Top Tracks: David Ramirez – My Love is a Hurricane

Some ideas are everywhere. They spring up all over the world; crossing oceans, defying language barriers and spanning centuries. With so many unconnected people sharing the same beliefs it’s tempting to think that it’s because there’s some underlying truth to it all. Take for instance the idea that when and where we’re born can dictate who we become and the course of our future. All throughout history mankind has wondered if our stories have already been mapped out in the stars. With his latest single ‘My Love is a Hurricane’ David Ramirez is the latest mind to ponder this great mystery. Born just days after a hurricane swept through his hometown, Ramirez was left wondering after a tumultuous break-up whether he had chaos running through his veins. Whether that storm was a sign of things to come and that he was destined to forever leave havoc in his wake. The song itself however, the title track of his new album out 17th July, is far from being an untamed tempest. Instead ‘My Love is a Hurricane’ is a sumptuous slow burner: with a soft psychedelic sheen adding an air of mystery, fuzzy guitar tones growling menacingly from the darkness, powerful gospel arrangements offering a grand sense of scale, and with David’s stunning soulful vocals at the centre of it all. Being born under a bad sign can’t be as bad as they say if it means being able to create such impressive works of art as this.

Top Tracks: sym fera – little things

Long time readers will know that I’ve often been an advocate for the idea that sometimes less is more. This is true in all media, and in wide variety of situations. In horror we’re more scared of the unknown than by what is right in front of us, for a mystery to work you need to keep details obscured until just the right moment, and in music the empty space between notes is just as important as the notes themselves. This philosophy manifests in a couple of different ways on ‘little things’. Firstly the band/artist sym fera in the first place; one of the most mysterious submissions I’ve ever received. With little more than a monochrome symbol to go on, this act lets the music do all the talking. ‘Little Things’ takes full advantage of this as it slowly and purposefully says its piece. With the melancholic piano melody, soft choral hums and little splashes of orchestration all striking out before fading into the void, you get a grand sense of scale from the lightest of touches. It’s like a single candle flickering in a vast inky abyss beckoning you to come closer. This dramatic slow burner pulls you in step by step, building up tension and anticipation, before finally offering sweet release with some sublime fuzzy guitar and stunning soulful vocals that will give goosebumps to anyone with even half a heart.

Top Tracks: Moscow Apartment – Halfway

I’ve written many times about the therapeutic power of music. Both as a listener hearing words that you can connect with and relate to, and for artists expressing their thoughts and feelings in song and the catharsis that comes with sharing them with the world. Listening to this latest track from Canadian duo Moscow Apartment however, and remarking on the story behind how it came to be, I’m struck by another therapeutic quality of music that hadn’t occurred to me before. Written when Brighid Fry and Pascale Padilla were still in the early days of both their friendship and their time as band mates, ‘Halfway’ was the product of an argument after some growing pains in their relationship. Half a letter of apology, and half a letter of forgiveness, this is a song that shows the unique power of making music with other people. The way that creating something together can break down walls, help you see things through another’s eyes, and potentially help build a strong foundation for a life-long friendship. Taken from their forthcoming EP Better Daughter, this bittersweet slice of dream pop (perfect for fans of Snail Mail and Soccer Mommy) is simply swimming in gorgeous melodies and reminds me of the myriad ways that music can bring people together.

Top Tracks: Grizzly Coast – Catch & Release

It should go without saying that this period of isolation that we find ourselves in can be very lonely. Being apart really puts into perspective who really matters in our lives. The flip side of this however is that it shines a light on all the ways in which we can thrive on our own, and how we can build ourselves up given the chance. ‘Catch & Release’ is about the freedom that comes with turning your back on the people that take more than they give in your life, and realising you’re better off. It’s a song all about finding happiness in yourself rather than needing another person to complete you or seeking the approval of people who don’t deserve your time or attention. This bright and breezy track from Toronto’s Alannah Kavanagh, under her moniker Grizzly Coast, carries the feeling of a weight being lifted. With a bounding carefree bass line, gorgeous dream pop melodies, an energising earworm chorus, and some killer guitar work in the closing moments, ‘Catch & Release’ feels like watching the sun rise on a bright new dawn. One free of the expectations of others holding you back from living your best life.