On Friday, genre-bending duo They Travel at Night – comprised of Chuck Howard and Lou Scanlon – released their debut EP, a 5-track feat named Entropy. Veterans of the industry in their respective rights, Howard and Scanlon’s influence is wide-ranging, a fact that is evidenced by this release, if you weren’t already familiar.
Beginning with the first track “Go On,” you can identify the quirky and endearing ways they enhance their tracks. It begins synth-heavy – like, 80s realm synth-heavy – and blossoms into something that, toned down, just as easily belongs in a 90’s movie. Cymbal-led “Fare Thee Well” changes pace for a while for dramatic effect, and lands more in the “I may belong on one of The O.C. soundtracks” category.
“Moment” begins with a guitar riff worthy of an oughts indie/emo band. The electronic breakdowns at 1:42 and 2:42 are really fun, I’m not sure how anyone could get through this song without a smile on their face. “Into It” builds dramatically, a ballad-like track that could, in my humble opinion, easily find its way to a Broadway musical. Entropy lands on “Colors,” an instrumental track that feels celebratory and squared to welcome success. I feel privileged to welcome false spring with this release in my back pocket.
Check out They Travel at Night’s Entropy below, and let us know what you think over on Instagram and Facebook!
Today, San Diego rock act Embers releases To: The Moon, a 5-track EP that will get you on your feet, jamming out to anthemic melodies about mistakes, intrusive thoughts, and other relatable material. Sleeping with Sirens’ Kellin Quinn guests his notable vocals on the EP’s second track, “eating me alive,” giving this otherwise dark track another intense and beautiful layer.
Explains Embers of the EP: “’To: The Moon’ is a melting pot of my influences using inspiration from pop punk and emo to reflect on mental health struggles, toxic relationships, and emotional turbulence. A step forward from my last EP ‘EMO SZN’, ‘To: The Moon’ finds itself a more energetic place in my catalog.”
And he’s not wrong. The energy is on another level. Get your first listen to the Embers EP in its entirety below.
Recording the EP has been an amazing journey. On my first EP, I was going through such a hard time, and it reflects in the music. I’m so proud of the lyrical content and how therapeutic performing those songs is for me and my fans, from what I’ve been told. This second EP takes the basis of the sound of the first EP, but bumps up the energy x 100. The guitars are bigger and the lyrics are less desperate and stronger to match. I can’t wait for people to hear the new music live.
The song “Lines in the Sky”, which starts Cole Gallagher’s EP, The Confluence, has a soft sound. It makes you feel like you are at the beach, as he compares the person in his song to the sea. Emotions of excitement flow through the song, expressed through high notes. He is truly enjoying a fun time with this person at the sea.
As I contemplate more, I realize the sea is also a metaphor for his dreams being as vast as the sea when he is with this person, as they make him believe he can do anything he wishes. He is living in a world that is twisted, expressed through his voice. Deep and raspy, it captures emotions of anger, freedom, and pain, in a melody that flows smoothly and makes you feel like you releasing all of your emotions into the world. As he lets go of all his pain and anger, he finds that freedom is hard when you do not have the person you relied on to encourage you to see your dreams as vast as the sea.
As Gallagher sings the song “Stumbling in the Dark”, he goes through emotions of struggling to impress the person he is singing about. He believes he cannot live up to their expectations of how to act, and who to be. Despite feeling he cannot be his true self, he follows this person because he loves them too intensely to emotionally leave them. She is the only girl he will ever truly love. He is desperately searching for her so he can look into her eyes again. He is unsure how to show her that he cares about her forever and he hopes that her life is free of pain and worries, as he expresses by singing that he hopes the skies are blue for her.
During “Delilah”, the listener discovers the name of the person the lyrics to his EP has been flowing about. Delilah’s joy is his joy too, because her emotions are connected to how he feels. They are like a string, so when he or Delilah gets pulled or twisted a certain way, they are impacted by each other’s emotions. As expressed in his lyrics, his heart is open to her eyes, because he is open to looking deep into her soul and understanding life from her perspective. His heart will beat to her emotions and what she goes through in life.
In Cole’s song “Chatting Through Steal”, he struggles that his dreams have been packed up by people refusing to believe in him, and rejecting him. It is melancholic and contemplative, stirring pause in its listener.
In “Sugarland”, the melody intertwines as words enter this song, with emotions of helplessness. He wonders about what it would be like to see beyond the fields he lives in. Loneliness overwhelms him and he feels trapped in the fields. Hope fills his soul as he watches the bluebirds flying in the sky and “the flames rise up,” as articulated through these descriptive lyrics.
“The Ocarins of the Tennessee” starts with a slow, calming melody. As he is floating away, he continues to keep the attachment of this person whom he loves in his heart, vowing to never forget the sound of their voice. The sound of this person’s voice brings him both comfort and grief. He compares this person’s voice to the sounds of the sea because the sea is where he has had many memories with them. His heart is floating away with this person in his mind and away from this person in reality. At the end of this song, his high notes repeat in a steady flow in a pattern, capturing the emotions of being content with this person at the sea and the pain of losing them.
Xadi‘s “Black Rock” EP is a captivating musical journey that delves into dark ambiance, effortlessly blending catchy and chill elements. With its personal anecdotes and explorations of drug usage, Xadi weaves a tapestry of experiences that transcends racial boundaries, touching the hearts of listeners from all walks of life.
The EP’s main track, aptly titled “Black Rock,” stands out as a powerful statement that challenges preconceived notions about the relationship between music and race. The quote, “I didn’t know that music had a [sic] colour,” encapsulates the essence of this song and its overarching message. Xadi’s ability to create a sonic landscape that resonates with anyone and everyone, irrespective of their racial background, is truly remarkable.
The EP opens with a dark and haunting aura that immediately sets the tone for the introspective journey ahead. The production values are top-notch, showcasing Xadi’s skill in creating atmospheric soundscapes that immerse the listener. The combination of electronic elements, ethereal vocals, and carefully crafted beats creates a hypnotic experience that draws you in from the very first note.
One of the EP’s greatest strengths lies in its catchiness. Despite exploring deep and personal themes, Xadi manages to infuse the tracks with memorable hooks and melodies that stick with you long after the music ends. This balance between introspection and accessibility is a testament to Xadi’s artistry and ability to create music that can be enjoyed by a wide range of listeners.
“Black Rock” is also an EP filled with personal anecdotes and adventures. Xadi’s storytelling ability shines through as he shares his experiences with drug addiction, painting vivid pictures of struggle, redemption, and personal growth. The lyrics are thought-provoking and introspective, inviting listeners to reflect on their own lives and experiences.
As a black British music artist, Xadi brings a unique perspective to his music. While the EP addresses themes that are deeply rooted in his personal journey, the emotions and messages conveyed have a universal appeal. Xadi’s artistry transcends racial boundaries, touching upon shared human experiences that resonate with anyone willing to listen and empathize.
Experienced multi-genre artist Daniel Ellsworth brings all of his prior skills to the table, presenting his first independent project in a set of four LPs. The newly released WHAT is Ellsworth’s first fully self-produced LP and is the third in the set of I HAVE / NO CLUE / WHAT / I’M DOING. Contrary to that title, Ellsworth certainly seems to know what he’s doing, as the five new songs in WHAT display a mature musical sensibility with their clever arranging and the mixing of musical styles.
WHAT holds the listener’s hand via lyrics that tell a story, a diverse array of synths, and a clear progression of styles. Beginning with the welcoming “Lost In the Rhythm”, Ellsworth introduces a beat and whooshing synths worthy of any dance party. It’s feel-good and optimistic, in touch with the speaker’s initial meeting with the love interest.
“Blurry” heightens this euphoria, infusing its pop style with hip-hop influences, to evoke how the speaker is in complete awe of the lover. Panning synths in the catchy chorus create interest in the left and right ears, mimicking how it feels to have blurry vision in an auditory format.
“Flower Underground” flips the switch. Doubt sprouts in the speaker as the relationship with the lover takes a turn toward the uncertain. With indie-pop influences, this song has a myriad of synth timbres, creating an engaging collage of sound. The jazz piano solo hearkens to Ellsworth’s background in jazz piano, adding another new element to this LP.
Ellsworth draws from his experience in techno-pop in “Operator Emma”, as the speaker is in contact with the lover via sparse phone calls. Pleading for “an answer on the line”, Ellsworth’s voice soars into its highest range so far. The sweeping synths toward the end seem to hint at a hopeful conclusion for this complicated situation.
The final track, “I Believe In You”, is about the sun rising at the end of a long night. Circling back to indie-pop, Ellsworth’s voice has that lo-fi, old-time-radio vocal effect. There’s even word-painting when rising synths accompany the lyrics “surrounded by the sunlight”. The relationship has been repaired, and the music reflects that sense of relief and contentment that comes after a test of trust.
Daniel Ellsworth’s WHAT is a prime example of how to intermix musical genres to tell a story. After many collaborations with other artists—Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes, Chaos Emeralds, and DARKMINDS—Ellsworth sets out on his own, carrying a vast scope of musical experience with him.
Get ready to be swept away by Winterlark‘s newest EP, You Send Me A Photograph. This indie folk sensation is back with a collection of tunes that will tug at your heartstrings. From soulful melodies to lyrics that hit you right in the feels, Winterlark takes you on a musical adventure exploring love, memories, and those unforgettable snapshots of life.
Winterlark’s EP You Send Me A Photograph is a mesmerizing journey that transports listeners to a world of ethereal beauty. With their intricate compositions and hauntingly delicate vocals, Winterlark creates an immersive sonic landscape that lingers long after the last note fades.
The EP’s six tracks weave together elements of indie folk and dream pop, resulting in a sublime blend of introspection and enchantment. Each song is a captivating vignette, filled with evocative imagery and introspective lyrics that delve into the depths of love, loss, and the bittersweet moments of life.
From the haunting opening track to the poignant finale, Winterlark’s musicianship shines brightly. The intricate layers of strums and pizzicatos intertwine flawlessly, creating a rich tapestry of sound that envelops the senses. The duo’s harmonies are nothing short of spellbinding, evoking a sense of gentleness and emotional resonance that resonates deeply with the listener.
You Send Me A Photograph is an EP that demands to be experienced in its entirety, as each song seamlessly flows into the next, guiding the listener on a cathartic and introspective journey. Winterlark’s ability to capture raw emotions and distill them into captivating melodies is a testament to their artistry and musicianship. This EP is a true gem, destined to captivate both devoted fans and newcomers alike with its vintage beauty and heartfelt expression.