L.A. based “Punk Rock” duo “Broken Baby” and musician Soren Bryce under her “Alternative Rock” project “Tummyache” have released their new collaborative single “Ctrl-Alt-Delete,” and it is an irresistible fusion of riotous “Post-Punk” and “Alternative Pop.” The collaboration was born out of a bond the two groups formed while on their Southwest tour pre-COVID. The track speaks on cancel culture in the absence of real justice in America. “Women and minorities shouldn’t have to use the court of public opinion to get fair treatment in this country, but until that happens we’ll have to rely on the crude instruments we have at our disposal,” says Amber Bollinger and Alex Dezen of “Broken Baby.” You can watch the music video for “Ctrl-Alt-Delete” below:
Yes. You read that correctly. “Gorillaz” continue their unbeatable streak of impeccable singles with episode six of their “Song Machine” series featuring THE Robert Smith of “The Cure.” The track is titled “Strange Timez,” which is fitting considering the bonkers all-out shitfest of a year we’re living in right now. Oh 2020, what happened? You were the chosen one. “Strange Timez” is everything you’d want from a “Gorillaz” and Robert Smith collab and then some. You can listen to “Strange Timez” below:
Today “U.S. Girls” have shared a new music video for their track “And Yet It Moves / Y Se Mueve,” which is one of the most undeniably infectious tracks off their new album Heavy Light. The video is packed with trippy animated visuals, flashing lights, and optical illusions, and it was created by Evan Gordon. You can watch the music video for “And Yet It Moves / Y Se Mueve” below:
U.S. Girls most definitely released one of the year’s best albums back in March, which feels like ages ago considering all that has happened following the release of Heavy Light. Like so many others, the band were set to embark on a lengthy tour but were forced to cancel due to our current pandemic, but at least we have their incredible music to listen to during these moments of isolation. I know i’ve listened to Heavy Light countless times while being locked in my home. Today the band have shared a new music video for one of the album’s standout tracks titled “IOU,” and it is sure to put a smile on your face as you watch numerous clips of the band in the studio. You can watch the music video for “IOU” below:
Artist: Lucky Iris
EP: Turns Out We Should Have Stayed At Home
Genre: Pop/Alternative Pop/Indie Pop
Remember when we used to be able to go out? Seems like forever ago doesn’t it? Though it was fun to spend a night out on the town bar hopping, hanging out with friends, and meeting new people, there were also those nights where things didn’t go according to plan. Where we’d end up alone, surrounded by laughing people having fun while we stared at our phones to look busy and less alone. Where are the club anthems about those nights? Leeds duo “Lucky Iris” haven’t forgotten about those nights, and they’ve captured that feeling perfectly on their debut E.P. Turns Out We Should Have Stayed At Home. Formerly of the band “Everyday People,” “Lucky Iris” consists of vocalist Maeve and producer Jasper, and their chemistry is impeccable as the two create Pop music with an Alternative edge mixing a bit of Indietronica, R&B, and piano lead sentiment that is as heavy on self-realization as it is melancholy. Turns Out We Should Have Stayed At Home isn’t a preachy statement, but it is a deep look inward that frequently looks outward at the same time. It’s a concept E.P. about the nights of feeling the need to fill that void with validation from others, and with this dive into this reality these songs realize the superficiality that comes out of it all. “When I was younger I was told to be kind and look nice, but to be seen and not heard. Then they taught me to argue, how to think for myself, but now i’m too outspoken, they still call me little girl” sings Maeve on the opening track “Get Ready With Me,” a song that notices roles we feel like we must play when it comes to social situations, but instead of having a “humanity is doomed” tone, “Get Ready With Me” feels like it has two meanings. On the surface it sounds like our narrator is getting ready for a night out, but there can also be an underlying message of self-acceptance as she encourages us to get ready for a better human condition if we were to just acknowledge who we truly are instead of succumbing to social norms. At least that’s my interpretation. The following track “Take 5 (Why Can’t You See Me?)” is a beautiful piano-driven song about the feeling of isolation as you’re alone but surrounded by people who look right through you. It’s vulnerable and quite possibly the biggest tearjerker on the E.P. That’s what’s so fascinating and refreshing about this music, it’s honest, it’s not afraid to be vulnerable, and it’s a look at how social norms can truly damage someone’s self-esteem and mental state, but it isn’t all a grim look into those nights. “Glitter Vision” is the most danceable track which is fitting seeing as how the subject is about the point where you start to appreciate your own company and dance the night away by yourself, unafraid of the feelings of alienation, but like the frequent ups and downs of life, this track is immediately followed by a broken mindset on the closing track “Fell Backwards.” It’s a painful listen and I mean that in the kindest way possible. Since this is a concept album, which to me is like a film, I don’t want to spoil the ending, but it leaves the listener on a sad note as our narrator feels alone, broken, and unsure what to do following everything she’s done to appease others only to feel like she’s falling backwards. It’s a lot to take in. If you were to restart this E.P. over again you’d get that mood shift again, like a constant loop, much like the shifting moods of our lives. This is a fascinating listen because it doesn’t glorify the partying lifestyle. It by no means says going out is devoid of it’s fun and memorable times, but it is a reminder that things can be very shallow out there, and that we should treat each other better, including yourself. Here’s to when we can go out again.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
Montréal-based musician Maryze released one of the most enthralling and immediately captivating EPs of 2019. Titled Like Moons, the five-song EP was an exploration in Electro-Pop, Synth-Pop, and R&B. Her lusciously smooth vocals and inward looking themes combined with her ambition to experiment with various musical styles has made her an artist to watch in the world of Pop and R&B. Without a doubt one of the most standout tracks on the EP is “Dis-Moi.” Sung entirely in French, the song represents Maryze’s French heritage. When translated to English for people like me who aren’t fluent in French but admire the beauty of it, it’s clear that the song is about wanting to tell your significant other everything you keep inside. Your secrets of your past, the darker thoughts that surface in your mind, or maybe a mental illness, these are all things that can frighten one into not letting someone in for fear of being judged or losing someone over it. Is it a form of lying not telling my loved one everything about me? Will this person stay if I tell them my darkest secrets? These are questions most of us have asked ourselves at some point, and Maryze beautifully conveys this theme over smooth 80’s driven production that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Nicolas Winding Refn film. Today Maryze has released a new music video for “Dis-Moi,” and it perfectly captures the sensual but dark nature of the song. The video is intentionally lo-fi evoking the nostalgia of the days of VHS, and it also pays homage to Dario Argento with a color scheme similar to his style. The video even features various scenes from his film Suspiria, and being a Horror fanatic you can imagine my excitement when watching this video. It’s clear Maryze has a vision for every song she creates and there’s never a second of filler. You can watch the music video for “Dis-Moi” below:
It’s nice to see “Gorillaz” being as active as they’ve been in recent years. For awhile we grew to expect long gaps in between albums, but hey, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett are busy guys. After a 7 year gap following The Fall, everyone’s favorite animated band released Humanz and The Now Now just a year later. It’s looking like the band aren’t going to disappear anytime soon, because so far this year as part of their “Song Machine” series, the band dropped their Punkishly anthemic track “Momentary Bliss” featuring slowthai and “Slaves,” and now following that up the band have released another new track titled “Désolé” featuring Malian musician Fatoumata Diawara. The track is both upbeat and melancholy with bouncy synths and dramatic strings while Albarn and Diawara sing in English, French, and Bambara. No word on whether or not this is a roll-out for an upcoming album, but I truly hope it is, because the band sound rejuvenated and more inspired than they did on The Now Now. You can watch the music video for “Désolé” below:
U.S. Girls will release their new album Heavy Light on March 6th via “4AD,” and following their fantastic single “Overtime,” Meg Remy and Co. have released another catchy tune titled “4 American Dollars.” The song is a 70’s “Funk” influenced commentary on the U.S. economy and society’s addiction to money and materials. You can watch the music video below:
On this day in 1999 “Le Tigre” released their self-titled debut album. Following the disbandment of “Bikini Kill,” lead singer Kathleen Hanna formed Le Tigre with fellow musicians Johanna Fateman and Sadie Benning. Le Tigre were originally intended to be the live supporting band for Hanna’s solo project “Julie Ruin,” but the band took on a life of it’s own and they began writing their own original material. On their self-titled debut the band used organs, samplers, turntables, drum machines, and guitars to create music that was “Electronic” based but featured the feminist political lyrics Bikini Kill were known for, and Kathleen Hanna’s raucous vocals were as strong as ever. This album revolutionized both “Punk” and “Electronic” music, two genres that couldn’t be more opposite from each other. This album is proof that political music can also be catchy and melodic. Happy Anniversary.
Montreal-based R&B artist Maryze has had quite the year. Her debut E.P. Like Moons was well-received and garnered much attention, and following her tour across the U.S. and Canada, her following continues to grow. Much of the Pop/R&B world feels a bit oversaturated at times with countless artists recycling the same clichés and predictable styles, but there are those who innovate, and Maryze is one of those artists. Whether she’s delivering her beautifully soulful vocals over a myriad of musical styles such as R&B, Hip Hop, and Electronic Music, writing thought-provoking content that allows you to look inward and search for self-acceptance, or incorporating French representing her bilingualism, she never fails to display her versatility. As colorful as her music has been thus far, it feels as if there’s always been a darker side just waiting to come out, and now on her new single “Bad Bad Dream,” that darker side is front and center. Produced by Toronto’s “Mouth Breather,” and also featuring a spoken word verse from British artist “Forever Next Door,” “Bad Bad Dream” is a dark yet fun banger that speaks on the terrors of sleep paralysis, and it’s cleverly disguised as a song about a toxic love interest. The song deals with darker subject matter yes, but it’s also not afraid to be playful with it’s bouncy Halloween-like production and sexy vocals. On the surface it can be a fun track to add to your Halloween playlist, but if you delve deeper into the lyrics you’ll find Maryze acknowledging her sleep paralysis and embracing it. She’s making light of it to the point where it’s almost as if she welcomes it. Does she hate it? Does she love it? Does she hate it and love it? Sleep paralysis is a subject that’s seldom explored in Halloween-themed music, and it’s a lot more terrifying than vampires and zombies, but don’t let that scare you off, because this song is immensely catchy with a hook that will stick in your head for days, proving that not all spooky music needs to be embedded in doom and gloom. Maryze is having fun with the darkness, and it’s refreshing.
Written By: Steven Sandoval