With a silky R&B slow-jam, musical message of optimism to future generations, and an all-out club-ready anthem, this week’s Wonderlist is a mixed bag of sonic treats.

James Vickery - The Reason

IG: @jamesvickery

James Vickery - The Reason
IG: @jamesvickery

James Vickery – “The Reason”

Silky-voiced R&B-soul singer James Vickery serves up sultry vibes in abundance on downtempo jam “The Reason”. It’s a confession of unadulterated, all-consuming love, where the person on the receiving end of your affections becomes your reason for being. D’Angelo would be proud, and Vickery looks set to pick up bucket loads of new fans with this latest expertly crafted slice of luxurious musical heaven.

Tai Verdes – “how deep?”

Californian singer Tai Verdes basically just wants to know what’s happening on the irresistible new track “how deep?”. “How am I supposed to know how deep?” he pleas in the track’s chorus, of the bewildering, unsettling sensation love can leave you with when you just want to know where you stand. “I hope that when people hear it, they feel lost, but also found,” he says. “But also lost. Love has a tendency to make you feel like that.”

DJ Craig Gorman and Alex Hosking – “Workout”

You might hear the phrase “Workout”, and want to flee in the opposite direction – who could blame you? But, don’t! Dublin’s DJ Craig Gorman and Australian singer Alex Hosking have managed to attach some positive connotations to the otherwise ominous word, with their club and chart-destined dance-pop epic by the same name. The first release from Gorman since his viral smash “Talk About” and since Hosking’s “Fake Friends”, the two prove themselves as ideal workout buddies. Perhaps we’d even venture to a gym if this was the soundtrack.

The Happy Fits – “Little One”

All-out benevolence from American indie-pop trio The Happy Fits on tender track “Little One” taken from their latest album Under The Shade of Green. It was inspired by Tom Rosenthal’s songs written for his daughter, with the band crafting a melodic message of optimism to their future child, in spite of the world being a scary place at times these days. “Watching the rise of fascism in America has been quite horrifying,” says member Calvin Langman. “Especially after the atrocities that went down after the US election and insurrection, there’s a definite fear of white supremacists coming to power. I felt like I needed to write a song about belongingness to combat the rise in the belief of otherism.”

Meron Addis – “Don’t Prove Me Wrong”

London singer-songwriter Meron Addis is tackling early-stage relationship anxiety on sumptuous R&B cut “Don’t Prove Me Wrong”, all about how infatuation can blind us to someone’s flaws and leave us wondering: Is there a catch in this burgeoning romance? “When you meet someone who seems to tick all the right boxes, sometimes we can question if they’re too good to be true. This song is me saying: ‘Look, this is honestly what I think of you and you better not let me down,” she says of the track. Hopefully, Addis’ prospective partner did live up to her hopes, but if not, at least a heartbreak banger might be in the works from one of UK R&B’s most sharply ascending talents.

Mackenzy Mackay – “Temperatures Rising”

“Temperatures Rising” is the blissful sophomore single from new kid on the British alt-pop scene Mackenzy Mackay. As temperatures in fact decline, sadly, as we enter Autumn’s fold, this lush, sunset cut provides our fill of hazy, balmy beach evenings, regardless of whether or not it’s a luxury we can bathe in for now, at least without a few layers. “It’s one of those summer tunes, you know falling in love, beaches and sunsets. Putting your problems in the rear-view mirror and chasing the sun,” he says. “Inspired by Xavier Rudd and Glass Animals vibes.” The ambience on display can seemingly be linked to Mackay’s extended period of living in New Zealand. He wrote the track on his last night in the country after covid restrictions kept him there for 23 months. The period incidentally proved the genesis of his full immersion into music, so New Zealand, we say thank you!