INsiders Guide: Olivia Lunny, Bahari, Port Cities, TOM BOY, Agent blå, Tei Shi, Sailmaker, May Have, ASHS, XNilo, Alex Runions, Gregory Stutzer and LaChaleur, Chemical Dreams, Merōn, Katey Morley, Lindsey Lomis, Mali-Koa…
Credit: Lane Dorsey
“Hold Me” is AVAILABLE NOW. ↓
When I go to write a song, I instinctually pick up an acoustic guitar. “Hold Me” however, came to life when I sat down and revisited the piano after quite some time.
Often I don’t know what’s weighing on my chest until I write and hear the words that come out. The lyrics of this song explore the frustration that comes with actions not lining up with words.
“Hold Me” is about a one sided situation where someone is giving everything (their heart and all) and the other is taking without reciprocation. My producer, AJ Healey, brought fresh ears to the piano version and the song evolved from there. This song is yet another piece of the puzzle which will be revealed when my EP comes out. I’m excited for you to hear “Hold Me” as it’s so different from my previous single!
I hope you can feel the passion that I have put into this track. Appreciate you taking the time to listen!
rising alt-pop duo Bahari release a new single and music video entitled “Waking Up The Neighbors.” Get it HEREvia Bahari Music, LLC/Epic Records/Heroine Music Group and watch the official music video HERE.
On the track, edgy vocals echo between tip-toeing strings and overpowering bass. The hypnotic duet flutters from haunting verses towards a dark invitation, “Treat me like a stranger. Pick your party favors. Fight until my face hurts. Waking up the neighbors.”
“Waking up the neighbors is an ode to the feeling of paranoia, the feeling of chaos in your mind when you realize that things are not as they seem,” says the duo. “This song stems from anxiety and we wanted to showcase the feelings we go through when having those emotions, by bringing in sonic elements that have drastic differences, like the silence, the dramatic drops, the screaming and then the soft harmonies.“
In the music video, the girls go for a covert midnight swim in a neighbor’s pool only to end up around a table choreographed in synch with an out of this world ritual… View it at your own peril now.
Once again, “Waking Up The Neighbors” showcases the depth and dynamics of Bahari’s world.
Earlier this month, they uncovered a special remix of their viral hit “Savage” featuring a new verse from rapper BIA, along with a brand new video, which Elevator Magazine called “intimate and dark.” The original track has generated over 100 million streams and was certified Gold by the RIAA. Watch the video for the remix HERE. Additionally, they joined an all-star bill for a virtual concert in celebration of the vinyl release of To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You Original Soundtrack, in which their celebrated track “Crashing” with ILLENIUM is featured. Watch their performance HERE.
The new track we are sharing with you today, “I Still See You At Parties,” was inspired by a conversation we had in a Nashville writing room with our longtime collaborator and friend, Emma-Lee.
Dylan was discussing a recent breakup that he was still working through.. He explained that, “Everything’s all good between us, we still talk and get along, but I still see her at parties and that’s when it’s hard.” We all stopped after he said that line and wrote this song!
Listen to “I Still See You At Parties” on
your preferred streaming platform now.
We were aiming to capture the feeling of running into an ex-lover who you have a complicated past with but we wanted to approach it in a light-hearted way.
“I Still See You At Parties” recognizes that there are always lingering feelings when you see each other in person after a relationship has ended.
Thank you for spending time with this song,
You can listen to the track, produced by Lucas Marston, now available on all STREAMING SERVICES. Our musical relationship came full circle from kids who grew up singing in a highschool choir together!
Swedish “death pop” purveyors Agent blå have shared “Atopos”, the title track of an EP due out October 2nd via Kanine Records. Since 2017 Agent blå (pronounced agent blue) have been building a reputation on soundscapes that exude heartbreak, frustration, and a sense of uneasy detachment. “Atopos” is no different. Through cascading guitar lines and a wall of drum skins and low end, “Atopos” serves up a consumingly bleak palate for Emelie Alatalo’s cut-to-the-core vocals that reflect “it was a privilege to never make sense to you.” Alatalo encapsulates the track as being about “heartache and fostering the thought that youʼre deservant of it, because thatʼs what youʼve been taught.” The result is icy cool and a fitting introduction to the lyrical and sonic themes that weave throughout the upcoming Atopos EP.
The three recordings on the Atopos EP are deep and textured in a way unlike anything Agent blå have done previously. The pop sensibility is still there but it’s wrapped in interweaving arrangements to be unpacked on repeated listening. Alatalo explains how the developing connection between the band members creates the complexity of these singles, “Each member of the band adds their own layer to the sound, each addition bringing a new unique perspective. Nothing would sound the same if you removed one of us from the writing process.”
In a notable change from their 2019 LP Morning Thoughts, Agent blå recorded, mixed, and produced the Atopos EP entirely by themselves. A process they described as “something that strangely felt like growing up and going back to our roots at the same time.” They continued, “we shed our old skin to start something new and fresh, but also embraced the DIY approach we had when we first started the band and on the first album.” The songs that make up this trilogy are organic from the outset, built on the snatched hooks jammed in between the rehearsal of established tracks. Chord patterns returned to and given hummed melodies, eventually to be born into full-flight. The fact that this band who describe their songwriting process as “spontaneous, organic and pretty quick” recorded these tracks at the same complex that houses their rehearsal space (Gothenburg’s Bitch Studios) no doubt contributes to the sense of ‘creative spark’ that these songs put across.
Agent blå emerged from Gothenburg, Sweden in 2017 when, still in their teens, their debut Agent Blue (Kanine Records/Luxury Music) caught love stateside from Stereogum, NPR and more. Morning Thoughts (Kanine Records) followed in 2019 with live dates across Europe.
Not allowing lockdown to fully thwart her plans, Valerie Teicher aka Tei Shi launched a commanding start to the year with the release of her new single “Die 4 Ur Love.” The track was the first of her ‘Die 4 Ur Love’ EP which released on July 17th. Stereogum hailed the song as “a thumping electro-pop banger,” while Teen Vogue raved, “Her voice is as soothing as the chords are energizing, making for the perfect song for finding closure and saying goodbye to what you once knew.”
For Tei Shi this moment of isolation somewhat prophesied in “Die 4 Ur Love,” which according to her was written right after the new year while feeling “a sense of impending doom and darkness” and is about “the end of the world as you know it”. Practicing social distancing from her house in Los Angeles, Tei Shi channeled her quarantine ennui into the video for the single. Directed by Tim Erem (Major Lazer “Lean On”, Rihanna ft. Drake “Work”, Nick Jonas “Close”), the video captures the behind the curtain moments of Tei Shi fighting the monotony of humdrum daily routines with impromptu fashion shows, lip-sync performances, and other imaginative boredom busters.
When asked about the inspiration behind the video, the Tei Shi shared, “The video was kind of the perfect thing for this song because it became a really do-it-yourself vibe that actually reflects what reality feels like right now and what the process of this EP has been for me. I don’t know if I would have gotten to make a real music video for this song otherwise, but quarantine kind of opened up the opportunity since I’ve really had to make everything myself at home. So I had the chance to play around with this song and make something fun and low-fi without much pressure or putting too much thought into it.
She adds, “I wanted the video to feel like very relatable moments we’re all experiencing right now in isolation, it’s really just me performing in different settings in my house. The song is about experiencing a loss of someone or something in your life that you never thought you would lose. The reality shift and the personal apocalypse that happens from that. I wrote the song in January before lockdown happened, but now making the video in quarantine, it all felt kind of fitting.”
Sailmaker is the first solo project of Newcastle-based singer-songwriter Rich Sutton. Rich’s distinctive vocal will be recognisable to those familiar with alt-pop band SHIELDS, whose tracks have featured on BBC R1 and BBC 6Music, as well as being covered by The Guardian, Q Magazine, and MOJO. Sailmaker represents a stylistic departure from his previous band, leaning on influences like Nick Drake, Father John Misty, and Eels to produce a unique folk baroque sound with an alt-pop inflection. Sailmaker’s debut EP is set for release in August 2020.
Saturday night dance party. Gutwrenching lyrics. Perfectly placed synths. May Have’s new EP, Misunderstood, draws influences ranging from Sylvan Esso to Daft Punk. Originating as a threepiece, Maerin Hunting’s songwriting and soaring vocals are elevated by the contagious energy of the rhythm section, Sebastian Balk-Forcione (drums) and Matt Rousseau (bass/synths). Adding Dan Rougeau (guitar) and Emily Rockarts (vocals and keys), May Have has added depth to their sonic palette. With an impressive array of synths, samples, guitars and other goodies, May Have lights up the dancefloor. Their hook filled songs get stuck in your head all – night – long.
For most people, time heals all wounds. For me, songwriting does. Gone are the days where I would sit and write sad songs about how he broke my heart. Turns out, life went on and I’m fine 🙂
I found thoughts of him creeping back into my head recently and it took me a minute to understand what emotion it was triggering.
Did I miss him?
I thought I did, so I started writing. But as the song started to develop, it was blatantly clear to me how many red flags I had missed when I was caught up in the rush of it.
Turns out he wasn’t so special after all. Wasted a few years, but at least I got this song out of it 😉
Emerging as one of the most interesting talents, making waves with his releases right now, XNilo unveils his latest single “Bodyline” with rising acts Modulo and Ambizius – the next single from his forthcoming project.
Having built a reputation for smoothly gliding across different genres, his latest effort brings a sensual, bouncy, R&B-inspired heater, laced with guitars and calling on the same infectious use of melodies that puts him on par with some of his contemporaries. With Ghana-based and fellow Front Line Recordings artist Modulo bringing the Afro vibes and Ambizius lighting up the chorus, this new single reflects XNilo’s eclectic musical palette.
Growing up on a Spanish island, XNilo drew the inspiration for music from listening to his parents’ old soul records, playing his guitar, and performing with his musician father. Now he has gone from strength to strength as he focuses in in his sound as a producer and singer, a vibrant mesh of Soul/R&B, Hip Hop, Trap and Reggaeton.
XNilo has seen his stock rise considerably, working on tracks with the likes of Famous Dex, Danny Avila and Etta Bond – the latter’s collaboration “Your Way” was supported heavily by BBC Introducing, Radio 1 and 1Xtra.
Well before he won the 2016 Saskatchewan Country Music Association Fan’s
Choice Entertainer of the Year award and Male Vocalist of the Year award, Alex
Runions was widely considered as an artist to keep an eye on in Canada’s country
music scene.With more than a decade of memorable live performances at some of the most
iconic venues in the country, including Big Valley Jamboree, the Grey Cup, and the
CCMA Awards Week Songwriters’ Series, it’s easy to see why Runions’ hometown
of Kipling, Saskatchewan raised a billboard in his honour. In addition to charting singles such as “Passenger Seat”, “South of the City”, “FM Dial” and “Little Bit of Sunshine”, Runions’ collaboration track “Just Watch Me”
with Dean Kush and JJ Voss cemented the Saskatchewan-born artist’s status as a rising star on an international level, serving as the cornerstone to a fundraising campaign for the Canadian Cancer Society. Following the success of his 2019 single, “Heartland” featuring Erin Hill, Runions returned to the studio with producer Bart McKay to craft “Take It Out On Me” – his new summer single, which hits Canadian radio in July.
Tanzanian American producer Gregory Stutzer calls on New York based Cote’Voire artist LaChaleur to make this infectious, feel-good single ‘Vibration’.
Stutzer fuses afro rhythms with modern pop and eclectic beats, forming a musical style that he dubs AfroWave. Initially making his mark as part of the music and arts collective The.WAV, Stutzer earned them recognition of notable publications and the attention of global tastemakers. As an artist, producer and curator in a collective formed of such a range of different diasporas, Gregory Stutzer is no stranger to celebrating and embracing different cultures.
Aside from his musical career, Stutzer is a proud black business owner and co-founder of ‘Afrohaus’, a brand and event series that focuses on empowering diverse voices from the African diaspora through the arts, community and education. Drawing inspiration from their individual and diverse backgrounds, The.WAV form an excited force that advocates a unified vision for the future.
These multi-faceted experiences lead beautifully to this latest single. The infectious rhythm of ‘Vibration’ is designed to encourage people of all colours and walks of life to move their bodies and celebrate our shared roots. The human roots. A well-rounded and much needed message for the world at this moment in time, The.WAV are here to continue spreading their message of more love and good vibrations.
Our pan-cultural summer driving song “Look To The Moon” feat. John Orpheus is out now. Stream on your preferred platform now: https://sym.ffm.to/qvxkvjp
On a snowy February evening, the three of us were working together on a track for a car commercial which called for a dance or club feel. Martha made some hip-hop beats and I added some rhythm guitar, but we needed a rap element.
John arrived with a driving theme idea that had an autobiographical feel and immediately laid down two great takes. We used the first take, which was so spontaneous and joyful – it was winter outside, but John made it summer inside.
We didn’t get the commercial, but we ended up with this great hybrid that incorporates all of our influences. Something none of us would have written on our own.
Chemical Dreams (Mark Gane & Martha Johnson)
I am so excited to share my debut single, “Thru The Phone,” with you. It’s a feel-good tune to sing along to when you’re missing your significant other, available to stream now on Spotify ✨ Apple Music
I’m currently in a long distance relationship, and used to jokingly sing the hook of Soulja Boy’s “Kiss Me Thru The Phone” to him. I brought the idea of covering the song to my friend and producer Justin Gammella (Finneas, Ashe, Lennon Stella, Steve Aoki, Kaskade) and we wrote our own fun version of it, alongside Daylight (Shawn Mendes) and David Spektor.
“Thru The Phone” is for anyone that can’t see their partner. Whether it’s been 10 weeks, 10 days, or 10 minutes, I hope this song reminds you of how much you love that person, and gets you excited for when you can see them again.
Emerging from a long, gloomy spring, Katey Morley is about to make your summer better, with the release of her eagerly anticipated EP Hearts & Heads & Thoughts & Deeds. The first single, “The Guy Who Breaks Things,” is a dark and twangy account of a well-intentioned mess who accidentally topples everything in his wake. The song will be released to all digital platforms on July 13, 2020 at 12:00am. Ever hard to pin to one genre, you will recognize her sound: the seriousness of folk, combined with a heavy dose of country earnestness, wrapped in delightfully singable pop melodies and heavy grooves.
As usual, the Toronto-based singer-songwriter took her time with this release– it’s been three years since her last record. With Hearts, her 4th solo EP, she has crafted a fine batch of slow-cooked, sonically delicious tunes.
Katey’s previous album Now & Then, a double EP that took nearly 13 years to complete, was featured on CUIT, ERIN Radio and CBC Radio regularly. Her third single “Good Little Girls” was chosen by Gill Deacon as CBC’s song of the week in March 2018. It also won an honourable mention in the Women’s Freedom Song Contest in 2019.
Unequivocally Canadian, she is sorry she is so slow at releasing music. “It is next to impossible to survive in music without a day job,” she explains, “and next to impossible to record an album while you’re working full time.” Squeezing in studio sessions after work and on weekends, she proves once again, that the proverbial tortoise wins the race.
A self-taught composer and multi-instrumentalist, Katey plays dulcimer, autoharp, keys and percussion, but it is her voice that captivates listeners and that has earned her loyal following. Soft and vulnerable for a moment, and then suddenly unleashed, it is a powerfully dynamic instrument, drawing comparisons to the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Brandi Carlyle, and Sinead O’Connor.
Katey began singing, playing and composing at a very young age. As a teen, she studied for 3 years with acclaimed vocal teacher Elaine Overholt (Shawn Mendes, Francisco Yates, Queen Latifah and many more). Soon after, she left Jazz studies at York University to front the band Gypsy Soul (Resort/Universal Records), toured North America with Minneapolis folk-rockers Bobby Llama, and returned home to record her first solo album, Phor.
Over the last decade and a half, she has been producing and recording original songs, while supporting herself as a world-touring club DJ, session singer and designer. With Duncan Coutts (Our Lady Peace) and producer Scott Currie (Emily Haines), she recorded the award winning “Noah” (Great American Song Contest), capturing the attention of the legendary Garth Hudson of The Band, who travelled to Toronto to perform organ and accordion on four of Katey’s original songs.
Nashville musician Lindsey Lomis has just released an acoustic version of her newest song “Feel”. The 17-year-old independently released her debut EP ‘Chapter 1’ in 2019 and made her major-label debut with Alta Dena/Warner Records this past June with the original version of “Feel“. The track is instantly catchy owing to the edge and attitude in Lindsey’s voice, alongside the funky production which immediately reels you in.
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.
“Designer Lies” is a polite way of saying f you to an ex, a ghoster, a leave-you-on-read kind of guy who gets caught up in wanting to live a boujee life, and lacks self-worth. The one who feels the need to come in and out of your life when convenient. This song is about an ex who continued to play with my heart and live this farce lifestyle; claiming behind closed doors that he isn’t like other guys but in public did the exact opposite.
Don’t allow yourself to be pushed around. He isn’t worth your time. “Designer Lies” is a page out of my journal, and my way of saying goodbye. Shout out to all the “ghosters” out there. 💋
Produced by Tal Vaisman, this was my first recording experience as an artist, and the process was everything I could have wanted. I’ll have an EP to share with you soon. Thank you for listening.
Motorbike James is the musical brainchild and artist alias of Michael Werbicki, a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and producer from Edmonton, Canada. Motorbike James’ natural prerogative is to live a life in the moment, for the moment. That emotion comes out in all sides of his life – chasing adrenaline highs, riding motorbikes, exploring the world, and most of all through music. Motorbike James is a stream of consciousness writer, he writes through pure emotion and what he feels in the moment. What comes out the other side is a unique offering of music that is hard to pin under any one genre. Elements of electronic, indie rock, psychedelic, and R&B poke through each song. Motorbike James’ debut single “me Roll,” brings deep synths, hip hop inspired beats, and a laid-back vocal we will all come to know and love.
Hailing from the tiny blue-collar town of LaGrange, GA, Philmon Lee emanates raw soul without a filter and a whole lot of fire. As a kid, he learned piano, guitar, and drums and even toured with pops. Putting his head down and adopting the blue collar work ethic of his hometown, he devoted years to tirelessly honing his voice and drew inspiration from Elvis Presley, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Post Malone, Lewis Capaldi, Sam Smith, Elton John, and Steven Tyler, to name a few. Eventually, he captivated both Against Da Grain Entertainment and Epic Records, landing him a record deal. His voice will resound throughout 2020 and beyond.
Nicemark is a Toronto based project led by Mark Calderone, who writes, records, and produces his music. Influenced by soul, psychedelic rock, funk, and hip hop, Nicemark is your invitation to make yourself at home at the party.
Abby J Hall is a Canadian singer/songwriter from Burlington Ontario. Some of her musical influencers are: T-Swift, Julia Michaels, Alec Benjamin and Maggie Rogers. She started songwriting when she was 11 and has been passionate about it ever since. Her go-to instruments are the guitar, keys and ukulele. Memorable music moments include: playing her originals at The Sound of Music Festival in Burlington; at Canada’s Largest Ribfest; for the Live and Local Music Series at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre and at Canadian Music Week. She has been in the studio over the past year and is excited to be releasing new music over the next couple months. EVERYONE has a story to tell. Abby loves nothing more than to write some of those stories down and put them to music.
UK artist to watch GRIFF is back with a new pop anthem “Say It Again”. Her voice is amazing and she is insanely talented, she writes and produces her own songs, she makes her own clothes, and she shot the video for her last single “forgive myself” herself on an iphone at home in London during quarantine.
“Say It Again” is a deeply honest account of the ups and downs of modern teenage life and is a mantra of solidarity and female friendship. “When I wrote ‘Say It Again,’ a lot of my girlfriends were going through mental health issues, and I felt so helpless. So this song is basically my helpless self trying to reassure a friend who’s going through a really difficult time.”
GRIFF just graduated high school last year, signed a record deal and released her debut EP The Mirror Talk. She was signed by the same person who signed Dua Lipa and has received acclaim from i-D, NME, British Vogue, V Mag, Flaunt, Nylon, Clash, Idolator and more.
Born to Jamaican and Chinese parents, GRIFF was raised alongside two brothers and her families foster children near Watford, England. She found quiet by borrowing her brother’s logic and teaching herself to make music and write songs with YouTube tutorials.
She made her U.S. debut in February, playing shows in LA and NYC and I was blown away by her voice and natural presence. She is a star!
Brighton based, Belgian-American multifaceted artist Speelburg shares ‘Crash & Burn’ – WATCH CRASH & BURN VIDEO HERE– the third single from his upcoming album ‘Porsche’, due for release on 18th September. PRE-ORDER PORSCHE ‘Crash & Burn’ is proof of Speelburg’s strong creativity and diverse influences, from early 90’s Dust Brothers, The Avalanches to Todd Terje, the briskly frenetic beats were created by dipping into seminal KPM Records back-catalogue for sampling. Written, produced, performed, edited, coloured and directed by Speelburg, the 90’s inspired visual accompanying the new track expands on the recent video for ‘When You Want Me’ and it’s a surreal stylistic homage to Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry iconic music videos, and Wes Anderson symmetrical style – WATCH CRASH & BURN VIDEO HERE Talking about the idea behind the video, Speelburg explains ”quarterbacks playing the drums, return of the secret agent, a radical love interest with a stack of leftist literature”, he reveals, “I love taking seemingly macho things like football and showing the brutal and tender sides. there doesn’t seem to be enough football players making out in music videos, so i thought we’d try and fill this current sportsless void with a little reflection on the culture around it”.
The self-proclaimed movie buff, as evidenced by his stage name, is as much a compelling visual artist as he is an innovative musician, as best represented by his previous videos, the Vice-featured ‘Screener Season’ – Speelburg’s ode to Sofia Coppola films – and the Clash-featured animated ‘Headlights’. With only six days to conceive, shoot and complete the video, Speelburg recruited the same team who helped him realising the video for ‘When You Want Me’ – Alex Boundy and Beki Geekie on camera and cinematography, the same actors, with the addition of few new buddies from the Brighton & Hove Scorpions American Football Club and the bass player and the drummer in his live band. “I now understand more than ever why Wes Anderson keeps casting the same people in all his movies. Casting the people you love makes everything 10 times easier!”, he remarks.
The new single is the follow up to the tantalizing foot-stomping ‘When You Want Me’, which saw support from the likes of Ones To Watch, Indie Shuffle and BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders, to name a few. Whilst dark youthful anthem ‘World Is Falling Apart (this version)’ and ’World Is Falling Apart (that version)’ – the alternative and vulnerable take on the song – was played on BBC Radio 1’s ‘Chillest Show’ with Phil Taggart. Speelburg early releases have been championed by everyone who counts; ‘Million Air’ was ‘Chillest Record’ by BBC Radio 1’s Phil Taggart with further plays on Annie Mac, Clara Amfo and Zane Lowe’s radio shows. While Clash magazine described his sound as “other-worldly, startlingly unique electro pop”, The Line Of Best Fit called it “perfect millennial slice of wonky pop”, with Pigeons & Planes taking it a step further declaring; “Speelburg…is a force to be reckoned with.” Known for his witty lyrics, crisp funk-influenced electro-pop beats, infectious hook-heavy choruses and compelling visuals, Speelburg’s music sounds like a blend of Beck, Vampire Weekend and Paul Simon. He already amassed over 11 million total streams from previous releases, including the early 2019 single ‘Say Hello’, which features in commercials for Samsung and Google Pixel.
In a world of uncertainty, Brother May explores the answers over a magnificently smooth, and fabulously pop single ‘W84U’ taken from forthcoming EP ‘Love is in Demand’.
Since releasing his critically acclaimed lopsided, leftfield ‘Aura Type Orange’ album last year, and his influential ‘Chopped & Screwed Mixtape’ with innovative and experimental producer Mica Levi (Micachu & the Shapes), Brother May has produced a 4 track EP to signify a sign of the times that ‘Love is in Demand’.
Produced by Rudi Zygadlo, the EP is a mesmerising, electrifying and distinctive release that reflects on love in every aspect, from love of music, friendship, and falling out of love. ‘W84U’ is the lead single from ‘Love is in Demand’, boasting 80’s synths, it’s a perfect ode to the funk era with a modern twist. Sonically floating between vitality and tranquillity as the verse’s and hooks intertwine, Brother May reflects on this connection which now seems unrequited. Regardless of the current situation though, Brother May knows “patience is a virtue” and is set on pouring his heart out in aid to win his lover over.
Dissecting the EP further, Brother May beautifully explores the concepts of affection and adoration all whilst clearly exhibiting his own development as a lyricist, producer and creative talent. The 4-track EP takes us through the motions of a turbulent connection, with ‘Demanding Love’ beginning the story of a relationship tainted with drama and obsession, but with a love and bond too strong to let go. On ‘Fall Out’, Brother May discloses his hopes for the future with a potential lover, and the extents he’s willing to go to keep this love and relationship alive. But it seems he can’t help but be aware of the huge impact that losing this friendship and love will have on him. ‘Friendzone’ acts as a confirmation that the relationship is in fact now over, as Brother May’s fears have been confirmed.
Having previously worked with a varied cast of sonic pioneers, from Joe Goddard of Hot Chip, to Kwes and Kate Tempest, he has also supported numerous visionary artists, accompanying Mount Kimbie at sold-out London dates. These endeavours have garnered support from publications such as The Fader, DAZED and Mixmag earning him accolades for his “grin inducing bars and a deadpan flow” and his “experimental rap with electric results”. Also curating an enviable live presence, Brother May has worked with the Roundhouse and Barbican, performing at international festivals and raising £12k for the Hackney Winter Night Shelter with CURL, Jamie XX and Young Turks. Rounding together his experiences in his new EP, ‘Love is in Demand’ is a culmination of his journey with the bountiful originality and exploratory music revolution that is synonymous to Brother May.
Stay up to date with BROTHER MAY by following his socials for news about upcoming releases & more.
Aidan Tulloch is a 20-year-old singer/songwriter/composer/poet who creates contemporary alternative music for the fever pitches of everyday life. Writing for both page and stage, the Thirsk-raised artist is currently based between North Yorkshire and Cambridge where he is at university. His forthcoming EP, Somewhere Without Lights, is his truest record so far; a nostalgic retrospective that intersects recollections of a gritty Yorkshire youth with mature artistic sensibilities. The down-to-earth musician’s honest and emotive five-track EP emerges from the idea of feeling truly alive, whether that’s in a dark night of the soul, or dancing until they turn the lights on. It’s also a record fascinated by the night, where, as Tulloch says, “sound and light get a chance to go off piste.”
The release begins with the exhilarating “Milk and Orange Juice.” A track that recalls the familiar catharsis of a heady night. Warm and sporty, the song is built around a phenomenally distinctive and incandescent drop. This track also showcases Tulloch’s own live violin, giving a nod to his classical training, blending old and new to craft a fresh and forward-thinking sound. Then there is “Goalposts” — a throwback indie rock festival singalong that might just make you feel 16 again. Euphoric guitar riffs create a space for Tulloch to look back to the endless summer days of his North Yorkshire adolescence.
Next, the record’s centrepiece is the understated “Santa Susanna,” where vague impressions and recollections constitute an intimate reverie with a hazy, on the road, homemade vibe. “Song for Armageddon,” perhaps the record’s most energetic highlight is a song to turn to when it all becomes too much. Driving beats, soaring synths, and jangly guitars propel this euphoric floor-filler. Ticking all the boxes for a generational anthem, the track is something immense, something beautiful, something nostalgic, and something visceral.
Finally, title track “Somewhere Without Lights” is the calm after the storm; the warm, still evening after the oppressive heat; the huge emptiness; the fingers through your hair when you lie in bed; the space. Showcasing Tulloch’s real knack for cinematic piano, it’s a lyricless canvas that uses unconventional time signatures, organic textures, and icy pianos to bring a clear and peaceful end to the record.
With the aim of creating music that can be a sanctuary or outlet for others, the songwriter shares: — “As a fan, I’ve noticed the beautiful effect that music can have on people in terms of euphoria, comfort, intensity, and depth. I’m at a stage now where I want to create that for other people. Sometimes everything just seems banal, stagnant, stuck, and I want to create musical and poetic environments to feel released from that.”
Inspired by music that breaks new artistic ground and embraces the complexity of humanity, Tulloch owes a lot to his love of projects like The National and Kiasmos while also drawing from minimalist composers like Cage, Glass and Reich. In all, this EP is postmodern in that it’s referential — the artist opens a photo album and finds sketches of himself listening to indie rock, pop, electronica, folk, and classical and listens to that all over again.
While, on the surface, Tulloch often indulges in infectious, frivolous pop, his razor sharp lyrics and high-quality musicianship ensure that Somewhere Without Lights is always brutally profound. This substantial first record might just be the earliest sign of a refreshingly authentic, likeable, and talented artist — feeling his way as the poster-boy-next-door for a new generation as he tentatively comes of age.
We wrote our latest song, “Life in a Video,” as we reflected on our journey so far as a band and as individuals. It’s all a tricky balance, when on some days we’re overwhelmed with feelings of self-doubt, and other days we’re overflowing with confidence.
Similar to the song’s lyrics, through the video we wanted to bring across both a curated professional perspective of us as a band, as well as a more personal and authentic perspective through the lens of a camcorder. With the visuals we tried to emphasise the contrast of both perspectives.
Watch “Life in a Video” on https://youtu.be/LDxzvt0wbSU
Do you ever have a feeling of nostalgia? Remembering people and places from your childhood that you thought were long gone? For composer Kevin Keller, the feeling came in the form of a music video for his new single, “The Forgotten Places”, out now. When he awoke from heart surgery, Kevin Keller experienced his life flash before his eyes with images of his childhood running through his mind. Inspired by moments after Keller’s recent operation, the music video sees glimpses of scenic imagery, such as clouds in the sky, rainfall, and a door opening to reveal a shining white light. Also featured are images of wind-up toys and old record players, the sounds of which were recorded to create the rhythm track of “The Forgotten Places”.
In many ways, this is classic ambient: the mix of Victorian music boxes, analog synthesizers, strings, and piano. Together, these elements create the feeling of a journey through lost memories, forming the lead single from Keller’s album “The Front Porch of Heaven”, due out September 18. Kevin Keller is an American composer who has worked in the spaces between neo-classical, ambient, and electronic music for over 25 years. Combining acoustic piano, strings, and woodwinds with electronic instruments and effects, his style has come to be called ambient chamber music.
Keller has released a dozen albums, worked with musicians David Darling and Russel Walder, and co-produced live concerts with Steve Roach and Robert Rich. His music has been awarded two Zonies (ZMR Awards) for “Best Neo-Classical Album”, and has also been heard on the popular Fox show “So You Think You Can Dance”, as well as original scores for film, television, and contemporary dance.
Kansas City based The Black Creatures (Jade Green & Xavier) today released a visual for their latest single “Wretched (It Goes)”. The video premiered exclusively at Independent Music News who wrote “it’s simplistic in all the right ways, as well as aesthetically stimulating. It encourages you to listen to the message of Wretched (It Goes) carefully, then displays images to emphasise the points made. It’s an unapologetic protest track, and it’s pulling no punches.” The video was directed by The Black Creatures and produced by Jeffrey Mundinger and Cory Cullen of Rondevu Pictures. The video follows Jade and Xavier as they go through Kansas City, highlighting its rich and complicated history, emphasizing further the protest nature of the track.
The Black Creatures on the video: “We knew we wanted to contrast the music with a visual narrative, to contextualize the language in the song and we hope that we succeeded in that for everybody who sees it.”
“Wretched (It Goes)”, released via Center Cut Records is the first release from their upcoming album Wild Echoes. The single was produced by Xavier, and written by Jade Green and Xavier. Mastered by Collin Jordan (Xiu Xiu, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco), the single was originally intended for a compilation album the duo was invited to be a part of that was never consummated. “Wretched (It Goes)” critiques the prison industrial complex and other prevailing systems of socioeconomic and cultural hierarchy, how they work, and the beginning steps of
how they might be abolished. A theme of not just repairing, but completely undoing this system is emphasized by lines like “the healing only comes when you break it again” and “we need to change the record ‘cause the needle keep on playin’ it.” Heavily inspired by 90s style hip-hop and artists such as LL Cool J, Ice Cube and Queen Latifah, the track showcases their unique combination of multiple musical genres.
American Songwriter on “Wretched (It Goes)”: “It is the collective ambition of The Black Creatures that listeners will deeply absorb “Wretched (It Goes)” not just for its indelible late 80s/early 90s groove theory but the message of questioning the Prison Industrial Complex propelling the beat as well.”
Emerging Alternative R&B artist Tolliver’s new EP ThinBlackDuke is out now along with the music video to the single “Drugs in College”. Watch the music video here.
Tolliver says, “ThinBlackDuke is a party record about guilt. It’s about the feeling put upon me by the world, while acknowledging – and sometimes reveling in – all fuckboi behavior that gets me mired in bs. The EP plays like a tide. The tide comes in, my confidence rises – Petty, Drugs in College, Owe Me Money. The tide rolls out – Agape, Swing My Way. Sonically it’s a pop record with R&B and gospel overtones, churchy-ass harmonies, and confessional lyrics over slickly-produced tracks meant for banging at the bar mitzvah, the club, and the chiropractor’s office.”
He continues about the single “Drugs In College” saying, “This is a Candyland dream for those who like to get high without ever coming down. Why repent when you can indulge? Why wake up when you could sleep through it all? Why drink water when there’s a drink sitting right next to you? How convenient! The song glorifies addiction as a means of taking away the power of said addictions, giving in to relieve the tension of trying to hold off. Commit crimes, destroy private property, do all the destructive things you’re scared to do but secretly would love to.”
Written and recorded with all-star production team The Architects (Miguel, Alicia Keys) – ‘ThinBlackDuke,’ is equal parts unbridled hedonism and morning-after regret, a conflicted party record that blurs the lines between soul, funk, R&B, and hip-hop as it grapples with sex and jealousy, money and betrayal, self-doubt and self-control. Tolliver, whose bisexual identity and appetite for debauchery are frequently at odds with his strict religious upbringing, writes with a keen observational eye and lacerating wit. His lyrics are raw and unfiltered, at times hilarious, but there’s a swift undercurrent of guilt that flows just beneath the surface.
My name is X. ARI and I am a Canadian artist, songwriter and mental health advocate. Earlier this year I released “BSMI (Broke, Single & Mentally Ill),” a song which furthers my vision to empower others to turn their pain into power by finding their conduit to healing.
Today I am getting in touch with you to share “Take Me Home,” my new single produced by Kadeema’s Tal Vaisman. This song is about meeting someone really special who lives in another country and wanting them to take you home with them so your relationship doesn’t have to end.
Watch the lyric video for “Take Me Home” via YouTube
Front Country is a band on the precipice of a metamorphosis. As multi-instrumentalists, songwriters and composers, the instrumentation and setting have always been secondary to the musical vision that comes through no matter what stage they take. For a band with a genre in their name, genre has always been elusive for Front Country, as they refuse to pick sides or be constrained by any expectations outside their own singular aesthetic. From their beginnings in the SF Bay Area to their new hometown of Nashville, TN, Melody Walker, Adam Roszkiewicz and Jacob Groopman have been on a journey to discover a sound.
While making their third album – their first in Music City – they feel closer than ever to what fans have heard in them all along. SLC Weekly called it “Rugged Americana and Purposeful Pop”, and that seems as close as anything to describe the Front Country sound. To them, their namesake is about pushing the envelope, but never losing sight of their roots.
R&B-POP BREAKOUT Almondmilkhunni
KEEPS HER HOT GIRL SUMMER GOING WITH CONFIDENT NEW SINGLE, “damnboy”
Proving once and for all that she can demand it all and then some, Philadelphia singer Almondmilkhunni is back with a bold and sultry music video for her blazing new single, “damnboy.”
“I love the message of this song, because although it’s not something I have in my life right now—someone who doesn’t need to be taught how to love you—it’s basically everything I want to manifest for myself.” – Almondmilkhunni
“damnboy”—a dreamy wish-fulfillment of a song that begs for an equal partner and not a savior perfectly represents the 23-year-old singer’s years of hustle and hard work, the blood, sweat, and tears that she put into working in pursuit of making a successful, independent life for herself. Written by frequent Megan Thee Stallion and Pop Smoke collaborator Derek Milano, “damnboy” is a modern pop anthem for anyone looking to celebrate their inner boss.
The “damnboy” video, directed by Tyler Yee (A$AP Ferg, G-Eazy, Lil Yachty), follows Almondmilkhunni and her female partner-in-crime during their Thelma and Louise-style romp through the desert, complete with greaser cars, piles of cash, and seedy motels.
“I was presented with the option to have a male or female lead, and I thought it would be a really cool dynamic to have a song be lyrically about a boy but visually representing a woman/woman relationship.I felt like it was a cool representation of my bisexuality.”
“damnboy” comes on the heels of Almondmilkhunni’s “Cherry (Remix).” The original version of “Cherry” graced Spotify’s coveted “New Music Friday” playlist when it dropped earlier this year, and appears on her debut EP, Almondmilkhunni [via Electric Feel Records], a 7-song salute to the forward-thinking Latina’s humble roots and her bright future.
Though she’s only been releasing music for a year, Almondmilkhunni is already serving up silky ‘00s R&B wrapped up neatly in sleek modern production. Previous single “Bandana” cleverly samples Usher’s “U Remind Me,” which Billboard called a “swaggering kiss-off.” As Brain Bakery Magazine put it best, “Somewhere between Clairo and Doja Cat exists the energy and persona that is Almondmilkhunni.”
Notching over 2 million streams on Spotify, Almondmilkhunni is quickly becoming an undeniable force. With her self-titled EP Almondmilkhunni and “damnboy,” the must-hear singer is only just beginning her most powerful hot girl year yet.
To say Almondmilkhunni has somehow done it all already might be an understatement. The Philadelphia singer’s rapid-fire trip to the top has taken her from growing up in the church to putting herself through college by dancing/stripping, to turning heads with her bitingly funny viral social posts, to finally doing what she was always meant to do: flexing her true power as a pop-R&B disruptor. Emerging in 2019, her first two singles (“Grapefruit” [feat. Evander Griiim] & “Henni Heartbreak”) racked up over 2M streams, and ultimately got her signed to Electric Feel Records.
Known for her wildly popular dancing and her exhilarating and engaging videos, social media phenom Nessa Barrett is finding her own musical voice. Now, Barrett unveils “Pain,” her debut single and video. Written and arranged by the artist herself, “Pain” is Barrett’s first music project released on Warner Records.
Barrett, a Puerto Rican-American influencer originally from New Jersey, joined social media in March 2019. Barrett quickly went viral, garnering nearly 10 million followers on TikTok and over 2.7 million followers on Instagram. Eager to engage with the 17-year-old star, her fans have viewed her recent TikTok videos over 5 million times, with many videos receiving over 10 million views. Barrett, who moved to Los Angeles this summer, also launched a line of merchandise – a selection of hoodies and sweatshirts highlighting her position as one of social media’s reigning queens.
Music has always been Barrett’s passion, and upon moving to L.A., she went straight into the studio, sat down at a piano, and poured her heart out into “Pain.” In her soul-stirring debut, Barrett lays bare her feelings of heartbreak, emotional tumult, and the growth she’s experienced since bursting into the limelight and living life under a microscope. “Pain” pulls back the curtain on the person behind the social media persona, deftly showcasing the kind of sound fans can expect from the artist as her natural musical talents continue to evolve.
Apart from her music and social media content, Barrett is also actively involved in supporting anti-bullying and mental health outreach. In June, she made a video for the Child Mind Institute discussing mental health support available for families during the COVID-19 crisis. As someone who has come of age (Barrett turns 18 in August) in the often harsh glare of the social media spotlight, the musician and influencer has been working to use her platform to raise awareness to help other young people who are struggling.
Check out “Pain” and stay tuned for much more music to come from Nessa Barrett.
Sam the Astronaut is like a giant alien synthesizer entering Earth’s atmosphere preparing to beam you up with its lush soundwaves. Its purpose; to take you to a place where the dull realities of everyday life are washed away and, even just for a moment, replaced with an irresistible urge to dance. And trust, they will be there right beside you the entire time.
The duo, comprised of Garrison Johnson and TJ Gibson, came together almost inevitably. Growing up in the same Vancouver suburb of Port Moody, but running with different crews, they pursued their musical ambitions independently while discovering a mutual admiration for each other from afar. Their creative paths finally aligned when they simultaneously found themselves between projects looking for a fresh musical perspective and finding that in one another. With that, Sam the Astronaut, an alchemical mix of snappy pop, new-wave electronic, hip-hop grit, funky disco and the pile of loose change that’s never quite enough for what you need, was born.
STA wrote and self-produced their acclaimed 2017 debut album Girls of Summer that quickly connected them to a growing audience and community of independent curators and playlisters helping the release amass over 1.5 million streams. Now, Sam the Astronaut returns with a new single, once again self-written, self-produced and independently released. “Midnight Carlight” tackles the complexities that come from the feeling of being trapped in a relationship and is accompanied by a moody bassline and swash of vibrant piano and sample pads setting the emotional tone. The song culminates with a scream-solo for the ages that perfectly represents the swirling frustration that a situation like this creates. “Midnight Carlight” is the first taste of the duos forthcoming full-length project they have been working on for the past two years.
All Sam the Astronaut wants to do is move you. Whether that be by way of their infectious beats and melodies sparking a blaze throughout your body that turns into a dance, or emotionally through those same elements weaving around powerful lyricism. The combination of Garrison’s distinct rich vocals and TJ’s dynamic production offers up anthemic West Coast alt-pop that feels both contemporary and reminiscent of the classic hits across your favourite party playlist. Coming down from the nova, and near the curvy moon, Sam the Astronaut emits a sound that fills the shadows of everyday life. A soundtrack laced in silver that’s yours to keep.
Taking influence from Brit rock legends, David Bowie, The Clash and The Rolling Stones, Micky James creates gritty glam rock’n’roll with pop sensibilities.
After touring the States with his previous band, the group eventually dissolved and James decided to focus on the formation of his solo project. The time spent performing in the band essentially helped sculpt the identity of his new project and developed the right ecstatic to correspond with the music he wanted to create. James’ ideology for this new project was to craft something that felt spontaneous and true. Capturing a raw essence and breathing life into the recordings, James’ priority was to make music filled with honesty, passion and love.
Inspired by the authentic energy of 60s and 70s iconic rock bands, James is successful in crafting a modern and fresh approach to a timeless genre, “I wanted to take pieces of nostalgia and give it a contemporary twist”, explains James. Successfully taking his vision and turning it into a reality, James’ music has been resonating with listeners.
Follow-up to“Losing My Mind”,the secondIndie Rocksingle from Cam Blake’s upcoming fall album release “Conversation#3” will be released on July 31, 2020on Adagio/The Orchard.The song wasco-produced by Cam Blake and Australia’s Sam Cutri (The Gusset,Atlas Chasers).The single will be tracked tocommercialradio by Oscar FurtadofromTamdemtracks.Video for the single was produced and directed byRaunie MaeBaker (Ludic, NYHLA, Leisure Club).Cam explains, “Conversation #3 was written about a friendship. A friendship thatI’d had for most of my life, butone thatbecame unhealthy. A few months ago Ifound myself needing to get out of it, which resulted in numerous drainingconversations, and the song.”CamBlakes’s dynamic music influences have given him the ability to fuse awide range of genres including R&B,indie, alternative and psychedelic rock,into his music. Cam has spent his entire life around music, starting to write and perform as early as 8 yearsold. For the past 5 years he’s logged countless hoursin the studio writing and recording.In July of 2018, Cam Blake released his first official project with Adagio Music/TheOrchard entitled ‘Abyss’ including a full production music video for the single’Meditate’ (over 13K views on YouTube). In early 2019,Cam Blake released thesingle ‘Falling’.He then released the Indie Rock EP ‘Fast Love’ in the summer of2019. ‘Fast Love’ includedfive songs accompanied by three live videosrecorded at Blue FrogStudios, White Rock, BC.While Cam Blake has been honing his studio chops working on his and otherartist projects, he has also been performing live. Cam Blake was a semi-finalist inthe Elevate Music Project and Top 30 in the Best of Vancouver competition. Hisstagecraft and performing ability has exploded after playing numerous shows allacrossBC.At a time when artists are unable to perform liveto large audiences, it is soimportant to continue to connect with fans. “Losing My Mind”resulted incommercial and college radio play and a number of very supportive mediacomments and reviews including Canadian Musician Magazine, Alan Cross,Stuart Derdeyn (Vancouver Sun), Eric Alper, and others. “Conversation #3”continues the previewCam Blake’s exciting new fall album release.