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INsiders Guide: Anna Dellaria, FXRRVST, Deanna Devore, Melanie Penn, Kat Hamilton, Julian Daniel, Rachel Beck, Pyramid Tropic, Casii Stephan, quietype, Carrousel and many more

San Francisco-born and Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Anna Dellaria uses her flaws to start a fire. Translating lyrical catharsis through bold and powerful vocal delivery, she doesn’t back down from darkness; rather, she turns it into light… That approach has unassumingly drawn the spotlight to her after a lifetime dedicated to the craft.  Amidst a tumultuous upbringing and a broken home fueled with bouts of anxiety – music became a refuge.

While studying at USC’s Thornton School of Music, she devoted ten hours a day to honing her voice—often sleeping in the practice rooms.  Through the program, she caught the attention of early supporters and industry icons Lenny Waronker and Rob Cavallo, while also performing alongside artists like John Fogerty, Chaka Khan, and more.  Her debut single, “Sudden”,  was welcomed with praise from The Four Oh FiveIndie Shuffle, and Complex Magazine among others.  Soon after, the iPhone demo of her song “Bolder” aired in the season finale of TV Land’s, “Younger”, which ignited a flurry of inquiry and partnerships with Shazam and Apple Music for a formal release. 

With a rising profile, Ethan Allen tapped her to sing during a national campaign aired during the 2018 Academy® Awards. Dellaria’s recent releases have been featured across television and film, on networks ranging from HBO to Nickelodeon.  

Her recent single, “Baggage” premiered on EARMILK to critical acclaim.  Now with over 1 million Digital Streams, features across 14 Editorial Playlists, and a selected act as tour support for Clark Beckham’s upcoming Spring Tour, Dellaria is set to share a new side of the music with the world.  Keep an eye out for live shows across the West Coast this summer, and new music released every month.  The new music is driven by a desire to create a fresh & authentic sound rooted in turning imperfection into power: darkness into light.

When Holly Forrest decided to travel half a world away to Canada to pursue a career in music, she never expected her artistic dreams to come true so quickly and so completely.

Twelve hours after landing at Toronto’s Pearson airport, the Australian native met the person who not only helped her accomplish this epic creative quest but who would also become her music partner and confidente, Toronto singer/songwriter Matt Fuentes. The serendipitous meeting was the beginning of an exciting and fulfilling collaboration which they aptly named FXRRVST (pronounced forest).

Since that life-changing, summer day in 2015, the soft-spoken, low key creative duo behind the masterfully composed songs continue to be as approachable and relatable as their music, as evidenced by the success of their 2017 debut release, May XXVI.

The momentum has continued unabated through to the early days of 2020, as the anticipation for the upcoming release of the new FXRRVST EP, “Dear Friend; (Side A)” has become incandescently hot. The first single, Bad Things (slated for release on February 7), is palpably buzz-worthy for how compelling and memorable the song is, and for the depth and evocative nature of the story behind it.

“Bad Things is about having someone or something to help you. One of my school counselors would always use the metaphor where I am in a hole and I can’t get out on my own, so she gives me a rope. I want people to understand that it’s okay to reach out for help if you need it. It’s really a song that’s just saying that it’s okay to not be okay,” she explained.

The band enlisted the help of some of the most famous Toronto-based Instagram dogs – @HortonScsnorto, @HazelMcSnorton, @Kimchithecorgi, @dawson_s_creek, and some additional four-legged extras for the video. “We decided to use the pups in the video because from personal experience, no matter how down you are, dogs make everything better,” said Fuentes.

Deanna Devore is a Chicago and Toronto based multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer. Her music beautifully blends downtempo electronic beats with organic instrumentation, creating emotionally captivating music that has been resonating with audiences across the globe. Devore’s polished musicianship, modern production techniques and compelling songwriting emanates a maturity and sophistication that spans across downtempo electronic, R&B, neosoul, jazz and orchestral territories. 

Following the success of her highly acclaimed EP half and half, Devore is unveiling her new release ‘Lately’, featuring a mystery vocalist who cannot yet be announced. Thematically the single narrates the insecurity and ups and downs of a relationship, detailing how love can often feel like an emotional rollercoaster until it finally comes to an end. Its mellow grooves and smooth lo-fi beats cook up a mouth-watering release, oozing with seductive melodies and velvety vocals, which highlight the featured singer’s impressive vocal range. Emitting a sensuous flowing cadence, delicately layered harmonies and a pulsating rhythm, ‘Lately’ provides an alluring neosoul track, showcasing Devore’s unique and fresh production. 

Devore’s inspiration sparks from a sonic level – the feeling and emotions that certain chords and melodies provoke. Her songwriting is built around the result and impact it will have on the listener. “Lyrically I delve into the darkness and light of love and life”, reveals Devore. With influences partially rooted in the soul, R&B and jazz field, Devore doesn’t allow any limitations to her sound and her music includes elements of a multitude of genres. It’s this genre-blending sound which has allowed the musician to create music without boundaries. She shares, “I hope my music can bridge the gap for fans of all genres and be appealing to a variety of people”.

Devore has seen success performing to sold-out venues and festivals across the map, such as Summerfest, CMJ, NXNE, and 80/35. She has also had the pleasure of opening for renowned artists including Jamie Cullum, Bonobo and SG Lewis, as well as Raveena, Mother Mother and Yoke Lore. The composer has recently explored more commercial work, where her work can be heard in podcasts, feature films and even a Starbucks ad.

Self-produced and performing all of the instruments on the track herself, Devore wishes to encourage other female artists to take a lead in their music, “I’d love to inspire other songwriters and other female multi-instrumentalist/producers. There aren’t many of us out there it seems, so I’d love to inspire more female musicians to self-produce”.

Devore continues to be celebrated for her remarkable musicality and ‘Lately’ is another indication of what to expect in 2020.

Singer, songwriter and worship leader, Melanie Penn’s new single “More Alive” is out now and featured on American Songwriter.

Melanie says, “What do we do with all the bad things that happen in life? The trials and sufferings? So much threatens to drain life out from us and make us less alive. But we have a choice in the matter … we can choose to be more alive. I hope that everyone who feels a little older – a little more worn out or weary – can be encouraged today. Your scars and struggles make you more alive.”

“More Alive” is the title track from her 14 song collection album that she plans to release the first day of every month. The More Alive Project a collection that tells the story of change and transformation. These melodies and lyrics are for anyone who stands at the edge of change, holding a listener’s hand through fear, trial, hope and arrival at the other side.

Melanie Penn writes pop songs at the crossroads of faith and culture. A singer/songwriter now based in Manhattan, Penn was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Falls Church, Va. She began singing and receiving formal vocal training at a young age, and even competed as a classical vocalist through her teen years. After studying classical voice, she moved to New York City and pursued musical theatre where she joined a national Broadway touring company with “Grease,” starring Frankie Avalon. Following several years in the theater scene, Penn’s attention turned to songwriting and becoming a solo artist. She started collaborating with producer Ben Shive and has released four albums, with a pop album due in 2020 becoming her fifth project

Kat Hamilton is a west-coast singer, songwriter and performer. Growing up in the Bay Area, the musician has hopped from city to city, leaving her mark in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, London, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Hamilton cleverly crafts an intimate blend of rock, pop, Americana and emo, establishing an entirely new genre.

Hamilton’s career has the trajectory of a chameleon; lending her talents to pop-punk, emo, r&b, hip-hop, pop and country. She is no stranger to reinventing herself. In 2017, Hamilton ended her five-year run as the front woman of popular east-coast pop punkers, Manic Pixi, before shifting her focus to her upcoming solo album. Hamilton confides, “I had just gotten out of a recovery center and these songs became my way of coping”.

Hence Recovery Songs was born, a nine-track album narrating resilience and depicting real life experiences of her struggle with addiction and overcoming trauma. The songstress reveals, “The music was inspired by being knocked down and getting back up. Going to the darkest places in yourself and in life and managing to make it through. I went through hell and found a way to be okay, but I like to think that this work can resonate with people who aren’t in the recovery process. Anyone who’s ever struggled could relate to this music”. Sonically the album uses non-organic sounds and textured instrumentation to cultivate a specific and authentic atmosphere.

Produced by Allee Futterer (The Astronots), engineered by Vira Biramji (Father John Misty), mixed by Ryan Gilligan (Kevin Garrett, Solange) and mastered by Joe La Porta, the album which was written in chronological order, takes listeners on a journey from start to finish. ‘Ohio’ showcases twangy country guitars and imaginative storytelling lyrics, showing off Hamilton’s impressive vocal range. ‘Empty Room’ features a steady building rhythm, determined guitars and passionate vocals. Whereas ‘Amnesia’ takes a softer, gentler approach, creating an emotion-fueled track and giving us an insight into the songwriter’s most intimate moments.

Weaving together the very best of spaghetti western music, alternative country and early 2000’s indie rock, with elements reminiscent of Death Cab for Cutie, Fleetwood Mac and Sheryl Crow, Hamilton has forged a sound unlike anything else. “I feel like emo and country have so much in common. They are both a few chords and a story. So even though they may seem like an unlikely fit, I see them as doing the same job”, she admits. Kat Hamilton has found success touring across the nation as well as placements in popular TV shows.

Similar to her own experience, Hamilton hopes that her music may be of solace to those in need, getting them through their pain when nothing else can. Recovery Songs is due for release 2020.

“I was scrolling through TikTok when I first noticed that a lot of the people in these videos had a similar style to mine; “whoa, they look like me!”  With a bit more research, I discovered that the term to describe that particular look was e-boy. I realized that it was the perfect merging of both my sound and style, and wanted to base a song around the stereotypes that people who fit this title tend to live by. The E-BOY EP is a look into my life over the past year. It follows new beginnings and themes of love, heartbreak, drugs, and the start of something special. I want to show that gender norms are meant to be broken. Being a pop musician, I feel lucky to be able to show a more vulnerable side of myself.

The best way to listen to this EP is front to back. Follow the story that plays out in your head after leaving suburbia and finding a new place that accepts you for being you. Thanks for listening! Stay in the loop through Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.” JULIAN DANIEL 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l86U6UveAUg&feature=youtu.be

Glowing with catchy pop hooks, Rachel Beck’s distinctive piano melodies and emotive vocals are captivating audiences across Canada. Her upcoming release, Stronger Than You Know, is a celebration of strength and resilience. It’s a gentle call to action — a call to stand up, to speak out, to be present, to love fiercely. The record shimmers with layered synths and lush strings, balanced by dynamic percussion and bass. But the focal point, the unifying force throughout, is Beck’s stunning voice.

Based on the success of her multi award-winning debut album, one might presume otherwise, but this Prince Edward Island songwriter’s journey to a career in music was anything but conventional. After completing degrees in psychology and education, teaching high school for ten years, and giving birth to three beautiful children, Beck found herself seeking a creative outlet. That outlet quickly transformed into passion and a wave of momentum following the release of her first single, Reckless Heart, which topped the CBC Music Top 20, ranked #4 in the CBC Music Fan Favourites of 2018, and earned a SOCAN #1 Award.

“Hearts on fire / We leap and don’t ask why / Every beat electrified”
(Hearts On Fire by Rachel Beck)

Mere months after releasing her self-titled debut, Rachel Beck took her own advice and leapt, leaving the security of her full-time teaching position to hit the road. Tour highlights include performing for Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, appearing twice at the legendary Stan Rogers Folk Festival, opening the 2019 ECMA Gala Awards Show, and playing beautiful festivals and venues from the Rogue Folk Club in Vancouver, BC to the Imperial Theatre in Saint John, NB.

“On our new single, “Last Forever,” we went full-blown Roxy Music meets Alan Parsons Project, with some Timecop1983 thrown in for good measure. This song encapsulates the feeling of wishing that a particular relationship would last forever, yet not feeling any regrets that it didn’t. We juxtaposed this mood with anthemic, upbeat production. A secret love of 80s synthpop led to this collaboration between myself, co-founder Will Whitwham, and producer/multi-instrumentalist Matt Fudge. The ultimate sound of our project is fuelled by many late nights and ample amounts of caffeine.

We have been performing “Last Forever” across Europe on tour and are excited to share the recorded version with you. Enjoy,” —Pyramid Tropic

Casii Stephan is a soul pop/rock artist hailing from Minnesota. Now based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the impassioned songstress evokes subtle vibrato notes and roller-coaster-like melodies, which immediately grab the listener, while her emotional lyrics share intimate stories. She has been compared to the likes of Florence Welch, Fiona Apple and Carole King, as her vocal timbre possesses a full and warm quality.

Stephan’s voice is fierce and fearless, but this was not always the case. She grew up shy and afraid of her voice until she started writing songs on the family piano in South St. Paul when she was 16. In music, she discovered something extraordinary that allowed her to transcend everyday life and find a deeper sense of self. Stephan moved to Tulsa in 2014 with the intent to give up her pursuit of a music career, however with a little encouragement from a friend, she continued her journey and started releasing music. Her songs were promptly applauded by critics and have since been racking up a number of awards, as well as garnering acclaim from media and fans across the globe.

Stephan’s latest single “Trapeze Artist” was inspired after scrolling through her social feeds and seeing the highs and lows of humanity. The songwriter reveals, “From finding love to accounts of racism. It’s all there and it makes one feel like a trapeze artist swinging back and forth. It’s a growth process to know how to process all of this information and what to do with it and know what I can reasonably do in the community I’m in. No one person can change the world”. Sonically “Trapeze Artist” details Stephan’s velvety vocals, cascading piano melodies, swirling string arrangements and bright brass, building into an anthemic and empowering track. Reminiscent of Brandi Carlile meets Adele, Stephan has created a sound which brings power and color, whilst maintaining a quiet intimacy. The visuals play off the feeling of social media leaving people isolated and how community, friends and music help to bring us back to the reality that hope and change is possible.

An underlying theme throughout Stephan’s music is hope, she explains, “Its such a cliched word and yet there are so many layers to it. Hope keeps us alive. It keeps us moving. But it also feels flighty some days like a pixie that does what it wants. But it’s not a pixie. It’s more like the air we breathe. Some days it’s presence is stronger than we realize and some days we forget in our day-to-day lives that it’s there… keeping us moving forward”. Her music combines her love for the storytelling elements of Disney ballads and the bold, brilliance of The White Stripes, as well as the soul-wrenching R&B melodies of H.E.R.

Casii Stephan has seen success both obtaining and being nominated for multiple awards from the likes of Independent Music Awards, Hollywood Music in Media Awards and USA Songwriting Competition to name a few. She also heads a female fronted festival entitled MisFEST in Tulsa, that has gained recognition both locally and nationally. Continuing to craft real, authentic, soulful music with the intention to help others feel a little less alone, Casii Stephan is releasing “Trapeze Artist” in 2020.

The feeling of isolation just before the end of a relationship, the growing divide that cripples your thoughts, the obsessive guilt as you fight to hold on. Despite your best efforts, you know the relationship is over. “Island” is about reconciling that within yourself.

Stream our new single on SPOTIFY or SOUNDCLOUD now. One of the first songs we wrote as a group, “Island” remains a favourite off our forthcoming debut self-titled EP.

This one was a really interesting song to tackle when it came to recording. There were so many layers, so many unique sounds and tones we wanted to incorporate. For us, it was mainly about finding the balance of incorporating all the sounds we had in our heads while still keeping the song subtle and clear.

quietype is a brutally honest depiction of a relationship that is slowly, quietly fracturing. It is an elegy to the joys of falling in love – and the pain of falling out of it.

We hope that you have a visceral experience that replicates the emotions people feel in a troubled relationship. We want to take listeners on that emotional journey through our music, both lyrically and sonically.

Thanks for listening. quietype drops on February 28th, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

quietype

Los Angeles-based duo Carrousel – the project of Joel Piedt and Sharon Piedt – are revealing the official music video for “Psychobabble Drama,” the lead single from their newly released EP, ‘I Wasn’t Well.

Inspired by Joel’s recurring nightmares, “Psychobabble Drama” is equal parts haunting and anthemic. For the official video, the band worked with director Dylan Plyfair to create a visual that is very much in tune with the song. “The idea was to integrate footage from Dracula with us as we were playing,” Joel explains, “on the walls, on our instruments and faces, so that we’re totally immersed in it.” The “Psychobabble Drama” video is a surreal odyssey into the world of Carrousel — a world that will continue to be explored in music videos to come.

Carrousel draw on a broad spectrum of sounds ranging from blues, to psychedelic rock, to shoegaze, to new wave, developing their own sonic universe with each new release. Carrousel’s futuristic pop melodies wane toward the prophetic, delineating several genres at once with enigmatic cohesion, and surprising grit. The ‘I Wasn’t Well’ EP kicks off an exciting year for the band who plan to release a 10-track album titled Magnificent Desolation later this Spring

“My new single, “Honey,” explores how phones have recently caused mass anxiety for many people, including myself. From 2010-2019, people felt awkward not being on their phones while on a night out. Now that it’s 2020, I want to send a message that the reality is quite the opposite. Who wants to be checking their notifications when you could be dancing? Honey” captures the feeling in your stomach when you see someone who is looking at you in the same way, while on a night out. When your insecurities drop, because you’re a bit intoxicated. When you already know that person is thinking what you’re thinking, even if they are too shy to make a move.

Enjoy your night, forget about your phone, and let loose. Here’s to the new decade being the end of your anxiety. Thanks for listening,”—Jesse Merineau

Photo Credit – Michael Kuby

Substance and accessibility. They’re often considered opposing forces when it comes to pop music, making it all the more impressive when a band like Scenic Route to Alaska so effortlessly delivers ample doses of both.

For two straight years between 2016 and 2018, the heralded Edmonton-based indie pop trio – Trevor Mann on lead vocals and guitar, drummer Shea Connor, and bassist Murray Wood – worked tirelessly scaling the summit of the Canadian and international music scenes. They dropped two acclaimed LPs – 2018’s Tough Luck and 2016’s Long Walk Home – that weaved memorable melodies and catchy vocals through compelling, musically-rich arrangements and earned a slew of awards and accolades on their backs. They’ve toured relentlessly across North America, Europe, and Australia and watched their global fanbase grow exponentially with each amplified chord.

After stepping out of the spotlight to write and workshop new material earlier in 2019, Scenic Route to Alaska have released their single “Give a Little” in October 2019, followed by an almost completely sold out tour throughout Canada. Now they are kicking off 2020 with the release of their newest single “Daydreaming” which is set to drop on Feb. 5th, 2020. This release marks the start of a jam-packed year that is holding a lot of new music for their loyal fans and new followers alike, including the release of their highly-anticipated fifth full-length after the summer.

Despite the nearly non-stop touring and unwavering determination throughout their time together, the three musicians have enjoyed every step of the journey. That was especially the case with their packed 2019 hometown performance on the main stage of the world-renowned Edmonton Folk Music Festival – a definite career highlight thus far. They’ve also racked up handfuls of awards, including a SOCAN #1 distinction for the single “Love Keeps” and a Western Canadian Music Award for Best Rock Act.

With “Daydreaming” and their upcoming new album, the band is revisiting its roots with a more organic, unfiltered take on their now-signature sound – or, as Mann puts it, “a truer representation of what we do when we get together and make music.”

As such, the recordings effortlessly capture the band’s exciting live performances, where the energy is palpable and the fun contagious. Always locked in with a syncopation that can only stem from a long collective history, the boys bounce from ballads to bangers with ease, leaving a lasting impression on any kind of audience in front of them. The band is perhaps best defined through dichotomy: young but mature, curious but collected, accessible but substantial. Such balance is all too rare in this scene, but thankfully, Scenic Route to Alaska strikes it with a style all their own.

Alice Gray is releasing the official remix package for her 2019 EP, Paradise?, featuring remixes from Ryan Riback, Savoir Adore, Gianni Marino, Fabich and Lincoln Jesser.

The Paradise? remix EP opens with a synth-pop reimagining of the title-track from NYC duo Savoir Adore. For “Take Me To The Water,” Dutch producer Gianni Marino transforms the track into an intoxicating EDM earworm. “Hell With You” is given a revamp by Ryan Riback who works the indie-pop single into a thumping club floor banger. Lincoln Jesser puts his sunny electro-pop spin on the next single, “Stolen Gold,” resulting in a remix that would feel at home on any Summer pool party playlist. For the final track on the EP, “Indigo,” German DJ Fabich’s brings his feel-good house touch. The Paradise? remix EP is a perfectly rounded glimpse into the gamut of electronic music, tapping into numerous sub-genres and transforming Alice Gray’s delicate indie-pop tracks into party-ready hits.

Having grown up in San Diego and now based in Los Angeles, Alice Gray’s music exudes California cool. Since her 2017 breakout single “Pink Cadillac,” Alice has been soaring into the hearts of fans and tastemakers alike with her wide-eyed musings and clever pop sensibilities. Her music has already garnered the attention of Spotify’s New Music Friday, NYLON, Refinery29, Wildfox Couture, and Outdoor Voices. With the release of Paradise?Alice Gray continues to strike magic with her refined delicate pop sound.

The UK’s own Penny Betts offer up a uniquely smooth blend of indie-pop and sixties-style songwriting. A four-piece who know precisely who they are and how they want to sound, Penny Betts are inspired by bands stretching as far back as Cream and Pink Floyd as much as modern influences like The Arctic Monkeys and Tame Impala. Their heartfelt songwriting and hypnotic melodies pour through amidst reverb-soaked indie-rock soundscapes, creating something that’s perfectly calming or decidedly energizing – depending on what you need from it; and how loud you let it play. Beach-side vibes meet with classic UK tones and an anthem-like approach to songwriting. The band have honed their style and sound over time, with lead singer Matt Felix and guitarist Al Finch first jamming together way back during their school years. Over time, bassist Lufta and drummer Jocelyn completed the arrangement and kicked off a whole new chapter for the band.

Following the release of their highly anticipated debut EP, Penny Betts unveil the infectious new single ‘Lights!’. Narrating the story of a dreamer observing ordinary life, the four-piece explains, “It was written late at night all in one go, with lyrics and music arriving simultaneously. A demo was made the next morning, with the structure being cemented. The groove of the song only came once we played it all together, changing it from a straight indie rock type track to something more authentic. The big fuzzy guitar riff at the end was taken from another unfinished song idea of ours”.

Recorded entirely on tape with producer Brett Shaw (Foals, Florence and the Machine, Clean Bandit), “Lights!” illustrates the band’s desire to emit raw, dry sounds. The band share, “We always had this sound in our heads that we could never really make a reality, but Brett knew exactly what we wanted and even exceeded our expectations. Recording onto tape is something really beautiful, and we’ll do it whenever we can”. Oozing with effortless vocals, dazed melodies and a lethargic rhythm section, Penny Betts craft a dreamy, hypnotic track.

Rock and roll has returned, the genre and the original flair of the 60s and 70s is alive and well. With a touch of originality and a willingness to storm through language barriers – thanks to Matt Felix’ French native tongue – Penny Betts are well on their way to carving out a path of their own. Passion and musical precision meet under the blanket of sweeping guitars and experimental waves of audio warmth. Penny Betts aim to get you dancing, connecting, and embracing the live music scene as the rightful escapism it was always meant to be. A band well worth looking out for over the coming months and years.

Jesse Munsat, 20 year old singer/songwriter/producer from Washington, D.C. releases his debut album, All Our Talks Are Silent, independently released.

Munsat’s debut depicts the internal battle of our emotional and intellectual mechanisms working to find balance. When reality seems to difficult for us to face, we retreat behind our defensive mechanisms. How often do we say what out-loud what we’re really thinking? To what degree does this make us two-faced? In an attempt to find truth in today’s interactions, friendships and relationships, Munsat turns to music. He explores these questions and more in his entirely self-produced and self-written debut album, All Our Talks Are Silent.
After spending the last few years touring musician with The Maria’s, Claud, Triathalon, Maude Latour, and Brandt Orange and working behind the scenes in the music industry, Munsat finally comes into the spotlight with his debut album. Under the mentorship of pop mega-writers, John Ryan and Julian Bunetta (One Direction, John Legend, Maroon 5, Charlie Puth), Munsat completed, All Our Talks Are Silent, with some of the music’s top talents.

Nashville-based singer/songwriter Jeffrey James shares “Slow Right Down,” the second single and final pre-release taste from his upcoming EP, ‘East London.’ The new track is a pensive ballad that highlights James’ confident and inviting vocals. “I wrote ‘Slow Right Down’ in 2019 when everything in my life was racing forward and I didn’t have time to catch my breath,” James writes. “This song became my personal mantra — a meditation — reminding myself that it’s ok to step back, look up every now and then, and just take in the moment.”

The ‘East London’ EP, set for release on February 28th, was birthed during a month-long songwriting trip to London in early 2019. James worked with legendary engineer Geoff Swan (Charli XCX, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay) and producers Jackson Dimiglio-Wood (Shawn Mendes), Dan Weller (SikTh), and Dan McDougal (Liam Gallagher) to create a uniquely cross-Atlantic record that draws on James’ Nashville influences and combines them with the blue-eyed soul sounds that have been dominating the UK charts.

Nashville-based, Indiana-born James first developed a love of melodies from his great-uncle who wrote the renowned Hal Leonard Guitar Method book. Over the past few years, James’ soul-infused alt-pop sound has been paving the way for Nashville’s pop scene, leading to opening slots for acts such as X-Ambassadors, Rachel Platten and Hanson, as well as festival performances at Firefly, Bonnaroo, and Forecastle. Alongside his own captivating releases — his Billboard-approved single “Saltwater,” his 2016 album Walls and his 2017 EP Unsaid — James has proved himself a versatile songwriter, collaborating with an array of acts like Megan Davies, Tungeaag & Raaban and LU2VYK.

Rising electronic producer pluko shares his new single, “blessings (ft. Nate Traveller).” “I have never been more excited about a release as I have been for this one,” pluko writes of the new single. “I have finally reached the point in my musical career where I feel 100% confident in my work and in my sound. I’m so happy to be able to share this with you.”

With merely 2 years of activity, 19-year-old pluko has gone from bedroom producer to main stage act. Hailing from the small town of Hollidaysburg, PA, Sam Martinsen — the mind behind the pluko project — has racked up over 50 million plays across platforms while securing festival slots at major North American festivals like Coachella, Firefly Festival, and HARD Summer. In 2018, pluko released his first full-length album, ‘sixteen,’ via Odesza’s Foreign Family Collective and joined the dance duo at their annual Red Rocks show. Last year saw the independent release of ‘CLASS XIX‘ and the announcement of pluko’s own record label and collective Splendid Society. In addition to his own releases, pluko has also become a go-to producer for official remixes, re-imagining tracks for Tycho, MAX, Mansionair, Odesza, and more.

pluko’s bass-filled tracks glitter with imagination and forward-thinking production techniques. He consistently pushes the boundaries of what electronic music is, creating colorful records that feel authentic and fresh. With plenty of infectious releases and festival performances planned for this year, pluko is a name that is sure to dominate the electronic genre and beyond.

Americana duo The Danberrys officially release their new single “The Mountian”. For the single, Dorothy and Ben pulled inspiration from New Orleans’s traditional second-line rhythm and blues and features vocals from American songwriter Darrell Scott. Their lyrics reflect a message of destruction becoming a catalyst in creating new strength and wisdom.

“The Mountian” is the first single off The Danberrys’ upcoming album Shine, out May 8th, 2020. Comprised of 12 new tracks, The Danberrys masterfully depart from their signature acoustic sound to capture elements of rock, blues, and folk. This new musical direction lets the pair venture into a darker atmosphere as well as allowing their self-written lyrics to stand tall. Shine will mark The Danberrys third full-length album.

In the meantime, The Danberrys are excited to finally release “The Mountain”. The single will soon be proceeded by more incredible singles including the title track “Shine”. Be sure to check out The Danberrys on social Media and check out “The Mountain”, now available on all streaming platforms.

Meet singer-songwriter Ben Wylen. Debut single “People Say” is out now along with the music video featured on American Songwriter.

Ben says, “Most of my family and friends work jobs they don’t enjoy. They kill themselves day in and day out and they never give themselves a chance to find out who they really are and who they want to be. “People Say” is about the struggle of self-discovery. We don’t have much time on this earth, so we ought to make the most of the time we do have. There is more to life, then working all the time.”

Ben Wylen’s debut solo album ‘People Say’ is a gorgeous, confessional 12-track record defiant in the face of what the whispers say, and rules others think people have to live by. It follows in the footsteps of the heartrending and inspirational songwriting of Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan, with nods to modern artists like Coldplay, Lady Gaga and Hozier, who he sees as carrying on that spirit.

A trip to London resulted in a chance meeting with producer Danton Supple (Coldplay, Morrissey, U2), with the pair eventually heading into London’s State Of The Ark Studios to record the songs together. They made a good fit: Wylen providing the gut wrenching, emotional guidance to the songs and Supple’s expert production work helping to realize these songs’ wonderful potential. Members of Elbow (drummer Richard Jupp) and Starsailor (bassist James Steflox), string arranger Audrey Riley (The Cure, The Smiths, Smashing Pumpkins) and Grammy Award winning mixing engineer Steve Fitzmaurice (Sam Smith, Lewis Capaldi) helped flesh out the album to its gorgeous state.

Each song on the album will be released on the first Friday of each month, leading up to the full album “People Say” on Nov 6th, 2020.

In support of his new material, Ben will be making his debut live performance at SXSW this March. Then heading to New York, NY at Rockwood Music Hall and Los Angeles, CA at The Hotel Cafe in April.

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

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