divine astronaut, “voices”

divine astronaut, “voices”

Electronic duo Divine Astronaut released their new single and music video for “Voices”. This is the group’s second track off their debut album, Made Not In Berlin, set to release sometime in 2020. Inspired by artists such as Radiohead and Bjork combined with the absence of electronic acts, the duo came to fruition in August 2019. Their music is downtempo, alternative electronica with trip-hop and industrial elements weaved in. The track has a menacing feel with airy vocals and deep guitar riffs.

With toned-down colors, singer Livvy Holland walks around an ominous castle. The video was actually shot at Dracula’s Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania, capturing the haunting nature of the track and the mythology of Dracula. The duo tackles how haunting our own voices and inner demons can be. As Warm Audio Featured Artists, Divine Astronaut are partnering with the pro-audio manufacturer on the release of the track to give audiences a chance to win a Warm Audio WA-47JR microphone. The microphone is featured multiple times in the video and you can sign up here for your chance to win. Don’t forget to take a look at the “Voices” video now.

les nuby, “know what she said”

les nuby, “know what she said”

As a player and producer, Les Nuby 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, Les Nuby 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.

ajeet, “dance of the moon”

ajeet, “dance of the moon”

If you have been looking for a  vocalist and a visual to help “carry [you] away,” then look no further than the new music video for Ajeet‘s “Dance of The Moon”. As the title of the song suggests, there is an ambiance taking place here, masterfully crafted by the world music artist you see before you. As you zen out to the incredibly alluring track, you can’t help but be fixated on her movement, inspired to move in ways you haven’t in perhaps a while. Plus, it is full of a gorgeous landscape that is a feast to so many eyes who haven’t seen more than the inside of their home for months on end.

Take a few minutes to escape into the magic. We promise it’s worth it.

pressing strings, “brave”

pressing strings, “brave”

Dedicated to COVID-19 front line workers who are helping others during the global pandemic, Pressing Strings released a video for “Brave.” Within the first 30 seconds, we are presented with a quote from Mr. Rogers that says, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Whether it is a nurse, grocery store worker or delivery drivers, these clips take you through the tough days they are facing and how they’re helping. The clips incorporated were sent in by essential workers and fans.

Although the song was written for frontman Jordan Sokel’s daughter, who is featured in the video, this video was put together to show the Maryland-based trio’s appreciation for those who are putting their lives at risk to help others. Towards the end of the video, photo submissions were turned into a portrait of a nurse with boxing gloves and wings, a final tribute to show how brave these workers are in this dark time. The single comes off the band’s latest album Settle In, which you can stream here.

rosa, “blow”

rosa, “blow”

Alt-R&B artist ROSA displays courage in his painfully raw single “BLOW” and accompanying music video. The track unearths and sets free some deeply buried demons surrounding ROSA’s personal battle with depression and drug abuse. Living with depression from an early age, ROSA quickly learned to adapt, to suppress his emotions, and instead forced himself to think clinically. While clever, this approach only prevented him from actually confronting his issues. It was his crafty thinking that allowed his severe cocaine addiction to fly under the radar for years without his friends or family noticing. Written, composed, produced, and arranged by ROSA alongside Joveek Murphy and Axe Hessel, the title “BLOW” refers both to cocaine, but also to what happens when you fail to deal with your emotions. The track is not only about someone coming to terms with their drug problem, but also with the root of the problem: depression. It is the second of a trio of singles that will be released before ROSA’s anticipated debut EP FEMALE. This EP will deal with female empowerment but also tackles issues of male emotional vulnerability. ROSA aims to challenge the stereotypes that surround masculinity by exposing some dark parts of himself. In the interest of honesty, “BLOW” speaks frankly, eschewing metaphors and symbolism to avoid romanticizing the matters of drug use in the track. By doing so, ROSA hopes to offer an alternative to the glamourized portrayal of drug use in pop culture.

The music video was directed by ROSA himself and illustrates his experience, from the initial ecstasy of cocaine to the inevitable deterioration as the high wears off. To show this, we first see shots of pleasant images: green trees and manicured bushes, women in dresses, bright blue lipstick, and deep red and white cloths. But each of these images are a double-edged sword. The groomed shrubbery and vivid colours seem out of context against muted colours and barren landscapes in the background. The faces of the women are void of expression. As the video progresses, we start to notice certain unsettling subtleties in the initial shots– the expression of pain on someone’s face with their mouth duct-taped shut, the fact that the fabrics are stretched over the people’s face. Eventually, you see that these people are struggling, even screaming through their restraints. Towards the end, fuzzy, black and white shots are interspersed among the others, before the harrowing final ten seconds arrive.

While ROSA’s alternative R&B and pop sound fits in somewhere near Frank Ocean, Kid Cudi, and Dev Hynes, his sound also has distinct touches that make his music his own. In “BLOW”, the music follows the same path of decay as the video, beginning with a smooth bassline and vocals, but finishing with stuttering words and haphazardous pauses before stopping suddenly, holding its breath for the final shot in the video. When the grainy black and white shots appear, some grungy guitar fills out the music, and shortly after ghostly harmonies chill you to the bone. The most impact, however, comes from the inserted spoken lines. Used sparingly, these lines directly get the message across, and uphold ROSA’s goal to show authentic emotions in a straightforward way.

Watch the striking video here, and look out for the third FEMALE single and the EP itself in the future.

black grapefruit, “waist”

black grapefruit, “waist”

Experimental pop and R&B alchemists Black Grapefruit have reanimated their 2019 song “Waist” from their dance-inspired EP of the same name. The duo released a pertinent video and compelling remix that offer fresh takes on the track.

Produced by Not 97, the video features footage from fans, friends, and family dancing to “Waist” from the comfort of their homes. Ironically, the video was put together way before the coronavirus-induced mandate to stay home was in effect. The sense of community present in the video has only gotten more relevant. Black Grapefruit mentioned that this video is a “reminder that we can share energy regardless of distance, and that we are all more connected than we sometimes realize.” It’s something to keep in mind as we all brave the isolating effects of seclusion. There are several cameos in the video as well, such as Emmy-nominated actor Zazie Beetz and model and co-host of MTV’s Catfish Kamie Crawford.

The song itself is quite chill but is also infused with a danceable energy, adding another dimension to the song’s relevance. Black Grapefruit explains the place of “Waist” in light of recent events by saying that “humans have been dancing through pain and turmoil since long before recorded music. With full respect for the moment, this is our creative offering. It’s made from ceremonial, positive intention. We can only hope that its movement somehow supports our collective and continued fight towards justice and healing.” Overall the track has a good continuous flow, but anticipation is created by the few pauses that are thrown in to keep the listener on their toes. The remix takes these pauses further, breaking up the melody into fragments and weaving them together into a fractured tapestry. Despite this, there are still tons of beats to attach dance moves to, preserving the rhythmic essence of the original track.