Possibly the longest couple of weeks of my life, a cathartic release of emotion is exactly what I needed. Pop bangers, emotional ballads, black joy and more, it’s a mighty exhale and maybe a primal scream or two on What’s Good This Week.
Agnes – 24 Hours
So kicking off this week is Swedish, Scandi-pop artist Agnes with her latest single ’24 Hours’. Creator of the legendary track ‘Release Me’, Agnes brings the impeccable standards of Swedish-pop music together with heavy synth-wave, disco infusions, sounding like Vitalic’s ‘Poison Lip’ given a mega-pop do-over. It’s an absolute pop-masterclass from Agnes and I can easily see ’24 Hours’ being stuck on repeat for the remainder of the year. Speaking further about the track, Agnes shared: “’24 Hours’ is about going through the fire and the pain, how your life is turned upside down. Something extreme had to happen for you to wake up and see clearly. It is a Sliding Doors moment and you choose the path forward.”
Torii Wolf – Ten Billion Years
Now for a stark contrast from Los Angeles artist Torii Wolf and their beautiful new single ‘Ten Billion Years’. Speaking about their track, Torri Wolf explained: “[It’s] highly inspired by the grief of losing a loved one. Being apart from one another and somehow still letting them know you will always protect them near or far. The transcendental relationship between this mortal human life and the infinite spirit world.” The production on ‘Ten Billion Years’ is kept fairly minimal throughout, allowing Wolf’s haunting lyrics to creep in deep and release any anguish that may have been lying within. It’s a cathartic release of emotion that feels like a welcomed deep exhale after this tumultuous past year.
Dirty Nice – Get In Your Head (Malkovich Ya)/Dream Heavy
Next is London/Bournemouth group Dirty Nice with ‘Get In Your Head (Malkovich Ya)’ released a couple weeks back, and ‘Dream Heavy’. Coming with the announcement of their debut album’s release date on October 1st, which fans can potentially name via their TikTok, ‘Get In Your Head (Malkovich Ya)’ sees Dirty Nice bringing their clever indie-pop style to the mix once again for a sensationally playful track. Their newest release ‘Dream Heavy’ comes as a fair contrast, swapping bubbly indie-pop for more slowed down acoustic pop, that occasionally seeps into lo-fi territory.
Joel Culpepper – Black Boy
The latest single from the South Londoners upcoming “Sgt Culpepper” album (out July 23rd), ‘Black Boy’ is a joyous celebration of uniqueness, inspired by his time working as a mentor in London schools. Filled head to toe with the suave charm that Culpepper brings to all of his new releases, ‘Black Boy’ is an ode to uplifting R’n’B, placing troubles aside even for just a moment, to allow a moment for joy to prevail over the daily melancholy. Culpepper’s latest sends the soul soaring with his heavenly blend of black joy and R’n’B perfection.
Stain – OK
Closing this week are Serbian alt-rock group Stain, with their latest release ‘OK’. Hailing from Belgrade, Stain’s alt-rock style takes a key influence from metal music, with similarities to System of a Down, Deftones or Alice in Chains. A style that isn’t largely featured here on Velvet, but rest assured, ‘OK’ hits hard. With its influx of melodic guitars that swiftly transition into deep and gritty riffs, Stain go from alt-goth rock to progressive metal at a moments notice; with entrancing lyrics that welcome in moshpit ready breakdowns.