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Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Welcome to the inaugural edition of "Soul Notes", the ultimate virtual notebook full of notable artists and alternative music, where you can explore the tones and themes of the latest releases!

In page one of Soul Notes, delve into an array of captivating releases from talented artists, Cari, The KTNA, Cherise, Dakota Jones, Rukmani, and Nil Bambu. So, whether you're a connoisseur of alternative music or a curious explorer seeking fresh sonic experiences, get ready to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of "Soul Notes," where each release celebrates the diverse realm of alternative sounds to inspire your spirit, and leave an indelible mark on your musical journey.

Tone: Sad girl galore

Theme: Heartbreak, Broken Promises

Genre: Alt R&B

Called up my friends, told them that there's a dog on the loose.

- CARI, Colder in June (2023)

CARI unveils raw, open wounds in this captivating melody. 'Colder in June' will envelop you into an ocean of vulnerability as CARI confesses her heart has become a victim of a heart-rending, one-sided love that needs to end. The strings surge with intensity, amplifying stormy emotions of chaos, an eruption no longer contained. The gradual crescendo of live instruments mirrors CARI's awakening that a lover's web of lies is what drove them apart. 'Colder in June's' rawness leaves us to wonder where CARI will take us next.

Tone: Shadowy Aura, Seductive

Theme: Broken Trust, Loyalty, New Found Confidence

Genre: Grunge-Soul

The KTNA returns with an alluring number, confronting the types of friends that hide behind two faces. 'Frenemies' reflects the duo's ability to unearth hard-hitting conversations of betrayal. The persistent pulse of the drums supports the sisters' honeycombed vocals, maintaining a steady pace that guides listeners through profound emotions, allowing space for optimism and the promise of brighter days. Expected to appear on their upcoming EP, 'Frenemies' stands tall as an empowering anthem for those embracing confidence and resilience on their journey as they leave the toxic bullsh*t behind.

Tone: Sunshine Joy, Radiance, Pride

Theme: Paying Homage, Celebration, Children of Windrush

Genre: UK Soul

"'Calling' is a celebration of the ones that came before us.

CHERISE'S latest offering encapsulates the deep connection to her roots as she pays homage to her elders who journeyed to England as part of the Windrush generation. Released on Windrush Day (22nd June), Cherise seasons the day of remembrance with radiance interlinked with an inner pride boldly worn. CHERISE comments, '"Calling' is my celebration of being a 2nd gen Jamaican Brit! It's my way of rejecting any belief that I need to choose either side of myself because both are mine to claim. With Windrush Day bringing the 75th anniversary of the first post 2nd World War mass passage of Caribbeans to the UK, I dedicate this song to my Grandparents and celebrate the culture I'm proud to have inherited."

Tone: Rich and Vibrant

Theme: Female Self-Preservation

Genre: Vintage Blues/Modern Soul

Heartbreakers Space Club acts as a return to the band’s roots, experimenting and genre-bending as was the journey across a string of EPs and singles released prior to Black Light. All is well for the album’s closing track ‘Countdown’ as this odyssey draws to a close for the return journey back to your own world. The band explain that with this track, ‘suddenly you're back in the middle of nowhere, nothing but stars, but it doesn't matter because you're hand in hand, off to the next adventure.’ A galloping end that looks towards whatever may happen next and, for Dakota Jones, the possibilities are endless.

Tone: Captivating, Sultry and Vibrant

Theme: Celebrating Black Beauty and Love

Genre: R&B/Soul

Speaking about the inspiration behind ‘So Fine’, and how the song came about, Rukmani says, “I was going through a rough patch, struggling with the realities of life. The person who I thought cared for me had too many demons of his own, and I couldn't confide in him about my problems. I refused to let my problems affect me, despite the depression I was feeling. One night, Duduboy played me a sick beat, and I felt the urge to let it all go, it felt like the only way to let my emotions out. So, I popped open a bottle of wine, and before I knew it, ‘So Fine’ was born”.

Tone: Unapologetic and Sultry

Theme: Vulnerability, Love, Intimacy and Truth

Genre: Soul/R&B

This record entices audiences for their undivided attention as Nil implores her lover to surrender his. Riddled with remnants of a once-thriving relationship turned battlefield, she croons: "Don't you go on, I know you like to disappear / Tell me who you call when you’re running away.”

Bambu’s wordplay conveys a powerful yearn for affection woven with hints of despair — reminiscent of Whitney Houston’s 1985 smash, “Saving All My Love For You”. The airy production evokes a sense of serenity despite accompanying lyrics that explore complex themes of duplicity and abandonment. Her vivid use of imagery paints a clear picture for listeners like never before: “Tell me who you call when you’re running low and you need someone to fill you up?”


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