pip millett’s motion sick ep sets beautiful tone, includes an anthem for our time

pip millett’s motion sick ep sets beautiful tone, includes an anthem for our time

Pip Millett, the Manchester-born singer-songwriter, is ready to release her EP Motion Sick to an eager R&B audience.  

Speaking on the EP, Pip states: “I have often felt lost when things around me have started to change. In recent times I’ve realized I’m simply ‘Motion Sick’. My core self is still there but without change there cannot be any growth. ‘Motion Sick’ is about the various changes in my life. With this change I have tried to find comfort in the simple things.”

Each of the songs on Motion Sick has a sound that harken back to an earlier time in music, but the song lyrics are very much topical. Pip Millett may have been creating songs that reflected changes in her life, but she is certainly in touch with what is important to others in her generation as well. Additionally, she has a voice quality that invites you to really feel what she is singing. The best examples of this are on “Best Things” and “Sad Girls” ft. Gaidaa.

“Running” ft. Ghetts is the first track on the EP and addresses the racist current that runs through our world. Intertwining Pip’s haunting lyrics with Ghetts’ raps, “Running” is an R&B anthem for our time:

[Ghetts] 
Another black man lost, worried about what a handbag cost, 
Whilst it costs to be black, I got a price on my head that’s not any cap. 
Fed’s are behind, I feel like I’m wanted dead or alive, 
Even after what I’ve accomplished nobody said they’d be kind.

“Hard Life” and “Braid it Back” round out the five-song playlist that makes up Motion Sick

naomi westwater shares feelings, makes you feel things

naomi westwater shares feelings, makes you feel things

From the first haunting chords of the intro track “Home” to the last, intimate notes in sixth song “Strange Fruit,” singer-songwriter and producer Naomi Westwater’s beautiful new EP Feelings delivers just that: Feelings with a level of palpability unlike other albums provide. The topic of “Home” is less relatable, as Westwater sings specifically of her personal struggles with endometriosis and its accompanying reproductive issues. And while the second song “Feeling My Feelings” began in the same realm topically, it slowly developed into an anti-violence track. “Reflecting on the song now, I think it is also a haunting mirror to gun and police violence. It’s for those of us who feel our pain and feelings are ignored by others,” she admits.

“Commune” keeps to a slow, danceable clip, while Westwater observes her own spirituality and how it is defined in her life. Her vocals are absolutely magnetic, just like the way she leans into her own spirituality. While “Strange Weather” launches into a discussion on climate change, it does so in a beautiful and poignant way, never straying from the overarchingly soulful power of the collection. Explains Westwater:

This project felt like a storybook, like a complete collection of things that I’ve been meaning to say to the world, things I need to scream out into the void, and things that I need people to hear. These songs were all written at different times: ‘Strange Fruit’ in the 1930s, ‘Americana’ in 2012, and the others in the last few years, but the stories are so relevant to now.

Keep up with Naomi Westwater here.

sweetlove, goodnight, lover

sweetlove, goodnight, lover

Sweetlove’s origin story isn’t anything reminiscent of a meet-cute. The work that seems to burst and pour from the seams of this artist has resulted from a long road littered with several intense personal battles. 6 magical tracks come at us today with the release of her EP Goodnight, Lover.

Goodnight, Lover is packed with the self-discovery that comes along with growing into your skin. “Devil on Your Shoulder” should be more sinister, but as Sweetlove implores that it “feels good when you’re living free,” there’s less of a negative connotation to the aforementioned idea of anyone playing devil’s advocate in your court. The title track slows the pace of the project down a bit, a twangy love ballad that will bring you right back to your boots. (Er, roots.) It throws feelings of all-encompassing passion out into the ether, preparing you for the slow, sincere beauty of third track “The House.”

“Did You Even Know” comes rolling in with Garth Brooks-esque momentum, a song that calls for appreciation in the now. Circling back to the theme of devils, “Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead” comes in with the soft, assuring instrumentals of a light, summer song from our youth. The soundscape is simplified, a sense of loss, a beautiful song that allows you to mourn as you sing “it will get better.” “Things I Didn’t Say” perfectly rounds out the established feelings of loss through a lens nothing short of bittersweet. It’s the perfect testament to a love experienced to the fullest.

We highly encourage a glass of whiskey or wine and a night on the patio under the stars with this new collection from Sweetlove. It will help you tap into feelings you won’t recognize, and many you simply haven’t felt for a hot minute. Check it out in its entirety below.

photo by Anna Azarov

oo, nice and good

oo, nice and good

Alternative rock outfit out of Phoenix, OO, are expanding their loud, energy-driven sound with their newly released EP Nice and Good.  The 5-track rocker is the perfect collection of mostly loud and fast tunes sewn together in perfect harmony.  The opener, “runnin’”, is a classic up-tempo show starter that relies on heavy drums and mind-blowing guitar licks to get stuck in our heads.  This is similar to the warmth of “sizzlin’ sun”, an appropriate track title for an Arizona-based group.  The mid-tempo stride of “family fool” is a late-night campfire tune with a sound bordering on country, perfect for a mid-summer camping trip deep into the woods.  There is an angst to “eating wurds” that feels nostalgic, while the EP’s closer, “fizzle and fry”, creates the perfect fade away and look onwards to what may be coming next.

OO promise a solid rock experience, filled with flavor and effervescent instrumentals.  A taste of their music is a taste of the rock music scene at present, and we love every last bite.

taylor deblock, manque

taylor deblock, manque

LA-based R&B star Taylor DeBlock is pulling all of our heart strings with his new EP Manque.  It is appropriately named, seeing as the running theme throughout the 6-track EP is how it feels to miss someone.  The up-tempo spirit of the opening track “NECESITAS” perfectly captures the feeling of losing patience while waiting for somebody that you feel really complements your life.  This same sentiment is echoed on tracks like “SAY” and “CALL ME”, both of which showcase the DeBlock’s romantic availability.  There is room to slow things down, as highlighted by “RIGHT WAY”, a more vulnerable take on trying to understand the thoughts inside someone’s head.

DeBlock is providing the world with the perfect winter soundtrack for feeling stuck inside not only our homes, but even our own heads.  With relatable subject matter that can resonate with a wide range of situations, Manque is here to sooth that often-frustrating feeling of having overbearing thoughts.

DeBlock says of the meaning of the EP:

Originally taken from the French ‘tu me manque,’ meaning ‘I miss you,’ the EP’s title displays a two- fold meaning.  A ‘manqué’ is also someone who has failed to live up to an expectation – accepting what has become, the manqué eventually sees where they fell short and must carry on.

ryterband, undefended

ryterband, undefended

Close your eyes and press play. The lush, tranquil sounds that burst forth from your speakers make it feel like there is another layer to your reality. And that is all before the smooth-as-honey vocals cut in, compliments of Los Angeles-based songwriter & producer RYTERBAND. In a world where everyone’s timelines seem to be upside-down and inside-out, this is the type of music we need. Songs like “Stay Awake” have the propensity to offer an escape, as well as a reminder on how to handle yourself in your current atmosphere.

As his debut offering, Undefended boasts catchy hooks, a vibrant disposition, and twinkling after-effects. Lines like “You move like dust in the sunlight” – found at the beginning of second track “Brilliant Eyes” – are absolutely drenched in poeticism. But delve into how RYTERBAND plays with dissonance in “Lighthouse,” and I dare you not to be moved to tears.

Take a dive into any one of these tracks. The layers that exist, the way the sound seems to encapsulate you and carry you around on its back. There’s something primal somehow entrenched within this electro-infused set of tracks that tugs at you, something that makes it clear that if this is just the beginning, there is simply more intrinsic beauty to come from this talented musician.

local nomad, local nomad

local nomad, local nomad

Here to write anthems for future generations, multi-instrumentalist Michael Desmond inspires the people of the world to march to the beat of their own drum with his forthcoming EP Local Nomad. The EP is part of Desmond’s project, also called Local Nomad. He gives insight into the dichotomous name by saying “Local Nomad is the resistance of sedentary life. It’s about seeking the strange and embracing the unknown. Wondering. Wandering. Young and Old. Everywhere and Nowhere.” Desmond plays every instrument on the EP excluding drums. He draws from a variety of sources including Tears for Fears, Elvis Costello, and Phil Collins to produce a fusion of indie-pop and alt-rock with soulful vocals, heavenly synths, and lustrous drum beats. Originally from Long Island, NY, Desmond began his career as the frontman of the orchestral indie rock band Gabriel the Marine. The band found success and performed with bands like Taking Back Sunday, Glassjaw, Mew, Jacks Mannequin, and The Dear Hunter. However, after going through a period of rapid change in which he graduated from college, ended a long term relationship, and watched a family member tragically pass away, Desmond’s mind was racing a mile a minute. The only way he could slow things down was to write, and thus Local Nomad was born as a snapshot of life during this unstable time.

While Local Nomad is worth listening to for Desmond’s expert and fascinating use of instruments to create an array of idiosyncrasies within each track, there are also captivating overarching qualities that will intrigue even those who might want to listen passively.

The anger-fueled opening bop “Love is Gone” and rueful “Young Vampires” are “explosion” songs. “Love is Gone” keeps things chill with an alluringly groovy bassline in the verses, before erupting into sound in the chorus. It’s vocal line is compelling and surprising, you find yourself listening intensely to see what will come next. “Young Vampires” is about a toxic relationship, turning each other into vampires– monsters. It displays wistful guitar in the verses but also has a sonic explosion in the chorus.

“Gates” and “Getting Old is a Bitch” are more self-contained, but each have a quiet, yet powerful energy. The contagious beat in the chorus of “Gates” leaves you no choice but to jam along. All of the instrument parts in “Getting Old is a Bitch” are pertinent to the feeling of getting old. It also has a dominant bass beat and riff that hits you hard, much like growing up does. The “do-do-do”’s in the background almost sound like they’re taunting each of the melancholic main lines. Turmoil and instability in the distorted guitar solo reflects how it feels as the world seems to be moving on without you.

Finally, we have those songs that “clash,” although their conflicting elements end up working to their advantage. “Gates” elevates the sound to a celestial sphere with ethereal synths, but at the same time, the hearty guitar brings things back down, adding a wholesome, down-to-earth quality. A great guitar riff comes in towards the end, but it has that heavy rock sound to it, providing a deep contrast with the synth. The clash in “Summertime”, on the other hand, comes from the happy-go-lucky synth harmonies set against the wistfulness of days gone by in the lyrics. It’s about young adults trying to keep up with life and thinking back on the naivety of their youth. With the beat, sunny harmonies, and fluttering synths, you find yourself thrown back into a summer from years ago, tinged with nostalgia and regret. These tracks are dichotomies, much like the name Local Nomad itself, and the crunch between their conflicting qualities make them ever-so satisfying to listen to.

There’s a lot of potential in Local Nomad to discover more unique elements in the tracks, but no matter what you’re guaranteed to hear some anthems with great beats, full, well-rounded choruses, and colourful instrumentation. The EP will be released on July 10, 2020, but some of the singles are available to stream now!

malikonmusik, sparring sessions

malikonmusik, sparring sessions

There are always tons of artists putting out new music every day, but what makes someone stand out from the crowd? Their ability to put themselves into their music. Up-and-coming artist MalikOnMusik did just that with his debut EP Sparring Sessions. The EP consists of six tracks that show the Philadelphia native’s true vocal ability and music ventures. With inspiration from artists like Whitney Houston, Kehlani, and John Legend, MalikOnMusik is ready to pave his own path.

It’s always hard to start out an album because most people tend to judge a book by its cover. “Don’t Think Too Much” and dive into this EP. The track is your first impression and you easily can appreciate his vocals. Followed up by “I.W.M.H.B”, which stands for I want my hoodie back, one of the singles off the EP is based on his real experiences. The production on this track could be the best out of this collection of songs. Each of the songs is different in its own way, but one thing that remains the same is the quality of MalikOnMusik’s vocals. With a similar sound to Miguel, his voice floats effortlessly from start to finish.

In his most personal track, “Consolation”, the pop/R&B artist goes deep into his life. We take a look into his soul and how he is all about being real. “Kicks (Bruce Lee)” and “Me And My Musik” have beats that will get you vibing with all your friends. Although the two aren’t very similar, they somehow seem to fit together and each chorus could easily get stuck in your head. “Saw You In My Dreams” has the most pop elements and stands out from the rest. All the elements in this track fit together just right and give off a happy vibe, a fitting ending to the EP.

These six tracks are what set him apart from other artists in the genre. He is honest and putting his all into his dreams, and it shows. Step out of your comfort zone and check out an artist like MalikOnMusik, who you might not have listened to before.

Listen to MalikOnMusic’s debut EP Sparring Sessions now.

cady groves, bless my heart

cady groves, bless my heart

There’s something so incredible about the connection of an artist to their work, and then the work’s fans to that artist. The announcement of the death of indelible singer-songwriter Cady Groves at the tender age of thirty this spring has left a large demographic of both pop/punk fans and country aficionados floored. I, myself, remember the days when she toured with punk banks and I requested her haircut at the salon. (College was a trip, and she has always been gorgeous.) Seeing her name in headlines in my social media feed made my heart stop, and I haven’t heard much of her more recent work. But the world has been celebrating her all along, and her fandom has been wrecked over the news.

Cady spent the last four years of her life writing and preparing new music in Nashville that both reflects her personal experiences, and makes her even more relatable than before. Her EP Bless My Heart was released at the end of May posthumously, and she couldn’t have hit the mark more if she tried.

With a little whimsy, she approaches the collection with the first track “Bartender,” a quirky, honest, beautiful ballad to the carefree nature of a full bar on a hot summer night. Perhaps the reality of political unrest and pandemic make this song feel that much more nostalgic, because we actually felt ourselves tearing up, listening to a song about drinking. The title track comes in quick to justify the tears, however, as Cady addresses personal anecdotes and makes us feel that even those who fall – hard – have the opportunity to be blessed in life. She rips any wounds wide open in this track, and this vulnerable side is going to be the thing we miss most.

“Camo” seems to have a title that is very stereotypical – and perhaps widely indicative – of its audience, but the metaphor prevails as a gorgeous reminder to make yourself seen. “Cigarettes and Sunsets” takes on a rhythm and pace that lure us into the thought that we might be about to watch 1996 blockbuster hit Phenomenon. (That is not an insult in the slightest. We imagine this track sounds like the perfect amalgamation of Clapton-style guitar and the Northern California cowboy demographic that surrounded the cast of Phenomenon during filming. But I digress.) Either way, the track belongs in a film. (Do you hear that, sync friends?!)

Last track “Crying Game” visits personal anecdotes, and reminds us a bit of earlier Cady Groves’ work sonically. The song specifically addresses the deaths of two of her brothers (Casey and Kelly), and the emotions that come along with their memories. It all feels like a way to round back to the beginning, as she takes her final, audible, bow.

To feel as though you have witnessed an entire career in just five songs seems a bit cheesy. But this release makes us feel closer to Cady than ever before.