New Single Alert: Hugh releases "Sober"

Hugh are releasing new music with the single, “Sober” dropping nearly two years after their debut Love, Hugh was released in 2017. The lineup of the group has shifted a bit as well since then, but vocalist Joshua Idehen and producer Andy Highmore remain at the core.

New listeners of Hugh may recognize Idehen’s voice, he’s a vocalist of the acclaimed London trio Benin City. He’s half the duo that forms Hugh and certainly in this new track he brings a different energy than his other musical endeavors. Highmore’s production is definitely a highlight as well. Guest vocalist Amaroun, is recognizable too, as she is Jay Brown, the London singer-songwriter whose smooth R&B sound blends so well with Idehen.


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In an interview with the folx at The Line of Best Fit, Idehen explained that the track was written as a breakup song about Brexit regret, but the universality of the lyrics lend themselves beyond this specific dumpster fire political climate (though it’s something this American relates to all too well).

The structure of this newest release from Hugh is solid. Specifically at the bridge, in a track that could easily get messy and drunkenly out of control, “Sober” keeps a calm and even-keeled quality. Indeed it would seem the same satisfaction that one derives from knowing you’re over someone and better than an ex-lover is present in the listening experience and one certainly feels better having heard this track.


You can listen to “Sober” on Spotify.

New Single Alert: IamHelgi's "Speeding"

Helgi Sæmundur, the man behind the moniker IamHelgi, is a bit of an enigma. As beat-maker extraordinaire and one half of the Icelandic hip hop group, Úlfur Úlfur, he’s been building his notoriety and repertoire among fans of the duo and now as a solo artist. I first encountered Helgi’s work on his 2015 Úlfur Úlfur album, Tvær Plánetur, which has been in my heavy rotation for years. I relished in the chance to see him live at Iceland Airwaves 2017. So much, in fact, that I saw him three times in a week. Admittedly, as I can’t begin to understand the language, I think I’ve always gravitated towards Úlfur Úlfur because of the beats.

Fans got a first taste at this new, more synthy endeavor of Helgi’s when he dropped the single “Yourself” back in December 2018. That is, if you weren’t lucky enough to catch his solo debut at Iceland Airwaves in November 2018. Helgi’s influences are present in his new work--it’s synth driven rock that calls to mind a Depeche Mode and sort of Twin Peaks mysteriousness. This could be because he’s recently scored the Scandi-Noir television series, Stella Blómkvist.

IamHelgi performed last month at one of my favorite Icelandic venues, Iðnó opening up for Warmland. He’s also been announced in the lineup for Iceland Airwaves 2019. It will be very exciting to see how his solo artistry expands this year, as he’s off to a terrific start.

His new single “Speeding” is out today and is sure to be on repeat in my household. You can stream it on Spotify.

A never ending sentence in my head

Well I guess you could say I'm just a wee bit behind on listening to more new music this year. I listened to the new Bowie and was just kind of sad about music for the next couple of weeks. There's only one gal to pull you outta that kind of a slump and that's my girl, Sia. This Is Acting has been billed as a reject album, of bsides and songs meant for homes they never found with other artists. And I'm goddamn glad they never did. The pure, raw, unadulterated sounds that come out of Sia's lungs are the kind of thing that makes you stop in your tracks. Or, if you're like me, your brain listens to a song like, "Unstoppable" and the cranks start turning and you start thinking that maybe the internet does need more Jessica Jones fan videos. I mean, seriously.

The track "Space Between" is big, expansive, and dreamy. The lyrics are simple, but the way in which Sia's voice grows and swells feels like your getting pulled out in her vocal tide. It's okay, it's a beautiful floating feeling. It might be my favorite on the album, although admittedly many of the others had me dancing from my chair while listening and wanting to write this review. 

I think it's underdog in me, cheering for songs that weren't picked first for team. That were left standing against the wall,  waiting their turn so they could come out blazing that I find so satisfying. 

Yeah, this is gonna be on heavy rotation and pulling me out of Winter and into Spring (which is coming early this year—thanks Punxsutawney Phil (or Global Warming/Climate Change)!

Where the fuck did Monday go?

David Bowie was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. 

Maybe it's because we just got over the holidays, but all I could think about was the opening to A Christmas Carol when I heard the news this morning. Or, I suppose in this day and age, when I first read about it on the internet.  Having nearly 99% of my friends who are musicians and that little sliver of 1% being music lovers, there's no way I could avoid the David Bowie shadow over this day. Oddly enough, the first album review I wanted to post here was for Blackstar, the first album I've listened to in 2016.  

With his recent departure, it feels even more as the critics are calling it: a parting gift for fans. And David Bowie was a generous and thoughtful gift-giver.  What terrific level of genius to turn something as difficult as facing cancer and death into provocative art. At just seven songs and clocking in around 41 minutes, the lyrics are peppered with a sentimentality about the fragility of life and echoes of religious references. I found the question---see title of this post-- from the track, "Girl Loves Me" as particularly intriguing with reference to how days all blend together and before you know it--- you're at the end of the week (and perhaps your life) left asking, wondering,  "Where the fuck did Monday go?" 

I feel like there's a bigger discussion to be had about the agency he held as a white man and the way he really utilized that agency to push barriers surrounding sexuality/love and relationships/identity --but perhaps next time.  

I never dressed as Ziggy Stardust for Halloween, but I loved Bowie as the Goblin King in Labyrinth. I appreciated his androgyny, his line-blurring, his celebration of the weird. His influence will surely be long lasting and as so many have already declared affectionately today:  "The stars look very different today."