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Global Artists Spotlight: CRiDDLE, LOCS, Niomí And More

Hear new tunes by musicians from across the world

This week's Global Artists Spotlight features musicians (from left) CRiDDLE, LOCS, Niomí and more. Photos: Courtesy of the artists; Laura Aguilera (Niomí)

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Agnes Azria – Keep It Simple

Los Angeles-based musician Agnes Azria’s new four-track EP Keep It Simple is filled with silky instrumentation, her glossy voice as well as infectious melodies. Talking about the new record, Azria said, “With Keep It Simple, I ask myself if I want to continue my manic thoughts or change the way I approach them. I’ve learned to deal with things through the effort and clarity of keeping it simple and I hope my honesty about this internal battle provides some solace and unity for my listeners.”

The Islas – “The Absence Of You”

Norwich indie rock outfit The Islas showcase their upbeat rhythms, sharp melodies and thoughtful lyricism on their new single “The Absence Of You.” The new track is off their upcoming six-track EP Oblivion. The song talks about tackling post-breakup emotions as well as the feelings of insecurities, regret and lack of confidence. In a statement, the band said, “The single is not really a love-sick song about wanting someone back, just the sensation of feeling empty and realizing that that chapter of your life has gone.”

LOCS – “Fallin”

Atlanta-based rapper LOCS’ new easy-going single “Fallin” is built upon an acoustic guitar chord progression as he delivers smooth bars with his softer approach. The track also comes with a cozy music video.

Tommy Newport – “Vanilla & Light”

Manchester-bred singer-songwriter Tommy Newport’s latest offering is the slow-paced “Vanilla & Light.” The track’s sombreness sits perfectly with Newport’s emotive vocal delivery. “I think a lot of people, including myself, spend a lot of time in their own heads questioning and doubting themselves and I believe the lyrics in this song portray one’s mental observations who may be struggling with their identity and ego, and are reaching out for a light to shine on them to prove themselves in a way,” the artist said in a statement.

Loren Gray – “Piece of Work”

Los Angeles-based pop artist Loren Gray recently released her first independent single in the shape of the saccharine “Piece of Work.” The track is a staple pop number while Gray sings about embracing everything that you are and not accepting less than what you deserve when it comes to love.

Sgmaniak – The Global Heart Awakens

Florida/New York artist Sgmaniak’s new nine-track album The Global Heart Awakens draws from jazz and neo-soul while also incorporating an electronic glaze and blending indie-soul with rockier influence to create a striking and memorable record. In a statement, the artist says, “I just want people to feel that the human spirit is the brightest light, and that nothing is impossible. If I can achieve that I’ll feel happy.”

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CRiDDLE – “All In My Head”

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter CRiDDLE’s newest single “All In My Head” highlights mental health struggles while pop production carries the track sonically. In a statement, the artist said, “Sometimes just knowing it’s ‘All in My Head’ and training myself to use my thoughts and energy differently affects not only my day, but my life. I have the power in me to be what I want to be.” This song is an intimate reflection on the struggles, and the overcoming of anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions.”

RAEYA – “Just Wanna Say”

U.S. alt-pop artist RAEYA returns with her floating new single “Just Wanna Say.” The fresh track juxtaposes electronica, indie, pop and even folk as RAEYA’s poignant vocals shine throughout. In a statement, the singer said, “I wrote this song after going through a series of painful events over a span of several years and it felt like the pain and hard times would never end. This song was inspired by my story, and I wanted to write something that would give hope and encouragement to other people out there too.”

Niomí – “Snow”

London-based singer-songwriter Niomí’s new single “Snow” is a hypnotizing alt R&B laced offering that captures her angelic voice perfectly. The track is off her forthcoming debut EP Susurrus and describes her yearning desire to turn over a new leaf after a breakup. She said in a statement, “’Snow’ is about that point after a relationship ends where you start to feel ok again. I love the image of freshly fallen snow and how pure and clean it is.”

Linda Varg – “Standing In The Middle Of The Road”

Swedish pop artist Linda Varg’s latest track is an empowering anthemic tune called “Standing In The Middle Of The Road.” According to the artist, the song applies to folks who’ve gone through emotional hardships and gotten back up stronger. “The message is that you should never let anyone, anything, or any circumstances run you over. What might seem like a failure, broken dreams, or insurmountable obstacles or challenges can instead be the passage or opening to something much greater than you could ever have imagined. So do whatever you want in life and don’t live as a victim of your own bad thoughts.”

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Chinwe – Scar Tissue EP

London singer-songwriter Chinwe turns up with just the right blend of soul and darkly delectable trip-hop influences on her new EP Scar Tissue. We’re treated to heartfelt, intimate stories on the record, which was created even as Chinwe had to give up her longstanding home studio due to rising rent costs. She says, “I was so determined to finish the project that I ended up recording the majority of the vocals between my car and a friends empty airing cupboard.”

Shred Flintstone – “Unlimited Power”

New Jersey rock band Shred Flintstone battle dinosaurs and robots and ingest suspicious substances in the comical, campy music video for the fuzzy song “Unlimited Power.” Vocalist-guitarist Dan Barrecchia says about the video and song, “Everything is always open for interpretation, but I was coming from the idea of the Sith lord, the dark side, this unlimited power that’s never ending, that will destroy everything.”

Vlk – Transcendence EP

Channeling personal experiences of illness in their close circles and “intolerant worldviews,” Berlin-based metal artist Vlk (pronounced “wilk”) weaves in and out of atmospheric, poignant post-metal on the EP Transcendence. “The title of the EP is inspired by the French philosopher Corine Pelluchon, among others,” he says in a description for the album. It’s anguished, visceral music for anyone who likes their metal dark and dejected.

Wild Sisters Band – “Juicy Summer”

Québec pop duo Wild Sisters Band — Gabriella Jouanno and Janicka Alie-Thivierge – dig into pop, a hint of big band sound and soul on their latest single “Juicy Summer.” Weighing in with more electronic, radio-friendly influences as well, the song has instant earworm potential, coinciding with summer in various parts of the world.

Christina Jewell – “Hallelujah”

Toronto singer-songwriter Christina Jewell juxtaposes introspective lyrics over cheery, bright guitar melodies on her latest song “Hallelujah.” Seated among flowers and weeds in nature in the music video, Jewell’s warm vocal melodies offer comfort. The song stands starkly different from her previous single “Ain’t No Supermodel,” which was melancholic in tone and intent.

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