zachary knowles, “cherry wine”

zachary knowles, “cherry wine”

Rising indie singer-songwriter Zachary Knowles (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.
stevie wolf, “paper maché doll”

stevie wolf, “paper maché doll”

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.

rosa, “phone”

rosa, “phone”

Continuing to cement himself as an artist to watch in 2020, self-taught singer, songwriter, producer, and composer ROSA reveals his newest single, “Phone”. This track follows his debut single “Drunk Girl” released back in 2017. 

“Phone” is a hip-hop infused left-pop track that tackles our ongoing fascination and dependency sought after on our cellphones. Nowadays, these hand-held devices connect us to a world far beyond our reach. “Phone” dives into what that means and its impact on our lives. 

With musical influences ranging from Phil Collins and Snoop Dogg, ROSA is able to channel an array of sounds and ideas into his music. 

In the coming year ROSA is set to showcase his music ability with his debut EP FEMALE. The EP centers around female empowerment and the need for men emotional maturity. FEMALE resembles an auditory diary for ROSA to bare his vulnerability on his personal battles

With “Phone”, ROSA kicks off the theme of expressing vulnerability by welcoming listeners to break masculine barriers and own their your own quirkiness. ROSA is able to powerfully combine undeniable melodies with infectious beats and create music that provokes danceability and deep thought. 


handsome ghost, “vampires”

handsome ghost, “vampires”

Massachusetts duo Handsome Ghost have just released “Vampires”, a nostalgic ode to youth and the wild moments found in the infancy of love. The track precedes the release of their forthcoming album, Some Still Morning, due to release this May. The record is centered around the feeling of a new dawn when you’re finally able to look at everything with fresh perspective and fresh eyes, a theme that feels all too appropriate during these crazy times.

The ethereal duo, comprised of Tim Notes and Eddie Byun, tie the aching track together with delicate production and acoustic guitars over whispered lyrics. Airy background vocals exist as distant siren calls while muted piano continues to quietly drive the song forward. Every nuance feels purposeful and perfectly placed, the track sprinkled with numerous moments of magic that manage to exist both subtly and powerfully. The duo reflects on grasping spontaneity and passion for life over the passage of time, with a touch of bitterness over the unreachability of the past and what will never be lending that hard-to-capture feeling of finding beauty through pain.

“Vampires” is out now for your quarantine streaming consumption and Some Still Morning is scheduled for release in May of 2020 on Photo Finish Records, followed by a series of European tour dates. Keep up with Handsome Ghost here.

meryem aboulouafa, “ya qalbi”

meryem aboulouafa, “ya qalbi”

Meryem Aboulouafa offers an introduction to herself in the music video for her track “Ya Qalbi” alongside the release of her debut album. “Ya Qalbi” is a magical and stunning Algerian song from the Arab-Andalusian repertoire. With the help of producer Franceso Sanalucia, the addition of modern effect brings the track into the 21st century.

The video is moving art, simply put. The color schemes are lush, highlighting simple visuals layered behind footage of the artist singing in black and white. It packs maximum impact in a quick 2 minutes.

Her debut album excels in the ‘game of reference.’ Being able to track all influences of this album is almost impossible, as she has many. Parallels can be made of her limitless imagination to Kate Bush, her creation of intimacy and emotion to James Blake, and her ability to hypnotize the universal language of music without denying the musical traditions of her origins from Oum Kalsoum.

by: meredith schneider + kendal chandler

ester, turn around

ester, turn around

Chicago singer-songwriter Anna Holmquist formed Ester back in 2017 with the help of friends and collaborators, and now they’re about to release their first full-band LP, Turn Around. The record is a meditation both on major life changes and looking back at the past to help you understand your own growth, and Holmquist, possessing a rare vein of talent in both songwriting and singing, expertly guides their band through this task.

Most of the songs were written within the 6 month window around the beginning of Holmquist’s Saturn Return, which is psychologically viewed as the time that one reaches full adulthood and is faced (often for the first time) with adult challenges and responsibilities. The album’s exploration of adulthood is vulnerable and introspective, presenting a lot of moments for personal reflection.

Turn Around pieces together folk and rock elements around the centerpiece of the album: Holmquist’s honest and confessional lyricism and sensitive and emotional vocals. The songs are well-crafted, with the words written just as artful and important as the music.

“Little Shadow” is draped in haunting strings and gently plucked guitar. The ominous track builds to great heights with Holmquist’s quivering voice pulling mysterious melodies across the night sky.

“Holy Daze” feels like a float down a lazy river, with warm, slow bass coating the track in thick golden honey. Holmquist shows off her control and flexibility, easily flipping into her head voice before landing skillfully back with both feet on the ground. She sprinkles herself over the calm and breezy instrumentation like a colorful candy coating before tapping into her stock of emotionally-charged vocals, the intensity of her feeling evident to even the most casual listener.

“John’s Car” starts off sounding like a simple yet ominous indie-pop track, but Holmquist stuns, expertly building the song’s intensity with precise and attentive skill before it naturally peaks in a cathartic explosion of emotion. Holmquist is not only a powerhouse, but one who is smart enough to form important moments by holding back just the right amount before laying all of her cards on the table and damn, it’s a good hand.

“Thirsty” is reminiscent of a modern Fleetwood Mac while tracks like “When You Wake” channel the power and authority of Florence Welch. “Wildflower” is a breath of fresh air, providing even the most stressed out soul with a breath of fresh country air.

Turn Around is available now.