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INDIE POP SINGER-SONGWRITER WILLA AMAI CLOSES 2020 WITH ENTHUSIASTIC ACCLAIM
Sixteen-year-old music phenom Willa Amai is closing 2020 with enthusiastic acclaim to press and public. Amai busy with promoting her current single “Unorganized Crime,” recorded her broody Christmas single simply titled “DECEMBER.” It was decided that it was apropos to be put out this year especially with Amai’s lyric base for the song speaking of troubled times over the holiday season. Little did they know the song would lead to year end success. Amai retorts about the meaning of the song “DECEMBER” as a Christmas song with a melancholy mood that battles with the acceptance of loneliness and remembrance in a time of joy and love. It’s about learning to be okay with yourself and with being alone and finding happiness in who you already are.”
By Popular Demand, Bob Dylan – 1970 (50th Anniversary Collection)
Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, announce the forthcoming release of Bob Dylan – 1970, the first widely available pressing of a three-disc collection of long-sought-after studio recordings, on Friday, February 12.
The recordings on Bob Dylan – 1970 were first released in a limited edition on December 4 as part of the Bob Dylan – 50th Anniversary Collection copyright extension series (which began in 2012). The buzz surrounding the 1970 performances, notably Dylan’s studio sit-down with George Harrison on May 1, created a demand for a broader release of these historic tracks.
Bob Dylan – 1970 includes previously unreleased outtakes from the sessions that produced Self Portrait and New Morning as well as the complete May 1, 1970 studio recordings with George Harrison, which capture the pair performing together on nine tracks, including Dylan originals (“One Too Many Mornings,” “Gates of Eden,” “Mama, You Been On My Mind”), covers (the Everly Brothers’ “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” Carl Perkins’ “Matchbox”) and more.
OMB PEEZY, YFN LUCCI, & YUNGEEN ACE LINK UP FOR NEW SINGLE “HUSTLE”
Today rapper OMB Peezy releases his new single “Hustle” featuring YFN Lucci and Yungeen Ace. On the song, the three rappers channel their life experiences on the Buddah produced beat lacing their melodies with relatable lyrics. When talking about the inspiration behind the song, Peezy states,”The record is about hustling with priorities, you feel me? Buy a house before you flex. Also, understand that everyone is out for themselves, so you can’t depend on anyone to improve your circumstances.” While YFN Lucci holds down the hook, Peezy and Yungeen Ace spit their verses audibly embodying a collage of flows.
Alt-pop Trio TWIN XL Releases New Track And Video “Lemonade” Today
“‘Lemonade’ is about being caught in a vicious cycle of self medication and subsequently feeling completely void of emotion,” states TWIN XL frontman Cameron Walker Wright. “During those moments I generally tend to push away the people I care about most in effort to not take them down with me. Although, I certainly don’t believe that masking pain and emotion in any capacity is a healthy thing to do – it’s a rabbit hole I find myself in far too often and a cycle I’m persistently trying to break.
Mike Posner Releases Album, ‘Operation: Wake Up.’
Today, international multi-platinum selling, GRAMMY-nominated artist and songwriter, Mike Posner has released a powerful 36-minute rap-opera titled Operation: Wake Up. Also out today, an accompanying official music video for focus track ‘Weaponry,’ featuring British songstress Jessie J. Directed by Eric Maldin, watch the powerful music video HERE.
“I believe that the more important the dream is,” 24-year-old John Lindahl says, “the more you’re going to get knocked down.” Born in Silver Spring, Maryland (he coincidentally shares Montgomery County roots with Logic), John was raised in Southern California’s Orange County, in a house filled with music. Growing up, he assumed everyone could sing. “I thought that all kids could match pitch because I could naturally do it,” he says. His mother put him onto Michael Jackson, but it was the singing, dancing, piano playing, and choreographed acrobatics of the classic MGM musical Singin’ In The Rain that sealed the deal for John, especially Donald O’Connor singing “Make ‘Em Laugh.” At age five, he was cast into local musical theatre productions.
Framing Hanley premiere Forgiveness Is An Art (animated video)
Kenneth Nixon on the song “This song was a special song for us in the making of Envy. When Ryan informed us he’d be stepping away, Stoye moved from bass to guitar. This riff was the first riff he played out of the blue one day at rehearsals, and at the time, we thought the album was complete. But I heard the riff and said “yo…let’s run with that.” The lyric “forgiveness is an art” was the first thing that came out of my mouth when I started ad-libbing (“cave-manning,” as I say…basically making melody and phonetic sounds to get the scope of the idea, and approaching later to write the story). Lyrically, it makes sense why that popped in my head though. We had gone through a lot of crap throughout the previous 12 months in working on this album, some things I’m not legally allowed to talk about. But this song was a response to all of that. This was the last song written for Envy but also the first peek at the next chapter of Framing Hanley.”
Steve Aoki pays homage to punk pioneers Crass on a scathing rework of their renowned 1978 single “Banned From The Roxy.” By layering a surging sub bass and quick-paced drum n’ bass licks beneath Crass’ Steve Ignorant’s unmistakable vocals, Aoki amplifies the fervor behind the original song while adding his own electronic angle on “Banned From The Roxy (Steve Aoki’s Basement Tapes Remix).” All net proceeds from Aoki’s remix will go towards Refuge, a U.K.-based organization that aids women and children facing domestic violence.
OMAH LAY SHARES NEW “GODLY” VIDEO, ‘WHAT HAVE WE DONE’ EP OUT NOW!
Breakout Nigerian artist Omah Lay shares a new video for “Godly,” featured on his latest EP What Have We Done [Sire Records]. In the gorgeously-shot visual, Omah gives his audience a glimpse into the highs and unglamourous lows of stardom. Lights, cameras and high fashion can be seen throughout while Omah channels a higher power and navigates complex emotions as he makes a red carpet appearance.
Out Now: Kiesza releases Dark Tales EP
Today ‘electro-pop maven’ (The Fader) Kiesza releases her EP Dark Tales via her own label Zebra Spirit Tribe, rounding out an extremely productive 2020 for the pop-icon.
The EP follows her highly anticipated and critically acclaimed sophomore album CRAVE and her recent featured track with deadmau5, Bridged By A Lightwave. The stunning collaboration engaged audiences in a powerful aspect of Kieszas songwriting talent – the introspective, vulnerable exploration of vocal nuance and lyrical adventures.
Karen Elson covers EP Radio Redhead Vol. 1 out today: Elton John, Cher, ABBA, Robyn, Vera Lynn
Radio Redhead Vol. 1, the new covers EP from singer, songwriter and fashion icon Karen Elson, is out today. Sharing a name with her series of quarantine cover livestreams, the EP features Elson’s renditions of Vera Lynn’s 1939 wartime classic “We’ll Meet Again”—featured in the 1943 Lynn-starring musical of the same name, Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and prolifically covered since—Elton John’s “Sacrifice,” Cher’s “Believe,” Abba’s “Lay All Your Love On Me,” and Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own.”
Edmonton hip hop artist K-Riz is unveiling The Room EP, written in the months after surviving a head-on collision.
Though his spine was shattered from the car accident in June of 2020, his brain was miraculously left intact. What followed during his recovery was a creative spurt and catharsis in making music again. The title of the EP signifies the room in which the album was conceived and the mental space and time he was given to reflect and create.
Jay Das – Stitches
“Screwed Up” delivers all the feels of that 90s R&B nostalgia while walking you through the motions of yearning for the love and desire one gets from a newfound heartthrob. Nevaeh tapped Hip-Hop artist, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie to add his flair to this mid-tempo track and amplify the melodic vibe. “Screwed Up is raw and real and I hope this song makes my peeps feel playa and just catch a vibe!” says Nevaeh. “Shoutout to A Boogie for really making this an East Coast bop!”
Jeff Dazey of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats releases “Song for Atatiana” today!
A year after the killing of Atatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth, Texas by a white police officer, Jeff Dazey, musician and close friend of the family, releases “Song for Atatiana” as part of a volunteer effort by several artists and musicians to honor Jefferson’s memory and legacy. Written by saxophonist Dazey, who’s a member of Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and has performed with Leon Bridges among many others, the single will raise funds for the Atatiana Project, a charity that will create a STEM learning center in Jefferson’s former home where she was shot and killed. The song will be available for purchase today on Bandcamp as part of a “Pay What You Want” structure where all proceeds generated from the track will benefit the organization.
CAMELPHAT RELEASE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR “EASIER,”
Directed by Tom Haines, the video portrays a series of dancers performing alone in empty London nightclub FOLD. The visual is a tribute to struggling night clubs, which are still closed due to the pandemic. CamelPhat have been throwing their support behind nightlife & hospitality industries affected by Covid 19, petitioning for campaigns such as Let Us Dance and recently recording their BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix at an empty Printworks.
MERCURY CIRCLE (feat. members of CHILDREN OF BODOM and SWALLOW THE SUN) release brand new video!
Labeled as “a band you need to watch out for in 2021”, by Metal Hammer UK, and featuring members of Swallow The Sun and Children Of Bodom, MERCURY CIRCLE is creating a diverse offering of atmospheric and dark music where the songs differ wildly in expression and sonic aesthetics, establishing their very own kind of “New Doom”. While the band is working on their upcoming full length record right now (to be released in early 2021), they felt the need to take a break from the album sessions and to release something different, as Jaani Peuhu explains:
Today, Disclosure shared the Special Edition of their two-time GRAMMY-nominated album, ENERGY (Capitol Records). Spanning across three discs, the extended version of ENERGY pulls together everything Disclosure have been a part of this year – including the critically acclaimed Ecstasy EP released in February as well as a plethora of remixes of album tracks and singles, plus their hits with Khalid – “Know Your Worth” and “Talk.” Every essential piece of current Disclosure music in one handy place to keep you dancing through this strange festive season.
Gemini Syndrome Releases Music Video For “Reintegration” Today
“Our video for ‘Reintegration’ tells the story of an initiate’s journey as he travels through the various stages of initiation,” states Gemini Syndrome vocalist Aaron Nordstrom about the video. “We follow him as he walks away from his past in an effort to find himself by facing and overcoming various trials and tribulations, until he ultimately ascends to the highest version of himself.”
Award-winning Northern Irish singer/songwriter Foy Vance has released a new live album, Hope in The Highlands: Recorded Live From Dunvarlich. The album is lifted from Vance’s Hope in The Highlands concert film, which aired last Saturday and is available on VOD until December 28. Directed by Vance’s creative partner Gregg Houston of Babysweet Productions, the film was captured in Vance’s current hometown of Aberfeldy in Highland Perthshire and recorded at Dunvarlich House, a beautiful Arts & Crafts house near the River Tay.
With despondent lyrics like the world outside keeps changing, locked inside this open room, through the coldest nights of December, tears from my eyes, make flowers bloom, “Night Resumes” paints a picture of noir, ending with beauty.
“Night Resumes was originally conceived on a civil war fretless banjo in an old miner’s cabin just below the continental divide,” Dango explains. “This song shares a willingness to embrace winter isolation as an opportunity…for even whilst in a dance with shadow, the coming of the light will reveal itself anew, and flowers will bloom again.”
Singer-songwriter Stephen Kellogg has succeeded in making a name for himself by writing what he knows: emotive lyrics that relate to his everyday life as a husband, father, and full-time musician, often infused with a level of hope, optimism and silver linings. Kellogg is releasing a surprise EP today, I’ve Had Enough, featuring a newly-written title track, which The Bluegrass Situation premiered earlier this week. The EP also includes two additional songs that Kellogg played during his sold-out virtual tour earlier this year, a pivot planned after a scheduled tour was canceled in the spring.
Latinx Band LAS CAFETERAS Does ‘Spanglish’ version of ‘Georgia on My Mind’
Blending cultures and genres, the performance of ‘Georgia on My Mind’ by LA band Las Cafeteras is a joyous way to unite people and get voters dancing all the way to the polls in Georgia.
Early voting in the US Senate Runoff elections in Georgia started December 14, and the band hopes this song will be an electoral anthem for Solidarity among Black and Brown communities.
Emerging from difficult circumstances in pursuit of his rap dream, $tupid Young is the pride of Long Beach, CA. Detailing his path from streets to local stardom, Young shares From Here On Out, his debut album. The new album follows a loose narrative tracing Young’s rise from the cutthroat streets of Long Beach to his current success as a rapper, an entrepreneur, and most importantly, a father. On the album’s first half, in songs like “Spazz Out” and “Stay Down,” Young speaks on the anger and reckless behavior he exhibited as a youth, while the while the album’s later tracks, including the celebratory “Huh,” reflect on his maturation into community leader. Boasting production from the likes of Callan, Steelz, Cypress Moreno, OMGKenny, and many more, From Here On Out is an ideal soundtrack for the riders, ideal for a cruise down the 405 from L.A. to Long Beach.
VIZE x ALAN WALKER RELEASE THE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR “SPACE MELODY (EDWARD ARTEMYEV)” FEAT. LEONY, EDWARD ARTEMYEV
In the video the so-called “Space Melody – The Game” video game is revealed to viewers. In it we can see Alan Walker and VIZE in a post-apocalyptic world. Alan Walker is the chosen avatar in the game and is driving in his Walker-mobile to solve specific task. The video was shot in both Norway and Germany but grew to a visual masterpiece in post-production.
With a sound as striking and bold as her aesthetic, pop singer-songwriter Nataliya Nikitenko releases her debut single, “Oil & Water,” out on all streaming platforms today. While this may be her first single release, Nataliya is no stranger to the music industry. Lauded for her work on hit singles by artists like Little Mix, Anne-Marie, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Tori Kelly, and more, Nataliya has spent the last few years honing her craft and is now ready to step out from behind the scenes.
EARTHGANG x WALE “OPTIONS” VISUALIZER OUT NOW!
The indomitable Atlanta duo EARTHGANG released a brand new song and visualiser titled “Options” featuring Wale. The track’s cover art (created by long time creative collaborator Fred Lozano) was teased earlier in the week featuring OLU, WowGr8 and Wale as fashion dolls. Not one for a straight forward visual, EARTHGANG teamed up with Adult Swim’s “Robot Chicken” animator Bona Bones to take the fashion doll motif to another level.
French-Malian superstar Aya Nakamura unveils video for “Plus Jamais” featuring Stormzy
“I was so honored Stormzy said ‘yes’ immediately. I was especially interested in his distinct singing voice. I wanted him to bring that sweetness to the track,” says Aya. A soulful and soothing song about closure and solace, “Plus Jamais” is a rare chart-topping, Paris via London bilingual collaboration with two of the most prominent artists of their generation.
FREDO BANG DROPS NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO FOR “LOOSE SCREWS” VIA DEF JAM RECORDINGS
With his deep, barking drawl and a natural affinity for melody, Fredo Bang (Fredrick Givens) is the next rhymer to rise out the Bayou. The highs and lows of his life encompass turning down a scholarship at Texas Southern U, in order to study closer to home, and a stiff jail sentence for aggravated battery that was commuted in 2018. At age 23, the Baton Rouge native’s rhymes have now won the South.
FL RISIER T9INE CONTINUES HIS CINEMATIC STORY IN NEW ‘FAST LIFE LIVIN’ MIXTAPE
Conveying street narratives with an eye for detail and keen sense of melodic rhymes, Florida rapper T9ine is one of the rap game’s youngest voices coming out of the sunshine state. Offering up an unfiltered and raw portrait of his come up, T9ine shares ‘Fast Life Livin’, his latest mixtape and coming of age story. Shaped by his difficult upbringing in his home neighborhood, T9ine expresses his emotions and energy, laying down a reality of a man determined to overcome his demons, reach stardom and provide for his love ones through his passion for music.
LONR. SHARES NEW SINGLE “WORLD” TODAY, NEW PROJECT DUE 2021
On the track, sweeping strings wash over a glitchy beat as his voice echoes with unrestrained emotion. “WORLD” showcases Lonr.’s signature sound, braiding together the DNA of a multitude of genres together for a future-forward sound, while seamlessly showcasing his undeniable vocals and a spitfire flow. He makes confessions such as “I’m my own opponent, I create my own shit,” as the momentum mounts through intense verses and a haunting hook: “I just want the world to know.” The cinematic music video perfectly complements the concept. Isolated somewhere in a desert dystopia, Lonr. gives a gut-wrenching performance between conducting a gothic masked string session and eventually setting everything around him on fire.
JACKBOY DROPS NEW ALBUM FT. KODAK BLACK, TYGA, LIL MOSEY, DREEZY, AND MORE
Florida rapper, by way of Haiti, Jackboy has released his new album Love Me While I’m Here via Sniper Gang / EMPIRE. With production from DZY, Murda Beatz, Kid Hazel, D.A. Doman, and more, the album features heavyweights like Kodak Black, Tyga, Dej Loaf, and Juelz Santana, and buzzing newcomers Rylo Rodriguez, Lil Mosey, 42 Dugg, Hotboii, Denzel Curry, Dreezy and Tokyo Jetz, to name a few. The impressively curated list speaks to the Sniper Gang artists’ reach and comes alongside a music video to “Hear Me Crying.”
Izzy Pollak Releases Debut Holiday EP ‘It’s Never Too Early’
“I just threw my phone out the window…it’s out…I can’t believe it!” Pollak exclaims. “Steve Jobs’ quote no longer haunts me from the screensaver on my computer. He said ‘Real Artists Ship’ and by that definition, I am no longer an imposter. The deep sense of pride that I’ve longed for since I first heard ‘Gravity’ by John Mayer back in 2004 is here. A year of dark times filled with confusion, frustration, divorce, pain, isolation, and the gamut…that weight, that gravity, has been lifted with the release of this album. The ship has sailed…and on top of it, I got to include some of my favorite people in the world, my closest tribeswomen and men.”
Louisville Rapper EST Gee Shares New Project “I Still Don’t Feel Nun”
From the outside, you may know Louisville, KY as the birthplace of Muhammad Ali or home to the Louisville Slugger. A closer look inside tells a different story. Home of many greats, EST Gee is the latest to give the city a voice by showing he’s up next with his latest project I Still Don’t Feel Nun. On the 16-track body of work he spins together cinematic rhymes and hard-hitting hooks over sparse trap production. Putting up millions of views and streams independently and garnering acclaim from Pitchfork, he asserts himself as a viciously versatile force.
Makena Release New Track ‘Finer Highs’
It has been an exciting few months in the Makena camp upon the release of new singles ‘Methane’, and ‘Habitual’ the past few months. The band are now giving listeners an early Christmas treat with their new track ‘Finer Highs’. Matching intense, melodic instrumentation with powerful cleans, Makena is always honest and open about sharing their vulnerable side in their music and lyrics.
Vocalist Dom Cuzzo weighed in an insight about ‘Finer Highs’: “The lyrics represent the good times and bad when you’re head over heels for someone. We often overlook negative or even toxic qualities in our partners if the Finer High they give us is potent enough. Sooner or later, the Higher Fine begins to outweigh whatever feelings of euphoria we may have found in each other.”
‘Get Through’ – Graham Czach – Mental Health Help During COVID Holidays Benefiting The Child Mind Institute
COVID has taken a huge toll on our collective mental health, especially those struggling with mental illnesses. Being Bipolar myself and having successfully overcome it by learning how to balance, I really wanted to help others through this holiday season with music and promoting donations to a great organization that helps so many children and families suffering from mental health and/or learning disorders.
I wrote, arranged, and recorded the song during quarantine to spread a message of hope and love, to help those suffering during these difficult times, and to unite people to follow science and get through this together. This is a very personal issue to me, and it was awesome to connect with the Child Mind Institute through this song to raise awareness and funds for them. Please find it in your heart, motivated by this music, to donate and like, comment, & share the song and video.
Southeast DC’s MoneyMarr Gets Into the ‘Millionaire Mindset’ With His New Project
Spanning 14 tracks, the new album details the ruthless and ambitious mentality that Marr needed to develop to escape his home neighborhood. Millionaire Mindset is Marr’s most mature effort to date, balancing his street hero persona with his need to provide for his family and community. With production from Jetsonmade, Yung Lan, TNTxD, and more, Millionaire Mindset is available everywhere via 1019 GS/EMPIRE.
Named “Best Pianist/Keyboardist” by the Cleveland Free Times, Kovacs has been widely hailed for his shape-shifting musical experimentalism, spanning history-making classical feats and audacious recreations of videogame soundtracks to crafting mesmerizing indie rock both as bandleader and now, at long last, solo artist. Kovacs has invested more than a decade in the creation of his debut solo album, a brave and bittersweet song cycle written in the years following an intensely impactful romantic relationship and then recorded over an even longer span. The album tells the story of one relationship, in chronological order. “The songs are about love, longing, loss, desire, confusion, acceptance, pain, the struggle to let go – all that fun stuff,” he states.
INTRODUCING JAX HOLLOW
Jax Hollow have released a music video for “High Class Bitch” off their upcoming debut album Underdog Anthems which will be coming out February 2021. “High Class Bitch” is the first single and is now available for stream/download.
A STICK AND A STONE: Avant/Doom/Psych-Folk/Drone Act Shares new track via The Obelisk
Versatile, the upcoming album by A Stick And A Stone, marks a turning point for transgender vocalist/composer Elliott Miskovicz. Diverging from the heavy doom-shaded opus of their previous release, Versatile is a vivid experimental album of haunting love songs intimately home-recorded in remote forested hideouts.
Artist: The Charlie Kulis Band – Track: Hotel Room
The Charlie Kulis Band was born out a country songwriting project that began in 2014. Songwriters Charlie Kulis, Rafe Van Hoy, and Ernie Petito put together two albums worth of songs.The Charlie Kulis Band can best be described as an (urban)country/rock band with music that crosses several genres. The music is down to earth, fun and sometimes, just sometimes, a little serious. But Not For Long!