The stirring ballad finds Charles fearlessly cleansing herself from a relationship where she “got so used to feeling small” and “not feeling heard” alongside “empty promises and wasted tears.” Defiantly – over swirling synths and mesmeric drum machines – Charles offers a direct and empowering rallying cry for moving on to those who may need it most – “I won’t let it get to me.”
“Right in the beginning of the pandemic, I went back to my hometown in Connecticut for a while and started thinking about my favorite playground,” Lisa says. “I wanted to revisit that nostalgia through the triple lens of memories, looking back at the playground through three different perspectives: Childhood, thinking I was too big for the town as a teenager with my friends, and now in my 20s, looking back at myself at 18 and seeing that I was still just a baby.”
The song was a team effort. Lisa collaborated virtually with co-writers Meghan Williams and Cheska Zaide, then co-produced it along with Nashville producer Will McCoy. As an independent artist, Lisa brings her own standards into her process and the track radiates with youthful freedom yet mature composition.
“I think it will always be the case that the older I get, the more I will look back and think I was so young and had so much to learn,” Lisa says. “Life has so much room for growth over time.”
Today, the Toronto native multi-instrumentalist and producer, Luna Li (aka Hannah Kim) has shared her new single “Alone But Not Lonely.” The lush orchestral composition places Luna Li’s technical proficiency in the spotlight as she kicks the song off with a sweeping melody played on the violin before dropping into a smoldering funk groove with ethereal synth pads and vocal harmonies to boot. After her graceful and confident chants of instantly memorable self-assurance, the song crescendos into a massive guitar hook that rises and falls with beautiful simplicity and acts as the antidote to her loneliness.
“I wrote ‘Alone But Not Lonely’ in my very first apartment which was cockroach infested. I was feeling really uncomfortable and lonely in the new space, and decided to write this song to cheer myself up and entertain my newfound insect friends.” Says Luna Li. “The phrase ‘Alone But Not Lonely’ is a mantra I use to remind myself that time I spend with myself is valuable and special, something that should be celebrated.”
“Alone But Not Lonely” is Luna Li’s follow up to the low-slung angelic pop single “Cherry Pit.”
This fall, Luna Li will embark on her first US tour supporting Japanese Breakfast. The tour will kick off on September 14th in Columbus with stops in Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles before concluding on October 16th in Brooklyn. See all of Luna Li’s tour dates with Japanese Breakfast below.
UK R&B singer/songwriter Cilla Raie from North London returns with a sultry romantic single “Open For Love.” The single is a collaboration with US starlet Tiffany Evans (best known for her singles Promise Ring ft Ciara and Texting My Ex ft T-Pain) produced by rising UK R&B producer Peddy Pro. “Open for Love” is an awakening, being ready to embark on a new romantic journey after healing from previous toxic relationships. The collaboration signifies a new moment for R&B, with this UK to US female R&B collaboration.
“I wrote this song when I felt stuck, exhausted, and, quite honestly, depressed. My co-writer and producer, Dan Sadin, and I started working on it right before the quarantine hit. We had written the lyric “Maybe time will stop if I can slowly break it” and then, in a twist of fate, time really did stop in a way. The song took on new meaning for me as we produced it through the lockdown, collaborating via Zoom; I was recording vocals in my closet with scarves and sweaters hanging on the wall to recreate the qualities of a vocal booth,” Kara shares. “It’s embarrassing to admit, but I often find myself in this dark place of falling trap to striving for some ever-moving target and unable to stop out of the fear that I may lose what I’ve worked so hard to build. There’s always something more—to do, to be, to know—but lately I’m exploring the idea that there’s got to be something more than that way of life and all of this also.”
Speaking on the past year, Connolly says, “As we slowly exit this pandemic and return to whatever new normal exists for us, I hope we don’t forget the lessons we’ve learned in isolation. There has to be something more than the paint-by-numbers, work until you’re burned out, constant comparison, and power struggle that we’ve gotten used to and is reinforced generation to generation. There have been a few moments in my life where everything just seemed to make sense and click, as though there is some intricate web, beyond my current understanding, connecting our experiences and us all; that’s something I find hope and beauty in.”
Most people keep personal, embarrassing, and crazy thoughts to themselves. Annika Wells isn’t one of those people. She doesn’t just express these thoughts out loud either. She peppers them throughout her songs with the kind of honesty you expect from your childhood best friend. In her music, she’ll rattle off bucket list ambitions, refer to herself phallically, or write about a doomed romance (with that same ex as her cowriter). After watching her older brother play piano, she started taking classical lessons at the age of four, and eventually ended up at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Before dropping out, she linked up with producer Giulio Cercato and wrote and recorded what would become her first single “Break” in 2016. It caught fire around the world, catapulted onto the Spotify Global Viral Chart, and eventually eclipsed 15 million Spotify streams. She wrote and featured on “Crawl Outta Love” for Illenium, amassing 58 million Spotify streams, reaching the Top 30 on the Billboard Hot/Dance Electronic Songs Chart, and notching the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) Grand Prize. Between performing in sold out arenas across the country with Illenium throughout 2019, she landed a string of major placements as a writer for The Jonas Brothers, PRETTYMUCH, BTS, and Steve Aoki. After racking up over half a billion-plus streams, she welcomes everyone into her mind and heart on a series of 2021 singles and her forthcoming debut for Vol. 1/Epic Records led by the single “Fuck Being Sober.”
Songwriter and musician Johari Noelle unveils a new single “Get Free,” with a compelling accompanying video. Noelle released her debut EP, Things You Can’t Say Out Loud, in 2019.
“I wrote ‘Get Free’ to bring ease and joy to myself and others,” says Noelle. “You can’t love anyone without limits until you first love yourself without them. My music is about getting out how I feel and being very present in that moment. It’s important for me to embrace myself in a way that empowers me to feel each emotion and remain in touch with myself. I want people to know that they aren’t alone in what they are feeling. I want to convey a sense of relatability. My songs are meant to touch people. I want you to feel peace and comfort. I want to create something that creates conversation or community through shared experiences.”
Babehoven is the nomadic project of Topanga, CA-raised Maya Bon. She announces her Nastavi, Calliope EP, out July 9th, and presents its lead single, “Bad Week.” Nastavi, Calliope is the follow-up to Demonstrating Visible Difference of Height (2020) and Yellow Has a Pretty Good Reputation (2021). Nastavi, Calliope was built after a cascade of losses, and is a vessel into which Bon poured two years of heartache, humor, and rage, then growth. It’s largely motivated by reconnecting with her father in Croatia after being apart for 16 years, immersing herself in her ancestral culture, and the passing of the beloved family dog, Calliope. Throughout the EP, Bon untangles universal emotions through specific experiences, poignant writing, and a lacquered DIY aesthetic.
In the EP’s stunning opener “Bad Week,” Bon’s vocals reach out from beyond like a late night phone call from a friend. “It’s been a bad week for so many weeks now,” she sings, her voice glowing over strums of guitar and shuffling percussion. “This song is a hand reached inward to the swelling and amorphous cavities of grief,” says Bon. “As time keeps moving forward, I have found that it can feel as if the ‘bad days’ keep going, growing into ‘bad weeks,’ ‘bad years,’ into new levels of struggle that are hard to move through. Though this realization can feel staggering, it can also feel like an honest admission to self: these times are very hard and yet I want to move forward, I want to feel, I want to grow. ‘Bad Week’ is my attempt to commit to myself in these feelings.”
LVXURI is the new project of Sera Timms of Black Mare, Ides Of Gemini, Black Math Horseman and it sounds a bit different than what you might expect. Up until now, Timms’ body of work has been dark, heavy, existential and atmospheric. Her new project, LVXURI is fronted by a glamorous, buxom, cigar smoking chanteuse called Aurora Dawn. LVXURI reveals a new body, which will house a new and different canon of work which she calls her “Solar Temple.” Aurora Dawn is an amalgamation of an idealized feminine identity, the wandering fortune teller, and the alien erotic dancer seeking to please her mate, the sun, her audience beloved, and herself, as servant of Love.
“The song Aurora Dawn is basically Aurora Dawn’s “coming out” party. It’s the announcement of the Dawn of a new era, in which polarities are eclipsed by the union of opposites. She is also he, victim is also voyeur, the prostitute is also the patriarch. She has arrived on Earth to marry Heaven and Hell…or perhaps Heaven and Vegas. Why not let the angels pole dance? Isn’t this what we humans actually want…to feel both sacred and sensual?
When I wrote the lyrics I did not plan on leaving LA, but certain circumstances brought about my departure in October of 2020. I decided to to drive East with my 2 white cats Tom and Alice, and was inspired to stay in Vegas on the way and shoot a LVXURI video. I realized it needed to be for “Aurora Dawn” as the lyrics mention “re-routing” due to LA’s infamous sun drenched traffic jams, and the direction I was headed, East, is the direction the sun rises to bring the Dawn. What better place than Sin City for Aurora Dawn to drop in and introduce herself?’