Browsing Tag

Taylor Swift

Blake Robert served Southern-twanged high-octane soul in his country pop-rock single, On My Mind

The Austin sound resounds in the eponymous debut country pop-rock album from the up-and-coming singer-songwriter Blake Robert.

The heart-on-sleeve standout single, On My Mind, spills Southern-twanged high-octane soul by the smorgasbord as the radio-ready production lends itself effortlessly well to drunk-in-love euphoria. With over two decades of experience crafting Eagles-esque earwormy guitar hooks, the rhythmically sharp ones implanted in On My Mind effortlessly reel you into the romanticism, which is just as magnetically sticky-sweet as the affectionate escapism found in Taylor Swift’s upbeat hits.

If you’re a fellow TX native and you can’t get enough of the debut album, catch Blake on his 2024 live tour through Austin, and keep him on your radar for more addictively energetic releases.

Blake Robert’s self-titled LP is available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Interview: The inspiring soul Isabella Lavalle tells us all about her Love Interest

With a beautifully poised and other-worldly sensational sound, touching vocals and an air of calmness about her despite the harrowing winds outside, we were blessed to have a chat with the wonderfully authentic Isabella Lavalle recently. Telling us all about her new single Love Interest, crushing on Fall Out Boy and life in musically vibrant Chicago, we find a captivatingly expressive artist who truly loves what she does.

Llewelyn: Hello, there Isabella. We truly appreciate your time and for having a chat with us. Let’s start off with this. Do you recall the precise moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician and what sparked your interest?

Isabella: I don’t know if I remember the precise moment when I knew I wanted to be a musician but I know that every time I write songs and the words just flow out of me onto the page without really trying it feels like a magical, other-worldly sensation that I just want to have over and over again. The fact that a song can start from a little line I’ve jotted down and then become something bigger than itself is really mind-blowing to me, and the fact that it may feel that way for someone else is insane, too.

Llewelyn: Please tell us all about your latest release Love Interest and what the vision behind the project is.

Isabella: I think the vision for Love Interest – or the reason it was written – is because I write a lot of sad songs which are my favourite things to write, but I was having a mild case of writer’s block so I turned to writing a song that was a little more upbeat and youthful just for a change of pace.

Llewelyn: You’ve spent lots of time in Chicago and in Melbourne, Florida. What is the local music scene like in your local area (where you’re staying now) and where should we go and listen to authentic music with soul?

Isabella: With Chicago specifically, you can find people performing and playing music while you’re walking down the street – it’s kind of always around. In Florida, I’d say there is less of a music scene so it was something I delved into and grew a passion for on my own terms.

Llewelyn: What do you enjoy most about being a music creator and how do you stay inspired in such a strange time for humanity?

Isabella: The thing I enjoy most about being a music creator is that I have complete freedom as to what I write and put out into the world. I’m a very expressive person so having a career where I get to do exactly that is perfect. And as for inspiration, I keep a little handy section on my Notes app full of little one-liners or ideas I get throughout the day, and sometimes I’ll look through them and pull something out that inspires me or goes with what I’m writing.

Llewelyn: What was the last song that you listened to and are there any artists you’d love to share the stage with?

Isabella: I think the last song I listened to was either Because by the Beatles or Suzanne by Leonard Cohen. I would love to share the stage with Fall Out Boy but I don’t know if I’d be able to make it through without fangirling. Same with Taylor Swift, Billy Joel.

Llewelyn: If you could take only 5 things with you on a deserted island, what would they be and why?

Isabella: I would say my cat but I don’t want to put them in that situation. Honestly, sunscreen, an umbrella, a bag full of books, my piano and a flare.

Llewelyn: Finally, do you have any live shows soon or what does the future hold for you musically?

Isabella: I think this next year or so I’m just going to continue to put out singles and EPs and get my music heard a little more. I always have the bigger picture and crazy ideas in my head though so we’ll see soon.

Fuel the romance within on this gorgeous single via Spotify.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

Palm Trees: French pop artist Jaarna stops for a minute in a peaceful place on Bike Ride

After previously releasing an EP under a different stage name, Jaarna cruises to exactly the place she has been envisioning forever on the lovely new single Bike Ride.

Jaarna is a Toulouse, France-based indie pop singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has been writing for over 14 years.

Inspired by a wide range of music genres and artists such as Skott, Taylor Swift and Bastille, she sets herself apart with her compelling writing, haunting vocals and powerful melodies.” ~ Jaarna

Brushing her hair with cold hands but with bags of determination to keep the rest of her body warm, Jaarna sends us into a whole new world with an extra electronic boost to wipe away all tears.

Bike Ride from Toulouse, France-based indie pop singer-songwriter Jaarna is a single all about trying to let go of something so beautiful, that refuses to leave. Sung with so much honesty and a sweet vocal experience, this is a rather special song which will clear all eyes and get us back into the right mindset again.

Washing away the past will only flow in better fragments of the future.

Listen up further on Spotify to heal the soul.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Spotlight Feature: Luminary Lyricist J. Matthews is set to unveil his debut coming-of-age EP, Courage

J. Matthews

After a phenomenally hooky alt-pop debut, Connecticut’s sharpest lyrical narrator, J. Matthews, will release his debut EP, Courage, on March 3rd.

If All the Small Things by Blink-182 reserves a special place in your soul, you will need to make room for the opening single, Courage for Fools. It abstracts the punky bite and implants sticky-sweet melodies comprised of innocently hesitant romantic lines, euphoric beats and buzzing synths.

Wanderlust is a dreamily honeyed indie-pop masterpiece which brings the titular allusion aurally to life. Jack Kerouac would have been enamoured by the restlessly adventurous soul, spurred on by a lust for life.

For You toys around with 80s-ESQUE nostalgia before bringing the indie-pop polaroid of affectionate intoxication into the modernist realm with the poetic lyrical lines that tie together the seamless shifts between indie, electro, and future pop.

Nothing to Fear, which traverses personal growth in an infectiously gratified style, is a resonantly impactful conclusion to the EP that is sure to see the singer-songwriter go far in his career.

It is only a matter of time before the songwriting accolades start cascading upon J. Matthews. His razor-sharp lyrical hooks coalesce with the ensnaring immersivity within his melodies, making each track a soul-awakening hit of sonic ecstasy.

J. Matthews Said:

“My Courage EP carries the weight of my experience, starting as an insecure college kid and growing into confidence. From figuring out love and life in Courage for Fools to the narration of lockdown stagnation and fear of missing out in Wanderlust. For You is a love song, through and through, capturing the serendipity when your idealised partner manifests as though they appeared from the production line in your own mind.

The concluding single, Nothing to Fear, celebrates the freedom of a new-found perspective, such as the one you gain from returning to your hometown after college when you find pride in your scars because, without them, you would have never become better than you were before.”

Courage will be available to stream in full on Spotify and SoundCloud from March 3rd.

Connect with J. Matthews via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Spotlight Feature: Pop-Punk’s Fiercest Lyricist, Juliette Irons, Advocated for the Heartbroken in her Latest Anthem, Skydive

After a brush with disorientating heartbreak, the Toronto-born, LA-based artist, producer, and dancer Juliette Irons picked herself up, dusted herself off and released the stormer of a pop-punk anthem, Skydive, as an act of solidarity with anyone feeling the same anxious dejection.

Skydive follows on from her evocative whirlwind, Prisoner of My Mind, which introduced the airwaves to the claustrophobia of anxiety. Still on stellar lyrical form, Skydive ensnaringly traverses the euphoric highs and dark and despondent lows of a situation-ship to prove even if you’re the one broken and bruised, you’re not the loser.

No heartbreak can survive the flood of dopamine that surges from Skydive. The rap verses are the vindicating cherry on the hook-sprinkled pop-punk cake, which tastes like 00s nostalgia, but Juliette Irons always brings her own signature emboldening flavour to the mix.

“Skydive was inspired by the confusion that comes from whirlwind heartbreak. I had just come out of a brief rollercoaster situation-ship that ended abruptly without much explanation. I felt like I had been thrown from a moving plane, woke up on the ground, and I was the only one who jumped.

I had given everything to this person, only to end up a shell of myself as I picked up the pieces during a realisation that everything was over. I hope this song can help other people going through a similar ungrounding shock to the system, and we can be empowered through it together.”

The official music video for Skydive will officially premiere on November 18th. Catch it on YouTube, and stay tuned on Facebook & Instagram, as Skydive is only the first part of the story. The concluding chapter will be told through her follow-up single, The Fear of Flying.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

No One Stays: Portland’s Mo Schulte knows that she can be ‘Hard To Love’

Spurred on by listening to a Taylor Swift track when she was just six years old, Mo Schulte shows us her splendid vocal ability on her latest single all about possibly being a bit too tough on herself for those lifelong mannerisms on ‘Hard To Love‘.

Mo Schulte is a very likeable and authentic solo indie-pop artist and bedroom music producer, who is based in Portland, Oregon.

Over the years, Mo has fallen completely in love with songwriting. She loves having the ability to beautifully express such ugly emotions when struggling with mental health and heartbreak. She also uses music to articulate her love and gratitude for the people in her life.” ~ Mo Schulte

Mo Schulte projects her vividly described story into our lives about warning any potential lovers that she might be a bit difficult at first – but once she is comfortable – things will surely change for the better as the trust factor will be there.

Hard To Love‘ from the Portland, Oregon-based indie-pop artist Mo Schulte, is an honest track about pointing out those flaws which you know are prevalent in your life. Sung with such a flourishing gusto and written with a cleverly introspective style, this is a singer who knows who she is and isn’t apologizing for anything.

Being yourself is the best way to live after all, as long as you aren’t hurting anybody else along the way.

Check out this top new track on Spotify and see more of their stories on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Darrian Gerard makes no apologies with her hook-laden pop-punk single, I’m Not Sorry.

Alt-rock solo artist, Darrian Gerard, has released her self-produced single, I’m Not Sorry; the defiant anthem throws you right back to the glory days of scuzzy pop-punk while encompassing an emboldening modern lyricism style.

Away from Paramore and Avril Lavigne reminisces, I’m Not Sorry is a stellar track in its own right, and despite the DIY production, the infectiously hyper choruses reel you in hook, line and sinker. There is enough energy in this earworm to animate a main stage festival crowd. We can’t wait to watch Darrian Gerard climb the alt-rock charts with I’m Not Sorry.

I’m Not Sorry will officially release on September 13th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Singer-songwriter duo Scotia & Dagny have made their debut with their contemporary pop ballad, ‘All I Ever Wanted’.

NYC-hailing, London-based singer-songwriter duo Scotia & Dagny have made their debut with the release of their contemporary indie-pop ballad, All I Ever Wanted. In the rankings of the best slow dance singles ever released, we wouldn’t put this cinematically neo-classically-underscored single far away from Elton John’s ‘Your Song’.

The poised, reflective nature of the semi-orchestral downtempo soundscape complements the lyrics that explore the emptiness that ensues loss. The dreamy air to the single takes the sting out of the melancholy, but the wavering vocal notes hit bruisingly hard.

All I Ever Wanted is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Zoe Clark – Last One Standing: country-tinged upbeat pop

Poppy, irreverent, and clever, Zoe Clark – from the Music City itself, Nashville Tennessee – has a history of well-thought out, relatable tunes; ‘Last One Standing’, her newest single, continues that tradition, a country-tinged upbeat pop song with hints of what might happen if Katy Perry somehow crossed with Taylor Swift and a dash of Avril Lavigne, self-deprecating but insightful lyrics over the catchiest of catchy tunes. It’s humorous, emotional, and charming all at once, instantly familiar and approachable, whilst having a style and sound that’s ultimately unique.

Clark’s debut EP, ‘Lovers Mark’, released in spring 2020, garnered top reviews as well as getting added to over 140 Spotify playlists; now ‘Last One Standing’ has gone Tik Tok viral prior to release, with 2.3 Million views and over 30,000 presaves. It’s not hard to see why – one listen isn’t enough, it’s memorable, catchy, and snappy as hell. ‘Last One Standing’ deserves to be played. Often. And loud.

Hear ‘Last One Standing’ on Soundcloud; check out Zoe Clark on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Take a hit on pop singer-songwriter Veronika Utri’s ‘Cigarette’

With a style heavily influenced by Tom Odell, Taylor Swift and Avril Lavigne, Austria-born, London-based singer songwriter, Veronika Utri’s, sound offers tender intimacy, cinematic imagery and a magnetic spike of attitude.

The warm embracing tones in the standout single ‘Cigarette’ will undoubtedly be of appeal to anyone else dealing with the emotional fallout from unsated romantic cravings. The soul in the vocals is just as addictive as the substance which shares the name of the dreamy single.

With her accessible ‘girl next door’ vibe and evocatively brave lyricism, it’s hard not to anticipate big things in the immediate future for Veronika Utri.

Cigarette is available to stream via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast