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INsiders Guide: Madison Margot, Wylderness, Snøw, 3Smoke, Talkless, Hedda Mae, Praiz, Sea Glass, Olmo, Brian Straw, Sophie Auster, Lisa Remar….

Another confessional tale, “All My Wishes” lays bare Margot’s brand of autobiographical pop in a dreamy blend of classic country, pop and folk – produced in Nashville by Adam Wheeler, who has crafted hits for some of country music’s hottest names like Tenille Arts and Scotty McCreery.

Accompanied by a music video directed by the LA native, footage coated in a crackling sepia glow calls back to the nostalgic aesthetics of vintage country – complete with Margot’s favorite rhinestone cowboy boots. Warm toned vignettes perfectly blend sparkling disco moments filled with pink roses and autumnal cottage-core vibes undoubtedly influenced by Margot’s time in the English countryside. A story of wistful daydreaming, the “All My Wishes” video perfectly taps into the inner thoughts and feelings at the heart of Margot’s romantic single.

 Having already worked with the likes of Kyle Shearer (Dua Lipa, Melanie Martinez) and Chris Jones (The Chainsmokers), Madison’s multi-faceted back catalogue has achieved over 150K+ streams on Spotify, with previous November single “If We Fall” making an impact across international press in the UK, US and Australia alongside a premiere by Wonderland Magazine.

Offering a first glimpse into their long-awaited second album, WYLDERNESS return with the discordant new single: “Centre of Gravity”. 

STREAM ON ALL SERVICES HERE || WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

A nebulous, noise-driven cut that gnaws its way through gritty instrumentals and existential lyricism, “Centre of Gravity” comes as the first taste of new music from the dizzying dream-pop six-piece in almost four years. 

Plucked from Wylderness’ newly confirmed second album ‘Big Plans for a Blue World’ set for release this June,  the track sees the band put a subversive spin on their usual sun-drenched shoegaze. Produced by Rory Attwell and taking a more layered approach to instrumentation, “Centre of Gravity” pieces together a rugged and roiling wall of sound. 

With DIIV, Sonic Youth and Ride all cited as Wylderness’ everyday influences, “Centre of Gravity” is a clangorous curveball chucked into the band’s docile dream-pop trajectory. With stabbing punk sensibilities and a frantic undercurrent of fuzzy reverb, the band explain of the track: 

“This song shows our leanings towards Parquet Courts and the noisier elements of Yo La Tengo. Lyrically it’s inspired by the first photo of a black hole that was taken a couple of years ago. We wanted our first song back to be punchy and to the point, so this was chosen as the lead single for the album and the opener for side two.” 

Photo Credit: Daniela Santamaria

Salem artist Snøw has unveiled his new single titled “Helpless” today. The track arrives ahead of his upcoming debut album I Smoke To Cope, which will be released on Friday, March 25th via Amuse. Soaring over the effervescent soundscape, the track throbs with a laidback cadence that leaves its listeners floating in an emotional suspense filled with heartache and acceptance. 

Following the recent release of their documentary and accompanying visuals for stand-out single ‘Hoes & Trust’, the British rap trio 3Smoke have released their highly anticipated debut mixtape that delves into the groups reputable gritty sound.

STREAM/PURCHASE: 3SMOKE – MIXTAPE 

Spread across 10 energy-driven tracks that continue to echo the nostalgia of grime in with hard-hitting drill beats, Paper Pabs, Bossman Birdie, and Milli Major unleash charged-up flows, gritty bars, and an unapologetic pen game from start to finish. Each brining their own sauce into the mix, this mixtape is seamlessly knitted together by the differing delivery styles and tones of the trio as they take listeners on a journey into some of their darkest realities. From the percussive introduction ‘Style’ to the eerie sounds of ‘Big Rich City’, the boys encapsulate London’s granular energy in tracks like ‘Rich In’ and ‘Ying’. Having navigated a boundary that sees the trio famed for classic grime drops on one side yet push into contemporary lo-fi drill beats on the other, 3Smoke have a fierce determination that has kept them central to the music scene.

Photo Credit: VXL Studio

Brazilian-American artist Talkless has unveiled his third single and video “Mind Games” featuring artist Marwang, out today via Uncomfortable Records. The track is a cheery yet moody anthem wrapped with acoustic guitar chords where Talkless’ smoothly burning vocals and Marwang’s breakneck choruses accentuate the chaotic feeling of despair, but unshakeable sense of hope that one carries around when being trapped in an unhealthy relationship. 

Norway’s rising talent Hedda Mae opens up a time warp to the great 90’s pop movement in her latest single “Rhythm To Myself” and the result sounds incredibly refreshing.  Leaving emocore pop songs to her peers, Hedda is all about bringing positive energy into all she does.  File this retro soiree alongside classics from the likes of the Spice Girls and S Club  7.  This new song will be  followed by a new EP out this fall.

Listen to Rhythm To Myself now; https://open.spotify.com/artist/7zd05tehJ8h4VEpwxdo4g4?si=a-n69GvXTUWX-jXsOaldUg

Speaking about the song, Hedda explained “Rhythm to myself” is a ’in your face’ bop about being done wasting time on people who lower your spirits, when all you wanna do is have fun – and DANCE!  Who says we’re dependent on others to have a good time? With Rhythm to myself, the quirkiness and playfulness in the Hedda Mae universe are taken to a new level. Not everything has to be so serious all the time!

Hedda is now two-thirds through her planned trilogy of EPs.  Those finding her music for the first  time today will find her Introducing: Hedda Mae & The Early Struggles Of A Late Millenial EP’s good character analysis for a talented newcomer who brings some much-needed colour to pop music. 

 Looking ahead to future releases, Hedda explains that whether a song is about toxic relationships in your early 20s, taking down the men of the music industry, or overcoming superficiality, she’ll be writing what she knows about: “I feel like I’m still a fresh artist so the most important part for me is to bring songs that I can relate most to myself or the strongest ones. It’s not necessarily a cohesive story through the songs…every track is probably inspired by a young person’s daily life. I’ve gathered stories from my friends, and obviously my own life!”  Whatever her inspiration brings on her third EP coming this year – and Hedda is obsessing over Anderson.Paak and Bruno Mars’ Silk Sonic project – the one thing we can be sure of is that Hedda Mae will remain among the most relatable new pop star we have.

Multi award winning R&B singer, songwriter, and producer Praiz maintains his stature as a beloved curator of high-quality music with the release of his third studio album ‘Reckless’ and lead single ‘Love You Better’.

Encapsulating the best of what Praiz has to offer the Gospelondebeatz production on ‘Love You Better’ is filled to the brim with sensual melodies and silky vocals that are underpinned with a buoyant percussion that uplifts the base of the track. Seamlessly coupled with Praiz’s theme of love and devotion, ‘Love You Better’ pays homage to the nostalgic-yet-familiar afrobeat sound whilst topping it with a modern R&B flair.

STREAM/DOWNLOAD: PRAIZ – LOVE YOU BETTER

With his releases racking up tens of millions of streams and millions of YouTube views, the Nigerian musical powerhouse has been consistently producing hits since his debut in 2011. Refusing to run out of steam, Praiz continues to deliver perfection in the form of his latest album ‘Reckless’. The album consists of 15 tracks which are all varied in sonic styles and showcase the extensive symphonic ability of the gifted musician. With an impressive roster of featuring artists including Ladipoe, JesseJagz and Yemi Alade, ‘Reckless’ has something that caters for everyone, going from slow seductive jams like ‘Change Me’ and ‘Selfish’, to upbeat party anthems like ‘Woza’ and ‘Black Crown’ – Praiz is the true definition of a jack of all trades.

Blending classic songwriting and modern indie production, Sea Glass is the project of Brooklyn-based producer Jake Muskat. Sea Glass composes and produces unique songs, featuring guest vocalists to create a cohesive sound that is both nostalgic and fresh. Inspired to release music after the birth of his first child, Sea Glass’s music taps into universal emotions around growing up and dreaming.

Welcoming listeners into his indie, dream pop world, Sea Glass’s music features an amalgam of influences from the laid-back, hypnotic feel of Toro Y Moi, to the crisp guitar tones of The Strokes. Emitting an overall thought-provoking emotion and captivating ambience, Sea Glass sucks you into his universe, holding you hostage till the very end. 

Following the release of “New Romans” the artist shares “Elevator Chat,” a song which touches on the feeling of needing to get something off your chest, yet knowing you won’t be able to do yourself justice in verbalizing it. He shares, “It’s the feeling of wanting to get into something with someone, but having not enough time or patience to fully get there.” Featuring vocals from Benét, Sea Glass continues “The addition of Benét’s vocals helped expand on that theme, with their interpretation of not wanting to get into it with someone because your mind’s been made up. Their lyrics, to me, offer the perfect counterpoint to mine, highlighting the other side of a conversation.”

“Elevator Chat” sees the first time the artist showcases his own vocals, layering harmonies to create a depth and warmth to the chilled-out release. Twinkling melodies, a steady, plodding beat and ethereal vocals from Benét give a juxtaposed, feel-good atmosphere to the somber lyrics. 

Sea Glass has been praised by the likes of Indie Shuffle, WFUV, Record of the Day, Variance Magazine, The Wild Honey Pie, and Glide Magazine, among others.

Photo credit: Alina Gärtig

Olmo reveals his standout new single ‘Dream Boat’, accompanied by a hypnosing hand crafted music video featuring the longest recorded flipbook, that stands at an impressive 1700 pages!

Watch the video HERE

Listen HERE

Berlin-based, Italian singer-songwriter Olmo’s new single “Dream Boat” is about finding a way to keep your dreams afloat amid choppy waters, a sentiment that will surely resonate with listeners increasingly unsure about the future. 

The endlessly playable offering carries a powerful reminder to not always take things on face value. Explaining further, Olmo shares: “Dream Boat is a cheerful song about being miserable. The joyous mood of the song contrasts the dark narrative to portray the difference we often experience between what we feel inside and what we display on the outside when we are in an emotional abyss. This is especially common in men, who in the name of appearing strong have been pressured by society to not show vulnerability or weakness, which results in an inability to talk about one’s emotions or asking for help.”

This music is about waking up from a slumber and finding a way to wade through the “oceans of doubt”, as Olmo transitions from confusion to smiles with a folk harmony that’s impossible not to hum back in unison. 

Photo by Tim Lachina

Ahead of a string of performances bookending the US, Cleveland-based troubadour Brian Straw releases “Silent Partner.” The single is a bonus track from Straw’s debut full-length album, Baby Stars/Dead Languages, which was released in January to praise by new listeners, long-time fans, and critics alike.

A song about missed chances and making up for lost time, Straw wrote “Silent Partner” when he quit drinking and struggled to find himself. “This is a song of transition and the journey to becoming who I am. Moving away from pain and learning to embrace the now is a theme,” he says. “The range of emotions I was juggling is on display. Heartache and hope intertwine.” It also pays homage to one of his favorite artists. “‘At 42 I’m remembering what to do / gauge my worth to Earle’s Transcendental Blues’ is a nod to Steve Earle and my goals as a songwriter.”

Singer-songwriter Sophie Auster is thrilled to release her new single “Hey Girlfriend” that is out now and featured on Wonderland Magazine“Hey Girlfriend” is off Sophie new EP, Dancing With Strangers that will be released May 6th.

Sophie says, I wrote Hey, Girlfriend about deep attachments between non-sexual female friends that include attraction, jealousy, and love.  There is no word in English for a passionate non-sexual friendship between women. Scholars have a term called “Romantic friendship”, but it is not widely known or used in popular culture. I wanted to write this song about the feeling of loss after I drifted apart from my best friend growing up. I think it is a story that almost every woman in the world can relate to, but to my knowledge, there aren’t many songs written about it.

Run Away, Star2’s staggering new “conscious rap” release, documents the crushing social and environmental catastrophes that plague our world and consume us with alarm and despair, including the horrific invasion in Ukraine. Woven in his sobering retrospective is his personal sorrow and anguish growing up without a mother and father in a refugee camp in South East Asia – fleeing genocide and ethnic cleansing of his Ka-ren people by the brutal Burmese Army and Myanmar Military Regime.

The acoustic guitar song begins with a haunting arpeggiating guitar intro that flows into Star2’s almost spoken narrative about the world’s ills and his own hollow suffering, “we should appreciate things we have in life, appreciate your mama and papa…I’m one of those kids who grew up with no parents you see…it’s ok, it’ ok, it’s what I say to myself everyday…but deep down I ain’t feeling ok, I been puttin on a fake smile every day! I been putting on a fake smile.”

The song builds through the first verse and at the chorus carries to the arpeggiating guitar’s actualization, along with haunting, filtered vocals, and a sustained bass synth which support the song’s intense emotional refrain:  “I just wanna go away, just wanna go away, I just wanna run away, got me thinkin, fuck the world … this place ain’t safe.”Part religious testimony, part philosopher’s insight, Star2 directs us to consider what the rest of the world is facing and how they are suffering – also how people are in misery and anguish because of homelessness, poverty, violence, and war.

“…So mean, so unfair.  People suffer every day, with these hurricanes them viruses.  It’s all real shit, killing thousands of people every day. I pray to God to bless this place, to make this world a safer place…”

“Abercrombie & Fitch Boy,” co-written by Dorian Electra, feels the way that Abercrombie & Fitch stores smell: f*cking amazing. The song is simultaneously a hormone-induced ode to V-lines and a Y2K nostalgist retrospective. Myylo plays up the campiness in the music video where he uses a magical spell book to transform Abercrombie bags into Abercrombie models. Abercrombie & Fitch Boy shimmers and sparkles like “Summer Girls” by LFO, “Last Day on Earth” by BeaBaDooBee, and “Girl on TV” by Chloe Moriondo.Myylo is set to release his debut album in 2022. 2021 saw the artist co-writing viral songs like “Somebody I Fucked Once” for Zolita and producing for the likes of Dorian Electra. In 2022, fans can expect to get fed 9 new songs and multiple music videos.

About Lee Charm

This Jersey City, New Jersey native’s musical influence came from the church, where he acquired his mannerisms and love for music from his parents, who both served as ministers. It was there that he learned how to play the piano and began to hone his craft. Lee has performed at many music venues, including the renowned MGM studios, Radio Disney, China Club, the International Yo-Yo Conference, Nassau Bahamas Music Festival and more. He has also shared the stage with artists such as Sean Paul, Ciara, and TI, amongst others. Lee is currently hard at work on his much anticipated debut EP, Leroy and a promotional tour to support that effort. 

Chrome Daphne is a Toronto-based duo comprised of producer/multi-instrumentalists Chris da Silva and Jay Cherr. Futuristic dance grooves coalesce with moody R&B, as this distinctive pair weave rich synthetic textures into the warmth of analog instrumentation.

One half of Chrome Daphne is Chris da Silva, hailing from Toronto, ON. An established fixture in the Toronto concert scene, Chris served as Operations Manager at the Danforth Music Hall for many years, running over one thousand marquee events during his tenure at the venue. While maintaining this demanding schedule he continued to work on music obsessively after work hours, drawing inspiration from the wide array of performers he had the privilege of viewing and interacting with. Chris now chooses to focus on music full-time, producing with and working as a session musician for numerous Toronto artists. He has collaborated/recorded with the likes of Keys N Krates, Terrell Morris, Losh (Free n Losh), Ernesto Barahona (The Arkells, Bedouin Soundclash), The Pick Brothers Band, Your Hunni, and many more.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School of Music celebrates its evolution with a new tradition and an infectious hip-hop sound, successfully bridging the cultural divide while showing people how to have a good time. The Marching Illini’s Low Brass Cheer is a blues riff that has been played during Illini Football games for decades. Professor Lamont Holden took the instrumentation and added some Drumline-like snares, following the Atlantic sequencing formula to create the Illini Anthem.

 Illinois alumni, Jarrel Young and Professor Holden, also known as TheLetterLBeats, linked up to make a sensational anthem and music video that is inspiring a movement. The song’s message was originally for the university’s sports teams, but its impact has transcended the university’s confines, evoking positive energy that bleeds into surrounding neighborhoods. The University of Illinois has become the desired location for education and self-discovery, producing graduates that make notable contributions to society.  

“Other kids from the C-U community who look like me can see from their own eyes that you can be anything you wanna be. The Illini Anthem just broke an old cycle and created a new one all at once. My take on the Illini Anthem reminds me of a “New Wave. It was an honor to be a part of history. Being the first rap/hip-hop fight song to represent a Big 10 University is monumental. Being from Champaign, this anthem hits home for me”, states Jarrel Young.

Over the last 5 years, Punctual have become the secret weapon for countless pop producers, finding success as studio authorities and dancefloor selectors. Behind the scenes, they’re responsible for #1 hits tied to Jason DeruloRudimental RayeSigalaSonny Fodera, and JP Cooper to name a few.

Following the new single, the guys will release their debut EP on Monstercat in May 2022.

Beth Keeping is a UK based singer/songwriter with a captivating voice and eloquent flair for storytelling. With colourful pop melodies and empowering themes, her honest and wistful songwriting has connected with people around the world, with self-worth and sincerity being at the forefront of her music.

Inspired by artists such as Lauv, Julia Michaels and John Mayer and with a Taylor Swift-esque style, Keeping has gained global attention, travelling to Singapore, Ireland and the USA to lend her writing skills to other artists. After receiving an allied response from fans and critics for some of her previous releases, and gaining close to a million views on TikTok over the pandemic, Keeping felt inspired to start focusing on her own music as an artist.

“I’m not looking for a friend” is the vibey new single exploring situationships and self-confidence. With influences from electro-pop producer Zedd shining through, the liberating track is flushed with airy, uplifting melodies and playful synths, creating a dance-worthy, sing-along anthem. “It’s about being clear on what you want and intentional about going after it. It recognises that friendships can gradually develop into something more, and this process can be complicated and confusing, but you can’t sit in that space forever – eventually you have to make a decision either way.” In modern dating, we can get so preoccupied with acting cool and casual, and not wanting to show our hand, however the new track challenges people to be more intentional and open about what they want.

Keeping’s desire to champion and empower women is evident not only through her song lyrics, but also in her initiative ‘Write Like A Girl’, which shines a light on female songwriters. Having only been founded in 2018, it has grown exponentially with two UK tours and sell-out writers round shows in London, Newcastle and Bristol. These successes, along with her music gaining places on prestigious Spotify playlists such as New Music Friday and New Pop UK, is just a taste of what we expect to see from her in 2022.

MUZZ is rapidly rising to the very highest tier of British dance acts, whether it’s online with his inventive virtual reality worlds and extremely loyal fanbase, or live as one of the new wave of dance music headliners across the world’s largest festivals and hard-ticket clubs across the globe – all without deliberately taming his intense energy. The sound of MUZZ is clearly defined by rich, thought-provoking, and compelling storytelling and futuristic world-building with both his music and his visuals.

Despite the world in turmoil, 2020 was a phenomenal year for MUZZ. His critically acclaimed debut album ‘The Promised Land’ peaked at number 2 on the US Dance Album Charts, and reached the top 40s in the UK, as well as several nominations in British music awards including ‘Best Album’ & ‘Best Track’. The album was debuted with a massive live audiovisual spectacle with a full band and guest performances, making its way on the front page of Twitch and gathering over half a million viewers on the same night. 

Since the genesis of his career, MUZZ has released over 70 tracks across 9 different record labels (including Monstercat & BMG), collaborated with dance music icons Pendulum & Celldweller, toured extensively across 18 different countries, including hard ticket tours in Australia, New Zealand & Asia and has been featured on several AAA video game and movie titles including Fortnite, Fast & Furious, Watch Dogs, Need For Speed, Rocket League & Beat Sabre.

25 year old New York City Native Lisa Remar is a Japanese American record producer and singer songwriter. She released her first EP “Still Good” in the beginning of 2021 – Lisa continues to share deeply intimate moments through her timeless songs and unmistakable singing voice. 

Her new music is even more gut wrenching than our first impressions of her –  hi… the EP is an exciting, bittersweet collection that’ll have the listener singing along in the car after a long day. 

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

Socials: @neillfrazer

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Written by Neill Frazer

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