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INsiders Guide: Palmaria, Neoma, CLOUDxCITY, WiL, Iniko, Starmoney, JNR Choi, Jordyn Stoddard, Yung Pooda, Dana Gavanski, Niagara Moon, Ashnikko…..

Palmaria are an Alt Pop duo from a small town in Italy, currently residing in London. Members Giulia and Francesco transport listeners on a journey of dreamy landscapes and uplifting experiences. Think The xx meet Sylvan Esso meet Little Dragon on a field trip to the Italian coast.

Following the release of their EP Crystallize, the duo deliver “Chameleon”, deputing a new side to their Alternative Pop sound. Inspired by a longing for change; in a time where everything stopped, the world went silent and still, the need for expression and freedom got bigger and louder inside Palmaria’s hearts. 

The duo share, “The song comes as a revelation, when suddenly everything is clear, when we’re ready to show the world who we are, get rid of all the layers we’ve put on through our journey and be ready to be vulnerable and strong at the same time.”

“Chameleon” is an explosion of feelings, energy and tribal rhythms; Nature plays an important role for Palmaria, with the duo recording many sounds from the woods and the sea in their hometown in Liguria, Italy. “Chameleon” celebrates everyone who feels different, who in their diversity and vulnerability finds strength and freedom.

Palmaria have racked up over three million streams on Spotify garnering support from the likes of Complex, Clash, NOTION, Wonderland, The Line of Best Fit, Ones to Watch, KCRW, as well as numerous playlist adds from Spotify editorial playlists including New Music Friday, Fresh Finds and more. With support from Jamz Supernova, COLORS Berlin and BBC airplay, Palmaria are proving to be a force to be reckoned with.

Be sure to catch Palmaria in London on June 16th! Grab tickets here!

(Photo Credit: Juli Williams)

the pop artist Neoma – the artistic vehicle of Ecuadorian singer-songwriter-producer Carla Huiracocha – has released her new album HYPERREAL, the follow-up (and sequel) to Neoma’s 2019 LP, Real. Now based in Denver, CO, Neoma, originally from Cuenca, Ecuador, Neoma has honed her unique blend of bilingual vocals, sharp pop songwriting, and more experimental electronic flourishes on this new album, which was influenced by the likes of Kate Bush, SOPHIE, ARCA, Donna Summer and SARAMALACARA. Speaking on the upcoming album, Huiracocha writes: “HYPERREAL is the sequel to Real. It is more intense, very hyperpop influenced. The title is inspired by Lorde’s Buzzcut season hyperreal lyric: ‘Make-believe it’s hyperreal.’ Virtual relationships feel very hyper realistic to me. Hyperreal is the dual digital-physical reality of maintaining relationships over the phone. Some things can be real, but not enough.”

Electronic duo CLOUDxCITY delivers a satisfying new single “Jezebel,” with an accompanying music video. With quick rhythms and Latin-inspired production, the eclectic record transports listeners into a euphoric dancefloor state. The single and visual embody the lust, temptation, and evil forces of a female seductress – both glamorizing and demonizing her charms. 

 

 “One day ENJEL pulled up to the studio in his feelings after getting played by a girl that he had been with for months. We found this experience all too relatable so we decided to write about it.” – CLOUDxCITY

 

What happens when a poetic closet nerd from Los Angeles meets a charismatic nomad from New York? Meet CLOUDxCITY, the music duo composed of the energetic Enjel (singer/songwriter/producer) and enigmatic TAS (producer/DJ/songwriter). TAS and Enjel may come from radically different backgrounds, but their natural chemistry and love for music creation brought them together after a lifetime of writing and producing.

 

Before joining forces in late 2019, the two creatives were on entirely different paths. After years of bouncing from city to city working different music industry jobs and one near-death experience, Rochester’s Enjel settled in LA as a solo artist and songwriter/producer/vocalist. After briefly exploring the world of cinema and directing, LA-native TAS grew into a songwriter/producer who experienced behind-the-scenes success. Individually they both wrote, produced, and engineered for notable artists like Selena GomezMeg Thee Stallion, the Ying Yang TwinsCee-Lo GreenYGZeddEminemQuavoBahari, and more. Although grateful for their careers to take off as writers and producers, they longed to create something more meaningful for themselves. 

When their paths finally crossed at Rock Mafia’s Santa Monica studio, the mutual respect and chemistry was palpable. CLOUDxCITY was essentially born from the 2020 pandemic where the pair had nothing but time to develop this new partnership. The kindred spirits used their unique yet complementary energies to construct a hypnotic fusion of hip hop, electronic, and dark pop sonics that they have coined “existential hip hop.” Mysterious but not brazen, futuristic but not detached, provocative yet still welcoming and relatable – that’s what you can expect from CLOUDxCITY both on and off the stage.

The dynamic duo now readies for their 2022 debut project, entirely crafted by the vast minds of TAS and Enjel alone. 

Photo Credit: Caroline Lambert-Mimnaugh

BC singer-songwriter WiL is excited to announce the release of his new single ‘Precious’ out today on all digital streaming platforms. Listen here‘Precious’ follows the April 1st release of ‘I’m Sorry’, from WiL’s sixth studio album The Gold Mine, set for release on May 13th.Many of the songs on The Gold Mine deal with the realities of being in a long-term relationship – the good, the bad, and the ugly. ‘Precious’ speaks to going through difficult times with your partner and then coming out on the other side and realizing how much that person means to you. “If you’ve lived enough time, there comes a point when you look around you and realize who really matters,” says WiL. “It could be a person or pet or whatever. And you know your life is that much more enriched for having them in it.”

Famed songwriter and civil rights activist Nina Simone once said “Anything human can be felt through music, which means that there is no limit to the creating that can be done with music.” Alternative R&B singer/songwriter Iniko (whose pronouns are they/them) echoes this powerful sentiment throughout their new single, “The King’s Affirmation,” whose teaser video has garnered over 20M views on TikTok. The song is out today on all music streaming platforms. 

With a goal to write and create music with purpose and intent, Iniko also wants their music to act as a soundtrack to their current reality. Seeking a challenge, the songwriter reworked and reimagined “We Go Up” the latest release from chart-topping rapper Nicki Minaj, featuring Fivio Foreign. Taking the essence of the drill heavy beat, Iniko crafted this mystical track that serves as a mantra to listeners to be their true self and refute societal norms. 

Serving up a bouncing hustlers anthem, Starmoney adds to an exceptional recent run of music as he teams up with Sneakbo for the release of ‘Flex’.

STREAM/DOWNLOAD: STARMONEY FT SNEAKBO – FLEX

Making his presence felt over the last two years, Starmoney has stepped out of the shadows to deliver a slew of his own heavy rap joints that have catapulted the rising star up the chain of UK rap, including the weighty collaboration ‘Catfish’ featuring Snap Capone. Starmoney made his debut with ‘Black Lives Matter in 2020, gaining attention with UK and Caribbean press. Deeply rocked by world events and inspired to be an activist for the cause, Starmoney made the transition from writer to rapper with a powerful message and has since continued to use his platform to speak on positive change and drive collaboration between Caribbean and UK artists, as reported by the Jamaica Observer.

JNR Choi & Sam Tompkins, the dynamic duo behind “To The Moon,” unveils the (Drill Remix) music video for one of the most ubiquitous hits of the year, accompanied by some of drill music’s brightest stars, G Herbo and Fivio Foreign, and the UK’s own M24 and Russ Millions.

Indie pop singer, Jordyn Stoddard releases her new EP The Midnight Zone that is out now. The 5 track project follows key singles In My Dreams, Murder His Feelings, and Self Sabotage.

Jordyn says, “This project encompasses all the darkest and lightest elements of vulnerability and empowerment. The Midnight Zone was written and produced by all females, which displays the power that we have but sometimes seem to forget. This collection of songs journeys through the alternating emotions of pain and denial, while trying to hold on to who you are. “I’m not afraid of the dark.”

Undeniably one of the definitive voices coming out of the Houston music scene, Yung Pooda continues his steady ascent to the top with his new infectious single, “Drop.” Produced by Grammy-winning duo Cool & Dre, “Drop” is available on all music-based platforms today via It’s A 10 Records HERE. The new song is already showing signs of being a bona-fide hit. His hometown, Houston’s top hip-hop radio station, 97.9 KBXX, known as The Box, will premiere the record this Friday at 3PM.  “Drop” finds the Houston based artist back in his hit-making element with an up-beat offering that exemplifies his sleek signature style with lyrical punch. The offering features a sample from Ice Cube’s iconic, “Today Was a Good Day.”

There’s something mesmerising about the fingertips of Dana Gavanski. Conducting each note with a light gracefulness, they appear to dance whilst aiding their owner in expressing the stories behind each of her lighter-than-air tones. Stories which, on her new album When It Comes, may never have been heard if not for healing ‘lost’ vocal cords and a lesson in taking the rough with the smooth.

In many ways this record feels like it is my first,” Dana tells. “When I could use my voice, I had to focus so there is an urgency and greater emotional trajectory than before… it’s very connected to vocal presence, which extended into an existential questioning of my connection to music. It felt like a battle at times, which I frequently lost.”

In Good Dreams the new album from Niagara Moon, the artist sets out to follow in the footsteps of symphonic pop classics like Pet Sounds or The Soft Bulletin. Only in this case, it was made alone under quarantine.

It all began when Niagara Moon’s alter ego Thomas Erwin was having trouble getting to sleep again. It was like back when they were a child, having watched that scene from Brave Little Toaster (you know the one…) Though now, it was spurred on by the new daily reality of isolation and uncertainty. However, Thomas also remembered a secret sleep-aid technique that had worked wonders back in those days. When you find yourself late at night worrying about nightmares, the future, or just simply have a case of Sunday Scaries, imagine in your mind’s eye – in big puffy friendly letters, much like those on the album cover – the words “Good Dreams” beaming back at you. It helps more often than not. This theme of “mind over matter” appears often over the course of the album’s 12 songs. After a few years struggling to find their sound with a more conventional arrangement, Niagara Moon embraced the electronic orchestra living inside their Mac Mini. As such, “Good Dreams” became an baroque technicolor storybook of sound, and a welcome escape from the more challenging moments of the last couple years.While the music remains bright and fantastical, the lyrics tackle some darker concerns head-on. The Divine Comedy-esque “Hindsight” laments on the gradual loss of youth and freedom. “Boxed In” is a foreboding ode to the constriction and claustrophobia of the pandemic era. Similarly, “Bad Vibes” addresses the growing trends of paranoia and misinformation.  Fortunately, the tone balances out with other tracks like “Who Needs Who?”, a celebration of empowerment and self-ownership in the age of the Great Resignation. “That’s News To Me” explores the power of love and vulnerability, and “Surprise For You” was even written as a marriage proposal to Thomas’s partner Huimin, whose ethereal vocal harmonies are also present on half of the songs.So come along. Dive in headfirst, shed the “Bad Vibes”, and find your own Good Dreams. They’re waiting for anyone that’s ready, with enough patience and imagination to accept them.

Vevo, the world’s leading music video network, announces the release of Ashnikko‘s live performances of “Panic Attacks in Paradise” and “Maggots.” In 2021, Ashnikko performed “Daisy” and “Deal With It” for Vevo DSCVR.

Ashnikko is the pop provocateur whose music ricochets around themes of empowerment, vengeance and sexual positivity. She released her debut mixtape DEMIDEVIL in 2021, in which she swung punches at the patriarchy and turned the male gaze on itself again and again. Ashnikko tackles life head on with brutal honesty and humor.

Autumn of 2021 saw the release of “Panic Attacks in Paradise” and “Maggots,” polar opposite sounding tracks which both made equal statements. ‘Panic Attacks In Paradise’ and ‘Maggots’ were both written when I was in a very low place,” Ashnikko explained. “‘PAIP’ is a commentary on how much I was annoying myself at the time. I was healthy and my career was going great. I was in a metaphorical “paradise.” But alas my brain chemistry had other plans. I was an insufferable mess, so obsessed with my own hurt. I was leading it around with me like a rabid dog, letting it bite anyone I came into contact with. Where ‘PAIP’ is soft and forlorn, ‘Maggots’ is pure rage. I’m casting a protective shield of electricity around myself and daring anyone to try to cross it. I’d rather be a raging b*tch than let people take advantage of my kindness. I will take every parasite burrowing its way into my flesh and flatten it under my boots.”

Long Beach-raised R&B singer/songwriter Kendy X makes her highly anticipated debut with the release of Misplaced EP out now via Rose Records. An evocative collection of songs that magnetically draws listeners in with her poignant and amative lyrics dazzled with her indomitable sense of confidence, Misplaced celebrates the strength in choosing yourself and forging a path of self-love in the most heaviness of times. The title hints at Kendy X’s continued growth on this journey. Misplaced can mean a lot of different things, depending on who you are,” Kendy X shares. “Personally, I misplaced who I thought was. I would belittle myself and not step into my power. I was lost. At the end, I found myself.” “This project is about finding yourself and becoming the woman you are meant to be and not changing for anybody.”

BONES & TeamSESH producer grayera dropped their joint album WITHERED today via TeamSESH – Stream HereWITHERED has the makings of a classic BONES album: 17 tracks of ethereal production with a mix of heartbroken lyrics and ice cold bars all wrapped up in just 37 minutes. Even though I live for a BONES triplet flow, there’s something about his ballads that pierce my sad girl heart – cue “NobodyHome” and album single “TheOne.” But the real brilliance comes when he fuses the two together on “LFG.” He’s just got the gift of understated genius. BONES knows how to bring you into his world and today that world is WITHERED.

 Irish-born and Berlin-based lesbian artist Wallis Bird shares “Go“- a song about beginnings and having the strength to stand out from the crowd to pursue passions and desires. “Go” is about letting go and embracing the uncertainty of what’s in store, because life’s too short to not try.

Go” follows the release of “Aquarius,” “Power of the Word,” “What’s Wrong with Changing” and “Pretty Lies” from Wallis’ forthcoming album HANDS out May 27.

“I share the release date of my album HANDS around the joy of ‘Pride’ and the jubilant 7 year anniversary of the Marriage Equality Vote, a huge event in Irish history. An event I broadcast into my songs, to mark the power of the people, to mark Panti Bliss, to mark my pride in Ireland over the last 20 years, and how far her people have come. Grá agus Bród ABÚ!”

Wallis Bird has released six albums since 2007, for which she’s won two Meteor Awards, Ireland’s annual music prize – mostly recently for Best Female Artist – and a prestigious 2017 German ‘Music Autoren Preis’ (Music Author Prize), not to mention two further nominations for the Choice Music Prize, Ireland’s equivalent to Britain’s Mercury Prize. In addition, she’s racked up over a thousand shows during the past decade, earning a reputation worldwide for her legendarily passionate, energetic and good-humoured concerts. Wallis has also previously found a champion in American artists Amanda Palmer, and the Irish Times once noted that Bird’s irrepressible trademark energy on stage could “kickstart an entire economy”

Morcheeba announce the release of an exclusive Record Store Day 12” Vinyl, ‘Blackest Blue – The Remixes’, which will include a progressive electronica/chill house remix of ‘Sounds Of Blue’ from producer Gui Boratto, whilst upcoming prolific producer and multi-instrumentalist  Kutiman reworks ‘The Moon’. British giants of electronic music Orbital have also switched up the signature Morcheeba ‘chill’ vibe of ‘Namaste’ to an electronic drum and bass dancefloor stomper, with eccentric French musician and produer Voyou providing another take on ‘The Moon’Morcheeba’s latest album ‘Blackest Blue’  is available on all Platforms – Stream // Buy ‘Blackest Blue here.

The upcoming 12” Vinyl follows the acclaimed release of Morcheeba’s 10-track ‘Blackest Blue’ album in May 2021, which was described as “bold, mercurial, and enthralling” by AlbumismRe-imagined by an impressive array of international producers and remixers, ‘Blackest Blue – The Remixes’, is the perfect accompaniment and extension of the full-length project This package, and signifies the enduring legacy of Morcheeba. 

After having to postpone their live tour dates, Morcheeba will finally be able to celebrate the release of their latest studio album ‘Blackest Blue’. The ‘Blackest Blue’ UK tour, a celebration of 25 years of Morcheeba, will see the band headlining Birmingham’s O2 Academy 2 on Wednesday 4th May 2022, Manchester’s Academy 2 on Thursday 5th May, London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Saturday 7th May and Brighton’s Chalk on Wednesday 11th May. Tickets are on sale now and available from www.gigsandtours.com  www.morcheeba.uk.

Manchester-based hypnotic post-punkers LUCIGENIC unveil their latest single “Joy” today.  STREAM ON SOUNDCLOUD HERE | WATCH THE VIDEO HERE With flecks of Patti Smith, Blondie and Belly, Mancunian post-punk group Lucigenic have shared their jubilant and driving new track “Joy”.  Combining Lucy Davies compelling vocal delivery with dynamic and jangling alt-rock melodies and capacious choruses, “Joy” finds a hypnotic middle-ground between the gritty, overcast punk of earlier single “Still Breathing” and the chiffony dreamscapes on its predecessor “Hope”. 

electro-pop singer, songwriter and producer Izza returns with her new single and video, “Love Bracelets.”“Love Bracelets” is an instantly infectious, club-ready single that spreads an empowering message of self-love. Expanding on the new song, Izza says: “I used to value my worth based on how people viewed me and what relationships I was in or wasn’t in. I wrote ‘Love Bracelets’ when I started focusing on myself and discovered that true happiness doesn’t come from loving someone else, but by loving yourself.” Fusing trap-inspired beats, experimental synths and digitized vocals, “Love Bracelets” puts Izza’s knack for creating addictive electro-pop gems on full display. Inspired by her upbringing in California, Izza’s gritty pop sound and unapologetic lyrics explore the duality between fantasy and reality as she attempts to find purpose in a materialistic world. At age 13, writing songs became a form of therapy and productive rebellion for Izza— an outlet to express herself and her struggles without restriction or consequence.

My name is Iulia Ciobanu.

I play in the Toronto-based three-piece band, Cherry Blaster.

 We have a new song out called “I don’t wanna,” a party-ballad (or ballad-bop) about being done with dating.

 I had been through yet another superficial dating experience that left me wanting more. I was feeling frustrated and hurt, even though I knew that I had been trying to see more in it than was really there.

 Wish I’d let myself play with your hair / I just sat there

 This line is emblematic of many similar moments where I’ve wanted to connect but kept myself closed off. When things don’t work out, I zero in on little moments like this and blame myself, even though it’s a two-way street.

 I hope you enjoy the live horns and piano on this track. The band and I wanted to create an exacerbated and exuberant wall of sound chorus.

 A connection mirage is dispelled in the blink of an eye and one is left to party alone again.

 Thanks for listening!

Iulia of Cherry Blaster

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

Socials: @neillfrazer

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

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