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AWAY – Honest To Gød (feat. Charity)

Lowly Palace has a knack for singling out producers with exponential potential, one of the most obvious being AWAY. I’ve been obsessed with his debut single “Sleepwalker”, a production that grinds introspective melodies from London Thor into dust with a contorted synth of a hook. His follow-up, “Honest To Gød”, is a fitting follow-up that dives into the depths of sonic pathos as Charity’s vocals swirl through a minimalist haze before she declares “I’m addicted to the pain.” On cue, the song collapses into a glitchy, effects-soaked bottom.

Beyond the sounds of “Honest To Gød”, I find myself considering the line “I’m addicted to the pain.” I like to think of myself as someone who pursues happiness on all fronts, but there are times where I experience moments of pain that I allow to slowly spread across my day until I wallow in them. I don’t think it’s masochism by any stretch, but I subconsciously find something enthralling about melodrama, like a music video character staring out a rainy window. There are days like today where I start off strong, but a fleeting moment of sadness turns into an evening of unnecessary introspection. I think I’ll give “Honest To Gød” one more listen before I snap out of it.


I, Us & We – Ceremonies

Listening to Ceremonies is the first interaction I’ve had with I, Us & We’s music, but it certainly won’t be the last. Their sound brings a whole new meaning to atmospheric as each track feels like a wholly engrossing world of its own. Lead single “Tryst” immediately grabbed my attention as the vocal melodies remind me of Cynic’s essential Traced In Air (funny how an indie-electro cut can have similarities with a metal masterpiece), but I was successively pulled into their sonic world more and more with each track.

The artwork is fitting for Ceremonies, its futuristic imagery echoing the album’s forward-thinking ethos. Are the figures on the cover statues? Are they alive? Are they human? Are they something else entirely? I found myself thinking about that while listening to the record. Maybe it’s a mixture of all of the above, just like I, Us & We mix elements of indie stylings of the organic nature with electronic elements of the technological realm.


Joselyn – Savior

Don’t need to be my savior…I need encouragement and assistance from those around me, but I know that no one person will be my savior. It’s an incremental process that requires communal love and support reciprocated among people, but most importantly, growth within. That doesn’t mean I’ve never seen someone or something as my savior though…I’ve tried to make a romantic interest the solution to my problems or use something to fix my problems, but at the end of the day there’s not an end all be all when it comes to solutions.

Joselyn gets that on her brand new single “Savior”. It’s a seriously empowering anthem that’s all about independence from others and finding confidence that comes purely from within. The way she vocalizes lines like “No more running from the way I know it has to be, I don’t need your drug” adds a whole new level of empowerment to the song as she sounds so poised – you can hear the ethos she preaches coming through every line she sings. It’s a phenomenal package from an artist overflowing with talent that’s just waiting to inspire audiences abound.


PLVTINUM – London’s Calling

A work friend remarked the other day that they wouldn’t expect me to be wearing a Madonna shirt – it makes since considering I’m a bearded 6’2″ guy who usually rocks metal merch, but it’s also hilarious considering I have Duran Duran’s Rio artwork permanently etched into my skin and a playlist ranging from Fergie to Lindsay Lohan in my regular rotation. I love the classics, but I also love listening out for who’s leading the pack when it comes to modern pop sounds.

Thus, consider me stoked that a friend sent over this brand new track from PLVTINUM. It’s an absolute earworm of a single that leans toward subtle touches of pop mastery (such as a sonic piece of the hook already present in the verses) which are thrilling to see coming from an independent artist. I saw a chart the other day that rates songs based on whether they’re bangers or jams and how far up the bop scale they are. If I had to rate “London’s Calling”, I’m thinking it leans heavily toward the jam side of the spectrum with serious bop potential. Time to add this bop to my playlist and spin it on repeat.


EMBRZ – Doubt House

I’m not sure what genre “Doubt House” falls under, but I do know it’s contemporary electronic music at its finest. The synthesizers and percussion are intricately woven, the vocals are affecting, the overall atmosphere a heady all-encompassing haze. It’s a natural step forward for EMBRZ, a producer who I’ve watched grow from promising raw talent to adept electronic producer.

Shifting to a personal note, I used to have a full-blown doubt house built in my mind. Anxiety prevented me from comfortably talking in front of groups, being satisfied with my work, or being satisfied with the person I am. It’s taken years, but there’s significantly less times that I’m not confident in myself or my output. I know the value I bring to my friends and family, I know the value I bring to my office, and I know the value I bring to myself. I have a internal conception that has replaced my doubt house as it slowly crumbles away.


WITHOUT – Love Liike This (feat. Essie)

WITHOUT’s newest conjures up images of brisk ocean breeze on a slightly cloudy day where the sun shines through. The tropical synths complete a groove that warrants a carefree sway back, forth, back and forth (rest in peace Aaliyah). With winter almost upon us, it’s a welcomed dive into the ocean depths with a smile on your face. My thoughts are scattered, but like any visceral experience, there’s no linearity – instead, I’m just riding the sonic waves.

On the flip-side, there’s something equally ethereal about the overcast skies that hang over LA today. It’s perfect for a lazy Sunday spent inside, alternating between watching football and movies, daydreaming about the week ahead. I’m a hot blooded person by nature, so this cold is right up my alley. When daydreams drift off toward the coast, though, “Love Liike This” is the soundtrack I need.


Lonely Benson – Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)

On his new single, Lonely Benson takes on “Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” – one of Hall & Oates’ many classic tracks – in colorfully saturated style. The quirky synths feel like they’re stripped from the workings of a psychedelic cartoon, the bossa nova flute solo feels like a tropical mid 20th century island vacation, and the vocals are as cool as the ocean breeze. I’m protective of my ’80s favorites, but Benson pays homage to the original while delivering a nuanced modern sound that makes it just as replayable as its source.

The track brings to mind a beach where the sun shines so bright that there appears to be a filtered haze. I’m laying on a towel under the crisp rays of our nearest star. A beautiful woman runs by in slow motion. A couple playfully wrestles with one another, their smiles shining pure. Leaving this daydream while I sit at my desk? Can’t go for that. No can do.


ASH – Hold On Me

Love is a visceral emotion. It’s not just relayed through happiness in our brains, but it’s a physical sensation. It makes our bodies feel exhilaration and deep satisfaction. It’s also something that can’t simply be turned on and off on command. It seems ASH understands that notion more than most on her brand new single “Hold On Me”. The attachment to her partner is a bond beyond her control – “when it comes to you, I cave in” – that she conveys with such grace. You can hear the passion in each word sung as she declares “you got a hold on me.”

The production also does the topic of romance genuine justice – its minimalist verses give way to a hook of swelling synths that glisten with melodic edges. It’s amazing how even an instrumental can convey the intimate bond between two people…ASH truly found a track that accentuates her passionate vision to perfection. It does wonders for the imagery of lines like “he’s all about me, drinking his Jim Beam, lights a cigarette“, vividly bringing them to life throughout the song.

I can’t wait to return to ASH’s romantic vision of “Hold On Me” again and again.


Kaerhart – Drain My Love

Kaerhart is a songwriter turned solo artist and her debut single makes it apparent in the most positive context. “Drain My Love” is an intricately woven electro-pop track whose structure could only be pieced together by a professional. Each verse is maximized to its fullest emotional potential, leading into a hook with a start-and-stop percussion and synth pattern that works wonders under her honest declaration: “I’m tryna fill my cup cause you drain my love.” Simply put, you’d be hard pressed to find a more fine tuned electro-pop ballad.

The transition from songwriter to solo artist can be difficult – moving from incognito creator to musical centerpiece takes a serious amount of guts and inherent star power that not every songwriter can muster. So many great songwriters who’ve had their hands in pop smashes haven’t been able make the jump, but there’s also ones like Christian Karlsson who’ve pivoted from Bloodshy & Avant mastermind to Galantis and Miike Snow member. On that spectrum, Kaerheart appears to be poised for the latter, so consider me excited to hear whatever she comes with next.


Kastrup – Try It All

I’m an absolute sucker for some sweet Swedish melodies – I don’t know if it’s in the water or what, but there’s something about the country that understands infectious songwriting more than anywhere else in the world. Case and point: Kastrup’s “Try It All”. The way they annunciate “I wanna try, try it all” is an ear worm that feels euphoric with every listen, and that’s only a sliver of the impressive entire song! Everything about it is so damn catchy that I could gush about it for hours.

It’s so rewarding to find a song that just clicks with you, whether it’s a moment or its entirety. The ability for someone else’s artistic creation to strike an emotional chord is one of my most cherished gifts of human nature. With the invent of the internet and living in it for decades, I think we take for granted how phenomenal it is that we can get direct access to said artistic creations across the world in an instant. It makes discovering and connecting to songs like “Try It All” possible, and for that, I’m grateful.