A muse and a storyteller, as Hydie Humble sings her words are whisked into the ether as gently as they were delivered. “Barcelona” is less of a love tale and more of genuflection on love itself and the decisions we make when nothing else is on our mind.
Why We Like It
On “Take Me Away,” August Charles offers a trade. Steal him away from his pain and in return he’ll borrow your ears and take your breath. Comprised only of a single piano and vocalist, Charles summons the energy of acts like John Legend and Elton John with the soulful punch of Marvin Gaye.
Popular advice for any writer is to “show not tell.” On “What it Feel Like,” Dewey Da Don bodies the technique by rapping in a way that is felt more than heard. He punctuates each syllable with life experience and natural cadence.
Sultry R&B sensibilities mixed with trap influenced production makes a hell of a single. On “I Just Wish You’d Call Me” 18-year-old Nyah Grace fills a big song with a big voice. The dynamic between her voice and the instrumentation is fluid and elegant.
The tension of “Oxytocin” is thick. The harmonic lamenting of Benjamin A.D betrays the deep yearning of a connection that feels one-sided. His vocals grasp the edges of each line with passion, it’s effortless to fall into the tragedy he unravels.
Sit down, sip up. On his single “Codeine,” CeddroDaGod rap-sings about the toxic allure of addiction, but then pulls the rug out from under the listeners expectations by changing the perspective of his vice. The pull of a bad relationship can be just as toxic.
Coming off a #1 hit in Hot97’s WHOSNEXT, Manny Maserati made himself known to the Sauce with “Black Rose.” Inspired by the likes of Nas and Rakim, Manny raps with soul and grit. He doesn’t write to make music, he writes to get the world off his chest.
The best examples of self-producing artists really know how to mesh their vocals and beat in just the right amounts. This smoker’s anthem, “Smoke” by Power features a seamless blending of ad-libs and synthesizer flares to settle the verses in for a smooth ride that keeps the listener ahead of the track.
Deep and personal is how Leo Miyagee raps over the fleeting piano keys of “Paro.” The emotional pull of the instrumental builds on Miyagee’s impassioned vocal delivery with a syllable for every key.
Everything we love about the lo-fi goodness of fika and No Spirit is channeled into instrumental funk on the Reggie Got Beats remix of “Better Now” Ft. RickyAtoms. The remix carefully arranges the track’s melancholy message in a brighter, more hopeful focus on the future.