Category Archives: Single Release Review

[Exclusive] Interview with Artist On the Verge of Creative Fulfillment: Wafia

“I just want to create things that have a breath of fresh air”

Australian singer/songwriter, Wafia, is the next artist to watch for on your musical radar. Wafia is only 24 years-old, but her voice speaks wonders as she transcends barriers of genres and sounds. She is an artist whom has created a beautiful list of tracks to develop her artistry in a category known as “left-of-center”.

“Better Not” is her most recent release, which is in collaboration with renown electronic producer Louis the Child. The song is fun, light hearted, sweet and harmless. It carries your soul through the summer and reminds you of poolside gatherings, road trips, beach getaways, and endless days in the sun. The feeling emoted by the reverbs of this track is “feel good.” It’s the kind of song you would use to sum up what a good day would be like. It’s a summer lullaby that will blissfuly take you away to its own universe.

Nonetheless, the song is a heartbreak melody about not fooling m yourself when you see true love straight in the eye and then try to pretend it’s not real–how wrong you are.

Don’t overthink it
Let it go and try to trust the feeling
You know it in your gut you’re healing
From every time that you’ve been hurt before
I see it, I see it
It’s true love, don’t fake it
You better not, you better not

The lyrics, though short, and simple, really pack a punch when placed by the duality of these two artists. As I sat on call with the singer herself, I could tell in her soft-spoken, thoughtful voice, that every song is given much love and care.

When I asked Wafia what she was currently out in LA doing, she mentioned that she was out at Coachella performing with Louis the Child and is now just writing at the moment. (That’s always good news coming from an artist; it means more music!)

Now, being of Iraqi and Syrian descent, I was curious to know if her cultural influences were ever reflected in her music?

“I think it comes subconsciously, I realize I don’t need to make a great effort to include it because I think it breathes through me. I don’t need to include Arabic or something in everything that I do because just me existing in itself is me including my Middle Eastern background… Not every song calls for that kind of influence all the time. But I think it’s in my melodies, it’s in the subjects I talk about, but only if it’s required”, she responds thoughtfully.

I delved deeper into the sound that she does embody, which is something more “left-of-center”. I was curious to know if there had been a clear defined path to this sound, or if it was something she had to experiment with and decipher. “It did take time to figure out, but I came to realize that I love a lot of different music and that I kind of want to do it all. I realized that I want the common thread in my music to just be my voice, or my story, or my perspective, as opposed to a style of genre or a style of production. It took me 2 -3 years to figure that out. To me it’s all about what the song asks for. You know if a song wants to lean a certain direction or requires something, who am I to say ‘No no no’… it’s just about finding that balance I found.”

As mentioned earlier, Wafia had a chance to perform live with Louis the Child in front of 50,000 people at Coachella this year! The artist was not scared though explaining how it is easiest for her to perform for 50 people rather than for more than that. She considers it easier because she really can’t see all of the crowd’s faces and the stage begins to feel like she is “playing in my own world”, says the songstress.

To list just a few of the artists she wishes she could collaborate with, Wafia mentioned “there was a time I would have said Kanye, but now I’m not so sure” she chuckles,” I’d love to do something with like Kendrick or even like Pharrell–I feel like it would be cool to do something with Imogen Heap, ya , like something super unique and beautiful and soundscap-y”. The artist also mentioned how she would love to work with producer Brian Eno (James Blake) someday.

To her, a lot of her influences that shaped songwriting for her were artists such as Shania Twain (whom was the first artist album she was  ever given), SZA, and Solange. Usually, she would enjoy writing music to more melancholic tunes, but lately she’s been feeling less somber and more energetic and vibrant. “I’m more inspired by fun things right now, I just want to create things that have a breath of fresh air. There was a time in my life when I thought things weren’t dark enough…but now I just want to make music that makes people feel good”.

She continues, “I actually really love Drake–his production style is really inspiring to me–especially songs like ‘Passionfruit'”.

I then got to ask my favorite questions about what color she would describe herself as and it was awesome that her color to describe herself is “desert orange” and that her fun facts were that she speaks 3 languages: Arabic, English and Dutch, and that she has a toy poodle named Khalil (after the poet Khalil Gibran).

Her biggest advice to aspiring artists would be to “be patient and make sure you really know about your career and also how you want to be represented, before you bring anyone into your project, a manager, or otherwise. And hold on to your publishing for as long as possible.”

I was completely honored to speak to Wafia, because I can tell her work is going to exciting places and reaching new heights very soon. She is “constantly #ontheverge of creative fulfillment but never there” but constantly working towards it.

Follow Wafia on Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, Twitter, and Website

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Out There Impels You to “Risk It All” with New Single Ft. Blake Rose

Making some risks this summer

As EDM has taken over much of the music industry, it’s nice to see every once in a while artists who are still bending and playing with the sounds that electronica can expand to. That includes Out There’s recent release that dropped today “Risk It All” featuring the vocals of Blake Rose. The track is a great summer 2018 single that helps you escape your head for a moment and makes you question why you haven’t just did what was wanted to be done?

The pop-electronic single is a vibrant escapade that delves further into a tunnel of static, sound, tunes and tones. The end result? A song  that sounds like a melodic heartache based on a love lost due to risks taken because of a lack of self-control.

It’s a head-banging worthy single, but also a sweet serenade. The lyrics are simple, but the voice perfectly aligns with the composition produced by Out There, and it all comes together in this perfect chaotic harmony. Rose impels the question of existential being, desire, unknowing, and then reminds us how no matter these circumstances, we are still willing to risk it all.

The track even demonstrates the production capabilities that Out There has mastered, balancing the vocals perfectly with a hard-hitting soundtrack that gets the blood pumping and the mind racing.

The man behind the music is Sam Perlow, an LA-Native who demonstrates his talent through the many years of experience he has had learning about it. He studied piano at a young age, graduated from Scratch Academy (where he learned how to DJ), and  the continued his education at Berklee College of Music. The man behind the voice is Blake Rose, an Australian-born singer with millions of streams across both YouTube and Spotify. Together, they bring you “Risk It All”.

Out There has plenty of tracks to go as the summer holds many exciting new projects for the young producer. So of course, this means we will all have to stay tuned to see what more he will bring to the table.

Be sure to listen to the track above, add it to your summer playlists (I know it will be on my running playlist!), and follow Out There on socials: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

[Exclusive Interview]: lovelytheband & New Song “these are my friends”

lovelytheband is a good definition of what euphoric melancholy would sound like. Being #1 on Alternative for 4 weeks in a row, nearing 1 million streams per week, and ranking the 68th most searched band on Shazam, the boys are definitely in a good place right now.

I spoke to Mitchy Collins, the lead singer of the band, about their release that dropped today “these are my friends”, the band, and more to get a better sense behind the making of the track and the the guys themselves.

lovelytheband is formed by the three musicians: lead vocals Collins, guitarist Jordan Greenwald, and drummer Sam Price. They are currently on the road and still have a lot more stops to make on their tour. As the tour ends in Minneapolis, MN, June 29th, they also prepare themselves to perform at some major festivals this season including: Hangout Festival, Lollapalooza, and Billboard Hot 100 (just to name a few).

The guys are happy and able to boast how they have made placements on Spotify curated playlists like Digging Nowand Rock This. It doesn’t seem like the good vibes and achievements will stop anytime soon, as the two continue to ride this wave of musical affluence.

The new single, “these are my friends”, which hit New Music Friday today on Spotify, is a happy sound with a deeper meaning. The simplicity of the track is what really makes it somewhat stand out on its own as a feel good and thoughtful track. It’s a sing along for the soul when things get rough and what you can look back on is the support of your friendships who get you through the hardships. The music is the perfect balance of pop-indie rock. The single is an anthemic tune with a sweet melody. Collins’ croons, Greenwald’s strums, and Price’s beats all come together in this circle of hopefulness. It’s that sweet teenage angst and summer getaway song that everyone needs and wants in their life–a song to chant together in total delirium.

“Everybody needs a pick me up / but I should probably slow it down / but it’s pretty good company / it cheers me up when I feel bad / these are my insecurities that keep me going / these are my friends, these are my friends, I love them”sing the guys.

Collins was in a great mood when I spoke with him the other day. They had just completed their performance that weekend at SunFest in Palm Springs, Florida. Collins is the only one from New Jersey, while the other two band-mates are originally from LA, where they reside now. LA would also become the birthplace of lovelytheband, their first mark on the music scene, and their rise to fame. Through a series of back and forth communication, the band came to be and the guys rolled out their hit single “broken”, which has currently over 12 million streams.

When I asked Collins what the new single was about, he knew the answer right away. “That song is all about all the good and bad parts about me–I touch on that stuff a lot obviously in our music…whether I like it or not, good or bad, they make me the person I am and I wouldn’t change any of it because it’s brought me to where I am in life. I’m very fortunate to be doing what we’re doing. But also the song touches on these are my friends, I love them, they’re the people  that are there for me when I’m down”. The artist humbly explains the  track to me, and I’m sure many of us can empathize.

“I like to keep it pretty honest”, admits the singer/songwriter.

Collins also hinted to there being much more lovelytheband music, videos, and tours to come in the near future that fans can look out and get excited for.

Collins had some really interesting answers when it came to asking him who he would want the band to collaborate with if they could with anyone for their next track. At first, he mentioned “Weird Al” and then “Frank Ocean”. If they could tour with anyone as well, Collins said that it would be awesome for lovelytheband to perform with LANY or Bon Iver. That would definitely be an awesome concert to attend.

When I asked him what he thinks he would say is the most important aspect about connecting with the fans, he confidently answered, “The fans are the most important. All we are, are just songs, you know, the fans are the reason we get to call this work, and make this a living. A little bit goes a long way, whether people are realizing it or not…Remembering why you’re here is because they’re there”. He believes that engaging with your fans is so important to keep the relationship strong and let them know you’re there for them and you see their love and support.

I also asked the vocalist if he thought the band would always follow this sound, or if their new music are different from their old project, to which he replied, “we’re always evolving–lovelytheband is what it is right now, but I can’t promise it is going to always sound like this”.

I had to ask if the guys had any hidden talents. “I’m really good at the claw games in arcades, Sam is an iOS, Apple enthusiast. He gives us classes on all of the new iOS updates, we call it Apple With Sam. And Jordan is exceptionally tall and a good person”, he says through laughs.

We moved the conversation then to what would be one thing the band would want to do that they haven’t had the chance to do yet. “Sell out an arena, and playing on SNL is a big one”.

Taking things on a more comical route, I asked Collins if lovelytheband has a favorite photo or video that they really love, and below you can see the photo that he directed me to which is posted on their Instagram feed three times. It’s pretty great.

🛁

A post shared by lovelytheband (@lovelytheband) on

The advice he had for other aspiring young musicians who especially want to pursue this life in the music industry was sincere: “Don’t give up, persistence is key, and songwriting, focus on that above all else. You get that right everything falls into place. Just  be honest with it, don’t try to be someone you’re not”.

Collins finished off our chat by filling in the blank  our traditional slogan. What he said is that they are #OnTheVerge of becoming grossly overweight because of all of the fast food we have been eating.

Be sure to stay tuned and follow the guys on Instagram, Spotify, Facebook, and Twitter.

Moontower is the Next Band to Keep on Your Radar – “William”

Get Her Back

Welcoming the sound of edgy electronica comes the emerging band Moontower.  This trio originates from Los Angeles, and have been on the path to creative recognition as they release their first single “William” (which released on April 25th) and have performed for live shows all over Southern California for more than half a year. Before all of the buzz they received though, these guys were doing it all makeshift, redesigning spaces form backyards to living rooms into the musical experiences that people could enjoy and feel connected to. With that all said, Moontower has had exciting opportunities to open for headlining artist like Bad Suns and Yungblud, as well as playing a few festivals!

With Moontower’s first track exposed, they were delighted to find that it has already racked up over 66K streams and has been placed on a Spotify curated playlist “Fresh Finds: Poptronix”.  The band itself boasts over 45K monthly listeners, which is extremely impressive for a band that, only until just recently, released one song on streaming platforms!

Now back to the song! “William” is tale about a young man that the band fabricated of their own imagination. The protagonist, William Hollywood, is from suburban USA, but it seems his life is not as monotonous as the white picket fences seem, as like any love story, he embarks on a journey to rescue the love of his life. The story line will thicken and grow as the band continues to release new music, and with each song, we get another piece of the narrative.

With a peculiar image of an orange juice carton as their cover art and the presence of oranges in their press photos, these guys are undoubtedly going to be something fresh, quirky, and above all else, fascinating to watch as they add to the industry scene of indie-electronic music. The song is both epic and mellow. It has a superhero-esque tone and the softness of an indie vocalist. With beeps and other noises incorporated to build the sound, we get a wonderfully wicked and sweet melange of a song that packs a punch like a glass of OJ. It’s got that tang to it when the tempo changes at just the right moments. Right as it gets soft, you get a sick guitar riff to that reminds listeners of nostalgic classic rock music. The well-constructed song demonstrates the talent boys have, who still have more to come.

This track is certainly not their last, and there is plenty of time to see where these three amigos take their musical endeavors. They have a lot in store  for their listeners, so until then, keep listening to “William” above and follow the guys on socials: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Sleeping Lion Serenades the Heart with New Single “Easy For You”

 

A song that both lulls you to sleep and leaves you alone at night; a song that comforts the heart and reminds you of heartbreak; a track that dances on the edge of making it easier for you.

The kings of contradictory emotions and copious amounts of feels are back with this stunning new single “Easy For You”. This track gives Sleeping Lion’s usual sound a makeover including a more pop-filled melody and a more subtle electronic composition that sits in the back of your mind like a carousel of wistful memories.

It’s a beautiful single that Sleeping Lion (Nate Flaks and Noah McGuire) can proudly add to their track list as the guys are continuously working on new songs to release over the summer season. The song is a mid-tempo exhale as you finally come to terms with whatever or whomever it was that kept you fastened to the past. What makes it so unique is that it’s this mixture of raw vocals and metallic beats. The new sound the LA-based duo produce on this record is reminiscent of a faster-paced “Say Something” by A Great Big World, triggering the same emotional symptoms. You just can’t help but sing along to the track as Flaks and McGuire sing vigorously to the lyrics “I don’t have the room to take you with me / I got too much baggage in the back of my car”… followed by “Let this be the end of it”, and then “If you never want to see me again, I made it easy for you”.

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“I made it easy for you”… just those 6 words alone in one sentence are so powerful and frustrating–they hold a melancholic allure coated by notes of bittersweetness.

The duo don’t plan to stop here, as they are gearing up to keep sharing new tracks with us. “Easy For You” follows their last release “Stop It”, which was released via Majestic Casual Records and was a hit amongst the press. In the past, these curators of electro-indie sound have been praised by media outlets like HillyDilly, Indie Shuffle, EARMILK, and The Line of Best Fit. They have also earned features on Spotify’s “Chill Vibes” and “Electronic Vibes” playlists, as well as have played as opening acts for concerts of Vesperteen, Transviolet, and Brasstracks.

The two artists had been in Boston in the past few years, and the desire to leave and start new didn’t quite hit them until a series of episodes from both life and love gave them that extra push to pack up and leave for the creative sunshine out in Los Angeles.

Flaks breaks down the single, explaining that “The first verse is very apologetic… I’m this way, I’m sorry for being this way and making it easy for her to want to leave… But as the song progresses, it becomes more about taking ownership of that sort of stuff. It moves from this song for her to this song for me.” It’s a notable change, the guys go from their past sounds found in Patient Creature that were once so formed by electronic trills, layers, and spirals to something simpler, “folkier”, and calmer.

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The guys are just beginning their journey of introspection and self-actualization as bit-by-bit and note-by-note, they produce a sound closer to the essence of Sleeping Lion.

“During this move, driving to Los Angeles with Noah, it was this long, straight road,” Flaks reflectively states. “And it didn’t matter if you were going 30 miles per hour or 100 miles per hour, it was just this one straight road for hours and hours and hours. And I just had to believe that I’d eventually be in California. That’s how I feel about my life right now. I could go 30 or 100 and it would be the same road right now, but I have to believe I’m moving towards something. If that’s the case, you might as well go 100.”

Flaks continues, “Leaving wasn’t easy, but hopefully whatever comes next will be worth it.”

Well, this song is the definition of simultaneously going 30 and 100 on this road of the music world, and I have a feeling this song, as well as the ones to come, will definitely be worth it.

Be sure to check out the guys on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, their Websiteand Spotify.

“Easy For You” is available now across all digital streaming platforms.

Mr Koo Charms You With New Indie-Jazz Single, “About You”: Listen

Mr Koo is the coolest.

Mr Koo is the formation of talented musicians coming together to create a group that delivers the 50s style rock and roll, indie-jazz vibes you’ll fall in love with all over again. Today, they release their newest single “About You” (produced by Jack Mullin), and it’s sure to capture your heart by the strings and take you way to some island getaway. It’s a song that’s both relatable and dreamy, placing you in a fantasy of love and longing.

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The song itself is a trip on the beach, in the car, in the air, on a boat, strolling through the park–it’s practically everywhere. With a calming energy of its own, you can hear the character in Rodgers’ voice as it is elevated by the bass, drums, and guitar encompassing the track. With hints of twines here and soft beats throughout the composition, you are forced to ~chill~. Though a song about heartaches and memories, it’s the optimistic tone that keeps you in orbit and nodding your head and swaying to the passion in the soft-spoken melody. “About You” is a representation of broken love, with sprinkles of bliss and topped by the perspective of a hopeless romantic still knowing that love exists and that it is just a matter of time before the confusion and melancholia evaporate and love comes back around again.

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The band, Mr Koo, was formed this past year (2017) in the city that never sleeps, New York City. Including musicians:

  • Ollie Rodgers – lead vocals, guitar
  • Matthew Lau – backing vocals, guitar
  • Jake Brickner – bass guitar
  • Drew Shwartz / Nathan Repasz – drums (Nate is the new drummer)

Previously, vocalist Rodgers had produced his very own studio album titled Tropical Weather, and then a single titled “Big Wave Bay”, before becoming a part of this cool band. The group has been creating new songs as they go, preparing themselves for a year hopefully filled with releases so they won’t keep fans waiting.

Rodgers pensively explains the inspiration behind “About You”, saying: “I was in LA last summer doing an internship and was inspired to write this song when I started to doubt that the long distance relationship I was in at the time was going to work out. I remember writing the groovy guitar riff and liked how it prevented the song from being a slow sad one but instead would eventually be really fun to play live.”

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There is much to come for this emerging collective of talented young men, and while we wait, we will play “About You” on repeat until given more of their music.

Be sure to follow the band on Instagramand Facebookto find out more about their live performance dates and what the band is up to!

The next Mr Koo show is at the Delancey in NYC on June 8th! Make sure to check it out!

Artist Spotlight: G-Eyez Releases Music Video for “Sacrifice”

This is a song to relate to, to feel for, and to understand. It’s a song that is meant to cope along with and help you recognize the things you’ve accomplished, the hardships you’ve been dealt, and then a way to go about resolving the issues.

2018 is a big year for G-Eyez’s music and for his career. With his company doing well and his music finally getting the attention it deserves, he’s given his all to make this work. You can hear in his music the raw intensity, the pure love, the agonizing pain, and the true emotion placed into each riff. Even in the music video, real life unfolds before our eyes, as G-Eyez takes us for a ride through his tale of his single “Sacrifice”. With amazing production, impactful scenes, and ominous lighting, we get a very distinct feeling of nostalgia and hardships all in one while watching the visual.

G-Eyez, stands for an abbreviation of “Golden Eyez”.  After 10 years in the difficult whirlwinds that make the music industry, he has now made a place for himself and a name that he can reflect upon with pride. The artist was born in Cambridge, MA and then lived in Texas some years. He has numerous success stories working with artists such as Termanology, Red Café, Joe Budden, and more! In his debut album, the artist takes poetry and redefines it with the elements of his beat-heavy compositions, profound energies, and hypnotic rhythms.

The Boston-based rapper has thus far released his sophomore record “Retro Series” and an EP titled “Chasin’ History”. Currently, he is working on his next EP to follow up the last one and to complete the creative thought process. As if music as a performing artist was not enough, G-Eyez  launched his own publishing company CMB Publishing (Cambridge Music Business Pub Co LLC), and is a partner in a booking agency called Capitol Front Booking, all in 2017.

The artist has been on a crazy, hectic U.S. tour and has performed at every SXSW since 2013 (amongst many others). The connoisseur of hip hop has even opened for major artists such as Rae Sremmurd, Migos, T-Pain, Fabolous, and a few others. There’s no doubt that the trajectory of this artist’s future is  clear in view with positivity and opportunity, and we’ll be here to continue to see him climb!

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Be sure to check him out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Wallows Releases Nostalgic Single “These Days” Worth Not Missing

 

Wallows will be your new indie-rock boy-band that you fall in love with.

The trio (made up of band members: Cole Preston, Braeden Lemasters, and Dylan Minnette) recently released their sweet, daydream-esque single, “These Days”, which comes off their forthcoming debut EP Spring. Already, the guys have began to circulate a buzz as SirusXM Alt Nation’s Critical Cut chose “Pictures of Girls”, another one of their outstanding tracks from the project. Spring is set up with high hopes of being a wonderful production with the help of the Grammy award-winning producer John Congleton (St. Vincent). It is set to be available on April 6th through Atlantic Records. What to expect with this record is a a light-hearted, bright, pure, and infectious take on music that seems to be lacking in a lot the sounds we hear today.

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In preparation, Wallows announced a special release week of performances at Los Angeles’ Amoeba Hollywood on April 5th, Brooklyn’s Rough Trade on April 9th, and at London’s Hoxton Bar & Kitchen on April 14th, which will also be their first ever international endeavor. Tickets for this awesome experience are now on-sale HERE.

Now back to “These Days”–it’s a song that shines a light on your shadow, brings a smile to your face, and keeps the a positive perspective in the forefront of minds. It’s a sweet, yet melancholy single that dips up and down between major and minor chords, and gives you the airy feeling of happy-go-lucky love. It’s the single you’d want to be listening to in your room, away from the stresses of the world, and it’s a good reminder that there are better days ahead. It’s a love song as a whole with vocals that are charming, lyrics that are grin-inducing, and a composition that is atmospheric. Together, it’s as if someone concocted a cocktail of  The Beatles and Passion Pit into one–a killer combo.

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The Los Angeles-based band recently completed their first headlining tour with sold-out shows across the U.S. and Canada, including Los Angeles’ El Rey Theatre and New York City’s Bowery Ballroom. In addition, the guys had the honorable and exciting chance to perform at this year’s SXSW. However, the festival experience doesn’t end there, as this summer they gear up for Lollapalooza!

There’s a bright future for Wallows, and I’m excited where the music takes them.

For a sneak peek into the guys’ plans for their album release, check out the list below:

SPRING TRACK LISTING
1. Ground
2. It’s Only Right
3. Let The Sun In
4. These Days
5. 1980s Horror Film
6. Pictures of Girls

And don’t forget they’re going on tour in these specific cities, so be sure to come out  when you can:

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Follow the guys on social media to stay up to date: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.