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INsiders Guide: BAD, The Astronots, Freddie Future, Amistat, Elizsabeth, The Naveblues, Terence Jack, Ben Eunson

BAD is comprised of NYC based duo Julia Brex and Jackson Hoffman. Having met in high school, the two have been writing and recording music together for over eight years. While they mainly focus on pop songwriting and production for other artists, BAD was formed less than a year ago and born out of a passion for funk music. That passion combined with their musicality and an incredible group of fellow musicians led to the release of their debut EP GOOD, which has been making listeners dance across the globe.

Inspired by their love for funk grooves and pop sensibilities, BAD pulls elements from throwback funk and soul, 90’s and early 2000’s pop and R&B and contemporary pop and hip-hop. The duo express, “We essentially want to be what a Prince and Max Martin collaboration could have been!” Brex and Hoffman succeed in creating a sound which allows the music to come across as nostalgic yet fresh, throwback yet brand new – imagine Quincy Jones, Earth Wind & Fire, Michael McDonald all working in 2019 and Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars and Lizzo, if they worked in 1980.

Bursting with exuberance and strutting with confidence, ‘Refresher’ shimmers with funk-fueled melodies, 80’s electronic instrumentation and a vibrant horn section. ‘Sweat’ follows suit, while delivering animated sonic soundscapes and fun, dance worthy rhythms. The ultimate summer bop sparked inspiration from the 90’s workout Barbie aesthetic. BAD reveal, “We tried to marry the humor of workout culture with sexual empowerment. It’s not supposed to take itself too seriously. It has silly references like ‘bend, snap’ and ‘dry shampoo’ to keep it light”.  

A frequent theme throughout BAD’s music if an overall sense of fun, lightheartedness and self-empowerment, with the utmost desire to make people feel-good and move. BAD continue to create fun-filled, energetic music with the release of ‘Sweat’ out now.

The Astronots are an American rock’n’roll outfit, spearheaded by its founding members, Niko Giaimo (Vocals/Guitar) and Allee Futterer (Vocals/Bass). The two are established musicians in their own right. Futterer has had years of cutting her musical teeth, backing some of the biggest names in the Los Angeles music scene, while Giaimo was an integral member of the scoring team behind productions such as Dexter and Dishonored II. The two come together on The Astronots, combining elements of their quintessential Los Angeles upbringing, classic rock, and west-coast cool. Now completed by guitarist Eddie Campbell, the group continues to wow audiences across the nation.

Inspired by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Alabama Shakes and Kings of Leon, the trio have crafted an EP oozing with gritty guitars, explosive percussion and raw energy. The highly anticipated Cotati is brought to life through its organic instrumentation and authentic lyricism. “We really wanted to capture something honest. The songs cover a variety of issues.. school/public mass shootings, anxiety, drinking, love, pain, passion, cheating.. I think we managed to create individual genuine stories in each song. I think the theme would be honest perspective on many of life’s challenges”, they reveal.

Leading single ‘Wandering Eye’ is a quirky love song. Based on a true story about a couple the duo grew up with. Giaimo reveals, “They had an insanely beautiful Cinderella wedding, but not long after that the wife started cheating, and the husband was secretly gay and going out with his friends in women’s clothes. They were both cheating on each other in different ways, and somehow, everyone knew about the cheating except for the couple themselves!!! They ended up splitting up and are now both happily married in new relationships!”. Sonically the single features 60’s soaked melodies, soaring harmonies and an infectious toe-tapping rhythm.

The Astronots palpable garage sound has lent itself to placements on film and TV, as well as curated playlists and blogs. The Astronots song, ‘Black Milk’ from their 2017 E.P Strange Terrain was featured on the CBS hit television show Life in Pieces. While their song ‘Begging for More’ was placed in Andrew Garfield’s 2018 feature film, Under The Silver Lake.

“Giving In To You” is about the unhealthy relationships we return to out of comfort and familiarity. Every time we go back, we get burned; we’ve known the outcome from the start. We work so hard to keep our relationships afloat, but we have to know when to walk away. We are hopeless romantics that believe in love, but it’s important to differentiate the idea of love from authentic, healthy love that is mutually rewarding”.—Freddie Future

Amistat are twin brothers Josef and Jan Prasil. Born in Germany and raised in Italy, with parents originating from Czech Republic and Australia, the European brothers developed their sound after moving to Australia and have since worked their way into the hearts of listeners across the globe with their soaring harmonies and unique sound.

Born with the closeness and understanding that only twins could share, Josef and Jan produce a unique synergy through the use of tight-knit harmonies, shaped by an honest, storytelling vocal tone. Amistat are able to communicate their inspirations, drawn from a life on the road; infusing their sentiments, hopes and ambitions to develop an honest and heartfelt message to their audiences. Highlighting their individuality, the brothers bring together their contrasting musical styles and personalities to create a balanced sound, which is soaked in melancholy. With influences ranging from The Bee Gees and Cat Stevens, to the folky ballads of Ben Howard and Bon Iver, Amistat have crafted a sound which resonates deep in the soul.

Following up the release of their latest EP Nostalgia, Amistat are dropping their new single ‘Love and Light’. The stunning and poignant new single was inspired by the recent environmental changes and the ocean’s rising pollution. Amistat express, “Love and Light is about the relationship between humans and every other living creature and how we must treat one another with more respect and compassion again”. Sonically the single steps away from the duo’s typical sound, taking a different and open minded approach. Featuring simplistic organic instrumentation, delicate vocals and glowing harmonies, ‘Love and Light’ captures the true essence of beauty, evoking a powerful and emotive feeling.

Amistat have embarked on a number of Australian and European tours, as well as performing at some of Australia’s finest festivals such as Woodford Folk Festival, Fairbridge, National Folk Festival, Nannup and the renowned Port Fairy Folk Festival where they won the Maton Emerging Artist of the Year 2018 Award.

Amistat are using their music to encourage others to find inner love and reflect on how they treat themselves and the people around them. ’Love and Light’ is currently available worldwide.

Elizsabeth is a London-based artist creating empowering alt-pop music inspired by stories of self-love, self-preservation and self-growth. Using her evocative vocals, mesmeric hooks and honest lyrics she wants her music to be a source for anyone needing reminding about the importance of discovery and acceptance. Focusing on the value that people should stand for who they truly are, despite what others say, Elizsabeth has set out with the ambition to emphasise of empowerment in all aspects of life.

After years of struggling with anxiety from feeling judged for who she was and constantly comparing herself to others, Elizsabeth knew something had to change, she confides, “The more love I had for myself, the more I saw love around me. Listening, writing and singing music continues to help me heal these old wounds, giving me peace when I need it most. I want to share my journey using my own music to inspire others and be a reminder that when we look inwards we have everything we’ve been looking for”.

Elizsabeth hopes to connect to people around the world through a space of honesty and realness – no judgement, just loving energy. Embracing who you are is a potent theme ingrained throughout the music, determined to set an example of celebrating what we’ve been taught are flaws, regardless of anyone else’s opinions.

Leading single ‘I Choose Myself’ embodies everything that Elizsabeth stands for. The true essence of her beliefs illuminate the track, highlighting simple delicate piano, candid vocals and shimmering layered harmonies, which resonate deep in the soul. Fuelled with emotion, ‘I Choose Myself’ is the ultimate anthem of self-empowerment. The songstress reveals, “The song is about regaining back our power after giving it away for so long and in doing that finding a freedom we didn’t realise we were missing”.

Having garnered acclaim for her previous releases, including reaching number 2 in the UK singer/songwriter iTunes Chart, for her single ‘My Comfort Zone’, Elizsabeth continues to shed layers, evolving into who she is, whilst radiating positivity. ‘I Choose Myself’ currently available worldwide.

The Naveblues get introspective and interstellar in the video for their single, “Pale Blue Dot.” The Norwegian band is known for their intense, electrifying style of indie rock, doused in the influences of soul and blues music. Dynamic arrangements meet harmonic soulful vocals in a well crafted sonic soundscape that lends itself to their unique songwriting style. Reviews of their track “Possess You” and “Sitting On Top of the World” have been featured on Stereo Strickman and HuffPost respectively. Their music videos are known for their artistic nature and contemplative storytelling style, a mixture that brings their songs to life in an unexpected fashion.

What would it be like if alien’s made contact with our world? The Naveblues explore the adventure of Voyager 1 and the idea of making contact in their new video, “Pale Blue Dot.” Their infusion of gritty blues-rock serves as the psychedelic story of the Voyager 1 launch, from the first photograph of Earth (the “Pale Blue Dot”) to the eventual departure for deep space. In the video, alien’s discover the famous Golden Record, a digital map of where Earth is in the universe. In an effort to make contact with our world, they send it back to be discovered by one of us. After the alien’s lead a man to the Golden Record, he runs over stunning mountains and past vivid blue lakes after the alien light trying to make sense of the message. When he finally finds the alignment in the sky it’s a vibrant, scenic tribute to our place in the universe laid out in glowing lights amongst the stars. It is at this moment that the message of the Golden Record becomes crystal clear. We have made contact with universal life. 

The Naveblues pay tribute to the beauty of Earth as they howl “Take care of the pale blue dot,” echoing the sentiment of Carl Sagan, the astronomer and author that curated the Golden Record. Of the Voyager 1 journey, he said, “To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.” The new video for “Pale Blue Dot” tells the story of a potential future that should encourage us all to take care of this place we call home. “Pale Blue Dot” is out now.

“Perhaps we don’t have to look so far away to be happy. I’ve written a lot of sad songs, but Found It draws from a happier side of me that I’m proud to show. You can hear the first single from my forthcoming Bloom LP wherever you get your music. I like to let the music dictate the song – it allows me to follow the feeling more than what is supposed to make sense. For “Found It,” the concept is about feeling like a stranger to yourself sometimes in life. It reflects on the inner journey we all experience while trying to find ourselves.

Everything was created off the original drum beat for this track. We played around a lot with an OP1 – a small synthesizer/sampler/sequencer – as well as a Roland XP60 (an older synth keyboard.) We were able to stretch ourselves, and be really creative in the studio. Plans are made to be loosely followed; the future is open for whatever comes my way. I’ll be focusing on releasing Bloom in its entirety, and can’t wait to see where it will take me!”—-Terence Jack

Innovative Melbourne-born/NYC-based, Australia-born guitarist Ben Eunson teases greatness to come with his video, “Three of a Kind,” from his debut, instrumental solo album, ACE, due out August 16, 2019 on Ocean Road Sounds .After an illustrious career as a guitarist performing and recording  with acclaimed artists, including John Legend (NBC’s Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center), Lalah Hathaway (Lalah Hathaway Live release show), Queen Latifah, Dave Chappelle (“Controlled Danger” Concert in NYC), and more,  Ben Eunson is fully equipped to take his own spotlight with his distinct guitar stylings.   “A a splendid fusion of prog, jazz and some blues that features Ben’s deft and brilliant guitar playing.”

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

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