Single Reviews: 17 May 2023: Evelyn Cools, Buck St. Thomas, Tuelo, MOONRiiVR, Flavio Lemelle

Photo by Tibor Krizsak

Evelyn Cools - Control 


Evelyn Cools is a singer songwriter operating on the more alternative side of country. Cools's recent single, "Control", is about embracing the fear of letting go, and is a sweeping testament to her ability to craft relatable and accessible songs twinged in maudlin balladry without being too commercial or appealing to cheap emotion. Cool was born in Belgium but has come to age globetrotting between Hong Kong, Budapest, London. Now situated in the US, Control is the second single from Cools' upcoming EP Wilder Mind, which comes out on June 2nd.

Buck St. Thomas - Quiet Thrills

indie folk

Rhode Islander Buck St Thomas concocts just the right amounts of slacker indifference and melodic prowess on his recent single "Quiet Thrills". There is a coming-of-age sentiment in the lyrics about being unsure of our own confusion ("I think I'm thinking too hard") before waking into a focused chorus that rises into ambitious hookiness without comprising its acoustic body of guitar, bass, light percussion, piano, reversed guitar, and St Thomas's vocals, which can hit intimate quietisms then belt out lungs full of air, all while gyrating around colourful melodies.  

Tuelo - Queen of Nothing 

folk rock

Hailing from South Africa, but now based between New York City and Dublin, there is no denying the power of singer songwriter Tuelo's voice on her recent single, "Queen of Nothing". Tuelo's voice doesn't just check all the boxes, it's one that speaks more to the heart than the ears, standing out as a diamond in the rough amongst the somewhat cluttered production of this radio remix. However, this is an all-around-enjoyable lament on the strength of creating our own ideologies and sticking to them. 

MOONRiiVR - "Blonde Hair Now" 

psychedelic folk

Newly formed Torontonian psych folk outfit MOONRiiver gently introduce themselves on their debut single "Blond Hair Now". Featuring vocalist Gavin Gardiner and guitarist James Robertson's intimate interplay of delicate guitars and even more breakable vocals, the musicians turn a quotidian event like changing your hair colour into something deeper; an investigation of the distance created in relationships by time. Taken from their debut album, Vol. 1, MOONRiiVR may not be making a claim for ingenuity, content with chilling on the tried-and-tested, instead, they are making one for viability; for a debut single, this feels as wonderfully aged as an expensive wine, and just as sedative. 

Flavio Lemelle - Tribes

experimental electronic

North Carolinian composer and producer Flavio Lemelle may be a professional have worked on major productions and achieved academic success with a Master's degree in Music, but that doesn't mean he can't let his hair down and get experimental. Seemingly unbound from the restrictions of professionalisms or academia, "Tribes" sees Lemelle free to manipulate sounds from self-built software in a kind of ultra-present, perception-shattering stew of syncopated rhythms, odd chops, and a potent kick drum sound. It may not have much of a narrative structure, but it says what it needs to through to the obscurity of its creative constitution.