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INsiders Guide: Lauren Duski Announces New EP plus Riley Smith, Ivy Mairi and Zhao

Nashville’s country singer songwriter, Lauren Duski has announced her new debut EP, “Midwestern Girl”, being released on Feburary 20th. When fans pre-order the EP, they will receive the two tracks already released, “Costume Party” and “Heart Hurt Good.” Both songs have received positive press from high profile outlets like Rolling Stone, Billboard and TIME to name a few. “Costume Party” was Lauren’s first debut single since her appearance on NBC’s The Voice where she finished up as runner up on Season 12. This is going to be another standout for Lauren and it’s going to be an EP that everyone will want on their playlist.

Pre-order link:

Famed actor Riley Smith (from Nashville, Life Sentence,True Blood) has just released a brand new single via Billboard entitled, “Radio”. It embodies everything you could want from a country pop single, country guitars, Riley’s smokey vocals and heartfelt lyrics. It’s produced by Kevin Leach who has previously worked with a wide array of music acts and respected indie artists and it’s mastered by Grammy Award winner Nathan Dantzler. This latest offering stems from a collection of notes Riley kept on his phone. Thoughts and recollections of his journey through life, what he is going through, the way he feels and the things he witnesses. He reveals, The stories are really a reflection of my life right now. I’ve been alone and on the road a lot, missing someone so it’s bitter sweet and that comes through in the songs and lyrics”. 

The lead single “Radio” tells the story of wanting to get the attention of the girl you’re on a road trip with, realizing you could make this happen if you just get on her radio. Be sure to check it out below.

Singer Ivy Mairi has released a brand new single entitled “Prayer”. Ivy wrote about the song; “Prayer” is about the early stages of grief and mourning. When you’re not yet ready to accept the reality of a great loss – instead, you pray for things to go back to the way they were. Then you send that prayer out into the ether”.

The song is taken from her forthcoming EP “Polarity”. The song is produced by Kieran Adams, and features the musical talents of Hugh Marsh (violin) and vocal accompaniment by Caitlin Woelfle-O’Brien of the Blunt Chunks. “Prayer” is such an incredible song, backed by such a humbled artist, Ivy Mairi needs to be a singer on your radars.

Los Angeles electro-pop artist Zhao has a brand new single called ‘Feeling Today’. The infectious single evokes a sense of optimism. Zhao was raised in the suburbs of Atlanta by Chinese immigrants, studying classical piano and composition before moving to Los Angeles. His evolving sound took cues from artists like Chairlift, Kaytranada, Washed Out, and James Blake. ‘Feeling Today’ was created in the hope to put listeners in a comfortable space, narrating Zhao’s life as a musician in Los Angeles and trying to treat every situation as a valuable experience, including putting aside fears of being taken advantage of and processing the idea that all people deserve love. On the song Zhao said “That’s the message – that kindness will set you free. That resentment and fear put you in a cage, and the solution is to forgive yourself, forgive others and move on. There’s also an element of reassuring myself that whatever happens, the best thing I can do is operate within what I can control – honing my craft, and checking in with people I care about”, explains the Zhao.  “I’ve always viewed my songwriting process like a form of self-psychoanalysis…like finding out what I’ve really been thinking about”.

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

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