Niina Soleil, Cub Sport, Boy Deluxe, Ashlynn Malia, DSL, Major League Djz and Major Lazer, and SWIMM are the artists among these press releases for March.
Niina Soleil – “Happy Pills”: A playful and catchy pop song delivered with sex appeal, a jazzy sensibility, percussive layers, and dreamy harmonies. This is a new song by singer-songwriter Niina Soleil (Nina Shallman) co-written and produced by Paper Idol, featuring sophisticated rhythms, a débonnaire groove, and Soleil’s unique cheeky gravitas. It is a graceful movement in an exciting new direction. The track additionally comes alongside a gorgeous music video helmed by Caitlyn Phu. Conceptualized by her and Soleil, the video is inspired by a dream of being locked in New York’s Museum of Illusions. “Everything is cyclical, everything is seasonal,” says Niina Soleil, “All invention is reinvention.” Niina Soleil is Los Angeles’ newest pop artist with a refreshing quality of realness. Her songs accentuate the overlay between California sunshine singers like Linda Ronstadt and Jack Johnson. Pop sensibilities with both feet on the ground. Soleil finds her timing uniquely precise, the release of her debut singles “Lonely in Love”, “Make It Summer” and “Flowers on Fire” provides a much-needed spring’s thaw and a nod towards your new summer driving playlists. With the folksy intuition of Joni Mitchell, the richly laid-back pace of the tempo of Fiona Apple, and a touch of Rihanna mixed with a near-Roy Orbison ache; her songs envelop you into her everglow. A California of the mind that borders nothing but the ocean.
Cub Sport: “Songs About it”: Ethereal synth with metallic house beats blending with a male-female dialogue soon turning into an intense club dancefloor. This is the fourth single off “Jesus At The Gay Bar,” Brisbane-based group Cub Sport’s upcoming album. The album will be out everywhere on Good Friday, April 7th via Cub Sport Records. The single cuts to the heart of the latest incarnation of the beloved four-piece. A piece of euphoric, starry-eyed piano house, “Songs About It” is about getting stuck in a moment of hedonistic, split-second joy and memorializing it in pure pop. In a sense, it speaks to the sparkling highs of the Cub Sport catalog, which has always sought to capture love and beauty in song form. Few Cub Sport songs, though, have manifested like this: with a winking, 90s-referencing piano riff and roiling, infectious sub-bass, “Songs About It” charts new territory for the band, the track’s classic-sounding rhythm managing to say just as much as its lyrics. On “Jesus At The Gay Bar,” a sense of uplift is used to reify and exalt stories from lead singer and 2023 Grammy-nominee Tim Nelson and keyboardist and vocalist Sam Netterfield’s past – namely, their love story. Across this record, the early days of their relationship, at the time shrouded in secrecy and fear, are memorialized for what they are: moments of beauty and youthful ecstasy. Many of these songs, “Keep Me Safe” and “Replay” among them, recognize those moments as necessary scenes of transformation and growth. Set to booming dance-pop, they play like fairytales, stories to be heard over and over. The singles showcase Cub Sport’s ability to balance introspective, ballad-like lyrics with house beats to create versatile, multi-faceted tracks. The “Jesus At The Gay Bar” Tour marks the band’s first shows stateside since 2019. The current 22-date tour spans both coasts and will visit venues such as The Echo in Los Angeles and Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, concluding July 3rd at Valley Bar in Phoenix. In addition, Cub Sport will join artists such as Carly Rae Jepsen and Orville Peck to perform at Outloud, West Hollywood’s Pride Festival on Saturday, June 3rd.
Boy Deluxe – “Left Behind”: A moody, mid-tempo electronic ballad with yearning and emotional vocals for a hooking chorus flirting with pop and experimental electronica. LA-based dark pop duo Boy Deluxe (Hope and True Murra) have released a new music video for their single “Left Behind.” The track examines the complex emotions of feeling special yet overlooked. Originally written on a Fender Rhodes, it came to life with True’s signature production and Hope’s brooding vocals. Of “Left Behind,” Hope wrote: “The song’s haunting synths, shimmering soundscapes, and introspective lyrics paint a vivid picture of the struggle to find one’s place in a world that often overlooks what makes us special. ‘Left Behind’ conveys a sense of hope and resilience, reminding listeners to never give up on the pursuit of their true selves. ‘Left Behind’ is a powerful meditation on the beauty of individuality and the strength it takes to shine in a world that often fails to see our true worth.” In 2021, Boy Deluxe shared an EP titled “RISEN.” Suddenly finding themselves in the midst of chaos and change, the band’s best way of coping with the world around them was by writing and creating. From the deep pain of personal loss to the daily stress of survival, Boy Deluxe transmuted a year and a half of grief into their best work yet. From reflections on ending a relationship (“All Out”) to commentary on the rampant greed in our society (“Silver Silver”) to a story of women going to New York City to get branded and initiated into a secret cult (“Cult Status”), and an anthem on personal power (“Im the Blood”), RISEN encompasses the duo’s experience in unprecedented times. Speaking on the EP, Hope said: “The songs on RISEN are a reflection of the grief, loss, and outrage felt during the pandemic, but they’re also songs about finding yourself, hope, and rebirth.” Boy Deluxe is due to release more new music this year.
Ashlynn Malia – “wheel of fortune”: Meditative piano ballad with raw and emotive vocals vibrating in profound whispers. This is the second single from Ashlynn Malia, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter who first got noticed on TikTok, released ahead of her upcoming EP “navigating galaxies,” out March 21st via Jullian Records. The single, in the same fashion as the first track titled “comfortable” which was released last month, includes Ashlynn’s haunting vocals accompanied by a single instrument, all to illustrate the initial and unabridged steps of her songwriting process. Connection with her listeners is what Ashlynn is striving for in her upcoming EP, which will be made up of a collection of voice memos, and the first two singles prove it’s off to beautiful beginnings. Of her latest single and the new EP, Ashlynn wrote: “I’m learning to accept what’s out of my control and that every stage of life is temporary and precious in its own right. What I care about most when it comes to music is connection. I write about connection and I write to connect with people. I think that’s why releasing something as vulnerable as a collection of voice memos appeals to me (and also lowkey scares the shit out of me). If I’m honest about the things that I struggle with or think about, it might make someone who stumbles across my work less alone and maybe even excited that someone else shares the same thoughts they don’t always feel safe enough to talk about. The whole release strategy of this EP is taking a more personal route. Reaching out to my audience organically through TikToks that aren’t too ‘polished’ or perfect. More tearing down that wall between artist and consumer and inviting the people who give their time to listening to me into my mind and my process.” And as her EP release looms near, Ashlynn Malia is also opening for Theo Kandel’s Los Angeles show on March 31st at The Mint as part of his spring 2023 tour.
DSL – “Ready Set Go”: Atmospheric rap delivered over minimalist keys with dark tones and menacing shades. This new song comes from rising rapper DSL who was raised in a Moroccan family in Southern California. Music became a refuge when her peers picked on her in high school, mocking her lips with the moniker “DSL.” When she began to release her own music as a gender studies student at UCLA, she decided to reclaim the title. A musical ethos of empowerment followed, with DSL channeling her valley girl attitude into her music. “Music unleashed a power in me I didn’t know I had,” says DSL. “That’s what I want to give back. I honestly believe we all have that inner baddie and that shit is like pandora, once it comes out it’s not going back in. If I can do that for one person, I will consider myself a success.” DSL’s previously released singles have garnered over five million streams globally and were featured on Spotify’s “Feelin’ Myself” and “Pressure” playlists. In 2022, DSL collaborated with producer Project Pat on her track “Girls Gone Wild” while her single “POOF” appeared as a top trending song on TikTok. Stay tuned for more music from DSL to come soon.
Major League Djz and Major Lazer – “Designer”: Ethnic vibe and smooth rhythms mixed with a modern dancefloor attitude. The song (and its accompanying music video) by Emerging South African superstars Major League Djz and Major Lazer, features rising Nigerian vocalist and songwriter Joeboy. “‘Designer’ is about feeling fly, rocking designer, being braggadocious, being confident in your skin, and shining wherever you are,” Joeboy says. “I was in L.A. at Diplo’s Malibu mansion and ‘Designer’ is one of the songs we made. Diplo is a talented producer, and I am happy to be working with him on another track.” The new track follows, “Koo Koo Fun” featuring Nigerian icon Tiwa Savage and DJ Maphorisa, Major Lazer’s first new music since 2021 that features further contributions from Don Jazzy and Stargate. The track was later remixed by Bianca Costa, Chloé Caillet, Francis Mercier, and Nic Fanciulli. The new tracks fall under the genre of amapiano, a South African style of house music that emerged in 2012 and is descended from the South African house genre kwaito and Afrobeats. Pioneered largely by Major League Djz, amapiano is a hybrid of deep house, jazz, and lounge music characterized by synths, airy pads, and wide percussive basslines and is currently topping charts in the U.K. and beyond. The BET-nominated amapiano duo Major League Djz—twin brothers Bandile and Banele Mbere—have quickly risen to international visibility as stars of the South African dance music scene, serving as pioneers of the genre and de facto global ambassadors with hits like “Bakwa Lah” and “Dinaledi.” Since the release of their critically acclaimed album from 2021, Outside, they have gone on to break the world record for the longest DJ set performed by a duo, performing for 75 hours for a special edition of their Balcony Mix Xperience. Last year, they performed at Coachella alongside Black Coffee and sold out a headline show at the O2 Academy Brixton. With fans and supporters including TEMS, Burna Boy, Honey Dijon, Jorja Smith, Rema, Asake, Stefflon Don and Jayda G regularly attending their parties in South Africa, Ghana, and beyond, they’re now poised to take the world by storm. Major Lazer is the global dance trio of Diplo, Walshy Fire, and Ape Drums. Named for the group’s fictional figurehead, a one-armed Jamaican Zombie War commando, Major Lazer’s mission is to free the universe with music. The band has released four acclaimed albums, 2009’s Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do, 2013’s Free The Universe, 2015’s Peace Is The Mission, featuring the Diamond-certified “Lean On” with DJ Snake and MØ—one of the most successful songs of all time—and 2020’s Music Is The Weapon, which features songs in five languages and collaborations with Nicki Minaj, J Balvin, Marcus Mumford, Khalid, Alessia Cara, Anitta, Paloma Mami, Busy Signal, BEAM, Shenseea, Nucleya and more.
SWIMM – “Talk To Me”: Pulsating beats and vibrating synth lines built an infectious groove for layered lush harmonies and a romantic psychedelic dancefloor. This first single from SWIMM’s upcoming album is a playfully sardonic take on modern polyamory — its hook is a soulfully stacked harmony that repeats, “who am I to stand in the way?” SWIMM’s penchant for writing seraphic hooks is nudging them towards the rarified air of dance juggernauts like Jungle and Caribou. After a 6-week North American tour and a flourish of lauded singles boasting multiple high-profile spots (from a Kelly Slater documentary to the Hulu feature film “The Unicorn,” a national Progressive Insurance commercial, and a Juneshine commercial and ambassador event), LA-based psych-pop group SWIMM prepare to release their sophomore LP “Best Comedown Ever” on August 10. Last year, SWIMM shared a new track entitled “Fools,” featuring Goldensuns. The track is an ethereal reflection of summer love and whimsy, anchored by a buoyant bass groove reminiscent of The Rapture and alighted with vocal harmonies a la Jungle. Chris “Cookie” Hess wrote: “As most of my friends know, I’ve been a mega-fan of Rihanna for quite some time now — the apex of my allegiance being the summer after her album Anti came out. It fueled a very memorable summer for me, steeped in some of the wildest times I’ve ever had in my life…all-night shows at our warehouse The Cube, friendships flourishing over shared devotions, and exploring LA through a heightened sense of freedom. ‘Kiss it Better’ was my favorite song off Anti so I added that line in the chorus and from there wrote a fairly simple depiction of a love story I had the joy of witnessing a whole bunch that summer, between our dear friends Wyatt & Bailee. The song’s a bit of a time capsule for me in that way.” Before that, SWIMM released a video for their single, “Spring Breaking Your Heart.” The Sade-tinged summer track follows two clowns on a journey of friendship and adventure amidst dystopian Los Angeles until finally, they arrive at the only thing that could save them from their creative coil…Spring Break. COOL HUNTING premiered the music video, praising it as “a pitch-perfect pairing of audio and visual artistry.” Hollywood Life offered praise, describing the video as “an adventure of deep symbolism and thrown tomatoes, of Polaroid pictures and the dangers of art, of the euphoria of finding your tribe and the unmistakable spark when you connect with another on this spinning rock in the middle of space.” Stay tuned for more from SWIMM, coming soon.
L.A. Burning, West Coast Concert Picks March 20th To 26Th
Fleet Foxes are at the Belasco on Wednesday
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1985 (Volume 16, Number 12)
highlighting hair metal bands simply to make fun of them was more amusing than profitable
UK Top 10 Albums 3-17-23 – 3-23-23
In the US, Morgan will be pushing Miley out in a week or two but in the UK…?
A Superhero For Late Night TV Is On The Way
On his way to save the day… and the night
Robert Smith Is Fighting The Good Fight: Will Scalpers Always Find A Way?
How is Vividseats able to get around this technical problem?
Taylor Swift Began Her Latest World Tour Yesterday in Arizona… Here is the setlist
she really underrepresented her first ten years
UK Top 10 Singles 3-17-23 – 3-23-23
double double toil and Miley
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – April 1985 (Volume 16, Number 11)
Everything I do is in ADDITION to, not INSTEAD of
The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 3-17-23 – 3-23-23 Reviewed
the single worse recording of all time
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – March 1985 (Volume 16, Number 10)
You’re supposed to squeeze hard