Track Of The Day: Arlo Parks – ‘Cola’

Newcomer Arlo Parks has shared her debut single ‘Cola’ and it’s a slow-burning, soulful track with lyrical bite. The eighteen year old poet, singer, producer & rapper demonstrates her confessional writing style beautifully here, with beats as steady as her calm, stylish vocals.

On ‘Cola’, The London-based singer tackles the relatable theme of “bad love”. Arlo explains: “‘Cola’ is a reminder that betrayal is inevitable when it comes to pretty people that think flowers fix everything”. Her sharp observations are delivered in tender, care-free style, making it easy to leave the track on repeat. Flowers may not be able to fix everything, but if ‘Cola’ is anything to go by – Arlo’s vocals certainly can.

Listen to the track below or stream it here. Follow Arlo Parks on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Charlie Cummings

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

EP: Tina Boonstra – ‘My Concrete Heart (Will Beat Again)’

Inspired by the likes of Wolf Alice and Arcade Fire, London-based artist Tina Boonstra writes in a vulnerable, yet determined vein. Her debut EP My Concrete Heart (Will Beat Again) – released on 2nd February via 7Core Music – is a collection of moving, honest, brave songs that will school its listeners in empathy and introspection.

The understated ‘Prodigal’ opens the record, quietly showcasing Tina’s measured, but powerful vocals. It leads in to the soothing ‘I Think I See You Now’ which plays out with equal parts confidence and patience: “as steady as my heart beats, as certain as the sunrise”. Tina’s musical style may have been intended for the halls of churches (she was raised in a Christian missionary family), but it’s clear from these tracks that her sound was meant to echo further.

It’s easy to surrender “skin and bone” to the sound of third track ‘Occupy Me’ as it gently builds in to another three minutes of hymn-like escapism. Following track ‘Concrete Heart’ is a complete change of pace, with pounding drums, heavier guitar riffs, and a melodic chorus that breaks through like the “perfect love” Tina sings of. It feels like an aural emotional release that rings out with the relief you experience when you find someone worth opening up to again.

‘Only A Human’ changes the EP’s direction once more, as Tina explores the isolation of another: a teenage boy with a suicide bomb strapped to his chest. It’s an unexpected turn, and a thought provoking exploration of empathy, culminating in the honest lyric “you’re not to blame now, you’re only a human”. The gentle ‘Castle’ closes the record. It’s a carefully curated piano-led ode to a fortress of love and support, and a calm ending to this soft but tempestuous debut.

Speaking of her EP, Tina admits: “I wanted to sing about faith and doubt, and the very real struggle to feel anything apart from completely numb.” She has definitely succeeded in making us feel anything but that, and we’re sure listening to My Concrete Heart (Will Beat Again) will make others feel again too.

Listen to Tina’s EP on Spotify here, and follow her on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Olivia Nelson – ‘Hideaway’ (ft. Jarreau Vandal)

Start your weekend right with the majestic, soulful sounds of London song-writer Olivia Nelson. The 21-year-old stepped on to the scene last year, sharing her sound on singles ‘Cleopatra’ & ‘Up All Night’, and now she’s revealed her latest single ‘Hideaway’.

Following its first spin on BBC Radio 1Xtra Jamz Supernova & online premiere via Clash, ‘Hideaway’ is a buoyant R&B infused tune that proves this “millennial soulstress” is set for big things in 2018. With production from Soulection’s Jarreau Vandal, Olivia’s ability to bind her smooth vocals with her love of contemporary pop, funk & soul arrangements will make her stand out from the crowd.

The songwriter has received support from the likes of Earmilk, Clash & Mixmag, and she’s set to play a Sofar Sounds gig in the near future which is somethingnot to be missed. Listen to ‘Hideaway’ below and follow Olivia Nelson on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: TUSKS – ‘London Thunder’ (Foals cover)

Prepare to be blown away buy Tusks‘ cover of Foals’ track ‘London Thunder’. The song is featured on her debut album Dissolve (which was released via One Little Indian last week), and it’s a delicate, reverb-laden, spine-tingling rendition that’s equally as good as the original recording.

Newcomer Tusks (aka Emily Underhill) writes and produces music with a melancholy but honest edge, with her simultaneously strong and fragile voice at the forefront of all that she creates. She’ll be playing at Kamio on 15th November to celebrate the launch of her new album, so make sure you grab a ticket and head down to hear this exquisite cover and more.

Follow Tusks on Facebook fore more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut