Check out our featured picks for this week!

“Fade Out,” by The Best Part: This alt-pop duo from Ireland offers a unique blend of songwriting and multi-instrumentalism throughout their music. Drawing inspiration from a myriad of genres, their sound is a rich tapestry of intricate vocal layers woven with electric guitars and synths. Using the time during the pandemic for growth through reflection, the duo focused solely on the songwriting process and honing their craft. The product of that year of introspection is now ready to be shared with the world.  This track is no different, showcasing all of their hard work over the past several months grown into full fruition.

We wrote “Fade Out” as an important reminder to ourselves and to everyone else that one should never let their light fade out in times of uncertainty and dissolution. Choosing to be part of an industry where you’re faced with criticism, set backs and disappointments, it’s important to remember what makes us unique and why we do what we do. There will always be challenges and hard times that can dim your light in this world and this is a song that represents the character & courage that it takes to stay true to yourself and to fight whatever it is that’s trying to bring you down.

~ The Best Part

“funny, it comes back,” by Katie Kleiger: NYC-based actor and singer-songwriter grew up singing and playing the guitar; and her passion for folk started at a young age as she began to develop her beautifully intricate sound. In the Fall of 2018 Kleiger met Producer and Engineer Dowell Gandy in Asheville, NC, whose musical vocabulary provided the perfect counterpoint to her singer/songwriter roots. The two then recorded four songs in the summer of 2019, that would become her debut EP, Adaptations. Drawing inspiration from indie folksters such as Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, Kleiger came to Asheville with a handful of songs written. With Gandy’s experience as an engineer recording more experimental and electronic acts for Moog Music and Echo Mountain, the pair set out to provide a folk EP with lush sound design and dramatic moments.

This single, coming from her latest album, yes & also this, was written on Christmas day while the artist was alone in her bedroom. Budded from the intersections between past, present, and future, the notes of classical folk tones embellish on the nostalgia and hope that arises from that introspection.

“If I Could,” by Nina Moss: Twenty-three year old musician from Brooklyn showcases her latest single; an anthem of peace and protection after the chaos and wreckage of a year that many have endured. Growing a love for music at a young age, her uncle inspired her pursuits and gave her the very first guitar she owned.  In high school she started getting into booking bands and curating shows for local venues, which led to her passion for DJing as well. Nina has been DJing around local NYC bars/clubs for 4 years now and has recently expanded into creating her own music. Having studied poetry in college, she has a love for song writing and lyricism and hopes to keep creating and growing as an artist with the people around her.

I wrote this song in the Idaho countryside this summer, having found a rare moment of peace in a chaotic year. I’d felt myself wishing I could just “stay a while.” It’s a simple idea, but I’m from New York and often feel caught up in the rat race mentality. I wanted to write something about trying to find that work/life balance, which is something I struggle with. I worked on this with Tiger Darrow and Dezi, who helped me bring it to life with fun live instrumentation!

~ Nina Moss

“I Won’t Mention It Again,” by Donovan Woods: This Canadian singer-songwriter just announced the creation of their latest EP, Big Hurt Boy. From it, this single was born; and it tapped into a taste of the potential he offers, unseen by this artist for some time.  

With this record, Woods looked to capture more of an ‘undone’ quality, wanting to “get back to the feeling that my early recordings had,” notes the winner of the 2019 JUNO Award for Contemporary Roots Album (for Both Ways). And yet, while Big Hurt Boy was recorded largely live, harnessing the electricity of a roomful of musicians laying down tracks in the studio, the collection brims with some of the luminous production touches he has been adding to this repertoire lately. The single opens featuring just him on banjo and vocals, before fading into a spectral backdrop of electronic textures and layers of lush harmonies.

“Damage,” by Caleb Hearn: Residing from a small town in North Carolina, this songwriter contains a passion for touching people with his emotional lyrics. Writing and recording almost everything from his home, his music has reached millions across the world. This single was written during a trip to Los Angeles last year, after realizing that even with the ups and downs in his life, he wouldn’t change anything.

Offering a positive outlook toward the next year, the singer is pushing hard for his goals out of the hopes of touching every heart he can before his next EP, set to launch in late March with a mini tour later in the year.

“aliens,” by XYLØ: Los Angeles-based artist, also known as Paige Duddy, found breakthrough success with her debut EP, America, in 2015. Since then, she followed with a string of sold-out headline shows, a platinum record with The Chainsmokers, and attaining over 350 million streams on Spotify alone. Before finishing her first headline tour in 2019 with sold out shows across the US and UK, XYLØ launched her own indie label Pretty Records where she has since released four successful EPs: pretty sad, yes & no, The Ganglands Of My Heart, and OUTSIDERS CLUB. Now all focus is on the debut album, unamerican beauty, slated for release in 2022 via Opposition. With her unapologetic lyric-driven songs covering themes of loneliness, self-discovery and feeling like an outsider, XYLØ has cultivated a loyal fanbase around the world.

“aliens” was written after a girls night with my childhood friends. Some have seen major success and some are still searching for what they want. We all come from different backgrounds and upbringings, but the one thing that joins us is the commonality of feeling lost. No matter how much or how little we have. And rather than being afraid of it, going along for the ride.

~ Paige Duddy / XYLØ

“Deep Dark Sleep,” by Melanie McLaren: This artist’s natural aptitude for nuanced delivery, wistful guitar playing, and her ability to write about life as if life were simply writing itself is everything you could want from a folk singer. Growing up in New York and moving to Nashville in 2020, her music is not so much rooted in a place and time as it is suspended, caught between worlds— dreamlike and hyper-realistic, timeless and contemporary. 

This single is no exception; as it is haunting and meditative, the folk track is the final to be released toward her debut EP, Kill My Time. Its intricate fiddle laced with a three-part harmony and entrancing acoustic guitar curate the perfect piece woven from dream.

“Uncomfortably New,” by Elenne May: Born in Holland, growing up in Australia, this musician creates music straight from fairytales and daydreams. In her youth, it was her longing to wander that pulled her into music and the beauties the world had to offer for her. Since 2011, the artist has released three albums, all of which have acclaimed achievement in her perfect niche, “not aimed toward the masses.”

The new music can be recognized as Elenne May. And although she can certainly be mentioned in the same breath in terms of atmosphere as Kate Bush, Sophie Hunger or Joanna Newsom, her sound is completely unique. Within that framework, she has found her limits and subsequently pushed them.

On the vibrations of this sound, I was able to find the freedom to write about the difficult things, themes like social structures and the high standards we portray. The melodies [of the upcoming project, Velvet Beings] make room for people in their truth. I hope they may be a reminder of the value of connection between people, as the expectations and fastness of life sometimes make us forget.

~ Elenne May

Her upcoming project, Velvet Beings, will be released in fall. This is the first single from that project, to reveal the feelings of being new in a world of fixed social structures.

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

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