Enjoy new music from Los Angeles-based boylife, indie-pop duo Magdalena Bay, and British-Ghanaian artist and producer Juls.
boylife – gelato (Youth Biking Global LLC)
Los Angeles-based Ryan Yoo, who goes by the artist name boylife, presents his debut album gelato, a 12-track project which combines tender-hearted love songs to buoyant dance tunes to a compelling effect. gelato blends the smoothness of R&B with introspective lyrics, and having been created over five years, went at what Ryan calls, “a snail’s pace.” The illustrated cover depicts a boxing scene, and while boylife never steps into the ring, the image nonetheless hints at conflicts boylife explores in his writing: the pressure to posture, to conform to some stereotypical American masculinity, or the prejudiced constraints of Asian-American maleness—Ryan has battled these things for years.
The cover art serves as a useful analogy for the struggle at the core of his art, the battle inherent in any attempt to be honest with oneself. That honesty is his artistic passion: “The goal of boylife is to be very naked,” he says. The album features fan-favorites “peas,” “bummy” and “church” — songs that established boylife as a striking voice upon their initial release in 2020. Speaking about the new album, Yoo said, “gelato is a self-portrait. I made it across four years without really planning to make an album. I like that gelato melts and you have to enjoy it while it still holds a shape. I tried to catch the moments at the center of each song the same way, gentle but knowing it’s only here for a little bit.“
Magdalena Bay – Mercurial World (Luminelle / Fat Possum)
Today, Magdalena Bay released their new album, Mercurial World (Fat Possum). Entirely written, produced, performed, mixed, and mastered by the band themselves, Mercurial World is a true expression of Magdalena Bay’s vision. This new project follows their EP, A Little Rhythm and a Wicked Feeling, released in March 2020 right. While stuck inside, Magdalena Bay turned their pent-up energy into the album: “Mercurial World is about that particular sense of madness in containment,” Lewin explains. “We live together and make art together; this immerses you in our creative, insular universe.”
The lead single, “Chaeri,” an electro-pop epic comes with a music video (directed by Luke Oralndo) which has the vibes and sensibility of a sci-fi film. Speaking on their new song, the band says, “‘Chaeri’ muses on mental health, friendship, loneliness, and control. It’s about the walls we put up and the walls we should tear down for the sake of authentic connection, and Mica’s own personal difficulties with that… We tried taking these themes and elevating them to build a big, dark world with unsettling undertones.”
Juls –Sounds of My World (LOF COLLECTIVE)
Juls, The MOBO-Award nominated British-Ghanaian artist and producer, released his brand new album, Sounds of My World. Having become a champion in African music over the past seven years, the artist and curator Juls shows the culmination of his work and transformation on this highly anticipated release. This album takes him from the background and sidelines to the front, fully ready to emerge, not only as one of the UK’s best-kept secrets but as a major talent in his own right. After many years of making a name for himself as one of the UK’s most in-demand producers, working with the likes of Mr. Eazi, WizKid, Burna Boy, Sango, Tyler The Creator, Stonebwoy, GoldLink, Lauryn Hill, Masego, and many others, Sounds Of My World functions as Juls’ definitive statement. Continuing to build what is fast becoming his signature style, the album is a seamless mixture of a variety of tonal and instrumental colors. The album borrows elements from afrobeats, ampiano, reggae, R&B, hip-hop, high-life, baile funk, jazz, and lovers rock for a unifying kaleidoscopic experience of sounds. The album features guest appearances from some of the music industry’s finest talent such as Dreamville’s Bas, Jaz Karis, Fireboy DML, King Promise, A2, DarkoVibes, Sauti Sol, Oxlade, Kojo Funds, and more. “It’s been a very long process,” Juls says about creating Sounds of My World. “I’ve been selfish and just focusing on myself. Working on my brand and sound, so I haven’t really made records for a lot of other artists. I’m excited for the world to hear what I’ve been working on.”