Alt-pop singer-songwriter Anna Shoemaker has just released the music video for “Someone”, the next focus track on her recently dropped album Everything is Embarrassing.
The 25-year-old artist became a SoundCloud sensation with her viral mashup of Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” and Chance the Rapper’s “Cocoa Butter Kisses,” which she recorded on her bedroom floor. The song now has over 869,000+ streams and caught the attention of key tastemakers. Shoemaker then signed to 5Towns Records in late 2017 when she was chosen as Steve Madden’s Emerging Artist of the Year. In September of 2018, Shoemaker released her debut EP, East Side, produced by GRAMMY- nominated producer JT Daly. While still catchy and pop, the new songs feel more vulnerable and personal than ever. She finds putting pen to paper is often the best way to process her emotions, thus creating raw and honest lyricism that will certainly define Shoemaker’s releases.
Shoemaker filmed the charming video for her new release herself on her iphone, which follows the young artist and her “Someone” through a night at their apartment. Full of wine, pizza, and face masks, it shows a budding romance through rose-colored glasses, tinted with hope and adoration for her love. The track itself is full of bright, head-bobbing synth beats and gently plucked guitar with Shoemaker’s unique voice painting it with her own style. The intimate video pairs perfectly with the equally intimate song, giving listeners and viewers a firm grasp on Shoemaker’s artistic vision, which is full of songs bursting with relatable emotional and life experiences.
The music video for “Someone” and Everything is Embarrassing is out now via BMG for your streaming consumption. Keep up with Anna Shoemaker here.
Andrew Hozier-Byrne, better known across the globe simply as Hozier, has been an active participant in the live-stream concert trend that is sweeping the globe. The music industry enigma’s most recent endeavor took place on Friday via Billboard Live’s facebook page in an effort to raise money for the Downtown Women’s Center in LA, which focuses on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women. While in his previous livestreams Hozier has been accompanied by bandmate Alex Ryan, he buckled down in his bedroom by himself for this one due to intensification of the lockdown, joined only by his acoustic guitar. After talking a little about the Women’s Center, Hozier jumped into material from his massively successful 2014 self-titled debut, which birthed chart-toppers like “Take Me to Church” and launched him into wide-spread fame.
The Irish musician started off with an acoustic rendition of “To Be Alone”, a bluesy rock number off of his first album. Even without the driving electric guitar and hard-hitting percussion of the original track, Hozier kept all of his power with his soulful vocals and guitar-playing. He then invited fans to send in requests, humbly stating that he could “try and God knows that’s the best I can do” (Yeah, okay Hozier *insert eye-roll here*) before moving into a soft-spoken version of fan-favorite “From Eden”. The beautiful number was accompanied by bright slide-guitar and whispered falsetto brushed across the tops of the airy track’s high notes. “Cool.” Hozier breezily said before diving into some questions from the stream’s viewers.
“What are you some of the ways you’ve been keeping busy during these times?” He read aloud from the comments and questions streaming in at real time. Hozier took the moment to speak of the effect that the pandemic has had on the live event industry and of his own plans for the year. “I’m very very fortunate that I didn’t have touring plans this year. So a lot of musicians and in particular independent musicians, freelancers, anybody involved in event management or gigging….” He trailed off in thought before coming back, restating “I’ve been very very fortunate”. Hozier shared that his plans have not been heavily affected by the pandemic, a fact not all that surprising for a man who’s infamous among fans for backing out of the spotlight for years at a time when he’s not touring to work on his music without the constant pressure typically forced on artists by labels and the public. He did share what he’s been up to though: reading, writing, and walking “at safe distances from other people”.
Hozier spoke a little more about the Women’s Center and encouraged viewers to donate if they could before cutting off his own thoughts. “And- Yeah. What are we doing? I suppose I’ll sing a song” he said with a grin. “That’s what I do”. He spoke on as he tweaked his guitar. “Today was a sad day, sadder than normal. Bill Withers passed away, who I’m sure you’re familiar with, and it’s an absolute tragedy”. He then spoke of Withers influence on him personally before paying tribute to him with a haunting cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine”, one of Withers’ classics. Not surprisingly, he did the soulful track justice, effortlessly building the intensity with his impassioned playing and singing before pulling back to let the last section breathe. “Isn’t that a beautiful song?” He mused.
Hozier followed the heartfelt cover with “Cherry Wine”, one of the most beautiful and patient songs from his debut. Seeing that the album version is a live recording with just acoustic guitar as well, his livestream edition sounded eerily similar and was charged with nostalgia for longtime fans. The world stood still for a couple moments as the musician’s remarkable ability to make everything feel alright washed over like a wave of cool and calm, serving as a personal reminder that if Hozier told me to jump into a volcano he’d probably ask in such a way that I’d not only oblige but think it was a fantastic idea. Remarkable.
There seems to be a tendency among musicians who had a giant breakout hit like Hozier did with “Take Me to Church” to avoid playing these hits when they don’t have to, so I was a bit surprised when he busted out the song that launched him into mainstream popularity back in 2014 to close the set. But Hozier, ever a man of the people (even if he hides from them in the woods for years at a time) brought back the hit for his last song of the night.
“I have not played this song on guitar for um, many moon now, for years I would say”. Hozier teased with a coy smile as he tuned his guitar. “There was a time when I’d play it 3 times a day. So hopefully that will sustain in this first time I’ve played it in years”. Hozier thanked his viewers and Billboard before reminding everyone to donate to the Women’s center one final time.
Not shockingly, he followed that intro with a perfect rendition of the dark and soulful tune, reminding everyone of why we fell in love with his music in the first place.
“Or something to that effect” Hozier said before signing off and returning to his preferred state of anonymity, presumably “In the Woods Somewhere” (Hah, Hozier puns) where he belongs.
“And wash them hands,” Hozier said as he waved his way off the air. Your wish is my command, Hozier.
LA-based pop artist Ella Vos’s new single “Burning Bridges” is here to heat up your dreary self-quarantine experience. This most recent release from Vos is the third in a series of consecutive releases, with each piece just as striking as the last and each one offering a unique shine.
Despite being a newcomer to the indie pop scene, Vos has already racked up over 100 million streams on Spotify. A cancer survivor and a mother, the young woman is an inspiration to many and has a stellar skillset to match.
“Burning Bridges” is an emotional narrative about a toxic relationship going up in flames. The catchy indie-pop tune features Vos’s angelic voice floating over the springy track with grace and ease. Vos is a blooming new starlet on the indie-pop scene, and we can’t wait to see what else she has up her sleeve.
Rising indie singer-songwriter ZacharyKnowles (I’m not hip to any knowledge of relations to Beyonce but I encourage you to form your own conspiracies) has recently released his newest offering to the world, a single entitled “Cherry Wine”, which serves as the centerpiece on his forthcoming EP, Magnolia (Out May 2020). The Texas-bred artist has released a hypnotic new music video to accompany the single as well.
“Cherry Wine” sees Knowles gently glide across a brightly picked acoustic guitar track with his angelic and carefully placed falsetto. In similar fashion, the music video shows him floating through landscapes, first pedaling a bike and then sprinting through forests and fields, softened by the sweet and constant presence of slow motion. Knowles only stops when he reaches a tumultuous seascape.
Of the track he explains, “The meaning behind “Cherry Wine” is super personal. I wrote about what life looked like before I was dating the girl I love. Before we started dating I was crazy about her (at the age of 14 haha that’s crazy to say) but didn’t know if she felt the same. I wanted to capture what that time of my life felt like.” Tranquil and sweet like simple syrup, the delicately crafted single showcases Knowles’ ability to build a sonic haven around himself that transcends the harsh borders of the outside world.
“Cherry Wine” is out now and Magnolia will be available for your consumption in May of 2020.
Indie-pop singer/songwriter Stevie Wolf has released new single and music video for “Paper Maché Doll”. Wolf has a propensity for crafting intricate and intimate songs that make you feel not so alone, and this brilliant track is no exception.
The Colorado native was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and major anxiety disorder at a young age and found relief in channeling his impulses and angst into music and songwriting. After attending college, Wolf found his way back to music and is finally ready to share his work with the world. “Paper Maché Doll” is the second release from Wolf’s upcoming EP.
The video features Wolf among a jungle of red strings as he sings the soaring ballad. He becomes entangled in the strings as his passionate vocals soar while he tackles relatable issues such as social anxiety and self-esteem issues. Wolf scrutinizes societal expectations and powerfully and passionately sings that he “want(s) to be so much more than my body, than my acne scars..” Wolf skillfully builds the song and navigates the impressive arrangement and is a relatable and inspirational figure for all to look up to.
“Paper Maché Doll” is out now on all streaming platforms.