Spotify Release Radar Reviews: First Impressions and Future Listens

Hey music lovers! 🎶

Sometimes, my Spotify Release Radar can be a little disappointing, with it having selected artists I’m not that fussed about, or an array of remixes, demos, acoustic versions, live versions, and lo-fi versions of existing tracks. I love it when my Release Radar is packed with brand new tracks.

Screenshot of my Release Radar - 31/6/24
Screenshot of my Release Radar – 31/6/24

This week’s Release Radar on Spotify has delivered an array of exciting tracks, a majority of which are brand new, and even most of the remixes etc. are actually of tunes that are new to me.

Here are my initial thoughts on just the ones that caught my attention for whatever reason after a first cursory listen. You can check out the full playlist here.

  1. “Girls Gone Wild” – Scene Queen, WARGASM (UK)
    • From Scene Queen’s new debut full-length album Hot Singles in Your Area, this is a powerful collaboration filled with energy and female empowerment, characteristic of Scene Queen’s style. She’s one of the most fun artists I’m listening to at the moment, and WARGASM are one of my current faves, so I was excited to see this collab at the top of my list. The blend of Scene Queen’s bold themes with WARGASM’s intense sound creates a raucous and provocative track that instantly grabs attention.
  2. “Torn – Acoustic” – We Rabbitz, Moon Roses
    • This acoustic cover of Natalie Imbruglia’s classic brings a fresh, emotive touch. I found it captivating as it brought back memories of the original song – one of my favourites from my teenage years in the 90s. The stripped-down version highlights the song’s emotional depth and showcases the artists’ musical talents.
  3. “My Drummer’s Girlfriend” – ALT BLK ERA
    • An intriguing track from their upcoming debut album, Rave Immortal. The song’s narrative is compelling, though it doesn’t paint the drummer’s girlfriend in the best light. I discovered Alt-Blk-Era while they were supporting Zand at the Victoria pub in Birmingham last year. Their live show was engaging and surprisingly theatrical given the tiny stage they were performing on, and they made a new fan out of me that night. Chatting with them afterwards, they were pleasant and genuinely excited to perform.
  4. “Through You” – Adelitas Way, Art Of Dying
    • A solid rock collaboration that seamlessly blends the distinctive sounds of both bands. The track is powerful and memorable, maintaining the high standards expected from Adelitas Way and Art Of Dying. It’s a great addition to any rock playlist.
  5. “Not Sorry” – FKA Rayne
    • This track immediately caught my attention with its unique sound and compelling lyrics. FKA Rayne’s vocal delivery is engaging, and the production is top-notch. It’s a song that stands out and demands repeat listens.
  6. “What Do You Believe In?” – Rag’n’Bone Man, High Contrast
    • High Contrast’s remix adds an energetic twist to Rag’n’Bone Man’s soulful original, making it a standout track. Recently, I’ve been enjoying properly exploring Rag’n’Bone Man’s discography for the first time over the past few weeks, and this remix is a great variation that keeps his music fresh and exciting.
  7. “I May Be A Doe…” – Banshee
    • Raw and emotional and maybe my favourite track from this weeks Release Radar, I love how raw Banshee’s voice and lyrics can be. She often combines metal screams with almost trap beats, delivering a powerful listening experience. Banshee’s ability to mix these elements while maintaining emotional depth is impressive. I always look forward to her new releases. I don’t know why, but the layering of the screamed vocal over the sung one on the line “Get out this is my home!” really stirs something in me. I get a real guttural feeling of someone persecuted trying to protect the last scrap of something sacred they have.
  8. “Fairytale” – Pezz (Billy Talent)
    • But the “new” release that really caught my attention is “Fairytale” by Pezz.

      For those that don’t know, Pezz is the name Billy Talent used before renaming as Billy Talent. I first got into Billy Talent about 20 years ago when my best friend introduced me to their first self-titled album released under the name Billy Talent. I loaded it up onto my River mp3 player just before we backpacked around South East Asia all that time ago, so that band and especially that album evokes some wonderful memories for me.
      Their first full-length album, Watoosh, released under the band name Pezz, is an energetic album, slightly more chaotic than their later albums, with more of a ska-punk vibe that sometimes puts me in mind of Animal Chin – one of my favourite 90s bands of the genre. Until recently, it wasn’t available on Spotify, but I had listened to it a few times on YouTube, enjoying hearing Billy Talent’s nascent efforts and their different sound.
      Brian Dsa, the band’s guitarist has recently remastered Watoosh and released it onto Spotify so I’m enjoying that immensely and I recommend any Billy Talent fans do too.
  9. “These Feelings” – Kate Nash
    • A solid new release showcasing Kate Nash’s evolving style. Her ability to consistently produce engaging music is impressive, and this track is no exception.
  10. “duality” – Siiickbrain
    • Though more subdued than her usual aggressive tracks, it’s an interesting exploration of her range. I usually prefer Siiickbrain’s more aggressive songs, but this downbeat track offers a new perspective on her musical abilities.
  11. “BLOSSOM” – RØRY
    • RØRY’s track is captivating and emotional, perfectly showcasing her talent. It’s a song that pulls you in and keeps you engaged with its heartfelt lyrics and delivery.
  12. “Falling Forever – Extended Version” – Dua Lipa
    • An extended version of an existing track from her latest album, Radical Optimism, offering a fresh take on the original. The extended version allows for a deeper immersion into the song’s melody and lyrics, which I found enjoyable.
  13. “right now – lofi” – lonelyboy, Korn
    • Despite the interesting melody, this lofi cover didn’t quite resonate with me as much as I had hoped. Sometimes the lofi covers of other songs, like those by lonelyboy, are interesting – but this Korn one hasn’t really grabbed me.
  14. “Take Control” – Neffex
    • While Neffex initially impressed me with “Tell Me That I Can’t“, leading me to be quite excited by this one at first, including this one, his recent releases have actually been less engaging. It feels like the creative spark that made his earlier work exciting is fading.

Well, there you have it! My thoughts on some of this week’s standouts from my Release Radar.
Let me know what you think of any of them, or what’s grabbed your attention from your own Release Radar in the comments.

And remember, as long as it’s been released, I can bring a brand new tune to your wedding celebrations too!

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