Browsing Tag

LA Pop

Experience the intimate opulence of Jonathan Thomas Maiocco’s cinematic pop ‘Heaven’

Jonathan Thomas Maiocco’s latest single, Heaven, is a cinematic pop production far too arcane to dissect; each element converges and creates a divine intervention of vulnerability, exhibited with aching sincerity, thematic intensity, and profound artistry.

The distinction within his harmonic inflections, his ability to come across as the virtuoso next door and the progressive ingenuity of Heaven ensures the single reaches the epitome of striking an emotional chord.

Using the afterlife as a parable for the degree of separation following the dissolution of a relationship that leaves you feeling beneath your former significant other is a striking ode to the artist’s ability to tune into meta phenomena to bring profound meaning to the most tormenting aspects of our mortal coil.

Heaven is the ultimate paradox for the way Jonathan Thomas Maiocco fuses chamber pop opulence and drama with the intimacy of introspection with neither aspect diminished by the gravity of the other. The Atlanta-born singer, songwriter and producer’s strong foundation in music composition evidently culminated in this expansive tour de force.

He’s come a long way from his Christian music beginnings to producing for the Grammy-Award-winning artist for KING & COUNTRY to releasing his debut in 2019. After moving to LA in 2020, Jonathan Thomas Maiocco has written for hit Netflix and ABC shows, including Russian Doll and Carol and the End of the World. Yet, if you tune into his new album, Religious Trauma Syndrome, you’ll find that’s his biggest achievement so far. It’s stunning enough to simultaneously tear your soul apart and lead you to nirvana.

Heaven was officially released on the 29th of April; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lana Oniel reached the pinnacle of cerebral electro-pop with her darkly ensnaring sophomore single, hypothalamus

After finding her fire in the City of Angels, Lana Oniel put the devil on her shoulder to release her darkly ensnaring sophomore single, hypothalamus, which reaches the pinnacle of cerebral electro-pop.

The moodily spectral release seductively defies the pop mould with a vocal delivery which finds a way to stylise histrionic eccentricity and a beat that consistently switches, never allowing you to feel complacent in the aesthetic. hypothalamus wasn’t orchestrated to entice you into comfort; Oniel efficaciously used her early years in musical theatre to confront her rapidly growing audience with an earworm which makes no bones about using its claws to sink into your synapses.

If you can imagine meeting Lady Gaga in a dark and nefarious dream soundtracked by Melleefresh and Chelsea Wolfe, you’ll get an idea of what awaits when you delve into this perfect follow-up to Oniel’s debut, Hard Just to Be.

Hypothalamus was officially released on November 2nd. Stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Skinny G Radio’s latest hit ‘Whatcha Gonna Do?’ is a euphoric indie earworm worth tuning in for.

Skinny G Radio rode their authentic indie pop signature across the cosmos in the latest exuberantly sweet hit, Whatcha Gonna Do? The sugared-with-uninhibited passion vocal lines run in parallel to the experimental instrumentals which dabble in 80s new wave nostalgia while carrying the histrionic flair of a polyphonic pop opera. It is impossible not to get swept up by the soul in this loved-up hit that is potent enough to give even the most melancholic nihilists lust for life.

By taking influence from Billy Joel, Mark Ronson, and John Mayer and always staying true to his own rapturously distinctive style, the Connecticut-born & raised LA-based songwriter, producer, and performer is an unforgettable indie pop icon who is set to make major waves with the release of his sophomore LP, The Heightening, which is due for release in 2024. Whatcha Gonna Do is just a taste of what the rest of the presumably infectiously hook-y album will deliver.

Whatcha Gonna Do is due for release on November 10th; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Riley Rex took her staunch fanbase to ‘The Shadowy Place’ in her hyper-pop Halloween floor-filler

The dance-pop icon Riley Rex asserted her claim to the LA pop crown with her infectiously flawless Halloween hit, The Shadowy Place. It may just be the biggest Halloween hit since Kernkraft 400 delivered Zombie Nation in 1999. It at least stands up to the debauched decadence in Emerge by Fischerspooner while incorporating the contemporary magnetism of Dua Lipa, Ava Max, and Charli XCX.

By contrasting the dark lyrical themes with the hypersonic textures and upbeat pace in the polished production, Rex extended euphoria to those who need it most with The Shadowy Place, which breaks EDM pop boundaries in definitively sensuous style.

The single, which was written while she was enrolled on a course with One Republic’s Ryan Tedder, is a narration of the escapist ideation which consumes you when you’re stuck in a pit of anxiety and depression. The bass-driven electro-pop hit may not have what it takes to cure mental illness, but you couldn’t ask for a more potent sonic serotonin source.

The Shadowy Place hit the airwaves on October 6; stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ines Belayouni delivered a hit of pure wanton decadence with ‘Attention’

In her two-year stint away from the airwaves after dropping her debut single, The Way You Make Me Feel, in 2021, Ines Belayouni has been hard at work honing her sound into one that stirs the soul, mesmerises rhythmic pulses and epitomises the phenomenon of the perennial pop earworm.

With her latest single, Attention, the Tunisian LA-residing singer who has been ingrained in the arts from a young age and has dominated the live circuit in jazz and pop circles, unveiled a fusionist masterpiece which transcends genres and era hallmarks to deliver a hit of pure wanton decadence.

Even though we can all relate to the innate desire for attention, it took a brave artist with a sublimely soulful vocal register to turn the trait into a sonic experience of pure empowered seduction. Ines Belayouni invigorated the smooth 80s RnB pop motifs that proliferate the synthetics of the track to an addictively infectious degree. It is only a matter of time before she moves from criminally underrated to critically acclaimed. Be part of her ascent from the underground.

Attention is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

LA’s most harmonic pop-rock pioneer, Johnathan Dax, evoked mindfulness in his latest single, These Are the Days

Johnathan Dax spun the ’60s psych-pop tones through a spacy, future-ready kaleidoscope to orchestrate his odyssey of a single, These Are the Days.

The single efficaciously finds a poignantly compelling way to prove that these times may not be perfect, but on this point on the space-time continuum, they’re all we have, and they were made for living in.

Our era may be choked with a wanton lust for nostalgia, but if any spacey pop-rock sonic universe can bring you back to the present and give you lust for contemporary life, it’s These Are the Days, which picks up momentum through rock licks toward the outro, while emanating the liberating transcendence of an ELO epic.

These Are the Days will be available to stream from the 17th of August; hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

ARO’s fierce femme aesthetic picked up luscious vehemence in her moody synth-pop single, Let Me Go


The LA-hailing singer-songwriter ARO singlehandedly defined the future of pop with her debut evocative synth masterpiece, Let Me Go.

With far more soul than your average earworm and her sonic signature scribing distinction through every succinct progression, this emotionally heated hit is the ultimate moody moving-on anthem.

By painting with light and dark tones, the process of coming into your own away from what no longer serves you was euphonically visualised in Let Me Go. With just as much lyrical depth as Mitski and Louise Dacus paired with an electro-pop score that cushions the blows of the sharp lyricism with lush reverb, it is only a matter of time before ARO is considered LA pop royalty.

“So much of my art is about giving the darker parts of myself a platform. There are these aspects of myself that cannot be tamed, and so instead of beating my head against a wall trying to control them I’ve found that my art allows me to be in relationship with them. When I write I’m not butting in to tell them how they should be, I’m not trying to get them to behave, or do better, or have a positive outlook, I’m just letting that part of me speak freely. And I learn a lot about myself through this process.”

Check out Let Me Go on all major streaming platforms from July 28, or hit ARO’s official website for more info.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ava Elay – Spell of the Heart: Poetry in Theatrical Pop Motion.

At 15 years old, Ava Elay is already proving to be an unreckonable talented force; her latest single, Spell of the Heart, arrestingly exhibits her unconventionally poetic composition style and the deft touches she puts on her histrionically melodic progressions, undoubtedly influenced by her time studying the dramatic arts in LA.

With vocal lines which carry the same mainstream pop appeal as Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus and swathes of darkly infectious ingenuity within the instrumentals to give her sound an irresistible mutant pop touch, Spell of the Heart is poetry in theatrical pop motion.

Ava Elay has been exploring themes of passion and love since 2019, with her official debut single, Eternity, arriving in 2021. She may be young, but clearly, the singer-songwriter and pianist has exactly what it takes to be as influential as Mitski and Lucy Dacus with the romantic depth within her sonorously beguiling hits.

Through Spell of the Heart, Elay paid homage to the all-consuming nature of obsession, and how impossible it is to escape it once you have embraced it. As many poets have observed, falling in love is the only socially acceptable form of madness; few wordsmiths allude to the visceral sensation as succinctly and viscerally as Elay.

Spell of the Heart debuted on June 30; hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Ella Rossi negated adorated anxiety in her ethereal indie soul pop sophomore single, Linen

Ella Rossi

After finding her voice as a jazz singer, the LA-born, Montreal-based artist Ella Rossi has flourished as one of the most seminal RnB Pop singers of her generation. With a vocal timbre as rich as the staccato guitar chords, few ethereal indie RnB Pop soundscapes spill as much tonal sanctity as her sophomore single, Linen, which explores the sensual highs and the tormenting lows of a relationship you can’t leave in the rearview mirror, despite never knowing where you stand in it, or how the severe the wounds will be when time finally closes on it.

With a vocal range so luxe and rich it would make Elon Musk feel inferior, Ella Rossi is a diamond in the rough; it is only a matter of time before major record labels want to mine her. Her capacity to captivate with her honeyed harmonies and so-radiant-they-glow soundscapes is second to none. Rossi is the ultimate proof that if you stay in your own creative lane, there will be no one out of your expressive league.

Ella Rossi said:

“Linen is about a passionate but complicated relationship and being unable to resist the attraction, despite the potential consequences. The lyric, “wrapped in this linen”, represents a sense of comfort and intimacy while alluding to a feeling of entrapment in a dynamic where there is no longer a clear view of how the other person feels.”

Linen will release ahead of Ella Rossi’s debut EP; stream it via Spotify and SoundCloud from June 16th.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Max LaMont captured the vibe of Hollywood in the summer with his latest single, The Last Day of June

LA alternative artist, Max LaMont, didn’t hang around bringing the summer vibes this year; his latest single, The Last Day of June, which traverses bitter-sweet teen romance tropes through an alt-bubble gum pop tonal palette, debuted on March 31.

Fans of The 1975 and the Weeknd won’t want to miss out on the intoxicating 80s RnB pop vibes that are superlatively synthesised in the intoxicating hit, which teases what is to come from his forthcoming EP.

The magnetically shy artist’s charisma is undoubtedly a major part of his appeal; everything he turns his talents to is raw and definitively the real sincere deal. Beyond his relatability lies his classically trained virtuosic flair; he is trained in operatic and musical theatre; as a result, he’s been in a myriad of live productions, including Oklahoma, La Boheme and MASS.

Stream The Last Day of June on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast