What’s Going On: The Beaches, MNERVA, Moby, Donkristobal, BLK

This week’s edition of What’s Going On features the latest releases from Moby, MNERVA, and Donkristobal and hot new tracks from two great Canadian groups, BLK and The Beaches. There’s something here for everyone. As always, if you dig what you’re hearing, be sure to stream and follow these artists.

The Beaches – May is just starting but we’ve already got a contender for song of the summer. Toronto band The Beaches have announced their forthcoming EP Future Lovers, due out on May 14th. The first taste of what’s to come from Future Lovers is “Let’s Go”, an absolute anthem that’s steeped in the sun-soaked vibes, witty lyrics and distinct vocals that we’ve come to love from The Beaches. Discussing the recording process, lead singer Jordan Miller says: “We recorded most of Future Lovers in Los Angeles with Jacknife during The Professional sessions. But the pandemic gave us the opportunity to look at some of these songs and give them some new Beaches twists before they were released… You know, we’ve kind of all matured a little being stuck at home for over a year.” When the pandemic is over, be sure to head out and see The Beaches live. They do not disappoint.

Listen to The Beaches’ new single “Let’s Go” below.

MINERVA – We’ve already seen the pandemic inspire quite a lot of new releases and the next one up is “Stuck” by Nashville-based artist MNERVA. Originally hailing from Maryland, MINERVA, also known as Matt Wagner, opens up on “Stuck” about his personal mental health struggles during quarantine which is something I’m sure we can all relate to. Sonically, MNERVA dabbles in a variety of genres, pulling from pop, hip-hop, and rock. Speaking on the writing process, MNERVA says: “Writing this song was actually my first step to escaping the negative feedback loop and I started therapy soon afterward to finally get my life back on track. I really hope that people can relate to this song and I want them to know that there’s no shame in feeling trapped. What matters is how you take steps to keep pushing forward.”

Listen to MNERVA’s new single “Stuck” below.

Moby – Moby is out with the reimagined version of his track “Natural Blues”, this time featuring Gregory Porter and Amythyst Kiah. On his forthcoming album Reprise (due out May 28), Moby has been revisiting classic tracks from his past discography with the help of the Budapest Art Orchestra and special guests including the likes of Skyler Grey, Kris Kristofferson, and Mark Lanegan. The reimagining of “Natural Blues” takes the iconic dance anthem out of the club and into the church with the traditional instrumentation and soulful vocals of Gregory Porter and Amythyst Kiah adding a major gospel feel. Praising the vocal delivery of the track’s guest vocalists, Moby says: “Gregory Porter and Amythyst Kiah’s performances bring a new sense of yearning to the song that encompasses both light and dark tones. Their thoughtful interpretations bring out deep nuances to the track only they could uniquely offer.”

Listen to Moby’s new single “Natural Blues” (Reprise Version) ft. Gregory Porter & Amythyst Kiah below.

Donkristobal – What is son de montaña? A new reggae fusion genre that combines the feel of reggae with the nostalgic sounds of bolero. Rhythmic, intimate, and vibey, a great example of that sound is “Me Asusta” the new single from Colombian reggae artist Donkristobal, especially seeing as Donkristobal coined the name of the new sub-genre himself. Speaking on how that sound came to be, Donkristobal’s producer Johann Morales says: “We wanted to return to those sounds that generate nostalgia, to connect with our bohemian side without moving away from the power and flavour of reggae, and that was the challenge, to unite those two concepts and create a sound of our own.”

Listen to Donkristobal’s new single “Me Asusta” below.

BLK – Once upon a time, the charts on both sides of the Atlantic were chock-full of girl groups but with a few exceptions, girl groups were suddenly no longer in vogue. Thankfully, that’s all about to change. Toronto-based R&B girl group BLK wants you to “f*** with them” with “FWM”, their brand new sophomore single. The trio consisting of Bexk, Lilac X and Korahjay are all about being themselves and spreading the Girl Power message with their fun, flirty and infectious tunes. “FWM” sounds right at home alongside the biggest songs out now, further proving that Canadian acts have got the goods. Speaking on how the girls have bonded since being put together, Bexk says: “We vibed as we got to know each other. The idea of creating a girl group was amazing because Toronto hasn’t really seen one recently. We cut a track—it was fire—and we decided to keep going.”

Listen to BLK’s new single “FWM” below.

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