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Ryan Valentine // MAI // Lauren-Paige // Nikita Afonso // re:tract

Ryan Valentine – Under A Spell

Off of his debut ‘Evolution’, RYAN VALENTINE is an alt-pop addition to this Universe and as his wistful vowel insurgence kicks it up a notch, you’re kept at the bar wondering whether you’d like to dance or call the girl you love. Do both we say. Stated Ryan: “I grew up in a place where there was not much around me to pursue the dreams I had.” Not much in life, if you think about it, gets you to a truly happy place. There are happy times, but genuine and utter happiness, is rare for most. ‘Under A Spell’ is a pop indulgence on the opportunities that you can own, right now – this minute. The challenges are many, and it won’t be over night, but there can be a better place for your emotions to dwell, soon enough. If you can try and forge ahead. Message which Ryan and all of us, can take to heart.

MAI – Gibraltar

Something about listening to the Swedish language in a song form. Light, airy, always feels affectionate and caring. We’re just not being sentimental and all ‘judge-y’ on styles of language, but it’s a commentary on the singer’s voice, the language platform, and the vibe of the song. MAI’s single ‘Gibraltar’ is all of that and also stands alone in giving that exact ‘airy’ and ‘light’ feeling that we want from songs sometimes. The more world-music like vision ‘Gibraltar’ combines the best of multiple genres to entertain and communicate. It’s a delight, in its own fascinating way.

Lauren-Paige – Boy in Blue

“‘Boy in Blue’ tells a romantic, powerful story through eloquent lyrics and expressive production,” said LAUREN-PAIGE. “The rich vocals stand at the forefront of the song, telling an honest story of a girl longing for someone but reaching a sense of empowerment by confronting her feelings.” When will the hurt stop? When will the love of a lifetime, be, once more? Looking out the drizzly windows of the future ahead, she enamors the shimmer of a promise to the days of grand love and affections. ‘Boy In Blue’ is that promise to herself, and the story to bring betterment and honesty to what’s to come. Will it ever come to pass? Will have to find out.

Nikita Afonso – Holy My Heart

Soaring vocals entice with defiant fervor in her single ‘Holy My Heart’. A beckoning question towards the thing that we dread, and love, and need throughout our lifetimes. Love is the antidote to many things. But as it has much responsibility, it comes with the warning for how it can destroy, and maim the emotions that trusted so. But we all linger and move forward – trying our best to do things better. We open up and love again, vulnerable, and naked. NIKITA AFONSO’s vocals anchor all that is truth in her music, and with octaves by her side as the frame work for telling stories that lies just beneath – we listen intensely – closely.

re:tract feat. Martha Phillips – Blank Canvas

Matt Gill is the artist behind the project re:tract. This time with Martha Phillips (Elephant Trees), the duo artists combine to make pop hymns of relationships, pain, frustrations, and collateral damages. The powder coated subjects of much of our daily lives, come to life as the astute and ventured vocals of Martha, with the witty and gentle framing of re:tract’s digital resistance. “Martha and I have been talking about working on a track together for a little while so it was amazing to finally get the time to produce together. I wanted to record a lot of the instrumentation live rather than use samples, for example the strings are a layered cello played by Alex Marshall in my living room and some of the percussion is my trusty studio water bottle. Martha poured her soul into the vocal line, melody included. She left 1 recording session to head to work, crying, which I felt a little guilty about, but it worked to get her stunning vocals.” The duo collaboration exceeds with enviable bright tones, indeed.

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