MX Strong’s latest single, Too Far, is full of angsty, hooky, pop-punk energy. Anyone who grew up with their iPods full of Blink 182 will want to pay attention.
The up and coming artist takes plenty of inspiration from Machine Gun Kelly, Jack Harlow and SuicideBoys, which you will note through the lyrics; for his sonic palette, MX Strong relied on his authenticity to set himself apart.
As someone who grew up in the 90s, a time when there was little overlap between alt genres and urban artists, there’s nothing better than seeing the outliers of society converging around unifying sound. MX Strong has been an integral part of that cultural coalescence. His ability to appeal to a wide audience is reflected in his streaming stats and the loyalty of his fans.
Too Far was officially released on September 17th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.
Abi Mia’s latest piano pop ballad, Shadow, is easily one of the timeliest singles that we’ve heard this year; for the lyrics, she looked deep into the collective misery and burnout surrounding her, sonically, she constructed a compelling case for self-care that is impossible to ignore.
Our self-destructive need to work ourselves to exhaustion determination to be fine with everything our chaotic world throws at us is something that has been eating away at us since long before the lockdowns, but right now is the perfect time for a conversation. Abi Mia leads that dialogue with her soul-baring single that will quickly convince you to strip away your façade and allow the single to resonate with you on a deeper level.
The only question that the radio-ready orchestral ballad leaves you with is why isn’t she already a multi-platinum artist? It is only a matter of time before Abi Mia is scouted for her distinct vocals that only allow fleeting reminiscence while boasting the same robust propensities as Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Adele.
Shadow is due for release on September 17th. Check it out for yourselves on SoundCloud.
The Anchoress recently spoke out in her article in the Guardian about the ableist nature of the music industry that has ostracised her from live music; a similar experience is shared by the Shropshire, UK-based artist, Dandy.
Driven by the determination to see fair representation and visibility of disabled artists in the mainstream music industry, Dandy recorded a demo of her debut album, The Cycle, in 2020. The standout single, In Their Shoes, attacks the injustices that consistently happen due to the fundamentally broken fabric of our society as the piano melodies that will score well with Nick Cave fans support Dandy’s beguilingly baroque vocals.
In Their Shoes has the power to leave you as sobered as a Ken Loach film, while the demure artful grace of Dandy draws you deeper into the reality for the disabled and chronically ill.
In Their Shoes is available to stream along with Dandy’s debut album on Spotify.
To make sure that the listener’s heartstrings are well and truly tugged, alt-indie rock artist .Wav Rider’s latest acoustic single, Step Away, unravels as a heart-wrenching duet featuring vocals from Nikki Silva.
Step Away captures that fraught moment when the realisation that a situation is no longer healthy hits. Despite his sweet and affable indie pop-rock vocals, you feel every ounce of affectional agitation.
When Nikki Silva’s come into the choral and sun-bleached soundscape, the narrative becomes multifaceted, serving as a stark reminder that no matter how much time you spend with someone, or how well you know someone, there are some things that you will never see eye to eye on, mostly because you stop looking and want to turn away completely.
Any fans of Frank Turner, AJJ, Neck Deep and All Time Low won’t want to sleep on this release.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but nothing *quite* comes close to the intrigue and beauty that transpires in façade-less expression that utilises mania instead of suppressing it. Case in point, Irene Wilde’s visceral Avant-Pop release, Righteous Virtuous Woman. The stylish art pop single allows you to imagine what Warpaint would sound like if the lyrics and vocals delved into the depths of their madness instead of scratching at the surface of emotion.
Fans of Emilie Autumn, Amanda Palmer, Tori Amos and Bjork won’t want to wait around hitting play on this colourfully tumultuous firestorm of untamed passion that unravels to cascading piano keys, jarring progressions and erratically fierce vocals.
Righteous Virtuous Woman is now available to stream on YouTube.
Michigan-based composer and orchestrator Tony Manfredonia has released his Lost at SeaEP, featuring the modern masterpiece, Midnight. Even if you’re accustomed to listening to intense OSTs, Midnight is enough to leave you feeling like Alex in the infamous Clockwork Orange aversion therapy scene.
Tony Manfredonia spreads his talent between composing and orchestrating for video games, concert halls and the airwaves. His ability to command aural alchemy through colourful orchestration and emotionally charged narratives has allowed the artist to tour the globe with the Apollo Chamber Players, the Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra and the University of Cambridge Concert Band.
Like all of his pieces, Midnight is enough to challenge your existing perception of talent. The sheer ethereal artistry pulsating through this orchestral piece is enough to trigger your emotional responses; when you throw in the expression of passion in this striking score, you’ll be left breathless.
Even though using the weather as a parable for complex emotions isn’t exactly novel, independent bedroom pop artist A-Mar’s single, Raining in New Orleans, proves there’s still plenty of poignant poetry to be pulled from our stormy, unpredictable weather systems.
Vocally, there is plenty of reminiscence to the likes of Jack Johnson, but it is in the instrumentals where A-Mar truly comes into his own. His soulful infusion of indie, blues and jazz in the cathartically laidback single sets him leagues apart from his contemporaries and icons alike. If this is what he can achieve alone in his bedroom, we’re all too eager to hear where the future takes him and his tender, instantly magnetic expression.
Raining in New Orleans is now available to stream along with the artist’s debut album, Around El Mundo, via Spotify.
‘Visions’ is the latest dreamily psychotropic dance-pop release from the independent Australian artist and producer Alice Payne. After releasing her debut synth-pop track, Drive, earlier this year, the hype is steadily garnering around her emotionally charged, sonically cathartic style.
The reverb-swathed soundscape starts with an ethereal indie trip-hop prelude before the downtempo four-to-the-floor beat starts to kick in to create a solid structure for the ensnaring track to capture you within.
With the teasing progressions, aural curveballs and enigmatic sense of intrigue in Visions, you couldn’t ask for a better chillwave playlist staple.
King Brian, AKA Brian Christopher Brown, is an American singer-songwriter, dancer, filmmaker and producer; he poured all of his cinematic poise into his latest single, Reparations. Starting with the hard-hitting lyrics ‘we’ve been cursed for so long, but we are still strong’, emotional investment in the single is non-optional.
His latest single does plenty more than just run you through 400 years of sufferance and oppression; it acts as a celebration of every triumph over adversity. King Brian takes plenty of influence from artists such as Michael Jackson, Tupac and Prince; there may not be much sonic resemblance in the soundscape. Yet, Reparations undoubtedly carries the same sense of soul that will test your own soul’s capacity to feel.
The Radio Edit of Reparations is now available to stream and purchase via Bandcamp.
‘Peace in the Sky’, featuring vocalist, Ellen Mara, is easily the most hypnotic RnB trip pop single so far from the jazzy instrumental duo Mid Ground. The easy movements of the notes remind you of how sweet freedom can feel as the lyrics do the same.
The single switches the RnB narratives that consistently chase and mourn lust; it delivers a reminder that the only person worth finding is yourself. By playing with rich, ethereal and electrifying textures, the lush reverb-swathed grooves in Peace in the Sky leave you absorbed from start to finish. My soul feels infinitely lighter for hearing this tranquil yet fierce affirmation that independence is infinitely more rewarding than co-dependence.
Peace in the Sky was officially released on September 17th; you can check it out for yourselves via Bandcamp & SoundCloud.