Rasharn Powell – Warm In These Blue Jeans
This is the first single I’ve heard by Essex singer Rasharn Powell and it’s an absolute knock out.
Everything in Warm In These Blue Jeans oozes class and style. The laid-back groove kicks in immediately, the silky smooth vocals follow. There’s some lovely electronic touches and counter vocals, and the chorus feels majestic. “If I had wings, I would touch the sky” he sings, and we can feel ourselves soaring with him. The extended outro is also a winner.
This is incredibly accomplished, and it’s worth noting that this is very reminiscent of early Frank Ocean (before he became too ‘good’ to bother with things like song structure and melody). It’s that good.
Yuksek – I Don’t Have A Drum Machine
This track has been putting me in a good mood all week…
French producer Yuksek has put together an absolute knockout of a tune with I Don’t Have A Drum Machine. It’s an upbeat disco track that effectively narrates you through its own production. Fun, retro and extremely catchy, it absolutely makes you want to dance.
Julia Jacklin – Pressure to Party
Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin recently released her second album Crushing and Pressure To Party comes from that record. It’s a tale of coming out of a failed relationship, and how you feel forced to act in certain ways.
The Penguin has to be honest, lyrically this may well be my favourite track of the year so far. It is just so brilliantly constructed and hard-hitting. It makes you sit up and take notice. Take the first four lines:
Pressure to party, gonna stay in
Nothing good can come from me drinking
I would run, shoes off, straight back to you
I know where you live, I used to live there too
The Penguin was so impressed he sent it to a friend who lives close to the Antarctic (South London) and he – unusually – responded with an excellent review, which is probably better than anything I can write. He said:
This is great btw, lyrically so engaging and the juxtaposition between the upbeat music and the very much less so lyrics just makes it all the more intriguing. Ironically I’d imagine plenty of people will miss the lyrical content and take it as an upbeat ode to partying.
A really great track and I can’t wait to tuck into the album.
Simon Curtis – Love
Former Nickelodeon star Simon Curtis returned on Valentine’s Day with his latest single, Love.
This tracks starts off sounding like The Weeknd. Seriously, it’s a little unnerving. The sweeping falsetto vocals completely deceived my ears. But then Love develops an 80s pop obsession and as a wave of synths floats across the track we end up with a hybrid between those two sounds; modern r’n’b influenced pop, and 80s pop with wispy backing vocals and programmed drums.
Curtis has stressed that the song is about self-appreciation “It’s about looking in the mirror and thanking the universe, or God, and clicking into that frequency where you fully acknowledge how beautiful your own existence is”.
Let me know what you think of it: firstname.lastname@example.org