INsiders Guide: Rosa Linn & Kiiara, Rence, Sam Himself, FINER/HAGGART, Oxymorrons, Kudasaibeats, Andrew Kitchen, Blanks, KRAMIES, Maurice Louca, Young & Sick…

Singer-songwriter-producer Rosa Linn teams up with Kiiara to release her debut single “KING.” The track and video for “KING” presents two different female artists, whose global story connects them – with Kiiara representing the American perspective, and Rosa, the global perspective. Sharing stories and lyrics in both English and Russian.


Buzzing singer, songwriter and producer Rence is back with a heartfelt new single “AWOOO!”. Hopeful and romantic on the surface, the breakout star’s latest release is actually a breakup song. “AWOOO!” follows his last release, the anthemic track “Endless,” which was released at the top of 2021. With more new music on the horizon, Rence continues to a kaleidoscopic of pop hits.

Alt. indie rocker Sam Himself shares “La Paz, a melancholy journey from minimalist intro to anthemic climax, covering almost as much ground as the road trip by which it was inspired. Sam’s latest release is the final single leading up to his debut album, Power Ballads, due out in October. “La Paz follows album singles “Cry, “Nothing Like the Night,” and, most recently, “What It’s Worth,” which premiered via Under The Radar Magazine, was picked up by KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, KEXP’s The Morning Show, and – as of this writing – remains on rotation on numerous national and regional stations in France, Germany, Switzerland and beyond. 

The self-declared ‘Fondue Western baritone and Swiss Music Awards 2021-nominee was on tour in Europe last year when the pandemic broke out. Unable to return to New York City, his chosen home of the past decade, Sam set up shop in his native Basel, Switzerland, where he started writing the songs on his upcoming full-length debut. The artist’s exile-at-home lasted just shy of a year, a strange time marked by restless daydreams, according to Sam, including the escapist fantasy that inspired “La Paz:

During lockdown, my mind wandered a lot, looking for exits. I got really nostalgic for past travels and times when I could move freely wherever I wanted to go. Peru, for example. I took a road trip there a few years ago. One night, I was driving through the desert with about two fingers of water left in the car and the aftermath of some recent chemical calamity playing out in my bloodstream; I was exhausted but stopping by the side of the road didn’t really feel like an option, so I kept going. I’m pretty sure I was heading for the Bolivian border, and I remember staring at my GPS and thinking if I can just get to La Paz – the Bolivian city – I’ll be ok. (I can be a little melodramatic when I’m hungover.) I never made it there but La Paz nevertheless became a sort of mantra on that trip, a name for the light at the end of the tunnel. Probably not the most laid-back trip I ever took. Still, at the height of quarantine cabin fever last year, I would have given a lot to be back in that stuffy rental car in the desert, waiting for the sun to rise.”

While Dustin Finer and Patrick Haggart make no claims regarding powers of interstellar awakening, they do boast a visionary take on saxophone and electronics. Their symbiotic improvisations generate a single sonic output, blurring the lines of cause and effect. Classically trained, Finer’s “alarmingly proficient” (Popdose) contemporary saxophone techniques have drawn comparisons to Colin Stetson and Bendik Giske. Haggart (aka Stereo_IMG) has used his background in cinematic sound design to build a reputation in Montreal’s techno and experimental electronic scenes as a meticulous craftsman. Together the duo unravels dark, stream-of-conscious narratives as Haggart wields a chain of effects hardware to manipulate Finer’s live saxophone.

Two improvisers. One output. Full send.

Photo credit: Michael Danners

New York City-based alternative hip-hop band Oxymorrons have dropped another undeniably catchy single that drives an important message. Following their anti-racism war-cry “Justice” and the braggadocious banger “Green Vision”, the band’s new song “Django” serves as the third single from their anticipated Mohawks & Durags EP. The project is slated for release on September 20, 2021 via Jason Aalon Butler’s (Fever 333 / Pressure Cracks / Letlive) artist collective 333 Wreckords Crew.

Pulling from their multicultural backgrounds and experiences (the members are of Haitian, Dominican, and Venezuelan descent), the band sought to put their existence as men of color in society – and in navigating the music industry – into perspective.

When asked to expand on the inspiration behind “Django”, Oxymorrons as a group shared, “Django is not only our tribute to 90’s Hip Hop and Rock. It’s about being black and proud. It’s an unapologetic celebration of our melanin. We used Django because so often our society only celebrates fictional embodiments of black resistance, while erasing the actual black revolutionaries throughout global history. The systems in place don’t want us to see ourselves in those that look like us… that fought for our peoples liberation (see Haiti, DR, Africa, etc). We say, fuck that. I look like him, You look like him, We look like him. DJANGO!!!”

Continuing their trend of taking iconic rock covers and flipping them on their heads – “Justice” with Queen’s self titled, “Green Vision” with Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ – the “Django” artwork is an Oxy-fied spin on Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’.

Oxymorrons will be hitting the road hard this fall in support of their upcoming Mohawks & Durags EP. First leg opening for Anti-Flag, and the second run opening for Neck Deep alongside Boston Manor, Zero 9:36, and Heart Attack Man.

Kudasaibeats is the solo project of vocalist/producer/beat maker Christian Songco. While often mistakenly characterized into the lofi hip hop genre, Kudasai’s sound is much more hi-fi and refined, twisting facets from hip hop, chillwave and lofi to create his own original sound that you can’t find anywhere else. Kudasai’s debut album in 2017 ‘Falling’ was met with widespread success, garnering over 50 million views on YouTube and 45 million + streams on Spotify and Apple Music combined. His sound has developed further recently, with the introduction of light vocals, warm guitar melodies and wide drum hits, Christian’s music is the perfect soundtrack for introspective evenings, late night drives and contemplative moods.

Renaissance man and producer Andrew Kitchen joins forces with singer-songwriter Pepper Gomez to unveil the new single/music video, “My Heart Plays For You,” via Wake Up! Music Group.

Netherlands-hailed indie-pop artist and YouTube star Blanks has announced his debut album “Nothing Last Forever and That’s OK”, slated for release on October 29th. As executive producer, Blanks wrote, composed, and produced the majority of the album himself, showcasing his incredible talents as a multi-instrumentalist in the process. The collection of songs takes the listener on a journey through Blanks’ own memories, pulling inspiration from the good and the bad, including his first love, spending summers with friends, and tragically losing his best friend at a young age. Inspired by the sounds of popular music at the time and flipped with a modern approach, Blanks has created a contemporary indie-pop album that invites the listener to make their own treasured memories with this album as the soundtrack. Released today is the fourth single of the album, “Never Have I Ever” – an upbeat bop with instant feel good vibes. Watch the premiere with Ones to Watch HERE

Co-produced by Blanks and Joonas Parkkonen, “Never Have I Ever” incorporates retro-style synths, big anthemic vocals, and unforgettable pop hooks right in time for those end-of-summer feels. Never Have I Ever” is a song for the people in your life that get you excited, make you try new things, make you feel alive. To me, this is the song I want to scream the lyrics to in the car with my closest friends while we’re going on a road trip, ending up somewhere unexpected, building a fire or watching the stars explains Blanks. “I wrote this song together with Joonas and writer Eirik Næss over Zoom, where Joonas was in Finland, Eirik was in the Maldives, and I was in the Netherlands. It’s still crazy to me how we managed to write this banger like that. I guess it was a combination of Scandinavian music magic, Maldives good vibes and excitement!

Patrick Carney of the Black Keys & Jason Lytle of Grandaddy join KRAMIES on his beautiful new single “Days Of”.

KRAMIES has emerged as a fresh new folk voice. Individual in style and heartfelt in composing, the rising songwriters’ ballads meld classic acoustic elements with fresh, innovative production, for a sound that feels likes the pinnacle of modern folk. Mixed in with his candid lyricism and rousing vocals, the artists talent is obvious, making him a name to watch out for.

“Days Of”, the first single off Kramies’ new self-titled EP, is the alluring and emotional centrepiece from this beautiful new constellation of songs. Produced by Patrick Carney of the Black Keys, “Days Of” also features Carney on drums and guitar as well as Jason Lytle of Grandaddy on synths and sounds.

This union of talent between these beloved artists, as well as Kramies’ individual distinctive style and vocals, results in an example of finely honed craft. With lyrics reflecting on mortality and nostalgia set to flourishes of sonic creativity, “Days Of” sets the tone for what is to be Kramies’ most highly anticipated EP yet.

(credit: Tony Elieh)

Maurice Louca shares “Higamah (Hirudinea),” the second single from his forthcoming full-length album, Saet El-Hazz (The Luck Hour), out September 24, 2021 via Sub Rosa and Northern Spy.  At once cacophonous and cathartic, this psychedelic outro swirls across imaginary landscapes with a rich and melodic spirituality—it’s a good example why Louca has been called the heart of Egypt’s thriving alternative music scene.

Saet el Hazz is a coded saying in Egypt to refer to a good time and usually implies a great deal of debauchery. “When you mention to someone that you’ve had a saet hazz, there are no questions asked. It is what it is.”

The initial spark for Saet El-Hazz was Louca’s desire to collaborate with “A” Trio, the Lebanese improvisational group featuring Mazen Kerbaj on prepared trumpet, Sharif Sehnaoui on prepared guitar, and Raed Yassin on prepared double bass. “When the three of them come together they create a sonic cosmos entirely their own. I started by composing music that I wanted to have exist within this sonic world—at times in harmony, or clashing with it, and all the emotional ranges in between.”

(Credit: Young & Sick)

Dutch musician and visual artist known as Young & Sick has released new single “CICADAS.” The track is available everywhere now here.

Blending orchestral instrumentation with Young & Sick’s soaring vocal and inventive production, “CICADAS” is the latest taste of the forthcoming new album from Young & Sick titled BROTHER, set for a September 24 release via B3SCI Records. 

On the track, Young & Sick notes, “Julio Cortázar once wrote about ‘nostalgia for the kingdom.’ You know the feeling; that full-body yearn for something never known, that deep-set desire to return to a place never inhabited, never been, never left. That’s what we’re dealing with here. Nostalgia for the Kingdom.”

The new album will be available on limited edition translucent orange vinyl. Pre-order a copy now here


Written By: Neill Frazer

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