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INsiders Guide: American Authors, Anna Dellaria, Julian Daniel, Young Clancy, Noella Rain, Dylan Perkons, Dante Matas, Swimming with Bears, Valencia James, Miranda Joan, Hugo Alley, Close Talker, Cesar Saez

American Authors, best known for their triple-platinum hit single “Best Day of My Life”. Entitled ‘Champion’ the track which is off of Island Records, features Beau Young Prince. ‘Champion’ bursts with quirky instrumentation, impassioned vocals and big infectious melodies, creating a stadium anthem for that person in your life, who stays by your side through good times and bad.

“Champion is a song about that special person in your life who stays by your side no matter what. I know for me there’s plenty of days where I feel defeated or down but I know I can turn to my girlfriend, the guys in my band, or even my mom to be the champion I need to pick me back up.” – Zac Barnett

‘Champion’ was added to Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist in 25 countries and has been featured on CBS News

Anna Dellaria is set to release her second single “Mama Said” which was released on August 27th. Driven by percussive breaths, energetic 808’s and a massively melodic chorus, “Mama Said” brings a fresh perspective on today’s Pop/R&B genre and messages of femaleempowerment. The fiery song, written solely by Dellaria, is a passionate declaration to keep rising above the craziness that life throws at us. 

Julian Daniel is a 19 year old Canadian pop singer, from Toronto, Ontario. Growing up in a musical household and being involved in activities such as musical theatre, vocal lessons and dance he has always been one to be involved in the creative arts. After finishing high school, and having had experimented with a few original songs and successful releases. Julian then decided to dedicate his time to his music and transform it from a hobby to a career.

Harbouring his unique talents varying from graphic design, to music and fashion. Julian Daniel has been able to create his own image and sound that is unlike any other current pop musician. Everything fans and listeners see is 100% authentic and creatively controlled by Julian himself.

Lemontree is the first release from debut EP titled E-Boy. Julian is looking forward to all the new experiences he will be having that will help him grow and mature as an artist. And excited to share his creative projects with the rest of the world.

Rough, pillowy music.
As a high school student in Toronto, Young Clancy played in a handful of bands, usually on bass but occasionally guitar or drums. Nothing stuck. In university on Canada’s east coast, where he studied creative writing, Clancy quietly dabbled in songwriting with voice and guitar. He gave nervous performances at open mics and posted loosies to soundcloud where his heartfelt ballads racked up tens of plays by the few friends who knew they existed. As a graduate, Clancy found himself somewhat stagnated, bartending full-time at a sleazy steakhouse in Toronto’s financial district. Unsure of what was next, he began taking vocal lessons and teaching himself production on Ableton live and gradually began making the music he truly wanted to hear: thoughtful, lyrical songs inspired by Neil Young with gritty, inventive production inspired by Kanye West. This culminated in an EP that finally saw the light in 2017.

The ‘Yung Prince of the Basement’ was born, and so was his actual home built. Less than a year later, Clancy proposed to and married his uni sweetheart, Elise Troister – founder of Second Cousin Vintage, painter and stylist. In Toronto’s Hallam-neighbourhood, in their den, living room and basement, they’ve built a fledgling creative hub: a studio and vintage outlet for all manner of fashion and music. In just a couple short years, Elise has amassed an impressive client list of photographers, creative directors and artists including Bobby Bowen (stylist/creative director), Neva Wireko (photographer/creative director), and Charlotte Day Wilson (singer/producer). Downstairs, Clancy steadily toiled away on what would be his next move: a collaborative EP featuring several of Toronto’s most exciting up-and-comers – Maddee (singer), Chris Larocca (singer), MI Blue (singer/ filmmaker), Matthew Progress (rapper/ filmmaker) and Jonah Yano (singer) – while also finding time to get in the studio with artists like Daniela Andrade (singer) and Yoko Gold (singer).

You can feel the energy they’ve built around their home as soon as you walk in – an alternative to the wintery coolness of Toronto’s downtown shops and tracksuit-wearing, sing-rapping archetype – their space is warm and inviting – disarming even. Much like the racks of clothing that fill Elise’s shop upstairs and the dusty Lowrey organ in Young Clancy’s basement studio – their house is vintage. But the work they do is different, exciting and as a part of Toronto’s ever-expanding creative universe, ultimately new.

At the tender age of 16, singer-songwriter Noella Rain releases her new single, “Black & White”, from her upcoming album, Phoenix. The artist teamed up with producer Jeff Gruber (Ken Navarro, Sam Post, Jessica Krash) at the renowned Blue House Productions to record her new album, which comes out on November 2, 2019.

Rain wrote “Black & White” about maintaining who you are in a relationship. Because our “colors” make us who we are, if someone truly loves you, they should embrace the wonderful masterpiece you already are and are becoming.

“Black & White” follows the success of Noella’s May 2019 single “Bare”. With over 50,000 streams, the song introduced listeners to the 16-year-old songwriter’s soulful vocal style. Like many of her songs, Noella Rain focuses on channeling her personal experiences to create intricate stories that resonate with her fans.

Both “Black & White” and “Bare” are on Rain’s 10-track album, Phoenix, all written by the young artist. The album is a musical diary of Noella’s own personal journey over the past two years. The tone of the album begins with a feeling of hopelessness and transitions to a feeling of empowerment.

The best way to create art you love is to work with those you admire. That’s exactly what Victoria-based artist Dylan Perkons did on his upcoming debut, The Healing Day, and the result is a collection of richly orchestral songs that tell the story of an experienced songwriter finally stepping out to record under his own name. Perkons has spent his career working on various projects, honing his craft both on the road and in the studio, so while The Healing Day is his first solo outing, it represents a much longer journey.

Perkons knew early on he wanted to work with producer, Jonas Bonnetta of Ontario folk-outfit Evening Hymns, and had the privilege of recording at his secluded Port William Sound in Mountain Grove, ON. The woods were the perfect backdrop for an album that required, above all else, space. While the album was largely performed by Perkons and Bonnetta, The Healing Day also features a handful of Canadian indie mainstays like Michael Feuerstack (Snailhouse,The Luyas), Pietro Amato (The Luyas), Edwin Huizinga (The Wooden Sky), and Lisa Conway (L CON).

The album draws influence from Canadian folk songwriters that have come before him and while Perkons’ familiarity is comforting, he uses it as the foundation for his atmospheric indie-pop. The opening instrumental track feels like dawn, bringing listeners immediately into the woods before Perkons’ deep baritone breaks in, beginning the album’s tellings of imperfect, but meaningful, love. The songs move through relatable despair, knowing sometimes love must be set free in order to grow. There are also moments of reprieve where it is easy to imagine an audience singing along to the chorus in “Love Like Mine”. The album finishes with “Halfway to Winnipeg” where Perkons cultivates hope in the midst of self-deprecating sincerity.

The Healing Day is best described as layered. These are earnest, well-crafted songs, brimming with strings, french horn, electric piano and a plethora of synthesizers, creating a distinctive universe for the listener, one they will want to visit over and over again.

Born in 1992 and raised in Toronto, Dante Matas began writing music on the piano at the age of eight. After forming his first band at the Etobicoke School of the Arts as lead singer and guitarist, Dante would discover music to be his lifelong passion and a means to his creative expression.

Today, as a multi-instrumentalist and producer with an MA in philosophy and a penchant for poetry, Dante has combined his interests to create his own unique brand of indie-pop, folk, and experimental music. He is influenced by the likes of Radiohead, Tame Impala, Sufjan Stevens, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, and Leonard Cohen among many others. Dante’s music tends to have a contemplative and introspective character to it, but never at the expense of a catchy melody.

Dante released his most recent LP, “A Colourful Headache” in 2018 and promoted it with a Canadian east coast tour. His 2017 EP “Midnight Sun” was released with distribution through Universal Music Group. His music has been used in commercials, PSAs, popular YouTube channels and gets airplay on both Canadian and American college and specialty radio.

Dante writes and records music daily, plays frequent shows with his band, and is constantly perfecting his musical craft. Dante’s overall drive is to communicate human emotion through music and lyrics in a way that resonates with a diverse audience.

Pop n Roll, Austin based four-piece, Swimming with Bears, premieres new music video for the single, “Keep Smiling” exclusively on Atwood Magazine. Keep Smiling” is the second single off the band’s new self-titled EP, to be released on September 13th via Cinematic Music Group/Bear Creek Records. The first single “Don’t Think About it” is out now as well.

On their new self-titled EP, Swimming With Bears deliver a batch of five songs that showcase the next chapter as a band: truth and escapism. But beneath the vulnerability and personal lyrics are upbeat and fun tracks that everyone can relate to.  It marks a period of major growth for Swimming With Bears, who spent the better part of the last year honing their craft in the writing room as well as on tour, highlighted by press like Nylon who praised them as “Swimming With Bears knows this and turned it into a glistening alt. rock anthem. Oh la la, indeed.” In bringing the new EP to life, they worked closely with producer Ryan Hadlock (produced for Lumineers, Vance Joy, Brandi Carlile), immersing themselves in a more thorough recording process than they ever attempted before.

Swimming With Bears are of Joe Perry (lead vocals/bass), Alec Conte (guitar/vocals), Jon Kerr (guitar/vocals) and Ryan Hannasch (drums/vocals).

New York born, Sydney bred dark-pop artist Valencia James is making music for those in need. With a catalogue of music inspired by real life events, Valencia is on a mission song by song to give listeners something real, something organic, something true.

Although her music may stem from moments of doubt and sadness, the empowering songstress aims to cast light on even the most difficult of times. Her stunning vocals create an honest and relatable sound, allowing others to connect on a personal level. Described as ‘strong, mysterious and authentic’, Valencia oozes confidence through her compelling music.

Following the release of her debut single ‘Flames’, which garnered both critical and commercial acclaim, Valencia is back with the highly anticipated ‘Dreamers’. The single is an anthem reminding us that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and is another example of the songwriters’ praised edgy-pop style and powerful lyricism.

Valencia reveals, “I wrote Dreamers at a time in my life when I was learning how to dream again and believe for dreams that I had forgotten about. It’s kind of that song where I was just like, ‘Why can’t I do all the things that I want to?’ I had just come out of a period of depression about my future and this was my song … let’s all just start dreaming again and going for what we want in life”.

Featuring dreamy synth-pop soundscapes, haunting vocals, and oscillating rhythms, ‘Dreamers’ creates an uplifting ambiance with an undeniably catchy melody. Valencia shares, “I hope people listen to the song and remember to dream again, to hope again, and to believe in themselves again.”

With the aspiration that her music will encourage others to believe in themselves, Valencia preaches that we can do whatever we set our minds to and that we have more in us than we think we do. ‘Dreamers’ is currently available worldwide. 

Miranda Joan is a singer/songwriter born in Montréal and raised in Vancouver, Canada.  Both the English and French Canadian cultures have left their mark on her artistry. Now based in New York City, Joan’s multi-cultural upbringing and love of soul music and it’s many shades, finds her sound floating somewhere between soul, pop, and singer/songwriter.

Following the release of her debut EP Still, which fused retro soul with an electronic edge, blurring the lines between old school and contemporary. Joan is set to unveil her highly anticipated new music, a collection of singles, one by one detailing her own experiences with the hope that it offers a different perspective on love and relationships. Produced by Julian Pollack (Grace Kelly, Marcus Miller) the new releases provide an intimate look into the musicians life, highlighting a female-forward tone. The music has an underlying theme of empowerment, uncovering and connecting with one’s own strength and the importance of self-love. Joan confides, “This latest body of work is a reflection of my journey through the lens of finding my footing as a woman and the importance of my community of women who support me on this path”. 

Having already released the irresistibly catchy track ‘Free’, Joan is dropping ‘Happy To Have You’ – a celebration of female friendship. Joan admits, “Living far from home and far from the people I love, this song is about gratitude and about telling the people you love that you love them”. Featuring soulful vocals, upbeat driving rhythms and dance-worthy melodies, ‘Happy To Have You’ is a summery anthem reminiscent of modern day Macy Gray. 

Sonically ‘Girlfriend’ showcases Joan’s smokey vocal tone and big bold production which aims to awaken your inner badass. The song isn’t actually about not wanting to be anybody’s girlfriend, but was rather prompted by a situation Joan was in where she ended up being punished for not wanting to be somebody’s girlfriend. She shares, “That lead me to begin questioning what it meant to be defined by a relationship and the constraints and exclusivity that are implied by “Girlfriend”; which for me goes beyond just the physical and ventures into the emotional and psychological”. The empowering track portrays the idea of ownership versus partnership in a relationship, and how oftentimes the woman is forced into a role compromise, which in our culture is insidiously skewed to the side of the woman. Often there’s a cost and there shouldn’t be. It should be mutual.
Inspired by the likes of Carole King and Stevie Wonder and most recently contemporary artists such as Anderson Paak and fellow Canadian artist Kaytranada, Joan’s new body of work provides a fuller picture of who she is as an artist.

Joan has performed on international tours, as well as playing to sold-out audiences across New York City. She is a co-host and co-founder of Femme Jam (NYC’s first all-female led jam session), which creates a space in the music community that both shines a light on female musicians and also fosters a safe and inclusive space for women to play, network and gain exposure.

Originating from Kitchener Ontario, Hugo Alley is a high energy indie rock band that has quickly built a reputation for their hard hitting, dynamic live shows and distinctive groove. With influences such as Young the Giant, Bad Suns, The Paper Kites and Sticky Fingers, they blend groovy rhythms, catchy melodies, and experimental guitar textures to create their characteristic sound and feel.

They are currently in-studio recording a second EP, “Point, Place.” Set to release late this year, the album is a step forward and reflects their growth as songwriters. Otherwise, the band has been hitting the road and bringing their live show to cities all across Ontario.

Since the release of their first EP “Therapy”, the boys have gained momentum and had the opportunity to perform in Canadian Music Week (CMW), and play with bands such as The Beaches, Monowhales, Tyler Shaw, Wang Chung, and Lost Cousins.

Canadian indie rock trio, Close Talker, new album How Do We Stay Here?, is out now and featured on NPR’s New Music Friday.

The band says: “How Do We Stay Here?”, is about trying to wrestle with time. It’s about trying to learn from experiences, trying to keep perspective, trying to progress in this weird world, and sometimes trying not to progress at all; to sit in a moment and soak it in for all it has to offer before it becomes nothing more than a memory. This album is us navigating through the past two years, through both the good times and the bad, and holding on to those times for as long as we’re able.

In support of their new music, Close Talker will be touring all around North America and Canada. They just finished their North America’s first ever 3D – 360 degree Silent Headphone Concert Series. The band collaborated with visual artists in each city and performed their new album, front to back, all to a seated audience wearing headphones. The audience experienced real time 3D mixing, putting each listener in the middle of the band, hearing instruments and voices swirling around them. Collaborating with esteemed galleries and art institutions across Canada, the band was excited for their music to be experienced in an inclusive and multi sensational context. It allowed the audience to lose itself in both the immersive audio and the live visual components. Close Talker is fully pioneering this new genre of live music and loved to utilize this technology in a meaningful and communal way.

Close Talker is an indie rock band from Saskatoon, Canada. The band has toured throughout North America and Europe, and has gained the attention and praise of notable publications such as NPR, Billboard, Clash, Spin, Q Magazine, COS etc. Having recently won Alternative Artist of The Year at the Saskatchewan Music Awards, the band is poised for a breakthrough 2019. Beyond Close Talker’s recordings and videos, the music comes alive with the band’s iconic live show, leaving audiences around the world satisfied, having left all inhibitions behind.

In so many ways How Do We Stay Here? marks a new chapter for the band. The three members leaned into the trust and foundation built over countless years of friendship to pursue a record that would be sustainable and timeless for them. Choosing to self-produce allowed the band to hold this album close to their chest while it developed organically over the course of 2018 at RMS Labs in Regina, SK. It is an album the band wrote for themselves, in hopes that the songs would carry the same meaning in 10 years, as they do today.

Close Talker are Will Quiring (vocals/guitar), Matthew Kopperud (Guitar/Keyboard), and Christopher Morien (drums).

Born in Mexico, psychedelic baroque pop artist Cesar Saez has created a new genre by fusing romantic and melancholy tradition with modern rock-n-roll soundscapes.  Currently living in Los Angeles, Saez is a troubadour stolen from a different era bringing his groundbreaking sound with him.
Growing up in Mexico City, his Bolero influence came from watching his mother’s partner serenade her with Bolero after dinner.  With flowers between his teeth and a unique swagger Saez began to see the power of romance that stemmed from the Bolero sounds. He soon learned to play the guitar and submerged himself into the traditional stylings of artists such as Pedro Infante and Agustin Lara. Moving to Los Angeles as a teenager, Saez had a flood of new musical influences that impacted his own sound.  Ranging from Radiohead to Scott Walker and Serge Gainsberg as well as the 60s pop icons his dad would play for him, Saez took this wide variety of influences and crafted them into the psychedelic baroque pop that he is now known for.


Since his relocation to Los Angles, Saez was able to integrate himself into various sectors of the music scene by touring and playing with two rock bands—The Bixby Knolls and the Wallburds, of which he was the lead singer.  As a solo act and with the both bands Saez has shared stages with the likes of Los Amigos Invisibles, Bomba Estéreo, Gaby Moreno, and many more.  He’s also played some renowned stages such as The Avalon in Hollywood (at a NALIP event where he was hand-picked by a KCRW DJ), SXSW, Desert Stars and many more.

Cesar Saez’s debut EP “Perdido” was produced by the legendary Ettore Grenci (Gloria Trevi and Marc Anthony) and received critical acclaim.  He is now set to release two new highly anticipated tracks, “If You” and “Desilusion” which are part of a full length Bilingual album with equal songs in Spanish/English.  Both songs were co-produced by Saez and Luis Los and Luis Aguilar members of the Mexican band Vaya Futuro, along with Grammy nominated Spanish Producer/engineer Juan De Dios. “If You” is a James Bondesque emotive track detailing lost love and heartbreak, while “Desilusion” features psychedelic soundscapes, impassioned vocals and lush string arrangements.

“If You” and “Desilusion” are currently available worldwide.

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

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