dreaming in technicolor: luna aura’s psychedelic pop delight, “candy colored daydream”

dreaming in technicolor: luna aura’s psychedelic pop delight, “candy colored daydream”

Step into the enchanting realm of Luna Aura, where cosmic melodies and electrifying beats collide. With her ethereal voice and magnetic energy, Luna defies expectations and creates a sound uniquely her own. Brace yourself for a sonic journey like no other, as Luna Aura’s latest single, “Candy Colored Daydream,” paints vivid musical landscapes that transport you to a world of vibrant imagination. 

In “Candy Colored Daydream,” Luna Aura delves into a realm of self-discovery and empowerment, navigating the highs and lows of life’s journey. The lyrics “The highs, the lows, the fast, the slow. It’s plucking at my feathers, I just wanna let it go” poetically express the emotional turbulence experienced, symbolized by the metaphorical plucking of feathers, as Luna longs to release and find inner peace.

Musically, the song is a masterful fusion of genres, blending elements of pop, electronic, and alternative sounds. Luna’s innovative approach to production and arrangement infuses the track with an infectious energy, making it impossible to resist moving to the rhythm.

The song reflects Luna Aura’s quest for liberation and confidence in a world that can be overwhelming and filled with challenges. It serves as a call to embrace one’s vulnerabilities, allowing for personal growth and the pursuit of authenticity. Through “Candy Colored Daydream,” Luna Aura invites listeners to join her in letting go of burdens and embracing the freedom to be true to oneself.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
9/15 – Wallingford, CT @ The Dome at Oakdale
9/16 – Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
9/18 – North Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
9/19 – Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
9/21 – Huntsville, AL @ Mars Music Hall
9/22 – Louisville, KY @ Louder Than Life Festival
9/24 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues
9/25 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
9/27 – Albuquerque, NM @ Marquee Theatre
10/1 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
10/3 – Riverside, CA @ Riverside Municipal Auditorium
10/5 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
10/8 – Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival

psychedelic vibeology: embracing the natural connection with valley

psychedelic vibeology: embracing the natural connection with valley

Introducing Valley, the Canadian indie-pop sensation that has captured hearts worldwide with its infectious melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Now, they are back with their highly anticipated album Lost in Translation, a sonic journey that explores the complexities of love, self-discovery, and the universal quest for meaning. With their signature blend of shimmering synth-pop, lush harmonies, and introspective songwriting, Valley delivers an enchanting and relatable experience that transcends borders and speaks to the soul. 

One of the songs in Lost in Translation — “Natrual” — comes with its own music video that delves into themes of healing and natural bonds between different souls. 

The music video opens with an individual walking into some sort of a rustic, classically American bar, wearing what looks to be clean and sunflower-y but otherwise dull clothing. He doesn’t seem to belong, compared to the several groups of conversationalists and dart-throwers. Quick to change, he leaves from a changing area, donning a metallic top and unquestionably less stiff pants. And he comes back sporting top-tier energy. 

It’s not so much the outfit as rocking dance moves, this man has had a real confidence boost and he’s not afraid to light up the atmosphere. Most noticeably, the lighting is sunset-ethereal-like, but the majority of the space is enveloped in shadows. Somehow, I believe that the lighting represents the divide between the beautiful light, the facade we put on for the world, versus the shadows, our own dark inner worlds. 

There is a mirror, and the man is standing in front of it. He is alone when he wears his original attire, but when he wears his party outfit, others surround him, highlighting that his change comes in tandem with company. And of course, he is much happier. The cameras pan to him taking over the dance floor without a hint of his previous self. The transformation is remarkable as he moves with newfound confidence and uninhibited joy. 

The pulsating beats of Valley’s Lost in Translation provide the perfect soundtrack to this moment, amplifying the euphoria and capturing the essence of the album’s theme – the power of music to transcend barriers and transform lives. As the crowd joins him, their collective energy ignites, and for that fleeting moment, they are all lost in the music, lost in the magic, and united by the universal language that Valley so effortlessly captures.

alt-pop band wilmah brings levity with new single “wait until tomorrow”

alt-pop band wilmah brings levity with new single “wait until tomorrow”

Comprised of vocalist/guitarist Matt Connelly and bassist Will O Connor, Wilmah aims to make listeners think while simultaneously creating grooves to make them move. Blending blunt introspection in their approach to songwriting with some humor and multi-genre fusion, the band’s alt-pop sound attempts to make sense of life’s intricacies while retaining some uplifting vibes. Using the opportunity from the pandemic in creating new music, Wilmah returns with a growth in their sound that fully represents themselves as individuals. In succession to the romance and nostalgia based “Television ” and politically charged “Welcome to America”, their new single “Wait Until Tomorrow” aims to reach the psyche and spirits of their audience.

The track immediately hits with a burst of upbeat mix of acoustic and electric guitar licks with the rhythmic punch of 80s new wave-esque drums. The production of this song can automatically get one to think it is a breezy feel-good anthem, while the lyrics seem to tell a different story. As heard in the passionate hook “If you’re gonna break my heart, can it just wait until tomorrow”, Wilmah makes a plea to push off negativity for the time being to revel in temporary happiness. The juxtaposition of the single’s sonic bubbliness with its therapeutic subject matter makes for an interesting anthem that can comfort listeners while not sugarcoating their true feelings.

“Wait Until Tomorrow” drops on November 19th and check out Wilmah’s preceding singles.

30, the introspects of a psycho

30, the introspects of a psycho

On Introspects of a Psycho, Massachusetts-born artist, 30, successfully combines rap and hip-hop with pop to tell stories about being human amidst the societal constructs we face.  When it begins, we hear “Your Skin Crawls”, a sort of pick-me-up that serves to reassure his person of their beauty.  As the guitar soothes, the melody moves.  “Lost in Colorado” feels like a diary entry of a cross country road trip stretching from Ohio to Colorado.  It seems to be a goodbye of sorts, though he continues to describe the sights he sees to the person who may be bidding goodbye to.  The groove picks up with “I Kinda Like How Your Father’s Fist Feels on My Face”, a track that features an electric guitar and creates the perfect late-night vibe, dimmed lights and all.  The final track, “Ms. Uncomfortable (Stripped)”, slows everything back down again, bringing everything full circle, which tells the story of a girl who seems unsure of herself, a call-back to the first track on the album.

The Introspects of a Psycho feels emotional and vulnerable, every track exceeding the next.  It supplies a song to satisfy any mood one could be in, and tells a compelling narrative along the way.

anna wolf ft. pop morrison, “the unfamiliar”

anna wolf ft. pop morrison, “the unfamiliar”

by: katy mombourquette

There’s something about a folk/indie vibe that feels so incredibly creepy in the context of horror. (“Tiptoe Through The Tulips”, anyone?) Singer-songwriter Anna Wolf and songwriter/producer Pop Morrison certainly bring this spine-chilling energy to their title track and music video for the horror film “The Unfamiliar.” Wolf is a singer-songwriter and holder of many awards for her sharp and highly idiosyncratic music. Morrison is known as Jamie when he drums for the rock band The Stereophonics, but he transforms into the eccentric and explosive Pop Morrison when he takes on music production. 

The music video intersperses scenes from the movie with close up, blurry shots of the duo. With Wolf and Morrison lingering outside the narrative, the video feels like a micro-horror work in its own right. It plays with the dynamics of dark and light, and though it’s simple on the surface, there are layers of intricacy that reveal the deep amount of thought that was put into it. As Wolf sings “the dark and the light” the shot moves from the darkness surrounding her to the light shining on Morrison’s guitar. A fleeting scream cuts through the song as the visual flashes to and from a shot of a child from the movie. These subtle touches add a lot of depth to the video, creating a haunting and memorable performance that finds its own beauty amidst the occult psychodrama of the film.   

The music itself is atmospheric, but sparse, leaving you feeling exposed and vulnerable. Voices sweep across the background like the wails of a ghost. Drums beat gently but ominously beneath Wolf’s searing vocals. Her voice takes on the supernatural quality of Kate Bush and Joanna Newsom, helping her to embody the eerie, possessed nature of a ghoul. Even Pop’s guitar has the transient, mystic feel of a phantom, thanks to his precise production. While the rest of the track feeds into the sinister feel of the film, the acoustic guitar adds an interesting fairytale quality that projects elegant indie-folk imagery for the audience. There’s a lot in “The Unfamiliar” that reveals things about the film. Morrison says, “The song sets a tone before you’ve even seen the film, the same way the movie leaves a mark after you’ve seen it.” The duo did an excellent job of executing the vision of the filmmakers, with  the film’s director and co-writer Henk Pretorius saying, “Anna Wolf and Pop Morrison’s music dreamily conveys the dark lure of The Unfamiliar. I got emotional when I heard what they created.”

About The Unfamiliar
The Unfamiliar is an independent horror film, set in the UK and Hawaii, showcasing a melting pot of rising British, European and South African crew and cast members. Directed by Henk Pretorius and produced by Llewelynn Greeff and Barend Kruger, the Anglo-French Jemima West (Indian Summer, The Mortal Instruments) stars as British Army doctor Elizabeth ‘Izzy’ Cormack, returned from war to rekindle her relationship with her estranged family. Alarmed by the numerous inexplicable activities around the house, Izzy seeks ineffectual professional help before confiding in her husband. He believes that she is going through PTSD and advises her to rest and recuperate in Hawaii. It’s there that she gets sucked into the underworld of Hawaiian mythology, as she attempts to piece together the elaborate and elegant puzzle to reveal an ancient and terrifying spiritual presence haunting her family. You can watch the trailer here

rainne, “psycho killer”

rainne, “psycho killer”

Los Angeles-based alt-pop duo Rainne – comprised of Annie Dingwall and
Justin Klunk – recently released their dark and brooding new track “Psycho Killer”, which will make anyone feel like they have an edge. Not only are the instrumentals heavy – a tinny sound layered in to make it all the more eery – but the practiced vocals add a feeling of insanity to it all. One thing is for sure: Annie’s vocal range is off the charts.

Explains Annie of the track, “‘Psycho Killer’ is based on our passion for psychological thrillers and true crime. The song’s story is set during a passionate moment between two lovers, when one realizes that the desire that’s taking over may be too intense to handle.”

Keep up with Rainne here.

i am casting on lyricism, psychology, and carnival barkers

i am casting on lyricism, psychology, and carnival barkers

Cole Guerra has crafted a sound that balances on the edge between progressive rock and pop with latest project I Am Casting, a musical entity we have been captivated by since premiering “Clay” last year. Amidst the release of the project’s debut album, we got a few minutes to sit down and dig in with Guerra on everything music. Check it out below!

There was a time when you were studying and performing, were there any points where the focus of your studies intermingled with your song writing?

That period was well before writing any of the songs on Carnival Barkers. The overlap would have occurred primarily during the writing of an album called Scarves & Knives, which I put out under my own name years ago. I don’t believe that the focus of my studies really made its way into contemporaneous songwriting material, though I can look back and recognize that I was, at times, working some psychological stuff out (about myself) through my lyric writing.

On the other hand, my exposure during grad school and beyond to issues central to clinical psychology and social psychology has pretty clearly influenced my lyrics over the past couple years, while writing the tunes on Carnival Barkers.

Does your background in psychology help when writing lyrics?

In general, I’m sure that the psych background funnels me towards certain subject matter, even if I’m not altogether deliberate or conscious about this, and that it then informs the perspective I have on the chosen subjects. The psych background definitely influenced how I approached the material on Carnival Barkers. It was 2016 when I began working on the album, and from the start of lyric-writing I knew my framework was to write a collection of tunes that would observe, from various angles, something about the psychology of the political moment. Most of the songs offer a take on toxic influencers and/or their impact, both on those who ‘buy in’ to the message and those who do not. For example, I think of ‘Wolf’, ‘Charmer’, and ‘Lullaby’ as Pied Piper-like riffs, thematically. I view ‘Helpless’, ‘Muggers’, and ‘Seams’ as fragments of possible responses by those upended and left feeling powerless in the wake of a malignant carnival barker. ‘Flood’ and ‘Window’ are songs about the political exploitation of fear and prejudice.

Carnival Barkers will soon be released, “Flood” was the first single released from your new album. What is the background behind “Flood”?

‘Flood’ was one of the first songs written for Carnival Barkers – it was penned in mid-2016. During the run-up to the election, I was disgusted, like many, by how often Trump negatively framed non-white and non-European populations and made racial and ethnic distinctions increasingly salient. He was explicitly signalling to his political base that they should care about race and ethnicity differences, and that those outside their racial and ethnic ingroups (here’s the social psychology influence I referenced above) were clear threats. In essence, he seemed to have a strategy of stoking and then exploiting people’s fears about those in outgroups. We’ve seen this play out over the past couple years – in, for example, the alarmism about the “Caravan” or with the just-declared “national emergency”. ‘Flood’ tries to get at aspects of this, as does the song ‘Window’.

The video for “Flood” used footage of historical events that ties into the song, of the footage you used which part sums up “Flood” the most?

The juxtaposition of (a) clips from a 1957 promo piece by Redbook magazine that depicted tranquil white suburbia with (b) clips depicting the aggression and hostility of white women and men towards the Little Rock Nine during that same year.

After Scarves & Knives you kind of disappeared, what were you doing in that time?

At the time of releasing Scarves & Knives, and then touring in support of it, I was ‘on leave’ from my clinical psychology program. I had a decision to make after touring – do I finish the degree or commit full-time to music? I was invested in both possible paths and knew I wanted to wrap up the doctoral degree and keep the door open to becoming a practicing psychologist. I re-engaged in the grad program, which was a pretty immersive thing involving dissertation writing and clinical work, followed by an internship and subsequent ‘post-doc’ experience. After that, I jumped into developing my clinical psychology practice. During that stretch, whenever I tried to write music, it just felt kind of painful – like if I couldn’t do it full-on, why bother? Hard to explain, really. I somehow ended up going years without doing anything music-related. Most of that time, I didn’t even touch a guitar or keyboard. It wasn’t until 2016 that I began writing again.

Is there any overall advantage from working primarily from your home studio?

Yes, absolutely, especially as I’ve come to view tracking itself as an important part of my songwriting process – things are pretty iterative at this point, so I benefit from having the ability to easily go in and adjust, rinse, repeat, etc. I guess I could just call what I end up with a ‘demo’ and then go to a full-fledged studio, but the home studio is sufficient for me to obtain most of what I’m after – there are exceptions, and I did leave the home space to record some stuff.

What element of Carnival Barkers are you most proud of and why?

Probably that it feels like an album. There are thematic threads that connect the tunes, as I was describing earlier, and I think there are musical threads that do the same (arrangement choices, tonally coherent). Hopefully, if a listener takes in the full LP in a single gulp, there is a “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” type impact.

You studied piano as a child, how did this set you up musically for your future musical endeavors?

I’m sure that early exposure to an instrument was one of the things that contributed to a love of music, along with extensive music-listening as a young kid. I’m also pretty sure that playing the piano made it easier to learn and play the guitar, which I picked up just after high school. This is conjecture, but maybe the most significant impact of playing an instrument as a young kid was that it introduced me very early on to the idea that one’s experience with music can be that of an active participant.

What was it about Richard Buckner’s Since that captivated you so much?

Just about everything, really. Chord progressions and melodies that grabbed me immediately and then somehow continued to grow on me after a ridiculous amount of spins. The sound itself – dry vocal upfront, immersive + emotional musical beds. The tunes cohere as an album, and yet there is a great amount of variability in song tempos, tone, structure, and length. I usually don’t weigh lyrical content that greatly in my music preferences, but Buckner’s lyrics on Since are just incredible. And lastly, the tunes seemed so specifically him – I didn’t have a clear sense of ‘influences’.

Since also introduced me to the work of producer and bassist JD Foster, who had produced the LP as well as Bucker’s preceding album, Devotion & Doubt. A few years after the release of Since, I invited JD to a show I was playing in NYC – the conversation with JD after that gig eventually led to the making of Scarves & Knives.

Why did it take a text from Ian Schreier to get you making music again, had you not thought of your music before that point?

There was something motivating about re-engaging with people I’d worked on music with in the past – Ian had mixed Scarves & Knives and been involved in some of the recording as well. Also, quite frankly, it was probably that the messages from Ian over a couple months, along with some other input from musicians I respect a lot, helped to build up some lost confidence. The initial communication from Ian led to a couple meetings at the studio where he typically works, and to me taking a plunge on buying some home recording software/hardware – I’d never had any recording gear previously.

When creating music for Carnival Barkers it was the lyrics that came second, what is your usual creative process of writing?

Lyrics have always come relatively late in the process for me. Frankly, as a listener, the music (the chord progression, the melody, the texture/sound/feel, etc.) speaks to me far more than does any lyric. A bad lyric can put me off, but I’ll listen to a great-sounding tune with middling lyrics. A good lyric is like a bonus of sorts, icing on the cake.

Though I’ve always written music before lyrics, the creative process did change quite a bit for Carnival Barkers. Prior to CB, I’d write the progression + melody + lyric while sitting with a guitar or at the piano, and think about arrangement and texture after the song was, in essence, ‘done’. With CB, the home recording setup and software enabled me to write and record percussion (and other) parts in tandem with the keys or guitar, and the rhythm and ‘texture’ tracks ended up influencing my progressions and melodies to a degree I never would have predicted – I really prefer this newer approach. As I start playing with a vocal melody over a progression I’ve already written and recorded, a lyrical idea or theme will sort of emerge – usually a phrase or two grab me and then I shape the remaining lyric accordingly.

Thank you for giving Imperfect Fifth this interview, is there anything you would like to add?

No, other than thanks for expressing interest in the album!


Keep up with I Am Casting here.

pearl & the oysters reveal nostalgic music video for title track off latest release flowerland

pearl & the oysters reveal nostalgic music video for title track off latest release flowerland

Pearl & The Oysters are celebrating not only the release of their third album Flowerland, but the title track has itself a gorgeous music video to accompany it now. Filmed as though it’s aged decades to mirror the French-American Psych Pop duo’s audio energy, the art lies in the video’s visual “imperfections.” The lime green hues in the feedback add a boost of color to the otherwise largely dual-tone shots.

Hints of navy blue and flashes of magenta give the video dimension, and a sense of nostalgia, as we enjoy Juliette Pearl Davis (lead vocals, flute, synths) and Joachim Polack (keys/synths, backing vocals, bass, guitar, violin, percussion) enjoy an afternoon amongst the flowers.

Directed by Pearl & The Oysters
Edited by Juliette Pearl Davis
Analog system video processing by Vinyl Williams
Music by Pearl & The Oysters

tempesst, must be a dream

tempesst, must be a dream

It’s debut album time for London-based band Tempesst with their release of Must Be a Dream that was brought to life at Pony Recordings; the band’s label in Hackney, London. The ten track album is filled with generous servings of psych pop and stylistic nods to the band’s influences of Joni Mitchell, Al Green, Wings, and Electric Light Orchestra. The core of the band is made up of twin brothers, Toma and Andy Banjanin, who’s musical journey spans across the cities they lived in and life lessons they learned along the way. Rooted into a musical family and playing in a church band as teenagers, the brothers left Noosa, Australia for a short stint in Brooklyn, New York during the bustling indie scene of the late 2000s. Inspired and full of the DIY tactics and ideas they experienced, they took to London and began culminating the band, their label, and the album. Rounding out the lineup with guitarist, Swiss-American Eric Weber and old friends Kane Reynolds and Blake Misipeka, the keyboardist and bassist, Tempesst hunkered down in the studio they built while meticulously working on their sound. “These days artists are expected to do so much themselves and we have always been slight control freaks anyway”, states Andy. “DIY is part of everything that we do, so that extends to our label, the studio, the videos, all of it and really it’s just how the indie music scene has evolved.”

Must Be a Dream allows listeners to transport musically and explore dense, emotional themes, all while being comforted in the juxtaposed moments of sun-kissed melodies and angelic synths. “Better Than the Devil” stands as the opening track, where Andy on drums showcases a steady kick drum beat in the beginning before really opening up with the rest of the arrangement. The background vocals on the title track are church choir melodies that serenade the metaphorical idea of the song; that the perfect woman in front of you couldn’t possibly be real; couldn’t possibly exist in your reality. Tempesst dives into identity faceting in “High on My Own”, through judgmental lyrical undertones about other’s self-acceptance, and a contrasting upbeat feel that leaves the listener with hope of following one’s own path. Tackling the haunting struggles that love can bring, “Mushroom Cloud” dramatically lays out the spite and pain sometimes felt for the ones we fall deepest for. Toma’s simple chorus guides the listener through the struggle, and ends with a lyrical punch to the heart “When sorry’s a worn out sleight of hand / good love is a dried up wilderness / you’ll know where to find me / on the fallen horizon.”

Complete with harp instrumentation, and “oh la la la la la” vocals, “Walk on the Water” is a euphoric transitional track to different themes of the album. A mashup of vocal harmonies on top of deep instrumental reverb, “On the Run” holds stories of death, substance abuse, and the forever loss of innocence. Explains Toma:

It’s about a close friend who disappeared for a decade and returned as someone completely different, and it’s an ongoing trauma. When I connected the music to the lyrics to try and finish the song, it felt like it had a rolling rhythm, so the chorus fell into place from there. For me, this song carries a lot more emotional weight. 

The final album tracks explore themes of modern day society in relation to getting older, boredom within the digital age, and the paralleling question of what life is supposed to mean through all of it. It’s the juxtaposing ideas of sound and song meaning in this debut album where Tempesst really invites the listener to their psych-rock wonderland – where storytelling and sweet melodies will meet you at every riff.