Solo Chilean artist Dadalú has a lot to say and uncover through her new album El mapa de los días. While her tracks dive into themes like women’s issues and neoliberalism within Chile, her creative process for making music amplifies the commitment and passion Dadalú has for her craft. Born and raised in Santiago, Daniela Saldías has been making music since she was 15 years old. A member of other musical groups like the female duo, Chica Kingkong and rap collective, Colectivo Etéreo, Daniela shows no boundaries for creativity or curiosity in her repertoire.
The album blends alternative hip hop and indie pop with quirky Casiotone, defying genre definitions and spotlighting the incredible talents of this latinx artist. It opens with a melancholic guitar on “En el campo”, a track that speaks about the nature of the Chilean countryside. Singing about her love of the native trees and mixed landscapes, Dadalú also explains the grounding effect of nature, and how the modern social media landscapes people usually trap themselves should never be more important. Track two “Por qué hay que ser sexi?” pairs a groovy beat with a lyrical anthem exploring the music industry’s tactics of selling female artist’s music through seduction. In “Monopolio” she tells of the money driven ideals of Chile, and how money segregates most independent artists from being successful. This theme is continued in the last track “Aquí”, which speaks out for the artists who are on their bedroom floors creating important art that doesn’t have the platform it deserves.
The eclectic sound and feel throughout this album is emphasized through Dadalú’s creative processes. Her instagram account showcases her new adopted COVID hobby – creating animations that depict mini song ideas to explore for a new record. Imperfect Fifth asked Dadalú to tell us about her process for El mapa de los días. She tells us:
“In 2018 I won a musical residency in Paris called The Gonservatory through musician/pianist/entertainer Chilly Gonzales, and that experience helped me a lot. I discovered other ways of composing through discipline and believing in my initial ideas. Eventually I mixed these learnings with a song a day idea from my boyfriend, musician Oso el Roto. I started composing one song per day with some set rules – no more than three hours to record a whole song, and I must trust and finish my first idea no matter what. I ended up making thirty songs and fell in love with that experience. I fell in love with discipline – it felt so nice and so surprising to discover what was inside of my head. El mapa de los días is a reflection about the calendar. It’s a curation of my songwriting exercises, rap and hip hop influences with my friend Martín Pérez Roa who helped record, and some embedded skits within the songs to talk about the lockdown and pandemic feelings”.
Fans and new listeners can stream El mapa de los días on Spotify. Check out the music video for “Tú crees que es normal?”, made by Juegos Artificiales. The limited edition cassette and digital download is also available for purchase from the LA label Cudighi Records bandcamp page.
Nashville’s indie pop scene songsmith Jessica Ott, who performs as Whoa Dakota just released the music video for her single “Baggage”. The song is all about establishing self-respect through vulnerability in a relationship. Her influence and purpose of this song comes from her realization of how many times in relationships, both romantic and otherwise, she had traditionally abandoned herself in order to make the other person more comfortable. Being completely open and honest with your partner can sometimes seem like the more difficult option. All too many of us might relate with the idea of making sure our partner is more taken care of than ourselves in a relationship. She focuses on changing these behaviors as she sings: “Is it cool if I set my baggage down / ’Cause I think you like havin’ me around / You recognize you don’t know where I’ve been / But you’re down to help me change the shape of it.”
Says Whoa Dakota of the track:
Allowing space in the allyship of feminism for the evolved man. Those men that recognize they will never fully understand what we as women have been through, but who make themselves available to listen and champion the women that they date, marry, work with, or are in friendship with – as well as women they may never encounter.
In the music video, Ott and partner Collin Gundry play a married couple who, to all outward appearances, are your perfect 50’s suburban template. Directed by Samantha Zaruba, the metaphor for vulnerability in relationships is played out by a housewife’s murdery secret and accidentally getting caught in the act. You’ll have to watch the video yourself to find out the fate of this relationship, and whether or not her baggage is too heavy. The spoofy macabre details of the video are contrasted by the gorgeous set designs featuring all the chic 50’s props and costumes. You can pre-save the track on your favorite streaming service, and follow Whoa Dakota on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates.
New York City-based band, Imaginary People, are pleased to present their new single “1999 – Just Vote” as a public service message to encourage fans to get out and vote. You guessed right – it’s a Prince Cover and you didn’t know you need it until you listen to it. The accompanying music video has one clear message that’s delivered by Leila Rita, who stars as the uninspired yet serious voter of today. Leila is actually a family member’s niece, and as she holds her handmade sign for the entire duration of the video that reads “VOTE”, her serious glare is enough of a reminder of the many reasons to get out there and vote today.
The band originally had begun the promotional campaign of their third LP back in February. With the Covid-19 pandemic halting their original scheduled releases, fans can now expect the release of a few singles in the next coming weeks. The forthcoming album Alibi is expected in 2021. Fans can stream two pre-release singles now, “Hometown” and “Crazy Eight” on all streaming services.
About the song and video Imaginary People’s Dylan Von Wagner says:
Using an old unused cover of 1999 recorded years and years ago, I thought this song might be appropriate for the moment for election day in the current climate of shit show theater that we live in. We ended up with just one take which myself and my wife [The DP] had a tough time keeping a straight face for. We didn’t count on Leila’s spot on commitment to character and her unwavering sober glare. After one take, she said “I got it, I’m done with show business,” and walked off…..
Orla Gartland returns with a bold indie-pop single & music video for “Pretending“. Dublin-born and London-based, she writes & co-produces all of her music and is the creative visionary of her videos. The visuals of “Pretending” start and finish within a costume party’s bathroom, where Orla herself is dressed as a clown amongst various party-goers who enter the bathroom throughout the night. She’s got one point to make – she’s done with pleasing others by losing sight of herself. Orla stares at herself in the bathroom mirror during a song of true self-reflection singing, “All of my heroes are way sadder than me / Am I the only one pretending, pretending / One pretending?” Her use of a costume party is the metaphorical visual that more often than not, we either hide behind a facade or act differently in order to engage and socialize with people.
While Orla is being as self-reflective as one can be in a time where there are so many distractions to hide behind, she recalls what it was like to pretend when she was younger, “I used to make up lies to make myself seem more interesting. I’d tell people at school I broke my arm on the weekend or all of Westlife came to my house for dinner.” But nowadays as she continues to build her music career, there is definitely no need to stretch the truth to make herself, or her music more interesting. After building a buzz online by posting cover songs to YouTube, Orla ventured out on her own, crafting a distinct musical voice along with debut single, “Devil on my Shoulder” in 2012. She released her debut project, Roots, the following year, with subsequent EPs – Lonely People, Why Am I Like This? and Freckle Season – arriving in 2015, 2019, and 2020, respectively. Her music has amassed over 45 million Spotify streams, which is impressive, considering she hasn’t released a full-length album. With “Pretending” as the lead track off her forthcoming debut album expected in 2021, fans can only anticipate what other treasures and indie-pop realness awaits that album.
Demi Lovato has never been shy towards her fans when it comes to speaking her mind, or sharing the more intimate details of her personal life. With less than three weeks left until election day, Lovato releases her new single “Commander In Chief”, an anti-Trump anthem that doesn’t hold back. The songstress begins with her direct message to President Donald Trump, asking the question, “Were you ever taught when you were young / If you mess with things selfishly, they’re bound to come undone? / I’m not the only one that’s been affected and resented every story you’ve spun.”
Lovato’s beautiful vocal progressions and continued critique of the President allow for a spine tingling feeling, as the listener is reminded of the tumultuous repercussions the country has faced over the past four years. Doubling down with the drop of the music video for “Commander In Chief”, Lovato allows for a more direct message to viewers. It depicts a group of Americans of all ages, races and nationalities, coming together as a united country and lip syncing the powerful lyrics of the song. It’s accompanied with a special request from Lovato: “Please join me and vote in this year’s election. Visit https://iwillvote.com/ for more information.”
Following the single’s release just 24 hours earlier, Lovato responded to clapback on her anti-Trump stance through her social media. “I literally don’t care if this ruins my career,” she wrote. “I made a piece of art that stands for something I believe in. And I’m putting it out even at the risk of losing fans. I’ll take integrity in my work over sales any day.”
Watch the official music video for “Commander In Chief” below.
Singer-songwriter Francisco Martin releases his first single “Swollen” under 19 Recordings. A multi-instrumentalist and producer, Martin’s love for music sparked at a young age. He was born and raised in San Francisco, CA and grew up amongst his musically passionate family who supported his growth every step of the way. By age nine Martin was playing drums and singing, and by freshman year of highschool he picked up guitar and piano; leading him to discover his love for producing.
This raw, heart-tugging single was created in his bedroom studio in Nevada. Artists who can write and produce their own music allow listeners to hear more than just a song. Martin allows listeners to hear his story about embracing both sides of what being in love can lead to. The emphasis on pulled guitar strings opens the way for his beautiful vocal talent to take you on a journey of vulnerable heartbreak. “I love the way you say you’re scared to hold me / I hate the way you came and left me crawling” are just the starting point of where lyrically, Martin proves he’s not leaving out any details of his feelings. It’s exciting to know what’s ahead for Martin, as “Swollen” is an incredible way to start the narrative of what’s next.
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.