What Would Nova Do? – SMALL MUSIC SCENE

NOVAWWND?

In the months following her SAY Award victory, Nova has continued to affirm her legacy in the Scottish hip hop scene by taking it to the next level with her stellar new EP.

As soon as possible, she displays such a strong power in her rapping with deep harmonies that are soft and natural, before picking up the pace with her widely known usual passion as she goes along.

As always, the writing is as openly candid and legitimate as it gets; she has a clear awareness of her status and livelihood, and not much will change regardless of success. The cuts themselves feature a tight mixture of fluent melodies, fixating beats and an absorbing ambience.

The spitfire quality of Re-Up isn’t as regularly prominent here, but Nova more than makes up for that with a pure emotional resonance that effectively clicks with the audience.

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NUELA CHARLESBlissful Madness

Evident straight off the bat is Nuela’s amazing voice, which is not only soulfully luxurious, but also features a clear, no-nonsense tone that shows she is serious and not messing around, and as a result, the writing hits the mark effectively.

The songs are occupied within this divine and exuberant R&B sound that is insanely pleasing, heightened by the fiercely addictive melodies with mighty fine beats helping drive them as they go – which in turn get your body moving – and the first-rate choruses that are oh so catchy.

Within the space of 10 minutes, I’ve fallen in love with Nuela Charles, and she is undoubtedly somebody destined to break big in the Canadian mainstream charts very soon.

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DEMONSPrivation

A raw, rambunctious energy is ever present and quite contagious here. The rough vocals are consistently in your face and shattering drum clobbers ring in your ears in conjunction with the rumbling basslines and snappy, screeching guitar work.

The entire record is the very definition of ruthless aggression, an element that the Virginia band promised, and sure as hell delivered.

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THE TOTEMIST2880

A Black Peaks/Toska crossover? Hell yeah, I’m down for that! The 3 track collaborative EP, as you’d expect, is, to quote the guys themselves at the very end: “ f***ing dope!”

Liam helms the bloody booming rhythms through his as-per tight displays on the kit in twine with Rabea’s grooving bass tones, who in turn completes the puzzle with stellar guitar sequences and a nice sprinkling of melodic synths, bringing to life an immensely emphatic energy all around.

At the risk of sounding lazy and cliché, the only real problem is that this could have been longer, but hopefully this isn’t a one-off and it opens the doors for further group efforts in the future.

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LOCKED INThe Solemn Leap

After luring you into a false sense of security with the opening interlude, the Italian group out of nowhere batter into a line-up of aggressive hardcore bangers packing potent vocals, chugging riffs and bass lines, and a crashing flurry of drums.

Fast, furious and flipping good stuff. Simple as that.

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EPILOGUESYou

As the record gets going, a mood is established that I can only describe as overwhelmingly pleasant.

The music is very low-key, being warm and gentle and quite tender to your senses, with not much more than lovely acoustic chords and a subtle brumming of noise in the background to helm the melody. The harmonies are really mild and mellow, delivered in a delicate manner.

Then as you’ve been completely captivated, the switch is flicked and you’re greeted to a charge of heavy-hitting guitar riffs, which are effective as the suddenness of them is a testament to just how engrossed you are into the music.

The remainder of the ride follows suit, maintaining that pure and peaceful setting which all comes together to produce what is ultimately one of the most stunning EPs of the year.

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COURTNEY GAINSJourneyman

Courtney Gains many folk will know as being part of various cult classic films of the 80’s, but he also happens to be a capable musician, as evident by his gas of an EP right here.

He presents some infectious blues rock cuts that get you grooving along courtesy of stellar guitar solos, high-spirited vocals and insanely buoyant rhythms, all of them, when at their peak, being so damn catchy and donning an off-the-charts energy.

But on top of those, there’s also a share of slower pieces which are investing in their own right, with solid lyrics and a fine country tone to them.

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EUPHORIICASongs For Healing

Jeremey Hernandez, a pro of his local scene, lives up to the project’s namesake; the music being headed by incredibly sleek and loosing harmonies that are easy on the ears.

The tracks themselves are, fittingly enough, luminous and mesmerising, with a slight 80’s tinge and strong atmosphere being formed as they proceed along at a calm and gentle pace.

The choruses shine through and rank as the highlights of the already great songs, which are fairly straight-forward on a technical level, but that’s exactly what is required from a record of this nature: a product that is simple in order to ensure a nice, relieving listening experience.

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PLUTO IS A PLANETPlutocracy

The Australian duo devise an intriguing spectral sound that is out of this world, with the low-tempo cuts especially having a pleasant, relaxed ambience to them.

When they kick it up a gear, they provide some enjoyable bouncy post-punk style numbers that are pretty catchy, featuring a neat mish mash of piano keys, synths, deep bass chords and slick beats, plus the addition of lucid vocals.

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KING UGLY DELIGHTNational Disgrace

The masked Glasgow artist dishes out some decently produced electronic tracks ingrained by a blend of various styles, with a noticeably distinct focus on synths and 8-bit bytes.

Naturally, it’s with the high-tempo numbers where the energy levels are kicked up through the roof, completely with intense catchy beats, while there’s also a draft of slower pieces which has a pretty good, cool flow to them.

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