Perfect Son shows the love, Spellling shoots for the sun, Skye Wallace delivers coal, Cellar Darling dance with death, Jane’s Party blasts off and more in today’s Roundup. Who’s getting the first round?
1 Love is what you make of it. And in the impressively cinematic video for Promises — a grandly sweeping synth-rocker from Polish electro-pop artist Perfect Son (a.k.a. Tobiasz Biliński) — a lonely woman makes something very strange of it. Can’t imagine why this didn’t come out on Valentine’s Day. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Inspired by the legend of Golem and the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea, Promises depicts an unusual love story, in an undetermined time. Isolated in an old house away from people, lives SHE. Unable to coexist with others, SHE creates a partner, a humanoid. You can unravel this love story, directed by Jarek Tokarski.” Put it all together:
2 Some people say there’s nothing new under the sun. Those people clearly haven’t heard Spellling (yes, with three L’s), the alter-ego of Bay Area electronic-pop artist Chrystia Cabral. Nor have they seen the surreal, epic video for intergalactic synth-pop excursion Under the Sun, the latest offering from her upcoming album Mazy Fly. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Under The Sun is a cosmic prayer for good fortune,” says Cabral. “It celebrates the invisible energies that come together over time to create something radically new, like the birth of a star.” Who need drugs when you’ve got this?
3 Every day, I see somebody online complaining that rock is dead and new music sucks and blah blah blah. Thankfully, every day I also get at least one new video that proves them completely wrong. Today’s indisputable evidence: Coal in Your Window, a propulsive little riff-rock firecracker from Toronto singer-songwriter Skye Wallace. It’s a sneak peek of her self-titled debut album due out in June — so it seems rock will be around at least until then. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This song is about a specific story in my mind, but it’s a truly universal concept of jittery, passionate love and doing whatever it takes to access that fire that another person inspires in you,” says Wallace. “I wanted to evoke an excited, dangerous, lustful energy with this song that gets the heart pumping.” Light it up:
4 In spring, it is said, a young girl’s fancy turns to thoughts of love. But what happens in the dead of winter? Well, if Swedish progressive folk-rock outfit Cellar Darling’s upcoming concept album The Spell is a sign, that girl’s fancy turns to thoughts of Death. And making a series of animated videos that turn her grim obsession into one of the weirdest cartoon series you’re likely to lay eyes on in this life. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The trio consisting of Anna Murphy, Merlin Sutter and Ivo Henzi will reveal another chapter of The Spell – their third single called Death: An enormous, sweeping chorus that goes straight under the skin, bone-crushing riffs that do the song’s name justice, and a doomy instrumental section that quotes Black Sabbath and features an epic flute solo.” Because of course:
5 Casual Friday just doesn’t do it for Jane’s Party. The Toronto rockers have taken the concept to the next level with the title of their brand-new fourth full-length Casual Island. But there’s nothing casual about their commitment to crafting crunchy, punchy power-pop singles like their latest offering Satellite. Nor do they slack off when it comes to illustrating their upbeat offering with some suitable Space Age stock footage. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “With each single, it’s becoming clear that Casual Island, Jane’s Party’s fourth, full-length, is the band’s most successful and mature effort to date. Touching on relationships, politics, the pervasiveness of technology, and the intractability of human nature, the album is carried by the breezy riffs and lush vocal harmonies that have become the pop-rock quartet’s hallmark.” Blast off:
6 One metal band is not enough for EdGuy singer Tobias Sammet. So, when he isn’t belting out the speed-demon power metal, he also leads the more melodic Avantasia, an all-star rock-opera outfit whose eighth full-length disc Moonglow came out today. On the guest list this time around: Blackmore’s Night frontwoman Candice Night — who shares the spotlight in the live-action video for the sweeping title track. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Yes, we’ve found a song on the new album that is below the 4 minutes benchmark and it would work as a single. And despite being rather short it’s also representative for the world of Avantasia. The enchanting Candice Night did an amazing vocal job, and in all modesty, I think so did I, ha!” Talk about glowing praise:
7 The title of Yumi’s bouncy synth-pop single Camouflage reminds me of that old joke about the Army private whose sergeant said to him, “I didn’t see you at camouflage training yesterday.” To which the private replies, “Sir! Thank you, Sir!” Bada-bum! Of course, the plus-size model and YouTuber’s song makes far more serious points about body image, media and showing your true colours. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Camouflage is about my journey of embracing who I am and all of the things that make me me, and at some points in my life, they were everything people bullied me for and everything I wanted to change. I hope this song inspires someone to face their differences and take off their camouflage because sometimes it’s our weakness that gives us power.” She wears it well:
8 A rose by any other name might smell just as sweet. But it may also dance to a different beat. Especially if the rose in question is the Australian EDM artist formerly known Elizabeth Rose — who now apparently records under the enigmatic pseudonym Brux. The Tarot-infused mystery deepens on her latest single Belong, which puts you under its spell with a pumping four-on-the-floor house groove that drives deep in to a realm of throbbing synths, ringing percussion and two mesmerizing vocal lines. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Enchanting vocals and uplifting chords rise above deep house undertones on Brux’s soul-captivating single Belong.” Follow her down:
9 More than 55 years ago, The Beatles released a jaunty little single called All My Loving. You could listen to it almost five times in the space it takes to get through one rotation of this identically named but breathtakingly vast shape-shifter from Philadelphia garage-yacht rockers Ceramic Animal. You say you want a revolution? Here it is. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The mammoth rhapsody of a tune … weaves in and out of groovy rock sections that crash into swaggering, sludgy, bluesy choruses, culminating in a psychedelic sprint to the finish line.” Close your eyes and they’ll kiss you:
10 Patrice Peris could teach you a few things about singing. Literally. According to the Google, she’s a voice coach in Westborough, Mass. She puts that extensive skill set to good use on the acoustic version of her song The War, a stately, wistful piano ballad accented with some artillery-shell percussion — and illustrated with a sombre lyric video. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: After rave reviews of Peris’ latest single The War she felt it was time to share its roots. Interestingly enough, this tropical house song has a far deeper meaning than the initial vibe it projects. So be sure to check out this raw, acoustic track which allows you to tune in on the lyricism.” Fire when ready:
11 Another day, another impressive track from the ridiculously prolific hip-hop soundsmith y(A)pex. His latest creation Muddy Creeks Part 2 commemorates both the first anniversary of the Parkland school shootings and the 10th anniversary of Drake’s So Far Gone mixtape, borrowing a beat from the latter to support his take-no-prisoners appraisal of the former. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Inspired by the parkland survivors … s/o ye and drake.” He’s a man of few words. But vast abilities:
12 You almost have to feel sorry for Bruiser and Bicycle members Nick Whittemore and Keegan Graziane. Every day, somebody must ask them which one of them is Bruiser and which is Bicycle. Truth is, B&B began as a full-blown band, but has since whittled down to a duo. Casper, a ghostly preview of their upcoming sophomore album, seems like it’s dialing back their sound accordingly — until it doesn’t. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Suspiciously mellow while self-reflective and dark, Casper is the tone-setting lead single from Woods Come Find Me. Whittemore and Graziane share vocal and guitar duties, embellishing a few repetitive chord progressions with alternating rising and falling vocal melodies, providing a unique stamp to each subsection of the song.” Boo!
13 We all have our individual superpowers. Just look at up-and-coming Wisconsin rapper Rob Hicks. He clearly has the ability to toss off crisp rhymes and sharp hooks on the fly, as he showcases on his fat-free latest banging single Wonder Woman — fittingly creatied in league with someone who possesses her own share of exceptional abilities. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The record was produced by mega producer WondaGurl and recorded / mixed in about an hour by Rob Hicks while in his Atlanta hotel. Wonder Woman is a loosie that isn’t expected on Rob’s debut project due out next month but depending on how well the record does, that very well could change.” Up and away!
14 There’s a time to speak, a time to listen and a time to watch. Newfoundland electro-pop outfit Galaa — singer Aley Waterman with Hey Rosetta’s Adam Hogan, Josh Ward, and Ashley Chalmers — know what time it is on their darkly pulsing single Open Eyes, from their forthcoming album The Speech. Hush up and listen. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Open Eyes is about getting close to people who are difficult to get to know because they don’t immediately reveal themselves to you. However, once they do, it can be really rewarding getting to know someone who is guarded. This is also a song about how we mythologize the people in and out of our lives, and how that can be damaging if it’s taken too far.” What she said: