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INsiders Guide: SYDNEY MAE, The Inspector Cluzo, GEORGE HENNESSEY, J.I., Colony House, JON BATISTE, CarbonWorks…

Sydney Mae is an award-winning Pop/Adult Pop recording and performing artist based in Toronto. She has been recognized internationally for her gift of superior storytelling and room-silencing vocals that draw you in to see the world through her eyes. Originally from Calgary, Mae’s contemporary musical influences include Maggie Rogers, Léon, & Ashe to name a few.

Her single, “Not The Only One” (Jan 2023), was co-written with Nancy Laberge and is inspired by multiple experiences of outgrowing significantly one-sided relationships. “We wrote this song at a time when I was sadly validating and supporting others’ experiences without the reciprocation or recognition of my own,” recalls Mae. “Within this particular relationship, I realized that because I was focusing on them, I wasn’t allowing my feelings to have the attention they needed to resolve naturally, which produced emotional build ups and a wave of anxiety I didn’t know what to do with.”

Mae’s debut single, “Feet First” (2021), generated 245,000+ streams, and was the #1 most played song on Stingray Music’s Pop Adult channel.

The Inspector Cluzo are excited to release their third single “Running A Family Farm Is More Rock Than Playing Rock’n’Roll Music“. The track is accompanied by a video, and can be watched here. In addition, the Gascon duo are thrilled to keep their reputation as one the most prolific touring bands in the world announcing a full European and UK tour, including dates as special guests to EELS in March 2023 in UK, Benelux, and Germany.

The band comments: “As farmers ourselves, we can confirm that touring and playing in front of thousands of people is much easier than dealing with Mother Nature’s anger due to climate change as well as with all factory farms and agro-industry pressure added to the permanent green-washing. 

The band continues: “The video is made with extracts from Yan Sourigues ‘Running a family farm’ documentary, which will be released later this year.

The Inspector Cluzo are also set to release a brand new record Horizon on January 27th, 2023, via F.thebassplayer Records. Two singles have already been released: Horizon and Swallows. The new album was recorded in three weeks and produced by Grammy Award winner Vance Powell. Horizon is the deepest and truest album The Inspector Cluzo have written to date. Each song shares and takes inspiration from real-life events and experiences.

The band has played over 1200 shows in 67 countries to date, and have been a part of sold out USA support tours with Clutch and Eels in 2019, alongside a host of festival appearances across the globe (including Lollapalooza Chile and Brazil) and a maiden US headline tour. In the summer of 2022 The Inspector Cluzo played extensively on prestigious stages across Europe, including the widely renowned Hellfest Festival, where they gathered a crowd of 50,000 fans.

With the arrival of his debut album now just weeks away – George Hennessey – teases the upcoming release with a brand new single: “Memory Lane”. 

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Fusing skyscraping chorus hooks with cascading arrangements guaranteed to blow away the January blues, the latest cut from Hennessey’s much anticipated new LP ‘If You Can’t Find What You’re Looking For Please Ask’ (out 3 February) proves his pedigree as a modern day torchbearer of the Brit-Pop flame. 

Nodding to the unabashed, audience-unifying pop/rock masterclasses of the 90s, “Memory Lane” is both compulsively anthemic and artfully nostalgic. Seemingly custom-made to be bellowed out by teeming crowds in the packed spaces, the song in fact dates back to those solitary days of the second lockdown.

A song about hedonistic escapism and hope for the future, George explains of the track: 

 

“I wrote “Memory Lane” during the second lockdown whilst on an LSD trip. As things got quite intense I picked up my guitar to distract myself and outcome this song within minutes. It’s about feeling a sense of optimism and finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel in regards to covid.”

To accompany the single, Hennessey has also produced a special unplugged version of the track, performed live at his home in London. Check it out now, here: https://youtu.be/vblViL5_TlQ

Memory Lane” is the latest in a succession of singles to be unchained from his feverishly anticipated album release and follows the release of recent hit-single “Prisoner”, which featured on Apple Music’s “New In Rock” playlist for several weeks in UK, Ireland, Austria and Germany, plus received support from Germany’s major radio stations NDR 2 and RBB Radioeins.

A rock’n’roll singer-songwriter born and bred in London, George Hennessey has been turning heads for some time now with songs that often marry the earth-splitting sounds of Grunge with the melodic merits of Brit-Pop. But on his upcoming debut, ‘If You Can’t Find What You’re Looking For Please Ask’ (out 3 February, via Massive 92 records), the Twickenham talent will be stepping up his game in 2023 with a body of work that proves he’s primed and ready for the big time.

Channelling the Britpop songwriting talents of Paul Weller or Noel Gallagher, through twists of psychedelia, folk and rock; Hennessey serves up nine coming-of-age tales about breaking-up, bouncing back, and believing in yourself. From musings on tripping-up in relationships to confessions of tripping-out in lockdown, ‘If You Can’t Find…’ infuses relatable songs with a renegade spirit and a warmth of character that will keep you coming back for more. Co-produced and mastered by the esteemed Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica, Ringo Starr, Mew) and mixed by James Kenosha (Dry The River, Pulled Apart By Horses, Pastel), this is a debut to make a noise about.

The Prince of NY, lyric architect and globally known artist J.I.  kicks off the new year with his sultry single and music video “It’s Officially Done”- – released via G*Starr Ent. The track is the latest single off J.I.’s forthcoming EP – slated to be released next month. Paying homage to the iconic R&B group 112,  J.I. uses the “It’s Over Now” sample as the perfect backdrop to match his melodic tone and rhythmic flow. He blends rap with his singing that provides an effortless vibe to complement his undeniable swagger throughout the visual. 
 
The elevation of J.I.’s style and artistic perspective shines powerfully while accompanied by captivating visuals. The inclusion of dancers, the juxtaposition of the industrial setting against the terrain landscape balances itself out with the hues of flashing reds, greens and yellow. In conjunction, you see a poised J.I. embellished in jewels, high end fashion and stacks of money while he stands strongly as the centerpiece of this visually striking video. 

The music of Colony House—an indie rock band made up of brothers Will and Caleb Chapman, as well as Scott Mills and Parke Cottrell—is playfully self-described as “landlocked surf rock.” Their personal genre designation is as much inspired by their hometown of Franklin, Tenn., as their new album The Cannonballers is: within 11 tracks, the band delves into where they come from and how a place, and its memories, have made them.

“It’s too easy getting sucked into the grind of everyday life… the hustle and the hurry we all willingly subject ourselves to,” Caleb says of the newest single. “‘Would Ya Could Ya’ is about breaking the mold. At surface level, it’s a ‘let’s get outta here’ open road, never look back type of cruiser, but beneath the surface, I think it recognizes that we are often the obstacle standing in our own way and that it’s up to us to make the next move.”

Following the February 3rd release of The Cannonballers, Colony House will embark on a national tour, kicking off on February 11th at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Dates HERE.

Just announced! Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter and composer Jon Batiste will perform on Friday, May 5 at the New Orleans Jazz Fest! @JazzFest takes place April 28 – May 7 with 600+ bands, can’t-resist food, must-see crafts, daily parades and more. General admission weekend passes, VIP packages and additional information can be found at nojazzfest.com#jazzfest
 
About Jon Batiste:
Jon Batiste is one of history’s most brilliant, prolific and accomplished musicians. Batiste studied and received both a B.A. and M.F.A. at the world-renowned Juilliard School in New York City. In 2018, he received a Grammy nomination for Best American Roots Performance and in 2020, he received two Grammy nods for the albums: CHRONOLOGY OF A DREAM: LIVE AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD and MEDITATIONS (with Cory Wong). In 2020, He won an Academy Award for Best Original Score for the Disney/Pixar film SOUL, an honor he shared with fellow composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Jon’s work on SOUL also earned him a Golden Globe, BAFTA, NAACP Image Award and a Critic’s Choice Award. He is the second Black composer in history, after legendary jazz musician Herbie Hancock, to win an Academy Award for composition. Batiste’s latest studio album, WE ARE, was released in March 2021 to overwhelming critical acclaim. Subsequently, he was nominated for eleven Grammys across seven different categories, a first in Grammy history. He went on to win five of those Grammys including Album of the Year.

Experimental rock group CarbonWorks, led by guitarist/composer Neal Barnard, ring in the new year with their energetic new single, titled “Marie Osmole.” The song is the third release from CarbonWorks’ upcoming album, Vanishing Act, out April 21, 2023.

As with past CarbonWorks singles, the song is a unique combination of various genres. “Marie Osmole” starts as an upbeat punk song, with a saxophone riff over guitar and lyrics about adolescent insecurities. Then, without warning, the song suddenly jumps to a slower bluesy beat with a sultry French lyric. But before you’ve finished your Pernod, the punk theme roars back in.  

Neal Barnard wrote the song many years ago, when he led Pop Maru, a 1980s DC-based industrial New Wave band. Barnard describes the song as “goofy, arty, and fun that just makes you want to jump up and dance” and decided it was “just what CarbonWorks’ new album needed!”

“Sister” tackles the complexity of mental health and illness intuitively and tenderly. She really takes the time to create a safe space. A story unfolds about the experiences of a young woman trying to grapple with the stark reality of her sister’s illness. It’s delicate and heart-wrenchingly real. This is a song of struggle, powerful perseverance but most of all – it’s about love.

“I want to write songs that are catchy and modern but which will also break your heart,” Gracie shares. “Many current artists create songs by co-writing, which sometimes makes them less personal. I want to write songs that are extremely personal to me, with emotions that are universal so that everyone can relate to them.”

Gracie Jet wears her heart on her sleeve and has always shown tenderness and understanding toward people’s lives. Her songs make you smile, laugh and cry all at the same time. Born in England and now native to Owen Sound, Ontario, Gracie Jet’s vocals are reminiscent of Adele with her grounded and impassioned strength behind her voice. Her confessional, piano-driven pop is powerful and melodic, from soaring ballads to country-tinged songs are perfect for a summer highway. 

Magic Shadows is an alchemy of the conscious and subconscious: reality and the dream world. The LP title is from a ’70s TV show which introduced me to all kinds of wonderful surreal musical films.

Stylistically, I’ve been interested in the transition between decades.

Moving between the 1970s and 80s, there’s an interesting blend of organic and synthetic sounds.

The premise of “Perfect Future” is to imagine yourself as a ghost floating away from this earthly life. Free from everything yet forever tethered to your memories.

Musically, it’s influenced by chameleon-like artists such as David Bowie, Kate Bush and Prince.

Lyrically, the magical realism of The Twilight Zone (1959) sparked the basic idea.

After years of songwriting, recording, and touring, I came across a long forgotten discovery: my very first book of unreleased songs. “Perfect Future” is a reimagination of one of those early tunes.
From psychedelia and vintage soul throughout the history of adventurous pop, Magic Shadows is a homage to my inspirations, produced by sonic architect Carl Jennings and aided by The Nines’ Steve Eggers (background vocals), Teenage Head’s Dave “Rave” DesRoches (background vocals), Jason Frederick (strings), and The Spoon’s Rob Preuss (keys).

Enjoy the sonic journey,

Bill Majoros // The Foreign Films
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QUARRY returns in 2023 with “Kick The Void Outside”. Premiered today by Amplify Music Magazine, the new single arrives ahead of the UK release of his album ‘Positioning The Sun’ on 20 January 2023.

WATCH OFFICIAL VIDEO HERE

An elastic rock track with an environmental conscience, “Kick The Void Outside” draws on Quarry’s real world concerns to envisage a vivid narrative of two star crossed lovers caught-up in a post-apocalyptic dystopia that could yet be… As Quarry explains: 

“The track is spoken primarily from the perspective of two lovers seeking refuge from environmental collapse in a bunker, carrying with them the utopian dream of an unspoiled environment to live in and recalling the seemingly endless days spent in nature. But this song is also a way for me to express my conflicted feelings about the algorithmic world that is rearranging our lives. It seems to steal my soul at times, and I need it back.”

Treading the line between jangling ‘90s indie and urgent modern-day post-punk, “Kick The Void Outside” sees the multi-faceted artist blend chugging guitars with contagious percussive melodies to create something reminiscent of peak Echo & The Bunnymen. It joins earlier singles “This Is The Story”, “Beyond Any Sense” and “New City Comes Along” on Quarry’s latest album ‘Positioning The Sun’.

Available in the UK on 20 January 2023 via Lowfieye Records, the album was born out of the feeling of living suspended in time during the pandemic. Written and recorded in Milan between 2020 and 2022, the LP has a knack for capturing the overwhelming weight of the world’s complications. 

Warm and expansive, full of beauty and melody and revolving around love and loss, Quarry explains of the album:

“I wanted to make an eclectic album. I started writing a sort of soundtrack to an imaginary movie. But then I realised that I was locked in my tiny home studio with this new pandemic bursting into planet earth, and I was writing songs about isolation, distance, separation. It was the soundtrack of that particular time. Pandemic permeated the album with a sense of loneliness and concern, and when it was almost finished the outbreak of war in Ukraine made the songs more relevant.” 

Email: neill@outloudculture.com

Socials: @neillfrazer

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Written by Neill Frazer

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