Featured Music of the Week: 05.02.2022
Check out our featured picks for this week!
“Stircrazy Slaphappy,” by Ally Ahern: This pop artist uses music to share a piece of her diary with the public, from breaking her mother’s rib during childbirth, being expelled from school, and surviving a rare hearth arrhythmia. Much like her unique life experiences, Ally shares an artistry that is much delved into a blend of soap opera and surreal comedy. A unique soundscape blends genres as her vocals shine a new light on her chilling lyrics and infectious melodies. She sets the rule books of music curation aflame, wrapping her stories in humorous lyrics as they offer an escape to any who listens. Her music has the energy of a “tween on a sugar rush,” and the perspective of your old wise grandma sharing advice on her front porch. While encouraging those willing to risk embracing their inner misfits, she herself has long ditched normalcy. Aside from her personal project, she’s written songs for global superstars, such as Kylie Minouge and Tove Styrke.
This single is the first release for the rising artist. Laced in influences of pop-punk and hip-hop, the track centers around the concept relating to all those who feel a little misplaced, wanting to break out of the same old thing and pave their own original path.
Inspired by my middle school expulsion story, it emotionally follows twelve year-old me as I struggled with generalized anxiety disorder, and eventually had a panic attack so bad I ran out of school, got the police called on me, and then proceeded to fight them off me and get expelled.
I think anyone who is in the mood to scream into their pillow or film themselves blowing up a car and walking away in slow motion would enjoy this.
~ Ally Ahern
“jeffrey dahmer,” by Brooke Daye: This LA-based singer and songwriter was offered a publishing deal 10 months after moving to Los Angeles, as she began perfecting her craft with an expertise in lyrics. Her styles of writing vary from pure Pop, Country, Urban, and Rap music. Notable co-writes have been with Louie Lastic (Maroon 5), Dayyon Alexander and Jeff Shum (Ella Mai, Dua Lipa, Demi Lovato), and Jasper Harris (Dababy, Mike Posner, Jaden Smith). Brooke has also been focusing on her own artist project. Writing on real experiences with heartbreak and internal struggles, her songs exude realness and relatability. Her songs have gained over 7.1 million streams, and her upcoming releases are highly anticipated.
Fresh from her repertoire, this single collides reality with fantasy in its relatable message, while pushing the lyrics to the extreme. Focused on an ex she admitted she couldn’t get over for the longest time, Daye uses imagery of an infamous murderer to tell her tale.
The thought of them would kill me over and over again. Sometimes love feels like death!!
~ Brooke Daye
“October Birds,” by Flower Face: Melancholic, Montreal indie songwriter, also known as Ruby McKinnon, creates folk music with a bedroom pop soul under a moniker. Taking inspiration from her own vertiginous life experiences, alongside such varied sources as Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, as well as Jesus Christ Superstar, the oeuvre of Mads Mikkelsen and her dog Ziggy, Flower Face’s musical testimonials recall the jagged emotion of Bright Eyes while conjuring the ethereal ecstasy of a fresh wound.
This single is the final release to come before the release of her debut album. Formed in the sound of a poetic and somber ballad, it shows her at her most intimate, while also highlighting her breathtaking harmonies blending with gentle acoustics.
This song is about the kind of self-revelation that leaves you mourning for the person you believed you were before,” explains McKinnon. “Any kind of growth is hard: it hurts to shed your skin. The layer underneath is tender. The lyrics get pretty blunt — more so than the others. I had somebody tell me once that the reason they loved my lyrics is because I have a way of ‘juxtaposing the poetic with the heartbreakingly mundane.’ I think that’s one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. I sort of unintentionally did that in this song because I was fed up when I wrote it: fed up with myself, with the way that I am and the fact that I couldn’t change that. At the time, I was in a relationship with somebody who was just unconditionally kind and understanding and forgiving. It brought my volatility into stark relief. Sometimes I feel like it’s easier for me to be in an unstable and fraught relationship because then I’m not forced to confront my own internal evil. Self-revelation is a painful (and very important) thing.
~ Flower Face
“Old Oaks,” by Memorial: This folk-pop duo, run by Jack and Ollie, showcases their songwriting spent apart in Brighton and Manchester. Voice memos zipped across the internet, all half thoughts and feelings seeking the other’s encouragement. It’s a career just a few songs deep through their project, but have gained a mass of support from music industry influencers, with a wave of support and enthusiasm, pushing them onward to keep releasing.
Following the enormous support for their previously shared offerings ‘Dialtone’, ‘Moth to a Flame’, ‘Fake Moon’, ‘Honest’, and ‘Latchkey’, which was recently nominated for Song of the Year at the AMA UK Awards, fast-rising folk-pop duo Memorial have now released their eagerly-awaited self-titled debut album through Lucy Rose’s Real Kind Records (Bess Atwell, Samantha Crain), alongside this breathtaking new single.
This album is the amalgamation of a few turbulent years in our lives, experienced in each other’s company. The majority of songs were written in the living room of a one bed, shared by 3 people in a period of time where no one was allowed to go outside. Over the years and more so since writing together, we’ve managed to create a space for each other where we could listen, without judgment and talk with full honesty. The general mantra for this album was “the hardest thing to say is probably the most important”. We endured a fair share of sadness, of which is evident in the songs. Trying to navigate heartbreak, loneliness and family issues in a time that offered minimal distraction, meant that we got pretty insular and tried to make something positive out of it. The backbone and bind of the whole album however is friendship and how much more hope there is when you can look beyond yourself because someone is there for you, things will get better and things will hurt less. It was a cathartic slog and we made something we will be forever wholeheartedly and insanely proud of. It’s out there, these songs are now yours and we hope you find as much comfort and enjoyment in them as we have.
“It Disappeared,” by Ghost Feet: After a hiatus to work on their own solo projects, this band is back, better than ever. The duo reconvened at a Portland studio during the pandemic to work on new music. Out of their studio sessions came the first single since their reunion. Rejecting a return to form, their newest single is soaked in rich guitar textures carried by cinematic melodies elevated by the silkiness of Jess’s ethereal voice.
During the pandemic, we took a new approach to songwriting, focusing more on live instrumentation with the intent to find a vocalist to collaborate with. It was the first song we wrote as a trio. The vision we had for “It Disappeared” came from our shared influence of 90’s era trip hop and shoegaze. Jess’s vocal contribution ultimately led the direction of the song, and the final version manifested from further experimentation in tones and texture.
~ Ghost Feet
“making out with vampires,” by Amanda Frances: Blending dreamy vocals and honest lyrics, this artist is emerging in the indie-electropop scene, hailing from Toronto. Spending the early chapters of her songwriting career learning from some of Nashville’s best, Music City’s distinct lyrical storytelling can be heard in her highly detailed and personal lyrics, for which she has been nominated multiple times by the International Songwriting Competition. The songstress’ catalogue shows a developed artistry, blending the skill of Nashville songwriting with a fresh electropop sound that feels true to what Frances embodies in spirit, style, and soul.
This fierce new single came to light after she learned what love should, and shouldn’t be, and how to protect her own energy. This single is a first look into her debut EP, attachment theory, set to drop later this year.
“Parasite,” by mehro: Back from SXSW and prepping for a spring tour, this rising artist is set to release much more music as they continue to rise in the industry. Releasing his first track in 2020, mehro’s rise to fame began in quarantine, and has been since heralded by music critics around the world as he approaches 100 million streams across platforms.
The latest from this artist is lush, layering strings and atmospherics over a driving acoustic guitar. Reflecting on his personal “parasite”, they confront those dark places he normally keeps hidden behind a mask of “silly faces.” A sense of self-awareness is best shown in the line, “victim trophies glistening fake gold/ and you won’t let go”. There is comfort in acknowledging when outward mistakes are rooted in trauma. But if there’s acknowledgement, that means it is time for the next step: putting in the work to heal and move forward.
“parasite” is the story of how something so grotesque can appear to be so beautiful; a toxic relationship that feeds off the hope of the unsuspecting heart. I wanted to create a sonic world that embodied the illusion of that deceptive beauty, and to tell that story uncompromised. To me this is alchemy.
“I’ll Love You,” by Mear: This indie pop collaboration between singer-songwriter Frances Miller and electronic composer Greg Harrison combines catchy melodies with their shared love of experimental music. Just released, the project’s debut LP, Soft Chains features an emotional journey they created together.
This single in particular tells a story about a breakup during the apocalypse, embracing its own cinematic nature as relatable emotions hit their peak. The idea of leaving someone you love behind, the idea of heroes, and the sacrifice that people make for others, particularly when the world is falling apart, stuck with the duo.
The song has three distinct sections which could be best interpreted as Anticipation, Storm/Conflict, Loss/ Mourning. We also wanted to leave space for the music to tell a story when the lyrics are absent, which allowed us to emphasize the moods of these sections.
“Don’t Let The Sun Set On Me,” by JAD: Toronto-based singer and songwriter evades definition, both accidentally, and intentionally. Caught between identities throughout their young life, this artist’s music follows. However, in no way are they lost; they exist in the multitudes and the in-between.
This warm, folk track encapsulates and holds close emotions through the songcraft that’s created. Feelings converge, “if only for a night,” they explain. And it still captures the longing and the yearning to make things last just awhile longer, for the sweetness of a moment to freeze in time and for life to stay just as it is in that stillness.
“i’ll be there,” by néomí: Following up the release of her stunning breakthrough singles ‘if i wasn’t made for love’ and ‘eyes filled with sky’ earlier this year, which have since been supported with critical acclaim, as well as landing a spot on major playlists, this artist, also known as Neomi Speelman, has now announced her plans for her eagerly-awaited debut EP ‘before’ alongside the soaring new single.
Much like her work so far, the new track ‘i’ll be there’ sees her elevate within her guise like never before. Stripping back much of the atmospheric production behind her recent cuts, this new release sees her sweeping voice ride across a simple and wistful acoustic-led composition to deliver one of the more intimate efforts on this new EP.
“i’ll be there’” is a song about being there (mentally) for one of your loved ones. Sometimes it is hard to make choices in life. Sometimes you have the feeling that everything comes down to you and that everyone is watching what you’re about to decide. Your head explodes and you can’t see clearly, and you just need someone to stand next to you and say; “no matter what, I’ll be there”. And I hope that people will feel that feeling throughout this song.
What did you think of this week’s releases? Let us know in the comments and listen to the songs in full through our very own playlist!