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Music Blog for Indie Pop Fans

SMAIBLUE drops soulful new release Fire Up Your Spirit

With a calming energy which will take many breaths into new waters, SMAIBLUE sizzles our attention with an elevated new release to stoke up those flames when we needed it most on Fire Up Your Spirit.

SMAIBLUE is a UK-based indie pop singer-songwriter who makes those transcendent songs which will fill the hearts of many who love something different to the norm.

In the deepest part of the Indonesian jungle there lies a dilapidated home; this being houses speaking if rusting music equipment. Multi-instrumentalist and varied songwriter Smaiblue began here in 2016.” ~ SMAIBLUE

Calmly holding our hands and flying us into something rather genuine, SMAIBLUE shall inspire many a soul to take charge of whatever is slowing down the progression. Saturated in realness and giving the world a beautifully composed effort to remember, this is a reminder that music can heal anything.

Fire Up Your Spirit from UK-based indie pop singer-songwriter SMAIBLUE is the type of track which will change many moods around. Moulded so sweetly and taking our spirits into a much better place, we find an experience which will surely give many a daydreamer-like daze to cherish for its terrific pureness.

Turn this up on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Niky Pasolini has unleashed her illuminating indie dream-pop single, Light On

Alt-Indie singer-songwriter, Niky Pasolini, will release her debut album, Update, on January 20th. We were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the standout dream-pop single, Light On; from the first ring of the alt-90s guitars and bleeding Shoegazey vocals, we were hooked into the vulnerably delicate self-produced hit. With engrossing reminiscence to Sixpence None the Richer in the guitars and the sense of sentimentality Light On is as illuminating as the title alludes.

The London-based artist wrote, created and recorded the entirety of the album in a makeshift studio in her basement to provide a refreshing antithesis to the extensively produced plastic pop that does little more than scratch at the superficial surface lyrically.

Light On will be available to stream with the rest of Niky Pasolini’s debut album, which documents her coming-of-age story, on January 20th via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

solos has unveiled his innocently sweet star-crossed indie-pop single, only mine

Recently, there has been a lot of demonising rhetoric about people crushing on their friends; the up-and-coming Boston-based artist and producer, solos, proved that it is completely possible to respect the friend you want to go further with through his single, only mine.

The melodic indie-pop single that pushes the accordance from the acoustic guitars to the front of the mix is an extension of resonance to everyone who finds themselves lamenting over the lack of mutual attraction but maintaining gratitude for the friendship.

The ornately mellow short and sweet track, complemented by the music video, is one of the purest things you will see and hear all year. His crystal-clear RnB-tinged pop harmonies against the mellifluous flow of the instrumentals are wholesomely transcendent.

The official video for only mine premiered on January 13th; watch it yourself on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Quick reload and it’s all G: Andre Bugatti drops sharpshooter single MY BAD, LEGIT (prod. AB)

Showing us his hustle mentality needed to get what you want in life, Andre Bugatti isn’t in the mood to play around and raps with diamond-fueled energy to get the party rocking on MY BAD, LEGIT (prod. AB).

Andre Bugatti is a hugely progressive Sydney, Australia-based indie hip-hop artist and music producer who grew up in beautiful New Zealand.

After impressing us with 2021’s realness anthem, Tell Me Your Lies, Andre Bugatti is brimming with total confidence in this quite outstanding sizzler to feel the heat with. Powerful and never lacking intention, this is one of those party tracks which shall surely never get old.

MY BAD, LEGIT (prod. AB) from Sydney, Australia-based indie hip-hop artist Andre Bugatti is one of those street-like tracks which is so hard to get out of the mind. Swirling with so much to get excited about and keeping it raw all the way, we find a mega-motivated track which might cause speakers to shudder in shock.

This is what real rap is all about. Turn it up.

Hear this new single on Spotify. See more on his socials.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Luchi shows us the weight of empty promises in his pop track, He Said

The Me + Tears Ain’t Strangers EP from the Glasgow-based Italian up-and-coming pop artist, Luchi is a meditation in mindful melancholy. The opening single, He Said, is the perfect introduction to the artist’s introspective candour that inspires empathy and reactive vulnerability in equal measure.

There’s nothing rawer than relaying all the empty promises when a relationship reaches an ennui-laden end, especially after we walked into the dynamic with hesitancy over vulnerability. When those red flags start to wave away every shallow word, we’re the ones left with the shame when it was never ours to carry. He Said stands as the ultimate affirmation of the disparity within romantic accountability.

Bringing new contemporary flair to the pop ballad, Luchi utilises climactic piano crescendos and tensile vocal progressions to stick to the roots before implanting modernist twists through the RnB nuances and utilisation of atmospheric reverb around the gently muted guitar strings that flow in synergy with the soft synths.

The Me + Tears Ain’t Strangers EP is due for official release on January 13th. Hear it on SoundCloud. Follow Luchi on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chris Cosmo sings the ‘Oblivion Blues’ in his kaleidoscopically melodic alt-indie debut single

Asbury Park, NJ-hailing solo artist Chris Cosmo set the bar for 2023 debut singles transcendentally high with his single, Oblivion Blues. In contrast to the titular melancholy, the alt-indie pop earworm unravels with dreamy, colourful accord spilling from the jangle pop guitars and vocal harmonies reminiscent of his main influence, the Beatles. Don’t worry; you’ve never walked down the yellow brick road in quite the same way as Oblivion Blues pushes you through. Lyrically, the single takes the opportunity to ponder the mechanics of doubt and its tendency to lead us away from our true paths.

Staying true to his motivation to drive infectious melodies and thoughtful lyrics into his music, Cosmo leaves stardust in the soul when he’s had his melodic way with you. With just enough of a contemporary kick behind the 60s psych-pop tones, you’ll be on a sonic plateau before the kaleidoscopic chorus runs through.

After falling head over heels for music at a young age, which left him inseparable from his guitar, he formed bands through his teenage years before his passion became an obsession following the disillusionment that ensued after graduating college. We can wholly relate, which goes a fair way in explaining the sticky-sweet resonance in Oblivion Blues.

Oblivion Blues will be available to stream from January 13th. Catch it on Soundcloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Felt This Way: Lucy Chan hopes for the perfect romance on Mr Apologetic

Waiting for that warm embrace and many kisses to make up for everything, Lucy Chan finds that her soul desires a proper soulmate who can make everything better on her stunning new single Mr Apologetic.

Lucy Chan is a Sydney, Australia-based indie pop singer-songwriter and student who loves the sound of the 80s and 90s and comes from an extraordinary musical family.

After recently sitting down with us for an incredibly honest interview filled with inspiration for all aspiring creatives, Lucy Chan shall heal all hearts with this superb single of significance. From calming our broken hearts on Love Motion Picture, this is a rather marvellous effort to hold hands with all evening long.

Mr Apologetic from Sydney, Australia-based indie pop singer-songwriter Lucy Chan is a truly transcendent release. We find a rather breathtaking effort which has been made with a crisp class which seems to be missing from our current world. This is a young musician with that extra motivation, to prove herself right and further cement her proud family’s creative heritage.

Turn this up on Spotify. See more via IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

J. Matthews needs to be pulled close on the essential soulful track to heal with called Wanderlust

With so many intriguing introspections and a speedy mind racing back at all those previous mistakes, J. Matthews desires his soul to be healed by an angelic wonder who is the only love he wants with Wanderlust.

J. Matthews is a USA-based indie pop singer-songwriter who has an experimental poet mentality which shall enrapture many intellects into a vortex of magnetic prospects.

Any story worth telling has its phases, its unique chapters, its unexpected twists, and J. Matts’ music captures this element through an unexpected, yet cohesive, rhapsody.” ~ J. Matthews

After growing up tough and sensing that his body is currently sinking underwater, J. Matthews searches for the truth that will set his spirit free forever on the immaculate new single Wanderlust. There is honesty in droves here and the ear-pleasing energy shows us a reflective release to ponder with and turn up for hours.

Wanderlust from USA-based indie pop singer-songwriter J. Matthews is one of the more emotionally expressive and brave soundtracks of 2023 so far. Sung with a pure purpose and drenched in so much to learn from for many who are massively in love, inside a world which has deceptive temptations lurking everywhere.

If you take time to rejuvenate, anything shall be possible moving forward.

Listen up on Spotify. See more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Lucy Chan Interview on A&R Factory: Mr Apologetic and letting us into her vulnerable new release

The A&R Factory Team recently had the pleasure of sitting down with the ultra-talented 19-year-old singer-songwriter and actress, Lucy Chan. Showing us deeply into her young music career so far, her debut album, and her love of film, we find a truly focused creative who is ready for world domination.

Hello there Lucy Chan. We truly appreciate you taking the time to speak with us. How are you doing today and please let us know where you are in the world as we speak?

Lucy: Hi!! Thank you so much for having me! I’m currently based in Sydney, Australia. I’m doing alright, hope you are too!

Mr Apologetic is your latest single and this is an absolute anthem. What does this song mean to you and what should listeners take from this experience?

Lucy: Thank you so much! This song is super close to my heart. I wrote this song about a person that meant a lot to me. It’s definitely my most vulnerable and honest song that I’ve released so far. I truly believe that everyone has a person in their love life that floats in and out, but it never really is the end of your story with them. It’s often that same person that you constantly forgive, even after everything that’s happened. So, I wrote this for that person in my life. This song is the second single from a project that I’ve been working on for a while – my debut album. I’m super excited to put it out there sometime this year, I feel like it’s definitely a lot more mature than my EP. The rest of the album also comes from a very honest place, which isn’t something that I really explored on my EP. It’s a scary thing to face your true emotions, but it’s also super important.

Songwriting is the one place where I can truly be myself, and completely face what I’m feeling and dealing with. Every song off my album comes from either a place of heartbreak or true happiness. As for what listeners should take from this experience, I really hope that everyone can relate to it on some level. I know everyone has that person in their life, so hopefully, this song can remind them of that person. If it provides some sort of escapism for listeners, then I’d be very content.

What is it like being the niece of the legendary band manager Leslie Chan? Does it add extra pressure on you or has it helped with your career instead?

Lucy: Honestly, coming from such a musical family, and being the niece of Leslie Chan has definitely helped with my career and goals a lot. My uncle is a very helpful and honest person when it comes to me and my career. Because of this, I am able to constantly improve my songwriting, and performing. I’m super grateful to have been guided by his advice so far in my career. It allows me to have greater expectations of myself as an artist so I’m definitely very grateful.

My mum has been a super helpful person in my life as well. She’s a Chinese classical musician, so her guidance has always been very appreciated. I am also classically trained – I began piano lessons at the age of 4, so having that kind of background has been a really great influence on my pop music. I definitely do acknowledge my privilege, and I’m super grateful for it. But I also feel that without hard work, nothing will work out. So even though there is that connection, there is a lot of hard work that comes after it.

Besides music, what else are you most passionate about at the moment?

Lucy: I’ve always been very passionate about film and acting, along with my music! During the pandemic, my dad managed to write a few short films, that are currently in the making. I got to be a part of it, so I’m super grateful for that. I’m currently on my uni break, so I’ve been working on a lot of my own scriptwriting and acting on the side as well. Fingers crossed that one day they’ll take off and become real films!

Please tell us more about your experiences at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and how the studies advanced your songwriting process and skillset in general.

Lucy: The con (which is the nickname for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music) is an incredible place. I just finished up my second year there, so I’m going into my third year this year! I study musicology at the con, which is so different from what I’m doing with my career, but it’s definitely helped a lot. Studying classical music, alongside theory subjects and music history has definitely shaped the way I compose my pop songs. When you study classical music, you’re essentially studying the basis for all music. It’s fundamental to any musician.

For example, when I sit down at my piano in my room to write songs, I always consider adding classical elements to my pop songs, even if it is a small factor. Most of the time, it’ll be a chord progression. Studying at the con is an amazing experience. You’re surrounded by the most talented musicians in the country, which gives you a lot of motivation to constantly improve your art. On the other hand, it gives you chances to work with other incredibly talented musicians.

What advice would you give to young artists trying to make it in this fickle business?

Lucy: I think that if you truly want to succeed in this industry, you have got to have a strong mindset, and the ability to deal with pressure and constant failure. You’ve got to focus on yourself and career, and not get distracted by anything that comes your way. In this industry, you’ll constantly be put down again and again, but if you’re able to grow and learn from those failures, and still keep trying, then you’re on the right road. It’s also important to remember that not everyone will like you, so if you’re ready to put up with all of that, and spend most of your time on your craft, then you’ll get somewhere.

Last question. What are your long-term goals in music and where do you see everything headed creative-wise?

Lucy: I’ve had the same goals in music for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to sing and write songs and perform them. I just want to keep making music and keep doing what I love and see where that takes me. I have so many dreams and goals – I’d love to move to Los Angeles after graduation. I have got a lot of improvement to do in my art, and a lot to learn, so I’m keen for that. As an artist, it’s crucial to constantly set new goals and try to improve yourself. There’s a lot of space for improvement in my music. Hopefully, in the next 10 years, I’ll be able to achieve my goals and aspirations for my career!

Listen up to this fine song on Spotify. View more news on her IG.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

Burning Me Up: Rising Pacific Northwest-based pop artist bubblegum boyfriend sees her looking for love on only one

Taken from the recently dropped 10-track Indie Exxdlena album, bubblegum boyfriend returns with the splendid new single to slow dance with all night called only one.

bubblegum boyfriend is a 27-year-old Texas-born music producer and pop artist who makes music to gain traction and encourage others to construct fun melodies to be satisfied inside.

when you want a new dedicated boyfriend, bubblegum boyfriend could be your only one.” ~ bubblegum boyfriend

With merch for days and a cool cat vibe which shows his progression up those slippery ranks of fame, bubblegum boyfriend has dropped a passionate single to get seduced inside. Finding someone worth the effort despite all the noise outside, this is a hugely impressive track to place on repeat.

only one from the Pacific Northwest-based indie pop artist and music producer bubblegum boyfriend is one of the hottest songs available right now. Sung with romantic energy which shows us how to meet the one, we find a superb track with a happy story so many will be motivated by.

When your eyes lock into a soulmate, all other distractions disappear forever.

Listen up on Spotify. See more energy on his IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen