INsiders Guide: Bahari, Bishop Ivy, Creatrx, Bryann, Kitty Montague, Matt McManamon, Rosie Tee, BOYOCA, Haviah Mighty, RAMENGVRL, Rosenblume…..

Picking up the pace of an already prolific year, rising alt-pop duo Bahari unveil a new single entitled “Ways Of Love” today. Listen to “Ways of Love” at all DSPs HERE.

On the track, acoustic guitar creaks beneath dreamy vocals. The verses slip into a bold and breathy hook, “Show me the ways of love…and I will follow. Combining sensual delivery and effervescent instrumentation, it captures the sentiment of the fleeting moment just before love takes over.

Regarding the single, Bahari said, “Ways of Love’ is about that moment and feeling right before you finally give in to falling in love with someone. It’s about that decision to trust someone with your heart and to learn the way that they love.”

The track arrives on the heels of the pair’s summer EP, Forget YouRight out of the gate, Grimy Goods praised, “Los Angeles duo Bahari continues to create niche for themselves with their brand of expansive alt-pop, with the five-song collection revealing an even sharper and more affecting intimacy in their songwriting and soundscape molding.”  The EP includes fan favorites such as a remix of the Gold-certified Savage” [feat. “Whole Lotta Money” rapper BIA], Jackie Kennedy,” and Bipolar—which have collectively generated 20 million streams and counting to date. 

Surrounding the release of the EP, Bahari also joined forces with VAST, the next gen platform that helps creators build their network and net worth, and lent “Bipolar” to a PSA for Project Healthy Minds, the national nonprofit confronting one of the defining issues of our time: the mental health crisis. Along with a livestreamed roundtable discussion moderated by Hayley Hasselhoff – actor, model, self-acceptance coach and host of the new podcast, Redefine You: A Conversation for Wellbeing, the initiative included an auction of AI-fueled NFT’s culled from the “Bipolar” music video itself. The visual features a storyline that depict manic mood swings between its pair of on-screen couples, dramatized with an evocative overlay of effects and graphics generated entirely in AI by Seyhan Lee and AI artist Lulu XXX. The Bahari NFT auction on MakersPlace sold out within a couple days, and they have donated 20% of the net proceeds to Project Healthy Minds. It marked one of the first integrated music and visual NFT offerings designed to benefit mental health.

Bishop Ivy introduced himself as an alternative-pop songwriter known for his innovative music which mixed organic instruments with digital sounds, field recordings, electronica influences, and samples. Continuing to sharpen that sound, he now embellishes it with pop hooks, sonically adventurous production and autobiographical lyrics. Ivy’s focus on imaginative sound and sharp songcraft began in Boston, where he kicked off his career as a 14-year-old street busker on the neighbourhood sidewalks of Back Bay. Now based in Pittsburgh, where he studies music, electrical engineering and computer science, and with a number of releases under his belt, Ivy hopes to further his ability to manipulate music. 

 

Inspired by boundary breakers like Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, James Blake, and Imogen Heap, Ivy has built his career upon attention to detail. He’s responsible for virtually every sound he creates, with his willingness to juxtapose synthesized sounds with raw, organic music being the driving force behind what he does. 

 

“STAND UP” touches on the need to find internal power and no longer allow people to use and abuse you for your kind heart. After spending time cooped up in lockdown, Ivy found self-love, along with the realization that it’s time to “STAND UP” for himself, as he shares, “This realization to stand up for myself was encouraged by the constant isolation I was in at the time of writing because of covid; I had to take care of myself and value myself more than before.”

With prominent palpitating bass that crosses somewhere between an 808 and an 80s synth, the track is bursting with electro-pop energy. With an ocean of vast, fluid sounds, the track carries a deep, panging beat, complex and steady. Ivy’s crystalline vocals haunt the melodies with strength and a subtle untamed aura; the hook is a shot of uplifting vigour as the artist shows us his inner force and potent power. Not only is he a young, talented producer but a true scientist of sound. Using recordings of a friend’s camera and taking samples from ambient sounds, he was able to construct the percussion entirely from his collection of everyday noises. He explains, “I used to bring around a field recorder everywhere I went, and you can hear the sounds of us just hanging out at the end (it’s not just my voice).”

Expressing themselves through music, dance and performance art, Creatrx unveils dirt. honey. glitter. water – an EP of six eclectic, exuberant tracks exploring life as a Black non-binary person in modern society. Marked by the singles “RUN”, the sex-positive “sunday” and non-binary anthem “experience”, dirt. honey. glitter. water is an otherworldly journey weaving layers of distorted synths, percussive electronic drum beats and powerful lyrics. Citing Kelis, Santigold and M.I.A. as their “holy trinity” alongside funk icon Betty Davis and OutKast as well as punk and Black house music, Creatrx’s EP forms itself as a unique melting pot of genres, ideas and messages, born from a diverse wealth of influences and life experience – helmed by Creatrx with EZRA OST and teddy NBD. The title dirt. honey. glitter. water derives from the core elements used in African religions and African magic and is explored during the opening number “primordial”, where Creatrx also outlines the backstory of the EP’s universe: “the world wasn’t working for us, so we created our own… for outcasts and queers, for misunderstood Black girls.” “experience” is the artist’s explosively bold proclamations of self-identity: “Decolonizing and reindiginizing this clit… ‘that bitch’ seems to be the only pronoun that fits… Not a boy, not a girl, baby I’m an experience,” they  proudly declare over booming bass kicks and trap snares before launching into “RUN”, an unflinching punk-blues banger addressing frustrations of capitalism on Black bodies and imaginations.

Following his breakout release ‘Longé’ earlier this year, 22-year-old Lagos artist Byrann returns to the soundsphere, with his zestful, textured new gem ‘Andale’.

The new offering sees smooth, brassy flourishes over a bed of snappy percussive pulses, a sleek offering driven by Bryann’s signature crisp, up-to-the-minute vocal. A fluid blend of refined afro-beat elements with bluesy textures, this latest slice will continue to generate heat around a young artist who continues to curate magnetic rhythms whilst refusing to be bound by genre.

Though describing his sound as ”limitless and true”, ‘Andale’ marks a significant development in Bryann’s style – heavily influenced by Afrobeats pioneer Wande Coal and dancehall legend Vybz Kartel, the Festac artist was determined to create his own lane with his self-dubbed ‘Afro-fusion’ style – crafting deftly executed soundscapes with clear mass appeal . It’s a has seen him collaborate with producers such as Spax, Kel-P and London, as well as Oxlade and Blaqbonez.

With critical support across early tastemakers GUAP, CULTURE CUSTODIAN and TUSH MAGAZINE, Bryann is positioning himself as clear one to watch as his innovative, stylish and contagious profile continues to make waves into the culture.

Credit // Florence Montague – Wilson

Emerging, London based, singer-songwriter Kitty Montague, fuses savvy pop sensibilities and powerful, soul-drenched vocals. Her honest, open and provocative writing draws on an empathetic understanding of the human condition – universally relatable situations, emotions and complexities, poetically exposed.

Her new release “I Kissed You Politely” voices the feelings shared by many women who have felt pressured into an uncomfortable situation. Written for those who resonate with giving in to men, and their advances, to avoid the backlash that often comes with saying no. This song is the opposing perspective to her previous single “Kiss Chase”; a liberating song about being able to exert your sexuality as a woman. A seemingly innocent title, the concept digs deeper into a song that confronts the blurred lines between consent and coercion. Inspired by Montague’s personal experiences, she sings, “I wish I knew then what I know now, I wish I knew how, I could’ve chosen myself, forgotten everyone else”. The songwriter shares, “This is about knowing that you shouldn’t have to do anything that you’re not comfortable with, and you certainly don’t have to have a reason or a justification as to why”.

“I Kissed You Politely” is the ultimate pop tune with a grittiness that screams empowerment. Produced by Jack Gourlay (Tom Odell, Rhodes, Caitlyn Scarlett), the track has a rush of soulful, haunting backing vocals which fill the track up with a sense of emotion. Alongside the steady drums and pulsing synths oozing in a trumpet subtlety, the tropical guitar riff gives off an understated R&B flush. Montague’s vocals are rich with a Jorja Smith style tone, with sparks of deliberately high voice breaks adding a charming touch to her artistic aura. 

The arresting talent of Montague has led her to recent accomplishments such as supporting Gabrielle Aplin for Banquet Records, as well as performing with Sofar Sounds and Talentbanq. Already turning heads in the music space, she has received tastemaker support from Notion, FMS Magazine, Music Crowns and BBC Music Introducing.

MATT McMANAMON is back with the affecting new single: “Meet Me By The River”.

Listen here: https://linktr.ee/meetmebytheriver
Watch Video Here: https://youtu.be/XRs8rdWXaE0

A paean to his hometown of Liverpool, the release arrives today with news of a headline date in the city, as well as a mini tour of the UK this November. Full dates and details can be found as follows:

** MATT McMANAMON UK TOUR – NOVEMBER – 2021 **
THU 11th: LEEDS BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB
FRI 12th: LIVERPOOL ARTS CLUB THEATRE
SAT 13th: LONDON THE CASTLE
SUN 14th: SHIIINE ON FESTIVAL MINEHEAD

All dates on sale now. Tickets here: https://linktr.ee/mattmcmanamon

“Meet me by the river Mersey… maybe this time I can change your mind” coos McManamon, his distinctive scouse brogue aching with a forlorn tenderness. A moving new single that finds McMananamon in reflective mood, “Meet Me By The River” is a melodic, melancholy ode to lost loves in Liverpool. As Matt reminisces:

“I wrote this song as somewhat of a homecoming anthem or perhaps homesick anthem after some years in London during my 20s. As with many songs in the past 2 years, its meaning has evolved, and now living in Ireland I feel even more drawn to the need to revisit those streets where I grew up and where my musical influences were first formed. I wanted this song to almost be a love letter to Liverpool and highlight how I missed the place, this also accidentally turned out to be an ambiguous song and there is a hidden meaning behind it, but I’m not going to divulge that…..yet!”

Rosie Tee is a Birmingham based composer/performer who forges an innovative, atmospheric blend of electronica, psych and avant-pop amongst the industrial backdrop of the UK’s second city.

 Through an explorative approach to songwriting Rosie emits joy for the experimental. Her crystalline vocals meander between dark, forceful beats and fragile melodic contours. The sporadic movements of her synth-heavy sound are anchored only by the use of striking, minimal structures. Rosie collaborates closely with her quartet, touring across the UK with a line-up of vocals & glockenspiel, off-kilter synths (Piera Onacko), swarming bass (Dan Cippico) and textural drums (Kai Chareunsy). Together, they ebb and flow between digital and analogue worlds, most at home on the stage of their intoxicating live performances.

Off of her upcoming EP, Earth, Embrace Me In, her new track “Anchors” is a whirlwind of avant-pop with a flush of psychedelic electronica, resulting in a grounding yet galactic trip through the songwriter’s creativity and artistic ability. The dark, lumbering track carries a heavy weight to it musically, where a forbidding and cyclical synth motif under-currents floating vocals with minimal, yet fierce, drums. Rosie confides, “Anchors conjures up the sensation of an identity crisis. I wrote it at a time when I was away from home for an extended period. I had an unexpected realisation that when you take away your friends, family, partner, city and all the immediate things that make up who you are – what’s left? Alone, who are you without those integral components that contribute to your sense of belonging and identity? This moment taught me how to appreciate what I’d left behind, whilst also being a golden opportunity to get to know myself away from that safety net. The lyrics sum up how badly I wanted to hold onto these comforting notions of ‘self’, to tie an anchor and not drift away.”

Rosie and her quartet have had the privilege of recording at Abbey Road Studios, which later featured in Songwriting Magazine UK. Following the release of her 2019 EP Chambers, the band received a nomination for Best Jazz Act by the Birmingham Music Awards. Her orchestral-style arrangements for the band are often mirrored in her compositions for professional ensembles. Notably, Surround conducted by Julian Lloyd Webber, performed by Orchestra of the Swan and Towards performed by the Dutch-ensemble Orkest De Ereprijs.

Earth, Embrace Me In, the upcoming EP from Rosie Tee, surfaces as a love letter for a dying planet. A collection of bittersweet songs set for release on 1.10.12 and pressed on 12” vinyl for the first time.

September 10, emerging production duo BOYOCA shares percussive new cut  ‘In The District’, released via EMK – the new electronic music platform launched by Kartel Music Group – Stream ‘In The District’ here. The duo have also announced the EP launch party at their favourite Birmingham venue Hare & Hounds Kings Heath on October 14. The venue has been the source of many big nights out for the duo, watching their favourite DJs and Tickets available from Gigantic here and See Tickets here.

 The third in a series of cuts anticipating the release of their debut EP ‘He’s A Fool’, ‘In The District’ follows on the release of the atmospheric garage-influenced ‘Elasticity’ and soulful cut ‘Bamboo Mask’, which have served as slick introductions to BOYOCA distinctive organic-drenched brand of electronic, soul-inspired music. With the Apple Music supported ‘Bamboo Mask’, BOYOCA skilfully layered a sublime shimmering cut, perfectly balancing the organic and synthetic, with the Faze Magazine supported ‘Elasticity’, the duo traded songlike arrangements and guest vocals for melodic garage and breakbeat grooves, while the newest single’s percussive elements aim at keeping the dancefloor going.

 “This is the loudest track on the EP, we traded atmosphere for size on this one, we want to get people moving!”, they enthuse. Twisting and turning through contemporary club styles, BOYOCA never stay locked into one genre, keeping the listener guessing throughout the “hard hitter cut.” Interweaving textured electronics with real instrumentation they keep the focus on rhythm over harmony; “there’s only one chord in the tune, it gives the space for things like the ripping Prophet sound with the pitch bend to take centre stage and keep the track moving. The tribal nature of the vocal dictated the colours of the sounds so it was fairly obvious to keep the large toms, claps and all things organic in the colour palette,” they say about the production process.

The summer is winding down but Haviah Mighty is continuing to level up. Today, the multiple award-winning Toronto-based artist delivers the elements of her A-game on Tesla. Produced by Haviah Mighty and Young Dreadz, the bass-heavy and reggae inflected track will be featured on her forthcoming Stock Exchange mixtape, out November 12 on Mighty Gang Inc.

Tesla arrives with a video games-inspired music video – watch Haviah as she drives through Toronto in the iconic whips as the winner of her own race along the way here with the visualizer by BlackPowerBarbie here.

The song was initially inspired by Haviah’s first US mini tour just before the pandemic set in, writing the first lyrics while fuelled by Los Angeles sunshine, striving for more.

Haviah says: “Being fresh off the high from freestyling on Sway in the Morning just a few days earlier, to performing in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles…all of this solidified something in my mind – the idea that I could really achieve this. The only thing I have to do is continue to work hard. One thing I’ve always worried about is being stagnant and only being recognized for the last thing that I’ve done, so maintaining this work ethic has to be a focal point for me.”

RAMENGVRL, one of South East Asia’s most dominant hip-hop figures, releases her audacious new single “I’m Ugly” – out on Asiatic Records via Warner Music. Raised in the suburbs of one of the busiest cities in the world,
RAMENGVRL is not your average rapper, but with a perfected blend of her unique style and infectious rhymes, she has positioned herself as one of the region’s brightest musical minds – which she further demonstrates with “I’m Ugly”. In classic RAMENGVRL fashion, “I’m Ugly” hears the acclaimed Indonesian rap star shut down criticisms on her appearance via self-assured proclamations of her greatness, to prove that nobody can bring her down: “Yes I be ugly and yes you be pretty / but I be evolving and you haters stuck.”

Liverpool singer-songwriter ROSENBLUME releases the stirring new single: “Darkness Before the Light”.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
Written with friend and fellow musician Jimmy Docherty, “Darkness Before The Light” finds Rosenblume searching the cosmos for answers to eternal questions of life and love, as he weaves a tale of star-crossed lovers.
 
“Me and Jimmy always tend to talk about space or other dimensions when we write together so this was the result during this particular session” reminisces Rosenblume. “I love that it sounds quite spacey and a little bit out there.  Using some big guitar sounds I wanted it to capture an essence of being blasted off out into space. I think you can hear that in the track.”
Hallmarked with his emotive, ensnaring lyricism and impassioned vocals; it’s a track of heart-in-mouth drama that will have listeners hanging on every next word as its narrative of interstellar romance unfolds.
 
Reminiscent of Paul Simon or James Taylor, “Darkness Before The Light” finds Rosenblume acknowledging the songwriting masters of the past and rejuvenating their classic style in his own image. The track follows recent single: “Knight In Shining Armour, with both tracks set to feature on his keenly awaited debut album: ‘Rosenblume’, which arrives on 24th September 2021. 

His first extended release since his debut EP in 2015, Rosenblume’s first full-length album may have been a long time coming but promises to be every bit worth the wait. With a plaintive, confessional style that will connect deep within and linger on the mind for some time, ‘Rosenblume’ finds the Liverpool songwriter touching on themes of old flames and blossoming romances,  sepia-tinted memories and new beginnings.

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

Written By: Neill Frazer

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