New Music Spotlight (February 2023)
In this February 2023 New Music Spotlight post, we dive in and take a listen to six stunning new tracks that have been getting repeat play on my music playlists. I hope you'll find something new and enticing in the featured songs from Emma Hewitt, Shanice Green, Allison Lorenzen and Midwife, Friday Pilots Club, Eighty Ninety, and Emily Breeze.
Be sure to check out the SoundThread Music Blog Spotify playlist where you can stream the songs below and a lot more great new indie tunes!
Emma Hewitt | Warrior (new single and video)
Australian-born singer-songwriter and chanteuse Emma Hewitt is probably best known as the mesmerizing voice of countless collaborations with various trance and EDM artists, including Dash Berlin, Lange, Cosmic Gate, BT and Armin van Buuren, to name just a few. Her ethereal, magical vocals are instantly recognizable, and are often the centerpiece of the songs she performs.
In 2012, Emma collaborated with her brother Anthony to grace the world with her first solo album, Burn The Sky Down. Setting aside the EDM production and showcasing her roots as a singer-songwriter, this album presented 12 stunning songs in expansive, ethereal soundscapes featuring Emma's soaring, melodic vocals. "Miss You Paradise" and "Colours" are just two standout tracks from this masterpiece of an album.
Leading up to her forthcoming solo album on Black Hole Recordings, Emma has released a series of singles, the most recent of which is "Warrior." The musical vibe feels cosmic and otherworldly with gorgeous melody and string/synth layers that lift Emma's soaring vocals. "It feels good to share a song about protection, and hope…may we all have guardians watching over us; either near or far," Emma remarks on social media. Speaking to the concept of her forthcoming album, she comments, "My hope is that you will come along with me for this ride, back to the start, to the original essence of the songs, just as they were born."
"I am the warrior who came to fight your cause
And I am the lion when the wolf's outside your door
'Cause you are the right in all of the wrong
For all of our lives, you can know that we are
The only ones"
"Warrior" is accompanied by a breathtaking music video, directed by Anthony Hewitt, that was shot on location in Lake Tyrell, Victoria (Australia). Emma comments, "We travelled to the middle of the Australian Mallee desert and felt the rain fall lightly…a surreal reminder that all things renew and hope is endless."
Shanice Green | Still Love You (new single)
Atlanta-based acoustic soul/folk singer-songwriter Shanice Green releases "Still Love You," her latest single, and her first new original music in nearly three years. This easy-paced, feel-good number has a lyrical theme that speaks to the strength and longevity of love, through the thick and thin. Shanice's authentic, soulful vocals provide just the right vibe, feeling like warm sunshine on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
"You could look me in my face baby
Look me right in the eyes and tell me
You don't want me no more
yes you could
But honey what I realize
There's no place I'd rather go
I wanna be right by your side
I still love you"
I first discovered Shanice's music back in 2017 when I stumbled upon a YouTube video of Shanice performing her song, "Something's Got A Hold On Me," at American Sushi Recording Studio. With nothing more than an acoustic guitar and her voice, Shanice's delivery of this authentic, rhythmic original song is impressive. While listeners may compare Shanice's sound to the likes of India.Arie, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Tracy Chapman, Shanice credits artists such as Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson as her musical influences.
Also check out Shanice's recent single, "Last Forever," and keep this emerging singer-songwriter on your musical radar.
Allison Lorenzen and Midwife | Glycerine (new cover single and video)
I suspect most everyone of a certain generation has some emotional heartstrings tied to Bush's megahit "Glycerine." I can even remember trying to bang this one out on an acoustic guitar at the time with my best raspy, angst-ridden, Gavin Rossdale-like vocals.
This classic 90's track gets a fresh, unique take from the collaboration of Denver-based alternative/darkwave musician Allison Lorenzen and Madeline Johnston (Midwife), whose slowcore version of "Glycerine" is bathed in strings and droning synths, and elevated by ethereal vocals and harmonies. Moving and absolutely gorgeous is all I can say. Turn up the volume and give this a listen.
"Don't let the days go by
Could have been easier on you
I couldn't change though I wanted to
Should have been easier by three
Our old friend fear and you and me
Be sure to also check out another of Allison's recent cover songs: "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" (yes, the Belinda Carlisle classic), along with Tender, Allison's mesmerizing debut album of all original material.
Friday Pilots Club | Life Support / Ms. Supernova (new singles)
Chicago-based alt/indie rock band Friday Pilots Club releases two new back-to-back bangers, "Life Support" and "Ms. Supernova." Both of these elegantly energized songs are brimming with rock solid songwriting, poignant lyrical themes and stellar production. Musically, there are influences of Nirvana and Pixies, with melodic touches and production elements remiscent of artists like Snow Patrol, Trent Reznor and White Lies.
"Life Support" feels like the ultimate breakup anthem with one partner resolving to move on from day one, while the other seems to phone every two minutes.
"Medicate yourself on control
All the while I'm dying
Just to let you go
Yeah, you keep me down, good Lord
Just go and cut the cord
I told you I don't
Need your life support
"Ms. Supernova" is the soundtrack to accompany the fall back to earth and impending crash landing. Feeling like the perfect 'closing credits' theme to an epic film, this stellar track (no pun intended) gracefully brings home this outstanding 'double-single' release.
"Call ground control
Let 'em know
Yeah it's time to cut the motor
As I move closer
So what's the point of closure?
Yeah it's been real nice to know ya
Eighty Ninety | 2 Carat (new single and video)
NYC-based indie/pop duo Eighty Ninety, the music project of brothers Abner (vocals, production) and Harper (guitar, production) James, is back with their brand new single, "2 Carat," welcoming in a new era for the band as they head towards the release of their debut full-length album, due out later this year. Blending organic instrumentation, atmospheric production and poignant lyricism, this upbeat, infectious and danceable track is an alluring introduction to a new chapter in the Eighty Ninety journey.
"Our upcoming album is about falling apart and learning how to put yourself back together, and the unexpected moments of joy that come along the way," the duo comments. "The first single, '2 Carat,' is about coming to terms with the realization that the right person may have come (and gone) at the wrong time, when you weren't whole enough to be able to recognize or reciprocate their love. It's about the struggle to free yourself from cycles of questioning and regret so that you can make space in your life for a fuller self, new joy, and new love."
"Now I can’t sleep
Cuz I’m up thinking of you
I have this one dream
Where I just tell you the truth
I kept an old ring
I always thought I would give to you
Now I can’t breath
You know you do that me
I know it’s hard to believe
I kept that old ring
I always thought you’d be there for me"
Last year saw the release of Eighty Ninety’s second EP, The Night Sky, which served as the follow up to their highly successful debut record, Elizabeth. The duo's signature sound is comprised of intimate storytelling, catchy pop hooks, and less-is-more production, built on acoustic instruments and electronic sounds in a style they call "808s and telecasters."
Emily Breeze | Confessions of an Ageing Party Girl (new single and video)
Bristol-based pop-noir artist Emily Breeze recently released her new album, Rapture. Written and recorded in her 40th year on planet Earth, the songs are a poignant and humorous take on how it feels to grow old disgracefully in an increasingly weird world. She describes the album as a 'collection of coming-of (middle) age stories which celebrate flamboyant failure, excess and acceptance.'
With "Confessions of an Ageing Party Girl," Emily's recent single, it's the lyric "Nothing glitters when you're gone" that swirls around in your head and ears after just one listen to this shimmering, rocking single. The infectious chorus casts a remiscent nod to the late 70's new wave sound of Blondie (think "Atomic"), with its echoing guitar riffs, bass and drum patterns. Emily's strong, emotive vocals elegantly carry "Confessions..." from its smoky, spoken word intro through its anthemic chorus to its triumphant ending.