Brevin Kim – ‘Happy Tears’ [Album]

By: Seamus Fay

If there’s any direction that your head should be turned right now, it’s right in the direction of Boston-based alternative duo, Brevin Kim. Currently making some of their best music to date as well as showing an exemplary effort of artistic development and growth, this one-two punch of a group is here to make their presence known on Graduation Music today with a breathtaking new project entitled Happy Tears. Following their last effort from just a few months back, Nobody Truly Loves Me But My Mom, this project shows some incredible maturation from these highly-talented artists, and if not anything else, it should tell you that Brevin Kim is the group to watch out of Boston in the future.

That said, one central reason that Happy Tears works so well is due to the way that it places vulnerability and consequential progression under a shared microscope. By communicating such true-to-self, universal themes, the duo is able to find a captivating voice in their artistry, which is only complemented by abstractly beautiful sonic direction to top it all off. Happy Tears embraces the unfamiliarity of life in ways that any listener can connect with on a personal level, and naturally so, it goes without saying that it’s a must-listen for all of our readers out there.

Brevin Kim is creating striking music that deserves some serious shine — listen to the duo’s latest at the link provided below!

Suriel’s Debut Album: ‘Blank Slate’

By: Shamus Hill 

The concept of a “blank slate” drifts back centuries, with its truest meaning revolving around the fact that people aren’t born with pre-existing knowledge, but rather that we learn through both our experiences and perception. Today, it’s commonly thought of as a new beginning, a point in one’s life where their past is in the past, and it’s only up to oneself to ensure a bright, desirable future. Perfectly embodying the many interpretations of a blank slate is Lynn-native Suriel, who recently gifted listeners with his wonderfully-developed, debut album titled Blank Slate.

Suriel made his first appearance on Graduation Music a couple of months ago with the release of “$tack$” featuring Rockie Fresh, a song that not only highlighted the Lynn-artist’s potent rapping ability, but showcased his hunger for success, just as well. Blank Slate offers a broader scope into Suriel’s personal life, detailing precisely why he values his strong work-ethic so highly, and how he’s overcome a challenging past to earn everything he’s got. Gift-wrapped with some impressive production and hard-hitting bars, this project is most definitely one worth spending some time with.

Towards the beginning of Blank Slate, Suriel touches upon some of the tumultuous events of his past, and how, at the time, he was unsure of whether or not they would be something that he could overcome. From living in the projects to being raised by a single mother, Suriel has always endured challenges that were beyond his control, however, he’s learned not to let these challenges dictate his life. Songs like “Motive” and “Wake Up” speak to this effect, recounting how Suriel found solace in his surroundings and built upwards from there. While this may not have been his natural reaction immediately, with time, Suriel has learned how to properly navigate through the turbulent periods of life so that he can work towards his goals. Something that each of us strives to accomplish, Blank Slate offers listeners a fresh reminder that they too can overcome anything.

“Rockland Street” is one of my favorite songs off of this album, highlighting how Suriel’s formidable state of mind is truly coming to fruition. While understanding that he’s never had an easy life, Suriel has also come to terms with the fact that a lot of the people placed in similar circumstances haven’t made it to the position that he’s found himself in. He’s placed an incredible amount of time and effort into his craft, and is faithful that his hard-working mentality is what will launch him into his next phase of life.

As Blank Slate shifts towards its end, listeners begin to understand how truly concrete Suriel’s state of mind is. While continuing to reference his difficult past, Suriel begins to describe how these events are what have made him into the strong, withstanding person that he is. Rather than falling victim to the things that he’s endured, Suriel’s taken it upon himself to put his pain to good use. “Blank Face”, the last song off of the album, largely centers itself around this thought-process. Suriel has already witnessed a severe amount of change in his life by refusing to let anything tear him down, and with this in mind, he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to succeed. He’s arrived at a point where he’s built himself his own blank slate, so it’s up to him to either choose to dwell on the past, or flip the page and become the person that he’s always dreamed of becoming.

Largely-based around life experience and change in perception, Blank Slate is a powerful debut album that is worthy of praise. Suriel is living proof that even if the circumstances aren’t always in our favor, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to back down and run away. By facing adversity and having the will to learn from trauma, each and every one of us can have what it takes to overcome any challenge that life throws our way. Suriel brings all of these thoughts to life with his latest release, making it a must-listen for fans everywhere.

Listen to Suriel’s debut Album Blank Slate below:

For those without Spotify, click here

 

CHI – ‘B.O.M.B.’ [LP]

By: Seamus Fay

After the release of her collaborative project, Code Name: Girls Next Door, with Gin Mason and the SuperSmashBroz a few months back, CHI has been on our radar as one of the most talented young artists coming out of Boston right now. She holds no hesitation in communicating undiluted charisma in her rhymes, and by presenting herself so proudly and unapologetically, it’s easy for listeners to catch onto the wave after just one or two songs. Today, CHI is here to take the spotlight with an incredibly solid new LP entitled B.O.M.B, standing for the phrase “Back On My Bullsh*t”. Packed to the brim with features from some of Massachusetts’ finest as well as CHI’s best work to date, this project is a must-listen by every stretch of the words.

As noted in the description of the project on SoundCloud, CHI’s latest arrives as the following:

IN HONOR OF VIRGO SZN AND DESTROYING THE OLD & TOXIC TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE INFINITE & FRUITFUL, I PRESENT TO YOU:

B.O.M.B. (LP) = BACK ON MY BULLSHIT

I PRAY THAT YOU LOVE THIS AND YOURSELF A LITTLE MORE EVERY DAY.

PEACE+BLESSINGS.
-CHI

11 tracks long, I can’t say that I expected this LP out of CHI. Her artistry presents itself as refined as ever, and lyrically, she’s on an entirely new level that I didn’t even know the Boston talent was capable of. B.O.M.B. is clear-minded and strong in its ways, acting as a tale of self-love and self-discovery. Verse after verse, hook after hook, line after line, CHI is sure to keep these themes at the forefront of the subject matter, so effortlessly weaving in and out of beats with songs that I won’t be taking off of repeat for quite some time. That said, this is truly one of the best projects I’ve heard out of Boston all year long. CHI is ready to take her well-deserved spot at the top, so step out of the way and let her work the magic that she’s so clearly capable of. The future is bright for Boston’s own.

Click play on B.O.M.B. at the link provided below:

Mixed and Mastered by James Alcott
Production via MIGLADI, Donato, Christian Yoon, Obleeque, Suspicious Person, Z-Will

Millyz & Statik Selektah – ‘Saints & Sinners’ [Album]

By: Seamus Fay

Watching the rise of Millyz, although still a story in progress, has been a privilege and an inspiration from the very start. The Cambridge always does right his by city, never fails to turn some heads with his versatile supply of flows and cadences, and above all, never compromises the quality or personality of his art. Add all this together, and you have the kind of artist that doesn’t come around too often. Proving his status as an absolute gem, Millyz is back on our pages today with a momentous release in the form of a brand new album entitled Saints & Sinners alongside none other than Boston legend, Statik Selektah.

As Millyz notes in the opening seconds of the album, “I used to want a beat from Statik, now I got an album with him.” This is a moment of undeniable growth for Cambridge’s own, and over the course of 10 songs, he shows us exactly how and why he’s made it to this point of success. Backed by the fitting sonic atmosphere of soulful, sample-heavy production and banging beats one after another, Saints & Sinners is the kind of album that demands to be kept on repeat for hours on end. Both Millyz and Selektah absolutely snapped in their respective roles, and the result is an unbelievable body of work that will undoubtedly withstand the test of time.

Quite frankly, I could talk about this album all day long, but I’ll let you enjoy Saints & Sinners in all of its passionate, honest glory at the link below. This one is going to go down in Boston history.

TEGA – ‘Body’ [LP]

By: Seamus Fay

Courtesy of a much-appreciated assist from the music discovery champ, @gregisonfire, we’re here to introduce yet another new artist to our pages today: Boston’s own, TEGA, and his 11-track EP, Body. Upon first listen of this rising talent’s music, the element of his artistry that struck me as most impressive was just how much soul he’s able to pack into his deliveries. The songs on the project feel less like songs and more like heart-led diary entries of some sort, and this state of authenticity is only complemented by a clear knack for finding just the right production.

Delving a bit further into the greatness of Body, the variety of sounds and styles on this one show yet another incredible dimension of TEGA’s talents. He shifts throughout a number of illustrative sonic atmospheres in a textbook showcase of versatility, but what’s most impressive is the way that he does so while still maintaining a train of cohesive thought. That said, I just became hip to TEGA earlier today, so granted, I still need to run through his project a few more times to feel its full effect. However, upon first impression, I can honestly say that the Boston native is someone that all of our readers need to get hip to. He’s creating the kind of music that sticks, and especially nowadays, this can be fairly rare to find.

Click play and check out Body in all of its soulful glory at the link provided below:

Gabe Gill – ‘Carousel’ [Album]

By: Seamus Fay

These days, few and far in between are the artists that show their prowess through mixtapes and albums. Rather, there tends to be an emphasis on the output of rapidly-concocted singles, just waiting for one to go “viral” and do fairly impressive streaming numbers, deeming it noteworthy of buzz. On the other side of things lies Gabe Gill – an artist who brings his entire self to the spotlight with his stellar new album, CAROUSEL. It tells the full story without compromising quality for quantity or any viral numbers, and in such a way, this is one of the most fulfilling projects for me to listen to in recent memory.

At face value, Gill’s unwavering determination toward portraying his life and emotion without a filter is perfectly refreshing. The sonic environments in which he chooses to pour his heart out make for atmospheric bouts of pure passion, and these are reinforced by his alluring vocal talents. Gill’s style can best be described as liberating, as he points to his pains and his joys with equal credit toward what made him the person he is today. CAROUSEL is perfectly comfortable in its own, eclectic skin, and thankfully so.

Show some love to Gabe Gill and check out his album at the link below:

KMerc ’57 Columbia’ (Album Review)

By: Shamus Hill 

Cambridge, MA continues to prove to the world that it’s a hotspot for music. From the likes of Connis and Rothstein all the way to Millyz, Cambridge has shown that it possesses a variety of high-caliber artists. Recently, I was hipped to another young talent from the area, KMerc, whose 57 Columbia project dropped last week. It isn’t every day where you discover a new artist with an exceptional debut album, however, that’s the position we find ourselves in today with this ambitious young act.

Upon first listen to 57 Columbia, it’s easy to note the dominant presence which KMerc exhibits over each instrumental. Entirely produced by HD, the pair possesses an exuberant ability to work well with one another. The beats are tailored perfectly towards KMerc’s saucy, emotion-filled sound, which assists in making the project both thorough and cohesive.

Listening through this album, you’ll stumble upon an array of noteworthy tracks. The intro, titled “Intro (Favors)”, is one of those noteworthy songs that deserves mentioning. KMerc comes at you right away with his high-energy vocals, establishing the feel for the remainder of the project. Speaking on not owing anyone any favors and how he’ll achieve his goals on his own if need be, KMerc quickly begins to showcase his high level of talent. “Quicksand”, which features Kye Bills, is the second song on the album, and it’s here where the duo communicate how they won’t be “sinking” anytime soon. Overall, I’m a really big fan of how this track, in particular, was put together, but the continuous Patriots references throughout were what really made me throw this song on repeat.

“Real You” which features AC Gotti and Kye Bills, was an additional favorite of mine. The trio brings some real dancehall vibes into the mix with this record, and I’m 100% here for it. Helping to diversify KMerc’s sound, “Real You” is a shining example of how versatile he really is. “With You” is the second to last song on the project, and it’s here where KMerc offers an emotional, appreciative display towards the girl he loves. An ode to how much more pleasant life is when she’s around, KMerc exhibits the respectable ability to insert truth and feeling into the music he creates. Assisting in bringing this undivided offering to a close, 57 Columbia proves to be an album worth listening to.

I’m beyond excited to see what’s next to come from Cambridge’s newest sensation. He has a large appetite for success, and as his music states, he won’t be letting up whatsoever until he achieves his goals. Keep KMerc on your radar.

Listen to KMerc’s debut album 57 Columbia below: