5 Club-Ready POP Singles

Whissell

“Legs Crossed”

Whissell doesn’t really deliver the sound we’d expect from a Nashville act, but we’re digging her pensive brand of power pop. “Legs Crossed” combines bourbon-smooth vocals and radio-ready production that will turn your relational rage into a #GrrrlPower moment. Communication is the best means to a healthy romance and Whissell is here to remind us that sometimes you just gotta hash that shit out with a real convo. Give “Legs Crossed” from Whissell a listen below or head here for your own download of the single.

CASPR

“Crazy”

CASPR takes one part brooding electropop, one part lithe vocals, and two heaping spoonfuls of slick sass on his new dance single, “Crazy”. The L.A.-based singer-songwriter teamed up with producer Danen Reed for a club-ready hit that you’ll want to save those serious moves for. I’m talking the slow moves that require as much face as hips. Take “Crazy” for a spin below and then head here to score that digi-download.

W I N C H E S T E R

“Throw It Down”

Coming from the indie/electro side of the pop spectrum, we have W I N C H E S T E R and their new single, “Throw It Down”. Despite the annoying spacing of their band name, we’re definitely down with the luminous energy and vibrant sounds of this Toronto duo. Bandmates Lauren Austin and Monty de Luna share vocal responsibilities with matched radiance. Take “Throw It Down” for a spin below or head here to add the single to your summer jam playlist.

Whethan

“Love Gang”

Whethan’s latest single features the sultry vocal stylings of Charli XCX for a club-ready banger. Whethan is the moniker of Chicago’s Ethan Snoreck creates some stylish beats even if the lyrics are a little confusing at times (see lyric video here). I think the important message to take away is that love is good. Sometimes a little pop-inspired incoherence can really make for a stellar singalong song. Score that digi-download here, but you can preview “Love Gang” from Whethan below first…

Neo Noir

“When I Was Young”

The “LA based Future Music collective” known as Neo Noir combines the talents of Bradley Allan and Greg Ogan, but they invited vocalist Brooke Williams to join them on their new single, “When I Was Young”. Neo Noir throws in some future bass permutations into their soundscape on this single which was released through the Trap Nations label Lowly Palace back in April.  Give the single a listen below or head here for the digi-download.

5 Eclectic Indie Electro Singles You Should Hear

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Yelle

“Interpassion”

If you’re planning a Postmodern rollerskating party this summer, YELLE will provide the playlist. The French Electropop songster creates a lush but breathable sound space for that ultra hip vocal delivery that has marked YELLE’s music thus far: sorta disimpassioned yet super fun in the same breath. But the message is often positive and carries its own passion and “Interpassion” is no different. Give the single a spin below or get your own digi-download here.

Me Not You

“Kill the Noise”

The NY duo of Nikki Taylor and Eric Zeiler is known as Me Not You and together they create the simultaneously grungy and ethereal sound you’ll hear on their single, “Kill the Noise”. There’s a bit of super cool 90s sound mixed into this totally modern indie/electro soundscape that will have you hooked. Gritty instrumentation bolsters the radiant vocal layers on “Kill the Noise”. Listen for yourself below or head here to score the two-single from Me Not You that includes this track as well as their song, “Bulletproof”.

EXES

“Cain”

Prepare to have your heart broken. The L.A. duo known as EXES dives down deep to unearth the raw emotional force of loss for their new single, “Cain”. The electro-dream-pop pairing of Allie McDonald and producer Mike Derenzo bring this personal story of heartache to vibrant life on “Cain”. From McDonald’s celestial vocals to the instrumental support of Derenzo as it moves from embracing to uplifting, “Cain” is powerful and that force won’t diminish on repeated listens. I know. I’ve tried. Give “Cain” from EXES a spin below or head here for the digi-download.

Orchards

“Darling”

The vibrant hook-heavy math-pop of Orchards blasts the listener with an August breeze on that first spin of “Darling”. Intentionally erratic and totally catchy, “Darling” just might the song that stays with you all summer. The Brighton band just wrapped up a tour with PWR BTTM but don’t be disappointed if you missed them live. Hopefully, Orchards will find time to shape out some new shiny new singles on their reprieve from the road. Get your own copy of “Darling” from Orchards here, but you can preview the single below first.

Clean/Cut

“Bring Down the House”

Clean/Cut throws a slick HipHop rhyme over the electro-inspired beat of “Bring Down the House”. This single comes to us from the San Diego duo’s 2017 EP, The Line, which came out in March. “Bring Down the House” has all the charge of a club hit but keeps just enough chill in the atmosphere for a poolside playlist. Check out the single from Clean/Cut below or head here for the full EP. Plenty of bangers in the mix there.

RINNGS

“Cutting the Cloth”

The London-based electro duo known as RINNGS brings together the work of multi-instrumentalists Karl Zine and Nai Jannson. As RINNGS, the pair moved away from traditional instrumentation to create richly textured tracks using only vocals and percussion. RINNGS describes their sound as “expressive alt pop” and that phrase really rings true on their debut single, “Cutting the Cloth”. The pair sample from a variety of sources from sacred choral music and Indian cartoons to the beats of the 1959 Wurlizer Sideman for this layered production. Give “Cutting the Cloth” a listen below or head here to snag your own copy of the track.

5 Easygoing Americana Singles You Should Hear

Miner

“A Morning Song”

Start your day with “A Morning Song” from Miner this week and see if the world doesn’t look a little brighter. The folk-rock family band from L.A. partnered with Matt Linesch (Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros) to record this new single from their forthcoming EP, Headwaters. If “A Morning Song” is any indication of what’s to come from Miner, this is definitely a band we need to keep an eye on. Give the effervescent single, “A Morning Song”, a listen here…

Jason Hawk Harris

“The Smoke and the Stars”

Jason Hawk Harris might be the guitarist for The Show Ponies, but he’s about to break out in his own light with this new single. “The Smoke and the Stars” combines vocals that pull on your heartstrings with stellar musicianship for a new Americana classic. This haunting number proves quite the stunning debut for Harris’ solo effort. Let’s hope there’s more music in store for us from Jason Hawk Harris. In the meantime, enjoy “The Smoke and the Stars” below…

Town Meeting

“New Hampshire”

Town Meeting brings that front porch feel right through your speakers and into your home with their new single, “New Hampshire”. The lively Americana act outta New England has shared stages with Sturgill Simpson, Old Crow Medicine Show, Willie Nelson, and the Avett Brothers, amongst others. I bet they left every single show with new fans. Once you hear the catchy energy of “New Hampshire” you’ll totally understand why.

Smith & Thell

“Toast”

This Stockholm duo sounds like they could be making their buoyant brand of folk-pop right in the heart of Nashville, rather than, you know, Sweden. Smith & Thell released their debut EP, Soulprints, earlier this month and “Toast” is the perfect single for your next impromptu Grrrls Night brought on by boyfriend douchey-ness. And if the words of that last sentence don’t resonate with you, this might not be your new jam… but it’s definitely mine. Check out “Toast” from Smith & Thell below or head here for the complete LP.

THESELANDS

“Reckoning”

The rustic vocals and Indie-Americana instrumentation of THESELANDS adds an earthy sound to the L.A. scene. “Reckoning” comes to us from the band’s 2017 EP, Enough for Love. Songwriter Dylan Lee Kalogris sits at the helm on THESELANDS and sets a somber tone on this single with in the lyrics well-matched to the alt-country sound. Give “Reckoning” from THESELANDS a spin below…

5 Rad Rock Singles: From Alt to Indie

rad rock singles 000by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Genre

“A Change is Gonna Come”

Two Phoenix favorites – Genre and Snailmate – released a split EP back in April with this angsty number thrown into the mix. “A Change is Gonna Come” is a dynamic alt-rock hit in the making and the four feisty tracks on the Snailmate & Genre Split offer up some stiff competition on the stand-out-single front. On the one hand, you have the frantic nerdcore hiphop of Snailmate. And, on the other, the dynamic angst-ridden alt-rock of Genre. Thankfully, you don’t have to make the choice. Head in for Genre and stick around for Snailmate… or vice versa. It’s all good and will serve your spirits well. Check out “A Change is Gonna Come” below or head here to score the complete EP.

Wildera

“The Only”

The musical duo behind Wildera recount a great tale of predestination. Rusty Redden and Loren Moore both grew up in the same Dallas suburb, but it wasn’t until they sat next to each other on the flight that would take them cross-country to attend the Berklee College of Music. They became bunkmates and, eventually, collaborators. Now reunited in Los Angeles, Redden and Moore release their catchy brand of alt-rock as Wildera. Driving guitars and disinterested vocals give “The Only” a hip feel that could really take hold with modern listeners everywhere. Give the new single from Wildera a spin below or get that digi-download here.

Lenina Crowne

“Know”

This new single from Lenina Crowne has easygoing indie-rock sound that pairs perfectly with summer. This five-piece from State College [PA] creates a nostalgic atmosphere with the crisp musicianship reminiscent of early indie rockers of the pre-grunge fuzz-free era. “Know” makes me think of pool parties and Otter Pops and creekside hikes that end at a familiar swimming hole. That’s an indie rock sound we could all stand to hear a little more of. Give “Know” from Lenina Crowne a listen below or get the three-track EP from whence it came here.

Spencer Anthony 

“Happy Pills”

Spencer Anthony has a bit some pop-punk festiveness thrown into the alt-rock sound that keeps the energy (and the angst) turned up for “Happy Pills”. One might even go so far to say that Anthony has some emo leanings that come through in his vocals – both in the lyrics and their delivery. “Happy Pills” comes to us from Spencer Anthony’s debut EP, Words To Hide Behind, which dropped in April. Give the single a listen below and then move on to the complete EP here.

Vero

“Hello”

How to describe the sound of Vero? Industrial funk? Alt-pop? Whatever it is, the funky get-down sound of Vero has a gritty edge to it that we really dig here. The Swedish 3-piece released their debut single, “Hello”, earlier this month and you’ll be able to hear some 90s-reminiscent permutations in the soundscape on this track that make it particularly catchy. Let Vero say “Hello” to you with their single below…

5 Stellar Indie Singles

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

The Fuzzy Crystals

“The King is Dead”

Are you ready for the transcendental expierence that is The Fuzzy Crystals? These spaced-out pysch rockers from California (where else?) create a dynamic sound that will have you wandering through the acidic flower fields of our hippie parents’ memory mindspace with their new single, “The King is Dead”. If you feel like you might have missed out on Woodstock, I suggest delving into The Fuzzy Crystals right away.

Swellshark

“Numb + Insensible”

How should we describe the music of the musical duo known as Swellshark? Sweet and somber? Lonely but playful? Sad and happy? It seems like all the words apply when listening to “Numb + Insensible”. Shélan O’Keefe and Henry Kellam (aka Swellshark) fuse together a buoyant indie folk sound with pensive lyrics that seek to root out all those insecurities you sought to subjugate. The pair are heading out on tour this coming June so check with Swellshark to see if they have a stop in your neck of the woods. For us in Phoenix that means The Trunk Space on June 3rd so mark your calendar!

Joy Downer

“Stranger Places”

The husband and wife team behind Joy Downer [Jeffrey Downer and Joy Bishop] are originally from San Diego but they recently made the jump to Hollywood. “Stranger Places” takes that casual Pacific air and adds some L.A. production for a super fun summer single. This track comes to us from the duo’s EP, Radio Dreamer, which was recorded and produced by Rob Kolar at his Echo Park studio. Check out the single from Joy Downer below &/or head here for the complete Radio Dreamer EP.

Loyal Wife

“We Notice Homes When They Break”

There’s something nostalgic about that early indie sound “popularized” in the 90s by alt-rock bands that had too much buoyancy in their sound for grunge. It definitely feels like Loyal Wife has continued the tradition on their new single, “We Notice Homes When They Break”. Loyal Wife has that bright bummer rock thing down and I’m totally digging it. Check out the single, available through Sunset Alliance Records, below…

Shadowgraphs

“Eastern Holiday”

This psych-rock act from North Carolina is passing through Phoenix in June and all you locals are not going to want to miss out on the vintage sound of Shadowgraphs. “Eastern Holiday” starts off with a bit of Western amble before giving way to a mellow and nostalgic rocknroll that is quite enchanting. Give “Eastern Holiday” a spin below and then be sure to check in with the Shadowgraphs’ complete tour schedule (through Facebook).*

*This sentence was modified from its originally published content because some writer got a show date wrong. The jury is out on whether to blame the band or the staffer. Trial to begin at noon.**

**That was a joke. There’s no “trial” other than trial by combat and that always starts promptly as dusk.

7 Stellar Songwriters You Need to Know

songwritersThe SunPunchers

“Screwtop Head”

The SunPunchers released two singles in prelude to their new EP which comes out THIS WEEKEND. These songs have a sticky summer warmth, like laying on a screened-in porch on a day buzzing with mosquitoes. There is an aesthetic here of sun tea and swimming holes brought to life through stunning, and stunningly demure, musicianship. The release show goes down at The Newton on May 20. Once you hear “Screwtop Head” from The SunPunchers, I can’t imagine that there’s anywhere else you’ll want to be this coming Sunday. More info on that event can be found here.

Violetta Zironi

“Half Moon Lane”

Wait until you hear the ethereal voice of 21-year-old Italian singer/songwriter Violetta Zironi. It’s not just her voice that enchants listeners of “Half Moon Lane” but the charming narrative of her songwriting style.  The single has a stripped-down sound reminiscent of those swan-throated folk musicians of the 1970s like Vashti Bunyan. Just part my hair down the middle and wrap me in an afghan and I could listen to “Half Moon Lane” from Violetta Zironi all afternoon. I certainly hope to hear more from this artist soon.

Tuelo

“Saint Margaret”

“Saint Margaret” kicks off with just a minimal guitar line and the soulful voice of Tuelo Minah. That’s actually all you need. But, as the underlying instrumentation picks up, Tuelo continues to drive the single with those powerful pipes of hers. The song pays tribute to Minah’s mother in a way that I find both empowering and tinged with a certain sorrow that I feel many women hold for the experiences of our mothers. “Saint Margaret” by Tuelo is emotionally moving and sonically compelling so I suggest you check the single below…

Luca Chesney

“Maria, Promise Me the Next Life”

There are some really interesting things happening in the subtle sound permutations on “Maria, Promise Me the Next Life”; the new single from NYC-based singer, songwriter, and producer Luca Chesney. This alt-electro track is a disembodied but emotionally textured journey. “Maria, Promise Me the Next Life” is the first single from Chesney’s s/t debut EP. I’m hoping to get my hands on that release sometime soon. In the meantime, enjoy this new single from Luca Chesney.

Madeleine Dopico

“Me to Bleed”

This isn’t the first time we’ve featured the music of Madeleine Dopico in our publication and I’m starting to think that we’re going to build a lasting relationship. The promising young songwriter crafts emotionally powerful soundscapes that she meets head on with her robust voice. On “Me to Bleed”, Dopico creates a haunting atmosphere for her brooding lyrics and manages to throw in just the right amount of dramatic flair to keep things interesting. That’s a combo a mortician’s daughter like myself can get behind in her pop music.

Bradford Loomis

“Drive You Home”

Bradford Loomis (of The Banner Days) dropped his first solo album since 2013 in March. Bravery and the Bell features this gem of a single, “Drive You Home”. Loomis penned the album after learning that his father was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. The soulful sound of Bradford Loomis’ folk style comes through with an earthy Americana that feels like it could easily find a home in Nashville, but the artist calls Washington (state… not that other one) home. Check out “Drive You Home” from Bradford Loomis here…

 Arpeggi

“Songs Don’t Help”

The Los Angeles songwriter who pens somber ditties under the name Arpeggi released her debut album, Senioritis, around this time last year. On that album, you’ll find “Songs Don’t Help” which delves into those Bell Jar moments when nothing seems to push back the skulking clouds of depression – not friends, not love, not even music (gasp). If you like your indie music stripped down and brooding, I suggest checking out “Songs Don’t Help” from Arpeggi. Or head here for the complete album.

Music Video Premiere: SUNMONKS Release Surrealist Vision for “Cannibal Wit”

The NorCal duo known as SUNMONKS are gearing up for the grand unveiling of their first full-length album with a brand-spanking-new music video.

“Cannibal Wit” (as a single) creates quite a cinematic soundscape but I wasn’t quite prepared for the stunning accompaniment that the music video provides. One might describe this as a DIY effort given that the video was produced, edited and directed by SUNMONKS’ Geoffrey CK (songwriter) and Alexandra Steele (vocalist). Trouble is, when most musicians say “DIY music video,” it means a backyard, some homemade props, and maybe some of their more attractive friends.

SUNMONKS, however, appear to approach music videos as an extension of their creative process… not just visual fodder to function as eye candy while their song plays in the background.

And, we’re super proud to premiere the surrealist vision that is “Cannibal Wit” from the SUNMONKS right here and now. Make sure you keep scrolling past the video for our conversation with Geoffrey CK of SUNMONKS about the duo, making of the music video, and impending album. But, first, this…

YabYum: How did SUNMONKS come together as a musical force?

Geoffrey CK: The project was formed as a way to entertain our musician and artist friends. We used to play in lots of different projects, as vocalists or songwriters or arrangers, and there’d be a lot of downtime during rehearsals, or breaks during performances; so we just started playing whenever there was a crowd. After a few months of doing this, we started getting show requests, so we came up with a name we thought fitting, and started touring. It’s a bit unconventional to begin touring and performing before having recorded a single tune, but it’s the way it was done a long time ago; now, most music-based projects begin as a recording-project, and then move into performing.

Even though we’re based out of California, we actually played our first show as “SUNMONKS” in the west Texan town of Lubbock, but that’s a long story. The project is still an infant, but we’re excited about finally releasing this video and our first album!

Pretty trippy music video. I know the video was a DIY undertaking. Did you go into filming with a concept in mind? Or did you just decide to take some acid and see what happens?

The video wasn’t something we wanted to just “throw together”, so it involved a lot of location-scouting, post-production; we wrote screenplays, storyboards etc. We wanted it to look as sleek as we could make it, even though it was just two people with a camera. Our other videos lacked any kind of narrative-flow, and that’s something that we wanted to change this time around.

Initially, we didn’t intend for the “acid tab” to be exactly that; originally, it was supposed to be a “note” passed from Alexandra to myself. But when we looked at the footage, it was pretty clear what it was implying, so we just embraced it, adjusted the story, and continued. We both love the work of filmmaker, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and even though we didn’t have the production budget to get close to his style, we tried our best to make something that was beautiful, humorous, and also a bit strange, whilst still have some kind of discernible narrative.

Is this single part of a larger release?

This video is leading to the release of SUNMONKS’ first full-length album, called Two Play, out in early June. It was produced by John Baccigaluppi (Sea of Bees, Tape Op Magazine) and heavily features Mike Urbano (Cake, Bourgeois Tagg) on drums. There’s a Vice article about John, if you want more info on his work or background. The album was recorded at Panoramic House Studio, which is a newer studio. It’s the same studio where Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket recorded their newest albums, located in Stinson Beach, CA.

So both you and Alexa seem to have that vibrant-outdoor-NorCal vibe. How are you folx passing the time when not performing with SUNMONKS or making rad music videos?

When we’re not playing in SUNMONKS, we’ll often play in other peoples’ projects, or help people write songs, or go see our friends projects. We have a couple dogs, so we spend a lot of time outside, running around, hiking or swimming. When we’re in “recording-mode”, we’re often out in Stinson Beach, where we’ll go surf with our friend John Baccigaluppi, who produced our first album. Alexandra also makes videos for other acts; the last one she worked on was for folk singer, Tom Brosseau.

7 Rowdy Singles from Around the World

Lauren Ruth Ward

“Blue Collar Sex Kitten”

Usually it’s Lauren Ruth Ward’s sultry Americana swagger that has us all wound up, but this week it looks like Ward is ready for rowdy and rocking. “Blue Collar Sex Kitten” is the latest hit to come out the songwriting partnership between L.A.-based musicians LRW and guitarist Eduardo Rivera. There’s so much sass on this single, you’re going to want to skip it on the drive to work and save it for that cruise home… unless, of course, you want to arrive at your job ready to burn the whole fucking place down. Consider that your warning.

The Great Malarkey

“Gaffa”

London-based band The Great Malarkey dares to ask the question, “Why did the Irish artist, the Canadian surfer, the Portuguese London tour guide, the Gloucestershire gardener, two UK Guild Hall students, a Latvian paralegal and an androgynous cockney, walk into a bar?” Apparently, the answer is create some riotous folk punk of orchestral proportions. Of course, with eight members listed as part of The Great Malarkey, I would imagine this band brings the party every time they show up to perform. If you dig “Gaffa” (and you will), I suggest checking out more of the online musical offerings The Great Malarkey released last month (here).

Sturdy Ladies

“Secret Weapon”

This garage rock trio from PHX adds some colorful kitsch to their punk rock punch bowl. Yes, Sturdy Ladies throw out the feisty fun on “Secret Weapon” that will have you shouting along so you might want to consider your location before you smash that play button. Luckily you’ll get your chance not once but twice. Not only are the Sturdy Ladies playing this Saturday, May 13, at the Yucca Tap they’re also opening for Shonen Knife (from Osaka, Japan) on May 24 with Shovel and The Pübes! More on that event here. Until then, spend some time with “Secret Weapon” and also their campy classic, “Cat Olympics“, available online as well. Both singles comes to us from the Sturdy Ladies’ debut EP, Brut Force, which you should pick up at a one of the previously mentioned shows because, so far, that’s the only place you can get ’em. Enjoy.

Dolly Spartans

“It’s Not Easy”

Okay, so when “It’s Not Easy” kicks off, you’re probably going to worry that I might be confused about what the word “rowdy” means, but give it a minute. The NYNY quartet known as the Dolly Spartans turn up the energy and the angst for this indie rock single. The vocals call to mind club scene kids like The Strokes while the accompanying instrumentation has an emo tinge that reminds me a bit of Jimmy Eat World. This single comes to us from the band’s latest EP, Time Sides with No One, which came out last month. Give “It’s Not Easy” by the Dolly Spartans a spin below…

Round Eye

“Billy”

Shanghai-based act Round Eye is comprised of “American ex-pats and Italians” which might seem like a bit of a metropolitan muddle, but rocknroll is a transcendent language that cold-crushes culture divides. “Billy” has a feisty punk energy and catchy hook that might just lodge into your brainspace and never leave again. Twenty years from now, a routine traffic stop could result in you screaming “Billy was a cop! Billy was a cop! Billy, Billy, Billy, Billy!” if you let the music of Round Eye take hold. And you definitely want to.

Annabel Allum

“Eat Greens”

Britain’s Annabel Allum first landed on our radar with her single, “Rich Backgrounds”, and this new single proves Allum is more than a one-trick pony. She has some chops. “Eat Greens” rips into that impetus toward better health that hits many of us as we move toward full-time adulting, but the song is more about finding balance than just clever witticisms. Allum has a gritty sound and a dry tongue that reminds me of Courtney Barnett. “Eat Greens” came out on April 28 through Killing Moon Records. Give the new single a spin below and, if you haven’t already, check out “Rich Backgrounds” from Annabel Allum as well.

Otherkin

“Bad Advice”

The Irish rockers known as Otherkin have some “Bad Advice” to offer up to fans. The four-piece describes their sound rather accurately as “Grunge Pop” so I could easily seeing them sharing a bill with Phoenix favorites like Fairy Bones or maybe Harper and the Moths.  This single comes to us from the band’s forthcoming debut album. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get our grubby mitts on that release in the not-too-distant future. Until then, enjoy “Bad Advice” from Otherkin…

7 Mellow Singles for Your Morning

Joel Porter

“St. Anthony”

Sometimes beautiful things reach us from unexpected locales… like the breathtakingly beautiful “St. Anthony” from Bismark [North Dakota] artist, Joel Porter. This slow-burning indie-folk single just might break your heart so enter aware. Porter is the musician son of musician parents, and a multi-instrumentalist (from violin to french horns and a whole lot in between), so I went into this single expecting quite a bit, but “St. Anthony” still manages to blow me away. Subtle yet orchestral. Restrained yet deeply emotional. Listen to “St. Anthony” below and then I definitely recommend diving into the complete EP that Joel Porter put out last month, Mountain Twin.  

Vansire

“Pale Blue”

The dream pop act known as Vansire released their EP – The Rolling, Driftless North – a few months back and that album included this sweet single. “Pale Blue” almost has a BritPop sound (à la Belle & Sebastian) so the track’s basically been on repeat all day. Maybe its something about that snowy weather up in Minnesota that gives Vansire its Glasgow glow, but the band manages to sound buoyant and sorrowful at the same moment and the effect is lovely. Give “Pale Blue” from Vansire a listen below &/or check out the band’s complete EP: The Rolling, Driftless North

Say Anise

 “One Sound”

London-based singer-songwriter Emily Barnett performs under the moniker Say Anise; a name you’ll probably want to remember after you hear this dreamy number. Barnett has a sweet-tempered voice that floats over the easygoing indie folk instrumentation of “One Sound”. It’s a subtle charmer that pairs well with a relaxing morning at home and maybe some quiet reflection about where you are in the world and where you want to be going. Give “One Sound” from Say Anise a listen below…

Simen Mitlid

“I Don’t Care”

This new track from Simen Mitlid has a lithe indie-folk sound that will invigorate you, mind and body. Mitlid’s effervescent voice meets the symphonious instrumentation and sprightly harmonies of “I Don’t Care” with anything but apathy, no matter what the title suggests. Mitlid comes to us from Os (in Norway), but I’m hoping his music lands him stateside sooner rather than later. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this artist in hopes of new tunes on the approaching horizon. In the meantime, enjoy the blithe sound of Simen Mitlid’s “I Don’t Care” below…

SCHWARZ

“Home”

SCHWARZ is the new musical undertaking of Roland Meyer de Voltaire (formerly of the band Voltaire). “Home” takes us to the somber side of mellow for this introspective exploration of what it means to belong. SCHWARZ takes a stripped down approach on this acoustic single, but he still packs the emotive charge of an ensemble. SCHWARZ’s “Home” just dropped on Spinnin’ Records a couple months back. Give the track a listen below…

Tega

“Love Is”

The Canadian act known as Tega shared “Love Is” and this indie-folk single has a neo-soul slant I really love. The vocal layers that float above the tranquil melody on “Love Is” create a haunting sound that will stay with you long after you listen. If you dig this track, I suggest delving further into Tega’s online offerings [here]. But, first, check out “Love Is” by Tega below…

Jynjo & R E L

“A Little Bit Sometimes”

LA-based singer/songwriter R E L teamed up with the producer known as Jynjo to craft out this chill single. The indie-electro “A Little Bit Sometimes” has some fun bounce to it without ever breaking its relaxed atmosphere. And you gotta love the supple vocals of R E L. Kick it with “A Little Bit Sometimes” from Jynjo & R E L…

YabYum Seven: Mignon Gould

mignon gould 01Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Mignon Gould and I am the founder and Agent-in-Chief of TheChicSpy.com, an online style and entertainment publication featuring the works of creatives in fashion, film, and pop culture.

How did you get your start?

Several years ago I worked for The Arizona Republic. I wrote for their weekly style publication called “Yes”, as well as a few of their other magazines. After leaving the newspaper, I went to graduate school in San Francisco, received an MFA in Fashion Journalism with an emphasis in Multimedia Studies. I used my publication as my thesis and decided to launch it into a business.

mignon gould 02
All photos courtesy of Mignon Gould

What inspires you?

I’m so inspired by my family in all that I do. Creatively my mother was inspirational. She is a clarinetist and performed for the Phoenix Symphony. She also enjoyed pottery. She created this amazing chess set when she was 16 and it’s mine now. It’s beautiful and the details on the pieces are amazing.

As a publisher, writer and entrepreneur, I’m also inspired by my 3rd great uncle John James Neimore, who in 1879 founded The California Eagle, one of the first African-American newspapers in California. He was in his teens. I can’t imagine how super focused he had to be to do something so groundbreaking at that age, and in that era.

What do you like about AZ?

I love the arts community and how unpretentious and enriching it is here. After all, we have one of the leading fashion collections in this country at Phoenix Art Museum, and we have one of the most attended art events in the nation with Artlink’s First Friday Art Walk. In the Valley, art is accessible for everyone.

mignon gould 03Where can we see you(r) work?

You can view my work at thechicspy.com and mignongould.com. You can read my featured commentary on fashion and pop culture topics here.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I would like to have helped others achieve their professional goals. I’m currently preparing to launch Chic Spy Studio, a virtual internship program for college students and recent graduates in journalism, fashion, media, marketing, and design. I piloted the program in 2013 with students from around the country including Arizona State University in Tempe, Syracuse University in New York, and Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I originally launched my website to create a portfolio of my written work. I was able to get a job at a newspaper with that portfolio. Now, I want to create a platform that helps others land their dream job.

What is your mantra?

Carpe Diem. I wrote a poem in the 90s, and keep it with me always. It keeps me marching on, knowing no mission is impossible:

Have you ever wanted to create a new version of you
Someone who’d always know what to do
A feeling of strength and power divine
No limits or boundaries to draw the line
Carpe Diem is to seize the day
Become who you want
Make your own way
It’s now or never, I’ve heard some say
Now is the time, to seize the day

~

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