U.N. Jefferson shine on, Bombay Bicycle Club try to get it right, Leif Vollebekk rides high, Nat Myers plays Romeo and more in today’s Roundup. It’s been quiet around here today — hey, even I need a break from my bullshit every now and then.
1 | U.N. Jefferson | Shine on Me
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto’s U.N. Jefferson are premiering the video for Shine on Me, from their self-titled debut album. Much like the band, the video for Shine on Me is sleek, tight, with a simple yet visually captivating concept. With its slick aesthetic, it’s reminiscent of the band’s live show. It’s fast paced and full of positive energy. The song, is about having someone to count on when you’re at your lowest. “Hold my head up high, Do my time, The best that I can”. Recovering from when things get hard, “If I stumble, If I fall, yeah, You come around, And I get back up again”. Ajay Massey, lead singer and songwriter says, “To me soul music is real. It’s feel good music that makes you move.” And like the album, the video (and their live performances) make you do just that!”
2 | Bombay Bicycle Club | Everything Else Has Gone Wrong
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Bombay Bicycle Club share the title track from their forthcoming fifth album Everything Else Has Gone Wrong. The album is due on Jan. 17, and is the band’s first in five years. Everything Else Has Gone Wrong was the last song to be written for Bombay Bicycle Club‘s fifth album, and it makes perfect sense that it gives the record its name. “It seemed to encapsulate everything the album is about,” says singer/guitarist Jack Steadman. Like the album, the song is about hope and renewal, about finding safety in what brings you comfort, in what you love the most, while all around is crumbling. “For my whole life, I haven’t been very good at expressing myself with words,” Steadman says. “The irony is that the song is about not wanting to write lyrics, but it has lyrics I’m really proud of. And after that, we realised a lot of the other songs had that theme, of music as a cathartic refuge.”
3 | Leif Vollebekk | Blood Brother
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Leif Vollebekk has unveiled the cinematic new video for Blood Brother – filmed in the early morning light on top of a London atop of double decker bus. The song is from his recently-released and lauded album New Ways. Handcuffed to a seat on a vacant double-decker bus in London, Vollebekk dances his way to freedom in the restless video – but not without passing along his burden to the bus’ sole other passenger. “There was a period of a few months where I listened to nothing but Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak. I couldn’t get enough of that rock ’n’ roll shuffle. And so when I wrote this piano ballad, I guess I just kept hearing these polyrhythms over it. I played it to Olivier [Fairfield, drummer] and it ended up being this whole other thing. Not a ballad at all,” Leif says.
4 | Nat Myers | Romeo
THE PRESS RELEASE: “The song has been compared to Tom Waits, Bonnie Prince Billy, or Steve Earle,” says the New York City trouabadour. “It’s a fable mixed with the blues and the frontier; where the heart goes before the head. Women don’t get to keep their ideal man, for all sorts of reasons; and most men don’t get to be the man and give up some aspect of their life. We all come out some ideal of love, whether it be a ricochet or a bullseye.”
5 | Lona | Not Listening
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Bursting onto the scene as an exciting collective, channelling style and substance into their music, Lona symbolise the coming together of misfits, loners and outcasts – fuelling a new wave of unity in a generation of loneliness. Have already made quite the impression only a few singles deep, the London fourpiece gear up to unleash their latest emphatic single. Not Listening is captivating – the band’s ethos, vocal talent and production ability evident at first listen. Experimenting with different soundscapes, the atmospheric track draws on alt-pop and electronica tendencies for a uniquely brooding and moving piece that aims to convey the essence of the human condition. Embracing the time they have spent sitting outside of the traditional band setup and setting the blueprint for their new style of writing and production, the band said of the single: “Not Listening is about the battle with the inner voice that tells you can’t, and the self-empowerment that comes with overcoming it.”
6 | Mikano | Silhouette
THE PRESS RELEASE: “French-Cameroonian rapper Mikano just released a new single and video. Silhouette celebrates the female beauty in all its diversity, is a reflection on gender and identity and is the first instalment from his forthcoming mixtape, Melting Balloons, planned for release in Spring 2020. Mixing a pop-driven afrobeat melody with trap-tinged beats, the cut perfectly depicts Mikano’s multicultural upbringing – a Third Culture Kid whose music has been dramatically influenced by his rootless past. Mikano explained: “It celebrates the female beauty in all its diversity. The word Silhouette entails an outline with a featureless interior, we can see it’s a woman, but we can’t see her skin colour”.
7 | Raynes | Second Thought
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Raynes is a transatlantic trio made up of two Americans and a Brit. Now based in Los Angeles, Mat Charley and Joe Berger, both born and raised in North Dakota, met UK native Mark Race through Instagram after an extensive search for the final piece of this project. The geographically unlikely three combine their unique and complementary strengths to form an artistically authentic band, integrating elements of modern pop with classically Americana instrumentation. Their ability to blend pianos and synths, pounding drums and sophisticated vocals, and string arrangements with acoustic guitars and mandolins results in an impactful, one-of-a-kind style.”
8 | Woman You Stole | Shake!
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Woman You Stole release their third single Shake! Shake! builds on previous releases to deliver a more stubborn rock-and-roll offering whilst maintaining a little of the DNA from the band’s influences including B52s, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Au Pairs and Blondie. Shake! opens with an immediate T-Rex / Bowie guitar riff coupled with chants of ‘shake’ before the beat sashays in and the vocal begins; “You walk like a man, you talk like a woman and fight like a child… you could be me, you could be family and my history.”