Since the release of her single ‘I Do This All The Time’ back in April, Self Esteem’s sophomore solo offering has been hotly awaited by critics and fans alike. Released in early November, the 13-track record is a triumphant display of newfound confidence the singer has been nurturing since departing from indie band Slow Club and releasing music under the new moniker. We caught up with the Sheffield-born songstress in our latest print BRICKS #10, The Family Issue, currently available to pre-order, to chat more about her exceptional year and stratospheric album.
‘Do You Do You’ presents a conversation between two characters; one is a woman who wants to exist without prejudice, the other a man who pushes back against this. In Jessica’s own words, “the song has two characters. The first character sings about just wanting to work and dreams that she one day will be able to without any prejudice. The other character just wants to be validated and disregards anyone else other than himself and his needs and wants.”
The single is the first track on recently released EP ‘More Sad Music’. Pulsing beats and echoing ‘oo’s keep the lyricists’ sombre words sprightly and defiant. The single features on her new EP, the aptly titled More Sad Music, that centres around music’s cathartic quality.
Coming off the back of producing PinkPanthresses’ hotly-anticipated mixtape, British producer Oscar Scheller pokes fun at his dating woes in his new track ‘Weirdo’. The 22-year-old’s humorously self-deprecating lyrics describe the all too familiar experience of developing feelings for someone emotionally unavailable. “I’d like people to be more self aware of their patterns, for themselves and others, but also see the funny side of it too,” he says. “It’s good to laugh at yourself.”
Scheller is best known for working alongside UK pop favourites Rina Sawayama, Arlo Parks and Ashnikko for viral hit ‘Stupid’. Utilising his undeniable hook-writing skills, Scheller pairs his tongue-in-cheek lyricism with LA-cool inflected vocals for a fuzzy, upbeat number.
BRICKS favourite SHYGIRL’s latest track Cleo is a mash-up of cinematic strings and grime beats. The rightly-hyped London singer uses the 4-minute track (her longest release yet) to slow down, allowing the instrumentation to swell with orchestral grandeur, before slipping back into her classic rap style during the bridge.
To celebrate the track’s shimmering strings, SHYGIRL has now released an Abbey Road recording featuring an 18-piece string ensemble. The performance was shot and recorded live in Studio 1 as part of their 90th Anniversary programming. Watch the performance here.
BRICKS #10 star Sherelle’s new track ‘Jungle Teknah’ is the first single from her forthcoming fabric presents compilation. The surging and high-octane track takes us back on an energetic rendezvous through 90’s jungle warehouse rave, comprising atmospheric samples of live festive crowds, strewn with syncopated piano stabs.
According to theBEAUTIFUL boss, the track was written following a YouTube binge, during which she watched “a bunch” of videos on jungle techno. “I’ve always really loved the genre and wanted to do an updated version with a 160 BPM twist,” Sherelle said in a statement on her Bandcamp.
London producer and musician Sega Bodega has shared the first glimpse into his forthcoming album Romeo with single ‘I Need Nothing From You’. The track is a haunting piano ballad backed by a skeletal beat, with Bodega leading a choir of soaring vocal harmonies by the track’s co-writer BEA1991 along with singers Kwaye and CONALL. The new project channels the eager anxiety of young love juxtaposed against an experimental electronica backing making for the singer’s most intimate work yet.
In a stroke of queer genius, pop icons Caroline Polachek and Christinejoin Charli XCX on her latest release ‘New Shapes’, a sparkling avant-garde track that pairs lonely lyrics with pulsing dance beats and shimmering futuristic wails, mainly from Polachek (not that we’re complaining).
XCX is one of the hardest – or at least quickest – workers in the music industry now, releasing six albums in seven years, not including her numerous number-one writing credits, and her foray into band management with Nasty Cherry. ‘New Shapes’ follows single ‘Good Ones’ as a teaser of her seventh studio album Crash, due for release in 2022, featuring producers and collaborators Rina Sawayama, Oneohtrix Point Never, A. G. Cook, the 1975’s George Daniel, and Ariel Rechtshaid.
Silk Sonic, better known as the love-child of Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, is the duo’s ode to the 70s R&B that inspired their future hits. The recently released album, ‘An Evening with Silk Sonic’, is a masterful creation crafted with care and attention to detail that captures a timeless sound free from nostlagic trappings. A stand-out is ‘777’, where .Paak is able to flex his humorous lyricism on fast-paced verses (reminicent of his hit Come Down, for Anderstans), while Mars delivers one of his best vocal performances to date.
‘Glory’ is the latest release from Lindsey Jordan aka Snail Mail’s acclaimed sophomore album, Valentine. The young songstress first made waves with 2018’s Lush, cementing her as an indie classicist, but on Valentine Jordan proves she’s capable of so much more – from R&B-tinged melodies to classic rock guitar riffs and pop-infused drum beats. If Lush follows Snail Mail’s breakup anthems while her emotions are at their most raw, Valentine reveals Jordan’s maturity in her considered responses to the deep and complex emotions of love and life in your 20s.
‘Once Twice Melody’ is the lead single and title track of the band’s self-produced eighth studio album, a series of four chaptered releases that form their most cinematic record yet. This chapter, consisting of four tracks, was released with accompanying visuals to form a 21-minute masterpiece. The album sits confidently within the duo’s canon of dream-pop references – sun and shadows, shimmering synths, and angelic vocals. It’s a recipe that has worked for the duo for over a decade, and their latest offering proves that if it ain’t broke…
Emerging popstar ELIO is ushering in her new era with new single ‘Superimpose’, teasing what’s to come in 2022. “SUPERIMPOSE is one of my favourite songs I’ve written,” she says. “My last EP was generally pretty serious in it’s content so it was so nice to let go and just write a really fun and fluid pop song.”
Taking her moniker from a Call Me By Your Name character, the Canada-via-Swansea artist – real name Charlotte Grace Victoria – released her debut EP, u and me, but mostly me, in July of last year. This year has seen her release her first studio album, ELIO and Friends: The Remixes, including Adam Melchor, No Rome and Charli XCX.
Signing to Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records in 2020, Scruffpuppie joins the likes of Claud and MUNA in the Bridgers-fronted talent incubator is allowing artists to grow at their own pace with less interference from industry moguls while still having access to father label Secret Group’s vast resources. This has allowed Scruffpuppie – real name JJ Shurbet – to reflect on some tumultuous teen years battling addiction before spending time in rehab before moving to LA to embark on this new chapter.
About the new song JJ says,“‘wondering how’ has a combination of both elements from all of the songs on this record, switching from being soft and pretty, like ‘paint’, and then going towards more of a rock ballad, like ‘assignment song’. This song talks a lot about the aftermath of my addiction, and the awe-like state that getting clean put me in. How did I get this far? A year ago I was nodding off sitting at my guitar trying to tune it correctly, and now I’m in Los Angeles recording some of the most amazing art I’ve ever created. “wondering how” is a perfect example of the hope I have begun to incorporate in my writing.” JJ also announced her debut album release in January 2022 so watch this space.
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