Welcome to Emerging Talents’ Tracks Round-Up, where each month I pick three songs from three different artists and briefly review them!
All artists were selected and contacted on Musosoup. The bios were kindly provided by the artists themselves.
If you’re an artist and would like to know how to submit your track/EP/album/music video on Musosoup, check my referral link right here.
“STARCHILD” – Marlenarium
Marlenarium‘s latest track, “STARCHILD”, starts with distorted vocals that might be best described with the term “demonic child”. The distortion continues throughout the track as she sings about the pain caused by people leaving while she’s trying her best to hold everything together.
Though, as I said, the song features heavy autotune, her voice conveys a lot of emotion, also thanks to her innocent, almost child-like timber. I feel that particularly in the final lines of the chorus:
“And it feels as though I’m led astray
By the fear in my chest
And the tears falling down
And the trying my best”
These words go beyond what she thinks of other people or what other people think of her: they express the young artist’s insecurities to be alone with herself, probably because she cannot distract herself when she is.
To match this element, the instrumental is acid and electronic, but the beat is also very easy to dance to. This makes me think of other happy-sounding songs with very dark lyrics like Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own”, for instance.
But then the title, “STARCHILD”, kind of conveys something special, like she knows she can survive without others. Overall, this is a very catchy track by a very promising artist.
About the artist: Marlenarium is the solo project of 22-year-old writer and producer Marlene Heger from Munich, Germany. Her sound is a blend of bittersweet progressions, heavy synth bass, and sweet, fairy-like melodies. Marlene is inspired by many different genres and is dedicated to combining them in experimental electronic pop music. Focusing on music full-time, Marlene concentrates on refining her production and writing skills, as she works on becoming a producer for other artists as well.
“Never Felt This Way” – CYAAN
Reminding me of the late 2000s and early 2010s, CYAAN’s acid sounds and tight beats make “Never Felt This Way” the perfect song to be blasted at full volume on a weekend—sort of like a feel-good anthem.
After a pretty solid climax, the pace of the track drops a little after the first chorus, when he starts layering more and more sounds over each other until the rhythm picks up again in the second chorus.
The song takes another “break” right before rising for a climax that will resolve in the last chorus of the song, which isn’t any different from the previous ones.
Talking about the lyrics, they’re really nothing we’ve never seen before: I used to think I’d be so miserable before you but now that you’re finally gone I found the value in myself and blah blah blah.
Though it feels like I’m mocking the song, I believe that’s exactly why it works: it’s a no-brainer, it just makes you dance and forget about your miseries at least for the time being–“and just like that / I’m done with feeling down”.
And I think that’s a message we can always appreciate.
“Calm Down” – Bella Rios
Ever been told to calm down?
I bet your first reaction was, “don’t ever, ever tell me to calm down”. And Bella Rios is here to sing it for us.
Just like the title, the lyrics to the song are pretty straightforward, reinforced by her delivery: someone called the artist insane and she not-so-calmly explains why she shouldn’t be told to calm down.
Passive-aggressive like her singing, the percussion-driven, fuzz-free intro, occasionally struck by guitar riffs, soon unfolds into a real pop-rock banger.
Here’s the twist, though: it doesn’t actually escalate by the end of the chorus, but rather de-escalates, going back to that subtle, almost seductive intro that hooked us in in the first place.
With determination and some sassiness in her voice, she sings: “If love is a river well I’m gonna drown / Never ever ever tell me to calm down”.
Without dropping the tempo, the flavor changes in the bridge after the second chorus of the song, reaffirming her dominance over the person she’s talking to: while she tells the person, “you can’t take it back / the confidence you lack”, she is “gonna make this right / no I won’t run and hide”.
Generally, I love Bella’s blend of pop and rock given by her singing and the arrangement, and I surely hope to hear more of it in the future.
About the artist: At only 18 years old, Bella Rios already has a musical past. After exclusively performing covers, she spent her high school years releasing rock-leaning originals, inspired by the classic records she was raised on. At the same time, she was also traveling and performing with professional children’s choirs, all while receiving classical training in both voice and piano. Her diverse musical background did however lead to a bit of an artistic identity crisis, which inspired her to attempt songwriting in every imaginable genre, determined to find her sound. Bella’s upcoming singles are the successful products of that process: moody, powerhouse pop songs with an edge inspired by artists like K.Flay, Dorothy, and Bishop Briggs.
Cover image credits: Marlenarium / Instagram