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Local Music Singles Roundup: April 2024

Local Music Reviews

The SLUG team is back to deliver the musical medicine that offers relief as you’re being edged by the broken promises of spring’s coming. With genres as varied as the weather patterns, April’s Local Music Singles Roundup will be your umbrella in the showers, from breakout hardcore band Nadezhda to a debut single from rapper Willy Lowe.


DEBIT Records
Street: 01.23
Nadezhda = Don’t Trust Anybody + BUIO OMEGA

Twirling around in a black shawl like Stevie Nicks is great, but what if it was more hardcore? Self-described as “hardcore’s Fleetwood Mac,” Nadezhda lives up to that saying with their electrifying sound. The lyrics on “Battery,” a single from their debut EP, are full of rage, angst and sorrow: “They’re all out to test me / My will to survive.” The guitar in the introduction slowly leads the way for percussion and bass to follow. Crashing and burning is one way to describe the aura of “Battery,” as the raw sound of Nadezhda enhances how a listener feels in the world. Nadezhda is a great example of how you shouldn’t be afraid to break boundaries and restrictions, as well as how versatile a genre can be with a dash of creativity. This is the inspiration that many emerging musicians can look forward to, and it’s a message Nadezhda seems to send out through their music. –Litzi Estrada


Street: 02.16
octbrfrst = The Weeknd falsetto + Joji (slowed + reverb)

Musician and producer octbrfrst’s genre of lo-fi, bedroom R&B is not groovy enough to be considered trip-hop, not jazzy enough to fall into the category of vaporwave, but just moody enough to belong somewhere on the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack or a sultry, slo-mo anime edit on TikTok. His latest single “Eclipse” features echoey beats caked in airy, dream-pop synths. The vague, disaffected mumblings are difficult to parse, though I imagine the lyrics are on par with what you’d expect to find on a playlist called “Toxic Love Songs” (or something equally emo). “Eclipse” was released alongside two alternate versions—one sped up, one slowed and reverbed—but the lazy tempo and pitched-up vocal whine of the original already feels chopped and screwed. What it lacks in originality it makes up for in sheer boldness; a track primed for brooding about your romantic trials and tribulations. –Asha Pruitt

The Painted Roses
“Get My Shit Together”

Street: 12.15
The Painted Roses = First Aid Kit + Fleetwood Mac + Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros

While The Painted Roses’ roots stem from Northern Utah, their funky, psychedelic petals catch wind to the West, smelling raw, rustic, sweet and full of soul in their recent single “Get My Shit Together.” Nostalgic, dreamy backup vocals urge on the bruising lyrics, sure to find their anchor in any wandering soul. Lead singer Allie Harris navigates the labyrinth of whimsical instrumentals with intense bravery in her voice, even if she doesn’t quite know which direction to go next. Lyrics such as “stuck inside your storm cloud / Know that I can get out / But I won’t let go,” tell of an inner battle between the sanctuary of a rocky relationship and hair-raisingly terrifying independence. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps with this psych-folk tune that you can both line dance and melodramatically sob to. This garden of roses pricks your finger in just the right way, with soulful, folksy vulnerability. –India Mendoza

Raspberry Protocol
“Maybe Tomorrow”

Street: 01.27
Raspberry Protocol = Cavetown + Olivia Olson

Raspberry Protocol’s new track “Maybe Tomorrow” starts off with a guitar sliding into a slouchy rhythm. It emanates the feeling of sliding into a slump. As the song takes shape, I imagine a walk on a rainy day. The rhythm drags its feet, hitting at the tail-end of the beat as lead singer and guitarist Kiwi lays on ballad-like vocals. While the lyrics are vulnerable, sad and relatable, the sound of the singer’s voice and the music itself are what truly create the feeling of the song. As listeners, we can use music to cure our sadness but more importantly, we can use music as a friend to sit with. “Maybe Tomorrow” is a ballad for the winter months and it came at the perfect time. I can’t wait to see Raspberry Protocol’s next release. –Harper Haase

Steez Radio Airwavez

Street: 02.17
Steez Radio Airwavez = Mr. Kitty x The Flaming Lips + DOPE LEMON

The morning dew shoegaze of a daydream vibration radiates profoundly throughout Steez Radio Airwavez’ musical gems. “TG3” dazzles with a reverb slide and that oh-so-sweet lullaby of twaddle strums, making a crystalized reflection of solo songwriter Weston White’s orchestral virtue. The heavenly swiftness draws out a majestic timbre while staying true to its alt-rock roots. White creates an aura that feels like discovering a Studio Ghibli film on VHS, but all the beautiful watercolors and pen strokes bleed into abstract shutter shows. If the sky-sailing plucks of his electric fingerwork doesn’t sweep you away, the pulsating throb of the almost-organic synthesizer will shoot you into another dimension. Parts from the track seem mechanical and futuristic, but become interlaced with a hybrid of sights and sounds—I can hear direct inspiration from Gorillaz and The Voidz. I can’t wait to see what the Airwavez will transmit next! –Alton Barnhart

Willy Lowe
“Love, Lowe”

Back Over.
Street: 02.14
Willy Lowe = Vince Staples + Earl Sweatshirt

Willy Lowe’s EP “Love, Lowe’’ starts off with “The Pacific Ocean In My Palm” which feels so mellow and lyrical, like abstract, alternative rap. It’s something I’d play in the background while my friends and I hang out. This song loosely reminds me of Vince Staples because of Lowe’s introspective lyricism. “The Pacific Ocean In My Palm” depicts a faster paced beat and subtle trumpets in the background. It’s nice. The lyrics share recurring themes of a broken heart, messy relationships and finding love, coupled with an Earl Sweatshirt-esque flow and slow jazz beats. “The Pacific Ocean In My Palm” undoubtedly showcases Lowe as not only a musician, but a storyteller crafting a narrative through lyricism. –Kyra Cortez

Read more Local Music Singles Roundups here:
Local Music Singles Roundup: March 2024
Local Music Singles Roundup: February 2024