Callum Pitt – Happiness

The last time we heard Callum Pitt we were completely floored by what we were hearing. On his latest single “Happiness,” the UK singer/songwriter takes what we loved about that single and just blows the doors off it with crisp clarity and a warm embrace. “Happiness” is full of life in the face of self-doubt and searching for how to get through the lows of life. Both the story and composition of the track force themselves onto a platform of strength when maybe it doesn’t want to be there. Through the help of what’s surrounding the environment of the single, Pitt’s work continues to pay off.

Freedom Baby – My Force

Freedom Baby did it – the first band to land on our Songs of the Week twice. A track that’s “open to interpretation,” “My Force” creates a feeling of connectedness, but it also hits heavy with the realization that the end is potentially nigh – to us anyway. There’s an innate, lingering fear that ‘this’ is going to come crashing down, but a rocky foundation for hope and survival is still there. What’s the ‘this’? Interpret it how you will. From the upcoming EP How You’ll Grow, you can’t help but be impressed by the three acts that compose the track – a subdued opening half, a brief intermission that gives guidance (“you are not afraid of the future”), and a finale that turns the track into a superb indie power popper that smashes minor chords into your brain. We’re ready for even more.

Realz – Hold It Down (ft. Shaqy dread)

London, UK grime artist Realz put out “Hold It Down” a while ago, but it’s new to us thanks to its accompanying visual. And, wow, we can’t believe we’ve been without it for this long. His meters, bars, and pacing are so exact, delivering clinical precision and knowledge of when to slice and when to pull back and examine. Frenetic doesn’t exactly fit in this instance. It’s fast-paced, but it holds a tight lock on how it shifts and pivots as well. Featuring Shaqy dread, who holds the track back with temperance and smooths out any rough edges, you just have to sit back and admire what’s going on here. The beat is imposing, but it never hovers or overpowers the track – you can sense the heaviness in the distance, but you never feel a dread when it slowly approaches. “Hold It Down” is on the EP On Your Marks, which you need to check out ASAP.

Tolliver – I Gotchu

“I Gotchu” is, at its core, arresting, captivating, and breathtaking. The track, from Chicago-born, LA-based Tolliver, opens with an intimate minimalism, a voice in a dark room. “I Gotchu” comes from the EP Rites, which will be out later this spring, and it’s alluring and full of temptation. But Tolliver promises a base for when the first risky step is taken. Once the horns and soft rhythm section kick in, it’s positively succulent. The hands of all involved transport you to a heavenly realm. Can you imagine a full release with tracks that flirt with similar sounds?