“Fare thee well, oh honey.”

“Down By The River” by Vikesh Kapoor | I somewhat missed the deadline on this, as this dropped last Friday (and on limited translucent blue flexi disc, if that’s you thing) but, well, songs like this don’t really do well kept behind a deadline. That’s me justifying writing about Vikesh Kapoor’s new single half a week later than I should have. Four years after the release of his debut album The Ballad of Willy Robbins, he settles down with this plaintive yet striking little thing – apparently about a Ukranian girl he met by the, well, river back in Pennsylvania, where he came from – one that you better just allow to soak you all the way through. This is a thing of beauty. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“It’s okay that I’m not like you.”

“Uncool” by Kuizz | This guy’s name gave me a thought. “Maybe his music is that cool, slightly hipster-y pop,” I thought. Well, no. This track from Kuizz is a pretty chill thing – a just-right soulful bouncer that doesn’t drill down too hard. He’s been writing and producing songs for others after studying in Melbourne, and only recently has he done stuff for himself: this is off his debut EP Till The End, which was released last year. But the most interesting part came early into the press release, when it revealed he’s from Kuala Lumpur. Oooh. Another Malaysian on my pages – and another Malaysian who found his way through these pages via a PR agency from Europe. How do these things happen? And when will we ever? [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“Though I stand strong, I feel weak to the knees.”

“Waiting for a Change” by Rachel Jane | We’re getting a bit of cross-pollination these past couple of days. This time we have a song produced by someone we’ve also written about before (like yesterday, but that’s a co-writing credit) but in this case the song is a punch on the wall – strong. Joshua Luke Smith – remember him, the rapper from Bath? – produced this track from 21-year-old Rachel Jane. Oh, yeah, she’s 21 but I get this strong maturity from her voice, her demeanor. The song is also good; a first taste of her upcoming EP The Mountain, which drops this July. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“I can’t stop thinking about you.”

“I’m On Fire” by Riley Smith | Once upon a time, I watched Nashville. I watched it for Connie Britton; I loved her on Friday Night Lights. Then it dawned on me that it was a very soapy affair and I dropped it. Riley Smith apparently appeared on the program, but it was around the time when I was no longer watching – and it was for seven episodes anyway. (The number of episodes one actor has appeared in was essential knowledge in a past life.) This song was written on that show’s set, and with the help of Matthew Perryman Jones, we get for ourselves a pretty feel-good song. Love songs, of course, can be very saccharine, but this isn’t. It just moves along but it makes you feel fuzzy anyway. It works, absolutely. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“There’s such a lot of world to see.”

 

“Moon River” (Don Philippe version) by Lucia Cadotsch | This album dropped a couple of weeks ago, and the original version of this dropped a few months ago, so I guess it’s not exactly a critical thing that I post this song and call it a spoiler. This is, after all, the last track. And yes, this is another one of those weird but fun records that make their way to my inbox – I really don’t know why I get these, but again, they’re fun. Lucia Cadotsch is based in Zurich Berlin, and last November she released Speak Low, an album of covers only given a very jazzy (in the improvisational sense) undertone. Two weeks ago came Speak Low Renditions, which take the concept of “musical soulmates” further as she pairs up with producers to add yet another layer of unpredictable on the songs. So the familiar becomes unfamiliar again, and yet familiar at the same time. “Moon River” closes the album, but in the hands of Berlin producer Don Philippe the calm starts to jump, and what’s supposed to be a calming end to a very trippy album becomes trippy again. And I did not need a drink to do so. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)