Discover The Music Review Mixtape Vol. 18

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.

Empty Machines ‘Luna’

What started as a solo project from the hand of Thomas Crawford eventually became a duet with the inclusion of the talented singer Jodie Helena, resulting in this formidable project from Glasgow, Scotland, known as Empty Machines.

Like many other independent bands, this duo takes pride in their DIY approach, being a group that writes, records and mixes all their music at their home studio. Naturally, this has granted them more control over their creative process and this is evident in their official debut track Luna.

This piece starts as a surreal ambient song with electronic arrangements and Jodie’s mesmerizing voice establishing an immersive atmosphere. Eventually, this composition escalates into a more vivid and energetic sonic journey that invades your senses. By the end, this ambitious build-up culminates spectacularly, leaving you with a highly satisfying sensation of relief.

Luna is a strong debut, as well as a very interesting one, the start of something both promising and admirable.

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Cypher Unknown – State of Emergency

Nottingham-based Cypher Unknown has come a long way. Following the release of his self-titled EP in 2020, this artist’s output has been on an upward curve, refining his wordplay and showcasing some of his most polished work in recent memory. Such is the case for the single State Of Emergency, a collaborative track with fellow artists DUKE01 and Lethargy.

With lyrics depicting the deceitful behaviour of politicians, State Of Emergency combines the aggressiveness of hardcore punk with well-thought-out verses.

The intense delivery recalls the 90s hip-hop underground scene, almost shouting rhymes in the most explicit way possible, which grants a lot of value to the social commentary of this jam.

State Of Emergency is part of Crisis Point, Cypher Unknown’s debut album, released on June 25th, an LP that hip-hop heads should not miss.

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Macy – ‘Shoulders Back’

Following a marvellous streak of accomplishments, including more than one million plays on streaming services, the release of her critically acclaimed EP Words4Luv, and multiple live shows all over the UK, Abertillery native Macy continues to prove her versatility as an artist with the launch of the assertively catchy track Shoulders Back.

Embellished by its driving beat and euphoric presentation, this melody is the perfect canvas to showcase Macy’s tender voice. Additionally, its top-notch production is bold and intense, conveying its empowering lyrics flawlessly, making Shoulders Back a strong candidate for your next favourite summer tune.

Still with more music to share, including a new EP this summer, Macy is determined to make the rest of this year even more impressive than the previous one. So you better prepare to lose yourself in this absorbing, delightful pop ride.

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Chris Carbon – ‘OnlyFans’

After recently quitting a career in science to pursue his artistic dreams, Australian-English singer, songwriter, and producer Chris Carbon is here making his debut with the composition OnlyFans.

With his first official single, Chris has demonstrated his skills as a compelling storyteller. The track depicts the real-life story of a mum who after a divorce, quits her job at corporate banking to start creating adult content, leading her to invest in the property market, which changed her life for the better.

Songwriting-wise, the tune challenges the taboos and negative stigmas around women who make a living from these platforms.

Luckily, the song also delivers instrumentally, accompanying these engaging lyrics with a guitar riff as spicy as the website it refers to, emphasizing Chris’s playful vocal work even more. This impeccable balance of wholesome writing and flavoursome production makes Onlyfans an absolute treat for your ears.

Chris Carbon has made a strong statement with his launch song, showing that he isn’t afraid to speak his mind on controversial topics and is a genuine, soulful songwriter.

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Kat King ‘Baby Talk’

What started with a 2nd grader in a small town in Kansas eventually evolved into one of the most thrilling up-and-coming bands in the KC area.

Since the early age of fourteen, Kat has released plenty of material, including a 13-track album and three EPs, leaving no doubt about her passion and undisputed talent for making music.

Now as a five-piece with a good amount of experience under their belts, Kat King are preparing for their next record with the launch of the single Baby Talk.

One of the things that makes Baby Talk so important is that this tune is the first from their catalogue to be openly and unapologetically queer, drawing inspiration from a real-life romance.

Beautifully crafted, Baby Talk combines Kat’s saccharine vocals with gentle guitar strums and pulsating drums, conveying a sweet story that will put a smile on your face.

This song is the lead single of Kat King’s forthcoming EP Domestic Bliss, a work that in her own words: “juxtaposes how concepts of home and queer partnership can represent a safe haven while also being a source of anxiety living in an oppressive world.”

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Words Javier Rodriguez