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INsiders Guide: Lil Baby, THE SLEEPING SOULS, QUARRY, GRACE DAVIES, GRACE DAVIES, WAX ON WATER, PLVTINUM, Laurence DaNova, Brooke Candy, MIA GLADSTONE, Darla Jade….

Photo Credit: Kenneth Cappello

 Beloved QC artist Lil Baby has shared his highly anticipated new album It’s Only Mevia Quality Control Music Group/Wolfpack Global Music/Motown Records. Primed to be one of the most culturally impactful releases across all categories this year, the 23-track album follows his seminal 2020 album My Turnand features notable guest appearances from FutureYoung ThugNardo WickFridayyRylo RodriguezJeremihEST Gee, and Pooh ShiestyIt’s Only Me notably includes Baby’s RIAA certified Platinum hit “In A Minute,” that reached #1 at Urban & Rhythmic radio. The album release is accompanied by a new video for the standout track “California Breeze,” depicting Lil Baby cruising throughout the Golden Coast and contemplating what’s worth protecting and actualizing what relationships fulfill him most as he raps, “If you need me I’m still going to be there, I’m gonna give you every piece of game I got, when I catch you, I’m just tryna let you feel the breeze on me.”

Since his 2017 debut, the 27-year-old Atlanta icon has quickly established himself as one of the most renowned and critically-acclaimed names in music. Lil Baby has rightly earned an ever growing list of impressive achievements including BET’s Best New Artist, VEVO’s Top Performing Hip-Hop Artist of 2020, Rap Caviar MVP, Apple Music’s Global Artist of the Year, multiple Grammy nominations, a Grammy win for Best Melodic Rap Performance on “Hurricane” with Kanye West and The Weeknd, and a MTV VMA win for Best Hip Hop for “Do We Have A Problem” with Nicki Minaj. His milestone 2020 album My Turn was the most streamed and highest selling album of the year, and his smash-hit “Drip Too Hard” with Gunna recently joined an elite group of only 85 songs in history to receive an RIAA Diamond certification. The rapper is coming off the heels of his North American “One Of Them Ones” Tour with Chris Brown, as well as the premiere of his documentary Untrapped: The Story of Lil Baby via Amazon Prime Video, sharing an intimate eye into Baby’s rise to fame. On Thursday, in celebration of the new project, Lil Baby performed his new track “Russian Roulette” live on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Charting an independent course alongside their day job as Frank Turner’s band – THE SLEEPING SOULS – are pleased to present their debut single together ‘Liar / Lover’ (out 14 October via Xtra Mile Recordings).

LISTEN ON YOUTUBE HERE || STREAM ON ALL SERVICES HERE

The Sleeping Souls are best known as Frank Turner’s loyal bandmates and fellow road warriors having played together for over a decade. But alongside this role, Tarrant Anderson (bass), Matt Nasir (piano), Callum Green (drums), Ben Lloyd (guitar) and together with Frank’s guitar tech Cahir O’Doherty (Fighting With Wire, Jetplane Landing and currently New Pagans) on vocals, they have branched out on their own with their first single ‘Liar/Lover’. 

Blending the tight musicianship and ear for a heartfelt hook they’ve picked up during their many years on the road, this immense and affecting track tells the tale of acceptance in a waning relationship. 

Written by the Souls whilst on the road over the past few years, the band explain: 

“We lie to ourselves and each other as easy as drawing breath. Every lover lies. “Liar/Lover” is about that moment in the breakdown of a relationship when you accept that there’s no repair: only ownership of your own part in its failure.” 

A slow-burning acoustic rock track that sees gentle guitar plucks and rousing vocals swirl towards an emotive climax, the new cut is the first of a number of singles taken from a debut album from The Sleeping Souls (due next year).

The Sleeping Souls have toured with punk-icon Frank Turner since 2006. They have recorded six studio albums with the artist, including 2022 #1 ‘FTHC’, headlined Wembley Arena, performed at the 2012 London Olympics and toured the world many times over. 

Milan-based singer-songwriter QUARRY releases his new album ‘Positioning The Sun’.

Arriving in tandem with the release, he has released the video for one of its stand-out moments: “Beyond Any Sense”. 

WATCH THE “BEYOND ANY SENSE” OFFICIAL VIDEO HERE
 || LISTEN TO ‘POSITIONING THE SUN’ ALBUM HERE

Inspired by John Lennon’s solo material, the featured track grapples with the complications that come with living in the modern world. As Quarry explains of “Beyond Any Sense”:

“”Beyond Any Sense” has an undercurrent of awkwardness to it, giving voice to the experience of feeling uncomfortable in this social framework. The track expresses my conflicted feelings about liquid modernity. Consumerist technology, the desire to imitate the latest market’s way of life and an algorithmic world that rearranges our lives all seem to steal my soul — and I need it back.” 

Singer-songwriter, vocal powerhouse and now-producer Grace Davies today releases her highly anticipated EP, It Wasn’t Perfect, But We Tried, her most authentic and accomplished body of work to-date. Listen here to five smart, sassy, genre-crossing songs that find the 25 year old confidently claiming control of her career – turning the tables on her sad girl persona and taking the reins with new-found talent in production. Grace co-produced the EP with collaborator Toby Scott (​​Becky Hill, Galantis), completely self-producing two of the tracks, ‘Windows & Walls’ and previous single release ‘Already Gone’; the EP proves Grace a true multi-hyphenate.

It Wasn’t Perfect, But We Tried includes new single, triumphant showstopper, ‘Breathe’ – a lesson in pop mastery featuring Grace’s signature powerhouse vocal, crashing drums and a hook-driven, belter of a chorus. Of the track, Grace comments: “‘Breathe’ is about reclaiming your power. It’s about taking all the shit that’s been thrown at you and owning it/turning it into something powerful. ‘The end of where you tear me apart’ – the start of a new beginning where I don’t let you control my life anymore. I wrote it in 2017, but it’s a song I came back to 5 years later reflecting on everything I’ve been through as an independent artist, and it means even more to me now than it did when I wrote it”.

MAN THE LIFEBOATS officially launch their new album ‘Soul of Albion’ today (14 October).

To celebrate the release, the London crew will be hosting a very special celebration aboard The Golden Hinde (Sir Francis Drake’s infamous Elizabethan galleon – tonight!) and have revealed an official release video for the album’s stirring title-track “Soul of Albion”, which you can watch now: 

WATCH THE “SOUL OF ALBION” VIDEO HERE || LISTEN TO THE FULL ALBUM HERE

Written and performed on the same piano that Oasis wrote “Don’t Look Back In Anger”, the new video by Evren Akozbek for “Soul of Albion” captures the moment at Rockfield Studios when Man The Lifeboats knew they were onto something very special.

Filtering a Tom Waits-esque earthiness via a stormy Nick Cave sense of drama and flashes of rich celtic-inspired arrangements, “Soul of Albion” is one of the standout moments of the band’s new album. A song that had taken many forms before this one, through a series of “happy accidents”, it would find its true calling and come to define their new album. As frontman Rich Quarterman explains: 

“”Soul of Albion” is the culmination of a series of happy accidents. For a few years I’d been trying to write a song with a reggae beat and we played it over and over in band rehearsals. At around the same time, a good friend of ours was on his own mission, searching for the ‘Soul Of Albion’. With permission, of course, I nicked his idea and used it shamelessly as a song and album title.…. We turned up at Rockfield, with the song still unfinished, hoping for some last minute inspiration. It arrived in the form of the Coach House piano, a wonderful instrument that was used on Oasis’ ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, amongst many other songs and albums. When David (Vaughan – MTL’s drum and piano wizard) played the few first chords in that special room, we were hooked and it changed the song into the piano-led ballad you hear today. The video takes us right back to that special room, at that special moment, when the Rockfield gods were smiling down.”

Wax on Water are Maya Damaris and Steven Blessing – an Alternative Rock duo from London, who have always taken a different path from the identikit rock groups that exist on the scene. Drawing inspiration from a range of genres – they boldly fuse elements from electronica, metal, grunge, goth and Industrial music and nowhere is this seen more intensely than in their fiendishly good new five track EP ‘Ghouls & Fiends and In-Betweens…’ which is released alongside the focus track and first single ‘Ghouls & Fiends’ on 14th October 2022.

The ‘Ghouls & Fiends and In-Betweens…’ EP follows their sophomore album “The Drip” which was released in the summer of 2022 to universal critical acclaim and solidified Wax on Water’s place as rising stars of the alternative rock scene.

‘The Drip’ garnered US College radio success for the band and this bold collection of songs follows suit and easily moves between radio friendly tracks like ‘Ghouls & Fiends’ and ‘Deadbeat Guy’ to the haunting ballad ‘Part of Me’ and ‘Guanciale’ and ‘More Than I’ – the kind of darkly melodic driving rock gems that Wax on Water are known for.

Written, arranged and produced by lead singer Maya Damaris, “Ghouls & Fiends and In-Betweens…” is an exploration of shadow worlds and thoughts and how they define us in the ‘real’ world. The tracks are imbued with impeccable rock guitar magic from wingman Steven Blessing and Drums were played by up and coming London session musician Matt Chivers. The EP was mixed by ex-Fields of the Nephilim guitarist Paul Miles at his London based Select Studios and mastered by Will Borza from the Grammy-award winning Howie Weinberg Mastering Studios, Los Angeles.

First track, and first single, ‘Ghouls & Fiends’ proffers the concept that such horrors are actually imagined and ‘in your brain’ (hence the Ghoul licking a brain in the eye-catching cover artwork by London artist Dave Swan).  ‘Guanciale (Mark of the Vampire)’ is inspired by the famous 1935 Bela Lugosi film ‘Mark of the Vampire’, a seminal film in the Hollywood Horror Pantheon, and is told from the perspective of a Vampire recounting otherworldly experiences and ultimately seeking revenge. The following, more playful, track is ‘Deadbeat Guy’ – a trippy far-out concept about meeting your own ego/id as an imagined character that you reconcile with. The wistful lament ‘Part of Me’ is a true love song for outsiders – underscored by Damaris’ haunting vocals – and the final track, ‘More Than I’, posits the idea that being fearful of your own thoughts in turn enables shadow thoughts to grow ever bigger.

Damaris’ says: “Following The Drip, which was a really intense writing and recording experience, we wanted to have fun and create an EP where we could explore darker subjects but also create a sonic language which had light and shade – and in some cases, have a levity to the songs, without detracting from the subject matter…”

PLTVINUM shares his new single, “STRESS ME OUT.” Kicking in with haunting digitized vocals, the track explodes into a lush and cinematic cacophony of experimentation. Following on the heels of his recent hit, “DIE4MYBITCH,” “STRESS ME OUT” is another enthralling tease of what listeners can expect from PLVTINUM’s forthcoming EP.

PLVTINUM adds, “‘STRESS ME OUT’ is an auditory expression of my experience with mania and ego. The song is maximalist by nature, both in its production and rapidly evolving vocal delivery.”

Somewhere between a suburban misfit and a loudmouthed twenty-something, PLVTINUM isn’t your typical squeaky clean pop star. Blending the sonic textures of EDM, pop-punk attitude, and catchy pop-R&B, the New York-based artist unapologetically explores the darker sides of the human experience. With lyrics that touch on toxic relationships, sex, nihilism, ego and party culture, PLVTINUM has captured the attention of the post-teen crowd and emerged as a defining voice in the alt-pop space. He first broke out with his 2016 viral hit, “Champagne & Sunshine,” but his ever-growing catalog and fanbase — 2.3M Spotify monthly listeners, 86K Instagram followers, 1B cumulative streams — has proved that he’s much more than a one-hit-wonder.

Laurence DaNova grew up in Ottawa, Ontario, and developed a passion for singing and the arts at a young age. Exposed to a wide variety of musical genres, he began performing at school and local events. He sang with a band throughout his teens, experimenting with songwriting and producing. In 2018, he released a self-produced 5-track EP, Nine Hundred, with his former band, Vista Del Mar.

In 2019, he began working with producers to craft his unique sound—experimental pop, neo-soul, and alternative rock— on top of his diverse influences, including Björk, D’Angelo, Nas, Sade, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Mariah Carey, and Terrence Trent D’Arby.

It was travelling — especially living in Southeast Asia — that most inspired his music. Laurence’s goal is to make music with an international sound that captures the essence of people and places, through emotive vocals and lyrics that convey struggle and triumph.

He released his first two solo singles, “Burnout” and “Scapegoat” in late 2019. The music videos for “Burnout” and “Scapegoat” were shot in Vietnam and Costa Rica, and show the stories of his songs in natural settings.

Iconic singer-songwriter-rapper-artist Brooke Candy unites with electronic music producer DJ Only Fire for an irresistible new single, “Yoga,” out today on all DSPs HERE.

“I’ve been listening to Brooke Candy since 2012 when she released ‘Das Me,'” says Only Fire, “so her reaching out to make music together felt amazing. I had the idea for ‘Yoga’ in mind for a long time but never got the verses right until she hopped on it and did her thing. Both our styles are very similar so this collab just made sense, and it’s definitely not our last one. I wanted ‘Yoga’ to have a generic house sound you would hear on the radio in the gym; catchy but with very raunchy lyrics. So that’s basically what inspired its sound and lyrical content – I just wanted to make a fun workout song.”

LISTEN TO “YOGA”

Brooke Candy embarked on her next musical era last month with her first new single in more than three years. “Flip Phone” is available now at all DSPs and streaming services. The uncompromising electro-powered new track is joined by an official self-directed music video, produced by PAPER Magazine – the NYC-based magazine’s first ever foray into music video production – with South Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster. “Flip Phone” is streaming now at YouTube following its exclusive premiere earlier today via PAPER.

LOOPY is an invitation into MIA GLADSTONE’s celestial world as an artist and a producer, and an affirmation of how her philosophy of self-love, growth, and positivity permeates her music. Mia’s self-awareness shines through on LOOPY as she explores the highs and lows of everyday life through trippy pop beats and a diverse range of lyrical content. While she lets her advocacy for social justice initiatives shine on songs like SOCIAL MEDIA” ft. Trent the HOOLiGAN and “CORPORATIONS” ft. Maiya Blaney and Uhmeer, Mia also leaves room to reveal her inner emotions as it relates to herself and her relationships – cue “OPEN LETTER” ft. Teezo Touchdown (Hint: the video dropped this week – watch here!)! With an all-star roster of features, you’ll come to admire the sense of community that Mia creates with LOOPY. In tandem with the project, Mia is creating a digital community for queer, non-binary, and femme-identifying producers with @producerswhoproduce, where she pushes educational initiatives and offers cool production tutorials. 

Speaking on the project, Mia says, “LOOPY is a movement fueled by positivity, self trust, and universal love. Listening to inner guidance and strengthening bonds with our inner voices. LOOPY is a state of being, where creativity flows and you are encased in acceptance, joy, love, and a world where you are in alignment with your highest self. It’s a harmonious existence rooted in experimentation where you express your weirdest ideas!”

Darla Jade reveals her incredible sophomore EP ‘Only The Paranoid Survive’

Listen HERE to the EP in full

& new singles;

 Imposter Syndrome HERE &

Say A Word HERE

Along with the launch of her new EP, Darla Jade treats us to two previously unreleased singles, Say A Word and Imposter Syndrome which finalizes the 6 track body of work to be an all encompassing alt-pop haven. See below for the tracklist;

Only The Paranoid Survive

Broken Armour

Can’t Run Forever

Say A Word

On My Tongue

Imposter Syndrome

Glitch in The Matrix

Tender and reflective, Say A Word is a gorgeous moment of reflection, touching on wanting to be there for loved ones in need, through all the hardships life throws at us. The track is a dreamy showcase of Darla Jade’s effortless vocals. Listen HERE.

Other previously unheard track Imposter Syndrome is an upbeat electro-pop-bop that soars. Listen HERE. Born from a personal battle, the track see’s Darla open up and the result is catchy as hell. Sharing more, Darla explained:  Imposter Syndrome is of course about the obvious, but I sort of switched it up a little in the sense of having imposter syndrome within a relationship. I’ve personally really struggled in the past with ROCD, which is Relationship OCD / Relationship anxiety. I feel it’s not talked about enough, so I wanted to bring the topic up through my music! I wrote this one with RØRY & James Lewis! 

ONE OF GLASGOWS MOST EXCITING INDIE PROSPECTS HAVE ANNOUNCE A LIMITED VINYL RUN OF THEIR DEBUT EP. PIZZA CRUNCH HAVE SPENT THE PAST YEAR AND A HALF IN THE STUDIO CREATING A SEVEN TRACK E.P. THAT VEERS BETWEEN AMBIENT SHOEGAZE AND STOMPING POST-PUNK THAT THEY’VE TITLED ‘THAT SERENE AGE’. THE RECORD FEATURES PREVIOUS SINGLES AN SO FAR UNRELEASED SONGS WITH TRACKS PRODUCED BY THE LIKES OF  CHRIS MARSHALL (GERRY CINNAMON, DECLAN WELSH), GORDON RAPHAEL (THE STROKES, THE LIBERTINES) AND JOHNATHON HUCKS (SIGRID, THE RILLS).

THE GLASGOW-BASED GROUP HAVE WELCOMED ANY AND ALL INFLUENCES WHEN PRODUCING AND RECORDING THIS EP, LIFTING INSPIRATION FROM CLIFF MARTINEZ SOUNDTRACKS CHET BAKER, WOLF ALICE AND TYLER THE CREATOR. INSTRUMENTALLY, THE EP IS MUCH MORE SONICALLY EXPLORATIVE THAN PREVIOUS RELEASES, WITH THE TRACKS INCLUDING TROMBONES, CELLOS, SYNTHESISERS, HARPS AS WELL AS AN ARRAY OF EMOTIVE BACKING VOCALS.

THE VINYL RUN IS LIMITED TO 100 COPIES AND IS AVAILABLE VIA THE ART FINDERS CLUB WEB SHOW LINK BELOW. 

Continuing a scorching hot streak this year, 4Hunnid Records First Lady Day Sulan presents her brand new Crazy Girls EP out now. Listen to Crazy GirlsHERE.

The seven-track EP finds Day at her most charismatic and confident. Right out of the gate, her vivid wordplay cuts through “Stop Playin. Mirroring a phone conversation, she demands, “What you doing? Where you at? Who you with? Stop playing with me!” For all the lyrical bravado, she also leans into her R&B bag on the sultry and slick “Slide-In” [feat. YG]. Her melodic verses give way to a barrage of bold rhymes from 4Hunnid Records Founder and multiplatinum L.A. rap superstar YG. The project concludes on the instantly entrancing “Say It’s Over. Finger-snaps, airy guitar, and a thick bass line murmur beneath her delicate croon. Powered by early singles such as “Pro” and “Gravity, the EP has already generated millions of streams.

Check out the full tracklisting below.

She paved the way for Crazy Girls with “Teach U How To Play.” Inciting widespread critical applause, NPR touted the track among its “Heat Check Roundup” and observed, “Over a punchy bass line, Sulan seems to push right up to you, sneering all the while.” OkayPlayer spotlighted it among “Best Female Rap Videos To Drop Last Week” and asserted, “The upbeat single is a great addition to the ongoing crop of female rappers that have been steadily releasing music throughout the pandemic.” RapRadar raved, “Over a bouncy beat by T-Lew, the first lady of YG’s 4Hunnid label keeps it a cut above the boys as she schemingly raps.

If you’re looking for the next big Canadian popstar, you don’t need to look further than Fox Revett. Big voice and even bigger hooks, Fox is elevating traditional pop music with his insights as an LGBT artist in the music industry. He is a swiss-army knife of songwriting, production and artistic prowess.

EUT continue to transcend sonic depths. The Dutch five-piece create blissful, eternally youthful music that champions acceptance, authenticity and – most of all – buckets of fun. The band is the brainchild of Megan de Klerk, a captivating vocalist whose lyrics dance around 90s influenced guitar pop. Flowing between traditional genre boundaries with no fear, their unparalleled creativity saw the band thrive in their early days, using opposite takes as a driving force into a new era for alternative pop.

Now, the quintet are releasing the next single “Step By Step”, one of the first songs to be written for their upcoming album Be My Reactor, EUT’s first self-produced record. Liberated of deadlines and the whole touring lifestyle due to the Covid pandemic, the band could dig their heels deeper into their experimentalism. Sound-wise, the album has more in common with twilight than the bright, sun-kissed sceneries they courted before. With their new album, EUT soars with catharsis. They explain, “On previous records, we might have wanted to dance our problems away lyrically and musically. But during the writing process of Be My Reactor, there were a lot of emotionally heavy moments that had to be placed in a song and didn’t deserve to be pushed into the background.”

Within the album’s darker themes, the innate joy of reinventing the band’s sound and lyrical confrontation shines through. In an endless process of discovery, Guitarist/producer Emiel de Nennie explains, “We bought all kinds of synthesizers and I tried to teach myself how to write songs another way. That’s why this record sounds different, because we were caught up in all these new instruments.” As a result of handling the recordings themselves, EUT assigned Adam ‘Atom’ Greenspan (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire, Bloc Party) for additional mixing to create the unique sound for their next release.

EUT have always had a knack for summoning that elusive spark of alt pop energy, and “Step By Step” is no exception. Blasting with euphoric synthesisers and sweeping melodies, their idisocranic soundscape can be attributed to the band’s kaleidoscope of musical influences. Beck, Gorillaz and St. Vincent inspire the continuous reinvention that makes EUT so enthralling. Combined with compelling discourses surrounding depression, breakups, and closer friends with suicidal thoughts, they confide, “On this record, we faced these subjects without fear and confronted them, and in doing so we have tried to break taboos for ourselves.” Hoping to inspire their listeners to leave an old situation with confidence and trust in the “Step by Step” process, their latest endeavour is nothing short of extraordinary.

Amounting millions of streams across their impressive repertoire to date, and humbling acclaim from the likes of CLASH, DIY and The Line of Best Fit, EUT prove that their limitless vibes and visionary exploration will take them to new heights. 2022 is shaping up to be a great year for the quintet.

East-side Tampa Bay rapper Rublow makes his Cash Money Records debut with the release of his new single “Blow Muzik.” Get it HERE.
 
Blow Muzik” flips a sample of the classic Cash Money Records staple “Hustler Musik” by rap icon Lil Wayne, a cemented influence for Rublow. The official music video to the accompanying audio single premiered today via BET Jams and is available to watch HERE
 
Blow Muzik” front-and-center faces the rising rapper’s soon-to-be-known flair, delivering diaristic lyricism that fans of rap from both the golden era of Hip Hop and of today will champion. His essence brings a sense of familiarity in sound while holding a flame to feelings of what is new and next in music with a ferocious flow to match.
 
The Legit Looks-directed video finds the Florida rapper riding through the streets of Tampa, giving a glimpse of his surroundings growing up as he illustrates his knack for unfiltered honesty through pen and motion pictures. He reflects on the trials, triumphs, and testaments reflective of his truth, on the Tevin Revels-produced track, as he narrates his experience coming up from the streets, remaining guarded, and prepares for his new tomorrow.
 
Rublow is launching yet another chapter for his hometown of Tampa and Cash Money Records now. He’s primed for a breakthrough as a contender cooking up more music for his debut release on Cash Money.

Quality Control’s “Female Goat” Lakeyah announced her No Pressure Tour, kicking off November 4th at Hakkasan in Las Vegas, NV. The U.S. tour will make stops in Detroit, Houston, New York, and Chicago, and will wrap up in Los Angeles on November 30th. 

Full dates are listed below, and tickets are on sale now here.

The No Pressure Tour arrives on the heels of Lakeyah’s explosive run on the festival circuit and the recent release of her No Pressure Part 2 EP, out now via Quality Control Music/Motown Records. Listen to the EP here

Japanese artist MIREI gives viewers an inside look at the experiences she and other female artists face in the music industry with the eye-opening and powerful new video for “IDOL,” out today via Cool Japan Music / The Orchard. The term ‘idol’ is commonly used in Japanese culture to describe young women and girls in the entertainment industry, many of whom become singers, actors, or dancers. While the track speaks to the unrealistic expectations set upon these individuals as well as MIREI’s personal experiences, the accompanying video takes it a step further as it provides a perspective not many people often see. Starring real-life idol Kanon — a long-time friend, singer, model, and former member of J-Pop group Dancing Dolls — we see the tribulations experienced by a rising idol who sacrifices their own mental and physical health to conform to the idealistic version of what others want them to be.

“I have always dreamed of becoming a singer, but sometimes people would want to manipulate you in some ways,” shares MIREI“They may want you to be a certain body shape or fit within a particular style, and sometimes may want you to alter your personality too. You have to say, ‘that’s not me.’ My dream is not to be an idol, but to express myself as a singer and this song is about fighting against all of those pressures. I wrote it based on real experiences. It is a super interesting song and also an important song for me to write in this reality.”

London-based singer-songwriter Dylan James is set to release inspirational second single ‘Boys Yard’ on 4th November.

Following on from his openly honest debut single ‘Let’s Talk’ released earlier this year, Dylan continues forging ahead with the second track from his upcoming debut album. ‘Boys Yard’ is a football anthem in the making, with lines such as ‘score from forty yards’ and ‘cover every blade of grass’ – with the World Cup around the corner, this track could speak volumes to dreamers of scoring the perfect goal. Reminiscent of anthemic indie songs from the early 2000’s, ‘Boys Yard’ leans into the era’s playfulness while still being encouraging and full of hope.

“Boys Yard” is about the making dreams you have as a kid come true and believing one day you’ll be your hero – it’s a fairytale of hope and excitement by living your fantasy in the safety of your own back yard.  I wrote it in lockdown with my boys trying to score in the top corner of a pint-sized goal mouth emulating their football heroes. It’s a song far deeper than football and the innocence of being a child before the darker side of life makes our dreams less of a reality.’ – Dylan James

If you haven’t heard of Dylan James before, don’t worry – you’re not alone. While rarely doing interviews or performing live, the singer-songwriter has developed a hushed cult following through his rare home demos. Fans know him for his gift to tell stories that bring out strong, genuine emotion. After half a decade, James is finally ready to share this gift with larger audiences, which began with ‘Let’s Talk’, a single that is sure to leave you deep in thought.

London-based singer-songwriter Dylan James has spent the last half decade making a name for himself through his home demos.  With his confessional storytelling James blends together a mix of influences including folk rock, 90’s Britpop, and 70’s lo-fi singer-songwriter to create music full of raw emotion. His songs are not of the folk of yore however, nor a litany of rock ‘n’ roll cliches. No, James chronicles the home truths he encounters in the day-to-day, the grind & ennui of modern life – whether it’s the latter stages of foiled marriages, drunken failings, broken dreams, world-weary determination or battle-hardened parental commitment. It’s these seldom explored topics that make his observations hit all the harder, and garner him such integrity & conviction.

Flowing water is an essential element of Earthly existence, a living force, a process of nature, a path-making which combines infinite sources mixing imperceptibly into a singular energy. It’s also a potent metaphor. A childlike wonder at flowing water’s presence and power, all the impressions it makes and creative neurons that it fires, happens to be a personality trait shared by Evan Shornstein (aka Photay) and Carlos Niño. The two producers/musical connectors may have grown up and reside a continent and daily realities apart — Photay in the forest serenity of New York’s Hudson Valley, Niño on Los Angeles’s ocean-adjacent west side — yet this magnetic power of fluidity, its sound, its meaning, what it can teach us about art and circulation, mesmerizes them both. 

Water is the spiritual center of their first album-length collaboration, the vast and deep An Offering — from the visual on the cover, to the first sound you hear on the opening “Prelude,” to the underlying themes and images espoused by the poet-philosopher Iasos on the closing “Existence.” More importantly, the image of water-like flow is a continuous reflection of how these two musicians have come to work together and apart, of the way they made An Offering, and how they’re continuing to create, without a beginning and (hopefully) with no end in sight. An infinite flow of sound, from and to every direction.  

Some of this work directly reflects the relationship between the two men, and of where/how Photay’s electronic, often-dancefloor-oriented tracks found Niño’s far-reaching world of ambient spirituality and improvised soundscaping. The meeting point is precise: Laraaji, the new age zither legend with whom Niño regularly collaborates, including at a June 2016 show in New York City which Niño played and Shornstein attended. The connection initiated immediately after that performance did not simply find the pair participating in each other’s recording projects — Photay remixing a Niño-produced Laraaji track and involved in Niño & Friends sessions; Carlos showing up on multiple songs of Photay’s 2020 album, Waking Hours, some of which was recorded at Niño’s studio—but in a broad exchange of ideas. 

Niño long ago established himself as one of Los Angeles’ great musical conduits, constructing environments that facilitate partnerships between far-flung artists, perpetuating the freedom of working in the present, outside expectations, trusting the work’s destination. When the younger Shornstein met Niño, his own creative process was ”almost too precious, and it was always my goal to break out of that.” Adapting Carlos’ pacing and free-flowing strategies — scenarios such as sharing recorded stems, bringing in old recordings to serendipitously fit new tracks, or mixing organic improvisations with stylized, post-produced rhythms — transformed Evan’s perspective. It made him rethink ideas like “finished,” shedding pressurized over-analysis for a process he calls “fluid” and “healthy.”

Having recently returned with their stunning first single in two years, New Religion, Berlin/NYC based duo Refs (Dessauer and Rich) continue to step towards the release of their debut album with new single, Night Low.  Showcasing the gorgeously crafted production of Dessauer and spellbinding vocals of Rich, Night Low is another welcome offering. Speaking on the track, they state:

Dark and gloomy as the title suggests, “Night Low” matches dreamy bit-crushed guitars with confessional fireside lyrics and a string section. As the album opener and second single, Night Low’s looming ambience and percussive curation sets the stage for tragedy to unfold.

Canadian indie pop/alternative band New Friends are thrilled to release their new single “Waste My Time” that is out now along with the music video that is featured on ET CanadaWaste My Time” is off their forthcoming EP to be released in early 2023.
 
The band says, “The song was inspired by the euphoric and sometimes mind numbing effects that love, whether toxic or healthy, has on someone’s day to day life. The underlying analogy is comparing love’s effects to the same as a drug. With a toxic relationship at the forefront of Waste My Time, there is a constant theme of despair and hopelessness as you are now abusing love as an addict. Knowing very well that this relationship has crossed the boundary for healthy and fun to now be abusive and devastating.”

KEANA makes music in that place where reality meets fantasy. She found it as a kid growing up in the streets of East LA, a place she still loves dearly. There, she developed the empathy to connect with her beautiful environment alongside the imagination needed to escape its unpredictability. Her music finds its roots in this duality—reality and fantasy, connection and release—and she invites her listeners to join her as she straddles these dimensions. 

Indie pop singer, Kenzo Cregan is thrilled to  release his new EP No Where To Hide that is out now.  
 
Kenzo says, “This EP was extremely fun to make! Musically, I explored a slightly different direction. I wanted to incorporate my love of indie r&b, with a splash of funk. However, there’s still moments of me rocking out, which will hopefully keep any listeners on their toes!”
 
In support of his new music, Kenzo is going on tour with The Unlikely Candidates. He has recently wrapped up as support for band Weathers. See all tour dates below.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kenzo Cregan found his love for music at the tender age of three, and hasn’t stopped since. Growing up in a musical household, and with a rock musician for a father, Cregan found his inspiration from many classic artists we all know and love today. Artists like Iggy Pop, David Bowie, and Neil Young are just some of the artists Kenzo grabs inspiration from. Developing his own style, Kenzo is able to blend some of those classic sounds, with an Indie Rock aesthetic. When one listens to Kenzo Cregan, not only do you feel a sense of Nostalgia, but also a similar feeling one gets when listening to acts like Beck, Harry Styles, and The Black Keys.
 

No Where to Hide EP can be streamed everywhere at https://ffm.to/kenzocregan_nowheretohide

Tour Dates
October 14 – Washington, DC – The Bullpen
October 16 – Mechanicsburg, PA – Lovedraft’s Brewing Co
October 18 – Philadelphia, PA – Khyber Pass Pub
October 19 -Providence, RI – Fete Music Hall-Lounge
October 21 – Somerville, MA – The Center of Arts At The Armory
October 22 – Portland, ME -Portland House of Music and Events
October 24 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
October 25 – Syracuse, NY – Westcott Theater
October 26 – Buffalo, NY  – Buffalo Iron Works
October 27 – Toronto, Canada- Lee’s Palace
October 28- Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
October 30 – St. Louis MO – The Old Rock House
November 1 – Louisville, KY – Zanabar
November 2 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theater
November 3 – Tuscaloosa, AL – Druid City Music Hall
November 4 – Trussville, AL – Ferus Artisan Ales
November 5 – New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa

APACALDA is the name of singer/songwriter Cassandra Angheluta, a Montreal based artist.

APACALDA, meaning “warm water” in her mother tongue, Romanian, is a reflection of Cassandra’s means of movement through her art and life. A reminder to reconnect to the warm water that can calm and ground you, despite the chaos and unpredictability of outside circumstances.

Creating music has been a means of alchemising her residual emotional traumas from past and present experiences through the one medium that brings any resolve within her. She showcases a unique complexity between the realms of feeling and sound.

Melancholic, dreamy, enigmatic and hauntingly beautiful, APACALDA is creating her own immersive world with a refreshed approach to indie, electronic POP meets dream wave sounds.

Set to release her debut self-titled EP in fall 2022.

Indie singer-songwriter Diandra is thrilled to release her new single “Truenos” that is out now.
 
Diandra says, “I wrote Truenos in a time of confronting my cowardice . After the pandemic, a lot of us wanted change, and I needed it, but I felt frightened and confused as to what that meant. It has always felt so easy for me to help others fight for and find a sense of purpose. Truenos, or thunders in English,  is about doing that for yourself, and the amount of self-discovery and growth that it beautiful and scarily sparks.”
 
Born In New York, with her family in Puerto Rico, life for Diandra felt crossed between two very different islands. Yet, in either, she always felt like her best friend was music. Between lyrics and rhythms, life became less lonely for the girl whose family was under palm trees and sun, while she shoveled snow and wrote fantasy novels in her room. Growing up with a world inside your head, in some ways, is the biggest sign you are meant to be an artist. For Diandra, getting straight As and joining more clubs than Rachel Berry on Glee did not mean she was bound for success. If anything, it was her desire to do everything that led her to become a critic, observe the entertainment world, and wonder whether going from a viewer to the viewed was truly what she wanted. After years traveling the world and covering concerts via her personal, entertainment website, Diandra Reviews It All, it was a trip to see her family in Puerto Rico, just before the pandemic, that inspired her to see embracing her talents is like imagining her “best life” can be her life. Singing was the first thing she knew she could do wonderfully, and writing was what she needed to learn she could have her own voice. Diandra is a good human being, or, at least, she thinks she is, and that is what her music is all about: believing you are good enough to do better for yourself and others. With the world transformed, it seems like her music may have predicted exactly what people would feel as they pick up their lives to pick its purpose. For her, if you want the world to hear you, then you have to give them your heart to listen, and No Bad Lasts, her debut single, is her heart’s brazened search for hope. It is no secret that people are struggling to find faith in tomorrow and themselves. No Bad Lasts sings for those in struggle that never stop seeking their peace, even if the world will never stop challenging it. Written in under 5 minutes, there is nothing like a broken heart and a mind full of dreams to divinely inspire a song about feeling less than motivated but focused on getting back up. As the track claims, no storm is forever, and this song is her way of reaching for the calm.

Waiting for Smith is London-born, Amsterdam based singer-songwriter Harry Lloyd.  Formerly a ski instructor in the French Alps, Lloyd had an epiphany after a severe accident, that if he could walk again, he’d dedicate his life to music. After recuperating and learning to play the guitar in bed, he formed Waiting for Smith, named after his original drummer Smith, who always failed to show up.

Spreading joy and making people believe in themselves are the driving forces behind Waiting for Smith’s musical endeavors. With the goal to continue to open his mind (and hopefully others) he confides, “My dream is to help people forget about their troubles in life, even if it’s just for half an hour. I love making people feel good.”  
Now, Waiting for Smith is back with his new tune, “Skylight Dawn”, the third single ahead of his new EP, Trying Not To Try. Surrounding inspirational discourses on mental health, “Skylight Dawn” is about the push and pull of love and what that does to the mind. He confides, “However challenging it can be to be with someone you love, it’s arguably one of the best feelings you get during this experience on earth. When you realise you’re healing together – you see the beauty in the struggle.” Produced and co-written by Dane Etteridge (Lewis Capaldi, Declan J Donovan, & St Lundi) and recorded at Assault & Battery in London, “Skylight Dawn” came to life.

Instantly, it became clear that something special had been created, as his impactful lyricism and simply euphoric energy explores the union of two souls dancing with their darkness, to make their way into the light. As enveloping choruses rise atop distinct drum rhythms and Lloyd’s striking vocal energy, “Skylight Dawn” proves that we are better, and stronger together. In a never-ending investigation of what it truly means to be human, Waiting for Smith’s repertoire continues to exceed new heights.

Amassing international support, Waiting for Smith has landed radio play on over 191 stations around the world, including the likes of Huw Stephens on Radio 1, Dermot O’Leary and Jo Whiley on Radio 2 and Tom Robinson on 6 Music. Receiving over 2000 syncs internationally, and millions of streams to date, Waiting for Smith also provided the sonics for the Japanese Grand Prix, The Netflix series Vis a Vis (Locked Up), soaps in Germany and one of the biggest TV commercials in Spain in 2019, the Christmas ad for El Corte Ingles. With humbling praise from the likes of British GQ, Rolling Stone India, MTV Germany, Clash Magazine, Earmilk and Holland’s JFK Magazine, Waiting for Smith’s mission is to engulf the world with unforgettable melodies and his much-needed message of positivity continues to thrive. 

Charting an independent course alongside their day job as Frank Turner’s band – THE SLEEPING SOULS – are pleased to present their debut single together ‘Liar / Lover’ (out now via Xtra Mile Recordings).

LISTEN ON YOUTUBE HERE || STREAM ON ALL SERVICES HERE

The Sleeping Souls are best known as Frank Turner’s loyal bandmates and fellow road warriors having played together for over a decade. But alongside this role, Tarrant Anderson (bass), Matt Nasir (piano), Callum Green (drums), Ben Lloyd (guitar) and together with Frank’s guitar tech Cahir O’Doherty (Fighting With Wire, Jetplane Landing and currently New Pagans) on vocals, they have branched out on their own with their first single ‘Liar/Lover’. 

Blending the tight musicianship and ear for a heartfelt hook they’ve picked up during their many years on the road, this immense and affecting track tells the tale of acceptance in a waning relationship. 

Written by the Souls whilst on the road over the past few years, the band explain: 

We lie to ourselves and each other as easy as drawing breath. Every lover lies. “Liar/Lover” is about that moment in the breakdown of a relationship when you accept that there’s no repair: only ownership of your own part in its failure.” 

Los Angeles based indie-pop artist Dolly Ave debuts her coming-of-age anthem “This Is Our Time” – listen HERE. The cathartic song produced by TAG Music (Kanye, Nicki Minaj, Lorde) is the lead single and title track from her upcoming full-length debut album releasing via Venice Music. The music that weaves between pop, R&B, soul and electronic music is inspired by Dolly Ave’s journey growing up in Missouri and finding her voice after the death of her mother. “This Is Our Time” delivers a powerful message about taking risks towards living one’s truth and Dolly Ave fully embracing her life as an artist and facing the fears that come with it. Watch the music video directed by Mariah Morgenstern (24kGoldn “Mood”) HERE.

“When writing ‘This Is Our Time’ – the title, melody, and words came together naturally,” describes Dolly Ave. “This track is a breath of fresh air for me. During a great time of uncertainty I was desperate for a reminder to not let perfect timing dictate my decisions. Instead I invite change, new experiences and call for others to join me and feel confident about themselves when they listen to the music. I grew up in a situation and circumstances that were out of my control in a state where I felt like I could never leave a small town in Missouri. I want someone to listen to my music, someone not in a big city to be inspired knowing that I too started my career with a webcam, a dream and no real music experience.” 

LA-based futuristic R&B-funk artist, Shira Elias, announces her sophomore EP, SERVICES the EP, due out December 2 and available for pre-order now. “HOOK’D,” the first taste of the project, is a romantic funk-filled groove, out everywhere now. Alongside new music, Elias will perform live and solo across Southern California this November, and join the new Cool Cool Cool funk outfit at North Beach Music Festival this December. Find a full list of dates below, with tickets and more information available now at shiraelias.com.

The forthcoming six-track collection from Shira Elias, SERVICES the EP, encapsulates the singer’s growth as she further establishes her sound and discovers more of herself–both as an artist and as a person. The release of the EP picks up where Elias’ 2020 debut EP, GOODS the EP left off. It kicks off a new chapter for the singer, one that is refined and self-assured. Elias explains, “Where ‘GOODS’ was my first solo endeavor, really trying to find a voice while still living and grinding in New York, ‘SERVICES’ is me exploring a new world, moving to Los Angeles during a global pandemic, and trying to love who I am. I think you can really hear the evolution and the difference in the writing and production. Produced by MEGA, Elias is thrilled to share her most realized body of work to date.

The EP’s first single out today, “HOOK’D” explores the thrilling early stages of an all-consuming crush, and is just a taste of what’s to come from the captivating vocalist. The track masterfully blends Elias’ smooth vocals with a funky bassline and an electric, futuristic R&B sound. “‘HOOK’D’ is about animalistic love; that carnal, raw, exciting feeling of the chase at the beginning of a connection,” shares Elias“It’s supposed to sound like the sparks that fly and build inside of you when you are attracted to someone but the mystery of not knowing where it will go.”

I’m Sika Valmé, a Creole-Canadian musician, performer, and illustrator.

As someone that exists at the intersection of different worlds: artistically, geographically, and in this society, I am driven to create in a way that encapsulates all of who I am, my stories, my identities, and my reality.

The title track of my new EP, Erosion Eksperyans, emerged from a dark personal period. I was having a hard time with my health, reconsidering my own story, and how I have a lot to offer to the world. Repositioning my creative work, changing my lifestyle, and recovering my mental and physical health took time, consistency, and patience. And out of this personal journey emerged a new body of work.

On one level, the album speaks of the parallels I saw between this process of self development and erosion in the natural world. On another level, it speaks for everyone like me, commenting on displacement, the diaspora experience, and populations who have experienced colonization, specifically Creole communities.

I co-produced Erosion Eksperyans with multi-instrumentalists Yoann Quillin and Andy Barrow. I am exceptionally proud of the result of this period of introspection and creation, and I’m excited to share it with the world!

Stream “Erosion Eksperyans” on Spotify, Apple MusicBandcampSoundCloud.

For the cover art, I was influenced by the subject of erosion with inspiration found in landscapes, sunlight, expansive scenes, and image composition that holds room for negative space. The orb in the center of the image encapsulates a tropical almond branch meant to convey warmth from the global south. The zone of “emptiness” evokes a sort of surrealism and existentialism, which mirrors the play on sound and space found in the 6-track album.

Erosion Eksperyans tells a story of growth and regeneration. Learn more on my websiteFacebookInstagramTikTokBandcampYouTube.

Thank you,

Sika Valmé

Email: neill@outloudculture.com

Socials: @neillfrazer

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Written by Neill Frazer

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