Welcome to the October 2022 edition of Emerging Talents’ Tracks Round-Up, where I pick three songs from different artists each month and briefly review them!
The bios were kindly provided by the artists themselves.
“Sinister Things” – Aurelia
Aurelia‘s latest single, “Sinister Things,” gives me chills from start to finish: the mysterious R’n’B vibes, the intensity of her voice, the ever-changing beat, and the background sound effects all contribute to building up a climax that reaches its peak in multiple parts of the song.
The artist’s voice is low and dark at first, adapting to the higher tonality of the chorus later in the song. She interprets the lyrics as if she’s telling a story, modulating her voice differently depending on which lines she’s singing. The lyrics are a mélange of sensuality and morbidity that come out from the very first verse (“Sex never a joke / Until I turn up dead”). However, this is just a taste of the intensity Aurelia is able to reach.
The bridge building up to the first chorus is simply astonishing: half speaking and half singing, the artist interprets these lines in a hushed tone, leaving us to wonder what she’s actually saying. In the chorus that follows, she calls the memory of her lover a “sinister thing,” living up to her gothic aesthetic and sound.
The second chorus also builds up in a climax, differently but just as effectively as the first one. “Don’t you put your hands on me,” the artist sings over and over, asserting her desire to not have to do with this person ever again.
Aurelia’s “Sinister Things” is an experience that everyone should witness at least once–even if Halloween is passed.
Bio: Aurelia (she/they)sprung from the mind of New York-born producer, vocalist, and visual artist Gabriella Bavaro, conjuring up a world of electronic and experimental music that is bolstered by an eclectic background of classical instrumentation, opera, and world influenced rhythms.
“My Oh My” – Brynja
When I think of Iceland I always think of Björk and her bucolic arrangements accompanying her powerful vocals. However, Brynja‘s new track “My Oh My” is no less impressive.
The song is super chill, almost reminding me of bossa nova, and the artist’s vocals perfectly match this vibe. Starting with a slow-paced melody to welcome us to her musical universe, she doubles this pace in the bridge that preceeds the chorus, and this provides some much-needed variety to the song, singing “But I got enough on my mind / Gotta go back and rewind.”
The chorus melody is also slightly different from the rest of the track, and this distinction between its different parts helps keep the song organized and easy to navigate. Brynja’s vocals are simple but beautiful and she often doubles them on certain lines or words.
Towards the end, yet another higher-pitched melody is introduced. The song comes to a close as she improvises over the very last chorus. Brynja proves to have a very strong sense of rhythm even in not-so-rhythmical melodic songs like “My Oh My,” and I can’t wait to listen to her debut album Repeat to get further proof of that.
“Azul” – Azul Kechi
“Azul” is Azul Kechi‘s first-ever song, which explains why it’s titled like this: it introduces her as an artist rather than the girl everyone else has ever known her as. So who is Azul Kechi and what does she want to be known for, musically speaking?
The song is very rhythmic, and Azul’s overlayed vocals make it even more enjoyable to listen to. Though the R’n’B arrangement is very traditional (bass, guitar, and drums mainly), it’s her powerful vocals that make the song dynamic and unpredictable. She marks her words very clearly and almost as if she’s talking to us.
She introduces her new name, which conveys celestial love, mentioning that she now has to create a reputation for herself, different from the one she was known for at school, when she used to be “a Barbie on the outside but a Tomboy in my shoes,” or even “the crazy one who’s never ever playing by the rules.” The track also has a hip-hop quality to it, represented by the storytelling in the lyrics. She also mentions mystic elements like manifesting her goals and the sapphire stone, which are in tune with her newly-chosen name.
Azul’s song ends with her vocals overlayered on each other, creating anticipation for more music to come (soon, I hope).
Bio: Born in the heart of south London, on the hit of the millennium, Azul Kechi is a Nigerian-British singer-songwriter bringing flavors of soul, pop and R&B together ready for a new era of music. She brings influences from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Betty Davis, and Lauryn Hill, merged with a fresh and raw style of rhythmic vocal unique to Azul. Her music heavily draws from life experiences as a person who feels different and is navigating the world coming into their own. Her first single ‘Azul’ is a self-titled, auto-biographical song, a soulful introduction to Azul Kechi’s unique sound that she will be debuting in 2022.
Cover image credits: @youraurelia / Instagram