Check out our picks for this week!

“Unlikely,” by Kharfi: Born in Italy with Moroccan roots, Kharfi is one of the youngest producers in the Italian EDM scene, and has already performed at some of Italy’s biggest festivals; receiving support from top artists like Kiesza, Diplo, The Chainsmokeers, and more! One of his latest hits is a collaboration with Xuitcasecity- a pop/hip-hop duo from Tampa, Florida. The track syncs in clean beats with one smooth transition after another.

“California,” by Austin Freeman & The Hard Souls: Austin Freeman & The Hard Souls Band hail from the tip end of the San Francisco Bay. Formed in early 2019 the band have been forming a sound behind the strong lyrics and vocals of front man Austin Freeman. Austin and the Hard Souls have a sound that is both unique and somehow familiar at the same time. From their first release “Ain’t Hard Too Choose” the band has been featured on radio stations across the country and written up in the foreign press.

We are wrapped into the emotional track with a true country soul. The acoustic guitar pours in as a second voice as the lead vocals evoke beautifully gripping storytelling; a journey to California to break free from the bonds of boundary and blooming into one’s full potential.

“Not Afraid of the Dark,” by JOLENE, Merry Ellen Kirk: JOLENE is what you might call a glitch in the matrix; she slipped in through a crack in the outer realm, the dimension of dreams, a world which we call HEMISPHERES. You’ve been there before, it’s the place on the other side of the mirror, where you go when you’re sleeping… you might not remember, that’s okay.

The emotional elasticity Merry Ellen Kirk carries in her music connects with audiences on a primal level with perceptions and associations both tangible and dream-like. Combining the charming naivety in her tracks with the experience of both pain and loss, her music sways between the dichotomy of a fairytale romance and the richest emotions we’ve all felt in our hearts — all wrapped in bell-ringing folk songwriting.

The two artists combine in this collaboration. Introducing this single, we are wrapped into the chilling experience of the shaky vocals battling their fear of the darkness. Harmonies blend in to add to the haunting scene as piano compliments the two artists in the background. The track becomes a beautiful and vulnerable take into the internal battle against giving in to the dark; whether its depression, anxiety, or something else, is up to your imagination.

“From the Cradle to the Grave,” by Assorted Orchids: Having spent the preceding seventeen years living in locales ranging from Boston to Los Angeles to NYC to Scotland to Shanghai and points in between, splitting time between work and personal endeavors, Assorted Orchids sprung up slowly over time, from the rare quiet moments afforded in between places. It was back in his home town for the first time in nearly two decades that McWilliams, afforded far more quiet than usual as a result of quarantine, began to finally flesh out the scraps, drafts, vignettes, and sketches that accumulated along his path: the Assorted Orchids that grew along the way.

This folk track rose in our radar with its crisp vocals blending into the acoustic guitar. Ballad-like and vulnerably poetic in its writing, you can sense the flames in the eyes and envision the story the lyrics created throughout the performance.

“Under the Stars,” by The Sadderdays: Lead singer and guitarist, Hayley Kempsell, formed The Sadderdays in 2017 after moving to Nashville, TN with the hopes of creating a band that would help cultivate the sounds she’d been dreaming up on her own. Through friendships new and old, she found four musicians whose talent and style add to her own. At a show in Mobile, AL, in 2018 the singer was noticed by 3 time Grammy® Award winning Engineer/Producer, Trina Shoemaker. Since then, the band has gone on to record a debut 4 song EP with Trina and is proud and excited to soon share their music on all platforms. With a soft, yet determined vocal delivery of each honest, heartfelt lyric, this collection of songs is meant to make you feel. As the band jokingly likes to put it, “we slow rocked the shit out of that.” And they do. Each and every time.

The latest single is an acoustic masterpiece. Harmonizing vocals conflict and match energies in an internal war over the mind as the descent into love and anxiety of losing someone dear hits its peak.

“Static,” by Hannah Barnett: After growing up playing drums, guitar and piano, and listening to a mix of folk and rock, singer-songwriter and producer Hannah Barnett first made an impression in 2015 on Soundcloud with a release of an electronic pop track, “Nails,” which quickly gathered streams and garnered industry attention. After a hiatus to focus on mental health, she developed her own sound and ventured into a new love of composing for screen at the National Film & Television School. This artist is back again with new content and a new fire of passion for her craft– with a sound more sonically honest, bold, personal and genre-defiant. Now entirely self-produced and unapologetic, this is Hannah’s music reborn and more authentic – ultimately a folk singer-songwriter but this time with rock guitar solos and big drums reminiscent of Stevie Nicks underneath Hannah’s emotive Eva Cassidy-like vocals in a blend of folk, pop and rock which ponders both personal turmoil as well as bigger questions of life’s meaning.

Her latest single, “Static,” entered listening platforms last Friday. The vocals are equally as gripping as they are powerful in nature. The acoustic and folk elements blend into the scene of the world she creates while she takes center stage, vocals showcased at the track’s emotional peak.

“Shiraz,” by Myrna Di: Sydney-based artist inspired by cabaret and glamour, Myrna’s vocals are the first thing to hook you in when listening to her music. Equally seductive as it is empowering in sound, her vocals blend into the soundscape as a unique instrument of its own. Her latest release is no exception to this. Shiraz: a kind of black wine grape, is the main visual focal point throughout the track, as it dances around the allure and poetic nature of a relationship gone sour.

“Forever Goodbye,” by Koka: Singer, songwriter, and performer born in Albania, based in Berlin, KOKA offers a multi-dimensional experience throughout her artistic and experimental pop sound, particularly in her latest release. Changing intensities while adding a layer of mysticism, these qualities make for a memorable sound that sticks in the brain long after the song is done playing. Her track blends the melancholy with optimism; though goodbyes happen, they create a new beginning of opportunity and hope. In the alluring lyrics she conveys the end of a relationship due to not only differences, but not recognizing who the person is anymore. Rather than be bound to the ties still, she chooses to push forward and move on.

“Deep Blue,” by Nick Kingswell: Australian singer-songwriter living in London, Nick writes and produces all their music from the comfort of their home. Since releasing “Swim” in 2017, they’ve travelled to Toronto, Canada to work on his debut album with producer James Bunton (Donovan Woods). The album was fulfilled in 2020, and next we are here to witness the next project toward a possible new album. “Deep Blue,” one of two singles released a little over two weeks ago, creates the perfect indie acoustic scape that fill the being with the confidence of conquering any mountain that comes in the way. Inspiring exploration and creation, and the beauty in the world around us, this track is filled with hope for the future.

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

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