INsiders Guide: Adam Cousins, Apollo Lovely, MILCK, Matthew Bailey, Two Feet, Beau, Danny Bell & His Disappointments, Trey Lewis’, Banks 1433, vi0let, MONTE, Keegan Powell…..

Canadian country artist Adam Cousins is celebrating his current single, “Our Lives” and his new  nomination for Country Artist of the Year at the upcoming 2022 Forest City London Music Awards on June 26th. Written by Cousins and fellow artist, Owen Riegling, “Our Lives” was produced by CMAO nominated Shawn Moore. “Our Lives” draws on a few of Cousins’ own influences like Jason
Aldean, Keith Urban, and Alan Jackson, and deliberately strays away from the mainstream pop country sound. Instead, the song is punctuated by full, raspy vocals, big guitars, and strong drums and bass, and tied together by rich country storytelling with a modern rock edge. In speaking about the single and video, Cousins says, “This song is about falling in love for the first time and the journey that lies ahead. For the video, I wanted to explore this by showing a couple with all the happiness in the world and their whole lives ahead of them, and how even when things might come to an end, there’s a lifetime of memories to look back on.” As a native of small-town Brussels, Ontario, Cousins is no stranger to the setting and atmosphere at the heart of “Our Lives”. Now based in London, Ontario – where he moved to pursue his country music ambitions – Cousins has enjoyed a swift series of industry firsts, starting with his first EP (“Dirt Road”) in 2019, his first music video, and his first taste of Canadian country radio play, all the way to two 2021 singles, with the most recent (“Young Again”) becoming his first track to be picked up for regular rotation on CBC Country/Sirius XM in Canada. At the same time, Cousins has eagerly developed his live show chops around Ontario in towns like London and Kitchener and at venues like Big Texas and Oshawa Coral – opening in the past for Manny Blu, with a prime spot at the Hagersville Rocks Music Festival (top-lined by Aaron Pritchett and Dan Davidson) set this summer for July 23rd.

“Our Lives” is the first of three 2022 singles from the emerging artist and captures the authentic
sonic brand that he’s been carefully crafting. Cousins says, “The sound we’ve crafted for this song is a goal that I have been working towards for years. I want to combine timeless storytelling with a production quality that feels dynamic and original – for listeners, it’s something that feels familiar but presented in a way that’s creative. For my next two tracks, I want to maintain that fresh sensibility that we’ve brought to ‘Our Lives’, while also staying true to the sound and storytelling that I love about classic country music.”

Catch Me” is about a person I was seeing several years ago.

You can listen to the new single on streaming platforms everywhere now.

She was a bit of a princess and used to always getting everything she wanted. I was never really committed to the relationship and would often remind her of our ‘not serious’ status, but that would only make her want me more. And the more she wanted me, the more I pushed her away.

Our relationship was basically a game of cat and mouse. There were a couple times where I literally ran away from her, hid in the park across the street from my house, and watched her bang on my front door. Although not very healthy, I think we both liked the game of it all.

A cat will often come close to you to be petted, but stay just at the edge of your reach. So I sing with a teasing and aloof delivery to give the song a coy and playful feeling.

You can watch the lyric video for “Catch Me” by motion designer Benoit Massé on YouTube. We were inspired by the funk and upbeat elements of the song, hence the semi psychedelic vibe of the animation.

Thank you for checking it out,

Kim Ho of Apollo Lovely

Tune in to the Virtual Rally:

*MILCK speech & performance at 1:50pm ET

Tomorrow, Singer-Songwriter, Producer & Advocate MILCK will join 160+ artists, creators, and storytellers in solidarity to protest the Supreme Court’s plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, taking away the constitutional right to abortion. MILCK will participate in Planned Parenthood’s Virtual Rally available to watch via Facebook starting at 10:00am EST, with a speech and performance from MILCK at 1:50pm EST. See the livestream HERE.

Currently MILCK is curating a new song “We Won’t Go Back” which has become the main theme of the movement, stemming from the recent march that occurred in DC, for which MILCK participated in. Attendees of the march were chanting “We Won’t Go Back” to protest against the political attempt to take the nation back to a time before the results of Roe v. Wade. MILCK has turned the song into an urgent anthem offering the audio to her community by way of social media with the intention that others will contribute their voices and stories. 

This is a full-circle moment for MILCK, who five years ago became known around the globe for the viral performance of her song “Quiet” during the Women’s March. “Quiet” became the unofficial anthem of the movement, was named Billboard’s No.1 Protest Song, and was selected for NPR’s American Anthem Series.

Since then, MILCK has become deeply involved in the advocacy of human rights. Her single “Somebody’s Beloved” came out during the Black Lives Matter protests and chronicles the life-shattering effects of systemic racism in America. Following the song’s release, MILCK established The Somebody’s Beloved Fund, to use her music to generate resources for ten grassroots beneficiaries that build power around racial justice, feminism, LGBTQIA+ rights, criminal justice reform and mental health. 

My name is Matthew Bailey. I’m a Toronto-based musician and producer
who has toured in the bands of some of Canada’s top songwriters,
including Andy Shauf and Charlotte Cornfield.
Diamonds,” my new solo track, is a dream-pop song which explores the life of a character inspired by the Canadian diamond mining tycoon and geologist, Eira Thomas.

Reading Ed Caesar’s profile of her company in The New Yorker led me to wonder about her personal life. Who was she, behind the renegade businesswoman exterior? And what was her emotional journey, beyond the building of her diamond empire? I imagined a fictionalized version of her life story and explored it through the song’s narrative.

Electro-soul artist Two Feet debuts a beautifully transitional, new full-length album Shape & FormThe project maintains Two Feet’s mysterious aesthetic, but shows a new era — one that is rooted in themes of film noir and vintage aesthetics. 

 Shape & Form is the album I am most proud of to date. To me, it feels like my most complete body of work,” expresses Two Feet. “I put a lot of thought into it when I was putting it together and it really feels like a body of work, not just a string of singles.”

 Two Feet explains that the project feels a little like “an eclectic mess” including house records, shoegaze rock, new experimental instruments, and classic Two Feet sounds. Shape & Form represents all that he’s done and gone through in the past few years. “Whatever comes, comes and whatever goes, goes,” was his mentality through the making of the record. The NY-bred virtuoso hopes fans, old and new, see his growth isn’t just linear but rather a blossoming in every direction. 

 “Another thing I love about this album is the artwork. I have always loved the visual arts, I own a lot of paintings and wanted to tie that into all the singles. Each single art and the album cover is an original painting – something that feels super unique and special to me. I tied that theme into the title Shape & Form which seemed to really encapsulate a lot of the themes of the album as well,” explains Two Feet.

 All of the artwork across the project, from each single cover to the album artwork, was inspired by American abstract painter Mark Rothko. Similar to Two Feet’s musical direction and intent for the new project Shape & FormRothko’s goal was to capture the essence of basic human emotions on the canvas and then evoke those emotions from his viewers. The first song from the album “Fire In My Head” features the line, “Girl I don’t want nobody else, You say I’m looking like a Rothko.” Two Feet explains that it was this lyric that set the scene for the artwork being paintings as the original demo title for that song was called “Rothko.” 

Range Media alternative pop recording duo Beau today release their brand new single “Hardly Breathing” through their partnership with Virgin Music Label & Artist Services.

Beau’s masterful songwriting is on full display in “Hardly Breathing”. The duo’s lush voices reel you in immediately with hauntingly beautiful melodies crescendoing into the climax of the song where a distorted guitar overtakes the piano and drums. The song is a perfect summer song that gets you dreaming of being on a windswept beach.

Beau says, “‘Hardly Breathing’ was written on a hot summer day in Brooklyn, where the melody came all at once. It’s an intense journey of bittersweet love. Love takes courage, and it’s a wave you ride.”

“Hardly Breathing”’ follows the release of their EP Forever, which was released in February 2022. Forever amassed over 350K streams on Spotify and the new single is expected to continue that success. 

Beau have received praise for their releases over the past few years from numerous tastemaker publications including: The New York Times, Paper,  NME, Noisey, W Magazine, Vanity Fair, and more. Forever was reviewed by Atwood Magazine who said, “Sweetly cinematic and intimately tender, Beau’s radiant new EP is an emphatic, exhilarating return that reminds us both how and why we fell for the NYC duo in the first place: Marrying catchy, colorful indie rock with deeply cathartic emotion, Forever is as vulnerable as it is wondrous: A stirring four-track release that leaves our curiosity piqued and our hearts hungry for more.”

Beau has toured the world opening for acts including the Voidz, Miike Snow, Børns, Edward Sharpe and have become well known staples in the fashion world, performing at fashion shows in Paris for Chloe and in NYC for Rebecca Minkoff. 

Beau will be releasing more new music in 2022 and will be announcing new tour dates as the year goes on.

Photo Credit: Evann Campbell

BC indie folk group Danny Bell and His Disappointments are back with their regional flavoured accordion-led folk/country/punk tunes! Their new single and video ‘Killing Birds’ is out today on all digital streaming platforms. Listen here“‘Killing Birds’ is the first single and title track from Danny Bell and His Disappointments’ new EP set for release on June 2nd.

The video was filmed on Treaty 8 and Lheidli T’enneh Territory at a dance studio in Prince George and an abandoned sawmill just outside of Mackenzie, BC. The mill is the setting and inspiration for the song itself. Shot by Adam Harasimiuk of Frost Films, the video follows the imagination of a mill caretaker with time on their hands.

“Based on a true story, ‘Killing Birds’ explores the daily life of a caretaker for an abandoned sawmill,” says Danny. “The song guesses at the workers identity based on the things he leaves behind after his shifts at the mill. The song was inspired by exercise equipment, a blowup mattress, a set of golf clubs, BB guns, and a sign out front that says ‘Honk 4 Help.’”

Country singer, Trey Lewis’ new single “Whatever She Sees In Me” is out now along with the music video. The song was written to honor his own mother as an anthem for all mothers! The release follows on the tails of singles, “Good to Know People,” “Hate This Town,” and “Single Again.”

Trey says, “My mom has always supported me even through my darkest times. I wanted to express my gratitude the best way I know how.  I wrote ‘Whatever She Sees In Me’ with Lee Starr, Davis Corley, and Ryan Rossebo.  Play this for your mom and tell her how much she means to you.”

Baltimore native, Los Angeles based artist Banks 1433 concocts motivational music with a unique hip-hop flavor that melts across our ear waves. Indicative of artists like Juice WRLD and Polo G, his charismatic rap vocals that bounce atop buzzing beats take you on an exhilarating ride. His latest single “Lane Switch ” possesses all that bold confidence as he sings of getting money and the daily hustle. His lyric states, “never got used to being average” and that reminds listeners to push for greatness everyday.Banks 1433 began his career as an architect. As much as he loved building design, he knew he was meant for something more. His colorful personality paired with his industrious business sense allowed him to put his skills to use as a brand manager in the entertainment scene. Banks is on the branding team for the Beverly Hills Institute of Fashion design and his eye for what is pleasing in fashion has translated into creating a musical style that is satisfying to fans. “As an artist my primary goal is to make sure that my fans are aesthetically pleased with my sound as well as the taste makers in the industry. I work hard to make sure a transformative message is being expressed through my lyrics.”The artist on the rise formed his project when he connected with prominent producer Jayre and laid vocals on some songs. His aim with his content is to make tracks that are magnetic and catchy, sucking you in with attention-grabbing hooks. Two years ago he began making music professionally and has not stopped spreading his message since. He reveals, “I just like building things, so I use music to send messages as a way to get my meaning out there, it’s like a social justice movement.”

Photo credit: Libby Cooper

London-based singer-songwriter vi0let has been quietly working on new material for the past year, and today she reveals her stunning new single ‘Over & Over’ featuring Brighton-based Serbian artist Jymenik,

Listen HERE

Watch the video HERE

“Over and Over” arrives as a sultry and dark, well-paced track which effortlessly combines R&B with trap sonics. Silky vocals aligned with dreamy production make this an exciting next move for the rising artist.

Lyrically, the song details a romantic back and forth between wanting to love someone but fearing the rejection they once showed you. It’s about wanting to be with someone for the wrong reasons and coming back to it over and over again. Both artists not only exude confidence throughout the song, but they also display a vulnerability in their lyrics which instantly connects with listeners. 

“The intention behind writing the song originally came from a place of heartbreak. I was still processing an extremely toxic relationship I had left and reflected on how I feel they viewed me. I felt like an idiot for so long constantly going back to the relationship which is how the chorus came to be. When producing the track with Jomo Kru, it became less of a sad song and more of a dark and mysterious ballad. It gave me a feeling of confidence although its quite the intimate track. Once we had the song down, I instantly thought of Jymenik for this track. She radiates a dark and mysterious energy and I knew her voice would take this song to the next level.”vi0let.

MONTE was formed by singer and lead guitarist, Caitlin Montclare in 2017, later adding drummer and audio engineer, Ismael Baiz, and bassist Meghan Rose to the official line- up. Since becoming MONTE, the band has released several singles, two EPs and performed more than 50 shows throughout the United States, including renowned New York venues such as “The Knitting Factory” and “The Bowery Electric”  MONTE will be announcing streaming dates and live tour dates for the summer 2022 in addition to their single and upcoming EP This is MONTE.

MONTE is influenced by a lot of bands from the late 80’s and early 90’s such as punk bands The Lunachicks, NOFX, Bad Religion, The Offspring and metal bands like Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Plasmatics. Montclare takes an old school sound and puts her own spin on it with the band adding interesting chord changes, riffs, and song structure. Drummer, Ismael Baiz likes to call this “The MONTE pocket”

My debut solo album, Previous Pain, started from a place of feeling like I had nothing. My band of many years, and other relationships in my life, had all come to end when I started work on this record three years ago.

Once I realized that zero is actually a very advantageous place to start from, I accepted my journey as an independent artist and honored the freedom that brings. Taking that leap allowed these songs to pour out of me.

Stream Previous Pain now via your preferred streaming service.

 The album leads with “World Awake,” a reflection on how the generation I was born into is simply too aware for our own good; with a world of information and answers at our fingertips. How do you subdue the phantoms of your mind that seek the world’s knowledge?

The video for “World Awake,” co-directed by myself and Kellie Hogan, further plays on the theme of being trapped by the small yet severe casual contingencies that hang over us in everyday lives: our phones, mirrors, money – sacred ones and zeros.
Through the making of this album, I realized that control is the hardest thing to grasp in one’s life. I want you to know that you can change as a person if you allow yourself to.
It will scab your skin and your hands will bleed, but you will have a better grip on yourself after. That’s what Previous Pain is to me. I have a grip now.

Thanks for giving it a listen,

Keegan Powell

Socials: @neillfrazer

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

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INsiders Guide: courtship., Cassidy Mann, Keegan Powell, MAUD, Queer|Art, Wax on Water, Dana Gavanski, AIR APPARENT, BONES, Sophia Fracassi, Gretchen Klempa….

NE-YO Returns with New Single “Don’t Love Me” via Motown Records