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๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - this week: Fake Smile - AliveTeen

Welcome all to ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of ๐™‰๐™š๐™ฌ ๐˜ผ๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™Ž๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ playlists.

๐™๐™–๐™ ๐™š ๐™Ž๐™ข๐™ž๐™ก๐™š - ๐˜ผ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š๐™๐™š๐™š๐™ฃ

Charles lies, lies and lies again.

A couple of weeks ago I touched on the idea that people are nicer these days. A comforting thought, no? Well, yes! Anything positive these days can only be a good thing, right? People seem more caring. Everyone has the chance to open up and speak their most heartfelt thoughts, and receive nothing but beautiful heartfelt replies. So much love seems to flow around the internet. Discrimination is a thing of the past. Everyone is happy and the world is but a bubble of tranquil peace. So many decades of bitter, harsh coldness have passed. People bound in their own dark beliefs and views since birth have now seen the light and seen their wrongdoing. They have seen the error of their ways, gone to confession and had their sins washed away by a great tide of minty fresh goodness. What a relief it is to be alive at a time like this, where honesty is at the heart of it all. A time when resentment and judgement are long forgotten. And breathe.

Being a natural cynic, however, I canโ€™t help but wonder. Itโ€™s all a bit funny to me. A queer feeling. Iโ€™m a little bit โ€œJEWByusโ€ (an in-joke for you faithful longtime readers). It makes me think of the elegant, slinking leopard. Can it change its spots? I mean, can it REALLYโ€ฆ? And can it, in only a period of around a decade? Surely for the vast majority, them spots is here to stayโ€ฆ How am I to believe that the collective population of the world โ€œgot goodโ€ all of a sudden, simultaneously? It all SEEMS good. It all SEEMS fine. But what we know of peopleโ€™s thoughts, views and beliefs is only what they choose to portray publicly. Hereโ€™s how I think it REALLY is. Most of the population of the world simultaneously got scared. Sure, some may have had genuine epiphanies, and others may have started to question their own views of so long, but this cannot be the case everyone, at the same time. Take racism, for example. To me, it is a simple thing. I couldnโ€™t care less what colour someone is. Not in the slightest. But some, maybe due to their upbringing, might have a different idea in mind. These days they might make public statements which make them appear โ€œof the modern wayโ€, in that we are all equal etc. Others may choose not to say a thing. This doesnโ€™t however tell us what is actually going on in their head. They are scared to speak their true mind, where they used to shout their racist remarks from the rooftops. This can also be seen in a simpler way, not so politically driven. Take niceness, for example. As I started, people are nicer these days. No. People SEEM nicer these days. They SEEM kinder. Because they are scared of the backlash if they arenโ€™t. It is popular and cool at the moment to be โ€œgoodโ€. Just like in the 90s, it was popular to be honest. In my eyes, a change from bad to good cannot happen over night. This sort of thing takes time. These are generational changes. You think in the 60s all the WWII veterans were forgiving the Germansโ€ฆ? Think again. The following generation however, was able to think and feel differently, and so we evolve. As I so often quote Guinness, โ€œgood things come to those who waitโ€.

I am all for kindness, but it must be genuine. For me, being genuine is more important than being kind - this is very much not the same opinion as everyone - but ideally we would have genuine kindness - the best of both worlds. And it seems that I am not alone with these views, as we take a look at my pick of the week, AliveTeen. I had tried my hardest to find her real name, but completely failed in my research. I am not a fan of failing at things I do, so I tried harder (constipation face). SUCCESS! Alevtina Vlasova has been with the New Artist Spotlight for less than a week. I think this is a record for my reviews, but I just couldnโ€™t ignore her latest single. Fake Smile beams the chorus: โ€œI donโ€™t wanna see your fake smile anymoreโ€, as she grabs the mic by the throat. The not unattractive (ahem!) 25 year old from Moscow is a pop star in the making. Her sound is deep and dark, with a cool attack. There is mainstream sheen over this trip-hop inspired hit. Morcheeba springs to mind. So does the chorus of Taylor Swiftโ€™s โ€œI Knew You Were Troubleโ€. The layers of production are exquisite, with richness and depth. Filters and delays galore, but never to the detriment of oomph. Alevtina has guts and tenacity in her vocals, which is just as well because the music is thick and full. That chorus kicks like a kick in the face you never knew you needed. What I really like about her voice is also present in the voice of Miley Cyrus, where AliveTeen is able to soar in the chorus, but also able to deliver a deeper sneer in the verse - great versatility and range. Madonna used to be able to do this. It would be so exciting to hear this tune in a James Bond trailer, just as the villain turns his head, smiles to Bond, turns back, and obliterates every single thing within a 5 mile radius - except Bond. The swagger is ALIVE in this fabulous new song. So is Bond. What lucky people we are, to have yet another extremely talented newcomer joining our ever-increasing group of artists. Iโ€™m so happy to have her on board the NAS train.

It has taken me this long to realise: Alevtina. AlevTina. AlevTeena. AlevTeen. AliveTeen!! I got there eventually. Not just a pretty face!

The next time you are asked the innocent question, โ€œHow are you?โ€, assume they really donโ€™t give a damn. In reply, you will inevitably lie: โ€œFine, thanks. You?โ€

Listen to ๐™๐™–๐™ ๐™š ๐™Ž๐™ข๐™ž๐™ก๐™š on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Spotify playlist HERE!

Listen to ๐™๐™–๐™ ๐™š ๐™Ž๐™ข๐™ž๐™ก๐™š on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Apple Music playlist HERE!

Follow ๐˜ผ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š๐™๐™š๐™š๐™ฃ on Instagram HERE!

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