New Music Spotlight (September 2023)
It's been a minute since I've had some time to write about a few songs that have caught my attention and that I've been listening to recently. The months of August and September seem to have passed by at near-lightning speed. I'm hoping to write a few more 'catch up' posts, but in the meantime, take a read about and listen to these captivating new singles from Nicole Sabouné, Cal Trask, KÅRP, Justin Oliver, IVORY BLUE, and Martin Kerr. If you like what you hear in this New Music Spotlight post, please share with your firends and add these great new songs to your Autumn music playlists.
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!
Nicole Sabouné | I Got It All (new single)
First up is "I Got It All," the latest single realease from Swedish singer-songwriter Nicole Sabouné. Co-written with Björn Yttling (Peter Björn and John), this cinematic and melancholic song beautifully captures and showcases Nicole's smooth and majestic vocals. "I Got It All" gently builds from moody and subdued to its dramatic, triumphant-sounding chorus. "I Got It All," along with prior singles, "Where Did You Go?" and "Stop Loving Me," will feature on Nicole's forthcoming album, Kismet, scheduled for an October 6 release.
Cal Trask | Below Water (new single)
Back in the early days of SoundThread Music Blog, I spent quite a bit of time exploring and listening to independent artists who were just emerging with their first releases. One of those artists is Canadian singer-songwriter Cal Trask (a.k.a., Calvin Heinrichs) who had just released his stunning 2016 debut single, "Above Water." His debut EP Posthumous (2017), along with debut album Gemini God (2020) and various single releases are all mini musical masterpieces that I'd highly recommend listening to if you haven't already.
Cal's latest single release, "Below Water," sort of comes full circle back to 2017's "Above Water" in that it originates from the same vein of beautiful, melancholic indie pop alongside a spacious, atmospheric soundscape with gorgeous, harmonized layers of Calvin's heartfelt, sad-song voice.
Calvin comments, "I sat down at the piano one night and started playing random notes and then this song just seemed to want to write itself. I didn’t really intend on writing a sequel (or prequel) to 'Above Water,' but it just happened that way."
KÅRP | Zero Heartbeat (new single)
Swedish death disco pioneers KÅRP are back with new single "Zero Heartbeat," taken from their forthcoming and third chapter of their apocalyptic EP trilogy. Featuring an infectious chorus, the band's signature pulsing synth soundscapes and instantly recognizable vocals of lead singer Anna-Maria, "Zero Heartbeat" may very well be the closing theme song to ride out the apocalypse.
The band comments, "For three years now we've been working on the apocalypse themed trilogy which finally ends with this upcoming EP. Along the way we've had to kill so many darlings it feels like cemetery would've been a more suitable theme. 'Zero Heartbeat' might strike you as a deviation from our grand apocalypse project but it was conceived through staring into the eyes of potential failure. Welcome to the life of making Death Disco."
In the band's own words, lyrically, "'Zero Heartbeat' is a raging children's chant about spinal reflexes to primal fears, wrapped in pulsating electronic beats and a haunting sense of doom."
In place of creating a music video for the song, KÅRP partnered with HIBERWORLD to create a pretty spectacular 3D virtual reality experience for "Zero Heartbeat." Check it out HERE! Walk with the A, W, S, D keys, jump with spacebar, and look around by using your mouse or trackpad.
Justin Oliver | BROKE (new single)
NYC-based R&B/Pop recording artist Justin Oliver releases "BROKE," his infectious, upbeat, and anthemic new single. Lyrically, the song speaks to the financial challenges many musicians and artists faced during an unanticipated and extended period of lockdowns. Justin, who has been singing and playing the piano since the age of three, and who was a Season 11 American Idol contestant, moved from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to NYC in the early months of the pandemic.
Justin comments on the new single: "'BROKE' is more than just a song; it's a mirror reflecting the journey of countless dreamers who've faced hard times. This track captures the pulse of struggle, resilience, and the unbreakable spirit of chasing our passions. I wanted to tell a story we can all relate to, which is the pursuit of brighter days and the joy of dancing in the face of adversity. I believe this song has the ability to speak to each one of us. Whether you've struggled with finances, navigated uncertain times, or held onto your dreams against all odds, this song will be your anthem!"
"BROKE," and Justin's previous single, "Love No More," will feature on his upcoming album, Broke, not broken, that tells the story of his life in NYC and through the lockdown.
IVORY BLUE | In A World Like This (new single)
Kansas City-based alternative singer/songwriter/producer IVORY BLUE releases their latest single, "In A World Like This," a heartfelt, well-written, acoustic-based track that speaks to empowerment and being true to oneself. IVORY BLUE comments on the song's powerful lyrical theme and inspiration: "I wanted this one to really hit your hearts as it’s a song about letting go of all the distractions telling you who you are to transitioning into the person YOU want to be."
Having started writing music at the age of 14, IVORY BLUE's music captures the hearts of both young and old with ingeniously composed songs and powerful lyrics driven from painful life stories that relate to many. As a transgender artist, IVORY has gained respect and support from radio and TV stations, music blogs and publications, and does more than entertain a crowd by continuing to be a voice for those that need to be understood, accepted, respected and loved.
"In A World Like This" is taken from IVORY BLUE's forthcoming new album, Starlit Love Child, expected to be released later this year.
Martin Kerr | Don't Listen To Me (new single)
Canadian folk/pop artist Martin Kerr's recent single, "Don't Listen To Me," is also the title of his latest EP, which was recorded across North America - in Vancouver, Nashville and his adopted hometown of Edmonton. Its songs are inspired by gratitude for real love, the pain of loss, and seeking hope and balance in turbulent times.
In a few short years, Martin has gone from busking on street corners to selling out major theaters, playing huge festivals and landing his album in the Canadian Top 10, all as an independent artist.
Musically, "Don't Listen To Me" is one that you'll find yourself singing along to after just one listen. Its ultra-catchy and spirited chorus stands firmly as the centerpiece of the track, with Martin's powerful, heartfelt voice delivering the lyrical message about following your heart.
"Don’t listen to me I don’t know what I’m talking about |
Everything you need to know is inside your heart"
Martin comments, "The song is about trusting yourself, abiding by your heart, and leaving it all out there. It's all I had left after being a full-time singer-songwriter for 15 years and feeling like my impact was limited to my local town. I've been able to sing for tens of thousands of people, but I wanted to reach listeners around the world."