Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Craig Wedren, Lord Baltimore, Magic City Hippies, Jon Stancer, Anna Akana, Trick Gum are among these press releases for September.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – ‘Survivor’: A stomping explosive song with Nathaniel Rateliff’s raucous vocals and plenty of horns and saxophones injecting soul and style in this old-school R&B number. This is the new single off Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ third studio album, ‘The Future,’ produced by Bradley Cook (Bon Iver, Kevin Morby, The War on Drugs) and R.M.B., and set for release on November 5 via Stax Records. For the recording, Rateliff and The Night Sweats escaped to his new Colorado studio to write an album’s worth of songs, shedding light on their unique observations and songwriting reflecting on our current times. While recognizable, the new work has evolved and pushes the band to a new level. ‘I look at the album overall as a big question,’ notes Rateliff. ‘When I was writing the record we were in the middle of a pandemic and our future looked pretty bleak. I just continue to try to write from a place of hope. Then my own neurosis, and maybe being a libra gets in the way, and I can’t make up my mind. There is this constant back and forth battle in me personally and I am sure that comes out in my writing.’
Craig Wedren – ‘You Are Not Your Feelings’: The song starts gently with vocals and guitars and turns into a more complex and convoluted string-laden orchestral number, including slight dissonances and gorgeous vocal harmonies. This is the latest single from his yearlong series of singles and videos, The Dream Dreaming. The series – from the artist best known as the frontman for Washington, DC-based seminal post-hardcore band Shudder To Think and for his prolific career as a film and television composer – allows Wedren to focus on a song and its visuals at the same time, candy flipping between the two as one informs the other. ‘Growing up, my emotions ran the show,’ Wedren says. ‘It was a revelation to me that my feelings could–and perhaps should–occupy the passenger’s seat (a vital navigator) with steadier hands and cooler heads at the wheel. Much of my young life was spent in Cleveland, Ohio, which has an emotional character, unlike any other town I’ve encountered. Cleveland’s distinct feel forged, formed, and fueled me and many of my closest friends. It was the frame within which we were defined, and still presides over my memories, emotions, and dreams even though I left when I was 16.’ ‘As I get older, and particularly during lockdown, dreams, and memories can feel more real than life itself, possessing a dimension (maybe even multiple dimensions) that are less accessible during waking, conscious hours. The video explores and expresses some of this, which I didn’t even fully realize until I started editing the video,’ notes Wedren. ‘Part of the fun of making things is discovering almost retroactively what you’re doing the whole time.’
Lord Baltimore – ‘Something Like Thirst’: A catchy and sexy tune with infectious beats running through it and building a hooky dancefloor. About the song, Lord Baltimore says: ‘This song is about my first sexual encounter, which happened to be with someone of the same gender that I was assigned at birth. We were kids. I kept it secret for years, and I only confessed it to a priest. I was terrified that I had sinned against God. That’s what I was taught. I reconciled with it after many years. I realized that it was something beautiful. Something innocent, pure, and human. This song is for anyone who has ever felt ashamed of their sexuality, as I once did. There is a beautiful painting called ‘The Farewell Of Saints Peter And Paul’ by Alonzo Rodriguez that shows the two saints kissing on the lips (the ‘holy kiss’) before being led away in chains to be executed. Renaissance artists often used religious allegory to represent queerness, which was punished severely by the church at the time. I’m simply following in the footsteps of those artists who were braver than I. ‘Peter to my Paul, even after all.’ The song is accompanied by a video, and on September 10, Lord Baltimore will release the EP ‘Angel,’ produced by Alex Newport (At The Drive-In, The Mars Volta, Frank Turner, Bleached) whereas the two bonded over their love of Perfume Genius.
Magic City Hippies – ‘Ghost On The Mend’: A dreamy sun-soaked soundscape, with a velvety falsetto as smooth as a trip around a swimming pool on a hot day. Over the years, Miami has been home to Latin pop royalty and ascendant Soundcloud rappers; played host to bass-booming EDM fests and the golden years of disco legends. It’s also why Miami’s latest genre-defying dynamos, Magic City Hippies, are primed to take their infectious indie-funk around the world. ‘We’re always out to entertain people,’ promises singer-guitarist Robby Hunter. ‘Miami is a nightlife city,’ he adds with a tinge of excitement. ‘People are oriented towards staying out all night. Anything you do has to make them dance.’ Magic City Hippies have returned with three new singles, and this is one of them. ‘Shades on and shirts unbuttoned, Magic City Hippies generate the kind of heat that could’ve powered a high seas yacht party in the seventies or shake a Coachella stage next summer. If the trio—Robby Hunter, Pat Howard, and John Coughlin—stepped off the screen from some long-lost Quentin Tarantino flick in slow-motion (instruments in hand), nobody would question it. Embracing everything from AM radio rock and poolside pop to nimble raps and salsa, they lock into an era-less vibe with no shortage of funk or hooks. The three-piece deliver the kind of bangers you can play on the way to the party, during the party, and to smooth over the comedown as the sun comes up.’
Jon Stancer – ‘This Cannot Wait (Until Tomorrow)’: A warm and tender piano ballad with melancholic vocals, expanding with strings, horns, and a jazzy flair into a wide-screen composition. The song is also a contemplative and anguished plea to act on climate change, off singer-songwriter and musician Jon Stancer’s new EP, ‘In Light Of,’ coming in early 2022. Of the song’s video, Jon says, ‘The intent was to juxtapose the earth’s beauty with the ugliness of what’s happening to it and to recognize humanity’s role in its deterioration. It turned out a sort of dreamy, if not slightly eerie public service announcement, which may have been unavoidable, as the track has a very focused, very grand, and very stark message. Like any video, there was an aim to make it visually compelling, but there was an added ambition, which was to inspire awe as well as outrage.’
Anna Akana – ‘Wanted Woman Ft. Macedo’: An upbeat instrumentation with bold vocals and an infectious tempo giving a rebellious character to the catchy anthem-like song, while the video plays like some colorful south of the border western. Anna Akana’s new single is about staying in your power when roaming the badlands of love. Maggie Levin, director of the video and screenwriter of the upcoming Labyrinth reboot, said, ‘I found the song so unabashedly sexy and fun from the very first listen and knew in my gut that underlining the lyrical concept (in rhinestones and fringe) was the only way to go. It was a real joy to build this flamboyant, maximalist Wild West world together with Anna, Macedo, and the entire creative team. If the video looks like a party, that’s because it was.’ Her anticipated EP, ‘No Longer Yours,’ is a 6-song project: ‘This EP is about the process of assembling the broken pieces and stitching them back together,’ Anna says. ‘It’s about the moment you finally see the person who used to make you nauseous and realize it doesn’t sting so much anymore. I had so much clarity about the things that weren’t working for me, what I had to let go of, and how I wanted to shape my life moving forward with more self-awareness about what was within my grasp to change.’
Trick Gum – ‘Bringing in the Dogs’: The noisy song reminds of playful ’90s alternative radio hits from Beck or Cake, and shows its teeth with relentless psychedelic swagger, whirling slinky bass, maniacal guitar, and a rattling low piano riff around a huge, menacing beat. The cousins sing softly in harmony, conjuring up ‘the same old gods’ while everything falls apart around them. Meanwhile, in the video, they take to outer space, where a contract mission leads to some complex emotions. The song already appeared on Iggy Pop’s BBC 6 show, on September 3. ‘Going to kinda-space for an hour in a giant metal penis is one thing, but spending a year in close quarters dumping clone waste into an infinite void is a completely different animal. Space Sucks….Save the Earth,’ Trick Gum says. Asked about the meaning behind the song, Trick Gum responded, ‘We’ve all found ourselves in desperate moments when it’s time to make a change, and discerning the right change evades us. How easy it is in those solitary moments to turn against our better angels and lay back into familiar vices. In strange times often there’s nothing that seems more comforting than the devil we know. It’s a bad way to go, but we have to acknowledge our shadows in order to overcome them. ‘Bringing in the Dogs’ is a way to give those crutches a kiss and a wink and say, ‘love you lads, I’ll always remember the good times,’ before moving on to something better.’
An emotional song with Miya’s acrobatic and vulnerable vocals
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