Estelle's cover art for 'Better'
Photo: Courtesy of VP Records
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#5NewTracks to get through the week (Estelle, Simon D James)

Estelle's cover art for 'Better'

Photo: Courtesy of VP Records


Estelle – Better (Submission)

Releasing an album through VP Records this year, Estelle, the breakout Londoner who sang about American Boys in 2008, is back with ‘Better’, a song about why her love is better than anyone else her lover may encounter. That’s a very confident lyric. I love it, and I can relate. Estelle’s subtle yet original delivery at the end of the hook makes it her own. As far as the sound of the record is concerned, ‘Better’ is a climatic difference from her sophomore album. Nonetheless, the record fits its home and purpose. Similarly to the messaging in Mary J Blige’s iconic ‘I Can Love You’ featuring a classic Lil’ Kim verse, the women share multiple reasons why they can love a man better than their competition. Being the other woman must be a difficult experience when you’re up against affluent and alluring women.

‘Lovers Rock’, the new album by Estelle, comes out in September. Some of the people we’ve worked with are Supa Dups (Drake/Beenie Man), Reefa (Lil Wayne), Jerry Wonda (Wyclef Jean), and Harmony Samuels (Jennifer Lopez/Ariana Grande). Estelle will perform in Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing on July 28 for the Pennsylvania Care Health Festival. If you’re in town, pull up.

You can also watch the official music video for ‘Better’ now, exclusively on Apple Music.


Simon D James – Burn the Man (Submission)

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” If only it were that easy, the world would be different, safer, and more loving, but all is not lost—right? Simon D James released his debut extended play yesterday. Doesn’t it sound like he’s been around for a long time? An old soul, for sure. Listen to the first track from ‘Songs from a Dream Long Forgotten’ below. It reminds me of the opening sequence of ‘Luther’, a British television drama starring Idris Elba, which uses the Trip-Hop/Ambient ‘Paradise Circus’ by Massive Attack and Burial. It is calming and outstanding.


Foresteater – Unbutton (Submission)

Living in your head is a real thing. More often than I’d like, I have to ask select friends to come out and play with the rest of the world. It’s a safe (yet sometimes, a dangerous) place to live. As far as what inspired the music, Mikey Pro couldn’t sleep one night. Subsequently, he got out of bed. Then, he started to play on his guitar. First, the chorus of the song came to his mind and exited his lips. “I just wanted to get out of my head,” the singer recalled.

“I think the song is about observing people in the world around me and watching them live their lives and make changes all while I feel stuck in one spot, in my head.”

I wouldn’t be able to relate to Mike Pro’s statement if I didn’t have my own experiences. It takes work to step outside of yourself. Based on the relationships that I have with artists (of all kinds), I will say it is a condition that proves to be regular in the community. Therefore, I think it’s why expressing ourselves, in whichever form, is so important. The words may not come out right, but they come out.


Drens – Bicycle Rider (Submission)

If I could ride my bike all day in low humidity weather, that would be close to a celestial experience for me. It isn’t always the case, though. I guess I’m living vicariously through the German Surf Punk/Garage Rock band’s lyrics because the Lord knows I’d give anything to be back on my Raleigh. It’s a shame the song is less than ninety seconds.


Synthonic – Head Banging (Submission)

My dad used to listen to Electronic/Jazz music that sounds like this. Whenever we were on the way to his house, he would turn on the radio to a station that played tracks without words. And if there were any words, they weren’t interruptive. They added texture and purpose to the musical composition. As soon as I pressed play, I stood up. In the midst of swaying my hips and smiling because of the memories the synth-heavy track erupted, I thought about how music and dancing are things that brought me closer to my parents. It’s what I remember most when I think about them. It is how I connected and bonded with them, individually. My mom and I used to slow dance together every morning before I went to school. I think it was her way of telling me that everything would be alright. Separately, lately, my father has been on my mind a lot. It could be because sometimes, I wonder how he would have advised or guided me to conduct business. I think I have a good sense of direction, innately, and I follow instructions, but it would have been a treasure to hear him say the words. I miss my dad a lot, and Synthonic’s ‘Head Banging’ made me feel like I am in his presence again. Thank you for helping me deal with those memories today.


ScienZe – Your Body is a Drug (Submission) (Bonus)

Brooklyn’s own, ScienZe, is back with an uptempo record called, ‘Your Body is a Drug’. It’s a song about connecting with the right person. Most people would refer to that ‘one’ as a soul mate. Others might call them, the perfect match or the ideal life partner. As we all go through life, I think we are all looking for the one to help us manoeuvre through the highs and lows. I think I’ve found the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, but my friends and family know my woes. I have an affinity for selecting the best partners at the wrong time, or they are flat-out not for me. At least, ScienZe seems to have it figured out!


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