Indie Roundup (Go Big & Stay Home Edition) | 33 Numbers For Your Weekend

Stay home, stay safe & stay entertained with this massive slate of new songs & videos.

Martin Kerr grooves on isolation, Dirty Sound Magnet make a sacrifice, New Language share some alone time, Rustin Man gets kinky, Joel Plaskett hits the road and more in today’s Roundup. I tried to put together a post of Bandcamp artists who deserve your money, but the site is so jammed with traffic that I simply couldn’t get the links working. Fingers crossed that the site makes this a semi-regular thing until everybody is back on their feet. In the meantime: #StayTheFuckHome

1 | Martin Kerr | Isolation Groove feat. Ann Vriend

THE PRESS RELEASE: “A new song for these trying times! Two Edmonton artists teamed-up to write a song called Isolation Groove that they say is intended to make listeners laugh, sing, and dance their way through these “crazy times.” Written by Martin Kerr and Ann Vriend, Isolation Groove is their first song about love in the middle of a pandemic.”You’re stuck at home with the people you love, but also trying not to touch each other. A bit of a mixed message,” says Kerr. They were worried that some would think they’re making light of a serious situation, but with all of their gigs cancelled, including a European tour for Vriend, they wanted to do something to help cheer them up. “It’s really for our own sanity that we need to laugh and sing and dance,” said Kerr. And so far, people are getting into the isolation groove with them. The video has been shared thousands of times already, and they’ve had messages from fans around the world.”

2 | Dirty Sound Magnet | Organic Sacrifice

THE PRESS RELEASE: “A couple of months after the official release of their third full-length record Transgenic, Swiss alternative/psych-rock weirdos Dirty Sound Magnet just premiered a music video illustrating the song Organic Sacrifice. The song, that might as well be called the Corona Blues, is yet another one of Dirty Sound Magnet’s prophetic tracks. The track was written in 2018, the music video was shot in October 2019 but the events are taking place now. Spot on! Where the lyrics have a dystopian feel, the music video intends to convey a positive message. Musically, we are close to Dirty Sound Magnet’s classic live sound: pure groove and swagger. “In the last few days, as the situation got worse, we edited the music video’s ending in order to end on a positive note. My initial message was more sarcastic but I guess that the people need some positive energy right now. So this is somehow DSM’s hippie moment. Like the rest of the album Transgenic, the song represents my vision of the present and the near future.”

3 | New Language | No Time

THE PRESS RELEASE: “As millions of Californians and people around the world adjust their daily lives to tackle the current global pandemic, LA alt-rock trio New Language has found a new way to continue creating music together and they encourage others to do the same. Check out this video of New Language at “band practice,” performing their latest single No Time, while adhering to Los Angeles’ latest Safer At Home order. Bassist Matt Cohen says: “Doing the best we can to stay positive and keep things moving forward with the situation in front of us. We all live in different parts of the city but still wanted to keep creating with one another. We made this video and hope to see others out there keeping music going to bring everyone together.”

4 | Rustin Man | Kinky Living

THE PRESS RELEASE:Rustin Man aka Paul Webb releases his new album, Clockdust, and shares the video for new track Kinky Living. Idiosyncratic and quietly haunting, Clockdust is seeped in sepia-tinted nostalgia, “a powerful force of nature,” Webb states, “up there with love and desire.” It is Webb’s second album in a two-year period, following a 17-year gap between solo releases. The album blurs the boundaries between past and present, with some songs like Kinky Living revealing faint echoes as far back as the world of the 1940s. Kinky Living, like several other songs on Clockdust, finds some of its inspiration in cinema — in this case, Cabaret and La Vie En Rose. “I recorded and wrote like a filmmaker,” Webb says. “My backing tracks created a backdrop, and I wrote my lyrics like a filmmaker writes dialog. Finally, I found suitable characters for my voice. I don’t find the subjects to sing about. They find me.”

5 | Badguyswin | Lying To Myself

THE PRESS RELEASE:Badguyswin will be releasing their debut full length Cowards on April 10. Today, they reveal their second music video Lying To Myself. Nirvana and Soundgarden may be no more, but the members of Canada’s Badguyswinare here to serve up your guilty pleasure for an era of rock n’ roll that’s knocking on doors and making its comeback. Heavy driven grunge-inspired loud amps, blended with clean vocals, plentiful harmonies, and driving rhythms are what fuels this Grand Forks, B.C. band to keep things stuck in your head for days to come! With influences ranging from Soundgarden to Queens Of The Stone Age and everything else in between, they are ready to deliver to this newborn puppy of hard rock that even the coldest of plaid wearing hipsters can enjoy.”

6 | Bite Me Bambi | Hot Lava

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Orange County, CA ska/pop/punk 7-piece Bite Me Bambi is the next band poised to help usher in a new wave of the beloved yet often maligned genre. Fronted by talented singer and superstar-in-the-making, Tahlena Chikami (who also moonlights as an actor and has appeared on shows like Parks and Recreation, Gilmore Girls, etc.), Bite Me Bambi sports a killer OC ska/punk pedigree, with other members having played in bands such as My Superhero, Save Ferris, and Starpool. Bite Me Bambi’s latest music video for their recently released single Hot Lava is now streaming.”

7 | Joel Plaskett | If There’s Another Road

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Beloved Canadian performer and respected singer-songwriter Joel Plaskett is gearing up for the release of his new project, 44, on April 17 (the day before his 45th birthday). A conceptual follow-up to his Juno Award-winning triple record, Three, 44 is a visionary project of four 11-song records (41: Carried Away, 42: Just Passing Through, 43: If There’s Another Road and 44: The Window Inn), packaged together and connected thematically. Four years in the making, the songs were recorded in Dartmouth, Memphis, Nashville and Toronto with 33 different musicians, including Plaskett’s band The Emergency (Dave Marsh & Chris Pennell) and Mo Kenney. Recorded by Doug Easley (who recorded Plaskett’s former alt-rock band Thrush Hermit’s Sweet Homewrecker back in 1996) at Memphis Magnetic Recording, If There’s Another Road was the first song Plaskett wrote after buying an old mandolin. A searching tune under the influence of Irma Thomas, Lucinda Williams and downtown Dartmouth, it’s mood thematically sums up 44’s third record and is one of Plaskett’s personal favourites from the project.”

8 | Sparta | Miracle

THE PRESS RELEASE:Sparta has revealed a new single Miracle. The track is off the forthcoming new album Trust The River which is set for release April 10. As the band’s Jim Ward says, “(Once in the studio) I had all the parts to a song that was being written in the moment…we rehearsed it through twice, then recorded a version to listen back to. That version is what you hear now- we never touched it again. It was an experience I’ve never had before, a song exploding into existence and never looking back….it’s inspired by a fictional timeless romance that’s not been allowed. Lovers who, for whatever reason, can’t share a home or a life. Maybe the lovers are in a time when interracial or interfaith or homosexual relationships are forbidden – but the tag of the song is ‘sometimes miracles come late.’ As in — don’t give up on the love, don’t give up on the faith, don’t give up on hope — don’t give up on the song.”

9 | Vlad Holiday | Phonograph

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Brooklyn-based lofi artist Vlad Holiday is releasing his debut EP Fall Apart With Me. Written, produced and recorded by Holiday in his New York City studio on tape and instruments from previous eras, he found his creative process by using the old to create something new. On the opening track, Holiday sings of a Phonograph, (a machine invented by Thomas Edison in the 1800s) romanticizing the past, a melody from long ago, and willing to break down and lose himself in it. The distinct vocal sound throughout the EP was recorded on a microphone from the 1950s, almost searching for this classic sound and inflection of a time when music perhaps meant something more. Phonograph is about giving everything you have to a love that you know can’t last. The song revolves around an extremely dark guitar tone, sprinkled horn stabs, and a Phil Spector-esque percussion loop, recorded on tape and slowed down.”

10 | Paradise Lost | Fall From Grace

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The book has been closed but the story is not over: Paradise Lost sharpen their pens and add another chapter to their dark, glooming history of death doom and gothic metal. In difficult times, the British legend from Halifax is the drug that numbs the pain , the lover that takes away the sorrows, the story that craves to be told. Nick Holmes states: “As a global crisis, it goes without saying Covid 19 has affected everyone and everything, including every aspect of the music industry.” Today, the band releases their first single Fall From Grace that comes with a breath-taking, catching music video. Nick Holmes states: “This is a song about struggling through difficult times, and a point blank refusal to accept that the end is within range.”

11 | Iduna | Creeping In

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Live vicariously through these poor fools who don’t know how good they have it. Shot back in the Before Time, here’s Iduna’s latest rock offering Creeping In. The Hamilton band makes alternative rock music that wrestles with the question of what it is to be and who we should be to each other. Like Buster Keaton in a speedo cannonballing into a thick metaphorical stew of cough syrup and Xanax, Iduna’s music is an unhinged combination of elated and mopey.”

12 | Turmion Kätilöt | Kyntövuohi

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Finland’s mean disco metal machine Turmion Kätilöt are releasing their 9th album Global Warning in just under a month on the 17th of April. The band now treats their fans with another “soft-spoken and gentle” single. Kyntövuohi was written by MC Raaka Pee who gives the following statement about the new single: “Everyone of us will encounter the moment when it’s time to let the hoe hit the tussock. But are you the goat or the plough? Both will turn the soil. Where there’s a furrow, there’s a seed. Where there’s a seed, there’s Satan.” The single will be track number two on the upcoming album, and it also has its own video – assembled from “best of” live material from past shows.”

13 | Irist | Creation

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Breakout Southern metal band Irist will release their massively anticipated debut album, Order of the Mind, on March 27. In a much-needed distraction, the band has delivered a colossal new single, Creation, and accompanying video.The clip gives fans a taste of their incendiary live performance. Director Dan Almasy beautifully captures the song’s introspective spirit and powerful energy. “Creation is an upbeat song on the surface, but it’s also meant to be meditative,” says guitarist Pablo Davila. “I think it somehow conveys a subtle ‘otherworldliness’ that’s not easy to express. Dan Almasy did a great job of interpreting that vibe for us in this music video.” Digging in further, the lyrical concept of Creation is a profound exercise in self-reflection that peels away at the layers of a contrived identity in search of truth. “We sometimes need to abandon our beliefs to know who we really are, and that’s what Creation is about,” states vocalist Rodrigo Carvalho. “It asks us to connect with ourselves in a deeper way, to learn our identity and to rid ourselves from who others think we are. In sum, Creation’s meditative theme and music make it a truly cathartic song for us.”

14 | Junglelyd | Coffee

THE PRESS RELEASE:Coffee is the first single release of Junglelyd’s debut album, which will be released on May 1, and is a hymn to the greatest elixir of life in the world — coffee. The light guitar harmonies develop hypnotically slow, float on space enclosing synthesizer waves and follow rhythmic patterns. These penetrate into the musculoskeletal system and cause continuous dance movements there. Of course, what else should one expect from Junglelyd, embedded in a relaxed cumbia.”

15 | Paragon Cause | Lost Cause

THE PRESS RELEASE:Lost Cause is the new single/video by Ottawa-based ethereal alt-rock/electro-pop duo Paragon Cause – the first from their forthcoming new full-length album What We Started, out April 17. It sees the dynamic musical duo of Michelle Opthof and Jay Bonaparte reunite with producer/songwriter Sune Rose Wagner, a Danish indie-rock legend, best known for his band The Raveonettes. “Lost Cause evolved from me being able to voice my frustration with the problems that women face in the criminal justice system,” said Opthof. “It is meant to serve as an anthem for women everywhere. To keep going, and to keep fighting for what is right. I fear we may never catch up, hence my lyrics: You’re a lost cause, you mean nothing.”

16 | David Myles | Kind of Like It

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter David Myles debuts his new single Kind of Like It. The cut is the second to be released from his upcoming album Leave Tonight. It is the 12th release from the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and the follow-up to 2018’s award winning album Real Love. “I’m super pumped about this one.” David said of his second single Kind of Like It, “it has JJ Cale/Mark Knopfler vibes going on but also lots of Grateful Dead. I’d been listening to so much Dead over the last year and the thing I love most about them is the sense of fun and curiosity in their music. They explore the great sounds of American music together in a joyful way alongside their audience. I love that. I want to embody that spirit in how we play as a band and how we interact with our fans. So, that’s what this one is about. The joy of ripping together, of living together and sharing that, with all of you. Life may be short and things may be fleeting, but I kind of like it! Hope you dig the track. Can’t wait to hit the road in the fall and see all of you!”

17 | Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins | Dracul Son

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Forging a union between the mighty worlds of heavy metal and ancient history, Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins are on a mission. Whore Of Babylon, their third studio album out May 29, is a no-holds barred, gauntlet-thrown, true heavy metal mission. If you never knew what it was like to experience the might of metal from the old school, Whore Of Babylon will riotously teach you. From the scintillating fury of Dracul Son to the baroque mystery of the title track, with Whore Of Babylon LePond has written and produced the sort of album that traditional metalheads have been dreaming of. Amidst the furious aural assault, LePond also marches through the tales of some of history’s most fascinating and brutal characters. “Years ago, I started to watch a lot of the History Channel, and something flipped in my head,” LePond explains. “I never wanted to write about hot chicks and stuff like that, so when I started to learn more about history, I knew that the marriage of history with old school crushing metal riffs would be great, epic, and powerful. I wrote the first two solo albums on that premise, and this new album is another step up on that model. Vlad The Impaler and Countess Bathory? These are epic historical tales!”

18 | Ken Yates | Surviving Is Easy

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Award-winning singer-songwriter Ken Yates shares his brand new single, Surviving Is Easy. Complemented with a quirky animated video, the new single is from Yates’ forthcoming album, Quiet Talkers, due out May 22. “When I was writing this song I was thinking a lot about happiness and all of the things a person needs to feel content about their lives;” shares Yates. “Most of us create problems because we need something to solve, and I think in a weird way that’s when we’re our happiest selves. We survive because we have to, but how often are we able to take a step back and say “ok, things are good”? That’s a question most of us are trying to answer on a daily basis.” These sentiments still ring true, but the song has also taken on a whole new meaning during these difficult times we are facing.”

19 | Tenmein | The Knotted Bag

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Knotted Bag video from French melodic death metal collective Tenmein comes by way of the band’s third full-length, Tales: Of Humanity And Greed, set for release this Spring. The engrossing 10-track offering is thematically based on various stories, myths, and legends exploring classic childhood occidental fairy tales, unsung fables from Asia and Inuit lands, pop culture universes and so much more. Each story is linked however to a common theme: the repetition of human error and avidity across time. Issues the band of The Knotted Bag, “This track is a good representation of all the different inspirations that you can hear on the album: our melodic death metal roots, the atmospheric influences (mostly from doom/death and post-metal) and some progressive elements, especially on the outro. The lyrics are inspired from an ancient Asian tale for children, so we created the video as if it was drawn by a child.”

20 | Sarah Siskind | A Little Bit Troubled

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Acclaimed singer/songwriter Sarah Siskind shares the official video for A Little Bit Troubled, the second single from her forthcoming ninth album, Modern Appalachia, out April 17. “The concept for this video was inspired by a magnolia tree which stands on the grounds of Reynolda Gardens in my hometown of Winston-Salem, NC,” says Siskind. “It is massive in stature, and I’ve visited it since I was a child … it’s so tall that I can walk right into it and stand under it.” Featuring 12 original compositions, her first full-length album in nine years, explores her relationship with her home state, with herself, and the inherent dichotomy of the phrase Modern Appalachia in these current times. Each song digs deeper into her questions, fears, and realizations to reveal the rawness, earthiness and spiritual depth of the region that built her foundation.”

21 | An Autumn For Crippled Children | I Became You

THE PRESS RELEASE: “For over a decade now, An Autumn For Crippled Children has been emitting their distinctive amalgam of abrasive black metal and melodic shoegaze from behind a lush veil of synths and strings. Although their original inspirations — black metal and ’90s doom/goth bands — can still be detected in new material, they’ve evolved to incorporate so much more. Unrestrained by genre boundaries, they’ve created a 10-track chronology of the human condition that heaves under the weight of both distortion and emotion. Vibrant melody provides a counterpoint to bleak soundscapes and harsh vocals. In advance of the release of album All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet on May 1, the band unveils, I Became You. Of the track, the band comments, “I Became You is the first track we’re putting out there – and it’s representative of the album as a whole. The lyrics are really personal, but the feelings are quite universal and may be familiar to other people. The track is about being young and wanting to break free from your parents and push against all that they stand for only to later, further down the line, realize that you’re exactly like them. It’s also about realizing that your parents were right about a lot of things, and the love we feel towards our parents.”

22 | Riot Ten, Diesel & T-Wayne | Ultimate

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Rail breakers and backboard breakers unite on Ultimate, an all-star collaboration between Riot Ten and Diesel (aka basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal). Featuring turn up raps from viral Houston rapper T-Wayne, Ultimate sees artists from different mediums come together to create a game-changing dubstep anthem. Ultimate provides the bass-fueled energy that fans of Diesel and Riot Ten have come to anticipate. Since debuting his electronic music sets as Diesel in 2015, Shaq has become a beloved figurehead within the dance music community. After discovering the passionate bass sounds of Texas-based Riot Ten, who sits at the forefront of the modern dubstep scene, Shaq reached out to the producer via DM and began to exchange messages. With a budding mutual respect and adoration for one another, the two hit the studio and began to cook up Ultimate. The track was complete once they added lively vocals from T-Wayne, who went viral in 2011 with his Top 20 hit Nasty Freestyle.”

23 | Slow Dakota | Coming To The Nuisance

THE PRESS RELEASE:Slow Dakota, the project from Chicago-based songwriter and label owner Paul Sauerteig, has released Coming to the Nuisance, the second single off his upcoming album Tornado Mass for Voice & Synthesizer due out May 1. Sauerteig, who is a practicing lawyer, was in law school while writing this album was naturally inspired by his surroundings: the law. Coming to the Nuisance is an old legal maxim that means, if you know someone is loud and obnoxious and messy, you can’t move in next door and then sue them for being a loud and obnoxious and messy neighbour. You’ve “come” to the nuisance, and that’s your fault because you knew better. “A song I wrote years ago, and a release date planned months ago – it’s a strange coincidence to release Coming to the Nuisance right now, in our current and collective state of crisis,” Sauerteig says. “After all, the song is about trying to prepare for a looming, mass disaster. Battening down the hatches. I had global warming in mind, but COVID-19 has stolen the show, I suppose.”

24 | Ellis | March 13

THE PRESS RELEASE:Ellis – Hamilton, Ontario’s Linnea Siggelkow – will release her triumphant debut album Born Again on April 3, and today she shares a new song off of the record ahead of its release. March 13 is a short but stunning interlude on the record. “March 13 plays right after the last single Embarrassing on the track listing, and is a reflection on a night that I did embarrass myself,” explains Linnea. “I acted badly and put someone I cared about in an unnecessary and uncomfortable situation, but refused to admit at the time that I was out of line.” Born Again unfolds with a mesmerizing subtlety, gracefully spotlighting Ellis’s unhurried melodies, starkly confessional lyrics, and luminous vocal work. Not only does this record and its production showcase Ellis’ incredible growth as a songwriter, but it also explores more complex and honest themes than her earlier work. “I grew up Christian and was quite devoted to faith up through my late teens, but I started challenging that once I got to university,” says Siggelkow, the daughter of a traveling book salesman and a piano teacher. “Since then I’ve been trying to redefine who I am and where I stand and what I think about these things on my own, and that journey very much played into the songwriting on this record.”

25 Tedy | War

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal-based singer-songwriter and performer Tedy releases his second single War. Tedy teams up once again with Herag Sanbalian and Mike Wise (Bülow, Ellie Goulding, Chainsmokers, Upshal). A glimpse into Tedy’s past, War exposes his vulnerability as he explores the conflicting emotions you feel towards the end of a toxic relationship and emphasizes the importance of breaking free. The new track tempers an emotionally-charged and soulful vocal performance with a fusion of alternative, soul and pop rhythms. Tedy explains, “War is about learning that no matter how much it hurts, you have to love yourself enough to get out of an environment that is toxic.” This track continues to showcase his evolution as an artist and will leave fans anxious for more.”

26 | Fake Shape | It’s Easy

THE PRESS RELEASE:Fake Shape is an Alternative-Indie band from Hamilton, Ontario that formed in September 2018. All five musicians offer their own aesthetic, creating music that falls between funk, indie-rock, pop and ambient electronic. They have been writing and recording at Fort Rose in Hamilton and are getting ready to release their debut EP, Night Swim. The band’s new single, It’s Easy, is a melancholy indie track with electronic flourishes that drifts through morphing textures evoking the feeling of hopelessness and existential dread.”

27 | Mallory Chipman & The Mystics | Fruits

THE PRESS RELEASE: “To be an Aquarian once meant embracing new approaches to living your life. But for Mallory Chipman & The Mystics, giving their album the title Aquarian has more to do with embracing an entirely new approach to making music. Aquarian will be officially released May 29, but you can hear the new single Fruits now. The Edmonton-born Chipman has already made her mark on the jazz scene, with two critically acclaimed solo albums showcasing her dynamic voice. But since forming the five-piece Mystics in 2018 she has reconnected with her inner rocker and transformed her sound into a genre-obliterating sonic experience that seems to channel Frank Zappa, Joni Mitchell and Esperanza Spalding all at once, while lyrically exploring subjects both personal and political.”

28 | Jennah Barry | Rocket

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On the south shore of Nova Scotia, in a house she helped build, Jennah Barry wrote, arranged, and recorded the songs that comprise Holiday, her second album. With Colin Nealis, her “greatest musical partner” — and partner in life — she made the album in 20- minute pockets, whenever their brand-new daughter would sleep, resulting in a piece of art that’s focused, delicate, of its own time while seemingly of one past. It’s been in progress a long while — the title is a hallmark of Barry’s trademark wit — and the truth of that progress is found in the gentle mundanity of everyday spiked with big life events like vocal surgery, and a baby. The truth is, Barry simply needed the time. “I make Grand Canyons in my brain I can’t escape,” she says. “The only time I can write about it is when I find a way out. The whole record is about ruminating … Rocket is about acting on impulse and saying things you can’t take back.”

29 | Amos The Kid | Jesus Cocaine Ketamine Christ

THE PRESS RELEASE:Amos the Kid’s second single is a breezy indie-country tune called Jesus Cocaine Ketamine Christ — equal parts Kurt Vile and Frankie Cosmos. “It’s a strange time for new music” says Amos Nadlersmith, the guy behind Amos the Kid. “It seems disingenuous to say ‘hey everybody check me out’ in a time like this. However I personally find comfort in music — maybe you do too.” Amos the Kid has long been an enigmatic curiosity of the Winnipeg scene — a favourite of the stage, if you can find him on one. He works as a wilderness guide, and even during the process of making his debut EP we lost touch several times. But it got done, and we’re thankful it did. The EP, Mountain View, will come out April 3 and features appearances from members of Yes We Mystic and Living Hour.”

30 | Vaeda Black | Drunken Tears

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Don’t be fooled by the name — Vaeda Black is bringing new light to the alt pop scene. At 18 years old, Vaeda may be a fresh face, but her songwriting skills reflect the confidence of a seasoned veteran. With an ethereal sound that’s just slightly sinister, Vaeda’s songs are packed with raw emotion, while being unapologetically real. With several singles under her belt, Vaeda’s vocals drawl on like a dream in each one, reflecting the same grit she picked up while getting started in her native New York. “Drunken Tears was one of the first songs I wrote when I was learning how to play the piano about four years ago. It is a story song, about luring someone into a bar, getting completely trashed, and fantasizing about murdering them. I’ve always viewed this piece like a siren song. I’m saying things that are terrifying but they’re delivered inside a simple and alluring melody. I want people to see every part of me, and Drunken Tears lets me show people my darker side.”

31 | Wolftooth | Firebreather

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Richmond, Ind.’s heavy metal riders Wolftooth have announced the release of their thundering new album Valhalla this May 22. It’s time to crank the volume up and stream their first single Firebreather without further delay! Valhalla is a triumphant return for the heavy metal unit. One that the band feels exceeds their previous effort. The band explain: “People can expect a more mature Wolftooth. We really feel this is our best effort yet. We also think that the production has taken a step up from our last outing. It’s a pretty diverse record with heavy rockers and straight-up heavy metal bangers. We are all very excited about how it turned out and can’t wait for people to hear it!”

32 | Johnny Stimson | Hard to Say Goodbye

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Drawing from influences as diverse as The Beatles, Tom Misch, Sam Cooke, and Frank Ocean, Johnny Stimson brings a distinct sense of soul to pop music — not only through his silk-smooth vocals, but also through his impressive skills on each piano, guitar, and bass. Stimson fuses funk-fueled soundscapes with soulful R&B rasp and leaned-back grooves, creating and maintaining an irresistibility throughout his music. Inspired by interesting chords and theoretical elements, Stimson’s releases mix the organic with the electronic. He confides, “I want to continue to have sonic variety in my music, but to have common thematic and musical ideas that help the songs work together to tell a complete story.” New single Hard to Say Goodbye features Stimson’s gorgeous melodies over chilled-out beats with R&B flavour. Hard to Say Goodbye is about being homesick even before you leave home. It is about noticing every bit of perfection on your way out the door.”

33 | Shelly Peiken | George & John

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Songwriter Shelly Peiken has released a gorgeous new single, her sonic love letter to The BeatlesGeorge & John. “I always wanted to write a song that would be an emotional analogy between losing half of myself in a break-up and the heartbreak of losing half The Beatles,” Peiken explained. “On a songwriting trip to London I relayed the idea to Phil Thornalley, a fellow Beatles enthusiast. His eyes lit up. A few weeks after returning home he sent me some music. When I pressed play my jaw dropped. I didn’t take the headphones off until every word was written. George & John is a sonic love letter to The Beatles. Anyone who ever loved them as much as I did is gonna dig it!”