Los Angeles-based indie-pop artist Dolly Ave debuts her new single “Sit Still,” – listen HERE. On the pop single co-written by Lucas Marx (Katy Perry) and Al Calderon, Dolly Ave reminisces about her time growing up in a small-town and craving something bigger. The song is featured on her coming-of-age full-length debut This Is Our Time releasing via Venice Music in 2023. The album weaves between pop, R&B, soul and electronic music and follows Dolly Ave’s musical journey, embracing her life as an artist and facing the fears that come with it.
“‘Sit Still’ is an ode to my teenage years growing up in Missouri,” describes Dolly Ave. “I was constantly on the move to new addresses, never able to reflect, and wanting to leave my small town in search of something different.”
The new single follows her empowering lead single and title track “This Is Our Time,” which delivers a powerful message about taking risks towards living one’s truth. Lyrical Lemonade called the track “successful” and a “perfect release to inspire you for the rest of 2022.” The Luna Collective added that the song is “a bold anthem with a willingness to explore life, love and loss.” Watch the “This Is Our Time” official music video HERE.
This Is Our Time LP will follow Dolly Ave’s 7-song Sleep EP released in 2021 that was covered by Atwood Magazine, Ones To Watch, Asian Pop Weekly and others. Her music has received airplay on SiriusXM channel 88Rising Radio, Seattle’s KEXP 90.3FM and Chicago’s 103.5 KISS FM, while her collaboration with Curtis-Beard “Sunlight, Quiet, Flowers” trended #1 on TikTok’s Original Music Chart. Dolly Ave was named Live Nation’s “Artist of the Week” and selected by the New York Times as one of a handful of Asian-American “Pop Stars Taking Center Stage”.
Following the success of their recent sophomore EP ‘Goldpark 2!,’ indie-rock trio Goldpark — the project of Nashville-based musicians Wes Hunter (vocals), Andrew Smith (guitar) and Kyle Neblett (drums) — are back today with their festive cover of “Last Christmas.”
Goldpark put their own spin on Wham!’s hit song by infusing the iconic holiday track with their energetic indie-rock sound and glistening pop melodies. “‘Last Christmas’ was one of the first songs that came to our minds when thinking about Christmas songs that we would like to cover,” the band says. “It strikes this interesting balance of being warm and bringing a smile to your face while also giving you a sense of sorrow. Those two things together tend to make a great Christmas song.”
2022 has been a massive year for Goldpark. They’ve spent most of the year on the road playing a mix of festival slots (Bonnaroo, WonderRoad), headlining shows and support gigs (Welshly Arms, Motherfolk, Stephen Day) across the US. In October, Goldpark released their sophomore EP, ‘Goldpark 2!,’ to rave reviews from tastemakers like 1883 Magazine and Under The Radar Magazine. Amassing over 500K streams across the EP’s 5 tracks, the band also landed the highly coveted ‘Fresh Finds Rock’ cover on Spotify.
Award-winning country artist and humanitarian Jessica Lynn announces the release of her new single, “You Save Me,” on which she collaborated with British Alt-Folk//Americana Singer-songwriter Liam Wakefield. All proceeds from the “You Save Me” single and her new “Music Saves” merchandise line go to Forging Forward, a non-profit organization focused on healing visible and invisible wounds of Veterans, First Responders and their families. More info on how to purchase the song and merch can be found online here.
Jessica had met Liam online when she was putting together her 2020 UK tour. She learned about Liam’s battle with depression after being diagnosed with an incurable and rare genetic condition, pseudoxanthoma elasticum. The disease forced Liam to retire early from the military, and his mental health rapidly declined. After an unsuccessful suicide attempt which would prove to be a catalyst for change, Liam found his way back from his dark place and found a new purpose in life. It was his love of music and songwriting that fueled his new sense of self and his life’s mission to prevent suicide in others through mental health care, especially within the military community where mental health is a daily battle.
Having been an active advocate for many humanitarian causes, including for the military, the arts, animals, as well as a mentor for young women, children, and performing artists worldwide, Jessica felt compelled to collaborate with Liam on his mission. They decided to release a song together that not only expressed the dark journey Liam had taken, but that would also help others who were struggling down the same path towards suicide.
The song was produced using reverb impulses recorded in the Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum in Oslo, Norway. This effect gives the impression that Jessica and Liam were actually singing inside the structure.
Jessica says about the collaboration experience, “Liam greatly inspires me not only musically, but as a human being. His strength, resilience, talent, and disposition for wanting to make a positive impact on the world is something truly special. After getting to know him, I couldn’t help but be moved by his story. We discussed doing a song together to raise awareness for mental health and its importance for veterans and the next day, ‘You Save Me’ poured out of me.
“Although Liam and I come from very different backgrounds and experiences, music has connected us and saved us in the same way. It is a universal beacon of light. Like Liam, I too have had significant battles with anxiety and depression throughout my life, and music has always been the shoulder to lean on as my most trusted friend and confidant. We hope many people find comfort within this song and realize they are not alone.”
Liam says about the song, “This song and the meaning behind it is the quintessential beauty needed to help show the world that those silently struggling do have a voice and are understood. So many of us (especially those in the military communities) harbor a deep pain from the daily battle with our mental health, and this song highlights that, in darkness, there is an incandescent beauty, a saving quality found in the passion and purpose of music that can bring people together, connect us to others and back to ourselves.”
rising London alt-pop artist – Le Junk – releases his rich and reflective new single: “Some Monkeys”.
Upping the ante with his slick and seductive blend of sleazy disco-rock and glitzy electronica, “Some Monkeys” glints like a jagged shard of a cracked glitterball left abandoned under hazy lights. With arresting tongue-in-cheek lyrics that recall Lynks, and sticky, sensual grooves reminiscent of Confidence Man, the new track sees razor-sharp guitar licks clatter against hot and heady basslines and a flurry of synths.
A testament to his knack for creating late-night dancefloor anthems laced with an unspoken and unnerving edge, “Some Monkeys” finds the artist wondering whether social evolution is always on our side… As Le Junk muses:
“”Some Monkeys” is about evolving in a different way to others around you, and feeling content with being a bit out of place.”
Self-recorded and produced at Le Junk’s home studio, the track also comes alongside a bizarre and beguiling official video directed by the artist and filmed amidst various crowded landmarks in the centre of London. Watch the video here.
“The video features me wandering about town dressed as a lonely monkey,” Le Junk explains. “I wanted to capture this sense of alienation and disconnect in a real, literal sense and thought what better way to do this than to dress up like a monkey and go about daily life.”
Taking cues from the bass and beat-driven styles of artists like Peaches and Hot Chip, Le Junk’s hedonistic brand of alternative electronic-pop is strewn with stories of sleazy misdemeanours and darkly sardonic humour.
Having previously fronted acts Eighteen Nightmares at the Lux and Big & The Fat, he parted ways with those projects with ideas of creating new material under a solo moniker. Initially constructing demos on a bass and drum machine, he soon began shaping and styling a canon of material of his own identity. Choosing to surface amidst the mayhem of 2020 as Le Junk, his debut solo single “Rich Romance” pointed to a refreshing new artist that spelled-out that there’s always space to have some fun.
Acclaimed indie-pop duo Tennis has shared “One Night With The Valet,” available now at all DSPs and streaming services.
Produced and recorded by the husband and wife duo of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore in their Denver, CO home studio, “One Night With The Valet” marks the first single from Tennis’s highly anticipated sixth studio album, POLLEN, arriving via their own Mutually Detrimental label on Friday, February 10, 2023. Pre-orders are available now HERE.
Introducing Italian-born, London-based, Alice Pisano, a rising star in the contemporary pop scene. Blessed with a uniquely warm and silky voice, Pisano has a natural ability for writing relatable, emotive songs that connect and since her debut in 2019, she has garnered a fantastic name for herself.
Her latest single “Where My Heart Is,” is the third single from her upcoming EP Shattered But Still Cool. Written and produced alongside Jez Ashurst (Little Mix, Maisie Peters, Tom Grennan), Pisano’s latest single encapsulates the vulnerability of falling in love with someone. Taking a slower, more intimate turn to its predecessors, “Where My Heart Is” forms a blissful ballad offering that flows with the emotion and honesty that makes Pisano’s roster so uniquely authentic.
Taking profound inspiration from the likes of Gabrielle Aplin, Birdy and Coldplay, Pisano brings her passion for contemporary pop into a world of her own. With deeply personal fables and remarkable musicality, her new single takes a stronger emotional turn. Pisano confides, “At the time we wrote it, I had been with someone for a few months and it scared me a little to realise how strong my feelings were. It’s about opening up to someone and letting them know you care about them, setting aside the fear of getting hurt. It’s not always easy to let your guard down when dating, especially if you’ve been disappointed before”. As Pisano’s echoic vocal energy rises above soaring melodies and enchanting choruses, “Where My Heart Is” escalates with euphony. Exploring the idea that our insecurities are nothing to be ashamed of, Pisano’s heartwarming chronicles escalate with the warmth and harmony she has been known to encapsulate.
With shining global success, her debut single “Celebrate Life” garnered over four million Spotify streams alone. Following her successful debut, Pisano also had four singles enter the iTunes Pop charts, numerous radio plays on stations including the BBC and over one million views on TikTok with her single “September”. Her single “Open Up” was featured as the soundtrack to the summer trailer of the British hit TV series Hollyoaks.
Velvet-voiced newcomer Jack Kane continues to build towards the release of his second EP with the reveal of stellar new single, Something More, on November 25th. Having gained support from areas such as Wonderland, House Of Solo and Atwood Magazine on the back of gorgeous debut EP Under Your Spell, Something More sees the fast emerging artist laying his standout vocals over a vibrant arrangement. Tale a listen below.
An artist’s greatest super power is freedom. Liberation is both the modus operandi and main ingredient of the fearless five-man band Phony Ppl. Comprised of the cream of Brooklyn’s young musician crop: Elbee Thrie, Aja Grant, Matthew Byas, Elijah Rawk, and Bari Bass, each classically trained member is a product of musical parents who gifted their children exceptional DNA, exposure to the greats and, most importantly, wings for exploration and self-discovery. The result is a collective that’s as limitless as its music; one that has received praise from the likes of Tyler The Creator and Childish Gambino, performed with Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and The Roots, and killed festivals, late night television and their own residency at New York City’s legendary Blue Note.
Recent highlights for Phony Ppl include their 2020 set on Megan Thee Stallion’s “NPR Tiny Desk” where the artists previewed their collaboration “Fkn Around” which ultimately went viral. Shortly after marked the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which delayed the band’s album plans but saw the release of their next single “On My Shit” ft. Joey Bada$$ and their nationwide tour.
Phony Ppl’s new album Euphonyus is set to release this fall and will jumpstart a new chapter in the band’s story. The band’s sonic approach to the album is to connect the dots between the different feelings each song provides; housing songs that are danceable, vibrant, and joyful under the same roof as songs that are laced with sadness, sorrow, and lust.
Utah’s hidden threat to the modern alt-pop world, Maz, releases her second single “Maybe Love.” Inspired by the early 2000s snowboard culture she grew up in, and her dad’s involvement in Robot Food’s 2003 snowboard film Lame, the track is a rebellious hit to the chest for anyone who has previously attempted to box her in – Stream.
As Maz sonically rips through her frustrations with hookup culture, the production stylings of fellow Utahn, Tyler Harris, and Still Woozy collaborators, Bobbing and Cole Williams help to annihilate the rule book of how to step by step craft a song that sticks. Maz is the first artist taking part in Early Rising’s new distribution deal with Elektra.
“I think my generation is missing the possibility of deeper connection and the ability to see the individuality of each soul,” Maz said about the meaning behind today’s single.
Teon Gibbs is quickly becoming one of the most well known voices coming out of Canada. The two things that really separate Teon from his peers are his show stopping performances and his willingness to take risks with his art. Always pushing the boundaries of genre and innovation, Complex UK has stated that Teon’s work has “hit on a fusion sound that has been sorely under-explored.”
Exclaim! has described Teon as having a natural ability to blend serious themes with soulful tracks, delivering a thoughtfulness that sets him apart from many of his contemporaries and he demonstrates a willingness to go to places that most artists would be afraid to. Maybe this willingness has something to do with Teon’s upbringing. Originally from Botswana, Teon has lived in the UK, South Africa and Angola before settling in Vancouver, Canada. “We had humble beginnings, but it really taught me to push for more,” says Teon.
Budding Asian-American pop-rock powerhouse Maddox Lim has released his new single “Pick You Up,” a gripping pop-rock track about building mutual trust and letting go of solitude. “Pick You Up” is now available to stream and download on platforms worldwide.
At a meeting point between upbeat, delicate, and nostalgic, “Pick You Up” conveys the assurance and trust of being able to rely on someone through dark times and knowing that they have your back regardless of the circumstances. “It’s hard to watch those you care about be sad and in pain,” explains Lim. “I wanted to write a song to lift their spirits and let them know that no matter what happens, I will always be there for them and that things will eventually get better.”
Tommy B is the charismatic emcee from Essex that holds the title as one of Complex’s coveted ‘Ones To Watch’ and is one of the most exciting prospects to come out of the UK right now. Having appeared on line-ups that include ‘Radio 1’s Big Weekend’ and collaborated with a string of famed artists, a new wave of music makes its debut with the contemplative single ‘I Don’t Mind’.
Produced by Mr Garrett, a melancholy hue plays out with string led loop and stripped back bass that is accentuated with a dusting of slow tempo keys that tinker into the mix. The production creates the perfect foundation for Tommy B to lay down some vulnerable thoughts as his introspective lyricism picks apart the demise of a relationship. The emcee lyrically unravels the feelings of loss, frustration, regret and acceptance in a spectacular display of lyricism and skill as his wordplay takes charge alongside his use of perfectly painted metaphors and rhymes.
powerhouse songstress emie nathan releases the live video to new brand new EP’s title track deep down. Her impressive sophomore out a few days ago is packed with profoundly personal yet relatable songwriting working in tandem with sleek production, together forming a perfect ensemble for emie’s worldclass vocals.
Listen to the deep down (live) now;: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCkzxgFxgpw
Listen to the entire EP here: deep down EP
Speaking about the EP’s title on ‘deep down,’ emie said “It’s my declaration of disillusion with social media as an artist. No one really tells you at the start that being an artist means wearing a number of potential different hats that have absolutely nothing to do with songwriting or performing: activist, visionary, comedian, model, influencer… the list goes on.”
“Obviously, that list will vary from one artist to another depending on who they are and what the endgame may be (especially as a woman), but I know that when I first decided to be an artist it was because I love singing and performing for people. I like being on a stage with a bunch of musicians and sharing music that feels important and fun. deep down is a little cry for recognition that it isn’t, and shouldn’t be all about the numbers and stats. You can have all the followers in the world and still not sell out a venue.”
The Florence, SC-based multi-instrumentalist Alex Melton, known for his renditions of Punk Songs as country influenced songs, has released new song and video, a cover of Four Year Strong’s ‘Seventeen.’ The single is taken off the recently announced new album ‘Southern Charm’ which is out 23rd January 2023, is Alex’s debut album on label Pure Noise Records.
Ray Laurél Reveals Gorgeous New Single ‘CHARLES JEFFREY’// LISTEN HERE
Hotly tipped London based newcomer Ray Laurél continues to grow the buzz around them with the reveal of new single, CHARLES JEFFREY. A dark indie cut decorated with flourishes of electronic pop, the track arrives with a black and white UFO-style video, showcasing Ray Laurél as one of the most fully formed and exciting newcomers to emerge from the indie space recently. Speaking on CHARLES JEFFREY , they state:
“CHARLES JEFFREY is about the shadow self, the inner demons we all have inside of us and embracing that. I feel people are hyper fixated around running toward love, but the more you run away from fear, the most you’ll encounter it. “
Los Angeles indie-pop vocalist KiKi Holli creates stunning and soulful music woven with intricate emotive storytelling for a truly captivating and cathartic listening experience with an eclectic musical aesthetic. Holli draws on inspiration from her rich theatrical background, as well as from iconic artists such as PRINCE, Dusty Springfield, The Cure, Stevie Nicks and Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Crafting a unique sound, KiKi Holli’s music is beautifully vulnerable and nurturing, with themes of connection, healing, personal growth, and living in the moment. If her delivery seems genuine—empathetic even—that’s because it is. She’s been there.
“You know, Amor fati — love your fate, love whatever is in front of you and embrace the moment,” she says.
Holli’s debut single was a breathtaking cover of Roxy Music’s “More Than This”, a raw and intimate version of the celebrated 80’s hit. Collaborating with acclaimed producer Ethan Allen (Throwing Muses, Tricky, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club), she was inspired to release her own version of the song in the midst of dealing with intense grief and loss.
Her first original song, “NEW HIGH” is a celebration of simple pleasures, finding solace in your happy place and a returning to love after a time of hardship. With soaring vocals singing sunshine-dipped melodies over lush and blissful pop rock soundscapes, “NEW HIGH” is a welcome sonic escape, collaborating again with Allen to create a landscape of music that pulls the listener into the neon glow of a surreal joy ride down the coast of Malibu.
“The music was inspired by long trips down the coast from Highway 10 to the PCH, a trip I take often with my husband. It helps me find my center again to see and sit by the ocean. It’s my happy place. I think that ‘NEW HIGH’ is a good song for all of us, transitioning out of our houses and from looking at each other through screens. That separation really does a number on your brain. ‘NEW HIGH’ is saying that we’re going to be all right, we’re making it through and coming out stronger,”
In “Play To Lose”, KiKi examines leaving a toxic relationship and finding your voice and confidence in the end. With layered vocals full of confidence and depth, and acoustic guitars dripping with nostalgia, “Play To Lose” is a radiating groove-infused roots pop single. “Play To Lose” reminds the listener to know your own worth and find your power even in the most hopeless of situations.
Her single “Sun Playing Tricks On Me” is a sultry fever dream in a mirage of lost love. “Sun Playing Tricks”, produced and mixed by Grammy nominated Ethan Allen, is an exciting alt-pop song with a soulful vibe. Recorded at Royal Triton Studios in Silverlake, CA. Mastered by Grammy winner, David Collins. The song is layered with warm sun- dripped vocals full of depth.
With a new EP CHEMICAL LOVE, KiKi Holli creates relatable music that culminates into a diary of hope for listeners across the globe.
Acclaimed alt pop duo joan today announce details of their long awaited debut album superglue, out April 19th via Photo Finish Records. The twelve-track full length is over three years in the making, following their beloved EPs portra, cloudy, hi and bye, and is an existential journey influenced by the duo’s recent transition into fatherhood.
joan explain: “It’s totally wrecked our world and we both have been going through a lot of the same growth that comes alongside being a parent. It’s changed our whole process of writing, and way more than just like having a kid and making every song about them. It’s made us think more about who we are as people, what we want to put into the world and what we want to get out of it, just reflecting on life way more than I think we ever have. This album as a whole is about the past and the present happening at the same time, it’s about dreams for the future and hoping for a better tomorrow but missing yesterday. It’s by far the best and most meaningful music we’ve ever made, it has something for everyone, and we hope it means something to you too.”
To accompany the news they’ve also shared the record’s second single and video ‘flowers’, the last song joan wrote for the album which became one of their personal favorites. The highly emotive and nostalgic narrative discusses how time is fleeting and how people grow and change, paired with wistful acoustic guitar riffs under cinematic synths and heartfelt melodies. The accompanying video shows captures joan’s riveting performance against bright hues of yellow.
The band share “I remember running around the streets of my best friend’s neighborhood after midnight, skipping around from friend to friends house. I remember rushing to my friend’s house after school to rehearse our new songs in his garage. I remember driving around town after the sun went down just because we could. you make so many memories in those formative years. You never think to yourself, “this won’t last forever”. but then you grow. It happens slow – years go by, seasons change. That’s just life. If you’re lucky, some of those people stick around. but for a lot of us, you’re left asking, “why don’t we talk anymore?”. That’s what this song is to us.”
Songs get bound up with our memories, emotions and experiences. They can take us back to moments we have lived, and serve as carriers of emotions we have forgotten. It’s a kind of magic, and I am always trying to cast that kind of spell. – Eva Schubert
Brighton based artist Kaisha (pronounced ka-yee-sha) drops the alternative R&B infused second single ‘Hard To Please’ delving into the draining experience of being in a relationship and the feeling of going around in circles with no resolution.
With over 2 million streams, the eclectic musician effortlessly blends soulful, yet modern R&B with pop and neo-soul ahead of the release of her upcoming EP ‘Nine Yards’.
After recently selling out her first headline show in Brighton, Kaisha has since garnered support from tastemakers across the industry including BBC Radio 1Xtra, The Independent, Rinse FM, Wonderland, Worldwide FM, Cool Hunting, BBC Introducing and more.
The new single ‘Hard To Please’ from Kaisha is a call to those who are unable to be content with what they have, to stop fussing over the smaller details and to focus on the bigger picture.
Speaking about the newly released track, Kaisha explains:
“It’s about being in a relationship with someone who can never be fully satisfied with anything no matter how hard you try. With people like that, you soon realise that the effort you put in is under appreciated and when that happens, you figure out they’re not all that.”
‘Hard to Please’ is the second release from her upcoming EP ‘Nine Yards’ which is due for release in early 2023. Covering modern relationships, self-discovery and anxiety, in a new fresh take on R&B and Soul. Kaisha has set herself as a clear one to watch over the next 12 months.
Kaisha was born in Malaysia and relocated to Brighton in 2015 to study music. Taking inspiration from the likes of Mac Ayres, The Internet, SiR, Moonchild & Joyce Wrice, the up and coming artist has a fondness for experimentation and twisted R&B.
Since she launched, Kaisha has been making a name for herself with her signature honey dipped vocals, talented songwriting and soul-soaked melodies, positioning herself as one of the most exciting artists to watch for this year.
Soulful R&B artist Reagan Capaci delivers her mind-expanding sophomore EP See It Yet?. With a stamp of approval from T-Pain, the young artist combines her raspy vocals with R&B and jazz-infused tracks that can make any heart melt.
On the 7-track EP, Reagan acts as a narrator unraveling the many varied perspectives around her. The title See It Yet? is Reagan asking the listener, “Do you see what I see?” She goes for substance over silliness on the project, getting deep with her lyrical content and opening up her world through music.
“My hope with this project is for those who listen truly take the time to digest it. To understand and feel what it is to see things from a perspective outside your own. Whether it is the way you want to be loved, communicate with others, or decisions you make.”
Bringing their scene-shaping talents together for an epic collaboration, cinematic bass duo Koven and Australian drum & bass authority ShockOne today released their new single, “Collecting Thoughts” on Monstercat. The pairing comes as no surprise following Koven’s support on ShockOne’s Dark Machine Warehouse Tour over the last month, hitting venues across New Zealand and Australia. “Collecting Thoughts” opens with synth-driven nostalgia as Katie’s vocals build emotional intensity toward an adrenaline-pumping climax. Koven fans rejoice as the single will feature on their forthcoming EP, ‘Higher Ground (Part 2)’ in 2023, following their widely-praised first chapter in August.
Koven share, “We’re really excited to be collaborating with ShockOne for the first time. This was a demo we’d had for awhile, that we both really really loved so this collaboration seemed like a great opportunity to get it finished and out to the world. Uplifting vocal and dancefloor vibes.”
ShockOne adds, “It’s so great to finally write a song with Koven. We’ve been peers and fans of each other for such a long time, I’m surprised we took so long to do it tbh! I’m really happy with how this turned out. One of my biggest considerations going into this was ‘what should ShockOne x Koven sound like..?’ Not only that but what would our collective fans expect? And I think we’ve done exactly that – huge soaring vocals, epic melodies, and larger than life production!”
OPHIA ALEXA REVEALS STUNNING NEW EP ‘BEFORE I GO’// LISTEN HERE
Having gained widescale press acclaim, racked up an impressive number of streams and proved a hit in the web3 space, multi-talented California born, London based newcomer Sophia Alexa today reveals her stellar sophomore EP, Before I Go. A collection of winsome, autobiographical folk-pop songs showcasing fluttering vocals and gorgeous instrumentation, the EP serves as further testament that this is an artist to watch over the coming months. Speaking on EP focus track, Sophia states:
I wrote ‘World’s Heaviest Shoes’ based on the idea of someone who’s completely moved on while you’re still in the same place, reminiscing the memories you had. In the writing session, the writer I was with had mentioned the line ‘world’s heaviest shoes’ as a metaphor for that feeling of being stuck and it felt like the perfect way to describe it. The chorus is almost a plea for help, wondering why no one’s paying attention. I like how it ends desperate and angry, almost shouting, because you’re left without answers.
Queer|Art, New York City’s home for the creative and professional development of LGBTQ+ artists, is pleased to announce the winner of the third annual Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists, Utē Petit. The New Orleans-based visual artist will receive a $10,000 cash grant, professional development support, and individual studio visits with members of the judges panel to support her practice.
2022 Illuminations Grant Judge and visual artist, Jonathan Lyndon Chase writes: “Utē’s work is multi-layered, sensory touching on physical and metaphysical energies. Hungry and visually generous in the different modes of expression that are generously inviting the viewer to enter an ever growing world. The attention to poetic detail in the drawings are filled with vigor and show subjects I can relate to. Honest and Raw unapologetic gestures. The colors are very striking and bold throughout the 2d works’ sculptural moments and space vibrant spiritual landscapes and nature installations.”
2022 Illuminations Grant Judge and legendary performer and fashion icon, Connie (Girl) Fleming continues: “Petit’s work spoke to me with a deeply connective scoop, rooted in our connection to mother earth, & our responsibility as her steward. Illustrating our symbiotic existence that we so often forget at our very peril.”
Interdisciplinary artist and farmer, Utē Petit narrates Black-Indigenous land traditions across visual and embodied mediums. Petit’s visual language convenes figurative drawing, woven and quilted textile practices, and installation to render Afro-Indigenous sovereignty across the Americas. Across her layered work, Petit pulls from inherited familial textile traditions to chronicle legacies of interdependence and sovereignty among Black-Indigenous peoples: the artist learned quilting from her maternal grandmothers who were quilters in Misi-Ziibi. For Petit, cooking and gardening are somatic vehicles for historicizing and imagining speculative futures. Her current body of work builds off these familial legacies, worldbuilding practices, and aesthetic traditions to imagine a new nation called Ailanthaland—“nation of heavenly beings.” Petit’s Ailanthaland strives “to be an ecological paradise tenable to all beings, following the stewardship of Afro-Indigenous peoples of the Americas.”
As the third annual winner of the Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists, Utē Petit was selected from a pool of 66 applicants. The judges, who were chosen by Queer|Art to review applications for the national grant include visual artists, performers, and curators from around the country: Connie (Girl) Fleming, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, and Kimberly Drew. Developed and named in partnership with Mariette Pathy Allen, Aaryn Lang, and Serena Jara, this annual grant draws attention to an existing body of work, sheds light on the under-recognized contributions of Black trans women visual artists, and provides critical support to their continuing work.
Levina is an independent singer-songwriter who continues to enchant listeners with her contagious musicality and enthralling emotion. Born in Germany, the London-based artist continues to carve out her own realm of alternative pop inspired by the soul. Having been described as a “spellbinding sonic force” her mesmerising sound instantly catches your attention, while her profound lyrics connect with your heart.
Returning with her new single “Battleground”, an emotional and personal insight into Levina’s journey with mental health, she showcases impeccable creativity. Written by Levina and co-produced by Swedish collaborator Hannes Andersson, her latest single comes to life with humbling authenticity. Exploring the idea that things on the inside are not always as they seem from the outside, “Battleground” unfolds with a more unusual and romantic 6/8 time signature. This juxtaposition is also conveyed through the brilliant musical production and compelling chronicles, creating a sonic peak when paired with Levina’s euphoric vocal energy.
Levina explains, “I wrote Battleground about my struggles with mental health. I didn’t speak about it a lot, because I felt like no one would understand me and I would be a burden to people. However, after I got regular therapy, through Help Musicians and BAPAM, I realised the importance of opening up, because there are other people who are going through similar situations.”
Levina’s unparalleled strength and passion for alt-pop continue to blossom. With fables inspired by relationships with ourselves and each other, Levina continues to explore what it truly means to be human. Hoping to enable her listeners to feel understood, accepted and inspired, Levina’s resonance shines brightly. Her musical talent can be attributed to the variety of influences, from artists as diverse as Anastacia, Avril Lavigne to Amy Winehouse, Ella Fitzgerald and Skunk Anansie. She continues, “I am so grateful to be able to express my emotions through music and I want to raise awareness that struggles with mental health are not always visible. We need to make an effort to be kind to each other, because we never know what someone might be going through. I also want people to know that there’s always someone to talk to and someone who will listen, including services like Samaritans and Help Musicians, who have 24/7 helplines. And my DM’s are always open.”
wallyPDF, otherwise known as Wally Sajimi, forms a completely idysocranic musical project. Bringing a complexion of lofi tunes to life in an extraordinarily unique way.
Venturing into the realm of artificial intelligence art back in 2019, wallyPDF began his exploration into the connection between music and technology, lessening the interaction established by humans, and increasing the unification that AI could create within his musical sphere. Utilising algorithms to learn from brain activity and creativity, he explains, “I wanted to fuse and integrate technology with music creation. There’s a lack of experimentation between music creation and technology sometimes. People think you need 95% of human interaction to make music, but sometimes you don’t. In the world we live in now technology has been helping the music industry grow.”
With an ability to code 98% of the workload, wallyPDF covered everything from production, through to art, without even taking to the booth. Taking profound influence from the likes of Jay Z to Fela Kuti, and even his Nigerian aunts, the Lijadu Sisters, he hopes to open up new waves for lofi-lovers everywhere. He continues, “In my opinion it’s a genre that has one of the highest replay values in the music industry with mystic anonymous artists who have no egos and care about the art and creation of music.”
Now, wallyPDF is back with his next single “Beach Dreams”. Inspired by the sun-kissed waves of Portugal, his latest single envelops blissful melodies, cathartic harmonies and a pulsating rhythm. “Beach Dreams” truly is the perfect soundtrack for those coastline mornings where you wake up and everything just seems to make sense.
wallyPDF’s musical endeavors shine brightly. Having recently signed with Downtown Music as a musical artist specializing in computer-generated music, he continues to develop as an artist. With over 300,000 monthly listeners and streaming numbers hitting the millions, he’s becoming a frontier for technology-immersed music. In 2021, he made the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2021, and has also founded several companies.
Utah based quintet Krooked Kings reveal razor sharp new single Carbon Monoxide, a collaboration with critically acclaimed indie artist, Day Wave. Combining the surfy wooze of Day Wave with the garage-band roots of Krooked Kings, the track is an exciting offering from a band set for a big 2023. Speaking on the track, Krooked Kings state:
“Carbon Monoxide is us exploring the impacts the climate crisis is having on youth’s culture and our mental health.”
Arkells release new single, “Floating Like”, as a surprise addition to their just-released album, Blink Twice.
“‘Floating Like’ is about trying to free yourself of the allure and pull of material things and finding happiness in the simple wonders of life,” says frontman Max Kerman. It was written around a sample we cut up from The Impressions and their song ‘Seven Years.’ We added as many Motown soul tricks to the production with the goal of finding the joy and lightness of those classic tunes. It’s a special song for us, so we wanted to give it its own release and runway. Blink Twice is now complete.”
Also just released – live video cuts from Arkells’ hometown stadium show “The Rally” – a sight to behold, with over 25,000 fans packed into Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field. Check it out here.
Arkells have had a busy fall – touring in Germany, the UK and across Canada in support of their latest release. Their current run of shows bring them to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto next week. December will see the band receiving a prestigious recognition, the Allan Slaight Music Impact Honour from Canada’s Walk Of Fame, before capping off the year with a special sold-out Blink Once & Blink Twice themed night at New York’s Bowery Ballroom on Dec 7th.
Blink Twice is about going to new places and seeing the world with fresh eyes. “You can either move through life and grow stubborn, or you can grow curious,” says Kerman. “We’ve never had an album with so many guest artists along for the ride. Everyone from Cold War Kids, to Aly & AJ, Tegan and Sara, Lights, Cœur de pirate, Joel Plaskett, Jake Clemons and Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers. At our core we’ll always be a living, breathing soul band. But Blink Twice lets us be that and more.”
Producer, Songwriter and Recording Artist, VeeAlwaysHere, is exploring a new side to his creative process with the release of the “other side” music video. As a self-taught and self-sufficient musician, VeeAlwaysHere elaborates; “This was my first time producing and writing a record like this. Many people in the industry told me to just pick one type of sound and stick with it; but as a music consumer myself, I generally do not gravitate towards those types of artists. I want to challenge the industry standards and have fun with every record I create.”
“other side” is off his recently released EP, ego: playlist I. This EP was a way to prove and challenge himself towards becoming as versatile of a producer, songwriter and artist VeeAlwaysHere can become. He states; “Not only did I want to let go of my usual writing and producing habits, but also sounds, subject matter and styles that I generally gravitate towards in my process. This project is all about me being entirely outside of my comfort zone, and the title EGO symbolizes the idea of me being comfortable in a variety of different genres as a musician. EGO is about the music artist that I want to be and have always envisioned myself being one day.”
One of Scotland’s most celebrated artists of the 21st Century – MULL HISTORICAL SOCIETY – will return in 2023 with a wave of new activity.
Signing with Demon Records, the alias of Colin MacIntyre will be releasing a trilogy of colourful classic album reissues (‘Loss’, ‘Us’ and ‘This Is Hope’), plus a lavish 80 track media-book box set (‘Archaeology: Complete Recordings 2000-2004’) – all released on 24th February. Order here: https://mullsociety.lnk.to/archaeology
In addition, MHS will also be returning to the live stage for a very special anniversary show in celebration of his early works.
The jewel in the crown of these revisionary releases is ‘Archaeology: Complete Recordings 2000-2004’; an expansive and ornately produced 4xCD media/book set that is a must for every Mull Historical Society fan. A monument to MacIntyre’s earliest period, its 80-strong tracklist includes the first three MHS albums in their entirety (Discs 1-3), plus a fourth disc compiling a trove of unreleased rarities, live tracks, demos, and covers (inc. The Strokes’ “Last Nite”, Ms Dynamite’s “It Takes More” and Radiohead’s “Motion Picture Soundtrack”). Accompanying the audio is a lovingly produced book, compiling exclusive photographs, extracts from Colin MacIntyre of MHS’s celebrated writings (inc. a preview of his new memoir ‘The Boy In the Bubble’), plus a reflective chapter on ‘Loss’ extracted from Tom Clayton’s 2022 book ‘When Quiet Was The New Loud’, and an essay from journalist Billy Sloan discussing the Mull Historical Society legacy.
In tandem with the boxset release, MHS’ first three albums (‘Loss’, ‘Us’ & ‘This Is Hope’) will also be available as individual vinyl editions for the first time since their release.
Suddenly Rain is an ecstatic love story told in three brief evocative scenes that cascade and erupt as Epstein unleashes the conflicting emotions that come when wrenching open one’s inner world to another. Performing with reckless abandon on nearly all the instruments, Epstein mixes pain and pleasure as he and his collaborators, poet and co-lyricist Maggie Millner and co-producer Michael Coleman, conjure moments of intimacy that sparkle with Wailers-like harmonies and explode with free-jazz inspired blasts of drums. Coleman contributes the blistering drum solo of the finale and longtime collaborator Dave Harrington tops it off with the feline wail of his slide guitar. At any minute it could all fall apart, but it hangs on triumphantly through the sheer joy of music making.