About a year ago, Toronto-based artist Julien Bowry quietly began producing music under his untradition moniker with the release of the demo-esque “black boy” and the more polished-off single, “new drugs.” Both of which provided an introductory look into the potential of his blues, rock, and soul fusion to great effect. And while his musical output went silent thereafter, Bowry has obviously been working on his craft since then. During the interim, he’s joined the roster over at People’s Champ Management; then last week, he officially debuted a two-track EP — Crack/Desire — as part of his more formal introduction as a musician; while today he released his first music video for the song “Crack.” Like his previous releases, these new songs seamlessly blur several genres together with “Crack” adding more hip-hop elements into the fold with snapping instrumentation and a faster flow. “Desire,” on the other hand, leans heavily into soul territory, almost gospel with the organ in the background and Bowry’s accompanying vocal display. Stream it below:
Released on Valentine’s Day, “Short” is the first single and formal introduction to UK-based producer, J Rick. While this might be considered his first solo outing, J Rick is most notably known through his work with Octavian as part of their collective, Essie Gang, previously producing “Party Here,” "Hands,” and “Lightning.” The video for “Short” — directed by Armin Druzanovic — is a conceptual piece looking to capture the essence of summer; scenes revolve around a house party, a half-pipe, and a general sense of thrill-seeking. It’s the perfect precursor for the warmer months to come. What’s more: last year, I described “Hands” as being somewhere between a James Blake and Mount Kimbie production, and “Short” holds true to that statement with a glitchy, samba-inspired, instrumental. Look out for J Rick’s upcoming mixtape, No Retreat No Surrender, coming out soon.
Around midnight, Sonder returned with the release of a new song called “What You Heard.” It’s a welcome addition to their already small discography, as they’ve been focused on quality over quantity since the group’s inception. And maybe, just maybe, this might be indicative of a new project, but then again, you never know with these guys. Fingers crossed, though — they haven’t released anything outside of their recent radio show since last year’s loosie, “One Night Only.”
Baby Keem probably isn’t someone you’ve heard of before and he’s seemingly appeared out of thin air, but after a few placements on TDE’s Black Panther soundtrack, and Jay Rock’s Redemption, Keem is slowly becoming more of a household name.The Sound of Bad Habit is his newest release — executively produced by CardoGotWings — and it’s a short but sweet project that immediately grabs your attention by how ignorantly fun it is. The high energy production complements the knucklehead lyrics perfectly, and to be honest, it’s hard to stop listening with a replayable runtime of 22 minutes.
Subversively enigmatic as ever, ✘O ✘V ✘T is back at it again with the Halloween release of his latest EP, 001. I still don’t know much about the Montreal-based artist but lately he’s been releasing things with a bit more structure and consistency than usual. Hopefully, he keeps things up and his presence only increases from here on out.