by Jordan Evans
New music never ceases to roll in, and lesser-known artists are gaining ground in the competitive industry. With their distinct styles, Olivia Holt, Marteen, and Saving Forever are taking one step toward earning themselves a reputation, and, hopefully, a following.
While Olivia Holt may have appeared on Disney XD after this generation of high schoolers moved on to more grown-up shows, she definitely has the chance to grab our attention now. Her new single “Generous” features a catchy tune and upbeat lyrics, the two ingredients necessary to create a hit. The song is somewhat formulaic, but that’s to be expected, coming from a child actress turned singer. While not a standout, “Generous” is just appealing enough to the teenage ear to stick around on the radio for a couple weeks. Holt’s personality finds its place primarily in the single’s music video, in which she steals the keys from a hotel maid’s cart and enters the rooms of suspiciously absent hotel guests to try on their lavish clothes and jewels. Despite the many outfits she dons throughout the video, one factor remains constant: her buoyant spirit. Holt’s genuine smile in a routine song and dance makes the video worthwhile.
Bay Area native Marteen recently released “Sriracha,” a single more notable for its amusing music video than the actual song. The single is inherently juvenile; its foundation is the comparison of a girl to Sriracha because she’s “hotter than the sun.” Marteen’s vocal technique isn’t complicated enough to earn him rapper status, but he can carry a tune well enough to give the song substance. The single’s video contains minimal plot, predominantly just shots of Marteen crouched on the hood of a rolling car, flanked by a perplexing sidekick. He maintains a harem of dancers who act as a sort of cheerleading squad and solid artistic base to contrast his desultory arm choreography. The sexual nature of these dancers clashes with Marteen’s young image and lyrical content, making for a confusing music video to accompany the already-questionable song. “Sriracha” seems to attract more ironic listeners, finding its niche as a lighthearted jam to listen to while sitting in traffic or getting ready for bed.
The latest from boy band Saving Forever is the single “Million Ways,” which gives off strong Bruno Mars “Runaway Baby” vibes. The song is standard, checking off the boxes for a guitar melody that makes you want to dance, minimal lyrical diversity, and repetition of group “ooh”s. The last two components factor in to create a tune that is lively enough, but could stand to be a couple verses shorter. Accompanying the single is a music video that raises some questions: what is the target demographic at the miniscule concert venue where the video takes place, and how did a few teenage boys convince everyone to drop their inhibitions and let loose on the dance floor? Both the video and song are unremarkable, but “Million Ways” lodged itself in my head and keeps playing on repeat, so I’d say Saving Forever got the job done. I hope to see the boys grow in the music industry and begin to craft a unique sound because there’s no denying the talent in that group.