ONES TO WATCH - APRIL 2021
Artists You Need To Hear About Right Now
Four unmissable artists, all in one place. The team at Slow Motion Panic Masters has more incredible musicians for you all to pay attention to right now, or regret missing out on some of the most exciting music the world has to offer.
But first, make sure to follow our spotify playlist with the link below and tune in to hear a regularly updating stream of sensational underground appreciation:
SABIYHA - LONDON, UK
Sabiyha: Spotify / Instagram / Facebook
If the world was a fair place, Sabiyha would already be on your radar. This unmissable, Croydon-based, British-Guyanese artist released three singles in 2020 that established her as a champion of unrepresented voices. Most notably, she concretises the importance of her mother as a leader on ‘Choorile’, and references her dual heritage on debut single ‘Bird’, a delicate display of strength in the midst of heartbreak.
2021's standout single ‘Lullaby’ has further seen Sabiyha hone her sound. The track glistens with beautifully layered voices, her grandmother introducing and warmly concluding a song that is, in large part, a tribute to her work as a mother and matriarch. Other voices are threaded through the background, distilling the tenderness of a family gathering, building tangible moments of identity, and highlighting the importance of learning from one's elders. However, its Sabiyha powerful vocal presence that remains the pilar around which the track builds its soundscape of claps, laughs, hums, and breaths – the unmistakable, ever-compelling sound of a loving community.
However, Sabiyha's musical feats don't end with 'Lullaby'. Her most recent single, ‘Undone’, features a far more abrasive sound, with scattered drums providing a base for Sabiyha to vent her frustrations toward stereotypical depictions of sex. Throughout the song, she works towards sexual autonomy, asserting her own self-understanding through FKATwigs-esque staccato vocals in a track that oozes with genuine empowerment. Bursting with creativity and heart, Sabiyha has more than proven her worth as an eclectic artist who finds undeniable strength in her ability to push boundaries. Do not look past her.
- FIN COUSINS (@fincousins)
INTERROGACIÓN AMOR - MADRID, SPAIN
interrogación amor: Spotify / Instagram
interrogación amor is a band with a vision. Straight from the deepest depths of the Madrid lo-fi scene, this four-person ensemble seems to have burst into the underground fully-formed. Their sound, a dejected kind of electronica mixed with autotuned vocals and bursts of rock, is unmistakable, as is their impeccable sense of aesthetic. Black, white, and purple make up the colour-scheme of their debut 2020 album, vómito y mariposas (vomit and butterflies), which the band itself summarizes brilliantly in their Spotify artist description: “love letters with autotune”.
Sonically variegated and thematically sound, it is clear from this album that interrogación amor is willing to look at young love from every single angle. The sister tracks ‘chicas guapas’ and ‘chicos feos’ (‘pretty girls’ and ‘ugly boys’) explore the experiences of a young bisexual man who finds himself falling for two people at once. The more upbeat ‘tú y yo’ bursts with the intensity of youthful true love, whereas ‘vómito’ and ‘mala fama’ grapple with disillusionment following failed relationships. Every song has something new to offer to the conversation which, in true angsty teen fashion, remains gloriously melodramatic throughout. “I wanna kiss you, or jump off a building” sings Javier Sanz in ‘chicas guapas’ – and let’s be honest now, haven’t we all been there?
Well, maybe you haven’t, and that's fine! Love, after all, is a multicoloured, endlessly personal experience. But interrogación amor is just getting started. With the re-opening of live music venues in the horizon and countless diaries ready to be filled with often queer, often lovesick lines, this band shows no signs of slowing down. You would be wise to keep an eye on them.
- AINHOA SANTOS GOICOECHEA (@ainhoa.jpeg)
BOOSHKA - DEVON, UK
Booshka: Spotify / Instagram / Facebook
BREAKING NEWS: the Riot grrrl subculture is making a comeback, and we have Booshka to thank for it. Confident, fierce, and absolutely unapologetic, this female-fronted grunge band from Totnes are reviving punk with their impressive debut EP, Mole. And oh boy, it's hard not to listen to this one on repeat.
To begin with you have 'Moth Girl', a biting, entrancing track immersed in dark imagery and featuring a captivating guitar solo alongside powerful lead vocals. 'Sleep Powder', while a tamer performance, is also a fantastic track that showcases Booshka’s diverse musical talent and creative integrity. Beautiful lead vocals and dreamy backing voices create a hazy soundscape that allows the bass to infiltrate the mix with its own unique sound. Finally, the marvellously witty Spam for Dinner thrusts gender politics to the forefront. Entwining fun, Courtney Barnett-esque guitar riffs with feminist lyricism akin to Courtney Love's, this track is a fast favourite that will be prove relatable to anyone who have ever experienced oppression at the hands of old-fashioned patriarchal ideals. The lyric "It's not a man’s world, but it sure feels like it", accompanied by a superbly catchy guitar hook, really hit home.
It’s this kind of uninhibited self-expression that gives Booshka a powerful edge, an energetic vibe that must be absolutely explosive in their live performances. Right now, I can only hope I will be able to catch a Booshka gig someday but, in the meantime, I can only urge you to stream Mole. Really, you're missing out.
- OLIVE ANNALISE (@oliveannalise)
DIPS - LONDON, UK
DIPS: Spotify / Instagram / Facebook
A South London MC with effortless style; liquid delivery and perfectly-selected cadences coalesce when DIPS takes the mic. For years, this artist has provided the underground with unmissable sonic experiences, and still the only negative you could possibly find in DIPS’ music is that there isn’t more of it.
Possessing a confident delivery and a capacity to absorb whatever instrumental he’s presented with, DIPS is an artist who knows precisely what they’re doing. Collaborating with long-time producer LO-WU and the extraordinary Mundu, new track ‘BSL’ is (in my mind) the rapper at his most supreme. Though versatile in his capacity to excel in a number of different genres and styles, when DIPS gets involved on a 2 Step beat he elevates himself to a whole new realm. Laying down a beat that sounds almost like it time traveled directly from 2002, ‘BSL’ is every bit a classic-sounding instrumental. Add DIPS and Mundu's masterful delivery to the equation, and that leaves ‘BSL’ as one of the best underground songs we’ve heard in 2021. You heard it here first: make sure you’re not sleeping on DIPS and co.
- BEN WHEADON (@wheadsauce)
Fin Cousins is a postgraduate literature student studying at Kings College London. He loves writing, music and sport and he has now completely given up waiting for Love Island to accept his application. He also made our logo.
Olive Annalise is a music production student from Bristol whose interests include poetry, sound design and film. In her spare time, she indulges in wine mom humor and enjoys telling people she can speak French, although her Duolingo owl would disagree.
This article was edited by Ainhoa Santos Goicoechea (pronounced "I-know-ah"), a culturally confused Creative Writing postgraduate student from the Basque Country, Spain. She is passionate about film, music and politics, and she should probably know more than she does about all three.
Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based at the University of Oxford. He is also a Fleet Foxes shill.
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