INsiders Guide: Duke & Goldie, Remy Reilly, iskwē, Kitchen Dwellers, Jim Rider, Daktyl & Benni Ola, joan, Easy Star All-Star’s, GRAYtheband…

When they escaped from Toronto and set out for a small island in the pacific northwest in May of 2020, the musical duo of Eric “The Duke” Duquette and Jena “Goldie” Gogo didn’t quite know where their musical journey would take them. Sheltered amongst the tall evergreens at the edge of the Salish Sea, the pair spent their days at first tending to their garden and chopping fire wood. Slowly and steadily though, melodies and song ideas began to pour in like the briny sea air on the rocky beaches.

As longtime members of Blue Sky Miners the duo had released two albums, toured in Canada and the US, and enjoyed radio play on CBC Radio, The Strombo Show, and college radio stations. Still there seemed to be uncharted musical waters on the horizon. While Jena was honing her own unique songwriting style, Eric was beginning to experiment by writing his own songs inspired by the music of the 60’s and 70’s.

Snap forward and it turns out that the rag tag pirate-like community of (aptly named) Protection Island was the perfect coastal environment for Jena and Eric’s musical evolution to take place. Fire lit jams, a newfound connection to nature and deep reflection on their roles as settlers in this land gave spark to a collection of new songs that the now Vancouver-based pair are proud to present.

Duke & Goldie’s 6 song self-titled EP was recorded in Toronto with producer and pedal steel ace Aaron Goldstein (Julianna Riolino, Daniel Romano, Kathleen Edwards) with rhythm pros Anna Ruddick and Dani Nash. The EP charts out landscapes and stories from thrilling rocky mountain highs, to mysterious remote deserts and walks the line barefoot between warm-folk storytelling and mystical country twang. All while asking deeper questions about the duo’s place in the land they love so much.

Remy Reilly has established herself as an emerging voice in the Dallas music scene. A songwriter wise beyond her years, Remy is known for her versatile musical style and expressive vocals that depict her music in a unique, authentic, and refreshing way. She has opened for several big-name acts, including OneRepublic, Haley Reinhart, and Marc Rebillet, and has been nominated for 4 Dallas Observer Awards, winning Best New Act. Her music has received praise from champions such as the Dallas Observer, Music Connection Magazine, Elicit Magazine, Dallas Magazine, and Prelude Press.

“I Get High”
is the first taste of new music this year from the Canadian creative as she sets the tone for the next chapter of her career where she offers a look into the gut-wrenching roller coaster that has been her recent life. More than just an artist, iskwē | ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ is a teller of stories that have impacted our past and will inform our future. Drawing upon her Cree Métis roots, her music allows her creativity to soar as she explores a range of ambient sound effects and beats that blur the lines between sources and styles.  

Mesmerizing listeners with her truly incomparable sound, “I Get High” is the latest addition to iskwē‘s genre-bending catalog which includes three full-length albums that span a spectrum of emotions. Her debut 2017 album The Fight Within speaks to self-love in the face of hate while 2019’s acākosīk calls out the systematic abuses against Canada’s Indigenous peoples and features the JUNO award-winning song “Little Star whose accompanying visual brought home Music Video of the Year. Meanwhile, the collaborative 2022 project Mother Love with Tom Wilson is a reflection on the nature of love and culture as the pair’s individual contributions blend together seamlessly. Throughout her decorated career, iskwē has received media support from the likes of the CBC who have named her “one of the most powerful performers in the country” as well as NPR, Billboard, VICE, and Entertainment Tonight Canada

Kitchen Dwellers and Sicard Hollow are thrilled to share their version of “Lean on Sheena.” The Kitchen Dwellers and Sicard Hollow are on tour now and will be making their way through the Southeast this week before continuing up the East Coast and then the Midwest including stops in Nashville, Brooklyn, DC, and Chicago. 
The Kitchen Dwellers twist bluegrass, folk, and rock through a kaleidoscope of homegrown stories, rich mythology, American West wanderlust, and psychedelic hues.  After amassing 5 million-plus streams, selling out shows, and receiving acclaim from Huffington PostRelixAmerican SongwriterForbes and more, the group brings audiences back to Big Sky Country on their third full-length album.
“The town of Wise River is basically a forgotten spot on the map,” Shawn says. “It used to be a thriving place with many prosperous mines, but now it’s practically dried up. There’s a hell of a lot of melancholy. In our mind, it symbolizes the overall feeling of being in slowed-down Montana life.”

Following a massive 2022 which saw releases on three of Lee Burridge’s labels – All Day I Dream, TRYBESof and Tale & Tone – Jim Rider continues to build momentum, releasing his Two More Days EP on April 21st. This EP showcases Jim’s expertise in crafting uplifting melodies across the four original tracks. 

Inspired by a two day long train journey across the United States, the EP’s title track is a lengthy journey through multiple soundscapes. The track features dreamy synth notes, arps, and a wide variety of percussive elements- sounds which were staples of Jim’s DJ sets this past year.  There’s no dull moment in the eight minute track, as Jim’s ability to manipulate synths while simultaneously keeping true to his organic roots with a percussive bed of cowbells, congas, and tambourines inject excitement throughout. The mystical and soothing feel of the synths and ambient vocals throughout ‘Two More Days’ is perfectly contrasted with the final phrase, which is bouncier, more aggressive, and carried by an unfiltered bass lead. It’s no surprise that ‘Two More Days’ is by far Jim’s most requested ID to date. 

Another standout from the EP is ‘Hairy Mary’s Apothecary’, which tells the tale of a young girl who is completely covered head to toe in hair until a magical fairy saves the day. Jim Rider demonstrates his incredible talent, blending spacey synths with organic and ethnic soundscapes. This creative, joyous, melodic gem completes a triumphant return to the label. 

Throughout the EP, Jim’s smooth synths and mystical arps are so potent and memorable that they paradoxically cause you to feel lost in time- a truly remarkable sensation. 

You can catch Jim celebrating the release on the next leg of the All Day I Dream 2023 world tour in Dubai on April 23, with Lee Burridge, Lost Desert, and Amonita. 

Prodigy multi-instrumentalist Daktyl and acclaimed poet and songwriter Benni Ola return to TOKiMONSTA’s Young Art Records to release ‘Say No More’ the second track to be released from their Chaos Theory EP, due on May 19. The single is accompanied by a music video, which features the duo performing ‘Say No More’ as they explore the chaotic city of Los Angeles. 

When Daktyl and Benni Ola come together, a special synergy is unlocked. The duo creates music for creation’s sake- fostering an authentic relationship that results in honest art.  It’s not every day these radically different worlds collide – the end product is something special, music that exceeds the sum of each individual artist’s contributions.

‘Say No More’ opens with a dark, muffled vocal sample, layered over a plethora of crunchy percussion. The distorted vocal creates a tense atmosphere, which is released as the mix becomes clearer and clearer, until Benni Ola’s distinctive voice emerges- rapping, “Fuck It All, Say No More”. The tension returns, building throughout Benni’s aggressive but rhythmic verse. When the drop hits, Daktyl’s production prowess is on full display – the impassioned tone of Benni’s vocal and the content of his lyrics are perfectly paired with the driving bass and unfiltered stabs.

Hailing from the UK, Daktyl began producing music as a teenager in his university dorm room. Since then, he has showcased his talents across many corners of dance music, releasing records on labels such as Ninja Tune, Mad Decent, and Monstercat, touring with ODESZA, Bonobo, and Troyboi, and producing remixes for Major Lazer, Halsey, and Autograf. With support from Billboard, Rollingstone, and Zane Lowe, Daktyl has received the praise of some of dance music’s biggest tastemakers.

Benni Ola is a poet and songwriter from Southern California’s Inland Empire, whose powerful voice has caught the attention of many. Whether it be through his songwriting for artists like Channel Tres, TOKiMONSTA, and Flume, or work writing poetry for brands such as Meta, Boost Mobile, and UOPHX, Benni’s talent has landed him a reputation as one of California’s hottest poets.

‘Say No More’ is the final single from Daktyl and Benni Ola ahead of their Chaos Theory EP release on TOKiMONSTA’S Young Art Records May 19. Building on the momentum from their debut single ‘Matrix’, and now ‘Say No More’, fans are anxious to hear the duo’s EP in its entirety. 

Acclaimed alt pop duo joan today have released their highly anticipated debut album superglue, which is over three years in the making. The full length album is shared with accompanying visuals for the title track. The album follows their beloved EPs portra, cloudy, hi and byesuperglue is an existential journey influenced by the duo’s recent transition into fatherhood. 

The duo also have a 20 date nationwide U.S. headlining tour beginning May 13th, to support their album and have just added a special global Roblox listening party on April 21st, 22nd and 23rd where users can participate in fun and interactive activities together with their friends while listening to superglue in unique community based experiences. joan is set to pop into these experiences all weekend (as their avatars) and hold exclusive live Q+A for fans.

Listen here

With their album superglue, the duo have shared their most personal music to date. Life shaped the subject mater like never before and joan have crafted an undeniably cathartic, candid and expansive indie pop album. “We naturally felt comfortable in the world of love songs,” says Steven. “This time, we were like, ‘Let’s get more personal’. We both had babies in the past year. We’ve grown more than we have in a long time. It’s so cool watching your baby crawl for the first time and see the world. It organically informed the writing. The whole body of work is so personal—like we’re giving a piece of ourselves to listeners. It’s by far the most special thing we’ve done.”

Highlights include the highly emotive and nostalgic single “flowers”, which discusses how time is fleeting and how people grow and change. Paired with wistful acoustic guitar riffs under cinematic synths and heartfelt melodies, “flowers” is a reflective and important musical release. While on “loner” the duo capture the autobiographical feeling of being an outsider and the internal struggle of imposter syndrome. Featuring a hypnotic hook and fervent pop rock soundscapes, “loner” is an intoxicating listen. 

“nervous” takes listeners back to their own memories on the school yard experiencing their first crush. This kind of infatuation stirs a myriad of intense emotions and with “nervous”, joan brilliantly depicts that thrilling yet unsettling feeling of intoxication. The single entices with honey-dipped vocals over a unique kaleidoscope of sounds including beatboxing, clapping and lush acoustics.

The title track “superglue” speaks to their fatherly bond with one of the most powerful, poignant, and poetic moments on the record. “As new dads, we were like, ‘What if we wrote this about our girls?’,” recalls Alan. “We want them to know we’re superglue for them. We’re the guys you can run to when you’re sad or you want to rejoice because something happy happened at school. If you’re not a parent, it can be about someone you really care about. We’re singing it to our little girls though.”

After a run of sonically mesmerizing singles, this Friday (April 21), acclaimed reggae group Easy Star All-Stars will release their highly anticipated album ‘Ziggy Stardub’ via Easy Star Records. The project is a reggae reimagining of David Bowie’s ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’, and features guest performances by Maxi Priest, Steel Pulse, Fishbone, Alex Lifeson (Rush), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), The Skints, Mortimer, The Expanders, Samory I, and many others.


“Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” features multi-award-winning musician, songwriter, and producer Macy Gray, showcasing her one-of-a-kind voice. The passionate rendition offers a fresh spin on the original, forging a laid-back atmosphere across a bounding drum beat and swaggering horns.


Michael Goldwasser, producer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist of Easy Star says,“The main key was finding an emotive and ground-breaking vocalist, and we did just that with Macy Gray, who is truly inimitable in every song that she sings, including this one.” The track is paired with a stop motion video, taking viewers through the journey of two cats during an evening in a paper town.

The renowned burger chain Five Guys has also named Easy Star All-Stars as the restaurant’s Featured Artist of May. The chain will be playing an Easy Star track every hour in every store for the entire month.

GRAYtheband is an Edmonton-based alternative, neo-soul, R&B project fronted by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Gray Ford and a cast of rotating artists. GRAYtheband results from traditional instrumentation mingling with modern production forming an unfiltered yet refined take on the genre. 

In an effort to honour the Edmonton music scene, Ford has recently recorded a long-awaited debut album, All Done – a poignant look at the insidious nature of modern society, relationships, and the complexities of self-preservation. With an overarching theme of love and disparity, the album will resonate with listeners from all walks of life as we navigate this world, conquering the ups and downs. 

The first single released from the upcoming debut album is the title-track, “All Done.” This emotional introduction to the album references overcoming a particular period in one’s life that was exceptionally challenging. For Ford, it touches on a period of his life where he put everything on hold to support his family. 

The band’s polished, yet raw approach complements Ford’s warm and melismatic vocal style, capturing a sedately powerful sound. Warm piano melodies, echoing instrumentation, and soulful velvet tones set the backdrop for this stunning track as Ford sings about maneuvering through turmoil. The songwriter confides, “I was closing a chapter of place and time with this song. Since showing others, folks seem to associate the lyrics and general emotion of the song with their individual trying – and sometimes traumatic – experiences that they have endured.” The repetitive line, “all done,” offers an encouraging and supportive statement of safety and affirmation. Ford’s vulnerability acts as validation and support for listeners, giving them comfort and reminding them that they are never alone. 

Brasstracks is the Grammy award winning project of New York based musician and producer Ivan Jackson. Over the years, Brasstracks has evolved from a hip-hop-jazz-big-band to an ever-morphing landscape where Jackson sets the framework.

The Brasstracks rap sheet runs for miles. The group scored two GRAMMY wins for their production work on Chance The Rapper’s seminal “No Problems” in 2017 (Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Album). They’ve also since been nominated for their work with Harry Styles during the 2021 GRAMMYs for Best Pop Vocal Album, ultimately taking home the Best Pop Solo Performance award for their work on “Watermelon Sugar.”

Brasstracks has appeared on Saturday Night Live, performing alongside Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson, the latter of whom is a frequent collaborator. Other collaborations include Anderson .Paak, Khalid, Mac Miller, and BTS. Basstracks has also performed songs from their debut album on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

The new Brasstracks era sees Jackson as an architect for this larger project of incubating artists and allowing them the space to grow.

The latest single “Anesthesia” featuring Mandy Lee of MisterWives, is the second single from Brasstracks’ upcoming album. Lee soars as she sings, “Doppelgänger, I can’t hate you even though I know the grass is greener”, crooning a sneering congratulations to a nemesis who always seems to be one step ahead. The title itself is a nod to the numbness that accompanies this feeling. The vibrant single shimmers with oscillating synths and Lee’s velvet vocals, emitting an overall colorful and contagious aura. The playful track refuses to let listeners stay still, with fast-paced beats and layered instrumentation creating an all-encompassing atmosphere, captivating you from the very first second.

The upcoming album is a unique addition to the Brasstracks catalog: brimming with technical wizardry and maximal, brassy bombast, but intensely personal, rife with self-loathing and heartache. The album’s undeniable joyousness stands in unflinching contrast with its subject matter, and “Anesthesia” is a microcosm of its ethos: a shimmering, groovy, soulful house record about, above all else, jealousy. The album weaves in and out of itself seamlessly, with “Anesthesia” sampling Brasstracks’ previous FATHERDUDE + TOBi flanked single, “Nobody’s Fool”. Despite its seething subtext, “Anesthesia” is a quintessential warm weather banger, and was a highlight of Brasstracks’ sold out, 6-show Blue Note run this March.

Garnering an incredible amount of accolades, Brasstracks continues to be a trailblazer this 2023.

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.

Toronto born and bred pop songstress, Indigo V, invites you into her world with her distinct voice and addictive hooks. Indigo grew up with the voices of The Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera, hypnotized by the choreographed videos and captivating performances, music and dance became her escape and ultimate driving force. Fusing her musical roots in pop with her love of hip hop and R&B, Indigo’s songs bounce with lyrical precision and hip swaying beats telling stories of passionate encounters, lovers, heartbreaks and inner resilience.

The Métis singer’s debut EP Attitude makes a bold entrance in 2023, celebrating her duality of sweet and spicy. Often underestimated for her innocent demeanor, Indigo V bites back “Quick wit dough eyes get it how I want it f*** being polite” in the EP’s title track. She takes the listener from featherlight soprano vocals to sultry, punchy tones mastering sonic dynamics making for an enticing four-song experience. Produced by JUNO winning producers, Lantz (Jazz Cartier) and David Ariza (Charmaine), this collection of songs exudes a playful sauciness that’s hard to resist.

Enchanting. Audacious. Mythical. bludnymph emerges from her lair to push boundaries with her genre-bending dark rap infused pop sound. Fan-favourite “FEAST,” which was recently placed in the Netflix show Heartbreak High and a national Taco Bell commercial, highlights her wordplay & effervescent energy.

bludnymph’s standout track “Lights Out” is the first of many collaborations with powerhouse producer, Cirkut, exemplifying varying degrees of “spooky, magic, and sexy” — themes prevalent in all her music.

As the leader of the Nymph Cult, bludnymph has grown a devout, online following, eagerly awaiting as she concocts more music for the love of her mortal followers.

Boston-born, LA-based pop artist Rosie Darling arrives with her new single
“Nail In The Coffin ft. Boy In Space” via Nettwerk. Produced with collaborator Justin
Gammella (FINNEAS, Ashe) & Freddy Häggstam (Chainsmokers, Bebe Rexha), mixed by
Yianni AP (Alexander 23, Jeremy Zucker), “Nail In The Coffin” serves as an early glimpse
into her debut LP later this year.

Rosie Darling teams up with Swedish alt-pop artist Boy In Space on the emotional track, which
circles around a breakup without closure. “Nail In The Coffin” starts with Rosie laying the
groundwork for the dialog that ensues with a simple piano line and a dreamy, reflective echo.
Then we hear Boy In Space’s bright timbre relaying another perspective, ultimately together
their vocals fuse with complimentary tones creating a chilling force.
Expanding on the song, Rosie says, “I wanted to write a song about a relationship ending on
bad terms and needing to walk away from it even when you have unresolved conflict
between each other. I think as someone who wants peace and resolution, it’s hard to fully
leave something when you don’t feel like they’ve understood you or that you maybe didn’t
understand them, and you have to end it in conflict with each other. That’s life sometimes
though! We don’t always speak the same languages and sometimes we have to walk away and
end things unresolved and that’s painful.”

 emerging pop singer and songwriter Rachel Bochner shares her new single, “If I’m Gunna Be Sad (I Might As Well Look Hot Doing It),” from her upcoming EP due out this Summer. 

“If I’m Gunna Be Sad (I Might As Well Look Hot Doing It)” follows the EP’s lead single, “Sucker Punch.” Produced by and co-written with her frequent collaborator Tiger Darrow, “If I’m Gunna Be Sad (I Might As Well Look Hot Doing It)” is the ultimate breakup anthem. Over moody, distorted alt-pop production, Rachel delivers relatable truth bombs about coping with a broken heart: “Cuz if I’m gunna be… sad / I’m gunna look… bad / Might as well feel hot tonight.”

Rachel elaborates on the sentiment behind the single: “When I showed up at Tiger’s studio the day we wrote this single, all I knew is that I wanted to make a song we could strut to. We started off writing something that embodied more of an IDGAF attitude, but after a while we realized it just didn’t feel super authentic. There was a moment when we were working on it when we realized, okay, maybe we do kind of give a f*ck… but if we’re going to be sad, we might as well look hot doing it.”

Setting the tone for the rest of the EP, the narrative behind “Sucker Punch” and “If I’m Gunna Be Sad (I Might As Well Look Hot Doing It)” sees Rachel emerging from the ashes of heartbreak. Across the EP, she delivers a concoction of songs that dance between vulnerable, melancholic, energetic, and playful, providing us with soundtracks to listen to when we want to get in our feels, vent our frustrations, and straight up party to. “When people hear these songs, I want them to know it’s okay to feel their feelings, to find humor even in the darkness, and to remember that we have the power to define our own self worth,” she adds.

Singer/songwriter, producer, screenwriter and actor Roskamala has made her mark as a creative visionary with her thoughtful musical releases full of evocative storytelling wrapped in a unique sonic fusion. Born and raised in Thailand, Roskamala became an actress and fashion TV host. Realizing that her dream was to pursue music full time, the songwriter moved to the United States and teamed up with acclaimed Grammy award-winning producers Ghian Wright (Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Janet Jackson, Foo Fighters) and Robert L. Smith (Lady Gaga, David Bowie, U2) for her debut EP. 

Roskamala’s new EP entitled truth she told, is an existential narrative on the trials and tribulations of what it is like to be human and how our experiences shape who we are. She confides, “We all have our own stories to tell of good times and bad times. We tend to focus too much on the bad times, but one thing I believe in is hope. You will find this in every one of my songs if you have the right attitude and learn from our shared experiences. Life can be tough but we all have the power to make it better and create a wonderful future.” Roskamala brilliantly relays these extreme emotions in relatable narratives, touching the listener and inspiring them to try and find hope and understanding that they’re not alone in every struggle. Sonically, truth she told features a variety of genres including dark pop, R&B, rock, and even soul for an intoxicating collection of songs. 

Leading single “Kiss Me Amnesia” is a dark alt-pop song that delivers a stirring message about the ghosts of the past and the burdensome effects of unhealed trauma. The single explores the concept of two co-existing worlds, Reality and Amnesia World, that connect the past and present through a karmic bond where former relationships, repressed feelings and damaging patterns all intertwine in a fateful experience. She confides, “The message is that if you don’t make peace with your past it will always haunt your future reality.” Euphoric and moody, “Kiss Me Amnesia” features intimate vocals that glide effortlessly over cinematic dipped electronic soundscapes for a beautifully raw and introspective musical journey.  

“Loving Mess featuring Lia Apa” is a vibrant and colorful pop anthem about accepting your own faults and moving confidently in the game of love. With soul-drenched soaring vocals over bright kaleidoscopic soundscapes, “Loving Mess” is a playful and teasing song about daring someone to entice us. Roskamala confides the single, “was written from acceptance and self-awareness. You are what you think and what if we can surprise ourselves with a new discovery and break the cycles by thinking differently. Seeing our flaws positively. What if we fail 1000 times and 1001st time we succeed? It’s worth failing, isn’t it? Instead of worrying about the future or our issues, the song turns it into a game of love.”

“Beautiful Disease” is a slow-burning passionate song all about love and obsession and “being in a situation where you are trapped…you want to get out but you can’t,” confides the singer. Roskamala’s seductive honey-dipped vocals flow over intoxicating melodies for a vulnerable song about yearning and escape.

“Out of The Maze” is a song all about living against the norms. With decadent electronic pop landscapes under colliding melodies full of heart, “Out of The Maze” is a dance pop banger sure to entice with every note. 

“Chameleon” is a gorgeous ballad full of soulful melodies and delicate piano. The track is all about the relatable theme of being a people pleaser and being trapped in a situation to where one looses their identity. Roskamala confides, “I wrote it when I was questioning whether the life I had was meant for me, imagining what life would be like if I was truly free, physically & spiritually. This song is about the inner war to be free.”

A true artist, Roskamala is dynamic and mult-faceted. Her debut album is imaginative and creative, capturing  the essence of love, loss and new beginnings.

Ahead of the release of a new single “Song Of A Caged Bird” (coming 16 May) – NADINE KHOURI – has announced plans for a UK tour this Spring.

Bringing her entrancing sound to venues in LiverpoolSheffieldCorsham and London across May and June, the full list of dates are detailed below.



10 CORSHAM Pound Arts
14 LONDON Paper Dress Vintage

Tickets available here.


The tour will follow the release of a stunning new single from the critically acclaimed musician and songwriter: “Song Of A Caged Bird”.

Teasing the single with an exclusive live version of the track recorded for Rough Trade Transmissions at Karma Studios, London, you can watch it here and now:

Originally penned as a lament on surveillance capitalism, “Song of a Caged Bird” took on new meaning for Khouri during the pandemic when the world outside fell away, replaced by a miasma of ceaseless 1s and 0s. Over walking-pace percussion and spaciously layered Mellotron and guitar, Khouri dreams beyond the digital walls, into an exploration of true freedom; the song becomes a conversation with a universe of possibilities – all the lives we could live, the songs we could sing, if we knew no one was watching.

The forthcoming single will be accompanied by a hand-drawn animation by Marseille-based illustrator Aude Nasr. 

Currently based between London and Marseille, Nadine Khouri is influenced by dream-pop, film soundtracks and poetry with a sound that has been described as “music born of perennial outsider-status.” 

Berklee College of Music will present honorary degrees to three artists at its 2023 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13, at 10:00 a.m. at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. Eight-time Grammy Award winner Usher, four-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Roberta Flack, and one of the foremost kora players in the world, Sona Jorbarteh, will receive honorary Doctor of Music degrees. Each will have an opportunity to address the graduating class of 2023.

Commencement festivities will begin on the evening of Friday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m. with a reception and concert at Agganis Arena. The concert will feature a global cast of over 200 student vocalists, instrumentalists, dancers, arrangers, and track producers from the graduating class, who will perform a musical tribute to the work of each of the honorees.

This year’s honorary doctorate recipients will be celebrated and recognized for their invaluable contributions to the worlds of music and philanthropy. Past recipients from the college include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones ’51, Celine Dion, B.B. King, Joni Mitchell, Chaka Khan, esperanza spalding B.M. ’05, Willie Nelson, Missy Elliott, Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan, and John Legend.

Having built a reputation as a highly regarded underground band in the US, Krooked Kings have spent the past months in the studio with critically acclaimed artist Day Wave recording their upcoming new album.  

  Krooked Kings come from humble beginnings. In 2019, a group of five college friends from the University of Utah came together to write music and play shows in backyards and basements. Over the course of the last few years, the band has proven time and again their ability to write heartfelt indie rock gems. After signing with Los Angeles based indie label Nobody Gets It Records in 2020, the band released their breakout single, “‘96 Subaru”, which has amassed over three million streams. By September 23, 2021, Krooked Kings released their debut project, The Comedown. After the the release, Krooked Kings hit the road on two support tours with Goth Babe and Rare Americans, as well as three headline dates in Denver, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles. Keep an eye out for new music from Krooked Kings in the coming months, as they wrap up recording their sophomore record. 

Miranda Joan is a Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, and musician. Born in Montréal, Miranda spent her formative years growing up on the north shore of Vancouver, filling diaries with emotions and experiences; creating a safe place to land for both her heart and her imagination that would go on to form the basis of her song writing. Her influences range from Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, and Carole King to Anderson Paak., Little Dragon and Robyn, drawing on both the classic and the contemporary. Miranda’s personal experiences and the artistic and spiritual energies of the places she has called home flow through intricate song writing and playful production to form a unique blend of Soul-Pop.

With the fluidity of growing up along the Pacific Ocean in Vancouver and the joy-de-vivre and creativity that Montréal exudes radiating through her music, Miranda has always sustained strong roots in Canada. A shy child, her first experiences of music and performing came from high school drama and musical theatre. Leaning into Soul, R&B and Jazz sounds, she found a natural home for her voice. Miranda began to shape her sound using her lifetime of journals and influence from the singer-songwriters of all genres that had fed into her writing process throughout her life. She moved to New York to study Jazz and opened her inquisitive sound and creative style to a host of artists and producers in her musical surroundings, as well as the grittiness and intensity of the city.

Establishing herself in the Brooklyn Soul/Jazz community, Miranda is the co-host and co-founder of Brooklyn’s Femme Jam (NYC’s first all-female led jam session); a community initiative to create a womxn-led space with an emphasis on female musicians that fosters inclusivity. Arts mentorship has been an important through-line in Joan’s career and for the past eight years she has been a music mentor with the non-profit SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young where she works with youth 8-18 who stutter. 

She has performed on national tours, played sold-out and headline shows at well-known New York venues, provided backing vocals for the likes of Shawn Mendes, Lorde, and Andy Grammar, and joined Sly5thAve at Montréal Jazz Festival with the Orchestre National de Jazz de Montréal, in a tribute to Dr. Dre. In 2021 she was selected as one of First Up with RBCxMusic Emerging Artists as she released her debut album ‘Windborne’, the follow up to her 2019 EP “Still”. Both releases received consistent radio airplay in Vancouver and Los Angeles and led to a sync placement on Canadian TV show The Strays. Recent singles “Overstimulated” and “I Love You, Dwayne” have received support from NPR, Consequence, EARMILK, Exclaim! and airplay from CBC and MountainFM in Canada and Tony Minvielle (Jazz FM) in the UK.

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 music is built on pillars of honesty, accessibility and family, and much of The Cannonballers is too: within 11 tracks, the band delves into where they come from and how a place, and its memories, have made them.

The Cannonballers marks the band’s fourth full-length release: their three previous studio collections take listeners on a journey through stories of loss, grief, and heartbreak while welcoming them into the hope that comes on the other side. Colony House’s 2014 debut, When I Was Younger, included the single “Silhouettes,” which became the #1 most played track on Sirius XM’s Alt Nation for four months straight. Only The Lonely, whose title and demeanor pay tribute to the vintage sounds of Roy Orbison and the Beach Boys, followed in 2017. The surf-rock hit, “You Know It,” went viral on Tik Tok, and has amassed 100 million streams across all platforms to date, after being featured as the soundtrack to Samsung Mobile’s nationwide ad campaign. Leave What’s Lost Behind was released in January of 2020; the band managed to play half of their 40 city headline tour before being forced to pause alongside the rest of the world. Like many touring artists, they found different ways to continue to create, producing and directing a full-length feature film, “Everybody’s Looking For Some Light,” which was an official selection at the Nashville and Knoxville Film Festivals. The movie debuted at a two-day drive-in event produced by the band at Greystone Quarry in Franklin, TN. Over 2,000 people (in over 600 cars) showed up to watch the film and see Colony House perform.

Mr. Zim releases his 420-themed song ‘I Got So High’, out now via Dirtybird Records. 

Delivering one of the wildest, wackiest originals the label has seen, Mr. Zim doesn’t hold back on ‘I Got So High’. An eclectic mix of hypnotic drumbeats and rhythmic vocal chops, ‘I Got So High’ is an entrancing dip into psychedelic house. Amidst warped synth accents and echoing bass stabs, Mr. Zim announces, “I got so high, it’s just the way that I do,” inviting the flock to indulge this April 20th with the trippy tones and hallucinogenic vibes of his new original. ‘I Got So High’ serves as the second track from Mr. Zim, the rare Dirtybird artist who first surfaced in 2020 with ‘Plamp’. 

The release is befitting the label that has embraced the positive energy and freeing nature of cannabis culture. Last year, Dirtybird debuted their official ‘Ganja Garden’ at their flagship festival Dirtybird Campout, inviting festival-goers to experience a cannabis retail and consumption garden, along with a unique program of cannabis-focused activities. To commemorate the holiday and single release, ‘I Got So High’ arrives with limited edition T-Shirts available here

Celebrate 420 with Mr. Zim and stream ‘I Got So High’ out now. 

Alma Mater is Dirk Sullivan and Andrew Paul Woodworth. The two are veterans of the Los Angeles and of the Portland, Oregon music scenes. Sullivan was signed to Interscope Records with his band Love On Ice and Woodworth fronted Elephant Ride, signed to Sony Records. They have since spent two decades recording and touring in various projects. 

Anxious for some musical therapy during the pandemic, the two started meeting in Woodworth’s garage. Sullivan was enthralled with an alternate tuning on his guitar and found himself writing songs at a blistering clip, totally inspired by this fresh reverence for his instrument. He found the perfect partner in Woodworth, who could add pathos and melody to his already provocative landscapes. Sullivan was wrestling with a recent divorce and with the slow demise of his mother. By contrast, Woodworth was about to welcome his first child. They found a kinship in the intensity of their disparate stories. Somehow those contrasting life experiences brought out something completely raw and beautiful and melancholic and utterly explosive in their writing. 

Both men love hard and laugh big….both were suddenly unafraid to be uniquely and totally themselves, understanding that in a world full of temporary things, we are a perpetual feeling. The sound became a portrait of combating themes….time versus eternity, strength versus surrender, hard love versus fake hate. With Gregg Williams in the producer’s chair (Sheryl Crow, The Dandy Warhols, Blitzen Trapper, Pete Droge, Emmylou Harris) the recordings became orchestral and vibrant and full of page-turning narratives. It is a dream team for these three Oregonians who have amassed decades of honest, soulful and heartfelt music. 

Leading single “Fading Moon” is a poignant folk dipped indie pop track. Andrew of the band confides, “I was never afraid of dying until I had a child. Fading Moon, on the surface, seems like a love letter to my two baby boys. But, in reality, it’s a means to comfort myself from my overwhelming fear of leaving them behind when I die. When pure and intense love is experienced, there is a level of pain associated with it. I’ve never been more happy, but I’ve never been more scared. So this seemingly sweet, folky ditty is really a pretty dark, anxious proclamation.” Musically, the hypnotic guitar riff of “Fading Moon” was written when Dirk was in hospice care, visiting his sick mother. Performing for her brought her joy and “Fading Moon” also represents the magic and healing nature of music. 

Second single “Mercy” is a heartfelt song all about showing compassion and love to the world. Andrew confides the single is a reminder “to be kinder and to be softer when reacting to people who confuse me. Showing another human compassion and patience and empathy is such a soulful way for me to experience pride.” With intricate acoustic guitars, floating lush melodies and emotive vocals, “Mercy” is an important folk pop anthem. 

“Big Sideways” features driving guitars, upbeat percussion and soaring melodies for an intoxicating listen. The single details the need to control the unbalanced outside world.

Alma Mater is a direct reflection of what is happening in the world today as much as it is defined by generations of influence. From its warm and rustic and plush production to its earnest and candid and sometimes irreverent writing, Alma Mater is a collision of opposing forces….like they’ve blown the dust off of an old box in the attic, only to find new pictures inside. Their debut full length album The Beginning of Everything is out now. 

Sparkling, sensuous, and female-forward: Ilona is a powerhouse pop performer and songwriter whose artistry presents a fierce alchemy of irresistible hooks, exquisite vocals, and self-reliant liberation.

Two back-to-back singles serve as an alluring introduction: “Catch My Vibe,” propelled by a smoldering Latin groove, is lifted by an arc of multiple harmonies  — all Ilona — spiraling upward in choral ascension. “Post pandemic, we are craving human connections,” affirms Ilona of the song’s message. “I’m saying, ‘I want you to take me to a higher level of intimacy, mentally and emotionally.’ And to also have fun.”

“Talk to My Body,” is a hypnotic invitation with a proclamation of freedom. “It’s a dilemma for women” Ilona says. “We are constantly taught that our bodies are not our own. This song shows a woman in power, coming from a place of equity and equality. I am finally able to express myself sensually from a place of strength.”

Belying her camera-ready image, Ilona has small town roots. From Apple Valley, Minnesota, the daughter of a Russian/Ukrainian family, she describes herself as an “introverted extrovert,” who was ostracized for being different. “Not fully American, and not totally Russian,” she explains. But her mom, a classically trained musician, built a dance studio in their home, and encouraged her creativity. “It’s because of her guidance and support that I am here,” Ilona confirms. “It’s a privilege to carry the torch for her on the path she opened up for me, to expose the strength of her steps.”

Rising critically acclaimed San Antonio, TX rapper Mike Dimes serves up a new single and music video entitled “OFF THE PORCH” [feat. BigXthaPlug & Maxo Kream] today. Listen HERE and watch HERE.

BigXthaPlug and Maxo Kream each lace the production with their own distinct verses representing for different parts of Texas. The video even hops between Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio while each rapper spits their verse .The accompanying visual directed by Dallas film maker Keaton Jones directive finds Mike in his neighborhood surrounded by friends. They shoot dice in an abandoned house, they cruise in a limousine, and wild out on the roof of a parking lot propelled by the energy of “OFF THE PORCH.

It arrives on the heels of “Kiss N Tell” [feat. Dro Kenji]. Right out of the gate, Complex named it among “The Best New Music This Week,” going on to proclaim, “the San Antonio rapper spits, making it clear his focus is on success, and not romance. Brooklyn Vegan applauded it as one of “Our favorite songs of the week” too. Not to mention, it reeled in 1.7 million Spotify streams and 122K YouTube views on the official music video.

Nashville-based pop singer and songwriter Thomas Day shares his new single & video, “MASOCHIST,” out today on Arista Records.

With his new single, “MASOCHIST,” Thomas delivers a show-stopping pop anthem with an electrifying chorus destined to be sung by future crowds. In the same vein as recent singles like “VICIOUS” and “The End,” “MASOCHIST” showcases Thomas’ unique ability to channel his heartache into catchy, radio-ready hits. The accompanying music video was directed by Logan Meis (Da Baby, Mike Posner, Iann Dior) and is also out today – WATCH HERE.

“‘MASOCHIST’ is about a girl who I met and fell head over heels in love with, so fast and so hard that I didn’t care how badly I could get hurt,” Thomas explains. “I wrote this song with my two friends Steve Rusch and Quinn Lewis. We were talking about the subtle complexities in relationships, and this song poured out. It’s about not being afraid to be hurt. Actually, it’s about wanting to be hurt.”

Grammy Award-winning producer, rapper, and entrepreneur, Swizz Beatz, releases his triumphant EP – Hip Hop 50: Vol. 2 – via Mass Appeal. The 5-track project marks the second EP in Mass Appeal’s Hip Hop 50: The Soundtrack. Coming off the first installment of the EP series with DJ Premier’s Hip Hop 50 Vol. 1Hip Hop 50: Vol. 2 is entirely produced by Swizz Beatz. The EP is an ode to New York rap and includes star-studded features from NasLil Wayne, Lil DurkA Boogie wit da HoodieJadakissJay ElectronicaBenny The ButcherFivio ForeignScar Lip and Bandmanrill. Fans can also stay tuned for the “Say Less” video featuring Lil Durk & A Boogie wit da Hoodie releasing next week. 


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Written by Neill Frazer

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