass and drums are still very prominent throughout the song, especially in the chorus. However, the experimentation marks a refreshing change in sound for the punk band. Even though the music they’ve been writing recently has taken a heavier direction again, 351 demonstrates their versatility as a band.

three and a half stars

Flowvers – Far Away (Gemma):

Four-piece band Flowvers, who hail from Portsmouth, are launching a new era and direction with their latest single Far Away. The band have already received support from BBC Introducing and Radio X, as well as supporting Swim Deep, Black Honey and JAWS on tour.

The track has a huge sound, an abundance of energy and infectious instrumentation

Far Away was written over the past two years, inspired by the angst that rose within them during lockdown. This inspired the chorus lyric “Take me so far away” – a feeling which everyone has been able to relate to over the past year and a half. The track has a huge sound, an abundance of energy and infectious instrumentation.

The indie anthem will translate brilliantly live when the band hit the road later this year. You can catch them at Rewired Festival in London and Leeds this month, Golden Touch Festival in September, and in Southampton, Brighton, Birmingham and Manchester throughout October.

three and a half stars

Kristen Merritt – Breathe (Kiah)

Neo-soul artist from Brooklyn, Kristen Merritt, has released Breathe as the final single from her upcoming album – ‘Joi’. This will be Merritt’s debut album where she showcases her soulful and upbeat sound, including her two previous singles I’m Done and I Don’t Think About You.

When explaining her new single, Merritt shared, “Breathe starts off with all of the ick – the very honest line of me waking up to the realization that I have caused a lot of my own suffering – through embracing the negative thought spiral.” However, the track’s chorus reveals the sentiment behind the song, breaking out of the negative thought spiral in a meditative way.

Starting off with a slow melody and soft vocals, Breathe develops into a powerful declaration of choosing peace and just being okay with yourself. Merritt began her career as a singer-songwriter in 2019 with the release of her EP ‘Spectrum’ – since then she has developed a strong storytelling ability within her music, alongside a relaxed and peaceful sound, which can be heard on Breathe.

four stars

Grayscale – Babylon (Say It to My Face) (Kiah)

Philadelphia’s pop-punk band Grayscale have released new single Babylon (Say It to My Face), their second single released in 2021. This new single is set to feature on their fourth studio album, ‘Umbra’, which is due to be released later this month.

From the first listen, you can tell that the song will be a fan favourite live

Grayscale creatively announced Babylon (Say It to My Face) on Twitter with an online game that feels like a mix between Flappy Bird and Temple Run. The new single has an upbeat and energetic sound, with the track building up to the classic pop-punk drop at the chorus. From the first listen, you can tell that the song will be a fan favourite live, which Grayscale proved when they debuted the song live at Sad Summer Fest upon its release.

Grayscale’s vocalist, Collin Walsh, explained the meaning behind Babylon as “a song that, to me, touches on the types of people who speak on things they shouldn’t and give their uninformed opinions when nobody asked.”

With both Babylon (Say It to My Face) and previous single Dirty Bombs signifying a strong start to ‘Umbra’, Grayscale’s fans have been highly anticipating the follow up to 2019’s ‘Nella Vita’.

four and a half stars

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

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

In-article images courtesy of @hypotheticsband and @kristen.merritt via No changes made to these images.

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

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