The Ensemble #21

Cassidy King – Danger

If you’re looking for an alternative pop bop banger that was made for belting out in your bedroom, using your trust hairbrush as a microphone, the Cassidy King’s anthem Danger is something you need to hop onto. Irresistible melodies are littered throughout the track, you’ll soon be singing the hook under your breath for weeks to come, and when the chorus drops you’ll be doing your own dance break like you’re in an early 90’s teen movie. The lyrical narrative brings us into Cassidy’s headspace as she struggles to come to terms with love. Falling for people too strongly, projecting her fears and insecurities onto them and pushes them away as a result. Reminiscent of Ellie Goulding with a bit of The 1975 thrown in there, King portrays this emotion beautifully, allowing the bittersweet glistening production to deliver the final blow that will have you reeling. Had this on repeat since I first heard it and I doubt I’ll stop anytime soon.

Banji – TalkieWalkie

Utrecht-based quartet Banji create optimistically joyful music that turns any morose day where everything is monochrome into a vivid technicolour wonderland. They’re the epitome of summer, translating nothing but good vibes and fun times into their sound which is perfect for long summer road trips into the unknown. Fuelled by boisterous guitar riffs, buoyant drums that get your foot tapping and a whimsically blithe vocal, TalkieWalkie gives me neon tinged flashbacks to my own youth where the only thing I had to worry about was getting home before it got dark. This is a fun-loving earworm that’ll sneak its way into your heart and soon be featured on every playlist you’ve got.

Bestfriend – Hannah in the City

At the core of Bestfriend’s (Stacy Kim & Kaelan Geoffrey) music is storytelling. They craft beautifully heart-wrenching music that plucks at your heartstrings, as if it were a solemn acoustic guitar, and take you on a journey of emotional recovery with them. Filled with cathartic lyrics, about a girl who broke Kim’s heart, that you can easily lose yourself within and a stripped back soundscape of hypnotic synths, ethereal piano keys and subtle guitar plucking, Hannah in the City is an intricate spellbinding affair to behold. If you’ve ever undergone heartbreak and envisioned the life you would’ve had together, all the little things you could’ve done differently that wouldn’t of lead to your end then allow this duo to soundtrack that for you. It’s hard not to well up with lyrics like, “maybe if I’d done things differently, it wouldn’t have fallen apart.”

Satomaa – Orange Crush Shawty

The vibe heavy track from the Phoenix-raised, LA-based rapper Satomaa is hard not to love. With a refreshing flow delivering lyrics that reflect the artist’s own authenticity and a breathtaking belting moment where we get to hear her vocal prowess, which tonally is reminiscent of Willow, it’s hard not to get your own crush on her sound. We featured her debut back in 2020 and the artist has only gone from strength to strength since then. Evolving her eccentric performing style, expanding her expressive lyrics through a kaleidoscopic lens of personal narratives and elevating her vocal to new heights. Heavily underrated, every track she drops is a must listen and Orange Crush Shawty is no exception to this.

Ashoka – Outta My Bag

With every release Ashoka has been impressing me more and more. Each time he unveils a new track that’s been plucked from his wild imagination you know it’s going to be better than whatever he dropped last. Outta My Bag is a prime example of that, a booming bass that pulsates through your body is the centre piece of the soundscape that his flexible flow fervent bounces off of, resulting in an intoxicating fusing that swirls and flows wherever it needs to go. The melodies however are where this track truly shines, they’ve wriggled their way into my head and I cannot get enough of it. Seriously I’ve found myself singing it in the shower for weeks on end.

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