Single Reviews: 28 March 2023: Native Son, Romi O, Boris Rogowski, B.B.d00M, Guillem S. Benet

Native Son - Good King Pleasant


New York-based multi-instrumentalist, singer, producer, and visual artist Ano Chrispin goes by the nom de plume Native Son. On his most recent single, "Good King Pleasant", Chrispin showcases his incendiary singing voice, playful sense of melody, and clean production techniques with enough panache left over to get a coffee. While the song may not explicitly be about love, it is nevertheless romantic, hopeful, and optimistic. "There are worse things than being lonely" sings Chrispin as he shifts between sweet croons, bitter spats, and confident Sprechgesang. Featuring saxophone from Kadar Wilmington, the track encompasses dreamy guitar, atmospherics synths, and a very loud kick drum that eventually dissolves into a coda of breakbeat mayhemic wonder. 

Romi O - M2M

art pop

Idiosyncratic Israeli-born, US-based artist Romi O has released "M2M", the second single from her upcoming debut album. Not quite funky, not quite serious, the track straddles the fine line between the comically absurd and the deathly focused. Incorporating elements of indie rock, art pop, and operatic rock, the artist, who takes her stage name from one of Shakespeare's most famously ill-fated characters, makes a strong case for her skills in penning memorably upbeat tunes with a slice of the real. This song, for as nonchalant as it may seem on the surface, deals with the sickly uncertainty of decision-making. 

Boris Rogowski - Marie Marie


Colognian composer Boris Rogowski draws inspiration from the past to make something decidedly modern on the recent single "Marie Marie", which is taken from his upcoming debut album The Waste Land. Nudged into existence by the T.S. Eliot poem of the same name, Rogowski was inspired by a world in flux, by the bittersweet feeling of leaving the past behind, and a cautious optimism from the future. Gentle electronic percussion keeps a wash of strings and flutes in place, mirroring how the steadfastness of time can contain transient elements that are simultaneously harmonic and contrasting. Thankfully, this highly emotive and grande piece never becomes too soppy, a sense of style saving it  from falling into a puddle of crocodile tears. 



US producer B.B.d00M has recently dropped the single "CELLULAR DEVICE", a strange, unsettling, and all around exhilarating blast of experimental pop music. Featuring warbling synth sounds, tight drums, and unique vocals, the track muses on the complicated emotions and dark psychology that can arise from being constantly plugged into a device that is always on your person. While singing about the dangers of technology is nothing new, this elusive producer (little to no biographical information is readily available) succeeds in capturing the feeling of digital addiction with compulsive melodies, infectious mood, and a sense of disorientation that feels both real and manufactured, though never uninteresting. 

Guillem S. Benet - Dublin 


Spanish composer and pianist Guillem S. Benet is perhaps just as impressive as a globetrotter as he is a musician. Through pensive, minimal, and ultimately moving solo piano, Benet paints sonic portraits of the global cities he visits, from Colombo, Sri Lanka to Vancouver, Canada. Currently working on the "1 song 4 home" project which lends a humanitarian hand to houselessness, Benet has shared "Dublin" a warm and comforting piece from the Emerald Isle's capital. Presented in the European Parliament through the organization Homeless Entrepreneur, the piece is an ode to the rainy streets of the fair city, mimicking Dublin's rainy, grey, uninviting yet ultimately electrifying energy.