Best New Music Of The Week // October 29 – November 4, 2018


Softer Still – “A Sadder Sound”


Surrey-based indie dream-pop outfit Softer Still follow on from their recent, critically-acclaimed release “Turtle Bay” with a gorgeous new single “A Sadder Sound”, the second offering from their forthcoming debut album Nuances set for a November 9 release.

Having been compared to the likes of Wild Nothing, Beach House and Galaxie 500, the four-piece continue to live up to their lofty peers with a shimmering new gem. “A Sadder Sound” continues the trajectory for superior, polished and vulnerable dream pop. They still hold on to that same integrity and quality, with the lush guitars being the centrepiece of this 80’s dream sequence of a track.

Softer Still are busy preparing to embark on their own UK headline tour, starting in St. Albans on November 21. With a timeless, classic shoegaze sound all their own, 2018 is looking like bringing even more column inches for a band that’s already being co-signed by some of the genres’ biggest stars.

Octavian – “Here Is Not Safe”


As excitement is steadily brewing for his return to the road for a European tour aka his “European Space Party”, South London rapper Octavian unveils the third visual from his recently released mixtape Spaceman in “Here Is Not Safe”.

The follow-up to the live footage visual for “Lightning“, shot at his sold out show at the Electric Ballroom, Octavian returns with some cinematic visuals taken in Tokyo during his partnership with Stone Island. While “Lightning” was all about the energy and quick cuts and all the graphics you could imagine, this new clip is a lot cleaner and sees Octavian taking in some of the Tokyo scenery.

If anything, this video serves as a great indicator as for how far the young rapper has come in such a short space of time. From the underground scene to the fashion scene, Octavian is proving himself steadily as an artist in many different facets.

Iyamah – “Seasons”


Brighton-based vocalist Iyamah delivers a soulful and beautifully rhythmic new single in “Seasons“. Following on from her debut release “Cryptic Love” and summer single, “Silver Over Gold“, Iyamah’s latest offering cements the hype around the young star.

With production from artist/producer Sam Wills and LA based producer Kojo, her stunning vocal alongside her dynamic blend of hip hop, soul and jazz, serves as an anthem about change in life and love. Citing Alicia Keys as one of her earliest musical influences, you can hear strands of her idol in this new cut.

Growing up on the sounds of African drumming and reggae music, Iyamah developed a strong love for neo-soul, hip hop and the likes of Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, as she started writing toplines for drum & bass features, whilst immersed in Brighton’s club scene.

Libby Whitehouse – “New Boy”


Rising pop star Libby Whitehouse continues to shine with the release of the brand new video for her latest single “New Boy“, an empowerment anthem calling out cheaters across the world, reminiscent of the likes of Dua Lipa and Mabel.

In her first ever music video, Libby proves she’s a future star to be reckoned. The visuals really bring the lyrics to life; it’s fun and full of energy, with lots of colour which really make Libby pop! Sweet on the outside, she definitely holds her own with her sharp and sassy lyrics, luscious vocals and her popping dance moves to boot.

Regarding the video she says, “I’m so excited about the video for ‘New Boy’, it’s the first music video I’ve ever made and I’m so happy with how everything came together. I think it represents the song really well. I hope everyone has as much fun watching it as I did filming it!”

KAWALA – “Moonlight”


Making a long-awaited return are indie two piece band KAWALA who have just announced the release of their brand new single “Moonlight“, Serving as the follow-up to their compelling debut EP D.I.L.Y.D.

Harmonious, lilting vocals abound in this joyous new single. “Moonlight” is a beautifully hip, twilight jammer that documents a considerable step-up for KAWALA in their overall artistry with the addition of a narrative nous. An infectious, absorbing return, there is a level of depth as the band reflect on the notion of mental health while subverting from the bleakness that these sorts of tales tend to bring.

Speaking about “Moonlight” KAWALA explain: “Writing ‘Moonlight‘ was really the first time we’ve set our main focus on a story-telling lyric and consistent harmonies over rhythms and instrumentation. We’ve tried to balance a super chilled feel with a heart-warming positivity, while taking you on a persons’ journey in search for an escape from their mental demons.”

Keyah/Blu – “Sweet”


From the depths of South London comes a brand new artist – rapper and singer, KEYAH/BLU. A collaboration with Denzel Himself on “Melty” and her DIY release Country Grove Demo Tape in the bag, she stakes her claim in the scene with her debut single and accompanying video “Sweet“.

“Sweet” speaks to her truth. She shares her experience of a hook-up and the feelings the morning after over. Her mellow, almost nonchalant and poetic flow runs smoothly over a hip-hop meets jazz soundscape. Her visuals are even more captivating however. With an array of various striking imagery, she goes from a leader of hooded ninjas to a memorable scene in she is wrapped in entirely in cellophane.

“For the video, originally all I had was this image of 7 ninjas on a beach floating around in my head, like the 7 levels of my consciousness, and with the help of my friend Sonny Jake we were able to pull together an ironic narrative.”

“I wanted to focus on feelings that weren’t necessarily touched upon in the song, the kidnapping has a lot of different meanings. The dark overpowering light, or vice versa, or masculine and feminine, or yes and no. It’s about the duality”

Words by Jay Tijani

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