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INsiders Guide: Caroline Romano, The Seafloor Cinema, Raye Robinson, Pro Material, HEAVY SALAD, Shadow Puppet Theatre, Conro, James Alphonse, T-Shyne, Findlay…..

Caroline Romano presents a stunning new video for the single “Dizzy,” from her new album, Oddities and ProdigiesInspired by the lyric “all I see are bodies without faces,” the Justin Key-directed music video takes place in a surrealist wonderland. With swirling, hyperactive camera angles, iridescent backdrops, and pops of neon against dark hues, viewers are taken on a hypnotizing yet unsettling joyride. I wanted the video to feel like a melted world of art,” Caroline explains. “I truly can only draw the human figure without a face, so the video sort of likens that line to modern day interactions — there are all these people around but we don’t really know them.” At just 20-years-old, Caroline Romano has written and performed into the hearts and ears of an anxious generation. She’s accrued millions of streams across her repertoire and has captured the attention of key tastemakers like Hollywood Life, Just Jared, EUPHORIA and American Songwriter. Her songwriting abilities showcase her witty, introspective and hopeful take on modernity, romanticism and the highs and lows of being young in today’s world.Caroline released her debut album, Oddities and Prodigies, on February 25th. From misty-eyed ballads to fiery pop-punk anthems, the album is a vivid snapshot of Caroline’s personal and musical journey — “this album is everything I know in 16 songs,” she says.

Sacramento, California’s The Seafloor Cinema have released a cover of Coheed and Cambria‘s prog epic ‘A Favor House Atlantic’. The track is accompanied by a computer game inspired video/visualiser. ‘A Favor House Atlantic’ is out now via Pure Noise Records.Speaking on their latest release, the band comments: “We have always been big fans of Coheed and were super excited to make our own version of such an iconic song. We wanted to keep it pretty straight up while still adding the guitar gymnastics and ‘psycho drumming‘ we aim to bring to everything”

Raye Robinson is an indie alt/pop artist based in Los Angeles. Through honest songwriting and relatable themes, the born and bred SoCal artist creates a fresh and intoxicating sound, emitting an innocence and dreaminess that whisks you away to a fantasy land. Having previously performed in bands, her time alone during the pandemic allowed the artist to dive into herself as well as her music and uncovered her love for taking creative control over her sound. Robinson’s upcoming music emits a spunky, fun, laidback and feel good vibe that keeps pulling you back for more. 

The bubbly new single “Prince Charming” glistens with punchy production and playful lyricism. Loosely disguised by a lighthearted, sugary soundscape, the track reaffirms self-trust and satisfaction, with the liberating theme inspiring independence and confidence in being alone. Showcasing her vivacious personality, the song is some of Robinson’s best work yet, drawing parallels to artists like Taylor Swift.

Coming up with the concept for the song whilst going on a string of first dates, Robinson wrote the track about winding up in scenarios where someonewants more than you’re willing to give. Robinson opens up about one date, “He seemed to think that he knew me better than I knew myself and he was always trying to change my mind or prove to me that he was different. As if he would be the exception to the rule. The prince riding in on his horse to break down my doors and show off how chivalrous he could be.”

“Prince Charming” is the fourth single off of her upcoming EP, Crushes & Love Songs, set for release 2022.

Independent rap duoPRO MATERIALreleases their latest single and video entitled “Second Helpings” which demonstrates the relentless grind of lyricists whose inspiration comes from a positive transfer of energy. Gilz and Banks engage in a cyclical lyrical process to display their creative genius. 

Recorded at Suite 16 Studios in Tampa with their engineerMixedbyVic, PRO MATERIAL delivered a “no hook” track. Instead the duo viciously traded punches on the Buckroll-produced track, painting a picture that their backs were against the wall and they were continuously fighting to make a way out of the situation. 

Their East Coast sound is apparent on a number of songs including “Second Helpings.” Influenced by groups like The Lox, Mobb Deep, Method Man & Redman, Dipset, and legendary rapers like Fabulous, Jay-Z, and Nas, the prolific rappers are determined to proved that they belong on the highest stage.

PRO MATERIAL is set to release another project calledV-Mail: Better Late Than Neverat the end of March. Additionally, the duo will drop a bunch of visuals for tracks from their most recent projects including “Final Boss Music” a single from theTalent Over Politics 2project. PRO MATERIAL anticipates performances at a number of different venues too.

“Second Helpings is an opportunity to give rap enthusiasts what they crave.  When something is so good you have to get another plate; that’s what we hope to deliver.”

Coming a week before their prestigious SXSW slot – HEAVY SALAD – release the playful new single: “Joggers From Mossley To Malibu Beach”. 

STREAM ON ALL SERVICES HERE || LISTEN ON SOUNDCLOUD HERE

Heady and frolicking — and embracing the notion that life’s challenges are nothing but positive opportunities — “Joggers From Mossley To Malibu Beach” is a jovial new cut that comes just a week before Heavy Salad touchdown in Austin, Texas for an official showcase slot at SXSW

Packed with playful rhythms, carefree “sha la la”’s and a whimsical, vintage tinge, the track was produced and mixed by Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur) and is plucked from the band’s forthcoming second record, ‘Long Wave,’ set for release later this year. 

Brought to life when guitarist Rob Glennie noticed hoards of people out jogging as a way of coping with the initial COVID lockdown in his hometown of Mossley, frontman Lee Mann explains of the track: 

“The story of “Joggers…” sees our protagonist embrace jogging as a means of getting out of the house, but their world is changed through what starts as a way of coping with the lockdown that then blossoms into the realisation that there’s a whole world out there! Their journey eventually leads them to a new life in California inspired by the song’s melodic, West Coast feel.” 

And, for all its sunny melodies and Californian surfer-town twinges, the track includes several nods to the band’s hometown roots in the North of England. Name-dropping everywhere from Mossley and Malibu to Tameside and the Pacific Coast Highway, Heavy Salad manage to traverse geographical borders just as neatly as they do genres. 

Merging 60s-inspired backing vocals with slacker-rock riffs that Pavement would be proud of, “Joggers…” uses its cheery sonic stylings to embrace a serendipitous and happy-go-lucky approach to the limitless possibilities that come with our seemingly mundane lives. 

Shadow Puppet Theatre, (or ‘SPT’ for short), are a 4-piece Malaysian rock band based in the city of Kuala Lumpur, named after the beautiful and ancient art of shadow puppetry. In keeping with their chosen name, they meld both storytelling and what they call “the feels”: an indefinable element adding a special ‘sparkle’ of life into each, and every, musical note they play. Their music cannot be pinned down to one genre but, as their name suggests, like ‘hidden puppeteers’, they skilfully create music that takes their fans through a magical journey through “Funk, rock and everything in between.” Their latest single is the wonderfully cyber-noirish tale of a lone avenger fighting corruption – ‘Codename Summer’– which will appear on their next album.

SPT got together in 2016, with some degree of changing personnel ever since, but the band’s ‘hidden shadow puppeteer’ modus operandi remains the same: richly woven, musical stories accompanied by serious messages that resonate. The band see this as a real collective responsibility and provide a service for their audience: or as they put it, “SPT is the place where we bring our stories to life. Songs in hand, at your command!”

The following years have been busy ones for the band: they were championed by Boston DJ and Grammy nominated producer Clinton Sparks (Lady Gaga ‘Born This Way’Pitbull ‘Shut It Down’) who featured them on his Get Familiar Radio show and, later, on his Twitch TV show. In 2016 SPT wrote and recorded their first EP ‘Nightvision’ released in 2017. In 2018 they released their debut English album ‘John Doe’together with 2 music videos for the tracks ‘John Doe’ and ’Mystery Girl’. In 2019 they released their 3rd music video for their inaugural Malay single ‘Sendiri’ which was also a radio hit in Malaysia. If all that wasn’t enough: The band also appeared in the Malaysia Book of Records for the Highest Altitude Live Music performance, playing a live set during an Air Asia Flight!

Following a string of releases this year, multifaceted producer Conro returned to Monstecat today with his poignant new single, “just wanna luv.” Reminiscent of early progressive house, the bouncy synths, bright chords, and emotional vocals are brimming with nostalgia. The uplifting single is a beautiful blend of Conro’s electro-house tendencies and indie-pop influences, eloquently showcasing his recent sonic pivot. Embracing his challenges with mental health, “just wanna luv” relays Conro’s appreciation to his fans for supporting him in a way he couldn’t reciprocate for himself.

Conro shares, “This was a therapy session for me when I was going through a hard time. It’s vulnerable and sometimes intimidating opening up and sharing, essentially a journal entry. But I hope people can relate in their own way with this song! I love this song and production; it was so much fun to write and now share with you! Thanks for all the support and love!

James Alphonse has toured Ontario, Canada with different groups, winning awards at various universities and opening for bands like The Trews. His music has often been described as diverse pop with a touch of guitar and r&b melodies. Ranging from electro pop, pop rock and chill r&b, it’s tough to pin him down. Moreover, he has been nominated for and won awards at the Hamilton Music Awards in the Best New Artist or Group of the Year category. All of this has been aided by his mentors Nick Blagona (The Police, Deep Purple, Beegees) and Mark Daum (inventor of the piantar). His newest mentors are Andre Kaden Black (Fefe Dobson, Francesco Yates) and Tal Vaisman (working in a variety of capacities with groups like 21 Pilots and Imagine Dragons), who have produced James’ debut EP as a solo artist. More recently, James Alphonse has been a finalist in the Unsigned Only competition and a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition.

James Alphonse shares:

Although I hate to admit it, I partly started singing because of the low-key jealousy of the attention my cousin got from singing in plays. I started taking it more seriously after I learned that practicing with my dad’s lefty guitar was the real reason I couldn’t play. I tried a righty, and – what do ya know – I’m playing “Lean On Me” at the school play! After years of being in rock bands, having my best friend replace my whole band and telling me I only think I’m a good singer because my mom says I am and eventually proving him (at least slightly) wrong with a few music nominations and awards, I decided to go solo as a pop artist with the guidance of cool people like Nick Blagona (The Police, Deep Purple, Beegees), Duncan Coutts (Our Lady Peace), Andre Kaden Black (Fefe Dobson, Francesco Yates) and Tal Vaisman (working in a variety of capacities with groups like 21 Pilots and Imagine Dragons). This was my true dream, although I was proudly a product of my gritty, incredible city Hamilton and the grungy, punk rock it produced. If Hamilton had it their way, they would’ve raised me in a gritty alleyway in a jean jacket with holes and badges (which honestly does sound really cool to me). Truth is, Britney, Justin T and Ed Sheeran have a soft spot in my heart. Although I love to bop to Teenage Head, the Arkells and the Dirty Nil, I had to be true to myself.

Tafa Peters, better known as T-Shyne, is solidifying his spot in the rap game. A longtime friend and collaborator of Young Thug, T-Shyne signed to Thug’s Young Stoner Life Records/300 Entertainment in 2020. T-Shyne was born in Granada and raised in East Hampton, New York which served as his first introduction to what would soon become a career in the rap genre. He began rapping as a teenager and eventually moved to the Bronx to further his career in Hip Hop. In 2018, T-Shyne released his debut project The Immaculate, which included features from Young Thug, Juicy J, Slim Jxmmi and more, followed by several singles including notable tracks “Side Steppin” ft. Young Thug, “Slime” ft. Lil Keed, and “Layaway” ft. Alexander Lewis and Chief Keef.

In 2020, T-Shyne released his single “Moncler” with Young Thug, which served as his first official release as a member of the Young Stoner Life/300 Entertainment roster. As a member of the Young Stoner Life family, T-Shyne has also been a part of notable collaborations and some of the label’s biggest moments including his appearance on Young Thug’s acclaimed On The Rvn EP, and Slime Language 2 – most notably with his appearance on “That Go!” alongside Young Thug and Meek Mill. Mor recently, T-Shyne was featured on Young Thug’s #1 album PUNK on standout track “Stressed”, alongside J.Cole and Young Thug.

Now, T-Shyne is laying the bricks for his next chapter in music. Last year, he released “30 for 30” and “Feed The Fam” the first singles from his new project Confetti Nights. In celebration of the “Feed The Fam” release, T-Shyne ‘fed the fam’ in his hometown of The Bronx by giving out free meals to families in need. The mixtape was executive produced by Young Thug and NBA superstar Kevin Durant. Confetti Nights displays T-Shyne’s undeniable storytelling ability, elevated by features from YSL labelmates Young Thug and Gunna. As he continues to cement his signature lyrical style, T-Shyne is creating his own space in the mainstream.

Findlay unveils new single ‘The End Of The World’, alongside its accompanying self-directed, Wes Anderson and 70s cookbook inspired music video. The singer and songwriter’s new release comes ahead of her upcoming new album ‘The Last of the 20th Century Girls’, due for release on May 13. In partnership with Kartel Music Group, the album will be available on CD, black and coloured vinyl, plus exclusive bundles via Findlay’s official store. LISTEN / WATCH ‘THE END OF THE WORLD’ HERE – PRE-ORDER ‘THE LAST OF THE 20TH CENTURY GIRLS’ HERE.

In ‘The End Of The World’ Findlay continues to effortlessly meld upbeat alt-indie, psychedelia and pop sensibilities to craft an intimate dream world in which her clever songwriting twists wry humour and heavy subject matter. Written at the start of the pandemic, ‘The End Of The World’ was Findlay’s light-hearted way to deal with a deeply existential and lonely time.

“I think it was just my way of coping with a world that felt completely surreal and out of my control,” she says. While exploring her nihilistic side through the depths of her vivid imagination, the self-directed music video sees Findlay “facing the prospect of the imminent end of the world,” she explains, unbothered by what’s about to happen, she counts down the days to the end of life on earth and throw a party for herself. Shot in 4:3 Aspect ratio, drenched in retro aesthetic with props and settings created by Findlay herself, and full of hidden messages and an easter egg to be discovered, the visuals prove that Findlay is not just the epitome of ‘DIY musician’, but a multi-disciplinary artist with nuanced directorial flair.

‘The End Of The World’ follows the release of previous singles including breezy alt-indie cut Life Is But A Dream’, self proclaimed ‘creepy banger’ the ‘Strange One’ and the 80s-inspired Night Sweats’, with the latest being championed by BBC 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins who called the track an “absolute jam”. Throughout the rest of the upcoming album’ Findlay explores the weight of her own evolving identity and the depths of her vivid imagination. Self-described as a “late coming of age story”,drenched in nostalgia, melancholy and the kind of strange experiences only a misunderstood millennial could have.

With the help of some of her closest friends, ‘The End Of The World’ and the upcoming album see technological prowess across the board, with production and mixing by French multi-instrumentalist songwriter and producer Jules Apollinaire (Black Honey, Sophie And The Giants, Suki Waterhouse) – who is also Findlay’s bandmate in TTRRUUCES – and  MPG awards winning mixing engineer Caesar Edmunds (Foals, PJ Harvey,  St Vincent, Beach House), withmastering by five-time Grammy Awards winning engineer Antoine ‘Chab’ Chabert (Daft Punk, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sebastien Tellier).

Dixies List bound out of their native Stockholm and launch themselves into international eardrums with “Drinking In The Kitchen”, a swaggering guitar pop cut that pairs Smiths-esque jangle pop with the frustrated grit that comes from coming of age in an era of pandemic, international conflict, and climate crisis. Singer/guitarist Valle Hedlund explains, “my lyrics are usually based on experiences and observations from my surroundings in the nightlife of Stockholm but as the pandemic broke out and we weren’t allowed to roam the streets as usual I had to gather inspiration elsewhere, looking inwards. ‘Drinking in the kitchen’ is about one of the small at-home gatherings that tried to fill the void the dancefloors left behind.”

Italian artist Her Skin releases a new single ‘Confident’ in the UK 11th March via WWNBB. The single is the first track from her forthcoming album ‘I Started A Garden’ that is unleashed on the world later this year. Originally from Modena – Her Skin is 25 year old singer songwriter Sara Ammendolia.

 Mooted as intimate freak folk with a faded punk flavoured filling she combines sad lyrics with delicate and light-hearted melodies.  She says she wrote ‘Confident’ “because I needed a reminder that perfection isn’t real and that it’s ok to mess up. I needed to stop comparing my ‘behind the scenes’ to everyone else’s ‘highlight reel’. It’s ok to feel bad, it’s ok to use the wrong words, to waste time, to be late. It’s ok to leave everything untitled”.

 Sara started writing songs when she was fifteen years old and always had a huge passion for music. The first song she ever liked was Le Freak by Chic, and then she started listening to Big Thief, Sibylle Baier, Beach Fossils, Castlebeat, Andy Shauf.

 Sara loves going to concerts, reading, roller skating, traveling, watching French films, drinking coffee, playing animal crossing and being in nature.

 She has done numerous tours around the world taking in Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, India and United States and is now ready to set the UK alight!  After performing at SXSW Festival she will be coming to the UK for The Great Escape, and will perform at Primavera Festival in Barcelona and at Mondo in New York (the last three are yet to be officially announced).

Miko is a 23-year-old singer-songwriter from Montreal, Canada. There’s an alt-pop moodiness to his music that touches on intimacy, introspection, and the realization you are far more than your circumstances. Miko can unsettle his audience at times with his charismatic personality, an occurrence you’ll witness watching his YouTube series “Trash Cam.” A collection of humorous, raw, and candid videos documenting his daily life from producing music with friends (Soran, Yuki Dreams Again, Zach Zoya) to his numerous interactions navigating the streets of Montreal. Shortly after his first release “Crushes” in 2019, a collaboration with producers Robotaki, Lunice and Julian Cruz (Dominic Fike, Kenny Mason) took place as Miko established he is one to watch for the years to come. Since the release of latest single “In My Dreams” Miko racked up over 4 million plays on just a few singles.

KOATES CONTINUES TO BUILD BUZZ WITH STELLAR NEW OFFERING ANOTHER LIFE// LISTEN HERE

South East London based newcomer KOATES returns today with the reveal of stunning single Another Life. Showcasing a gorgeous blend of intricate songwriting, dreamy vocals and glistening production, the track serves to further cement the growing hype around this newcomer, who has gained support from Jack Saunders at BBC Radio 1, Notion and is starting to amass a strong following on social media. Speaking on the track, KOATES states:

I based this single on the everyday decisions we make that can affect our relationships positively or negatively. Get it wrong and we face blow-outs, door-slamming and worse, we just wish we done things differently. Get it right and it’s the best feeling in the world!

Illinois Chicago-Devon Kay & The Solutions, power pop band from the flats of the Midwest have released new single ‘No One Is Thinking About You (Or Anyone Else For That Matter)’.

Speaking about the song the band said ‘Throughout this bands reblooming from a three piece pop punk band to a six piece… whatever the hell we are, the debate of us being Ska or Not has plagued our existence. So much so it lead to the creation of a song that’s equal parts flippant and equal parts ennoi. We wanted to make a song that was not only a certified banger but also self aware of leaning into ska tropes and then going back to whatever it is we do. I love it and genuinely think it’s one of the coolest songs we’ve ever written. Think that song 2 Tone-Army by the Toasters meets A Tik Tok song with some Green Day. Sound good?’

alt-rock-pop trio The Happy Fits arrives with their first release of 2022–a bright, upbeat jam, “Changes,” that sees the band like everyone else, stumbling through life and learning as they go, alongside its magnetically playful videoAlt Nation debuted the track, which is now streaming everywhere and the official video is out now.

With their latest single, The Happy Fits expand on their signature bubbly sound and masterfully manage to strike a delicate balance between whimsical and sincere. On “Changes,” the band sings much of the track’s thesis in the pre-chorus, I try to run away / But I find myself, again, / Stuck in the same place. / Who will I be today? / I can’t control the world or change it.”

Throughout the writing process, Calvin Langman (electric cellist/lead vocals), came to realize the world doesn’t change on its own, rather with age and more experiences, he would change with it. Langman explains, “I had this insistence on expressing my love for humanity and the world, but alas, humanity and the world aren’t the ones who are going to change to conform to my liking. The future is going to be me, my thoughts, and my feelings about the world changing instead.”

“We are still young and have a lot to learn,” adds Ross Monteith (guitarist/vocals). “This song is about growing and understanding that there is no single right answer to living life. We will always continue learning how to live.”

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Socials: @neillfrazer

 

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Written by Neill Frazer

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