Welcome to the 30th volume of Freddie’s Finds! Each week I spotlight 3-4 of my favorite new tracks of the week, ranging from a variety of genres and artists. This week includes Babebee, grouptherapy., Monét Ngo, and Kenny Mason.
I first found Babebee in the Pigeons & Planes Discord following the release of their June single, “all night long,” before they dropped their album, “mind over matter,” late in July. Yet just as one era ended, another one began, as less than a month since the album, Babebee returned with perhaps my favorite release yet, “stranded.” Production from simon m brings a different feel from the album, venturing into an electronic and rock influenced world. Kicked off with a captivating guitar riff, Babebee’s soft vocals quickly take the spotlight as they postpone beginning a relationship in order to better understand themself. As the production blends a delicate, mellower first verse with a higher intensity, drum lead second verse, Babebee grapples with isolation, attachment, and undying love, singing, “I would've worried about the future of two / But now it's gotten to the point where I only think of you.” Ending the track the same way it began — with a soothing guitar riff — allows the listen to feel full circle, while Babebee’s final vocals provide closure to the story as they free themselves from the person they became so entranced with. You will not want to miss whatever is up next for Babebee, as this new era is already off to a hot start.
All weekend, I have had “I take one very big step, then take another very big step, then take another very big step” playing on loop in my head. The latest single out of the grouptherapy. trio arrived last week, continuing their string of solo tracks as SWIM is the only member featured on “Big Steppa.” Lead by the hook that will have you testing your long jump skills, SWIM brings out an infectious energy on the track, while his clever lyricism shines from the very first lines as he raps, “Dance with my feelings I tiptoe / SWIM blue but I’m not a crip though, ok / We be investing in crypto but won’t spend a cent our on mental it’s really insane.” The production crew of Pilot Kid, 8een, Stoic, and yogic creates for an exciting listen, while the accompanying video tells an even more exciting story as SWIM is being chased, before turning into Superhero SWIM as he puts on an Evil Knieval with a durag-esque superhero suit and runs through a busy tunnel. With TJOnline and SWIM each delivering solo singles following grouptherapy.’s EP, it appears as though Jadagrace is up next — look out for what will be coming.
He may be three singles in but Monét Ngo is already establishing himself as one of the biggest rising stars, accumulating over 1.5 million Spotify streams on his first two singles. However, as much as I loved those tracks, the third single is certainly my favorite so far. Inspired by The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Strawberry Fields” is an ode to simpler times. Speaking on the meaning, Monét said, “Back when I was in my early 20s, I lived out of my car with my ex-girlfriend as we both tried to figure out our housing situations. Back then, all I really wanted was to sleep in a real bed. It’s funny that now, I find myself wanting to go back to that period in my life. Part of me kinda wants to go back to living out of that shitty car, talking to my old lover about our futures, and singing her John Lennon songs.” The track feels like a step into this complicated yet sweet period, the nostalgia evident in the guitar lead production, entirely done by Monét. Between the punchy, distorted hook and the music video, featuring Monét being driven around in the back of a red pickup truck, you will feel right alongside him during his early 20s. The ceiling is limitless for what he will accomplish the rest of the year, yet “Strawberry Fields” is sure to be on repeat the entire time.
“Halloween” by Kenny Mason
When Kenny Mason first announced his EP PUP PACK, I was very excited. When I saw that Zach Fogarty had production on one of the three tracks, I was even more excited. Yet when I first heard “Halloween” my excitement hit a new high, as my favorite track just so happened to be the one Zach worked on. His production brings an almost wavy feel as a quick ascending and descending guitar riff repeats throughout, while giving off the feel of a live performance through the vocal effects. The track begins with a short intro before Kenny jumps straight into the hook as he sings, “This year for Halloween, I know just want Imma be / High and free, high and free.” The first verse is highlighted by a raw delivery towards the end, taking the track to the next level, before a slowed version of the hook leads the song out. Expect more to come from Kenny this year — and maybe even a Jean Dawson collaboration, as the two were in the studio together earlier this year.
You can listen to all my previous finds in the playlist below: