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Press Releases For June: Here Are The Artists

press releases for June
Chris Garneau is among these press releases for June – Photo by Frank Correa

Pony Girl, Zzzahara, Joe Pug, Miya Folick, NIKI, The Walkmen, and Chris Garneau are the artists among these press releases for June.

Pony Girl – “Age Of Anxious”: Ethereal voices, clap-like beats, fragile synths, delicate guitar lines, and a nocturnal sax for a soothing and haunting soundscape accompanied by an artsy video. This is a new song by Ottawa-Hull-based indie-rock band Pony Girl taken from their forthcoming LP, “Enny One Wil Love You,” due October 14 via Paper Bag Records. “Age of Anxious” explores themes of isolation in the digital age through dark comic vignettes & absurdist situations. It’s a sitcom for rats with a side of existential dread. Speaking on their new track, lyricist Pascal Huot wrote: “‘Age of Anxious’ is a breakup song, but not for a lover. It’s about longing for an idealized past without questioning the truth about our own recollection. Technology is partly to blame, such as the constant listening of our phones. We’re living with a double-edged sword of innovation and misinformation at our fingertips. Both tech and the song feel deceptively romantic, a musical illusion aided greatly by Joseph Shabason’s nostalgic sax. Even though the past was never better, we think it was. How can we want something back that we’ve never had? The song is inspired by far sickness and selective memory. The rise of populist movements has shown that we long for idealized versions of the past. Re-writings of history that omit the truth and conveniently support their ideologies. Through this lens, we explore the breakup song.” Speaking on the music video, director Brittany Delgaty wrote: “The last three years have felt as though we live more of our lives on the internet than we do outside of it. Especially at the peak of the quarantine, our perception of reality became confused and warped. We’ve seen riots, wars, and political controversies all scroll past in our Instagram feeds… and sometimes it feels difficult to care about any of it. What I really love about this video is that it means both nothing and everything at the same time. We had the opportunity to play with sets, lights, and simple archetypes to make the absurd seem profound, and vice versa. Also, there are rats. What’s not to love? This video does not follow a traditional story structure – while some scenes in the video are connected, many of them only exist to complement lyrics in the song or incorporate elements from the visual identity of the “Enny One Wil Love You” album. The video was shot with limited camera movement, using zooms and symmetrical framing to give it a slightly retro and claustrophobic feel. Most scenes were shot against flat colored backgrounds with pops of complementing color integrated either through the lighting or in the set design. Off-speed frame rates were also used for lip-syncing scenes to increase the surreal feeling for the viewer. “

Zzzahara – “get out of LA”: A fast tempo and a bouncy song with reverb and a touch of ‘80s new wave vibe. This new song by rising Los Angeles-based queer guitarist and songwriter Zzzahara is taken from their forthcoming debut album as a solo artist, out later this year on Lex Records. “‘get out of la’ is my representation about my frustrations with growing up and living in Los Angeles,” Zzzahara says. “Different walks of life coming in and out of the city all year long. People discover themselves and going full survival mode to get to where they want to be. Some of those people become lost and forget who they are, often burning bridges and shoving their way to the top. I think I just got annoyed with all that noise and wanted to be surrounded by people who are genuine and chill. I got tired of dating people who constantly compared themselves to everyone here when the secret sauce is to be your own unique self. I guess re-inventing yourself could be cool, but just make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and not hurting others.” “‘get out of la’ was written in Collin Davis’ (Ynes Mon) bedroom,” Zzzahara says. “He produced the track and I wrote the lyrics/vocal melody. I think it was a pivotal moment in both of our songwriting skills because we had been writing tracks together for about a year before we started on ‘get out of la’ so the musical chemistry was all there. I also phoned up my friend Dillon Olmedo to play bass on the track. He absolutely killed the bass line. Then phoned up my friend Josh Trevizo who is an amazing jazz drummer. Josh slayed the drums. I’ve played with both of them a bunch over the last few years so it felt right to have them on this amazing track.” The song comes with a video.

Joe Pug – “I Do My Father’s Drugs | Revisited”: Swirling synth and harmonica for a folk-inspired song with layers of Americana and aching honesty. This is a re-recorded of the song with additional players in the mix, reimagined with a full band and taken from Pug’s acclaimed 2008 debut. A tongue-in-cheek turn of phrase, of course, “I Do My Father’s Drugs | Revisited” is intended to explore the idea that once a counter-culture gains enough adherents, it actually becomes the dominant culture itself. This is the latest single to be lifted from the Friday, July 22 release of “Nation of Heat | Revisited.” Featuring contributions by Brandon Flowers (The Killers), Derry deBorja (Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit), Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket), and Courtney Hartman, “Nation of Heat | Revisited” is a collection of songs that have earned themselves a passionate following over the years but are given the proper treatment here that Pug had originally intended for them. Revisiting and reinterpreting these songs from a place of experience and perspective, the album sounds livelier, rowdier, punchier, but also more sophisticated, headier. “It’s how I would’ve wanted the record to sound in the first place if I’d had the money and the ability to do it this way,” Pug says. “But I knew this album couldn’t just be the original songs with a bar band behind me as I played an acoustic guitar. I didn’t want to just add a rhythm section. It had to be a complete reimagining.” “Nation of Heat | Revisited” isn’t meant to replace “Nation of Heat.” Rather, Pug intends this new album to comment on his debut and to sum up everything that has followed it. It’s more thoughtful than a greatest hits package, more revealing than a memoir, and it retains the extra-ness of these songs. “I’ve never been far away from them,” he says. “These songs are how I’ve paid my rent and my mortgage. They’re how I’ve bought my kids diapers. When I got out on the road, these are the songs that people want to hear, and they’re the songs I want to give people. I’ve spent more than a decade playing them in different cities all over America, all over the English-speaking world, and I trust that they’re able to convey what I want them to convey. For a certain type of listener, I know they’re going to connect.”

Miya Folick – “Ordinary”: Emotive vocals over a strummed guitar and cascading keys, this lovely new song allows Miya to showcase her great vocal agility. The video was directed by Noah Kentis while singer-songwriter Gia Margaret adds piano to the acoustic track, on which Folick sings, “Our life is small but it’s big enough for me.” “This song is about slowing down, looking inward, taking time with the people you love,” says Folick. “Things don’t have to be a party or a spectacle. They don’t have to be special to feel special. Rather than finding joy in rushing into things, I’m finding joy in patience, in quiet, in getting to know somebody slowly.” “When I first heard ‘Ordinary,’ I felt moved by its sweet melody and the direct and simple sentiment of the lyrics,” says Margaret. “The piano parts effortlessly flowed soon after my friend (Miya) asked me to lend my part. It was fun and made me feel something.” “Ordinary” follows Miya’s recent return with “Oh God,” her first new music in three years. Both tracks are taken from a forthcoming EP on Nettwerk. Miya recently played shows with Sir Chloe in L.A. and Years & Years in New York, following up recent dates with Lucy Dacus, Band of Horses, Ian Sweet, and more.

NIKI -“Every Summertime”: A playful sunny pop song with a retro R&B-meets-soul flavor a bit reminiscent of Diana Ross. This hit single by Jakarta-born, LA-based singer-songwriter, and producer NIKI was used for the soundtrack of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and went viral with over 220 million streams and climbing. The track, written and produced by NIKI and longtime collaborator Jacob Ray – is an exuberant love song with a throwback sound. NIKI has also announced her first North American headlining tour “The Nicole Tour.” The tour will kick off in Vancouver, BC on September 8th, stopping in major cities including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and more, some of which the key markets had sold out in the first hour of their presales earlier this week. NIKI has also released “Before,” the first single from her forthcoming album “Nicole.” The reflective record is tinged with nostalgia and sees NIKI yearning for a past relationship that has come to an end and grappling with navigating her feelings and how to let go. The release of “Before” comes fresh off the heels of NIKI’s unforgettable performance at Coachella in April, where she became the first Indonesian artist to ever perform at the festival, alongside Rich Brian. NIKI will follow up her Coachella appearance with a performance at 88rising’s 2022 Head in the Clouds Festival this August at Brookside at the Rose Bowl. NIKI has previously headlined at the 2021 Head in the Clouds Festival last November with a striking set that received acclaim from MTV, Flaunt, and The AV Club who hailed her a “goddamn superstar.” With her Indonesian heritage essential to her story, she feels “a social responsibility representing Asian artists, especially as a role model for girls.” For aspiring Asian and Asian American talents aiming to break cultural norms and overcome music industry under-representation, NIKI proves that the highest dreams are indeed within reach.

The Walkmen – “Canadian Girl”: A beautiful, soulful ballad influenced by early rock & roll with uplifting horns and layered instrumentation. This is a song taken from the Walkmen’s reissue deluxe edition of their career highlight “You & Me,“ recorded at Sun Studio. Originally released in 2008, this new Sun Studio Edition is fully remastered by Chris Colbert at National Freedom and features the fourth side of unreleased tracks from the era recorded at Memphis legendary Sun Studio for PBS that captures the band’s essential nature as 21st-century artists deeply influenced by early rock and roll music. “You & Me” was the Walkmen’s fourth studio album and widely considered their masterpiece, kicking off a new life for the band with standouts such as “In the New Year”, “On the Water”, and “I Lost You”. The Sun recordings showcase a massive local horn section including Ben Cauley of the Bar-Kays, the only survivor of the plane crash that took Otis Redding along with 4 other members of the Bar-Kays. The band is also releasing videos of the sessions for two songs “Canadian Girl (Sun Studio Version)” and “Louisiana (Sun Studio Version),” that show the band performing and recording the songs at Sun.Studio

Chris Garneau – “Ballard”: A mesmerizing slow ballad, revolving around atmospheric melodies, dreamy synths, soft percussion, and Garneau’s haunting vocals reminiscent of Perfume Genius. This is a new song by Brooklyn-based enigmatic singer-songwriter Chris Garneau, produced & recorded by Patrick Higgins (solo eponymous project, Zs, Nicolas Jaar) at his studio in Upstate New York. Since 2018, Higgins has produced various dynamic singles for Garneau, as well as his fifth full-length, The Kind (2021). With “Ballard,” Garneau came with a demo and a strong vision which Higgins helped to transform into a mesmerizing, stunning ballad combining synthesizers, percussion, and atmospheric samples from Garneau’s original demo. The track shifts from dreamy pop into an epic, sweeping soundscape. “Ballard” is the first single off Garneau’s upcoming EP, out this fall. Speaking on the track, Garneau wrote: “I wrote this song after a vivid dream I had last summer where I met and fell in love with a vampire. We agreed he could drink the blood from my neck, turning me, but two days later he disappeared. I never saw him again, not in my dreams not in real life. Even though it all happened while I was sleeping it stuck with me for a while, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for months until I finally wrote the song to get it out. I felt like I was hallucinating sometimes, like that it really happened. It was bizarre. Sort of hot, kinda fun, but also felt fucked up. Ultimately I was relieved to let go of the feeling.” On June 15, Garneau plays his first US show with full band in support of The Kind. The record was produced by Patrick Higgins (eponymous solo project, Zs, Nicolas Jaar) and recorded in a 19th-century German Lutheran church in Upstate New York. Throughout his career, Garneau has explored a wide breadth of sonic territory. Yours, his previous studio album (2018), was an expansive world of many textures, one that showcased his prowess as a composer and his ability to create rich sensory landscapes. With The Kind, Garneau reigns in focus, reconnects with himself, and returns to the grounded, pared-down composition of his beloved debut album Music For Tourists. Garneau performs at Joe’s Pub after a recent European tour and will offer a dynamic set featuring songs from his entire catalog.

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