Press Releases From September, Here Are The Artists
From Raissa, Sampa the Great, Delilah Montagu, Lizzy McAlpine, and Hennessey, an eclectic list of female artists in this collection of press releases from September, that also includes Sufjan Stevens’ latest single.
Porter Robinson – ‘Mirror’: A walk in a forest with translucid sounds, sparse keys soon transforming into a more upbeat ballad. There’s something triumphant in the entire song while strange magic blends organic and electronic to build a sonic dance festival fully illustrated by the video. ‘Mirror’ is the third track from producer-songwriter Porter Robinson’s forthcoming full length, ‘Nurture.’ In the video, Robinson uses Live2D face-tracking technology to map his own facial movements onto the hand-drawn avatar, capturing his own live expressions and performance of the song. The hand-drawn avatar is available as an AR filter today—try it here and watch Robinson’s demo here—following the last filter for ‘Something Comforting,’ which racked up more than 1 million impressions.
Gabriel Garzón-Montano – ‘Bloom’: A languid melancholic ballad with delicate fingerpicking, emotive strings, cascading-discreet keys, and Gabriel Garzón-Montano’s raucous seductive croon. This is the new single from his forthcoming album, ‘Agüita,’ out October 2nd on Jagjaguwar in association with Stones Throw. ”Bloom’ is a song about birth, life, decay, and death,’ says Garzón-Montano. ‘I looked up the word Bloom and was delighted at the many definitions it boasts. Using the ones that lent themselves to my story I decided to start the first and last phrase in each stanza with the word. Each line uses the definition to describe a different state of human development of a stage of life.’ ‘Agüita’ is supposed to be a prismatic self-portrait, demonstrating Garzón-Montano’s ability to execute a wide range of musical styles, a versatile exercise proving he is an artist who cannot be restrained to a style, a language, a rhythm, or a concept.
Major Lazer – ‘Oh My Gawd’: A rap-dance track with Afrobeats by global dance trio made of Diplo, Walshy Fire and Ape Drums, with Nigerian superstar Mr Eazi, featuring Nicki Minaj, and UK-based artist K4mo. I will never be a fan of that kind of stuff, although Nicki Minaj saves the show by sounding more badass than the rest of the crowd, while the video and her great dancers will surely bring a lot of attention. ‘This record was really fun to make,’ Mr Eazi says, ‘and it’s crazy how it went from hearing a K4mo intro in the studio with Fred Again, to me jumping on it and then Diplo hopping in! And Walshy hitting me up to say it’s a banger—next thing Nicki is on it! Been a journey really, like two years in the making and I can’t wait to perform it at my next festival!’
John K – ‘Happiness’: An emotive pop track going for the anthem with R&B vocals, oscillating between gentle ballad and dynamic falsetto-spiked hook. This is the new single by RIAA-certified platinum pop singer and songwriter John K. ‘I’m part of a group chat with friends in the music industry, and years ago, we started what we call ‘The Song Game’ where every week we pick a topic and each of us has to submit a new song. One week, the theme was ‘HAPPY’, and our friend (Jesse Fink) submitted the first verse and chorus of ‘Happiness.’ We all loved the concept and knew it was special, but ultimately decided it didn’t fit the direction the project was going at the time, so we shelved it. Fast forward two years later, the world shuts down, and there’s just a big question mark hanging over everybody’s head. Suddenly, it couldn’t be more relevant to personify happiness as a person you haven’t seen in a while. We wrote a second verse and finished the song, knowing we didn’t want to wait any longer to release it. I’m so proud of ‘Happiness’ and can’t wait for my fans to hear it.’ The song will be featured on his forthcoming new project due out this fall.
Raissa – ‘Go Fast Baby’: A sweet and emotive voice floating over fast-moving swirls of synth, gaining ferocious beats during a hooky chorus. This is a new track from London-based artist Raissa’s forthcoming, and it comes with a video directed by UK-based duo bedroom (beabadoobee, The 1975). ‘I want people to feel big like they take up space. That’s a good thing. It’s about big feelings and defining yourself by what you like and what excites you, about becoming your own hero and everyone can do that. You are not an inconvenience. There’s room for you at the hero table,’ Raissa says. ”On ‘GO FAST BABY,’ I’m talking directly to the people who were shitty to me and held me back from reaching my potential. I’m telling them, ‘I’m out of here and you can’t stop me, I’m so far beyond where you thought I would be.’ Her forthcoming debut EP, ‘HEROGIRL,’ that will be out later this year via Mark Ronson’s Zelig Records/Columbia, chronicles a hero’s journey, heavily influenced by sci-fi and fantasy aesthetics, and a classic storytelling device wherein the protagonist crosses the threshold into another realm to learn a critical lesson that can then be applied to the normal world.
Sampa The Great –’ Freedom’: A warm and soulful track with Sampa’s acerbic rap flow, mixing a 70s vibe with a soul-jazz coolness and a modern delivery tainted with an authentic African accent. Sampa The Great, who was born in Zambian-born and raised in Botswana and Melbourne, blends hip-hop, soul, R&B, and spoken word; this track comes from her breakthrough debut album, ‘The Return,’ released in 2019. She has now been announced as the first-ever global artist for ‘BET Amplified’–a multifaceted campaign that identifies and elevates stars on the rise. ‘I’m so excited to be the ‘BET Amplified’ artist for September,’ notes Sampa. ‘Representing Zambia on the global stage, the best way I know how – through my music!’ This year she became the first musician ever to claim the prestigious Australian Music Prize (AMP) title twice in their career, she also won the first-ever ARIA (Australia’s Grammy-equivalent) for Best Hip Hop Release for her single ‘Final Form,’ while ‘The Return’ was also included in numerous ‘best of 2019’ lists (including being named Bandcamp’s #1 Album of the Year_ and her track ‘Final Form’ won ‘Track of the Year’ at the Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards.
Delilah Montagu – ‘Loud’: Breathy vocals for a light pop song unfolding plenty of emotions and soft beats turning the soft ballad into a sweet dancefloor. This is the new single from this London-based artist, unafraid to sound both vulnerable and confident. She wrote the song alongside acclaimed producer Robin Hannibal (Rhye, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak) just as the global pandemic was about to hit. Speaking about ‘Loud,’ Delilah said, ‘I’ve always been a shy person, unsure of who I am and where I fit in. Loud came from a space of being confused for so long and signifies a hugely important transition for me. With honesty and confidence I now know I’m capable of having healthy relationships with myself and those around me, staying true to and feeling enormously proud of who I really am.’ ‘Loud’ follows the release of her debut single ‘Version Of Me,’ which garnered instant critical acclaim from the likes of The Sunday Times Culture, i-D, The Independent, Wonderland and L’Officiel.
Lizzy McAlpine – ‘I knew’: Another sad girl with a guitar? However, the melody is really pretty with a little swing here, emotional keys and strings there and a heartbreaking bridge while Lizzy McAlpine’s whispery and sweet voice intertwines soothing and painful vibes. The song, from McAlpine’s debut album ‘Give Me A Minute,’ comes with a video of an acoustic performance of the song filmed in her garden. McAlpine has unveiled a crowdfunded vinyl campaign via Bandcamp for the release of her album, and the campaign, which runs for 30 days, hit its Bandcamp target in under an hour marking a total of 350 vinyl records sold in one day! She wrote the song while studying songwriting in Spain, far away from family, friends and her peers at Berklee College of Music in Boston. ‘It was a very lonely time, so I wrote a lot of songs… That tends to happen whenever I go through a large-scale change, whether it’s in my environment or in my personal life,” says McAlpine. This album one is like a snapshot of where I was at that time,” she says. “The next project could be completely different. Honestly, it depends on where I’m at and what I’m going through.’
Sufjan Stevens – ‘Sugar’: This glitchy mellow electronica is the new song from Stevens’ forthcoming eighth studio album ‘The Ascension,’ that he has described as a ‘lush, editorial pop album.’ ‘’Sugar’ is ultimately about the desire for goodness and purity (and true sustenance),’ says Sufjan. “On the surface, the song is just a string of clichés, but the message is imperative: now is the time to gather what is good and pure and valuable and make it your own, and share it with others. Feed your soul and speak new life into those around you. Give each other love, respect, and sacrifice. Relinquish all the old habits, all the old ways of thinking and doing, all former practices—‘business as usual’—and bring new life to the world. This is our calling.’ The video, choreographed by acclaimed choreographer, MacArthur Fellow, and Doris Duke Artist Award recipient Kyle Abraham and directed by Ezra Hurwitz, follows a Brooklyn family that observes their world dissolves around them, while their dance moves are quite surprising.
Hennessey – ‘No Transformation’: A loud organ and Leah Hennessey’s clear and commanding vocals dominate the slow song, layered with steady beats floating in the ether. ‘No Transformation is a sweet shout into the void,’ says Hennessey. ‘Something we are all collectively enacting at this very strange moment. Am I melting or the poles? Are we flowers or lab rats? When I listened to the song it seemed to be a movie for the age of surveillance capitalism. To make these pictures all we have to do is figure out where to point the projector.’ The strange song comes with a video directed by multimedia and installation artist Tony Oursler, with whom Hennessey has been collaborating. Oursler, known for his work involving projected faces on sculptures, chose to project images on the singer’s face: paranoid flashes of government insignia, ghostly ice caps, and arcane algorithms. In Oursler’s eyes, Their debut self-titled EP is out now on Velvet Elk Records.