Emerging as a solo artist after her time as the frontwoman of surf-pop band High Wasted, Jessica Louise Dye returns with a new side to her musical persona under the moniker Hello Lightfoot. Taking cues from her experience DJ’ing at clubs and throwing chaotic themed parties, her solo work takes listeners into a more intimate look at herself while keeping a gritty and high octane indie-pop sound. Hello Lightfoot’s sophomore single “shame” is no different, serving as an anthem for personal release.
Backed by a punchy synth-pop instrumental, the track rebels against trauma with an emphatic drive to take back control of one’s own emotions. The beat and vocal melodies in this song does a great job of sonically painting a turbulent journey out of a storm- psychologically speaking, as if Hello Lightfoot and the listener fights through their demons with a sense of optimism and relentlessness. Whereas other songs on similar subjects captures a feeling of suffering, “Shame” feels like a middle finger to your inner self’s spiritual attacker, daring it to try hitting again. On the single’s message, Jessica explains:
The concept of feeling shame is one I can relate to and is distinctly tied to feeling embarrassed or even just shy in social situations. It’s something I’ve worked on a lot. I consider myself an extrovert with introvert tendencies. The line “muzzle be damned” is a reference to silencing your own opinions around others as a means to be more amicable. It’s very easy to lose yourself if you’re catering to the likes and dislikes of others. Being a nice guy can be a curse sometimes.
“Shame” is out on all platforms and stay tuned for Hello Lightfoot’s upcoming project.
Toronto-based R&B artist Dylan Sinclair returns with new music to provide much needed warmth to listeners with sentimentality towards past and current lovers over the incoming winter season. Fresh off the release of his JUNO award-nominated debut album Proverb and subsequent release 3511, the 20-year singer-songwriter has seen his career soar with features on tracks such as “Hindsight” by Motown Records artist Emanuel, appearances on CTV News’ Etalk with Tyron Edwards, and music placements on TV shows like The CW’s The Republic of Sarah. Sinclair continues his artistic growth by capturing experiences of his newfound independence as a young artist facing a rise in his profile. In collaboration with producers Jordan Manswell, Zachary Simmonds, Bryan Allen, and Jason Amos, Dylan drops a silky smooth single with “Regrets”.
With a minimalist and piano-driven mid-tempo groove, the ballad recalls the earnest introspection of peers such as Brent Faiyaz, Giveon, and Snoh Aalegra. Sinclair delivers a painful retrospective on a soured relationship, with lyrics such as “No, I don’t think that I should be/Way back where we started three years/If you get how I feel right now/Don’t feel forced to come back around”. His stacked harmonies and pitched vocal effects adds to the track’s brooding atmosphere, the soundtrack of a moment of pained reflection in isolation from others. The single’s solumn yet soulful vibe embraces heartbreak as much needed healing for R&B fans in turbulent relationships.
Check out “Regrets” on all streaming and music platforms!
Husband and wife Kyle and Marci Pruzina want to channel their shared experiences into the energy of their debut album as Suitcase Souls. With their relationship as the foundation, the duo takes inspiration from singer-songwriters and duos such as The Lumineers and Johnnyswim to create an Americana-pop sound for the upcoming project. Running the gamut from uptempo rock sounds to smoother ballads, Suitcase Soul aims to capture the euphoria of being with a close partner. Their new single “Nashville October” is no exception.
The track illuminates with flourishes of electric guitar as the duo celebrates their occasion to release stress and relish every moment spent with each other. Embodying the single’s liberating attitude in the hook is the lyric “I’ll start a fire, if you come on over/ If loving life’s my drug, Then I’ll never be sober”. “Nashville October” is an anthem for those riding the highs of life and others looking for a boost in theirs.
“Nashville October” is the smoke smell in your jacket from last night’s backyard hang, the photos in your camera roll of a selfie that *barely* fit everyone, the feeling of letting go of a past season to grab hold of right now and living in the moment”.
New Jersey-based singer/songwriter Christina Nicole is not afraid to bare her soul to an audience if her music will linger as an emotional spark to others. Sculpting her vocal skills in school talent shows and academic programs from middle school to college, Nicole turned to songwriting as a special gift for her artistry.
Her sophomore single “Drifting” captures a range of different emotions washing over herself as if she’s going through a therapeutic experience shocking her system. The sparse instrumentation, with shades of Lorde’s minimalist ambient sonics, is eventually rocked by choppy spurts of synths and drums jabbing towards the back half of the track. This production choice induces a sense of disturbance of one’s moment of peace. Nicole’s pained contemplation, especially “Your oceans they took me, Your oceans they broke me/Your oceans they hurt me, Your oceans they’re too deep”, brings the song to life as an inner sensation of drowning when a special connection of love shifts from a fun ride to a turbulent one. Nicole explains:
This song is about an ocean ruining a person as they sink into it. I chose to use an ocean to represent this story using an ocean for specific reasons. Oceans appear absolutely stunning and entrancing when looking at them from a distance. But as you go in, deeper and deeper, you can no longer keep your head above the ruthless water. Something that appeared so beautiful could easily take everything from a person. This theme can apply to so many scenarios in a person’s life.”
“Drifting” by Christina Nicole is out on all streaming platforms.
Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Sweeney E. Schragg and bassist/vocalist Kristin Olson, Santa Cruz-based Jazz/Folk duo Winterlark unveils their new EP When I Saw You Stranded There on October 8th. Their union as a duo comes from a perfect storm of synergies, with Sweeney’s prior work as a creative writing instructor and Kristin’s experience working at a small business. Both members complement each other with the ingenuity and tenacity needed for chemistry as musicians. To shape Winterlark’s mishmash of folk, bossa nova, and soul, Kristin took note from her experiences listening to bluegrass, R&B, and pop with family and performing classical music from college, while Sweeney borrowed from his beginnings as a rock n roll guitarist and jazz composition student. The duo shares:
“The music on this album is two people bantering, laughing, ruminating, sparring, and liking each other,” Kristin says. Sweeney notes: “It has been a long time since I’ve written songs with anyone. It’s a dream to work with someone I respect both musically and poetically.” Kristin adds: “I laid down my bass years ago, but the timing in my life enabled me to get back into it. Winterlark has also encouraged me to become a songwriter which I’d never thought I would do.”
The EP provides a perfect soundtrack to easygoing settings, such as a scenic drive along a coastal road or a morning hike through a forest trail. The acoustic soundscape reinforces its cinematic nature as the duo performs with a playful and reassuring chemistry, drawing inspiration from their progression from friends into a couple. This is especially evident in the “Make a Mess With Me”, a flirtatious yet humorous track with the lyrics, “The 14th of June, “Sorry ’bout the screen door,”/Was the first thing she had to say./Off came the gloves, kind of like a prom dress./Guess it had been that kind of day”. Another highlight is “If I Could Put my Finger on Your Pulse”, showing yearning through Sweeney’s pondering on whether his heartbeat comes from his partner’s touch or his wooing. A particular standout is the politically charged closer “Rage (Privilege Comes Apart)”, a commentary on racial injustice with vocals delivered in an angrier tone and the lyrics “Never wanna watch another black or brown reduced to just a name”.
Sweeney: “Our EP, When I Saw You Stranded There, features songs about zany beginnings—in a La La Land style traffic jam, on a veranda where smokers laugh, through a broken screen door. Having come together in our own zany beginning, that’s where our fictional storytelling first took Kristin and me.”
Kristin: “This EP gives a glimpse into the dynamic of two really good friends, who kid each other, bounce ideas around, and skeptically consider the world. Sweeney and I spend time everyday throwing words and music back and forth. Whether the story that emerges is our reaction to persistent injustice, as in the song “Rage (Privilege Comes Apart),” or a complete, sassy fiction, as in the title track, it is this back and forth that gives each song its unique energy.”
Sweeney: “Producer Cookie Marenco of Blue Coast Music recorded our uncluttered duo—upright bass, Lowden acoustic guitar, and vocals—in the Extended Sound Environment that she has developed, capturing the live in-studio performance of each song, unvarnished, tonally rich, quirks intact.”
When I Saw You Stranded There drops on all streaming platforms October 8th.
Everyday is always the right time to get sentimental with a special loved one. In today’s age when sporadic hookups are common, events move at a million miles and people are wrapped up in their own world, it’s easy to lose track of who means the most to you. Jade Novah doesn’t lose sight of her outward affections with her latest single “I Just Wanna Know”. The Atlanta-based singer/songwriter shines on a silky smooth 1970s R&B groove produced by Devin Johnson, complete with girl group-esque backing vocals, finger snaps, and strings swelling throughout the track.
The soundscape of the track evokes a heavenly feel as Novah escapes into a special place to embrace the lover in her life. When she sings, “Got the voodoo and it’s good for you, I’m always in the mood, In the mood for you”, Novah emphasizes how much she’s head over heels in love and lust. The bluntness of her sentiments is intertwined with an earnest sweetness, fully capturing the aura of a true relationship that can envelop a person. Jade Novah explains:
‘I Just Wanna Know’ is about that point in a relationship when desire & love are in perfect harmony. When you’re in that honeymoon haze, you look at everything through the lens of love. Even the harmonies and vintage instrumentation in the music feel like a dreamy escape from reality.
Alternative rock band Keep It a Secret returns with their new single “Middle with My Thumbs Up”, as catharsis for listeners. With its mix of soul-piercing screams and whisper-esque vocals over a bombastic guitar-laden instrumental, the band captures the feeling of an emotional roller coaster as they lament over heartbreak and loves that were never quite meant to be. Over a chorus of “Left for dead, it takes time to get away”, the band reluctantly accepts a withdrawal from romance to escape a self-destructive cycle that could claim their sanity and any hope of starting anew. The opening line “I’ve been watching you destroy me” is a sign of infatuation morphing into a ticking time bomb of dependence. The band describes:
‘Middle with my Thumbs Up’ is a dichotic look back on the melancholy of lost love. Although seemingly separate emotions, anger and sadness are often a self-destructive loop that many people experience from heartbreak in all its forms. This song incorporates both intimate, almost whispered vocals and cathartic gritty yells to illustrate these feelings.
The video shows a masked couple in separate colors attempting to embrace within a decrepit household, which captures the realization of disconnect and blindness clouding a relationship. It’s as if one’s own love can end up haunting them and living inside as an unwanted guest for some time.
Check out the video for “Middle with my Thumbs Up” and be on the lookout for Keep It a Secret’s next project.