Singer, actress, and author Sophia Marie is no stranger to heartbreak. Or so the debut single from her sophomore effort, a song titled “Femme Fatale” would have you believe. With a distinct nod to late 80s/early 90s pop, this track absolutely glitters sonically from the first chord to the very last line. But the subject matter? A bit more tempestuous.
Admits Sophia Marie of the track:
‘Femme Fatale’ is an 80s-inspired ballad that depicts a narrator engaging in reckless, degenerate, and overtly flirtatious behavior because the one man that would make her calm, steady, and stable doesn’t love her back.
It’s a song that attempts to hide its insecurity but then blazes it out in the open, describing the narrator’s process of morphing into something she despises just to stoke envy in her lover’s heart. I was inspired by my own experiences, exaggerating my changes in personality when I became jaded or disillusioned with love, but I also drew heavily upon iconic historical and literary femme fatale figures like Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, and Moulin Rouge’s Satine to give it a sexy ambiance that causes dissonance with its depressing words.
“Femme Fatale” works up a frenzy lyrically, with a disarmingly smooth sound. Get your first listen below.
Pre-save the track here and keep up with Sophia Marie here.
Berklee student Maggie Cubillos is making her mark on the music industry with new single “Old Shoes.” Raised around the industry because of her dad’s role in it – though the way she approaches it is nuanced in a way that reveals she has created a path all her own – she seems to have accrued the knowledge and wherewithal to know exactly what the world needs to hear, and when.
“Old Shoes” is a meandering, beautiful composition that sets Maggie’s light-as-a-feather vocals center stage. As she sings of struggling with a variety of emotions, the listener absolutely melts into the melody. Maggie’s songwriting abilities indicate a self-awareness and soul far beyond her years, and we can’t wait to hear more from this newcomer.
Keep up with Maggie and her blossoming music career here.
At just 18 years old, Michigan-based Eli 07‘s (Eli Wilson) true musical talent originally gained him traction on TikTok. But his collaboration efforts and insane vocal talents are what will sustain him in the music industry for years to come. His music is soulful, equal parts softness and conviction. “15 Miles” is a rhythmic piece that utilizes acoustic guitar to create a sound that feels like the perfect blend of aughts’ emo and modern indie.
The music video – directed and edited by Rascreative – serves to perfectly amplify the initial pull and sadness of the track. With cool undertones, it follows the artist while he sings his woes on an abandoned beach. A sense of emotional struggle is introduced to the visual as he wears a suit and tie, but then abandons the buttoned-up look to connect with the waves. It is a scene worthy of a major motion picture.
Check out the video below, and let us know what you think!
Production Assistant: Felipe Navia Song Produced by @King Theta Mix/Mastered by @felipejnavia Written and Performed by @eliwilson07
This weekend was one for the books. A massive crowd gathered at The Truman in Kansas City, Missouri to enjoy a sold-out show featuring CVBZ and Teddy Swims. We happened upon the artist and his band during their Bonnaroo set this summer, and have been singing their praises ever since. His powerhouse vocals and humble nature, and everyone’s massive musical talent, are endearing as hell.
The band walked in at the start, followed by the charming lead singer. He was propped on two crutches, with two bare feet wrapped in athletic tape. You could tell the crowd was confused, but everyone’s attention was immediately drawn to the energy of the band.
After singing a bit, he addressed his bare feet, the clear elephant in the room. He told us that he sustained an injury while on a tour stop in Las Vegas. Instead of getting his ankle checked out, he chose to favor his leg and limp in the coming days. Today, however, a trip to urgent care revealed that, because he did not seek medical care for this first injury, he now had two sprained ankles. While he spent a few songs on his feet, there was a loveseat conveniently located by the microphone and a pile of water bottles for him to enjoy as he entertained the crowd.
His set included a few lively covers, “Broke,” the sultry “Two Moods” and crowd favorites “Simple Things” and “Bed on Fire.”
Los Angeles-based Sara Niemiętz‘s sound has evolved over time, each new release intrinsically captivating. Today, the talented singer/songwriter releases her fourth full-length, an audible treat titled Superman. Explains Sara of the project: “This album is about vulnerability and empowerment. It’s about speaking your piece, shaking off the past, and finding the superhero inside.”
And she’s not messing around. We start off with the sultry, confident track “Locks,” which serves as a ballbuster of an introduction to this particular collection of music. “I Want You” continues on theme, leading with a bass riff that perfectly frames and encourages the rock anthem that follows. Lines like “baby, I’m your type” reinforce the confidence that Niemiętz has built her career around. It’s a brand of badass that we can really rally behind.
Fourth track “Lovely Lies” begins with pure romance, a Spanish-style guitar taking just slightly off-center stage — to the side of the commanding vocals. Bongos seep into the mix, solidifying a new energy to this piece of the album. In a very cohesive manner, “Fill Me Up” begins slowly, reminiscent of a slightly more soulful Norah Jones, in all honesty.
“Four Walls” is a beautiful track that speaks to the weight of the pandemic and our collective stresses over the past several years. The soundscape feels organic, with gorgeous sound effects that make this song perfect for the end of an invigorating yoga practice. While “Come to Me” continues at a similar clip, “Names” drops with so much attitude you almost can’t handle it. “Keep an Eye” goes back to a more meandering pace, with a speed up – and captivating instrumental solos – later in the track.
“GOODx3” explores the silver linings to breakups, the things you learn, and the brightness that can shine through the “cracks.” It’s one of our favorites on the album, both regarding the instrumental composition and the lively vocals. The title track explores the many facets a person can have, even if they seem one-dimensional in your life’s story. Sara sings of the support that she can provide in love. “Every Light” continues in a similar vein, as she expresses her adoration for a romantic interest.
“Words” comes in heavier than its predecessors, a different level of rock with an added layer of psychedelic ambiance. The album ends with “The Dimming,” a self-reflective assessment that will ring very highly relatable for many. A lesson in perspective, it is a graceful ending to an album we truly enjoyed from beginning to end.
Today, Chicago-based psych-pop outfit Bret Koontz & Truancy Club release the easygoing single “Lonesome Rambler” and its accompanying music video. A genre-bending project spearheaded by Koontz and rounded out by talented artists he’s met along the way – Crawford Philleo (drums), Jake Acosta (bass), Maria Jacobson (flute, vocals), Reggie Duncan (pedal steel), and Ben McFadden (keys) – Truancy Club has created a beautiful, down-home earworm of a track with this one.
“‘Lonesome Rambler’ is a song full of archetypes: ramblers, gamblers, rangers, strangers, and fools,” explains Bret. “It looks at the idea of becoming what you romanticize and how idealized lifestyles are unwittingly reshaped through that becoming. What’s left is an arrival point beyond recognition. The song’s propulsive shuffle outlines flashes of a transient life with spotty cell phone service and unreliable recollections. What’s been saved is bitcrushed on a hardware sampler and what’s been left behind is…unclear. A new major arcana for the modern loser.”
The music video depicts a traipse through nature, with elements that draw you into an interesting – at times hilarious – plotline. (We’re big fans of the Jar Jar Binks cameo, but that’s neither here nor there.) Enjoy the new track’s premiere, perfect for all of your late-night bonfires of the season, below.
Bret Koontz & Truancy Club are set to release A Sparkle Road Cult on November 18th via Earth Libraries.
Folk-led, genre-blending musician Mike Pope has, arguably, been one of Southern California’s best-kept secrets for years. He has certainly shared his talents by making the rounds at venues around San Diego, but it took some time before local record label Blind Owl could get him into a studio. There, he had so much material to work with that this week he released not only his debut album Songs For People (High & Low), but a bonus sophomore album titled Ripening (Ain’t It Strange).
Songs For People (High & Low) is a more self-reflective album, dancing beautifully through the speakers with its haunting melodies, striking lyrics, and captivating musicianship. From the very first lines of literal self-reflective first track “Mirror,” through the slightly quicker pace of “Steeped Cracked Rocks” and into the meandering “Teach To Sow,” the listener is transported to a slower, quieter neck of the woods. The album itself continues at a beautiful, calm clip, the compositions as though the music is physically leading us into autumn nights with friends and family.
If you are looking for a particularly complex bit of picking, “St. Augustine” will breathe life into that craving. And while the 11-track album provides a particularly pleasant audible journey, taking the time to listen to “Maryanne,” “Maryanne (Again),” and “Maryanne (Again and Again)” will light a special fire in your heart.
Dropping into the second album Ripening (Ain’t It Strange), you can tell that what’s to come will be equally pleasing. The heavier instrumentals and incorporation of more rock-focused compositions make for a completely different soundscape. While we were absolutely delighted by the percussion in the vocal-less second track “Homunculus,” the fuzzier sound to “My Spirit Orbits” makes it the perfect track to bop to on vinyl with the windows open, autumn breeze flowing through.
Ripening feels, at its core, a little edgier, but still carries a similar warmth to its sister album, stirring energy and acute want for community leading into the colder months. Colder months if you, for instance, live anywhere BUT perpetually 70-something degree San Diego.
Take some time to play in the soundscape of both albums. Now that Mike Pope has found his way out of the San Diego-specific woodwork, we’d love to maintain a mainline to his work worldwide. If ever there were an opportunity to support and encourage an artist to head back into the studio sometime soon, this is it.
On Friday, September 23rd, the rock aficionados of Kansas City fled to the Midland Theatre in search of a beauty they hadn’t witnessed in years. The Gaslight Anthem recently announced their full-time status together again after a 4-year tour hiatus. Just two weeks into this leg of the tour, they almost immediately had to cancel a show. It had been scheduled earlier in the week in Denver, and openers Tigers Jaw were able to finagle a last-minute headlining set for all ticketholders to the original show to attend in addition to the reschedule.
While they didn’t want to postpone the show altogether, lead singer Brian Fallon had to keep himself and the fans safe and encourage his healing while he dealt with some form of sickness. (Not Covid, but he was a big congested.) Fallon had quite a bit to say about the fan reaction to that decision, which was entirely supported by his empathetic – and emphatic – fans in the heart of America. He even took time during the set to explain that – while he wasn’t at 100% quite yet – he was doing his absolute best on stage because he missed this crowd in this particular city.
Whether it was pandering or not, his stories were sincere, the joy on everyone’s faces was moving, and the night was a blissful continuance of a band we have all come to know and love.
Canadian psych outfit Mother Sun is back to entertain, with their layered, intricate compositions and upbeat soundscapes. In the lead-up to their third riveting full-length release, today marks the release of their new track “Tangerine Beach” and its entertaining accompanying music video. We’ve got your exclusive first listen — and look!
The enticingly bright video – shot, produced, and edited by Josef Perzon – evokes feelings of giddiness and joy from the start. After all, who isn’t going to immediately be in a good mood after sitting in the sun, brilliant turquoise waters behind them?
‘Tangerine Beach’ and its video tell the story of a optimistic vacationer, played by Nathan, whose trip is thwarted by expectations of paradise. Arriving at at the beach, many margaritas in hand, Nathan loses a lens to the sunglasses shading him from the reality of his surroundings.