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INsiders Guide: EWAN MACFARLANE, SILVY, CAT SFX, Congregation of Drones, SPRTYK, PIZZA CRUNCH, Power Pose, Baker Grace, Vale…

EWAN MACFARLANE (Apollo 440 / Grim Northern Social) sways back into the spotlight with new single: ‘Tangled’. 

A feedback-drenched rock ballad to rival the best, the new track swiftly follows recent single ‘All Those Years’ and finds Ewan paving the way towards his eagerly anticipated second solo album,‘MILK’ (confirmed for release this Autumn).

WATCH THE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR “TANGLED” HERE
 STREAM ON ALL SERVICES HERE

Dramatic, rootsy rock with an undercurrent of Americana-tinged songcraft, ‘Tangled’ is also performed with a forceful, grunge-like intensity which only amplifies its emotional punch. Ewan’s voice further powers its passionate heart, his poise and control matched by the raw feeling of an artist who delivers every line with utmost conviction. A love song as complicated as its title might allude, it finds Ewan exploring the often unconventional and knotted nature of the relationships we form. As Ewan explains:

“‘Tangled’ comes across as an almost possessive type of love song in the realms of ‘Every Breath You Take’. Although it screams a neediness, it also exudes a more in depth meaning about its tangible content. It’s about being caught up so much in your lover that you almost can’t get close enough and therefore you need to be literally ‘tangled’ in each other with the twists and turns of life. That desire exceeds anything that life throws at you.” 

Thai-Italian pop activist SILVY makes a bright return with her body positivity Summer anthem “We Are Beautiful” – the latest in a string of releases since the openly queer artist signed with Warner Music Asia.

A bold number taken from her upcoming debut album and arriving right in time for Pride celebrations, “We Are Beautiful” is a sassy, funk-flavoured blend of sunny pop sounds and SILVY’s signature powerhouse vocals. Meanwhile, the music video offers colourful, campy fun and triumphant dance moments to bring the uplifting message of the track to life, as well as SILVY’s daring, audacious fashion looks.

SILVY made the following statement regarding “We Are Beautiful”: “Beauty is in everything – but before I learnt that, I learnt the hard way about trying to become “beautiful” the way society expected of me; this word tortured me for my whole life. You have to be ‘this’; you have to be ‘that’; you feel beautiful only when other people tell it to you. However, I twist this into a win with this song. Uplifting, affirming, celebratory – it’s not my song, it’s our song to celebrate and feel beautiful together. When you sing it, listen to it. Love yourself. Love yourself more and enjoy life to the fullest. Once you love yourself and start believing in yourself, magic happens✨”

“London punks determined to smash the status quo… Think X-Ray Spex, Siouxsie and the Banshees and early Garbage frantically descending on Downing Street with clenched teeth and raised fists/” – NME 
“Her pinchy Manics drenched punky indie pop is full of ritz, angst and glam.” – LOUDER THAN WAR
“A precocious, defiantly independent artist.” – CLASH 

CAT SFX tread toward more infectious territory with their latest single “Binman”, out today (1 July) via It’s Creation Baby.

The single arrives as the first teaser of the band’s debut EP: ‘Binman’, due 15 July. 

STREAM ON ALL SERVICES HERE || YOUTUBE HERE

Chewing through an angsty yet melodic mesh of jittery guitar strums and a melodic and catchy chorus, Cat SFX’s latest offering boasts the breadth of the band as they embrace more ethereal sonic territory that nods to the works of alt/rock visionaries like PJ Harvey or 80s new-wave trailblazers like Psychedelic Furs.

Where recent single “Rodeo” was outspoken and punk-powered, “Binman” arrives as an all-the-more measured affair, with country-tinged rhythmic guitar lines undercutting crystal-clear vocals that touch on the inner struggles that come with clearing up the wreckage of your own mistakes. 

Of the new single, the band’s lead vocalist Cat Speranza explains: 

“”Binman” is about a toxic relationship: the one between me and alcohol. It’s about the fights that you have with your loved one because you’re so drunk again and have caused carnage, and you’re trying to pick up the pieces the next day. And you make up all these excuses, to yourself, to others. So I’m the Binman. I’m the trash that needs taking out.” 

Twenty Twenty is the debut album by Congregation of Drones, the electro-acoustic duo comprised of renowned violinist Pauline Kim Harris and boundary-pushing electronic artist Jesse Stiles.  The album was recorded live on two dates: February 27, and October 3, 2020.  The first two pieces were performed in person, at Carnegie Mellon University, twelve days before the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and nationwide lockdowns began.  In these recordings, an ominous presence seems to loom on the horizon, foreshadowing the havoc that would soon be unleashed – and that would derail the production of the album for many months.  

In the early months of the pandemic, Pauline and Jesse returned to their respective homes in NYC and Pittsburgh as the music world collapsed around them.   After an involuntary hiatus, Pauline and Jesse resumed their recordings using experimental tools for live performance over the web.  The final two pieces on the record were recorded the day after then-president Donald Trump entered the hospital to receive an experimental coronavirus treatment.  These pieces traverse emotional landscapes expansively – dashing from mournful chords, to wild outbursts, to strident melodic figures forming complex structures of sound. 

The album takes its name from the year in which it was recorded, and from the idiom “hindsight is twenty-twenty.”  The titles of each piece are taken from the front page of the New York Times on the day on which the piece was recorded.  Twenty Twenty will be released by Every Possible Recording in the summer of 2022.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Congregation of Drones is an electro-acoustic duo comprised of Pauline Kim Harris (violin) and Jesse Stiles (electronics). Their work presents the listener with immersive, surreal soundscapes created through live processing and experimental sound synthesis. The music of Congregation of Drones is both extreme and approachable, dashing between delicate fields of chattering chirps and pizzicato pulses into roaring tunnels of cascading harmonic energy.

The duo combines Harris’ virtuosic visceral chops with Stiles’ singular approach to sampling, spatialization, and signal processing to create elaborate musical structures where time seems to fold in on itself as the performance unfolds.  In recent years Pauline and Jesse have performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Paris Opera, Issue Project Room, BAM and many other renowned stages.  The debut album from Congregation of Drones, Twenty Twenty, is forthcoming in the summer of 2022 and will be premiered at Roulette.  This album is a massive new body of music that merges daring and shockingly emotional strings with torrents of pulsating electronics.

Jesse Stiles is an electronic composer, performer, installation artist, and software designer.  In his music and artwork, Stiles creates immersive multisensory environments that encourage new methods of listening and looking.  Stiles’ work has been featured at internationally recognized institutions including the Paris Opera, Lincoln Center, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  Stiles has appeared multiple times at Carnegie Hall, performing as a soloist with electronic instruments.  

Stiles has collaborated with many leading figures in experimental music including Pauline Oliveros, Meredith Monk, David Behrman, and Morton Subotnick.  He has been featured as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony and the New World Symphony.  Stiles is part of the electro-acoustic duo Congregation of Drones with the GRAMMY®-winning violinist/composer Pauline Kim Harris, a collaboration which has been active since 2019.  

https://congregationofdrones.bandcamp.com/album/twenty-twenty

The Bronx, New York, is home to many mythical rap figures. From Fat Joe and KRS-One, down to Grandmaster Flash, Slick Rick and Cardi B — it’s no secret the concrete-bound borough is home to some generational talent.  SPRTYK is no exception.  

The NY rap queen is the embodiment of a renaissance artist, turning her hand to any instrumental and tackling it head-on. For confirmation, look no further than SPRTYK’s latest offering, ‘Reggie Rocket’.  

‘Reggie Rocket’ pulls heavily from the hard-cut New York rap delivery reminiscent of The LOX, Mobb Deep, Remy Ma and Method Man. With a legendary crop of inspiration and boatloads of style, SPRTYK conjures up a trap-flavoured street anthem. With an artwork that can only be described as Spike Lee meets the Bratz, the cover immediately lets you know what you’re in for.   

Don’t let the track’s two-minute length fool you: producer Michael Mattice II scatters bellowing 808 drum kicks, a thick, bouncy bassline and quotable ad-libs throughout.  

Glasgow alternative-rock group Pizza Crunch are pleased to announce their follow up single to ‘Young Excitement‘ with new track ‘Wilting Youth’, which is set to be released on the 8th of July. The band are excited to release this track, having played it live at a sold-out King Tuts as well as at the Left of the Dial festival in Rotterdam and Stockton Calling. This release is the second of a plethora that will be unveiled this summer. 

Unlike the reflective tone of previous single ‘Young Excitement’, Wilting Youth arrives from a more yielded perspective, as the lyrics openly admit that the bright, vibrant days of the past have not only vanished, but they aren’t returning.  The track was produced, mixed and mastered by Chris Marshall (Baby Strange, Gerry Cinnamon and Declan Welsh and the Decadent West) at Castle of Doom Studios. 

Brooklyn-based rock duo Power Pose share their defiant debut full-length album, I’m Looking, out everywhere now. Celebrate the release with Power Pose’s official album release show at Bar Freda in NYC joined by The Rizzos and Freezing Cold. Find more information here.

United by their friendship and shared sense of purpose, Jacqueline Bodley (guitar/vocals) and Kelly Rudman (drums) formed Power Pose in 2017. After overcoming several personal obstacles and the pandemic further delaying their creative process, the duo is now arriving on the scene with a fierce seven track LP. With evocative lyricism and raw fervor, the songs shed light on the experience of womanhood and the struggle to reclaim one’s agency, which feels particularly timely today. After last week’s devastating Supreme Court decision, reproductive rights have effectively been stripped and the future of America feels especially dark. The need for feminist voices to speak up has taken on a new urgency, and Power Pose is here to be heard.

The commanding debut album I’m Looking provides space for the duo to approach their womanhood with a fresh perspective as they explore themes like desire, agency, modern romance and everything in between. They are unafraid to confront emotions ranging from rage to carefree joy while they find strength in taking back their space and bodies. Providing some context, Bodley explains, The tone of the album was heavily influenced by what was going on culturally at the time. MeToo was a huge part of the news when we first started writing music together, and there seemed to be constant think pieces being published that explored women’s perspectives in unprecedented ways.” Bodley adds, “This got us thinking about our past experiences in a new light. The ways that women are socialized to approach desire and pleasure, the ways we are stereotyped and objectified, the ways that we are expected to behave and the coping mechanisms we develop to navigate social pressures. These were all themes that were simmering in our minds when we wrote these songs.” Feminist and fearless, Power Pose offer a gritty and honest point of view that brings catharsis during a time of reckoning.

The album’s lead single, “Honey,” pays homage to Joan Jett’s anthemic rock-n-roll style, kicking off with a pounding drum beat that hammers through the song’s core. The track’s thumping rhythm, winding bass groove and infectious guitar riffs get your body moving. Sultry vocals give the tune a flirtatious, playful energy as the duo remains carefree, confident and unabashedly themselves. Its accompanying video, shot DIY-style on an iPhone, allows the band to play with identity and blur reality and fantasy, becoming the stars of their own colorful dance party.

“The lyrics for “Honey” originated in a dark place, but the song transforms that darkness into something joyful and empowering,” says Bodley. During 2018, Bodley struggled with health issues that led her to spend time at home, watching TV and feeling isolated from the outside world. Bodley continues, “When you aren’t well, it’s easy to lose confidence and feel disconnected from your physical self. “Honey” is about someone living vicariously through the media they consume and plunging into fantasy to escape their reality. Ultimately, the narrator wakes herself up to reclaim her strength and sexual confidence. The song is about shaking off your insecurities and completely letting go. Its danceability celebrates the feeling of moving and connecting with your body.”

BAKER GRACE
Little Magic” ft. Sabino

• “‘Little Magic’ is a song about the fear that comes with falling in love. The moment when love turns to dependency and you feel like you can’t live without the other person. I wrote this in LA with a songwriter from Mexico and producer from Peru. I’m so grateful Sabino hopped on to make it the track what you hear today.” – Baker Grace

• “Little Magic” is the latest standalone single from 22-year-old pop singer-songwriter Baker Grace, this time pairing her with famed Latin artist Sabino. The song explores the idea of two people who are addicted to each other. Love can feel like a drug and it’s dangerous when one’s worth as a person depends on somebody else.

• This release further cements Baker Grace as a global artist who earlier this year performed at Mexico’s Pa’l Norte festival alongside previous collaborator Charlie Rodd. Songwriting sessions in LA, NYC, Toronto, and Europe will follow this summer.

VALÉ
plain chip

• “‘plain chip’ is inspired by a relationship of a friend that was unhappy and over the relationship, yet still stuck by her partner that clearly didn’t value her at all. When writing the song, I tried to think of light-hearted phrases one could use to describe someone that isn’t interesting or out of this world, and we came up with ‘plain chip’!” – VALÉ

• “plain chip” is a pretty experimental song for VALÉ sonically, bringing sounds of robotic pop, which drew her attention the first time she heard the track.

• “I hope this song makes everyone realize that they don’t have to settle for less! This is a common feeling to have at any age and this song is a reminder that you are a gem that deserves to be treated accordingly and to never let anyone make you feel smaller than that.” -VALÉ

 Indie pop duo Chaos Emeralds are thrilled to release their new single “Losing My Cool” that is out now and featured on Under the Radar“Losing My Cool” is featured on their new album II to be released on July 28th.  Recently they released the first single from the album “No Pressure”  is out now.
 
The band says, “Losing My Cool” is about trying to redirect the intense energies of anger and frustration into something productive before it consumes you. You can also dance to it which is nice.”
 
Known for soaring melodies and spellbinding synthesizers, Nashville-born electropop duo Chaos Emeralds pair feather-light falsetto with driving, electronic beats to conjure the woozy energy of summer love, glittering dance parties, and modern, existential freedom. There’s a captivating cleanliness to their sound, reminiscent of European electropop acts like Phoenix and M83, but distorted and enriched by the combined virtuosity of Ellsworth’s classical piano and Andrews’s slick production. Chaos Emeralds music feels both hyper-familiar and brand-spanking-new: pure pop melodies made sleek and surprising, cinematic swells that just keep expanding, and a pure intensity that’s hard to shake, even long after the tracks fade. With the July release of their sophomore album II, Chaos Emeralds solidify their standing as lovable, hyper-creative hitmakers at the forefront of the indie-electropop scene.

It’s about the collide. The light with the dark.  The old with the new. Emily Jean Flack is an artist. A traditionalist at heart with a love to roam – she continues to captivate audiences with her soaring voice, dynamic arrangements and her honest words. “Growing up playing Celtic music gave me the fire. Listening to country and folk gave me the soul.  Emulating female vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Celine Dion, Enya and Allison Krauss — I started to dream. Then I began to write and from there, things started to collide.” 

Her story really took off in 2016 when Emily moved to Limerick, Ireland.  By day she was pursuing her MA in Traditional Irish Song at the University of Limerick and by night she was writing her own contemporary songs. She went on to connect with long-time friend and Belfast-based producer Pete Wallace to create what would become her debut contemporary folk EP-Throwing Shapes. The tracks feature a collection of some of Belfast’s most sought after musicians, Irish traditional artists Brian Finnegan (Flook) and Marty Barry and legendary Canadian mixing engineer David Bottrill (Peter Gabriel). The success of the EP brought Emily to perform at JUNOFEST 2019 along with several tours throughout Canada, France, Germany, and the USA both as a solo and guest artist. HotPress described the project as a “modern and inventive take on Irish folk music”. 

electro soul –singer Oriel is thrilled to release her new music video for her single “Freedom” that can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uWFa4GxVLg. The music video was made in collaboration with Team 3XT, Directed by Ali Roberto, Creative Directed by Oriel. “Freedom” has already garnered over 600,000 streams on Spotify.
 
This song ‘Freedom’ is a call to action – to live and create from a heart-centered life – to step into a life with passion and purpose. I believe we may all find the path and have access to our personal Freedom, because “the truth is in our hearts.”
 
Oriel says, Recently I completed a 10-day silent meditation retreat where we learned about Samadhi. Samadhi can be understood as a return to one’s original state of balance. My time in silence has caused me to understand freedom from a new vantage point, as freedom from the mind. ‘Freedom’ is the liberation from things that keep us small, whether it be with our relationship to external events or circumstances or our relationship to our internal trauma, fears, or negative thought patterns. ‘Freedom’ is a state of being, a road map out of all which keeps us in a state of suffering. For when we release our monkey mind, our attachments, and our cravings, what we are left with is simply the pure nature of our being. When we are able to step into a state of mind untainted by the challenges of life, we find ourselves in a state of inner peace, in an experience of ease and joy. And more importantly, a connection to self-love, and love for each other.
 
Blending the worlds of music, art, and spirituality, Oriel is a multimedia artist who truly defies labeling. With hints of Lana Del Rey and Massive Attack, her music has evolved into a mixture of sensuality, emotion, and honesty that continues to captivate her listeners. Taking the helm of not only her musical vision, Oriel is deeply involved with the visual, having creative directed multiple music videos that continue to allure millions: both fans and new viewers alike. Born in the UK, Oriel grew up in the US and embarked upon a promising design career, but during the height of the recession following the economic crash, she discovered that her long time love, music, was her ultimate passion. Using the skills she honed as a production designer, Oriel now adapts her talents to self-manage and direct her music career. Being primarily self-taught, her melodies come from an intuitive feeling, rather than intellectual place. They are honest, free of pretense, and full of passion. Unburdened by what someone may have been taught or told they are supposed to do, her approach allows her to improvise and court inspiration wherever she finds it. Just as she has straddled the worlds of music and design, her songs float effortlessly between the worlds of the cosmic and of the human.
 
Upon the strength of the first piece of music she had ever written, which would become her debut single “Brighter”, Oriel was able to rally support from friends and new fans behind the creation of her debut EP, Sunday. This early success demonstrated that her decision to leave a promising design career was not just a lark, but the first steps of a true artist with unlimited potential.While she has been working on Sunday, Oriel has collaborated with a number of prominent artists and musicians including electro-band Lotus on their track “Anti-Gravity,” and downtempo producer Thriftworks’ song “Someone.” The former, she would go on to perform with the band at iconic venues like The Fonda in Los Angeles, and Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver. The latter would end up exposing her to many underground electronic music lovers. Building on her successes and momentum so far, the release of Sunday is the emergence of Oriel as an independent solo artist.

Brooklyn’s bold, eminent rapper Lola Brooke makes her highly anticipated return by releasing the official music video to her magnetic single “On My Mind.” The LVTRKEVIN (G Herbo, Rich The Kid, Lady London) directed music video made its world broadcast premiere via BET Jams courtesy of Team 80 Productions as the efficacious rising artist steps thoroughly into the forefront. Watch HERE.
 
“On My Mind” with its sizzling, sensual make, is brought to life with a cinematic visual offering that cements the internationally revered rap phenom’s knack for grabbing viewer’s attention with her irresistible demeanor and lethal lyrical cadence to match. The video finds Lola sharply painting a picture of a New York love story to complement the sultry track. The video features a cameo from rising, Philly-born rapper Lil Rekk.

independent singer/songwriter, CG5 (Charlie Green), announces his new single and music video “Strangest Thing” inspired by his love of Netflix’s, “Stranger Things,”. CG5 takes viewers on an immersive experience with the video and truly transports them to “The Upside Down” accompanied by a bouncy beat and his soothing voice.

CG5 is not your average singer/songwriter. At a young age, he was diagnosed as neurodivergent. They used music in his therapies because they could see it was truly his FIRST language. In fact, he creates his songs and videos in a non-linear fashion. For this project – he created the visuals first THEN the music.

LISTEN TO “STRANGEST THINGS” 

“ I am inspired by the 80s. Everyone loves the nostalgia and aesthetics and I’ve always been a sucker for it,” explains CG5. “I grew up listening to this music and to be able to capture that in a music video is a dream come true. The most exciting part of this project is that I didn’t even have a song before I had an idea for the video! I conveyed this to the director, Justin (Marmo) Marmostein, and he took the challenge with his team where they created a treatment before having the song.”

The official music video, directed by Justin (Marmo) Marmostein, arrives alongside the single to instantly transport listeners to another world and the darkness of “The Upside Down”. The accompanying visuals highlight CG5’s playful tones and flawless vocals to give the listener a fully immersive experience, as if they were on a mysterious and exhilarating adventure themselves.

Coventry is quite the city, isn’t it? An unsung goldmine of the music world, the city has spawned many coveted rappers and musicians alike. From rappers Pa Salieu and JAY1 to the band Easy Life and legacy acts like Y2K star Punjabi MC — the stonework-laden city clearly has lots to offer. That’s where Mugun comes in.   

The rising Complex UK-co-signed rapper has had quite the career thus far. From his densely-woven breakout hit ‘Underglow’ to dancehall and Afroswing-tinged party riddims like ‘Handled’ — it’s clear the Midlands spitter has the Midas touch. Today, Mugun is back with a new single dubbed ‘Old Testament’. 

Standing as the third offering from his forthcoming mixtape, ‘More Queens’, ‘Old Testament’ marries together the things most synonymous with Mugun: his Jamaican style/heritage and his ability to craft rap earworms. ‘Old Testament’ boasts introspective rhyming, eerie synths and nocturnal drum programming to counterbalance the DIY, dancehall-inspired hook. Pure bliss.  

Spearheading a modern era of UK R&B, the double release is another stellar moment showcasing Olivia’s talent as a storyteller. Exploring a twisted, complex romance across the two tracks, “Friends” details a toxic love through sultry late-night vibes, before this love is then left behind in the empowering uplifting bop “Strangers”. 

Building a solid reputation for her art via a winning formula of creative, soulful songwriting and progressive R&B sounds, “Friends / Strangers” once again raises the bar for Olivia following on from critically acclaimed releases “Oblivion” and her Back to You EP – already championed by the likes of The Independent, Mixtape Madness, NOTION and Metal Magazine,“Friends / Strangers” is the latest move from a star primed to do big things this year and the potential to become as vital a voice in British R&B as Jorja Smith or Ray BLK. 

Singer-songwriter and vocal powerhouse Grace Davies has unveiled the official music video for her triumphant new single, ‘Wolves’, a rip-roaring power-punch to the past and a life-affirming ode to owning your mistakes. Along with the release, Grace has announced her first ever headline show at St. Pancras Old Church, London, taking place on 18th August 2022. Tickets go on sale at 10am this Friday, 8th July here

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Katya Ganfeld, the visual was shot at South London’s One Night Records, and follows Grace as she takes the stage at an avant-garde fashion show, parading in front of an eclectic cast of haughty, judgmental onlookers. She struts confidently across the stage, performing with self-assuredness in the face of her critics. 

Of the music video, Grace said: “One thing I said at the start of this campaign is: I want to feel like an artist – something I’ve never experienced before. That meant feeling fierce, confident, and loving what I was seeing on camera. I had such an incredible team of styling, makeup, hair, DOPs & directors around me who were all there to make me feel amazing – and I could not be more thankful. The song is about taking shit and coming out the other side feeling stronger – and that’s something I wanted this video to show: I’m back and better than ever, ready to take on whatever the world has got for me. Don’t test me when I’m in a red lip!”

While living in Vancouver, BC, the new material for Freehand emerged within the paradoxical spaces of experimenting with dispersed and concentrated rhythms. Colyn Cameron used the material to explore themes of technology, adventure, self-worth, and love with mild nods to worldly trepidation.

The first Merriam-Webster definition of ‘freehand’ is “done without mechanical aids or devices.” “Obviously we are indebted to the invaluable nature of how advanced our civilization is, but at times it can be worrisome as to the limitless ways this advancement almost precedes us and answers to nothing really.” There are plenty of moments on this record referencing the wide scoped and overbearing nature of the current times in relation to technology, philosophical concern, and almost apocalyptic anxiety. But, without sounding outright pessimistic and bleak, there are also cues to simple things like good friendships, love, adventure, substance abuse, and cheap talk. “I wanted to make something romantic and nostalgic, but freely allowing the calamitous to have its place. I love gadgets and sophistication, being connected, and knowledge but I also find it curious how much is dictated by the obsession with technology, ‘progress,’ and prosperity.”

Email: neill@outloudculture.com

Socials: @neillfrazer

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Written by Neill Frazer

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