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.
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.
Avant-pop temptress Alex Lilly’s single “Terrible Person” is a pulsating, mysterious gem that plays with subtlety both in the music and lyrics. The track is as elusive as Lilly herself, having been a part of several groups throughout her career, including the Buddhist punk band Zero Dezire, the harmonic quartet the Living Sisters, and touring with names like Lorde, Beck, and the bird and the bee. She characterizes her music as “sexy psychological thrillers,” drawing the description from her honeyed, suspicious tunes. “Terrible Person” starts out as one might expect, with Lilly singing “that would make you a really really terrible person. and make me the dumb one for having loved you,” implying a sense of clarity and empowerment. But the intricacies of the situation are revealed in a later verse when she sings “or wait am i just a really really terrible person just like you so i deserve you, come back,” showing that it’s never as simple as the earlier line may suggest. Behind her words is a muted beat that seems like it’s accelerating, and a perpetually rising melody which works together to create an understated feeling of urgency. Her voice rings out like a siren, compelling her listeners with off-kilter melody lines and interesting vocal inflections. Her last words are overtaken with distortion and the music embodies a bit of harshness to drive the message home.
Explains Lilly of the track:
If you’re like me, then you dwell on your breakup and wonder who was actually the guilty party in the relationship which is what ‘Terrible Person’ is about. You break up and then you look back and toss the blame around until you get exhausted. I came home one night drunk and angry, thinking about how my ex had screwed me over. But then I realized that I sucked too and I couldn’t decide who sucked more so I wrote these lyrics to help me decide. This was the last song we recorded. In fact I had to do it from my home studio and Barbara (Gruska) produced it from hers. The quarantine had just started. Barb was in constant contact with a family member who could not afford to get sick. I sent her my vocals and that arpeggiated track. And she did her magic.
The Angry Lisas shine a light on life’s heartbreaking realities and how crucial it is to learn to let them go in their impassioned and deeply genuine new video for their single “Wingwalkers.” Sean Taylor, the principal songwriter for the Portland-based indie-rock outfit, found that writing songs for the band’s upcoming album Slate Violet was the only way he could process and heal from the regret, nostalgia, gratitude, and sorrow that he collected over the last decade, or “cheap man’s therapy,” as he calls it. The album not only reflects on pain but the elation that comes from the release of pain, a release that manifests itself in catchy rock anthems that are zealous and sincere. It humbly reflects on some of the most challenging moments in Taylor’s twenties. As a part of this, “Wingwalkers” comes on the heels of Taylor’s big move away from home. Where he expected catharsis and a fresh beginning, he instead found a reflective familiarity. The idea that you can’t escape your problems, and that the only way to move on is to let go provides the foundation for the narrative of “Wingwalkers.”
The visuals and narrative of the video amplify the humility of the music by adding a layer of authenticity that can only come from watching someone else’s story. It follows two people, sometimes flashing back to their life and relationship as children, sometimes confronting the harsh reality of their life in the present. While the shots are ambiguous at first, details are slowly revealed about the situation, until the narrative reaches a burning climax. You feel your heart both warmed and broken as you watch, until the end practices what Taylor preaches about letting go. Enveloping this story are varied, down to earth guitar riffs that feel like a wordless echo of the preceding lyrics. The vocals are classic; soft, yet earnest. But “Wingwalkers” is only a taste of the emotional atlas that is Slate Violet, and the rolling drums at the end of the track remind us that this isn’t over, there are more challenges and revelations ahead.
Toronto-based R&B dancehall artist Lexxicon will soon be releasing a single and video from his upcoming EP Tropical R&B, called “I Don’t Deserve You.” Lexxicon is known for fusing his Jamaican roots with pop and world music genres. For this single, the producer, singer, and songwriter used this fusion to create an ultramodern ambiance that combines the genres of dancehall and electro-R&B. The track hones in on the feelings of desolation and detachment that loom over us during quarantine. Lexxicon found solace in the moodiness of R&B and decided to use it to express his feelings during the lockdown when he wrote Tropical R&B. As he reminisced about better days in the past, he developed “I Don’t Deserve You” to be about finding someone who you can brave the world with. The song is bittersweet, however, because although it expresses a deep love, a feeling of unworthiness is also present. “Sometimes when you finally get the love you deserve you don’t know how to accept it and you feel unworthy,” says Lexxicon.
A somber tone engulfs the music video. It alternates between several different scenes, but Lexxicon is alone in each one. His melancholic vocals gently sound in places like a vacant street or empty home. The loneliness in these settings is augmented by the somewhat sparse texture of the music. Some scenes are under a cover of darkness, others are a room with a soft red light. Even Lexxicon’s facial expressions are solemn, his eyes staring into the camera with a look of poignant longing. There is also a subtle tension within both the music and video. Flickers of overlaid patterns, colours, and scenes put you slightly on edge, and the buoyant beat and melodic ornaments clash against another, gloomier countermelody. On top of the rich scene-setting provided by the visuals and music, Lexxicon’s lyrics are compelling and all-embracing.
To listen to “I Don’t Deserve You” is to feel understood in these trying times. Stream it and watch the video when they are released this Friday, July 17th.
As a player and producer, LesNuby is no stranger to the music world. The virtuoso began in Birmingham, Alabama as the drummer for indie-rock band Verbena but never settled, exploring as many opportunities as he could. Notable endeavours include touring with the esteemed Scottish band Idlewild, as well as playing guitar for Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls and the band Vulture Whale. A marvel behind the scenes as well, Nuby has produced releases for artists such as Will Stewart, Sarah Lee Langford, The Dirty Clergy, and Witch’s Wall. Alongside being the current guitarist and vocalist for Holiday Gunfire, he is finally adding a solo album to his repertoire. Clouded will be released on July 10th, 2020.
“Know What She Said” will be the first single, and it lets you in on the secret of what to expect from this long-anticipated album. The song is quite melodic and emanates exciting but controlled energy, meanwhile the surrounding music is made up of skilled instrument playing. A particularly bouncy bass part especially stands out and would be worth keeping an ear out for. In fact, you could listen to this song over and over again and rediscover it each time as you listen to the intricacies of each instrument. The vocals and overall atmosphere of the single is reminiscent of 80s era R.E.M., but the melody points more towards early 90s power pop, and the two blend together wonderfully.
The video is a captivating, artsy black and white live visual that allows you a brief glimpse into Les Nuby’s live performance. It’s enough to make you yearn for pre-Covid days.
You can look forward to these well-executed aspects in Clouded as well. In a culmination of his musical resume, LesNuby produced, engineered, and played all the instruments on the album, and that care and experience is certainly heard in “Know What She Said.”
Be sure to check out Nuby’s earlier release “Never Falling Away” here.