In this week’s instalment of What’s Going On, I’ve got a genre-bending LA rapper, a desert blues band, a feminist rock duo, a sibling pop band and a girl group that shot to fame via TikTok. Each artist has their own point of view, a fresh sound and is deserving of a spot on your personal playlists.
Jean Dawson – It’s hard to put Jean Dawson in a box. The Los Angeles based singer/rapper isn’t tied to any particular genre. Dawson’s influences range from The Cure and Thompson Twins to Outkast and Kanye West to Nirvana and everything in between. On his new single ‘POWER FREAKS’, Dawson melds electro vibes, heavy synths, rapid-paced raps and the spirit of early 2000s pop-punk. With such a diverse sound, there’s no telling what Jean Dawson will do next.
Listen to Jean Dawson’s 2020 single ‘POWER FREAKS’
Songhoy Blues – From Timbuktu with love, Songhaoy Blues are going to become your new favourite blues band. Their band name is a reference to the Songhay people of West Africa and desert blues, the style of music they make. The band formed in Bamako after fleeing civil conflict. In 2013, Songhoy Blues had the opportunity to work with Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the song ‘Soubour’, which got the ball rolling on their international success. Songhoy Blues have received plenty of critical acclaim from such outlets as The New York Times, NME and were nominated for “Best New Act” at the Q Awards in 2015. Their sound is rousing & rollicking, melding traditional American blues with sounds from Mali.
Listen to Songhoy Blues 2020 single ‘Worry’
Nova Twins – English rockers Nova Twins are here to deliver a loud dose of girl power. Nova Twins consists of bassist Georgia South and singer/guitarist Amy Love, childhood friends. They were hailed as “the best band you’ve never heard of” by Tom Morello after supporting Prophets of Rage on tour in 2017. Aware that the rock music scene can be difficult for women and people of colour, Nova Twins are working to change that while blazing a trail of their own. On their 2020 debut album Who Are the Girls?, they worked with producer Jim Abbiss who produced the debut albums for such stars as Adele and Arctic Monkeys. The future is bright and loud for the Nova Twins.
Listen to ‘Taxi’ from Nova Twins’ 2020 album Who Are The Girls?
Ferraro – It’s a family affair for Toronto band Ferraro. Brothers Cosmo (guitarist), Tally (bassist) and Gianni (drummer) make up Ferraro, with all three contributing vocals. It would be easy to compare them to the Jonas Brothers but that would be selling Ferraro short. Inspired by groups like The Beatles and Foster the People, the sibling band has a knack for coming up with pop songs that are guaranteed to get stuck in your head. Earlier this year, Ferraro released their single ‘You Look Good Like That’ which went on to be remixed by The Darcys, Human Kebab and BAD CHILD. Their new follow-up single ‘Fool’s Paradise’ is equally as much of an earworm and should get plenty of poolside play.
Listen to Ferraro’s 2020 single ‘Fool’s Paradise’
Avenue Beat – “Lowkey fuck 2020. Still sad, still ain’t got no money.” Nashville trio Avenue Beat have created a viral anthem that perfectly sums up how everyone feels about 2020. Avenue Beats consists of friends Sam Backoff, Savana Santos and Sami Bearden. The friends created a catchy low-key track on TikTok that starts with how hopeful they were heading into the new year and quickly details how the year fell off a cliff. While the song plays, videos of President Trump, Kobe Bryant, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, killer hornets and other social issues flash behind them. ‘F2020’ quickly blew up with the TikTok generation and is now a full-blown single. Listening to ‘F2020’ won’t fix how you feel about the year but it’ll give you a much needed good laugh.
Listen to Avenue Beat’s 2020 single ‘F2020’