This week, our Wonderlist is providing you with the chance to unwind with the gentle and calming vocals of Donovan Woods and his latest release, “I Won’t Mention It Again”. The single marked the announcement of his upcoming EP, “Big Hurt Boy”, out on the 18th of March. With his Ed Sheeran-esque style of tune-crafting, the single is filled with an ear-worming melody, courtesy of light guitar strings and hair-raising beats. The track is a smooth listening, reflected by the hypnotic visuals, which offers continuous graphic images melting into one another. Though following a sombre narrative, “I Won’t Mention It Again” is soaked in a sunny vibe, and evokes a feeling of resolution, reminiscent of an iconic closing credits scene. Talking of the EP title, Donocan explains, “I write about [my failures] again and again, just hoping people will still be interested. So the title is poking fun of myself, that I’m theoretically this big sad guy who keeps getting dumped and writing fucking songs about it.”
From soulful singles to TikTok tunes, enjoy the tracks that have filtered into this week’s playlist round-up.
Donovan Woods – “I Won’t Mention It Again”
The Shires – “I See Stars”
It appears cinematic production is the flavour of the week, as the UK’s biggest country duo, The Shires, give us another dose of feels with their new single “I See Stars” — the latest offering of their forthcoming album 10 Year Plan. Leaning right into their country roots, the single intertwines sultry whispered vocals and tidy lyrics, which carry their listeners gracefully to the impending drop of a triumphant symphony. Maintaining elements of teen bedroom pop, the uptempo ballad contains all the ingredients of rom-com charm. The finished product is another breakthrough singalong anthem to add to the duos ever-growing collection of timeless tunes. Offering his own take on the single, Ben says, “We love the Coldplay/Greatest Showman vibes on this! it’s not trying to be clever, it’s just really uplifting and big and positive. It’s another one that has arena vibes – I can picture us being up there on a massive stage with everyone singing along.”
Miraa May – “Big Woman”
Marking the third release from Miraa May’s hotly-anticipated debut album, “Big Woman” makes it official: sad girl winter is over. Pulsing with bad bitch energy throughout, Miraa collaborates with Stefflon Don to deliver a package of trap-influenced empowerment. Dropping yesterday along with a gritty underground music video directed by the award-winning Jake Nava, the track packs a serious punch. Using thick 808s and toe-tapping hi-hats, Miraa gives a fresh edge to her R&B sound. With lyrics so playful and dry they could almost catch fire, “Big Woman” gives the ultimate boost of energy for the independent woman and has us striding boldly into the weekend.
Renforshort – “moshpit”
We are all running away from our toxic exes in 2022, right? Releasing her brand new single “moshpit”, it would appear that is the case for renforshort. The track combines the 19-year-old’s innocent vocals with a hard-hitting narrative of an abusive relationship, perfectly depicting the vibrant grunge-pop style which defines the artists taste. The dark tropes of the single and video tuck under an infectious and angelic melody, an effortless portrayal of the toxic nature of the relationship she is describing. Masterful and emotional, we’ll be clutching tissues and watching the single over and over for the foreseeable. Please, do not disturb.
Saint Joshua – Palo Santo
Dropping us straight into a groove-ridden melody, Saint Joshua invites us to join his 70s night boogie with fresh new single, “Palo Santo”. A cocktail of deep reverbs and arm-raising synths, the track commands your whole body to listen, a theme that runs through every track of the Croydon-based artists neo-soul infused EP. Both fun and energetic, the artist explains, “‘Palo Santo’ is probably my personal favourite. It was the first song written for the project and it was written a day or so after my 26th birthday. For me, I think it speaks to my generation, how cautious we are of people and protective we are of ourselves that we may become too careful and miss out on a good thing.” Consistently crafting soulful, rhythmic and road-trip worthy singles, it is no surprise Saint Joshua has garnered over 20,000 monthly listeners world-wide (and counting).
Lotto Ash – “Give You”
Reinstating himself as a true visionary of the urban scene, Lotto Ash drops the flirtatious ballad, “Give You”, along with a slick and sultry music video. Punctuated my Lotto’s distinctive melody and clean-cut vocals, the single strips back its production, giving full focus to real and tangible emotions, which the Birmingham artist moulds into his songwriting. “Give you is not just a song to me,” Lotto explains, “It’s very much a real-life story that started a whole new journey for me, so coming back with this song means more than anyone would ever know. Going forward in this new journey, I want to reintroduce myself as naturally and organically as possible. Big things are coming, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.” Kicking off the year with the release, Lotto Ash paints himself as a force to be reckoned with.
Bee Arnold – “Toxic”
Putting a spin on calling out toxic exes, Bee Arnold dances into our playlists with “Toxic”, a single that delves into the singers own toxic ways. Following an infectious melody, Bee sings of the dangers of falling in love with her. Though she’s irresistible, she is ultimately too much for most, with the song acting as a warning cry to those who want to get close. Curating the hip-swaying elements of girly pop, the claps and deep bass create a soundscape reminiscent of Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman era. With a tune that is almost impossible not to sing along to, “Toxic” ushers in an exciting new territory for the artist on the rise.
Dreya Mac and FelixThe1st – “Own Brand (Baddie)”
We aren’t really sure how much of an intro this track really needs, with it’s audio riding the trends of TikTok worldwide ever since its release. The utterly addictive and cheeky beat has had over 15 million TikTok users learning seven-second choreography. And, to put us all to shame, Dreya Mac and FelixThe1st release the official music video for “Own Brand (Baddie)” — and show us how it’s really done. With no leopard-print bedspread, old fashioned mansion, or acrobatic dancer spared, the video encapsulates the pulsing energy of the single with ease, and places the track gladly back on our playlists.
Yungen – “Popstar”
Since Yungen’s long hiatus we have been practically manifesting the return of the artist for 2022, and with the arrival of “Popstar”, it appears to have worked. Coming back with a bang, Yungen’s signature drill reverberates our eardrums, as his witty bars smooth over a hard-hitting beat. Narrating his tough backstory of growing up on the streets, he highlights the irony of the song’s title — pointing to the misconceptions people have of the rapper. With his talent dripping from every frame, “Popstar” is just a slither of the force that is Yungen’s, and we cannot wait to see what’s coming.
Lagoon Wavey – “Occupied”
To round off our Wonderlist, it seemed only fitting to swim straight into the sultry soundscape of Lagoon Wavey. Releasing new single “Occupied”, the Barbados-based singer and songwriter lulls his listeners into a dream-like trance, filled with soft melodies and velvet-coated vocals. Creating the ultimate ambience, Lagoon lends much of the tune to his expertly created hybrid sound. With elements of soul mixed within R&B, electronica and reggae, “Occupied” tickles the tastes of his listeners, immersing them within a poetic modern-day love story.