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63: MELLOW BOPS from JASON HEETER, BONETIRED, ALEX HELSBY, AIMEE PENDLEBURY and APRIL MOON...

Our Mellow Bops Playlist has become one of our crowd favourites since it's collection started in 2023, and with it became the discovery of hundreds of alt-folk, chill-pop, acoustic and slow RnB tracks weekly. This week, we proudly add five tracks to that playlist: and you can find out more about them below...

 

Jason Heeter, Jessie Schupbach - I'll See You Then

'this dream team of songwriters paint the struggles of January blues'

📍Missouri, USA

🔉MELLOW BOPS PLAYLIST🔉

Blending alt-folk, americana, blues and soft rock into a spell of melancholy winter thawing to an optimistic future, the soulful tones of Jessie Schupbach and Jason Heeter join forces in harmony in latest release 'I'll See You Then'. With comforting guitar warmth and a laid back feel, this dream team of songwriters paint the struggles of January blues, whilst reassuring us that better times are on the horizon come Spring. Both vocals compliment each other effortlessly, carrying hopeful lyricism in turn in the verses, and perfectly matched in harmony in the choruses. Wrapped in an easy listening arrangement of subtle drums, a grounded bass line and an all-embracing piano line, this track takes you back to familiar times of longing - that feeling that will return every year and will always be overcome when the sun comes back out. If you're in need of an uplifting track to get you through the inevitable grey skies, find light in Jessie and Jason's latest release. (Released 26th January 2024).



Bonetired - To Be A Lord (acoustic session)

'enough edge to make your skin crawl'

📍Falmouth, UK

🔉MELLOW BOPS PLAYLIST🔉

Opening with mesmerising vocal quivers placed within complex harmony, Bonetired's acoustic session of 'To Be A Lord' is a head-first dive into dark forests and soul-searching quests: the staple huskiness of lead vocalist Dan's voice taking you through journeys of discovery and conflicting narratives. With enough edge to make your skin crawl, this haunting track is a true reflection on the band's undeniable musicality - their ability to transport any listener to the darkest corners of their minds with subtle arrangements and intricate production coming naturally as a collective of like-minded creatives. Having joined forces in Falmouth before playing across UK and Europe over the years, everything from the ghostly synth backbone and mysterious counter melodies in the bass, to their cinematic soundscape of echoes and whispers proves that they fully encapsulate their alt-rock sound with everything they create, unafraid of bending rules and merging genres to continue their growth as a band. (Released 1st March).



Alex Helsby - i don't need you here

📍Harpenden, UK

🔉MELLOW BOPS PLAYLIST🔉

Delicately placed between folk-rock and alt-indie, self-produced Alex Helsby's latest release 'i don't need you here' is a heart-tearing take on walking away from a troubled relationship, complete with evocative backing vocals and an ever-mellow acoustic guitar to paint a scene of nostalgia and sorrow. With an agonisingly raw vocal performance, Alex's upbringing of all things Hozier, Bon Iver and Tom Odell contribute to the poignant feeling you get when listening to this third single from the Harpenden-based artist, years of working on his sound all leading to this intricately crafted track. Mixed by Dan Myers, every element of this song is placed perfectly within the wandering thoughts of our minds, Alex's introverted lyricism and DIY approach adding to this authentic front. A crowd favourite at gigs, 'i don't need you here' is soon to be in all your deep-in-thought playlists, it's certainly in ours. (Released 1st March).



Aimee Pendlebury - Headcounts

'Born out of nights of insomnia, the North West based songwriter leans into her intricate lyricism and carefully crafted melodies for this haunting track'

📍Wigan, UK

🔉MELLOW BOPS PLAYLIST🔉

As a sophomore single, the ever eerie 'Headcounts' is a deep dive into Aimee Pendlebury's alt-indie sound after debut single 'La Di Da' of 2022. Born out of nights of insomnia, the North West based songwriter leans into her intricate lyricism and carefully crafted melodies for this haunting track - whilst a soundscape of echoes and distortion depict the ongoing mental conflicts within worrying minds and tired thoughts. After capturing the hearts of BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio in previous years, Aimee cuts through to a much more personal and vulnerable side to her writing in her 2024 release, offering up darker sonic palettes and self-questioning verses in an internal battle against negative thoughts. Produced by Ben Grimshaw, what once was a stripped back track is now an ever-building wall of sound - gritty guitar counter melodies and alarm-like glockenspiel lines adding to the feeling of not being able to fall asleep and run away from intrusive thoughts and anxiety-filled worries. (Released 23rd February).



APRIL MOON BAND, Kirzy - Happy Place

'oozing folk-pop optimism'

📍Liverpool, UK

🔉MELLOW BOPS PLAYLIST🔉

If you're on the hunt for a feel-good, acoustic-focused track for sun-glimpsed spring days, let us introduce you to APRIL MOON and Kirzy's latest single 'Happy Place'. Oozing folk-pop optimism, this collaboration of artists came from the sea-soaked island of Fuerteventura, dispite their initial meeting in the slightly less tropical paradise of Liverpool last year. Written as a soundtrack to that place you long for when stuck inside on a grey day, 'Happy Place' is packed with upbeat drum shuffles, ever-warming guitar counter melodies and infectious vocal harmonies to create a message of hope and togetherness despite whatever may be happening around you: something everyone could use in today's world. A welcome addition to our acoustic playlist, stream 'Happy Place' this Spring for guaranteed positivity. (Released 27th February 2024).


 

As always, you can find all the latest hand-picked goodness from Local & Live Media over on our Official Spotify Playlists, as linked below!



Review No. 63

by Meg Shaw, Local & Live Media

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