Tracks of the week Reviewed: Tora-i , Don Toliver and Joy Oladokun

Tora-i - Serial

The mid tempered track that is “Serial” sees burgeoning British talent Tora-I delve into the fallacies she had let herself believe ; as she relinquishes all remnants of blissful idealism to make decisions best suited for her own internal peace. Speaking to The FADER via email, Tora-i said: “'Serial' is about finally seeing things as they are/ were. I got very caught up in what I wanted to believe, but this is the marker of me realising that wasn't the case. It was first written at the start of my understanding and since I went through many changes but its beginnings were made in warmth and I think that can be felt.” Tora-i’s successful EP “Cavalier” provided much to look forward to as her pitch perfect voice shon through on a project that neatly leant on a host of varied instrumentation. “Serial” provided further illustration of her developing range as the track made use of a both measured and powerful drum pattern that finely combined with carefully distributed saxophone features to create a track steeped in emotional endurance.

Don Toliver - WON'T STOP

Won’t Stop” is the latest release by artist Don Toliver and the track features on the newly debuted film “Gully”’s playlist. The films stars Kelvin Harrison Jr., Charlie Plummer, Jacob Latimore and Amber Heard, and follows the plot of three disaffected teens in Los Angeles navigating being marginalized youth when a dark secret challenges their friendship. The soundtrack to the movie also featured new original songs from the likes of Dua Lipa, Miguel, and 21 Savage. (CTRL) “Won’t Stop” details Don Toliver’s persistent pursuit of a woman as he outlines his incessant desire for more fleeting moments with her as his inability to function without her laces a majority of the lyricism. The chorus provides the clearest indication of these sentiments as he states the following “I can't stop, won't stop,/ gettin' up/ You know I need you, I need you / Don't stop. / I'll be that nigga that'll ride for you / I'm on top” The backdrop features a smooth trap hi-hat and bass combination alongside a lower register piano chord progression. The tracks standout element lies in its use of white noise adjacent synths in the pre-chorus which acutely lay the eerie and pensive nature of the track.

Joy Oladokun - taking the heat

”Taking The Heat” features on Joy Oladokun’s newly released album “Defense of My Own Happiness”. The project follows the Nashville singer-songwriter’s identically titled 2020 project as fine displays of her vocal exploits.

Joy Oladokun had the following to say about her album “Writing this album made me realize how strong I am to have survived the things I’ve survived,” Oladokun said the following in a short trailer video for the album. “I wrote an album about the choices I make and the things I love and who I am and why I deserve to be happy.” (Rolling Stone) “Taking The Heat” depicts the pitfalls of selflessness, as Joy Oladokun relives the trials and tribulations she had that were rooted in an unwillingness to impart her own internal traumas to others. The chorus provides an adept summation of these ideas as Joy eludes to those of whom fall victim to the depths of their unique burdens. “Nobody ever wonders how the strong stay strong / They get what they want and then they move along / Never think twice about what could be / Does anybody wonder when the legends die young? / If there's anything that we could have done / To stop a strong one from taking the heat” The track encompasses a soothing mesh of indie and folk sounds as it carefully deploys a gentle drum pattern, an ever-present piano melody and intermittent guitar riffs to create a calming and nostalgic environment.