Wonderland.

WONDERLIST

Kim Petras, JGrrey, and hemlocke turn it out in this week’s music round-up.

Photography by Jason Al Taan

Photography by Jason Al Taan

Kim Petras – “Brrr”

After Kim Petras’ explosive hit “Unholy” which saw her join forces with songster Sam Smith, the artist comes back to bite with “Brrr”. The industrial beat punches through Petras’ soft vocals, while the lyrics detail the artist inviting a nonchalant lover deeper into her affections. Lyrics like “You should pull me up closer/Turn the heat up in your Rover,” Petras sings. “Why don’t you take it out on me?/If you think you’re so cold, brrr.” With tongue in cheek wordplay, and an addictive melody – Petras is back, baby. The hyperpop princess has alluded to some new music, and we can’t wait to see what else she pulls out of the back.

JGrrey – “Theirs13”

The soul songstress JGrrey has emerged from her music-making hiatus to deliver “Theirs13”. Jumping off with the lyrics “They, them, theirs” which came to be through freestyling – this track marks a turning point in JGrrey’s sound. An ode to the artist’s queerness, to falling in love, and to her non-binary partner – JGrrey invites us to bask in her love-drunk bliss. Looking back on the track JGrrey considers: “At the time of writing the song, I hadn’t met my partner, but we had really expansive conversations around identity, family, love, and wanting to belong. It’s about struggling with identity, but finding out more about yourself in the process.”

Ava Lily – “Nobody Breaks My Heart Like I Do”

Singer-songwriter Ava Lily is a newcomer on the scene. Her latest offering “Nobody Breaks My Heart Like I Do” is searingly vulnerable, stripped-back, and intimate. A vocal powerhouse, her falsetto is spine-tingling, and the track’s soft melody demonstrates her sheer talent. Exploring themes of self-destruction, Lily reflects: “I fell in love with somebody I was never allowed to fall in love with. I was learning self-acceptance and acknowledging that I was causing myself all my suffering and pain. It was right in that moment of confusion – I love him but I can’t be next to him? It’s really heavy.” With her otherworldly vocals and R&B edge, Lily is set to take the world by storm.

Far From Saints – “Let’s Turn This Back Around”

Far From Saints is the joining of forces between Kelly Jones of Stereophonics, Austin’s Patty Lynn, and Dwight Baker of The Wind and The Wave. Fuelled by emotional intensity and creativity, this project has birthed a unique sound, meandering between country, rock, folk, and Americana. Their debut track, “Let’s Turn This Back Around”, has recently been unleashed, and it’s a trip. With a country flair, the song ruminates about ‘the one that got away’, as Jones and Lynn alternate verses, each imparting their own perspective. Descending from a sparse Americana into a string-ridden crescendo, this track is a true meeting of minds. Reflecting on the track Lynn says, “It was important to us to have both perspectives in that song,” while Jones adds, “‘Let’s Turn This Back Around’ particularly lends itself to being a duet.”

Jake Isaac – “Start Again”

At the helm of the British soul renaissance, is Jake Isaac. With his craftsmanship at the forefront, Isaac unfurls impeccable songwriting through his soulful voice. Isaac’s latest offering is “Start Again”, which he wrote produced, and performed all himself. Channeling the genre’s conventions, while also infusing them with a modern flair – Isaac wields the past to lead him to the future. Lyrics such as, “Before you go, I love you so” make an example of his rich vocals that brim with emotion. “Maybe we can start again,” Isaac goes on to sing, painting a picture of that final plea in attempt to save a relationship that’s beyond salvageable. Reflecting on the track Isaac says, “Calling this song ‘start again’ is an attempt at an honest take on my musical journey as much as it is a take on a relationship journey. Sometimes it’s hard talk about these types of things, so I tried to put as much of it as possible into song.”

hemlocke – “stranger danger”

The only way you haven’t happened upon hemlocke’s hit “girlfriend”, is if you’ve been living under a rock. Taking TikTok by storm, listeners were captivated by its impressive unique, earworm bridge. Reminding listeners of Grimes, with an ‘80s synth-pop edge, hemlocke has found a supporter in the artist herself. Coming back to bite with a new release, hemlock offers up “stranger danger” – an “anti-capitalist anthem”. With addictive synths, and hemlock’s instantly recognisable voice, her latest track is a triumph. Atmospheric, thrilling, and captivating, the young artist proves with reckless abandon that she’s no one-hit-wonder.

GoGo Penguin – “Glimmerings”

The break-beat trio GoGo Penguin have unveiled their latest single “Glimmerings” ahead of their upcoming album Everything Is Going to Be OK. Spurred on by new beginnings, a new drummer, and getting signed with a whole new record label – this new track is a fresh start. The Mercury Music Prize-nominated band are ushering in a new era, one brimming with sonic freedom. Inspired by the novel Being You, the track unfolds “Glimmerings” of hope. Reflecting on the track, bandmate Nick Blacka says: “The word glimmerings stood out when I was reading a book by Anil Seth called ‘Being You’. The book is about the science of consciousness and in the Prologue, he talks about how ‘glimmerings of ideas began to emerge’. It felt like the perfect way to describe the process of thought and creativity.”

Agnes Hustler – “Heaven Underground”

Hailing from Sweden, Agnes Hustler emerges with her next single “Heaven Underground”. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Billie Eilish, Sia and Rihanna, this new track carries that same arresting pop melodies, and combined rock and soul sound. Using her voice to make a difference, the young artist speaks up about climate change. Sarcastic, but meaning business, the lyrics are delivered with powerful vocals. Looking back to how the track came to be Hustler says, “I’ve known for a long time that I have to write a song about the climate emergency. We all have a responsibility to do everything in our power to lower our CO2-emissions and do all we can to stop global warming. Especially as artists and influencers that people and especially kids look up to.”

Sam Tompkins – “Die For Someone”

The BRIT Award-winning Sam Tompkins is back on the scene with new single “Die For Someone”, a euphoric pop hit. Anthemic, this track displays soaring vocals, fiery passion, and raw vulnerability. Insanely intimate, yet widely relatable – Tompkins proves the case for his versatile talent. Enlightening us on the track the artist explains where the idea for “Die For Someone” came from: “You know that feeling where you’re just like: I kinda wanna fall in love but I’m also scared to do it because of what happened last time? Die For Someone is the soundtrack to that feeling.”

CLIPZ – “Shorty”

Kicking off the new year with a bang, Bristol-based producer CLIPZ dropped some fire. Sampling the 1988 track “Swing My Way” by K.P. & Envyi, he’s added more fuel to the flames. With addictive drum kicks, and a masterfully-worked sample, CLIPZ did the damn thing.Following his sensational XOYO residency last autumn, this new track cements his place in the game. Speaking on the track CLIPZ imparts: “This one’s been rolling out neatly in the clubs for a while. Made it as a tool for my sets and felt right to release.” It sure did, and now we all get to revel in its greatness.

WONDERLIST

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