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

LISTEN: Chloe Castro – ‘FUTURE’

Having been tipped as one of BBC Introducing’s ‘Tips for 2021’, and previously charming listeners when she reached the quarter finals of BBC One’s The Voice, British-Brazilian artist Chloe Castro has now shared a powerful new single.

Gliding in with pristinely enunciated vocals, ‘FUTURE‘ mesmerises instantly. Just as our hips start to find an infinity motion to match the alternative R’n’B opener (think Banks meets PARTYNEXTDOOR), Castro switches the beat – suddenly smacking out speedier lyrics borrowing cadences from hip-hop and rap as she goes. 

For Castro, language isn’t just how she describes her emotions, but the conduit through which she makes us really feel them with her. When she belts out “fucking go for it” she hits the guttural “K” with a firmness that makes me gasp and nod my head in agreement like “yes tell him Chloe!”. The track’s refreshing bluntness lands like a high kick to the chest, accompanied by scattered subtle percussion. A perfectly crafted mood.

Although Castro goes in on indecisive boys and their half-baked excuses, this isn’t a heartache song – the opposite in fact. Instead of pleading for clarity and commitment, Castro holds her agency and her boundaries firm: “… you don’t need to tell me why you sad boy”. What a chant. She’s onto something there. The perfect track for a long chaotic Love Island obsessed summer. 

Tutku Barbaros