With Spring in the air and hope and optimism on the horizon, it seems like musical creativity and new music releases are at an all-time high. It's sometimes challenging to find the time to take them all in, let alone organize cohesive written thoughts around it all. But it's music that makes the world go 'round. It's what lifts our minds and senses to a higher (better) plane... and that motivates me to keep sharing it in this blog.
In this New Music Spotlight for May, we take a brief look and listen to new releases from Cobi, Linn Koch-Emmery, Donkeyboy, Sam Valdez, Cade Hoppe, and Allison Lorenzen (feat. Midwife). Read on, listen, and enjoy!
Cobi | Shadows (new single)
Indie singer-songwriter Cobi reflects on both the dichotomy and enigmatic harmony between darkness and light in his contemplative new single, "Shadows." With its gentle, fingerstyle guitar accompaniment and Cobi's heartfelt, emotive vocals, this gorgeously melodic song features a less-is-more production that shines a radiant spotlight on the exceptional songwriting, lyrics and performance that "Shadows" delivers.
If I have a demon I must have an angel
I'm stuck in the night tell me where did the day go
I wanna take off the horns and put on a halo
I'm losing my high
If you like what you hear, you'll be pleased to know there's more new Cobi music on the way with upcoming single release, "Skin Deep," on May 21.
Linn Koch-Emmery | Being the Girl (debut album)
Rising Swedish indie rock force Linn Koch-Emmery has amassed a steadily growing international fanbase since her 2017 debut as a solo artist and the release of her acclaimed Waves EP (2018). Named as a "Future Artist" by Swedish Radio P3, this talented singer-songwriter has released a string of infectious, electrified single releases over the past several months, including "Hologram Love," "Linn RIP," "Blow My Mind" and "Hard to Love." Linn's impressive debut album, Being the Girl, was just released to the masses with additional killer tracks that feature dynamic vocals, infectious hooks, and rock solid melodies all within a charged, expansive and modern indie soundscape. Favorite Track: "Linn RIP"
Donkeyboy | Kentucky (new single)
Norwegian electro-pop band Donkeyboy achieved international success in 2009 with breakthrough singles, "Ambitions" and "Sometimes" from its debut album, Caught In a Life. With its brand of solid, infectious and exhilarating songwriting, Donkeyboy continues to impress and explore new horizons. "Kentucky," the band's latest single features a toe tapping blend of Americana, country and folk, complete with vocal harmonies and sounds of fiddle and banjo, all within an up-tempo, alt-electronic production.
Where have you been?
I've been to Kentucky, I've been to New Orleans
What did you find?
I found myself lonely, playin' your old 45
Check out the single's accompanying Western-themed music video, directed by Egil Pedersen, that features horses, big belt buckles and two-stepping, gun toting cowboys.
Sam Valdez | Take Care (debut album)
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Sam Valdez infuses her unique and haunting blend of Americana, folk and shoegaze into the eight tracks on her stunning debut album, Take Care. Sam's debut EP, Mirage (2018), caught my attention a few years back with its mesmerizing singles, "Farther Away" and "Funeral," that introduced me to her dreamy, ethereal vocals and enticing melodies. Take Care feels like a lazy, late evening drive through the Southwestern desert to the sounds of Twin Peaks on the radio. On social media, Sam comments on her debut album: "A few of these songs are some of the first I ever wrote and others the night before recording. They are memories and people that really stood out, its crazy listening back now and revisiting." Favorite Track: "Drive."
Cade Hoppe | Loverly High (new single)
Making his indie pop debut, NYC-based singer-songwriter Cade Hoppe unleashes his warm, baritone vocals and heartfelt lyrics alongside a minimalist synth-pop production in his new single "Loverly High." The song addresses love, loss, transition, and desire - four emotions that have heavily influenced both Cade's writing and life decisions over the course of the last year. "Loverly High" creates an ultra-smooth, chill vibe from the onset, followed by an infectious, cinematic chorus that will have you singing or humming along by the end of the first listen.
With "Loverly High," Cade has teamed up with producer Harper James of indie pop-duo Eighty Ninety, who has played an integral role in refining his sound. "Harper and I chose to take a fairly minimalist approach, centering it around a Juno synth, Nashville guitar, 808 bass, and my baritone vocal, then adding in vocal stacks for the chorus to make it as huge as possible," Cade reveals. "This is the first in a series of ongoing collaborations between Harper and me and I’m excited that this one is finally out."
Regarding the lyrical content, Cade explains, "'Loverly High' is about wanting something you've been told you can't have and throughout the song, the narrator is grappling with this decision of whether or not to pursue someone he loves if it means hurting someone else he still has love for. It means a lot to me on a more general level too because my whole life I was told I couldn't pursue music, yet here I am doing it anyway."
Allison Lorenzen feat. Midwife | Vale (debut single)
Singer-songwriter Allison Lorenzen, also known as one half of the Darkwave band School Dance, released her debut single, "Vale," earlier this year, collaborating with Madeline Johnston, who performs under the moniker of Midwife.
It was the "sound thread" concept of this music blog that recently led me to her music. Allison had just done a stunning remix/rework of a track called "May3e" from rising indie/shoegaze band Fauvely (check out both the song and the band if you haven't already!). This led me to Allison's debut single "Vale," which I'm going to call one of the most dreamy, delicate and mesmerizing compositions I've come across. The song's minimalist production provides the atmospheric soundscape upon which Allison's light, elegantly harmonized vocals rise and build to the song's ethereal, choral peak with a melody that remains an earworm long after "Vale" has ended.
In the pale of the warmth
In the pale of the fire
I’m like a vale in the night