Slow-beat London house, picked up by ’00s nu-metal seasoned glitter-pop and finished off by playful London cynicism, this week there’s a bit of a London takeover, with music from Alara and Neon Indian thrown in, to balance out the Southern takeover.
Real Lies – You Were In Love
London’s Real Lies have released a few one-off singles since their debut LP back in 2015, following the departure of co-vocalist Tom Watson, now moving onto LP2 with new single ‘You Were In Love’. Kev Kharas and Patrick King combining their love of London with soulful house will never fall on death ears, primarily those of ex-Londoners pushed out by the cities ever-enlarging demand for growth. ‘You Were In Love’ speaks of how past loves can taint once sacred areas, changing your favourite street into an alley you’d never dare go down ever again; balancing the myopic view of physical space being filled with emotions and memories, while craving that familiarity and place of self belonging.
Alara – Bringing You Down
On my way down to London last weekend, Alara’s ‘Bringing You Down’ rolled into my ears thanks to spam adding on behalf of 6am me, graciously dancing along with the barely blue skies of the M1 at 8am. Gazing out of a coach window, while falling asleep to Alara’s sweet serenade, ‘Bringing You Down’ casts itself in the magical world of depressingly beautiful music, something that you can truly sink into, whether sad or not, but the comforting notion of Alara allowing you to lower your guard and be vulnerable (even if that is just sleeping) is nothing short of pure bliss.
Neon Indian – Toyota Man
Next to pick up the pace is Neon Indian with his latest slice, Toyota Man. The first Spanish track from Alan Palomo, aka, Neon Indian, ‘Toyota Man’ highlights the journey of Mexican-Americans crossing the border, learning English and working whatever jobs are available, with hopes of the American Dream. Palomo delivers a strong stance, contextually, linguistically and musically, captivating listeners with a joyous, fun-filled ’90s glitch pop, all while quoting Selena, Miley Cyrus and implementing parts of the US national anthem and ‘La Cucaracha’. ‘Toyota Man’ is a celebration of American immigration and the wonderful array of cultures that reside with the US thanks to immigration.
Rina Sawayama – STFU!
So pace yourself for this next one, as Rina Sawayama, the artist who created arguably the best cover of this decade, when covering Jackson 5’s I Wanna Be Where You Are, has crossed into the world of ’00s nu-metal. ‘STFU!’ with its blast of swirling, low range guitar riffs will come as a shock to Sawayama’s fans, but her skill at balancing her soft in comparison vocals, with the heavy brutal nature of nu-metal won’t. Sawayama conjures up the glistening pop style she’s now known for together with the emo 101 styling of Evanescence on ‘STFU!’, combining the dark side of nu-metal together with her lighter-hearted pop for yet another stellar moment from the Londoner.
WUDi – L BOMB
The final Londoner and track of this week on What’s Good, WUDi’s ‘L BOMB’ is a playful scene of familiarity that anyone will be able to situate themselves in, whether they’re the ones who were dropping the ‘L BOMB’ or those hoping that it wouldn’t be dropped. Pining for casualness or at least slower speeds than the immediate rush into relationship titles and the stresses that can come with, WUDi channels the fear and anxiety that comes with expecting an early ‘L BOMB’ into a fun, light hearted track that trivializes these fears. Saving both sides the dreaded fear of jumping with no one to catch you and someone pushing you into an answer you’ve not decided on yet, WUDi turns this timeless dilemma into a laughable moment that breathes a sigh of relief across a Paolo Nutini-esque track.