A double feature this week; What’s Good This Week is filled with chaotic distortion of emotional upheaval, transitioning from uncertainty in the face of emerging romantic attraction into ambiguous indie rock, ethereal art-pop and manipulated folk. Or simply put, a clustering of fantastic music from multiple genres and styles.
Arlo Parks – Eugene
If like me you’re late to the impressive work of Arlo Parks, then consider this a warm welcome into the emotional torment that floods Parks work, especially on ‘Eugene’. A sophisticated blend of R’n’B and pop that unmistakenly carries the spirit and sound of South London. ‘Eugene’ is a side of romantic attraction that most would consider keeping to themselves, as Parks discusses romantic attraction brewing for a best friend, confused at the results and unsure how to deal with them. The video, directed by The Coyle-Larner Brothers, (Loyle Carner) is a work of art in itself, elevating Arlo Parks work even further.
Kinck – Money Maker
Danish/Senegalese artist Kinck shared her latest track ‘Money Maker’ a few weeks ago now, discussing our attitudes in the face of what we’re willing to do for what we love, all while being confined by financial limitations. Kinck rolls up with zero nonsense and is straight business, aiming her questions point blanc while trap-hop beats amplify her music to the slick stylings of MIA or Cardi B, delivering stellar R’n’B.
Yip Roc – Zubra
Filled with energy that is intended to go completely nuts, Netherlands four-piece Yip Roc, go off the wall with ‘Zubra’. With feelings of frustration at the tipping point of ‘Zubra’, the Dutch group manipulate choppy indie rock into sounding like Cali-beach slacker riffs, shot through garage-rock soundwaves with a dose of hypnotic, psychedelic synth. A clusterfuck of sound that’s welcomingly abrasive, it’s a primal scream for those who need to go fucking mental.
Moaning – Fall In Love
The L.A. post-punk rockers have produced their most upbeat sounding track to date, sharing the monotonic-harmonies behind ‘Fall In Love’. However, in typical Moaning fashion, ‘Fall In Love’ is cloaked with doubt and fear, aspiring to stop a potential romance before a demise that feels inevitable. The second-guessing behind ‘Fall In Love’ hides behind its facade of upbeat synths, a clear dissociation from their usual post-punk sound, unnatural and alien to the L.A. group, something which they could truly be masters of if the doubt doesn’t win.
Zoe Rex – Lose It All
A wonderful find while scouring through the Soundcloud vaults, Zoe Rex is an L.A. native whose most recent track is a sobering look on relationships and love. A soul-filled sad-banger, ‘Lose It All’ captures a post-breakup mood that is confused and broken, going “from strangers to lovers to strangers again”, capturing the disarray that fills your mind during what feels like the most difficult period in your life.
Red Moon – Dogma
A Norwegian-Swiss artist who produces ethereal art-pop, Red Moon questions the scope of modern-living and whether ‘traditional’ methods of thinking can still be maintained on ‘Dogma’. With a style that sounds like a marriage between Florence + the Machine and PACE, Red Moon unleashes a striking level of perfected harmonies, transcending beauty and grace for something altogether more fascinating. Introducing trip-hop samples halfway through, ‘Dogma’ ascends as a triumphant first taste from a soon to be a global sensation.
Kite – Tranås/Stenslanda
Dive straight into the void of never-ending black, before a glimmer of white explodes into the technicolour wonder of Kite’s new track ‘Tranås/Stenslanda’. The Swedish duo depicts the sense of wonder and awe that fills everyone who manages to leave their hometowns and discover their own world that makes sense to them. Speaking their own language, allowing them to breathe for the first time, the idea of escapism to find your true home resonates beautifully throughout ‘Tranås/Stenslanda’ and is worth getting lost in repeatedly to feel like you’ve found this ideal home.
Craig Irving – Say Goodbye
Previous a part of two Scottish-folk bands, Craig Irving has ventured out as a solo artist, producing indie-pop that packs the depth of his folk-past. ‘Say Goodbye’ is somewhat on the nose as a breakup song, however, the overall sound of Irving’s work is far more uplifting than its title may lead you to presume. A breakup that both parties know is on the cards, ‘Say Goodbye’ isn’t bittersweet, instead, it’s a hopeful ode to moving on and creating brighter futures for both sides.
Karenin – Slow Dance
Next up is Bristol duo Karenin, who produce glitched out, bedroom-pop, bordering on electro-folk, warped by the styling of Four Tet or Crystal Castles, perfectly suited for those still playing out their lives to the direction of Skins. ‘Slow Dance’ is an amalgamation of multiple facets turning in to reveal a deep cut shared by their many faces, collectively joining several styles of genres to form one masterpiece of distortion and chaos that resonates nothing but calm vibes and a sense of freedom.
Duendita – Let Me Live
Hailing from Queens, NY, Duendita is one of the most interesting artists I’ve found in a long time. Her vocal manipulation finds her voice soaring as high as the heavens before freefalling down to earth and beyond, deep and impactful with her execution. ‘Let Me Live’ breathes with a high level of focus, as its beginning pulls in quickly and shockingly, before levelling out into calm, enchanting guitar riffs that are a pleasure to digest.
Chassol – Rollercoaster Pt.1&2
The final track on this weeks What’s Good and possibly one of the most interesting pieces of music shared on Velvet in a long time. Chassol has collaborated on work for Frank Ocean and Solange, but his own work on ‘Rollercoaster Pt.1&2’ is far more interesting. Using his ‘ultra score’ approach, Chassol uses everyday sounds found in footage as ambient background noise, transforming these into harmonised pieces that synchronise with his visual accompaniments, creating music that goes beyond the limitations of purely audio stimulation, expanding into something closer to 4D than ever before.