Single Reviews: 5 November 2023: body / negative, Joseph Shabason, B.Miles, Laura Misch, Frog

 Photo by Roma Kaiuk🇺🇦

body / negative - Everett (feat. Midwife)


Andy Schiaffino is the LA-based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist behind the dreamy and elusive musical project body / negative. "everett" is a single taken from the artist's upcoming album of the same name, and features Madeline Johnston, AKA Midwife, on co-production-duties. The duo have produced a truly stunning dream pop single that brings the listener to the depths of the artist's oceanic emotional world. All hazy with distortion, bending guitar lines, and subtle percussion, Schiaffino's angelic voice helps paint a serene yet complicated atmosphere that muses on the confounding aspects of human attachment ("Why do I still need you? Why do I still love you?"). It's through this questioning and the slowly explorative nature of the music that body / negative grapples with emotions in a way that is both accessible and inspiring for the audience. This single is a fantastic teaser for the upcoming album out this December. 

Joseph Shabason - Welcome To Hell


Torontonian artist Joseph Shabason depicts a gentler version of the netherworld on "Welcome To Hell", a single taken from his recent album of the same name. Inspired by its namesake, Toy Machine's seminal skateboarding video, Shabason, a saxophonist by trade, unearths questions about pain and pleasure. Is suffering a necessary part of happiness? By juxtaposing heavenly ambient pop in the vein of Peter Gabriel on downers with the visual aspect of skateboarders busting themselves open for the love of their practice, Shabason compels the listener to challenge their ideas of what is desirable. Over 7 minutes of a repeating and roaming melody, soothing ambiences and strange electronics blend with calming vocal harmonies with pushing persistence. While getting through the track without dozing off may seem like a feat of endurance, by the time you come out the other end, you are left with a feeling of accomplishment and a sense of ease despite the heavy subject matter. 

B.Miles - Backseat Lovers

bedroom pop

The Big Apple songwriter B.Miles takes her sophisticated brand of alt-pop and embellishes it with humorous lyrics and sharp production on her recent single "Backseat Lovers", an earworm of an uplifting tune lifted from the new album Different Pages. While not exactly experimental nor wholly traditional, the song plays it safe with cool nonchalance and all the better for it. B.Miles doesn't complicate her simple approach with pretentious flair, opting for straightforward songwriting that gets the job with an air of buoyancy communicated in the gently intense vocals and wide stereo spread of guitars, patterned drums, and strange electronic textures. "Backseat Lovers" is certainly capable of getting the toes tapping, all while amusing with its carefree, somewhat snarky attitude.  

Laura Misch - Light Years

indie pop

From the recent album "Sample The Sky", "Light Years" is an intoxicating new single from UK artist Laura Misch. Sultry vocals that emphasize the emotional subtleties of Misch's warm voice play across urbane saxophone lines, ASMR-like sound effects, and snappy electronic percussion. While all of these elements are rich, they are not exactly easy for the listener to piece together. Instead, they invite us to assemble meaning from the disparate elements. Ultimately, this offers an experience with more depth than your standard jazz-pop tune. What each listener draws from this exotic track will be personal, yet Misch places enough cues around her elegant music to ensure the destination is worthwhile.  

Frog - Maybelline

garage rock

If you're in the market for some awesomely upbeat and cleverly catchy garage rock then look no further than "Maybelline", the enticing new single from New York brothers Danny and Steve Bateman, collectively known as Frog. Taken from the duo's upcoming album, Grog, "Maybelline" is the epitome of infectious songwriting, and its snappy melody is a veritable mood-lifter, its words a sweet investigation of personality and the mysteries of the people who catch our attention. How exactly did Frog develop such a knack for penning such summery tunes? Maybe they're born with, maybe it's Maybelline.