New Music: Listen to Up-And-Coming Pop Singer Ruuth’s Debut Single, “All About”

Meet Alina Paulsen, aka Ruuth, the 22-year-old German singer-songwriter hailing from the small island Wyk auf Föhr off the coast of Germany and Denmark. Currently based in Berlin, Ruuth released her debut single, “All About”, across all streaming platforms this past Friday.

Written in Los Angeles with CRØW and Nate Flaks, “All About” is a sultry single that blends oceanic beats with her beautiful soprano vocals laid effortlessly across the top of a bouncy beat that keeps the song feeling upbeat despite the 72 BPM rhythm.

This feel-good jam, her first single, is only the beginning for Ruuth. Following an April feature, “Down”, with EDM producer Lucian (of Trndsttr fame), “All About” kicks off a 2018 that’s set to see eight more original singles from the up-and-coming German songstress. If “All About” and “Down” is just the start, I’m anxiously waiting to see what comes next.

Listen to “All About”:
 Want more Ruuth? Listen to “Down” by Lucian, featuring Ruuth’s vocals:


New Music: R3HAB x Conor Maynard’s New Single & Video “Hold On Tight” Is, Well, Tight

R3HAB and Conor Maynard’s new single, “Hold On Tight”, is Early Bird’s New Music Friday pick of the week. The new single is the perfect jam to catapult you into summer-mode, with its subtlely tropical driving rhythm that shows a different side of R3HAB’s skillset as a producer. “Hold On Tight” is completed with Conor Maynard’s smooth vocals, which have previously been featured in other electronic songs like Cash Cash’s “All My Love” and Kriss Kross Amsterdam’s “Are You Sure?”

The music video follows Conor Maynard’s character through a futuristic warehouse, lit with red ceilings and incandescent side lighting that provide an ambience of Cyberpunk. On top of the environment, the video throws incredible abstract HUD graphics over the production to further underscore the futuristic nature of the video.

“Hold On Tight” Music Video:

Song of the Day: “Fake Magic” by Peking Duk #REVIEW

Today’s song of the day, “Fake Magic” is courtesy of Peking Duk, the ARIA-award winning electronic production duo hailing from Australia. The song, a collaboration that brought AlunaGeorge’s Aluna Francis on board, might be the funkiest electronic song in my musical rotation right now. It’s a short, but immensely sweet jam that will have you pressing repeat and kicking yourself for not discovering it when it came out last summer. But, as with the best songs, the beat is timeless; “Fake Magic” doesn’t get tired.

Aided by the incredible vocals of Aluna Francis, “Fake Magic” is an instant feel-good house vibe that incorporates styles of the times while maintaining the classic bit of indie edginess that Peking Duk wears on its music sleeve at all times.

The infectious anthem carries a driving funk beat that builds up through the bridge. For nearly a minute leading into the chorus, Peking Duk let’s your anticipation grow as Aluna teases you with her atmospheric vocals. Once the bridge hits and the percussion audibly disappears, you’re left wondering “When does the bass drop?”

As Aluna belts out the chorus and the classic walking bassline finally gets laid down, you’ll immediately find yourself doing a few of these too, as you bop to the short twenty second chorus:


“Honey, we don’t need no fake magic,
I ain’t being funny

You can’t buy this with paper or plastic
Honey, money only buys you fake magic,
I ain’t no phoney

I’ll take you far away with no tricks”

Peking Duk surprises in the final iteration of the chorus with the addition of a brass section that contributes sonic complexity and a touch of sophistication to the new-wave funk beat, without losing it’s charm as a quick-hitting bop.

Check out the whimsical music video for “Fake Magic”, which includes Peking Duk eating, you guessed it – duck soup.


Song of the Day: “Warm Fire Lightning (Flip)” by Ninajirachi #Review

“Warm Fire Lightning (Flip)” is the latest song from Ninajirachi, the 18 year-old Australian future bass wunderkind. It’s also Early Bird’s song of the day.

Ninajirachi may be new to the scene, but the second I discovered her song on Spotify’s “Metropolis” playlist, I was hooked. When I find new artists or songs that I love, I immediately correct course to head down the rabbit hole of their artist page, to discover what else I might find. On my dig, I found “Same World” and her remix of “Waste Time” by Kilter, but I kept coming back to “Warm Fire Lightning” as the song that invaded my Monday. I don’t know how many times I’ve played it today, but it’s an embarrassing amount. Actually, check that – I’m not embarrassed. I loved it so much that I sent it to ten different friends who I consider to be my “music appreciation dream team”. The last time I jammed to a song like this and said “everyone’s gotta know about this” was Lauv’s “I Like Me Better”, in spring of last year.

The original song, “Warm Fire Lightning” was performed by Satellite Mode, a New York based indie electro-pop duo. Listen to the original:

Ninajirachi took it, and as the title suggests, flipped that song on its head, dropped the beats per minute, added more percussion and threw down a drop, rather than the Florence A.T.M.-esque atmospheric driving beat present in the original. With less than 7,000 streams, “Warm Fire Lightning (Flip)” is the definition of what an Early Bird discovery ideally looks like. Needless to say, I’m excited I found it, and I am impressed. So much, in fact, that I’ll be catching up with Nina this Wednesday for an exclusive interview. Stay tuned for the feature.

Ninajirachi has around 3,000 followers on SoundCloud and 184k monthly listeners globally on Spotify.

Check out “Warm Fire Lightning (Flip)” and the more by Ninajirachi:
“Warm Fire Lightning (Flip)” on Spotify:


Interview: Seattle-Based Thunderpussy & Their “Greatest Tits” EP Are No Joke

“Fuck the patriarchy. Women are here, we rock now, we do everything.”

There are few places in the United States where social liberalism and a free-flowing, rebellious nature are more alive than in Seattle, long one of the epicenters for expressive individuals and artists alike. Home to some of the most game-changing companies and bands of the past 30 years, Seattle is somewhat of a Mecca for people aiming to challenge the status quo or break from the norm. One particular area where this is evident is in Seattle’s rock ‘n’ roll pedigree, of which its praise is well-deserved: Seattle calls itself home to some of the most legendary grunge and alternative rock acts to ever grace the airwaves.

Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains. If you’ve lived in Seattle, as I did for thirteen years growing up, those bands and their songs are forever burned into your brain, as omni-present as the 37 inches of rain that bombard car windshields and rain jackets in the city annually.

The next big name in rock coming out of the PNW, though, might be one that makes you do a double-take. If not for their strangely-familiar-yet-fresh sound so much as their band name itself, Molly Sides (vocals), Ruby Dunphy (drums) Leah Julius (bass), and Whitney Petty (guitar) are making waves in the Seattle scene as the controversial all-female rock quartet Thunderpussy.

If the name Thunderpussy and their new EP, aptly-titled Greatest Tits, initially make you chuckle, listening to a single song of theirs will surely wipe the grin right off your face. These women rock, and channeling a rebellious Seattle spirit, they’re shredding every “girl-band” label thrown in their direction.

On the backs of inking a deal with Republic Records in 2017, the Seattle-based group’s first digital EP released this past Friday across all platforms. I caught up with bassist Leah Julius on release day, to talk about the new EP, Thunderpussy’s message, and Seattle’s rock ‘n’ roll roots. Read the full interview below.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. 

EB: First, I wanted to say thank you for being able to do this so quickly.

LJ: “Yeah, you called us at the perfect time, we’re literally all together today in meetings anyway, so I just stepped out to talk to you.”

EB: What were the meetings about today?

LJ: “We released our digital EP – Greatest Tits – so it’s kind of a big day for us. A new single, “Gentle Frame”, came out with the EP, and this is kind of the first aggregate thing we’ve ever put out that’s not just standalone singles at the time. Today’s kind of just been scheming about that.”

EB: I included “Speed Queen” on my Thank God It’s New Music Friday playlist – I really enjoy it. Can you tell me a little bit more about the song?

LJ: “”Speed Queen” is a lesbian love story. The music video kind of solidifies that a little bit, but it’s vaguely a love story about Molly and Whitney – our singer and guitar player. They’re a couple. It’s kind of a loose idea based on them that the story came around. There’s a drifter in a bar, a love interest, and they ride off into the sunset together on a motorcycle.”

EB: Being a band in the Northwest, there’s an abundance of native rock ‘n’ roll inspiration: Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Heart. Do you have any inspiration from bands that called Seattle home?

LJ:Heart – Oh my God – we all love Heart so much. It’s interesting, because we’re based in the Northwest, we all live in Seattle and we started the band in Seattle. But none of us are originally from the Northwest. It’s interesting that we came together here and started making music that was reminiscent of these other earlier Seattle artists. But it wasn’t necessarily intentional.”

EB: Speaking of female bands or female lead singers, who are some women in rock right now that inspire you?

LJ: “Me personally, my favorite musician is Laura Jane Grace, the lead singer of “Against Me!”. She’s just such a fucking badass. It doesn’t get any more badass than that. I still listen to Heart, probably almost every day. Anne and Nancy Wilson, there’s no one else like them. They will always be an inspiration. I dig Courtney Barnett, too. I was just talking to someone down in Portland who was saying Bishop Briggs is really cool. I haven’t really dug into her catalogue much, though.”

EB: Outside of rock ‘n’ roll, are there genres that you find yourself listening to that you’d pull in elements from? Or do you mainly listen to rock ‘n’ roll to create Thunderpussy’s music?

LJ: “I grew up listening to punk music and that’s still a big part of my life. I like punk music, hardcore music. I feel like I actually come to the band with a little different perspective than the other three, who grew up on Elvis, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles. My dad was a Deadhead, so that’s all I heard as a child. I think that’s what makes it kind of interesting, though, because sometimes I’ll pull in a punk rock bassline, but I also get the opportunity to go listen to some soul music and figure out how to really lay down the heavy backbeat and lock in with Ruby. It’s just fun getting the opportunity to play whatever we want. We’re rock ‘n’ roll, but we have ballads, dance songs, and that’s the fun of it.”

EB: How did Thunderpussy come together in the first place? None of you are natives.

LJ: “Molly’s originally from Sun Valley, Idaho. She moved to Seattle to study dance at Cornish College of the Arts. That was eleven years ago or so. Whitney grew up down outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She was just working on boats as a deckhand, and ended up in Seattle, liked it here, and decided to stay. Ruby, our drummer, is from Chicago. She also moved out here to go to Cornish, but is studying Jazz drums. She’s about to graduate in a couple of months.”

“I’m the closest to a Pacific Northwest kid. I moved to Bainbridge Island when I was eight, so I grew up and spent my formative years there. For me, I listened to 107.7 The End. Nirvana, Soundgarden…All that shit was on the radio all the time. There’s just something about the Northwest that creates this rad rock music. But no one else in the band really listened to that stuff at all.”

“We’re just kind of taking hold of the Northwest.”

EB: What’s it been like living and performing while being based in Seattle?

LJ: “Playing in Seattle for us is the best thing ever. This city has been so incredible about embracing us and I really feel like Portland is starting to do the same. We’re just kind of taking hold of the Northwest. We try to be strategic about the number of shows we play here. We get tons of offers, but when we do a hometown show, we really do a hometown show:”

“For example, we did this past New Year’s Eve [in Seattle], and we sold out The Showbox. We put so much into that, and being able to sell that out was a huge goal for us. Now we don’t feel we need to play in Seattle for a little while, because we want people to be hungry to see us again, and maybe even play a bigger room next time.”

“We’ve done it all, we’ve played to literally one person in the UK when we toured over there. We still really run the gamut of shows we play. In Seattle we can play sold out shows, and the rest of the world we’re still building up a fanbase.”

EB: “Gentle Frame” is the new single on the EP. Can you tell me more about it and how you put Greatest Tits together over the past year?

LJ: “The EP came together as a result of us signing with Republic/Stardog Records. We originally recorded our full-length album well before the discussion to sign with them had begun, so these songs were already finished. Once we signed with them, they wanted us to put out this digital EP as a way to introduce us to the world.”

“We picked the first four songs that we thought represented the band in a diverse manner. We came out swinging with Speed Queen. That’s just a good straightforward rock tune, you know, like roll-the-windows-down. “Velvet Noose” just kind of kept swinging, just came out number two, also still rocking. With #3, “Torpedo Love”, we were really excited to show the world a different side of us that, unless you’ve been to our live show, you didn’t know existed. Because our online presence and all the music we had released were just bangers, in your face.”

“We have this whole other side where we can write ballads and tender love songs. That was the intention behind putting “Torpedo” third. Then “Gentle Frame” is just another in-your-face, pop/rock feminist anthem coming out at a really important moment. It’s kind of this song about unwanted advances and feeling empowered to say no, and I think the timing sits well with what’s going on culturally.”

EB: When you say really important moment, what are you thinking of?

LJ: “This year, in terms of women standing up and being done putting up with shit, you know, we’re over it. We joked last year that our hashtag was #yearofthepussy. This year we changed it to #yearofthepussypartdeux. It just really feels like the whole world was following suit, and it’s exciting to feel like we get to be a part of this movement of, “Fuck the patriarchy, women are here, we rock now, we do everything”.

EB: You’ve had some legal struggles with your band name, and there’s still a Supreme Court case going on to keep it. Can you tell me a bit more about how you came up with the inspiration for the name “Thunderpussy” and what that fight to hold on to it has been like?

LJ: “Whitney, she is brainchild of the name. Her and Molly originally started floating around the idea of starting the band, and the name Thunderpussy, Whitney brought it up. They were both in agreement that this was it, this was the one. They originally cornered me at a music festival, where they saw me play bass. They grabbed me and told me they were starting a band called Thunderpussy. I thought it was a joke, because the name was funny, you know. And then once we started I realized that it’s definitely not a joke.”

“The name is really important to us. Even though there have been struggles, we are still fighting the courts. We don’t own the trademark to our name federally – we have it in Washington State. That’s something that we’re not going to back down from at this point. It’s a big part of our identity and reclaiming the word “pussy” to be powerful, and not used to demean people. We’re really excited about the ability to hopefully change hearts and minds, and hopefully the government will follow suit.”

EB: You mentioned that the full-length album has been written for a while now. Is that something that you’re planning to release strategically as well? What’s its status?

LJ: “As of today, we get to legit talk about it, which is really exciting. The album is all done, and we’re in the process now of finalizing the artwork and fun stuff like that. It will be coming out this year.”

EB: Speaking of artwork, with the album cover on the Greatest Tits EP, whose idea was that? How did you come up with it? It’s very clever.

Thunderpussy Greatest Tits Artwork

LJ: “I want to say it was Whitney. She had come up with a few different ideas for Greatest Tits. Our creative woman, Ashley, over at Universal Records – she’s fucking badass – we sent her over our ideas. Some of them were like a pig with really saggy tits, you know. So she sent back a few mock-ups of different things, and we all just laid eyes on the lemons, and it was perfect. You kind of have to double take ‘em for a second. It’s so good.”



Cautious Clay’s Debut EP “Blood Type” is Nothing Short of Heavenly #Review

Cautious Clay’s debut EP, “Blood Type” released this week, and has our ears ringing with joy.

Blood Type is one of the more powerful debut EPs for a modern R&B/pop act in recent memory. The album flows seamlessly from start to finish, almost as if it were a single song with six pieces. It starts with an enormous, beautiful soundscape with “Silos” and finishes with an emotional story (“Elsewhere”) of grinding to make it in a big city with big expectations. In between, familiar listeners will recognize “Joshua Tree”, “Cold War”, and “Juliet + Caesar” along with the title track, “Blood Type”.

For someone that’s so young, Clay seems to also bring an impressive ability to write songs that touch on the most pressing issues any contemporary mid-20’s person might be feeling. On Blood Type, Clay connects on topics like the balance between relationships and personal goals (Joshua Tree), lessons from failed relationships (Juliet + Caesar), and generational over-reliance on social media (Cold War). Clay’s lyrics are both beautifully poetic and neatly constructed while being wholly relatable.

To back up his vocal and lyrical prowess, Clay’s production skills in Blood Type are as good, or arguably better than any of his other musical talents. While some might criticize the simple two-hit drum beat present in many of the songs on the EP, I enjoy the pureness of the minimalistic percussion that Clay incorporates. With this backseat approach to percussion, Clay’s songs focus primarily on the soundscapes being built around his vocals. The album is thoughtfully composed, each song placed precisely where its impact is most powerful. The art of a well-organized album seems to have been lost in recent years across pop and R&B, but Clay certainly seems to have a veteran’s grasp on building a coherent album in Blood Type that embarks on a journey for anyone fortunate enough to listen.

The remarkable part about Blood Type as a debut EP is how fresh the sound is across the board. It’s been quite a while since a newcomer in pop or R&B was able to carve out an entirely new sound niche, but Cautious Clay’s gospel-inspired electro-soul sound profile is one that will surely attract attention for music fans who are in desperate need of something different.

Blood Type is an easy-to-listen-to EP that at times induces goosebumps, chills, smiles, and a sense of relaxed calm. The beautifully soulful music that Cautious Clay has given us all with Blood Type is infectiously soulful and unique, and it’s time for the world to take notice.

………………………………. ………….

Cautious Clay will be performing at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn on March 8th. Initial pre-sale tickets are sold-out, however there will be a limited number of tickets sold the week of the show.
Spotify users, you can follow our playlist “This Is: Cautious Clay” for an up to date collection of his discography:
This is: Cautious Clay on Spotify

Elohim Spreads The Love In Her Latest Music Video, “Fuck Your Money” #WATCH

Elohim’s newest single, “Fuck Your Money” is a bright pop anthem with an uplifting message, captured through keen lyrics and an airy, upbeat chorus. The song was originally released at the end of January, and today, Noisey premiered its official music video.

The story follows Elohim as a patient in a mental hospital, where she’s held against her will by emotionless “caretakers” who can’t understand her positive attitude or relentless optimism. Despite being treated for this “condition” she ultimately starts to refuse to take the drugs and embraces her emotional and carefree nature.

“This shit is priceless, I figured it out
Together there’s nothing to worry about
As long as we’re honest we’re both good to go
There’s something about me I think you should know
I got love instead of money”

The video reaches its climax as Elohim’s unwavering positivity finally breaks through an emotional barrier with one of these “caretakers”, who then sets Elohim free to go spread love (in the form of flowers) to the downtrodden before she speeds away in a bubbly, vintage VW Beetle.

No stranger to songs about drugs or love, Elohim puts an abstract spin on the power of positive thinking in a world where emotion can sometimes feel lost in translation. She’s certainly not shy about sharing her thoughts & struggles with anxiety (see “Xanax“), so combining visuals of drug therapy and mental wards, likely a symbol of her chaotic mind, is all the more fitting.

With “FYM”, it’s important to note that viewers were introduced to an unmasked & unobstructed Elohim for the first time in any of her music videos. As she continues rocketing toward her debut album release in 2018, it makes sense that the veil is being lifted off of her persona, which has been largely steeped in mystery to this point. This is Elohim’s first cinematic music video since 2016’s “Hallucinating”.

You can find both “Fuck Your Money” and “Hallucinating” on Early Bird’s Bop Till You Drop playlist.

Elohim’s spring headline tour kicks off on March 8th in Atlanta, and she’ll be performing in Brooklyn at Rough Trade NYC on March 24th.  The rest of her tour dates can be found below.



Mar 8 // Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
Mar 9 // Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
Mar 10 // New Orleans, LA @ Buku Music + Art Project
Mar 22 // Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
Mar 23 // Philadelphia, PA @ Coda
Mar 24 // Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
Mar 28 // Montreal, QC @ Petit Campus
Mar 29 // Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground
Mar 30 // Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
Apr 4 // Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
Apr 5 // Sun Peaks, BC @ Snowbombing
Apr 7 // San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
Apr 13-15 // Indio, CA @ Coachella
Apr 20-22 // Indio, CA @ Coachella
Apr 27 // Los Angeles, CA @ Fonda Theatre
May 11 // Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall ^
May 12 // Calgary, AB @ Marquee Beer Market & Stage ^
May 14 // Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom ^
May 15 // Spokane, WA @ The Knitting Factory ^
May 16 // Missoula, MT @ The Wilma ^
May 18 // Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo ^
May 20 // Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater ^
May 23 // Garden City, ID @ Revolution Center ^
May 24 // Reno, NV @ Cargo ^
May 26 // San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park ^
May 27 // Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl ^
May 31 // Boston, MA @ House of Blues ^
Jun 2 // Washington, DC @ 930 Club ^
Jun 7-10 // Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo
Jun 10 // Orlando, FL @ The Plaza Live ^
Jun 13 // New Orleans, LA @ The Joy Theater ^
Jun 14 // Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall ^
Jun 15 // Austin, TX @ Emo’s ^
Jun 16 // Dallas, TX @ House of Blues ^
Jun 19 // Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room ^
Jun 20 // Columbus, OH @ Express Live! ^
Jun 21 // Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE ^
Jun 21-24 // Rothbury, MI @ Electric Forest
Jun 28 // Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks ^
Jun 28 – Jul 1 // Rothbury, MI @ Electric Forest
^ w/The Glitch Mob

Interview: “Chasing Tail” is Just The Beginning For Win and Woo

“Chasing Tail” is the latest single from Chicago-based electronic duo Nick Winholt and Austin Gahsen, better known as Win and Woo. The duo’s first release of 2018 is a bright and poppy song that can lift anyone’s mood. It combines dissonant, awkward sounds into a driving beat and rhythm that pulls the song along through a laid back verse that builds into a chorus filled with fluming treble beats that elevate the chorus against the atmospheric vocals of the unaccredited vocalist on the track.


The song’s beat and lyrics intrigued me, so I reached out to Win and Woo and was lucky enough to catch both Nick (Win) and Austin (Woo) on Friday afternoon to discuss the song’s creation and what they’ve got planned for 2018. Check out our exclusive interview below!

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Let’s talk a little bit about Chasing Tail. it’s your first song you’ve released in 2018. What made you decide to release this first?

WIN: We’ve kinda had it for a little while and we’ve always wanted to put it out. We wanted also to start the year with something that had a story to it. This one definitely tells a story, so we figured we could have some fun with it. It’s actually written from the perspective of a dog. So if you listen to it again, you’ll get it.

“It’s about a dog’s owner going away to college, and the dog just sitting at home waiting for the owner to come back, while he’s out there chasing tail.”

So that’s kind of the full circle thing: It could go both ways – it feels like it could be a human to human interaction itself too. If you listen in between the first chorus and the second verse there’s a big giveaway.

On my hot take of the track, one of the things I highlighted was the beat. What kind of sounds were you mixing with to create the beat?

WOO: When I walked into the studio, Nick and the writer were already working on it. They told me, “We’re trying to make the weirdest song we can possibly make right now”.

“Nick was just browsing recorded samples of quirky sounds, trash can noises… I don’t know, we were just trying to make funky pop music at the time that people hadn’t heard before.”

WIN: That lead is a djembe mixed with a xylophone and some other weird Indian-inspired instrument all combined, so it’s just really weird.

Obviously you made it onto to New Music Friday. Congratulations on that. I know originally in 2016 your first single went on New Music Friday and now you’re back again. What do playlists like New Music Friday mean to you as artists?

WIN: It’s great recognition. It’s reassurance to yourself that what you’re doing is what you should be doing. And what we’re doing is what we want to be doing. So the fact that those two can coincide is a really awesome feeling. Having it in a playlist like that which highlights the best music that comes out is really a cool recognition of our work coming together.

Has anything caught your ear lately that you’ve been vibing to?

WIN: I didn’t really get through the New Music Friday playlist yet, but I’ve been really listening to this girl Bülow. She had a song that on New Music Friday last month, called “Not Another Love Song”. It’s in all the pop playlists right now, but I really like her voice and style – it’s really cool.

WOO: And then you’ve got the two new songs that came out on the Fifty Shades of Grey Soundtrack from Whethan and Louis The Child. Whethan’s track (“High” with Dua Lipa) is getting half a million plays a day right now. Insane.

Both are excellent – I highlighted them both on my TGINMF playlist last week, which I take all the top songs from New Music Friday and whittle it down to no more than 15 tracks…

WIN AND WOO: Your playlist is super cool by the way. I think it’s really awesome. It’s a way to highlight the best music; you know, people are so A.D.D. now, highlighting fifteen songs is all they can take.

You can follow/listen to the TGINMF Playlist here.

Chicago has a budding scene in EDM, but it all started with Louis the Child, you guys, and Whethan. What has it been like to see the EDM scene growing out there in the Windy City, and how has it developed?

WIN: We’re lucky enough to be a part of that. We all just kind of came together. First it was us hanging out with Louis The Child – we have the same management. Then Whethan came on. I think it’s cool that we all came from Chicago and I think it developed from a couple EDM kids to kind of writing pop music. We’re getting some really cool exposure.

WOO: Chicago is an amazing place to start. There are so many good artists coming through the city. It’s kind of a really-small-big-city, so everyone kind of knows if you’re in any kind of form of the music industry, which is pretty cool. That was definitely nice to come up in for sure.

You guys have done a lot of collaborating and you’ve put out a ton of remixes across the web. Which collaborations have you done that have been your favorites so far, regardless of commercial success?

WIN: Anything with Ashe that we’ve done has been huge. She’s an incredible writer and we’ve written so many songs with her, so everything we do with her is a good vibe. She used to live in Nashville and drive up to write with us, hence all the collaborations. Obviously both of those tunes with Bryce Fox as well. “Burn Fast” and “Chicago” – those are very special to us. We’re working with a bunch of different artists right now with songs we haven’t put out that I’m also really excited about.

WOO: I think some of our upcoming collaborations that we have going out are some of my favorites that we’ve ever done. But I think for our old stuff, Swing is probably my favorite we’ve ever done, with EVVY. That song is one of those times it just sort of happened, and it was awesome and felt good. It still feels good three years later.

You’ve got one song out and a small six show schedule together. What made you decide on the shows and cities you’re playing this year?

WIN: We wanted to start branching out doing our own shows instead of going direct support for other artists. That’s kind of a big step for us. So we wanted to make sure we were doing those shows in the right cities. Obviously one that we haven’t locked in that we really need to is New York. It’s been too long. We’re definitely working on a New York show. We have a lot of people listening to our music there and we miss it. So that’s the only one we really need to add.

WOO: We were really focused on making sure that we hit all of our major markets where we felt people needed the Win and Woo show first. To where they have only been to a show that Win and Woo was performing at, not our show, you know?

Taking that big step forward and doing your own headline shows, and is that part of a bigger scheme in 2018? What do you guys have coming out?

WIN: We’re just testing the waters now and we’d like to roll back out with a bigger tour and hopefully bring our own production in the fall, depending on where the music takes us.

WOO: Last year we took touring to a whole next level where we did almost a hundred shows, and that’s a lot. We’re really trying this year to back up what people already know, which is that we can throw a great show, and fulfill it with music. Our biggest focus in 2018 is going to be putting out some of our best music that we’ve made to date.

You can check out more win and Woo on the “This Is: Win and Woo” playlist on Spotify, and at their SoundCloud Link Below.

“This Is: Win and Woo” on Spotify:

ICYMI: Two Feet’s Steamy New Music Video For “I Feel Like I’m Drowning” #WATCH

Continuing on what seems to be an entire week related to #FiftyShades, Fashion Week, and Valentine’s Day, Two Feet’s released his music video for smash hit “I Feel Like I’m Drowning” on Tuesday. His newest music video, displayed in only black and white, combines supermodels, lots of sensuality, and stunning visual effects and patterns that create an almost dream-like illusion for viewers.

Two Feet performs live this Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Absofacto opens.


Interview: Chelsea Lankes Details Her Latest Single “Easy”

Easy” is the latest single from indie pop singer/songwriter Chelsea Lankes. The song was released Friday and was included on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist, where we discovered it and immediately included it to our weekly #TGINMF playlist.

Easy is a new sound for Lankes, best known for her 2016 self-titled EP which includes high-tempo pop songs “Secret” and “Bullet”, both of which have over 4.5 million streams on Spotify. Easy is a slower song relatively speaking, full of syncopation and bordering on tropical. I’d describe the song as “boppy”, and unquestionably happy. The song’s lyrics are simple, but not in a way that shows a lack of thought about the wording. Rather, the message is simple and clear: the song about her newest love (and now-husband Julian) was written using language that was meant to be as easy as the love itself. The song is genuinely happy, and easy to listen to at any time.

“Easy when you hold me 
 Easy how you know me
 I don’t know what you did, but you did
 And you make it feel easy”

We were lucky enough to catch Chelsea for a few quick minutes on Friday to talk about the single and what’s been keeping her busy lately.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. 

Where did your inspiration for “Easy” come from?

CL: I have a team of people that I’ve worked with for years on most of my releases. I was on a trip in LA and we sat down to write after not having seen each other for almost a year. I just got into the relationship which I’m in now – I’m now married, that happened about three months ago.

There’s always some conflict in songwriting in my opinion. It’s really easy to write songs that are about heartbreak, or that have some element of tension. It’s rare that I listen to a song now that is a totally happy-go-lucky, true pop song. There’s maybe indie/alternative, like Portugal. The Man – that song makes you feel so happy. I honestly don’t know what they’re saying in the lyrics, but it’s such a happy song, but not cheesy.

With pop music, you think back to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, and I think there’s a lot of classic pop that nails it. But recently there’s just a lot of sad, emotional artists, and it’s just easier to rely on this well of struggles or whatever you’re feeling that day, instead of trying to come from a really positive place that still feels genuine.

I just wasn’t feeling that way at all, I was on cloud nine, I had just fallen in love. I [wrote the song] at the very beginning phases of mine and Julian’s relationship. So just in essence it’s about that, and I feel like it really captured that feeling in a pretty simple and succinct way. At least that was the goal. It came from a really genuine and sincere place, and it still feels really authentic to me. I don’t really write songs like that often, so it was a really good exercise to write a happy song that’s not cheesy. This song is truly a happy, joyful song. Maybe there’s more of that in me somewhere.

Have you been busy today with the new release?

CL: I’ve been on my phone all day, keeping an eye on responses and writing people back. I was pleasantly surprised that I made it on to New Music Friday, so that was pretty exciting. I submitted the song for playlists, but you just never know. I released a song back in November that got some love organically having been on peoples’ Release Radars, but it’s so competitive now, and a ton of really good music was released today. At midnight when everybody’s releases hit, I thought “there’s no way im getting on there because there’s just too much good music”. I was just really excited.

Chelsea mentioned that this wasn’t the first time she’s been featured on New Music Friday, though:

CL: When I released my EP, which would have been almost two years ago now, the peeps at Spotify really got behind it and put my picture on the cover of New Music Friday. And it’s funny because it was about four months before Spotify really took off to what it is now. So kind of big deal, but kind of no-one really got it quite yet. It’s a little crazy, I think it’s a good thing it happened when it did, because I don’t know if that would’ve been the case had it been released any time later. Spotify has changed a lot, but they still really support independent artists, which I think is super important.

Was there anything on this New Music Friday that you’ve really been listening to?

CL: I really like the second Julia Michaels song on the 50 shades of grey soundtrack. “Are You”. I also loved “Heaven”. Chelsea Cutler’s new song “You’re Not Missing Me(which is on our #TGINMF playlist) was another I really liked. I also wrote a song recently for Carly Paige, “Drive Slow“. It’s really awesome and she’s a fantastic writer and artist, so I was super excited to see her on there. And then another girl from Nashville, Anna Mae, I really liked her song “Single-Minded” too.

You live in Nashville now but are an indie pop artist. What is that scene like in Nashville?

CL: It’s kind of an underground pop scene at the moment. A lot of people are either going back and forth from L.A., or some L.A. people are moving to Nashville because they’re realizing there’s more of a pop scene, and it’s much more sustainable to live here. Prescription Songs (@RXSongs on Twitter), a publishing company in LA, just set up an office here. It’s exciting a lot of Nashville natives, writers and producers – there is a lot of effort being put into making more pop music come from Nashville. It’s still growing. I don’t know if it’s ever going to be as competitive as LA, but I hope to be someone who helps it to be something that competes in the pop world.

What have you been listening to lately that’s got you excited?

CL: Lately I’ve been listening to Anderson Paak. Music around his genre that is breaking some boundaries, is really soulful, it’s so cool. Music like that, and Solange. SZA’s new album is great too. That’s a genre that I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface on so I would love to have more at my fingertips.

I’ve been really wanting to know more about the urban hip hop world, because I didn’t grow up listening to it that much. I would like to know all the really dope hip-hop artists  that are a little underground right now, and are making things that are really intelligent and poetic. I find that music so interesting and want to know more about it.

What does the rest of 2018 look like for Chelsea Lankes? What’s in the works?

CL: I don’t know exactly what 2018 looks like yet. I think it’s just going to be singles for now. I’m in a place where as an artist, I’ve been writing a ton but it’s been more for other projects and artists, or TV/Film work. I will say, all of the songs I’m writing, I love, so if something really fits and doesn’t get used by the other artists, or it just sits there, I hate the idea of songs I love dying on the vine, living in this purgatory of someone’s inbox. I just want to release stuff like that if it’s never going to be released by someone else. So I definitely know I’ll be releasing more singles, but maybe there is an EP in six months or so. Getting people to commit to the time it takes to create something really good – that’s always the struggle.

You can check out “Easy” on our #TGINMF playlist, and on your favorite streaming platforms.
Listen to “Easy” by Chelsea Lankes on Spotify:

“Easy” on our #TGINMF playlist:

Review: “Painkiller” By G.Smith #IndieBeat

Painkiller is the latest single by up and coming artist G.Smith.

An electronic humming begins to cut through the environment. There is a slow reverberation of what sounds almost like a car alarm in the far background that chirps along with an LFO. Sudden cuts and jumps of the chords open “Painkiller”, as if G.Smith is shifting samples on an SP-404. The whole backdrop is at first, so simple but it immediately grabbed the listener’s attention due to its unusual nature. This song, like many of my favorites, gracefully rides the line between the familiar and strange. Unique noise bordering on dissonance holds you on for a few more seconds, keeping you wondering “where is this song headed?” Everything about “Painkiller” has this sort of grainy, robotic, dreamlike quality to it. It brings to my mind yellow skies and telephone wire.

Then suddenly, once the scene is set, a low and buzzy kick comes firing in. It is just slightly punchy, with minimal pitch attached to it. Once it hits, it drops off fully and you can almost feel the vibrations tickle your ear and fall all the way into silence. G.Smith’s vocals join here as we lunge into the first verse:

“Hey, it’s a walk in the park / It’s the big and beyond / You were there like a star that’s burning out / And it pulls at your skin, gravity wins again / Did you hear what I said? / Blue and yellow roam in.”

As we pass through the pre-chorus, most of the production drops out and the song is left with a hissy, hi-fi twinkling that highlights G.Smith’s lyrical turn here. Some of the lyrics are almost impossible to make out as they are hiding in the backdrop. Right before the chorus soars and explodes we are “You do a spin then I adore you, I adore you, then I adore you.”

New elements are added to this chorus section which provides stark contrast from the previous, not only lyrically or melodically, but within the drum tracks specifically. There is a fresh, somehow pastoral sound added that reminds of cicadas in the summertime, followed by the sound of what seems to be a woodpecker knocking on a tree at the end of each phrase. Vocally, G.Smith takes a physical step away from the recording equipment and lets her voice explode through the microphone. A sharply-toned and forward-placed sound paints us a grand picture. While difficult to decipher the entirety of the lyrics here, much of it drowned in backdrop, vocal styling, vowel modification, and vocal doubling. Some really fun vocalized/sampled “Yeah!” sounds are also creatively placed which really adds to the overall marketability and catchiness to the piece.

We pass through everything once again, only telling a different part of the story.

“Something I can’t explain / it waxes and wanes / getting used to the dullness of the day. / Dream of something I lack / picking up all the slack / If you itch then I’ll scratch / and we can’t take it back.”

Things really shift when we get into the bridge. At the top of the bridge comes a vocal sample of an adult male plays through the momentary lull in the song where G.Smith steps away, proclaiming, “Everyone else is doing it” and something about things being a “real indicator of how I feel.” Likely a reference to the subject, the song highlights the actions of the person G is so carefully watching over, as they “take the painkiller.”

From there, a potent and powerful electric guitar lead cuts through the scene. The frame of the entire tune replays for us and lets the music really take the lead through the ending. G.Smith utilizes a bit of a-typical pop structure here by avoiding the classic ABABCBB structure. Instead she chose to give us a verse, chorus, another verse and chorus, finishing the song from the bridge, and using it as her outro.

Overall I absolutely love this song, and have worn out the “queue” button on my Spotify, having played it nearly 100 times in the last week. Though sometimes questionable lyrically, I still think “Painkiller” is a valiant piece of work. Catchy, unique, exciting, and strong in terms of production, it has electronic flare with memorable samples.

After garnering attention through her first three singles, G.Smith followed her release of Painkiller with a private two show tour; first playing in Richmond, VA at Strange Matter, and capping it off in NYC at SOHO House.

Watch/Listen to Painkiller: