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SoundThread Discovery (April 2020)

I've noted it previously, but one of the most exciting and refreshing aspects of this music blogging hobby is discovering new artists and creative, remarkable new music I don't think I would have otherwise encountered. Over the past few weeks, the volume of musicians reaching out and graciously sharing their music has been higher than ever. My "one person show" of a music blog has been a bit overwhelmed with all these incredible submissions. Going forward, I'll focus on sharing some of these incredible submissions in a recurring series of "SoundThread Discovery" posts. This first one is a bit delayed due to my own increased day job commitments. But, better late than never: Read on and listen up!

This first 'Discovery' post shares some great new music from Third Way, Eckoes, Peyton McMahon, De La Loelle, Smantha Lloyd, and Bark Mailey.

Third Way | "Tides" (debut single)

The musical duo of London-based engineer Xander Edwards and drummer and record company owner Paul Vilas first met in 2014 when Paul responded to Xander's noticeboard ad seeing "musicians for a challenging project." They worked together for two years on their first project, indie outfit The Next De Niro. The duo recently launched their current moniker of Third Way, and have been hard at work in their South London studio creating soulful and danceable tracks laden with synths, drum machines, organic samples and expansive vocals.

"Tides" is the impressive debut single from Third Way, a watery, warm, uptempo reflection on coming to peace with the ebb and flow of life. Xander elaborates on the creative process for the track, "When we were writing 'Tides' we started as we usually do, by improvising around a loop Paul pre-programs on the Elektron, looping round up and down until over time we settled on a verse and chorus, up and down kind of pattern we like. The vocals developed there along with the whole song." As for musical inspiration for the track, he remarks, "I'd been listening to a lot of Alan Watts and Osho at the time and was connecting with the idea of life just being a dance, an up and down, that chasing or desiring things to be different was only making life painful and that accepting the now is how to get free. The lyrics came out while we played as I was envisioning going back, sitting on a pier and watching it all play out."

Eckoes | "The Light" (new single)

London-based musician Eckoes releases her mesmerizing and enchanting new song, "The Light," the last single from her forthcoming debut EP, due for a May release. The haunting and pulsing synth backdrop is reminiscent of the sparse electronica and beats of Björk, while Eckoes' emotive and ethereal vocals are absolutely stunning.

Eckoes remarks on the inspiration for the "The Light": "I wrote this at a time when my life as I knew it had imploded. I was mourning for what’s been, but also for the future I’d planned that would never be. I was lost. ‘The Light’ is an open call for answers- to the skies, to the universe, to whatever - because sometimes you’re walking and the path just stops.

The single's accompanying music video, set high on the edge of the earth, was directed by Dale Rook, produced by David Ezra, features dancer/choreographer Liza Van der Smissen's mesmerizing interpretation of "The Light."

So I wait, I wait

Lead me on the earth

I wait, I wait.

Peyton McMahon | "Higher" (new single)

Louisiana-based alternative rock singer-songwriter Peyton McMahon has been riding his musical journey for the past several years. Before independently recording and releasing his self-titled debut EP in 2017, he amassed a YouTube following of over 13,000 followers, and was personally selected by Kelly Clarkson to perform for her Dallas homecoming stop on her Piece By Piece tour. He was later selected as one of 80 contestants to have a blind audition for The Voice television series, but as fate would have it, there was only one slot left by the time he performed and he was not selected for that last spot on Team Christina.

Peyton recently teamed up with Brooklyn producer and musician Harper James (Eighty Ninety) to record his impressive new single, "Higher." Peyton's soulful and emotive vocals give this outstanding track the presence and vibe that literally elevate the listener to a 'higher' plane. About the single, Peyton remarks, "I wrote this one about taking the road less traveled by, and feeling pressure from the outside... wishing there was someone in those low moments to lift you up out of them. And a lot of the time, that person has to be yourself."

De La Loelle | "Marching Thru Fire" (debut single)

Marking the transition from a former alcohol-fueled music career in punk, Swedish musician Aron christens his new "organic meets electronic" musical electronic project De La Loelle with the release of his anxiety-riddled debut single "Marching Thru Fire." While being heavily depressed and completely skint, Aron was gasping for breath in a ocean of diagnostic alphabet soup. A quirky second-hand synthesizer became his psychiatrist and lifeboat. After leaving his cold-hearted hometown, he settled down in the dark woods of Småland where De La Loelle was born.

Featuring an ultra-smooth, pulsing analog synth vibe and a modern electronic sound, Aron's muffled, deadpan vocal vibe nicely accentuates the brooding lyrical theme he delivers in this deep, emotive track. With musical nods to early 90's industrial music the likes of Ministry and Front 242, this modern track puts a fresh and unique spin on the darker side of electronic music.

Samantha Lloyd | "Waiting on Water" (new single)

Charismatic independent singer-songwriter Samantha Lloyd has traveled around the UK over the past few years, playing her songs on the streets of London, Brighton, Birmingham and Manchester among others. Her new single, "Waiting on Water," is a prime example of the incredible range and energy that characterize this emerging musician's impressive vocal delivery and songwriting talent. Based in Staffordshire, England, Samantha released her first EP in 2016, making to Number 11 on the iTunes Country Album Chart.

Samantha reveals the meaning and inspiration behind "Waiting on Water," noting: "This song is about a relationship that has neither begun nor finished. It’s real to me and a situation that I went through last year. I actually sent it to the person I wrote it about! They like the track thankfully. I think it’s a really relatable song, so many people have unfinished relationships and have made connections with people they will always hold a flame for. "

Bark Mailey | "Shoot up the Sun" (new single)

It's always impressive to me when a musician delivers a stunning song with nothing more than their voice and a guitar. With his honest, straightforward vocal style a bit reminiscent of 90's Oasis, UK singer-songwriter Bark Mailey delivers a fantastical account of traveling to Mars, shooting up the sun, and blowing his troubles away in his captivating acoustic-driven debut single, "Shoot up the Sun." Recorded at UTC Studio in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, "Shoot up the Sun" is reportedly one of several songs recently recorded by this emerging musician. Have a listen and keep your ears and eyes on the lookout for more new music from Bark Mailey.

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