INsiders Guide: Sody, Miki Ratsula + Jules Paymer, CaliStar, RALO, bludnymph, Lost In Japan, Aáyanna, Eric Sleeper, CarbonWorks, THOM SOUTHERN, Django Jay…

photo by Henry James

British star-in-the-making Sody returns and is flexing her songwriting prowess to the highest standard on punchy, tongue-in-cheek new single “Star Potential.”  The new song which comes complete with a video asks questions about the expectations of young artists in the music industry whilst also becoming your next fist-pumping anthem to sing out loud to.  In what promises to be a busy year of new music releases this year, fans can expect plenty more brilliance from Sody who is just getting started.    

Speaking about the song, the London storyteller Sody explains “I wrote this song when I felt like I wasn’t good enough for this industry. People were telling me I had all this potential to be something and ‘star quality’ yet nothing was moving in their eyes and opportunities weren’t being given to me. That’s when I made the decision to leave my label and become an independent artist again. To create my own destiny. Actions speak louder than words and I can’t pay my rent with exposure, I hope anyone that has a talent in something knows their worth!

Today’s new release follows on from Sody’s appearance on friend and music peer Dylan’s latest single “Every Heart But Mine,” alongside the UK’s  Eurovision choice Mae Muller, and highly tipped artists Beren Olivia, Cat Burns and Rachel Chinouriri.  

Sody’s approach to raw songwriting has proven to be the winning blueprint throughout her career. Only two years after her debut song, she released her demo ‘Whole’ which sat on Spotify’sMost Beautiful Songs in the World’ playlist for three consecutive years. Sody then released two EPs  ‘I’m Sorry, I’m Not Sorry,’ (2019)  followed by real growth takes time,’ (2020) over which her audience grew exponentially. The EP releases and the tracks that followed produced a slew of popular singles that captured the hearts of a growing global audience. From the likes of mid-tempo ‘butterfly’ (2019), emotively pensive ‘is your bedroom ceiling bored?’ (2020) – a collaboration with Cavetown, and the brutally honest ‘Bitch (I Said It,)’ in 2021, the tracks were as versatile as they were strong.  It was in moments like this that Sody had begun winning over tastemaker media such as BBC Radio 1 and the likes of DIY Mag, Clash & Dork Magazine in the UK.


“No one was writing about these topics,” says Jules. “I wasn’t able to find the artists or songs that I needed when I was discovering these new truths about myself. Growing up, the only artists I could look to were confusing to me; they were flamboyant caricatures. I thought I was alone with my sadness because they didn’t show me theirs.”

At the age of 7, Jules Paymer (they/them) found their love for music playing bass in a garage band in their hometown of Los Angeles, CA, alongside Lydia Night, the future star of “The Regrettes”. They soon learned guitar and piano, and by age 9, they were writing full songs.

After finishing high school in LA, Jules moved to Nashville to hone their craft in a city they call ‘Songwriting Bootcamp’. They emerged with bold, lyric heavy songs with powerful themes and concepts exploring the world through new eyes.

Coming out in 2018 at the age of 18, first to their friends, Jules wrestled with the nature of explaining their ‘status’ to theirfamily. “Relationships and sex are difficult enough to speak about with family, let alone your preferences on those matters. I kept thinking, ‘Do I really have to make an announcement?’”

“So much of being an artist is about convincing people to listen to what you have to say, but I had to be honest with myself before I could be honest with the world. Coming out gave me the opportunity to fully embrace myself and my voice as a human, as an artist, and to write the songs I wish I’d heard growing up.” 

Jules’ early releases caught the attention of Spotify curators, landing placements on Spotify’s New Music Friday, SALT, Fresh Dance Pop, and Young & Free playlists, as well as catching the attention of artists, producers, songwriters, and industry insiders alike.

Settling back in Los Angeles in the summer of 2022, Jules turned their attention to making friends, writing songs, and exploring their unique perspective through the prism of the modern music industry. Their original songs and song flips caught traction on social media, piquing the interest of artists including Fletcher, Noah Kahan, Joshua Bassett, and Royal and The Serpent. “Past Life,” a song about an ex who refused to acknowledge Jules’ pronouns after they came out as nonbinary, sparked contentious debate online, making Jules a target for both praise and hate speech.

“Hate comments don’t bother me. I’ve got a lot saying ‘you’re going to hell,’ ‘you are lying to yourself,’ or ‘you’re a girl.’ Those I can deal with. But I’ve never gotten a comment saying ‘this is a shitty song,’ and that’s how I know I’m doing something right.”

Jules kicks off their 2023 releases with “The Daughter That My Mother Wanted,” a collaboration with Miki Ratsula out now, followed by singles “Mommy Issues” and “Girls Will Be Boys,” culminating in a 5 track debut EP in June.

CaliStar, also known as Calista Wu, is an American recording artist, activist, and well-respected attorney who is set to release her latest single “Glitterati” on May 5th, 2023.

She is breaking barriers and redefining empowerment through music and art whose repertoire defies expectations and inspires others to pursue possibility. She has worked with industry veterans Chris Gehringer (Lizzo, Dua Lipa, Rihanna, Lady Gaga), Jae Chong (Coco Lee, Elva) and Enik Lin (Royal Pirates, Amber Liu) to create her most recent projects. In 2022 she released her most recent music including the singles “Don’t Give Up” and “Electric Highs”, the latter of which was featured in the soundtrack for the motion picture BLADE OF THE 47 RONIN.

Her upcoming single “Glitterati”, featuring Kiyone, is a song about having fun and being free. Reflecting that theme, the music video, which is a daydream that CaliStar has, depicts her at a 9-5 office job counting down the clock until she is done for the day. All while imagining and longing to be something else. Although it is just a daydream, there are a few hints that this dream becomes a reality and is a play on CaliStar’s actual double life as an artist and a lawyer.

The music video also dives into the theme of not always fitting into the boxes that people put or want you in, by being shiny and fabulous, even if it may only be a dream.

CaliStar’s love for glitter, which is shown within the music video as well as the title of the song, has a deeper meaning of the expectations people have for CaliStar. CaliStar has a strong history of being a successful lawyer through helping nonprofits but also utilized her beautiful artistic skills by performing songs at glamorous parties. The theme of the video goes hand-in-hand with the mission of Cali Star Entertainment (founded by CaliStar), which was created to inspire others to pursue that possibility.

In 2020, she began Cali Star Entertainment, LLC, a multi-platform entertainment company created to inspire others to pursue creative individuality and is breaking barriers and redefining empowerment through music, art, fashion, and community. Her brand is represented by the alicorn logo, a mythical creature that is both unicorn and pegasus—as such, she is poised to take the world by a beautiful storm with her alluring vocals, captivating compositions, and stunning visuals.

Pushing beyond his confines, today Ralo releases his latest project 97 Months, available to stream and listen to all music streaming platforms via his label FAMERICA. The open and honest body of work chronicles the in-real-time experiences and dealings the revered Atlanta rap artist has endured since his incarceration. With features from JadakissRotimiRowdy RebelHunxhoDerez De’Shon97 Months shines in raw honesty that paints a picture of perseverance and relatability to anyone navigating circumstances of adversity. 97 Months follows his 2021 debut project release, Political Prisoner.

Hailing from ‘The Bluff’ by way of Atlanta, Ralo has been highlighted in the past for vivid lyrical caliber, and his undeniable ability stands out from other rappers. Dripped in heavy-hitting, potent production, 97 Months soars with Ralo’s sonically rich hooks and infectious charisma as the world receives a more in-depth sense of his story. His latest music offering exemplifies these sentiments to a magnitude as listeners receive a masterful project that attests to his allure whenever he is placed. 

With every song I make, I can feel myself learning and growing as an artist. I have always been so very much myself and I can feel my inner world opening up to the outside world more and more, getting more comfortable sharing secrets and feelings from the deepest depths of my soul.

On the day I created my new single, Watch Me, I went into the studio with the intention of making a song that let me embody the feeling of being an evil siren. FAANGSCirkut (two of my closest collaborators) and I built off that vibe and it became all about an evil, sexy siren stripper who uses her magical powers to steal everyone’s money.

I started taking pole dancing lessons two months before we shot the Watch Me” music video so I had a little experience under my belt. It’s SO HARD but SO MUCH FUN. I’ve wanted to try it forever so this was a great reason to do it. We rented out a pole and took it to a beautiful forest-y lookin’ location. I knew it would be difficult but oh boy… I did not know HOW difficult. We couldn’t get the ground fully even, so the pole was on an angle. Since it was so cold out, condensation was forming and it was aggressively slippery. It was a full moon when we filmed so anytime I would start feeling anxious about things not going smoothly, I would just look up at it and remember that I am magic. I think it helped because I love the way the shots turned out.

There have been many times in my life that I’ve very seriously considered stripping as a career path so maybe one day I’ll get to try it out for real. Big respect to all my sexy siren strippers out there. Let “Watch Me” inspire a confidence within that makes you feel like you can have anything with just one look.

✨ bludnymph aka BBBLUD ✨

A mythological goddess or music spirit in the form of a young maiden, bludnymph inhabits rivers, woods, or other locations feeding off the love of her mortal followers

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We’re excited to share our next single, “Won’t Let You,” from part two of our upcoming sophomore LP, Night Talks, which will be released this summer.

The first part of Night Talks can be heard here.

We were trying so hard to write music that we thought we should write, instead of what we do like. It’s ironic that in acknowledging that we were trying to be someone we’re not, that we got to this song naturally. It’s about explaining to yourself that you’ve become someone else.

Hear “Won’t Let You” on streaming platforms everywhere now.

This song is actually very close to us since we’re parting ways with one of our key members after our last run of shows this month. We’ve been sitting on this song for over a year and a bit now and now we’re ready to share it with the world.

Thanks for listening,Addison Johnson of Lost In Japan

Born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago, Aáyanna learned very early on that writing was the easiest and most effective way of communicating. She started writing her own songs at as early as 7 years old, and recorded her first one with her dad’s travel set up at 9. In her teens, one small festival in Atlanta led her to meet producer Juberlee, who has worked with Playboi Carti, Lecrae, Mulatto, and more. This is where she started experimenting outside of the traditional R&B sound and added elements that would set her apart.. Look out for more very soon. 

New Jersey-based singer-songwriter Eric Sleeper carries a unique, dreamy, and tangible vibe that sets him apart from his peers. Taking pride in bending multiple genres, he encapsulates indie, acoustic rock, and folk all to create his own distinctive sound. Directing focus toward his lyrical mind frame, Eric writes his songs to be captivating, riveting, and relatable. Taking inspiration from the likes of Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, Elliot Smith, Nirvana, Tom Waits, and Bon Iver, he values their minimalistic approach to songwriting. “I am homegrown, literally recording everything on my own in my no-frills bedroom studio,” Eric explains.

Strumming the strings to his first guitar at age 14, Eric Sleeper has been making music ever since. After guitar, he immediately began writing his own songs and later picked up the MIDI keyboard. He quickly took to expressing his thoughts and feelings through lyricism, writing about his personal struggles, ambition, and tales of the underdog.

With his unique writing style, and a dreamlike ambiance that adds an element of nostalgia, alongside his edgy and rebellious attitude, Eric Sleeper is setting off on a musical journey of his own. With three successful singles, “Emily,” “Son of a Gun,” and “Junkie,” already under his belt and a fourth on the way, Eric is the breath of fresh air the singer-songwriter scene needs.

Experimental rock group CarbonWorks, led by guitarist/composer Neal Barnard, announce the upcoming release of their second album, Vanishing Act, available now on all music streaming platforms.

Vanishing Act is the second album by CarbonWorks, the follow up to their debut self-titled album, which came out in 2017. As with their debut album, Vanishing Act uniquely pushes musical boundaries, combining various genres to create a signature sound that Barnard calls “a jolt between the ears.” Singles from the 10-track album have included an alt-rock song (“Training That Works”), a jazz fusion song (“Athena”) and a punk song, “Marie Osmole,” that rolls in a jazzy saxophone riff, a slower bluesy beat and a sultry French lyric. 

Music critic John Apice described the new album as “quirky, interesting & challenging” but also “beautifully atmospheric,” “infectious” and “imaginative.” Apice also commented that “what it achieves with class is taking bits of music from other sources & re-animating it with the CarbonWorks originality.”

Alternative singer-songwriter – THOM SOUTHERN – is very pleased to present the official video for his latest track: “Love Hz”.

An artful and atmospheric accompaniment that couples charismatic performance clips with black-and-white shots of Thom traveling by rail between Belfast and Dublin, the wistful new video for “Love Hz” is available to view now HERE.

Also released today, Thom is delighted to share a nostalgic lyric video custom-made for “Love Hz”. Featuring delicate handwritten notes that feel like a snapshot into an anguished and ardent love letter, they capture the song’s fragile intimacies on another level altogether. Tune in HERE

“Love Hz” is a one-off release from the enigmatic Belfast songsmith that is Thom Southern. His first new material since his NI Music Prize-nominated first album ‘Plaza’, it’s a song of unadorned and unassuming beauty that tells a tale of a doomed romance. As 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 created “Love Hz” at his home studio back in 2021. Devising its knotty acoustic riffs, spiraling backwards guitar licks, and rattling percussive stutters, Thom put the finishing touches to the song in Bangor, NI earlier this year.

A track that turns 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 direction for the songwriter.

“The music I really want to make and have the most fun making is the more lo-fi acoustic stuff… I feel like that’s where I’m at now” he adds.

Deftly joining the dots between the Greenwich village style storytelling of Simon & Garfunkel with the slacker/folk day-dreamings of Kurt Vile or Alex G, by way of Beck’s alt-acoustic expressionism; “Love Hz” is an uncut gem that will ensnare listeners in its fractious tenderness and raw, unfiltered elegance. 

Following on from his February drop ‘Last Man Standing’, Preston’s up-and-coming rapper Django Jay has returned with the visuals to his latest unapologetic track named, ‘Cartel’.


Underpinned with a cinematic production courtesy of Scott Styles, ‘Cartel’ is an anthem for the streets. Tapping in at just over three minutes long, Django Jay sits centre stage with his unapologetic attitude and fearless bars. Capturing the essence of the UK’s inner cities, the Preston-raised artist is one of few to put his ends on the map.


Filled from top to bottom with punchlines and hard-hitting bars, Django Jay is ready to take over the industry, “Team full of gunners I supply the runners/ Runners on my feet when I ride with bruddas/ Locked five summers spent my life in gutters  / Trappin’ from the gutter had to make the bread/ Mum kicked me out I didn’t make my bed”, he raps. Correlating with the theme of the track, the accompanying visuals take the viewer to a dark location where he is joined alongside two voluptuous women and a pile of money.

Canadian electronic music powerhouses, Zeds Dead and Juno Award-winning producer HNTR, join forces on their latest collaboration, “Aftertaste ft. AIDN.” Set to release on May 5th, the track showcases the best of both artists and will premiere on Zeds Dead’s rising sub-label label, Altered States. This innovative platform for house, techno, and downtempo music has already been drawing attention across North America, and “Aftertaste ft. AIDN” is poised to further solidify its reputation.

HNTR, the first to receive a Juno Award in the new category ‘Best Underground Dance Single,’ has been making waves in the Canadian music scene, from owning his own record label, No Neon, to throwing label-curated events across the nation. Toronto’s HNTR recently performed on select dates of Deadmau5’s North American tour and played the 8th anniversary of his No Neon event at Coda Nightclub in Toronto, where he performed an open-to-close 6+ hour set.

Meanwhile, Zeds Dead has been instrumental in defining the vintage dubstep sound in America, popularizing the genre in the late ’00s out of Toronto. With their Deadbeats and Altered States labels, the duo has inspired generations of artists and showcased a diverse range of bass music styles. The mission of Altered States remains the same as with Deadbeats – to showcase showstopping talent, inspirational stories, and accessible music to grow the electronic community worldwide. Last year, the label released tracks from Nostalgix, Mary Droppinz, AYYBO, Mz Worthy, and more.

Waking Up In California,” produced by by Garen Gueyikian and mixed by multiple GRAMMY-winning engineer Chris Lorde-Alge, mirrors Tara’s journey and real-life successes on the Broadway stage as well as in music and film to speed through life’s highs and lows in a quintessential California top-down convertible reminding us that each day brings a new chance of opportunity. The single follows “Excuses,” which inspires listeners to know their worth and speak their truth, and continues a trajectory that saw Tara erupt into the pop music stratosphere with the release of her hit single “Prettiest Girl In The Room” which broke Billboard’s Top 80 chart and received extensive airplay on US terrestrial and Sirius XM radio.

jetsetforevr is an independent multi talented recording artist and songwriter from Toronto, Canada. He has achieved success in his artist career mainly due to his unique introspective writing style, strong visual consistency and engaging live events for releases and shows. 

He has been able to secure spots on various DSP editorial playlists including Its A Bop (Spotify), New Music Friday Canada (Spotify) and Northern Bars (Spotify) as well as New In Indie (Apple Music) and Emo Trap (Amazon Music) independently. jetsetforevr has accumulated hundreds of thousands of streams across platforms and is looking at growing his fanbase through consistency and quality music in 2023.

Jetsetforevr’s main introduction to music was at an early age listening to Billy Joel and Michael Jackson on morning car rides with his father. As he got older, he then started to mould his own taste in music which ranged from pop punk bands like Good Charlotte and Panic At The Disco to rappers like Eminem and Ludacris. His taste for infectious melodies, dynamic songwriting and charisma eventually moulded him into the artist he is today, encompassing various elements from different genres and influences in his own music. Modern music influences like Post Malone and Jon Bellion are heavy rooted in this Toronto based artist’s sound, however it goes without saying that jetsetforevr’s sound is dynamic, fluid and authentically his. 

Producer, Songwriter and Recording Artist, VeeAlwaysHere, has teamed up with Korean Rapper Ted Park for the release of “I don’t dance,” out now. Written by VeeAlwaysHere and Ted Park, “I don’t
dance,” is an upbeat song with a deeper meaning behind the lyrics. Simply put, “I don’t dance” is about going out to clubs, but not dancing; you’re there to distract yourself from pain and feelings.
“I don’t dance” is specifically about dealing, or not dealing, with heartbreak by going out and trying to drown the pain with alcohol and excessive spending. VeeAlwaysHere expands; “In my verse, I’m talking about going out to avoid thinking about my daily struggles and potentially unsuccessful love life, because when I go out I feel like a star. In Ted Park’s verse, he talks about prioritizing his music career over relationships and struggling with that, even though that’s what he wants. The sound of this song is very ironic, because it’s a very bouncy club-type of song that starts with me saying that “I don’t dance.” It’s a fun-sounding record musically, but we’re talking about how we’re not really having fun going out and how certain life and career choices make it hard for us to navigate personal life.” At the last minute, VeeAlwaysHere included a medieval sounding outro section when working on
production for this track. He took inspiration from how gallant knights appear in tournaments, the vibe of majestic horses, larger than life feasts, royalty and nobles; and used that to showcase what it’s like going out in Los Angeles. “I don’t dance” follows the release of his ego: playlist I in 2022, which received praise from MTV, Billboard, Consequence of Sound, and more.

We are contacting you to share “please don’t sugarcoat it,” the fifth single off of our upcoming debut album, further building momentum for its big release this coming fall. This song encapsulates an unrelenting confusion after being ghosted out of a situationship. Upon reflecting on every action, the protagonist pleads for an uninhibited explanation to such an abrupt ending.

please don’t sugarcoat it” satirically delves into the cryptic nature of situationships, urging for more straightforwardness moving forwards. A singer-songwriter quality paired with dreamy indie pop instrumentals, catchy melodies and an irresistible groove combine effortlessly to create a certified bop if we do say so ourselves.

Watch the official visualizer for “please don’t sugarcoat it” on YouTubeStream “please don’t sugarcoat it” on your preferred platform

We’re about to head out on an eight-date European tour, working our way across the UK, Germany and France before coming back to Canada. Check out a full list of dates below!

Thank you for listening,


Trap prodigy SKYLER returns to Monstercat Uncaged today with “Haunt You,” the third single from her upcoming EP due this summer. Honing in on SKYLER’s newfound heavy production side, the record showcases the evolution of her trap roots. “Haunt You” takes inspiration from haunting memories of a past relationship, while the euphoric trap drops and cinematic bass stylings represent the process of moving on and letting go. SKYLER shows no boundaries when it comes to her productions, and her anticipated EP will further prove her authenticity and matured techniques that she will soon take to the stage.

SKYLER shares, This record has a lot of call and response play within the dialogue and melodic composition. It’s supposed to insinuate a power struggle that stems from internal conflict. This could be best referenced to the saying, “to love and to let go.” When you love something, but you know you need to let it go, an inner turmoil sparks that can be all consuming, whether that be a person, place, or thing that triggers you to reflect back at the distant memories that metaphorically “‘Haunt You.’”

Evolving from an open-format DJ to now full-time producer, SKYLER has sharpened her artistry and evolved her future trap stylings since rebranding from her previous moniker, Skyler Madison. She quickly made a name for herself with an official remix for Flux Pavillion, and support from electronic tastemakers such as SLANDER, Krewella, and more. She’s taken her energetic stage presence to venues and festivals across the globe including Temple Nightclub in San Francisco, to Tomorrowland in Belgium. Her upcoming EP will bring special announcements to follow.

 Acclaimed electronic producer HEYZ is set to release his highly-anticipated EP, Into The HEYZ, Pt. 1, on April 26 via Deadbeats. The EP marks a significant milestone for the artist and the first in a series of EPs, as it introduces listeners to the enchanting world of “Into the HEYZ,” a realm teeming with wonder, oddities, and euphoria. In celebration of the release, HEYZ will also headline a show at Club Vinyl in Denver on April 29, taking fans on a journey into this whimsical universe.

PiPEllA — born Abigail Wynans — is an ASPEC Cinematic Rock Storyteller currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. The trilingual (English, Spanish, Korean) singer began making music at a young age and released her first song “Emotional” while getting her Masters in Global Entertainment at Berklee College of Music in Valencia, Spain, and her second “Life As A Movie” in November 2022.

She used her love of fantasy soundtracks, cinematic pop and arena rock, specifically combining the influences of artists like One OK Rock, Morgan Clae and Hans Zimmer, to create the sound she has today. PiPEllA uses her own connections to the LGBTQIA+ community and her experiences with mental health to inspire her lyrical content.

Currently, the artist is working on her first major creative release since 2021, PiPEllA: The Worlds Traveler. Following the tropes and world-building styles of her favorite literature, movies and TV, PiPEllA spent the last year building this immersive project for her fans to enjoy.

London-based singer-songwriter Dylan James gears up to release his heartbreakingly open new single ‘I’m Not Superman’, out 28th April.

After making his mark as a songwriting force to be reckoned with last year (with the soaring debut ‘Let’s Talk’ and its anthemic follow-up ‘Boys Yard’), Dylan James’ first release of 2023 provides another glimpse into his psyche. ‘I’m Not Superman’, out 28th April, carries the weight of the world in the singer-songwriter’s trademark heartfelt lyrics, emphasising he’s ‘just a normal man’ and that ‘this poker face won’t last forever’. The single also sets the stage for and provides the title of Dylan’s upcoming debut Expected To Fly, produced by Matt Owens of Noah and the Whale and due to be released later this year.

I’m Not Superman” is now one of best tracks I perform live and where my songwriting journey started. It’s a song which I think everyman can relate do – ‘I’m not Superman/I can’t do the things you think I can’. The lyrics came from a place where I felt pressure to be like a modern day superhero and just saying ‘Yes, I can do that’ but underneath the skin I knew I couldn’t. 

I wore a mask for years hiding behind the fear of failure but I got to the stage where I didn’t care anymore what people thought. I wanted to express this frustration in a song which told the story. “I’m Not Superman” became the song which championed my songwriting for the album ‘Expected to Fly’.”– Dylan James

After half a decade of developing a hushed cult following through his rare home demos, Dylan James finally began to share his gift for telling stories that bring out strong, genuine emotion with larger audiences, which began in 2022 with the pensive ‘Let’s Talk’ and the surging ‘Boys Yard’. Audiences were keen to hear his music, which resulted in appearances on Sky Sports and talkSPORT, as well as the popular children’s TV show Saturday Mash Up. Press support came from the likes of EARMILKAmericana UKXS Noize and Clunk Magazine as well as many other online titles.

London-based singer-songwriter Dylan James has spent the last half decade making a name for himself through his home demos.  With his confessional storytelling James blends together a mix of influences including folk rock, 90’s Britpop, and 70’s lo-fi singer-songwriter to create music full of raw emotion. His songs are not of the folk of yore however, nor a litany of rock ‘n’ roll cliches. No, James chronicles the home truths he encounters in the day-to-day, the grind & ennui of modern life – whether it’s the latter stages of drunken failings, broken dreams, world-weary determination or battle-hardened parental commitment. It’s these seldom explored topics that make his observations hit all the harder, and garner him such integrity & conviction.

I’m Montreal-based producer and composer, Devon BateThe Weather Holds is my latest project, a folk supergroup with the electroacoustic influences of my musical training.

With the Heat, Move Slowly” is the latest single I am releasing ahead of The Weather Holds‘ debut album release, You Couldn’t Ask For a More Beautiful Day, out May 20th.

Longing for someone during the Montreal curfew was particularly complicated – different kinds of yearning blossomed all over, but nobody really knew how to act on it. The whole rigmarole of courtship took on a weird rhythm – it slowed down, mostly. But for some (for me) that’s not a bad thing.

Montreal can be a hot place. Sometimes the best thing to do when it feels too hot out to move is just to move slowly – and in new love, it’s best to move slowly then, too. Listen to the song over here and watch the video on YouTube.

German filmmaker Julia Milz directed the video for “With the Heat, Move Slowly.” I barely said a thing to her but she understood and interpreted the song so intimately.

It was shot in an apartment that was initially empty, so everything you see in the music video was built from the ground up: every bit of clutter surrounding the protagonist was placed deliberately, and each ray of sunlight was artificially constructed.

In a lot of ways, this is one of the silliest songs on the album, and yet Julia captured both its depth of longing and its silliness with precision.

Through writing this song, I learned that if you can see into the future and you don’t like what you see, sometimes it’s best just to stop looking – or at least, head towards it slowly.

Thank you for listening!

Please follow along: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | TikTok

The Weather Holds

Californian indie pop band, LAVALOVE, have today announced their signing to alternative label Pure Noise Records. To celebrate the release the band have released brand new single ‘One Last Heart.’

Speaking about the single the band said “One Last Heart is about not wanting to fall in love again because hurting another person’s feelings is a pain within itself. It feels even worse to hurt someone you love than to be hurt.”

St. Humain is a genre-agnostic artist based in Sydney, Australia. Born in Singapore, the musician’s colourful, multi-cultural upbringing infuses his sound with a vibrancy like no other.

With his music built around honest and personal stories from his own life, his latest EP METADRAMATIC is like reading from his journal, as every song peels back a layer, revealing more and more. METADRAMATIC narrates the feelings we all face in our lives when it comes to relationships — with lovers, friends, and with yourself. Sonically, the EP sees the artist heading towards an interesting intersection between pop, electronic and R&B. 

His latest release is “Dial Tones (발신음)”, a Korean duet/remix of the final track off METADRAMATIC, featuring Seoul artist SOIN. This new version of “Dial Tones (발신음)” sparked after St. Humain took a trip to the city, where he met SOIN through mutual connections. Instantly captivated by her vocals, he knew he wanted to collaborate with her.

“Dial Tones (발신음)” is a song about regret when it comes to love. It’s about thinking back on a relationship and not necessarily missing the other person, but just wanting to see if they’re okay because things didn’t end in the best of ways. St. Humain reveals, “The original version has just the one perspective of wanting to reach out but ending up clutching at straws… But this new duet version paints the other half of the picture. I think SOIN shares this other side of the story so well, making this all not just depressing but opens things up, turning it bittersweet. She writes about the relationship being over, but that the other party is actually doing okay. Life moves on… And I think SOIN captured that essence so beautifully.”

SOIN shares, “The song just feels so innocent, you know? The lyrics talk about something that happened ten years ago and couldn’t be forgotten, which is super cool! So I wanted to say, ‘Hey, it’s okay.’ The memories we shared while stargazing together mean so much more to me than any scars you left.” 

Speaking of the collaboration, SOIN continues, “I’m just so grateful for this opportunity to collaborate on this duet. I really wanted to work with St. Humain because his voice, music, and artistic style are so unique! This is my first duet, so new opportunities like this are so precious to me. I really hope that this song can help people feel raw emotions and find comfort in the small things we often overlook in our everyday lives.” 

St. Humain has garnered millions of streams for his music to date, as well as acclaim from the likes of Billboard, Live Nation’s Ones to Watch, Wonderland Magazine and Earmilk, to name a few. Accompanying the success of his music, St. Humain also runs his own apparel brand, Emotional Sauna. Named after his debut EP, the brand offers pieces that allow our minds to escape into an aesthetic. It’s pro escapism, by St. Humain: Each music release has been paired with a line of apparel to compliment its unique world of that release. With limited runs and small batches that will never be reprinted, the artist is offering entirely exclusive pieces. This collaboration with SOIN marks part two of the METADRAMATIC journey… Stay tuned for more. 

A classically trained Russian-born and Los Angeles-based musician with a skyscraping voice and unapologetic hustle and attitude, Cooper Phillip asserts herself as a bold, blunt, and boundary-breaking force for pop music and culture. The artist’s outsized personality matches her towering vocal range and instinctual musical intuition. As such, she’s independently emerged as a buzzing presence on her own terms, tallying millions of streams and earning acclaim from the likes of WONDERLAND.American SongwriterEarmilk, and Hollywood Life, to name a few. 

Now, Cooper amplifies her voice on the global stage like never before with a series of 2023 singles and much more to come.

“I went through some quiet time of transformation, but I know who I truly am as an artist now,” she exclaims. “I’m making honest music and talking about things that matter.”

As a kid, she called the provincial city of Saratov home. With mom on tour as a classical violinist, Cooper grew up under the watch of her aunt and grandmother. Nevertheless, she naturally absorbed her mother’s passion for music. Early on, she picked up piano and harp in addition to honing her voice in choir. As if split between worlds, she immersed herself in the timeless compositions of Tchaikovsky and Puccini as well as the vocal acrobatics of R&B superstars a la Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. A prodigy in her own right, she gained admission into the prestigious Moscow State Classical Academy, studying piano, music theory, harp, jazz, blues, voice, and ballet and working towards a Master’s Degree. Invited to New York City by some friends, she wound up cutting her teeth in the Big Apple scene at barely 19-years-old. In order to survive, she sang anywhere she could—from local clubs to weddings.  “I was in survival mode, just hustling, learning, and struggling,” she recalls. 

As if manifesting the future through a diligent commitment to her craft, she accepted an opportunity to record in Los Angeles and never left. She evolved one single at a time and gained palpable traction, building an audience of over 300K on Instagram. “Party By Myself” accumulated north of 1.6 million Spotify streams followed by “Not Perfect” with 561K Spotify streams. WONDERLAND spotlighted her and hailed “Head Over Heels” as “a feel-good party with empowering trumpets and glittering synths.” American songwriter promised, “It entices the listener into an almost otherworldly place and time. 2022’s “Masterpiece” attracted praise from Digital HighCeleb Mix, and The Fox Magazine who proclaimed, “With her intense drive, soaring vocals, and passionate songwriting, Phillip is elevating herself to the top of her genre.” 

Now, she levels up again on the 2023 single “The Answers” [feat. Durand Bernarr]. The nocturnal beat underlines emotionally charged verses before she flexes her high register on the bridge. It climaxes with a hyper catchy chorus augmented by a rollercoaster crescendo with fluttering intonation, blurring the lines between cinematic sonic architecture, R&B spirit, and pop universality. 

In the end, Cooper transmits an uplifting and undeniable message at the heart of her music.

“I’m just a free soul with lots of ideas on how to make this world a happier place,” she leaves off. “When you listen to me, I hope you take away self-observation and power. I want you to know you can listen to your gut and your heart. Believe, create, be happy, and make your own decisions. I want to show you it’s possible to be strong.”

LA’s resident femme-punk royalty The Aquadolls release the official video for their latest single “Burn Baby Burn.” Directed by longtime creative collaborator Jenna Houchin, the video is a seductive whirlwind of excess and indie sleaze. Leaning into the song’s meaning of relying on your girl gang when you need to be reminded of your worth, the video features the band in a sea of debaucherous fun alongside their friends – Watch.

Earlier this month, the band announced that their upcoming record Charmed will be released on June 2. So far, they have released singles “Beachy,” “Sneaky,” and most recently, “Burn Baby Burn.” Don’t let the relatable tales focused on love and relationships, heartbreak and longing for more fool you, The Aquadolls still are about having fun and showcasing humor in their lyrics. Charmed charts the growth in The Aquadolls’ sound, fusing elements of melodic ‘60s harmonies and ‘90s-driven crunchiness with a modern twist that ushered in a new era for them, and it serves as a strong representation of what they want to do.

Even as the current edition of The Aquadolls continues to evolve, their signature sound as a guitar-driven band remains the same. Armed with a continued desire to promote their message of self-love and positivity, Charmed is the perfect step forward. Combining a cohesive sound with this message, The Aquadolls are comfortable growing up with their audience — who view things through never-perfect, Vaseline-tinged view of the world. 

The Know began in late 2018 when Daniel Knowles suggested to his wife, Jennifer Farmer, that instead of traveling home for the holidays (to the UK and Texas respectively) that the LA based transplants stay put and try to create music together, just the two of them. This would be the married couple’s gift to themselves.

For the next few weeks, they isolated themselves in their home studio with no real plan, just a mutual love of Beach House, Julee Cruise, Ye Ye, The Jesus and Mary Chain, 60’s girl groups, dream pop, and the evocative storytelling lyricism of Patsy Cline and The National.

The result was their debut EP shared in 2020, a stunning blend of dream pop and shoegaze. Entitled wearetheknow, the six trackcollection of songs provided an unflinching look at the couple, delving deep into the duo’s personal lives by honestly narrating stories from their relationship and life experiences against a kaleidoscopic sonic palette. Leading single ‘143′ melded autobiographical with fantastical lyrics and unfolds as a series of conversations, images, and hazy recollections of a night out. While ‘Hold Me Like You Know Me’ garnered comparisons to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks and Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound

The Know’s recently released second EP (EP2) is lyrically full of relatable snapshots of love, loss, isolation, uncertainty, sadness and connection. Completed during the pandemic and in a time of intense isolation, the EP was produced by Farmer and Knowles and mostly recorded in their home studio in a short span of time. 

Leading single ‘Used to Be’ details the complexities of romantic relationships specifically when they were heightened during the pandemic. Knowles confides,“then of course the pandemic hit, people all around us were having their relationships tested in lockdown with significant others, some relationships came out stronger, some didn’t survive. And on a more universal scale lots of people worldwide were dealing with a loss of normality, loss of connection with other people, suddenly not being able to do simple things like buy groceries, things we’d all taken for granted.” Sonically, “Used to Be” features hazy guitars, warm melodies and atmospheric soundscapes that are on the edge of uncontrollable making for an enthralling listen. The accompanying cinematic music video was directed and created by Farmer and profiles a troubled relationship representing the highs, the lows and the mundane moments in a non-linear fashion.

The second single ‘Me’ is “reminiscent of the start of a relationship and events between two people during lockdown but this one mostly covers the good stuff. It’s a love song about the thrill you feel when you connect with another person,” proclaims Farmer. ‘Me’ is an enthralling cinematic slice of dream pop complete with romantic lustrous landscapes and dreamy vocals. 

The Know have found success attracting fans across the globe with their authentic narratives and dazzling mix of genres. Their debut EP garnered praise from the likes of SPIN, BBC, FLOOD Magazine and Earmilk among others.  In addition to The Know, Knowles is an engineer and producer who also this year co-produced the Sharon Van Etten album We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong. The duo has also released a limited edition vinyl. 

Philadelphia-raised, Los Angeles-based soul-pop singer/songwriter Noah Guy releases his new single “BIG BOYS DON’T CRY.” Accompanying the track is the official video, directed by Noah Guy himself and co-directed by Nate Guenther & Najai Washington.

Get “BIG BOYS DON’T CRY” HERE via 10K Projects and watch the video at 10am PST/1pm EST HERE.

BIG BOYS DON’T CRY” is a fresh and exciting take on retro-futurism, pairing the catchy bounce, swing, and rawness of early 2000’s R&B classics, with unique programmed drum/sampling accents to create a sound bed for Noah Guy’s vocals that is equal parts striking and hypnotic. Inspired by a poem that he wrote as a teenager, “BIG BOYS DON’T CRY” is both a powerful mediation on Guy’s masculinity and maturation, as well as a progressive ode to a new type of “manhood”— one that is more sensitive, vulnerable, and honest.

Noah Guy’s first single of 2023, the new track arrivals on the heels of his EP TAKEN TIME?! (ACT I)which arrived in November of last year, featuring singles 5 MO’ MINUTES and 2 DOGS 1 LEASH,” a dreamy tune thatquickly surpassed the 4 million stream mark and gained acclaim from the likes of Billboard, 1883 Magazine and more.

Building off of the emotional rawness of Noah Guy’s 2021 debut EP is it real?WHO’S TAKEN TIME?! (ACT I)represents the sound of an artist continuing to color outside the lines of soul. This new music is the byproduct of his changed physical surroundings — a cross-country move from his East Coast roots to Los Angeles — where the perpetual sunshine has helped him uncover a new, lighter side to his moody sound. With the arrival of “BIG BOYS DON’T CRY” and more new music on the way, Noah Guy is ready to share more of himself with the world.

After making her explosive debut with her first single, “Fantasy,” rlyblonde – the project of Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist Carina Allen – returns with “Spiltmilk,” the second single off her forthcoming debut EP.

rlyblonde is no stranger to the music industry. The New York-based twenty-something has long been the go-to photographer, videographer and creative director for numerous musicians. After years of supporting other artists and friends’ visions, she decided to put down the camera and pick up the guitar for a change. Her first single & video, “Fantasy,” landed widespread support from tastemakers like Enfnts Terribles Magazine, The Luna Collective, and Unpublished Magazine.

With her new track, “Spiltmilk,” rlyblonde seamlessly combines alt-rock instrumentation, catchy pop melodies, and tongue-in-cheek lyrics (“Wait why the fuck is there a line? / I’m freezing in this dress / My makeup is a mess / I need a drink before I lose my mind”). 

She elaborates on the inspiration behind her newest single: “I’ve always been quite sensitive, even though I put on a tough face most of the time. For a long period of my life I felt like I was always one parking ticket away from a mental breakdown. Plus, living in New York City is pretty relentless. Everything is expensive and you’re exhausted every day just from walking around. Writing ‘Spiltmilk’ also let me laugh at myself in a way that was really comforting. Now when I’m having a bad day, I’ll just text my friends, ‘it’s a spiltmilk type of day’ and we just get it. It’s okay to cry, but also… you’re gonna be fine.”


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Written by Neill Frazer

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