“One day I’ll fall in love with you like my ears did for hip-hop” is what my favourite poster on the wall of my childhood den said. I must’ve had it up for ages; I always loved hip-hop and spent countless hours listening and dancing to it in my bedroom, in the studio, and on stage. It was probably its mood and cadence that I really enjoyed at first before I started grasping the essence of it, the meaning behind the slang in verses about battles with poverty and crime. Years later I moved to Bristol and was introduced to Datkid – he’s got a sound I’ve personally not often heard off the East Coast and generally anywhere in the last 10 years or so. I’m still unsure whether it’s his well-thought, raunchy and oddly-satisfying lyrics, the heavy technical know-how, or the stern I don’t give a f*** attitude that fascinates me. What I do know is I re-live that moment my ears fell for hip-hop every time Datkid comes on.
He’s no new addition to the scene; Bristolian emcee and Crud Lord, he formed the rap collective Demorus back in 2008 and dropped his debut Dkay and Gramma 3 years later. He then linked up with the Bristol rap collective Split Prophets and featured on a number of their projects, including Drugs, Booze & Dental Issues. Raw and factual, the album is a ride to the dark underbelly of the city. He released Home By 8, an epode to the art of tag, and that’s when his notoriety started to shoot up into the sky.
With a bunch of exceptional solo projects and gnarly features under his belt, Bristol’s very own Datkid quickly became a lead prospect in the British rap scene as he kept throwing top-notch productions at his fans. 2019 brought about Confessions of a Crud Lord, one of his mightiest projects so far, where alongside Four Owls producer Leaf Dog he serves a grim affair in all its flagrant dirtiness. The album features heavy craftsmen like Conway the Machine, Westside Gunn, and Roc Marciano, and it neatly sums up the tone of What’s the point in living if you’re just surviving?
Datkid’s latest prodigy, Wakmo, is nauseatingly grand. The secret to that is, of course, Illinformed’s finesse in producing sickly ghoulish beats. The bars are gloriously depraved, and they take you right there to that warped, crude-but-candid reality of Datkid’s life and career. It’s so dazing and potent that you don’t just listen to it but can actually feel an ugly aggressiveness breathing down your neck for a second. A tribute to the rapper’s hometown loyalty, the album boasts an impressive number of guest stars. Rappers like Bil Next, Mistafire, Wish Master, or Eric the Red will unapologetically discharge more sick verses with deft flows off onto you, therefore bringing about one of the most hardcore and obstinate rap albums that ever emerged from Bristol.
I urge you to listen to this one ’til the very end. And before you forget, go ahead and buy his music via Bandcamp. You can check out some more music and merch on the Split Prophets Bandcamp too.
Saying that something is life changing is dramatic. However, in the case of indie-rock band The Drums, I can make this statement with absolute certainty. They shaped my music taste, influenced my songwriting, and provided the soundtrack to some of my best memories. Their self-titled debut album, released in 2010, is one of the best albums of that decade, in my humble opinion. The production, the songwriting, and all the subtle flourishes and embellishments present within those twelve songs is unbelievable, especially for a debut album. There are few other releases like it.
In 2011, the band released their second album, titled Portamento. In an Instagram post celebrating the album’s tenth anniversary, band leader Jonny Pierce mentioned how the album was considered to be a flop, a victim of the “sophomore slump.” He is not wrong in saying that. Compared to the debut album, the reviews for Portamento were noticeably lukewarm. According to Metacritic, the average score for the album was a 64. YouTube music critic TheNeedleDrop gave the album a 5/10 after praising the debut album. Fans were confused by the album, and I will not hesitate to say that I was as well. After spending so many listens absorbing the shimmering guitars, beachy harmonies, and lovesick lyrics of the first album, I did not know what to make of Portamento, and as a result, I shoved it aside.
Portamento differs from the debut album almost immediately with the song “Book of Revelation.” The production is less shiny, and the tone of the song is more sullen than even the darkest moments of the debut. Jonny is also singing in a much higher register than he did before. On the debut, his singing was safe and fit the music like a glove, whereas on this album, he is pushing the envelope. Considering how flamboyant Jonny’s live presence is, this change makes sense. It also shows that he is not afraid to take risks to get his point across.
As the album continues, it throws more curveballs at the listener. “What You Were” and “Money” feature a much higher emphasis on synthesizers than on previous releases, with various keyboard stabs poking through the thin fabric of guitars. The latter also features some interesting vocalizations that will surprise many fans of the debut album. The dive into synths hits its peak on the song “Searching For Heaven,” which is all synthesizer and saves for some haunting vocals.
However, ten years on, it is safe to say that Portamento has aged remarkably well, turning many of its skeptics into supporters, including me. I love many of the songs on this album. The emotion is more potent, more urgent than on the debut album. While that album dealt with love in a way that was melancholy but also tinged with sunshine. It was broken hearted but still had its composure. Portamento, meanwhile, does not hold back any punches, with its lyrics lacking the poetics of the first album but packing more of a punch, such as on the song “If He Likes It Let Him Do It.” The songs feel brutally honest, and the listener can feel whatever Jonny is feeling without any doubts.
The music is also far more dour, but not to the detriment of the listening experience. The aforementioned “Money” was the first single off the album, and it is one of the catchiest songs The Drums have ever released. Despite its breakneck pace, each instrument is tight to the groove. The lyrics are a bit more tongue in cheek, with the chorus “I want to buy you something / But I don’t have any money” being wryly humorous and relatable.
At the end of the day, I will always adore the debut album, and it is to this day my favorite Drums release. However, I owe Portamento an apology. It is a stripped down, emotionally turbulent album, and an experience completely separate from the debut album. Once you separate Portamento from The Drums, it shines in its own light, where it belongs.
Tim Mohr’s Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution and the Fall of the Berlin Wall is an essential history that reveals punk’s wrath and how it contributed to the downfall of the East German dictatorship.
Throughout history, reigns of terror crushed hopes, ideas, behaviours; we’ve seen it all – intimidation and manipulation, violence. We’ve seen walls. Tall, made of concrete and strengthened with steel, with a strip of land guarded by merciless apostles of havoc by whose hands hundreds died. You would think nothing can break through it, but soundwaves don’t stop at borders. Soundwaves travel.
Mohr’s book is a compelling account of untold stories that starts with a handful of Berlin youths who heard the Sex Pistols on a military radio broadcast. Unlike British punks, who were living in a society that couldn’t guarantee them a bright economic future, East Berlin punks fought the battle of Too much future – the dictatorship had everything planned for them. Punk was a cathartic discovery, where chopped-up hair and clothes, loud singing and buzz saw guitars turned into a revolutionary philosophy of resistance.
Tim Mohr was able to closely observe this uniquely Eastern phenomenon when he moved to Berlin in the early 90s. Oblivious to the reality of the post-Wall city, he started exploring the nightlife scene, the clubs, the squats. He worked as a DJ for 6 years, a time during which he befriended many of the East German punks who were interrogated by the Stasi and imprisoned by the GDR – and ultimately helped build a fascinating, progressive DIY world.
Mohr spent ten years researching Stasi files, tracking down and interviewing the punks whose stories were indispensable – teenagers who were spied on by families and friends, fired from jobs, beaten up and imprisoned, but not just because of their clothes or the lyrics they sang. It was more than that. Punk rock was a weapon against the tyranny that smashed protestors and militarized the police. It was a tough fight that had its manifesto disseminated in churches, safe havens offered to the teens by compassionate deacons. Not even jail could stop these kids. They got out, put their leather jackets back on and boy, did that hell break loose.
Burning Down the Haus is a fiery, dramatic history about the grit and spirit of a bunch of young punks who played a fundamental part in bringing down the Berlin Wall. Intensely researched, riveting and satisfying, it is a great book that passes on the legacy of grassroots oppression fighters. Maybe the lesson here is what they used to spray on walls: Don’t die in the waiting room of the future.
Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall is available in Rough Trade physical stores and online at World of Books.
The local music scene is an ever changing landscape no matter where you come from. When I started making music with my band Friday Life back in 2017, there were around five bands that comprised the music scene, maybe a few more. However, four years on, Friday Life is the only band left standing, and that’s remarkable even to me. Local bands breaking up happens for a multitude of reasons: people begin going to college, members move out of state, scandals radically shift the prospects bands once had, the list goes on. It is as common as it is unfortunate.
For awhile, Boston based band Kitner seemed to be another local band come and gone. Forming in 2015, the band started as a five piece featuring Conor Maier (guitar, vocals), Brianne Costa (keys, vocals), James Christopher (guitar), Christine Atturio (bass), and Will Buiel (drums). They quickly recorded an EP of home demos, followed shortly by the release of a self-titled EP in September of that year.
The EP gained momentum, with many people downloading it on bandcamp. The band played a few shows in Massachusetts over the next year as well. They even teased a return to the studio. However, due to their commitments to other bands as well as some member changes, the band vanished. For over four years, Kitner seemed to be just a memory, with the self titled EP being all that remained.
However, in 2019, Kitner quietly returned to the studio. Now a four piece consisting of Conor, Brianne, James, and Will, the band recorded their debut album, titled Shake The Spins. Announcing their return in April of 2021, Kitner set to work promoting their new album, set to be released in October through Relief Map Records. The hype was immediate, not just because the long absence had allowed their previous EP to garner a larger following, but because the music involved sounded incredible.
The first single from the album, Beth Israel, was premiered on July 29th by The Alternative. Starting with some mellow but present acoustic guitar, the muted vocals soon enter, giving the song a primitive feel, like a bedroom demo recorded on tape. It is warm, and it builds anticipation for when the wave comes crashing down.
Sure enough, the wave hits a little over a minute in. Roaring, anthemic guitars meet steady, powerful drums that hit you like a train. The hushed vocals are replaced by rough, raw shouting from Conor that brings to mind an alternate universe where Jim James of My Morning Jacket fronted an emo band. Brianne’s light voice perfectly compliments Conor’s vocals, adding a dimension to the music that fits in your ears just right.
The wall of sound soon breaks in the final act of the song, with the acoustic guitar and softer vocals returning, accompanied by the solemn wail of a feedbacking guitar. The interplay of Conor and Brianne’s voices is clearer here as the two sing different lines, creating a tapestry of words and sounds. The drums begin building up again before sending the song off with bluster accompanied by some retro sounding keyboards.
Kitner’s return can only be described as triumphant, and that’s after just one single. If the rest of the album sounds like this, then Shake The Spins might easily be the album of the year.
I remember my friend John “Guppy” Guptill first mentioning the idea of Cabin Boy to me last July. What immediately stood out to me about the band was that each member was from a different area of the world. He then played me a demo they were working on, and I was even more intrigued.
In recent years, I personally feel that the emo/math rock genre has become somewhat tired. While there are many bands who pull off the style well, there are several more that don’t do anything new with the sound, leading to some aspects of the genre becoming tired tropes. That’s why when there is a band that not only improves upon the sound, but also makes it their own, it immediately stands out.
A few months after this initial reveal of the band, Cabin Boy began building up hype incredibly quickly, and they hadn’t even released music yet. The buzz was largely due to the kinetic chemistry displayed by the band’s members: the aforementioned Guppy, a bass player from Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Josh Cartwright, the vocalist and guitarist of the band who hails from Liverpool, England; and Dan Goellner, drummer extraordinaire from Berkeley, California. Meeting through an online music community, the three bonded over shared musical tastes and began sending music to one another to build songs individually—a perfect setup during the pandemic.
Recruiting producer Max Mayman, who Guppy has described as “the secret fourth member of the band” and who Dan met at a concert in California, the band debuted their highly anticipated first single, “Falcon Brunch.” Released on February 14th, 2021, the song was a smash hit and received raving reviews from fans; it is truly a gem. Featuring bright, jangly guitars reminiscent of 90’s power pop, the song kicks into gear once Dan’s confident, upbeat drumming and Guppy’s melodic bass lines come into play. Josh’s voice is interesting as well; it sounds effortless and carefree, while also carrying an emotional weight that feels natural. The song bounces along, and even during the instrumental break in the middle, which features some gnarly finger-tapping, it remains unpretentious and fun.
The single proved that Cabin Boy could take their lively personalities and instrumental talents and turn them into something great, despite thousands of miles being between them. They did this so well that a few months later, they signed to notable emo label Flea Collar Tapes on May 16th. Shortly after this big news, they also released a music video for Falcon Brunch. A visually stunning affair, the video utilizes green screens in an incredible way, courtesy of Dan. Each member’s charm and charisma are on full display throughout the video, and it is a joy to watch.
The wave that Cabin Boy were riding grew in June when they released their follow-up single, “Tokin’ Tree,” on the 19th of that month. The song starts with jagged acoustic guitar chords and passionate vocals from Josh. After a little under a minute of this, the electric guitar, bass, and drums burst onto the scene ferociously. The song features a far more distorted, darker sound, but the punk ethos of Falcon Brunch is still there in the undertow. Dan’s drumming is crazy on this track, highlighting how great of a drummer he really is. Overall, the song shows a remarkable maturity in the band’s sound, and it’s only their second song.
Cabin Boy hit a new high when renowned music critic Anthony Fantano reviewed the song and praised it. This, combined with their record deal, indicates a remarkably bright future for Josh, Guppy, and Dan. Despite the distance between them, they have proven that great bands can conquer all odds to make amazing music. Their unique energy and uplifting personas are sure to continue to win over music fans far and wide, and hopefully someday, we will get to see them come together and perform.
As the world starts to feel a bit more normal again, we’re slowly but surely getting a peek at some of the fantastic music that’s been written over the past year. With an influx of new artists, debut records and video premiers, it’s got us excited for all the fabulous live music to come.
It’s been another phenomenal month yet again for music submitted to us by our readers, so hit that play button and discover some of the most sensational tunes we’ve found.
As a new era of superlative British punk-rock beckons, with the arrival of bands such as Savages, IDLES and Dream Wife onto the scene, comes the next bullet out of the gun. WITCH FEVER are Manchester’s very own screaming sensations and most definitely a force to be reckoned with. With their explosive attitude and dirty, Black-Sabbath-style licks, Witch Fever could be well on their way to seeing some of Europe’s biggest crowds come to witness.
The band have released tour dates across Europe starting early next year playing alongside IDLES, where you can be sure the unmissable lineup of Amy, Alisha, Alex and Annabelle will be kicking it where it hurts. One thing’s for sure, Witch Fever have enough attitude, talent and fetish-wear between them to make even Sid and Nancy blush.
Are you Freak N Out yet? We are at the first tantalizing single from dwi. When not playing bass with Canadian Rock band The Zolas, Vancouver-based dwi (Dwight Abell) is creating magnificent psychedelic tunes of his own for you to melt away into this summer. This new single is just the first enticing peek into what lies in store from dwi’s upcoming EP ‘Mild Fantasy Violence,’ set for release this coming September and promises even more fantastically warped and wonderful soundscapes along with otherworldly synth sounds.
The second track from their third official album, Dany Laj and the Looks take the best elements of rock, country, and pop and serve up a fruit cocktail of delectable sounds. Their quirky new single You & Me is matched equally in peculiarity by its excellent video and is a track sure to make all music fans wonder, ‘What was in that last rum punch?’ It is, in our opinion, the perfect form of introduction to the wild and wacky world of Dany Laj and the Looks. So, why not stick around and see what sonic delights the band is cooking up in their brand new album ‘Ten Easy Pieces?’
Back on our list once again, and one band who has certainly become our go-to on a hot sunny day, Hot Plastic Poets from North Carolina are essential listening. The band are back with another brilliant melt-in-your-mouth single. So grab your trunks, your towels, and your sandals, because every day spent listening to this new track is like a day at the beach. Hot Plastic Poets are helping us feel the sun on our backs, even here in rainy London.
The talent behind the wonderfully enchanting Palace Cats, Joe Doris and James Bowden, are two friends who have seen their fair share of challenges this past year with the pressures of the pandemic. Fortunately, it’s nothing the two musicians haven’t been able to transform into their beautifully dreamy soundscapes, which have won over listeners from around the world. Silky and self-produced, Sea Island Cotton features an array of soothing sounds tied together with a fabulous TR-808 groove, sure to bring a nostalgic feel wherever it goes. So, take a trip down the rabbit hole of Palace Cats, filled with friends, lovers, and polaroid pictures.
You didn’t think we could let you leave without mentioning that the astonishing Paris Youth Foundation are releasing their debut album on the 9th of July, did you? Save the date! ‘How To Ruin Your Life’ is an unmissable ensemble of hits from Liverpool’s most exciting new Indie group. The album surely delivers on all of the bits we’ve come to love about the band’s sound and more. Oh boy – you’re in for a real treat.
Welcome back to that wonderful time again where here at Totally Wired Mag, we like to celebrate the rising stars, the artists big or small, whose music and talent deserve a place on your playlists. So without further ado, let’s dive right in – hit play and discover your next favourite tune.
Singer/songwriter Linsley Hartenstein, the artist known as Darity is back with yet another phenomenal single which, just like all of her tunes, will carry you away to another dimension. ‘Out of it’ is a song made from luscious synthesiser soundscapes, woven together with the same earnest and enchanting voice which has made us at Totally Wired Mag some of Darities top fans – yes we’ll fight you for the title. A songwriter who started out over nine years ago, Linsley has truly honed in her craft of putting the unexplainable bits of life into beautiful words and spectacular melodies. While every single one of her tracks is a treat for the ears, ‘Out of it’ is Darity at the most remarkable we’ve seen her yet.
‘Breakfast’ is the first track from the upcoming debut EP by singer/songwriter Haleluya Hailu. The tune is a tease at what is set to be a fantastically ‘80s fueled concoction of teen angst, honest emotions and real experiences. In Haleluya’s own words, ‘Breakfast’ is the epitome of ‘Heartbreak, parties… and pasta’. So grab your bowl of warm comfort food and let this track entice your excitement for the brilliant things to come in the upcoming EP.
Speaking of sonic concoctions to tantalize your eardrums, the new collaborative single ‘All The Little Things’ by band Tobisonics and their poetic partner in art, Chris Ingram, AKA Wee Scots Poet, is a tune that radio DJ’s around the world haven’t been able to leave alone. A feel-good tune for an upcoming summer of sun, it’s a reminder of a hopeful future as we leave the hard times behind us. Tobisonics and Wee Scots Poet are a partnership full of life, so dance your way into June with this phenomenal track at the very top of your playlists.
Featured on one of our very first Creators Monthly lists, Max Swan from Philadelphia entered the world of jazz at a young age, an important beginning that has since influenced his musical style as he began to navigate other genres, stretching the boundaries of pop, rock and soul. From his highly diverse mix of influences came his distinctive ‘electrosoul’ style. Max’s new single Leanin’ is the latest in his so far incredible discography. The tune is a fantastical blend of R&B and hip hop, married with elements of jazz and soul. As an artist who is constantly evolving, Max Swan is never afraid to dip his hands into new experimental sounds. His musical journey has gone from strength to strength, easy to see in each of his fantastic tunes.
The new indie-pop single ‘Village’ from singer/songwriter Merpire is a tune written straight from the heart, putting all of her feelings about self-doubt into one superb song. The single comes with the announcement of her debut album ‘Simulation Ride’ to be released this coming July under Warner’s ADA label. The album’s theme is about looking for those patches of clear blue sky when your mind is clouded by anxiety. Just as growth comes with facing your problems head-on, Merpire’s new single is just as much about her own personal growth since releasing her very first single performed live from her bedroom back in 2018.
Canadian artist Hotel Decor returns with a brand new single, ‘Could It Take Me Any Longer’, the title track from a highly anticipated upcoming EP. Like everything we’ve seen from Hotel Decor in the past, we’ve been gifted yet another deliciously lo-fi tune filled with life and soul. This is what we’ll be jamming out to this summer.
Speaking of silky slick lo-fi grooves, Italian artist Steve Fileti, known to us as Sacramento, just released the second single ‘MAMA’ from his upcoming album ‘Latte – The Italian Breakfast’. It’s a tune that will leave you dreaming of drives through the countryside, sunshine and ice cream. ‘Latte – The Italian Breakfast’ is out on the 11th of June, save the date!
Once again we’re back with your monthly fill of the hottest new artists who you better keep an eye on. Boy oh boy are you in for a treat. Without further ado, let’s dive into this month’s Creators Monthly.
3 kids & a Mortgage is the new EP (and life story) of the brilliantly infectious artist known simply as Lewca. The fist-pumping first single ‘Doing My Thing’ from the new EP, aside from being colourful both stylistically and lyrically, is, in the words of Lewca, ‘an anthem in praise of inappropriate drunken debauchery and generally belligerent behaviour’ – and one we can’t stop ourselves replaying.
‘On The Run’ is the fifth single from storming new success Ed Cosens, taken from his new album ‘Fortunes Favour’, which made its debut on the 9th of April. A fiercely felt and deeply personal story about Ed finding his voice as an artist. Certainly an artist which fans of Alex Turner, Oasis and Richard Hawley will love.
‘All The Rage’ is the brand new single from Canadian artist Hotel Decor, a tune with a great low-fi quality and late-night-drive vibe, mixed in with soundscapes just as stunning as the locations in this video, made by DualSense Films.
The Early Mornings
Three musicians from manchester start recording demos together and decide to form a band. Sound like the familiar origins of some of histories greatest songs? The Early Mornings met and formed in 2018 and their brilliant new track ‘Blank Sky’ is out now for all the world to hear. The music video is a love letter to their city, with flashes of artistic flair mixed in against the grey concrete backdrop of inner-city life. This depiction of breaking away from the mundane is a trait which the band embody throughout their music too. Definitely a band to follow.
Kicksie is a songwriter from Toronto, Ontario who has just released their FORTH yes FORTH album written, recorded and mastered entirely by them. ‘All My Friends’ is an explosive collection of catchy indie-pop and synth-pop tunes. Songs that make you want to stand on your bed shouting the punchy lyrics from the top of your voice. With more music hopefully to follow, the talents to this songwriter are endless.
Paul & The Microcosm
Back in February, we featured the wonderful Paul & The Microcosm, a 5-piece rock band from Germany who keep on pulling it out of the bag with their incredible blend of indie-rock, garage punk and neo-pych. If you’re looking for a band pulled straight out of the 70’s explosion of experimental techno, P&TM are a band you should definitely have on your playlists this month and always.
‘Dreamy and grounded’ – Space Nat’s newest single ‘Bug Bites’ is an incredibly powerful and emotional tune, one which reaches out and touches the deepest parts of your soul. A soft and fragile voice suddenly transforms into an astonishing weapon. It makes you wonder what this talent is truly capable of. We can’t wait to hear more from Space Nat.
Thanks once again to all the musicians who submitted their music this month! Make sure to keep an eye out for more brilliant artists on the way by signing up to our newsletter. We’ll see you next time.
The TWM Team x
Make music? In a band? We want to hear from you! Submit here for a chance to be featured in next month’s Creators Monthly.
It’s that time of the month again when we take a look at the brilliant tracks submitted to us by our readers. Like always, it was another corker of a month for new music with some smashing new tunes from the likes of The Vaccines and Hayley Williams. The infectious flair for creating lockdown beats doesn’t just stop there – no-no.
Our inbox was full to the brim yet again with some fantastic tracks written by artists from all over the world, so let’s dive in and take a look at our picks – you might just discover someone who’ll change your playlists forever.
Vice Beats & Ellie Harris
A spectacular ensemble of talent, producer Vice Beats combines his deep nostalgic grooves with singer Ellie Harris’ timeless vocals. If you didn’t think that sounded like enough talent packed into one single, ‘Lost Time’ also featured rapper KinKai and the soothing sax of musician Thalassic. A collaboration spanning four cities across the world, this tune is a perfect representation of artists defying all odds and making some seriously cool sh*t. For these singers, musicians and producers, nothing is getting in their way of giving us a funky and enchanting single to vibe to. Their creative talent has already taken Vice Beats and Ellie Harris from Oxford Uni to The BRIT School; so there’s no telling what heights they’ll reach next. They’re only just getting started.
He looks like a young Thurston Moore and sounds like the next one-man Blossoms – ‘Show Me Love’ is the electrifying debut single from emerging artist Ed Fisher, known professionally as urbanparcs. Based in Liverpool and at only 17 years old, the future looks blindingly bright for this young talent whose laptop-made tunes have already gained him airtime on BBC Introducing. Of all the creative lockdown music videos we’ve seen so far, the video for ‘Show Me Love’ is simply superb, just like his tunes.
An artist we’ve featured before, but if you heard his last single you won’t believe it’s even possible – the latest single from Fin Cliff, WAITING FOR YOU, has been a career-changing factor for this one-in-a-thousand bedroom indie-rock artist. For any fans of Catfish and The Bottlemen or The Maccabees, Fin is an artist whose music you won’t be able to stop listening to. Now being played on BBC Radio 1, Fin’s music just keeps going from strength to strength.
An artist from Cincinnati, Ohio, supporting all other queer creatives out there in music – Laurre’s new single ‘Don’t Ask’ delves deep into the emotions behind a failed relationship – which Laurre describes as a weird juxtaposed of sentiments. With vibrant, moving instrumentals and a voice tinged with melancholy, Laurre perfectly captures that strange in-between limbo of total sadness and pure bliss. Their creative lyrics go hand in hand with the single’s deeply thought out melodies. With this great track just the first release in a new project by multi-instrumentalist Lauren Wachenfeld, the same poetry is sure to tug at our heartstrings yet again with the upcoming release of EP ‘Paper Blue’ produced by Mike of the Nashville pop-rock band Mike Mains & The Branches.
A single which takes the atmosphere of Joy Division and fused it perfectly with the soft nostalgic nature of modern indie-rock. There’s no better way to describe the new single by Monroe Moon than the way they do it themselves; Deep, Dark & Familiar. The Peter Hook inspired bass line of Shadowplay weaves perfectly through the bands foot-tapping rhythms. The music video for the band’s new song hits those qualities right on the head with a compilation of family videos they picked up from a garage sale. This band is one we can’t get enough of.
The Velvet Rage
Sticking with our ‘90s filled nostalgia dream, The Velvet Rage are a queer anarchist project from Kentucky U.S.A. ‘Eschewing genre and gender is our thing.’ They’re too right about that – now two albums in, band members Lukas Lake-Bullock and Bradford Wilburn constantly veer outside the boundaries of ‘normal’ and keep on surprising us in the most amazing way. Their single ‘Trip’ is taken from their most recent album ‘You Can’t Do This to Us’, released at the end of last year.
PJ Harvey, Talking Heads, just some of the inspirations behind singer/songwriter Sonia Bernardo’s musical project BERNARDO. The alt-soul inspired producer born in London and raised in a Portuguese Village honed in her skill as a producer and guitarist before returning to London to take on the Indie music scene. Her new single, ‘Almost A Mother’, is the latest exciting tune from an artist whose musical talent has no end. Her sweet soul voice and genres which have travelled the world have been her guiding force throughout her journey so far. Bernardo’s enchanting voice and unmissable style continues to excite an army of growing fans.
Thanks once again to all the musicians who submitted their music this month! Make sure to keep an eye out for more brilliant artists on the way by signing up to our newsletter. We’ll see you next time!
– The TWM Team x
Make music? In a band? We want to hear from you! Submit here for a chance to be featured in next month’s Creators Monthly.
Kicking off our new year with a bang, here are some spectacular rising artists you need to be listening to. Welcome to an all-new edition of Creators Monthly, music submitted to us by you, our readers. Take it away!
Linsley Hartenstein, who goes by the name Darity is a singer/songwriter from Ohio and the first artist to be featured not once, but twice in Creators Monthly. Her recent single Silver Spoon had us hooked from the get-go in October last year, as her phenomenal voice and songwriting talent simply blew us away. Darity’s new single, Everything, delivers on all of the promises laid out by her earlier work and feels like a natural next step for her continuously evolving style. The dream-pop feel we’ve come to love her for is weaved beautifully throughout, but no single ever sounds the same. When we featured Darity once before, we had a sneaky suspicion she would be one artist to watch. If her skyrocketing Spotify figures are anything to go by, then there really is no limit to how high she might soar next.
Jessica Luise is a singer from Manchester whose new single Nice Try is a blissfully bittersweet tale of events, perfect listening for fans of Biig Piig or Beabadoobee. Over lockdown and away from the calamities of everyday life, a lot of Jess’ songwriting inspiration comes from daydreaming about fictional relationships with characters of her favourite television shows. Listening to her music is like walking through the melancholic dreams of an empathetic young woman, living a life beyond the confines of her home. Dreams which, for this artist, have given a wealth of new material to contribute towards her astounding sound. Within the northern indie scene especially, the music of Jess Luise is a new treat.
For fans of The Night Cafe and Katy J Pearson. Isabel Whelan, better known as BEL combines your typical indie sounds we’ve all come to love and stirs a hefty dollop of folk in that mix. Her third single and first of 2021 Treading Water is a great brooding and intimate track that compels you to drive windows down and just vibe. Talking about the initial concept of the song, Whelan said she wrote Treading Water in late 2018, after graduating from college and having a bit of an existential crisis as you do. Her friend played the chords on guitar and suddenly all the emotions poured out and the song may as well have written itself. Heralded as “some kind of underground, indie, Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac” soundscape which I think perfectly captures the atmosphere of BEL, and leaves us excited for what else is in store for the LA singer. So don’t forget to check out more of BEL’s releases.
Amber Ais from Boston, MA began her career in music as a young girl who loved nothing more than singing at her local church. After being given a guitar for her birthday, as so many great musicians did, she set forth into the world with songs of her own. Her music holds the same charming and emotive qualities of the gospel which inspired her, combined with other flavours together gives Amber a sound all of her own. These songs are all about the experiences of a young woman in Boston. Her music is gentle, joyful and full of life. It’s the perfect lift needed to get you through another month of lockdown and, true to the style of the music which she loved to sing so dearly, makes you feel part of something bigger.
Watch out on the 26th of February for Amber’s new single Better Without Me, a ‘pop-inspired anthem’ about ‘the bitterness and inadequacy of how your life compares to others.’ Amber already gave us a listen, and it’s one you should definitely be excited about.
With his first release since EP Quiet Scenes, James Leprettre’s latest single Paper Bag is the quintessential tune for those lonely isolated days we’re all bathing in at the moment. For fans of Alexandra Saviour and Dan The Man, Leprettre’s blend of acoustic folk with slick modern production makes for a desolate sound which matches any mood you could possibly need it to. It’s something to relate to but blissfully beautiful enough for an escape of the world’s repetitive madness. Paper Bag’s music video is superb, it’s simple yet effective and perfectly captured the vibe of the tune. Catchy melodies, well-written tracks and videos which stick to your retinas.
James Leprettre is somebody to keep a very close eye on. Don’t forget to check out his EP Quiet Scenes for more of that hug of folky goodness.
Jozem’s Black Night EP includes the incredible track Stay. The tune packs a remarkable music video and a stunningly ambient sound. Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Jozem’s music is described as ‘experimental-soul, dark, mysterious and alluring’. Gifted with a voice that somehow blends the tones of 80s neo-soul with modern pop falsetto, his music dances in your ears like moonlight over water. Jozem describes himself as a bit of a ‘dreamer’, and in his new single Dreams, we get a more in-depth look. The song talks about, what he remembers as, a time of great uncertainty in his life. The new single is due for release on the 5th of February and having already had a sneak peek, we can tell you’re in for a real treat. Stay up to date with his releases on Instagram.
With a name like LOBSTERBOMB, you can’t not be just a little intrigued by the madness of their music could you? Formed in a Berlin basement, this is a band who don’t go gently into the night. For fans of Wolf Alice, Dream Wife, Amyl and The Sniffers, this band’s kickass sound includes a somewhat lush quality seen to be making a comeback with the likes of IDLES and The Garden. Yes Yes Yeah is a song that demands to be dialled up to eleven. It’s raw, energetic and has an electrifying quality which leaves you moshing in your own bedroom. The overdrive vocals combined with a 60’s rock n roll flare bring together the very best of two famous eras in music. As this is only their debut single, it leaves us curious as to what this band will conjure up next. Their first EP is expected later this year, we’re sure you’ll hear it coming before it hits you.