Top Tracks: Raye Zaragoza – Fight Like A Girl

I think we’ve seen enough misery and suffering in 2020 to last a lifetime. What we could all do with right now is something to restore our faith in humanity. Spirited singer/songwriter Raye Zaragoza has provided in our hour of need with her empowering feminist anthem ‘Fight Like A Girl’. While the song itself has an irresistible charm; an enchanting concoction of heartwarming brass, soulful vocals, passionate lyricism and vibrant folk melodies; it’s the visuals that really take the track to a whole other level. A magnificent collage of inspiring women of all faiths, ages and backgrounds coming together to show that a better world is possible. You see moments of child-like innocence, strong women standing up to let their voice be heard, and a myriad of gorgeous displays of artistic expression. There’s all kinds of vibrant snapshots of diverse cultures to shine a light on incredible women living their best lives all across the globe. There’s a truly uplifting energy to ‘Fight Like A Girl’. The winning combination of the warm and welcoming music with the empowering visuals make for exactly the kind of life-affirming experience we all need.

Top Tracks: Mashmellow – Heaven Is You

This new single from Russian dream pop duo Mashmellow sits at a gorgeous stylistic crossroads. Give it the time an attention it so richly deserves and ‘Heaven Is You’ can be both a quiet moment of introspection and a fulfilling flash of contentment. Taken from their forthcoming EP Someday Club, it bears all the familiar dream pop hallmarks we know and love; the lush hazy atmosphere, the bittersweet melodies, the way way it makes you want to wistfully stare out the window on a rainy day and ponder your place in the world. Scratch the surface however and you find that it’s a track which is full of heart and has so much more to offer. With an infectious summery groove and its lovestruck lyricism, it’s the kind of song that makes you want to look at the world through rose tinted glasses. You see those same rain clouds bathed in the warm glow of the sunset, again ponder your place in the world, and realise that at this moment you’re exactly where you’re meant to be.

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.