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New Music Radar

New Music Radar for January 3rd, 2024

Added by Kate Bryan

Hovvdy – “Portrait”

Austin-based indie pop duo Hovvdy released a gentle, folk-tinged track, “Portrait,” last week. The song features fewer pop trappings than the some Hovvdy tunes, stripped down to a winter-minded sensibility that lays focus on acoustic guitar, mournful vocals, and drums that click and bounce against a reverberating atmosphere. Tender lyrics build a sentimental and forlorn narrative.

Abby Sage – “Obstruction” 

Offbeat Canadian indie artist Abby Sage dropped a new single, “Obstruction,” just before the new year. It’s a darkly dreamy pop track that shows Sage’s eccentric lyrical prowess with lines like “Obstruction in my living room / Your hair stuck in my vacuum / Cut it out with a knife.” Her breathy vocals and a sly beat create a whimsical shadowiness, and when she sings “I’m a good person,” backed by eerie strings, it comes across as steeped in irony. 

Bones Hamilton – “Call Me”

“Call Me,” the flip side of Columbia, SC-based Bones Hamilton’s dual single “Polaroid / Call Me,” satisfies the craving for music that revels in a certain jagged immediacy. Rough-hewn vocals tell a tale of loneliness while a heady electric guitar riff scratches its way up and down the track. It’s dispirited garage rock at its finest. 

Added by Thaddeus Adams

Frost – “Alone”

As someone who lived in Greenville before moving to Charleston, I’ve been following Frost’s music journey since 2018, and it’s impressive to see his growth as an independent artist in the upstate scene. “Alone” almost sums up Frost’s journey of balancing life and walking through his purpose as an artist that is true to his authenticity. Beyond being in a class of his own, he talks about the ups and downs and reasons why he feels alone and indeed chooses to be a loner. His raw delivery, unapologetic realism, and lyricism truly set him apart. In this track, he fearlessly explores the reasons behind his solitude, making it a compelling listen. If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and tune into “Alone” by Frost -it’s a testament to his artistry- and tap into his long-standing #GxldApproved catalog.

Comani – “B2TY”

As I dive into Comani’s delightful track “B2TY,” I’m instantly transported to the vibrant world of early 2000’s summertime nostalgia. This Charleston artist’s creative twist on Kelis’ “Milkshake” is a burst of fun and color that captures attention musically and visually. Lucas Sharff’s production adds a Pharrell-like quality, infusing the song with a radiant energy. This is captured to the T in the lively visual shot by ThottysWorld Productions. As I groove along and shoulder roll to this bop, I’m enticed by Comani’s smooth and polished delivery. Her soft vocals and lively flow remind me of artists such as Dej Loaf and Rico Nasty. Even in tracks like “Love Bubbles,” she maintains a consistent blend of flowing cadences and gentle melodies. Comani has a growing catalog, but this is my first listen-and her music, visuals, presence, and appeal is entertaining and #GxldApproved.

Trap Dickey- “Kick Off”

Trap Dickey, the rising star from Hartsville, SC, continues to ‘pop out’ with his latest single “Kick Off”. After gaining viral attention for his impressive On The Radar freestyle, he has now dropped the official audio for this highly anticipated release. His talent has not gone unnoticed, he’s been creating major buzz all across the state and even got the attention of major Carolina artist Blacc Zac when he previewed the hit on social media. Trap Dickey lives up to his reputation of creating authentic trap bangers, delivering a high-energy charisma and a fierce flow that vividly paints pictures in the listener’s mind. His demanding confidence adds to the genuine appeal of his music, solidifying his position as one of the hottest buzzing in the streets of Charleston.

Bas – We Only Talk About Real Shit When We’re Fucked Up

Growing up a huge Dungeon Family/OutKast fan, I’ve always been drawn to groups or artists that are reminiscent of their style and flavor. In the 2020’s, that flavor has continued to marinate our palettes through the artists and groups that have filtered through J. Cole’s Dreamville record label. Earthgang, JID, Childish Major, etc have consistently kept alive the soulful, lyrical, conceptual hip-hop with deep messages and orchestrated production. Most recently, Bas of Dreamville has taken the torch as a representative of the label with the release of We Only Talk About Real Shit When We’re Fucked Up, -carrying the torch of sultry, multi-dimensional, internationally adept, mainstream hip hop.

One standout aspect of the album is the cultural inclusion and diversity that resonates throughout. Bas skillfully incorporates Afrobeat influences in tracks like “Passport Bros,” with J. Cole and he also collaborates with a melting pot of artists from Ghana, Zimbabwe, Britain, and even concludes the album with the popular French instrumentalist FKJ. This diverse flavor immerses listeners mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, creating a captivating and globally sonic experience.

We Only Talk About Real Shit When We’re Fucked Up not only showcases Bas’ ability to craft intricate and thought-provoking music, but it also signifies his growth as an artist. Through introspection and inspiration drawn from different cultures, Bas takes listeners on a journey that is both deeply personal and universally relatable. Two of my favorite tracks are “U Turn” and “179 Deli”.

On the playlist: “179”

Added by Sarah Grace Sherbondy

Matt Reale and the Glenns – “Standing on the Sun”

Matt Reale and the Glenns, the psychedelic-grunge-infused rock band that formed in Charleston during the height of the pandemic released their first single since 2022; this time with the addition of Sandcastle’s Remy Clark. “Standing on the Sun” is a four-minute track flooded with a multitude of genres, and holds tight to experimental gimmicks this group has consistently strived for. The single will be included on the group’s upcoming EP Vicious Cycle, that’s on track to drop this Spring.

Brave Baby – “First Time Home Buyer” / “Difficulture“

Charleston’s favorite creative collective, Brave Baby, just released their final double-single “First Home Buyer / Difficulture” under their “current unnamed twin singles project”. After taking a hiatus in Brave Baby undertakings to explore personal projects, begin families, and become influential staples in the Charleson music community, the group is bouncing back with their first full-length album since the release of the memorable Electric Friends in 2015. The dance-pop paired singles are an introspective ensemble of cool rasp, vulnerable lyrical expression, and unhinged 80s synth undertones that flash the personalities of this remarkable group of virtuosos. 

Still Woozy – “Anyone But You”

Fabled bedroom-pop artist Still Woozy dropped an uncomplicated euphoric melody, made for Sydney Sweeny and Glen Powell’s new Rom-com, Anyone But You. Not coincidentally, the single is named “Anyone But You” and exudes Woozy’s infectious and mastered craft in the Lo-fi genre, with mystified lyrics that exude storytelling within the film, “Anyone but you couldn’t open, Up my eyes and help me see this moment, You are my peace of mind, So I’ll take my time”. 

Added by Chris Huber

Toni Esther – “Carry”

Multi-talented South Carolina vocalist and rapper Toni Esther recently dropped a new single called “Carry.” The way she interspaces singing and rapping to craft a vibe has always struck me as unique, and this new track delivers that energy, but has hear leaning more into R&B than ever before. With a mellow beat, Toni Esther raps about gratitude and reflection while decorating the track with vocal overdubs and segments of softly-sung vocals.

Band of Horses – “The General Specific (Live Acoustic)”

Band of Horses are gearing up to release a new live album on January 18th: Acoustic at the Ryman Volume 2, which was recorded during a show at the historic Nashville auditorium in 2013. “The General Specific” is the latest single to come from the project, featuring a set-closing performance of their classic tune and live staple. There’s a rollicking energy present here, despite being an acoustic recording from prior to Brett Nash joining the band, which explains why they decided to give this one an official release.

Bendigo Fletcher – “Go Outside (From Natural Bridge State Resort Park)”

Back in early November, indie rockers Bendigo Fletcher released a cover of Cults’ “Go Outside” recorded live at Natural Bridge State Resort Park in Slade, KY. The release was part of a collaboration between Bendigo Fletcher and the Kentucky Parks Club to help preserve and protect the parks of Kentucky. There’s also a video of the group performing the track on some exposed rock formations in the park itself. As for their take on the song, it’s smooth as butter, and removes most of the (kind of annoying) indie pop bubble-gum tinniness from the original.

Lily Seabird – “Cavity”

Burlington, Vermont’s Lily Seabird prepares to release her newest album, Alas on January 12th, and the haunting recent single “Cavity” caught my ear. It’s slow and deliberate, driven by a gentle acoustic strumming, but as the mellow tune flows on, layers emerge from the sound to give it a distorted flair. It brings to mind the kind of distortion you’d hear on albums by Neutral Milk Hotel or even old school Wilco. Seabird also brings a slight alt-country twang that gives her music even more of a unique flair. This was a new discovery for me this week and I’m looking forward to the rest of the album.