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INsiders Guide: Lauren Lakis, Karina, Arms Akimbo and Grace May

Los Angeles based artist Lauren Lakis, graces listeners with her signature sound of lo-fi garage rock. Narrating some of life’s deepest and darkest moments, Lakis’ use of honest and resonating lyrics will sink into your soul, creating an immediate connection with the singer. The hand-crafted rawness of her sound bellows deep and true, unscathed by the prevailing winds of today’s polite rock.

Lakis is releasing her highly anticipated “Sad Girl Breakfast”. Written exclusively on her baritone guitar, the release exudes a darker, deeper tone. Thematically the EP narrates the resignation that comes with realizing the cyclical nature of existence. Lakis reveals, “Time passes, life changes, relationships come and go, and it just keeps happening in this perpetual dance until we die. It might seem like a bleak outlook, but for me it’s liberating because nothing that happens to us needs to carry so much weight”. The lead single ‘Right Now’ is about the heaviness of the present moment, the constant energy required to operate in the here and now, how simple existing can be such a struggle sometimes. Lakis explains, “Malaise is the word that probably best describes that feeling. But it’s also suggesting that it isn’t a solitary experience, and that we can find comfort in each other”.

Brooklyn-based, Miami-bred alternative-pop duo Karina (comprised of vocalist Karina Fernandez and producer Jorge Guarch), releases their new song “No Puedo”. It’s a haunting track with a Latin-infused alt-pop sound coupled with eloquently written, passionate lyrics. “No Puedo” makes a plea to a partner to mend a struggling relationship. The song’s theme was born out of Fernandez’ own pent-up emotions from being in a relationship while on a world tour with Boy George and Culture Club. Both the song’s production (Guarch) and lyrics (Fernandez) reflect this emotional complexity and the duality of human nature. Karina and Jorge were both born and raised in Miami, and were linked by Jorge’s sister for years but never shared more than a hello and goodbye until they reconnected in 2017. Guarch was looking for the right voice to fill an instrumental he’d been working on and found perfect harmony in Fernandez’s sultry vocals and somber lyrics. Three days after being reintroduced, they recorded the vocals to their debut single “Cold.” After that, the two decided to stick together and put out their EP, The Space Between, which explores the back and forth of feeling grounded and out of control during a relationship. “No Puedo” follows the release of Karina’s single “My Skin”, the follow-up to their debut EP, The Space Between (2018).

“An infectious party-inspired single” – Billboard

‘Cruel Lovers’ is the new single from viral Spotify indie rock outfit, Arms Akimbo. Arms Akimbo (Chris Kalil – vox/guitar, Peter Schrupp – vox/guitar, Matt Sutton – drums and Colin Boppell – vox/bass) return with a new EP, “Seven Dollar Paycheck”. It’s a record that continues to expose the anxiety, trepidation but also wonderment in taking on an uncertain world whilst feeling barely armed for that reality. “Cruel Lovers” is an unabashed ode to a garage-rock phase Schrupp went through, the EP’s closing flourish, Pitchfork taps into the vein of dramatic post-emo rock that groups such as Manchester Orchestra have long cultivated. Kalil wrote the song on a post-tour drive home from Texas (and back to the crashing normalcy that comes at the end of a run). “I was thinking about the way that being a musician connects you with so many people while simultaneously being extremely isolating.” He explains that the song is “a letter to my band and my loved ones back home. I wanted to tell the people in my life that even though it’s not the easiest path that we’re on, it’s the right path and we’re not going to give up.”

Finding influences from Lianne La Havas, Emily King and H.E.R., Grace May presents her stunning new single “Quiet”. The song narrates the feeling of loneliness. It’s the familiar story of not wanting to burden friends and family with your worries, so instead you struggle in silence. This feeling is reflected through the solitary instrumentation and minimalistic production. Despite its simplistic approach, the single packs a punch through its passionate heartfelt vocals. May reveals,I wanted the instrumentation to be as raw as the lyrics”. Featuring her signature falsetto vocals, sparking melodies and organic guitar, the single emits a tranquil and resonating sound. With the hope to help others going through a similar feeling of isolation, May wants people to acknowledge that even if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, things will in time get better and to never be afraid to talk to someone. Continuing the next chapter of her musical journey, Grace May presents ‘Quiet’ currently available worldwide.








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Written by Neill Frazer

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