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INsiders Guide

INsiders Guide: Maya Donovan, Alan Chang, JB Elwood, Barny Fletcher, LE COULEUR, Linebeck, Fortunates Ones, AL STAEHELY, ZAE FRANCE…

Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Maya Donovan is a talented 24-year-old singer-songwriter whose captivating style blends an array of genres, including folk, soul, pop, and jazz. Donovan fearlessly tackles life’s toughest experiences, infusing her heartfelt lyrics with honest emotion, empathy, and a dash of humor. Her mesmerizing voice, skillfully controlled, draws you into her world and leaves you captivated by her music which you can hear in her latest single ” The Company.

Emerging solo artists don’t come with back stories richer than Alan Chang who, for 19 years, served as acclaimed musical director and pianist to Michael Bublé, with whom he hopscotched the globe, performing massive hits like “Home” and “Haven’t Met You Yet” that he co-wrote for the superstar Canuck crooner. But as Chang’s 40th birthday approached in 2019, he longed to explore alternative possibilities. Enter Check Please, Chang’s official solo debut and an album of 10 dazzling and superbly crafted jazz-juiced pop songs fueled by the L.A.-based pianist’s towering musicianship, dead-clever lyrics, and a small army of vets from legendary bassist Pino Palladino to saxophonist Dave Koz. “This is a singer-songwriter album steeped in jazz,” Chang says of the absurdly catchy and decidedly not Bublé-esque Check Please. “I’m trying to write simple songs that are a vehicle for improvisation and can be expanded live with solos,” something discerning music fans with an ear for buoyant melodies can anticipate.

Inspired by the iconic riffs of Slash from Guns N’ Roses, JB Elwood embarked on his musical journey at the tender age of ten. The reverberating chords of “Welcome to the Jungle” became the catalyst for a deep-rooted passion that drew from the rich musical tapestry of his West Virginian lineage. Descended from a legacy of musicians who strummed the fiddle, banjo, and guitar and serenaded the local radio with gospel, JB Elwood’s heritage is steeped in Appalachian rhythms.

While his birthplace lies in the Midwest’s heart, Elwood’s story is a mosaic of cities, painted by his father’s profession as a structural engineer. Despite these urban landscapes, his heart remains tethered to the melodies of the country. Today, Austin, Texas, resonates as his chosen home—a city that complements his creative spirit and fuels his ambitious dreams.

Affectionately dubbed “JB Elwood,” his stage name is a tribute to his late grandfather, John Elwood Ball—a visionary entrepreneur in southern West Virginia’s coalfields. His grandpa on the other side of his family, Eugene “Poppy” Jackson, a self-taught musician, gifted his treasured 1960s Gibson Dove guitar, an heirloom, that now underpins Elwood’s songwriting. This fusion of his past with his present encapsulates an identity defined by family, memory, and experience.

Elwood’s music is an odyssey of narratives, reminiscent of both the urban cityscapes and the tranquil countryside. His songs bridge divides, weaving tales of love, heartbreak, perseverance, change, trials, and exhilarating journeys. Through JB Elwood’s soulful chords, listeners are invited to find their own stories, making his melodies a universal soundtrack to life.

London-based artist Barny Fletcher has released a new single titled “Smell Real Nice.” The song is the latest track from Barny’s forthcoming debut album, Lonestar, due out September 15 via Guin Records. Listen to “Smell Real Nice” now here. Watch the official videohere.

A bombastic track dripping with unabashed confidence and the spellbinding charisma of an artist truly coming into their own, “Smell Real Nice” adds to the collection of standout tracks teasing Barny’s upcoming debut album. Coupled by a whimsical official video, the song is an absolute stunner. On the track, Barny describes: “A story about a guy and a girl, spinning through the city of Los Angeles. He’s trying to persuade her it could be more than a one time thing. She enjoys the chase. He also likes her perfume. Yup that’s the song.” 

Today’s release follows the June drop of single “Masterpiece,” a groovy funk track that saw a spin by BBC Introducing on 1Xtra. Barny first kicked off the album campaign with the euphoric track “WOO!” which saw a release in May. The album’s singles have already garnered strong Spotify support landing on playlists such as New Music Friday UK and Fresh Finds. The tracks have also drawn widespread critical acclaim with support from outlets such as Dork, EARMILK, and Riff Magazine.

Rooted in themes of young love and self-discovery, the forthcoming album boasts a collection of songs written against the backdrop of a road trip to California, each song revealing a bit more of Barny’s journey while continuing to spotlight Barny’s magnetic energy and charisma that have defined his artistry since Day 1.

Montreal disco-pop sensations LE COULEUR will release their highly anticipated new album ‘Comme dans un penthouse’ next month, and today release a fresh teaser track “À la rencontre de Barbara”. 


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With its gaze fixed firmly on the dancefloor, “À la rencontre de Barbara” is alive with slinky basslines, louche vocal hooks, and starry nocturnal grooves. A guest vocal boost comes courtesy of Standard Emmanuel, perhaps best known as the frontman of the Montreal band Choses Sauvages.

À la rencontre de Barbara”, which translates simply as “Meet Barbara”, the track introduces us to the central protagonist who struts from song-to-song across their conceptual new album. Placing the listener into her fine-heeled shoes, we follow a late night disco diva in pursuit of her next dance, and stepping to a beat of her own defining. As Le Couleur explain:

“In the heart of a glittering metropolis, a pair of shoes triggers an enigmatic quest for an elusive figure. Guided by urban lights, a traveller explores a nocturnal stroll, awakening lost memories and forgotten dreams. As secrets converge, Barbara’s mysterious story unfolds, captivating the viewer between reality and illusion.”

The new single is aptly illustrated with a plush AI generated official video orchestrated by Nathan Nardin and his team at NNS, which is available to watch HERE

“À la rencontre de Barbara” follows previous 2023 single “Sentiments nouveaux”, with both tracks due to feature on Le Couleurs upcoming album ‘Comme dans un penthouse’, which will be released worldwide on 22 September via Lisbon Lux Records.

A concept album that revives a prominent character from Le Couleur’s past, ‘Comme dans un penthouse’, finds the Montreal trio proving their prowess in the spheres of alt-pop, lounge, and disco as they tell the ballad of ‘Barbara’. First introduced as the assistant who stole her former employer’s fortune on Le Couleur’s 2016 album ‘P.O.P.’, the new record sees her return for a starring role…

After coming back from Le Couleur’s most recent U.K. tour last year, vocalist Laurence Giroux-Do found herself suddenly drawn to the character of Barbara anew. Feeling that her own life was “flat, beige, and pointless” and that she was developing a “fear of falling into a routine”, Giroux-Do began seeing Barbara’s “search for novelty, new feelings, an addiction” as the polar opposite of the malaise she was experiencing.

Our new single is about being in love with your best friend and deciding to just go for it, even though you might get hurt. Heavily inspired by John Hughes’ Pretty in Pink, as well as some “situationships” that our friends were caught in, “Give Us A Try” was written as a love letter from Duckie to Andie, and for anyone else who has ever been too afraid to risk it all.

Being in this in-between phase is an intense emotional roller-coaster. Honestly, I find the anticipation before a big jump to be one of the best parts of being human.

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You can hear “Give Us A Try” on your go-to streaming service.

Check out the official lyric video for “Give Us A Try” on YouTube.

I knew soon after writing this song that if we ever released it, I would want to have a prom themed music video as a way to pay further homage to Pretty in Pink.

I personally think prom is so overrated. I went to two proms and it wasn’t as fun as the movies always make it seem. We wanted to create a fun prom experience for all our friends. Many of the extras appreciated the opportunity to take their significant other to prom, and a few hadn’t even had the chance to go to prom due to COVID. It was a very long shoot but so much fun. 💕

We could not have done this video without the help of so many of our friends!

Director, Producer, Editor: John Michael Kelly.

Filmed by Tami Mayhew and Matthew Kelly with help from Logan Mayhew.

Thank you for taking the time to listen,

Chrys Teo of Linebeck

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Fortunate Ones is a contemporary folk duo from Newfoundland. Celebrated for their harmony-entwined songs of hope, resilience, and the human condition and their joyfully disarming live shows, Catherine and Andrew have toured relentlessly, bringing their open-hearted performances to thousands of people across North America and beyond. 

Their music explores ideas of life’s relationships – to time, place, each other, our sense of self as it relates to the broader world and how we find our place in it and way through it. The duo share, “We try to look through a hopeful lens with the intention of creating some light in our little corner of this big, complicated world.” Following the release of their 2022 album, That Was You and Me, the duo have unveiled a stunning live rendition of one of the album’s singles, “A Thousand Tiny Ways”. In the band’s words, “The heart is a complicated and beautiful machine. It gives life and strength and is at the same time fragile and prone to cracking. It is delicate and resilient all at once. A Thousand Tiny Ways was written about the many ways, both good and bad, that a heart can break.” The songwriters go on to explain, “In Newfoundland we have a way of using words that typically have a negative meaning and using them to describe beautiful things. ‘That show last night was wicked’ means the show last night was amazing. ‘That burger was deadly’ means that burger was delicious. Did you see the new baby? ‘So gorgeous he’d break your heart’. We liked the idea of how both good and bad times can break your heart and somehow through it all we carry on. To have the privilege of growing into and through a relationship, to age and thrive and learn and win and lose and love and hate, laugh and cry with someone is so profound when we stop to think about how uncertain life can be is beautifully heartbreaking.”
Sonically, the new live video for “A Thousand Tiny Ways” showcases Fortunate Ones ability to craft a sound that radiates a warmth. With simple, organic instrumentation, their beautiful storytelling lyrics shine bright, captivating listeners with every word. 
Catherine and Andrew have been busy since the release of their debut album The Bliss in 2015 – thousands of miles, hundreds of shows, award winning albums and scores of fans have all been hallmarks of the success the duo has experienced since their humble beginnings in St. John’s. They have received extensive, notable radio play from CBC, including two #1 singles on CBC Radio 2’s Top 20, accumulated millions of streams on Spotify and won/been nominated for multiple awards, including being nominated for the Single of the Year Award at the 2023 Canadian Folk Music Award, and multiple Juno Awards. In May 2023, That Was You and Me won the ECMA for Folk Recording of the Year. 
Fortunate Ones are set to embark on a huge US tour this fall, supporting Bahamas. Having been big fans of Bahamas for years, this is a full circle moment for Fortunate Ones, as they share, “We’re big believers in sending wishes into the universe and going after the things you want in life.”

Somewhere in West Texas, the new album by Americana singer-songwriter Al Staehely is charting #97 on Americana Radio cracking the Top 100, #1 NACC Most Added Folk and #16 on Alt Country Specialty.
A third generation Austinite, Al splits his time between Houston and the Big Bend high desert area of  Far West Texas. His album of new music, Somewhere in West Texas, recorded in Marfa, TX, features an all-star lineup of musicians, including Fran Christina (Fabulous Thunderbirds, Bonnie Raitt), Scrappy Jud Newcomb (Ian McLagan, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Patty Griffin, Slaid Cleaves) and Chris Maresh (Eric Johnson, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Kenny Wayne Shepherd).
In support of his new album, Al will be touring the rest of the year. See all tour dates below. More to be announced

Storytelling through the channel of honesty spotlights relatability. Zae France’s knack for opening up about life, love and everything between—without filter—spotlights him as the next rising voice in R&B. Through his distinct and intentional musical approach, he vividly gives voice to the world around him through cinematic riffs, infectious runs, and airy hooks. 

Born in a small town in North Carolina called “Mount Airy,” Zae forged his path to music through grind and grit as he took an unexpected switch from football to music overnight. Zae caught his first big break with a repost on renowned media platform The Shade Room, from there his following grew from two thousand  followers to a smooth fourteen thousand overnight just by one post. Since then, he has crafted a signature sound that has attracted both mainstream and international superstars and landed a deal with Compound Entertainment.With a growing body of work that includes two EP’s Rhythm N Backwoods (2019) and Pretty Girls NVR Listen (2021), his point-of-view has united followers and fans in the multi-thousands as he prepares for what will be his most decorated year to date.

Kasey Phillips is the entrepreneurial and creative force behind Precision Productions, the number one production company in Trinidad. He’s the son of esteemed producer Kenny Phillips and got his start producing music when he was only ten years old. Phillips has used these decades of experience to transform the Caribbean and Soca landscapes with his vision and he’s excited to share his expertise with the urban market. 

Since moving to Los Angeles, Kasey Phillips has worked with renowned artists including Chris Brown, Lil Baby, and Big Freedia to bring their dreams to fruition. He produced the newly released EP from the one and only Ciara entitled Ci Ci. “How We Roll” ft. Chris Brown was produced by Phillips and debuted at #9 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs chart. Making an impressive entrance into the mainstream with his latest project alongside Ciara, Kasey Phillips is more than ready to take Precision Productions to the next level. Phillips has been recognized for his work in business and music with multiple awards. He’s been named the 

EY Entrepreneur of the Year and honored with a Soul Train Music Award for Best International Performance. Now located in Los Angeles, Kasey Phillips is at the epicenter of the mainstream market. His work on Ci Ci is just the beginning for Phillips.  

Xenia Manasseh is a 26-year old Kenyan-born and raised singer-songwriter who brings a refreshing, new sound to the music scene that captivates her audience with the clarity and the purity of her tone.

She released her first EP ‘Fallin Apart’in 2019, which debuted at #1 on the Kenyan iTunes R&B/Soul charts and #2 in all genres. She followed this up with a second EP, Maybe’ (2022), a collaborative project with Kenyan producer Ukweli that was selected as the Editor’s Choice on Apple Music.

She has been identified as one to watch, landing her the Spotify EQUAL Month of February Ambassador and more recently has been named as part of Spotify’s RADAR Program Class of 2023. Xenia has a vision to create music for a global audience that is a relatable, honest and true reflection of her life, values and experiences; music that binds people from various walks of life because it speaks on real, universal messages.

Xenia has accrued songwriting credits on Teyana Taylor’s‘The Album’ for the songs “Wrong B*tch” in which she also did background vocals and “Shoot It Up” ft Big Sean. She features on Sauti Sol’s album ‘Midnight Train’ on “Rhumba Japani”, Mr. Eazi’s “Cherry”, Tay Iwar’s “Stones”, as well as having done background vocals on Burna Boy’s “Time Flies”. Xenia has a vision to create music for a global audience that is a relatable, honest and true reflection of her life, values and experiences; music that binds people from various walks of life because it speaks on real, universal messages.

Following a string of EPs and singles, synthpop outfit Magnetic Skies have announced their dramatic debut album Empire Falling will be released on 3rd November, which follows their next single ‘Fading Lights’, out 1st September.

With their debut album Empire Falling due out at the start of November, rising synthpop group Magnetic Skies are set to release a brand new single, the compelling ‘Fading Lights’ which will be out on 1st September. This pacy offering from the upcoming album is a relentless journey, complete with pounding beats and anguished lyrics pleading ‘hold me tonight’. With the lyrics themed around addiction, it’s an intense ride as desperation seeps through the cracks in another expertly produced mix of electrifying synths and soaring vocals from the band.

Initially setting out as a duo in 2019, Magnetic Skies was born as a studio-based project created by lead vocalist and keys player Simon Kent and Jo Womar also on keys, driven by a shared love of 80s synth-driven post-punk. They began building their sound and continually released EPs throughout 2020 – here, the seeds were sown with pulsing, vintage analogue synths and pumping bass to create a signature sound of evocative electronica mixed with darkwave, classic yet delightfully futuristic all at once. Eventually, the band began performing live, which led to guitarist Carlos Aguilar and drummer Lenin Alegria joining the lineup, and this is the group who have created the band’s long awaited full-length release Empire Falling, out 3rd November. Production and mixing on the album were predominantly carried out in-house by Kent, with additional mixing duties performed by Rob Aubrey (sound engineer for Big Big Train/Asia/Tony Levin).

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Simon Kent (frontman) – ‘The album is reflective, poetic, and it takes you on a journey lyrically, and in mood from sad nostalgia through to happiness and euphoria. I hope the listener can relate to the sounds and lyrics, find some connection on a personal level – I’d like to move them in an emotional way.

It’s nice to close the opening chapter on the band and capture the songs that evolved as the band came together from a duo to a 4-piece, and while we were learning how to work together.

Following the band’s beginnings, they continued to hone their live craft – the last couple of years have seen Magnetic Skies supporting sell-out shows for Altered ImagesHeaven 17Empathy Test and ACTORS, and releasing more singles in the run up to the release of their debut album. Among these was a collaboration with BBC 6Music favourites The KVB, resulting in more than 1,000 plays on Amazing Radio in the UK & USA. Three songs were also included on the BBC Radio “Fresh On The Net” mixtape playlists. With their 2023 single releases, Magnetic Skies have gained support from Louder Than WarGod is In The TVWhen The Horn BlowsRGM and Backseat Mafia among many others. The band are also included on two influential compilations of leading electronic artists from around the globe in the Generation Blitz series, “Concrete And Chrome” and “Generation Blitz Extended”.

Indie artist Lucy & La Mer releases her latest alternative pop single, “Ice Cream”. The popular creator is known for her positive content and mental health advocacy. 

In her recent TEDx Talk, Lucy encourages fans to, “Explore your genre. The more ‘you’ that you can be, the more others will feel empowered to be themselves, too.” Her new tune echoes these values of self-acceptance and reflection. The song lyrics empower folks who feel anxious or insecure to express their fears and to be vulnerable in their relationships. “Sometimes I melt down like ice cream / Will you still like me when it gets all messy?” 

You might recognize Lucy from the YouTube Shorts billboard that appeared in both Times Square NYC and Los Angeles in Summer 2023, where she was a featured creator. Fans connect with the artist on her Youtube channel, as well as on her Patreon where she frequently performs acoustic shows.

The ukulele driven single is one of many in Lucy & La Mer’s repertoire. Her love for the ukulele was noted by Fender, who chose Lucy to present their Billie Eilish Signature Ukulele in 2021. Kala Ukuleles has also endorsed the artist, customizing ukuleles that have traveled with her on tours in Australia, Europe, and even the Philippines. 

As a proud bisexual icon, Lucy LaForge performs and speaks regularly at LGBTQ+ events. Through her music, she champions the queer experience and brings to light the various struggles felt by her community. Her bi anthem, “Not A Phase”, has amassed over 4 million streams on Spotify alone. 

Her new single “Ice Cream” details the magic of falling in love but also how terrifying it can be especially with someone who struggles with anxiety. Lucy shares, “As an anxious person, I’m constantly overthinking in relationships. Like, what if they find out that I’m not what they thought? What if I get insecure and sabotage the whole thing?!” When someone with anxiety falls in love, it’s like this new wonderful thing… that you now get to worry about constantly.” As a self-identified “anxious bisexual”, Lucy’s music serves as a positive message for anyone struggling to feel confident.

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Exploring themes of love and loss, the experience of being an inflatable doll, the nostalgia of hopeful youth, and the eventual descent into madness while grappling with the ramifications of climate change, Eddy Lee Ryder’s new EP, Blue Hour, will be released on September 15, 2023.

The stage name of NY-based singer-songwriter Liz Brennan, Eddy Lee Ryder’s music paints languid, sadly beautiful portraits of love and life on the margins with the moody and satirical depth of Father John Misty and the country-influenced textures of Roy Orbison or Glen Campbell but with a captivating voice all on her own. Lonesome as she is wild, Ryder has spent the last three years with no permanent address. A nomad who lost her father unexpectedly as a teen, she says, “I really lost my sense of home…

“I picked up a guitar and taught myself to play. Ever since, music has been my outlet, my escape. It’s how I cope.”

Ryder’s formative years were spent in upstate NY, where she became fascinated with classic rock, country music, and the old timers of a different era. With those influences, she creates haunting songs that tell dramatic stories through a slightly warped lens. Her unconventional approach to songwriting explodes and sparkles with ‘70s good-time rock riffs, moody piano, and complex poetry that unfolds in an arresting rock opera.

Rising pop powerhouse Lily Lane has released her latest single, “Throne,” an energetic and persuasive anthem that exudes confidence, power, and fearlessness. With lyrics that focus on arriving exactly where you’re intended to be, “Throne” highlights how everything we go through, both good and bad, ultimately helps us reach our final destination and embrace our true potential. “Throne” is available to stream and download worldwide.

“In both Los Angeles and in the music industry, there are a lot of people who want to tell you who to be, what kind of music to make, and what kind of lifestyle to live,” Lane says about the message behind “Throne.” “While I acknowledge that throughout my career I have made some mistakes, listened to the wrong people, or given into certain pressures at times, I have also found my place in the industry, and in the world, and have become very confident in that place and my abilities.”

Change and perspective expand quickly in tight quarters—and no one knows that as well as married couple Solange Igoa and Andrea Walker. It’s true of each of their time as queer kids in need of an escape from conservative towns; of their years living together in a van, traveling the country to play music and busk; of settling down in a studio apartment just prior to the pandemic. And now, partnered with a rhythm section and produced by Chris Funk of the Decemberists, they’re harnessing the lessons from this closeness and cracking them wide open into a whole new world with their band Glitterfox.

The duo first met at a coffee house open mic in Long Beach, California, where Walker had recently relocated after growing up in North Carolina and Virginia. She quickly fell in love with Igoa’s voice, knowing that if their vocals and her guitar came together that would only flourish—and it did, the two now married and having spent more than a decade as a pair. Musically, channeling Walker’s Southern warmth through Southern California indie shine, Glitterfox carves out lithe, nostalgia-fueled anthems powered by the intimacy of their relationship. “A lot of our songs are about serious challenges in our lives,” Walker says. “All the struggles in my life get poured into the music, but always with this silver lining of hope, this drive not to quit before the miracle happens. Making a living as an independent musician is hard, but we’ve always had each other and always made it work.”

Igoa and Walker quickly found new roots when they moved out of their van and settled down in Portland, Oregon, in 2018, quickly cementing a reputation for their boundless energy and positivity. Soon they were joined by Eric Stalker, a singer-songwriter who got along with the couple so well that he volunteered to learn bass as a way to join their band. Drummer Blaine Heinonen followed, the quartet now capable of producing grander leaps of musical gravity to crash through the couple’s golden-hued compositions. 

The group’s soaring intimacy quickly won over Pacific Northwest fans and heroes in addition to Funk, with Kill Rock Stars label head Slim Moon who jumped at the opportunity to sign them. Despite that rapid growth, the beating heart of Glitterfox will always be Walker and Igoa’s love. “Having a band that’s built around a healthy marriage is cool because it has longevity. We’re a very stable unit and we’re a family,” Walker says. “We’ve learned how to trust each other’s instincts. When Solange and I play together, it’s so second nature—their voice and my guitar are so intimately bound.”

Following the release of his high-octane single “Starlight,” burgeoning wave producer Ash2Dust returned to his melodic roots, teaming up with singer-producer Dekerakt for their collaborative single “I Want To Stay At Your House.” Dekerakt’s poignant vocals infuse the single with raw, heartfelt emotion, seamlessly blending with the vibrant melodies and lush harmonies. Ash2Dust’s unique production styling is on full display as the ethereal synths, resonant basslines, and pulsating kicks wash over listeners, immersing them in a beautiful soundscape. With more music on the way, including collaborations with Fitmint and Maad West, Ash2Dust has started a new chapter in his artist career, with “I Really Want To Stay At Your House” setting the tone.

Ash2Dust shares, “As soon as I heard this song in the Cyberpunk 2077 video game I knew i had to put my spin on it and I hit up up Dekerakt for her amazing vocals!

Dekerakt also comments, “When Ash2Dust asked me to sing on this song I listened to the original and felt so connected that I immediately hopped on it and recorded days later, I listened to our final version like 50 times. This is one of my favorites!

After making significant waves across the NYC jazz scene, Sweden-born, multidisciplinary artist MASAKA delivers his incendiary debut offering “Ragdoll”.

An eclectic exploration of contemporary R&B, indie and alternative rap, MASAKA’s debut record instantly defines himself as a standout. Boasting dream-like textures that playfully flirt alongside the syncopated heartbeat of the drums, the dystopian backing opens up complex pockets for MASAKA to flaunt his bright-eyed vocals and emotive, tongue-in-cheek lyricism with typical elegance. Reconciling with past hardships that leave his reality in disarray, he details an endless journey towards self-enlightenment, a dangerous path that manoeuvres through sorrow into a space that feels as beautiful as it is meaningful.

Releasing alongside a notably well-produced video that settles between live and cinematic, we see MASAKA fully immersed in the Swedish forest while covered in

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shining armour that visually depicts the restraints of grief, creating a complex juxtaposition between the vibrant silhouettes and the vocalist’s melancholic storytelling. A true showcase of MASAKA’s grippingly unique approach across music and visual art, “Ragdoll” will mark the rising talent as a serious new voice across the European landscape.

Speaking on “Ragdoll”, MASAKA mentions: “Ragdoll is a state you enter after everything breaks. Nothing really matters and consequences have lost their power. It is a dangerous state, but in a subtle and ominous way. You can get angry at times, even a bit vindictive, but you always return to apathy.”

Toronto-based outfit Keys N Krates officially announce their third studio album, IN:TENSION, a project coming this fall that serves as a union between their lifelong love of house music and their earliest hip-hop origins. The announcement comes alongside the release of a new single, “Higher,” out now via MNRK/Last Gang Records. 

A new milestone for the esteemed trio, IN:TENSION encapsulates the true definition of their style better than ever before. Since gaining notoriety during the mid-2010s, then producing more EDM & trap influenced sounds, Keys N Krates have carefully molded their sound to fit their own tastes, and they’ve done so without sacrificing their signature composition of sampling, synths/keys, and percussion. This is heard perhaps most clearly on today’s new single, “Higher,” which features ecstasy-inducing vocal cuts, a crisp rhythm, and wall-shaking low-end that their longtime fans will continue to enjoy while they introduce themselves to a new segment of clubgoers. 

The album’s title, “IN:TENSION,” has a double meaning for Keys N Krates. It serves as a hyper-focused body of work for the trio, who previously only dabbled in housey,  four-on-the-floor production. Now, they hone in and embrace it by channeling their musical passion, citing inspiration from house and garage gurus such as Armand Van Helden and Masters At Work. The title also refers to the intense, energetic nature of the new sound, which will be put on full display during their 16-stop DJ set tour throughout the United States. The IN:TENSION Tour officially kicks off in September, hitting major house/techno-focused cities such as Detroit and Chicago, as well as Seattle, Washington D.C., and more. 

Punk/hardcore band With Honor is excited to announce the premiere of their video for “The Weight”, the fourth single off their upcoming album Boundless, out the 8th September 2023 via Pure Noise Records.

According to singer Todd Mackey, “‘The Weight’ is a love song, through and through. There is nothing better in life than building day to day with exactly who you love and want to be beside.”

Adds guitarist Jeff Aust, “The music flowed effortlessly for this song; it’s just a relentless burst of energy. The video aligns with the album’s theme of reconnecting with nature, while also offering a subtle nod to the 90’s alt videos we all loved. Our goal was to capture the nostalgia and true magic of playing outdoors as children. We had an absolute blast creating it with Director Andrew Formale and drone photographer Zack Aquilino, filmed at the property of friends, alongside some of our families.”

Canadian folk/country artist Sarah Jane Scouten shares her latest hopeful tune and visualizer “Wanderlust,” out now. Scouten’s rugged, nostalgic fourth studio album Turned to Gold, is due out September 15 and available for pre-order now. The twinkling track “Wanderlust” sees the musician look towards the future with curiosity, finding comfort in uncertainty and learning that beauty and pain can co-exist.

“Wanderlust,” out today, is a guitar-driven, upbeat track that explores the difficulty of making a choice to live on one’s own terms, and how that sometimes comes with sacrifice. The choice to move far from home and pursue music posed its own unique set of challenges, and the track out today delves into the idea that beauty and pain can co-exist. Scouten reveals, “For me, that meant leaving my family to follow the compulsive drive to write songs and sing them. Being a musician can be detrimental to your mental and physical health, let alone your relationships to loved ones and even yourself.” Though it can be difficult, Scouten recognizes the rare opportunities she’s had as a musician, allowing her to see the world, and eventually, meet her husband and move across the world. Scouten adds, “These things made my life beautiful but not without sorrow and regret.”

Taking listeners into the making of the song, Scouten explains, “I wrote this song like an American old-time ballad–that’s why it has that modal, major/minor feel. There were originally 9 verses.” After producer Johnny Payne said it needed a refrain, one of the verses turned into what ultimately became the song’s message, “Nothing comes from nothing and nothing will/But nothing works for the hurt to kill.” Scouten continues, “That made sense to me, that was kind of the thesis statement of the song. You reap what you sow, for better or worse.”

Hailing from the hedonistic capital of the modern world, Los Angeles’ IRONTOM today announce their upcoming album GEL pt.1 with the release of new single “Super//Star.” Sonically spoofing a Guns N’ Roses-esque, ready assemble, arena rock anthem, the new track is an ego trip fueled by delusions of grandeur. No one can tell you that you don’t deserve everything when you think you are the greatest – Stream.

Filmed in a single shot, the official video for “Super//Star” is pure rock and roll gluttony and hootenanny. With in-your-face motifs running rampant through all the band’s recent videos, directors Amalia Irons and Max Harper have created an IRONTOM universe where oddity is the commodity – Watch

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The untamed sound of Palace Watson returns with his animated new track “La La La (La La La)”, heavily fuelled by booming instrumentation and distorted vocals, coming deep from within its creator. 

Give “La La La (La La La)” a spin here.

Palace Watson’s new single follows last month’s release of “Buried”, which was successfully featured on the likes of Spotify’s Discovery playlist, and Ones To Watch Now Watching playlist, and opened a BBC Radio 1’s Introducing show. With this new track Palace further demonstrates his unique ability to deliver music that is in its own lane entirely.

Palace candidly opens up about the thought process behind the track, expressing that; “La La La (La La La) is a song about feeling trapped. The verses describe a person’s subsistence in a very matter of fact manner, and choruses mockingly comparing the characters extreme malaise with general motion of the day, ‘dinner on the table, hosepipe in the car’ and a middle 8 asking difficult questions of what they can expect from death all sung over the unsettlingly optimistic nursery rhyme melody of La La La (La La La).”

There are multiple intricate layers which make up the song as a whole, and brings it to life with all the quirks and eccentricities unique to Palace’s sound. Building up to a ferocious climax, “La La La” reveals many unexpected twists and turns, as it is always something out of the ordinary with what Watson delivers. The track was created whilst Palace was dealing with feeling confined and saturated by his own thoughts. 

“La La La” is one of many new songs to continue to come from Palace this year, with his EP “The Living Room” out this September.  

With their haunting and cinematic sonic landscapes paired with dynamic and soulful vocals, SPELLES returns with their stirring new single, “Holy Hells.” The duo, made up of songwriters and instrumentalists Kathryn Baar and Luc Laurent, have written and produced a powerful and soul-drenched anthem that echoes their love of stoic philosophy and the art of perseverance. With lyrics such as, “In the kingdom of my ruin I made peace. From a dead land grew an Eden for all to see,” and “It was the highs that saved me, lows they made me,” “Holy Hells” celebrates personal transformation and transcending dissonant forces that consume us. Mixed by Andy D. Park (Deftones) and Mastered by Greg Calbi/Steve Fallone (David Bowie), “Holy Hells” is a sophisticated blend of indie pop and blues/gospel influences that combine to create a deeply affecting and spiritual composition.

SPELLES broke out in 2014 after their unreleased song “Bird in a Cage” was placed on the hit TV show Pretty Little Liars. Since then they’ve released two EP’s:SPELLES and Skeleton Coast I, and multiple singles. They’ve also had the good fortune of getting their songs placed on numerous shows such as Good Girls, Big Sky, Charmed, and Nancy Drew as well as on a TV promo for ABC. Baar co-wrote a song in 2022 with Jordan Frye called “Let It Out” that landed an HBO promo. She also lent her vocals and writing skills to the song “Fly” by The Avener and vocals to “Fade Away” by Claptone, the latter of which was initiated via a personal email by legendary producer Stuart Price (Madonna). SPELLES has also performed live in Los Angeles on the same bill as LP, Dorothy, Cannons, Skott and Nia.

Influenced by artists such as Portishead, Radiohead, Nina Simone and Feist, SPELLES has combined different musical influences along with poetic and evocative lyrics to create an already commanding and moving body of work that speaks for itself.

Deadbeats, the leading hub for dubstep and bass music in North Amercia, is excited to announce the latest addition to its growing catalog of groundbreaking music. This Friday, August 25th, fans will be treated to a fresh collaboration, “Scout,” from the duo Slumberjack and the talented Posij, promising a summer anthem that’s set to sizzle.

John Paul White’s musical journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. Co-founding The Civil Wars with Joy Williams, they captivated audiences worldwide with their folk-infused sound, leading to the release of two acclaimed studio albums, including the chart-topping The Civil Wars, and winning four Grammy Awards during their time together. 

Following the duo’s hiatus, White embarked on a successful solo career, releasing albums like Beulah and The Hurting Kind. His solo work showcases his rich, mesmerising, emotive vocals and soul-stirring, introspective songwriting earning him a devoted fanbase. 

More recently John Paul White and Joy Williams joined Taylor Swift on her single “Safe & Sound”, a re-recording of their song originally featured on the Hunger Games blockbuster movie. 

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Now John Paul White has joined Swedish production outfit Wildo DM to cover Fleetwood Mac’s “Big Love”, adding his unique blend of folk, country and Americana influences to an already legendary song. 

“Big Love” originally served as the lead single for Fleetwood Mac’s album Tango In The Night, where it achieved notable success, reaching #5 in the US and #9 in the UK. The song, initially penned by Lindsay Buckingham, saw its copyright acquired by Hipgnosis Songs Fund in 2021.

This acquisition played a significant role in the production of the record, as part of their ongoing collaboration with Reimagine Records.
Socials: @neillfrazer

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