INsiders Guide: Blurred Vision + Mollie Marriott, TITUS BANK, Loren Aronov, BenDeLaCreme & Jinkx Monsoon, MOONWOOD, Saya, Ezra Jordan, PARADISE RISING, daysormay, Alessandra Boldrini….
A new single in the spirit of the concert for War Child UK, “Dear John” is a touching tribute to the legacy of John Lennon.
Written by the ‘Dear John Concert’ founder Sepp Osley and brother Sohl Osley, and performed by Sepp’s band Blurred Vision alongside Mollie Marriott and the legendary Peter Frampton, it’s an uplifting song of peace and hope, packed with a feast of references to Lennon’s immortal repertoire.
Speaking about the track, Peter Frampton says:
“I couldn’t be more thrilled and honoured to have been a part of the Dear John track. Finally, Mollie, Sepp and I got to work together and it’s something so special. I’m so happy I could be with you on video during the Dear John concert. Happy Birthday John Lennon!”
While Marriott adds:
Titus Bank has a voice that can stop an audience in its tracks. The Vancouver-based pop adventurer can effortlessly shift from a smooth croon to a soulful vibrato to a note-perfect howl — arresting and inviting; confident yet vulnerable.
His awe-inspiring voice was the cornerstone of Titus’s wildly ambitious 2017 project when he aimed to write, record and release 365 songs throughout the year. He called it the 365 Songwriting Challenge — but by the end of the year, he had only written 185, barely half of his original goal.
“I would work a full day at my day job, get home and then start writing these songs. I would go until 3 or 4 in the morning, however long it took,” Titus remembers. Laughing, he adds. “I kept asking, ‘Why am I doing this to myself?!’”
Global drag icons and RuPaul’s Drag Race stars, BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon are taking the stage once again in a post-apocalypse-mas extravaganza certain to make this yuletide gayer than ever! That’s right… After a year of doom, gloom, and zoom, the Queens of Christmas have risen from the rubble to unearth your favorite holiday tradition with a 26-city tour of The Return of The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show, LIVE!(Produced by BenDeLaCreme Presents) across the U.S., U.K. and Canada from November 13 – December 30, 2021. This run marks the biggest tour for Jinkx & DeLa’s holiday show since its wildly successful inception, as they return with their signature whip-smart comedy, brand new songs, and a few perennial favorites.
In exclusive statements to Entertainment Weekly, BenDeLaCreme said, “After a year in captivity Jinkx and I are bustin’ at the seams and rarin’ to go! Waiting for Santa is NOTHING compared to the excitement I feel to be back in theaters, sharing the holidays with the chosen family we’ve collected around the globe!” Jinkx Monsoon added, “I’m thrilled to be back on tour with my sister DeLa, celebrating the holidays the way I was meant to: boozed up, bawdy, and on display.”
For the past three years, Jinkx and DeLa have owned the holiday season with their critically-acclaimed sold-out holiday tours (To Jesus, Thanks for Everything in 2018 and All I Want for Christmas Is Attention in 2019). In 2020, BenDeLaCreme produced her first-ever film under BenDeLaCreme Presents with The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Special (Hulu / PVOD), a 60-minute variety special made for the screen. The special debuted to critical acclaim and solidified itself as a global queer holiday must-watch for years to come.
The Return of The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show, LIVE! is produced and directed by BenDeLaCreme, co-written and co-created by BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon, and associate produced by Kevin Heard. For more information, and to sign up for updates, visit jinkxanddela.com.
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.
Toronto’s resident alternative popstar Saya returns with single “SICK,” her first musical output since 2018. “SICK,” the first single off of her upcoming EP READY TO BURN, is a pulsing, immersive, and sultry dark dancefloor anthem. Layered over infectious beats and pristine electro-pop production, Saya’s lyrics explore the emotions of frustration, vulnerability, pain, and desire. “SICK” tells a story of an intoxicating yet chaotic romance: the verses are intimate and fragile, as she express hurt that builds up into the hook that feels like a burst of frustration and anger.After parting ways with a major label, music became a challenge for Saya. She felt discouraged and uninspired. After a year of trial and error, taking time to herself, finding a new producer (Damian Birdsey), and teaming up with long-time friend/writing partner Alexandra Soumalias, “SICK” was created. On the track, Saya says, ‘”‘SICK’ was written in 2019 and it was a really quick session – the song came to us all so naturally. Hearing the song come to life that day made me fall back in love with making music. I hadn’t written something that honest in a very long time. “SICK” became the driving force of the entire project. To me “SICK” expresses a range of emotions that are more deeply explored throughout the entire EP.”
Ezra Jordan is an independant singer/songwriter from Toronto, Ontario. His music draws inspiration from Contemporary Pop, R&B, and Soul and he approaches songwriting with a focus on piano. Since his journey as an artist began, he has amassed over 250,000 views on YouTube, 5.5 million streams + on Spotify, and has charted on the radio in the US. Ezra’s most recent release, Cougars, perfectly encapsulates what made Ezra’s previous releases so special but at the same time signifies the closing of a chapter in Ezra’s career.
For his sophomore EP, Ezra will be transitioning over into a more real, raw and emotional sound that will allow his fans to dive deep into his psyche and authentic self. This will be a new Ezra Jordan that no one has ever seen or heard before.
PARADISE RISING, 88rising’s sister label that launched in July of 2020 and dedicates itself to empowering, promoting and establishing Filipino artists, is announcing the release of semilucent 2 via PARADISE RISING/88rising Records.The new release, out today, October 4, 2021, arrives unmistakably during Filipino American History Month, which is a celebration for all Filipinos — not just Filipino Americans. The new EP is the second installment to semilucent — a compilation album that came out July 31, 2020 that has since garnered over 10 million streams, 2 million YouTube views and well over 50 playlist additions. Not only did the album transcend genres, but it also showcased an impressive array of emerging Philippine artists. Now, PARADISE RISING returns with a new ensemble of artists on its new EP and second installment to its annual compilation album. The latest compilation, semilucent 2, features fresh, new artists both homegrown and diasporic.
The freshly released, semilucent 2, is a 5-track EP that provides genre-blending acoustics, memorable melodies and high-energy 808s, drawing inspiration from the darker mood that comes with the ending of summer and a longing for memories past. Highlights include exciting new recordings by the Vancouver Canada-based duo MANILA GREY; Philippine-native singer and instrumentalist Steven Peregrina; up-and-coming female R&B artist daze based out of Amsterdam; hip-hop powerhouse from New York CA Christian Alexander; seasoned rapper and songwriter Curtismith; and Filipino-American electronic producer standout Manila Killa with multi-talented global vocal artist Yuna from Malaysia. Each track from semilucent will have their their very own music video released on 88rising’s YouTube channel.
Filipino-American producer Manila Killa serves up new track “Reminisce (feat. Yuna)” and shows the eclectic nature of not only the EP as a whole, but within the song itself. On the track, he says “I started the instrumental track “Reminisce” during quarantine when I felt no pressure to create a specific type of music. It was during a time where I felt artistically free – there were no shows coming up and everything was at a stand still so I took the opportunity to try some things out I haven’t before. When I found out Yuna was interested in the track I was so so excited to work with her as I’ve been a long time fan. She totally understood the mood I was going for with the track and turned it from this fun disco demo into something raw, emotional, and reminiscent of better times.”
Nine years ago, three six-graders ignored all the other trappings of ascendant teenagers and dedicated themselves fully and feverishly to making music. Growing up in the serene town of Vernon, BC, daysormay not only mastered their songwriting and playing skills, but they also became production wunderkinds with the release of their EP, Talk Peace To A Wolf. Now 21 years old, in Vancouver, with a full album in their arsenal, the members of daysormay (the English phonetic of the French “désormais” meaning “from now on”) have the wind at their backs with no intentions of slowing down. With influences like Phoenix, Glass Animals and Portugal. The Man., singer Aidan Andrews and twin brothers/rhythm section Carson and Nolan Bassett are carving out a unique space in modern alternative music.
In their new album, Just Existing, audiences will hear how the band has continued to challenge their craft by incorporating pulsing drums, enchanting synths and guitars, unforgettable melodies and sharp-witted lyrics, demonstrating how there are no limits to their sound. Swerving between studio and at-home sessions, this musical collective have been working alongside the likes of Steve Bays (Diplo, Hot Hot Heat, Fitz and The Tantrums). Just Existing is a collection of snapshots from their lives, the growth, trials and tribulations and raw journal excerpts from their life, as they check in with each other after a turbulent few years. In true daysormay style, their authenticity sees them making music not only they love, but as a scrapbook of sounds and influences, with prominent drums, euphoric and emotional melodies and a whirlpool of dynamics brushed in their vibrancy and artistic passion.
daysormay attack each new live show with the relentless energy of a band on the verge. Their history of stunning audiences is extensive, from at home in Canada, to headline shows in Europe, including The Reeperbahn Festival (Germany), The Great Escape (England), Bumbershoot (Seattle), as well as support slots on stages with Cold War Kids, Tessa Violet, Peach Pit, and Walk Off The Earth.
No two ways about it: Italian-born Alessandra Boldrini’s calling has always involved music. Starry-eyed and ready to turn dreams into reality, she packed her bags and headed to the UK in 2016 to pursue a degree at BIMM Institute. Since then, she’s gone on to amass over half a million streams across her tracks and positioned herself as one of Pop’s most exciting rising stars.
Inspired by the likes of Dua Lipa, Nono, Mabel, and Clean Bandit, Boldrini’s EDM-meets-Pop sound pivots around her enchanting yet confident vocal palette that oozes with charisma. Showcasing a vocal maturity way beyond her years, Boldrini’s lyricism explores the human mind, often subconsciously writing songs from the perspective of others. Hailing from the small Italian village of Fabriano, Boldrini’s lofty musical ambitions left her feeling like a big fish in a small pond. She spent time singing in her local choir during childhood, and while her musically inclined family ignited her passion, Boldrini decided to move to London and study at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute in pursuit of her musical dreams.
For Boldrini, music is more than simply structured noise; it’s also therapy, a vessel that supplies her with a consistent stream of confidence and motivation to fuel her determination to succeed. This is evident in her latest track “Never Going Back”. Touching on breaking trust with someone you once classed as important, the songwriter shares, “I realised that this person was nice and helpful just to get something back in return, which I definitely wasn’t going to give! Surround yourself with people who make you a better person!”
“Never Going Back” shimmers with soft synths, highlighted in brushes of echoing melodies, accompanied by punchy plucking sounds that elicit a warm rush of charm and hope. With layers of silky sounds and a pumping dance beat, Boldrini’s voice feels powerful and ballad-esque, wrapped up in a pop-style flush. Taking inspiration from the likes of Dua Lipa and Olivia Rodrigo, the single is alive with energy and female power, dripping in class and strength.