George Ezra, Tove Lo; two rising artists

I figured that for the final issue this year that I would cram two, that’s right two, artists into my last music review for the IV Leader.

And don’t worry, we’re back to the foreign artists for this last issue everybody. While Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” is still practically dominating my life, there have been two other songs that have pulled me into new, very much foreign-artist territory. And these artists couldn’t be any more different.

The first is that of “Budapest” by George Ezra. This twenty-one year old English-born singer-songwriter has made his American debut through the single off his album Wanted on Voyage.

What first caught my attention was the sound of his voice. The first time I heard the song, I was watching the music video, and so, I was not expecting such a low tone to come from this little, blonde guy. His bluesy voice is something completely new, a fresh and unexpected sound. It’s something that I find quite beautiful and soothing. His voice is like comfort food to me, warm and satisfying. “Budapest,” in particular, showcases Ezra’s vocal range perfectly, and it nearly sums up the sound of the album in this one song.

A man of simple things, Ezra focuses on his guitar and vocals rather than bulking up his music with dozens of instruments and complicated beats. His music is very laid back and cool, yet still fun and upbeat, something I can imagine being played during a bonfire which is perfect for this late spring, early summer weather. His other songs, like “Blame It on Me” and “Listen to the Man”, are just as catchy as “Budapest.” It’s hard to pick my favorite song off this album, really.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have the Swedish singer-songwriter Tove Lo, born Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson. While “Habits (Stay High)” was the song that captured the majority of America’s attention, it was Tove Lo’s “Talking Body” that really got me intrigued. Yes, I sang along with everybody else the somewhat morbid lyrics of “Habits”, but “Talking Body” was the one that got me to go out and buy her debut album.

Lo’s music has a far darker sound, especially when compared to Ezra’s happy, go-lucky feel. Her album could definitely be considered an audio diary, what with the rather blatant lyrics about sex and love. Without naming names, Lo lets her fans into her life through these songs. The album itself is sorted in three separate categories: “The Sex”, “The Love”, and “The Pain”. Each of the categories has their own tracks with Lo giving a five second explanation of how she sees the phrases. This adds to the idea of her album being an audio diary.

Set to the electropop, dancing beats that you would hear at raves and dance clubs, Lo’s lyrics paint her love life openly. She takes us through the whole process, masking the raw lyrics through her beats and synthesizers.

While I could do without the Hippie Sabotage Remix of “Habits (Stay High)”, Lo’s debut album does not disappoint. Her music keeps things interesting, and I give her props for being so open about her sex/love life. Her struggles make her relatable to fans, something that I totally appreciate. Lo is just like any other girl out there, trying to find love in this crazy world.
Both of these artists are destined for great things, in my opinion. Whether that’ll be in America or their home countries, it’s hard to say. But, I, for one thing, will be sure to keep tabs on these up and coming artists from across the pond.