LISTEN: Alex Jayne – ‘Hollywood’

Having already received acclaim from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit and Chris Hawkins on BBC 6Music, Alt-pop artist Alex Jayne’s latest release, ‘Hollywood‘, is a mesmerising treat. Conjuring euphoric vibes, it unravels the head as it leads us somewhere new. “It’s a song about the fantasies we hold onto and get hurt by” says Alex.

Alex’s simple striking lyrics glide against a limitless expanse of immaculate production. The controlled nature of Alex’s voice is calming and grounding. Her sometimes hopeful, sometimes wistful, repetitions of “Hollywood”, cleverly render even the word itself strange and undefinable. Mid-way through there’s a cutaway to Alex casually and candidly chatting. She utters, in her casual spoken voice: “… don’t talk to me about the future, I can feel it there waiting, y’know?” This charmingly ordinary split second is a beautiful plot twist in a song which is comfortably and successfully cinematic. 

After the two years we’ve had, this notion of striving for a chameleon like, omni-out-of-reach reality lands with just the right balance of promise and poignance. Whether the song summons thoughts of lost love or just that sense of your future living somewhere in the distance, this is an emotional track which speaks to the moment we’re living in with a welcome uniqueness. 

Tutku Barbaros

Photo Credit: Laurie Barraclough

LISTEN: Megzz – ‘Checkmate’

Following the release of her debut EP Feel My Love in 2019, and acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing for last year’s ‘Tell Me Why‘, unsigned Northamptonshire artist Megzz has now shared her latest single ‘Checkmate’ – a truly soulful treat for the ears. Fans will know of her commitment to using her platform and creativity to speak on self love, mental health and racism. Throughout the last year, Megzz has raised funds for several charities tackling these areas and even created her own movement. It’s a wonder she’s had time to create new music at all, and yet here’s ‘Checkmate’ – a fresh, empowering tune for anyone frustrated after being left on read. She’s a wonder woman!

‘Checkmate’ opens with a tasty pop and R’n’B influenced beat from which Megzz launches her gymnastic ability to deliver bars of crystal clear lyricism while displaying broad vocal range. Soon, the charming, toe-tapping intro takes a satisfying drop into the meaty bite of a more electronic sound (think SBTRKT meets Lapsley) luring us from swaying shoulders to banging heads and back. Meanwhile Megzz’s songwriting is the stuff of Insta caption dreams – “a queen without her king is still a monarch” is my current favourite.

Megzz obviously has a huge amount to say and I can’t wait to hear what this innovative artist does next.

Tutku Barbaros

Track Of The Day: Billie Flynn – ‘Someone’s Daughter’

Having previously charmed our ears with her soulful previous single ‘Hey Stranger’, Cornish artist Billie Flynn has now returned with a brand new offering. ‘Someone’s Daughter‘ is a comforting acoustic dreamscape which plays to the artist’s strengths while showcasing a few more of the tricks up her sleeve. If you’re already a fan of Flynn’s earthy acoustic vibes, this track won’t disappoint. And, for new listeners, this is an apt introduction to her blend of soft vocals and artfully simple lyrics set against a backdrop of gently strumming guitars. 

Though new, Flynn’s signature style seems rooted in her gift for texture. Her music feels multi-sensory in a way that’s balmy and immersive. Whereas the layering of her debut single was led by the instruments, this time Flynn opts to lead with her vocals, making this track seem more personal – more like an invitation to get to know her as an artist. The way Flynn utilises low sumptuous repetitions and a handful of well timed loops as she expresses satisfying lyrics such as “this world keeps turning, while I’m still burning…” suggest to me she has a penchant for the occasional nostalgic and ever so slightly poppy lilt; a detail I’m absolutely here for.

Of the track, Flynn explains:

This was a big song for me when writing it, it felt like a real release. I was struggling at the time and I just had the thought that, if nothing else, I will always be a daughter, and that’s an important thing to be.

Flynn shows us what her voice can do in a way that doesn’t feel contrived but, instead, playful and joyful. Another promising track from this upcoming artist.

‘Someone’s Daughter’ is out now via Never Fade Records.

Tutku Barbaros

LISTEN: Daisy Coburn – ‘My Paradise’

Having previously released music with her project Daisy Dares You and with years of experience playing in various other bands, last year innovative artist Daisy Coburn released her debut solo EP, and has now shared her new single, ‘My Paradise’. A festival ready stomp-through-the-woodlands-until-you-find-a-magical-clearing type listen, it’s utterly enchanting as airy chimes weave through swirling guitars and trundling bass, creating a beguiling indie track which is as whimsical and eerie as Alice heading down the rabbit hole. 

As Coburn’s vocals whisper, we’re treated to the unique, celestial Tinkerbell-like quality of her voice: delicate without being fragile, emanating light while a darker mischievousness lingers too (making the accompanying press image of Daisy bathed in absinthe green light pleasingly fitting). 

Her self-written lyrics are a call to get up and discover yourself, to stop making the same mistakes. Her admission that “my paradise is that you’d think twice” is particularly poignant advice given the knowledge that her career has seen a decade’s worth of iterations – you may remember her from various outfits including The Duke Spirit. 

While there are nods to her history, there’s an unrelenting sense of Daisy’s evolution as an artist. Having left the industry as a teenager, her return is wise, well crafted and extremely welcome. As ever, it’s refreshing to hear an artist truly find her sound and it’s with great excitement we await forthcoming EP Cut The Demon.

Tutku Barbaros