Alexis Castrogiovanni almost sex BAYEM Bleach Lab Boyish Christina Aguilera chrysalis Ella Jane girlhouse Gordi hanbee Hazlett Juliana Madrid Mach Hommy NewDad NIIS Of Monsters and Men Ogi Peach Tree Rascals Sable Sea Lemon With The Punches
From all of us right here at Atwood Journal, we want you a contented and wholesome new 12 months!
2022 has been, in a phrase, an exhilarating 12 months for music. Dwelling legends have additional solidified their legacies, while recent faces have change into new favorites.
Atwood Journal has all the time had at its core the mission to rejoice music of all genres, and this 12 months we continued our aim to be an area of inclusivity and illustration by consciously highlighting artwork and artists from all over the world. The 12 months in music was made all of the extra thrilling due to the broad vary of music we featured and targeted on – from these acquainted names within the High 40, to creatives in essentially the most underground, indie, and different of circles.
For thus many of those artists, music is greater than a mere technique of self-expression; it’s a vessel filled with superior potential. Lately, it has felt more and more vital to acknowledge and elevate those that use their artwork as a voice for the disenfranchised; the oppressed; the underrepresented; and the underprivileged. This 12 months, we proceed to acknowledge those that converse for extra than simply themselves, whereas on the identical time indulging within the acquainted, timeless themes of affection, loss, hope, connection, braveness, change, and the unending pursuit of happiness.
Because the 12 months involves an in depth, our employees took a step again to honor the songs, EPs, albums, live shows, and artist discoveries that had the best affect on our lives. With out additional ado, Atwood Journal is proud to current our curated record of 2022’s EPs of the Year, in alphabetical order. From Bleach Lab’s If You Solely Really feel It As soon as and Boyish’s My Pal Mica to Gordi’s Inhuman and Ogi’s Monologues, these are our favorites – the EPs that influenced us essentially the most. Please be a part of us in celebrating 2022’s contributions to the music world!
Mitch Mosk, Editor-in-Chief
I initially wrote about this EP for one in every of Atwood Journal’s weekly roundups, and it has caught with me ever since. Alexis Castrogiovanni is a cellist and vocalist whose sound mixes experimental textures and instrumentation with orchestral traits. Every observe on the EP, of which their are 4, showcase Castrogiovanni’s artistry from the composition and experimentation on songs like “Ex-Woman” and “Sometime My Ideas Will Be Like a Vary of Mountains” to the singer/songwriter construction of “A Sure Level.” Sometime My Ideas Will Be Like a Vary of Mountains stays to be a considerate and compelling pay attention. – Nick Matthopoulos
Achingly intimate and fantastically stirring, virtually intercourse’s debut EP shines an uncompromisingly uncooked gentle on their world: Capturing the nice, the ugly, the exhilarating, the boring, and every part in-between, the Brooklyn duo create, in fifteen visceral minutes, an intimate and intense portrayal of actual life – the type we hardly ever see portrayed on social media, in tv, films, and so on. A susceptible and breathtaking indie folks document, We’re Okay is a fascinating and expansive anchor right here to assist us climate no matter storms could come our manner.
Independently launched April 1, 2022, We’re Okay is a wondrous mild large of a document. Spanning simply 5 tracks, virtually intercourse’s debut EP envelops the ears, and in flip the center and soul, in a blanket of human connection and understanding. The Brooklyn-based duo of Warren LaSota and Nick Louis, virtually intercourse met on a relationship app throughout NYC’s 2020 lockdown; theirs is a narrative of budding romance and inventive collaboration –the latter of which caught viewers’s ears virtually instantly after their first launch. We’re Okay builds upon all of the intimacy, the honesty, and the vulnerability that has change into an intrinsic a part of virtually intercourse’s identification. At their core, the pair use music as not solely their mode of self-expression, but in addition their mode of navigation: Of processing the little moments and their lasting impacts.
“From the beginning of this undertaking in late 2020 to the start of our EP classes, we had been actually solely targeted on releasing singles,” virtually intercourse shared upon their EP’s launch. “And since we had been nonetheless feeling out which sonic path we wished to plant our flag in, every single tended to throw style and vibe to the wind. For this EP, we wished to do our greatest to create a cohesive and coherent musical undertaking that successfully represented the place we had been as a unit at that individual second in time.”
“The mission assertion of this EP was all about stripping issues again. We got down to make issues smaller by utilizing a pre-determined variety of devices and analog manufacturing strategies (primarily acoustic guitar, bass, Warren’s microKorg, and a classic Boss drum machine from the late seventies). Whereas the ultimate end result ended up calling for just a few “cheat days” within the type of some modern-sounding drum samples, we largely held true to our preliminary intent.”
As with most EPs, We’re Okay is finest listened to in its entirety from begin to end as a method of experiencing each the breadth and the depth of just about intercourse’s artistry. Nonetheless, the document isn’t with out its personal standout songs: Opener “Present/Inform” is an instantaneous spotlight, setting the tone with a palpable rigidity and an inescapable urgency that permeates its tender verses and catchy, smoldering choruses. It additionally has a few of Nick Louis’ favourite lyrics ever written:
So consider all of your dangerous luck
Ever because you grew up
Rejoice your birthday
Plucking out your first grey
All you may present and by no means inform
Waste away a complete June
Wishing for a brand new you
Promote your self to half-friends
Pining for the previous tense
All you may present and by no means inform.
The EP’s second observe, “Sound Asleep,” is a extra upbeat quantity that retains the duo’s intimacy whereas injecting an uplifting, refreshing vitality into the combo. The EP’s solely single, “Lucille,” is a vivid, melancholy, and aching reflection on the fallout of a relationship “through which one associate has been recognized with a terminal sickness,” virtually intercourse clarify. “The subject material is clearly grim as could be, however we wished to go away listeners with a hopeful afterglow within the type of the bridge lyrics, ‘all that you simply’ve been can be once more, out into the grace of night time.’” You’d be hard-pressed to stroll away from this tune with out a single tear in your eye.
We’re Okay is a very stirring show of expertise and intimate self-expression from Brooklyn’s virtually intercourse. By the point the title observe involves its fantastically stripped-down conclusion, audiences are left breathless and dazed in our personal insular world of turmoil, tranquility, upheaval and introspection. Imposing and lonely although that will really feel at instances, virtually intercourse all however make sure that glimmers of sunshine pour by means of this remoted darkness – instilling within the listener a refined, but nonetheless significant pressure of hope for ourselves and hope for the long run. – Mitch Mosk
Invigorating in the most effective of the way, BAYEM’s debut EP is each a joyride and a thrill: It’s the sort of document whose songs spark a hearth inside, placing a pep in our step as we meet the day with renewed vigor and impressed enthusiasm. A radiant outpouring of cinematic, beautiful indie pop, AFTERGLOW drenches the ears and uplifts the soul as BAYEM introduces himself with simple ardour and alluring vitality. Merely put, music like this makes us really feel extra alive.
Launched February 17, 2022, AFTERGLOW is true to its title as a wellspring of vivid sound and visceral feeling. The eight-track introduction to 23-year-old BAYEM sees the Indianapolis native diving headfirst right into a dynamic, theatrical, and unapologetically sincere area. He channels his deepest feelings into sweeping gusts of wondrous sound, mixing the worlds of neo-soul and electro-pop right into a singular signature that reminds us of Michael Jackson, The Weeknd, and Carly Rae Jepsen at their finest, albeit with a twist: BAYEM’s obtained his personal charismatic bounce, poise, starvation, and flare, and he makes use of these traits to his benefit in creating one thing refreshing but acquainted, welcoming and honest.
Weak, catchy, and cathartic, this document is an totally irresistible assortment. His aching songs might not be “euphoric,” however BAYEM helps his listeners attain a particular euphoria on AFTERGLOW.
First off I’ve been ready for you
To go searching and see the indicators
It could have been my instinct
However I knew that we’d be alright
Received’t you come into my life
You’re meant to understand
That every part you need is inside you
We are going to by no means collapse
We danced lengthy after darkish
Left each little bit of ache behind you
You wanna really feel like I’m the one which retains you coming again
You bought me runnin…
You wanna really feel like I’m the one which’s obtained you down so dangerous
You bought me runnin’ for you
For so many people, “residence” is an ephemeral, ethereal idea: It’s one thing we’re looking for and striving in the direction of, however we don’t know what it appears to be like like, and we don’t know when or the place we’ll discover it. We’re every on this particular person journey for residence, and but this endeavor is commonly isolating and insulating; for essentially the most half we’re alone in our looking, preserving our feelings to ourselves regardless of how usually we’d really feel that craving in our intestine.
That’s why Bleach Lab’s third EP is so rattling particular. An achingly heat and wistful dream pop expertise, If You Solely Really feel It As soon as is a comforting, cathartic reminder that we’re all in search of the identical basic items in life: A way of function, connection, understanding, and a spot to name residence.
Hauntingly lovely and brutally uncooked, If You Solely Really feel It As soon as is an excellent triumph for South London’s Bleach Lab. A longtime Atwood Journal artist-to-watch, three-time Editor’s Choose, and one in every of our High Artist Discoveries of 2021, Bleach Lab have emerged over the previous few years as one of many UK’s most fun acts, with a heavy, lush shoegaze-y sound and soul-stirring lyrics filled with depth, unfiltered emotion, and substance.
The band’s third EP is their most “Bleach Lab” effort so far, if that had been even attainable. They themselves describe it as “nostalgic, introspective, and expansive” – a definitive evolution for Bleach Lab and a marker ahead of their inventive journey. Highlights embody the achingly intimate title observe “If You Solely Really feel It As soon as,” the wealthy and dreamy “Take It Sluggish,” and the resilient, resounding, and refreshingly hard-hitting “Clearly,” a candy upheaval replete with an immediately memorable, cathartic refrain and stirring shoegaze-y guitars that seize, of their reverb-drenched vibrations, an unimaginable quantity of dashed hopes and phrases unsaid.
Greater and bolder than its predecessors but simply as intimate and intense, If You Solely Really feel It As soon as aches with catchy, immersive melodies, smoldering instrumental work, radiant, finessed manufacturing, and seductive contemplations on the massive questions that every one too usually hold us up at night time. And but, of their unapologetic seek for belonging, Bleach Lab have created one thing that itself makes us really feel at residence: If You Solely Really feel It As soon as is, in some methods, a solution to its personal questions. – Mitch Mosk
Brooklyn band Boyish have coined a brand new sort of summertime disappointment… form of. India Shore and Claire Altendahl name their newest EP “celebration music for people who find themselves unhappy throughout summer time,” however it’s vital to notice that no matter disappointment you’ve going into their new document would possibly very properly dissipate by the point you’ve completed listening – so let’s not name it unhappy; name it summer time bummer bliss. If music is a vessel of therapeutic, then then these six songs are a remedy session of their very personal. A cathartic roller-coaster of uncooked emotion and charged indie rock, My Pal Mica EP is fantastically intimate and intoxicatingly intense: A radiantly susceptible and exhilarating nosedive into the depths of our fragile hearts and tender souls. In an usually isolation and melancholy world, this music is a supply of consolation, empathy, and launch.
“I feel this EP is extra private, extra like a diary entry than anything we’ve written earlier than,” India Shore shared upon this document’s launch. “Our final EP was written throughout the pandemic and never a ton was occurring in our lives, so we we used lots of outdoors inspiration like films, and TV reveals, and books. After our final EP, our aim has been to verify each a part of a tune is significant and emotive. My Pal Mica is just like the imply older sister: It’s extra upfront, it’s harsher and louder however at instances could be very comfortable and intimate. However beneath all of it, I feel we simply tried to jot down about precisely how we felt.”
My Pal Mica is as soothing as it’s energizing: Boyish have as soon as once more completed what they do finest, unveiling a fascinating assortment of catchy, conscious, and transferring songs that faucet into our shared human expertise.
An all-hits, no-misses affair, the EP kicks off with the driving “You Wanna Harm Me,” a glistening, churning opener that sees the band navigating cycles of poisonous relationships and destructive patterns of their lives. Boyish layer candy, effected electrical guitars and keys right into a dreamy multi-textured material in “Congratulations,” described by the band as a basic queer tragedy. The catchy and cinematic “Smithereens” is an totally exhilarating different immersion: Boyish soar with charismatic vitality on this EP standout, shining brilliant as they chart the unending finish of a relationship: “Regardless of understanding it’s time to let one another go, you retain coming again. Ultimately, it all the time finally ends up hurting greater than if you happen to broke up with somebody and by no means noticed them once more.”
The EP’s again half is as charming as its entrance, closing the document with stirring emotion and visceral self-assurance: The dramatic “I Assume I Hate It Right here,” the shuffling, distressed “Legs,” and the achingly intimate confessional “My Pal Mica” depart listeners with a relaxed sense of launch and resolve. It’s not at all an exorcism, however My Pal Mica is an emotionally liberating, undeniably cathartic journey from begin to end. – Mitch Mosk
You hearken to the smiths
And we by no means exit
Then you definately inform me how you are feeling
And we kiss, then we () then you definately shut me out
Whenever you depart my home
There’s a light-weight that by no means goes out
I’ll by no means flip it off
You’ll find it the subsequent time you let me down
However you look so fantastic
Yeah, you look so cool
And also you waste my time
Even while you’re not round
I nonetheless speak about you
And I attempted, however you look so cool
I’m too bored to let go
So I sit in my room and I cry over you
Heading again to the beginning of the 12 months with this one, I truthfully actually loved getting to listen to Christina Aguilera make a completely Spanish-sung album for the primary time since I used to be in third grade. Her highly effective pipes proceed to dazzle; even when she’s singing in her second language, all of it sounded easy, pure, and by no means compelled. La Fuerza was additionally profitable in its incorporation of Latin music influences and visitor artists— “Pa Mis Muchachas” was the excessive level for me, with Latina singers Becky G, Nicki Nicole and Nathy Peluso all seamlessly aligned alongside Xtina to energetic and fiesta-ready results. // Aguilera has sinced rounded up her Latin music enterprise with a second Spanish EP, La Tormenta, and a self-titled full-length launch that cobbles all of this materials collectively. But it’s the preliminary thrill of seeing her launch this musical experiment this previous Janaury that also makes a robust impression on me, all these months later. Saludos a La Fuerza. – Josh Weiner
AThe phrase “distance makes the center develop fonder” is the world’s cruelest fable. Boston-based singer-songwriter chrysalis (AKA, Isa Ansin) must agree. Their debut EP, margarita sugar packs an especially bittersweet punch, serving as a poignant recollection of hyper-specific occasions that led as much as the top of a long-distance relationship. Youthful heartache comes wrapped up within the artist’s wistful nostalgia as they appear again upon what as soon as was, and moreover, theorize about what might have been.
“Did I ask for an excessive amount of / Was my love not sufficient / Was I loopy to suppose / You and I had been in sync,” they surprise all through the EP’s title observe, “margarita sugar.” Their jarringly candid lyrics stroll listeners by means of the varied questions the singer-songwriter needs they might get the solutions to as a way to lastly obtain closure. Because the tune begins to construct upon chrysalis’ fervent strumming, they beg the universe for solutions; asking why, oh why one thing so good needed to finish. Fearlessly pushed by their feelings, chrysalis’ margarita sugar is the proper soundtrack to accompany loss, offering a robust basis for therapeutic to start. – Sophie Severs
Tright here’s a ton we are able to take away simply from the title of ella jane’s sophomore EP. Marginalia is an embrace of the stuff on the edges – per its definition, the phrases within the margins. It’s a light-weight shined onto the sidelines, the place the sunshine hardly ever shines. It’s an embrace of life’s finer particulars; the elaborations; the little notes we make to ourselves as we go about our each day lives. It’s all these fleeting feelings and passing concepts we are inclined to overwhelmingly hold to ourselves – the hopes, the fears, the insecurities, and the daydreams – all of which could very properly by no means materialize, had been they not willed into existence, captured in writing after which sung in tune.
These songs hit arduous, and each single one in every of them leaves a mark. Catchy and cathartic, intimate and unapologetic, Marginalia is the irresistible document of a queer 20-year-old artist coming of age in New York. It’s a snapshot of life lived briefly tales; the blueprints of an identification within the midst of its personal journey of self-discovery.
“The phrase “marginalia” actually means writing within the margins,” jane explains. “It’s a title I’ve had written down for a very long time, as a result of annotating as an idea has all the time been tremendous fascinating to me; I’ve learn with a pen in hand since highschool. Most of my songs have a line or two that had been impressed by one thing in a e-book I learn, or from a film or present I’ve seen. Even from actual life conversations. So to me, these songs felt like annotations on a bigger scale – a manner for me to work together with and “mark up” the occasions in my very own life as they occurred or after the actual fact.”
“I used to suppose that rising up was synonymous with hitting sure milestones, like a driver’s license, or an 18th birthday, or possibly a highschool commencement,” she provides. “But it surely’s not, in fact it’s not. What it truly is, I’ve come to seek out, is the flexibility to confess to your self the truths you knew all alongside. When you do this, you can begin telling the reality to different individuals. And when you do this, you can begin rising up. This undertaking is a coming of age story. And if I need to hook up with an viewers who can be coming of age, then it’s crucial I inform them my very own truths.”
That coming-of-age story opens with the rising confessional “7,” a tune about childhood and household and the indelible affect of our youthful years on the particular person we ultimately change into. A reckoning and a realization multi function, it units the tone for all that’s to return, catching that excellent mix of earworm melodies and unapologetically expressive lyricism that makes jane’s artwork so particular. “Get together Trick” and “How Do I Lose You” are robust examples of jane’s poppier facet – however as a complete undertaking, Marginalia is a mix of indie rock, folks, soul, alt-pop, and a lot extra.
If ella jane was a star on the rise final 12 months, then contemplate her star now risen and shining brightly. – Mitch Mosk
Equal components dynamic and delicate, girlhouse’s aptly titled third EP is an unfiltered and unapologetic eruption from a young soul. Considered one of my absolute favourite artists to emerge over the previous few years, Lauren Luiz’s solo undertaking continues to show a supply of visceral ardour, aching upheaval, and cathartic launch. Emotionally charged and intimately susceptible, the third ep enthralls and conjures up by means of six therapeutic songs processing life’s challenges, rising pains, upsets, and turmoil.
he referred to as his pal on FaceTime
after we had intercourse the primary time
i by no means talked to him once more,
and that i don’t suppose I ever instructed him why
might this please, damage extra please?
i’m holding onto a reminiscence,
while you damage me, i’m going loopy
I’m holding on to something
you suppose women from East LA
all kinda speak the identical
i didn’t know the way I might say
each phrase out of your mouth
all of it tears my coronary heart out
Balancing inside volatility with cool, calm management, girlhouse has as soon as once more proven herself to be one in every of this decade’s most fun and promising indie rock/pop newcomers. The stage title for singer and songwriter Lauren Luiz (also known for her work in folk pop band WILD), girlhouse has already garnered appreciable help, recognition, and popularity of her early songs, together with a spot on Atwood Magazine‘s 2022 artist to watch record. the third ep builds upon girlhouse’s already rock stable foundations, discovering Luiz pouring her coronary heart out in her most substantive, turbulent, and breathtaking assortment so far.
She hits arduous with the equal components emphatic and charged opener “paul blart mall cop,” a seismic implosion replete with huge swells of electrical overdrive and intensely susceptible singing, to not point out a gut-wrenching guitar solo that’s positive to get the hairs on our necks standing straight up. From there she soars excessive and sweeps low, exploring her personal needs and psyche within the captivatingly stylish “cool man” after which baring her most intimate and susceptible self within the charming, gutting ’60s pop-influenced tune, “facetime after intercourse.” The document’s second half is much more transferring and intense, with “miss u this time,” “dontstop,” and “atlantis is a film” immersing listeners within the tender trauma that’s Luiz’s visceral processing-life-in-real-time strategy to songwriting.
“I break up this EP in two acts,” Luiz tells Atwood Journal. “The primary act follows the euphoria of avoidance, doing every part to detach from all emotions whereas taking part in home. The again half is supposed to snap you into actuality with darker sounds and themes: I speak about dropping friendships to life and dying, and I attempt to be extra susceptible with the particular person I really like and ask them straight up, “Please don’t cease loving me.” The theme of this EP is admittedly about coming to grips with actuality and the rising ache that comes with it. I hope you want listening to it as a lot as I preferred writing it!”
the third ep is good give up and self-affirmation in six songs. Regardless of all of the darkness and heartache baked into the music, this standout document is girlhouse’s most soothing, tranquilizing, and enriching providing but. Luiz channels her ache into magnificence as she tries her finest to seize the reigns and clutch all of the forces outdoors her management. Within the course of, she not solely learns extra about herself, however she additionally opens herself up extra so than ever earlier than. “I assume we’re all human, I assume all of us get weak,” she sings within the finale, “atlantis is a film.” “Assume it’s been 10 years now this city’s been within the sea. If it’s all in my thoughts, I ought to be movin’ on in time, or till I discover one thing to imagine…” Indubitably, girlhouse stays some of the promising, passionate, and enthralling artists to observe of the 2022s. – Mitch Mosk
Gordi’s EP could also be titled Inhuman, however don’t let the title idiot you: That is simply some of the human information launched all 12 months. After the trauma and turmoil so many people have skilled (and proceed to expertise) over these previous few years, it helps to have music that each comforts us, whereas reminding us that it’s okay to not be okay: That typically you’ll really feel like a stranger to your individual physique or your individual residence. Typically you’ll need to escape for an eternity, and shut the world off for awhile. Typically you’ll really feel damaged, fractured, or incomplete.
Intestine-wrenching and swish, Inhuman is innately human: A candid reflection, or slightly an sincere exploration of what it means to dwell and be alive. Gordi has poured her coronary heart and soul right into a stunningly uncooked and fantastically intimate assortment of songs exploring the depths of vulnerability, connection, identification, and alter.
Launched August 19, 2022 by way of Jagjaguwar, Inhuman is the cathartic musical and emotional unburdening we’ve been ready for. It’s the tense breath we’ve held in our lungs for the previous two and a half-plus years (a few of us for a lot, for much longer); the exhale we’ve refused to totally let go; the whisper inside that, over time, constructed up right into a visceral, uncompromising shout. The follow-up to Gordi’s celebrated 2020 sophomore album Our Two Skins sees the LA by-way-of Sydney singer/songwriter (née Sophie Payten) constructing upon the breathtaking folktronic sounds and heart-on-sleeve vulnerability she’s made a signature a part of her artistry over these previous seven years.
Inhuman‘s six tracks had been compiled from completely different moments, locations, and areas over the previous a number of years. Gordi describes the EP as a group of songs that hadn’t discovered a house: “They had been concepts and voice memos that I knew didn’t belong on the subsequent album, however I nonetheless actually wished to complete and share them,” she tells Atwood Journal. “It was very nice engaged on one thing that felt pressure-less – like I used to be simply making music as a result of I wished to.”
Like a musical smorgasbord, the top result’s numerous, but cohesive in that it showcases many sides of the identical artist. In its personal manner, Inhuman seems like a world unto itself. From the fragile caress of EP opener “Approach I Go” and the electopop churn of the title observe “Inhuman” and the refined, smoldering upheaval “Burn All of the Time Machines,” to the folk-tinged indie rock of “Stranger” and the intense, bittersweet gleam of “Customer,” Gordi ensures that listeners come away feeling like a heavy weight has been lifted. These songs are fragile, but confident: Pushed by an inside power and resilience that we don’t all the time see, however can intensely really feel all through Gordi’s efficiency.
Inhuman is admittedly a shorter launch forward of an anticipated third LP in 2023, however allow us to not deny these particular songs their rightful place in Gordi’s catalog just because they’re not on a full-length album. Inhuman is as tender and as aching because it will get: A haunting, however not haunted, document full of heat, depth, and nuance. It’s Gordi at her finest: Unapologetically sincere and answering to nobody however herself. – Mitch Mosk
ATypically (more often than not), there’s nothing higher than some bubbly, feel-good indie pop that has you eager to cease what you’re doing and simply dance alongside to the music with no care on the planet. Guiltily, as I write this, I’m resisting each urge in my physique to shut my laptop computer and totally immerse myself in hanbee’s Seashell Cassette, a young, upbeat, and candy assortment of affection letters to beachside lovers. Naturally, this was topped my high EP of 2022 as a born-and-bred lover of the seaside, and as a lover of wistful dream-pop paying homage to her most up-to-date physique of labor. With reverb-laden guitars and funky bass strains, hanbee’s most up-to-date EP is hazy and ethereal as a lot because it’s lighthearted and wonderful.
“Every part holds a narrative, and the seaside is particularly a spot that holds an enormous array of tales, from fading heartbreak to budding summer time love,” hanbee shares on her undertaking. “[Seashell Cassette] is all in regards to the tales collected in seashells – blissful summer time drives, lazy afternoons underneath the solar, lovers sharing melting ice cream, and the completely different sides of affection – whether or not it’s a mere haze or newfound treasured gem.” – Isabella Le
Hazlett’s new EP opens in a hush; in a sonic haze and an emotional fog. “Transfer like a hurricane, I’m only a flame. Smokey by nature, charmingly sane,” the singer/songwriter softly croons, spilling his soul in tune. “See golden empires, queens burning sage. Boys with their needs and hearts in a cage…” Thus begins a visceral and uncooked reckoning with love, with self-worth, and with the utter volatility of life itself. A cathartic hug of heat, richly radiant indie folks, Oh Downhill is the breathtakingly lovely, achingly intimate begin to a profound, transferring journey of self-discovery and transformation.
That is the start of one thing very particular. Launched September 23, 2022 by way of Nettwerk Music Group, Oh Downhill isn’t solely Hazlett’s first EP in over two years’ time, but in addition ‘Aspect A’ of his forthcoming debut full-length album due out in 2023. A two-time Atwood Journal Editor’s Choose, Hazlett is the musical moniker for Australian singer/songwriter Mitchell Grant, who for six lengthy years has been beautiful listeners across the globe along with his intimate and ethereal songs (2016’s debut single “Lowdown, Lay It On” stays as beautiful right this moment because it was upon its preliminary launch).
Based mostly in Stockholm, Sweden (the place he based his solo undertaking along with his shut pal and producer Freddy Alexander), Hazlett has carved out a strong area of interest for himself within the different / indie folks realm. “Tormented but searching for stability, uncooked but eager for finesse, Hazlett’s songs attempt for understanding from each inside the self and the world round,” Atwood Journal wrote of the artist’s sophomore EP, 2020’s Thundering Hopes, happening to name it “an achingly intimate assortment of songs filled with stirring depth and electrical emotion [that] sees Hazlett rise with a recent, revitalizing breath of musical self-discovery.”
The previous two years have seen Hazlett plunge even deeper into his personal heart-wrenchingly susceptible depths.
“That is Aspect A of an even bigger physique of labor,” he explains. “I’ve completed some EPs and songs up to now, however it felt prefer it was the precise time to dive into an album. The silver lining of all of the solitude of the previous couple of years means there was time to lock myself away and weave a journey from begin to end. I wished every second to get its personal time within the gentle so consider this because the intermission in a two act play.”
“I truly didn’t know the place I used to be heading,” he says of his imaginative and prescient going into this music. “I knew I wished it to be significant, I wished it to be crammed with element and I wished to take a sidestep away from what I’ve completed up to now. There was lots on the reducing room ground however it truly wasn’t till I stumbled onto the primary observe ‘Please Don’t Be’ that every part took form. It grew to become the blueprint and solar that the document revolved round.”
Hazlett’s songs are as a lot contemplative philosophical ponderings as they’re the diary-like musings from a misplaced, looking soul. Actually a 5 hits, no misses affair, the EP is known as after its brooding ultimate observe, which finds Hazlett in a very intense second of reflection and reeling as he wraps up Aspect A of his album: “Oh downhill whereas I’m falling aside on a late night time drive after I’m petrified of the darkish,” he sings in an emotional refrain. “Is senseless why I cared about you.”
“It grew to become an excellent snapshot of every part,” he says of this tune and its title. “Operating again to issues which might be dangerous for us, overthinking, under-feeling, transferring however stumbling alongside the best way.” Oh Downhill proves a strong and poignant reintroduction to the artist’s haunting indie folks artistry, and one that’s positive to gentle the hearth he wants as he builds pleasure towards his forthcoming debut album. – Mitch Mosk
Someplace widespread sense is
dropping to the military
After they don’t stick collectively
I give in to my mood
However you broke my nostril and I’m the
One to say I’m sorry
I don’t bleed the identical
For each millionaire
Pulling empty stares now
Dwelling in restore
What the neighbours care about
Oh downhill whereas I’m falling aside
On a late night time drive after I’m petrified of the darkish
Is senseless why I cared about you
The lengthy nightmare that you simply don’t wanna finish
When it fooled me as soon as now I name it a pal
Is senseless why I cared about you
Achingly intimate and unapologetically uncooked, Juliana Madrid’s debut EP is a susceptible and visceral indie pop unveiling: Radiant and tender, cinematic and stirring, the self-titled Juliana Madrid EP delves deep into the singer/songwriter’s depths to disclose a singular artistry. Coming of age with a recent voice, an open coronary heart, and an ear for irresistibly catchy hooks, Madrid has all however ensured we’ll be paying additional particular consideration to her within the months and years to return.
Launched August 29, 2022 by way of Neon Gold Information, Juliana Madrid EP is a dynamic, cathartic, and deeply private introduction. A 21-year-old singer/songwriter from Dallas, Texas, Madrid fuses indie folks, different, and pop influences collectively into spellbinding songs wealthy with coronary heart, melody, and perspective. Having solely debuted earlier this 12 months, this self-titled EP – produced by GRAMMY nominated artist Benjamin Ruttner (½ of digital duo The Knocks) – really is the primary longform expression of who she is and what she’s able to.
“My EP is principally a large diary entry,” Madrid shared upon the document’s launch. “It touches on current heartbreak, faith, feeling alone, and partying. All of the substances are there to make up who I’m right this moment, and the story of me is the one one I used to be attempting to inform with this document.”
From the electrical, hard-hitting opener “Faux” and the hovering, high-energy songs “Savior” and “Peppermint,” to the extra subdued emotional outpouring “Astronaut,” the stirring religion-rejection “Madonna,” and the contemplative acoustic nearer “Clover,” this EP has just a little one thing for everybody: Lovers of searing rock anthems, mild pop ballads, intense inside reckonings, and all of the in-betweens are positive to fall for no less than one in every of Juliana Madrid’s songs.
From finish to finish, the Juliana Madrid EP is an exhilarating, and really particular, introductory EP. Madrid units the air on fireplace together with her energetic beats and charismatic vocals, displaying a knowledge far past her years and in the end lighting an inspiring fireplace inside her viewers that lingers lengthy after the music’s over. As she sings within the fervently charged “Peppermint,” “Ignorance is fairly however it’s by no means actually bliss, is it you or all of the chaos I miss?” Coming-of-age anthems by no means felt fairly this delightfully dramatic and totally uncooked. – Mitch Mosk
Once I stroll in I do know
I’ll be standing alone
Then I obtained misplaced in your face
Although its not my specific style
Nicely I figured if I’m going i’ll catch a experience
together with her,
In poor health get us out and get us in
Don’t fear we’ll play faux
Missionary is alright
Don’t be scared its simply tonight
I figured Mary’s obtained a experience
To the place going now
Tright here’s little in music as carefree and fulfilling as a hip hop mixtape. Mach-Hommy’s intensely prolific nature has led to extra albums than I can depend, however the reclusive rapper sounds as recent as ever on Greenback Menu 4. This EP is a stable assortment of straight to the purpose, no hook bangers. The main focus is on the craft, with easy beats backing the countless verses. Mach-Hommy employs a number of company on Greenback Menu 4, serving to the songs stretch out to their full potential. The EP is barely 25 minutes lengthy, however it has extra high quality content material than most rappers can muster in double that point. Shukran Don is the stand-out choose from this EP, a candy and easy mixture of glockenspiel and slowery string samples, its softened percussion parts make it rather less direct than the remainder of the document, however that’s what makes it stand out. The tune has a basic, mid-90s east coast underground vibe. The RZA can be nodding his head to this beat someplace for positive. Bunny Ciao is one other tune in an identical vein, with its tinny manufacturing, excessive pitched strings and kung-fu film piano riffs it begs to be rapped over by the sort of laid again MCing we all know Mach-Hommy and his chosen cadre of artists can ship.
Greenback Menu 4 is a group of brief acts. It provides you a rigorously crafted vignette of sound and situational lyricism for a few minutes earlier than transferring on to the subsequent scene. Hip hop at its most fashionable could be cinematic, and Greenback Menu 4 achieves that. But it surely’s extra like a brief drama than a characteristic presentation. Rappers typically spend a lot time attempting to be grand and monumental, however a few of the finest music on this style could be discovered on cute little EPs like this. It’s an uncomplicated, prime quality product. And it’s over earlier than it. – Adam Davidson
A radiant document respiration with buoyant gentle and uncooked vitality, NewDad’s sophomore EP is daring, brash, and totally exhilarating addition to 2022’s indie rock oeuvre. Launched again in early February, the five-track Banshee roars with feverish ardour and funky, cathartic upheavals befitting one in every of Eire’s most fun up-and-coming bands. The follow-up to 2021’s debut EP Waves, Banshee was combined by legendary producer John Congleton and sees the four-piece of Julie Dawson, Áindle O’Beirn, Sean O’Dowd, and Fiachra Parslow unleashed and at their finest. Highlights embody the glistening opener “Say It,” which soars with visceral vitality, the angst and agony of unrequited love, the smoldering title observe “Banshee,” the shimmering, cinematic, and sun-soaked reverie “Spring,” and the mesmerizing, intimate, and expansive “Ladybird.”
“This EP is unquestionably greater, having extra time within the studio positively meant we obtained to experiment extra and layer extra into every observe so there’s an general greater sound!” the band shared upon its launch. “The primary themes of this EP are restlessness and nervousness, throughout lockdown that’s how myself and most of the people had been feeling in order that’s what impressed lots of the writing.”
Banshee is each charming and churning: A document as filled with emotion as it’s verve, and one which dazzles from finish to finish.
You solely need to make issues proper at night time
But it surely’s not the identical
I’m drained, I had a protracted day however now you need me
You solely need to speak while you’re alone or when nobody else is residence
Immediately you didn’t even take a look at me within the hallway
I do know you noticed me
So I don’t need to say it
‘Trigger you gained’t need to say it again
No I don’t need to say it
‘Trigger you gained’t need to say it again
One of essentially the most thrilling LA punk bands of the previous few years, NIIS flew out of the pandemic like bats out of hell, taking part in present after present to a rabid and quickly-growing fanbase. Their most prolific 12 months so far, they not solely acquired reward from Rolling Stone for his or her SXSW set and went on their first US tour runs with pals Surfbort and Sloppy Jane, however in addition they launched their first official physique of labor. Six-song EP Should Be… is a group of scorching, loud, and quick bangers which were the spine of their dwell units for the previous 12 months. In 2021, they gave us a style of what was to return with music movies for “Massive Zoo” and “Utopia,” two tirades in regards to the state of society, together with “Fuck You Boy,” an enormous middle-finger of a jam that makes you surprise the place the hell this tune has been your entire life.
The final three tracks on Should Be… are simply as personally and sociopolitically pushed. Livid “False Beliefs” and “One Two” decry capitalist constructs and the privileged individuals who we now have to thank for the dystopia we dwell in, whereas “Dangerous” provides a voice to those that can’t converse (animals) like a superior, hardcore model of Smiths basic “Meat Is Homicide.” These recordings seize the band’s uncooked energy, from Ryan McGuffin’s fiery shredding, to drummer Monte Najera’s punk precision, and naturally frontwoman Mimi Sandoe’s raging gravitas—simply because they’re NIIS doesn’t imply they’re not harmful when pissed off. That is a few of the most enjoyable, indignant music about being an excellent individual that I’ve ever heard. – Sophie Prettyman-Beauchamp
In Icelandic, “TÍU” is a phrase which means “Ten.” Ten, just like the previous 10 years that Of Monsters and Males have spent giving us a chunk of their tradition, of their historical past, from Icelandic folklore in My Head is an Animal to how actuality and fantasy come collectively in Fever Dream, passing by means of the extra intimate ideas typical of human beings in Beneath The Pores and skin. TÍU is an EP that brings collectively songs that by no means made it onto an album, in addition to a technique to bear in mind and rejoice the decade-long historical past of Of Monsters and Males. It’s a additional glimpse into their extra intimate, behind-the-scenes world. “Destroyer” and “Customer,” particularly, are pure artwork. The previous is pleasant in its depth, the latter conveys all of the vitality and enjoyable it took to create it. It wants simply two extra phrases to explain what this EP leaves behind: thanks. – Dimitra Gurduiala
Tender, stirring, and stunningly soulful, Ogi’s debut EP Monologues is a completely enchanting set of dreamy, intimate R&B-tinged serenades. Produced by the legendary No I.D., the Wisconsin-bred, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter’s formal introduction to the world, launched Could 5 by way of Atlantic Information, units a excessive bar musically and lyrically. Ogi’s vocals soften like butter over smoldering, easy devices, and whether or not she’s carrying her coronary heart on her sleeve or pouring uncooked feelings out in a confessional second of fact, her songs by no means fail to soar, stir, and lightweight a hearth deep inside.
Monologues is a six-track dialog between the artist and her viewers. Ogi describes her EP as “colourful, expansive, and playful” – a brief introductory anthology of her songwriting. The moody, harmony-rich “Let Me Go” units the scene with a bevy of sentimental multi-tracked vocals and a plea for launch that may’t assist however lure listeners in.
Ogi goes on to dazzle the ears and mesmerize the center for 21 very particular minutes, in the end concluding with the achingly emotional “IKYK,” a hovering gospel-tinged ballad filled with organ- and brass-fueled ardour, camaraderie, togetherness, and loving care. “However when all the work is thru, I do know that you’ll shine,” Ogi sings. “Why would you go alone in gentle of what’s happening? Don’t do that by yourself, ‘trigger I been right here all alongside.”
Ogi ends her EP on a excessive notice, and but it doesn’t really feel something like a goodbye: If something, this whole document is one lengthy and wonderful hi there to the world. Personally, I wouldn’t have it every other manner. – Mitch Mosk
Hhmm, brother, I see your heavy load
It appears too arduous to bear
However I’ll stroll with you down this highway
It is a burden to share
Why would you go alone?
In gentle of what’s happening
Don’t do that by yourself
‘Trigger I been right here all alongside, stated
I do know that I’ll be there
Everytime you want me, oh, oh, oh
Come on, we’ve obtained some work to do
This might take us a while, oh, oh, oh
However when all the work is thru
I do know that you’ll shine
I first got here throughout Peach Tree Rascals on the Lollapalooza Competition in 2021. They had been performing on the Bud Mild Seltzer Stage, a facet stage reserved for the non-headliners who need to showcase to their potential new followers simply how a lot expertise and vitality they’ve within the early levels of their profession. The PTRs did simply that, and had been clearly having an absolute blast in doing so. Such euphoria actually made a robust impression on me, and I used to be thrilled to have the ability to get on the cellphone with the fellows as a part of my Today’s Song write-up of their single “Good Recommendation” this previous spring.
The Rascals stored their good vitality and cheer going robust after I noticed them carry out at Boston Calling round that point, and people results are bottled up in stellar fashion on their newest EP, Does A Fish Know It’s Moist? 4 further songs are lined up alongside “Good Recommendation,” and collectively this quintet of tracks shows (as I wrote again then) the group’s “ample attraction and in-studio chemistry,” together with their skill to maintain issues each melodic and hip-hoppy suddenly. This bunch of peaches is value following as they thicken and ripen on the highway forward. – Josh Weiner
Unlike the college course of the identical title, Sable’s sophomore EP is endlessly alluring: From the eerie rigidity, craving, and fascinating effected vocals of “Emily” to the frenetic vitality and softly spellbinding magnificence of “Madonna” and the epic intimacy and romanticism of nearer “Madwoman within the Attic,” the five-track English Literature pushes trendy alt-pop additional to the left, creating an area for sonic experimentation and experimental music like this to additional seep into the mainstream.
The Manchester born, Berlin-based artist’s songs are poetic, percussive, transformational, and totally enchanting: Rising from a hushed whisper to a visceral, breathtaking two-step roar, focus observe “Madonna” is one thing of a musical chameleon; someway, it transitions – effortlessly, one would possibly add – between comfortable and regular folks ballad and bonafide membership banger. All through, Sable’s voice is an anchor; a lure; and a supply of radiant, effervescent gentle and uncooked emotion:
An image of Madonna gazing down at her little boy
Even after I was sixteen I knew it was
the one factor that may convey me pleasure
Now the world is hurtling in the direction of some fiery finish
I couldn’t bear to see my little woman cry
so I bury it in a haze of cigarettes
Sonically elevated and emotionally amplified, the “Madonna” refrain seems like a managed chaos: A cathartic emotional eruption surging with soul-stirring ardour and the aching feelings of a heavy, however resolved coronary heart:
I say I wouldn’t hand over the liberty
I say I need to dance till I die
I say I couldn’t hand over the liberty
However two steps again I die once more
Her face behind my eyes once more
I say I couldn’t hand over the liberty
I say I need to dance till I die
I say I couldn’t hand over the liberty
However two steps again I die once more
Her face behind my eyes once more
The identical alluring, enthralling high quality that makes “Madonna” so particular holds true for the EP’s full fifteen minute run. “English Literature got here collectively over the course of 6 months, impressed by a few of my favorite books,” Sable shares. “I attempted to carry archetypes off the web page and transpose them into a contemporary setting. The extra I wrote, the extra I realised the characters I used to be drawn to felt like reflections of my very own life, so in the long run the EP is as a lot about me at 25 as it’s about these figures that had been written a whole bunch of years in the past. From sexuality to like to rejecting the thought of motherhood, the setting could change, however these feelings are fairly timeless.”
Artists like Sable and Atwood artist-to-watch Issy Wood are pushing the boundaries of “pop” music, and this document seems like a step ahead for music basically. – Mitch Mosk
As dynamic and dazzling as it’s tender and uncooked, Sea Lemon’s debut EP is a fascinating document filled with uncooked ardour and refreshingly unfiltered vitality. It’s an impressively cohesive and expansive set, setting a excessive bar whereas bringing us deep into the artist’s world suddenly. Dwelling in candy, dreamy depths of weight and surprise, Shut Up captures the intimacy, depth, sincerity, and fragility of an artist we can not wait to listen to extra from within the months and years forward.
Launched Could 20, 2022 by way of Spirit Goth, Shut Up is brilliant, churning, and charming: An immersive five-track introduction that every one however ensures we bear in mind the title Sea Lemon. The undertaking of 26-year-old singer, songwriter, and guitarist Natalie Lew, Sea Lemon takes sonic inspirations from “the plush dreamy ambiance of Alvvays and Chromatics and the bittersweet glittery vibes of The Seashore Boys and Rilo Kiley.
Lew’s artistry is claimed to be rooted within the current, whereas washed in nostalgia, and for her first multi-track providing, she leaned into the total spectrum of feelings and the total spectrum of indie rock sound. Within the spirit of “all hits, no misses,” Shut Up rides excessive (albeit on turbulent feelings) from finish to finish.
There’s the uplifting melodies and invigorating pulse of “Final Yr”; the darkish, driving “Eraser”; and the cinematic, electrifying, anthemic nearer, “Flip Away.” “I feel my favorites are ‘Eraser’ and ‘Flip Away’, that are instructions from an instrumental perspective I actually foresee my subsequent EP going,” Lew says on the subject of her personal private highlights. Her debut single “Sunday” stays a spotlight, melding darkish and lightweight tonalities and lyrical themes into an intoxicating dream pop haze that pulls us in and invitations us to linger just a little longer every time we pay attention.
The factor about desires is that they finish; you come to, and then you definately’re awake and the dream is gone. Shut Up could really feel dreamy and ethereal at instances, however it’s susceptible, uncooked, and actual: An introductory assortment we won’t quickly overlook.
You punch in on Thursday
Each time you present up oh so late
You sleep in on Friday
Want that anybody was right here to say
I do know I
I haven’t made that many plans
But it surely’s over now
And that’s why
Everyone’s within the kitchen on the ground
Can’t overlook about the best way they closed the door
Of their head they repeat the identical outdated joke
But it surely’s over now
Yeah it’s over now
Poughkeepsie pop-punk heroes With The Punches returned with their first new music in a decade, and their new EP Discontent picks up proper the place their lone full-length Seams and Stitches left off. The model introduced thrives of Americana (“Virtually Every part”) and hardcore (“Stoneham Blues” to their easycore sound that was constructed on their earlier releases Preserve It Going and It’s Not The Finish of the World. – James Crowley