Mallrat’s new EP, In the Sky, is electrifying and emotional in every way. She seems to take a piece of you and a piece of herself, giving the songs a personal yet nostalgic tone with sweet pop melodies. She also incorporates the beauty of nature in many ways, whether it be in the cover art, the accompanying videos on Spotify, or in the album title itself. It’s clear that she is inspired by everything around her, which is clearly shown in each song.
The EP opens with the cool simplicity of “Groceries.” It has a steady, bouncing beat and acoustic guitar that gives it an upbeat vibe. But the lyrics are surprisingly deep: “I just want to get groceries” shows emotional depth about what you want in a relationship. “Texas” starts off as a ballad with pretty harmonies, but as the song goes on, it becomes a track that makes you want to dance around your room. “Better” is an upbeat song with painfully honest lyrics. Her voice croons about young optimism: “Everyone’s alive so everything’s alright.” At the same time, she reminds us of how fleeting everything is when you’re young and growing up: “Maybe when the summer ends / I’ll drift away from all my friends.” This song was a personal favorite, and it really shows how personal her lyrics can be. UFO sounds like a summer Top 40 hit with its electro-pop vibe and a rap verse from fellow Australian artist Allday. The EP ends with “Make Time,” which is more subdued than the rest. it allows you to daydream and think about someone you miss.
Mallrat’s cool, unique sound is taking over the world. Not only does she sing and write her own songs, but she co-produced every song on this EP. At only 19 years old, she is a powerhouse of talent and passion.
Lolaa, consisting of Toronto-based sisters Lex Valentine & Nadia Valerie King will release a Spanish version of their debut EP on June 8th. The musical project allows the sisters to explore their Mexican heritage, taking inspiration from Latin American 80’s pop music. The EP is a soulful approach with Latin-inspired instrumentation. Similar to that of Gloria Estefan minus the pop American influence and hiding the cultural percussion in the background. Lolaa puts them in the forefront and the result is a feel good, twilight, dancing in the streets fiesta.
“Lola” – the song bearing the proper spelling of the band’s namesake, meaning “Lady of Sorrows” – sways slowly in a gentle breeze accompanied by impactful and heartfelt vocals. While the verses are sung solo and with minimal instrumentation the chorus is filled out by an overlay of vocals giving it a thicker, meatier, stronger delivery. “Cancion 6” has a passionate vibe and produces a lot of warmth. Taking some influence from a 70’s disco ballad with a swaggering groove, intense pre-chorus vocal melody that leads the way for a full-on Pop anthem chorus. I have no clue what they are saying, but I feel the need to sing along. Maybe I will make up my own words. Could be fun.
Thus far Lolaa is bringing the synth-pop and danceable rhythms even during the slower paced songs. Embracing all the emotions in life and creating a sound that despite the mood or event, you can dance. “Barricada” demonstrates an almost haunting calling. While the beat boasts a Casio powered hi-hat and a simplistic stock snare kick combination the vocals definitely take the bull by the horns. I think this track could easily be even more dramatic and impactful a cappella aside from the ending with the comforting sound of an old music box. While none of the tracks are high energy they maintain a joggers pace and are in the key of motivation and are cinematically dramatic, the key of each song designed to appeal directly to the heart of your emotions.
Lolaa has a unique sound as you can definitely and obviously pick up on the Latin influence, as these tracks are En Espanol, but the music itself has a fusion of American pop, latin and old-school instruments, Canadian imagination and an immense of amount of passion. Don’t let the language barrier stop you from checking them out. You don’t need words to express an exact message. Tone and delivery will impact you just the same. A video premiere for the single “Espiritu” has been released via Nylon Espanol to hold you over until the E.P. is released.
July 12th Coney Island Baby at 8 pm New York, NY
August 4th Handlebar’s at 8 pm Toronto, ON
Jessie Kilguss recently released her latest album, The Fastness. The Fastness is the fifth album for the Brooklyn based singer/songwriter. The alternative-indie artist has a lot of things to offer on her latest album. The Fastness is an album of regrets, hope, love, and wanderlust. Jessie’s voice and style brings weight to the album as you can hear the Stevie Nicks and Norah Jones influences. The album has ten tracks, each song a little different from the last. “The Master” is a song about a person of great wisdom, holding the key to all the answers. Leaving his followers behind, Jessie asks “Who will be the oracle when he is gone?” “New Start,” tells the story of one’s ability to believe in love again. The hopeful and upbeat song will lift your spirits with lyrics like “I thought it was over, but I made a new start,” “Now I’m ready to be mystified, I know I’m not the only one,” and my favorite “You changed my mind.”
Jessie shows us her darker side on “Hell Creek.” The song is full of sinful regret, shame, and morbid themes. “I knew I the time had come to break myself free- and every thing went red,” cries out the singer. The song remains haunting with the line “Going down to hell creek, wash the blood off my hands.” The artist also shows off her love for travel and the world with “Spain,” and “Rainy Night in Copenhagen.” I completely related to the song “Spain” as I once fell in loved with Madrid and the beautiful lyric “Maybe I’ll find it here- Spain stretched out in front of me.” It describes the country perfectly. “Rainy Night in Copenhagen,” is a place to leave all your troubles. “So peaceful, so far away from home,” Jessie sings on the countryside. “I’m not ready to go home,” laments the artist as the song is a feeling of wanderlust, a thirst for the world- something we all experience at least once in our lives. The Fastness provides a variety of melodies to feed your soul, heart and mind. Jessie’s beautiful voice and thoughtful lyrics will take you to a peaceful place that is all your own.
The Fastness is currently available on major streaming services. Get your copy here.
Kara Grainger may have had more humble beginnings in Australia, but her world travels and body of work speaks to a dozen lifetimes of success. All of her musical influences and inspiration have culminated in her latest 9-track body of work, her full-length Living With Your Ghost that dropped on June 1st. Full of robust harmonies, rock-tinged guitar, and a whole lot of twang, this album has so much attitude that it could give Carrie Underwood a run for her money. (Though we in no way are referring to any of this beaut as “pop music.”)
Not only is her soulful attitude palpable with each track, but the lyrics are something to grasp onto, making Grainger accessible and relatable in the best ways. Personal favorites include “Man Without Soul” and “Broken Record”, but we’re sure most of this album will be the soundtrack to your late night, summertime pool games all season.
Living With Your Ghost is available now. Keep up with Grainger here.
If you’re a fan of The Flaming Lips, then listen up! The classic rock band is giving a gift beyond your wildest dreams. As one of the most well known and influential rock band of their time, The Flaming Lips are pleased to announce the release of their first ever “hits” collection. The best news? The Greatest Hits Vol. 1 is officially out today via Warner Bros. Records. The collection will be available as a vinyl edition and as a deluxe edition (3-CD and digital).
The Flaming Lips offer so much in this collection, starting with debut hits such as “Transmissions From The Satellite Heart” (1993), “Clouds Taste Metallic” (1995), “The Soft Bulletin” (1999) and more recent tracks like “Yoshimi Battles”, “The Pink Robots” (2002), “At War With The Mystics” (2006), “Embryonic” (2009), and their current album “Oczy Mlody” (2017). If that weren’t enough, The Flaming Lips also include added specials such as studio outtakes, unreleased tracks, and international single B-sides on the deluxe edition. Other features include “Zero To A Million,” the unreleased demo track, “Spider-Man Vs Muhammed Ali” and “Silent Lord.” The collection is a great complication of the unique and creative sound that The Flaming Lips has spent so many years building. Here are the tracks for the two editions:
Tracklisting for Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Vinyl edition)
1. Do You Realize??
2. Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1
3. Race For The Prize
4. Waitin’ For A Superman
5. When You Smile
6. She Don’t Use Jelly
1. Bad Days (Aurally Excited Version)
2. The W.A.N.D.
3. Silver Trembling Hands
4. The Castle
5. The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
1. Talkin’ ‘Bout The Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues (Everyone Wants
To Live Forever)
2. Hit Me Like You Did The First Time
4. Felt Good To Burn
5. Turn It On
6. She Don’t Use Jelly
7. Chewin The Apple Of Your Eye
8. Slow Nerve Action
9. Psychiatric Explorations of The Fetus With Needles
11. Lightning Strikes The Postman
12. When You Smile
13. Bad Days (Aurally Excited Version)
14. Riding To Work In The Year 2025
15. Race For The Prize (Sacrifice Of The New Scientists)
16. Waitin’ For A Superman (Is It Getting Heavy?)
17. The Spark That Bled
18. What Is the Light?
1. Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1
2. In The Morning Of The Magicians
3. All We Have Is Now
4. Do You Realize??
5. The W.A.N.D.
6. Pompeii Am Gotterdammerung
7. Vein Of Stars
8. The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
9. Convinced Of The Hex
10. See The Leaves
11. Silver Trembling Hands
12. Is David Bowie Dying?
13. Try To Explain
14. Always There In Our Hearts
16. There Should Be Unicorns
17. The Castle
1. Zero to A Million (Demo)
2. Jets (Cupid’s Kiss Vs The Psyche Of Death) (2-Track Demo)
3. Thirty-Five Thousand Feet Of Despair
4. The Captain
5. 1000 Ft. Hands
6. Noodling Theme (Epic Sunset Mix #5)
7. Up Above The Daily Hum
8. The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (In Anatropous Reflex)
9. We Can’t Predict The Future
10. Your Face Can Tell The Future
11. You Gotta Hold On
12. What Does It Mean?
13. Spider-man Vs Muhammed Ali
14. I Was Zapped By The Lucky Super Rainbow
15. Enthusiasm For Life Defeats Existential Fear Part 2
16. If I Only Had A Brain
17. Silent Night / Lord, Can You Hear Me
You can order the collection here. Keep up with them here.
Freedom Fry is set to release their debut album Classic Friday, June 1st. I know Freedom Fry fondly as I recently reviewed their single off of Classic “Cold Blooded Heart.” Freedom Fry is an indie duo, whose voices were meant to be together. The duo consists of Parisian born Marie Seyrat, and Michigan born Bruce Driscoll. “Die Tryin” is the second single release off of Classic. A regretful love song, Freedom Fry sings on what could have been done differently. “I’m the worst, I’m a first class jerk, but I need you tonight,” Bruce humbly sings. “Oh I’m going to get you or I’m gonna die tryin,” belts the chorus. What may seem like a hopeless track at first, turns into a sweet, romantic track and the will to “die tryin” to do right by a lover.
Of course, I love “Cold Blooded Heart,” a not so romantic track cursing a heart breaker with “Cold blooded heart, yeah that’s how I pegged you from the start.” “Awake,” remains a little more upbeat and even “tropical.” “Awake! Here we go,” harmonize the duo. The song remains lifted with sounds of ukulele, bongos, and whistles. Shifting from the somber side of Freedom Fry, “Awake” simply remains a positive feel-good, indie song. One really cool thing about the release of Classic, is the album trailer. The artsy trailer on YouTube feature Emma Kenney (Yes, Debbie from the hit Showtime series, Shameless.) Emma navigates her way around downtown through coffee shops, thrift, and record stores with her walkman cassette player as each song off of Classic is previewed. The trailer is really something, as Freedom Fry allows a sneak preview of their debut album in an aesthetic and cinematic nature.
Classic is out tomorrow. Keep up with Freedom Fry here.