Thomas Abban, Nezi Momodu, D’Arcy, Peter Matthew Bauer, Work Wife + Mary Hood, Gabríel Ólafs, and Madison Cunningham are the artists among these press releases for July.
Thomas Abban – “Don’t Leave”: Bold falsetto vocals delivered with intensity over a horn-infused track with traces of vintage R&B, drum crashes, and power chords. This is a track from his recently released EP “Ambienic,” and it is accompanied by a creative video in which Abban takes on many different forms. “This EP was made alone by me, said Thomas Abban. “It consists of songs predating my last album which I was unable to release. The EP was crafted with certain styles and emotions in mind. I had a particular sound I was pursuing for this project that I wanted to explore within a smaller medium like an EP. I wanted something with a more immediate core yet with deep and distant surroundings. The first person I played it for called it ‘Ambienic.'” Self-proclaimed artist in residence in existence, Thomas Abban was born in Wales and moved to Minnesota at the age of 10. Thomas produces and plays everything on his albums, ‘A Sheik’s Legacy’ (2017), self-released and re-issued by RCA in 2018, and ‘The Spiritualizer’, released in 2021 after a parting of ways with RCA due to creative differences. “I’ve never been from the places I’ve lived,” Thomas declares. “In some ways, this is favorable because I will never be tied to any culture, its traditions, or practices. Art, in particular music, is my homestead and undefinable culture. If the collective unconscious reveals itself, it is certainly through music; and if God dreams it is certainly to the sound of human creation. As an artist, I seek the balance between the known and unknown. With music, we speak a language whose meaning is destroyed when its words are spelled out. Artists bottle up vapor for a living, they erect invisible structures as dwelling places for the minds of others, they give wings to humanity and tell them to go take their own fire from the Gods.”
Nezi Momodu – “On Gawd”: A hip-hop track with stabbing keys and a unique badass style of free-style delivery. Born in Nigeria and raised in Dallas, TX, Nezi dove heavily into studying flows, poetry, and literature after the passing of her father, which would, later on, define her style of music. Using late 80’s and 90’s-infused melodies, hardcore messages, and unique wordplay, Nezi stands out from the pack. This new track from the musician, visual artist, and writer was produced by Paven Melody and is the latest from her upcoming EP, “The Pound.” “’On Gawd’ is a braggadocious Dallas-inspired song that plays on jiggin culture in the city,” notes Nezi. In addition to praise from fans, Nezi has also been championed by the likes of hip-hop greats like Snoop Dogg and Missy Elliot. She is also featured on Logic’s brand-new album, “Vinyl Days,” on the track, “Introducing Nezi (ft. Nezi Momodu).” She will also join the indie hip hop legend live on August 7th at the Dallas stop of his Vinyl Verse Tour. With almost 300k followers and 2.8 million likes, Nezi also has a rapidly growing presence on TikTok. Well known in the underground hip hop and art community in Dallas, Nezi stands out in the local MC cyphers and as a respected visual artist focusing heavily on acrylic works relating to black youth and pop culture. Her technique with various colors blended together with thick graphic lines is just one of the reasons why she is considered a new-age pop artist. Nezi was recently named to SoundCloud’s “First on SoundCloud” Class of 2022 where she will work directly with SoundCloud over the next year to co-produce tangible, career-defining moments to deepen artist-to-fan connections, creating unique opportunities to reach new audiences. The artists chosen for this special honor are ones championed by fans on SoundCloud and hand-selected by SoundCloud’s music team.
D’Arcy – “Ecstasy”: Emotive and haunting vocals over sensible keys, strings, and sparse drums, D’Arcy offers a unique type of dramatic and romantic songwriting influenced by a wide range of artists from Patti Smith, Nietzsche, FKA Twigs, and even techno music. Speaking on the new track, D’Arcy wrote: “‘Ecstasy’ is about the fine line between pleasure and pain; the concept for the song derived from the feeling of being at a party and wondering what everyone else there is trying to escape from if anything at all.” “Ecstasy” is her new single, whereas her debut EP, “Hard to Kill,” came out last year. The EP consists of six tracks, including three that are new: “Forever Numb,” “Dangerous,” and title track “Hard to Kill.” Thematically, the EP focuses on self-empowerment, young love, addiction, and heartbreak. At times dark and moody, and at times strong and powerful, “Hard to Kill” is imbued with honesty, attitude, and confidence, taking the listener through a range of emotions, sounds, and narratives. It has over 500k streams and coincided with her 40-city tour across the US. The EP was also a success at college radio being spun at 65+ radio stations and making the top 20 on over 10 stations. Stay tuned for more new music from D’Arcy this year.
Peter Matthew Bauer – “Skulls”: A sprawling rock song carried by Peter Matthew Bauer’s bright vocals, over a wall of organs, distorted guitar solos, animated percussion, and relentless stomp. “Skulls” is the second single off Peter Matthew Bauer’s next LP, “Flowers,” due September 23 via Fortune Tellers Music. Speaking on the track, Peter wrote: “‘Skulls’ came out of a really strong period of writing music without thinking. I stumbled onto this new style of guitar playing that brought me a lot of joy. I started using a distortion pedal for the first time in my life and discovered I could play all these riffs. ‘Skulls’ came out of this kind of endless waterfalling soloing I played for hours and then cut down to what you hear on tape. I’d written a record called Mount Qaf and the magic mountain in the song is sort of looking back at that. It’s a song about how what is strange and small and human is more gratifying than any sort of spiritual escape. It’s the most collaborative single on the record. Matt Barrick (The Walkmen, Muzz, Fleet Foxes) played the drums and mixed it. I had my friend Charlie Anastasis (Liily) whose band I manage play the bass. He’s like a young Flea. Then my wife Marisa and our friend Hillary sing alongside me throughout. Most of it was recorded down in my basement and then finished in Philadelphia at Silent Partner.”‘ “Flowers” is Peter Matthew Bauer’s first full-length record in almost five years. Taking from both his own personal experience alongside the stories of several others; a feeling of chasing what’s hidden at the edge of things inhabits the album. “It’s filled with a kind of dread but also I think a little joy remains,” says Peter. “It’s this weird continuum of losing people from your past, some close and some just characters I knew who were somehow important. That and this feeling of a kind of terror that we are all experiencing together, this cult-like feeling I have from my own childhood (he grew up in ashrams in both Upstate New York and Ganeshpuri, India), chasing down specific images and moments that feel alive within that kind of feeling, and then chasing that childhood feeling itself- that sense of home that feels lost sometimes, those are the things that make up this record. It’s like searching for an undercurrent hidden in everything – like an electric charge.” Peter Matthew Bauer will be opening for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in Los Angeles on July 16.
Work Wife + Mary Hood – “Drown Me Out”: Sweet to delicate vocals over an upbeat pop song filled with layered instrumental details and booming into a catchy chorus. The first in Brooklyn-by-way-of-Seattle indie-pop artist Work Wife’s series of collaboratively written tracks with other female artists in the Brooklyn indie scene, “Drown Me Out” was co-written with upstate New York native Mary Hood. The track describes their shared experience of being told how to live your life by someone who hasn’t walked in your shoes. A true collab, Meredith Lampe (of Work Wife) brought the half-finished song containing only the verse groove to Mary, who wrote the super catchy chorus. After getting in a room together to flesh out the lyrics, they came up with the outro together on the spot. Work Wife’s collab series was meant to foster community and collaboration, and this track serves as a true kickoff to the series as the two songwriters created a friendship along with the song. The duo teamed up with producer Stefan Macarewich (Wallows, No Vacation) to help produce and mix the track, which was then mastered by Jennica Best (Tessatura Studio, Colatura). The release is paired with a music video. With influences such as Men I Trust, Faye Webster, and American Football, Work Wife blends contemporary synth-pop elements with melancholy lyrics and surf rock instrumentals to achieve music that evokes her own dark humor. She writes and produces out of her home studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and plays live joined by drummer Cody Edgerly, Kenny Monroe on bass, and Aida Mekonnen on lead guitar. Mary Hood is a rising voice from a digital generation singing about old-school themes like loneliness, love, loss, and longing. Influenced by folk, 90s alt-rock, midwest emo, and jazz, she is drawn to brutally honest storytelling and dissonant melodies. Drawing inspiration from songwriters and bands like Big Thief, Fiona Apple, Elliott Smith, and she captures difficult emotions and specific life events in vivid detail, with a raw, ethereal voice and fingerstyle guitar. Her music has an ability to bring you to the present, while yearning for the past. Mary’s band members include Chris Curtin, Brian Hart, and Billy Coughlin. More new music coming soon.
Gabríel Ólafs – “Solon Islandus”: An immersive track from Icelandic composer and multi-instrumentalist Gabríel Ólafs, with a church-operatic dimension, thanks to an ethereal choral piece. The accompanying video was directed by Vidar Logi, choreographed by Andrean Sigurgeirsson, and features dancers from the Iceland Dance Company. The song is the title track from Ólafs’s forthcoming album “Solon Islandus,” set for release July 15 via Decca Records. “The ‘Solon Islandus’ video was made by powerful young Icelandic creatives,” says Ólafs. “It features eight dancers from the brilliant Iceland Dance Company which mirrors the eight-person vocal ensemble in the audio recording of the piece. Together they form an organic unity, beautifully symmetrical yet human. These shapes and colors by director Vidar and choreographer Andrean have informed every aspect of the visual world of the whole project.” “It was a peculiar task to weave together the ethereal yet harrowing beauty of the choral piece ‘Solon Islandus’ and director Vidar Logi’s stunning visual and thorough vision into dance,” says Sigurgeirsson “I wanted to embody the captivating music with symmetrical ritualistic movements that feel somehow deeply relatable but also very alien. Like a recurring dream that you feel deep in your psyche but never experience in your day-to-day life.” “Solon Islandus,” an ambitious concept album and transmedia project that pays homage to the artistic spirit of the people of Iceland, is Ólafs’s major-label debut. It’s also a work of personal discovery— an exploration of the artistry, culture, and place that has shaped Gabríel’s identity. The record draws inspiration from the writing of one of Iceland’s great poets, Davíð Stefánsson, in melodic works for piano, ensemble, and choir with spoken word elements.
Madison Cunningham – “Hospital”: Expressive and emotive vocals over an engaging guitar work for some hooky and wildly inspired tune. Two-time Grammy nominee Madison Cunningham has, rightly so, already been compared to a myriad of accomplished songwriters from Fiona Apple to Aimee Mann or even Joni Mitchell and Jeff Buckley, while her list of champions continues to grow including Harry Styles, John Mayer, Andrew Bird, and Sara Bareilles. Her latest single “Hospital” has reached the #1 most added at both AAA and non-commercial radio and was included in NPR’s All Songs Considered “New Mix.” “Hospital is written from this sort of half-awake, slightly drunken, on the cusp of a nervous breakdown perspective,” Cunningham explains. “I think ultimately it speaks to the impossible condition of being sedated with information and trying to hold onto your sanity.” Her highly anticipated new album “Revealer” will be released September 9 on Verve Forecast. “Revealer” finds Cunningham working once again with Mike Elizondo (Twenty One Pilots, Gary Clark Jr.) as well as longtime producer and collaborator Tyler Chester and Tucker Martine (Neko Case, Sufjan Stevens). “To me, ‘revealer’ is the binding theme of the album,” says Cunningham. “The hand that slowly chips away at the mirror in which you see yourself and the world and replaces it with the reflection that is most true.” The album is full of confessions, intimations, and hard truths—a self-portrait of a young artist who is full of doubt and uncertainty yet bursting with exciting ideas about music and life. Cunningham will be hitting the road on her fall headline “The Revealer Tour” kicking off this September with Bendigo Fletcher supporting.
I was happier because I knew I was happy
a snapshot of big hits and high tides, mostly high tides.
There is just a lot to love
the sound seemed to erupt from every side of the room
still on top
“danceable music for the end of days”
contracts its world in Nashisms
let’s take what we are offered
It’s the music, stupid