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st.martiins​ - saw the moon

st.martiins​ - saw the moon


Dundee-based band st.martiins continues to bring a refreshing versatility to their work with latest single "saw the moon." The duo consisting of Katie Lynch and Mark Johnson conjures up sleepy sentiments about the familiarity of a relationship and its possible disintegration. A smooth bassline creates the backbone of the song while the contrasting guitar reverb fondly brings to mind early projects from Jay Som. Amidst the carefully constructed production, Lynch sings, "If I see things differently / Will they last?" and "If you look right at me / I might look back." Noncommittal "if's" and the repeating line "I saw the moon" flow out in the lyrics and ride the wave of emotion that Lynch so beautifully performs. "saw the moon" showcases another side, expanding st.martiins sound to areas not explored in their previous singles like "My Girl" and "Want God." While you await the band's first LP, you can catch them playing a handful of shows this December.

Julie Gentile on October 18, 2019
HalfNoise - Guess

HalfNoise - Guess


Indie psych-rock act HalfNoise, the solo project of Paramore drummer Zac Farro, just released his third album, Natural Disguise, via Congrats Records. Filled with bright, disco-inspired melodies and clear, vibrant arrangements, the album features some of Farro’s boldest, most genre-bending work to date. A standout track is “Guess,” a mid-tempo, synth-pop dance anthem with a contagiously groovy beat. A pumping bassline with colorful, reverberating guitars evokes the carefree vibes of 70s psychedelia, while bright, tight drums and a clear, affected vocal emphasize Farro’s crisp, modern production style. Spacey synths and electronic keys round out the dynamic instrumentation, adding some fun, quirky details that highlight the track’s playful undertones. Overall, “Guess” is an exciting party song with a catchy melody and an arrangement full of surprising intricacies.

Britnee Meiser on October 18, 2019
​Nevil - 5 Year Warranty

​Nevil - 5 Year Warranty


Nevil oozes bass-filled 90s nostalgia in their new single “5 Year Warranty.” The all-girl rock trio from Austin creeps their way through the breakup track with a steady bassline, shoegaze guitar, a heavy dose of high hat and languid vocals. The song stays in the pocket for over four minutes—showing immense restraint as the lead singer and guitarist Emily Rose sings, “there you go making another god damn scene / as you shout ‘why is everybody being so mean’.” They chronicle a break-up in which one party feels they’ve been unjustly made into a bad guy and is constantly reappearing in search of some answers. The track is droney, buzzy and dripping in reverb. “5 Year Warranty” is a cool-girl breakup anthem. It’s the perfect example of how we all would like to hold our composure when someone is blaming us for something falling apart. "5 Year Warranty" is quiet and restrained in its angst as it leans into the annoying reality of post-breakup communication.

Corinne Bates on October 17, 2019
Loose Buttons - Strangers In A Nightclub

Loose Buttons - Strangers In A Nightclub


“Strangers In A Nightclub” by Loose Buttons begins with a powerful, almost spooky guitar riff before introducing simpler, strummed guitar, producing a lovely sort of layering. As the vocals introduce themselves, the song takes on a distinctly romantic tone. "Strangers In A Nightclub" rocks and flows between guitar and husky vocals, maintaining its simplicity while remaining mesmerizing. Towards the tail-end of the track, a crunchy, wailing guitar solo steals the show. It takes the listener on a quick little adventure, before returning to the crooning vocals and the beach rock sound that drive the song. "Strangers In A Nightclub" is an alluring little tune.

Caroline Peacock on October 17, 2019
TWINKIDS - I Luv You

TWINKIDS - I Luv You


LA queer pop duo TWINKIDS try to navigate the maze of emotions that results from a difficult encounter with a recent ex on their new single “I Luv You”, the second offering from the outfit’s forthcoming sophomore EP Lizard House. Songwriters Gene Fukui and Matt Young utilize 80s J-pop influences mixed with lush layers of swirling synths to build an ethereal, vivid landscape that’s hard to forget. The story depicted is one that we know all too well—the rollercoaster ride of emotions that hits you when you run into someone that you used to love. Fukui and Young don’t fail to paint the classic aspects of this type of situation: the rush of nostalgia and the comfortable familiarity that you suddenly yearn for all over again. They further color it in with their heartfelt lyrics, “I am misaligned / I’m no longer mine, this / Cage I built myself / Stuck on someone else.” The vibrant punches of percussion and soaring, melodic choruses mirror that agonizing push and pull that spins you around inside. The song reinforces the idea that just because something may not be as intact as it once was, doesn’t mean it still doesn’t have a substantial impact. Lizard House is officially out on November 22nd.

Meredith Vance on October 16, 2019
​Liza Anne - Devotion

​Liza Anne - Devotion


Liza Anne’s newest single “Devotion” is a hard-hitting break-up anthem that isn’t afraid of going full-throttle. It’s loud—glittering with synths, compelling guitar solos, and Liza Anne’s dynamic vocals all within the short span of two and a half minutes. The song nears glam-rock status at the conclusion of the first chorus as she proclaims devotion to herself, “I’ll do anything for her now, she’s my longest love / hey!” Instead of being angry or sad, “Devotion” is celebratory of the freedom that can come with the end of a relationship. It’s not just a time for mourning the loss of a connection. It can also be a time to embrace the beauty of solitude and independence, especially in the wake of a toxic relationship. The Nashville pop-rocker finds a Blondie-esque power as she sets forth on a journey of self-love and realization—singing, “find the bits of me I shook off / to appease you, oh just come on / I like the things I like / and that’s alright.” Inspired by Patti Smith's short-story of the same name, the track is perfect for blasting as you dance in celebration of your newfound independence.

Corinne Bates on October 16, 2019
Kito / Empress Of - Wild Girl

Kito / Empress Of - Wild Girl


Australian producer Kito enlists Lorely Rodriguez—better known as Empress Of—for the adventurous new single "Wild Girl." "It's not a secret, my heart's weakness / Is a half-smile touch, casually call you love / When your hand is enough, casually say it's love," Rodriguez trills into the airy lead-up to a club drop, but the muted bass has Kito exercising restraint in an otherwise pulsing beat. Though the track is easily danceable, being a "Wild Girl" isn't about kissing strangers on a crazy night out—rather, it illustrates being so consumed by a love that you rage like a wildfire, desperate for someone to "Gather me from one place or another." The genre-bending and subversive team of Kito and Empress Of is a match made in heaven, artfully exposing intense vulnerability through the most club-ready of songs, adding a fresh new touch to dance music tropes. The single is only a taste of the exciting collaborations and eccentric sounds of Kito's soon-to-come solo LP.

Ysabella Monton on October 16, 2019
Loving - Only She Knows

Loving - Only She Knows


Imagine you’re in a cabin in the woods, cozy by the fire while a snowstorm rages on outside. The light is low, the atmosphere is intimate, and you’re overcome by a sense of longing you can’t quite place. This is the vibe conjured up by Loving’s new single “Only She Knows,” a lo-fi, psychedelic dream that’s as pleasing as the crackle of an old but reliable record player. The track is reminiscent of a slightly darker Whitney, with soft, wispy vocals and heavy reverb that gives the classical piano an almost ghostly presence. Dreamy synths and strangely seductive guitar lines make for a lush, hypnotic soundscape you can get lost in, while the crisp production makes apparent Loving’s appreciation for analog equipment. Nostalgic and lovely, “Only She Knows” is the perfect song for cold weather or a rainy day.

Britnee Meiser on October 15, 2019
Hana Vu - Outside

Hana Vu - Outside


Hana Vu wanders further into her bedroom-pop world both sonically and physically with her newest single, “Outside.” The track opens with dreamy synths before the guitar and Vu’s vocals chime in simultaneously as she sings, “And I really wanna wake up / but there’s nothing to wake up to.” The plucked guitar riff perfectly balances out Vu’s droning and smooth voice with her unique throaty tone. She breaks from the calmness and almost reaches anger as she belts the second chorus for emphasis. The structure of the song is simple; she repeats the chorus and pre-chorus twice with a single-lined bridge thrown in the middle for good measure. This repetition further cements the monotony of loneliness the 19-year-old indie-pop artist is demonstrating. That being said, the track itself is never monotonous—finding interests in small swells and layered synths. It’s cyclical like depression and loneliness. Sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed. Sometimes it’s easier just to look at your phone all day. “Outside” is the latest single from Vu’s upcoming double EP Nicole Kidman / Anne Hathaway out on October 25.

Corinne Bates on October 15, 2019
Stimmerman - Painted Smile

Stimmerman - Painted Smile


“Painted Smile” by Stimmerman starts with a sound vaguely reminiscent of Radiohead before picking up and becoming absolute musical chaos. The first two minutes are dialed down and sensual with plucky guitar and a blurred line between soft brass and hushed vocals. Gradually picking up the pace, the song suddenly turns on itself—the brass blares, the drums and cymbals reverberate, the guitar struts, and the vocals become fierce. And just as suddenly as it picks up, it ends. “Painted Smile” masters distinct sounds and simultaneously blends them and pits them against each other. The song is a combination of seemingly simple parts, but they make up a harrowing whole.

Caroline Peacock on October 15, 2019
Joesef​ - Don't Give In

Joesef​ - Don't Give In


Indie R&B newcomer Joesef now has a third single under his belt with "Don't Give In," a wistful track about realizing the one you love loves another. From its plaintive guitar solos to the unembellished drums, the track has everything you crave in an ideal bedroom song, while drawing influences from the likes of Motown and Amy Winehouse to keep the sound fresh. Scant production allows his soulful vocals to shine, the ever-so-slight strain coming through best as he sings, "It's never enough," bleeding into the haunting moans of a choir. “Everything you hear has happened to me directly," Joesef has said of his music, making this heartbreaking track all the more resonant. Currently making waves with his first run of shows in the UK, it won't be long before he does the same across the pond.

Ysabella Monton on October 14, 2019
Tei Shi - Even If It Hurts (feat. Blood Orange)

Tei Shi - Even If It Hurts (feat. Blood Orange)


The silvery vocals of Tei Shi and the iconic production style of Blood Orange bless recently released track "Even If It Hurts." The two artists, known as Valerie Teicher and Devonte Hynes respectively, previously worked together on "Hope" off Hynes' album Negro Swan. Now they've teamed up again on this starry-eyed synth song that implores for communication and honesty. Although the track is smooth and easy on the ears, wrapped up in the lyrics are two people trying to identify what the other wants from their ambiguous relationship. Desire permeates the vocals, both parties are willing to risk it all to have the other person wholly, but there's something stopping them from letting go. We might yearn and even love another person, but at the precipice of a relationship, growth requires action. "Even If It Hurts" explores what feels to be common ground in many relationships through something that straddles the line of melancholy and bliss. Look out for Teicher's new album La Linda out November 15 and Hynes' classical LP Fields due this October.

Julie Gentile on October 14, 2019
beabadoobee - I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus

beabadoobee - I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus


London artist beabadoobee pays homage to Pavement’s frontman with her new single “I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus.” The inspiration doesn’t stop with the name drop, seeping into the production with buzzy guitar tones. The song takes eighteen-year-old Bea Kristi a little further from the bedroom pop label she gained through her first two EPs, launching her into the realm of therapeutic alt-rock. It’s harder, hazier, and proves that Gen Z is just as obsessed with the 90s as Millenials are. Kristi sings, “I sit at home, cry to Pavement / I wish I was Stephen Malkmus.” As much as it is a nod to the 90s, it also touches on Kristi’s affinity for change and individuality—which can be isolating, but she doesn’t seem too upset about it. She mentions her blue hair six times in four minutes, singing, “got new hair, a new phase / I’m from outer space / and I’m pretty sure I’ll get used to it.” Beabadoobee will release her new EP Space Cadet on October 18 via Dirty Hit Records.

Corinne Bates on October 14, 2019
​Y La Bamba - Las Platicas

​Y La Bamba - Las Platicas


Y La Bamba, a Portland-based band led by Luz Elena Mendoza, exemplifies yet again their prowess as a multi-faceted group on their latest EP Entre Los Dos. Mendoza actively explored identity on their full-length album Mujeres earlier this year and is now delving deeper into existing between two entities and all the nuances that follow. "Las Platicas" off the new EP begins with an airy guitar riff that quickly morphs into lo-fi folk loaded with energetic vocals and a tone of a reclaiming of self. Mendoza spares no time for negative talk in her life and holds strong against those with nothing positive to bring to the table. Y La Bamba's narrative journey continues to show rapid growth—exploring different sounds and sentiments in less than one year. They wrap up their tour this October so make sure to catch them while you can!

Julie Gentile on October 11, 2019
Boyfriend Genes - Best Friend

Boyfriend Genes - Best Friend


Brooklyn duo Boyfriend Genes’ new single “Best Friend” is an indie-pop take on “if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?” Brothers Travis and Thomas Shaver dissect the implication that social interaction can have on one’s identity as they sing, “if you go I’ll go / I’ll be waiting for you anywhere.” The production is light and fuzzy—making it easy to bob your head along and sway your shoulders. It sounds sweet until you dig a little deeper and realize the sugar is just a coating as they continue with, “everyone is looking for a best friend / then they’re gone again.” They use sweetness to signify the superficiality that can linger in modern-day socialization. Nobody wants to get too close. Nobody wants to get too deep, but everyone wants to be seen as authentic. “Best Friend” is more than just a feel-good indie-pop song. It’s a satirical exploration of friendship in a jam-packed city like New York.

Corinne Bates on October 11, 2019

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