Although 2020 hasn’t been the best year, there have been some good things. What I mean by those good things is great music and the rise of many new artists. Among those ranks is Dava, a Los Angeles-based artist who isn’t afraid to tell her stories and blend different genres. If you are looking for a sound similar to artists such as Benee and Lolo Zouai, look no further. Dava’s latest single, “Papercut”, is out now accompanied by a music video with trippy visuals. In an Instagram post she spoke about the meaning behind the song and left a message to fans, “I hope this song speaks to whoever needs it.”
“Papercut” is impressive on its own for the clever lyrics, but the icing on the cake is Dava’s voice bringing them to life. You cannot ignore the emotions behind her voice and the talent she has. The Pre-chorus, “when my heads in the clouds and my hearts in my gut / keep your eyes on the prize and your hand on the gun / gave you all that I had but it wasn’t enough,” is something a lot of people will be able to relate to their own experiences and feelings. Her debut EP, Sticky, is set to release via Sony this year. This may only be the beginning for Dava, but she is off to a great start.
Have you ever heard a song that takes you into a different world? No? Look no further because Cozm & Naught are here to help. The psychedelic, electronic duo from Atlanta released their latest single, “Lemonhead”. The track shifts you into a state where the mind transforms and travels into different spaces. The duo, Jesse Cegielski and Dariush Mirsajedin, bring an unusual, but refreshing approach to the genre. The goal with their music is “to put the listener/ audience in a different head-space than they may normally be in.”
Accompanying the release of the single “Lemonhead”, Cozm & Naught released a performance of the song from their Atlanta studio and a time-lapse creation of the track’s artwork. These videos help to add another dimension to their sound and give listeners a look into the process of the work. The track is thought-provoking and demands to be put on repeat to dissect the different layers to it. Let the mind run wild and free by listening to Cozm & Naught’s “Lemonhead”.
New Jersey-based singer-songwriter Eric Harrison teamed up with Nashville veteran Rachel Potter for “Down Down Down”. The track is a true Americana duet, with flares of country and guitar rock. Harrison and Potter’s voices compliment each other over the sweet sound of the guitar. The country version features a traditional Telecaster, lap steel, and the mandolin, while the electric version has a Neil Young-style melodic guitar grime and a robust B3. Two versions of the song will be released, one being country and the other is an electric version. Equally filled with hope and worry, “Down Down Down” is a lyrical journey through and through. Harrison shares:
I tried to capture the rawness of loss and the desire to protect the people you love, but as hard as it is to watch the people you love get hurt, sometimes you need to hang back and let them figure it out. I view the song as kind of a reminder to check my savior complex and remember that hurt can turn to wisdom.
The Americana singer is also set to release his fourth album, Gratitude, later in the year. The album is filled with 10 life-affirming tracks that will shine bright in his discography. Gratitude was recorded at Salem’s studio in Woodstock, New York with the help of guitarist and producer Kevin Salem. He continues to push further, making music that is meant to be enjoyed outside on a summer night. “Down Down Down” (feat. Rachel Potter) is a part of the new era in Harrison’s artistic journey. Check it out now.
Alt-pop singer-songwriter Kat Saul released her new single, “Monsters”. She makes music that feels like growing up, inspired by her childhood. Her new project, ‘made in the 90s’, follows this journey. After graduating from Belmont University, Saul moved from Nashville to Los Angeles right before everything shut down as the result of the pandemic. “Monsters” was written following this move and has themes of what could come from starting over in a new place.
“When you’re a little kid, you’re afraid of things like the Boogie Man, Dracula, and Zombies. Now instead of Vampires and aliens, it’s fear of failure, mental health issues, broken relationships, childhood trauma, and all the other shit that goes in a messed-up-baggage-cocktail. All that to say, it turns out real life is way more terrifying than the dark,” Saul says on the inspiration behind the track.
The 22-year-old is back with a fresh alt-pop anthem that is bound to get stuck in your head. It deals with the weight of the world crashing down and wreaking havoc on life, but wishing it was as simple as being scared of monsters. The production of the track fits in perfectly with Sauls’ vocals, marking a great beginning to the whole project.
It’s all about moving on and letting go of the past for Kamber in her acoustic single, “West”. Recorded at Gnome Studios in Nashville, the indie artist finds closure over a heartbreak. Instead of dwelling on the past, there is a hopeful outlook for the future in the lyrics. Kamber is classically trained in piano and voice and is a band called Raviner, while pursuing solo work and teaching students in the studio. Her sound is influenced by an array of artists including Tori Amos, Chris Cornell and more.
The level of vulnerability is at an extreme high, taking listeners through her process of coping with a loss in her life. The struggle gets easier as time goes on and as the song progresses, as most heartbreaks do. The biggest example of focusing on herself is with the lyrics:
All this time I held the key / open door in front of me / I never thought that you and I would bleed / well it’s the first time I know that I can breathe
The Nashville-based indie singer is not afraid to lay it all on the line here and tell her truth. From being worn out and broken to wishing this person all the best, this person is moving West while Kamber is moving on.
“Let There Be Love” is the latest release for international, multi-platinum pop artist Ananya Birla. With over 300 million global streams since joining the scene in 2016, Ananya is a major force in the industry. She has opened for big names such as Coldplay and Wiz Khalifa and continues to scale the charts with her releases. Ananya is listed as a Forbes Woman to Watch, as she continues to build a great foundation for her career.
The track “Let There Be Love” was recorded in Los Angeles during lockdown with Grammy-winning producer Aaron Pearce. It is an upbeat electro-pop anthem promoting the fact that beautiful things can come from dark times. The lyrics “Strong for your father / cry for your mother / love one another / pray for your brother / feel for your sister / why can’t we come together / let there be love” is her promoting this consistent message of unity. Ananya promotes joy and love through connections through her lyrics which coincides with her personal philanthropic work. She is an advocate for female empowerment and mental health and has worked with many organizations in the related fields. “Let There Be Love” is featured on Sirius XM Hits 1, making her the first Indian artist to feature on one of the largest pop radio shows in the United States.
DOCTOR IMPOSTER is back with another single off her forthcoming record. “Two Times” (feat. Joie and GI Major) leans towards her hip-hop production style and is about women confidently flexing. Brooke C. Vettese came up with the idea for DOCTOR IMPOSTER when she was fed up with being treated differently in the industry. Over the past seven years she has been working to produce and make her own music non-stop. Teaming up with Joie and GI Major is a success for the Brooklyn-based producer, as she mentions on her Instagram.
“Two Times” is fun and something to jam along with friends in the car. The three artists sound like they were meant to collaborate, especially on a victory lap themed song. With lyrics like, “I’m on top of this, my cockiness is massively appealing / This joint’s lit, feeling high as hell / kick my feet up on the ceiling”, it is easy to want to recreate the feeling and sing along. The track fits in with the themes in the album and is right before she wins the game, so it feels triumphant. DOCTOR IMPOSTOR’s album will be preceded by this single, so be sure to keep an eye out for more.
They say good things come in threes and in this case it is true. Alt-pop trio, TWIN XL, is back with their latest single, “Problematic”. Cameron Walker-Wright, John Gomez and Stephen Gomez created a new pop anthem that fits in with today’s pop sounds. “Problematic” documents watching things turn wrong, but not being able to do much about it. The music video that accompanies the single cleverly conveys this idea, without saying it outright. In every scene the trio becomes more disheveled and injured, fitting perfectly to what they were trying to say with their lyrics.
The band follows the 2019 release of their debut EP, How To Talk To Strangers, with their third single of 2020 which will be a part of their upcoming debut album. A consistent beat behind Walker-Wright’s vocals makes for a match made in pop music heaven. After writing and producing for other artists like All Time Low and Lindsey Stirling, these three have the right skills to rise to the top themselves. The catchy chorus of the single will be stuck in your head all day.
R&B/Soul singer Gaidaa releases her debut eight-song EP, Overture. Gaidaa’s cover of a Kehlani song caught the attention of Dutch producer and artist Full Crate, which helped to rocket her career. The EP is a breath of fresh air that we all needed, a new sound that demands to be heard. For the release of Overture, Gaidaa says:
To me ‘Overture’ is not only my introduction to the world, but essentially my reintroduction to myself, my rediscovery and re-creation of Gaidaa. It’s about realizing that we are far more complex and hold more depth than we think. ‘Overture’ is the foundation to something more substantial; the beginning of everything that is yet to come and yet to be learned. Gaidaa meeting Gaidaa.
If you had to describe the album in three words it would be vulnerable, soulful and groovy. The first track,“I Like Trouble” is about breaking from the rules and finding your own path. Her voice makes the songs so easy to listen to, not needing to go to extremes to show her talents. “Ride My Way” has a chill vibe and is Gaidaa being completely open, ready to start something new. The instrumental just carries her style further, especially with “Falling Higher”. The song is destined to be a hit, with a falsetto-driven hook accompanied by a steady drum beat. The Netherlands-based Sudanese artist, takes you through a journey that you’ll find yourself relating to.
Gaidaa had no trouble getting artists on for her debut, including tracks with artists such as Jarreau Vandal, Saba and Joshua J. “Say Yes (Turquoise)” (feat. Joshua J), is one of the best off the EP. Not only do their voices compliment each other, but her voice stands out here. The third verse showcases her talents and is a different take then you typically hear her sing in. “Morning Blue”, her debut solo single, references the campaign #BlueForSudan, which encouraged social media users to make their profile pictures blue in honor of a protesting victim. The song is simple, but has powerful and relevant lyrics, including, “It’s all in, we rise / It’s been a hard, hard time / For the ones who fight / In the land of the Nile”.