Welcome to Emerging Talents’ Tracks Round-Up, where each month I pick five songs from five different artists and briefly review them!
noelle – “Hate That I Miss You”
Ontario-native noelle dropped her song “Hate That I Miss You” as part of her EP 30k, released in January 2022.
“Hate That I Miss You” might at first sound like the typical heartbreak song, but it features some very interesting minor chords and vocal melodies that make it very enjoyable to listen–and to cry–to.
Along the lines of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” and Dua Lipa’s “Garden,” the song starts very softly, almost shily, with the artist singing on a piano arrangement to then explore on your face towards the middle and end.
Once the background beat, the electronic effects, and the orchestra join, her singing becomes angrier and angrier, as if this time you could really feel that she hates missing this person, as opposed to the plain sadness conveyed in the first verse and chorus of the song.
If you enjoy breakup and heartbreak songs you can cry and be angry to, this one won’t disappoint–and while you’re at it, check out the full EP.
Pyano || – “Way I See It”
Another Canadian, Pyano || (pronounced Piano Eleven) is a Montréal-based rapper that has already released a few tracks to his name, one of them being “Way I See It.”
In true gangsta fashion, Airpods and tracksuit on, Pyano raps about his rise to fame, trying his best to stand out and not be just a rapper among hundreds of others: “Fuck a cliche bar about a bitch and head and honour roll”.
Though he doesn’t always succeed in not being cliched, his bars sure are good and fun to listen to; the production also offers a nice contrast to his energetic rapping style.
Another interesting element is how clearly he raps, as today most rappers still opt for a mumble-style kind of rap which barely makes the listener understand anything.
That makes me wonder, are we witnessing a Renaissance of understandable rap lyrics? Only time will tell.
Sahara Beck – “Stillness”
What does it mean to be still? Artist Sahara Beck is here to tell us.
Sensual and mysterious, Sahara’s whispered vocals crawl their way into the song right after the brief minimalist intro: “Traffic on the street / Traffic in my mind / Traffic in my soul / This street’s gonna swallow me up whole,” she sings.
The lyrics very well express the impossibility of somebody to move out of their comfort zone, perhaps, which feels both safe and toxic.
“I’m stuck in my head,” she continues in the bridge that proceeds the chorus. “And I don’t wanna stop it / The stillness is so nice.”
The song becomes even more loose and evanescent in the chorus, which gives a bit more space to the instrumental as the artist harmonizes on the words, “it’s the stillness”.
Right before jumping to the crescendo and instrumental section that will close the song, Sahara repeats the lyrics she started with, as to represent that she’s still in the same place she was before
“It’s the stillness,” she repeats until the instrumental dies out and the song is over.
Kima Otung – “I’m Cute”
Ironically enough, “I’m Cute” is the opening track of Kima Otung‘s EP Note To Self. Coincidence? Don’t think so.
Starting the song with a howl, which channels the energy of a wolf, the opening chorus overwhelms the listener with energy, increased even more by a not-so-modest first verse: “I’m flawless, a goddess / I’m a force of nature don’t come close,” the artist sings, connecting even more with her spirit animal.
Following the steps of body-positivity queen Lizzo, Kima’s vocal performance conveys exactly what she’s singing about: self-confidence and playfulness.
With jazzy elements like the occasional piano line in the background, the song is characterized by an experimental feel while remaining an easily digestible pop song.
“Kima’s mission with her music,” as written on her website, “is to help women realise their greatness and to be the voice in every woman and girl’s ear telling them ‘you’ve got this’.” And she definitely succeeds in doing so in this song.
Though, at this point, we’ve listened to plenty of celebrities praising themselves and their possessions, it’s still refreshing to hear up-and-coming artists being confident about their art just as much as acts like Beyoncé and Rihanna.
Chris K feat. BigBabyGucci – “UP MY DOSE”
In true straight-outta-SoundCloud style, Chris K and BigBabyGucci bring the heat in their latest high-energy track “Up My Dose”.
Chris K kick-starts the first verse by rapping about cliched MC topics–like how far he got since he started and all the sacrifices he had to endure.
BigBabyGucci then slides in for the second verse repeating Chris’s closing words, “eat no meal”. His style is arguably more softcore than Chris’s, which creates a nice balance and somehow offers a “release” from the tension created by his fellow MC.
Similarly to their fellow SoundCloud rapper Lil Tecca, the production on the track features very heavy autotune (especially on Chris’s bits), which is used to intentionally create this unnatural effect to the rappers’ voices.