marlene oak, “sailing home”

marlene oak, “sailing home”

Today, captivating folk artist Marlene Oak releases her new track “Sailing Home.” With enticing, sprawling vocals, she seems to captivate us with a simple soundscape almost immediately. The way her “ooohs” almost seem to get momentarily caught in her throat, with the hitch of a rasp that is contagious as all get-out… mesmerizing. For someone with as magnetic a vocal range and beautiful a soul, we are surprised this is just our introduction to her catalog of work.

Spend a couple of minutes with this release. It’s going to bring your heart rate down and your soul connection way, way up.

the veronicas, “biting my tongue”

the veronicas, “biting my tongue”

A certain crowd grew up with the sultry, badass sounds of The Veronicas as the backdrop to their adolescent years. I happen to be a certain member of that certain crowd, and my love for the duo was amplified both by the fact that they are twins (Ahem! Twins need more fun representation in popular culture!), and they are the nieces of The Proclaimers. (Yo, if you’re a child of the nineties or before, you know they are also a badass set of musician twins.)

As someone who has been following them for a while, I was overjoyed at the release of their new, cinematic music video. The best news about it? It just so happens to be their directorial debut, and it is, without question, a masterpiece.

A soft, pastel overlay. Both twins starring in a grimy, beautiful, honest piece about love and violence in a small town. Surrounded by chaos, they find their people. But will love get them through jealous peaks and intense moments?

The song itself is perfect to dance to, infectious in both its upbeat soundscape and the way it makes you move your hips immediately. Add the twins’ sticky sweet vocals and dark, intense attitudes, and you just cannot go wrong.

Keep your eyes on The Veronicas here.

another magic, sunderwater/underwater sun

another magic, sunderwater/underwater sun

The masterful work of artist Thomas Arndt has been unleashed upon us with the new album from his solo project, Another Magic. The twelve-track release – Sunderwater/Underwater Sun – dropped today, and we know you will be enveloped in a unique atmosphere from start to finish. With percussion-driven initial tracks “Sites * Bones/Free” and “Breaking Promises,” we get a sense of the transformation Arndt went through while connecting with this project. All we want to do is dance and feel and breathe. “(Gone)” presents itself as a slowdown, notable for the saxophone and melancholy feel. “Set It Off” brings the pace back up, a track we can see being played at your next (socially distanced) outdoor barbecue event. (It’s so good, right?)

The rhythm and the introspective lyrics in “Want to Feel” make this one of the most relatable songs on the release. As Arndt sings of wanting these things, this sense of humanity cascades around you with the music. At a time when everyone is trying to be better and to feel in different ways, this track speaks to us. “Can the Body” takes a slower pace again, a more meandering track that leads beautifully into “Not Loud Enough.” It is at this point that the structure of the tracks comes alive because you can see how Sunderwater/Underwater Sun plays with pace and layers to present a robust audio adventure.

And just like that, “Ocean Goes” offers a reprieve from the cacophony of instrumentals in its predecessor, incorporating sounds that add a sense of tranquility to the atmosphere. It still feels quirky, almost imbalanced, but done so in such an intentional way that we can do nothing but appreciate the humanity in it. “Here (Like Love)” and “Stolen” maintain similar ambiance, whereas “Lost in the Future” takes on an almost Andrew McMahon-feel to parts of it, examining more than just the present moment in its lyrics. “Show for It” rounds everything out quite nicely, once again bringing us back to relatable lyrics, a slower – more calculated – pace, and existentialism laced throughout.

Don’t take our word for it. Take the album for a test drive. Let us know what you think.

 

kacy hill, “everybody’s mother”

kacy hill, “everybody’s mother”

Kacy Hill released her new album Is It Selfish If We Talk About Me Again on July 10th, and we’ve been wrapping ourselves in its loving embrace ever since. But the official music video for “Everybody’s Mother” dropped recently, and we’re absolutely floored by the beauty.

Beauty in the color palette — look at those gorgeous oranges and greens — and in the artist’s bone structure. But aside from that, beauty in her movement, her lyrics, her vocals. There is both a helplessness and a hopefulness in her eyes that is so relatable, so emotional, so vulnerable. And this sense of loneliness has been amplified in recent months for absolutely everyone. So, for the first time in Imperfect Fifth history, I’m going to let the delicate lyrics and vibrant video speak for themselves.

I’m staring at the ceiling no sleep
Thinking what I’d do if you forget me
I know I can be a lot, but I just wanna talk

I just wanna give you all I’ve got, I need distractions
I’d do anything, do anything for a reaction

I’m everybody’s mother and nobody’s baby
been giving too much to feel lonely lately
And I think that I care more than you do, maybe
I’m everybody’s mother and nobody’s baby

Maybe I’m afraid of what’s next
Maybe I’m afraid of success
Am I even making sense?
I’m just asking for a friend

I wanna say it really doesn’t matter, but it’s deeper
The hours everyday move way too slow until I need them

I’m everybody’s mother and nobody’s baby
been giving too much to feel lonely lately
And I think that I care more than you do, maybe
I’m everybody’s mother and nobody’s baby

let our favorite videos of july 2020 give your brain a break

let our favorite videos of july 2020 give your brain a break

Every morning, news headlines basically present us with nightmares. Every day, just another nightmare. Wake up, a nightmare. Go to bed, probably also a nightmare. Not cool. So, we took it upon ourselves to give you better visuals to get you through your day. Below, find incredible new video releases from an array of talented artists. And don’t just take our word for it, discover your new favorite by pressing “PLAY.”

Trust us, you want an escape from your brain too.

well, we’re halfway through this beast: july 2020

well, we’re halfway through this beast: july 2020

I don’t know how it happens, but every month I am more and more impressed by the talent that ends up in my inbox. In fact, since I’ve been largely holed up in the apartment since March, I look forward to diving into said inbox more often and even scrolling through Spotify to find new sounds. With the lack of chatter around me, less driving music, and experiencing new music by happenstance in everyday situations, it has been easier to really curate my environment and create an ambiance. And it feels like all of the new music coming out is insightful, artful, and speaks to my soul.

This month, our soundtrack is stacked. And don’t expect that to slow down. Hunker down for newbies from Lotus, Madison Olds, Baker Grace, KNIFEY, Dream Nails, Kaisha, Digital Monx, Racquel Jones, Koe Wetzel, Gold May, Gabrielle Current, HARLOE, and more!

Check back all month long for some of the most random and gorgeous new music selections you’ve ever heard!

ryterband, undefended

ryterband, undefended

Close your eyes and press play. The lush, tranquil sounds that burst forth from your speakers make it feel like there is another layer to your reality. And that is all before the smooth-as-honey vocals cut in, compliments of Los Angeles-based songwriter & producer RYTERBAND. In a world where everyone’s timelines seem to be upside-down and inside-out, this is the type of music we need. Songs like “Stay Awake” have the propensity to offer an escape, as well as a reminder on how to handle yourself in your current atmosphere.

As his debut offering, Undefended boasts catchy hooks, a vibrant disposition, and twinkling after-effects. Lines like “You move like dust in the sunlight” – found at the beginning of second track “Brilliant Eyes” – are absolutely drenched in poeticism. But delve into how RYTERBAND plays with dissonance in “Lighthouse,” and I dare you not to be moved to tears.

Take a dive into any one of these tracks. The layers that exist, the way the sound seems to encapsulate you and carry you around on its back. There’s something primal somehow entrenched within this electro-infused set of tracks that tugs at you, something that makes it clear that if this is just the beginning, there is simply more intrinsic beauty to come from this talented musician.

ajeet, “dance of the moon”

ajeet, “dance of the moon”

If you have been looking for a  vocalist and a visual to help “carry [you] away,” then look no further than the new music video for Ajeet‘s “Dance of The Moon”. As the title of the song suggests, there is an ambiance taking place here, masterfully crafted by the world music artist you see before you. As you zen out to the incredibly alluring track, you can’t help but be fixated on her movement, inspired to move in ways you haven’t in perhaps a while. Plus, it is full of a gorgeous landscape that is a feast to so many eyes who haven’t seen more than the inside of their home for months on end.

Take a few minutes to escape into the magic. We promise it’s worth it.

cady groves, bless my heart

cady groves, bless my heart

There’s something so incredible about the connection of an artist to their work, and then the work’s fans to that artist. The announcement of the death of indelible singer-songwriter Cady Groves at the tender age of thirty this spring has left a large demographic of both pop/punk fans and country aficionados floored. I, myself, remember the days when she toured with punk banks and I requested her haircut at the salon. (College was a trip, and she has always been gorgeous.) Seeing her name in headlines in my social media feed made my heart stop, and I haven’t heard much of her more recent work. But the world has been celebrating her all along, and her fandom has been wrecked over the news.

Cady spent the last four years of her life writing and preparing new music in Nashville that both reflects her personal experiences, and makes her even more relatable than before. Her EP Bless My Heart was released at the end of May posthumously, and she couldn’t have hit the mark more if she tried.

With a little whimsy, she approaches the collection with the first track “Bartender,” a quirky, honest, beautiful ballad to the carefree nature of a full bar on a hot summer night. Perhaps the reality of political unrest and pandemic make this song feel that much more nostalgic, because we actually felt ourselves tearing up, listening to a song about drinking. The title track comes in quick to justify the tears, however, as Cady addresses personal anecdotes and makes us feel that even those who fall – hard – have the opportunity to be blessed in life. She rips any wounds wide open in this track, and this vulnerable side is going to be the thing we miss most.

“Camo” seems to have a title that is very stereotypical – and perhaps widely indicative – of its audience, but the metaphor prevails as a gorgeous reminder to make yourself seen. “Cigarettes and Sunsets” takes on a rhythm and pace that lure us into the thought that we might be about to watch 1996 blockbuster hit Phenomenon. (That is not an insult in the slightest. We imagine this track sounds like the perfect amalgamation of Clapton-style guitar and the Northern California cowboy demographic that surrounded the cast of Phenomenon during filming. But I digress.) Either way, the track belongs in a film. (Do you hear that, sync friends?!)

Last track “Crying Game” visits personal anecdotes, and reminds us a bit of earlier Cady Groves’ work sonically. The song specifically addresses the deaths of two of her brothers (Casey and Kelly), and the emotions that come along with their memories. It all feels like a way to round back to the beginning, as she takes her final, audible, bow.

To feel as though you have witnessed an entire career in just five songs seems a bit cheesy. But this release makes us feel closer to Cady than ever before.