Friday Features: Disco-pop, neo-soul and rock 'n' roll acts put their unique spin on quarantine this week
While the lockdown continues to affect our mental health, for many artistes, coping involves channeling these emotions into their music
If you're looking for new music, you've come to the right place! With everything from disco-pop to rock 'n' roll, this has been a week of interesting new releases.
Sinead Harnett: 'Quarantine Queen'
Thai-Irish R&B-soul singer Sinéad Harnett is already making her mark online, owing just as much to her incredibly powerful vocals as to major collaborations with Disclosure, Rudimental, Gallant and MNEK. Her debut album, 2019's 'Lessons in Love' released to critical acclaim with her breakout single 'Let You Love Me' already garnering 63 million streams on Spotify alone. Harnett's latest single 'Quarantine Queen' sees her reflect on the maddening experience of quarantine, mulling over the lack of human interaction and the never-ending stream of depressing headlines that remind us just how bad things have gotten.
On the inspiration behind her new song, Harnett shares, "When the world got turned upside down and we went into lockdown, life as we knew it changed catastrophically. Though there are good sides to this, ie: the slower pace, appreciating the simple things and being able to relax, the chilling question that weighs on my heart is 'am I gonna die alone?' That worrying emotion is what brought about 'Quarantine Queen'. Though a sad thought, there is hope in the song from a wider standpoint — what can we as a nation learn from this time in terms of how we are living. I hope that we will change for the better, that's really what I was getting at."
The song is accompanied by a DIY video, which Harnett wrote, recorded, directed, and edited herself in quarantine amid the current Covid-19 crisis. Follow Sinead Harnett on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube for more.
Kuarantine: 'No No No'
Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho has launched a new rock ‘n’ roll band Kuarantine and their debut single, 'No No No', a cover of the KISS 1987 deep-cut dropped this past Friday. The all-star quartet is rounded out by Kent Slucher (drummer for Luke Bryan), guitarist Joe McGinness (of KLASSIK '78), and bassist PJ Farley (of Trixter) with Jericho on vocals.
"When Kent and Joe approached me to sing on a few '80s KISS songs, I jumped at the chance, as it's my favorite era of my favorite band," shares Jericho. "Once we brought in PJ, not only did we have a world-class band with years of touring experience, we also had four guys with one common bond: to stay creative and to do something special for all music fans during this pandemic. 'No No No' is the perfect debut release for Kuarantine as not only is it a crushing, FUN rock 'n' roll tune, but it's guaranteed to satisfy and put a smile on your face…whether you want one or not!"
Kuarantine has emerged to entertain listeners with their versions of KISS rarities and some good ol' fashioned rock music during these unparalleled times. Stay tuned for more from Kuarantine music dropping soon on ChrisJericho.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify.
Spencer Barnett: 'Welcome To My Mind'
New York City-born, Los Angeles-based rising pop star Spencer Barnett drops his new single 'Welcome To My Mind' today, which is the focus track off Barnett's final installment of his ambitious three-part EP series due out this fall. His latest venture follows his previous release 'I'm Fine' and his debut 'Reckless' that garnered critical acclaim and landed him on Spotify and Apple Music's most coveted pop playlists including New Music Friday, Pop Rising, A-List Pop and Breaking Pop.
With over 10 million streams and 90K Spotify monthly listeners, Barnett is clearly living up to his title of 'rising star'. And 'Welcome To My Mind' is a promising new moody alt-pop track that sees the multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter open up like never before. Speaking about his upcoming album, Barnett states, "Throughout my project, I focus on the themes of loneliness and isolation, despite living in such a busy and chaotic world."
He adds, "On my new song, 'Welcome to My Mind,' I discuss my fear of opening up to new people and how it affects me. In the past I've written about my feelings through the lens of a relationship, but with this new single I didn't want people to read between the lines to understand me as a person and an artist." Stream 'Welcome To My Mind' HERE. Follow Spencer Barnett on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube for more.
TWIN XL: 'Melt'
After supporting neo-soul pop band The Fitz and the Tantrums on their recent U.S. tour, rising alt-pop trio TWIN XL, comprised of lead singer Cameron Walker-Wright (Nekokat) and brothers John Gomez and Stephen Gomez (The Summer Set) returns with new single 'Melt', out today. 'Melt' is the first offering from the critically acclaimed band's forthcoming debut album. TWIN XL had a breakout 2019 with the release of their critically-acclaimed debut EP 'How To Talk To Strangers' which includes their catchy lead single 'Good' that peaked at #19 at alternative radio — clocking 22.5 million in total radio impressions — and spent five weeks on Billboard's Top Alternative Songs Chart peaking at #24.
Described by MTV News as "a Certified Bop™," the single hit #1 on Spotify's top alternative playlist The New Alt and was featured on Out Now. And with good reason too, because the song is an extremely catchy earworm, written and produced by the band themselves while in quarantine. Speaking about the inspiration behind the song, Walker-Wright states, "Our new single 'Melt' is about how much we lose ourselves in other people during relationships. We almost become unrecognizable. It's about being so enamored with someone that they can do absolutely no wrong. One of my favorite lines in the song is 'kiss all of my friends goodbye'."
Francesca Louise: 'Ride The Waters'
London-based singer-songwriter Francesca Louise returns with a self-empowerment anthem, a folk/pop track that looks at how young girls can be self-dependent and find success on their own. Known for combining authentic storytelling and meditative melodies with the lightheartedness of classic folk/pop sounds, Louise has been carefully honing her sound that serves as the perfect escape, a sort of melancholic medicine for modern times. 'Ride The Waters' highlights Louise's ability to channel emotion and intimacy into poignant lyricism, and its upbeat percussion and animated guitar melodies really bring the song's thematic elements to life, and it's the perfect way to uplift yourself and find your mojo again.
The singer's upcoming EP, 'Melancholic Antidote', is a collection of personal experiences, life lessons, emotions and growth. Louise confides, "Music is a powerful tool, it is antidotal, it is motivation, it is therapy, it is home for so many people. I think that my responsibility as a singer-songwriter is to create something that people can listen to and feel at home with." Stream 'Ride The Waters' HERE. Follow Francesca Louise on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or visit FrancescaLouise.com for more.
Izzy Bizu: 'Faded'
Acclaimed UK singer-songwriter Izzy Bizu has released the music video for her euphoric brand new single 'Faded'. Bursting with vivacious energy and 70's hues, 'Faded' was written in the aftermath of an exhausting fall-out that left Bizu feeling drained. The track - a gorgeous disco anthem with overtones of True-era Solange - is the first taste of new music from Izzy in 2020. On her new single, Izzy says, "It's one of those weird feelings; when you're with them you feel faded but when you're without them you feel faded in another way, and you can't decide if you want them in or out of your life."
Having previously toured with Sam Smith before being catapulted into the spotlight in 2016 with the release of her first full-length album, 'A Moment of Madness', which features the singles 'Someone that Loves You' and 'White Tiger', Bizu is no stranger to fame and success.
Her album arrived on a wave of industry accolades, a spot in the BBC's Sound of 2016 shortlist, the Brits Critic Choice shortlist, and she was declared the winner of the BBC Introducing Award and went on to tour with Coldplay on their 2017 US tour. Since her exponential rise in 2016, Izzy has been perfecting her craft and has found solace in disco, dance-friendly beats and melodies and vulnerable ballads. Follow Izzy Bizu on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify, or via for more.
Friday Features is a column that brings you the week's latest releases that you may or may not have heard yet