Before we put our weekly music section Soundbites on hold during Ramadan, we round up six regional summer releases, from Dubai and beyond. Whether you’re looking to get properly hyped this week, or do a little shimmy at your desk, or even relax at the end of the day, we’ve got something for you.
Jay Wud — Empire
Dubai-based rock group Jay Wud are gearing up to release their latest album, Transitions, on June 30, but the band dropped their explicit-laden, hard rock single Empire last week to give fans a little taste of what’s to come. “We don’t belong, we have been left behind,” suggests Wud on lead vocals, making for a catchy, heavy track.
Karl Wolf — Wherever You Go
Lebanese-Canadian pop star Karl Wolf is back at it with his brand of East-meets-West fusion pop. The Yallah Habibi singer mixes his usual Arabic influences with Western dance beats on Wherever You Go, and this time he throws in a sampling of the Richard Marx classic Right Here Waiting. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it does veer on being an earworm, particularly when it comes to the Middle Eastern melody.
Nervo ft. Hollaphonic — In Your Arms
Club-dwellers, this one’s for you. A new regional electronic label called Liquid has released a remix of In Your Arms by the Australian twins Nervo, featuring UAE’s very own EDM duo Hollaphonic. The result is an airy summer anthem about young love, ideal for dancefloors and your daily fitness playlist.
Kalpee — No One
If you love hearing fresh new voices in R‘n’B, Kalpee won’t disappoint. He’s Sony Music Entertainment Middle East’s latest find, a warm, vulnerable voice with loads of soul and pop spirit to spare. Though he released his single No One a while ago, the music video came out this month. Give it a listen — it gives the Biebers and Zayns of the world a run for their money.
Layali Project — Habeltouni
The Arabic duo Layali Project take fusion to the next level with Habeltouni, an irresistible mix of Arabic- and English-language lyrics layered over a club-ready backing track. The band call it ‘ear candy’, which is a pretty spot on descriptor — delicious, harmless fun.
Lea Makhoul — All I Know
Slowing things down, French-Lebanese singer Lea Makhoul treads gently into her latest single, All I Know, released earlier this month. It’s already racked up more than 63,000 views on YouTube, though Makhoul, a 2014 Star Academy runner-up, has been known to surpass those numbers in the past. This Ariana Grande-esque piano ballad is a solid choice to wind down to.