Soul, folk, indie-rock artist, Matthew Santos, hails from Chicago, Illinois. Recently he released his album, Into The Further, on June 2. Members of his band include himself on vocals and guitar, Jon Deitemyer (drums), Emma Dayhuff (Bass), Aviva Jaye and Sara Lim (additional vocals), Chihsuan Yang and Maria Storm (violins), Oana Tatu (viola), Katinka Kleijn (cello), James Davis (trumpet), and Steve Duncan (trombone). Plus, string arrangements by Matt Ulery.
Watch the music video for “Seven Years” via Audiotree Live.
In 2008 Santos’ world had undergone a drastic change with the international success of his “Superstar” collaboration with Lupe Fiasco. After the world-wide success of the Grammy-nominated song, Santos willingly stepped back from the flash and bang of the lime light and returned to the Midwest to become grounded again in his grass roots, soul-infused, indie-folk-rock project that had been put on hold for almost a year of constant touring. Santos released two records, This Burning Ship of Fools (2010) and Quickly Disappearing (2012).
Six years later, Santos has six records and two Grammy nominations under his belt; over 300 live performances world-wide; appearances on David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen, Craig Ferguson; and multiple performances at Lollapalooza, Coachella, Glastonbury and Bonaroo. Currently independent, Santos is working on his seventh official release entitled Into The Further with a new trio based in Chicago, and in collaboration with Candy Rat Records. He continues to tour the world over with his unique style of beat-boxing and looping — achieving a massive sound to accompany his renowned voice and heart-felt, soulfully crafted songs.
Additionally, Santos has started an exciting new collaboration with fellow Chicago creatives from bands Hey Champ and Gemini Club to make up the dark RnB, 80’s electro-synth-pop-rock group called MONAKR. Their debut EP is set for a summer 2015 release.
“Into The Further” by Matthew Santos
Born in Volda, Norway, Aleksander Raftevold (aka. Aleks Grey) was introduced to music through classical piano lessons. He was soon drawn to blues, soul and rock and roll. By the age of ten he was writing his own songs and by twelve he had become an accomplished guitarist. Grey has also landed leading roles in a number of successful musicals (Rent, West Side Story, Les Miserables, Fame). Released on May 15, the single “Feel Alive” is a feel-good, anthemic pop track and perfect listening for summer sunshine.
At sixteen Grey founded his band The Last Province with a group of friends. They played several festivals and had their first single “Lullaby” playlisted on Norway’s national radio station NRK P1. In 2013, Grey recorded his first singles “Starlight” and “Born” at Urban Sound Studios in Oslo.
A move to Liverpool in 2013 allowed Grey to connect with his current backing band including himself (vocal/piano/synth/guitar), Reece Cairns (drums/pad), Eline Brun (bv/piano/synth), Andreas Oxholm (bv/bass), and Andreas Skuggen (guitar). In May 2014, Grey and his new band played The First Look Festival at Paul McCartney’s performing arts school. In December of 2014, he embarked on his first tour of Norway performing six gigs in the Western Part of the country.
“Feel Alive” by Aleks Grey
Image and mp3 courtesy of Andrea Lynch of Blue Soap
Music Professional Radio Plugging and Music PR
Lights That Change is an alternative ethereal dream-pop outfit, hailing from North Wales and headed by Marc Joy. After many years producing other artists, he finally turned his attention towards his own creative endeavors.
The band is gearing up to release Byzantium this summer. They released two previous albums — Rainbow On Your Shoulder EP and Whispers In February.
I present to you the first single from their forthcoming album, entitled “Voices.”
“Voices” by Lights That Change
New York City-based psychedelic dream-pop band Malka released their debut EP, The Constant State on March 2. Recorded at both APT Studio (NYC) and Elohino studio (NJ), mixed by Darko Saric, and mastered at 825 Studios by Grammy Award-winning engineer Butch Jones, The Constant State takes listeners on a genre-melding journey, ebbing and flowing through the realms of dream-pop, post-rock, nugaze, and psychedelic rock.
The band is Darko Saric (guitars, synths and vocals), Mike Dawson (drums), EJ DeCoske (guitars, synths and vocals) and David Ciauro (bass and vocals). Their music is a reflection of the triumph and tragedy of the world. The vocal melodies assume an instrumental form and transcend language, adding transparency to bilingual Spanish-English lyrics shared between three lead vocalists.
Have a listen below to the track “Wolves And Sheep” from the recent release. In addition, Malka is offering YOU a free download of their previous single “Mirame” via NoiseTrade.
“Wolves And Sheep” by Malka
“Ferris Wheel” is the first single from the new EP project by fifteen year old singer-songwriter Olivia Penalva. The track is a sugary-pop, summer anthem. Olivia’s bubbly vocals shimmer alongside flowery synths and breathy harmonies. The feel good, rhythmically-focused lyrics build a memory of refreshing moments spent in the sun with friends. The young talent brings her bright, carefree personality to a beautiful mix of pop tranquility.
Have a listen to “Ferris Wheel” streaming below, or via SoundCloud.
In 2013, at only 13 years old, Olivia wrote and recorded her debut album, releasing it to a sold out crowd at the Powerhouse Theatre. She also went on to secure herself as a Finalist in the International Songwriting Competition with her original song “Fight for You.” Now, she is working tirelessly on the follow-up EP in Los Angeles with a multitude of songwriters including Andrew Allen (Sony/ATV writer and fellow Canadian chart-topper) and Josh Cumbee (writer and producer).
“Ferris Wheel” by Olivia
Image and mp3 courtesy of Sera Roadnight of M T Press
Indie-pop, Southern California-based quintet, Ghost Lit Kingdom, was born out of an acoustic side project that developed into an emotional catharsis filled with cascading dynamics, powerful vocal and lyrical substance, stunning musicianship and innovative songwriting.
The music of Ghost Lit Kingdom features a textual blend of musical, dynamic and vocal contrast. Dual vocals, as unique together as they are apart, are lain upon a canvas of flowing sound; moving through sections of quiet substance to passages of powerful vigor. The band draws from an eclectic set of influences including folk, pop, alternative, hip hop, and jazz to create their unique and cultivated sound. There is also an energy in the music that is reborn on stage time and again, making their live show a captivating and moving experience.
Watch the video for “You Don’t Know Me” via Youtube.
“You Don’t Know Me” by Ghost Lit Kingdom
On June 23, 2015, Portland, Oregon-based Chris Marshall & The August Light will celebrate the release of their latest full-length, Some Kind of Dream, a departure from the alt-country-Americana of previous offerings.
The August Light features Ryan Reetz on keys, William Joertz on bass, and Joel Swift on drums. Some Kind of Dream is a genre-bending punch that proves Marshall is a songwriter able to meld atmospheric rock, spacious melodies, and folk traditions into songs that are both gorgeous and poignant. The songs on the record are very different. But, they are tied together by struggle, each representing a moment in a difficult couple of years where Marshall felt like his career, his life — everything was in limbo and on the line.
Marshall is a preacher’s kid, which means he grew up with preacher’s music: Keith Green, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant. Elements of those earliest influences have been hard to shake. Marshall drifted enthusiastically with his interests. As he built a discography, he played with acts like Tift Merritt, Elizabeth Cook, and Richmond Fontaine.
Have a listen to “Feel Like Running” streaming below, or via SoundCloud.
“Feel Like Running” by Chris Marshall & The August Light
From her award winning vocal and violin performances in her youth, to where she stands now on the brink of pop-stardom, there is no denying the immense talent of California-based songstress, Yulianna. Her new single, “True Love,” is a pop-jam featuring a electronic chorus with stunning vocals and colorful arrangements; grafting the shouts of “I believe in true love, taking me high, higher than I’ve ever been before” into your mind. The melody soars over a hook that hammers the message home.
Check out “True Love” via SoundCloud, or streaming below.
Yulianna attended the California Institute of the Arts, immersing herself in a wide variety of songwriting styles and genres. She took her time studying under a vast network of highly regarded singers, composers and songwriters. Not long after earning her Masters degree, she set to work on her first album, Race Car, with help from Grammy-nominated producer Robin Nixon.
Yuliannaʼs first full-length dance album, Californ-i-a, was entirely written and produced by herself and established writer-producers RAS. The album, released in January of 2013, is an inspiring and eclectic mix of pop tunes.
“True Love” by Yulianna
Image and mp3 courtesy of Sera Roadnight of M T Press
Los Angeles, California-based indie electro-Americana act, Smoke Season, just released a stunningly, psychedelic music video for their latest single, “Bees.” They combine a spellbinding myriad of kaleidoscopic footage, custom-created neon light installations, and natural topography, continuing their breathtaking music video imagery that has become Smoke Season’s signature trademark. The video also showcases projection mapping across an array of stunning settings, including the ocean, mountains and canyons.
Smoke Season’s broke through with their sophomore EP release, Hot Coals Cold Souls EP, with notable singles, “Badlands” and “Opaque.”
“Bees” takes the duo further into their unique sound, finding a harmonious juxtaposition of heavy rock guitar riffs with hypnotic synth notes.
“Bees” by Smoke Season
Born and raised in Long Island, New York, a child of the eighties and nineties, Rebecca Perl announced at age 13 that she would be a singer-songwriter when she grew up. In the late ’90s, radio carried a heavy dose of acoustic pop music, and Perl gravitated to that sound. This is when she first saw artists like John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Jewel and Michelle Branch perform live, which greatly influenced her musical tastes.
By 2012, Rebecca landed the first of many major gigs supporting Ryan Cabrera, Teddy Geiger, Tyler Hilton, Gavin Degraw, Vertical Horizon, Olivia-Newton John, Howie Day and others. In 2013, she wrote and recording her debut album Rendezvous.
Perl moved to Austin, Texas in September 2014 and completed her second studio album, Point Of No Return. Just a week before its release, Perl performed at an official SXSW showcase on March 21 in her new hometown of Austin. The title track to this sophomore album features Zach Berkman — songwriter, performer, record producer, audio engineer, and multi-instrumentalist based in New York, New York.
The album single is titled “Love Love Love.” Have a listen below.
“Love Love Love” by Rebecca Perl