INsiders Guide: Zara Larsson, Liza Owen, Elyse Saunders, Asya, Sam Valdez, Lauren Lakis, Sneaker Club, Genius Cru & MC Fizzy, Alita, Isaacjacuzzi, Lontalius, Terence Jack, Kandle, Oli Fox….
The pop superheroine the world needed returns right now…multiplatinum artist, singer, songwriter, and activist Zara Larsson is back with a new single and music video entitled “Love Me Land.” Get it HERE via TEN/Epic Records. This marks her first release of 2020.
On the track, an orchestral warbling chant rings out as she announces, “Here I am, lost in ‘Love Me Land’.” It flows right into a sexy bass line that reverberates under strings and her ecstatic falsetto before she urges, “Touch me in the way that you do, no matter who’s in the room, I see you sweating.” Co-written with the powerhouse team of Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels [Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Dua Lipa], the song integrates elements of discoball-ready Swedish pop into future-facing R&B.
Meanwhile, the music video matches the heat as she dances solo in a sparse cube straight out of a sci-fi fantasy. Tune in HERE at 7am PST/10am EST to watch the premiere!
About the single, she shared, “I wrote ‘Love Me Land’ with my friends Justin and Julia after a long period of writing for my sophomore international album. It felt like a kind of ‘eureka’ moment in understanding the journey I’ve gone on in discovering what it is to be a woman and an artist. The song is about accidentally falling in love but owning it, and I think that combines two things I love and do well – female empowerment and pop bangers! At the moment, we’re all experiencing this scary unknown world and having to endure some hard realities; I hope this can provide a little escapism for everyone, because sometimes dancing can solve everything, even just for a moment.”
The song paves the way for the arrival of her anxiously awaited second international album and what promises to be one of the biggest pop blockbusters of the year. Get ready…
Welcome to “Love Me Land.”
All women have superpowers. Wielding those superpowers, Zara Larsson provokes and pushes pop music and culture forward with empowered, enlightened, and energized anthems that soar and seduce all at once. With every move, she continues to quietly make history and break records. Her RIAA gold-certified 2017 full-length, So Good, notably stands out as “the second most-streamed debut on Spotify by a female artist ever,” eclipsing 5.5 billion streams. Her growing catalog boasts one smash after another, including the triple-platinum “Never Forget You” with MNEK, the platinum “Lush Life” and “Ain’t My Fault,” and, most recently, 2019’s gold “Ruin My Life.” Out of dozens of nominations, she has received various awards and honors at the Swedish Grammi Awards, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, MTV EMAs, and more. Gracing the stage of the 2017 Nobel Prize Peace Concert, she performed the platinum “Symphony” with collaborators Clean Bandit. Emerging from lockdown in 2020 with a fierce, focused, and feminine fire, Zara arrives with a bold and boundary breaking body of work for her second international album.
After amassing cuts for some of the world’s biggest stars as a songwriter, Liza Owen steps into the spotlight with her debut single “Why Aren’t We Having Sex?”
Get it HERE via Epic Records.
On the track, a dirty bass groove and slick beat give way to a hook highlighted by the most pervasive quarantine question of all, “Why aren’t we having sex?” Her sultry voice takes flight as she delivers an empowered and engaging anthem that’s as flirty and fun as it is fiery. Meanwhile, the music video emanates the same amount of heat. Liza transfixes in a wedding dress and white cowboy hat as the visual intercuts various couples asking and acting on the title’s question. Liza enlisted the help of her friends to make cameos including PRETTYMUCH’s Edwin Horonet and fellow songwriting powerhouse Ali Tamposi.
“I wrote ‘Why Aren’t We Having Sex? ‘ a few hours after checking into the most ridiculously sexy house I’ve ever stayed in,” said Liza. “It felt like a ‘70s James Bond villa. With the mood being just right, the light just right and the drinks flowing…Isn’t that the question on everyone’s mind?”
“Why Aren’t We Having Sex?” might just be the ultimate post-lockdown anthem.
Get ready for more from Liza Owen very soon!
Liza Owen spins pop upside down and all around with unfiltered lyrics, undeniable melodies, and unapologetic spirit. Of Cambodian descent, she originally hails from the English countryside. Breaking into the business, she initially lent her sharp lyricism to the likes of Selena Gomez and BTS as a songwriter. While on a recent writing retreat in Palm Springs with her key collaborators who also happen to be her best friends, she envisioned and enacted her next chapter, building a launchpad for a solo project. As if guided by serendipity, she stumbled upon a pink neon sign with the words, “Why Aren’t We Having Sex?” and used it to illuminate a Studio 54-themed party she hosted. Those words seeped into the concept of her first bold and bright banger “Why Aren’t We Having Sex?” Now, she has all the makings of a smart and subversive star.
Canadian recording artist Elyse Saunders is excited to share her new country and pop fusion, “Free”, her country and pop fusion that launched June 22nd on Canadian country radio and is newly available on all digital platforms. “Free” has already garnered over 100k Apple Music streams in less than three weeks leading into its arrival on radio.
Watch the “Free” Lyric Video on YouTube at: youtube.com/watch?v=mdphpE9-16A
Listen to “Free” on Spotify at: smarturl.it/ElyseSaundersFree
“Free” – co-written by Saunders and Shawn Moore – is her debut collaboration with acclaimed producer Dan Swinimer (Madeline Merlo, JoJo Mason). An upbeat country song that blends electronic-pop elements and an acoustically driven rhythm with soaring vocals, the summertime story at the heart of the song carries a deeper message for the Peterborough, Ontario native.
“I believe there’s something really beautiful about celebrating life and just taking in the moment. ‘Free’ takes me back to simpler times when I was younger and there were less responsibilities. It’s when a day at the beach enjoying the sunset and watching fireworks was really important to me. I’ve come to learn that it’s these experiences with the people in my life that matter. It’s important to slow down and soak in these quality moments. We need to make time to be free and this single is a reminder of that,” says Saunders.
“Free” is also the first in an exciting wave of new music from Saunders through her new collaborations with Swinimer, as well as with co-producers Paul Shatto and David Wills (The Higgins, Robyn & Ryleigh). All part of her planned album – also called “Free” – these songs will capture her artistic freedom and authentic ability to explore different sectors of the commercial country universe.
Especially passionate about her high-energy live performances, Elyse has done over 350 live shows in North America – including opening at 2019 Canadian Music Week for David James and Kira Isabella and a 2020 FEO Showcase in February – but with live shows on hold due to COVID-19 concerns, she is supporting the release of “Free” with a weekly vlog series on YouTube and connecting with her fans in real-time through regular Facebook Live chats.
Saunders says, “We all have a place in our hearts and minds where we feel free and liberated. I want people to hear this song and be reminded of those moments that take us there and to never lose them. Life can be confusing – especially right now – which makes it even more important to slow down and enjoy quality moments. Keep that high alive!”
“Free” is available across all digital platforms and on Canadian radio. The lyric video is available on YouTube.
For more about Elyse Saunders, please go to ElyseSaunders.com or visit her on social media:
A child of Baltimore, Lauren grew to embrace the fatalistic spirit of the city in her work and art. With stunningly raw, haunting tones, Lakis has fashioned her own brand of “delightfully gut-churning shoegaze”. Authentic and honest lyricism, paired with lush, darkly romantic vibes, her songs are “a refreshing change from today’s polite rock…” (Earmilk).
Following the release of her critically acclaimed debut full-length Ferociouswith Cavity Search Records (Elliott Smith, Helio Sequence) in 2018, Lakis delivered audiences the highly anticipated Sad Girl Breakfast. Both records were produced by Billy Burke (REL, Luna Lovebad) with additional engineering by Grammy-winning mixer Chris Kasych (Adele, Deftones, Phantogram, HAIM). Both releases have gone on to garner radio airplay on 40+ stations nationwide, and placement on 65+ Spotify playlists. Lakis has also licensed tracks to Dating Painsand The Drunch.
Her newest LP, Daughter Language, was recorded at Seahorse Sound with Billy Burke producing, and Chris Kasych & Samur Khouja (Devendra Banhart, Deerhunter, Chastity Belt) mixing.
Lakis and her full band have toured the West Coast extensively, and have shared bills with Drowse, Coastlands, and Emmet Palaima of Elizabeth Colour Wheel. Most recently, the band played to a sold-out room at Doug Fir Lounge, as well as The Catalyst Santa Cruz, opening for Flor& Winnetka Bowling League. Lauren also performed a pair of solo shows opening for Grammy-nominated legendary rocker Tracy Bonham. The band was set to play SXSW this year as well.
When I wrote “Seventeen,” I was reflecting on my high school experiences, thinking about how every little thing that happened at that age seemed so important.
It’s a satirical look back on the 4 years that seemed like my entire world, where most of my responsibilities and goals were involved in this building that I went to everyday. I perhaps put more weight on certain things that didn’t require it, with teachers constantly stressing the importance of a University education.
There’s nothing wrong with planning for what’s next. I’m personally quite terrible at looking into the future and planning it out, so my hope is that this song inspires a feeling of contentment with where you are right here, right now.
Produced by Rob Laska of the band Valley, this song is definitely the furthest that we’ve stretched our sound to date, and we have more musical surprises in store for you.
– Dan // Sneaker Club
Following the success of ‘LOCKDOWN’, the Covid-19 NHS charity single, featuring the cameo appearance of Tyson Fury, British professional World Heavyweight boxing champion, Genius Cru link up with Mc Fizzy on ‘Fiasco’. Giving us a dose of feel-good vibes, ‘Fiasco’ is a catchy summer anthem. Bringing the heat and setting the tone of our impending summer, they bring the tropical vibes straight to your speakers.
A veteran in the game Genius Cru have been in the music scene for over a decade and the have topped the charts with cult classics such as Boom Selection, which reached No. 12 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 1 on the UK Dance Chart, as well as their charting single Course Bruv, selling over 500,000 records. The London based UK Garage Crew crossed the Atlantic and collaborated with Wu -Tang on their single “Bless Ya Life” and the collective, consisting of vocalist, MC’s, DJ’s and producers have collectively and individually worked with world famous artists such as O.D.B, T-Pain, Busta Rhymes, and Timberland just to name a few.
MC Fizzy has been carving out a solid music collection over the years, with his most latest releases including ‘Brand New One’ Ft. Lady Leshurr, as well as collaborations with Mighty Moe, Gracious K, and the late Major Ace and Trap Trap Trap. He has gained support over the years from radio stations and tastemaker publications such as Kiss FM, BBC Radio 1, Capital FM, and on MTV, VEVO, Complex and Link Up TV. He has also performed at BoohooMAN #MANoftheHouseFEST, UKG Brunch and Rampage Sound live on BBC 1XTRA and has no plans on slowing down, with more gigs lined up and an album in the pipeline.
Describing themselves as ‘nostalgic greats’ Genius Cru showcase their musical chops in MC Fizzy link up ‘Fiasco’.
Check out FIASCO out now across all DSP’s.
Seattle-based alt-pop artist ALITA is back with new single “Bodies” that is equal parts passion and power, following the exclusive premiere with ATWOOD Magazine earlier this week. The sultry track laced with 80’s synths offers a personal look at sensuality and the strength of being a woman.
“Bodies” is a departure from her most recent singles “Human Nature” and “Too Close” – which delved into the toxicity of unhealthy romantic behavior and landed on Spotify’s official ‘Fresh: Pop’ and TIDAL’s Rising: Pop – and instead tackles the topic of sex from a strong female perspective. After realizing her male collaborators were lacking the feminine energy the song required, ALITA chose to go at the writing process alone. ALITA explains, “I’d wanted to write a song like ‘Bodies’ for a long time, but felt like the unconscious biases in the room would affect my writing and my openness… I was worried the heart of it would get lost in translation. Eventually I realized that I had all of the instinct to explore it by myself, so I did.“
Listening to male R&B artists sing about intimacy in translucent and unimaginative ways over the years, ALITA began to question why women weren’t actively exploring the same subject. She adds, “It sparked this desire in me to write a song about intimacy from a woman’s perspective… I’m talking about something that we all share, most of us experience and enjoy, but still remains taboo. My goal is to keep that open raw feeling in new music. Talking about the taboo or the shame we all feel at times, and calling it for what it is regardless of the topic, that’s the best part of writing and that’s when you get your best work.”
This release generated more than a soulful record layered with lush pop textures. The writing process prompted ALITA’s personal movement for change. While the lyrics to “Bodies” are about empowering women in their own sexuality, the song’s origin story is more deeply tied to empowering women in the music industry. The formation of this single became a personal step towards creating a strong network of female collaborators, so that stories about women can be told in their most authentic forms. ALITA elaborates, “I’m almost always the only woman in the room when I’m writing music. I love and value my male collaborators, but there’s a different energy and camaraderie that comes from female collaboration and I was craving that. It can feel daunting trying to build more diverse collaboration partners, not because they’re not out there but because they may be less visible. I’m making a conscious effort to work with more women in the industry as I meet them, not only for my art’s sake but for my own sense of self and friendship. Diversity in life and art is essential.”
Persistent about both individual growth and professional progress, ALITA continues to navigate the depths of her artistry and personal journey. Her brazen sound combined with her determination to tell intimate stories in fresh and innovative ways is what continues to set ALITA apart from the pack. With each release comes profound perspective as she lays the foundation of what’s to come.
Seattle-based songwriter, producer, rapper and singer Isaacjacuzzi pursues a moody and atmospheric fusion of reggae with a modern blend of trap music. Influenced by his upbringing among his West Indian family, Isaac creates a unique sound while staying true to his roots.
Drawing help and inspiration from artists around the world for this project, EDEN teams with New Zealand hailing singer and vocal talent Lontalius for new single “I’ll Be The Rain”, the latest instalment of the New World Tapes compilation.
A delicate ballad from the onset, “I’ll Be The Rain” is built on the pureness of the guitar, a soothing piano melody and ultimately Lontalius’ renowned soft vocals filling the atmosphere. Evolving into an emotionally moving number that gracefully rises and falls, there is a beautifully redemptive aura that is present through the track, deep between layers of pensiveness.
A multi-disciplinary musician known for his lush, atmospheric pop songs, Lontalius built a favourable reputation through his Soundcloud releases but really became a statement artist following his debut album, I’ll Forget 17, a critical success and a recipient of accolades including the 2017 Taite Music Prize. Moving to LA has only taken him that stage further; building a cult following, becoming a go-to collaborator for the likes of Ryan Hemsworth and Troye Sivan and now uniting with EDEN on his latest venture.
With EDEN’s compilation project New World Tapes, he has brought together some of the finest boundary-defying artists worldwide for a unified cause. With a new single being released every week, the eventual 12-track project will be available on vinyl. As both an artist and a producer, EDEN is creating an innovative collection of music transcendent of genre and the wider current global landscape.
KOPPS have released the Official Lyric Video for their latest single “Get Juicy” today, and Pure Nowhere had the first look. The track is KOPPS’ third single of 2019 with plans to continue to roll out new music in coming months, with an EP/Album release planned for spring/early summer 2020.
“‘Get Juicy’ is full of carefully chosen ear candy production-wise, while also blatantly and shamelessly sexy. This single, about both orange juice as well as bodily secretions, titillates and excites moment by moment. The level of sexuality in the song is protruding and nearly slap-stick – and for good reason.”
“Better Man” was written as a cathartic release after finding the courage to cut ties with a person who I entrusted with my career.
Hear “Better Man” via your preferred streaming platform now.
Manipulation is emotional blackmail. They use certain behaviours to influence how you think, feel and act until you are broken down to a fragment of what you once were. When your success is monopolized by someone else holding the key, you find yourself making deals with the devil without a clue how you got there.
After wallowing in solitary shame and indignation for years, I decided to flip the script. It is my hope that this song will inspire those in an inferior position to no longer normalize the silent epidemic of abuse of power. And if you’ve been a casualty of career manipulation, seek redemption by waving the red flag and being resilient.
British singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Oli Fox shares the self-shot official music video for his recently released single ‘Player 2’.
The cleverly-crafted straight-to-the-hook pop number draws from Oli’s personal life experiences, showing his own vulnerability through crushingly relatable lyrics with a powerful message that “male ‘inexpression’ needs to be broken down in order to improve men’s wellbeing and mental health”. The video for ‘Player 2’, entirely self-shot by Oli on his laptop, phone and webcam with the help of friends, was inspired by the numerous dating in lockdown stories he had read online which really resonated with the lyrics. His friend Laura Manners directed the video and artwork shoot from her home in London while Oli filmed and shot content on lockdown in Scotland with his girlfriend Bow Anderson, who also features in the video.
“I had the idea of using all the platforms that people have been using in isolation, such as Zoom, House Party, Tik Tok and Instagram to keep in touch with their loved ones and their friends”, he adds about the new video, “I thought how cool it would be to film a home-made performance video through my laptop to show this new perspective of a lonely lover in quarantine reaching out to his Player 2, to hope that she gets the message. It was a lot of fun to shoot, though a bit strange to have your house become the set.”
‘Player 2’ sees Oli handling the majority of the instrumentation himself. The initial bare guitar demo, written by Oli and Alex Stacey – who happens to be a renowned hit maker whose writing credits include OneRepublic‘s ‘Start Again’ featuring Logic – was developed by Oli in his own home studio, where he started experimenting with samples of old games such as Mario, Space Invaders and PacMan, adding them into the song before taking it to producer Danny Casio who is part of The Six, the sought after collective responsible for producing critically acclaimed singles by artists such as Tom Grennan, AU/RA and Clean Bandit.
Hailing from Essex, since his debut single ‘Cruel’, Oli Fox has quickly amassed over six million streams globally between three singles, gaining continuous support from Spotify’s ‘New Music Friday’ and Apple’s ‘Best of The Week’ playlists. Oli went on to support Sigrid across Europe, including opening her London show at legendary Brixton Academy.
With the music video for ‘Player 2’ Oli Fox shows he is a compelling multifaceted gifted with the ability to turn crushingly relatable experiences into future pop hits.
Jimkata are a three-piece anthemic, synth-washed, electro-rock band based out of Ithaca and Los Angeles. With a triumph of swirling analog synths, infectious pop hooks and candid lyrics, Jimkata have built a distinct sound which has been resonating with listeners across the country.
Friends since middle school, Evan Friedell, Aaron Gorsch and Packy Lunn infuse Jimkata, (named after the so-bad-it’s-good 1985 gym-fu caper Gymkata) with both an adventurous musical streak and relatable lyrical themes. Mixed in with the modern synth sensibilities and hard driven indie rock are influences drawn from the likes of Motown, singer-songwriters like James Taylor and even old country songs, where storytelling and a quick turn of phrase share priorities with melody and the beat. Jimkata have concocted an unusually rich and rewarding mix and one that’s evolved naturally.
After taking a two and a half year hiatus following the release of six studio albums and the successful building of a vibrant, grassroots fanbase, Jimkata are back with a vibrant new single and accompanying visuals for “Wanna Go”.
“Wanna Go” narrates the negative effects of social media and how it can make you feel insignificant. It’s about perception versus reality in a time when we are flooded with everyone presenting an idealized image of themselves and their lives to the world. The trio explain, “It took on an extra layer of meaning for us after the pandemic began and we all started quarantining, stuck in our houses and apartments, staring into our phones, longing for a different world and becoming overly acquainted with our immediate surroundings.” Quirky melodies and funk-fueled basslines provide the backdrop for their layered harmonies, emitting a summery, feel-good sensation.
Rising alt-pop artist Karolina Rose finally emerges from her hiatus with new single “Runaway Angels” – her first release of 2020.
Channeling darker, more introspective energy when compared to her two well-received prior singles – the glittery upbeat rhythms of “Greytopia” and the dusky grooves in “Objection” – “Runaway Angels” is the latest instalment of Karolina’s versatile brand of ‘noir rose pop’ (alluring, seductive and layered – but with a prick of danger) which has seen international acclaim pour in from several tastemakers including The Line of Best Fit, Wonky Sensitive, glamglare, Popmuzik, Teases and Dares and AnalogueTrash.
With layered, indulgent production created by Elliot Jacobson (Allie X / VÉRITÉ / Elle King), the quickly-rising indie singer’s compelling track intends to inspire listeners in an empowering way while on their own journeys of healing and finding love. As with all of Karolina’s music, “Runaway Angels” was born from a deeply personal place of experience and perspective from the nomadic artist, who is split between NYC, LA and Europe.
Often focusing on deeper perspectives in her songwriting, Karolina explained of “Runaway Angels”: “Runaway Angels is more ballet-inspired with a graceful, haunting feeling. It balances between this place of healing and a place of hell—running from a dark, painful abyss of memories that mostly only come up while you’re dreaming. I started releasing the EP last year and these last two songs were quite personal to me. I took some months off on a sort of spiritual journey to look within and do some healing; Runaway Angels helped me process a part of my life that was really difficult for me. It’s euphoric to exercise this part of me out and share it. The chorus was written in my apartment and the rest of it was finished on a vacation during the thick of the #metoo movement. I wrote parts in the middle of the night and tweaked it on the beach with a mini Taylor I had with me and my laptop.”
“Runaway Angels” is step three in Karolina’s visual EP project coming later this summer, which will witness the independent artist tell a tale of love, loss and healing through four spectacular video experiences. The future is clearly bright for Karolina Rose, a sensational self-made artist unfolding who has the potential to reach the upper echelons of the pop sphere with several more enthralling anthems to come.
Emerging British singer Lewis Knaggs today shares “Hold On” – the punchy first single from his upcoming debut EP.
The London based cinematographer has forged his own path over the years as an in-demand creative, producing stunning visuals for a variety of household acts from Tom Walker, Gang of Youths, Post Malone and The XX to iconic brands like Ray-Ban and Gibson. With “Hold On”, Lewis uses his celebrated talents and skills as a visual storyteller to bring his own music to life.
The irresistible sing-song chorus of “Hold On” – which hears Lewis belt out his vulnerable feelings with his bold, raspy vocals – connects beautifully with the production’s explosive indie-rock vibes; an amalgamation of those classic, anthemic pop-rock sounds we know and love but with Lewis’ own unique, fresh take on the genre injected in.
Of “Hold On” Lewis explains: “I record all of my tunes in a little studio in North London, it’s a bit of a hidden gem, built in some hollowed out old garages. It has a great rickety old piano, which sounds like it belongs in Jack White’s garage… Those big four chords for “Hold On” have been knocking around the voice note realm for some time, so when I sat at the piano, it felt only right for it to give birth to something, so this was the tune that was officially born. Gang of Youths are a big inspo of mine, I have had the pleasure of working with them a couple times, filming their lovely faces, which is how I discovered them. The way they put piano in their songs makes me wanna cry. I wanted to make a song that had piano at the heart of it. Maybe “Hold On” will help someone shed those tears that linger deep in the soul for years and years haha OR maybe they’ll just turn it off because they don’t like the sound of a rickety old piano! Either way, I will die a happy man knowing this song is out in the world.”
“Hold On” is the first taste of a truly exciting artist utilising his multi-faceted talents to his craft – expect more from this burgeoning British talent.
British singer and songwriter Maddox Jones releases his solo debut EP, ‘Headspace’, via Radikal/ Quattro Records.
The 5-track EP follow up on a string of singles, the recently released after party anthem ’My House’ and the kaleidoscopic ‘Headspace’- theEP’s title track and Maddox Jones’ first release as a solo artist – which received praise from likes of American Songwriter, SPIN, Complete Music Update and It’s All Indie, among others.
While fronting a band is never an easy task – and Jones had his fair share of experience playing and collaborating with other artists – standing alone and allowing his deepest emotions to flow through some of the most personal songs he has ever written allowed him to explore a variety of sounds and emotions. Free from any restrictions, this new creative process allowed the talented artist to develop a vulnerable body of work while exploring a more diverse sound palette. The result is a personal journey through hedonism, love, loss and the pain of growing up, all echoed by Maddox’s honest vocals.
With each self-penned song on ‘Headspace’ Jones vocals, explore a full range of emotions; from the soft crooner’s opening to the addictive anthemic refrain of ‘My House’, via the funky-influences of ‘Dancing Feels Good’, to the powerfully haunting chorus of ‘No More Ghosts’, the talented songwriter takes the listener into his personal journey. “It’s the story of a search for deep connection. Connection to others, to yourself and to a deeper meaning in life”, explains Jones. “It’s about authenticity and vulnerability, going after the things we truly want. Going all in with everything to lose, saying goodbye to old habits and outdated versions of yourself along the way, but with faith and belief in everything there is to gain”, he enthuses.
Written by Maddox Jones, recorded and produced in a single day with close friend and producer Dave Crawford, opener ‘Headspace’ moves through an initial sparse production to a complex synth-washed pop number, before turning into a hands-in-the-air, eyes-closed soundscape, while Maddox builds his warm tenor to a propulsive chorus. The song says Jones is about “meaningful connection and the deep, true, unconditional love we are all yearning for”. Second track, ‘My House’ – co-written with Dave Crawford and produced by former Daytona Lights’ Louis Souyave – is a complex anthemic-pop number, one that explores Jones’ personal journey through adulthood, encompassing different genres and styles and effectively representing the multifaceted sound of the upcoming EP.
Halfway through the EP, the ‘Stranger Things’ inspired nostalgic synth-pop anthem ‘More Than This’, a track Maddox Jones wrote with longtime friend and future pop artist Adal, “searches for reconnection with the forgotten dreams and endless possibilities of youth”, explains Jones. Their first collaborative tracks ‘Youth’ received Notion magazine seal of approval, while this latest effort wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack of a Netflix’ teen rom-com.
Following track ‘Dancing Feels Good’, co-written and produced with Harry Tarlton – who has also worked with artists including Tom Misch and Lianne La Havas – “explores an inner battle over that someone or something that you know is bad for you, but sometimes feels too good to resist”, says Jones. Built around Tarlton’s infectious Nile Rodgers’ influenced funky guitars and bassline, it reveals Jones’ ability to encompass different genres and vocal styles.
Closing the EP, ‘No More Ghosts’ is an ambitious ballad and in Jones own words, “it’s a heartfelt and haunting goodbye, finally making peace and letting go of something or someone that has been a major part of your life. It was inspired by a scene in the Netflix series ‘You’ where Joe Goldberg says, “There’s no more ghosts in this bed”. It’s a good contender for one of the best breakup songs of the year and the perfect song to close the EP.
With ‘Headspace’ Maddox Jones shows he is a bold artist, armed with vulnerable poeticism and equipped with a naturally impressive voiceprint.
Brightening up 2020 so far with singles “Dancer” and “Some Things”, London-via-Sydney artist Mali-Koa delivers her latest beautiful effort “Me Before You” – the third from her highly anticipated forthcoming debut album.
A deeply personal affair with lyrics that speak right to the heart, the story of “Me Before You” is one of reconciliation as Mali seeks to overcome the pitfalls of heartbreak, returning to her former, greater self. With a spirited vocal performance that will strike a chord with many, she delivers her story over an elegant piano ballad, that continuously brews into a shimmering acoustic master work.
Speaking on “Me Before You” Mali-Koa explained: “It’s an all too familiar feeling post-heart break, when you’re longing for what was before. ‘Me Before You’ is about the journey back to myself, pre-someone or something. It pays homage to what was, with a message of hope for the difficult journeys ahead and the road to healing and new beginnings.”
“Dancer” – the album’s first single released in April – was written by Mali with Gil Lewis (U2 / Sigala / Emily Burns) about challenging yourself to be the person you want to be.
Second single “Some Things” was created with Onree Gil (Alicia Keys / Britney Spears), Ollie Green (Hamzaa / Jasmine Thompson) and Hannah Yadi (Mae Muller / Josie Man), and talks about finally admitting that with time comes healing and change, but equally a lot of moments or feelings aren’t as easy to forget. Mali accompanied the track with a chic, stunning visual asset which she filmed and directed independently at her London home during the COVID19 lockdown, to explore how change is one of those unpredictable but unavoidable things in life, which sometimes leaves you unsure of how you feel.
Since debuting with “Honest” back in 2018, Mali-Koa’s star has continued to shine bright. Developing her own sound with great depth and heart-warming visuals, she has been consistently affirmed with millions of plays across her catalogue and great moments to share stages with the likes of Nina Nesbitt, MAX and Tessa Violet. A credible artist and songwriter alike, she has seized opportunities to work with major names with great aplomb, with her collaboration on Platinum hitmaker JP Cooper’s single “All This Love” now amassing over 9 million plays and her cut on G-Eazy’s Platinum album The Beautiful & Damned reaching over 59 million streams.
As she steps into her next chapter with her forthcoming album, Mali-Koa will only continue to excel as she carves out her own sonic lane, pairing candid production and vulnerable song writing at the crux of her artistry.
East London based songwriter, guitarist and producer Harry Jay-Steele returns with ‘Wish For One Night’, the first single taken from his forthcoming debut album, due for release this fall via eclectic audiophile label Naim Records.
‘Wish For One Night’ Steele explains, “has a brooding darkness, which slips and slides into something more defiantly joyful and uplifting during the chorus”. Recorded with Jordan Rakei’s co-producer and drummer Jim Macrae, the song is rhythmically complex and driving, “everything was wrapped around the guitar, but the beat was essential to this tune, we spent a long time trying to create the perfect loop, using lots of sample layers and highly syncopated live parts” enthuses Steele.
Forging a sound of his own, the Goldsmith Uni alumni is a master of blending his eclectic range of influences; elements of Soul, Indie, African and Electronic Music are weaved into a rich tapestry of percussive rhythms, tasteful guitar work and deft poeticism. His music is a sonically adventurous experience, a complex and layered sound palette skilfully tied around his distinctive vocals.
“It’s the rhythm you notice first. The way each part interlocks, erecting a sustained groove while continually shifting, continually evolving”, wrote Clash magazine in their ‘Track of The Day’ feature for ‘Reach You’ – Steele’s debut single – which saw the talented musician featured as ‘Artist of The Day’ on the pages of Metro, who claimed “it’s unusual to hear such diverse sounds on a debut record”, and interviewed by Wonderland magazine for their ‘New Noise’ feature. Harry Jay-Steele has also been equally well received live being touted as one of the top 7 performances of Bestival by the Huffington Post, as well as free styling with Moses Boyd on his BBC 1Xtra residency and playing a coveted support slot for Grammy nominee and soul legend, Meshell Ndegeocello.
Talking about the meaning behind the song he reveals “it was written in a time of personal turmoil. I was reckoning with a deteriorating mental state and questioning whether I was losing my sense of self in the process”. “Who is me, the one I can’t escape, yeh he’s always there even in my sleep, better change his mind before he changes me”, sings Steele with a voice capable of expressing a diverse range of feelings, from anguish and self-doubt to the sense of hope and optimism in the perpetual refrain of “I wish for one night”.
With ‘Wish For One Night’ Harry Jay-Steele shows he is an artist capable of creating music which is as sonically rich as it is inherently effortless.
Gifted, vibrant songstress Breantonia and fully fledged creative producer Jak unite to release their first offering of the year, in the form of the feel good track ‘EXPOSURE’.
Acting as their first release together, the pair join forces for a collaborative project, with the debut track serving as a great teaser from their forthcoming EP release, due out later this year.
With its fresh and joyful approach to the affection felt for another, the dream like production is given a further boost by the angelic harmonies delivered throughout, resulting in the radiance of ‘EXPOSURE’ instantaneously uplifting the mood of listeners upon pressing play.
Speaking on the track Breantonia said: “’EXPOSURE’s approach to love is 2-fold: It demystifies the vulnerability associated with attraction, wearing it proudly. It also exposes the self-betrayal that comes with falling in love: your urge to hold back is often proof that you’ve already given in.”
Jak added: “’EXPOSURE’ is a vibrant Summer anthem disguised with an offbeat aesthetic, oozing in lo-fi fuzz. In the vein of the contemporary Chicago RnB scene, ‘EXPOSURE’ reveals a kind of UK ‘woozy RnB’ that is as laid back as it is expressive.”
Standing firm in their unique creativity, Breantonia x Jak’s entrance to the scene is an exciting and refreshing one not to be slept on.
Sizzy Rocket is releasing her dreamy new single, “Rollerskating.” In contrast to her recent heavy-hitting releases — “THAT BITCH” and “Smells Like Sex” — “Rollerskating” sees Sizzy Rocket tapping into a softer side of herself.
Inspired by her own love story with her current partner, Sizzy chronicles the giddy yet terrifying experience of falling in love on “Rollerskating“. Guided by sun-soaked indie-pop production, Sizzy’s vocals shine; she is raw and untempered, finding power in her own vulnerability. “I’ve never even heard my own voice sound like it does on this record,” Sizzy remarks. “I’m proud of myself for going there. It’s a new, softer, lighter side of me that I’ve gained access to through writing my new album, and I’m excited to share it with the world.”
Sizzy Rocket is the cool best friend you wish you had growing up. In 2016, Sizzy released her debut album, THRILLS, and the album’s lead single, “Bestie,” became a viral sensation, receiving praise from the likes of New York Magazine, PAPER, and BUSTLE. Since her initial breakout, Sizzy has continued to build a rabid fanbase with the release of a 2017 mixtape, Hot Summer, and 2019 sophomore album, GRRRL. Outside of her solo work, Sizzy has also written for all the cool girls of pop, from Noah Cyrus to Bea Miller.
When she’s not trading fan mail with her cult, Sizzy is building her own independent record label, designing and packaging her own merch, and booking her own tours. Sizzy challenges what it means to be a pop artist in 2020 with her DIY approach, openly queer and unapologetic lyricism, and her genre-blending musicality that takes influence from punk, rock, pop and beyond.
Listen to “Rollerskating”
Watch “Rollerskating” Lyric Video
British folk-pop artist Mabes has no plans to slow down this year as she continues to pen sincere and heartfelt stories inspired by her youth. Today she returns with her new single “Too Young To Love” via Amuse / The Other Songs, with continued support on Spotify’s New Music Friday (UK) and Apple playlists including New Music Daily, Today’s Acoustic, Today’s Easy Hits, and In My Room.
The newcomer bares it all in her quick comeback, capturing the essence of young love and all its highs and lows. While Mabes creates an inviting atmosphere for the listener with her warm harmonies and signature acoustic guitar melodies, her lyrics mirror a personal discourse full of uncertainty. On the chorus she croons, “Is holding onto us even worse than giving up? ‘Cause baby I’m cut down the middle, I know I should know but I don’t. Could it be it’s not enough? Or are we just too young to love?”
Mabes elaborates further on the song, “What is love? And how will I know when I feel it? As we grow up, our love radar develops, and we find ourselves having romantic connections. When it’s reciprocated it’s the closest thing to magic, but when circumstances change so can the ‘perfect soul mate’. How do we know when we’ve found love if we have yet to feel it before? How do we know when we have found ‘the one’ if we’ve only encountered a fraction of the people fate has set us up to meet in life?” She continues, “When is it worth the fight through struggles? And when is it time to walk away? Is it love? Or are we just comfortable and too fearful of the hurt if we said goodbye? What is love? At 24, maybe I’m too inexperienced to know, maybe I’m too young to love…”
“Too Young To Love” follows a steady onslaught of releases including her debut album Wait & See (2019) and her latest EP Keeping The Noise Down (May 2020). The EP, written partly in Nashville last year, is a pure reflection of her interest in Americana, country, and folk music and nod to the community she fell in love with during her time there. Each song on the EP is outfitted with poignant lyrics, rooted in folk sensibilities and wrapped with impeccable sincerity. The title track was co-written with Jonny Latimer (Ellie Goulding, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man) and bubbles with pop potential as Mabes opens a dialogue about social anxiety over irresistible electronics. The second track, “Stuck in the Rain,” was co-written with Dan McDougall (Noel Gallagher) and tells a whimsical tale of hope and endurance. The guitar-heavy “Slow Drowning” and “Might As Well” (an infectious, mid-tempo slow-burner, featuring a breezy, anthemic chorus and luscious horns that was co-written with Quarry) complete the body of work. The EP visual, which illuminates Mabes’ affinity for the ‘70s, transforms all four songs into one collective piece of art representative of her teenage years and is a glimpse of her creative prowess.
Describing her sound as “honest” with “a country twang influenced by pop,” Mabes first picked up the guitar at just 15 years old and learned to write as her fascination for British act Laura Marling’s folk-poetry developed. Though oceans away in the UK, Mabes also developed an admiration for American artists and credits Carole King, Joni Mitchell, John Mayer, and The Smiths as some of her influences. To date, Mabes has reeled in global praise from 1883, American Songwriter, Clash, Euphoria, Ladygunn, Ones To Watch, and The Independent among many others. Her singles have additionally landed on Spotify’s official playlists such as New Music Friday, Easy, Fresh & Chill, Hot Acoustics, Mellow Pop, No Stress, Very Nearly Nashville, and Sad Songs as well as Apple’s New Music Daily, Acoustic Chill, Breaking Country, Breaking Singer-Songwriter, Country Risers, Country Wide, Mellow Days, Relax, Speakin’ Easy, and Today’s Acoustic playlists. Since her arrival just one year ago, Mabes’ listenership has peaked at 1 million on Spotify while her collective streams across DSPs have surpassed 25 million.
Mabes’ forward-thinking, emotionally raw songwriting style, and driven ambition has led to relatable, cutting-edge intelligent pop that makes her stand out of the pack. With her dreamy vocals and an air of timeless authenticity, there’s no doubt Mabes is cementing herself as a global entity and artist to watch in 2020 and beyond.
Rising Pop-Rock band, Stereo Jane unveils edgy new visuals for the premiere of their single “I Don’t Wanna Talk About Me”, now available on all streaming platforms. The video directed by Bradley Calder, blends soulful tones and imagery with a racy twist, creating a metaphoric vibe that only the sisters can deliver.
“It was really important that we release music that not only inspires our fans, but also shows our growth as creators and musicians,” said Stereo Jane. “We wanted the video to showcase those two emotions as best we could! The song is much different from everything we’ve released so far and it’s exciting to do something out of our comfort zone! We can’t wait to see what new crowd the song draws in!”
Following the success of their single “Strangers”, which surpassed more than one million streams earlier this year, “I Don’t Wanna Talk About Me” takes the band to new heights as it showcases the versatility in their sound. The song’s upbeat instrumental juxtaposes the song’s lyrics about the internal grapple of wanting to speak up about certain emotions, with the countless distractions that can deafen that internal voice.
Born in Detroit and based in Los Angeles, Stereo Jane features fraternal twin sisters Sydney and Mia Schmier on vocals and drums, respectively. Each one brings together their different tastes to create a modern, multi-genre sound with influences from classic rock, punk, indie, pop and soul. Best witnessed during their memorable live shows, Stereo Jane’s dynamic sound is brutally honest and commanding, as they continue to share their personal journey to self-discovery through music.
Michael Bernard Fitzgerald is a Canadian singer/songwriter who has collected an audience of fans across North America drawn to simple honest words and a genuine smile. Having released 4 full-length albums to date, Fitzgerald has spent his career since 2006 creating music, touring, developing as a songwriter, and connecting with audiences. Fitzgerald’s unique and innovative ideas coupled with his inherent warmth allow him to engage with people in a way that always leaves them meaningfully connected.
After over a decade of working with labels, creating songs with top-tier L.A. songwriters and producers including Jone Levine (Drake, Dua Lipa), Brian West (Maroon 5, K’naan), and Dennis Herring (Ra Ra Riot, Modest Mouse) on About You, and spending some time in the charts with “I Wanna Make it With You” (2016) and “One Love” (2016), Fitzgerald has finally found himself and a calm, rooted, unfeigned sound at home. A career of touring across Canada and around the world sharing the stage with artists like Bryan Adams, Ben Harper, Dan Mangan, Sam Roberts, Joel Plaskett, and Kings of Leon has brought Michael back to his hometown, Calgary Alberta, to create his newest record Love Valley.
If it was in a small club or larger theatre like the Vogue in Vancouver, the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, or on the big stages at a festivals like Calgary Folk Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Firefly Festival or Mountain Jam (to name a few) the spirit of honest connection with people has always existed in Fitzgerald’s performances. Today, he knows the value of time spent living in the moment and continues to go forward fostering the experience of connecting one song, one room, one fan at a time.
“Run Away” was written and produced by Skyler Cocco and her long-time collaborator, Zach Miller. The music video for “Run Away” was Directed and Produced by Skyler Cocco, edited by Sam Schmitz and features pansexual pop artist and actor, Mike Taveira.
Ocean fog. A city in decay. The dark humid valley that whispers ominous tales of impossible love. These place-specific images, evoked through personal narratives and set alight by driving indie-rock arrangements, have been the signature of Toronto/Hamilton based Ketch Harbour Wolves since their formation in 2007.
The band’s fourth studio release explores themes of social upheaval, love and loss, economic collapse, exile and mid-life crisis. “Avalon” is at once a utopia, a tarnished mirror, a possible future, a place of renewal and a swan song. The album began as the third instalment of the band’s Queen City project, exploring Toronto’s psycho-geography through song. Recorded and produced by Ketch Harbour Wolves over a painstaking 5-year period, reworked and then re-recorded, the album evolved from a short selection of location-based songs into a dense full-length effort capturing the band’s mature sound in 12 tracks. The record moves through an eclectic mix of genres, from the impassioned electric rock of “Reptilian” and synthetic dance of “Fever Shed,” to the slow atmospheric build of “Exodus” and intimate anthemics of “Little Magic” and “Yours, Still”.
Now in their 14th year, with a string of 3 critically acclaimed records to their name, “Avalon” exhibits the band writing and performing from the rung of life on which they stand, striving for sincerity and unconcerned with risking pretentiousness. The album will be released July 10, 2020 on Dead Calm Records (independent). Ketch Harbour Wolves are Jonathan Tyrrell (lead vocals/synth/guitar), Liam Brown (guitar/vocals), Scott Winter (bass), and Brian Urbanik (percussion).
Sitting somewhere between arena rock and the classic sound of 1960’s soul singers, Philadelphia based band PHNTMS creates music bursting with vast soundscapes and colliding instrumentation. Together, Alyssa Gambino, Adam Jessamine, Mikal Smith, and Gene Murphy are bringing back rock music while simultaneously putting their own unique stamp on it.
PHNTMS’ highly anticipated six-track self titled EP soaks up the band’s amalgam of influences, ranging from movie soundtracks and bands such as U2, Biffy Clyro, Kings of Leon and Deaf Havana, to powerhouse soul singers such as Amy Winehouse.
Inspired by everyday situations, relationships, and growing up, the band aims to create a feeling with which listeners can easily identify. Gambino reveals, “I think as songwriters, we try to capture these moments and make them as detailed as possible. We’ll always be fascinated by the fact we can freeze these moments…”
With half of the band identifying as queer, PHNTMS also hope to reach out to and support the LGBTQA+ community. Drummer Gene Murphy confides, “We openly talk about lesbian relationships in our music and we want to bring hope to anyone who is in the closet and doesn’t feel safe coming out. Whether you are out as queer or not, your identity is valid and if our music helps you escape heteronormativity for a brief moment.”
PHNTMS has seen success having performed opening spots for such acts as Kings of Leon, The 1975, Bastille, Fitz & The Tantrums, Empire of the Sun, Pale Waves, Emarosa, and Half Noise.
Rock’n’roll blues group, Billy Walton Band today released their first single, “Can’t Love No One” from their forthcoming album Dark Hour which is due out later in 2020. Released on Harmonized Records, the album was recorded at Cambridge Sound Studio and was engineered by Grammy-nominated engineer Jim Salamone.
Grateful Web exclusively premiered the new single and said, “Effortlessly cool, the new track seamlessly blends elements of rock, blues, and funk, creating a danceable and jamming song with lead singer Billy Walton looking back on a failed relationship.”
In “Can’t Love No One” singer/guitarist and bandleader Billy Walton flips the script on traditional breakup songs. Rather than being heartbroken, Walton uses the lyrics of the song to console a former romantic interest, “Honey it’s not you, I swear it’s me… I can’t love no one”. Accompanied by his band, Billy Walton delivers a powerful vocal performance along with a soulful guitar solo.
With a new album on the way, and though unable to tour to support its release, Billy Walton Band has been performing live on social media to fans and is planning to do more performances in the coming weeks.