Start off the year right with our featured picks this week!

“Blue,” by Youth Novels: This duo consists of vocalist Ania Babrakowska and guitarist Emil Nowak. Debuting in 2016, their intimate and quasi-acoustic compositions offer an ambient sense of ease. They also supported bands like Oh Wonder, Father John Misty, Seafret, Hooverphonic. Their songs also made an appearance on TV Series “Pod Powierzchnią” on TVN.

The single showcases the two musicians’ talents at their fullest. With dreamy folk vocals from the both of them, we are pulled into the atmosphere of soothing guitar and other worldly instrumentals that play quietly in the background. The song encourages its listeners to grow in faith daily so they can be better prepared for whatever life throws in front of them. It’s about how to overcome fears, making room for connection, intimacy, and freedom.

“Lily Of The Valley,” by Xeven: Also known as Helen Preis, this self-taught electronic producer, singer, and songwriter creates personal, emotional music that doesn’t fit within the boundaries of a stereotypical genre. Instead, it ebbs and flows; pulsating dark pop beats fill within an atmosphere that compliments her dreamy vocals. Growing up, she was influenced by an array of genres and artists. Earliest inspiration came from bands like Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, TaTu, artists like Suzanne Vega, Imogen Heap, Marilyn Manson to name a few. Xeven’s production is strongly influenced by the likes of Daft Punk, Justice, MGMT, The Knife, Royksöpp. She is also influenced by contemporary artists like Banks, Sevdaliza and Grimes.

This song was produced and written on the back of betrayal and heartbreak. Paired with a beautifully composed music video, our world crumbles at her feet and tumbles into her own, an after dark scene built on a lust for revenge and pops of color.

“Don’t forget to remember who you are,” by Sidney Mays: Twenty-three year old songwriter, singer, and guitar player sets the tone with an uplifting melody and groove unlike any other.

Off of their debut EP, Escapism, this track tells the story of a person who doesn’t know how to take on the motions of life and the world around us, but keeps pushing onward, keeps desiring and keeps moving on; even if that’s only step by step. This melody is uplifting and relatable to many who feel they may be stuck in a rut.

“Numb,” by SANFABI: Infectiously catchy, this melody sinks into the being with silky vocals and a wander through the world of the artist’s creation. Longing and aching, the melody contrasts with the calming lyrics that speak of the numbness and unfeeling and not knowing whether to rejoice or to cry. He talks about getting stuck in limbo and still feeling overloaded emotionally. Despite the heavy lyrical content, the energy of the music provides a motivation and a hope for light at the end of the tunnel.

“In Another Life,” by Kendall Bowser: Creating music for the unheard, and those who need a friend to listen and release to, this artist provides the perfect sense of escape in her music. This track in particular is a relatable chapter in a love story. Its vulnerability is evident throughout the lilting vocals that float through the atmosphere and bend the will into calm.

This is a song about the thought and realization that you must’ve loved this person in another life because nothing else has ever felt so right.

~ Kendall Bowser

“Time Took Folks,” by Lucas Laufen: A laid back folk melody, this track is an introspective one, at that. Featuring smooth vocals in contrast to a skillfully played guitar composition, the insight the song has about time and how we spend it is a refreshing and inspirational one.

I started writing this song on a train to South Tyrol last February amidst a really big touring schedule. I’d played 30 shows over the past two months and was pretty exhausted. Watching the mountains and valleys pass by the window instead of checking emails, I kind of got lulled into this state of meditation. It made me think of other times I’d felt this way over the past year. I scribbled out a timeline, and the words and melody started to roll around in my head.

I’m lucky enough to travel all the time and see a lot of beauty in the world. Sometimes I need a reminder to slow down and breathe everything in. It’s the way I can hold time properly instead of feeling like it’s slipping through my fingers. The modern world has rolled us into this unnatural state of anxiety when we’re constantly searching for the next big thing instead of prioritizing important things like being present, listening and treading lightly.

~ Lucas Laufen

“Vulnerable,” by Gimmy Flowens: This is the bold new solo project from Northern Rivers-based artist, Gemma Owens. You may already be familiar with Owens as the lead singer and guitarist of charismatic garage-rock quartet, The Oogars. While this new solo adventure is bursting with the same kind of charm, there’s an added level of rawness and intimacy at play.

A brooding indie folk track of longing and yearning, this artist is all things raw and wide open as they bare their soul in this track. Perfect for fans who are looking for more like Alice Phoebe Lou, this musician is on the rise for something deeper and more than purely storytelling folk. Ultimately focused on letting your guard down to let love in, the vocal talents pull and inspire all who listen to follow along in their message.

“Still Trying,” by N. Kerbin: Poughkeepsie-born, Virginia-bred, Brooklyn-burnt, LA-based songwriter, this artist offers a unique folk track that is worthy of easing any worried soul. While all songwriters aim for honesty, few achieve a spirit as warm, soothing, and emotionally touching as N. Kerbin. Atmospheric folk textures pair with tender vocals to create a blanket of dreamy melancholy that is at once cozy and heart-wrenching. With a deeply personal and intimate approach to songwriting, the listener is drawn into Nate’s world to share in stories of struggle and triumph. 

Still Trying is about putting all of yourself into a relationship, even when it’s obvious the other person isn’t trying at all. All your friends know you need to get out – and deep down, you know it too – but something just keeps dragging you deeper until you’re fully lost in the mess.

~ N. Kerbin

What was your favorite track this week? Let us know in the comments, and

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