Justin Romanos learned how to make music growing up in rural Connecticut, both by playing and by recording in his own makeshift home studio. During college at Drexel University’s Music Industry Program, he found a home with likeminded peers, and gained the nickname, “J Pré.” He honed his craft by continuously writing, and spent much of his time in the close knit Philadelphia basement community, where he fronted the indie rock band SHMNS. After graduating college in 2014, he moved back to Woodbury, CT to regroup, refocus, and reinvent himself as a musician. He spent the last two years writing and recording songs for this album as well as many, many others that may never see the light of day. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud
Having already amassed 500K plays on Soundcloud, Ruby Empress, with their brand of Scandinavian indie pop, are clearly building up quite the following.
Ahead of the release of the band’s 6-track EP Empressionism out later this week, Ruby Empress have treated fans to a piece of synth pop perfection with their latest offering; Escapism Deluxe.
The track boasts a truly bountiful production. Piecing together elements of electronica, synth and pop behind a thumping baseline probably sounds like a lot all happening at once, but Tom Serner’s light vocals work brilliantly against the amalgamation of sounds.
The song kicks off bubbling under the surface to only then erupt into full-blown euphoria. It may feel like you’re being transported to another world, but you want to stick around to see where else this song can take you.
In the past few years Sweden has really been at the forefront of producing excellently crafted pop songs and stars. With the likes of Tove Lo and Zara Larsson already establishing themselves as ones to watch, Ruby Empress can now be added to the list of Scandinavian acts showing the rest of the world how to do pop properly.
Based out of Los Angeles, CA, Heffron Drive is an Alt Pop band started in 2008 by lead singer Kendall Schmidt and Guitarist Dustin Belt. The duo began making music together when they were teenagers. Both Kansas natives met while living on the same street in Burbank, CA called Heffron Drive, which ultimately inspired the name of their band.
Before Heffron Drive had a chance to take off, Kendall booked the lead of a television show/music group and gained worldwide popularity as the lead Singer of the Nickelodeon/Columbia Records project Big Time Rush. After 5 years of success, Kendall, alongside guitarist, Dustin Belt, got back in the studio together as Heffron Drive.
The two best friends and band mates have been busy touring all parts of the world since the revival of Heffron Drive. From Europe to South America, the Philippines and all over the US. Their first album Happy Mistakes was released in 2015, shortly followed up by Happy Mistakes: Unplugged; per the fans request for an acoustic album. Happy Mistakes is a soaring example of how pure songwriting can be. The music is thoughtful and meticulously crafted to go along with lyric and melody that pull on every individual heart string.
So far the band has only impressed and they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. With the release of their two new singles “Rain Don’t Come” and “Don’t Let Me Go” in 2016 they have brought a new sound to their music that has pleasantly surprised the fans and attracted new listeners. These two new singles push the limits of what HD is all about; unforgettable music. “Rain Don’t Come” is a heart racing track full of desert vibes and incredibly thoughtful production. “Don’t Let Me Go” is the new sound for the project, showing the love that Heffron Drive has for electronic music while keeping their unique sound alive.
The band has been hard at work in the studio writing and producing new music. Their first new song of 2017, “Living Room”, was released January 13th, followed by an EP entitled “The Slow Motion EP” released February 10th. They will be playing a few shows in Mexico in January, and then of to Europe for a full European tour in February.
Blending and layering hints of modern Alt-Pop and 80’s nostalgia, Lavoy is Alternative’s answer to Ellie Goulding.
Since their polished synth-laden take on dance party rhetoric hit the airwaves in early 2014, the charismatic collective have brought new meaning to the term ‘entertainment’, while the unassuming audience finds themselves persuaded into letting the movement take over and soon realise they’ve given way to the luring sound. Founded on and fuelled by the principles of quality dance tracks and the pure elation the 5-piece displays while performing, the alt pop visionaries that make up Lavoy are ascending beyond the forest of new industry talent with a great bit of confidence and more fervor than most seem to muster in a life time.
“Friend is about the value of others individually and the influence that relationship can have on someones life. I wanted to make a statement on the currency of friendship… that a friend is alive in this particular time to influence a moment in ones life is a powerful thing and a position of great stature. Todays world has benefited technology advancement and many other thing in great ways, but we’ve unknowingly been distracted by these things and I believe the art of friendship is becoming a lost art and has been sacrificed up in exchange for convenience and ease. This song was written when we first left our home in Alaska and is highly influenced by our friends that we left behind when the band moved to Washington. There’s nothing quite like leaving home to cause you to stop taking your relationships for granted and seeing the value in them.” – singer Tyrell L. Tompkins
Lavoy’s forthcoming EP, produced by Casey Bates (Portugal.The Man, INXS, Pierce The Veil, MxPx) will be in stores later this year.
Leeds indie/pop quartet Victors have announced the release of their new single ‘Two Hearts’ for June 17th. Produced by Andy Hawkins (Maximo Park, Kaiser Chiefs), ‘Two Hearts’ is an immense and infectious festival-ready piece of premeditated pop. Speaking of the track, lead vocalist Harry explains: ‘It originates from personal experience of past relationships, it explores the physical as opposed to the emotional’. It follows on from the buoyant, bright debut ‘Tonight’ announcing the band’s forceful arrival onto the 2016 new music scene.
The anticipated track is the first new material since the band’s critically acclaimed debut single was released in early April. ‘Tonight’ was featured by a variety of publications and was also supported by respected industry aficionados including Huw Stevens via his BBC Radio 1 show and Charlie Ashcroft of Radio X who commented the track was ‘absolutely stunning!’. They also performed the track as part of Youtube’s Reload Sessions at their headquarters in London.
Victors have been on the radar of the likes of BBC Introducing for some time after making huge waves last year out of their native Leeds. The band hold their own when faced with mammoth crowds after a variety of sell-out support slows including The Pierce Brothers at London’s O2, Billy Lockett at the Brudenell and hotly tipped Lisbon who recently appeared at the infamous Oporto.
The debut EP and full UK tour is expected for later in 2016.
After a successful run at SXSW, KYTES return with their new Single “I Got Something” featuring a remix by Berlin’s hotly tipped producer, Robot Koch.
Celebrated in their native Germany, Newcomer KYTES have grown from strength to strength over the past year with their releases of their acclaimed singles “Inner Cinema” and “On the Run”. Charting on German radio, winning accolades and kudos from broadsheet media and blogs locally, the band look to to take their inimitable sound further abroad; taking their cross over indie-dance grooves to this year’s SXSW.
KYTES also impressed the powers of Vodafone Germany, who immediately chose “On The Run” to soundtrack the new Vodafone CallYa Campaign nationwide.
“I Got Something” creates a positive feeling, telling us to look ahead in life, to take the leap and try something new.
Remix duties come courtesy of XLR8R favourite, Robot Koch, who lends his melodic, delicate touch to the track. His organic, textured productions were deemed “wonderful and strange” by the late and great John Peal.
KYTES’ new single “I Got Something” is definitely a song “you should try”. The single and remix are now available in all digital stores.
KYTES will appear at a series of festivals this summer including MELT! Festival and Dockville in Hamburg.