Now Hear This! This week, we offer up four under-the-radar artists that deserve attention: Izzy Heltai, Meredith Lane, Irish producer Uwm., and Montreal’s Malade. All four create music distinguished by innovation, style, and harmonic balance.
We’ll bring you a new post each week, songs from which will regularly be added to our accompanying “Now Hear This” Spotify playlist.
Find all past Now Hear This! installments right here: https://v13.net/features/now-hear-this/.
Izzy Heltai – “25”
Singer-songwriter Izzy Heltai recently released his latest single/music video, “25,” a conversational song about achieving his dreams. Heltai’s unique delivery and phrasing infuse the lyrics with a kind of anxiety-ridden stoic resignation that hits like a punch to the solar plexus.
“And if I peaked in high school / Then maybe I wouldn’t care / But I was just another queer kid / And I thought that I’d be dead / By the time that I turned 20.”
“I moved back in with my mom about two months before I turned 25. I felt pretty defeated – I’d spent my entire adult life working at something that wasn’t really going anywhere. It felt like I was just beating my head against a wall over and over. I would always get into these conversations with my mom about how I thought maybe I was washed up, and too old for anything else to really happen. She would always tell me how ridiculous that was, ‘Izzy, you’re still young,’ and ‘Maybe you should just take a deep breath and be thankful instead of resentful about the things you’ve gotten to do already.’ I’m 27 now, and I still find myself feeling like this – that I’m never doing enough, or things are never moving fast enough. But I have so much time left, so why do I need it all to happen right now?”
“25” is from Heltai’s forthcoming EP, mostly myself again, that releases on October 20.
Meredith Lane – Greyhound
Greyhound, the new album from Nashville-based artist Meredith Lane, reveals a hopscotch of stylistic flavors, ranging across marinated punk, lighthearted country, and alternative.
Talking about Greyhound, Lane says:
“I created a character for this album, based off of my own personal experience and observations within America, through lots of solo travel during the pandemic. It covers mental health, love, religion, family, the culture of self-destruction, people born into vicious cycles and systems, atheism, and more. I had so much fun putting this piece together and can’t wait to share it!”
Produced by Lane and Zion Mark, a who’s who of musicians appears on the album, including Cooper Trail, Jacob Bibb, Darrell Brann, and pedal steel players that make their instruments weep luscious, drawling textures.
The title track conjures up suggestions of Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac with its creamy, swaying motion.
Uwm. – IM2
Irish producer Uwm., aka Uwmami, recently dropped a two-track EP entitled IM2, featuring vocals from Selu and Kendino. Both tracks are from her upcoming collaborative project, U4O SUZY, which releases on October 20.
“This will be my third and last project of this type for the time being, following on from 2019’s ‘Summer Series’ and 2022’s ‘Interia.’ It was amazing to be joined again by Awesimon, Omo Aston, and pinkdef. who have featured on all three projects, Selu and Kendino (featured on the last project), alongside more recent collaborators, Luthorist and Vanessa Alto, who I have been enjoying working with on some more unreleased music.”
Based in Dublin, Ireland, Uwm. merges warm guitar tones, industrial hip-hop percussion, and ambient instrumentation to create lo-fi, evocative sonic brews.
Malade – “Give Up”
Montreal-based gloss-pop singer-songwriter and producer Malade, aka Camille Brown, releases her new single, “Give Up,” produced by Damien Muller.
The lyrics drip with post-breakup bitterness tinted by mocking tangs, while the melody blends an RnB groove with surfaces of sly pop.
“I’m on the other side of a time where I had to let go of some relationships that weren’t serving me. The hyperfeminine pop persona that emerged from that pain was almost like a guardian angel or a shield to me. The next few releases from this project really reflect that sugar-coated, lacquered coping.”