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Live Review: Sycco, Vetta Borne, Clea: Best Songs of The Week

20 March 2020 | 8:59 am | Emma Jones

Ten new singles from this week you need in your life including fresh cuts from Sycco, Clea, Vetta Borne, Luke Alessi and many more!

Each week, we receive countless submissions of exciting new music, so we’ll be taking you through a weekly wrap up of all our favourite new tunes every Friday called #TrustedForTaste. Follow our Spotify playlist to never miss our updates! For more new music and news, head to the Purple Sneakers website. Read on for new music from Sycco, Vetta Borne, Emerson Leif, Clea, Luke Alessi, Raiza Biza, Hartley, Raj Mahal and Squaring Circles.

SYCCO - Nicotine

It's been a tough week for many people, and Sycco's latest single is the perfect antidote. You can hear how much fun she had making this song, with her smile basically beaming through the speakers. From the jangly, feel-good verses to the hook that will definitely get stuck in your head, it's a lo-fi bop that is guaranteed to put a spring in your step. Following on from a stellar year in 2019, this is the first we've heard from Sycco this year and it's an exciting glimpse at what might be around the corner for her with a hint that more is on its way. If it's as great as 'Nicotine', we're definitely here for it!

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Melbourne-based producer and artist Vetta Borne is the newest project from Purple Sneakers favourite Maribelle, and her latest single is all the proof you need that this project needs your attention. Capturing that insatiable infectiousness that made Maribelle so addictive but bringing it into the future with a heaving helping of sassy forward-thinking RnB, Vetta Borne's 'Girls' is one of those songs that will make you move whether you like it or not. Featuring a catchy hook, heavenly vocals and a bass line that won't quit, it's a funk-driven RnB/pop fusion that we cannot get enough of. Taken from her forthcoming mixtape out April 3rd, 'Girls' might keep breaking Vetta Borne's heart but it's absolutely winning ours over right now!

EMERSON LEIF - Bad Company

For fans of Frank OceanBlood Orange and Bon IverEmerson Leif has released his debut EP this week titled Bad Company. The title track of his new record sees him make a big step forward as an artist as he leans further into using his unique voice to his advantage, employing so much emotion into his vocals over an unpredictable, sparse beat. Co-produced and mixed by frequent collaborator and good friend Golden Vessel, it's an intimate and vulnerable listen from Leif and one that sets him up as an act to watch this year!

CLEA - Soft Blow To The Head

Given the current state of the world right now, a bit of escapist dream pop is absolutely welcome in our books. Brisbane's Clea returns with another heavenly number titled 'Soft Blow To The Head', and it's yet another shining example of why she's one of the most exciting acts in the country right now. With jangly guitars, Clea's now signature vocals and an equally dreamy video, 'Soft Blow To The Head' is a breath of fresh air as you open the curtains of a morning, even despite its less than joyful lyrical content. Speaking to Fashion Journal, Clea said of the song that it "relives the moments in which you slip back into the enchanting toxicity of a domineering person, eventually gaining the courage and hindsight to move on and see the situation for what it is. It’s like a deep breath with a long sigh. It moves through emotion without rest and reveals that in order to really appreciate your best life, you sometimes have to go through a bad experience.” Here's hoping there's plenty more where this comes from!

LUKE ALESSI - I Just Wanted To Tell You

Luke Alessi makes his return with a new two-track EP titled I Just Wanted To Tell You, and the lead single and title track is hands down one of our favourite tracks we've heard this week. Rooted in the darker underground techno where he began to make a name for himself, Alessi has always been able to maintain a duality between this and a lighter side thanks to the journey his tracks take his listeners on. Not afraid to tell a story of play with emotion, Alessi once again does that on this two-track EP, making it an enthralling listen from the first few seconds. The good news doesn't stop there for Alessi this week as this EP also doubles as his debut international signing/release thanks to its release on Sabb's label RADIANT.. Home to many of Luke's producer heros in Sabb, Black Circle, OXIA, DAVI and Serge Devant, it's only fitting some of his finest work yet would be released alongside those who inspired him in the first place. Given this is the first of plenty more to come from Alessi this year, we're feeling pretty safe in saying this is shaping up to be his best year yet.


A veritable who's who of New Zealand's finest, this absolutely huge new release is one of the most exciting releases of the week. 'Funds, Pt. II' sees Hamilton-based Rwandan rapper Raiza Biza tap Blaze The Emperor, JessBMo Muse and Abdul Kay for an all in posse-cut with each artist offering their very best when it comes to their time on the mic. Described in an accompanying press release, "Where 'Funds' was an opportunity for the two Hamilton MCs [Raiza Biza and Blaze The Emperor] and producer Habibi Zee to indulge in paranoid, soft-focus introspection around the pursuit of the bag, 'Funds Pt. II' retools that energy into undeniable, all-or-nothing aspiration." A snapshot at the future of hip-hop in New Zealand, 'Funds, Pt. II' is a take-no-prisoners warning shot that these acts mean business and they're not stopping until they have world domination in the bag.

HARTLEY - Bittersweet

Breakthrough alt-pop artist HARTLEY continues her winning streak with new single, 'Bittersweet'. The forward-thinking, lowkey bop is the latest release from her, and follows on from her most recent single, 'How It Feels', showcasing her serious knack for writing exceptional pop. Teaming up with none other than Ninajirachi for co-production duties and George Nicholas (Wave Racer, Cosmo's Midnight, Basenji) for mixing, 'Bittersweet' is self-assured, effortlessly catchy and such a joy to listen to you'll be going back for more.


After exploding onto the scene last year, Raj Mahal returns with another hard-hitting joint titled 'So Bad'. Once again teaming up with DOMBA, 'So Bad' is the first we've heard from Raj Mahal this year and despite it clocking in at under two-minutes, it's a short and sweet affair that confirms he's not going anywhere anytime soon. Over a menacing beat, Raj doesn't miss a beat, putting everyone on notice with bar after bar. A reminder of why he was one of 2019's most exciting breakthrough acts and a glimpse into what he might have cooking for the year ahead, 'So Bad' is a big move from one of Australian hip hop's brightest names. We can't wait to hear more!

SQUARING CIRCLES - Circumambulate

Following on from their celebrated 2019 album, Motion, Melbourne's experimental electronic outfit Squaring Circles make their return this week with new single 'Circumambulate'. It's the first release from the band after a line-up change in which vocalist Lili Hall joined full-time after Julien Huynh stepped aside, joining Brendan Anderson in the new iteration of the group. Fittingly, vocals play a big part in this newest release with Hall's voice floating like a dream above the slowly growing wall of synths that begin to grow from a soft touch to a forboding intensity, before falling away almost completely before the track's end. It's a gripping listen and one that will stay with you long after the song has finished, and is an interesting look into what the future might hold for Squaring Circles. We can't wait to hear more!

Words by Emma Jones

Images (L-R): Sycco - Supplied; Vetta Borne - Supplied; Clea via Facebook