For the Warrick Dunn edition of Quickies, we’ve got some pretty solid tracks that’re all tied into, in some way, love and relationships. Check them out below and remember to support dope music in all its forms.
John Concepcion – Make Sure That I Don’t
Admittedly, this one’s sound is a little more poppy than what I typically post on SOTB. However, the happier vibes and Concepcion’s vocals won out over the poppy sounds and grabbed me, saying “post me, SOTB.” The track reminds me of something Weeknd and Chris Brown would’ve put together. That is, it’s bouncy and infectious but also brutally honest, poppy but with a slight darkness/definite realness underneath the sound of the song.
The main takeaway from the song is that we should learn from our pasts and our past relationships. We should do so versus looking at them in a negative light or dwelling on the negatives. “MSTID” finds the Canadian singer running back a relationship in his mind and finding out what he really needs moving forward, even though it’s over. The visuals find Concepcion and (who one would assume is) an ex-girlfriend enjoying their time together, interspliced with images of Concepcion moving on from the past.
I enjoyed his layered vocals as well as the simple guitar instrumental. Check this one out for sure.
Jean-Mikhael – “Don’t Come Back”
The thing that grabbed me about this one was also the vocals, as they remind me of a mix between The Weeknd and Prince mixed with a smidge of Usher. In other words, expect a soulful track with lots of falsetto moments set over booming drums. The minimalist video features Jean-Mikhael in front of a white background singing his heart out about a lover who did him dirty. This is an exercise in vocal gymnastics, as his vocals are freakin’ beautiful and definitely help with the emotions portrayed in the song.
AFFARI – “Hard To Love You”
The next single from Australian artist AFFARI, “Hard To Love You,” features the artist discussing self-sabotage and toxic relationships. Aided by quivering Autotuned vocals, “HTLY” puts us in the mindset of a person who pushes people away but still wants/deserves love. The duality of it all is impressive and keeps you rooting for him to find love and figure it all out.
Nnyasha – “I Miss U (Everyday)”
On “IMU,” Nnyasha discusses a long-distance relationship and the difficulties that come with that. However, she’s not ready to throw in the towel (and neither is her lover). They’re building up for a better and closer future, because “even if [they’re] miles apart,” their love will keep them close. I’ve never been in a long-distance relationship, but the fire would have to be as strong as this song to get me to consider one.
Ivy Lo – “Soul Tied”
Ivy Lo reminds me a bit of Queen Naija and Jhene Aiko in her phrasing and vocals. The song in question, “Soul Tied,” features the artist discussing how her ex-partner only took and didn’t give or enrich her at all. The song also features some lines about Ivy dealing with her own insecurities and growing up and out, moving on from the “blank space” of her ex. I also like the production on “Soul Tied,” because it reminds me of something you’d hear Summer Walker hop on and vent her frustrations on.
Tobias Defoe – “Sing to Me”
On “Sing to Me,” New York-centric singer Tobias Defoe taps into his inner Frank Ocean. In doing so, he manages to give us a song about separation and a bit of longing for simpler times in the face of what’s become a trying three years. The track also delves a bit into feelings associated with summer love. That is, the fleeting aspect of it and how it goes as quickly as it comes in some instances. Defoe’s also done some work with MJangles, who made his SOTBMusic debut last week with “To Infinity.” Could another collaboration between the two MTL collective members be in the works? I hope so because I’d love to hear Defoe’s lyrics spliced in with Jangles’ raps.
Dom Chronicles and Gen the Assassin – “Shinin'”
“Shinin'” isn’t about love in the romantic sense, but is still about love. The self-love Dom and Gen speak on while keeping their energies high is something I appreciate. It’s about keeping one lifted even when things get tough and rough. Plus, the punchlines are solid and the beat reminds me of something you’d get from Spitta. The song’s video (below) is like a mix between mid-2000s Midwest and Southern videos with the swagger of the 2020s. In other words, it’s a dope track and an equally smooth video.