INsiders Guide: CAT SFX, Myles Lloyd, Club Paradise, Sabriel, Josie Proto, MOONWOOD, Maxo Kream, CLARKE AND THE HIMSELFS, Sticky Fingers, ANNIKA ROSE, Jessica Lynn, Zoe Zobrist….

CAT SFX release their fourth single “Upside Down” on Alan McGee’s It’s Creation Baby label

LISTEN TO “UPSIDE DOWN” HERE

Part-Blondie, part-Garbage, “Upside Down” blends a sassy punk-rock strut with lyrics of a pitch-black sincerity. Produced by Gordon Mills Jr and written by their dynamic lead singer Caterina Speranza, the song discusses the constant pressures and anxieties we are exposed to in modern life. “I can’t watch the news no more, Wolves are howlin’ at the door, A whole society gone AWOL…” Cat decries, in lyrics that will strike a chord with just about anyone who has endured the hellish rolling bulletins of the past 2 years. 

A well-known advocate for positive mental health, Caterina explains how the inspiration for the song came about:

“These days we are almost expected to be numb to survive. To become numb we are prescribed antidepressants which don’t address the pressures of life, they simply numb you in order to deal with the outrageous inequality many of us are exposed to”.

The latest in a formidable run of singles, “Upside Down” follows on from the electrifying post-punk thrash of the NME-praised “Reunite”, the electronic skewered fizz of debut single “Doom Generation”, plus the success of stadium-sized recent cut: “All The Money In The World” which received critical acclaim from The Times, Rolling Stone Italia and airplay from Jack Saunders on BBC Radio 1.

Myles Lloyd is an R&B singer from Montreal, Canada. His vocal presence and songwriting is filled with a careless emotion that can be defined as vulnerable, honest and when at its best, confusing. Filled with complex stories and real-life scenarios that have come to his attention over the past years, his music acts as a release when his thoughts are finally transformed into lyrics.

“Down Under” was written about coming out from a place that no one will expect. Demanding respect, the track touches on the need to go get your life and put a stop to the souls and situations that take advantage of your shine. Lloyd shares, “I had enough of being patient and had to start coming for what is mine.”

Oozing in an oriental glaze, the subtle intro gives nothing away before Lloyd’s stunning vocals swoop in with a Michael Jackson tinge to the vocal tone. The beat kicks in alongside 808’s and a heavy force of power, with icy high hats and a minimal approach to the soundscape, unlike his previous singles “Monster” and “Running On You.” Lloyd shows his melodic writing skills flushed in rap-vibe pops and an addicting hook. The lyrics bubble in raw authenticity and a burst of passion and fire for taking his seat at the throne.

 Racking up an impressive three million streams for his previous releases and garnering acclaim from the likes of Complex, Wonderland Magazine, Clash, Rolling Stone India, Live Nation’s Ones to Watch, Earmilk, Source, Revolt, Sniffers and Hip Hop DX, to name a few, Myles Lloyd is rapidly becoming an artist to watch for 2021.

Fresh off their euphoric last single “Do You Feel The Same?”, Newcastle four-piece Club Paradise are back with the exuberant energy of “Don’t Call Me Over”.

Softly oscillating synths and interwoven picked guitars build towards the kinetic release of the song’s massive chorus. A real floor-filler, the track brilliantly showcases Club Paradise’s signature blend of 80s pop hooks, contemporary indie-rock, and an anthemic dynamism which is all their own.

Lyrically, the song is a defiant articulation of the frustrations felt in a relationship. Front man Ryan Young explains: “I think at the time we wrote it, it’s kind of about not being made a mug of, or being made a mug of and not being entirely sure that’s what’s

happening to you, until you have the chance to reflect or see it for yourself. I remember sitting down with this one lyrically and it just fell down onto the page, especially the lyric “I never had your heart, but you can take my car, I don’t think that’s how this should be” It was supposed to be pretty angry at the time but now I just feel like it’s a bit of a cheeky way to call someone out, a bit smug.”

Sabriel (pronounced shä brē el), is a Las Vegas based singer, songwriter and producer, whose goal is to explore vulnerability through her music. Her neo-soul soaked sounds and unique, whimsical image are like nothing you’ve seen or heard before. 

“Pulse” is about the conditional love received in an abusive relationship. The artist shares, “I was remembering when I was struggling with anxiety and depression caused by the relationship, while also missing the rare moments when I looked to this partner for comfort and support, even though they were incapable of providing me with the comfort I needed.” “Pulse” elicits the vision of crying in the ‘comfort’ of someone’s arms, yet feeling totally isolated in their consolation, as she sings, “Tucked in your ribcage, I’d curl into a heart-sized ball. I’d pulse and I’d pulse and I’d pulse…”

Written and produced from the comfort of her bedroom, Sabriel found herself in an intimate and intense experience of deep nostalgia; channelling her feelings through the creation of “Pulse.” Exuding a tropical, amorous heaven of birdsong, doused in calming electro keys and shimmering chimes, the track is described as her “favorite song off the upcoming EP”, beautifully reflecting the amassed amount of life lessons and healing from the past year.

The upcoming EP will showcase a collection of reflections on her journey of self-identity and growth. Hoping to show a more vulnerable side and searching for more meaning and compassion in her new tunes, the EP will be honest and raw, as she looks through new perspectives. Sabriel shares, “I want to achieve vulnerability through these songs so that others can have a better understanding of their own experiences too.”

Rising singer/songwriter Josie Proto returns with her latest emotive offering ‘Problem Child’.

With her angelic vocals at the forefront of the track, ‘Problem Child’ accelerates into climactic oblivion as layered harmonies soar across a bed of floor-shaking percussion and sharp synths. Fusing lyrical tenderness with clashing production, Josie continues to utilise her bold personality as the driving force of her artistry, an attribute which has seen her hailed as a refreshing, compelling newcomer in the UK pop sphere.

Speaking on the track, Josie explained “Problem Child is about wishing I could tell my younger self to enjoy being a bit cheeky, because you don’t get away with it as an

adult! As a kid, a lot of my cheekiness was punished out of me, and now as adult, people accredit my creative side to being a bit of a wild child. I wish the same people that praised my wild side now, didn’t punish it as a kid, who knows what I could’ve become if it wasn’t so eagerly stamped out. Originally the production was laid back and chilled out, however we decided to take it in a much stronger and angrier route when it came to the final mix. I have never been this excited to sing a song live.”

MOONWOOD are a Sydney-based band made of five friends from Australia, the United States and Canada. Jake (lead vocals), Justin (drums), Aaron (keys), Will (bass) and Paul (guitar) take their untamed analogue synth lines, with dreamy guitar leads and introspective storytelling, resulting in a sound that is a fresh take on alternative rock.

Their latest single “Slow Down” narrates a struggling relationship, the tension surrounding conflict and striving for repair. Touching on the differences of two individuals, the song speaks of love, patience and tolerance, sonically building throughout and reflecting the tension in the relationship. The relatable track navigates the need to resolve and repair the miscommunication between two lovers, which is a result of their unspoken issues and individual contrasts.

“Slow Down” is a slow-burning fire, with a warming acoustic guitar laying a base for the crystal clear waters of raw vocals. A wave of electric guitar washes in a build-up of tight bright drums and mellow riffs that roll in a touch of calm. The development of the track sees a flood of a euphoric alt-rock soundscape bursting in colour and energy, reigniting flames of electro melodies and giving off The Killers vibes.

“Slow Down” is the second single to be released off of the band’s upcoming EP. The highly anticipated record is a collection of songs that are influenced by past pain. Explaining how the EP has acted as a form of therapy, Jake confides, “I have learned how to process grief, pain and my complicated trauma from the past in this way. I find the overall theme of this music cathartic, uplifting, and confrontational.” Inspired by the likes of The National, The 1975 and Kings of Leon, with elements of Bruce Springsteen and U2’s enrapturing storytelling, MOONWOOD have crafted a beautifully emotional, yet rugged and raw compilation of songs, which both demand your attention and deserve it too. 

Maxo Kream is Houston rap royalty and as a fundamental pillar of the southern rap scene it makes sense that he has created this colossal collaboration with the legendary Tyler The Creator.

STREAM/DOWNLOAD: MAXO KREAM X TYLER THE CREATOR – BIG PERSONA

‘Big Persona’ represents the grand lifestyle that both rappers live and whilst Maxo Kream is renowned for telling detailed tales of the gritty streets of Houston, he uses this track to display his playful, eccentric side, as well as a nod to the accolades and wealth he has managed to acquire through his hard work. With a powerful hook and opening verse provided by Tyler The Creator, it is the perfect balance to the dark, eerie hip hop instrumental that the talented Odd Future leader also produced. Maxo Kream then brings that southern charm to the track and delivers a laidback intricately written verse.

Making her mark with an asphyxiating debut on the No Big Deal Music label, CLARKE AND THE HIMSELFS releases “Weighted Down” today (24th September). 

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

STREAM ON SPOTIFY || APPLE MUSIC
Redefining what it means to be a “solo” artist in the 21st Century, Clarke has been creating a buzz around her native LA with performances that see her taking the reins on guitars, drums and vocal duties, simultaneously.
 
With a passively fierce DIY spirit, Clarke’s inherent cool reverberates through every note of sonic thrash she touches and her latest single is a fine case in point.
 
Penned during the dying days of the Trump administration, when the president’s potential impeachment was far bigger news than reports of a new virus in China beginning to spread through the populus, “Weighted Down” is in many ways a relic from a different era. Consumed with thoughts of US politics to the misdemeanors of the FBI and CIA to the readily presented exposure to real-life violence on youtube, “Weighted Down” is the sound of the American mind running at 100mph and struggling to process the million different issues thrown at it from the endless stream of rolling media.
“Songs are interesting because they’re usually about a few different things. This is just the stuff I was thinking about at the time.” remembers Clarke. “I was also thinking about how you can watch someone die on the internet only moments after it happens in real life. Or read about it. Whether it’s someone you know or someone you don’t. You’re zapped and you gotta traipse it through this devoid environment.”

There’s this band from Australia called Sticky Fingers, right…? They haven’t released a new song in years BUT somehow have racked up a BILLION streams across Spotify and Apple Music.

How, you ask? Honestly, no one knows….don’t ask them. It’s a miracle really. They don’t have a label, don’t have any radio, haven’t had any big late night tv moments or big press looks and the guys barely get to band practice. They fight, they make up and then try to tour a bit and inevitably something crazy will happen on tour and the show that night will be incredible or terrible. It’s really something. But, for 12 years now and despite all the chaos surrounding them, people decided they loved this band. They listen to anything and everything. They tell friends. They show up to concerts all over the world in huge numbers that don’t make sense and scream lyrics back to them. They want the band to release new music desperately, and if you read YouTube comments the fans really want them back in Brazil.

Yes, Sticky Fingers have always been a full on…in your face band. It’s going great or it’s barely going. Magically though, they figured out a way to use the forced downtime of the last year to put together a new album…the 5th full length album actually, called “We Can Make the World Glow”. It’s the title of their first single which has just been released and will lead off an exciting barrage of new music and other quality content over the next few months. The full album will be heard by the world in March 2022… maybe before if it leaks somewhere but hopefully not.

Their latest single “We Can Make the World Glow” is soaked in a utopia of hopefulness, contoured with subtle euphoria. The group shares, “We Can Make the World Glow, is a really uplifting track about getting on with life amidst the demons in your head and other shit that weighs you down.” 

We Can Make the World Glow” oozes in light beams of warbling synths, with floaty, breezy riffs spinning up to higher frequencies of feel good empowerment. This is Sticky Fingers at their finest hour. With high-spirited, tight drums, the track carries a woozy, sunset energy doused in a grittiness that gives the song StiFi’s signature rocky glaze. The inspiring melody carries a profound sense of comfort, emphasising the notion that everything will be ok.

ANNIKA ROSE
Fuck You” (Internet Girl Remix)

• “Fuck You” is a breakup anthem for anyone and everyone who has felt the sting of empty promises. Its remix by Internet Girl is the perfect bridge between Annika’s independent releases and her upcoming EP with Nvak Collective due out next year.

• “I released ‘Fuck You’ at the end of 2020 for anyone and everyone who has felt the sting of empty promises, now Internet Girl have taken it and reimagined it in a really exciting way.” – Annika Rose

• Annika leaked the original version of “Fuck You” on TikTok at the end of 2020, saw its viral success, and then released it independently. With 1.3 million organic streams on it since then, this new remix of the song will put a new spotlight on her breakout single.

International country star Jessica Lynn releases her latest single, “Not Your Woman,” as a preview to her new EP, entitled Reimagined, out on September 17th, 2021. The EP consists of four songs previously released by the artist that she reworked as piano ballads. Born out of her wildly successful livestreams during the pandemic, the EP features Jessica on piano and vocals.

Along with releasing her Reimagined EP on September 17th, Jessica will also release a mini-concert video the same day on Vevo/Youtube.

After the pandemic forced Jessica to cancel her 100-city, 14-country tour, Jessica pivoted to doing weekly livestream performances on the piano for her hundreds of thousands of fans online. Many of her viewers challenged her to play different styles of music as well as different arrangements of her own songs. At the request of a UK fan, Jessica reworked her song, “Not Your Woman,” as a ballad on the spot. Jessica recalls, “Everyone in the stream urged me to eventually release it…and here we are!”

Singer-songwriter Zoe Zobrist returns today with her moving new single, “Oh Baby.” Currently pregnant with her first child, Zoe penned “Oh Baby” as a letter to the little life growing inside her. Over gentle acoustic strumming, her stirring vocals whisper hopes and dreams for her future child: “Will you stand a little stronger than I do / When the world feels it’s breaking you / When the doors are closing will you kick them through / Cause that’s all that I want for you.” 

Amazed by the love she could feel for someone she has yet to meet, Zoe channeled the overwhelming emotions into a song that pulls at the heartstrings. It’s a brave and unapologetic track that unfurls her new life chapter ahead. “Parenthood is a massive transition for anyone; it’s a huge new chapter to open,” Zoe says. “Nothing will ever be the same but it’s so beautiful to grow into this new version of yourself. Knowing that you have the opportunity to take all the lessons you’ve learned and make a new little human’s world better is so powerful. Whether you have children on earth or waiting on the other side, are expecting or hope to someday, or feel love for the people who brought you this life, I hope this song can be close to your heart.” 

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

Written By: Neill Frazer

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