Now Playing: Nuha Ruby Ra – ‘Sparky’

Thursday, December 3, 2020
Photo by Maxime Imbert


East London avant-punk artist Nuha Ruby Ra continues her run of impressive singles in 2020 with her latest offering ’Sparky’, which was unveiled late last month. 


The release of her new single comes after her enthralling track ‘Erase Me’ back in April and the compelling ‘Cruel’ a few months ago. All the singles that have been shared so far will be making an appearance on her forthcoming EP How To Move, due on March 5th via Brace Yourself Records. 


On the story behind ’Sparky’ and what inspired her to write it, she said, “I’m Sparky, it’s a name I was given once by an old flame. That Sparky was all about the joys of sex and dominance. The sleeping demon that needed to come out for a dance and push the demons of ‘Erase Me’ and ‘Cruel’ off to the side for a minute. Still restless, irritated and a bit reflective, even while having great sex. No rest.”


Until it’s time to enjoy Nuha Ruby Ra’s new EP in full next year, be sure to check out ’Sparky' below. 


Written by Kristy Smolcic 



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Feature: The Anatomy of 'habits' with bb sway

Friday, November 27, 2020


Hong Kong-born and London-based bedroom-pop artist bb sway has this week returned with a brand new single, this time with ‘habits’ (via Practice Music). 'habits' follows the release of previous singles ‘I Found Out When the Day Had Come’ and ‘Up in the Air’. The new track is a tender and heartfelt exploration of mental health and staying positive amidst life's many turns. bb sway recently took some time to dive into all things 'habits' for us below. 


I wrote ‘habits'.... when I was going through a rough time mentally in the winter... that SAD got me good....


The story behind ‘habits'.... I wanted to write something that could help me (and, potentially, other people...) remember to be pro-active and kind to myself — a catchy tune that reminds me to keep up good habits that help me stay mentally healthy.


My favourite lyric is… 'keepin' clean and keepin' tidy / cookin' up a storm in the kitchen, it's bitchin', it's bitchin'... 


My main inspiration was… The little voice inside that wants what's best for me!!


It sounds best when… you're doing something good for yourself while singing it! 


Listen to 'habits' by bb sway below.




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Now Playing: Berry Galazka – ‘Man Can’t Hang’

Photo by Emily Stein


Alt-pop rising star Berry Galazka makes her grand introduction with her full-throttle debut single ‘Man Can’t Hang’. The Polish-American artist notes that she is inspired by an array of influences, including artists such as Rina Sawayama, Kevin Abstract and Tierra Whack. 


Growing up, it was Reggae that had the biggest impact on her. “Growing up in Florida definitely influenced my love for what I call, `'White Man Reggae" i.e.: SOJA, Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Iration... that shit makes me sooo happy. Obvi love Bob Marley, Eek-A-Mouse, Yellowman, Peter Tosh and the reggae Gods.”

 

Her fierce and empowering debut offering ‘Man Can’t Hang’ is her message for the patriarchy and anyone intimated by the success of women. She said, it’s 'about how easily men’s egos are triggered by women who do better, make more, talk smarter than them and are not afraid to call them out.'


‘Man Can’t Hang’ is a taste of what’s to come from Berry Galazka and we can’t wait to hear what she has in store next. Listen to ‘Man Can’t Hang’ below. 


Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)



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Now Playing: AMA – ‘Facts’

 

Photo by Ciesay (@CIESAY)


The year is not done for up-and-comer AMA, who has this week unleashed her brand new single ‘Facts’. The new track follows in the footsteps of her impressive debut EP SCREENLUV, which showcased a relatable and unfiltered account of relationships in the digital age through the course of six enthralling songs. The London-based artist will be releasing another EP at the beginning of next year via Dirty Hit.


Her catchy new single was inspired by an introspective look at her own thoughts. AMA said on 'Facts', “Basically sometimes I can just be a stubborn ass bitch. I can also tend to get stuck in unhealthy routines or patterns and the most helpful thing in those moments for me sometimes is a slap of the truth from the people I love or even from myself. ‘Facts’ is all about getting out of your funk, facing the harsh truth head on and auctioning that.”


Get aquatinted with AMA and her new track ‘Facts’ below. 


Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)



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Now Playing: KWAYE – ‘Run’

Thursday, November 19, 2020

 


British Zimbabwean artist KWAYE has delivered his first taste of new music this year with his enthralling new track ‘Run’. The single is his first release since sharing his EP Love & Affliction in 2018. 


With his new music, KWAYE has taken a step back to carefully take time with his artistry and undergo an inward journey of rediscovery. Along with making music with a fresh perspective, KWAYE will be releasing his new material via his own imprint. 


KWAYE said on the single, “'Run' is an experience lived by many of our brothers around the world - it is the dichotomy of walking your truth as a human being, and negotiating your survival as a black man.”


Also adding on how 2020 has shaped not only his music but himself internally. "The turbulent nature of 2020 has caused many of us to reflect on our own individual worlds - what they need, how they feel, and where they sit within the ever-changing world we all share. In this time I realised how far I’d strayed from the things that make up who I am, and began to address the battles that have long needed resolving. The first is 'Run': Freedom vs. Duty. From family and community to loyalty and expectations, this song captures the beauty and the complexity of that internal conflict.“


Listen to KWAYE’s new track ‘Run’ below. 


Written by Amy Smolcic  (@amysmolcic)




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Feature: The Anatomy of 'Step Inside' with Barley Passable



Australian indie-electronica duo Barley Passable has this week unleashed a new anthem to get you dancefloor-ready with their single 'Step Inside'. The track is the first to be released from their forthcoming new EP, which you can expect to hear sometime early next year. To celebrate the release of their single, Kai Ollmann (guitars and vocals) and Davy Brown (keyboards and vocals) of Barley Passable took some time to take us through the story behind the track below. 


 We wrote ‘Step Inside’... In the cold cold winter of 2017. Cold from the wind and storms, this one was one of the first that came together on our commute to-and-from university. We still weren't as comfortable with each other as we have grown to be, but we would still write bass lines in class instead of taking notes and exchange melodies on the ferry ride home. A few days before the mastering date, we decided to strip the instrumentation back a heap and allow for each part to be heard as best as possible which was rather stressful at the time, but definitely was the best choice.


The story behind ‘Step Inside’... Is a very long hard look back at a time that helped our own development, but was really not too much fun whilst it was all going on. That's really the way it seems to go, hey.


Our favourite lyric is... 


Davy - “​Play your part and leave”

It’s short and sweet this one, but I think it holds a heap of weight and personally, it ties the whole track together. I think it’s pretty wild how people can blow into your life and then all of a sudden breeze right out again. That kinda thing stays with you for ages.


Kai - ​“Now that I’m away from here”

This line is so open —- away from what? Where are you now? What emotion is this? The line is repeated over-and-over again in the outro so I think it gives everyone time to connect to the line in their own way and answer those questions themselves.


Our main inspiration was... Whatever we were listening to at the time. Whenever we write, it's always about that, no main inspiration for individual songs. Back at the start, we were really into this track called “​Blood​” by Chicago outfit Grapetooth. Their music is like a sweaty house party and I guess in those cold months we were after a bit of that warmth. But when we stripped it all back right before the master, we were listening to lots of heavyweight producers like Mark Ronson. The way that he can direct your attention from each instrument so carefully is astonishing, especially when the arrangement is really sparse.


It sounds best when... Ever you damn well please. The two of us are all about self-indulgence and who on earth would we be to tell you how to listen. Go out, stay in. Move your body, be still. Be joyous, be alone, be miserable or be with others in a crowd . Or don’t. Just remember that it's all for you x


Listen to 'Step Inside' below:


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Now Playing: Mysie – ‘Patterns’

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

 

Photo by Chio Fernandez


South London artist Mysie has returned with yet another special offering, today coming through with her new single ‘Patterns’. Directed by Louis Mackay, Mysie has also revealed the accompanying visuals for the track.


Following on from a breakthrough year last year, 2020 has seen the talented up-and-comer release singles such as ‘Bones’ and ‘Gift’, as well as win the Rising Star award at the Ivor Novello Awards.


‘Patterns’ once again showcases Mysie’s masterful songwriting. The track sees her dissect her relationships and life choices from an introspective lens. She says on the story behind 'Patterns', “This song is about recognising the patterns within myself, and within my relationships. It’s about me acknowledging them and searching for freedom from them, making a conscious decision to break these habits and instead strive for growth and progress.”


Check out ‘Patterns’ by Mysie below. 


Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)



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Now Playing: Blue Bendy – ‘International’

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

 



It’s been just over a year since South London band Blue Bendy has shared new music — they’re back once again to remind us why they’re so great with their latest track 'International' (out via Simonie Records). 


Pre-pandemic, they were gaining a bit of buzz in the UK after supporting the likes of Squid, ​Drahla, Omni and Scalping on tour — but just like most bands, they had to have a moment of pause when things were escalating. ‘International’ is the band's re-introduction — over the past year, they’ve been working on experimenting more and trying new things, resulting in a more electronic-driven offering for their new track. 


Arthur Nolan from the band expands on the process of making ‘International’, “The main core of the music came while trying to get cool sounds out of the Korg MS20, which was new to the band at the time. While the synth and guitar were noodling, Oscar put a big kick drum heavy beat behind the two, everything suddenly jumped together and we all at once thought: this needs to be written as a full song.”


Listen to ‘International’ by Blue Bendy below. 


Written by Amy Smolcic



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Now Playing: Do Nothing – ‘Glueland’

Friday, November 13, 2020

Photo by Adrian Vitelleschi Cook


Nottingham band Do Nothing continues their ascent with their newly released single ‘Glueland’ via their own label Exact Truth. The track follows a solid year of new music for the band, which has also included a cover of Will Powers’ ‘Adventures In Success’, as well as their rousing debut EP Zero Dollar Bill


‘Glueland’ was produced by Ali Chant at Toybox Studios in Bristol and mixed by Tom Rees, from Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard.


With the single, they set out to capture the feeling of life becoming stagnant. Chris Bailey from Do Nothing said on the track, “The song refers to the feeling of being stuck in some kind of weird limbo-land. It’s about how rather than being dictated by wild or dramatic decisions, a lot of things (both good and bad) are controlled by this sort of lame jockeying that happens right in the grey dull middle ground of everything. That being said, it’s a fun song and we hope you like it.”


Dive into ‘Glueland’ by Do Nothing below. 


Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)



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Feature: The Ingredients of Return with Katy J Pearson

Photo by Sharon Lopez


There’s something about Katy J Pearson’s music that makes you feel like you’ve stepped inside a daydream you never want to leave. Over the past year, she’s shared enchanting glimpses of her much-anticipated debut album Return, with each as special as the next. The album marks Pearson’s return to music after being left overwhelmed by the pressures of working with a major label whilst working on another collaborative project with her brother. Now signed with Heavenly Recordings, Pearson has found peace once again in music and her album is a reflection of this. To celebrate the release of her debut album Return, she takes us through what shaped it. 


Bristol

When I moved to Bristol things started to change for the better, I'd never lived in my own flat before in a city, with new people. The independence and warmth of the city really helped me to start writing again. There are loads of green spaces close to where I live, as well as my favourite local pub — The Old England. Over the last few years, The Old E has been a real community hub for me and my friends; meeting lots of different people really gave me insight and also a lot of interesting stories and things to write about.


The Laurel Canyon scene

My Dad brought me and my siblings up on a lot of artists from the Laurel Canyon scene, which involved Neil Young, David Crosby, Stephen stills, Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, The Mamas & the Papas, The Beach Boys and The Beatles too.


Their work ethic and sense of community and collaboration within their music, and openness to learn from one another is something that really struck me. I think collaborating with your peers can be scary sometimes and sharing your work with a fellow musician certainly puts you in a vulnerable place, however by the end of making Return, I was bringing in lots of my friends from other bands and projects to add their mark. The sense of family that exuded from watching documentaries on the Laurel Canyon scene filled me with such joy and it’s something I hope — in the years to come — I can recreate in some way!!


South Devon

Since I was a baby, I have holidayed every year in South Devon with my family.


It has been my escape and a place I have always found quite magical. We used to stay close to Dartmoor where there are many ancient tales and Celtic stone circles. I have always felt a strong connection to that part of the world. I shot my first music video on Bolt Head in Salcombe which is such a stunning piece of natural beauty. 



Lavender Oil 

Lavender oil is my saviour and is something I put on my pillow every night and my wrists every morning.


It is such a stress reliever and is something that has kept me calm and feeling good in hard times. Lavender oil is a very strong ingredient in this album.


Denim 

Denim is one of my staples in everyday life, in terms of outfits. Expressing myself through what I wear is vital to me.


Wearing an outfit I love makes me feel good, helps me feel confident and also inspires me. Denim especially is something I wore all through the recording process normally with a rhinestone jacket. Wearing some of my favourite bright outfits to the studio really helped me to focus and feel the part to an extent. Double denim has always been controversial but is something I heavily rely on in day-to-day life. It makes me feel powerful!!


Listen to Katy J Pearson’s album Return below.


 



Watch 'Something Real':


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Now Watching: The Ninth Wave – ‘Abattoir’

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Photo by Rory Barnes
 

Glasgow-based gothic post-punk and electronic-pop group The Ninth Wave this week shared the video for their mesmerising track ‘Abattoir’, which appears on their most recent EP Happy Days!. On November 13th, they will be sharing a series of remixes of songs from Happy Days! (titled Unhappy Days!) by artists such as Mogwai, Working Men’s Club, Low Spirits, The Twilight Sad and Dream Wife.


The haunting number is one of The Ninth Wave’s most stirring offerings yet and is home to poignant and poetic words such as, “I've forgotten how to dream / (not afraid to lose your mind) / I see blank figures in my sleep / (but what if I've lost my time for you?).” The self-directed video for ‘Abattoir’ features footage that fans sent to them during lockdown. They then transferred the videos to VHS and filmed themselves watching and singing along in an abattoir.


Watch ‘Abattoir’ by The Ninth Wave below. 


Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)



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Now Playing: Wasuremono – ‘Big Big Smiles’

Photo by William Southward


Indie-pop quartet Wasuremono, led by multi-instrumentalist William Southward, have today revealed their brand new single ‘Big Big Smiles’. The track follows in the footsteps of ‘Let’s Talk’, also released this year, as well as their impressive 2019-released album Are You OK?.


The new single is a trademark Wasuremono song — the combination of Southward’s vibrant layered vocals, sharp guitars, and their handy Linn Drum Machine (which played a big part in their last album) comes together beautifully. 


‘Big Big Smiles’ reflects on hidden emotions and how we tend to mask feelings of sadness or depression. Southward said on the single, “On reflection I think this song is about depression that hides behind a smile. How people’s true feelings can be masked by a fake smile and how sometimes the saddest people, can smile the brightest. The song sounds quite disjointed and maniacal in places, which gives a sense of the true feelings forcing their way through.”


With more new music on the way very soon, we can’t wait to hear what Wasuremono has coming up next. 


Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)



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Check out our interview with Wasuremono from May 2019 here

Now Playing: Robbie & Mona – 'Wallpaper'

 

Photo by Ellie Gray


Bristol-based lo-fi glitch-pop duo Robbie & Mona, the project of William Carkeet and Eleanor Gray, recently shared their latest single ‘Wallpaper’. The track is set to appear on their forthcoming debut album EW, due for release on January 29th via Spinny Nights. 


The dreamlike number sees the duo blend together delicate and ethereal vocals with glowing and swaying synths, resulting in something ever-so-magical. According to Mona, ‘Wallpaper’ is about an out-of-body experience of sorts, where you feel like a passive observer of the world around you. “It’s about feeling quite passive and ghost-like, like you’re in the wrong realm, just an observer. The intro vocals were delivered without any thought in a bit of a daze. I think the tightness of the music was weirdly inspired by Napoleon Dynamite. We were watching it and really enjoyed how all the songs towards the end were just so deadpan.”


Robbie also added on the song’s construction, “I tried to create an audio palette for each song on the album, and I saw this song as very tight and blocky, like a wheel of primary colours. Everything sounds really tight and in a box, the drums especially.”


Get aquatinted with Robbie & Mona and their single ‘Wallpaper’ below.


Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)





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Feature: The Anatomy of 'Crybaby' with Dreamer Boy

Monday, November 9, 2020



Nashville-based rising star Dreamer Boy last month unveiled ‘Crybaby’. Written after a psychedelic experience, the lush and enchanting slice of indie-pop is a tender and reflective ode to “friendships, courage, and love.” Dreamer Boy recently took some time out to take us through ‘Crybaby’ and what makes the track so special. 


I wrote ‘Crybaby’… In order to release something that had been building up for a while. This song is freedom from the barriers we put up in front of ourselves. Hug your friend, tell someone you love them, chase your dreams. I hope that people gain that sense of freedom from this song.


The story behind ‘Crybaby’… It was a time of growing, but I had to let myself grow, I was holding on to too many things. I took some mushrooms and had a really long cry on FaceTime with a friend who I missed dearly. I felt like it was much needed. 


My favourite lyric is… “I saw violet in the sky, I see the beauty around me”


My main inspiration was… My friendships at the time, and the person I loved moving to Paris and not having the words to tell them I loved them. I felt like life was moving so fast and I couldn’t slow it down.


It sounds best when… You are driving in the car at night and the trees above you have a blue-lit background of the sky and the stars. 



Check out ‘Crybaby’ by Dreamer Boy below.





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Now Playing: LIME – ‘Fever’

 

Photo by Percy Walker-Smith


After leaving a memorable first impression with their exhilarating debut single ’Surf N Turf’, up-and-coming Brighton-based four-piece LIME have returned with another catchy track, this time with ‘Fever’. The single was released alongside the accompanying music video, which was directed and produced by Jay Bartlett.


‘Fever’ is an intriguing number that sees the band reflect on the inner psyche of Generation Z. Along with being thought-provoking and interesting on a lyrical level, ‘Fever’ will also dazzle listeners with its enticing rhythm and undeniable confidence. 


With shows in the UK now cancelled, you can look forward to an upcoming live session on November 19th. The session features LIME appearing alongside Katy J Pearson, recorded at Battersea Arts Centre for The Close Encounter Club. Click here for more information. 


It might be their second-ever single, however, LIME continues to leave us hooked with each gem they release. We can't wait to hear more from them soon. 


Dive into ‘Fever’ below. 


Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)




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Feature: The Anatomy of 'Not Ready For Love' with Tyne-James Organ

Friday, October 30, 2020
Photo by Jack Shepperd 


This month, Tyne-James Organ returned with a brand new single, this time with his soaring new track ’Not Ready For Love’. Designed for dancing and crying simultaneously, the exquisite ‘Not Ready For Love’ sees the Melbourne-based artist wear his heart on his sleeve. To celebrate the release of the video and single, he recently took some time to explore how 'Not Ready For Love' came to be.


I wrote ‘Not Ready For Love’… in June 2019 when I was up at The Grove studios (central coast NSW) for a writing trip. This particular day I was put with Sam Phay and Jol Mulholland. I’d worked with Sam earlier that year back in Melb, but never with Jol. We jumped straight into it. Being in the main control room at The Grove and writing was a sick experience. So much historical music has been recorded in that room so to write one in there from scratch was a treat. A very special energy. Mind you the amount of beers we had helped too and when then Jameson came out I knew the song was bound to be great haha. We spent the whole day and night working through this and by 12am we were drunk skunks adding slide guitar over it with beer bottles and at one point Sam was strumming a guitar whilst I played the chords. About 6 months later I took the song to my long time friend and producer Chris Collins and we turned the demo into what you now hear. We had Andrew Banovich drum and George Georgadis master, so for me, the whole team effort in the making of NRFL was a dream for me.


The story behind ‘Not Ready For Love’… is one you’ll never know, but is another sad sop of a bop from me. However, this time I set out to explore the approach in more of a way of celebration and understanding. I find myself dancing and crying every time I listen. It’s great.


My fave lyric is… “Honey I wasn’t angry, I was grieving. Caught in a moment where all I knew was you”. I won’t elaborate as I like you to take what you will from my lyrics. But that’s my fav.


My main inspiration… was a lil pain in the top left of me chest. 


It sounds best.... when you’re dancing and crying.


Watch 'Not Ready For Love' by Tyne-James Organ below:


Upcoming tour dates:

Thursday, 12th November - Wollongong Uni Bar, Wollongong 

Friday, 13th November - Narrabeen RSL, Narrabeen 

Saturday, 21st November -  The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle

Saturday, 28th November - Oxford Art Factory, Sydney 

Friday, 4th December - The Northern Byron Day 


Click here for more information 


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Now Watching: PREGOBLIN – ‘Snakes & Oranges’

 


With Halloween right around the corner, UK duo PREGOBLIN has unveiled their spooky new single ‘Snakes & Oranges’. They’ve also unleashed the accompanying music video for the single that sees them draw upon horror-inspired themes. 


The video is an expansion of the eerie and startling lyrics, which the duo notes are about violence. Directed, edited and produced by Niall Trask, the music clip also reflects on violence in its varying forms. They said, “The following video uses archetypes we share. Violence in a family home. An authoritarian police-like but infantile father. An owl-like mother is all seeing but silent — all references in the costumes.”


Also adding on the video, “Jess plays a young teen where her only respite is time with a pet and bedroom. She is scared by watching a horror movie. She hears a noise and goes to check the house stopping to pick up weapons along the way. She selects a pitchfork — the horror movie staple and a buster of feminist Simone De Beauvoir and then nunchaku. But the noise is just her parents returning home after walking their pet snakes. They are Twit-like with bad personal hygiene habits. They begin to argue. Jessica’s mum shouts: ‘Jessica you know your father has an ectoplasmic titanium skeleton.’ Something my geek mate at school claimed to have had was surgery to replace his body with a titanium skeleton.”


Check out ‘Snakes & Oranges’ by PREGOBLIN below.


Written by Kristy Smolcic



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Now Watching: Willie J Healey – 'Heavy Traffic'

Thursday, October 29, 2020

 


Amongst the chaos of 2020, Willie J Healey revealed his highly-anticipated sophomore album Twin Heavy. The critically-acclaimed 12-track offering shared via Yala! Records features Healey at his best and is a must-listen. The album is also home to his current single ‘Heavy Traffic’. 


The electrifying cut came to Healey mid-flight, where he was observing the many happenings surrounding him. He said, “I wrote 'Heavy Traffic' whilst on a flight. I effectively stole conversations people around me were having. I couldn’t believe it, they wrote it for me; south facing condos, nightmares and the notebook. I remember crying on that flight.”


The video, directed by Joe Wheatley and starring choreography by Vicki Heathcote, sees Healey talk about the possibility of hiring twelve ballet dancers. His wish becomes a reality, with him dancing up a storm with the ballerinas surrounding him. 


Watch Willie J Healey’s new video for ‘Heavy Traffic’ below. 


Written by Kristy Smolcic 



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Now Playing: RINSE – ‘Back Into Your Arms’ (ft. Hatchie)

 

Photo by Leigh Agius


Brisbane-based artist RINSE (the project of Joe Agius) has just unleashed his brand new single, this time coming through with the ever-so-dreamy ‘Back Into Your Arms’. The captivating number is set to make an appearance on his much-anticipated debut EP Wherever I Am, which will be independently released on March 5th next year. 


Originally Agius intended on writing ‘Back Into Your Arms’ for Hatchie. After falling in love with the song, he decided to hold onto it and instead asked her to feature on the track with him. “Harriette’s vocals sounded so great accompanying mine on the demo we decided it would be a perfect opportunity to make her an official feature, since we both loved the song so much,” said Agius. 


His moving new single was inspired by stirring feelings of longing and the obstacles the pandemic has caused for couples in long-distance relationships. Agius notes on the lyrics, “I finished the lyrics earlier this year after watching a lot of my friends' struggle to maintain long distance relationships through the pressures brought on by COVID-19 and the past year. Each verse is from a different person's view during different stages of a relationship, while the choruses fantasise about the idea that just being in each other's arms is enough to make it work.”


Check out RINSE’s beautiful new track ’Back Into Your Arms’ (ft Hatchie) below. 


Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)



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Now Playing: Black Country, New Road – ‘Science Fair’

Photo by Maxwell Grainger
 


Over the past few years, Black Country, New Road have been gathering a bit of buzz thanks to their impressive and noteworthy early singles, including ’Sunglasses’ and ‘Athen's, France’, as well as their thrilling and much-talked-about live shows in the UK. The Speedy Wunderground alumni have also recently signed with Ninja Tune. They’ve also got an album on the way, with their debut For the first time due on February 5th next year. 


Listening to Black Country, New Road’s startling single will leave you on the edge of your seat, eagerly anticipating what turn ’Science Fair’ will head in next. According to the band, their intention for ’Science Fair’ was to emulate the live experience. Lewis Evans said, “We wanted it to sound exactly how we love to sound live.” Issac Wood added on, “This is basically representative of our first 18 months.


If ’Science Fair’ is anything to go off, Black Country, New Road have something special cooking up for their debut album. 


Listen to ’Science Fair’ by Black Country, New Road below.


Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)




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Now Playing: HighSchool – ‘New York, Paris and London’

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


Melbourne-based HighSchool proves why they’re ones-to-watch with their stirring new number ‘New York, Paris and London’. Featuring Rory, Lilli and Scotty, they released their brilliant debut track ‘Floating’ also this year. Their brand new single coincides with the big news of their signing to UK label Dalliance Recordings. 


Though HighSchool’s sound is home to a mix of 80s new wave stirred in with the ferocity of industrial post-punk, they’re no imitation, instead, they infuse their own flavour into their sound and make it entirely their own — they bring something very unique to Australia’s music climate and it’s very exciting. 


On the new single, Lilli said, “‘New York Paris and London’ exposes peer validation that exists in settings where criticism is common. It suggests that dreaming and manifesting is as meaningful as our ambitions coming to fruition. New York, Paris and London are three highly desirable, yet clichéd destinations that symbolise the elusiveness of our own self expectations.”


With an EP in the works and due for release in early 2021, big things are coming HighSchool’s way very soon. 


Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)




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Now Playing: Youth Valley – 'Young Sad Lovers'

Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Photo by Alexandra Diona


Up-and-coming Greek duo Youth Valley this month shared their debut self-titled EP. Initially a trio, they became a two-piece after guitarist George Piaditis left the band, leaving Dean Jola on drums/vocals and Joseph Powell on lead vocals/guitars. 


Though their debut is their first-ever official offering, they’ve been making music for quite some time now. They describe in their Spotify bio as music being something they’ve used as an outlet to help deal with life and its many turns, especially when navigating your late 20s and early 30s. They say, “We made music, to survive. And now we have decided to stop keeping it to ourselves.” 


The EP is home to three very special tracks, but we’re especially drawn to ‘Young Sad Lovers’. The poignant number sees the duo blend elements of 80s-inspired pop, shoegaze and new wave, resulting in something incredibly magical. Accompanying the beautiful track are equally as mesmerising visuals directed by Alexandra Diona.


Check out ‘Young Sad Lovers’ by Athens-based duo Youth Valley below. 


Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)




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Now Playing: Priestgate – 'Summ(air)'

Monday, October 26, 2020
Photo by Stewart Baxter


For much of the Northern Hemisphere, summer arrived and passed unknowingly due to pandemic — resulting in a summer much different from the one’s that have past during years prior. East Yorkshire five-piece Priestgate reflects on their summer with their soaring and addictive new single ‘Summ(air)’.


Though the track is buoyant and vibrant, there’s a certain melancholic feeling that overcomes you as soon as you press play. The contrasting elements, including the captivating and dreamlike soundscapes mixed with the track’s punk-like vocals work together beautifully. The band said on ‘Summ(air)’, “We wanted to write a song that epitomises the feeling of nostalgia when the sun comes and goes in a Great British Summer.”


The new single marks their third-ever offering and we can’t wait to hear what they serve-up next. Listen to ‘Summ(air)’ by Priestgate below.


Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)




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Now Playing: CHAI – 'Donuts Mind If I Do'

Friday, October 23, 2020
(Photo by Kodai Ikemitsu)


Dynamic Japanese quartet CHAI earlier this month shared their latest single 'Donuts Mind If I Do', coinciding with news of their major signing to Sub Pop. 


'Donuts Mind If I Do' has a daydream-like quality that makes it feel like your troubles are worlds away. Featuring dreamlike layered vocals and laidback instrumentation, it's the type of song we all need right now. CHAI said on the track, "When you’re feeling vigorous, when you’re feeling sick, You like what you like!  No changing that! Even if what I like is as simple as a donut <3. It’s this type of song!"


The accompanying visuals, directed by Hideto Hotta, shows the four-piece sitting by a grassy hill, enjoying colourful donuts. Hotta explains the concept behind the video:


"On an all-white table cloth, eating donuts, sits CHAI.  They can even sip on the tea in the teapot if they’d like! Ultimately time passes, and the elderly CHAI is still there, enjoying their last supper in the middle of the meadow, white-table cloth and all eating their donuts.  CHAI changes physically, but one thing that does stand still is them living in their truth. If finding true happiness is one of the goals the human race is constantly in search of, then conveying this in this visual, spreading what happiness means to CHAI, to me, is something I feel is important in us living in our truths."


Check out 'Donuts Mind If I Do' by CHAI below. 


Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)


 


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Now Playing: MorMor – 'Don't Cry'

Thursday, October 22, 2020


Photo by Kyle Berger


Toronto-based artist MorMor has returned with a brand new single, this time with his poignant number 'Don't Cry'. The track is his first offering of 2020 and has been accompanied by mesmerising visuals created by Titmouse and directed by Otto Tang. 

'Don't Cry' is home to moving words such as, "I'm tired of the taste / Playing hard in the cold / Spend nights wearing thin / Felt silence / I'm tired of the days / They came and went / We were left alone / Find it hard to breathe."

MorMor began writing again late last year, but when the world became a much different place in March, it didn't feel right to keep on working on music. MorMor said, "Though I tried to continue writing it didn’t feel right. I was told I was being hard on myself, but I have always used music as a way of making sense of things. Suddenly there were just too many things to make sense of: A Global pandemic, the sudden lockdown, shortly followed by the protests. Voices were raised around the world because people have had enough. Mourning has become so painful that people are demanding changes. I felt I had to reflect that. Tears have fallen and we can no longer pretend that we’re not all in this together."

Check out 'Don't Cry' by MorMor below. 

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)



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Now Watching: Crack Cloud – 'Favour Your Fortune'

Wednesday, October 21, 2020


Innovative Vancouver-based collective Crack Cloud has revealed the video for their explosive single 'Favour Your Fortune'. The song is cut from their impressive and thought-provoking debut album PAIN OLYMPICS, which was released into the world back in July. 

Featuring pro-skater Joe Buffalo, the self-made video for 'Favour Your Fortune' reflects on the disastrous war on drugs sweeping not only North America but also the rest of world — particularly on the ways it has been used to create a continuous cycle of increased imprisonment, racial divide and hate, as well as death. The video also opens up with a powerful and moving collection of words by Eris Nyx of the Coalition of Peers Dismantling the Drug War (C.P.D.D.W).

The video's startling subject matter is also channelled lyrically, especially with words such as, "So young to start conceiting / Every steps a misdemeanour / Always on the run / From the guilt inside its like a fever / High strung without volition / One toke away from twitching / All wounds resurface in the night / Eighteen with no remission."

Watch Crack Cloud's mesmerising visuals for 'Favour Your Fortune' below.

Written by Kristy Smolcic 



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Feature: The Anatomy of 'Best I Ever Had' with LAUREL

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

 

(Photo by Kamila K Stanley)


A lot has changed in LAUREL's life since working on her highly-acclaimed debut album Dogviolet — her perspective has shifted, she's found solace, she's madly in love and has relocated to Los Angeles. These changes in her life have led to two very special songs in 2020, including 'Scream Drive Faster' and more recently 'Best I Ever Had'. LAUREL has also joined forces with producer Chrome Sparks for 'Best I Ever Had' and her new music, which came about after a chance meeting in Brooklyn. To celebrate the release of 'Best I Ever Had', she recently took some time out to explore the dreamy single for us below.


I wrote ‘Best I Ever Had’… in London last year. At the time, it was quite a melancholic song. I then took it to New York and collaborated on it with Chrome Sparks, which transformed it into the upbeat summery song it has become.


The story behind ‘Best I Ever Had’… Falling in love during the summer in the city. Trying to cool things down and act sane so you don’t scare them off but you kinda can’t help but get in deep and fast.


My favourite lyric is… I said I’m ready for this paradise, paradise, paradise. Such hell, such paradise. 


My main inspiration was… Falling hard in love.


It sounds best when… You’re driving, preferably through a desert, roof down, nowhere to go in particular. 


Check out 'Best I Ever Had' by LAUREL below:


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Now Playing: Gustaf – 'Mine'


(Photo by Adam Lempel)


Brooklyn art-punk band Gustaf has released their exhilarating first single 'Mine'. The release of the track coincides with news of their signing to Royal Mountain Records, the label behind such acts as Pottery, US Girls and Wolf Parade. They're also set to release 'Mine' on 7" on December 4th (pre-order it here). 

It might be Gustaf's first official single but they're not exactly newcomers, having received a bit of buzz over the past few years for their thrilling live shows in NYC. 

According to Gustaf's Lydia Gammill, the punchy number is about someone having a distorted sense of entitlement. "Someone who feels attacked or like they’re being pushed out of their own world and not getting the credit they deserve. Someone with a delusional sense of self whose anger and frustration is humorous like the superintendent in a college frat movie. The opening lines make it seem like the narrator is being criticizing by someone else and they’re retaliation is like 'you’ve got to be kidding me, you can’t say that about me! I invented water you punk!' …. sort of."

Get acquainted with Gustaf and their debut single 'Mine' below. 

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)



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