May was filled with a lot of buzz surrounding two big figures in music; Kendrick Lamar and Harry Styles. Faced with expecting and anxious fans wondering what they’re going to do next, both artists successfully delivered their respective projects, leaving it up to the public to enjoy or bicker. In between these two important releases there were many worthwhile albums and EPs to discuss. So, without further ado, here are 5 projects worth your attention before you move on to the next month.
Recommended tracks: “Follow me” and “Bitter”
This month saw the release of Ogi’s memorable debut EP titled Monologues. Spanning a satisfactory 6 tracks, this EP is her proper musical introduction to a wider audience, and an impressive one at that. Bestowed with a soulful voice and an admirable vocal and musical range, she makes use of all her best assets, in turn delivering an irresistible project. From the ethereal intro “Let Me Go” to the intricate single “Bitter,” her formal training comes to light as she expertly takes the reins, and shows you how to do things her way. While most tracks contribute to the overall narrative of a particularly frustrating relationship, the project ends on a good note with the outro “IKYK.” A flourishing and compassionate ballad promising love and support to a loved one, “IKYK” feels like a safe landing following an emotionally bumpy ride.
Recommended track: “Parking Lots”
Following the release of two great singles, the Panamanian singer released her new EP, In Bloom. Further expanding her musical universe, In Bloom feels like the perfect game of tug of war between blissful attraction and heartbreak. The first track “ I Hate The Beatles” sees Sofía sift through painful memories associated with the iconic band. Delicate and thoughtful, the track is hard not to play on repeat, essentially foreshadowing the overall effect of the record. Switching gears, she falls into the title track, giving us a taste of alt-pop with samba-reminiscent syncopation. Having said all that, the highlight of the project is “Parking Lots.” Hot and cold, high and low, Sofía offers the perfect mix between bouncy and grounding verses, and a sneaky chorus. Personal and creative, In Bloom is a well-crafted EP sure to grow on you after a listen or two. You can also watch our recent interview with Sofía here.
Recommended track: “Dead Air”
The release date pushed forward to avoid clashing with Harry’s third studio album, originally set to come out the same day, Peter McPoland did everything but disappoint his loyal fans. Seven tracks long, the EP is practically an emotional rollercoaster, and I mean it literally. For every tear jerker there’s an up-beat ear-worm ready to distract you from the dampening themes explored throughout the project. Opening up and closing up the record with two existential tracks, “String Lights” and “News at 9,” the remainder of the EP tackles love and loss with the occasional optimistic tune, “Mary Anne.” For the entirety of the record, Peter faithfully fulfills his singer-songwriter duties with a delivery faintly reminiscent of Billy Joel, minus the hindsight, leaving him room to fill in the gaps in future projects.
Recommended track: “Love of my Life”
Once again inching away from his debut album, Harry’s House mostly focuses on a soulful 70s style, he briefly touched upon on his previous albums with the track “Treat People With Kindness.” Trading the choir for funky bass lines and explosive brass sections, Harry’s House is a mix of modern pop, 70s funk, and simple ballads. Widely appreciated by Harries and questioned by casual listeners, how much you enjoy this album mostly depends on your loyalty to the British singer. At the end of the day, it is no use wishing for any artist to revert back to their earlier sound. Either better to embrace the aspect you do enjoy, or simply listen to the older stuff. Regardless Harry rarely misses by much, and this album is further proof of that fact.
Breaking the rules just a bit here, but the final mention for the month is Sophie May’s second double-single. While she focused on unsatisfactory relationships on her two earlier tracks, “Bad Man” points the mirror back at herself. Embracing faults and expressing the youthful guilt felt when accused of being bad, Sophie offers an undeniably cool and brazen track. Followed up with a slower song, she sweetly switches between first and third person, reflecting on unbalanced relationships where her affection and presence are undervalued. With both tracks contributing to her vulnerable, yet relatable, track record, Sophie May is definitely an artist you should look out for.