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Discover The Music Review Mixtape Vol. 13

Music Review Mixtape Vol 13 Abbey Wood

Welcome to the Music Review Mixtape. In this feature, RCM staff writer Javier Rodriguez provides a round-up of the best new music submitted to our website. Today he introduces 5 new artists, with a short, snackable music review.

Chealen – New York City Lights

What better way to start a new year of music than with our first uprising artist, Chealen is a 21-year-old songwriter/singer from Colorado with a deep appreciation for acoustic guitar, a style of music that she has developed since an early age. With fourteen years of formal piano training and eleven with guitar, Chealen’s rich background speaks volumes of her undeniable talent as a performer.

Her newest track New York City Lights is actually a remixed version of this song, which was originally part of her EP Degrees To Remember.

Embellished by a soothing piano accompaniment and her guitar proficiency, New York City Lights showcases Chealen’s sweet vocal work, demonstrating how efficient an acoustic piece can be and the strong emotional impact it can carry.

With more music to be delivered in the foreseeable future, Chealen seems destined for great things in 2023.

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CMON CMON – The Summers We Missed

The Belgian trio currently known as CMON CMON is certainly not “new” in the strict sense of the word, being a band formed decades ago but who decided to reunite in 2019. Now with a renewed vision, a new name, and different goals in mind, the one factor that remains the same after all these years is their love for music.

Throughout 2022, this group achieved great things, including a collaboration with the Grammy award nominee Alex Newport and worldwide airplay for the track The Summers We Missed.

Inspired by the real-life experiences of lead singer Jorrit Hermans, TSWM tells a story of what could’ve been, from the perspective of two teenagers who were close but never romantically involved, just to reunite many years later wondering “what if”.

Such a touching narration goes hand in hand with the jangling guitars and the endearing lyrics, exhibiting the expertise of these musicians.

Due to its absorbing theme and top-notch instrumentation, The Summers We Missed is one of those indie gems that you should not miss by any means.

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Bonded Jacky – Stacy’s Mom

Hailing from Los Angeles, artist Maddie Ballard aka Bonded Jacky aims to break the stereotypes and simplistic version that the mainstream media portrays of the queer community while also trying to give them an authentic voice, exalting their beauty and complexity through her artistic vision.

Maddie’s new offering is a cover of the 00s classic Stacy’s Mom, made famous by the Rock band Fountains of Wayne but with a cool twist, being told through a queer person’s perspective. Aside from that, this reimagining has a slower tempo and Electronic beats, in addition to Maddie’s soft voice, all of which grant this composition a sensitivity and a higher emotional value that the original version didn’t have, evoking a sense of uniqueness for this rendition.

There is no doubt that Bonded Jacky had a 2022 full of success, reaching over 10,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and achieving no less than 4 digits for every release, solidifying this performer as one to watch for in 2023.

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Abbey Wood – With A Ghost

Bringing a refreshing melting pot of Pop and R&B, singer/songwriter Abbey Wood is a Jamaican artist with a delightful and haunting sound. Such a peculiar style is the product of a wide range of influences which include (but it’s not limited to): Nessa Barrett, Maggie Lindemann, Madison Beer, Halsey, Sade, and Bring Me The Horizon, to name a few.

Pouring with a heart-aching sentiment, With A Ghost deals with the universal scenario of a deteriorating dynamic in a relationship where one person is invested and trying to make it work while the other has moved on emotionally.

Hazy vocal effects and a dreamy production adorn Abbey’s mesmerizing voice, perfectly depicting the poignancy of such a painful subject in the most elegant way possible.

Abbey Wood has shown a fantastic ability to transform human emotions into beautiful art, a talent that makes her connect with audiences as few artists can.

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LilT4nk – Money Line

Originally from Chicago, Illinois, but currently living in Lafayette, Indiana, Hip-hop artist and producer LilT4nk is a rapper who has creatively blended his raw writing style with his sharp skill set in the studio, the result is a hard-hitting take on contemporary Hip-hop.

Not a stranger to live presentations, his path has led him to perform at recognized venues in Illinois, including Cairo Ale House, Basecamp, and Club Red, among many others.

After two albums and a series of well-penned singles, LilT4nk continues delivering top-notch songs, and proof of this is his latest jam Money Line, a piece that counts with the peculiarity of having none other than Hip-hop legend Rick Ross as a special guest.

Having the concept of motivation as the theme for this song, it also talks about making money without magnifying it as many mainstream artists do. LilT4nk takes no prisoners in Money Line, delivering savage lines and hot rhymes with an immaculate flow, accentuated by the cutting-edge production and Rick’s remarkable contribution being the cherry on top.

Money Line ticks all the boxes for an unforgettable jammer, so stop what you’re doing and turn up the volume for this tune.

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Words Javier Rodriguez