kuwaisiana, “cymbal of this city”

kuwaisiana, “cymbal of this city”

Being faced with the daunting task of starting over in a new place and experiencing loneliness in the process can be an overwhelming and exhausting preposition, one that makes you feel like isolated and alone.  Kuwaisiana’s newest release “Cymbal of this City” takes us on this journey, one that includes all of the sounds of a new, busy place and all the thoughts that we sit with while in solitude.  The explosive, head turning tune features the groove of a heated electric guitar and invaluable horns as an introduction, creating the feeling of the opening of the new superhero movie set in New York City.  The lyrics work with the instrumental to create a picture of a city filled with music, where,around every corner, there is a new sound to get you through your woes.  The band manages to pose some of life’s most pressing questions while creating an extravagant, catchy breath of fresh air.

Lead singer +Aziz says of the song:

A song about finding purpose and establishing your voice in the face of loneliness. This song was born out of a desire to overcome alienation. Something I experienced a lot after moving to the US, particularly in urban life. Once I introduced the song to the band, we were able to elevate it with a driving force and a catchy hook! Probably the only true ‘hook’ on the EP actually.

oscar delaughter, “just woke up”

oscar delaughter, “just woke up”

The start of every new year often brings new resolutions, aspirations, and sometimes an overwhelming emphasis on the need to be “positive”. While there’s no doubt such efforts are commendable, there is something refreshing about a voice that speaks out against the crowd.

With upbeat production and catchy bop after the next, Oscar DeLaughter and his newest single provide listeners with an oddly-cheerful acceptance of life’s duller moments. If your 2021 hasn’t started off the way you might’ve hoped for, DeLaughter’s track, “Just Woke Up”, will assure you that you aren’t the only one. Playing on the ordinary routine of waking up to yet another underwhelming day, DeLaughter manages to turn a depressing theme into an enjoyable one. 

As opposed to shying away from the daunting topics of uncertainty and confusion, the young musician provides lightheartedness when we need it most– creating something we can even sing along to.

ane brun, “crumbs”

ane brun, “crumbs”

The video for Ane Brun’s track “Crumbs”, from one of her two newly released albums “After The Great Storm” (the other is How Beauty Holds the Hand of Sorrow), is a brilliant showcase of emotions.  Each scene is a carefully woven story of pain and love and the lessons that come along with both.  While some scenes show us the seemingly picture-perfect life of a happy family enjoying the company of one another, the heartbreaking truths are revealed beyond the smiles and the laughs.  Various cuts to the picture of unhappiness and yearning create a sobering reminder that there is more than meets the eye.  The very last shot offers a glimpse of hope that we can still find our way to feeling content and filled with joy somewhere down the line.

Brun says of the new albums:

Even though I wrote most of them before this whole pandemic started, I feel they all have a message that fits the situation we’re in: frustration over the state of the world, how to grieve for a loved one, existentialism, love, relationships, loneliness, inner struggles, sleepless nights…I guess they’re just about being human.

sarah frick, “i’m on fire”

sarah frick, “i’m on fire”

When Dwight Twilley wrote and released “I’m on Fire” back in 1975, he probably wasn’t expecting it to be covered decades later, complete with a fresh video.  Well, maybe he was!  Who’s to say?  Either way, the cover, featuring vocals from Sarah Frick for Back to Paradise: A Tulsa Tribute to Okie Music, is stunning, and the video is a perfect visual that beautifully highlights the rock n’ roll essence of the track. 

The video itself is a bit like a montage, with some shots showing Frick trying on different outfits before cutting to a scene of her rocking out, drink in hand.  Of course, we also get to see Frick prancing around in the quiet nightlife, still being the rock star she knows she is.  Not only do we get to see the fun nature of the track played out visually, we also get to watch an empowered badass female take on the night in true “empowered woman” fashion.  I can’t think of a better way to pay tribute to Twilley and the music of Oklahoma.

The album is available now.

nathaniel rateliff, “redemption”

nathaniel rateliff, “redemption”

In his new song “Redemption”, Nathaniel Rateliff sings of wanting to escape the ghosts of his past that continue to haunt him.  You would be forgiven for thinking that he was actually writing the song about his own life instead of an upcoming movie.  The track, which was written for the Apple Original Film, Palmer, takes the listener on an emotional journey, one that is the perfect look into the trials and tribulations of the film’s main character.  The movie is a story about trying to live a normal and trouble-free life amidst feeling like everyone around you is working to tear you down, and Rateliff’s yearnful track highlights this perfectly.  After watching the recently released trailer, it is clear to see that Rateliff managed to successfully put himself into the shoes of the main character in order to create a compelling addition to an already gripping story.  

Rateliff says of how he became motivated to write the track:

When I was first asked to write a song for Palmer I was told what the film was about and where the song was going to be used. The melody and the opening line came to me immediately. But it wasn’t until I had a conversation with Justin [Timberlake] that helped me to put the song together. He said the film was about redemption. I saw that in the characters and did my best to add to the scene in the film.

them jones, “here comes the dark”

them jones, “here comes the dark”

When it comes time to give the 60s music scene a run for its money, you can look no further than the band straight out of Philadelphia known as Them Jones.  Their newest track, “Here Comes the Dark”, off of their recently released album, The Dark, is sprinkled with all the bells and whistles one could need for a spiced-up track.  It might be one of the most sonically intriguing songs I have heard recently, with something new to look forward to while turning every corner.  

But beyond the sound itself, the lyrics capture a seemingly rare glimpse into the mind of the writer.  The story being told here is the struggle between feeling on top of the world, but with the threat of the dark always looming.  The specificity we encounter with this track feels too good to be true.  While being so specific may often lead people to not connect, Them Jones are here to provide the opposite effect.  In the end, they are successful at putting a mirror to the person listening, asking them to also dive deep into their inner self, just as they have done themselves.