Single Reviews: 13 April 2024: Kai Tak, Dinah, Sundozer, Puppy Teeth, Dead Rituals

Photo by Inga Seliverstova

Kai Tak  (feat. Draag) - Jalen Rose


It's no surprise that the highly-energized, neon-glow haze of "Jalen Rose" by Kai Tak was inspired by "aimless late-night walks through Hong Kong's Wan Chai neighbourhood." Featuring Draag, this blissed-out wall of sound is built with an upbeat synth-rock backbone, topped off by soaring vocals that never demand centre stage, instead blending with the music in a compelling, sensationally pleasant, fresh, and summery cut so bent on beauty it's often spiritual. This is the third single to be released from Kai Tak's upcoming debut album, which will be released in late Spring 2024 via à la carte Records.

Dinah - Hummingbird 


The brooding sense of exoticism in "Hummingbird," a recent single by the Torontonian artist Dinah, is offset by jerky rhythms, intimately sinister vocals referencing war and the fragility of existence ("Like the hummingbird, we do what we can"), and a timeless feel achieved through underproduction, culminating in a strange-yet-beautiful song. Taken from the recently released album Dinah!, this single's straightforward and self-assured style makes it somewhat difficult to analyze, but there's certainly no issue with being able to enjoy it.

Sundozer - Still Life 


Snappy, eclectic, and confidently audacious, "Still Life" is a blistering, recently released single from Sundozer, the musical moniker of Texan songwriter and producer Christian Luis French. Recorded during the hottest summer on record in Austin with drummer Stevie Trudell, this song is taken from Sundozer's EP "Death Bloom." While the title, skeleton-emblazoned cover, apocalyptic origin story, and garage metal tendencies might hint at an exploration into darkness, French keeps things decidedly breezy.

Puppy Teeth - Black Honey 

indie rock

Hailing from the winding cobblestoned streets of Edinburgh, Scotland, Puppy Teeth is a sharp quartet that deals in psychedelic-leaning, emotive indie songwriting shrouded in a veil of textural obscurity. Composed of singer and rhythm guitarist Anna Trost, singer and lead guitarist Theo Black, bassist Ed Meltzer, and drummer Niamh Jordan, Puppy Teeth is a new ensemble founded early last year. Their recent single "Black Honey," written by Trost to address the pressure she faced from her family when deciding to pursue a career in the arts as opposed to something more steadfast, features fetching harmonies, cacophonous bursts, and an overall moody atmosphere, serving as a well-played and bittersweet ode to the unwelcoming normalcy that accompanies maturity.

Dead Rituals - Waste My Time 


Neapolitan rock songwriter and producer Andrea Caccese, A.K.A Dead Rituals, deals in heavily melodic, driving tunes. With an emphasis on youthful world-building via punchy rhythm, detached bass guitar lines, delicate guitar, and expressionistic, radio-friendly singing, the recent single "Waste My Time" is brimming with the kind of nostalgia you get at the end of a long, hot, and eventful summer.