This fun indie-pop rock sextet is just what the doctor ordered. Reminiscent of a younger Walk the Moon, these guys control the microphones and airwaves with their sound of pure dancing joy. Sub-Radio is a band to look out for this year as they are creating some really amazing pop-dance music that will bring any body to the dance floor. The band is currently finalizing their upcoming EP and released on of their singles off the album today, “What Are We”.
The track is layered with 80’s dance feels, like that of Two Door Cinema Club and include the charisma of a high energy rock band. The band singing in unison together in the background of the lead vocalist’s lines create a beautiful up-tempo, feel-good song. The music itself is enthusiastic and fluid, and the electric guitar constructs beautiful divots within the composition. The song itself is a powerful track that is about understanding love and what a connection between two people really means after all.
Sub-Radio has already toured the North East, performed for the Cherry Blossom Festival, Celebrate Fairfax, and Firefly 2017; there is not intention of stopping now. With a momentum building, the guys cannot wait to release this highly anticipated project, since the circulation of their 2016 album Same Train//Different Station.
So press play to the single above and dance into oblivion with this worry-free, hypnotic record by Sub-Radio.
The guys are currently on tour now, so be sure to check out the dates for a show near you!
SUB-RADIO TOUR DATES:
Jan 20 - Gypsy Sally's - Washington, DC
Jan 27 - 622 North - Blacksburg, VA
Feb 03 - Reston Craft House, Reston, VA
Feb 23 - Rockwood Music Hall - New York, NY
Feb 24 - Tellus360 - Lancaster, PA
Mar 10 - Sauf Haus Bier Hall & Garden -Washington, DC
If you haven’t heard of her yet, she will be popping up on your radar soon. Saint Sinner is a young, indie-pop artist with a lot of soul and a lot of love for her music. She just released her version of 311’s single “Amber”.
In this rendition of the popular track, she brings sweet, dark tones. With an Amy Shark vibe and a reggaeton twist to this track, it almost becomes the ghost of the song’s past, resuscitating it with an amber hue to posses the “color of its (the song’s) energy”. It’s a swirling lullaby of guitar plucks and seductive vocals caressing you as you drift away into sweet bliss. An interesting fact of the song, making it unique, aside from the fact that it’s sung by the force of the female artist, is that this will be a Soundcloud exclusive because it was recorded on her phone at a Guitar Center!
What should we expect from this songstress? We should be expecting more music at the end of the year, so we get the chance to experience more of the mysterious sultry voice that is Saint Sinner.
Who is Saint Sinner? Well, let’s take you back a step. Saint Sinner grew up in a extremely conservative Christian family. As she grew up, she was never truly attuned to music, graduated high school early, and checked out of the states to pursue a life in South Africa. In what was a self-reflecting and growing experience, she identified herself, fell in love with a woman, and picked up guitar, slowly building her musical capability.
The 21-year old intends to grab attention and to continue to be a designer of sound. “This is what feeds me as an artist. Creating calm in chaos”, says the now at peace artist with a mind filled with exotic and eccentric ideas.
The artist is living in Southern California, on the path to paving a new genre of her own with the velvety vocals her talent provides and the impact she plans to create.
“My name is Jaymes Young, I’m originally from Seattle, Washington, and I make music.” Meet the mastermind behind one of the most beautiful album’s of the summer, Jaymes Young (also James McFarland). Though a man from Seattle, he moved to Los Angeles in 2012 to continue doing just what he said he does, to make music.
“When I grew up, there was a lot of music in the house, my parents played all kinds of music. I mean I was just inspired by the variety and they listened to music while they cooked, while they cleaned, every time we were in the car. So, I think that was the first catalyst.
Today, Young is a Please Rewind/Atlantic Records recording artist with a full-length album on his list of completed achievements. The album is titled Feel Something (released June 23, 2017), and it’s an alluring rendezvous to the erotic desires and haunting dark corners in love. The album is now available on Spotify and the album has thus far accumulated over 30 million streams since its release!
So, we had the chance to catch up with Young before his opening act for the pop-duo phenomenon Oh Wonder, at the House of Blues in Boston, MA. This sensual songster, caught us by surprise because we knew his emphatic and vivid lyrics from his music, but instead we were introduced to a very soft-spoken, down-to-earth man.
A man who has had recognition from sources in the industry such as EARMILK stating, “The release of Feel Something will no doubt solidify him as a major player in the pop market in years to come”, and Ones To Watch claiming that “The album name and title track, Feel Something, fully encapsulates the core essence of his music–raw and honest interpretations of life and love bundled in a quality alt-pop sound.”
We wanted to learn more from the strikingly stunning voice behind the music. “I think, I had been living in this house for almost 2 years, during part of the writing process, and I was sort just striving for different sounds than the sound that I previously reached out for. It wasn’t necessarily one artist or one experience, it was kind of a myriad of experiences and kind of looking for styles and sounds that I hadn’t really done before”, admits Young.
So, from the curation of this project, curiosity built as to which song was the one that resonated with the artist himself. “That’s hard, the title track was literally just the most explanatory for the whole album… It set the stage, and it explained everything I wanted to say during that whole writing process.”
With his live show only a couple hours away, we wanted to hear what exciting novel concepts and plans Young and his team had planned for his adoring fans. “I mean we’re doing a shorter set than usual (35 minutes), we’re changing it up a little bit. The songs are not exactly as they are on the album and same with previous releases. Some of them are, pretty close, but we’re kind of taking a different approach, we kind of wanted to make the music feel really organic and be perceived differently live.”
And those were exactly the emotions we experienced during his set. His music captured an aura of its own, commanding the full-packed crowd (it was a sold-out show that night!) and making heads sway side to side and bob front to back. The music wasn’t exactly the way it sounded off the studio productions, but it was exquisitely redefined and revamped for the sake of truly immersing oneself in the music. It was as if the whole room was cast under his spell and were really experiencing the performance with him. It was mystifying to say the least.
“I’m doing what I love for a living so that’s the best part for me, but of course there’s its pros and cons. I don’t think I could do anything else”, confesses Young on the topic of what is the best part of being in the music industry.
I then asked him what one word would be to describe him, and he told me very honestly, “Hungry”. #Tourlifestruggles.
We followed with what would be one thing he would want to do, that he has not done yet or where would be a place that he wishes he could perform that he has not yet? “Oh Wonder is doing a show in Israel, and we’re not on that, but that has always been on the bucket list.”
So, to be a little more spontaneous and in the moment, I asked him “If you had to write a song, right now off the top of your head, what would it be called?” He replied, “Fuck Traffic”.
We ended the interview with our favorite wrap-up question… of course. Jaymes Young is “#OntheVerge of … writing a lot of new music”!
Oh Wonder soon followed after the amazing performance by Young, and the crowd was most certainly well-prepared for a night filled with more music to come. Young has much more in store though, so that being said, stay tuned for more this year from the alt-pop creative. Thank you, James, for a wonderful time.
… is what people tend to relate this stunning songstress’s music to. I had the chance to ask the influential contemporary pop singer/songwriter LÉON about her music and herself to give a face to the music. Who is this vibrant voice behind the music? Her name is Lotta Lindgren, who was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden.
The vocalist is best known for her melodic voice that also contains a hint of melancholy, though she sings these upbeat and bright songs. Her hit single “Tired of Talking” from her debut EP of 2015 Treasure, has hit over 53 million streams on Spotify only demonstrating that though she is a small act, she makes a large impact on the listener.
She recently released a new single titled “Body“, which is a 60’s pop-esque song about living forever young and questioning love.
How the artist got engaged with music to begin with was from her already heavily-music involved family who were all musicians. “…so it was pretty natural to me to start playing instruments and sing very early on”, says the pop star. “I just never thought of doing anything else than do music, so I always attended schools where I could meet other people who wanted to be creative too.”
The creative herself has big dreams, and those dreams take her to hoping to one day perform at Madison Square Garden- a truly magical experience for any artist.
I wanted to learn more about the artist and so I decided, with songs as passionate and moving as hers, what would possibly be the most relatable song she has written in her career? “At the moment, I’d say it’s the next song I’m releasing. It’s called ‘I Believe in Us’ and is about something I went through very recently.” A very exciting confirmation from the LÉON herself that good things are to come.
If there was anyway to describe the sound of this talented young artist, it would be that she calls to mind the voice of the legendary Stevie Nicks. It’s almost as if she re-incarnates her sound and brings it new life and meaning in our day and age. The indie-soul-pop composer is able to portray her deepest and most personal thoughts in her writing, making the music something worthwhile to the beholder of the song.
LÉON went on to tell me how her most favorite part of her musical journey has been touring and how it’s the moments she gets to meet the people who listen to her music, “and that’s when all the songs really come to life. And I get to travel with friends and see places I’ve never seen before.” However, the best part are seeing her fans, singing new music, and going to new places.
On tour with her is her opener, the wonderful indie-pop artist Wrabel. “Wrabel is incredible. I got butterflies in my stomach when I found out that he’d join me on this tour. We wrote one of my songs together, “Surround Me”, and hit it off in the studio. His energy is so positive, I’m very lucky to have him on this tour.”
Speaking of traveling on tour, the artist being from Stockholm, Sweden, was an intriguing factor to see what her take on its music scene is like. Most especially because so many great artists come from there! “There are so many amazing songwriters, producers and artists over here. It’s a big community of us, but in a very small country. Everybody knows about each other and there’s lot of creativity going on here which is really inspiring”, she explains.
If she could collaborate with anyone, who would it be? She admits, “there are so many I’d love to work with. Daft Punk would have been incredible, I grew up listening to them. Sing a duet with Adele? Haha I’m allowed to dream!”
LÉON will be hitting Boston, MA as one of her tour date stops and will be performing at the Paradise Rock Club on October 25th! The last time I had seen her live was The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA and the show had blown my mind and carried my heart. “Boston is one of those shows I’ll always remember. The crowd was crazy and so fun to sing with, and this lady was standing on the balcony doing weird things during the entire show…. But I’m planning to see a little more of Boston when I go there this time.”
The artist is extremely rooted to her fans. I had noticed that the star has a Tumblr account that engages a lot of her fans, and so I wanted to know more about that and what drew her to the platform. “I have a strange relationship with social media. I’m not a huge fan of how exploited people are today. When it comes to Tumblr I’m still not really 100% sure of how it works haha, but I like that you can post photos and share music and quotes that you love.”
The Columbia Records signee would consider her music to be the color “red” and her life mantra would go along the lines of trying to “be present.” She is trying to live the music life she loves and has built for herself and turn it into a life lesson to “take in certain moments in life, and not just quickly let them pass me by.”
Now, if our girl wonder was given a chance to make her own dream day and live it up in the present moment as she so wishes, she said she would be most likely “Snorkling in Thailand or somewhere in the Caribbean and float around in the water. Get a sun tan, drink beer on a beach. Totally carefree!” Sounds heavenly.
So what’s to expect from LÉON? “More music.” The artist has been hard at work all year long in the studio and music and is excited to share what is to come.
“Very excited to release my next single, and hopefully you’ll like it a much as I do!”
Be sure to see her while she’s on tour, you won’t regret it! Tour Dates Below:
I had the chance to speak with the magical and mysterious indie-electronic duo, RKCB, or also known as Riley Knapp and Casey Barth, to hear beyond the music that they put out. Our conversations trekked various topics that provided a crazy and fun momentum for the interview. Whether discussing their music and recent releases, or their favorite songs, spirit animals, ideal days, and hidden talents, the guys had plenty to share.
If you want an act that can do it all, then here they are. This is a band built from scratch, all home-made, and based on the most organic and raw ingredients to create the soundscapes that penetrates through our bodies and electrifies our nerves leading to the most stunning sensations. Mixing their talents of sound and voice, this rhythmic production duo is the whole package.
For those who are not familiar with their music, there’s something in the way they comfort and arouse all in one riff and are able to compose a beat in an array of chaotic instrumentals, that are just remarkable. They’re the perfect example of over the top without being obnoxious. They’re overwhelming in the most exciting way, and their music manages to send chills down your spine. They posses an energy that ebbs & flows to the progression of their hypnotic music.
What is RKCB music, you ask? It’s music that actually permeates through the speakers and physically touches you.
The guys started off letting me know where they originated from. Knapp is from Phoenix, Arizona and Barth from Boston, Massachusetts. As I spoke with them, I got to know a little more about the genesis of this pairing, which Knapp explained had happened as kind of an accident. “RKCB kind of happened with us meeting in school, writing one song, which was “Comatose”, deciding to put it up online, and it built some heat from there…” Both coming from thoughtful, experienced musical backgrounds, this enabled the guys to better understand each other. With Knapp in a few bands and Barth working on solo projects, the two came to a collision that burst into something larger than life.
When I asked them where they got the notion for their sound, Barth went into this profound dialogue of how their inspirations stemmed from having a fond connection to the music of artists like James Blake and Rhye, and other “emotionally potent and visceral music and electronic sounds”. But he also then realized that the last decade has consisted of some major EDM/Pop, high energy movements as well and saw it more as an opportunity to bring those worlds together and make something entirely new. “We thought about what’s going to compliment the song, the lyrics, and what sounds are going to put the listener into this world that we want to create.”
Barth continues on with this kind of knowledgeable acceptance of what they have defined their music as, and with a settled mind explains “we’re both trained on multiple instruments- we’re both drummers first- and finding some really unique sounds is something we love to do all the time. Take natural sounds of piano, drums, guitars, anything that sounds like the instrument, whatever, and then take that instrument and manipulate it and turn this into something almost unrecognizable, so that can turn the mystery into almost something like this world that then when you write a song it can be a really visceral experience.”
The hot rhythmic-exotic sounds that RKCB produces are riveting compositions made to move the body. In that same vein, the guys noticed that as a result of their music, a whole dance community was in fact in motion from their songs, and so it only seemed right to dedicate a piece to all the choreographers and dancers who felt their records. As a result, the three-part epic visual ‘Alone, With You’ was designed. How the whole video concept for the three songs in this visual escapade came about was from the collaboration with the creative directing and production duo called Cue the Bird, and it stemmed from this place of the dance collective’s inspiration. (You can read more about the video HERE, and watch it below.)
“It’s pretty crazy how the dance community reacts to our music and puts out videos all the time and we’re blown away by that whole thing…So, Cue the Bird came up with this whole crazy fucking thing, and it was this gorgeous narrative idea, that went along with those three songs, and it was kind of everything we were hoping and envisioning for”, Knapp adds on.
Just the fabrication of this whole concept is majestic af, and these sexistentialists were able to bring these three songs (“Vice”, “Bloom”, and “Naive”) of erotic beauty to life. What is sexistentialism you ask? Allow the guys to explain their philosophy…
“It’s funny, Riley actually came up with it. We were trying to come up with what was a single word or phrase that would capture the mood of our sound and our songs”, and at first Barth wasn’t too sure of the term, in fact “I [Barth] really didn’t like it, and I was just like ‘ah, let’s think on it,’ and it was just one of those things that stuck with me for the next couple days, and I honestly actually totally forgot about it, and then I had thought that I had come up with it at some point, so I came back to him and was like ‘dude, what about sexistential?’ and he was like ‘I just pitched that like two days ago’, so that’s when we knew, oh ok cool we’re both coming from the same place, it just felt right… It’s something that can grow too, it doesn’t just mean one thing to us and it can be many different moods.”
Knapp then chimed in, “ya, the whole point of our music is basically we want to be different in the writing and we want to feel different and sound different and we want to be just overall a completely unique experience to what listeners are used to. And I think we’re trying to do that by adding a little bit more depth and a little bit more, not vagueness, but hide a little bit more normal and natural feeling behind these more complex and abstract things, so that you kind of have to dig deeper, but once you get there it’s worth it, for this whole unique experience, and it means whatever it means to you.”
At the end of the day, the guys want to be able to connect with people, and more importantly, connect worlds and people that would normally not meet nor would go out of their way to communicate. They want to build the conversations. “The reality is we’re all going through generally similar stuff, we can really feel pretty similar things at the heart of it, and all we want to do is make the bridge to connect those feelings, connect those dots, because what we found is that we want to bring a certain amount of emotional intelligence to our listeners through our songs, so people feel safe listening to our songs and can bring themselves to say, ‘you know, that is actually how it’s feeling, and I’m wanna stick by that.’ And maybe it’s not a hashtag and maybe it’s not a fucking social media post, but it’s something deeper and something we can all actually have a discussion about.”
On that same level of respect and understanding, the guys delineated what the best aspects of being a duo truly is to them. At the start of it all, Knapp and Barth were a songwriting-production duo, and so that meant meeting a lot of people, or as Knapp put it “blind-dating”, and having that person by your side through the process was the best part for them. “Just being able to go through that with someone is super valuable. We both write and we both produce, so we kind of tag team it, and there’s not as much fatigue, and there’s a little bit more energy, and a little bit more camaraderie as opposed to just going to a creative situation, you know kind of risking that.”
Barth further explains Knapp’s last point, “You definitely get to take more risks because you’re bouncing ideas off the wall and if something doesn’t work for that particular session or the vibe is just different, depending on who’s doing what, you can always switch it off.” With the amount the two have done together already, it is not surprising that they understand when it is the right direction they are hoping to pursue and when it just isn’t and that things need to change. RKCB consider themselves completely self-sufficient in terms of writing, producing, performing, mixing and mastering. “It both helps and hurts us because we get a little bit in our heads sometimes.” Barth chuckles and then the two laugh, as if they are reflecting back on these instances.
Throughout the conversations between the three of us, you can’t help but notice the joy and synchronization between the two, who seem to affirmatively recognize that they are two individuals, bound by one passion. Being so fervent about their music, there can be moments when they reach an intensity of making sure that what they hear individually and collectively, is what they want the product to be. “I think there’s this third brain between us that we both understand what that is”.
I challenged the producers to then describe each other using one word, which caused quite a hysterical uproar. The two thought hard, laughing and cursing as they were searching for the perfect adjectives. Knapp then came to the conclusion, deeming Barth as “deliberate”. Following that, Barth distinguished Knapp as a combination of two words “active” and “passionate”.
The guys have recently released a single with the former Disney channel star, and the now budding alt-pop artist, Bridgit Mendler, on a track titled “Diving“. The song actually landed a spot in the ever-so-popular Spotify New Music Friday playlist, and they explained that it was one of the most fluid, fastest experience with a song. Another shocking note about the track was that the vocals in the finished product are just the demo vocals that they had originally received from Bridgit’s team! No alterations!
“We find that often too that there’s sometimes a magic in that room, in that moment, at that time, when we’re writing a song that it’s so fresh that you haven’t been able to overthink it and sometimes you just write the song and cue the vocals and there’s a magic in that room… ‘Naive’ was like that too”.
They then mentioned the benefits of being an independent artist.
“At a label there’s so many different people so many opinions and you have to get it this way, and a lot of the time a demo or a demo vocal might be the right move and it’s whatever the right emotions and stuff are then.”
The band has worked with other great artists on some amazing collaborations, such as Opia, Steve James, and Ariana and the Rose.
I always love asking weird questions for their artists to describe their music by, and so I had to ask the question of what spirit animal would their music be if they could define it as such, to which Knapp seemed to be pretty confident about a Centaur. ha!
Next came the question of from all of these incredible singles they have released, which would be their favorite? It seemed as though the boys knew the answer to this one already.
“Mine is definitely ‘Elision’” says Barth calmly and thoughtfully. “‘Elision’ I like ultimately because that was the third song we ever wrote together; it was the first song we wrote together that I was just like ‘alright, fuck it, I’m gonna take a lot of risks and see what happens and see if it’s cool’ and just pushed my writing boundaries as much as possible.” You can really hear that in the single. “It was definitely kind of like an experiment for me, and then it turned into kind of this thing that we really fell in love with, and then it got brought to life when we started playing it live. Like it was kind of like a ‘sleeper track’ in terms of people listening to it, but it had a cult following of its own. For a small group of people, that was a favorite song of theirs but it definitely wasn’t the song that people know us for…then once we started playing it live and it became this like funk jam in the middle of our set and it just lit the whole place up and I kind of just fell in love with that moment”.
Knapp then expresses the love for his song choice. “Of our release songs, mine is “Baptize”. We have one coming up that’s been my personal favorite for a while, so that’s going to change my answer, but for now it’s “Baptize”. I remember it was so different from “Comatose”. I remember sending it to my mom and totally thinking she was going to shit on it” he chuckles a bit and jumps back in “and then she responded ‘this is amazing!’ and I was like ‘wait, you like it?!’
His voice begins to fill with an air of excitement, like a kid in a candy shop, “I really liked it and I remember think like ‘how did this happen? How did me and Casey make this song?”
The guys who are in synch with each other for almost every tune, to create these stunning tracks that fill the spaces and voids with sound, admitted that much of their success comes from the loyalty and trust between each other and their bandmates. “We have an amazing band, there’s this level of trust that no matter what happens, we’re going to be good. Ya it helps, I’ve actually known our drummer since we were in high school. There’s this total, trust total respect and then there’s just this raw passion that comes out in all of us and you know we all have different projects going on, but then we get on stage it’s really a unique experience.”
Aside from the fact that RKCB is always surprising us with their music, we find even more fun facts about Barth’s hidden talent! “haha, they [fans] might already know this, but when people ask me ‘what would you be if you couldn’t play music or if I were to be something else?’ I’d be a bartender. I love making craft cocktails.” He bashfully starts to laugh at himself and his other art, but you can totally tell he really does love it. “Some people are worried how passionate I am about it.” RKCB even prepared drinks for their Spotify session show in Boston a few months back, sad I missed out on that!
So, I had to know, how would the perfect days for the guys go?
“I would wake up, drink coffee (it just immediately appears in my hand), and I’m actually staying in an AirBnB that’s on top of a mountain, and I walk out and there’s a paragliding instructor there. He’s like ‘hey man, we’re gonna go down to the beach’, and then we paraglide down to the beach, and then we drink on the beach and grill… and that actually sounds really nice right now, I’m getting lost in it.”
He sighs with longing.
“Paragliding onto a beach grilling.”
Barth then jumps in, painting the pictures of his own getaway day. “I’d wake up”, he takes a moment to ponder where he will be and then says, “actually, probably at my house, where I am right now. I actually like where I am, I like my house. I’d come out, and put on some music, some ambient electronic music to help wake me up in the morning, and then pour myself some homemade cold brew, and walk out to my lemon tree, pick out some lemons, line up some cocktails for the day, and maybe go out to some local spot and have brunch or something. Then I’d come back and…” he thinks more and then comments “and maybe grill, grilling sounds really nice and making cocktails. Ya, hang outside, in the garden, taking care of my plants.”
Pretty idealistic, huh? They know how to chill; they’d be pretty fun to hang with.
With excitement, the guys were happy to relay the information that their upcoming single is part of a bigger sort of project that they are going to be talking about in the coming weeks, but it’s going to be a twist on their old stuff that will garner a fresh, unique EP for listeners to explore. So far, they have hinted to us that it should be releasing in a month. So, that is something to look forward to!
Emmit Fenn is a singer, songwriter, and producer of indie electronic melodies and with those tunes he has accumulated over 23 million Spotify streams thus far. It’s no secret that offbeat, downtempo music has become a sub-genre of the mainstream sounds, but Fenn is taking that noise and restructuring it into the cinematic soundscapes he now produces. These are the songs that will not only capture your soul, but will also instill a feeling of mystery and seductive darkness you weren’t aware you adored. It is the phantom of music that creeps in your dreams and that continues to keep you dreaming. It’s a lullaby with harmonies that shoot out in different directions and sounds. Each song takes you on a new adventure and every time it is never short of an exhilarating experience.
I had the chance to interview this young producer from Berkley, CA and there is no denying the fact that Fenn is a talented and intellectual artist. The first debut of his EP Painting Greys released back in 2015 and peaked at #1 on Spotify’s Global Viral chart for over a week! Now, the artist just released his EP Prologue in June of this summer, and it is one to not forget. With features like YUNA and Nylo on the record, there is only room for good vibes to fill the airspace. (You can listen to the project above!)
Fenn’s music is like watching a Terence Malik film- artistic, imaginative, and haunting. Wandering down his own black and white realms, the man who not only writes stories and composes the music, but also sings in them, walks us through these realms where hardcore synths, orchestral fabrications, and indie-pop vocals intertwine and fit in broken rhythms and fragmented beats. His music is complex, and you can hear the passion as he paints in the grey tones to his music.
Fenn’s alternative world sounds like a mixture of Godspeed, James Blake, RKCB, and Shy Girls! In each track of this EP, he travels down another exotic stream of consciousness.
So now Fenn, the jock/surfer-dude and sonic designer that he is, explained to me more of his story and how it all came to be.
“I make electronic music, or that’s what they have categorized me as, but I kind of make everything across the board, from electronic to acoustic stuff to classic stuff and it started when I was 12, like the most stereotypical story in the world”, he chuckles to himself and continues, “I found my friend’s keyboard in his garage when he was moving and he just let me have it and i kind of just became obsessed with playing it. I would make all these Christmas albums for my family and friends every year and then I would keep making them for random holidays like Valentine’s day, and then I would have all of these classical albums then finally in 2013 when I graduated high school another one of my friend’s showed me how to use Logic, and showed me how to make my own sound and then I started to make electronic music, and then it slowly kind of morphed into what I am doing today.”
The conversation went on about how that was an extremely movie-esque situation, and we laughed a bit more. The artist from the Bay Area then went on to discuss how he had grown up in kind of the perfect neck of the woods in terms of being a musician then.
“So many cool kids came from my high school. G-Eazy, Lonely Islanders, and other amazing musicians, and a lot of my friends made music and the Bay Area, Berkley, and Oakland have such a culture to it, it certainly helped out a lot”.
He continues, “I did my first show in Sweden which was super fun for a Sony live event; and Tove Styrke and some others were there, it was crazy, it was so fun, that was the first ever electronic show I have ever done”.
I asked him if he had traveled down the same path that some producers had done to kickstart their musical journeys as a producer, meaning was he first a DJ before entering this realm, or was it straight into the production scene. “It was straight to production, I went from really classical music into production and DJing, and I’m still not really a DJ because everything I do live is all done live.”
I was curious to know how the amazing collaborations occurred and he was excited to tell the tale. “It was really crazy, I had written this song, and I knew that I really wanted a girl to be on the second verse and I was kind of looking through the artists I really like and would really like to work with and then there was, you know, musicians we could probably get, and then there were musicians who were like ‘reach’ musicians and were probably people who were not going to do it, but let’s just ask, so we reached out to Yuna’s team, which I thought like ‘no way’, but she responded like a day later and was like ya, ‘yup, that’s good’. The song was already written, I had already written her part, so she came in a week later and we recorded and it was done like a week later. It was really amazing. She’s so cool, we talk all the time, and she’s just a beautiful human being.”
“Then Nylo, she had done stuff for Zhu, and she like followed me on Soundcloud and I followed her back and that’s kind of how that started, and I was in the middle of a song that I wanted someone to sing on and I sent it to her and she just killed it”.
If you haven’t already seen the musician’s website yourself, then you better go check it out now because it is one of my favorite designs of a website ever. It perfectly portrays his music and how he wants you to experience his music and it gives each song a character of its own to play. “We kind of had this idea when I was still in the development stage, I had so much different music from like pure piano songs and to some that were dance/house songs, and we were trying to figure out how to make a branding fit this whole spectrum that of all the music that was being made of and we couldn’t figure anything out, and we reached out to this guy who does all of my artwork now with all of these ideas. One was this little bar, like this grayscale bar for a Soundcloud banner, and we all just kind of like, once we all saw that we all decided that that’s it, that right there was like the whole project, just that little bar, and we decided let’s put that on everything and kind of run with that, so we kind of decided that the bar would represent the range of music and the range of stories through the project. It kind of encompasses everything, when we reached out to Active Theory, we knew we wanted the bar to be the front and center thing, and that’s how it started and then it kind of started tumbling into more and more things like what if each bar represented a different song, and you clicked the song and you clicked on the bar and it represented a different experience and so ya, it was definitely a process of many different ideas.”
Speaking of ideas, as I had mentioned before, Fenn is a storyteller, and like any good narrator, he writes these stories down but in musical form. I wanted to know how the musical theory behind his music worked and how he approached the songwriting process. “I get asked this everyday, I write all the time, I have a notebook that I write stories in, kind of like a journal, so when I’m writing I just scroll through all my writing and pick out a story or an idea that I previously thought of, and mostly their just relationships… Sometimes the sound comes from the idea of the song or sometimes the opposite, the idea comes from the sound, there are so many different ways of going about songwriting.”
And like any artist, he wishes to evolve and transform his sound as much as he can. It’s a personal challenge he wishes to embrace, and that was one of the things he wanted his fans to take note of. “I think the biggest thing right now, what I want to get across is that no song or EP is going to be the same exact thing as the EP before. I know that people get crazy about when things are not the exact same, like ‘Oh, you got to make the same song as so-and-so’ but each EP is going to be a completely different genre and world than the one before it.”
We then transitioned the conversation to have some fun, and get away from the seriousness of his career such as catch phrases, favorite artists to hopefully collaborate with and spirit animals.
He laughed at this one and confessed “it’s kind of a weird one but my favorite thing to say is “juug” instead of good, like ”oh that’s juug'”.
His dream artist to collaborate with would be Bon Iver. “Bon Iver, is just amazing, I don’t know if I would want to collaborate with him on a song, but just to play with him live on stage, would just be ugh, so amazing, I can’t, my first concert was Bon Iver…the other would be Marilyn Manson, first of all I think he’s a genius outside music, just politically, a super amazing speaker and really good person. And his music is just so far out there and on a different level “.
We also attempted to brainstorm a spirit animal and came across possibly a perfect choice. “Most of my music is really sad…so ya, like Eyore from Winnie the Pooh”. (Animal choice courtesy of my expertise).
Towards the end of our silly conversation, I asked him if there’s anything that we should be excited for in the coming future, to which he replied, “There is a new EP coming out… uhh haha how much can I tell you? Well, going on tour, and I’ll have more EPs out this year”!
It’s hard to believe that this budding 21-year old (same age as me!) has such a mastery in this art, and I was honored to be able to chat with him on what he is passionate form about. So… listen to his music above, drift away into this multi-dimensional world of sound, and be sure to stay tuned for when his new EP releases.
Blonder’s $5 EP was released on July 23rd and fans were excited! This indie rock act puts the cool in chill vibes and revives an era of music that seems to have been lost many years ago. With a beach-house rock aura, he commands the sound waves with his impressive, natural ability to provide nostalgia in a track. With wistful lyrics and video-game tones woven into these post-punk sounds, we get what is this project of perfectly planned and designed songs. The EP includes 6 tracks: “Lean”, “Talk to Me”, “In and Out”, “What We Want”, “Upstate”, and “Just Because” (my personal favorite).
The music is honestly the soundtrack to the urban grunge of la la land and made for the cruel youth and rebels without a cause. The reckless and the free, the empowered and the dreamers. There’s something about this music that just keeps you moving and attracts the ear, even when it is not your taste.
Recently, Blonder played a residency at the Elvis Guesthouse with Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) and Aaron Maine (Porches). In addition, not many know that his own band consisted of artists such as Wet, Tei Shi, and Guards (to name a few) in the past.
The current full-band just completed their previous tour with Methel Ethyl, and now, Blonder is touring with Day Wave!
All in all, if one were to compare the musical stylings of this crafty and adept man, the sounds would be very similar to those of Vampire Weekend, Years & Years, Wrabel, and Banners, making music a light hearted, fun, and dance-worthy experience– what a power combination of artists! Listen to the music above to get a sense of the musical identity! And also check out below to see what Blonder shared as his top favorite songs!
Here’s his mega exclusive and unique playlist of amazing tracks that he loves to listen to and the rationale behind it all!
Arcade Fire – “Everything Now”
An Abba song with Thomas Bangalter, I think I read it was made in Paris, I want to believe that at least and it feels like, this was on in the van a lot for the first 2 weeks, a beautiful acoustic guitar sound in the verse, and a melancholy to the whole song, chords and lyrics, made it a perfect contemplative jam. Beautiful.
Lorde – Super Cut
The most pure heroine-esque song on the new record, which I have very mixed feelings about, seemingly with the unpopular opinion. It’s not the Lorde record I wanted, and she seems to have transformed into the wrong thing an artist can do when they’ve reached success, ie. ego driven and more emotionally vanilla. The old record was about the melancholic “we” and this new one about the rush of “I.” Anyway! This song, and a lot of the record, is beautiful to me. “Be a violent overnight rush”.
The Clash – “Magnificent Seven”
just pure swag, impossible to not feel cool listening to this – intersection of rock and funk, with an experimental recording, just incredible. i’m not too aware of the lyrics for this one, they seem a little obtuse but still hot. this one on repeat for days. the clapping, the triangle, the guitars.
Playboi Carti – “Location”
The sweeping synths that open this r so swaggy it’s insane. Love the lyrics too and how it’s not even rapping really, it’s just like being cool on a track. I like that idea of distilling a feeling of cool to such an essence that it’s just almost just ad-libs, and he’s pulling it off in a huge way! It’s a v real movement. And beautiful.
Migos – “Bad and Boujee”
Hadn’t really gotten into this song somehow when it was charting, but on the road one day I was driving alone in the van to get food or something before a gig and I put it on completely spur on the moment, and was truly blow away by how good the vocal production was, the mix, and the swag was literally insane. This song definitely made me feel like they deserved the love the song and the record got, just a masterclass in cool.
Day Wave – “We Try but We Don’t Fit In”
Jackson of day wave brought me out to sing this song with them at the El Rey and I spent the entire hour after our set listening and making sure I memorized the song, a really beautiful and transcendent moment for me. Anyway, I’m so glad I did learn it because I hadn’t heard it before and it’s a beautiful piece of music.
Bruce Springsteen – “Something in the Night”
This feels like a melancholic ice cream on a summer night in love and with a head full of tequila at 2am. My drummer Noah Chenfeld showed this song to me while we were driving late after a show, he showed me a lot of Bruce, which I always liked but admittedly never fell deeply in love with. This is a good song to help you do that with.
Frank Ocean – “Biking (solo)”
I like how this version starts right at Frank’s verse with the acoustic guitar, feels like the perfect way to make a solo version. Although I loved Jay Z’s verse and the piano underneath it, this is somehow also perfect.
Blur – “Go Out”
Kind of a weird track from the 2015 record but it’s actually so so hot. Put it on while driving and felt it in a big way. I read they recorded it in Japan, and it just feels real swaggy. Damon can do no wrong, it’s kind of weird. He doesn’t always write home runs but they always have a sense of self and definition that’s incredible.
Bjork – “Violently Happy”
No one can do what she does, and this record is from 1993! It’s absolutely insane how important this person is, who else is able to curate this amy trends and sounds and make them their own? It’s like a more elegant, Scandinavian Kanye making art pop. This song is just beautiful, love the house vibes so so much.
Comes this incredible downtempo-electronic indie record “Destiny” produced by the mastery of the Major Lazer co-producer and one of the original founding fathers of the Team Supreme collective, King Henry. The single features the stunning vocals of the Australian singer-songwriter RY X. This amazing new track released by the skilled curator of beats includes the collaboration of the indie-folk musician to design a soft sounded vibe to complete the rest of the library of tracks to fill your summer playlists.
The airy, pixie-like whines in the song add an element of sensual horror. The entirety of the track is like a down-tempoed 90’s-track with a fast-paced undertone and a sweet-indie pop lullaby. The electricity in the light energy thriving throughout the song ignites a hopefulness in the tune, though a melancholy topic of coming-of-age and leaving behind the past. The nostalgia hits you as the words set you in a wonderland and leaves you to wander in your own desires, aspirations, and curiosities. RY X’s voice croons over the light and hypnotic melodies and the Red Light Management represented artists command the sound waves with their vibes. “Destiny” rightfully found itself amidst the rankings of the Spotify weekly New Music Friday playlist.
King Henry’s artistry has been an incredible journey. Starting in school studying music, working alongside Diplo, becoming a producer for big artists such as Beyoncé, The Weeknd, and more, earning a Grammy nomination, and taking on a successful solo career of his own, King Henry is finding his rightful place on the throne of electronic music.
King Henry intends to continue his reign of royalty as he prepares to drop a new EP to be released via Black Butter Records and his own Duke City imprint, so be sure to stay tuned!
RY X as the former leader of the band The Acid, RY X has taken on a solo career where he released his debut album Dawn last year through Infectious Records and Loma Vista Records and built an adoring fan base with his enchanting music. This virtuoso of music is paving a path of his own unique elements that make him a master in his genre.
These versatile and fluid artists are undoubtedly strong players in the music scene and we look forward to seeing where these artists will take off next in their musical journeys!
Follow the talents of King Henry & RY X on social media!