INsiders Guide: JACKPAL, Cub Sport, Tara MacLean, CARVER COMMODORE, Chin Injeti, Mariette Pathy Allen and Culture Lab LIC, Asher Ossn, Nikita Lev…

JACKPAL makes music blending modern pop sensibilities with the raw, unfiltered charisma of a rock-n-roll front man.

The charming confidence he carries, however, was years in the making. As a young teen, JACKPAL (aka Jack Powell) faced scrutiny and ridicule as an aspiring rapper living in the south. It wasn’t until his school bully stole his phone and found his notes app filled with lyrics that things began to turn around. Soon after, his biggest hater would become his biggest champion; inviting Jack to his home studio to start writing and recording music together as friends. 

Australia’s Cub Sport release their fifth studio album Jesus At The Gay Bar out now.

For their entire career, Cub Sport have been searching for some kind of absolution. To listen to the Brisbane band’s music is to see a process of unburdening and unlearning in slow motion: their four albums to date plot a progression away from shame and towards joy, celebration and pure euphoria.

On their resplendent, forthcoming fifth album Jesus At The Gay Bar – the title of which was inspired by writer Jay Hulme’s poem of the same name – Cub Sport finally reach that point of ecstatic lightness, or at least somewhere close to it. Using the language of bright, crystalline dance music – with nods to house, 2-step and UK garage, while retaining the lush fragility of Cub Sport music past – as shorthand for a kind of hard-won spiritual freedom, Jesus At The Gay Bar finds Tim Nelson, Sam Netterfield, Zoe Davis and Dan Puusaari largely shedding hang-ups and celebrating love and life in all its manifestations. 

Where Cub Sport’s 2020 album Like Nirvana was a bloodletting of sorts – dealing with the long, complex legacy that religious trauma can leave on a life – Jesus At The Gay Bar is about moving forward unencumbered. It’s an ode to celebrating one’s past, not just outrunning it, and looking boldly into the future, without the fear of past demons resurfacing. “There’s a lot from my life before I came out that has always been shrouded in shame, fear and secrecy. But it doesn’t have to be a secret anymore, and I feel like I can really shine a light on the magic of it and recognise and celebrate it for what it was and is,” says Nelson. “A lot of this album is validating my younger self – like if I could have heard some of these songs back then, I might have found some peace within myself sooner, maybe even celebration.” 

Even ifJesus At The Gay Bar can’t slip back through time, it’s sure to find a home in the record collections of anyone looking to embrace the bright, bold potential of queer experience. This album is Cub Sport in all-bangers, few-ballads mode: the production here nods to house, 2-step and UK garage, while retaining the lush fragility of Cub Sport music past. These are dance songs whose beats capture the feeling of butterflies in your stomach and stars in your eyes. The crackling, kinetic “Songs About It” is a piano-house rave-up that’s thick with the heat of a summer dancefloor, while “Always Got The Love” stretches a feeling of pure devotion into a gripping, muscular groove. These songs might remind you of the past, or they might provide diamond-hard assurance that the future holds something honest and thrilling. Written during the pandemic, the carefree sound of Jesus At The Gay Bar was inspired by time spent in private, communing with nature and relaxing with friends and family. “I was so familiar with getting my joy and happiness from playing shows,” Nelson says. “I had to learn to find joy elsewhere. And that kind of lead to me wanting to make music that gave me that energy, and that at its core, felt uplifting.” 

Canadian singer/songwriter Tara MacLean has been an internationally renowned and award winning recording and touring artist for 25 years.  She released her first album with the Nettwerk Music Group in 1996 and Sony Music Publishing Canada. Since then has been signed with Capitol Records and EMI Canada with her band Shaye. She has made six solo albums and two with the band. 

Tara has recently received the Senate of Canada Medal for her activist work in her community. She finished a run of three summer seasons with her hit theatre show that she wrote, produced and directed called, “Atlantic Blue- The Stories of Atlantic Canada’s Iconic Songwriters.” in Charlottetown, PEI.  The summer of 2019 saw Atlantic Blue produced by the world famous Charlottetown Festival playing three nights a week to sold out crowds. 

Tara received the SOCAN songwriter of the year award as well as Solo Recording of the Year for her latest album, “Deeper” at the PEI Music Awards in 2020.  Deeper was nominated for Pop Album of the Year at ECMA 2020. Her duet with Catherine MacLellan, This Storm, received the award for Song of the Year. She performed “Songs from Atlantic Blue” in Concert with the PEI Symphony Orchestra. She received the Stompin’ Tom Award for outstanding contribution to music in the region at the 2021 ECMAs.

Tara MacLean is an environmental and social justice activist, a zen student, a poet, a playwright, an author and public speaker. 

Indie rock band, Carver Commodore is thrilled to announce their new EP If Nothing Happens to be released on August 15th. As a preview they have released the first single “Drown Me In Emotions” that is out now.
The band says, “’Drown Me in Emotions’ is the first track from our upcoming EP If Nothing Happens. This EP marks the first time we’ve all been together in the studio playing our own parts and every part was written with intention so that the recordings feel like Carver Commodore in a live setting. They also reflect many of the feelings the band has had over the last couple of years – the ongoing conversation of “If Nothing Happens with this, will we be fine?” We’ve decided that we can’t NOT make music we believe in, so we hope that this song and the start of this EP release is as exciting for you as it is for us!”
On their new EP, “If Nothing Happens,” Alabama indie-pop-rockers Carver Commodore ask themselves the question all artists must confront at some point in their careers—if we never “make it”, if nothing happens, is this all still worth it?
Formed in 2017, Carver Commodore was a new start for founding members Payton Pruitt and Phillip Blevins after their college band parted ways. They were determined to make music and make it work for them, and since the band’s formation, have added three permanent members (Noah Freeman, Clayton Christopher, David Smith Jr.) and released two full length albums with a smattering of EPs and singles in between. These releases all fall at unique places on the spectrum of indie rock, and after taking the maximalist approach, the band decided to dial things back for their new EP.

Chin Injeti fuses his love of 80s funk and boogie music with a modern twist that encapsulates a unique yet nostalgic feeling, captivating his fans.

In the music industry, Chin has had a decorated career songwriting and producing with/for many household names. In the 90s, he fronted Bass is Base, which had fans all over the world and garnered him a deal with Universal music and Island Records in the United states. During that time, the group won a Juno (Canadian Grammy) for best R&B record, a Much Music Video award for a song called “Funkmobile” and Chin was awarded with Songwriter of the Year from SOCAN. This was just the beginning of Chin’s success.

Once Bass of Base came to an end, Chin spent years creating, touring and performing all over North America with the likes of The Fugees, The Roots, Jamiroquoi, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and so many more. Chin learned the craft of carving out frequencies and the importance of an impactful lyric and melody.

During that time, Chin perfected his craft, working behind the board. He then teamed up with DJ Khalil, with whom he made music with and for the likes of Dr Dre, Eminem, Drake, Pink, Aloe Blacc, The Clipse, Lecrae, K’Naan and so many other artists. During this time, Chin received multiple awards including 3 Grammys and 2 Juno Awards. Injeti’s impact on music has slowly taken shape with millions of records sold going Gold & Platinum.

(credit Mariette Pathy Allen)




Mariette Pathy Allen has been photographing the transgender community for almost 50 years. Through her artistic practice, she has been a pioneering force in gender consciousness, contributing to numerous cultural and academic publications about gender variance and lecturing worldwide. From June 1 to July 30 (opening on the evening of June 3 from 6-9pm), Culture Lab LIC will celebrate Mariette’s work with the exhibition Breaking Boundaries: 50 Years of Images alongside another exhibition with work by other artists inspired by, or in the spirit of, Mariette’s work titled Breaking More Boundaries. The latter will feature invited artists Zackary Drucker and Jess T. Dugan.

These exhibitions are part of Culture Lab LIC’s celebration of Pride Month and are curated by Orestes Gonzalez and Jesse Egner. There is currently an open call for submissions to Breaking More Boundaries. Interested artists should submit art that displays the transformative values and perceptions of inclusiveness that are embodied in Mariette’s work. Mediums accepted: photography, painting, sculpture, mixed media. No video or film work. Applications are open now through April 15. Submission page here. Selected artists will be announced on April 19. Jurors: Mariette Pathy Allen, Orestes Gonzalez, Jesse Egner. Culture Lab LIC is located at 5-25 46th Avenue, LIC, NY 11101. Phone: (347) 848 0030.

Most of the photographs featured in Breaking Boundaries: 50 Years of Images were made in the US. Also included within the exhibit is a section on transgender women in Cuba and Spirit Mediums (who may be women, gay men, transgender, or non-binary) in Burma and Thailand.

Books by Mariette Pathy Allen and several of the other artists will be available for purchase at the opening and throughout the exhibition.

Mariette Pathy Allen: “The importance of this exhibition in this retrograde, evil political climate, can’t be exaggerated. We hope that by presenting transgender and non-binary people as relatable, caring, and creative, we can help to dispel the misinformation and fear of gender and sexual non-conforming people. I am very grateful to the Culture Lab LIC’s Plaxall Gallery for giving me the opportunity to have this retrospective of some of my work on gender variance.

At the suggestion of Culture Lab LIC, Orestes Gonzalez, Jesse Egner, and I embarked on creating an Open Call to find other artists doing work that relates in some way to my long-term travels with gender-expansive people. I began to form this exhibition by inviting two young and highly-accomplished artists, Zackary Drucker and Jess T. Dugan, whose portraiture of strong, courageous people reminded me of some of the heroic people I photographed over the years who led the way to greater freedom of expression. I feel these artists’ love for the people they photograph is similar to mine. Orestes, Jesse, and I are waiting excitedly to see what treasures the open call brings!”

newcomer Asher Ossn returns with his sophomore single ‘Hopeless’. The track is a powerful and tender offering, showcasing Asher to be an exciting artist to watch.

Listen HERE

Hopeless comes as a dynamic blend of fearless and experimental approaches to music making. Asher blends acoustic instrumentation and synths with elements of distortion to create a bold, atmospheric soundscape. Sharing more, Asher said  “I often live in my head trying to make sense of internal conflict. This track is a representation of the peaks and valleys of a tumultuous relationship with self and others that can get heavy because there’s no easy fix”.

Hopeless is the follow-up to Asher’s debut single Bound which he shared at the end of the last year. Metal Magazine described the track as ‘A different pure and honest sound’ also flagging the release to be ‘‘the beginning of a promising career.’. 

Despite it being early days for the 22-year old, his fearless and experimental approach to music making is a force to be reckoned with.

With his debut EP ‘Heavy Burden’ due for release on the 25th of May, prepare to be swept away by Asher’s signature falsetto, paired with sonic wizardry.


Nikita Lev is a singer-songwriter who recently released her debut single “Elegance” and is soon releasing her next single “Like I Care”. “Like I Care” is a song about being alone and walking around in New York City, not having any distractions and thinking about fate. It is sort of a thought experiment about people’s lives and the serendipitous moments of life.

With his debut release “Shoulda Fling” currently taking TikTok by storm with over 1.5M views, 17-year old talent SWiTCH now drops the official video – underlining himself as one of the hottest emerging prospects in the UK Drill and Rap scenes in the process. Currently finding himself balancing both music and education as a sixth form student, SWiTCH draws inspiration from the homegrown sounds of Drill and Rap, his unique take on the genre already drawing significant co-signs from UK Drill icon Digga D and hotshot Nemzzz as well as the #1 TikTok artist in the UK last year, Stepz. With one of “Shoulda Fling”’s snippets accumulating over a million views alone, the young artist’s rapid ascent is clear as he continues his rise as a new breakout star.

Referencing rap, Jersey Drill and more across his sounds, the south east Londoner’s punchy delivery combines hard-hitting flows with melodic rhythms above a sharp instrumental that SWiTCH found himself on YouTube, then post-produced by DTGproducer and Smokey. Whilst his Drill persona comes through red-hot, SWiTCH also takes a uniquely technical stance on his work, engineering all of his music via his self-built home studio in south-east London.

With further releases promised in the coming months, and already cooking in the studio with the likes of Hargo Productions (Unknown T, Harlem Spartans), CZR, X10 and more, SWiTCH’s raw technical ability and ear for a viral hook positions him as one of the standout new names in the landscape for 2023.

This year, IAN DONALDSON, former frontman of the Scottish new wave band H2O, is celebrating 40 years of the classic single “I Dream To Sleep”.

In commemoration of this landmark anniversary, Donaldson has reconfigured the band’s breakthrough hit with fresh arrangements to create a new version of the song for 2023 that’s as nuanced as it is nostalgic. 

Speaking about “I Dream To Sleep” reaching this significant milestone and returning to the track all these years later, Ian Donaldson says:

“It would be a shame not to celebrate I Dream to Sleep’s birthday. The song has become an old friend, not only to me, but to many other people over the last 40 years. A re-release or remix would have been the easy options. I felt it deserved more. A new recording using different colours. So … I experimented with harps, acoustic guitar, piano, cello and a fresh vocal. I’m happy with how it turned out. I hope listeners old and new will like it too.”

The debut single from H2O, ‘I Dream To Sleep’ became a smash-hit upon its release in 1983. Transforming them from Glasgow scene dreamers to Top of the Pops-starring household names, the track would peak at number 17 in the Official Singles Chart and spend a total of 16 weeks in the UK Top 40. Reflecting on those times and their iconic TOTP performance, Donaldson adds:

“I remember when H20 were invited by the BBC to perform “I Dream to Sleep” on Top of The Pops. The biggest Music TV show in the world at the time. A programme I had watched religiously since I was a child. Thrilled doesn’t come close. Just before the show went out live I went to the makeup department to have my face freshened up only to find Elton John already there. He said Hello and told me he loved I Dream to Sleep … then … he sang the first line of the chorus to me. As memories go, it doesn’t get much better.”

Rising Northumberland singer-songwriter – THE EARLY PURPLE – has unveiled his new single “Summer Hide”, the title-track of his debut EP due 12 May. 

A plucky and percussive piece of Americana-tinged chamber-pop that soars like a shimmering sun emerging from behind the trees, “Summer Hide” sees Matt Saxon aka The Early Purple muse on the transformative power of being outdoors, and the solace that can be found out in nature.

Featuring members of The Early Purple’s live band Matt Hardy (drums/percussion) and Mark Broughton (keys), the track also features Matt’s brother Daniel (bass) as well as a host of friends and local musicians including Will Thorneycroft (harmonium/keys/guitar), Stu Walkinshaw (guitar) and Sarah Baron (vocals)

Recalling the classic folk/pop songwriting of CSNY to laidback atmospheric creations of C Duncan, “Summer Hide” was produced by long-time collaborator Will Thorneycroft (The Dawdler, Fax Machine, Lovely Assistant) and recorded in Winter 2022 between Blank Studios in Newcastle, Matt’s house in Lynemouth and Will’s House in Whitley Bay. 

“Summer Hide” also arrives as the title-track of The Early Purple’s forthcoming debut EP, set for release this May. A much-anticipated project that grapples with intensely personal and at times philosophical subject matter. Matt explains:

“I’m not writing about getting p**sed on a Friday night. I’m writing about things that are incredibly meaningful to me. A lot of the EP is inspired by my Dad (who sadly passed away in 2020), but it’s pretty oblique so people won’t listen and think: ‘this guy is writing about his old man’. A lot of the songs are actually quite miserable, but I like to think I’m quite an optimistic person. I like to put a spin on things so they’re a bit positive. You go through a big break-up, life feels like s**t… but I’d rather spin that around and write about my mates being incredible instead.” 

An active member of the North East music scene for over a decade, Matt Saxon has cut his teeth on the circuit while helping to bring other people’s musical endeavours to life. The multi-instrumentalist has performed at some of the UK’s best loved music venues and festivals whilst playing as a touring musician with the likes of Little Comets, The Dawdler and Grandfather Birds

Having collected a catalogue of his own songs over the years, lockdown allowed Matt the spare time and freedom to truly start work on music of his own. The multi-instrumentalist released his first single as The Early Purple last year, and “Old Eagle” gained airplay on BBC 6 Music and BBC Introducing, also landing him a coveted support slot with Danish chamber-pop outfit Efterklang. Having played a sell-out headline show at Tynemouth’s Watch House Museum before even having released a second single, The Early Purple has since unveiled follow-up tracks “The Way of the Sufi” and “Sea of Heavy”. 

[CREDIT: Cho Gi Seok]

South Korean artist, DAWN, releases “빛이 나는 너에게” (Eng Title: “Dear My Light”), today. Named by Rolling Stone as one of The 25 Most Stylish Musicians of 2023“Dear My Light” is DAWN’s first release after signing with AT AREA earlier this year. DAWN says of the release “I think many people will be amused when they first listen to this song, because it’s different from the music I’ve released in the past. It’s an acoustic song, and I focused on my vocals rather than my performance. I put a lot of effort into the lyrics to send the message I wanted to tell, so I recommend everyone to listen closely to the lyrics.”

Co-written by DAWN, alongside GroovyRoom, Kwaca, Hwang Yoo Bin, and HA:TFELT; “Dear My Light” sings about a beautiful time that was shared between two people. We can relate to each other with emotions that bind us, and DAWN invites this level of intimacy in his music. Known for being both a Rapper and Singer; DAWN sings over an acoustic guitar, showcasing his innate ability to craft deeply personal narratives into heartfelt lyrics. He sings; “Even if our shining memories disappear, I’m fine. You know you were my everything, I was happy enough to forget myself. It’s okay if I lose everything, as long as I can see you dazzling.” As delivered in the lyrics, “Dear My Light” expresses a longing gratitude towards someone who shed their light onto a dark self. GroovyRoom says, “Needless to say, DAWN is a fashion icon and well-known for his visuals. However, it feels like most people only see the outer part of DAWN. He is a musically talented artist with a wonderful voice, and we look forward to presenting the music we are building to the world.”

Back with another poetic pop masterpiece Liza Lo releases her new single, ‘hold me’, the final single ahead of her upcoming EP ‘Flourish’ – set for release on the 3rd of May.

Delicate production laced with acoustic guitars and keys creates the perfect dreamy soundscape for Liza Lo’s intimate vocals and luscious harmonies as she tells a new lover “It’s always you.” Building with the song Liza’s timeless vocals crescendo with emotion throughout, breathing life into the relatable story of a new love in its early stages. Produced by Tessa Rose Jackson (Someone) the pair spent time in Tessa’s studio last summer collaborating and perfecting the track.

Talking on the track Liza tells us: “The butterflies flourish in my stomach whist I patiently wait for him to tell me he feels the same. ‘hold me’ is an innocent confession that I’ve fallen in love. The track tells the second chapter of falling in love, following on from my previous single ‘this ocean’. It’s that time when you just want to spend every second of your day with someone but are still living in some uncertain tension of the newness of it all.”

With early support from New Music Friday, NOTION and with 1M+ streams on her single ‘Empty Room’ the rising newcomers EP is eagerly awaited. Growing up in the Balearic Islands, Liza’s serene, raw vocals ooze reflection, hope and a sense of calm. With the release of ‘hold me’ a memorising final release ahead of the EP the rest of 2023 is looking extremely promising for the rising talent.

Paul Fishman: electronic artist, composer and record producer is a globally renowned creator of innovative electronic music. He has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry, as well as producing and composing music for many internationally acclaimed feature films. Paul released a new single “Dysfunktional” – out now across all streaming platforms.

Paul Fishman has been involved in electronic music since aged 17 when he joined London’s Cockpit Theatre experimental music group, performing works by Stockhausen, Cage, Terry Riley and other contemporary composers. While studying composition at the Guildhall School of Music was signed to Warner Brother Records and mentored by Derek Taylor. During the 80’s he formed the group Re-Flex who achieved international success with both album and single “The Politics of Dancing”. Although regularly performing in the UK, the band first gained attention in America, where they topped the US dance charts, had a Billboard hit and toured extensively supporting The Police and The Thompson Twins. They were among the first of a wave of UK artists to be featured on MTV.

Paul’s knowledge of electronics gained him a reputation as a respected session musician and was in demand by film composers. He has worked with legendary artists and record producers (Public Image Limited, Elton John, Slade, Trevor Horn etc.) As a record producer, among his credits include mixing tracks for Motown’s Marvin Gaye & The Temptations, artists signed to Prince’s Paisley Park label and UK artist Yazz. Throughout his career he has continued to produce a wide range of different styles of music, from dance, pop, soul, jazz and even classical. Among his film credits are – ‘Superman’, ‘Death Wish’, ‘Breakdance’ and produced and mastered iconic soundtracks ‘Get Carter’‘The Internecine Project’ (Roy Budd) and ‘Just a Gigolo’ (David Bowie & Marlene Dietrich).

Returning to a love of electronics, with the goal of creating music that was different and outside current trends, in 2019 Paul released  “It’s About Time – Part 1”. The album is entirely instrumental, boldly attempts to combine electronic music with different genres, where ‘space age’ cyber-funk and ambience get to live together with ‘big tunes’. This was followed in 2020 by “It’s About Time – Part 2” . Later that year an unreleased album of songs written and recorded with Dave Harris (Fashion, Rick Wright Pink Floyd etc.) under the name Boom Boom called “2 Into the Groove” was made available. In 2021, Paul released “Art Official Intelligence”, an album of new songs which featured the singles ‘Bad Man’ ‘Lockdown’, ‘Going Down Slow’ and ‘On’, supported with videos produced by Paul.

The new single “Dysfunktional” is the first to be released from the forthcoming album “Abnormal”- out later this year and was inspired by his relationship with autism. He explains: “…I have spent a considerable amount of my life with those who like myself are “on the spectrum”. They are among the most creative and intelligent people I’ve had the fortune to meet and truly capable of thinking outside the box because they are. For many, it does not represent a disability but a gift as it is the ingredient that makes them different and exceptional. To be an artist, it is a requirement”.

“Dysfunktional” features Paul on vocals and keyboards but also some select musicians: Leo Richardson is regarded to be among the best sax players in the UK and a leading figure within Be Bop jazz. Todd Oliver, Paul’s son, a very gifted guitarist and artist, has performed on many releases including with UK singer Kwabs. Dave Harris on B vox- Paul simply describes as “a legend, good friend & Bume”. 

The track was created with “The mothership” aka Lilly, named after his mother. He explains: “Born during lockdown, Lilly is a modular synthesiser system, a distant cousin of Tonto that has slowly grown and evolved. It is an extremely versatile musical tool, capable of creating complex rhythms that surprisingly work well with funk and is featured throughout my new album Abnormal. Similar to my mother, Lilly is on the spectrum and totally outside of the box.”

Japanese-Australian sibling electronic duo Lastlings release their official music video for their latest single ‘Noise’, out now on RÜFÜS DU SOL’s Rose Avenue Records. 

Serving as the third single off their upcoming album, ‘Noise’ continues where previous singles ‘Get What You Want‘ and ‘Holding Me Like Water’ left off, building a therapeutic soundtrack to overcome heartbreak. A gentle balance of hope and melancholy, ‘Noise’ captivates with its avant-garde blend of electronic, indie, and pop sensibilities. Crafting a heartfelt tale of yearning for lost love, Josh’s euphoric synth-lead production beautifully surrounds Amy’s wistful vocals as she sings, “If you’re ready come and get me, cause I’ll never let you go”. 

Directed by Kidsofbill, the music video hones in on the track’s lyrical motif, taking fans on a visual journey that follows Chinese-Australian actress Bridget Gao Hollitt to an emotional final dance at Sydney’s Chung Do Taekwondo studio.

Describing the music video, Kidsofbill said, “Our intention with ‘Noise’ was for the atmosphere to lead, a sort of late night downtown world where peculiar things are commonplace. Then we place in Bridget Gao Hollitt’s character, a young chef with a lingering break up breathing down her neck, and things just go from bad to worse to one big cathartic release.”

Brooklyn-based indie pop artist Middle Part creates synth-laden music in the hopes of making you feel something. Composed with honesty and sincerity, the music takes inspiration from both 90’s and early Millenium alternative bands. Middle Part was born when singer Andrew Selkōw found himself in a serious depression and had to escape his current reality. Moving from Nashville to Alaska – not just to “find himself”, but to figure out how to live with himself – Andrew spent months folding boxes at a local pizza shop. It was in this monotonous and lonely state that he began writing songs simply as a way to get by. After moving to Brooklyn, those same songs – written in a dark time – have found a new light since beginning to work with producer and collaborator, Brian Zaremba. Middle Part’s six-track debut EP I Wish I Was Alive is heavily driven by his personal experiences, his shortcomings, his struggle with depression, dissociation and overall loss. It’s about grasping the concept of death, getting older, mental instability and self-reflection. Selkōw confides, “I wanted to make sure and let go of my ego before I pursued music again so that’s a big theme in this record as well as the inability to connect especially when you’re compartmentalizing everything all of the time. I wanted to be really honest and vulnerable in this batch of songs. I’m so goddamn sensitive and hate to show it, but it just bleeds through all of my music.” Listening to Middle Part is like reading one of Selkōw’s journal entries and uncovering all the back and forth he has in his head on a daily basis. Selkōw admits, “I just want people to relate. I so desperately want to connect and that might be the message…art is important, no matter how you decide to approach it. There’s no age or formula, so just create. It’s the most healing form of therapy I’ve ever experienced.”

Ransom and the Subset return with their long overdue new album, “Perfect Crimes,” on April 27th, 2023.  

The Washington-state alternative rock band, and brainchild of songwriter RainDair Porter, is known for fresh pop-rock-driven melodies, infectious hooks, and insightful lyricism. With influences that range from Steely Dan and Elton John to the Nick Lowe and Jellyfish, there’s nothing in the modern rock world they won’t experiment with. This newest project comes after their critically acclaimed 2014 debut.

 On “Perfect Crimes,” listeners find amplified songwriting and legendary featured musicians who are no strangers to hit songs. The album launches with the unforgettable track “Sara Kandi.” Mingled amongst modern rhythms and a rockabilly-style chorus, it explores an imaginary relationship that can only exist in your mind. Legendary bass player Graham Maby (Joe Jackson, Marshall Crenshaw, Regina Spektor, Joan Baez) contributes a burgeoning bass line that undulates alongside the ruckus rocky pre-chorus. It’s a cacophony of vintage vibes and modern grooves wrapped in a storytelling style that makes room for the imagination.

 Love makes people do crazy things, and on lead single, “Perfect Crime,” convinces the protagonist to purloin in dedication to his demanding love. The earworm track begins with a 1960’s style rhythm wrapped in a tight pop structure and witty lyrics. Lead singer, RanDair Porter, uses his unique rhythmic vocals to wax poetic about what he’s willing to do for love, while Grammy Award Winner Jay Graydon guests with melodic guitar and unexampled solo style.

“Left Her at the Shinkansen” is another imaginative story of a couple that never follows through on meeting each other. Infused with a toe-tapping rhythm and a bristling, bright chord progression, it imagines a lone woman waiting at the Japanese bullet train station for a passenger that never arrives. A 70’s Brit Rock feel reverberates with elements of steel guitar from B.J. Cole (Elton John , “Tiny Dancer”) and bass from Dan Rothchild (Tonic, Heart).

Inspired by the story of when his brother went missing in Mexico, “Bring Him Home” features a smattering of 1970’s influences. Despite the heavy subject matter, the doo-wop harmonies and pristine piano along with Robert Sledge’s (Ben Folds Five) melodic bass combined to create the perfect Mexican beach day vibes. Two good things came from the story — his brother came home, and RanDair crafted an addictively delicious melody.

A track where influences like the Association meet the Wrecking Crew, “One Last Thing,” is wrapped in 60’s delight. Layers of background vocals, provided by Darian Sahanaja (Wondermints, Brian Wilson) and Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (Blink 182, Beck), drape across each chord progression like a dream. RanDair excels in weaving stories into a timeless piece of music you can’t forget — and it’s never truer than on this throwback track.

On “Don’t Remember What Her Name Was,” we flash back to a memory of someone who stands out in our mind but can’t remember their name. Between a hand clap chorus, revving guitars, and a feel-good 1960’s inspired progression, the track is chock full of fun and fantasy. Guest guitar player Eric Ambel (Joan Jett and the Blackhearts) amps up the excitement with every swipe of the strings.

As the album winds down, RanDair experiments with the classic pop formula of fun melodies set to darker storylines. “Time in a Tunnel” is the story of making tough decisions for the people you love and holding on to those secrets until they rot. It’s awash with cool electric guitar, harrowing steel guitar, and a mysticism you’ll never quite put your finger on.

boundary-pushing, multimedia artist Groupthinkshares “Dancing On My Grave” with Kennyhoopla Get it HERE via 10K Projects.

Groupthink returns with their newest collective release with alt-pop performer Kennyhoopla. The new track moves slightly towards a more blog-house inspiration with a more dance focused instrumental. Using distorted saw wave synths and drums machines, they are tapping back into late 00s indie-dance music drawing inspiration from iconic acts such as Crystal CastlesYeah Yeah Yeahs, and MGMT. With their signature DIY approach to crafting pop songs, Groupthink continues to push boundaries and blend genres, always delivering well-crafted and methodical tracks that leave a lasting impression.

Groupthink has had a busy 2023 so far, throwing a legendary house party with Sunday Scaries, hosting an L.A. rave with The Hellp, opening on tour for their collaborator Kennyhoopla, and being featured in Pigeons and Planes’ February list of “Best New Artists.” The electrifying new track is part of the upcoming EP Before the Afters which features their single, “Miss Carolina” featuring Carlie Hanson

Groupthink is an instinctual creative and his first EP Guilty Pleasure is a testament to an innovative writer who knows how to take his innermost thoughts and turn them into songs that resonate on a wide scale. Some of his collaborators include EkkstacyPolo Perks, and Kennyhoopla. Last summer, Groupthink released Guilty Pleasure, a project full of colorful, vulnerable songs he’s been releasing over the last few years. The vibrant alt-pop project includes singles “Guilty Pleasure and Me and Your Boyfriend” — featuring Groupthink-directed videos — as well as the yearning, emotional track “Sex is a Sport.

buzzing Los Angeles-based rapper JELEEL! releases a hyped-up new track, “WICKED!” Get it HERE via 10K Projects.

“WICKED!” arrives as the last glimpse into JELEEL!’s upcoming debut album REAL RAW!, arriving May 5th. Alongside the hard-hitting single, the project will also feature previous tracks GNARLY!” feat. Armani White and RIDE THE WAVE!” which The FADER hailed calling JELEEL! “a relative newcomer quickly taking world by storm and stealing some hearts in the process.”

WICKED!’ is the last single going into my album, REAL RAW!, so I wanted to give my fans something high energy that they can go crazy to,” says JELEEL! “When I recorded this, I was in the studio watching Limp Bizkit and DMX performances at Woodstock ’99, and just trying to make something that felt like ‘stadium music’ and induce the same emotions you see the crowd feel watching those performance clips. I really love this record, it’s my new theme song.”

Returning with his first music of 2023 – THOM SOUTHERN – is pleased to present: “Love Hz”. 


A one-off release, the enigmatic Belfast songsmith is back with a new single that finds him stripping back the sonics, to craft something of an unadorned and unassuming beauty. Pared back of arrangement and unspoiled by overproduction, “Love Hz” lets Southern’s lyrics do the talking on this carefully crafted lo-fi release.

Delivered in his typically laid-back and understated style, Southern spins a tale of doomed romance and pining loneliness, as lyrics like “been in love with a girl from a different world // been abused, mistreated, I never saw it coming” linger heavily in the air like the gunpowder and mystery of a long since faded firework.

Speaking about the subject matter behind “Love Hz”, Thom Southern explains:

“”Love Hz” is the track that started it all with this direction.  It’s a simple folk song about the pain of heartache and not only the loss of that person in your life but the loss of who you were when you were with them.”

Written on a visit to see the artist, producer and pal Stevie Scullion (AKA Malojian) in Antrim Town, the pair set about working on “Love Hz” at his home studio back in 2021. Devising its knotty acoustic riffs, spiraling backwards guitar licks, and rattling percussive stutters, Thom Southern put the finishing touches to the song in Bangor, NI earlier this year. Proving to be a rejuvenating trip and a prolific experience, Thom remembers of writing with Stevie:

“I’ve always admired totally independent artists like Stevie, making their own music for themselves and never compromising their craft. Meeting up with him again at this point in my life after years of working with different industry types/record labels became quite a liberating creative experience.  It’s not surprising the first thing we did was start jamming together in his studio and before we knew it we’d already finished a couple of songs, ‘Love Hz’ being one of them.  I was heavily listening to Beck’s ‘One Foot In The Grave’ album at the time and our writing sessions were definitely becoming more and more inspired by the mentality and attitude of that album. We continued to write more songs for a couple of days after that… it felt effortless.”

Busily writing and recording new material in various locations around England and Ireland in the months since, Thom has been working on what he hopes will be the successor to his NI Music Prize-nominated first album ‘Plaza’. Turning a decisive corner from the atmospheric alt/rock leanings of his debut, the laid-back stylistics and loquacious narrative of “Love Hz” are said to hint at a new outlook and direction for the songwriter.

“The music I really want to make and have the most fun making is the more lo-fi acoustic stuff… tracks like my new single ‘Love Hz’. It was purely just for me and the friends I was collaborating with, reminding me of simpler times being a teenager in my bedroom with a rubbish microphone and my acoustic guitar” adds Thom. “Being ‘successful’ was the last thing on my mind back then and I feel like that’s where I’m at now. I really just don’t care what happens… it’s being in the middle of the creative process is the most exciting part and always will be.”

Irish psychedelic pop sextet – EXTRANAUTS – have released their new single “Lazarus” today, ahead of their upcoming debut album ‘The Alchemist’ (out 2 June 2023). 


A kaleidoscopic and groove-laden guitar-pop record, “Lazarus” finds hypnotic harmonies and swirling synths pirouette amongst lush layers of percussion. Taking inspiration from the biblical story of Lazarus — the man who defied death to return to the living — it sees the six-piece cook up a little miracle of their own.

Produced by Jagz Kooner (Primal Scream, Kasabian) and recorded at Grouse Lodge in Westmeath, Ireland, “Lazarus” tells a tale of regret, redemption and rebirth. As the band explain:

“”Lazarus” is a song about the hope that things can change, but it is also a warning that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”

Brixton Brewery are joining forces with Darco Recordings to celebrate both brands’ affiliation with Brixton’s heritage, culture, and community with a powerful pop-up exhibition, “Darchives”, at Brixton Brewery’s taproom from 18th to 23rd April. The “Darchives” exhibition will present personal collections and archive photography that tell influential stories of both the musical and civil rights legacies deeply rooted in Brixton and beyond – specifically honouring activist Darcus Howe and the history of Railton Road in the process. The week-long celebration will feature an exhibition, a pop-up gig, exclusive DJ sets and much more…

Founder of DARCO Recordings Darcus Beese is responsible for the careers of some of the UK’s biggest artists from Amy Winehouse, Sugababes, Mumford & Sons, Disclosure and Florence & The Machine. Darcus’s life will forever be intrinsically linked to Brixton and history it holds. He was born into a life of meaningful protest through his father, the fiercely intelligent and revolutionary figure Darcus Howe, exposing him to the power of free-speech and the importance of individuality in the modern world through his activism as editor of The Race today, leading rallies like the Black People’s Day of Action, and connections with the wider African and Asian diaspora. As well as protests, his father helped people in these communities stand up for their rights. His actions had such an impact that he was rewarded with a blue plaque on Railton Road in Brixton. The Brixton Brewery Taproom Exhibition will invite people to see images from across Darcus’s life and his musical heritage, through access to his own personal DARCHIVE. The collaboration will kick off with a private launch party, headlined by UK garage legend WOOKIE, to present the ‘DARCHIVES’ exhibition, featuring a powerful photography series of some previously unseen images. The exhibition will be open to the public from Wednesday 19th for the whole week with a closing party on Record Store Day (Saturday
22nd April) featuring daytime vinyl-only sets plus an evening session and live show from a DARCO special guest. The event will be commemorated by a LTD EDN Brixton Brewery x Darco Recordings beer called Railton Lager inspired by the Brixton home of Darcus’ father (available at the pop-up and via Brixton Brewery’s website, while stocks last). There are three can designs, each featuring legendary protest pictures of Darcus Howe and Beese, mixed in with the classic iconography of Brixton Brewery, alongside the striking yellow of DARCO recordings. Other key features include
9 stripes commemorating the mangrove 9, DARCO’s manifesto ‘for the people, all the people’ and a QR code allowing people to access the exclusive Darco playlist made for this special series of events.

Scottish six-piece – PARLIAMO – have unveiled their new single “You’re An Animal”, out 14 April.


A funk-laden guitar pop anthem filled with hazy melodies that flutter and float like the last rays of sun dipping behind the horizon on a languid summer day, “You’re An Animal” arrives as the first new music from Parliamo this year.

Taking primary inspiration from the laid-back electronica-infused indie pioneered by the likes of Primal ScreamSuper Furry Animals or Blur, with a healthy dose of the dazed guitar-pop rhythms reminiscent of Swim Deep or Peace also detectable amidst its sunny substance matter; “You’re An Animal” finds the band facing up to our fear of failure with a fizzing new release.

As vocalist Jack Dailly explains of the track:

“The lyrics [of “You’re An Animal”] centre on projecting your own failures and insecurities onto someone else in an argument: when you really should be having a go at yourself, you deflect the blame and double down. It quickly became an effective live number, with loads of people who had seen us live asking us when it would be released.”

South London viral sensation Stepz returns to the ether with his intoxicating, mellow-drill cut “Oh No”.

TikTok’s #1 most-viewed UK artist last year, Stepz has become one of the most important new voices breaking into public consciousness. His crystal-clear impulse for addictive soundwaves and conversational lyricism, focusing on ambition, fun and entrepreneurship rather than violence, is on full display throughout his latest offering. Set across sleek production elevated by new-wave royalty Slim Typical (D Double E, RV, M24), the 20-year-old manoeuvres through sharp percussion and playful melodies. Taking clear inspiration from the UK grime scene’s stalwarts like Dizzee

Rascal and D Double E, Stepz is defining himself as the spearhead of a new generation of youth culture flourishing across his city and beyond.

Wearing full Adidas Originals across the polished music video directed by Don Prod (Kwengface, Headie One, Digga D) and The Youngest Plug, Stepz’ natural flair is brought to life in a vibrant burst of colour, tailing busy studio sessions and dance-infused shenanigans that depict the pace and vibe of Stepz’ life – and the young talent shows no sign of slowing down.

Following just a handful of official releases, Stepz has quickly amassed well over 10M streams and 200K dedicated monthly listeners, while his viral “POV” style comedy videos have over 200M+ views. Part of the exciting UK management stable FlyStr8, Stepz’ relentless, bouncy entrepreneurial spirit and lyrical energy recalls the cream of pioneering Grime talent in Dizzee Rascal and JME, establishing his persona and music that has become uniquely intertwined now resonating ever further into pop culture – from the recent cameo of international superstar Michael Dapaah in one of his videos to being brought out by Dizzee Rascal at The O2 for the 20th Anniversary of his seminal album Boy In Da Corner.

Goth-pop priestess – FREYA BEER – is back with an invigorating AA-side release:
“Fantasy” // “Galore”. 


Her first new music of 2023, the “Fantasy” // “Galore” AA-side single arrives as Freya begins to etch out the successor to her acclaimed debut album ‘Beast’. Toying with that which tempts us in both lucid fantasies and shadowy realities, these two bold, dark and exhilarating new tracks find Freya Beer delving into what drives our deepest desires and showcasing two very different sides of her artistic abilities.

“You stretched your pegs out wide, slightly confused my appetite” teases Freya on “Fantasy” as she opens up the floor to a track of rapacious sexually-charged spills and raw garage rock thrills. Told through tactile, tantalising prose and prowling proto-punk riffs, this latest cut finds Freya celebrating the uncensored version of ourselves we become in our wildest daydreams. As Freya elaborates:

“Fantasy is an unfiltered exploration of self-discovery and expressing your thoughts in a fictional world. I wanted to write a song that emotes raw emotion and tells the listener to embrace their feelings in a positive way.”

On the flipside, “Galore” is an altogether more salacious affair that explores what can happen when those fictional pursuits and carnal desires boil over into real world infatuations with uncertain consequences. As Freya explains: 

“Galore is about people who are infatuated with something, almost bordering on ‘obsession’. The line “I’m your galore, you don’t want anyone else babe” depicts how this obsession is becoming a feeling of escapism and creating a fictional storyline for themselves.”

A goth-rock ballad spun through webs of swaggering feedback-scarred guitars, brooding synthesiser blossomings, and devilish vocal acrobatics destined to leave you breathless, “Galore” will have fans new and old simply yearning for more.

Directed by acclaimed videographer Paul Gallagher, the new music is accompanied by a one-take film shot in London, bringing Freya’s artistic vision for these tracks into vivid focus. Watch the “Fantasy” official video here.

London-based LGBTQIA+ newcomer Aka Shades delivers his infectious, rap-infused heater “Body Bag” – taken from his hotly-anticipated debut album dropping later this year.

Displaying an irresistible melodic palette that embodies the flourishing queer culture across the rap landscape, Aka Shades continues to artfully deconstruct the complexities of self-assurance and vulnerability across his latest release. Produced by East London’s J.AR.J (Jordan Stephens, Chi Virgo, Yiigaa), the hypnotic blend of UK rap and nostalgic pop tropes set pace for Shades’ eclectic vocal prowess. Effortlessly trading distorted bars alongside tender melodies as he flaunts unwavering confidence, Shades explores the realms of sexuality and the endless

soul search for body empowerment. A new lightning rod for innovation while delivering sounds showered in sultry textures, “Body Bag” marks another intoxicating

offering from one of the most exciting young prospects stepping into public consciousness.

Speaking on his musicality, Shades explains: “Everything that I create is autobiographical, and processing a lot of heavy topics often translates to a darker, more emotional sound which I’ve become known for. But through putting in the work on myself and exorcising the shame, there comes a sense of self-acceptance and boldness that feels too good not to share. I want anyone listening to my work to be taken on a journey, and there’s going to be some storms on the way, but sometimes you also have to get up and get loose in the rain.”

Scottish indie breakaways – SHAMBOLICS – release their brand new EP ‘U Serious Boi?!’ today; their first release on celebrated tastemaker imprint Scruff of the Neck Records.

The EP arrives as the Glasgow-based band prepare for a full UK tour throughout April and May, beginning with a major hometown show at The Garage tomorrow night (15 April). Remaining tickets are on sale now here.

Their poppiest, catchiest collection of tracks to date, the new EP ‘U Serious Boi?!’ arrives hand-in-hand with the insurgent new single “Never Gonna Change” – a gauzy, jangle-pop jewel to give The Smiths and Blossoms a run for their money. A song of special sentimental value to Shambolics, Darren Forbes says of the single: 

“”Never Gonna Change” is one of the first tunes me and Lewis wrote together. The song is about someone who is always complaining about their small town surroundings so pushes to change this. They move to the city to start a new life but it turns out he’s still the exact same guy and it’s his mentality that’s holding him back. We’ve met a few of them along the way.”

Experimental pop duo – YOVA – are back with an urgent and impending new single: “Feel Your Fear”. 


Letting loose a runaway freight train of jumpy guitar rhythms and primal percussive rumblings, the new single from the duo of Jova Radevska and Mark Vernon is one intended to heighten the senses and toy with what drives our fears and failings. As Jova explains: 

“”Feel Your Fear” is about the human’s fallible nature to form addictions in order to alleviate pain. We can do this with a person too: we can believe that their company will save us from the challenges we are facing and we cling to that, when in fact we haven’t addressed the real cause of those feelings. It is often our insecurity and un-dealt trauma that makes us cling to people/substances, addictions in general.”

Citing ESG, Gang of Four, King Sunny Adé, and early Talking Heads as being amongst the subliminal influences that played into the track, “Feel Your Fear” sees YOVA deftly update their dynamic brand of alternative pop music with hints of garage rock, Afropop and funk to gripping effect.  

Produced by Mark Vernon and arranged by Rob Ellis, the track was recorded between Dorset and London and also features Daniel O’Sullivan of Grumbling Fur on bass and features the legendary Terry Edwards (PJ Harvey) on saxophone. Intending to create an unshakeable feeling of restlessness, Jova Radevska’s airy vocals toe a fine line between playful and impending, while its haunting baritone sax, sinuous bass, and meticulously timed blasts of trumpet and organ all play their part in the unsettling fabric of “Feel Your Fear”. As Vernon adds: 

“The sonic tapestry and rapid tempo of this track is written to convey a sense of heightened urgency: the impending sense of emotional claustrophobia and resulting fear is echoed in the narrative of Jova’s lyrics. A sense of one last rushed midnight dance before emotions inexorably spiral out of control and time literally gets swallowed up before our eyes.”

Rising London R&B talent ANGELOUMAE releases her brand new, addictive single ‘BAD LUCK’.

“Bad Luck” emerges as a textured, confident introduction to the The Filipina-British artist, her polished runs and breathy adlibs shining bright over moody, atmospheric production, a naturally talented vocal performance dipped in London edge will continue the attention around an artist seamlessly combining R&B and Afrobeats tropes.

Reminding her ex exactly what they’re missing out on, the rising talent sings “There never was a you without me, so not sorry, bad luck, you fucked up.” A track she has stated was written to heal her own heartbreak, Angeloumae’s nonchalant yet assured delivery offers a glimpse of a significant new talent, her take on self-love coming with an empowering and unapologetic approach.

Speaking on the track, Angeloumae explains: “This single is special, it connects the heartbroken. It’s for the people who have experienced giving your all to someone, reminiscing on the love you had, but not regretting leaving the person because you deserve more, and they fucked up.”

Inspired by muses including Sade, Jhéne Aiko, SZA and Aaliyah, the Filipina-British artist will continue the growing attention around her as she brings sensuality, sexuality and empowerment to her music and aesthetic. Already receiving critical attention

across the likes of BBC 1Xtra and GUAP MAGAZINE, with a recent activation with the fashion brand I SAW IT FIRST, Angloumae is defining herself as an excitingly fresh and resonant new voice in the London landscape. With the release of “BAD LUCK” and a slew of further tracks promised, she’s feeling like a significant new One to Watch for the year.


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