The Driver Era – Malibu

Photo / Samuel Fisher

If there’s a song that epitomises the essence of summer, then ‘Malibu’ by alt-pop duo The Driver Era is the one.

In what could be described as an anthem for the daydreamers, this shimmering slice of dreamy dance-pop allows listeners to escape into a world of excitement and bliss, where your imaginations run wild.

“‘Malibu’ is about reminiscing on experiences in the best locations. It’s about getting away. It’s the spontaneous trip you take with someone – maybe you knew them before, or maybe you’re meeting them for the first time”.

Since forming in 2018, The Driver Era have accumulated over 300 million catalogue streams while also achieving critical praise from the likes of Notion, Rolling Stone and Clash magazines.

The Driver Era

The Driver Era UK Tour 2022

vi0let – Audience

UK-based singer & songwriter vi0let returns today with the release of melodic new single ‘Audience’.

Further showcasing this starlet’s flair for songwriting, the track presents listeners with a sleek fusion of R&B and pop, while the lyrics tell of those moments when you finally realise your true worth within a toxic relationship.

“It’s almost like they don’t really see you for you. They just want your reaction to feel better about themselves. Feeling so replaceable yet so tied down can feel really confusing and writing this song, using all these metaphors to describe the polar opposite behaviours of this person, really helped me understand my role in this situation. It’s actually not about a romantic relationship. It describes multiple friendships and family members, which can sometimes be even more painful to deal with. I didn’t want this track to be a sad one, I felt quite powerful writing it when I finally realised the role I was playing for other people. By the end of the song I say ‘Seems like it’s easier when I go, blocking out the life you never tried so I pack up my bags maybe you’ll grow.’ Which is my way of coming to terms that it’s sometimes better to remove yourself and wish them the best.”

With praise from the likes of Wonderland and Earmilk already under her belt, vi0let is rapidly marking her name as an artist to watch.

‘Audience’ is lifted from the forthcoming ‘Believe Me When I Cry’ debut EP, which is out in the autumn.

vi0let

Charlie Houston – Dinosaurs in the Garden

Photo / Zachary Hertzman

One of the most impressive pop newcomers to have emerged from Canada over the last couple of years has been 22-year old singer & songwriter Charlie Houston.

While currently on tour alongside ODESZA, Houston has also unveiled her new single today, entitled ‘Dinosaurs in the Garden’. The track continues to showcase this rising artist’s refreshing approach to alternative pop.

Speaking on the song’s inspiration, Houston says that it’s all about:

“The fear of getting your heartbroken while in a relationship. While you have no reason to suspect it’s going to happen, there is always looming anxiety about the fact that you’ve allowed yourself to fall for someone and now can’t control whether it works out or not.”

Charlie Houston

Charlie Houston performing with ODESZA

  • Aug 17, 2022 – Phoenix, AZ – Ak-Chin Pavilion
  • Aug 19, 2022 – Austin, TX – Germania Insurance Amphitheatre
  • Aug 20, 2022 – Dallas, TX – Dos Equis Pavilion
  • Aug 21, 2022 – Dallas, TX – Dos Equis Pavilion
  • Aug 23, 2022 – Atlanta, GA – Cellairis Amphitheatre @ Lakewood
  • Aug 25, 2022  – Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • Aug 26, 2022 – New York, NY – Forest Hills
  • Aug 27, 2022 – New York, NY – Forest Hills
  • Aug 30, 2022 – Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center for the Performing Arts
  • Sept 1, 2022 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage
  • Sept 2, 2022 – Montréal, QC – Parc Jean-Drapeau
  • Sept 3, 2022 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire
  • Sept 4, 2022 – Mansfield (BOSTON), MA – Xfinity Center
  • Sept 7, 2022 – Cincinnati, OH – Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center
  • Sept 8, 2022 – Clarkston (Detroit), MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
  • Sept 9, 2022 – Chicago, IL – Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
  • Sept 10, 2022 – Chicago, IL – Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
  • Sept 12, 2022 – Minneapolis, MN – Armory
  • Sept 13, 2022 – Minneapolis, MN – Armory
  • Sept 14, 2022 – St. Louis, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
  • Sept 20, 2022 – Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheater
  • Sept 22, 2022 – Ridgefield (Portland), WA – Sunlight Supply Amp
  • Sept 23, 2022 – Vancouver, BC – PNE Amphitheater
  • Sept 24, 2022 – Vancouver, BC – PNE Amphitheater
  • Sept 26, 2022 – Bend, OR – Les Schwab
  • Sept 27, 2022  – Boise, ID – Boise Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater
  • Sept 29, 2022 – Sacramento, CA – Heart Health Park
  • Sept 30, 2022 – San Francisco, CA – Shoreline Amphitheater
  • Oct 1, 2022 – San Francisco,CA – Shoreline Amphitheater

Charlie Houston supporting Charlotte Cardin

  • Nov 18, 2022 – Quebec City, QC – Imperial Bell
  • Nov 19, 2022 – Quebec City, QC – Imperial Bell
  • Nov 20, 2022 – Quebec City, QC – Imperial Bell
  • Nov 21, 2022 – Quebec City, QC – Imperial Bell
  • Nov 24, 2022 – Caraquet, QC – Centre Culturel de Caraquet
  • Nov 25, 2022 – Moncton, NB – Capitol Theatre
  • Nov 26, 2022 – Halifax, NB – Rebecca Cohn Auditorium

dani mack – fleabag

One of the most impressive indie artists to have emerged from California recently, dani mack (a.k.a Baylee Barrett) continues to impress with the release of her new single, ‘fleabag’.

Similar to Barrett’s previous (and widely acclaimed) single Someday‘, the track was self-produced with her band, and delivers an impressive blend of indie-rock and pop.

“’fleabag’ has layers to it. In simplest terms, which most can relate to, it’s a nod to dating and how terrible it is. On a deeper level, it’s a song about my own sexual repression and my difficulties with casual relationships. I grew up a devout Christian and letting go of the guilt that was instilled in me from such a young age is still something I still struggle with. There’s still a little part of me that’s afraid that come judgment day, I’m not getting into those pearly gates because I had premarital sex with some guy from a dating app.”

Signed to the Future Gods label, Barrett has so far garnered praise from the likes of NPR and Atwood Magazine, while her music has been supported by playlist curators on streaming giants Spotify, Apple and TIDAL.

dani mack

ellie d. – Let Me Be F*ing Sad

With a profile that has continued to grow ever since the release of her viral ‘Passionfruit’ collaboration with Rando, rising artist ellie d. unveils a new track today.

Showcasing her unique brand of vulnerable pop, new single ‘Let Me Be F*ing Sad’ is a heartbreak song that looks into the immediate aftermath of a relationship ending – when all you want to do is feel your emotions.

“Almost a year ago, I had just experienced a really bad breakup and had gotten out of a very toxic relationship. I was in NY, and was only supposed to be there three days but ended up staying three weeks. I had a writing session with EMIA where we just vented about boys and relationships and suddenly we had the beginnings of my first EP. It was a very sad chapter in my life but I am also grateful it happened because it gave me so much great music! ‘Let me be f*ing sad” is the first stage after a breakup, you don’t want to reflect yet, you just want to be sad and in your feels.”

Garnering more than two million catalogue streams to date on Spotify alone, this California-based newcomer’s approach to music-making offers a refreshing alternative within the pop world.

ellie d.

Grace Kay – Open

Emerging from California is LA-based pop starlet Grace Kay. You may already recognise Kay’s voice from the song ‘Here’, which was recently featured on ABC’s hit show ‘A Million Little Things’.

Kay’s new single ‘Open’ is a perfect track for the summer season. A shimmering slice of uplifting electronic pop, the song’s hopeful lyricism offers listeners an inspirational message:

“I started writing this song to encourage a close friend of mine to be more open to life experiences like travel, trying new careers, and just giving herself a chance… at life! The beautiful thing about this song is before I even finished writing it, she accomplished what I’d hoped for her and more. She had already been accepted into graduate school to study a whole new craft, she took up ice skating, and just transformed before my eyes into the amazing badass woman I already knew she was; but, I could tell she now believed she was THAT woman too.”

Already compared to modern pop masters like MUNA and Caroline Polachek, Kay has garnered attention from the likes of Atwood Magazine while also being selected for flagship Spotify playlists like Fresh Finds and Fresh Finds: Pop.

Grace Kay

Lana Lubany – SOLD

Photo / Erea

Following on from the release of her viral hit ‘THE SNAKE’, rising UK-based Palestinian/American alt-pop talent Lana Lubany returns with another sensational song.

Created alongside collaborator and producer Ben Thomson, new single ‘SOLD’ is refreshingly original in character and immediately gripping.

Presenting listeners with a perfected blend of Middle Eastern and Western musical styles, the track sounds like nothing else you will have heard before. Speaking on the song, Lubany says:

“’SOLD’ is about falling prey to that persuasive voice in your head that stops you from making the right decisions. It tempts you into creating a ruthless cycle of repetition and regret, where your comfort zone is your safety, but your safety is your danger zone. You’ve had a taste of luck in the past, and it was comfortable, so you try different shortcuts and start losing and doubting yourself in the process.”

Lana Lubany

dvsn – If I Get Caught

It’s taken seven months for dvsn to release their first song of the year, but the wait was definitely worth it.

‘If I Get Caught’ samples Jay-Z’s 2001 hit ‘Song Cry’, and cleverly incorporates elements of the blues with nostalgic hip hop and R&B, delivering a sound that feels classic yet current in equal measures.

Since their debut in 2015, dvsn have grown to become one of Canada’s most prominent R&B exports, and have worked alongside the likes of Drake, Future and Ty Dolla $ign.

dvsn

Jordan Nash – Fear and Loathing

Photo / Gabby Drew

Track of the week. Already a critic’s favourite, rising West London singer and producer Jordan Nash unveils stunning new single ‘Fear and Loathing’.

A summery fusion of psychedelic indie and dreamy pop, this melodic song treats listeners to a sound that is refreshingly unique and utterly entrancing to experience.

Following the release of his debut single ‘Nightmares’ last year, Nash has since picked up support from influential tastemakers like of Notion, The Line of Best Fit, Fader and The Last Bus.

Jordan Nash

🎵 Discover more new music on the Ones To Watch Playlist

Charlotte Sands – Rollercoaster

Photo / Nickalaus Stafford

Rising pop-rock starlet Charlotte Sands returns with a track that perfectly encapsulates the trials and tribulations of being stuck in a toxic relationship.

New single ‘Rollercoaster’ continues to prove Sands’ unrivalled abilities in creating songs that are honest, vulnerable and raw, yet still relatable and easy for listeners to form connections with.

“’Rollercoaster’ is a song about a relationship that’s stuck in a toxic cycle. It’s about being addicted to the highs and lows and the inability to leave someone because you’ve already survived so much together. This song was written about moments in my life and my own relationships and I hope it allows other people to feel less alone while struggling with similar situations and emotions.”

After spending her early days as an opening act for the likes of My Chemical Romance, YUNGBLUD and The Maine, Sands will embark on her first North American headline tour this September.

Charlotte Sands

Charlotte Sands ‘Love and Other Lies’ Tour 2022

  • 9/6 Louisville, KY – Zanzabar 
  • 9/7 Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe at Old National Centre 
  • 9/12 Minneapolis, MN – 7th St. Entry 
  • 9/13 Milwaukee, WI – The Back Room @ Colectivo 
  • 9/15 Pontiac, MI – The Pike Room 
  • 9/17 Chicago, IL – Riot Fest 
  • 9/20 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge 
  • 9/21 Salt Lake City, UT – Soundwell 
  • 9/23 Seattle, WA – Madame Lou’s 
  • 9/24 Portland, OR – Holocene 
  • 9/27 San Francisco, CA – Brick & Mortar 
  • 9/28 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour 
  • 9/30 Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room 
  • 10/1 San Diego, CA – House of Blues Voodoo Room 
  • 10/2 Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar 
  • 10/4 Dallas, TX – Club Dada 
  • 10/5 Houston, TX – White Oak Upstairs 
  • 10/6 San Antonio, TX – VIBES Underground
  • 10/7-10/9 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits 
  • 10/10 Orlando, FL – The Abbey 
  • 10/11 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade Purgatory 
  • 10/12 Charlotte, NC – Visulite Theatre 
  • 10/14 Washington, DC – Songbyrd 
  • 10/15 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge 
  • 10/16 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall 
  • 10/18 Philadelphia, PA – The Foundry 
  • 10/19 Pittsburgh, PA – Thunderbird Music Hall 
  • 10/20 Columbus, OH – The Basement 
  • 11/5 Nashville, TN – Basement East 

Jesse Maxwell – Outspoken

Canadian songwriter, producer and recording artist Jesse Maxwell unveils his latest single today, entitled ‘Outspoken’.

Inspired by the breakdown of a relationship – and the consequent emotions that follow, the song perfectly embodies the essence of melancholy through its finessed mix of alternative R&B and pop.

“My songwriting style is pretty introspective. It’s about breaking down these walls of judgment that I had for myself.”

‘Outspoken’ is lifted from Maxwell’s upcoming ‘LP2’ album, which will be released later this summer. To date, this rising talent has garnered close to 700k cumulative streams on Spotify and received regular radio airplay all across Canada.

Jesse Maxwell

lotusbliss – Nightshade

Canterbury-based indie outfit lotusbliss return with a new single today, and with it further proof of this group’s unparalleled skills at crafting superb experimental sounds.

Lifted from the trio’s upcoming ‘An Aching Sea’ EP (out in September), ‘Nightshade’ is a gorgeously atmospheric and emotive fusion of indie, rock and electronica.

“It’s about being involved with something or someone that is unhealthy, though the unhealthy nature is not immediately visible. Like solanine (the poison found in nightshade plants like potatoes and tomatoes), in small doses it’s too subtle to notice; the corrupting force goes undetected. In larger quantities, though, it can be all consuming and fatal, like with the infamous Deadly Nightshade flower. Its’ scientific name, Atropa Belladonna, comes from Greek mythology – Atropos has the thread of your life in her hands and is poised to cut it”.

With early praise from the likes of BBC Introducing, 6Music, Earmilk and Atwood Magazine, lotusbliss should be firmly placed on your indie radars.

lotusbliss

Mobley – stay volk

A modern master of American conceptual pop, Texas-based creative Mobley returns with one of the most interesting songs of the week through the release of new single ‘stay volk’.

The title of the track plays on the phrase ‘stay woke’, and looks into the concept of herrenvolk democracies. Meanwhile, the accompanying visuals represent the conflicts between being our true selves, verses society’s expectations of who we are and what we should be.

With an upcoming EP entitled ‘Cry Havoc!’ scheduled for release later in the autumn, this talented artist, record producer, filmmaker and writer looks set to take on his biggest year yet.

Mobley

Monster Florence – Relax (feat. John Cooper Clarke)

Photo / Filmawi

Fearlessly pushing the boundaries of British hip hop for some time now, Colchester collective Monster Florence have become known for their bold, experimental and ever-evolving sounds.

Today marks the return of the six-member group with the release of new single ‘Relax’, featuring the exceptional talents of acclaimed poet John Cooper Clarke.

“The track came to be out of a typically sporadic piece of inspirational genius from John who, during an innocent conversation with us uttered the hallowed words… Relax, nothing is under control. It seemed playful yet so powerful, at which point we immediately knew we had something special, and we set about fusing his one liner into a track we were producing.” – Monster Florence

Commanding more than 250k monthly listeners on Spotify – as well as garnering praise from the likes of BBC Radio 1, Pigeons & Planes and Notion, Monster Florence could well be one of the UK’s next big musical exports.

Monster Florence

Sfven – don’t jump the gun

Following on from the release of his critically acclaimed debut album ‘forest avenue’ earlier this year, UK artist Sfven returns with new single ‘don’t jump the gun’.

Inspired by the inner pressures which we place on ourselves, this alt-pop banger reminds listeners that it’s OK to accept that some things don’t always go to plan.

“Writing songs can feel like a bit of an uphill battle sometimes and that feeling of just trying to keep going and pushing through is where ‘don’t jump the gun’ stems from. I just wanted to try and capture that feeling of keeping going and pushing through and acknowledging that you don’t always have to be 100%, sometimes it flows and sometimes it doesn’t – which can be really hard to accept.”

‘don’t jump the gun’ is the first song to be lifted from Sfven’s upcoming 10-track ‘you, green’ EP, which sees the artist releasing music throughout the year ahead.

Sfven

Sfven Live Dates 2022

  • 3 September – Soulstice Festival, Tunbridge Wells
  • 24 September – Float Along Festival, Sheffield

The Howlers – Nothing To Lose

Photo / Hattie Brown

Acclaimed British rockers The Howlers return with bold new single ‘Nothing to Lose’. Stylistically inspired by the sounds of Motown, the track infuses nostalgic soulful tones into a modern and playful rock production.

“I wanted to write a track that had elements of soul sprinkled throughout and to capture that energy that soul music conveys to the listener, but in our own unique way. The track is about exactly what the title suggests, going for broke so to speak. We were always told as kids if you want something make it yours. Things don’t always go your way but as long as you keep trying, what have you got to lose? Because the fear of failure is already failure there’s no two ways about it.” – Adam Young, The Howlers

The group have also announced the release of a forthcoming EP entitled ‘Further Down The Line’, with production from Black Honey’s Chris Ostler and Tommy Taylor.

To date, this East London outfit have picked up praise from the likes of BBC 6Music, BBC Radio 1 and The Independent.

The Howlers 

The Howlers Live Dates 2022

  • 31st August – Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
  • 1st September – Broadcast, Glasgow
  • 2nd September – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
  • 3rd September – Gullivers, Manchester
  • 6th September – The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
  • 7th September – The Crofters Rights, Bristol
  • 8th September – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 
  • 7th October – Colours, London

Thomas Day – not my job anymore

Photo / Robbie Wheeler

To date, American singer-songwriter Thomas Day has achieved more than 25 million catalogue streams, while also picking up more than seven million followers along the way on social media.

Taking inspiration from artists like Sam Smith and Lewis Capaldi, this 19-year old artist creates beautifully memorable pop songs that carry relatable lyrics which almost anyone can resonate with.

A case in point is Day’s heartbreaking new single ‘not my job anymore’, of which he says:

“My friend called me on the morning of my last day in LA telling me about some trauma that was thrown upon my ex-girlfriend. As he was telling me all about the situation, I couldn’t help but think to myself how the only thing I truly wanted to do was to help her like I used to. After a short rant about how I was ‘over her’, I got breakfast and headed over to Nick Ruth’s house where I was also meeting my friend Madi Yanofsky. The writing came naturally for all of us. I just poured my heart out talking about how I felt about the conversation that morning, and the song came together. This song touches the parts of my heart that haven’t always felt safe in a long time, but I truly believe, now that the song is here, a part of me has healed in a way it never has before. I hope you heal. I hope you move on. And I hope this song makes you cry and accept your feelings with reassurance. I love all of you with everything I’m made of.”

Thomas Day

sam woods – Motel 6

LA-based newcomer sam woods returns with a superb slice of funky bedroom-pop on his new single ‘Motel 6’.

“‘Motel 6’ is a song about escaping reality. Needing a break from the routine of a mundane every day life.”

Thanks to his broad range of inspirations (ranging from Prince to Michael Jackson and even Beethoven), woods continues to create songs that feel distinctly unique yet easy to form connections with.

With his momentum on the rise, woods has so far garnered praise from the likes of Fashionably Early, while his songs have been featured on playlists like Dummy Mag’s ‘BRAND NEW’.

sam woods

blackwave. – perfume (feat. Caleborate)

Leading the way in Belgian hip hop for some time now, blackwave. return with new single ‘perfume’, featuring US rapper Caleborate.

Melodic, mellow and sleek in character, the song is inspired by the feelings and memories that perfumes can evoke within us.

This song was written on a very early morning walk to Starbucks in sunny LA. I was up early, waiting for a phone call from someone on the other side of the world in a different time zone. I was completely inside my head, worrying about everything, thinking about wanting to get my life back on the rails, back in a rhythm. With every person passing me by on the street, everyone carrying with them their own smell of perfume, the words started coming to me. I remembered this moment when I was in the mall, contemplating if I’d buy some expensive perfume, and thinking to myself; ‘I don’t deserve this yet. When I get my life on track, that’s when I will buy this perfume’. That setting of the morning walk, and the memory of being in the mall kind of set off the whole theme of the song. After I added an arrangement for string quartet to the second part of the track, I knew I wanted to ask Caleborate to finish off the song with a verse of his. He immediately connected with the theme and delivered an amazing final touch to the song.” – Willem Ardui, blackwave.

Following on from their debut project back in 2019, blackwave. have since garnered support from the likes of COLORS, Billboard, Complex and Wonderland, while amassing close to 500k monthly listeners on Spotify. New album ‘no sleep in LA’ is out in September.

blackwave. | Caleborate

SiR – Life is Good (feat. Scribz Riley)

Photo / Rolexx

The musical institution that is SiR returns with a dreamy slice of R&B through his new single ‘Life Is Good’.

Inspired by the theme of ‘taking the good with the bad’, the song presents itself as a reflection on life’s daily trials and tribulations – and reminds us to look forward to the good times.

“‘Life Is Good’ represents how blessed you can be despite the hardships we sometimes face. Regardless of life’s trials, the detours always lead us to learn a greater lesson.” – SiR

SiR has grown to become an American R&B powerhouse since his debut in 2015. With three critically acclaimed albums under his belt, ‘Life Is Good’ marks SiR’s next musical phase.

SiR | Scribz Riley