What’s Going On: YUNGBLUD, Chiiild, FONZO, Joywave, The Ancient Unknown

This week’s edition of What’s Going On features the latest releases from Chiiild, The Ancient Unknown, Joywave, and FONZO as well as a brilliant cover from YUNGBLUD. Get into it! As always, if you dig what you’re hearing, be sure to stream and follow these artists.

YUNGBLUD – To commemorate five years since David Bowie’s passing, I did a special edition of What’s Going On solely consisting of Bowie covers. Now we’ve got another great cover to enjoy. British pop superstar YUNGBLUD covered “Life on Mars?” on January 9, 2021, as part of the star-studded A Bowie Celebration: Just For One Day event. His performance was one of the standout moments of what turned out to be a very uneven broadcast. YUNGBLUD’s rendition is pretty faithful to the Bowie original and is the best the 23-year old pop star has sounded yet. The cover is now available on all of the major streaming platforms via Locomotion/Interscope Records

Listen to YUNGBLUD’s cover of “Life on Mars?” below.

Chiiild – Montreal artist Yoni Ayal, best known as Chiiild, is out now with “Sleepwalking.” The first taste of what’s to come from his forthcoming album, “Sleepwalking” is a cool slice of alternative chill. It really replicates the feel of sleepwalking while still being a compelling listen. Discussing what “Sleepwalking” is all about, Yoni says: “‘Sleepwalking’ is a self-reflective song about reclaiming agency over your life. We all have something that makes us special, that nurtured can create something beautiful. With Dan Regan at the helm, the sleepwalking video enters a new dimension. Aiming to create a future nostalgia.” The album is due out this summer and will feature Chiiild taking “Black music to a place it’s never been before.”

Listen to Chiiild’s new single “Sleepwalking” below.

FONZO – To steal a phrase from the late Heavy D, Californian hip-hop artist FONZO is here to take us all on a peaceful journey with his new single “Power of Your Mind.” The second single from his forthcoming album High Gravity keeps positive vibes going. The combination of FONZO’s flow, crazy beats, and slick production ensure that the motivational hip-hop track never feels trite or corny. On what he hoped to accomplish with “Power of Your Mind”, FONZO says: “I wanted to make a positive song to encourage people to follow their dreams. Life is full of decisions, and there are consequences to not living right. Also, I wanted to emphasize that anything is possible if we put our minds to it. We are all going through something, but we are all in this together.”

Listen to FONZO’s new single “Power of Your Mind” below.

Joywave – Rochester, NY band Joywave are back with “After Coffee”, the lead single from their forthcoming fourth album. The alt-rockers highlight the pleasures of mundanity but also being scared to take the jump into the unknown. With lyrics like “This morning was perfect, the cat woke me quarter to ten. You turned on Nintendo whilе we discussed governmеnt”, it’s easy to think that the song might be a reflection on the pandemic but that’s not the case. Explaining what “After Coffee” is about, frontman Daniel Armbruster says: “Some listeners will undoubtedly hear their own 2020 experiences in the lyrics, but to me it’s just waking up, pouring the coffee, petting the cat, and enjoying the silence.” 

Listen to Joywave’s new single “After Coffee” below.

The Ancient Unknown – Get into The Ancient Unknown, a hot new British band on the scene with a fun sound. Their new single “The Fall” is an epic battle featuring energetic beats, big guitars, amazing vocals, and an appearance from rapper Ryan Soul. Lyrically, “The Fall” is all about a boxer who gets knocked out in a quick fashion after talking heaps of trash. Discussing how boxing can be an allegory for the music industry, The Ancient Unknown’s vocalist Crispin Case-Leng says: “Whatever you think about boxers and boxing, it is undeniable that in the world of sport it is probably the closest to show business, and I believe those knockout blows would be no way near as satisfying without the overblown back and forth before a fight.” I can’t wait to see what this new band does next.

Listen to The Ancient Unknown’s new single “The Fall” ft. Ryan Soul below.

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