Zayn Malik’s solo career since leaving the confines of One Direction has been a mixed bag, a display of massive potential mixed with some notable letdowns. The best tracks from his 2016 debut album Mind of Mine (mostly the ones produced by frequent collaborator Malay) adeptly drew inspiration from moody R&B stars like The Weeknd and Frank Ocean, while showcasing a phenomenal vocal ability and tinges of Zayn’s own Pakistani heritage. However, Zayn has occasionally let his aesthetic slip into generic pop-R&B background noise… while the Taylor Swift duet “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” was a massive hit, it perhaps best exemplified how Zayn could potentially have his uniqueness watered down by the major label pop machine, and slip into pop star anonymity.
A year after releasing their sophomore album Repeating History, Amarionette are back with the phenomenal new single “Modern Disco.” The infectious, funky jam puts the spotlight squarely on the band’s superb pop songcraft, channeling Michael Jackson and The 1975 within the framework of a groovy instrumental that retains the band’s technicality. However, the real star of the track is lead singer Quin White, who channels vintage MJ and flawlessly delivers some of the catchiest earworms you’re likely to hear all year. Don’t sleep on this one.
For those of you who don’t live in France (well, for every one of you), let’s introduce Mat Bastard. Mat has been the leader of french rock band Skip The Use, which popularity has been growing during the 2010’s, until the band’s breakup announcement by the end of 2016. With Shaka Ponk, they were the two bands that brought rock back to the mainstream radios or TV channels in France, and for this, we owe them a lot. But when Mat Bastard, charismatic leader of the late band, announced this album, we didn’t really know what to expect. A solo record is a hit-or-miss, and this one is clearly a hit. Did you think that the man would heed the siren song of commercial pop ? That he would botch it up in order to release a record as quickly as possible ? Well that is totally incorrect. Continue reading →