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Soundbites: 5 new releases that have us jamming

February was a solid month for regional music, and these are the tracks (and albums) you don’t want to miss

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February was a pretty busy month for regional music releases. There seems to be something new from all genres and ages. tabloid! rounds up our five favourite acts, all of whom delivered top-notch material in the last few weeks.

Carl & the Reda Mafia — Confession
February 25

Carl & the Reda Mafia are one of the most exciting bands in the UAE right now — if you haven’t checked their debut album out yet, you really should. The group are back with a new single, Confession, a smoky, slowed-down track that gives a small glimpse into what the foursome are capable of.

Ostura — The Room
February 23

The Room, a theatrical release from Lebanese prog-rock band Ostura, kicks off with some unnerving heavy breathing. What follows is a polished and evocative 12-track album. A harmonious combination of female and male vocals take the listener on a rollercoaster journey, and though the album slows down plenty, it rarely holds its punches. Bonus: the orchestral brilliance on track four, Let There Be.

Saffron — Chewed Up
February 23

17-year-old Saffron hails from the UK but was raised right here in the UAE. Saffron’s soulful debut single Chewed Up is aptly titled — the singer seems to eat up most her consonants here, delivering a bizarrely pleasant warbled tone. There’s something of Amy Winehouse lingering beneath this track, too. A solid start from a promising talent.

Apo & the Apostles — Saving a Dead Sea
February 16

Palestinian alt-rock band Apo & the Apostles have gone full folk-pop with Saving a Dead Sea. The eight-track affair is quirky, as expected, with the band’s sense of fun coming through loud and clear. It’s so fun that it’s sometimes incongruous with the melancholic songwriting. The album is far more Western than Eastern, even delving into ska with Rosie Was Right. The record ends with a Latin-inspired track, Wait for Me.

Danny Aridi — Solo
February 8

Danny Aridi’s raspy voice is a treat. The Lebanese-Canadian singer is based in the UAE, where he’s won multiple talent competitions. His debut single Solo is a feel-good, reggae-tinged tune that’s perfect for the return of warmer weather. In a lyric-video accompanying the song, the singer-songwriter is seen alone and barefoot in the middle of the desert, lying atop a minivan — pretty much the same feeling the track evokes in its listeners.

Don’t miss it!

All the releases are available on Apple Music and other popular streaming services.