This edition of New Artist Spotlight features rising artists inspired by relationships, demons, and egos. Check out this week’s picks!
Toronto singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Conor Gains has released his debut album, “Three.” The new project co-produced by Mike Wise (Ellie Goulding, James Blunt, Britney Spears) features 5 timeless, bluesy tracks, including his latest single “Light Shine In,” a song about the balance between independence and companionship.
Hand Made House
Friends Tucker Click (Lead Vocals),Josh Nardine (drums), Maison Thomas-Eudy (guitar/vocals) and Amin Mortada (guitar/vocals) of Hand Made House have evolved a lot since their days at Berklee College of Music. Their latest single “Like The Weather ” showcases a shift from the band’s signature modern/soft pop sound to an edgier Rap inspired sound reminiscent of Machine Gun Kelly.
In talking about the genre shift, the band said, “We’ve felt as though we’ve always been good at sad or bitter songs, and this last year was unfortunately a time where I felt a lot of those emotions. I remember moving to California and trying to write joyful songs still, and then telling Amin and Josh ‘I’m not happy, and I feel like I’m lying trying to write songs that feel happy.’ This song was a culmination of a lot of pent up feelings and a lot of soul searching. I wanted the song to feel like the waves of emotion that I was dealing with on a day to day basis.”
Rising singer songwriter Elle Yaya gives listeners a raw and gritty glimpse into her struggle with addiction on her long awaited debut LP ‘Pharmacy.’
Through R&B/pop tracks including “PTSD” and lead single “Little Thing,” Yaya shares her own personal stories in diary-like rawness.
Speaking on the debut project, Yaya explained, “I wrote these songs whilst discovering who I was, growing up, partying, suffering with PTSD, severe depression, all whilst in active addiction. I think it’s safe to say (for lack of a better term) it was fucking chaos. I chose the name Pharmacy because the process was medicinal. You go to the pharmacy to get what you need, I needed each of these songs and the process of writing them to see that my life was totally unmanageable, I needed to get well.”
“If I Leave” is the emotional debut single from Candian artist Stefanie Parnell. In the insightful track, Parnell addresses and finds closure in unresolved feelings from a breakup through vulnerable lyrics and comforting chords.
“This song encompasses the raw emotion I was feeling at the time, but I am surprised to see its meaning evolve over the years. It grew from how I felt in one particular relationship to the realization of a common theme in all my relationships. Because of this, I have grown to fall in love with it again and again,” Parnell shared of the track.
The release is accompanied by a video produced, filmed, and edited by Marina Totino in which viewers wander through a miniature, hand-made world.
Cal In Red
Since November 2018, brothers Connor and Kendall Wright have been dedicating every bit of free time to their indie pop/rock project, Cal In Red.
Their latest single, “Zebra” is an atmospheric, indie pop tune filled with bass, drums, falsetto and an impactful realization.
“As I’ve gotten older, the realization that I’m not the center of the universe has kind of hit me like a brick. A lot of people (myself included) grow into this belief that we’re the most important person on the planet, and that’s a dangerous, privileged spot to be in. Sure a Zebra is unique if you’re contrasting it to a horse but guess what, there are fields and fields full of Zebras out there. I’m learning to rethink and break habits that, overall, were keeping me from a greater appreciation and understanding of everyone around me. I guess it’s a call to realization and growth,” Kendall explained.
Cal In Red is a family and friends affair with their cousin Mark on drums and brother Cal as their namesake, as well as their friend’s as hosts for their “Zebra” video directed by friend and photographer Alex Bolen.
The Michigan-based duo plans to release one more single before premiering their debut EP in Summer 2021.
You may recognize rising UK artist Tyson as one half of PANES. In 2020, she launched her solo project with her ‘Moonlight Mixtape.’ Now she has returned with her woozy R&B single, “Tuesday.”
Produced by childhood pal Oscar Scheller, “Tuesday,” “is about that sweet part at the beginning of a relationship when you can’t get enough of each other. That safe happy feeling, you can’t get enough of that either,” Tyson says.
The song is paired with a stunning video directed by the BAFTA nominated director Akinola Davies. In the visual, Tyson soars above London’s sunset on a pink, fluffy dragon.
On the visual, Tyson shared, “I loved making this video. Originally, I was adamant not to have a love story, to contrast the sweet lyrics. But I guess it is a kind of love story in the end…one between me, my giant fluffy friend and my hometown.” She continued, “Akinola has a genius imagination, and you can see that come to life in the video, it’s a full fantasy world. It was a team effort – everyone came together to make such an ambitious idea work with the resources we had, and that’s another reason I love it so much.”
Fans can look forward to her debut EP ‘Pisces Problems’ out April 30, 2021.
Following sophomore single “In My Head,” R&B newcomer Naila is back with her latest track “Forever.” Steeped in 90s vibes, the single and its video “is about finally getting out of that toxic loop with a significant other, someone who has stepped out of the relationship more than once. Though easier said than done, it’s about the sense that the relationship is doing you no good. It’s kind of a “fuck you” anthem to say I’m moving on and finally done, ” Naila shared.
Electro-pop artist Air Apparent is back with his first single of 2021, “Bad For Me.” Teaming up with vocalist Gess, Air Apparent has created a track that is both relatable and dance worthy.
On the track, Air Apparent says, “Bad for Me (ft. GESS) is a song about loving someone or something even when you know it’s bad for you. I think everyone has felt this way at some point when their whole heart and mind is consumed with emotion around something even when they knew it was killing them. In a way, this song represents my relationship to music at certain points – where I felt like my obsession with making music was compromising my sleep schedule and social life! I’ve got a much healthier relationship to it now, but even if that changed, I know I wouldn’t have it in me to stop creating.”