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Rory D’ Lasnow drops new single “Happy” featuring Phil Robinson

I am so thankful for artists who create music with a lightness during a time with so much darkness. It’s literally a breath of fresh air after being under murky water for so long.

NJ based songwriter Rory D’ Lasnow is back with a beautiful new song called “Happy” featuring NYC based songwriter and harmonica player Phil Robinson.

You can listen to the new tune below:

The song is a fantastic love song about being head over heels with the person you are supposed to be with, and loving them through all times, which is what love is SUPPOSED to be. You can hear that so clearly when D’Lasnow’s clear vocals sing:

Even if we never get it right/we’ll be alright/Cause darling you will always be the love of my life

And I’ll be totally honest, I am not fully sold on love songs for the simple fact that some can be super cheesy, cliche, and can actually make you want to puke with their often saccharine vibes.

However “Happy” is different in the sense that the lyrics are heartfelt and actually say something with substance. Add in the harmonica solo from Robinson, and you have a song that is set to be pretty timeless for our day and age.

You can stream the song on every streaming platform, and you can keep up with Rory here, and Phil here.

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Sword Collector drops debut self titled EP

I always find the backstory of how a band came to be JUST as crucial to the music they write and create.

Were they all raised in the same small town, and just needed to get out to see something bigger than themselves? Were they college dropouts who needed to make music their own way? Or were they folks who wanted to form a band, and the internet bought them together.

Texas’ own Sword Collector is a band who formed one month before a global pandemic, wrote and recorded an EP, and released that about a month before a crucial and important presidential election.

Their debut, self-titled EP, Sword Collector has the lyrical sensibilities, and melancholic-ethereal punk vibes of a band that’s more experienced, making their debut an impressive one from start to finish.

You can listen to the debut EP here:

“Inherit the Scepter” is a song that could serve as a song for a modern Shakesphere play about taking over what could be yours or not. Meanwhile “Drenched In Honey” is a beautifully dark and almost hidden take on abuse. This song you have to listen carefully to the lyrics, or the meaning will be missed.

The EP is a genius collection of tracks that will get your gears going, especially the way words are played with and presented. With that being said, you’ll keep going back for multiple listens.

To keep up with Sword Collector, make sure you follow them on IG here!

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Alliteration drop new song “Pete” in memory of slain friend

Black. Lives. Matter.

And if you consider yourself an ally, or accomplice in the music scene, or in society as a whole, this statement should live on your lips like Vans and Converse live on your feet.

There is NO excuse, and even if you don’t know someone personally who was murdered by killer cops or racists, chances are, your black and brown friends might. Or someone in THEIR inner circles might.

Poughkeepsie darlings Alliteration faced this cold and harsh reality back in May, when their friend Maurice Gordon was killed by cops in New Jersey during a traffic stop. His murder happened just two days before the death of George Floyd at the hands of MN police.

A few days ago, the band released “Pete,” a powerful track that tackles head on what its like being black in America, while also calling out performative allyship.

Listen to and buy the song here!

The chorus is one of the most powerful I have heard in a while…

You said the water will absolve my sins/I have no reason to apologize/To just exist 
And yell out that’s what I like/Never gonna be what they wanna see/Til my eyes roll back and I’m buried/Open casket for me/Look what they did to my baby 

Hearing this chorus lets you know the pain of black families in burying a family member, and how even “well meaning” folks can lead to one’s demise if not careful in keeping their privilege in check.

And adding to that, is the verse that hits with the lines Fake claims/You said it’s okay,/That you’re with me/”Brothers” is what you said/Well fuck you. 

In this day and time, its simply not enough to post black squares on social media, and post BLM content for a week, and then go back to life like things are “normal.”

Racist behavior in ANY and ALL forms is not normal, and there is a lot of work to do in order to work towards becoming an anti-racist society.

With that being said, the song is something everyone should be listening to intently and buying on bandcamp…proceeds from this song, as well as specialty merchandise will go to benefit Maurice’s family.

And while you are at it, make sure you follow Alliteration on IG here!

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Dylan Pacheco drops new single “Negative Space” ahead of new EP

I love songs that are not only tongue-in-cheek, but that are catchy, and have lyrics that are relatable and honest.

Austin based musician and multi-instrumentalist Dylan Pacheco dropped his new single “Negative Space” a few weeks ago and honestly it’s the perfect mix of lo-fi-indie rock, with a light hearted, and quirky twist, while singing about the difficult topic of mental health.

Listen to “Negative Space (Manic Panic)” here:

Perhaps a favorite lyric from the song is “Oh hey didn’t see you there/I get so down it’s like I’m not even there/Sometimes dissociate from reality.” With the current state of affairs, and everyone’s anxiety being on edge more than usual, this is a relevant take on what it feels like to go through the days, and honestly, when things DON’T feel real because we can’t believe we are facing what we are ACTUALLY facing.

And for me personally, it’s refreshing for someone to say that because we are all dealing the best way we can.

His new EP “Youthful Exuberance” drops on October 30th and honestly make sure you all mark your calendars.

Follow Dylan on IG here!

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Artists lend music to Shut It Down Compilation

IF you have been around here the last few months, you know that I have been pretty vocal about the current issues happening in our world..from surviving in a global pandemic, to watching the world join in the fight for Black Lives, and how the artistry of the DIY community has been trying to #SaveOurStages, it feels like things are never ending.

And they aren’t.

With that, comes amazing art, and music to not only keep us on our toes, but to bring some joy to our souls. Which let’s be totally honest, WE ALL NEED these days.

And it is not shocking that the Punk scene is leading the way (as they almost always do) in socially aware and conscious music. In fact, 46, YES 46 bands and artists from the worlds of punk, metal and hardcore put together a special bandcamp compilation called “Shut It Down” with all the proceeds going to Movement for Black Lives.

The comp features NYC’s own The 1865, Rebelmatic, MAAFA, and All Torn Up, as well as music from Minor Threat and War on Women to name even more.

You can stream/buy the EP here…

With that much music on one comp, this COULD EASILY be your soundtrack as we continue to fight for Black lives, become an anti-racist society, and try to fix a broken police system that for many of us leaves us feeling more unsafe.

After all, you may as well go into fights pumped up for a good cause.

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LaPeche to play benefit for Our Wicked Lady

With so much talk about the future of music venues thanks to COVID-19, everyone is doing the best they can to stay above the water, and the Brooklyn DIY music scene is no different.

Some venues have turned to Go-Fund-me, while some have Venmo, and PayPal accounts set up to pay staff that has been laid-off, and others are offering take away drinks and food, and if permitted, limited outdoor dining.

And of course with music venues doing all this, there is still a danger of many not being able to re-open and come back. Which would be a devastating blow to not only these spaces themselves, but to the staff, touring bands, and fans.

Brooklyn indie-rock band LaPeche is one of the bands doing their part in the scene to keep fan favorite Our Wicked Lady going.

The band will be playing a special live-streamed show Friday, August, 28th at 9pm with proceeds going directly to the venue via their PayPal.

Peep the flyer below:

The band has also been working on new music virtually, with the demos currently up on bandcamp here!

Make sure you tune in Friday to their livestream, #SaveOurStages by supporting Our Wicked Lady, and keep up with the band on Instagram here!

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Rory D’Lasnow drops new single “An American Lie”

If you haven’t been aware of what’s been happening in the world these past few months, which let’s be real, HOW can you not be? The world is on fire. And its not a small blaze either, but rather a fire that requires the constant assistance of multiple firehouses to put out the blaze.

Not only are we still dealing with, and living through a global pandemic, but we are facing high unemployment, a high death toll in America caused by COVID-19, but also an even more powerful fight for equality caused by the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and countless others at the hands of police and white supremacists.

With so much going on, the art that has been created recently has not only been powerful and relevant, but insightful, moving, inspiring, and raw.

Musician and songwriter Rory D’Lasnow put out his new single “An American Lie,” which is NOT only the perfect call to action to break down the systems that have kept people of color down for so long, but also calling for justice in this country that has never been just in the first place.

One of my favorite Iines of the song is “Tell me how you sleep/When he says “I can’t breathe?” addressing the murders of George Floyd and Eric Garner at the hands of police caught on camera.

Another powerful line to pay attention to is “How many have to die/You can’t deny evils’s alive and well,” addressing the fact that America has always had a sordid and racist past.

The song is a self-explanatory masterpiece from start to finish. We know things have to change ASAP in America, and should have changed a long time ago.

However, progress is a messy thing and honestly takes a lot of time. Things don’t change overnight and while in a fight, especially one as important as the one we are in now, it’s gonna be a long one.

To keep up with Rory, make sure you follow him on Instagram here!

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Nick Sumner and the Assistance drop lyric video for “Look Out Below”

Yonkers based alternative-rock act Nick Sumner and the Assistance have dropped a lyric video for their new single “Look Out Below.”

The song is a fantastic take on seeing life as fragile as it is, and something to be cherished. It is THAT song that is both cautious and inspiring for different reasons.

And with the state of the world we are currently in, not only is every breath a blessing, but just existing is radical in a world where EVERYTHING is thrown at you to shake you.

You can watch the lyric video here:

Make sure to keep up to date with the band on Instagram here

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A chat with…Garrett of The Maine

I’ve always been a huge believer in supporting bands who are good people and good musicians. In fact, the older I get, I hold this sentiment to be even more true. That’s why when Arizona pop-rock/emo act The Maine announced their new album and a special NYC album release show, I jumped at the chance to see them again.

If you don’t know this band, or haven’t listened, you are missing out. “You Are Ok” is their seventh studio album, and for me is THE  album that I needed at this very moment in my life. I don’t use these words lightly, but this album is a work of art lyrically.

The Maine

The Maine at the YouTube Space in Chelsea Market NYC on the “You Are Ok” release day. From L-R: The Gunz Show, John O’ Callaghan, Garrett Nickelsen, Pat Kirch, Kennedy Brock and Jared Monaco.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Garrett Nickelsen, who serves as the bassist for The Maine about the new album, the upcoming Sad Summer Fest, and the possibility of taking their festival 8123 on the road.

First off, congratulations on “You Are Ok.” It’s your 7th studio album, and it feels like one of the more personal albums. Let’s talk about the writing process and how the concepts and ideas came about or started coming about. Did you find the writing process to get easier over time? Why or why not?
Don’t Be Subtle. Those were the first words we wrote down when we started writing the album. We wanted everything in your face and you know it. Sometimes we can get so caught up in these little things on songs and no one will ever notice them. Hell, after the record is done, WE probably don’t even notice them. We didn’t want any of that, everything that is on the song you know is on the song. It was by far the MOST difficult record to make. It took months to figure out even what we wanted it to sound like. So much of banging our heads on the wall until we finished “Slip the Noose” and that kinda was the marker of where we wanted to take things. Everything had to beat, or at least be as good as that song to us.

 

What’s your favorite track off the new record and why?
I think I’m gonna have to go with “Slip the Noose.” We had this song sitting around for a few years but couldn’t get the chorus just right. When we first started talking about writing, we knew this was going to be one we were gonna tackle again. Once we went for it, and that took a while, it came together pretty quick and became the first song we finished for the album. We just wanted to make the craziest first track we could and also showcase what the whole album has.

 

The Maine has essentially been an independent band since 2013. Do you think in today’s constantly changing musical landscape that artists should stay independent in order to fully interact with their fans on a deeper level and to maintain full creative control?
I think it really just depends on what kind of band you want to become. For some people, labels are great and can really help a lot. I mean when we started it helped a lot to be on a label just for funding and what not, but we’ve always been so hands-on with everything I think we always knew as soon as we’d have the opportunity to be independent, we would try that out. It’s so easy now to interact with people and it always been such a huge part of our band, even if we were on a label I don’t think that would be any different label or not.

 

What advice would you give to up and coming artists on remaining an independent artist and not signing to an indie, or major label?
It’s all about the people who care about what you’re doing. Think about what they (the fans) would love to see and be a part of and give them those things. It is so easy to get caught up in the “too cool for school crowd” – not meeting people and not interacting with them – but if you want them to love your band for a long time, then you need to make it only about them. We’ve always gone by the “we’d rather have 1,000 die-hard fans over 100,000 passive fans” rule. Just take the time to show you care about those people who really give a shit, it’s all you can really do.
Let’s talk about the announcement of Sad Summer Fest. Tickets went on sale recently, and you are co-headlining with State Champs, Mayday Parade and The Wonder Years. How did you all decide to get together to do this festival? Are there any sneak peaks or bread crumbs you can give us?
Actually, this is something we’ve talked about for years! With Warped Tour being gone, it finally seemed like something we could make happen. People love summer festivals, this just seemed like a perfect show for the people who really love this scene. We toured with Mayday more times than I can count, and we’ve been friends with the State Champs guys for a few years now. Once those two bands agreed, everything else kinda just fell into place. Its been very difficult to figure out all the details, but I think it will end up being an amazing day for everyone who comes out.

 

And lastly, 8123 is a festival that you all started in your hometown. Are there any plans in the future to take 8123 on the road? And if so, how soon can we expect it to hit the road?
As of now, we think it’s awesome to keep it in Phoenix. We’ve talked of having it in our cities but I think part of the fun is having people come to our hometown and getting to check out where we grew, and see the city the made us who we are. Also, Phoenix might be one of the few cities on earth that can have an outdoor festival in January and not freeze your butt off.

 

The Maine just finished their tour with Taking Back Sunday, and will be touring with Grayscale this month! Come July, the Sad Summer festival kicks off July 5th in Dallas, TX, and comes to NYC on July 16th!  Make sure you follow The Maine on Instagram here to keep up to date!

BabyGotBacktalk drop new single “Back To Before”

I always love bands who take chances lyrically and who are unapologetic about who they are, and what they stand for.

New York’s own BabyGotBacktalk is one of those bands flipping the super white pop-punk script and bringing something refreshingly new to the scene. While some pop-punk seems to be about breakups, mental health/depression and sometimes a combination of the two, BGBT is a politically charged, honest and darkly upbeat band of people writing about what is EXTREMELY wrong in the world.

Their new single “Back to Before” is an upbeat battle cry about things needing to be different going forward in the country. It’s one of the songs that if the GOP heard, they would probably be scared shitless.

Because bet.

With the bridge, America, You’re so scared of us, it is a lyrically perfect direct slap in the face to the extremely white, often evangelical establishment that has been in power for so long in this country, and that feels threatened when any speck of color comes their way.

Listen to “Back to Before” here:

Part of the chorus is the sentiment we are all feeling as well…And I’m not one to say that what we had/Ran its course/But I know we can’t go back to before.

BGBT

The faces behind New York’s BabyGotBackTalk. Photo courtesy of the band’s Facebook page.

And if we are being honest, WE REALLY CANT go back to what this country has let go for so long. It is dangerous and unfair to those trying to steer things for the greater good.

That being said, I am thankful this song is being released when it is.

To keep up with BGBT, make sure you follow them on IG here

 

AM0RA drop new single “Girls’ Night”

If you were looking for a new melodic post-hardcore song to get obsessed with in #quarantinelife,” then Philly 5 piece AM0RA has just the single for you to add to your playlists.

Their new single “Girls Night” is an impressive track produced by Matt Brasch of the Wonder Years and Cold Climb It. The song is a perfect mix of satisfying the most pop-punk listener as well as the newbie core kid.

Listen to “Girls’ Night” here: https://am0rapa.bandcamp.com/track/girls-night

AM0RA

The fellas of AM0RA. Photo by Katya Ivanovski.

Lyrically, the song seems to be about the fight to be okay when you aren’t, and the realization that in order to be okay mentally. we sometimes have to let things go that no longer serve us. With the powerful chorus “You’ve got to go/ No glance back no second chance/ I’m letting this go/ Commit this to memory this time,” its self explanatory that when its time to drop something, its time.

And honestly, its one of the most refreshing truths you will ever come to terms with as you grow up.

Overall this song is surely one to have in your playlist aresenal, and while you are at it, make sure to follow AM0RA on IG here to keep up to date with more releases and tours.