Rock

Who are you ? by Liza feat. Yo-Sea

Released: 22.07.22 / Label: Liza

Liza is definitely going for the rebellious vibe for the cover. I’ve not heard Liza or Yo-Sea before, but I love a collaboration so let’s find out what this is about. Liza is a younger rapper with about 10k followers on Instagram and a few successful tracks under her belt. An up-and-coming artist who’s doing her best to make some waves here. While this is Liza’s track, from my research it looks like Yo-Sea is the more popular artist. So a really great collab for her on this deluxe reissue of her debut EP. Ok, let’s check out the song.

This track has a tight groove with some great sample work giving it a perfect flow for the rappers to work with, and Liza kills it. She uses a really straight-forward rhythmic groove for this track, with a lot of rapid fire phrases ending with stretched syllables. It makes for some really addicting phrasing, made even better by her voice which is incredibly easy to listen to. Yo-Sea pops in for a single verse that seems a bit lackluster in comparison. His voice is amazing and the harmony work is cool, but the rap itself isn’t that memorable. His vocal ad-libs peppering the following choruses are also a bit much. Sometimes guests can be like that. But she got the name drop, so good for her. This track definitely makes me want to check out the rest of the new album.

For comparison I also checked out the older version of this track that was released last year, and while the rap is a bit more playful in that version the music here is much improved. It seems like she was able to simplify and polish up almost every aspect of the track, something I wish more artists would do for their older releases. In an age where releasing music is so easy, you’d think that songs would be updated as they evolve over the years. I’m glad she did it.

Verdict: Worth your time.

Download or Stream the track

Reality by Living Rita

Released: 22.07.15 / Label: Orange Sunshine

Reality is the first track out from the upcoming double release “Reality/UTOPIA” from Living Rita. I love this minimal cover they’ve chosen. The RGB shifted almost flower-like object gives it a mysterious and spooky quality. No idea what it is though, so I guess that fits the title pretty well. I’ve not heard of this group before, so let’s do a little digging and find out who they are.

This duo is a spin-off project from Masami Takei (Ba/Vo) and Mai Takahashi (Synth/Vo) both of popular indie group Czecho No Republic. Turns out I did know who they were, I just had no idea they’d started this new group. Their band Czecho is well known in Japan and their music has been used as the ending themes for two recent Dragon Ball series. But Living Rita is a much newer and lesser known group. It seems that the two wanted to explore songwriting outside the music they were making with Czecho and the Corona lockdowns gave them the opportunity to get started. They’ve had a few large shows, one with Luby Sparks who we’ve reviewed before, and they’ve got another big event next month to celebrate this release. I’m very interested to hear what they’ve created as a smaller unit, so let’s check it out.

Wow, that was a strange song. It’s not like anything I’ve heard recently, seeming almost late 60s or early 70s in its composition. The melody is extremely slippery, velvety smooth but all over the place harmonically. At the same time the backing band is super chordal and straight forward. The players all have the occasional fill at the ends of phrases that attempt to give the track life, but it sounds more like a backing band at a bar show. Not lazy playing, but a kind of bored feel to everything. By the second listen I was a little bored, too. Not to say that the song is bad, it’s just not interesting either. Everything seems very stagnant and all the interesting bits come off as decoration.

The band sounds great though. It’s clearly a group of stellar musicians, especially the two main members. The recording is clean and the mix is nice if a bit washy. The short guitar solo sounds great, but has little impact on the song. Which is a pretty good summary of the overall vibe here. Not something I’d recommend, but I won’t hit the next button if it comes up on shuffle. I’ll be sure to check out the second single from this release when it comes out, Hopefully that will give me a better read on the group.

Verdict: Worth your time.

Stream and download the track