INsiders Guide: BAYEM, Olivia Reid, Atmosphere, Paytra, Liza Lo, Bleached Festival, Jackson Homer, Migrant Motel, Iceland Airwaves…

“Starstruck” is BAYEM’s first single of the year, and the latest since releasing his debut EP. The 24-year-old singer, songwriter, and producer from Indianapolis, channels his deepest emotions, and blends the worlds of soul and electro-pop into a vibrant single.

Based in NYC, Olivia Reid’s production style blends indie acoustics with exploratory electronic pop soundscapes, landing listeners in a visceral sonic world.  Reid’s interests are diversified, exploring areas such as screenwriting, neuroscience, digesting current events, advocating for nature – she’s currently involved with Brian Eno’s charity EarthPercent – and listening to podcasts  – she formerly hosted Spotify For Artists and Notable’s Song Start podcast where she interviewed artists like Sam Smith, Victoria Monet, Hayley Williams of Paramore. As a self-proclaimed “chronic collaborator,” Reid has connected with audiences around the world via collaborations such as “Time is Mine” with Kidswaste, “What You Came Here For” with Jae Luna, and “Above the Clouds” with SŸDE. Her music has been featured in Flaunt Magazine, Wonderland, Brooklyn Vegan, The New Yorker, and American Songwriter and has been added to several official Apple Music playlists like Happy Hits, Virtual Hugs, and New Music Daily, as well as Spotify playlists like Happy Pop, Metropolis, Chill Tracks, Sunday Session, Dance Hits, and Golden Hour, garnering her over 40 million streams.

“Holding My Breath” was preceded by singles “Bigger Pictures” and lead single “Okay,” which was praised by Stereogum, Consequence, Brooklyn Vegan, 2DopeBoyz, and FLOOD Magazine who wrote that “Atmosphere balance optimism, pessimism, realism, and all other -isms on their latest single.”

The duo recently announced Summertime 2023, a North American tour with Slightly Stoopid, Sublime with Rome, and The Movementwhich comes on the heels of their European tour, The ConTour.

Prior to the run of North American dates, Atmosphere will appear at California Roots FestivalSummer Greens, and two shows at Williwaw Social in Anchorage, Alaska. The run of tour dates will culminate with a headline show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on 17th September. Atmosphere currently holds the record for the most sold out shows at Red Rocks for any Hip Hop artist with nine sellouts since 2011.

Pre-order / pre-save So Many Other Realities Exist Simultaneously here, and check out exclusive t-shirts, sweatshirts, youth clothing and more available at
Holding My Breath is out now-

Born and raised in small-town Michigan, Paytra had a burning desire for something more. So, at just 16 years old, she bought a one-way ticket to New York City to chase her music dreams. Young and naive, she wasn’t prepared for the turbulent and often vicious tactics of the music industry in the most competitive city in the world. She found herself in the midst of it all, and quickly learned that being a young female with a lot to say wasn’t going to be a walk in the park.

But Paytra didn’t let the obstacles defeat her. She knew that if she was going to make it in this city, she needed to up her game: musically, mentally, and physically. So instead, she dedicated herself to her craft, honing in on countless hours of dance classes, vocal lessons, and performances, and emerging as a true force to be reckoned with. Her music, a blend of modern beats and R&B, alt-funk, and soul influences from the ’90s and ’70s, is both powerful and fun, tackling topics like self-reliance, sexism, racism, and sisterhood with infectious energy and joy. The journey of overcoming in order to become who she needed to be was painful but also empowering, and it fuels the fire behind her lyrics; you can feel Paytra’s fear, rage, anxiety, passion, and strength in the music. The once shy and sweet girl found her voice.

Paytra’s mission goes beyond just creating catchy hooks and dance-worthy beats. With a heart for empowering women, she has invested in female entrepreneurs through her work with a New York-based VC syndicate company. Through her music and business ventures, she is paving the way and breaking down barriers for women to claim their space in industries that have long been dominated by men.

In 2023, Paytra is turning up the volume even more, releasing her five-song EP Momma Taught Me How To Fight and her full-length album Tiny But Mighty, both masterpieces of self-expression and genre-bending pop. This fearless and self-assured pop star is bringing change to pop music. Paytra isn’t afraid to speak her truth and go against the mold. For this reason, she’s not only become known as a business mogul, but a fierce symbol of feminism, strength, and power.

Fast rising singer/songwriter Liza Lo delivers her highly anticipated, breath-taking EP
Flourish including singles, “this ocean”, “hold me” and “cómo amar”.
An intimate and emotional body of work set across 5 tracks as well as an intro and
interlude, Flourish comes from a place of reflection, Liza’s appreciation for the ones
around her and self-love. With dainty and flawless instrumentation throughout, Liza’s
impressive story-telling lyrics and notable vocal range take centre stage. Combining
ambient sounds and dreamy pop Flourish is a poetic masterpiece.
Opening the EP is the raw and emotive “this ocean”, layered synths and indie guitars
bed Liza’s honesty as she sings “What if I’m the only one to feel this” in a relatable
and vulnerable love song. On latest single “hold me” delicate production laced with
acoustic guitars and keys creates the perfect dreamy soundscape for Liza Lo’s
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
story of a new love in its early stages.
On lead track “cómo amar” Liza’s otherworldly vocals dance above keys and
syncopated percussion as Liza is surrounded by nature as she tends to her plants
and flowers in the simple yet powerful accompanying music video.

Explaining the message behind ‘cómo amar’ Liza Lo tells us: “After being hurt badly,
it can be hard to love again. ‘cómo amar’ is a gentle question to my love, asking him
to guide me into loving him truly and carefully. I wrote and produced this song in the
mountains in Spain, whilst listening to Maro and Lizzy McAlpine on repeat. Tessa
Rose Jackson assisted me with some beautiful final touches. We shot the music
video for ‘cómo amar’ in the place where I wrote the song, my family home in Spain.
The music video translates the key message of ‘flourish’: to invest time to care, grow
and nurture, so you can bloom into the person you truly are.”

San Diego’s newest alternative and indie-pop curator, Tight Knit, has announced the phase two lineup for Bleached Festival, a new festival in partnership with FNGRS CRSSD. Bleached will take over downtown San Diego’s iconic Waterfront Park on August 5th and 6th, offering a laid back uniquely Southern California summer experience.

Bleached, and the newly founded Tight Knit, aim to connect the worlds of alternative, indie-pop, and new-age R&B for a washed out weekender for those looking to kick-back and enjoy some of the moment’s most celebrated live-acts. Following the phase one lineup, Bleached has now announced even more artists that will take the stage during its debut edition.

The eclectic performance style of Caroline Polachek will be on full display during Bleached, showcasing a mix of classic tracks and songs from her newly released album. Joining her on phase two are the blissful sounds of LA trio Cannons, experimental rock act Yves Tumor, and the funk-laced bedroom pop sensibilities of Remi Wolf. The new additions continue with the dark and dreamy melodies of Florida singer Ethel Cain, rising Maui-born vocalist Lily Meola, and Subtle Orange bringing their pensive alternative grooves to the mix.

Phase one was topped by multi-talented Japanese icon Joji, whose hypnotic R&B stylings made his latest Smithereens full length one of the most celebrated albums of 2022. Neo-soul forerunner Leon Bridges follows suit, alongside DIY pop auteur Omar Apollo. Together these artists define the sonic spirit of Bleached, united by a sense of aesthetic with something meaningful to say.

Bleached’s pop sensibilities continued on phase one with the tender tones of singer-songwriter Lizzy McAlpine, smooth Nashville crooner Stephen Sanchez, the intimate and emotionally powerful hitmaker Jeremy Zucker, and English songstresses PinkPantheress and Cat Burns. Additional highlights include electrifying Compton act and versatile beatsmith Channel Tres, Mad Decent’s breakout crossover star Aluna, and philosophical pop princess Maude Latour.

With its bay views, ocean breezes, and convenience to the vast amenities of downtown San Diego, Waterfront Park offers the perfect setting for this easygoing concept. Being a short walk from the Amtrak station, with countless hotels, bars, and restaurants just outside its gate, the venue is built for the type of kicked-back, care-free experience that Bleached aims to deliver. Together with San Diego power-house promoters FNGRS CRSSD, Tight Knit aims to deliver the next unmissable date on the North American festival calendar.

Tickets are currently on sale through the Bleached website. Bleached is an 18+ event.

Bleached Phase Two Lineup
Caroline Polachek
Yves Tumor
Remi Wolf
Ethel Cain
Lily Meola
Subtle Orange

Bleached Phase One Lineup
Leon Bridges
Omar Apollo
Lizzy McAlpine
Stephen Sanchez
Channel Tres
Surf Curse
Inner Wave
Maude Latour
Cat Burns
The Jungle Giants
Jeremy Zucker
Sam Austins

Britain’s own Jackson Homer has exploded onto the scene these past 12 months with no intention of turning back. Brimming with laid back yet funky energy and saucy vibes, his first EP release in 2022 has already amassed over 1.5 million streams on Spotify, gained support from NMF UK, Fresh Finds UK, Fresh Finds, Internet People and Gaming Lounge, had his track written up as one of the Songs of the Summer by The Guardian and sold out his first headline show for his EP release, sponsored by none other than Redbull

For Jackson Homer’s next release ‘In My Head (LaLaLa)’, he brings in the brilliant rapper, Cap1talA. An inspiring individual, equally making waves in the industry, with upcoming shows alongside Feux and Ashbeck, editorial playlist adds on Fresh Finds Indie, Free Form, and the night bus edit, as well as articles on CULTED, GRM Daily & more.

Following 3 sold out shows in Los Angeles, rising alternative duo Migrant Motel return with their newest single, “Party”. The mid-tempo track is a new take on a party anthem: It laments a recent breakup and not wanting to go to a party to see a lost love with someone new.  Its heartbreak-and-chill with a beat.

The band’s Chava Ilizaliturri says “The idea of “Party” came out of us wanting to write a party anthem with a twist. The song is about NOT wanting to go out. Initially, we wanted to celebrate staying home, chilling, watching movies or TV, and just being on our own and feeling good about it. While writing it, we decided to add the love / heartbreak twist in the chorus to take it to that place of anguish. Sometimes you don’t want to go out because seeing the person that’s not into you anymore, even though you’re still into them – can be heartbreaking”.

Migrant Motel’s David Stewart, JR adds “We wanted the “Party” music video to hone in on a feeling of loneliness and stillness and to really dive into a chill & familiar story. With the help of our DP Victor Ingles and our amazing team, we were able to explore those emotions and hopefully transmit them to the viewer. Our friend Curtis Kelley was kind enough to lend us his amazing home studio for the video. We shot it with a programmed mechanical head using a very simple technique of fading the shots into each other – but that required doing the full length of the song each time, so it took a while – we hope everyone likes it!”

Following their first announcement for 2023, Iceland Airwaves have today shared a whole host of new names who will be heading to Reykjavík’s iconic downtown home for the beloved tastemaker festival this year. Bringing together the best in local Icelandic talent alongside emerging and much-celebrated global acts, this year’s Airwaves event happens from 2-4 November 2023. The festival is vital in capturing Europe’s appetite for new music with 2022’s iteration heralded as “one of the most idiosyncratic festivals in the world, and one which will keep calling you back,” by NME. 

Much-loved indie outfit Bombay Bicycle Club lead today’s announcement of 34 new names for Iceland Airwaves 2023, with the promise of a set brimming with sparkling indie gems spanning a career of almost two decades. From the exciting urgency of their breakthrough debut album ‘I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose’, to the more intricate, yet still just as catchy, musings on their most recent full length LP ‘Everything Else Has Gone Wrong’, pairing the band’s alternative indie ethereal tracks with the stunning surroundings Iceland has to offer is sure to make for an unforgettable experience this November.

Cementing the festival’s status once again as a vital point of discovery for new music on a global scale, Irish garage punks Sprints, Franco-American brothers Faux Real, Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf, indie electronica from Montreal Ghostly Kisses, Norwegian popstar SKAAR and German bedroom producer Donkey Kid also join the bill for Iceland Airwaves 2023 today. Appearing alongside previously announced names such as Yard Act, Blondeshell, Balming Tiger and Squid, it sets the event up for another electrifying takeover of downtown Reykjavík this winter. 

With even more emerging talent from the local areas also included in this latest line-up announcement, Iceland Airwaves are once again showcasing the best of the best when it comes to Icelandic talent. Taking inspiration from fellow Airwaves 2023 performer Andy Shauf and Aldous Harding, Árný Margrét hails from Westfjörds in Iceland, a fact which comes to fruition in her music as she reflects on what it’s like living in an isolated location.

In stark contrast, earlier this year she travelled to America to take part in the Airwaves showcase at SXSW. Preparing for the release of their second album ‘The Light’, Eydís Evensen will also be appearing at Airwaves this November, where she will prove just why her ‘KEXP at Home’ session is the most streamed from the COVID pandemic period, alongside the solo project of acclaimed composer and producer Herdís Stefánsdóttir, Kónguló who will be making their debut appearance at Iceland Airwaves 2023. They’ll also be joined across the festival by fellow local acts Kusk og Óviti and Kári Egilsson, as well as elective Icelandic habitant Jelena Ciric.

Recently crowned Best Indoor Festival at the 2022 European Festival Awards, Iceland Airwaves continues to solidify its reputation for one of the most experimental and captivating tastemaking festivals the world has to offer. Set against the stunning backdrop of Reykjavík, you can expect everything from secret concerts, fashion and art shows, poetry readings and maybe even an appearance from the aurora borealis, alongside the event’s compelling music programming. Iceland also offers unique experiences unlike anywhere else in the world, with the capital surrounded by a natural world quite literally exploding with geysers, volcanoes, waterfalls, geothermal pools and more.

All the iconic venues and cornerstones of the festival are confirmed for the official programme, including Reykjavík Art Museum, Gamla Bíó, Iðnó, Fríkirkjan Church, Gaukurinn and Húrra with more to be revealed as the line up grows.

Iceland Airwaves is dedicated to booking gender-balanced line-ups as part of the festival’s ongoing work with Keychange, and having honoured the pledge just as soon as it was signed in 2019, gender-parity still remains a vital part of what the festival represents and the community of creatives that it reflects.

Tickets are on sale now, and soon with a range of international travel packages via Icelandair also available.

For more info visit:


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Written by Neill Frazer

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