Feature Opinion

Howler Presents: Fresh Flex Friday #69

I am overwhelmed by the incredible calibre of artists we get to feature this week, so powerful and deeply contrasting on each release.

We are hurtling rapidly towards the end of the year, our brains and bodies are exhausted but we can make it through when we’re treated to this level of creative excellence.

Arc The Forest – Embers
This track took me completely by surprise. I honestly have not heard anything like this from a South African band in many years. Strangely enough, of all the musical influences they list on the band’s Facebook page, the first thing I hear is not mentioned. Almost from the moment I pressed play my brain was screaming, “FOALS”. Regardless of what they remind you, the songwriting, production and emotion in this song is extraordinary and I appreciated every second of this song.

Floors – Snakeskin
I am quite unaccustomed to hearing such a contorted vocal performance from Michaela, and you may wonder why you would want to when she possesses such an incredible voice. But that being said, I am low-key obsessed with this track and think anyone who misses out on experiencing this magic will be doing themselves a gross disservice. This track is chilling and beautiful.

Mariechan – Cherry Blossom EP
This R&B/soul offering is a showcase of the last five years of Mariechan’s tireless work to build her independent voice. And we deserve this EP, it is warm and soulful where it needs to be while also guaranteeing a dancefloor hit without us having to beg for it. I’m interested to see how soon we will be hearing these tracks out in the clubs.

Dope Saint Jude – Resilient EP
The evolution of Dope Saint Jude has been an incredible journey to witness. Her new EP still encompasses the raw honesty of her previous work but we are being treated to grooves and melodies that haven’t been explored before, and its fantastic. She is writing us the anthems we didn’t know we needed, and we’re finding our voice within her art. Thank you DSJ.

Parabyl x Spirit Bomb – Endless Tide
For all it’s shortcomings, I really do bless the existence of the internet because without it we wouldn’t have magic like this. Parabyl is the Cape Town producer that I never shut up about, and here he is collaborating with a producer from Wisconsin on a wavy, rolling bass, piece of utter beauty. Our ears are once again blessed, and I am grateful.

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