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INsiders Guide: Franz Von, Agender, RA, Bealby Point, Cade Hoppe, sad alex, ChillinIt, Heidrunna….

Jamaican born & Sheffield based hip hop artist Franz Von today unveils ‘Power Be You’ – the centrepiece and foundation block of his forthcoming EP – a lively, dynamic sound that is rooted in UK hip hop whilst mixing traditional sounds of the diaspora with jazz and electronics.

                    STREAM/DOWNLOAD: FRANZ VON – POWER BE YOU

The track is accompanied by a powerful video shot on the streets, rooftops and communities of his hometown. At one point we see Franz in full body paint, depicting ancient Ghanaian Adinkra symbols found in both Ghana & Jamaica, symbolizing indigenous knowledge and the need to preserve and pass that on to the next generation, a message that is the very heartbeat of the record..

“This song is a message of empowerment, a prompt for us to recognize and embrace our inner strength.”

Photo credit: Lindsey Byrnes

LA-based post-punk band Agender make schizo, synthy, paranoid, post-punk with a dash of dysmorphic desire and today, they announce their forthcoming sophomore album, No Nostalgia. It’s due out February 24, 2022, and today, they share the title track with a brand new video. No Nostalgia is Agender’s sophomore album and arrives seven years after releasing their first record, Fixations. With two singles from the upcoming project, “Preach” and “Astro Tarot,” already out, the newly shared title track provides much-needed context for the album at large and what transmissions that Agender — comprised of Australian lead singer Romy Hoffman, bassist Christy Michel, drummer Christy Greenwood and synth player Sara Rivas — have in store.

“No Nostalgia” dives into the realm of the imaginary, where all life has ceased to exist. It describes a post-human environment where a being can oscillate effortlessly in oblivion without the weight and pressure of modern existence. Memory is asked to be recalled and an urge to return to childlike innocence is brought forth. To enhance this sentiment, Hoffman creates a lullaby with “No Nostalgia,” which is often used as methods to teach children. The somber tone, reflective lyrics, moody synths, eerie guitar and breathy vocals combine to make a single that shines with a retro late 70s/early 80s flare, and sonically, as Hoffman puts it, a sound that is “Malaria! Meets P.I.L and Wire.” The synth led lullaby leaves the listener yearning to be one with their former self, even if it’s just for a moment. 

Describing the song, Hoffman says, “The song imagines a world devoid of memory, where nothing exists anymore- the dust of semiotics and signs are what remains. There are no memoirs because there are no people. It’s a yearning for amnesia. Human beings are usually either looking back at the past or are worrying about the future. The oscillation between these tenses is what creates anxiety. No Nostalgia is a peaceful place of no anxiety, of evaporated earth and emptiness, of erased arousal, of no desire. There is no more danger because nothing exists. The song doesn’t say what caused this, but it’s post-human Earth about to rejuvenate itself from the vestiges and damages of Human existence.”

Who says Grime is dead? South London’s championed rap veteran RA has taken supporters on a trip down memory lane as he re-visits one of Grime’s biggest instrumentals.STREAM/DOWNLOAD: RA – REWIND 07Accommodating a beat re-worked by Pulla Productions, ‘Rewind 07’ is a nod to Dot Rotten’s ‘Original Real Talk’ production, that RA addressed in his renowned ‘War Kitchen’ freestyle. Re-visiting the beat for his latest drop, ‘Rewind 07’ is a trip down memory lane for his OG supporters as he re-laces the backdrop with both classic and fresh bars. Further solidifying not only his ability to re-invent himself, RA authenticates his longevity as he returns for his forthcoming EP named, ‘Parabellum’. Tapping in at just over 3 minutes long, his assertive tone, self-assured presence, and cut-throat bars sit centre stage as he poses the question “Why am I the GOAT?” MUSIC VIDEO: RA – REWIND 07

Bealby Point has spent the better part of two years with one goal in mind: capturing the most cherished memory of your favourite summer and turning it into the perfect sound.

Not unlike a gang of kids from a Stephen King novel, the boys spent their roaming youth sneaking out to parties, riding bikes, and exploring the night in the sprawling suburbs of Deep Cove, a coastal neighbourhood of North Vancouver. The name Bealby Point, derives from the boys’ favorite beachside vacation spot in the British Columbian interior – it was (and still is) an important beacon of inspiration when putting the final touches on their songwriting, among being a place of solitude from everyday life.

Fast forward to 2018 when the boys recapture their friendship in the form of a band. Two-piece group, Jack Armstrong (lead vocals), and Jordan Studer (bass) stumbled upon music coming from the house of long-time friends, Clayton Dewar (lead guitar) with Zack Yeager (drums), also a two-piece. The two camps soon reconnected to realize they were complementary to each other’s instruments and styles.

New York-based indie-pop newcomer Cade Hoppe will release the music video for “Borrowed Time,” one of the tracks featured on his recently released EP, ’Tell Me How It’s Worth It.’ The music video debuted with an exclusive premiere on CelebMix‘Borrowed Time’ is a song about the period after a relationship has run its course, but you still can’t bring yourself to leave,” Cade says. “When you’re in that position, you feel a million feelings all at once and it’s paralyzing; and when you’re feeling a million different feelings while saying the same words over and over, it’s tough to convey that to the listener completely. My goal in making this video was to help give another dimension to the lyrics I wrote, because this feeling is definitely the most complex on the EP.”Released on October 22nd, Cade’s debut EP, ‘Tell Me How It’s Worth It,’ is a stunning selection of 5 tracks that hit the sweet spot between hazy indie-rock and catchy pop. Over the course of the record, his baritone vocals deliver meaningful vignettes of love, loss, transition, and desire with lyrics that wade through a gamut of emotions and experiences. He may be a newcomer on the scene but with the release of ‘Tell Me How It’s Worth It, the 21-year-old singer, songwriter & multi-instrumentalist shows promise of becoming an indie-pop mainstay.

credit – Raz Azraai

Described as a “mixtape of mixed emotions,” crydancing is a clever and introspective emotional rollercoaster from the rising artist to watch, with candid, brutally honest, tongue-in-cheek lyricism. Featuring a handful of recent breakout singles including “one that got away” and “dating myself,” as well as new releases including the infectious title track “crydancing” and the playful “come over,” crydancing is sad alex at her most vulnerable.

Wry, witty, awkward, sad, and bold, her songs cover all the emotional bases. Her lyrics are smart, genuine, and tangible. It really does feel like she wrote each song just for you, and maybe she did. As the world’s “happiest sad girl,” she knows a thing or two about heartbreak. Perhaps it’s her self-admitted tendency to chronically overshare, but lucky for her listeners, that’s what makes her songs so gripping. Her focus, passion, and talent have led to co-writes with artists such as Kelly Rowland and Jordin Sparks and a successful collab on “High Hopes” with South Los Angeles rapper Duckwrth and producer pluko. Alex has embraced her versatility and proudly owns her artistry, and she’s built it to success: featured in Refinery29, BuzzFeed, SPIN, Alternative Press, The Verge, and more, her track “i’m glad that you found someone” featuring gnash currently has over 3 million streams and is her biggest streaming hit, while her social media smash “ibtc” garnered over 6 million plays on TikTok and counting.

Following rapid fire singles ‘Susan’s Son’ and ‘Bad Santa’, Australian rap phenomenon ChillinIt shares ‘Cashed Out Stoner’ – a menacing, aspirational drill anthem featuring bubbling Northampton UK rapper Izzie Gibbs, and the latest cut from his highly-anticipated third album FAMILY TIES, out November 26.

 Watch the video, shot in both Sydney and London, featuring cameos from HuskiiA.GIRL and DJ Izm from Bliss n Eso. If ‘Susan’s Son’ was a glimpse of ChillinIt’s emotional growth since his Gold certified debut Women, Weed & Wordplay in 2018, ‘Cashed Out Stoner’ is a flex of different kind: “Tickets sold out, 10,000 in fact / Do the maths, I’m a cashed out stoner,” with his April-May Octagon Tour among the biggest tours in Australia in 2021.

His recently-announced ONE NIGHT ONLY national tour Jan-Feb ’22 in Australia is a sold-out affair, with Chillinit also announcing his UK live debut at London’s XOYO on Saturday 7th May 2022.

Iceland’s brightest new pop act Heidrunna and Metronomy’s Michael Lovett (NZCA LINES) unveil eccentric new remix for current single, ‘Borderline’, out November 11 via Absolute Label Services.

 

Showcasing Heidrunna’s whimsical vocals to great effect, the synthetic ‘Borderline’ is a bouncy, harmonious utopia that promises to send you into a synthesized frenzy. Here we find Heidrunna wrapped around moments of indecision and finding herself on the “borderline” of romance: “Every time you say you love me / I’m on the borderline / I know I shouldn’t waste your time / It’s hard enough to find love / How could I think living with you would mean no more pain, and sorrow.”

 

Commanding listeners to twirl around the ferocious synth-teemed soundscape of ‘Borderline’ is multi-instrumentalist and touring member of Metronomy, Michael Lovett, in his solo project NZCA LINES.

 

Having played on Christine and the Queens’ debut album, he’s also shared band members with Hot Chip and up until now has remixed MetronomyEverything EverythingAu Revoir Simone and Selah SueDjango Django remixed one of his songs.

 

NZCA LINES’ buoyant take on ‘Borderline’ alters the already dynamic soundscape of the original track, presenting Heidrunna in a decompressed and glacial light.

 

Heidrunna: “A friend of mine was going through a hard time in a relationship and didn’t know how to let go. Borderline is about that feeling when you need to do the right thing and have a clean break, even though you know it’s fucked up and that’s the best option for you but you just can’t see the wood from the trees.

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

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Written by Neill Frazer

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