time for a grab bag of tunes [single reviews]

By Ryan G

Manny Houston x Baker Aaron – “Lost”: First, I respect how this song is raw and honest without being profane just for the sake of being profane. Everything about this feels genuine, and it’s probably fairly accurate to how most of us felt early last year. The hook in the chorus is simple and pointed. Even now, a year and three months from the time period of which this track was written, it feels relevant and not dated. Time seems to be flying by more quickly than ever, yet the wounds addressed in “Lost” are still raw for many, which is probably why he saw it fit to release recently.

Maximo Quinones – “Colombiana”: The Chicago-based Latino house DJ is dropping beats that seem to be begging you not to take yourself too seriously. “Let go of your angst” the song seems to be saying. Typing that sounds corny, but that’s the first thing that comes to mind! A quick glance at his Instagram shows a simple image. He isn’t terribly sophisticated. He’s trying to put off a cool image without a ton of conceit—this comes across in this song too, which has simple but effective flourishes when needed. My only criticism is that the song cuts off at an awkward moment!

Alyssa Murray – “wake up”: I’m a bit sleepy at the moment, so it feels appropriate for me to vibing out to this song on my front porch. While the song clearly is meant to motivate me to move a bit and fully engage, sitting back and soaking it in feels appropriate as well. The LYSSA Records artist exhibits a quirky spin on electropop that I wish I heard years ago.

Armstrong – “happy place”: Here’s the next banger for your cyberpunk playlist. If you like acts like Death Therapy, Nine Inch Nails, or The Midnight you’ll rock with this. This is something I’d recommend for a synthwave/industrial night at the club. I find it to be a little repetitive at times—but all good club bangers have a memorable theme. Parts of this are abrasive in an unusually satisfying way.

Matti Charlton – “Dark Addiction”: This artist self-identifies as dreamwave—a melding of dreampop and new wave. A sweet spot for this music blogger, as anyone who visits Tuned Up on a regular basis probably is aware. The artist gets vulnerable—most people forget that addiction can take many forms and can include unhealthy relationships as well as the typical vices. The vocals are somewhat androgynous, making the song more malleable for the listener to apply to their own story.

WooliebuGGer – “Transmission 70”: Influenced by Boards of Canada and IDM, this track is one of those ambient compositions that, if played on a speaker outdoors in the city, it would be hard to tell where the ambient noise of reality ends and the music begins. But perhaps that’s the point. I think a composition like this is tailor made for one of those immersive art exhibitions that are all the rage these days. Like immersive exhibits, I hope this sound isn’t a fad.

Find all of the above and more on our New and Nifty Playlist:

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