INsiders Guide: Shy Martin, Ruby Singh, Eileen Carey, Neon Dreams, The Know, The Weeks, D. Muñoz, Seth Glier, Aqua Seca
Swedish artist and prolific songwriter SHY Martin (real name Sara Hjellström) has released a new single titled “Slow.” The track is available everywhere now here + watch the behind the scenes / lyric video here.
Emotive, delicate, and poignantly relatable, “Slow” brings SHY’s lyrical prowess to the forefront. As she describes,
- “When I started writing songs I never did it without my guitar. I spent hours and hours writing on my bed with it, and if not there it was on a little pier by a lake next to our house. A few years ago when I moved to Stockholm I stopped writing songs that way. This past summer me, my brother and two of my closest friends and co-writers Nirob and Litens went to spend a weekend at my parents’ place in the countryside where I grew up. We ended up bringing the guitar everywhere we went. It was the first time in years I’d even held the guitar, but I guess going back to where it all started made me feel like nothing had really changed. ‘Slow’ was written during those days in the countryside. I picked up the guitar while we were eating breakfast one morning and started playing some chords. We were talking about how scary it can be jumping into a relationship immediately after a break up. I really felt like I wanted to keep the feeling we had when we wrote it by keeping the production simple, organic.”
“Slow” kicks off what is slated to be a big 2020 for SHY Martin, who spent 2019 releasing a string of singles and collaborations solidifying her place among the top rising pop artists. Her previous single “Make Us Never Happen” debuted with Forbes and saw top placement across many Spotify ‘New Music Friday’ playlists. Summer 2019 single “Same Old” and spring release “Out of My Hands” were equally well-received with support from the likes of V Magazine, PAPER, Idolator, and The Line of Best Fit, among others. The songs are a precursor to a forthcoming new EP, which will see a 2020 release.
SHY Martin also recently released a collaboration with Swedish duo NOTD on track “Keep You Mine.” Watch the video here. SHY also released a collaboration with Boy In Space on single “On a Prayer” — listen here.
Since the release of her December 2018 debut EP, Overthinking, which featured standout singles “Forget To Forget,” “Good Together,” and “Just A Little Longer,” SHY Martin has amassed a collective 150 million+ Spotify streams. Her releases have generated widespread critical love, notably with PAPER naming SHY among their ‘100 People Taking over 2019.’
2019 also saw SHY Martin complete her first European headline tour, which traversed 14 cities and stunned audiences with her electrifying live show. SHY also supported Nina Nesbitt last December at her London show. Stay tuned for more tour news to come.
Vancouver artist Ruby Singh is pleased to announce the release of a new track from his pan-cultural Sufi Hip-Hop project Jhalaak. ‘Main Naraye Mastana’ is the first single from Ruby Singh presents Jhalaak (spark) which is slated to come out on May 7th. Also out today is Jhalaak‘s stunning video for ‘Main Naraye Mastana’ which was shot in the group’s ancestral home of Rajasthan, India. The video was directed by Singh + features Raki Khalbelia, one of the most celebrated dancers in Kalbelia folk dance.
Spanning two continents, Jhalaak brings together the powerful sounds of Qawaali (devotional Sufi music from Pakistan and India), Hip-Hop, and EDM. Jhalaak met under the constellations of the Vancouver summer sky in 2014 when the Indian musicians found a kindred spirit in Canadian born Desi Hip-Hop artist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer Ruby Singh.
“We met 6 years ago at the Indian Summer Festival in Vancouver,” explains Singh. “The group of Indian musicians are all brothers from the same family, Salim Khan, Khete Khan, Chugge Khan, 19th generation musicians from a caste called Manganiyars. They are from the same city where my ancestors migrated from 300 years ago so there is a good chance that our ancestors were hanging out which is pretty incredible.”
Made up of an ensemble of artists who have toured the world over, Jhalaak is a potent combination of musicians sparking dance floors worldwide. Chugge Khan, with recent project Junun, toured extensively with Radiohead and was mentored as a young vocalist by the inimitable Ustaad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Ruby Singh’s spoken word, rap and beatboxing have taken him across the globe throughout North America, Europe, and the South Asian continent, which prepared him for creating rap interpretations of Qawwali songs that date back as far as 700 years.
To expand the spectrum of Jhalaak, Juno and Emmy nominated producer and DJ Adham Shaikh, contributes to their hypnotic and explosive chemistry.
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Eileen Carey unleashed her latest romantic single “Finally” in November and follows it up with her breathtaking music video, premiered January 6th, 2020 on ThisIsTheLatest. In creating the music video, Eileen Carey worked alongside her longtime collaborator producer-director Taner Tumkaya. Depicting a journey towards love, the stop motion animated music video is timeless and captivating.
With her single “Finally”, Eileen Carey amplifies those emotions we can’t describe with crystal clarity. “Strong emotions sometimes cry out for strong language,” Carey asserts. “These lyrics state in the plainest possible way what we feel but may be hesitant to say.” “Finally” also follows the international success of her chart-topping single “Meet Me Halfway”, released in May 2019. Both singles continue with Carey’s positive, uplifting musical style as well as her trademark take on love.
Currently, Eileen Carey is excited to share her vision for her single “Finally” with the official music video release. To continue through music, she will also be dazzling on stage with her band alongside Jefferson Starship on February 6th, at The Rose. Be sure to check out her social media for all details on her upcoming performance.
Neon Dreams spent their first few years pushing boundaries and experimenting with different musical styles, with which they achieved tremendous success. Despite racking up over 20 million streams, a gold record and accumulating an ever-growing fan base, something was missing. “Even with the kindness I’ve gotten from so many people, there was a part of me that felt like I never really had a voice for myself until about a year ago,” admits frontman Frank Kadillak. Neon Dreams needed to make a change, so Kadillac headed to a healing retreat in Sedona, Arizona, where he was encouraged to open up about his troubled childhood. “It was the most painful thing ever.” But the experience made Kadillac realize the power he holds as a songwriter, one who has reached millions of listeners. “I always think, ‘What does the world need? Will this help someone get through the day? Will this make them feel better?’”
The duo’s debut album, Sweet Dreams till Sunbeams, finds Kadillac and drummer Adrian Morris tweaking their sound to accommodate their newfound musical perspective. While their signature brand of alt-pop hasn’t dwindled, Kadillac’s lyrics have taken center stage across the LP’s eight songs. Featuring the singles “High School Dropout,” an uplifting anthem detailing Kadillac’s struggle through High School, and “About You,” a true song of the summer candidate, the album embarks on a journey to deliver a set that heals, empowers and motivates the listener. From the inspirational opener, “Life Without Fantasies,” through to the cathartic closure of the title track, Sweet Dreams till Sunbeams establishes a vibe that more than anything defines this second chapter of Neon Dreams. “A well-told story, a beautiful melody and some emotional chords are what we aim for” has been the Neon Dreams motto since day one, but now they’re approaching music on a much wider scale. “I’m hoping that my personal stories can give our fans the happiness they deserve if they are missing it,” says Kadillac. “I used to think making music was just a cool thing to do and a way to make myself feel better. But then I realized just how much it affects people’s everyday lives. This album is the start of me building a home for myself and anyone else who is looking for shelter under my relatable stories.”
The Know began in late 2018 when Daniel Knowles suggested to his wife, Jennifer Farmer, that instead of traveling home for the holidays (to the UK and Texas respectively) that the LA based transplants stay put and try to create music together, just the two of them. This would be the married couple’s gift to themselves.
For the next few weeks, they isolated themselves in their home studio with no real plan except a mutual love of Beach House, Julee Cruise, Ye Ye, The Jesus and Mary Chain, 60’s girl groups, and the evocative storytelling lyricism of Patsy Cline and The National.
The first result was lead single ‘143.’ Inspired by Tom Waits’ ‘(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night’, the dream pop song melds autobiographical with fantastical lyrics and unfolds as a series of conversations, images, and hazy recollections of a night out. Their love for ethereal, dreamy atmospheres is shown in ‘143’, glistening with warm melodies, thick soundscapes, and quirky spontaneous flares.
Four more songs quickly followed in the wake of 143, tracks that provide an unflinching look at the couple. The EP often delves deep into the duo’s personal lives by honestly narrating stories from their relationship and life experiences against a kaleidoscopic sonic palette.
Recording together wasn’t entirely new to the couple, a few years prior they had made an album as “Ghostel” with a friend providing vocals. Knowles, previously a producer and guitarist for UK shoegaze band “Amusement Parks on Fire” and live sound engineer for bands like Cigarettes After Sex, Sharon Van Etten, and Phoebe Bridgers, recorded the project while Farmer became a co-writer and bassist for the first time. They’d later have one of their songs featured prominently in the trailer for Oscar nominated film, “Mustang.”
The debut EP which was produced, mixed, and mastered by Knowles while Farmer handled the band’s visuals further reiterates their wish to craft something wholly their own. In addition, Knowles solely played all of the instruments while Farmer, for the first time, took on lead vocals. With a strong desire but no professional training and a deep seated fear, so intense in fact that previous attempts had reduced her to tears, Farmer’s voice emerges as courageous and powerful.
The Weeks release performance video of their single “Two Moons” and announce five headline shows across their home state of Mississippi. The video can be watched HERE. See all tour dates below.
The live clip was filmed at the Columbia City Theater in Seattle, WA on the band’s headlining North American Fall Tour in support of their latest album, Two Moons. It was directed & produced by Keirda Bahruth, edited by Rick Ballard, and filmed by Keirda Bahruth, Domenic Barbero, and Rick Ballard.
Two Moons was recorded in Nashville with Eric Masse (Rayland Baxter, Mikky Ekko, Robert Ellis). Visit the band’s store at crookedletter.net for exclusive bundles including limited run vinyl, cassettes & CDs.
Raucous Mississippi rock combo The Weeks got its start in 2006 while all four members were still in high school. Staffed by twin brothers Cyle (lead vocals) and Cain Barnes (drums), Samuel Williams (guitar, vocals), and Damien Bone (bass), they released their debut album, Comeback Cadillac, in 2008. Their swaggering, sludgy, and slightly southern indie rock was further expanded with the release of five total albums including four studio albums and one live project.
After independently amassing millions of streams and a loyal fanbase, 19-year-old singer, songwriter, and New Jersey phenomenon D. Muñoz ignites 2020 with his major label debut MOMENTS EP.
Get it HERE via Triangle Offense/Epic Records.
To celebrate the EP’s arrival, he also reveals the music video for the opening tune “Drink.” In the clip, he dreams of romancing a gorgeous love interest everywhere from the club to a one-on-one shopping date before waking up. The bass and drums reverberate next to his slick falsetto as he promises, “Drinks on me.”
Watch it HERE.
He initially teased the new project with viral single “Typa Luv” last month, which amassed over 300K streams and views in just a few weeks’ time and amped up excitement. Featuring production by Jorgen Odegard [P!nk, Imagine Dragons], the six-track MOMENTS showcases Muñoz’s dynamic and diverse style as it fuses pop, R&B, and Latin.
Elsewhere on MOMENTS, the soft keys of “A Lil Nothin’” uplift his smooth delivery over a midtempo beat. A dreamy bilingual ballad, “Ella” pairs a Latin beat with Spanish lyrics, while acoustic guitar echoes throughout “Tipo E’ Amor.” Check out the full tracklisting below.
D. Muñoz quietly emerged from Bayonne, NJ to national prominence in 2017. Raised by a single mom, the Colombian and Dominican singer posted an original rap on Instagram that set off initial buzz in 2016. He stormed on to the iTunes R&B/Soul Chart with his independent EP, Until Next Time, taking the #7 spot. “Love Me” put up over 1 million Spotify streams and 4.6 million YouTube views as “Ten Toes Down” exploded to the tune of 7.1 million Spotify streams.
- A Lil Nothin’
- Typa Luv
- Tipo E’ Amor
Grammy-nominated Seth Glier is a singer-songwriter, producer, and multi instrumentalist. NPR describes his voice as “otherworldly” while praising him as “an engaging performer and storyteller.” His critically acclaimed, emotionally dense catalog of work often draws upon traditional roots music, experimental instrumentation, and moody atmospheres that result in soulfully intelligent stories that can alternatively fight the power or break your heart.
“The music of Seth Glier veers towards being indefinable.” – Paste Magazine
With five albums, five Independent Music Awards, and even a U.S. State Department sponsored international tour under his belt, Glier has also played with a diverse list of artists such as Ani DiFranco, Martin Sexton, James Taylor, Ronnie Spector, and Marc Cohn. He’s currently on tour and is debuting new music, including his two latest songs “If It Wasn’t For You” and “Stages”, both releasing in 2020. Inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, “If It Wasn’t For You” echoes the young activist’s own concepts about the transformative power of turning one’s trauma into gratitude and awareness. “Stages” captures the magic and secret joy that’s shared when close relationships evolve using the universal art of ritual. Both singles will be available on exclusive, collectible 7″ vinyl in a very limited run, offered only at his live shows. Glier plans to put out more music throughout the year while continuing to connect with audiences using his eclectic, often humorous, and always insightful artistry.
Aqua Seca releases their third music video for the fan-favorite single, “Don’t Care.” Trent Hankinson, Derek Stewart, and Jacob Horne decided to take on the music scene following the attention they received for the music video for a previous single, “Whipped Cream,” which has garnered over 13k views on YouTube. Since the release of “Don’t Care,” it has gained over 30K streams on Spotify. Now the brilliant cinematography of the music video will help the listener visualize the band’s true vision for the song.
The “Don’t Care” Music Video starts with a lone man in the middle of nowhere, sitting in an airplane seat that has been detached from the entire rest of the aircraft. He sits in extremely shallow waters, just high enough to soak his shoes. It is clear and sunny outside, but that doesn’t stop the audience from the trippy scenes they are about to experience.
The music starts immediately, loud and fast yet very catchy. The man is completely alone as he starts doing the strangest things such as running around, frantically driving a random truck he sees, and playing poker with himself. By the end of the video, the man is lying in the water looking up to the sky. We eventually see him stand back up, turn and give one last smile to the camera as the audience may feel like they were just in a dream-like trance. The video comes full circle as a symbol of self-destructive behavior and how some of us don’t care what others are thinking.
“The video came to symbolize the type of person who is doing a lot of certain activities but has no idea why he is doing it. He has no idea what is going on, but still doesn’t care what anybody else might say, left to his own self-destruction. There really is no tangible reason for him to be there, but somehow he ended up there.” -Trent Hankinson, Aqua Seca
The guys have known each other since they were freshmen in high school and have always enjoyed jamming out together in their spare time. At the time that Trent began writing songs for the upcoming LP, focusing on music was the last thing he should have been doing. He was a full-time student in college with an overloaded class schedule and an internship, with his songs just voice memos he had on his phone. When Trent decided to stop holding himself back from his dream, he reached out to Derek and Jacob to be permanent fixtures of Aqua Seca. Like Trent, Derek and Jacob had other commitments such as a full-time apprenticeship and school. However, the pull towards their music was something any of them could ignore and now the songs are more than just melodies in Trent’s head and memos on his phone.
Trent Hankinson (main vocalist and guitarist) is in charge of the entire writing, recording, and production process; and with Derek Stewart (on drums), and Jacob Horne (bass, guitar, and keys) they are ready to take on the music world.