Music Reviews

New Releases Roundup – Zuzu, Empath, Selkie and Josie Proto

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

As the music industry exuberantly thrives with gigs in full swing, Gemma and Kiah review the latest releases from Zuzu, Empath, Selkie and Josie Proto.

Zuzu – Lie to Myself (Gemma)

The fourth single from Zuzu’s upcoming debut album ‘Queensway Tunnel’, Lie to Myself is just as brilliant as her other recent singles, The Van Is Evil, My Old Life, and Timing.  

The track is tinged with 2000s guitars

The new track is about “that moment in a relationship where you’ve left someone or you’ve moved away from each other but you’re not strong enough to handle what they’ve been up to” according to Zuzu. This is reflected perfectly through the almost desperate repetition of the line “Whatever you do, don’t tell me the truth” in the chorus of the song.

The track is tinged with 2000s guitars, despite these not being as obvious and in-your-face as her previous single My Old Life. These influences complement Zuzu’s vocals perfectly, causing Lie to Myself to continue to build the hype surrounding her fast approaching debut full-length, which will be unveiled on 12th November 2021.

four and a half stars

Empath – Born 100 Times (Gemma)

Philadelphia based Empath successfully blend psych-pop, indie and punk on their new single Born 100 Times, produced by Jake Portrait from Unknown Mortal Orchestra. It is their first release since their debut album ‘Active Listening: Night On Earth’ that was released in 2019.

Born 100 Times is an experimental track with a unique blend of genres, quite unlike anything I’ve ever heard before (and trust me, I’ve heard a lot of music). The track is a short, 2-minute burst of relentless energy and momentum from the moment you press play, which sustains until the very end of the runtime.

four stars

Selkie – Beatroot (Kiah)

Glasgow musician Selkie has released new single Beatroot – a slow and haunting track that has a slight trip hop tinge. The downbeat track is the second single released by Selkie, following her debut single Seeking. Kristina Cox, the singer-songwriter behind Selkie, worked with Glasgow based Kyle Daniel Lochhead and Patrick Cairns to create and produce the song.

Selkie’s layered vocals and the song’s low bassline create a calming atmosphere

When discussing the creation of Beatroot, Selkie shared that “the song began with Kyle’s vision to bring the three of us together to write atmospheric music that would bewitch and enrapture people. Next came a loop Patrick made with the Moog Little Phatty, which he provisionally named Beatroot – the name stuck, with jokes that our next collaboration would be called Raddish.”

Selkie’s layered vocals and the song’s low bassline create a calming atmosphere in the song, giving it an overall downbeat feeling. Although Selkie was originally from the west coast of Scotland, she is now based in Berlin, creating new music for her planned debut album.

three stars

Josie Proto – Problem Child (Kiah)

Sharing her childhood experiences, Josie Proto has released Problem Child, an upbeat pop track that discusses the criticism she faced as a child. Starting off as a simple acoustic song, Problem Child’s catchy and rhythmic chorus blends harmonies and synths to create an optimistic sound.

Talking about her experiences growing up, Proto elaborated “As a kid, a lot of my cheekiness was punished out of me, and now as adult, people accredit my creative side to being a bit of a wild child. I wish the same people that praised my wild side now, didn’t punish it as a kid”.

Proto has been continually compared to Lily Allen – her own Instagram bio reading “That BTEC Lilly Allen gurl” – due to their similar vocals and song writing style. Nevertheless, Proto’s bold personality has made her stand out in the pop music world, having already gained 1 million streams on Spotify since she began releasing music in 2020.

four 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 @empath.jpeg and @josieproto via @instagram.com. 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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