INsiders Guide: Wonho, Ellyn Woods, Teddi Gold, Moon Kissed, Glass Dove, Carol Ades, Lunavela, Mason Rose Gray…..

Singer-Songwriter-Producer, Wonho, has released his highly anticipated 2nd mini album, Blue Letter, today. Named by Rolling Stone as the “singer who’s breaking hearts just as quickly as he’s breaking stereotypes,” Wonho is set to continue his upward trajectory all across the globe with the release of Blue Letter. The new album, which compares isolation from the world during the pandemic to the blue ocean, is a sincere letter from Wonho showcasing his genuine, innermost thoughts and raw emotions.

Title track “Blue,” an upbeat pop song with a deeper meaning, presents a hopeful message through the use of  “blue”–feeling blue and the blue ocean. This track is meant to quench the thirst of its listeners who’ve had strong emotions while being isolated this past year, with lyrics of hope “If you feel the same, tell me. Hold my hand when you’re ready.” With two versions of the song that are both in Korean and English, Wonho’s “Blue” will act as a light at the end of the tunnel. The music video was made with the intention to tell his fans that even the most dull days in life can be turned into the brightest moments through imagination. He tells Femina “…feeling blue means feeling depressed, right? I wanted to talk about feeling depressed and how it’s important to accept it as is and then seize it, when you can. I want to talk about that attitude through my title track, Blue. I want to say that you’re not alone if you ever feel blue or depressed.”

Ellyn Woods is a multi-disciplinary artist currently based in Montréal. In addition to being a singer and songwriter, Ellyn has a degree in Fine Arts from Concordia and a passion for illustration and tattooing. Her art and music are a direct reflection of her love for nature and all things organic.

Ellyn received her first electric guitar when she was 12. She began learning her favorite songs by artists like Feist and Angus & Julia Stone, building her familiarity with the instrument and developing her own song-writing skills.
At age 18, she moved to Toronto. Immersing herself in the city’s diverse music and art scenes, Ellyn began sharing her original material and honing her craft as a performer and artist. Her raw and vulnerable material connected with audiences and fellow artists alike. Her ability to effortlessly weave her personal experiences into her music, combined with her soft voice and songwriting instincts, lead to several collaborative projects and showcases.

Avant electro-hyper-pop act Teddi Gold shares the new video for her rambunctious single “Pineapple Piñata—a feel-good tune littered with the rising talent’s introspective lyricism and whimsical social commentary, alongside her signature fizzy production. It’s about liberation—channeling your energy and shaking out all the negativity from your body, ultimately letting go of all the things that hold you back from embracing your authentic self. For the song, Teddi purchased a bunch of piñatas from Party City and subsequently smashed them with her friends. Recorded on her iPhone, the raw sonics perk up an off-kilter soundscape that’s punctuated by the chatter of a dusty dial-up modem. Lifted from her forthcoming EP, “Pineapple Piñata” also arrives with the announcement of Vol. 2 due out October 7th.

“‘Pineapple Piñata’ is about dancing out all your negative feelings and leaving it on the dance floor,” Teddi explains when speaking about the track, “We are living in pretty dark times and I find that movement and dance help me with my own anxiety and depression and my hope is that it helps others too.” She tells HollywoodLife“The whole idea for the song was that you can create joy anywhere. You can live authentically, and happiness comes from the internal, not the external. So, I wanted the world in this video to feel dystopian and futuristic. Set in an abandoned place, three people find each other, find connection, and through that newfound friendship, they find joy. You don’t need anything outside of yourself to find it.”

NYC-based synth-pop trio, Moon Kissed, are gearing up to release their sophomore album, I’d Like To Tell You Something Important, due out October 22 — which also happens to be the night of their sold-out album release party at Elsewhere in Brooklyn, NY. Today, the not-a-girl band trio shares their second offering from the forthcoming record and “Strange Satisfaction” is out now, along with an official music video.

“Strange Satisfaction” is a moody ode to the way that love can be radioactive in all of its consuming qualities. Moon Kissed pushes past cliché to get to a more specific truth that’s intrinsic to the experience of heartbreak. With drums that read melodically like a heartbeat, the song explores the masochistic pleasure — the strange satisfaction — of a heart throbbing with the pain of being broken into pieces.

On the new single, Khaya Cohen says, “Strange Satisfaction is another ode to masochism; to a sexy, deep attraction that makes no sense and which you know will hurt you in the end. The verses are about the allure of attraction that is addictive despite the consequences, the chorus is the candy that you can’t leave, and the song builds to a sweet melancholy release much like the experience of being with someone who is “no good for you,” but yet you are strangely satisfied by the whole experience. The dark production mixed with the pop-cutesy vocals shows the confusion and multifaceted nature of a deeply human experience.”

The tinier the pieces, the bigger the puzzle. As if sonically gluing together a mosaic, Nashville-based Glass Dove assembles sweeping alternative pop anthems D.I.Y. from shards of live guitar, MIDI, and synths. Those pieces also mirror two distinct halves of founder Josh Benus’s personality. Combining artistic seriousness with clever intuition, the lifelong musician will dissect a turning point in his life by sharing a granular detail—whether he likens old friends to “a pack of cigarettes we smoked just yesterday” or compares arguments to “long-winded games of chess that you never win.” In 2021, the vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer explores the push-and-pull of personal and universal dichotomies on his independent full-length debut, Half Life Wilderness, produced by Owen Biddle [The Roots, John Legend]. He spent the past three years molding, tinkering, and shaping the music to comprise a whole greater than the sum of its parts, yet reverent of every nuance.

For as otherworldly as the final product feels, it all began in the most organic way possible in the Smoky Mountains during a week of writing and recording…

“It started with me and Owen in a room with a laptop, a microphone, a MIDI controller, and a pocket synth,” recalls Josh. “It completely blossomed from there into something meaningful for me. The sound is meant to be much bigger than that. I try to approach it from a holistic standpoint and ask questions like, ‘Is this cathartic for me? Is it universal? Will it be cathartic for somebody else? How does it relate to what’s going on in the world?’ There’s a very serious side of the refinement process. I’m always dedicating myself to the craft of songwriting, getting better, and learning from the past in order to do something new.”

Globally successful singer-songwriter Carol Ades has released “Unlearn Me,” the newest single from her much anticipated, soon-to-be-announced debut EP. “Unlearn Me” is available to stream now at all DSPs with an official lyric video on Ades’ YouTube channel HERE.

“‘Unlearn Me’ is the result of the end of a really tumultuous breakup where I wasn’t really the good guy,” says Ades. “At the very end I wished so badly that I could erase everything that went wrong and start over as a version of myself that would have done so many things different. That’s obviously not how it works, but I was still grieving this relationship after so long. It felt like one of the last things I had to say to myself and the other person about it before I really started to move forward. It’s a really cathartic song for me and still breaks my heart a little every time I listen to it.”

“I was just really upset one night in the midst of my breakup and was so annoyed that I was still so upset and crying so much that I decided to film it on photo booth with the idea that I could make it a video one day,” Ades continues. “I didn’t come back to the video until months later and I was happy I saved it, but its a really hard video for me to watch. I don’t think I ever want to watch it again because I was so sad.”

Lunavela – aka New Zealand singer, songwriter and former Collapsing Cities frontman Steve Mathieson – shares new single ‘Six-Out-Of-Ten-Friend‘, a 90s influenced indie dream with deadpan, observational lyrics, celebrating weirdly uncomfortable social encounters. Stream ‘Six-Out-Of-Ten-Friend‘ here.

Speaking of the track, Steve says: “Six-Out-Of-Ten Friend is not a misanthropic song, it’s more a celebration of setting better boundaries with people who don’t get you and laughing about social awkwardness. Y’know celebrating that awkward conversation of small talk in the pet food aisle of Tesco with an ex-work colleague, music punisher or an ex-girlfriend’s husband. This is my idea of a pop song”.

MasonRoseGray is a singer/songwriter based in Florida. Creating music with the sole intention of shining light into the dark and exposing the truth, her sound blends indie, folk and blues with honest and raw lyrics, unlocking a whole new world; the good, the bad, the ugly. Inspired by the likes of Miranda Lambert, Billie Eilish and David Bowie, Gray evokes a unique and infectious sound that encourages self-love and ultimately provides the key to happiness. 

Having experienced a turbulent upbringing with many ups and downs, the artist has now learnt to put herself first and focus on her own happiness. Setting out with the desire to spread love and joy and create music to lift your soul and spirit, Gray’s sound makes you feel alive. Through a shimmery lens, the musician emphasizes the importance of connecting with humanity and finding love in the little things. 

“Unrecognized” speaks of emotional and physical abuse and the importance of speaking up and bringing awareness to the situation. The songwriter confides, “I believe as a society it’s more and more prevalent. I wanted to bring awareness and take the listener on a deep truthful journey through the anguish and turmoil one goes through when experiencing anger and rage. The feeling as if they don’t know who they are or even recognize themselves,” continuing, “Unrecognized was challenging to write but felt it was necessary to share this story. It’s a very vulnerable subject and this song certainly reflects that.” The single represents all aspects of the human lifespan and the emotional rainbow we experience. Sending a gentle reminder to embrace our shadows and dark sides, rather than hiding them away, Gray explains, “Unrecognized is a metaphor for burnt toast; sometimes you get knocked down in life and it doesn’t always go according to plan. You feel a loss of control which sometimes can be detrimental, but my motto is throw it away and start over another day or just eat it.”

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

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