Featured Music of the Week: A Taste of Wonder
Check out our featured picks for this week!
“Reality of Nature, Outside the Living Room,” by Rinnovare: A project of British Columbia artist, Matteo Neufeld, ambient sounds are created; from bedroom loops, to playing in cinematic art-rock band Oceans Apart in high school, to travelling & recording throughout Mexico, Israel, Dominican to Haiti. Focusing primarily on abstract composition of electric guitar, synth, piano & rhodes, this artist often accompanies their sound with other Canadian talents, Chloe Davidson on violin & cello, & Adam Doucette on saxophone. Rinnovare has continuously pursued crystal clear production aesthetic, contrasted with dusty & organic vibes.
Critically acclaimed producer Andrew Judah teamed up with the long-time collaborator, friend, composer for an expansive array of beats, strings, & synths, among other sonic flourishes. With qualities stemming from reverie & reflection, these ethereal compositions take the listener into a realm of inner thoughts & imagery. This single is no exception, as it sends anyone who listens into a state of calm and ease.
“Made for These Times,” by Tara Divina: An anthem of strength, this track becomes a reminder that inner growth and the hard work that is done to begin to bloom leads to the shifts and the moments that are anticipated to showcase that growth. Dreamily composed and inspirational, the song showcases a moment we are always ready for, even if we forget just how strong we are.
We really do have this power. I started writing this song back in March 2020, right as the massive shifts of the past 2 years were just getting started. I wanted to anchor in the fundamental truth that, no matter what is happening, we are absolutely made for these times. We’ve been getting ready all of our lives! We are here, in this moment, for a reason, and this is our chance to be the angels we have been praying for.
~ Tara Divina
“Witch,” by Henri Werner: This 23 year old Hanover-based composer and producer may share influences of Illenium and Flume, but his electronic music creation shows a unique blend of his own sense of taste and style. At the age of 6 Henri started playing the piano and took lessons for 13 years while also obtaining basic skills in playing the guitar and the drums.
This single in particular pushes the boundaries of the electronic genre, offering unique beat drops along with a dark and haunting undertone from within.
“Poseidon’s Daughter,” by Susan James: A psych folk track from this artist’s defining album, this Los Angeles native is set to become a wonder of the genre. On the heels of her critically acclaimed 2013 album “Driving Toward The Sun”, Susan James’ sixth album, Sea Glass, re-released in 2019 via Sunstone Records UK, is like stepping into a mysterious psychedelic yet beautiful house of mirrors. From the collection of songs, this single showcases the artist’s captivating vocals as they blend in with an array of haunting lyrical production and a blend of beautifully composed instrumentals to compliment her sound.
We had such an excellent time working on these together”, she continues “I do hope we can do another together. It all relies on whether this one makes enough to justify another. I have faith in my listeners and supporters, but I don’t have much faith in the music business right now, so I guess we’ll just have to see. This may be the end for me.
~ Susan James
“Babysitter,” by Angharad Drake: This artist is following her 2017 full-length with something new. After moving from Brisbane to the quiet Sunshine Coast, she is showcasing her wise-beyond-her-years skills in folk storytelling and alluring melodies. From her new home on the coast, Drake has returned to a more stripped-down way of making her music: just her and her guitar, both more natural and more intimate. This new approach serves to emphasize her powerful voice, allowing her lyricism to beautifully shine through.
Citing influences such as Feist, Laura Marling, Sufjan Stevens, Kurt Viles, and Jose Gonzalez, Drake is a fresh voice in a sometimes formulaic landscape of singer-songwriters. Listening to her music over the years, there are nods to her folk influences, but Drake has continued to maintain and develop her own unique voice. Her songs are atmospheric and poignant, full of delicate daydreams and desire. This single is no exception; as it blends a sense of calm yearning with haunting folk lyrics, her voice stands on full display and shines at its brightest.
“Brooklyn,” by Emily James: In celebration of her recent signing to Nettwerk Records, this LA-based singer-songwriter debuts with an intimate and soulful sound in this track. The single is uplifting and raw, showing a side of herself that is sure to set for her rise in the industry.
Surrounded by music for as long as she can remember, the 22-year-old’s first memories are of her New York upbringing with her parents’ eclectic music collection. Raised in a small town just north of New York City, James began her musical journey singing and taking piano lessons and, by the time she was ten, writing her own songs. In her early teens, James started performing around New York City and, soon after, began driving down to Nashville and gigging at venues throughout the Music City. She then developed her sound over the course of five EPs with a songwriting style that features nuanced production and an emotional vulnerability that complements her dynamic vocal range. Regarding her process, James states,
At the start, I write for myself. Once the song is done, it doesn’t even feel like I wrote it. It’s not mine anymore. It belongs to whoever is listening because they’re going to attach their own experiences to it. I like when people interpret my songs their own way. Even though I wrote the words about my own experience, however someone connects to it and relates it to their own life is completely valid. To me, that’s the beauty of music.
~ Emily James
This single depicts perfect imagery that sends the listener into the world of the artist’s creation, leaving things stripped to the essentials with vocals showcased in a bask of harmonizing melodies, jazz infused horns, and a soft beat. The single was released with a joy and peace-inducing music video. Watch it here!
“Stockholm Syndrome,” by Chris Caulfield: From Toronto, Canada, this artist combines a unique blend of hip-hop, alternative rock, and blends lo-fi elements to curate a unique sound of their own. The first single from an upcoming project, Chris’s latest release offers a darker perspective behind the term “Stockholm syndrome.” While there is a range of meaning to be gained behind it, this musician takes the literal meaning in mind and in it lies a captivating story of his creation. In the situation lies a captive and their creator; and the captive falls in love with the one who holds them hostage.
Using parallels to medication, addiction, and the duality between that and the story that lies within those lines, Caulfield offers a unique perspective of his own while the song’s dramatic message both entertains and pulls the audience in to relate with the situation at hand. In the conflict of how medication can both help and hurt, the victim is left with mixed emotions and has to face them and deal with them on their own.
“Shh,” by Erika Tham: Following an outstanding acting career as a teen, where she starred as Corki in Nickelodeon’s Make It Pop and appearances in other television shows, Erika found her true passions and love were in a pursuit of her music career, where she finds her peace at home in the studio, unleashing her creative outlet creating intensely catchy and empowering melodies. Her yearning and desire to find where she fit in and belonged gave her the strength and sense of purpose to create, to envision, and to elevate the ideas, emotions, and sounds that run rampant through her music.
Celebrating the recent release, this rising musician released a sultry music video to match up with her newest music video. Combatting the hate, she creates a voice of her own that empowers any listener involved.
‘Shhh’ came together off the back of a joke made during a writing session. I remember talking to Deion Gill and Major Myjah, and I said ‘you know when someone’s cute, until they open their mouth and ruin it?’ It’s a fun, feminine, and coquettish song that was equally as fun to make. When it came to writing the verses, I wanted to pay homage to the sassy, unapologetic pop stars of the ‘90s. The line ‘your daddy’s black card don’t impress me much’ was inspired by Shania Twain’s iconic ‘Don’t Impress Me Much’ but with a twist and subject matter that felt authentic and relatable to my real life and so many other women. The rest of the song is honestly just the result of three friends talking shit and gassing each other up.” On the video, she adds, “Patrick and I juxtaposed the fantasy and glamour of cabaret with somewhat of a horror backdrop. We felt the contrast fit the mood and mysterious energy of the song.
~ Erika Tham
Watch the new music video here!
“Better to Leave On Read,” by Emei: Based in Los Angeles, this alt-pop singer-songwriter has a unique taste in her craft with articulate lyrics and a warm, timeless voice that bridges the best of the old soul sense of style and the fresh and new.
After receiving third place on Chinese Idol at 15, Emei began releasing her own music on Chinese platforms and eventually performed on Dancing with the Stars of China. When Covid hit, Emei started releasing new music on American platforms, gaining media coverage on many acclaimed sites and playlists. In just under 3 months, Emei’s last single, “Late to the Party,” hit 1.5M streams after a video of her release party hit a collective 4.4M views on Tiktok and Instagram Reels.
As the first alt-pop record made with KiNG MALA producer, Rob Auerbach, , this single has a salt-inspired rage, hard-hitting drums and eye-rolling horns. This collaboration makes it the perfect anthem to scream in the car when you wish people would stop wasting your time when there’s just “Better People to Leave On Read”.
“Better People to Leave On Read” was written in a fit of rage when an ex-best friend (who made moves on my boyfriend) texted saying she was proud of my success.
What was your favorite track this week? Let us know in the comments, and check out the songs in full on our exclusive playlist: