Sarah von Reis – Phenomenon

Photo / Johanna Pettersson

Swedish artist Sarah von Reis is no stranger to these pages, so we’re happy to announce see that she’s back today with a stunning new single that deserves your attention.

‘Phenomenon’ is an intimate and seductive piece of music that fuses lo-fi jazz and pop with strings and horns, resulting in a sound that is sultry and entrancing. Elaborating on the song’s lyrics, von Reis says:

“The song is a lesbian declaration of love and the sexiest thing I’ve written so far. I chose to use a bass clarinet because it is the hottest instrument out there. I expect a lot of people – both queers and straights – will make out to it.”

To date, Sarah’s music has garnered support from the likes of respected Swedish broadcaster Fredrik Strage, and has also landed placements across several flagship playlists including Spotify’s New Music Friday.

Sarah von Reis

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New Music: Marcus Mackey

Photo / Michelle Gonzales

Hailing from LA is promising Californian artist artist Marcus Mackey, who has just released one of the catchiest singles of the week.

To put it simply, ‘S.E.L’ (Someone Else’s Lover) is a pure pop bop. With its relatable lyrics, infectiously catchy melody and energising production, the song delivers on everything you’d want and need for a weekend anthem.

“I made ‘S.E.L.’ not to solve the problem, but to at least get you dancing through it.” 

Working alongside acclaimed producer Luke Villemur, Mackey looks set to become one of the West Coast’s newest prospects. Keep this kid on your radars!

Marcus Mackey

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Otto Aday – Hearts

Otto Aday is a London-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer who has been gaining steady momentum across the UK this year.

New single ‘Hearts’ was co-written by the legendary Dave Stewart, and presents listeners with a timelessly classic piece of cinematic pop-rock that is immediately captivating from the moment you press play.

“If you hold onto your dreams, they won’t break your heart. If you live inside of those dreams, you don’t hurt yourself. You can nurture your dreams and follow them wholeheartedly—whether it be in a relationship or a career. If you fall out of love with the chase and the journey, you’ll break your own heart.” 

The track is lifted from artist’s forthcoming ‘Persona’ LP, which is out on 6th October 2023 (pre-save here). In the meantime, you can experience Aday’s previous singles on Spotify here.

Otto Aday

Draumr – Slowly Burning Feelings

French producer and director Draumr (aka Gabriel Cheurfa) is back today with a dreamy slice of synth-pop, called ‘Slowly Burning Feelings’.

Nostalgic yet future-forward in character, the song transports listeners to a sonic universe that is mesmerising yet intriguing to experience. Lyrically, the track addresses the artist’s thoughts on ‘attachment, vulnerability, and the search for connection’.

Draumr is currently enjoying one of his biggest years yet. His last single, ‘In A Daze’ (listen here) managed to accumulate more than 140k cumulative streams across Spotify and YouTube, consequently propelling his work to a whole new audience. Exciting times lie ahead!

Draumr

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Alexander Wesley – I Kept Your Clothes

We’ve all experienced those unfortunate moments in life when we realise that a relationship is heading to its end. It’s a situation that is often out of our hands, causing us to sometimes feel sad and helpless.

Alexander Wesley’s new single, ‘I KEPT YOUR CLOTHES’ portrays that very situation in a beautifully tender way. For anyone currently nursing a broken heart – this song’s for you.

“It’s a tough spot to be in – to know you’re most likely on the last week of your relationship. Every detail and moment is ever so heightened. It then paved the way for the story of the song.”

Despite only releasing a handful of singles to date, Wesley’s music has already amassed more than 50k cumulative streams on Spotify. The artist’s debut EP is (finally!) out later in the autumn.

Alexander Wesley

Highline – Exit A

Australian indie rockers Highline first appeared on our radars last year, and we’ve been following their journey ever since.

New single ‘Exit A’ is one of our favourite releases from this Sydney-based four-piece, and treats listeners to an emotionally-charged piece of music that is beautifully melancholic and sincere in tone. It really is a spectacular song that deserves to be heard from beginning to end.

The track is lifted from Highline’s forthcoming debut album, which is scheduled for release next year. In the meantime, you can experience more of this hugely promising band’s music on their Spotify right here.

Highline

New Music: PARCS

Representing some of the very best in emerging Welsh music are rising outfit PARCS, who have just unveiled an infectiously uplifting new single called ‘Wait!’

Through its perfected mix of indie, disco, pop and synth, this song is sure to put you in a good mood ahead of the weekend. Elaborating on the track, they explain:

“The song’s origins were a simple loop drum and synth loop recorded in a rehearsal room, soon becoming an idea that we couldn’t help but add to and construct a more elaborate groove. We wanted to explore a different angle of the PARCS sound while still maintaining that core dream-like, synth heavy character but also introducing some bigger and brighter sounds.”

If you’re a fan of Passion Pit, M83 or The XX, then chances are high that you’ll also enjoy this band’s sound.

With praise from national outlets like BBC Radio Wales already under their belt, this promising group of talented musicians look set to hit the mainstream very soon.

PARCS

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A Beacon School – Alone

New York-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist A Beacon School (aka Patrick J. Smith) unveils a beautifully melodic new single today, called ‘Alone’.

The song presents listeners with a dreamy and mesmerising fusion of shoegaze, pop and alternative rock, and is lyrically inspired by the moments when we feel hopeful and optimistic about life… regardless of the situations that we find ourselves in.

“‘Alone’ is about the moment when you feel like your luck is finally turning. Even though nothing’s been working out, you get the faintest glimmer of hope and grab on to it as tight as you can.”

‘Alone’ was mixed by acclaimed engineer Sonny DiPerri, who is also known for his work with outfits as noted as Trent Reznor, My Bloody Valentine and M83.

Smith’s music currently commands more than 295k monthly listeners on Spotify alone, while his catalogue of releases has so far amassed more than 18 million streams. An upcoming LP, titled ‘yoyo’ it out soon.

A Beacon School

Skye Wallace – Tough Kid

One of the most impressive releases of the week comes courtesy of Canadian artist Skye Wallace, whose new single ‘Tough Kid’ is a masterclass in alternative music.

Despite the track’s dark (and almost sinister) style of production, its lyrics encourage us to let go of our fears and inhibitions – so that we can truly feel empowered.

“Before this song came to its full fruition and was still a pile of words and ideas, I had an image of this kid in my head that I was pumping up. That kid represented anyone who needed to hear it, any kid who has been told they aren’t allowed to be who they truly are, that they aren’t good enough – I wanted this song to be a reminder to them that they’ve got a power in them that they might not believe in yet. It was only when we were designing the single artwork, which involved using an old photo of me at ten years old, that I realised I had also been talking to my weird kid self. There’s a power in looking back with pride and care for the kid you were.” 

‘Tough Kid’ is Wallace’s first foray into producing, and was co-created alongside collaborator Hawksley Workman.

Having already garnered support from outlets like CBC, Sad Mag and Globe & Mail, we anticipate that Wallace’s ascent to global stardom will be imminent!

Skye Wallace

New Music: Oranje Space

Track of the week. Hailing from California is LA-based newcomer Oranje Space, who has been steadily gaining traction in recent months thanks to his distinct fusions of neo-soul, alternative R&B and pop.

If you’ve yet to experience this artist’s work, then pressing play to ‘Lucy’ will serve as a perfect introduction. Melodic and emotive in tone, the song’s style of sound feels reminiscent to the works of modern-day icons like Frank Ocean and Dijon.

“This song is my outlook on what it feels to be loved unconditionally.”

With support from tastemaker heavyweights as respected as Early Rising and Fashionably Early already under his belt, we can expect to hear a lot more from this talented kid.

Oranje Space

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briskin – Rhythm

Emerging London-based singer & songwriter briskin returns with a massive new single this weekend, called ‘Rhythm’.

Although the track is lyrically inspired by the concept of unrequited love, its uplifting pop production and memorable melody makes this one of the season’s catchiest bops. Elaborating further on the song, briskin says:

“‘Rhythm’ is a song we wrote over zoom about wanting someone who doesn’t give anyone the time of day but in a tongue in cheek/ playful way. I think though this one is about the vibe more than anything, it’s feels more like painting a picture and scene setting than narrative to me. I wanted it to feel like something you might hear on a night out and I tried to put an emphasis on it being immediate and explosive.”

‘Rhythm’ follows on from the artist’s recently released ‘Circus’ EP, which you can listen to here. briskin recently supported Nessa Barrett live, and earlier in the summer also played his first headline show in Dalston.

briskin

Eighty Ninety – The Hard Way

Photo / @mrwhite_

We first came across Eighty Ninety back in 2016, and we’re so happy to see that this American indie-pop duo have now seemingly taken over the world.

New single ‘The Hard Way’ is the outfit’s latest offering, and showcases a stripped-back style of sound that is heartfelt and sincere. On the lyricism, the duo explain:

“‘The Hard Way’ is about choosing to love someone no matter how much life intervenes. It’s about being brave enough to make the choice to completely commit to a person, no matter the risk. It’s about looking directly at all your fears about how things could go wrong and knowing that even if they all come to pass, it’s still worth it.”

As the musical project of Brooklyn brothers Abner and Harper James, Eighty Ninety has so far amassed more than 33 million catalogue streams and picked up praise from outlets as noted as Billboard, NME and Ones To Watch.

A debut album is scheduled for release later this year. In the meantime, you can follow the brothers on social media here.

Eighty Ninety

DAYTIME TV – Block Out The Noise

If you’re looking for an energising boost of serotonin to get you through the day, then ‘Block Out The Noise’ from rising Scottish indie-rockers DAYTIME TV is sure to put a smile on your face.

As its title implies, the song encourages listeners to empower themselves for a happier future. Elaborating further, vocalist Will Irvine says:

“This is our anthem for drowning out the chaos. It’s about choosing your own path and not letting negative influences control your life. We live in such a loud world with constant information overload, it’s hard to focus on the things that make you who you are. It’s a song for everyone trying to rise above the voices that say ‘you can’t’ or ‘you’re not good enough.”

Having already amassed close to a million cumulative streams on Spotify alone, DAYTIME TV look set to become one of Scotland’s hottest rock exports.

The band are currently readying themselves for a big tour across Europe (their first headline!) and the UK. Keep these lads on your radars… they’re ones to watch!

DAYTIME TV

JUICYPEAR – Island (feat. Haiva Ru)

California-based husband and wife outfit JUICYPEAR have just unveiled a mesmerising new collaboration with fellow musician Haiva Ru, called ‘Island’.

The song treats listeners to a heady fusion of soul, pop and funky disco, resulting in a sound that is somehow both dreamy and uplifting at the same time.

“Oftentimes, when someone is described as an ‘island,’ there’s a negative connotation around it—like they’re choosing to be alone, isolated, and possibly misunderstood. In this song’s context, we meant it in the best possible way: a pursuit to become more ourselves; independent from what others think of, or want from us. We can be islands living in a peaceful oasis, paradise no matter the circumstance or situation. That peace is always available to us. And to you. We hope you’ll hear this song and experience it as a sonic tropical getaway”.

‘Island’ is not only the perfect song to end the summer season with, but it also has the potential to propel the duo’s name into the mainstream. If you love the track as much as we do, then you’ll be pleased to know that it’s been lifted from JUICYPEAR’s freshly-released debut album, which you can experience right here.

JUICYPEAR | Haiva Ru

New Music: Maya Donovan

Brooklyn native Maya Donovan has to be one of the most impressive newcomers for us this week.

While still in her early 20’s, this promising singer and songwriter has mastered the art of creating songs that feel timeless and beautifully sincere in tone.

‘The Company’ presents listeners with a stripped-back and melancholic fusion of indie and folk, while the sincere and emotive lyricism centres around the artist’s life-long struggles with anxiety.

“Anxiety sometimes feels like it’s being orchestrated by this sinister network that I’m always trying to outsmart, a ‘company’ if you will, with a conspiracy to overthrow me from my own body.”

If you’re based in Greenwich Village then you can catch Maya performing at The Bitter End every so often, since she is an artist in residence. You can find out more here.

Maya Donovan

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Courtney Paige Nelson – COLD LIKE GEMINI

We’re starting the weekend with a punchy slice of dark-pop, courtesy of emerging Californian singer and songwriter Courtney Paige Nelson.

‘COLD LIKE GEMINI’ is a bold and unashamedly intense track which was inspired by the negative impulses that can occur after having a drink. Elaborating further on the lyricism, Courtney explains:

“I made this song after a personal experience that really upset me at the time and I needed to get out in a song. I was seeing someone who had a tendency to change in a negative way whenever they would have a sip of alcohol. One night we got into an argument and they left abruptly, got to the car, left and came back just to sit outside my apartment. They started calling me phone repeatedly and of course at 1am no one wants to experience that kind of turmoil, specially if that’s not how you as a person communicate. So I open the song with exactly how the scene was set in real life. The first verse goes ‘call me up, say your sitting outside where’s your key and your alibi’ and goes onto say ‘won’t come in because you know you won’t win, midnight gonna start a fight’ and finishes with ‘baby what the fuck your drink, your kiss taste like chlorine.”

The track serves as a taster to Courtney’s next wave of releases, which will no doubt boost this talent’s momentum even further. An upcoming EP is also scheduled for release soon.

Courtney Paige Nelson

Vorsen – Looking Back

Acclaimed indie-pop talent Vorsen (aka Oliver Halvorsen) returns with one of the catchiest songs of the summer.

‘Looking Back’ finds the British-Norwegian musician and producer casually reminiscing over his past relationships – and in doing so, reminds us that with every failed romance comes an opportunity for personal growth.

“‘Looking Back’ was written from an impartial viewpoint of reflecting upon old love. Everyone has at some point romanticised past relationships and wondered how things would be in the present given the amount you have both evolved over the years. However, it’s a paradoxical way of thinking because you wouldn’t be who you are now without the learning and change (bad or good) that undergoes during those relationships, which is a beautiful thing in its own right. So ultimately, that way of thinking is in some ways flawed and that’s a large part of what this song is about – recognising and accepting things that have happened in the past rather than tirelessly picking them apart and countless ‘what ifs’”.

Impressively, the song was written, performed and produced buy Vorsen himself in East London. Fans can look forward to an upcoming EP, which is scheduled for release on the 20th October.

Vorsen will also join Christof van der Ven on tour across Europe later this year – more details can be found here.

Vorsen

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Isla June – Out Of This World

American singer and songwriter Isla June returns with a nostalgic slice of punchy pop called ‘Out Of This World’.

You might be fooled into thinking that this song came straight out of a Californian radio station from the 90’s, thanks to its retro-tinged production and catchy melody.

“It’s the kind of song you crank through your vintage headphones and bop around your bedroom to, lip syncing into a hairbrush praying that somehow, somewhere your secret crush is hearing every word.”

In a sign of their ever-growing popularity, Isla’s music has already been streamed more than two million times across digital players – and momentum continues to grow.

‘Out Of This World’ is taken from June’s forthcoming debut EP of the same name, which was self-produced by the artist.

Isla June

New Music: Malxolm Brixkhouse

Malxolm Brixkhouse (aka Malcolm Brickhouse) is a promising singer and songwriter who is currently emerging from the States.

As a former bandmate of viral rock group Unlocking The Truth, Brixkhouse is already an artist who is familiar with the spotlight.

‘See-Through’ is one of Brixkhouse’s latest releases, and showcases an energising style of sound that blends dark, alternative pop with punk and indie-rock.

The track serves listeners with a brave and bold production that feels fresh and future-forward, and sets the tone for what fans can expect next from this talented musician.

Malxolm Brixkhouse

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M. Maggie – Oh Nah Nah

Photo / Paper Plane TY

You’ll probably have come across an M. Maggie song at some point over the last couple of years. As an artist with more than 350 million streams already under her belt, it’s clear to see that this rising starlet’s sound resonates with a huge number of people.

Sultry new single ‘Oh Nah Nah’ is the artist’s first taster to be taken from M. Maggie’s self-titled album, which is scheduled for release soon.

“It’s sexy to want something big in life. But there is always someone who wants you to want them. Oh NAH, NAH. I want the big thing, I can’t do this basic thing. And that’s f*cked up. I don’t want to do the thing you want me to do. I don’t want to behave!”

M. Maggie has picked up praise from outlets as respected as Nylon Magazine, Complex, and Buzzfeed. Her music has also landed spots on nationally broadcast shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Good Morning America.

M. Maggie