Mosa Wild’s debut single, “Smoke,” will rip your heart out of your chest with no warning and no mercy.
Mosa Wild have had a busy year between playing Reading and Leeds festivals later this month on the BBC Introducing stage, and having just played at Latitude festival in July. Based in Ashford, a relatively small town on the southeast corner of England, the alternative band is comprised of Jim Rubaduka on lead vocal, guitar, and keys, Alex Stevens on guitar, Edwin Ireland on bass, and Charlie Campbell on drums.
Rubaduka and Stevens originally made music together under The Intermission Project, while they were in the midst of taking a brief pause to decide whether to pursue music or head to university. After finding Ireland and Campbell through a twist of fate, their intermission came to a close, and the curtain lifted to reveal Mosa Wild.
The name Mosa Wild derives from Rubaduka’s grandfather, Mosa, whose name Rubaduka believed “simply felt right” next to wild. Their first and only single, “Smoke,” was originally released at the end of 2016, and was then re-released this July. Having drawn comparison to The National both vocally and musically, the band truly came out with a bang for their first release. As Rubaduka repeats “I’m gonna do my best to get to you” like a sort of hymn, I feel it deep within my soul, clenching in my chest.
As the song builds over a repeated, chanted bridge, and catapults into the last chorus, our hearts desperately hope for a resolution for the protagonist, who we saw smoking at the beginning of the song and promising to change her ways. The entire song is an exposition of the relationship between the singer and the protagonist, and between the building music and changing lyrics, it seems like the dissonance of their relationship is coming to a resolution. However, the chord is never resolved, as the song ends exactly how it begins, with a promise that she’s going to quit yet again, and our hearts are left hurting.
After listening to the song on repeat for 30 minutes, I’m left speechless. I feel a different range of emotions each time I listen to the song, sometimes I feel sheer rage and fury, and other times hopefulness decides to rear its head. In the end, I’m left feeling sorry for Rubaduka, who desperately tried to work through the relationship throughout the track, met with absolutely no change from the protagonist.
The way I’m left feeling is a testament to how absolutely incredible “Smoke” is. I was able to feel so many different things each time I gave the song a listen, and I felt them so, so deeply. In the end, my heart is left to take away one key message: love sucks.
Mosa Wild have promised new music coming soon, so be on the lookout for some more heart-wrenching tunes.
Zach Hurd’s passion project turned trending duo, Bay Ledges is an upbeat indie dream that, following the release of their debut single “Safe”, is already making a significant impression on the indie/alternative community.
Comprised of siblings Zach and Georgia Hurd, Bay Ledges started as Zach Hurd’s passion project after moving from New York to Los Angeles. Zach’s move to LA made him shelve his musical explorations until he rediscovered his passion for songwriting while crashing with his sister. He started writing and producing, Georgia contributed ethereal vocals, and they put out “Safe”, which soon went viral, reaching the top 5 on Spotify’s Viral chart, and recently hit 3 million streams on the platform.
Since the release of “Safe” and ‘The EP’, Bay Ledges has been playing shows around the country. They recently played a show at Mercury Lounge in New York, at which their set was described as that that “made those summer elements come alive.” Their twitter feed is filled with attendees and listeners raving about their performances instilling feelings of glee and the summer surf.
Today, the band released the music video to their single “Safe” (see above), ahead of the release of their new EP ‘Fountain Tropical’ which drops on August 18. They recently posted a clip of a new tune from the album on their Twitter, if you want a sneak peek.
We were able to get in touch with Zach and Georgia to ask them about their inspirations, sibling dynamics, and music:
What is the meaning behind your song “Hearts”? The feel-good, dreamy melody paired with the confused lyrics paint a hopeful, youthful scene of learning to love.
That song was trying to describe those moments when you feel incapable of playing it cool or having it all together when you’re getting romantically involved with someone. I’ve felt like there are certain expectations we all have while in a relationship…and trying to figure out what those expectations are, and what you’re own are, can be a challenge sometimes. It’s kind of funny to step back and watch yourself in it.
Speaking from experience, working and creating with a sibling can be demanding. What is the dynamic like between the two of you—does it sometimes get overwhelming?
Our working dynamic in Bay Ledges has been pretty casual up to this point. We’d hang out and talk music even if we weren’t doing this project so that makes it all feel pretty natural.
The response from your EP and singles has been incredibly positive, and your song “Safe” has gotten an incredible amount of traction since it was released. How has that recognition and validation altered your creative process? Has it inspired you to push yourself to do more (musically and/or socially) than you thought you were capable of?
When Bay Ledges started it was just something I was making in my bedroom so it’s been really cool to see “Safe” reach so many people. All that exposure made us think about the live performance more seriously which has been a fun and challenging thing to explore. Last year I couldn’t envision how we would ever do these songs live so it’s been inspiring to see them come to life on stage.
Your sound and visuals are quite unique. Where do you draw your musical and visual inspirations from?
We’ve both been inspired by artists/bands that explore blending different sounds like Beck, Talking Heads, The Neptunes. It’s exciting when you hear a song that sounds like it was fun to make. Visually, we’ve benefitted from some other people being able to latch onto that idea of playfulness like Michael Theodoran who designed the cover of our last EP and “Safe”.
What is one artist, song, or album that you’ve been listening to recently?
For a while I couldn’t stop listening to “My Old Man” by Mac Demarco…such simple and thoughtful production with intimate lyrics. We’ve also been playing the new Kendrick album ‘DAMN.‘, a lot. There’s great production on the album but his vocal and lyrical creativity is what puts it all on another level.
I’ve read reviews of your songs being described as upbeat and happy, with one blog even saying that your sound was “a soulful LA Priest eating an ice cream.” What kind of emotions do you want your listeners and fans to feel when listening to your music?
Initially, the idea with Bay Ledges was to not think too much about how it would be interpreted by other people and to just make sure we were having fun making the songs. We’re still trying to work that way but I hope the songs make people feel good…and gives a freedom to not take yourself too seriously.
Tell me about your favorite show you’ve ever played. What was the energy like?
It was probably our EP release show last year! We put a house party together in LA. We had some chef friends make food for it, we bought a keg, and it just felt like a really fun night of people in our community.
What is next for Bay Ledges? (Any singles/albums/touring coming?
We’ve got a new EP coming out August 18! Our release show is at Bootleg Theatre in LA on 8/15 – tickets available here.
What are three things the world needs to know about you?
1. The chocolate chip cookie was the best invention ever made.
2. We’re from Maine so the Venice Beach ocean temp is always perfect.
3. We’re always looking for good spots to cut a rug in LA.
Is there any particular cause or charity that you are rather passionate about?
Habitat for Humanity is one we’ve both participated in and support. It’s amazing to be a part of building someone a home who wouldn’t have one otherwise.
When I first heard Lewis Del Mar’s single “Loud(y)” on Spotify, it stuck out among the influx of indie pop releases that had been filling up my playlists. The duo’s jarring combination of acoustic-driven indie with tribal influences and glitchy samples left me addicted, yet confused. I didn’t fully understand it, all I knew was that it was refreshingly innovative, and they were showing crazy growth on Spotify. (In fact, we hailed them as one of the top 10 emerging artists to watch at SXSW 2016.)
At the time, Danny Miller and Max Harwood were best friends, trying to translate the influences of their childhood into a musical project that they could hang their hat on. This is reflected perfectly in the name they chose for the project, Lewis Del Mar, which is “a play off the fact that their father’s share the name Lewis, and family roots in Spanish-speaking countries (‘del mar’ means ‘from the sea’),” according to the blog Respect Your Youngers. Columbia Records realized their vision, signing them to a record deal, and the rest has been history.
Lewis Del Mar
After releasing their debut album ‘Lewis Del Mar’ in 2016, they have been touring aggressively and gaining fans across the world. We caught up with them at the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama to talk about their growth:
You have seen such huge growth in only two years. You were featured at SXSW in March 2016 and were starting to emerge, and since then y’all have really blew up. Looking back on when you were writing those songs, did you ever think that you would hit this much success this fast?
Danny: I don’t think so, no. I don’t think you ever prepare or envision something like that happening. We always had a lot of confidence in what we were doing. We certainly believe in each other and our abilities to create the music that we want to create, and that feels right to us. But that was sorta like where we drew the line, we didn’t really think about it much outside of the little world that we created for ourselves.
And I think that that’s sort of what this year has been about for us, learning how to transfer the intimate nature of our relationship and our creative process to a larger scale, where people understand who we are and what we do and care about. Because it’s a very personal thing, and before this experience it was something that we were living off in our own corner of the universe, and it’s really just that the corner’s grown, you know?
Max: Trying to figure out how to share our corner with the world.
Danny: In a way that feels genuine and right to us.
You put a lot of thought and creativity into your staging. On this tour, you have a huge screen behind you with videos projected onto it during your set. I met your lighting director last night and he was talking about how involved you were in the creative process. How important is it for your vision to translate in a live setting?
Max: At this point we are about building a world, so the live thing is just an extension of our music and of ourselves. We put a lot of effort into making sure it visually represents what we’re trying to say with our music.
We very meticulously chose a lot of videos for the projector that’s behind us that we think blend the various influences, whether that’s the Latin American influence, or the industrial city influence, it’s just all representing that visually.
Danny: Yeah, we found some really amazing clips from foreign films, like this film Black Orpheus, and we have an old Comme des Garçons commercial in there.
Via @victoriatags on Twitter: Is there any particular album or song that you haven’t been able to stop listening to recently?
Max: You know what I had [stuck in my head]? That Y La Bamba track.
Danny: “Ojos Del Sol”
Max: They’re from Portland, Oregon, and they’ve got this beautiful song. It’s just the most gorgeous song, I just got goosebumps thinking about it. And it’s recorded so beautifully, it’s a beautiful feeling.
Danny: I’ve been listing to a good amount of Bryson Tiller lately. Also this new record by Rex Orange County, he’s from the UK, I love that record, it’s called Apricot Princess I believe [Listen on Spotify].
Anyone else that y’all are working with or writing with?
Danny: We’re sort of expanding into that recently.
Max: We’re touring with Anna Wise, and she is just a beautiful person and a beautiful artist. Having her on the road has been so inspiring and a pleasure. I would just encourage everybody to check out her music and what she’s doing.
Danny: She’s a collaborator of Kendrick Lamar, and a really close friend of ours, and everything that Max said.
What have been the highlights of this tour?
Danny: I think on the most basic level, the shows have just gotten a lot bigger. We just played our biggest headline show in Chicago, there were like 900 people there. That felt to us like entering into a different level and layer of what we are doing, where the message and the things that are important to us and the things we are creating are beginning to translate into other people’s worlds.
That’s certainly a very humbling feeling, but it’s also just a very interesting dynamic, you know? We really feel like what we do is such a reflection of who we are as individuals… We have some fans, I would say the people who are making up 75% of the audience, that are really really really dedicated to what we do, and that’s been an amazing thing to witness. To witness people that have really connected in a personal way to your music.
I mean it’s funny, because in a sense that’s the goal, right? I shouldn’t be so surprised by it. But we are and it’s empowering. When you get off the road and you’re at home or in the studio, you can spend so much time imagining and projecting these ideas of what you want your career to be and how you want to be perceived, but at the end of the day, when you’re on stage in front of people, all that stuff is just residual nonsense. It’s like that is the basis of the essence of the connection that you can have with another person. So we try to each night just take a minute and completely clear our consciences and respect that space as being very sacred. That interaction with other people.
Catch Lewis Del Mar on Tour:
May 24 – Trees – Dallas, TX
May 28 – BottleRock Festival – Napa, CA
May 30 – Chop Suey – Seattle, WA
May 31 – Star Theater – Portland, OR
Jun 02 – El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
Jun 03 – Belly Up – Solana Beach, CA
Jun 06 – Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ
Jun 08 – In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 09 – Bluebird Theatre – Denver, CO
Jun 11 – Del Mar Hall – Saint Louis, MO
Jun 15 – Firefly Festival – Dover, DE
In Kentucky, there is an abundance of two things: cheap beer and time.
Bring in four young men who have a nostalgic obsession with American arena-rockers of the seventies and eighties, who possess an electric energy and drive to become the next in line, and you collectively create White Reaper.
If the band is new to you, you have the unique joy of experiencing their previous two records, ‘White Reaper’ and ‘White Reaper Does It Again’ (very witty), with fresh ears. Both were highly acclaimed by critics and stalwarts of the guitar-led garage rock genre, yet did not find much mainstream success outside of the niche. That’s a shame, too, because the band is one of the most exciting bands I have ever seen live. They absolutely destroy the small rooms they have played in to date, treating them as if it were the main stage at Lollapalooza, or more appropriately, Woodstock. To put it in perspective, in 2015 they were booted from their opening slot on tour with indie darlings Alvvays because they rocked so fucking hard that they couldn’t be followed.
Now the group is back yet again to rock our worlds with their third full-length ‘The World’s Best American Band’, released on Friday, April 7th (listen on Spotify). From the very first song, opening with crowd cheers and an infectious drum beat, Kentucky natives White Reaper establish in tongue-in-cheek fashion that their name is one of the greats the rock ‘n roll world.
From the heavy guitar and supersonic drums to their more polished lyrics, the album is a cohesive monster, with strong hints of garage punk heavily influencing their work. Working with producer Kevin Ratterman, who boasts a resume of working with artists like My Morning Jacket and Young Widows, the band’s third effort is one that simply must be heard.
Lead single “Judy French” is incredibly catchy, making the listener want to drop everything and start dancing, no matter where they are (this may or may not be from personal experience of listening as I sit in crowded spaces). As lead singer Tony Esposito sings, “Now stop / Read my message and tell me what you think / Let me lean close listen to your heartbeat,” it is easy to tell that the band is not only incredibly polished musically, but lyrically as well.
From “The Stack,” all the way to the final track, “Another Day,” the album keeps the listener’s full and undivided attention, each song having some unique aspect that necessitates a second listen. From inventive synth lines to irresistible melodies that stay stuck in your head for the rest of the day, the diversity across the album leaves everyone feeling satisfied. When listening, I urge that fans listen cover to cover for the full experience, as listening in order provides quite an amazing experience in hearing the band’s multitude of sounds.
Following the release of the album, White Reaper are hitting the road. They aim for every person attending to leave their show satisfied, no matter where they are in the crowd. Given their music, it is no surprise that Esposito suggests that attendees “be nice to everybody, cause you’re gonna get close.” The tour kicks off on April 23rd in Houston, and they will be hitting plenty of cities over the next months, including festival stops at Hangout, Bunbury, and Bonnaroo.
Grab ‘The World’s Best American Band’on Bandcamp for $8-17, with options ranging from digital download to limited edition 180-gram red vinyl.
Check out White Reaper’s website for all tour dates, as well as their music and social media links.
Harrison Brome, a native of Vancouver, Canada, is making waves globally following the release of his debut EP, ‘Fill Your Brains’, in July.
Brome’s sultry song, “Midnight Island”, is about to hit 3.5 million plays on Spotify, and was just added to a popular Dutch playlist with over 50,000 followers. The title track to his EP, Fill Your Brains, currently has 1.6 million plays, and has garnered attention after being featured in an episode of Shameless in November and gaining placement on Spotify’s “Chill Tracks” playlist with over 500,000 followers.
At only 20 years old, Brome stands out by finding a way to effortlessly combine various genres, including pop, alternative, R&B, and electronic. This unique intertwining of styles is also evident in his vocals – the silky, sultry nature of his voice lends itself more to soul and R&B, while the sharpness and grittiness of his vocals fit the pop or alternative bill.
The song that has garnered the most attention off Brome’s debut EP is “Midnight Island”. Brome details his journey of falling away into a utopia, and invites the listener to join him as he croons, “let your body escape, take a breath from your mind, if you would rather rest in a place of paradise.”
Fill Your Brains
On “Fill Your Brains”, the title track to his EP, Brome’s hollow vocals soar above floating harmonies. The simplicity of the track, with just a drum beat, vocals, synth, and low piano, perfectly fits the somber, bare tone of the song. It is difficult to forget the distinct gloom that Brome creates as he comes in with the hook, “fill your brains to kill your pain.”
Brome is definitely an artist to watch in 2017. With an impressive 484,000 monthly listeners and placement on playlists with tens of thousands of followers on Spotify, Brome has already garnered a strong fanbase who are highly anticipating his next release. With a long-awaited North American tour on the horizon, and new music set to release in the new year, it is clear that Brome’s success will only continue to grow.
This adorable band just wants you to dance like a goofball. And that’s exactly what I end up doing every time I listen to their music.
Al Bairre(pronounced al bear) have figured out the formula for putting together perfect happy-go-lucky indie pop jams. Every song they have ever made is a bop, but doesn’t sound overproduced or disgustingly commercial. Just put their Spotify artist page on shuffle and fall in love with their jangly rhythms and charming male/female vocal harmonies.
Did I mention that they are adorable? And that there are twins in the band with matching bangs (Tessa and Julia Johnson). See the video and photos below for proof:
They hail from South Africa, which seems to be cranking out some incredible indie talent of late, including KONGOS, Opposite The Other, and Native Young.
After seeing modest success after the release of their 2015 album ‘Experience The Al Bairre Show With Al Bairre Experience’, anchored by the jams “Let’s Fall In Love Some More” and “Bungalow”, and are now finally back with new tracks in 2017.
Let's Fall In Love Some More
The second of these new tunes, “Don’t Say / Go Away”, is the best so far. A wonderfully carefree dance tune that should anchor every one of your summer playlists.
Don't Say / Go Away
Also released was “Over And Over”, a tongue-in-cheek jingle about being best friends… with benefits.
Jerry Williams, with the release of her latest EP, definitively proves that she can hold her own and is so much more than just a support artist.
Her newest EP, ‘Let’s Just Forget It,’ won the award for Best Produced Release and was the runner-up for Release Of The Year at the Unsigned Music Awards in 2016. Williams’ most popular song, “Mother”, has surpassed 4.1 million Spotify plays. She boasts an impressive 180,000 monthly listeners and is featured on the prominent “Wild + Free” playlist with more than 30,000 followers on Spotify. Most recently, she was featured on VEVO DSCVR and has racked up more than 100,000 plays her live rendition of her track, “Let’s Just Forget It”.
Williams, who hails from Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, has amassed quite a following since her 2014 debut. The 21-year-old singer-songwriter has scored support slots with LANY, MAGIC, Nathan Sykes, and Barns Courtney, and played her first headline tour with various sold-out shows in 2016. Williams cites Vampire Weekend, Coldplay, and Slow Club among her biggest musical influences, and credits her experience being raised in Portsmouth and past relationships as her biggest inspirations for lyrics.
The sweet, upbeat tone of Williams’ most played song, “Mother”, contrasts with the somewhat more serious message of the song. On the track, Williams details her desire to run back to her hometown in order to become herself again. With the catchy hook, “Mother, I don’t feel myself,” and the call-to-action, “I need to get back to where I started,” Williams lays out her love of Portsmouth and how it shaped her into the woman she is today.
Let's Just Forget It
In title track to her third EP, ‘Let’s Just Forget It’, Williams truly demonstrates her diversity of sounds. Beginning the song like a lullaby, she croons, “cradle me like a baby, this cruel world, let’s just forget it.” The drums and guitar slowly kick in and then build to a beautiful, heart-wrenching climax, before falling once again to the softer, more stripped-down chorus. Williams’ storytelling ability, through the ebb and flow of her music and lyrics, truly shines on this track.
Boys Don't Cry
Fresh off the release of her music video for “Boys Don’t Cry,” her take on The Cure’s classic hit, fans are extremely excited for Williams’ new music. Williams has already announced a few upcoming shows and has clued her followers in on the fact that she has been writing new music, but for now, all we can do is eagerly await whatever she will put out next.
Mondo Cozmo, the alias of the Philadelphia-bred singer-songwriter Joshua Ostrander, has only released four singles so far, but is already making some waves.
With a voice reminiscent of folk singers from the ‘70s that he combines with modern alt-rock beats, Mondo Cozmo has a sound that is all his own. His music has the innate ability of drawing you in and holding you there. Like a great story, you want to see where the song will go, making his listeners feel as if they’re moving with the singer on an epic journey.
The song “Shine” features deep vocals backed by folky, yet elegant, instrumentals. Each line holds meaning that is accentuated by the use of quick drum beats, attention-grabbing guitar riffs, and spectacularly layered harmonies. Due to its infectious lyrics and killer rhythm, “Shine” has been getting a fair amount of attention recently thanks to both radio stations and streaming sites, allowing Mondo Cozmo to reach new fans through various channels. The song has exploded on Spotify, with nearly 3 million streams to date since its release late last year, and looks to only grow more popular over time.
The musical style of Mondo Cozmo is reminiscent of greats like Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and even James Taylor, but is executed in a way that remains authentic and new. He’s managed to create what musicians spend their whole careers trying to achieve: a unique and innovative sound that people can connect with.
A typical song by Mondo Cozmo beautifully incorporates instrumentation and harmonious aspects that result in a listening experience so deep, it’s hard to ever imagine that it started off as single pieces and ideas. He finds a way to make each song a masterpiece with his own personal flair.
Mondo Cozmo provides a much needed breath of fresh air in an industry where songs can begin to sound the same. Currently on tour opening for Bastille, it seems like the sky’s the limit and he’ll only be getting Higher.
Hot off the release of their debut album, Sundara Karma is stepping into the spotlight of the British music scene once again.
The young band, hailing from Reading, England, has been slowly gaining a following over the past few years by touring with other indie favorites, but they will surely be leaving a distinct mark with this album. ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ is an anthemic album that shows the progression and honing of the band’s sound in relation to their past releases.
Garnering comparisons to the likes of U2 and Bruce Springsteen, Sundara Karma has perfected their own brand of arena rock-inspired indie tunes that boom through your speakers. They played the main stage at Reading Festival this past year, and have been getting airtime on BBC thanks to their introducing segment, which has just added onto the expectations of their new releases. After the release of 3 EPs and accompanying singles over the past few years, their debut album was released on January 6th, and to the delight of fans and critics alike, it delivered.
‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ is referred to as a constant study of escapism, based mainly on their hometown and it’s relation to the larger city of London nearby. Through the lyrics you can almost tangibly feel the desire to change your life through location or actions, and that makes each track interesting and relatable. The idea of getting away from it all is constantly romanticized, but in this form, it is surprisingly subtle in it’s approach despite its focus within the music.
Sundara Karma has already embarked on a run of shows spanning through the UK, Europe, and North America that will last through the Summer. Get your tickets now as you don’t want to miss your opportunity to see these boys play before they upgrade to arenas.
Nightly is the latest musical act out of Nashville to be making waves in the industry.
The duo just dropped their debut EP, ‘Honest’, featuring hit single “XO”. Their music has so many underlying elements and nuances that make it extremely interesting to listen to, and highly addictive. Nightly has made a name for themselves in the alt-pop scene in Nashville for being very DIY when it comes to their music and their live shows. Homemade light shows and production add sincerity and atmosphere to their presence.
‘Honest’ opens up with the band’s first ever single “XO”, which is a 3 minute peek into the issues of a toxic relationship. Pounding percussion drives the instrumental of this song, and the melodies created by Jonathan Capeci’s vocals deepen and layer the overall sound of the track. “Honest” brings some elements to the EP that no other tracks do, such as distorted background vocals and building percussion.
Joey Beretta’s guitar riffs are expertly weaved into every single song and add an almost haunting note to them. Every element in the instrumental from synths and percussion tracks to guitar riffs and other sound effects are tastefully layered to create Nightly’s signature sound. With the depth of every track’s sound, you would have no idea that this was their first release. Nightly is extremely polished and already seem to have a full grasp on their sound, which can be hard to come by and develop.