Katrina Ford, Saya, No Frills, Lucius, Maryze, Auditorium, Alice Merton are among these press releases for March.
Katrina Ford – “Peace Out”: An interesting and very cinematic track with atmospheric guitars inviting mystery and suspense while the intensity of the song goes crescendo. Speaking on the single, Katrina (of Celebration and Mt Royal) wrote: “Hangovers become blended into euphoric indulgent self-care. Using flint to communicate with crickets. Letting in, inviting the slow. Healing in isolation. The journey to sobriety. We mixed this with Tony Duggan in Glasgow, it rained a lot but the sky was filled with rainbows every day.” The brand new solo single entitled “Peace Out,” was released via Violin Films and an accompanying video comes alongside. Her approach to singing has been described as harrowing, unhinged, fiery, disturbing, forceful, and delicate. She’s appeared on a wide range of records over the past 30 years, including starring and supporting roles for TV on the Radio, UNKLE, Future Islands, and Foals, not to mention many other bands that she has led such as the Gothic, art-punk grandeur of Love Life, the soulful melodies of Mt. Royal, and the many elusive shades of Celebration and its short-lived predecessor Birdland. The only connective tissue between most of them has been Ford’s longtime creative partner Sean Antanaitis, the singer’s other half ever since they met in art class during high school. “Those two things — art and music — bleed together quite a bit,” explains Ford, who also makes art with collage and paper-based pieces. “Sean has always intrigued me. It’s pretty amazing — how he’s continued to surprise me for 30 years. I think it’s because we’re such different people.” “When you listen to music, it’s all about the emotion behind it,” says Ford, “but it’s also all about the emotions you’re feeling — set and setting, you know? Sean always seems to be in the same place as me emotionally. I feel lucky that we found each other. We should expect more music from Katrina Ford this summer.
Saya – “NOVOCAINE”: Strong vibes of Lana Del Rey for this synth-pop piece by Toronto alt-pop artist Saya. The track is gloomy and immersive while her shadow-laced vocals are as sweet as they can be icy. This is a new song from her upcoming EP “Ready To Burn,” out April 7. Known for her dark, alt-pop dance floor anthems, Saya’s new EP is bursting with a full range of emotions and an honest cohesive story of the frustration of loving the person you are with but knowing it’s ultimately hurting you. Saya first impressed listeners with her inescapable 2016 debut single “Wet Dreams,” which shot straight to the top of Spotify’s Viral Global Chart racking up over 5 million streams and counting. This set the groundwork for her unconventional approach to music which blends sultry R&B, with trappings of alternative pop. Following up with an aesthetically killer video for her viral hit “Wet Dreams,” she invites fans to become a part of her fantasies. Her sexually empowered self yet chillingly dark allure arises once again with her 2017 epic debut single and video Cold Fire, which landed her, her very own Spotify billboard towering over Toronto’s Yonge and Dundas core, and on the cover of playlists like New Music Now and Indie Pop. That summer she was set to play North By North East Music Festivals Main-stage and her debut Los Angeles show School Night LA. 2018 was full of high notes as Saya released her neatly packaged debut EP Chills & Thrills. Packed with sensual pop vocals and deliciously explicit wordplay, Saya takes us on a journey of intimacy paired with a series of vivid and striking visuals. To kick off this milestone Red Bull Music invited fans to Join Saya for an intimate listening party and performance in her hometown of Toronto. It wasn’t long before the project was featured on the home pages of Spotify and Apple Music, as New Artist of The Week, following up with being titled one of Apple’s 2018 Favorite New Artists.
No Frills – “Darkhorse”: A tender tune with a meandering guitar line, steady rhythm, melancholic vocals, and sweet harmonies. The result is a sort of lo-fi bedroom pop-psych sound sometimes evocative of the Flaming Lips, with the addition of a synth and other background sounds. Speaking on the track, songwriter Daniel Busheikin wrote: “‘Darkhorse’ was written after I was fired from a café of the same name (oops!) and is about the carrot dangling in front of our collective faces, promising an ultimate material reward that will always elude us. Basically, a more pretentious version of ‘work sucks // I know.'” “Darkhorse” is the latest single off their forthcoming album, “Downward Dog,” due April 1. On their debut record, Buskeikin calls himself names. He’s a bummer, a drip, a dog. It’s the latter that was embraced for the album’s title, “Downward Dog” – a description of Busheikin’s general malaise, and a nod to the yoga position he attempts every morning as part of a positive mental health routine. The result is a memorable collage of lo-fi pop that filters themes of depression, despair, and death through a sardonic sense of humor. Jangly indie rock and intimate ballads are woven together by warm analog production and uniquely whimsical defeatism.
Lucius – “Heartbursts:” A dance-pop song with the ethereal voices from the Lucius duo, soon transformed into a dancefloor, perfectly reflected in the music video coming with the track. Because of its light R&B feel, the song could have been written by HAIM. The video is the directorial debut for acclaimed international choreographer and movement director Teresa “Toogie” Barcelo. Known for her work with artists such as Harry Styles, Dua Lipa, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, and St. Vincent, Barcelo has also choreographed large-scale performances for the GRAMMYs, BRIT Awards, and American Music Awards as well as major commercial projects with Nike and Pepsi. Reflecting on the video, Jess Wolfe shares, “We’ve been wanting to work with Toogie for years after seeing her dynamic work with a diverse cast of artists from Perfume Genius to Dua Lipa. Because the song is about finding your joy and tapping into it, we thought what better way to emphasize that than with a group of people in their everyday life moments, breaking out with movement. We really wanted the video to convey the way the song feels when we hear it, and as a team, it really came to life.” “Heartbursts” is the third song unveiled from Lucius’ anticipated new album, Second Nature, which will be released April 8 on Mom + Pop Music (U.S. and Mexico), Dine Alone (Canada), Second Nature Records/Secretly Distribution(RoW). Produced by Dave Cobb and Brandi Carlile, “Second Nature” is a portrait of singer and songwriters Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe’s shared reflection, chronicling each other’s seismic life shifts—motherhood, divorce, unplanned career pauses—and setting it to music.
Maryze – “Experiments”: Sultry vocals over dance beats, the track uses rhythmic melodies over an R&B soundscape. The song comes with hypnotic visuals directed by iconic analog filmmaker, Ariana Molly. The music video lands us in a mysterious, sensual, and surreal universe, oscillating between intimate close-ups and dramatic wide shots, soft blur, and sharp focus. Abandoning the desire to anchor in reality, it favors a hedonistic space starring Maryze and her masked accomplices. In a nod to the early 2000s, where pop icons were unapologetically sexy and powerful, the feeling of strength and sensual divinity oozes from its pores. A sybaritic montage: “with your fingers in my mouth,” says director Ariana Molly. This should be appealing for fans of BANKS, Charli XCX, and Caroline Polachek. Thematically, “Experiments” focuses on sexuality, taboos, and shame, exploring vulnerability in intimacy and how sometimes letting go of control allows us to truly be in control. Dancey and grindable, “Experiments” shows off Maryze’s playful side, featuring breathy vocals, and spoken studio session snippets à la Britney Spears. Maryze is a queer bilingual singer-songwriter based in Montreal. Her stormy-sweet alt-pop conjures a haunting universe, blending electronic beats with fiery, introspective lyrics on mental health, feminism, and sexuality. Maryze released her debut EP “Like Moons” in 2019 which charted on Spotify’s Viral 50 Canada and launched a month-long North American tour. Following this EP, Maryze released a sling of singles in 2020-2021 including ‘Squelettes’ featuring Polaris prize winner Backxwash and retro pop banger ‘Too Late.’ Maryze will be releasing her debut LP “8.” The album experiments with influences and genres, from emo and hyper pop to Celtic folk. Offering both maximalist electronic production and stripped-down ballads, “8” introduces Maryze’s modern electronic alt-pop, calling listeners to consider the roots and knots that exist within each of us. 8 will be released on April 8th, via Hot Tramp Records.
Auditorium – “Sunday”: A whistling wide-eyed earworm with a whimsical vibe, simply performed on guitar with amazing multi-harmonies. This is actually a song from Auditorium’s 2011 debut album, “Be Brave” reissued on April 8 as a deluxe edition, featuring ten unreleased songs, including a live performance. In conjunction with the announcement, Auditorium, the musical alias of multifaceted musician Spencer Berger, has debuted the official music video for “Sunday.” Directed by frequent collaborator Ben Barnes, the video is set in a dystopian future and follows a young man’s search for precious memories of a lost time. “While I was writing ‘Sunday,’ I was in the midst of falling in love,” says Berger. “I’d met someone who made every moment we together feel as if it was bursting with possibility. But we were living 3,000 miles apart, and at that time it wasn’t possible for either of us to move across the country. So, the act of writing that song was my way of wishing for a future in which we could spend our lives together. And it took another 500 days or so after the song was written…but my wish did come true.” Berger recorded “Be Brave” with a single microphone in the bedroom of his first Los Angeles apartment, featuring only three elements—acoustic guitar, electric bass, and vocals. By using just two instruments to propel the songs, Berger conjured a wholly unique sound, blended eloquently with his classically trained voice and multi-layered harmonies. “Last year marked the 10th anniversary of ‘Be Brave,’ and I found myself exploring my old recordings from that era,” explains Berger. “Nine of the ten bonus tracks on the deluxe edition are demos for songs that didn’t make the final cut—but there are elements of those songs that made it onto the album. For instance, the rhythm guitar in ‘The Best Story I Know’ inspired the sound of ‘Sunday,’ and the background harmonies in ‘This One’s for You’ influenced how I approached recording harmonies throughout the album. The one live track is ‘Young’—it’s one of the first songs I ever wrote, and this is the only recording of it that exists. It was captured at a small coffeehouse across the street from my college campus.”
Alice Merton – “Same Team”: Big vocals cutting through the melody, a blend of alt-pop with an electronic explosion of energy, dense drum beats, and cathartic guitar riffs. “‘Same Team’ is one of the first songs I wrote for the album,” Alice says. “I had been going through a lot of personal and work-related conflicts. I felt like I had been pulled into worlds that I didn’t understand, and having conversations with people in which we just didn’t speak the same language. A team goes through ups and downs but often pulls together to become even stronger-but in some cases it does the exact opposite. I started to question: what do I do if that team makes me doubt myself and the decisions that we make?” “Same Team” was written and produced by Alice alongside Jens Schneider, Jules Kalmbacher, and Tim Uhlenbrock, with mixing by Matty Green (Dua Lipa, Royal Blood, Weezer). The official video provides both an inventive visual metaphor and a subtle twist upon the song’s concept. Alice escapes to a remote cabin located deep within the mountains, isolated from society, leaving the past behind her. When she ventures into the surrounding woodland she’s persuaded by a mysterious masked figure, perhaps someone from her past. The pulsating tension comes to a head with a surprising final showdown. The song is the single for Alice’s eagerly anticipated sophomore album “S.I.D.E.S.” out June 17 via her own Paper Plane Records Int. label.
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