45s of the week: Phoebe Green, Nuha Ruby Ra, WILLOW and more!

The tracks you need to hear this week, reviewed by Tyler Kelly


Nuha Ruby Ra – ‘Fetish 2 Forget’

East London’s Nuha Ruby Ra’s latest release is the bastard child of Björk and Grace Jones. Soft hypnotic vocals and nonsensical layered sprechgesang dance over an electronic instrumental which could easily be placed in a video game or the nightclubs of Blade. Evocative in its lyrics, the song takes you into an underground industrial warehouse where the shadows are filled with mystery and debauchery. 

Phoebe Green – ‘I Could Love You’

‘I Could Love You’ is an anthem for overcoming the fear of giving into your feelings and experiencing unapologetic queer joy once you’ve truly gotten to know somebody. Despite the simple linear synths which serve as the heartbeat of the song, Phoebe Green takes the listener on a journey of discovery with her almost whispered words portraying intense intimacy: “I have seen your insides without taking off your dress”. 

Pem – ‘awe’

Sometimes when listening to a song, it’s as though you can feel the pain and longing through the artist’s voice. Pem’s husky vibrato is of the particular timbre which makes your heart break via a through-line to her own personal experiences. She speaks to the feeling of being stuck on loop, which is reflected in the repetitive lyrics, but there’s something soothing enough in Pem to make you want to embrace the vortex.


WILLOW – ‘Symptom of Life’

Conjuring the buoyant feeling of getting lost in nature, perhaps aided by a psychedelic trip, WILLOW’s vocals weave in and around a syncopated drum beat, floating on top of delicate piano. For a moment, you’re pulled out of the reverie as a funk bass line bursts out in the chorus, but it’s over as soon as it begins; giving way to a jazzy breakdown where WILLOW screams out, as if purging the stresses of real life, before sinking back into the daydream. 

Divorce – ‘Gears’

Not ones to be pinned down to any specific genre, yet still maintaining distinct individuality, Divorce’s new cut slowly builds in tension as co-vocalist Felix Mackenzie-Barrow works through his frustrations with working long hours at a job to afford living in London, alongside balancing band commitments, a social life and simply just trying to keep his head above water. Whilst very much an indie-by-numbers song structure, as always, Divorce’s melodies and harmonies shine through.