Indie Roundup | 45 Songs To Get You Through The Weekend

Pokey LaFarge, Thao, Elwins, Trews and tons more are all in this together.


Pokey LaFarge wings it, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down split up, The Elwins go all the way, The Trews launch a rebellion, Thomas Azier is out of order and much, much more in a ridiculously cramped Friday Roundup. So much for social distancing. Way to go, kids.

1 | Pokey LaFarge | Bluebird

THE PRESS RELEASE:Pokey LaFarge is set to release Rock Bottom Rhapsody next Friday, April 10. The 13-song set was produced by Chris Seefried (Fitz and the Tantrums). The album was recorded on Chicago’s Northwest Side during the polar vortex of 2019 and features the guitarist Joel Paterson, keyboardist Scott Ligon, upright/electric bassist Jimmy Sutton, and drummer Alex Hall. Rock Bottom Rhapsody is LaFarge’s first album in over three years and follows 2017’s acclaimed Manic Revelations. Today, he premiered the video for the song Bluebird. Lafarge says, “I wanted to write a song that I could see people dancing to at Pacific Parc in Amsterdam. A place where I’ve gone many times with friends to listen and drink and dance to 45’s until dawn.”

2 | Thao & The Get Down Stay Down | Phenom

THE PRESS RELEASE:Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, the Oakland-based band fronted by singer and songwriter Thao Nguyen, is now debuting the new video for the track Phenom. Shot entirely via Zoom in the midst of the California’s Stay At Home order, the video was filmed without any of the collaborators ever being in the same room together. Phenom comes in anticipation of the band’s fifth studio album Temple, due May 15. Thao notes, “Phenom is a direct descendant of the song Meticulous Bird from my previous album, A Man Alive. I wrote it late last year. I was reading Octavia Butler and Ursula Le Guin and channeling other worlds, a sort of post-apocalyptic utopia wherein time collapses and generations of the true leaders and the scorched of the earth come back and rule, wherein the earth itself comes back and brings to bear. I was and am always in deep awe of the fierce and focused throughout history who have worked and organized at the front lines, calling bullshit and protecting vulnerable life. They are the real phenoms and we are strong from their strength.”

3 | The Elwins | Take Me All The Way

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Listening to an Elwins record feels like coming home at the end of a long day. The Newmarket four-piece has made a decade-plus long career out of carefully crafting clever and cozy tunes. An Elwins song is just as comfortable in your headphones as you walk as it is being blasted from the sound system at one of their vibrant live shows. The Elwins took to a handful of studios to record some new material for a new LP which is due out later this year. Self-produced by the band, with a diverse and detailed sound reflecting influences from 70s AM-radio pop to the mid-2000s alternative that the band was borne out of, the record is a prime showcase for the collective magic of these four talented songwriters. The first new track the band are sharing from those sessions, Take Me All The Way, “fits in that zone I love, where it’s an upbeat sounding song with sad/introspective lyrics,” says bassist Francesco Figliomeni. “Very excited for this to be the first taste of what people hear from the new album, I feel like this is one of the songs that helped us dial in where we wanted to head vibe wise.”

4 | The Trews | God Speed Rebel

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Trews, safely in isolation, are back with a brand-new video for their latest track God Speed Rebel, created entirely on virtual meeting app Zoom. Colin MacDonald, lead singer, notes, “Spring is in the air and we’re in quarantine, here’s a new song to help you along these unprecedented days. This tune showed up on our doorstep last year and we’ve been looking for a home for it ever since. We figured it was time to send this quirky, warm and friendly little jam out into the world to keep you company while you’re stuck inside. A song for your soundtrack of solitude. It’s about rock ‘n’ roll, being an individual in the ever changing and unforgiving world, doing the right thing always and helping others along the way….or it’s just a cool and catchy tune, if we do say so ourselves. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay home. God Speed Rebel.”

5 | Thomas Azier | Love, Disorderly

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Multi-faceted avant-pop songwriter Thomas Azier unveils short-film for new single Love, Disorderly, the title track and first offering from his upcoming album set for release on June. 12. The compelling documentary-style music video accompanying the track is in French director Laurent Chanez own words “a mind-bending free-form travelogue that journeys from Asia to Europe and America. A non-linear short film where the viewer travels between the real and the mythical, the individual and the collective. “I feel Laurent managed to capture the ‘soul of the world’ in a series of observations made throughout 2019. It reads as if you were flipping through the pages of a book, of a National Geographic magazine, through Instagram stories and the news. It displays a state of the world without judgement or narrative.”

6 | Jhalaak | Mustt Mustt

THE PRESS RELEASE:Mustt Mustt (Enrapture), the new single from Vancouver artist Ruby Singh’s pan-cultural Sufi Hip-Hop project Jhalaak, is out today. In a time when Muslims are being persecuted at an alarming rate in India, Jhalaak’s second single, Mustt Mustt, turns towards India’s pluralistic roots and celebration of the incredible Sufi culture, which is woven into the very fabric of India. This song was made popular by the late great Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Massive Attack. Here, Jhalaak has created a contemporary version that brings together a Muslim family (Chugge, Salim and Khette Khan); Canadian born Sikh rapper Ruby Singh, who delivers thoughtful rap interpretations/translations of the Urdu lyrics; and Hindu master drummer of the Nagara, Solanki Nathu Lal. “The song celebrates Sufi saints and the intoxication their poetry and teachings bring to us,” says Ruby Singh. “We shot the video in Rajasthan, India and used the mandalic form to symbolize the interconnectedness between us all.”

7 | Jordan Klassen | I Want To Move In To Your House

THE PRESS RELEASE: “When it comes to forming our own personal identities, the wide-open expanse of possibilities for each of us is supposed to be empowering. There’s dizzying potential for defining oneself, especially for marginalized individuals, and in comparison to previous generations. But what is a person to do if the infinitely-expanding universe makes them feel not free and bold, but rather powerless, afraid, and small? To stand in the face of such choice may be difficult, but with his latest release, Tell Me What To Do, Jordan Klassen shows us that doing nothing isn’t an option. A perfect companion to his last record, Big Intruder, which was about growing up, Tell Me What to Do is about finding a home and an identity when many aspects of existence feel tenuous. In I Want To Move In To Your House, Klassen seems to assume the persona of a classical musician from a previous century, with a lullaby-like melody that evokes memories and emotions, and seems to celebrate a golden age of the past.”

8 | Olly E | I Refuse

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Leicester-based alternative singer songwriter Olly E brings you his latest release I Refuse, which is his brand new single of 2020. “I Refuse is a cry for society to wake up and realise we are being misled by governments and authorities before we are all in a situation we can’t escape. It questions the listener to think about their actions and if they feel they are wrong-done by the higher powers then to not be ignorant; instead speak out and seek the truth for a better life. This song is my stand saying I will not fall asleep whilst the world burns.” As an outsider, missing a sense of belonging has fuelled a fire within Olly E as is reflected in lyrics, when thoughts become words on the page. Seeking solace in songwriting, he aims to give hope through his music to those who feel lost or alone. Spending years studying music and performing live, there has never been a better time for Olly E to make his mark.”

9 | Beyond Remains | Kill The Hunter (Low Gain)

THE PRESS RELEASE: “French Djent/Thrash/Modern Metallers Beyond Remains premiered another song with Kill The Hunter (Low Gain) from their new concept EP After the Violence, coming out later this year! After the Violence serves up six very different songs that widen the spectrum of their musical palette. Even though After The Violence is rooted in metalcore and thrash, it also doesn’t shy away from rock, classical and acoustic influences.”

10 | Yael Naim | My Sweetheart

THE PRESS RELEASE:Yael Naim, the Parisian-born, Franco-Israeli singer-songwriter, today shares her latest single and video for My Sweetheart, which is taken from her new album Nightsongs. The waltzing My Sweetheart reflects how the material on Nightsongs are a world away from New Soul, Yael’s breakthrough hit which secured her a global audience. In a career that has developed over the course of the last 20 years, the multi-instrumentalist and producer has been on a restless quest to create a sound world of her own across a string of increasingly absorbing albums — none more so than her latest offering, Nightsongs. As its title suggests, this is a hugely intimate album that sees her breaking away from the established way in which she makes music. This time around, the songs are purely hers, arranged and produced solely by Yael.”

11 | The Reticent | Fade To Black

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Reticent has a new single out, a cover of Metallica’s classic Fade To Black, which will be featured on the progressive metal band’s forthcoming album The Oubliette, produced by Jamie King (BTBAM, The Contortionist, etc.) and due out later this year. The already somber tune is matched up with an equally solemn black and white video. Chris Hathcock, the founder of the band, who performed all main instruments and vocals on the track, goes into depth about choosing the cover: “The original is a timeless classic, but in listening to it I thought that perhaps the sadness of the words were somewhat attenuated by the catchy and driving riffs. It thematically fell right in line with the over concept of The Oubliette as that blanket of loneliness and despair can fall over the suicidal and Alzheimer’s patients alike. I decided to reduce the instrumentation as much as possible to increase that sense of isolation and only used effects to increase the atmosphere. Minimalist and empty sounding like a hospital room. The result hopefully draws more attention to the stark hopelessness in the lyrics. The distance and atmosphere in the track are meant to feel not just isolated, but almost ghostly — as if we are hearing the baleful thoughts of a man void of hope trapped in a hospital bed.”

12 | SayWeCanFly | Anxxiety

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Ontario musician Braden Barrie (who records under the name SayWeCanFly) is debuting a brand new single titled Anxxiety. The track is the first of 12 new songs that will be released in the weeks and months ahead. Braden says, ”We shot the Anxxiety music video with a two-hour time slot at the YouTube space here in Toronto. I wanted to use two characters to visually express the internal war that takes place while turning pain into poetry & creating art from difficult life experiences.” Braden continually pushes the limits on what it means to write from the heart by sharing pieces of his journey through music.”

13 | Venus Furs | Living in Constant

THE PRESS RELEASE:Venus Furs is the moniker of Montreal’s Paul Kasner, a multi-instrumentalist, writer, producer and self-described perfectionist. In the preceding years, the act has taken many forms, supporting the likes of The Horrors and The Twilight Sad as Kasner worked on refining and determining exactly what Venus Furs was meant to be. After years of hard work and multiple hurdles, Kasner is on the verge of releasing Venus Furs, a rigorously crafted set of songs that voyage heedlessly through sonic and mental terrain in a way that could only be the product of a single idiosyncratic mind. Venus Furs’ newest single, Living in Constant, has a hypnotically repetitive bassline with doubled guitar riffs that build into a trippy crescendo. Lyrically, Living in Constant describes the final days of a disgraced priest on his death-bed.”

14 | Vader | Into Oblivion

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Polish death metal legends Vader have returned with their 16th studio album Solitude in Madness out on May 1. Today, another tasty appetizer has been unveiled in form of the new single and music video for the track Into Oblivion. “Humanity never learns from its lessons,” says Vader’s Piotr Wiwczarek. “I feel tensions continuing to rise around the world. People have forgotten about true pain, from a bigger picture standpoint. Generationally, the new generation doesn’t respect the old, and I’d challenge they don’t even respect themselves. Our everyday lives are on TV, so there’s no soul left. Everything’s empty. I think technology is also sucking the human out of us. There are more lonely people now than ever before, and yet we’re supposed to be connected together by technology. It’s madness! That’s where the title, Solitude in Madness, came from, actually. Of course, I approach these topics in a very Vader way. I love telling stories and expressing myself through those stories.”

15 | April Ivy | Far From Home

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Portuguese pop sensation April Ivy continues to carve out a name for herself with Far From Home. Far From Home portrays a softer side to the artist and explores the pain of distance slowly creeping into a once-perfect love. The track’s touching mix of delicate guitars, atmospheric piano keys and soaring harmonies beautifully compliments April’s emotional vocal performance: “I always let the distance get the best of me / When you’re so far from me / So far from home” she outpours during the melancholic chorus.”

16 | Joe Nolan | Jaguar

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On his new album Drifters, out May 8, Edmonton singer/songwriter Joe Nolan continues a remarkable creative run over the past two years, getting down to the bone with a 10-track predominantly acoustic collection. Today he’s released the second single, Jaguar. Nolan, who has been heralded as a roots rock wunderkind, is a Canadian star to watch out for in 2020 as he continues to build upon the a massive year that came in the wake of his 2018 independently released album Cry Baby. Over that time, Nolan played over 175 shows across North America and six European countries, most while traveling in his faithful 2003 Dodge Caravan. Drifters begins the next leg of that journey, made at Riverdale Recorders in Edmonton with engineer Scott Franchuk, which takes fresh material written in the midst of touring and combines them with songs that date back to Nolan’s late teens. However, the common thread among them is reflected in the album’s title: songs of longing, wanderlust and lost love.”

17 | Testament | Children Of The Next Level

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Today is the day for legendary bay area thrash metal giants Testament to unleash new thunder to the masses in the form of their 13th studio album, Titans Of Creation. In celebration of the release, the band offer fans the music video by Balázs Gróf for Children Of The Next Level. Chuck Billy comments, “Being so busy with touring, we weren’t able to schedule a video shoot and thought we’d try something different and came up with a killer animated video for the song Children Of The Next Level. With the song being about the Heaven’s Gate cult, we thought it would make for a good visual story. It takes a lot of time and effort to make animated video and it was really cool to watch the process as it came to life. i think it came out awesome.”

18 | Janos | Sicky/Sticky

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Swedish born artist Janos spends his time between the streets and pubs of Oslo and London. Fusing beautiful pop melodies, soulful vocals and explosive energy, the pop-punk soul artist delivers listeners with a fresh, contemporary sound. From fragile, heartfelt ballads to funky upbeat anthems, Janos tells a story relating to the highs and lows of our generation. The musician starts 2020 off with a new release, incorporating elements of Janos’ new found love for jazz and soul. The infectious Sicky/Sticky which has been a huge crowd pleaser at live performances for its uplifting feel good vibe, is the first track to be recorded with a horn section. The big, bold brass sound, along with soulful vocals and funky guitars, creates the ultimate groove-fuelled track. Sicky/Sticky narrates trying to hide from your worries with drugs and alcohol, while still hoping it’s not too late to reach your dreams.”

19 | Kool Keith x Thetan | Let’s Take A Trip

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Next week, legendary Bronx rapper Kool Keith and Nashville powerviolence duo Thetan will present their collaborative Space Goretex LP, featuring guest appearances from members of Gwar, Three 6 Mafia, Dwarves, Lost Dog Street Band and more. Today, there’s a new visualizer video for the track Let’s Take A Trip. Thetan offers, “This is the type of track that unbeknownst to most people, we record in nearly every recording session. We just kind of goofed around with a bass line and added a bunch of improv noise around it. Then we whittle it down to the sounds that work with the vibe. It keeps the recording sessions interesting. They’ll be hours of screaming and rage, then a short period of laidback improvisational tomfoolery.”

20 | FRND CRCL | Loose Cannon

THE PRESS RELEASE: “New Jersey’s FRND CRCL (pronounced Friend Circle) do their best not to forget the ‘pop’ in pop-punk. Delivering their new single Loose Cannon with angsty, punk-driven lyrics catchy melodies and arena-sized instrumentals, the track is essentially about embracing the mentality and spirit of punk rock, with lyrics about navigating through the bullshit of life, dealing with relationships, doing your own thing and going your own way. Produced by FRND CRCL and Tyler Skye of Monoplane Recording Studios, this is the second single premiering off of the upcoming sophomore album Internet Noise, dropping on May 1.”

21 | Liza Anne | Bad Vacation

THE PRESS RELEASE:Liza Anne invites you to her Bad Vacation with her newest single. Co-produced by Kyle Ryan (Kacey Musgraves, Natalie Prass), Micah Tawlks (Louis Prince, COIN) and Liza herself, Bad Vacation is a bold and frenetic synth-driven track about the manic pain and joy of freeing yourself from an unhealthy relationship. Calling to mind artists like the Talking Heads and St. Vincent, Bad Vacation sees Liza operating from a place of newfound emotional strength. “It feels like a strange time to release music but an even stranger time not to,” says Liza. “Writing this song was a mental playground for me — turning pain into satire and imaging a hope-filled world with no ceilings — I wanted to bottle up that electricity that happens when you’re free of something taxing.”

22 | The White Buffalo | Faster Than Fire

THE PRESS RELEASE:The White Buffalo is releasing the official lyric video for Faster Than Fire. Both tracks will be on The White Buffalo’s forthcoming Shooter Jennings-produced album On The Widow’s Walk, out April 17. The White Buffalo is about engagement. The White Buffalo makes people laugh and cry. The White Buffalo is truth and wild imagination working together. The White Buffalo is Jake Smith — singer, songwriter, guitarist, teller of stories, Emmy nominee; an artist whose voice — a timber-shakin’ baritone of gravitas and gravel — seems directly linked to a greater truth; an artist who will not be swayed by fashion or curtailed by genre.”

23 | The Blue Stones | Careless

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Blue Stones have treated fans to the release of Careless, the third single from their highly-anticipated new album due out later this year. Careless shows a new side of the band, placing singer Tarek Jafar’s soulful voice in the spotlight, complimented by a finessed mix of keys, vibey guitars, 808 kicks and snare. While the band has amassed a considerable following around their brand of dynamic alternative rock, Careless is an important track in their creative journey as it showcases their ability to produce music outside of what might be considered their ‘comfort zone’. About the track, Tarek stated: “Careless is a dark and vibey track that draws from a lot of our RnB influences to paint a story about making mistakes, and liking them.”

24 | Quix | Gunning For You

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Weaving Nevve’s dreamlike vocals through a brooding rollercoaster of tensional builds and wonky trap drops, bass connoisseur Quix exhilarates on the heart racing single Gunning For You. Along with the help of frequent collaborator Nevve, the late night party jam sees Quix pen a heartfelt song about a desperate love obsession. Gunning For You serves as a taste of Quix’s next big project, keeping fans on their toes for unexpected sounds.”

25 | Jupiter Hollow | The Rosedale

THE PRESS RELEASE: “One of Toronto’s favourite ambient progressive metal/rock duo Jupiter Hollow will be releasing their new album Bereavement on June 12. Today the band is premiering the album’s first single The Rosedale. Bereavement is the continuation of a storyline from previous releases. The band further explains: “A man with unimaginable global power sends important members of his family and society away to a habitable world outside of our solar system in order to salvage humanity. As capable as this man is of salvaging humanity’s dying society on Earth, he finds more solace in the greed and power he has inherited. Victim of his lifelong internal battle with mental instability, he leaves humanity to extinction on Earth. Struggling with this outcome, he sends himself and his ship aimlessly into space, attempts suicide and crashes on a planet in another solar system. Upon awakening, he realizes where he is, and that he will soon meet the remaining faces that have abandoned him, just as he abandoned them, and they’re hungry.”

26 | Tropical Fuck Storm | This Perfect Day

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Australian band Tropical Fuck Storm — comprised of Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin (The Drones), Erica Dunn, and Lauren Hammel — release their Suburbiopia b/w This Perfect Day 7”. They present its caustic B-side, This Perfect Day, which features lead vocals from Amyl and the SniffersAmy Taylor & Surfbort’s Sean Powell on drums. The track is a cover of the 1977 original by punk legends The Saints. “Amy and Sean were hangin’ out at TFS HQ and Hammer was stuck up in New South Wales because of the fires. Sean jumped on drums and Amy grabbed a mic and we banged out our fave Saints tune for fun,” says the band. “Amy named the band Sniff Surf Storm!”

27 | Nobide | Want You

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Colorado-based live-electronic outfit Nobide have officially released their first single. Want You is the perfect mixture of house and dance elements. Rowdy enough for dance floors and deep enough for quiet exploration, the Nobide grooves are far-reaching. Recorded in their home studio and mixed at Evergroove Studios in Evergreen, CO, Want You was inspired by a “special lady,” Vann explains. Fruit continues, “this single displays a new level of depth in arrangement for us. The track begins like a classic house track, catering to the traditional electronic fan, but opens up the second half with lush harmony and melody that demonstrates a new emotional depth for the band.” The art for their forthcoming EP ENSO is inspired by the Buddhist symbol expressing letting go of the mind and represents immediate creation. “We wanted to get ideas down as quickly as possible and an ENSO was something to model in the music. I painted the circle and edited it digitally — trying to emulate the organic electronic elements in our music,” Vann explains.”

28 | Joey O’Neil | Maybe Tomorrow

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Yukon-based folk-country songstress Joey O’Neil shares the third single off of her forthcoming LP Ever Ahead; a melancholic interpretation of Terry Bush’s 1970s hit and the theme to The Littlest Hobo, Maybe Tomorrow. “It was important for me to include this cover on my album for a few reasons,” shares O’Neil. “One: Canadian content, baby. Two: The general theme of my album, dogs and journeys, lent itself perfectly to this song’s origins on The Littlest Hobo. Three: In all of my digging, I wasn’t able to find many covers of this song that expressed the inherent sadness I believed it possessed.” O’Neil continues, “Deep down in these lyrics, I related to a lonely wandering. A subtle melancholy I didn’t hear under its original upbeat piano chords and slide whistle runs. No offence to Terry Bush, of course, as I believe this song is absolutely brilliant. For our version, however, I wanted to evoke something different, as I believe all great covers do. We decided to use a minimal arrangement of my earnest acoustic guitar, a foreboding baritone guitar, and a whimsical pump organ. By removing some lyrical sections repetitively claiming “That’s hobo style!”, changing the last chord of the verses to a minor instead of a major, and cutting out the very last two words of the song (“to roam”), I feel I was able to tweak the mood of this track, giving it an unresolved twist without eradicating a beautiful longing that the original had in it all along.”

29 | Grist Mil | Cerulean Blue

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Love can be a holding pattern of hope and indecision. On his second single, Cerulean Blue, Grist Mil (aka Derrick Sherman) explores feelings of uncertainty and longing around a new relationship through the haze of an intoxicating fever. The track started out as a demo from a 2014 session for his band Sainthood Reps with producer Will Yip, but was reborn as something entirely different after being revisited with long-time collaborator Mike Sapone. When completed, Cerulean Blue became a seamless integration of new and old sounds of Sherman’s work and a prototype for the rest of the music from the upcoming Young Dudley EP out April 17. Sonically, the track rides a wave of low tones accented by a mixture of pedal effects as Sherman’s vocals carry a level of emotional connectivity prevalent to the listener. On writing the track, Sherman stated: “I wrote this song while I was very sick one winter. A fever can be intoxicating and allow you to be less restrictive when creating. I was too weak to leave the bed and recorded the entire demo from my bed and laptop.”

30 | Wilma Archer | Cheater

THE PRESS RELEASE: “After nearly half a decade in the making, A Western Circular, the debut album from Wilma Archer, is out today. With the release of the record comes the visualizer for Cheater feat. Sudan Archives. Marking one of the standout moments on the record, Cheater pairs Archer’s remarkable instrumentation with the inimitable vocals of California-based violinist & singer, Sudan Archives. The track, Archer says, is “about narrowly escaping death or serious injury by car, celebrating the difference one bell bollard can make.”

31 | Chris Milam | In The Blood

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The new single In the Blood from acclaimed Memphis singer-songwriter Chris Milam features guest guitar work from The Hold Steady’s Steve Selvidge and deals directly with her father’s death from environmental causes. Milam left for tour and by the time he came home, his girlfriend had broken up with him and his dad had cancer. His new album Meanwhile is the reckoning of how he dealt with those transitions. Even while the themes are pretty dark, the album has this real Laurel Canyon/’70s AM radio warmth and it makes for his best work to date. There’s raw honesty on this album and it’s powerful stuff.”

32 | Tithe | Palindrome

THE PRESS RELEASE:Tithe announced their album Penance today and unveiled the first single Palindrome. Emerging from the rain-soaked grey of Portland, Oregon, Tithe is leaving its mark of pummeling auditory exploration. Drawing influence from all over the musical spectrum, Tithe offers a truly unique blend of death, grind, and sludge metal. The trio comes together with their debut full-length album Penance to explore the psychedelic experience and the depravity of human nature. Featuring Matt Eiseman on guitar, Alex Huddleston on bass and Kevin Swartz on drums, Tithe is a force to be reckoned with on the metal circuit and shows no signs of holding back.”

33 | Regina Gently | No Secret

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto artist Regina (Re-Jean-ah) Gently shares a brand new, ’90s house inspired single No Secret featuring singer Isla Craig. The track uses extreme vocal layering and harmonies which gave it hints of Prince or D’angelo. Produced by Toronto’s Matt and Mark Thibideau, Regina says the track, “Thematically is about trusting people in various situations, either relationships or social situations. About youth and age. The key line is ‘No Secret is a secret’ which is about privacy and how that doesn’t really exist anymore in our current culture.” On working with Isla Craig, who is known for her vocal work with the likes of Jennifer Castle, Regina says “‘I’ve been a fan of Isla’s voice for years and in particular her RnB influenced project OG Melody with Thom Gill. When I was thinking of adding female voices to the track she was one of the first to come to mind. Incredibly solid as a vocalist and did almost every vocal track in one take, it was one of the easiest sessions!”

34 | RJD2 | 20 Grand Palace

THE PRESS RELEASE:RJD2 releases 20 Grand Palace, a new single from his forthcoming album, The Fun Ones, out April 17. 20 Grand Palace opens with a flutter of clarinet and strings, before transforming into a horn-driven groove “that needs to give much credit to Patrice Rushen and Chaka Khan,” says RJ. “Initially released as a loosie on the internet, I always felt like the track needed a final push to put it over the top. After sitting with it for over a year, it came to me that my good friend and drummer Chuck Palmer is also a phenomenally talented string arranger. In conjunction with Dave Eggar, they executed the perfect string arrangement that is totally adventurous and still completely catchy to the ear. They knocked it out the park!”

35 | Honey Mooncie | Checkmate

THE PRESS RELEASE: “At only 18, Honey Mooncie has announced herself as one of the most promising and varied new UK artists out there. Combining contemporary pop, classic jazz and R&B effortlessly, Honey’s voice is the unifying element with its silk smooth timbre shining through no matter the genre. Honey now looks to establish herself as a dominant force with next single Checkmate. Written with long-term collaborator Tobie Tripp (regular collaborator with Tom Misch), Checkmate takes influences from disco to Mark Ronson and showcases Honey’s ability as not only a singer but also as a writer of incredibly catchy hooks and honest, relatable lyrics. “The vibe for this track sort of came out of nowhere, the disco influences definitely weren’t intentional at first. We didn’t put any pressure on this song and let it grow naturally but as the song developed we took influence from the new Mark Ronson album. It’s about seeing your friend in a relationship that isn’t particularly good for them and them not being able to see it as they’re so taken by this person.”

36 | Josh Kumra | Pull Me Back In

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter Josh Kumra returns with the new EP Pull Me Back In. The EP is an insight into Josh’s newly found creative freedom. Mostly recorded and produced by Josh in his own studio, the new body of work is an introspective journey through the emotions and mind of a young artist who found himself “falling short of the grand expectations everyone had of me and had almost lost my love for making music completely”, as he candidly concedes. Whilst the title track Pull Me Back In is in the artist’s own words; “all about going there to come back, getting lost to be found. For me it’s the song that takes the core of the other songs on the EP and brings them together in a simple but an unavoidable way.”

37 | Andrew Gold | Something New

THE PRESS RELEASE: “In 1973, like so many singer songwriters in Los Angeles, Andrew Gold was just another talented guy looking for a record deal. Brought to Clover Recorders by producer Chuck Plotkin, Gold set out to lay down the many songs he had written that he’d hoped would land him a recording contract. Over a period of many months, Plotkin and Gold recorded numerous songs that would ultimately land him a deal with Asylum Records, which released his first album in the fall of 1975. Interestingly, none of the songs recorded in 1973 would appear on any of Andrew’s four solo albums over the next several years … until now!”

38 | Illkenium and Excision | Feel Something

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Fusing three signature styles and spirits on one boundary-breaking anthem, Illenium and Excision reunite to unleash a new single entitled Feel Something featuring I Prevail today. This marks the first time the Michigan-based band has featured on a dance track. After generating nearly 200 million total streams on last year’s sophomore blockbuster Trauma and landing on the pages of Variety and beyond, rock juggernaut I Prevail received nominations for two Grammy Awards in 2020 — in the categories of Best Rock Album for Trauma and for Best Metal Performance for Bow Down. Augmented with cybernetic dubstep drops from Excision, the track pushes and pulls between moments of dance floor bliss and mosh pit-splitting grooves. Grammy-nominated platinum rock band I Prevail anchor this ebb and flow with hypnotic guitars and an infectious chant from singer Brian Burkheiser who screams, “I just wanna feel something.” As it reflects their respective sounds, Feel Something also represents new territory for this trio of talents.”

39 | Sid Tipton | Omg You Ain’t Shit

THE PRESS RELEASE:Sid Tipton was born and raised in Nashville. She began writing and singing before the age of 3. She would sing and rhyme to anything she would hear, from words on a cereal box to passages in the Bible. Determined to succeed, Sid taught herself acoustic guitar and piano, and at age 17 with over 100 original songs, she began the search for her success. She has since signed with Timbaland’s publishing company Bluestone. She has had collaborations with artists like Timbaland, JoJo, Hailey Reinhart, Tinashe, Justin Timberlake and more including her contribution as a writer and featured artist on Maluma’s Grammy-winning album fame. You can find Sid in both Music City and on the West Coast, where she is busy recording, singing and writing.”

40 | pluko & Cassette Tapes | Used To

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Rising producer pluko is revealing his new single, Used To (with Cassette Tapes). For the infectious new single, pluko brought in Jackson Stokes (vocals and songwriting) and Parker Livingston (production) — also known as Bay Area indie-pop duo Cassette Tapes — and producer/songwriter Peter Fenn. Building on a demo that pluko had made a few days prior to the session, the collaborative single came together seamlessly over the course of only a few hours. “I’m so happy with how this turned out,” pluko writes, “I still find myself listening to it for fun when I need a mood booster.” Used to (with Cassette Tapes)” is the latest showcase of pluko’s knack for crafting infectious crossover anthems, following on the heels of his recent releases “blessings (ft. Nate Travellers)” and “the lovely one.” pluko’s playful bass-filled tracks glitter with imagination and forward-thinking production techniques. He consistently pushes the boundaries of his own musicality, creating colorful records that feel authentic and fresh.”

41 | Cannon | Conversations

THE PRESS RELEASE:Cannon is a 21-year-old independent artist from South Carolina who blends strong hip/hop and R&B influences with an organic sound he developed at open mic nights with an old acoustic guitar. Conversations is about ignoring our personal issues for the sake of feeling like we don’t have them. It’s easier to turn to quick tricks to feel better or ignore feeling bad entirely than to really consider and engage with how we feel. There’s a really important difference between talking and having a conversation, whether it’s with ourselves or with others — and this song is emphasizing that difference. It’s easy to talk, but it’s hard to really engage with something enough to actually have a conversation. Conversations shows someone not engaging — they tell themselves they’re trying but they’re not really. They’re lying.”

42 | Ebi Soda | Keisha Billip

THE PRESS RELEASE:Keisha Billip is the latest single by Ebi Soda and was inspired by their roots in making jazz-flavoured beats in a dingy flat. Despite having finally left the bedroom and entered the studio, the band still wanted to strip back the creative process, building upon a tight trap groove and a pounding 808 sub bass. The track features Dan Gray on trumpet, whose harmonies blended with VVilhelm’s signature trombone provide a sense of bliss before hitting you with just the right about of evil.”

43 | The Prototypes | Oxygen

THE PRESS RELEASE: “British D&B duo The Prototypes release Oxygen feat. Clementine Douglas of Kudu Blue on vocals. The new cut is the second single from their upcoming album, Ten Thousand Feet & Rising rescheduled for release on July 31. The Prototypes are Nick White and Chris Garvey, the two DJs met on pirate radio in the mid-2000s. Together they started putting on d’n’b nights on the south coast before officially forming the group in 2010.”

44 | Loud Forest | Miracle

THE PRESS RELEASE:Bernard and Rachel Chadwick are the husband-and-wife duo that create pop/rock music imbued with love and artisanship. Theirs is an enviable creative relationship built around making more of themselves and the world through collaboration. The band started while Bernard was earning his MFA at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. It was a way for rock to fuse into art and art to fuse into rock. This became the exact intention of their music going forward. The band’s incorporation of pop sensibilities, ethereal vocals, insightful lyrics and rock undertones give them a sound that is unique, fun and sure to keep you grooving. Leading single Miracle details codependency in relationships and the uncertainty of where the future leads. Bernard confides on his relationship with Rachel, “Our story is so crazy, so it’s like, hey this is a miracle, let’s not fuck it up, forget about it and run away, lets remember how special it is.” Sonically Miracle is a minimal pop/alt rock song with a snap of sparkle.”

45 | Raynes | Come My Way

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. Come My Way is a simple and straightforward song narrating the desire and feelings you have towards a loved one. The band reveal, “There’s something of an ‘us against the world’ quality to it, naive and young and probably foolish, but motivated by nothing but love.” Sonically, the song draws much of its inspiration from world music — taikos, toms and shakers blended with acoustic folk instruments. “We feel like the production and instrumentation is quintessentially us; from the mandolins and violins to the cinematic synths, harmonies and gang vocals, it basically has all our favorite sounds and sonic flavors packed into three minutes and eighteen seconds.” admit the three-piece.”