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A&R Factory Present: Jay Pray

Today Connecticut’s Jay Pray reveals the gripping, moody, lovelorn official video for fan favorite I’d Go Anywhere (Do Anything), which premiered with Northern Transmissions. The Wild Honey Pie also debuted the full album stream earlier this week, offering fans an early glimpse into Jay Pray’s repertoire.  

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.
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Music

A&R Factory Present: The Band Royale

The Band Royale was born out of love for big guitar riffs, an appreciation for the finer things, and a mutual obsession with science fiction. And they are able to sneak these things into their sound without scaring off the opposite sex.

Brothers Joel, Nate, and Zach Bauman grew up in the working-class town of Kalamazoo, MI, each with an immediate passion for music (passed down from their parents — their mother, a music teacher and their father, a school principal). At an early age, their shared obsessions with music, sports, and culture made the pursuit of playing in a band together an obvious choice. Once they moved to Chicago, they teamed up with Louisville, KY native Marc Najjar (also with a strong Music Education background and a love of heavy riffs and sports) to make the heaviest music they could that would inspire some serious baby-making.

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Music

A&R Factory Present: B O K E H

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, raised in Wellington, New Zealand, Chloë Lewer grew up too shy to ever sing in front of anyone. Instead, she spent her childhood and university years working as an actress. At age 21, she met a filmmaker who persuaded her to start a ukulele busking adventure with him in Berlin, which quickly developed into a touring band called ‘Charity Children’ with two albums under their sleeves over five years.

As the relationship turned to friendship and the band went into hiatus, Chloë sought new artistic endeavours. Teaming up with Dutch writer/producer Wouter Rentema, also the drummer of ‘Charity Children’, the pair spent the Summer of 2016 locked inside various studios about the German capital and recording synths in a disused chapel in The Netherlands, developing what would become Chloë’s artistic alter-ego: B O K E H.

‘Don’t Leave The Fire’ feels like the diary no one was ever meant to find. The highs and lows of life and love lost are explored over a six track EP, in what is clearly a very personal musical letter. Intimate, sincere vocals, charged by an epic Electropop production with obvious 80s influences, expose B O K E H’s world and all the colourful, beautiful and painful spots of her imaginarie.

‘I Know You Know’, the first single from the EP, is scheduled for release Feb 17th, 2017.

Music

A&R Factory Present: Ruby Empress

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.

Words: Yusuf Tamanna
Music

A&R Factory Present: Magic City Hippies

Tarantino trip-hop meets dusty, rock-and-roll-infused, post-apocalyptic R&B in the Magic City Hippies’ new make-up-sex-inspired jam, ‘HUSH.’ Ethereal guitars glide alongside smoky vocal game-spitting and whistling soul organ, all grounded in the heavy booms, baps, snaps, and bouncing 808s of a Timbaland-style banger. But make no mistake, the rock knob was not twisted gently during the torrent of feedback and buzzsaw guitar riffage that rounds out the tune before it disintegrates into the fattest future-funk you’ve heard all week.

‘HUSH’ is the Hippies’ first release in the wake of their Spotify Viral 50-topping track ’Fanfare’, which has collected over 1.7 million streams since it was released as a part of the Hippie Castle EP back in July 2015. All of this follows up a streak of Hype Machine-ranking tracks from their back catalog under former name Robby Hunter Band in 2013, from which songs have recently resurfaced on network TV shows like The CW’s iZombie and Showtime’s Ray Donovan.

Having just returned from their first regional US tour, the self-proclaimed “indie funk” trio is planning on stepping out of Miami for more pending tour dates while wrapping up their second full-length for release this summer.

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