“When you are an artist you have an obligation to uphold a certain amount of attention and interest online,” explains the band. “This song is about feeling detached from real life due to constantly feeling the need to be present online and the effect it has on our psyche and mental health." The single is available now here: happy.lnk.to/sick. This month’s proceeds from the single will be donated to Campaign Zero and the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective. For more information on Happy., please visit: https://www.facebook.com/bandcalledhappy/. Happy. are Tate Logan (vocals), Sean Bowick (drums) and John Palmer (guitar). Formed in 2016 in Columbia, SC, the group launched with their 4-song EP, The Endless Bummer, which was later released on tapes through Ohio’s Real Life Cassette Girls Records. Following this release, Happy. spent the next year dissecting their sound and writing new songs, creating music that promotes positivity, personal growth, and self-defined happiness. The result was their 2018 debut full-length album, Cult Classic, which was produced by Cartel’s Will Pugh. Happy. are back with their new single, “Sick is the New Sane”, available on online platforms here: happy.lnk.to/sick.
Band Announce New Album Slow Decay out 24th July via Rise Records
New England metal titans THE ACACIA STRAIN have released 'Y,' a new seven inch and digital release today through Rise Records. It's available here. It features two new tracks: One Thousand Painful Stings featuring Spiritbox singer Courtney LaPlante, and EARTH WILL BECOME DEATH. Vocalist Vincent Bennet said on the release "Shoutout to Courtney for adding her expertise — and different dynamic — to this song extremely last minute. Are we at the bottom? Are we at the end, or are we just getting started?"
Listen One Thousand Painful Stings and EARTH WILL BECOME DEATH here
The Acacia Strain have also confirmed that their eighth full-length album Slow Decay will arrive on July 24 via Rise Records. It will include all the songs in the seven inch and digital single drops that were released between February 28 and June 12, as well as two previously unreleased tracks. The full track listing is below.
The music and the rollout itself adhere to the band's very specific vision.
"The whole concept is reality breaking down around us," says Bennett about the album. "We've done our time on earth, broken through the boundaries of what reality actually is, and we're now witnessing our collective descent into madness. Lyrically and sonically, everything reflects that. You're getting the vision piece by piece. The whole theme is a slow dive. By the same token, it organically becomes one record instead of just one big push out of the gate. As soon as you think you're getting the hang of it, we throw out a wrench with the full-length. There's no evidence to suggest we're aren’t actually in a living hell. The things happening around us could be out of a comic book or a movie. The idea is, 'This can't be real.' Maybe something happened. Maybe we're all dead and we don't even know it. Maybe we're just living in some augmented reality hellscape of actual planet earth." SLOW DECAY TRACK LISTING: Feed A Pigeon Breed A Rat Crippling Poison* Seeing God (Feat. Aaron Heard) Solace and Serenity The Lucid Dream (Feat. Jess Nyx) I breathed in the smoke deeply it tasted like death and I smiled (Feat. Zach Hatfield) Crossgates Inverted Person Chhinnamasta One Thousand Painful Stings (Feat. Courtney LaPlante) Birds of Paradise, Birds of Prey* EARTH WILL BECOME DEATH *Previously unreleased
Aluna returns today with her second solo single ‘Warrior,’ produced in collaboration with British artist and multi-instrumentalist, SG Lewis. "Warrior is a portrait of a woman in the shadows.” Aluna reveals. “She has to see herself, instead of waiting for others, by calling on that Warrior spirit, the one that makes us fearless enough to be ourselves."
‘Warrior’ -- the second track from her forthcoming solo debut album -- was intended for release last week, but out of respect to George Floyd and his family, Aluna decided to pause and put her own and her fan’s focus toward the greater issues at hand, also using the time to share her experiences as a black woman in music and specifically, as one of the few black voices in dance music currently; "I set myself the challenge to reclaim a space in dance music for black women, a space currently saturated by white cis males.” She shares. “Music is one of the ways I fight and my weapon is joy, making sure those who have felt like they are not invited to the party know that they ARE the party. We have to keep fighting, but also……keep dancing along the road to equality.”
One half and front-woman of the internationally renowned duo AlunaGeorge, the critically acclaimed singer, songwriter and performer has stepped out on her own having inked a global deal with Los Angeles based record label Mad Decent, with details of her debut album to be announced soon. On stepping out solo, the British born, Los Angeles based artist shares: "In the past when performing on the stages of my white male peers, I always felt like a visitor being one of the few Black women I could see, so it never fully occurred to me to claim dance music as my music, as an artist, even though it was at the heart of my connection to music.” She continues. “Then I looked at the history of dance music and saw how, for example, Chicago House, known as the invention of house music, was pioneered in the Black and Latino LGTBQ+ communities which gave me inspiration to stake my flag in the ground as a Black woman in dance music by taking control of production and songwriting with my own vibe.”
On signing to Mad Decent, record label founder and long-time friend Diplo revealed, "I've been a fan of Aluna for years - her voice, her style and her way of putting records together. Having her sign to Mad Decent feels like a family reunion - can't wait to get these records out to everyone. Huge project for Mad Decent."
CHICAGO, IL | JUNE 5TH, 2020 - Chicago-based pop rock band Double Identity have released their new single "Your Anything," available on all digital platforms NOW. The energetic duo previously shared their last release in 2019. Bouncy and upbeat, "Your Anything" continues to cement Double Identity's style as fun, yet lyrically in depth. The track delves into the reclamation of personal power after escaping an abusive relationship, and although young, members Courtney and Arden Kurhayez are incredibly introspective. About the single, member Arden states: “This song developed out of the aftermath of an abusive relationship and was one of the first steps towards taking power back from someone who should have never had it in the first place. It’s a way of saying you don’t want to be anything to someone – not an ex, or even a memory to look back on – and signifies being fed up with and stepping away from someone’s abusive, looping behavior when it shouldn’t have to apply to you anymore.” Double Identity is a pop/rock band comprised of 21-year-old twin sisters Courtney Kurhayez (vocals/drums) and Arden Kurhayez (vocals/guitar). They began playing music at five years old and have been performing in and around the Chicagoland area for more than a decade. In 2018, the duo released their debut EP, ‘Small Talk,’ followed up by a single, ‘Everything Reminds Me of You’ in 2019.
LET US PREY UNVEILS LYRIC VIDEO FOR SONG FEAT. LATE ALL THAT REMAINS GUITARIST OLI HERBERT
DARK MELODIC POWER/THRASH GROUP'S DEBUT FULL-LENGTH, 'VIRTUES OF THE VICIOUS,' DUE JULY 24TH
“Virtues of the Vicious,” the forthcoming full-length debut by the Boston-based dark, melodic power/thrash group LET US PREY, features guest guitar solos by a number of notable shredders, including Jon Donais (Anthrax, Shadows Fall), Metal Mike Chlasciak (Halford, Testament), Jimi Bell (Autograph, House of Lords) and the late Oli “The Wizard” Herbert (All That Remains).
Herbert's contribution to the album – due July 24 via M-Theory Audio – appears on the track “The Saint of Killers,” which is now available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp and other digital platforms. A lyric video for the song – which Lopes says is based on the DC Comics series “Preacher” and films such as “The Terminator” and “Blade Runner,” and which sees LET US PREY guitarist Jesse Near, a former student of Herbert's, performing the solo – can be seen at this location: https://youtu.be/e9ISMm5hUeI Says Lopes, “This tune is extremely special to me for the simple fact of getting to work with brother Oli Herbert, and now – especially after the misfortune of his passing – it stands as our tribute to his memory. Our mutual love for comics, movies and metal is how we became good friends in the first place after a chance meeting at a show I was playing with a metal cover band I was in. Oli was all about jamming a shredding solo for us, as we wanted to work together and this song seemed perfect.”
Pre-orders for “Virtues of the Vicious” on CD and limited-edition blood red vinyl, including bundle options, are available now at www.smarturl.com/LUP and www.m-theoryaudio.com/store. Digital pre-orders include instant downloads of “The Saint of Killers” and two other recently-previewed songs, “Halo Crown” and the album’s opening track, “Above the Vaulted Sky.”
Led by Lopes (who designed the album’s cover art and music videos) and guitarist Jon Morency, LET US PREY incorporates numerous subgenres of metal into their style while still sounding organic. The group's adventurous music sees elements of thrash, death, power and progressive metal meld seamlessly with industrial samples and symphonic keyboards. The drumming is surgically precise and blisteringly fast without sounding mechanical; the guitars mix crushing, down-tuned brutality with dense harmonies and ripping leads; and Lopes shifts effortlessly from thrash/death metal growls to soaring melodic vocals and searing Halford-esque highs with layered harmonies.
“Virtues Of The Vicious” was recorded by Nick Bellmore (Hatebreed, Toxic Holocaust, Five Finger Death Punch) and Pete Rutcho (Revocation, Havok, Bury Your Dead), with the latter also handling mixing and mastering. The album’s track listing is as follows:
Above The Vaulted Sky
Virtues of the Vicious (feat. Metal Mike Chlasciak)
Halo Crown (feat. Jon Donais)
Murder Thy Maker
The Saint of Killers (feat. Oli Herbert)
Ghost Echoes (feat. Jimi Bell)
The Cruel Creation of Me
And Hell Followed With Me
LET US PREY have performed in and around the northeastern United States alongside the likes of Soilwork, Suffocation, Soulfly, Life Of Agony, Metal Church, Battle Beast, Doro and Scar Symmetry, among others.
SHARPTOOTH Release New Single 'The Grey' Taken From New Album Transitional Forms Out 10th July 2020 via Pure Noise Records
Hardcore band Sharptooth have premiered their new single 'The Grey' with Brooklyn Vegan. The single is taken from their forthcoming new album Transitional Forms, the record will be released on 10thJuly 2020 via Pure Noise Records. Pre-orders are available now at https://smarturl.it/Sharptooth.
I’ve always seen ‘The Gray’ as the emotional and conceptual turning point of the entire record, and arguably the most important song on it,” shares vocalist Lauren Kashan. “Over the years, I’ve noticed how uncomfortable people are with nuance; whether that be in public discourse or personally. It doesn’t help that so many facets of our culture are presented in binaries: “You’re ‘woke’ or you’re ‘cancelled’. You have depression, or you don’t. You’re a man, or you’re a woman. You’re a Democrat or you’re a Republican.”She continues: “But nothing in the world or in ourselves is absolute, and nothing changes when we are only acknowledging constructs as black or white and utterly immutable. True progress can only happen when we make a decision to step outside of this way of thinking, and explore nuance. So what’s ‘The Gray’ about? It’s about the search for and discovery of a world beyond binaries, beyond textbooks, beyond diagnoses, beyond red or blue. It’s about the power we unlock when we make that discovery. It’s about neuroplasticity, and the ability of each and every one of us to change our minds, both conceptually and literally. It’s about the ways that I have intentionally destroyed so many of these constructs in my life, so as to reshape my own existence, and rewire the very neuronal pathways inside my own brain. I hope it inspires others to find that power within themselves, because I believe that when we embrace the grey areas in life and in ourselves is where we can finally begin to cultivate real and tangible hope." Honest, explosive and unapologetically enraged, Sharptooth focuses the brutality of hardcore through a femme lens, and believes in carving out space for marginalised voices in aggressive music. Transitional Forms will be their second full length release on Pure Noise Records. Explains Kashan: “Ultimately, the record is about a paradigm shift, from hopelessness to self compassion, and the fundamental realisation that nothing in this world or in ourselves is ever black and white. It’s the story of my personal struggle with the societal, interpersonal, and internal constructs that have left me feeling small, afraid, broken, and utterly hopeless. It is easily the most intensely personal collection of songs I have ever written, and I am so deeply appreciative of Lance and Keith for trusting me in that, and for creating this incredibly dark and intense sonic space for me to tell this story.” Sharptooth is Lauren Kashan (vocals), Keith Higgins (guitar), Lance Donati (guitar), Peter Bruno (bass), and Matt Hague (drums). The band will release their new album Transitional Forms on 10th July 2020.
Transitional Forms Tracklist: Say Nothing (In The Absence Of Content) Mean Brain Life On The Razor’s Edge Hirudinea The Gray Evolution 153 The Southern Strategy M.P.D.B (Manic Pixie Dream Bitch) Nevertheless (She Persisted)
Ministry of Sound Classical have today released a special video in collaboration with Alexandra Burke, the London Concert Orchestra and NHS Choir to give thanks to the incredible work of the key workers. Their cover of Olive’s 1997 classic ‘You’re Not Alone’, with it’s poignant, hopeful lyrics and combined with a purely symphonic arrangement, encapsulates what is currently a testing time for us all. Watch the video here. This month, Ministry of Sound Classical, a 50-piece orchestral show, with the London Concert Orchestra was due to perform at the Royal Albert Hall by arrangement with Coalition Agency and promoters Raymond Gubbay Limited. As these epic landmark performances for this show was forced to cancel due to COVID-19, it was collectively decided by the performers to create a video to show appreciation and say "thank you" to key workers, specifically our incredible NHS here in the UK. The video has now premiered on Ministry of Sounds YouTube Channel, with a donate link available for those who have enjoyed the track to support NHS Charities Together if they are able. Alexandra Burke is a supporter of the NHS Charities Together and was due to perform as a very special guest at Ministry of Sound Classical at the Royal Albert Hall, so was the perfect choice of vocalist for this very special project. Ministry of Sound Classical is overjoyed for the video to include the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir, having been invited to perform on the track by Alexandra. All musicians filmed and recorded their individual parts from the safety of their own homes. The music arrangement and guide audio track was prepared by the live shows sound engineer Phil Wright and orchestral arrangers Robin Hoffman and Tom Player.
After a silent few months, Mancunian rap power-house Aitch has floored fans with impactful new offering “Raw.” The freestyle lands in the wake of his chart-topping collaborative single “Rain”, with AJ Tracey - which is still in the UK Top 20 weeks later and on the verge of platinum status. A reminder of Aitch’s lyrical prowess and versatility, “Raw” sees the 20 year old talent spitting his way through a declaration of confidence and truth; a recap of his success so far. The single (produced by Whyjay and Sangy) lands with a dark and moody visual (directed by KC Locke)- leaving the viewer on edge and hooked on Aitch’s every word. Hidden in a dark warehouse, Aitch is seen caught in the spotlight for brief moments throughout, in a horror movie-esque visual that sees him remain focused despite something lurking in the darkness. It’s a mission statement from the young rapper, who has marked himself as one of the most exciting talents in the UK right now: “Young Aitch, Big Boss, I’m The Captain.” Awe-inspiringly adapting his trademark flow to any beat, Aitch is undoubtedly one of the biggest success stories of the last year. Covering The Guardian Guide last month, and garnering support from the likes of NME, The Face, GQ, Vogue, Clash and beyond, Aitch is fast becoming a house hold name - even Stormzy and Ed Sheeran are fans. Debut offering "Straight Rhymez'' has now garnered well over 19 million views, being credited as the video that propelled the then teenage Aitch, into the limelight. Since then Aitch, with the help of his team Northern Quarterz, has gone on to make a solid mark on the scene nationally, he is YouTube’s ‘Artist On The Rise’, has a Brit Award nomination under his belt and a Global Award win for ‘Best New Artist.’ His video for single “Taste (Make It Shake)” has accrued 28M views, and at one point he even featured on four songs in the UK Official Chart at one time. A keen collaborator and integral part of the UK Rap Scene, Aitch has seen huge success with his features on Young T and Bugsey “Strike Me A Pose”, Russ x Tion Wayne “Kesha Becky (Remix)”, Ed Sheeran “Take Me Back To London” and more recently alongside DigDat on “Ei8ht Mile.” 2020 has already seen huge success for Aitch, and fans and critics alike are continually anticipating his next move. Follow Aitch’s journey here: https://www.instagram.com/aitch
Jack Garratt is very pleased to share details of his second album and his first new music since 2016.
‘Love, Death & Dancing’ will be released on the 12th June 2020 through Island Records. The music is performed solely by Jack, and produced alongside Jacknife Lee and James Flannigan. It is available for pre-order HERE
The record is preceded today by the sharing of three new songs, Vol. 1, Jack’s first new music since 2016’s ‘Phase’ LP.
Jack Garratt accompanies this deeply personal album with an equally reflective long-form visual piece, ‘Love, Death & Dancing – a film by Jack Garratt’, of which the first installment ‘Time’ is out now on all major video platforms. View it HERE
Listen to Vol. 1, featuring ‘Time’, ‘Mara’, and ‘Return Them To The One’ HERE
In February, Jack headed out on a UK and European ‘Work In Progress’ tour to preview the new songs out on the road, ahead of further headline dates later in the year.
“I wrote this album as someone - and for anyone - who likes dancing but doesn’t necessarily want to go out on a Saturday. It’s dance music for people who don’t want to go out” – Jack Garratt
If Jack Garratt wasn’t a musician, he’d make a mean critic. A detractor of his music could throw a brickbat at him but Jack will always have got there first. Ask him now about his 2016 debut album ‘Phase’ and the 28-year-old doesn’t pull his punches, describing it as “busy and erratic”, “clever bullshit … a record full of beautiful metaphor that doesn’t really say anything. I was scared to actually say something real; I didn’t think people wanted to hear it. That’s why my production on that record is so busy, so saturated.” Yup, he’s down on the production, too. “I didn’t think I was a good producer, so I did lots of tricks to make people think: ‘He’s good.’ Same with the lyrics, with the melodies, all of it: it was just me on a face-value level effectively going: ‘This is good because it’s impressive, not because it’s actually good.’”
‘Phase’ struck so many of us at the time as a debut of rare audacity and bravery, confrontational and challenging pop record that, far from pandering to listeners, instead made demands of us, and was all the more thrilling for that.
As he gears up to send ‘Love, Death & Dancing’ out into the world, Jack looks back on that period not with gratitude exactly, but with an appreciation of the wisdom it gave him - hard-won, maybe, but deeply precious, and an experience that armored him for the battles ahead. If the process sounds hellish, ‘Love, Death & Dancing’, by contrast, is an ultimately joyous album. It isn’t afraid to lay bare the torment that led up to and informed its creation. But it is also a triumphant testament to survival, and to courage.
“I was in what should have been this huge celebratory moment, I’m 24, 25, my album has not only sold but sold well, globally, the tours were selling out, I was getting all these accolades and awards - I should have felt comfortable, at the very least. And instead I was scared and alone, and desperate for affection. I’d released that a lot of the pillars of affection were hollow; they weren’t real.”
Right after the tour’s last stop in Brighton, Jack and his then fiancé Sarah fled to Chicago to be near Sarah’s family. But it wasn’t the haven Jack had envisioned, instead only exacerbating his problems. “I remember walking in there - and I was terrified, just empty and lost. We have these matching tattoos of spoons now because that day, I went into the kitchen for a bowl of cereal and I had no idea where the cutlery was. It may sound strange but it was a moment that made me feel so alone, in what should have been the safest place for me. And it said so much about what was going to happen over the next two-and-a-half years.”
A Christmas break in New York two years ago, a trip that would be on many people’s bucket list, would prove to be the catalyst for a violent wake-up call. “Somehow, in the middle of all this joy - we went to the theater, to Saturday Night Live, it was lovely, all these things I’d wanted to do, with the woman I love - this overwhelming thought came into my head. It was the first time I’d ever truly contemplated suicide. I was so taken with this moment, within the joy that I was feeling; that still, despite that, this arrow was able to find a way through it all and hit me, directly, square between the eyes. I just broke down. No love for myself existed in that moment. It was just all self-loathing.”
As can sometimes be the way with artists (it’s a terrible thing to say, but it’s true), this experience, by pulling Jack up short and forcing him to reassess everything, gave life to a song. Writing it would spark not only a new appreciation of his surroundings, his loved ones and his own worth, but a new honesty in how he wrote. The result was ‘She Will Lay My Body On The Stone’, one of many moments on ‘Love, Death & Dancing’ where you find yourself thinking: no one says this. Such naked soul-baring goes, after all, against the pernicious English code that says that unfiltered emotional candour just isn’t the done thing; that we like our honesty dressed in allusive finery, hinted at rather than shouted from the rooftops.
Working with the producer Jacknife Lee on half of the record and James Flannigan on the other half was “amazing”, Jack says. “They were incredible and really helped me in terms of getting my groove back, my confidence. Jacknife challenged me from a position of respect. He liked ‘Phase’, and was open to the issues with it.” Musically, ‘Love, Death & Dancing’ reflects its lyrical content, moments of mellifluous beauty and calm giving way to outbreaks of cacophonous anxiety and manic energy. If the bluesy spaciousness of ‘Anyone’ recalls Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, ‘Mara’ conjures the production work of Lindsey Buckingham circa ‘Tusk’, while ‘Time’ could be the offspring of both Baba O’Reilly and Boys of Summer. The anguished, propulsive ‘Better’, meanwhile, channels the Beach Boys, Daft Punk and Beat It, and the enraged, accusatory ‘Mend a Heart’ honors the legacy of Cupid and Psyche 85. Throughout, Jack’s extraordinary voice - equal parts soul and blues - soars and swoops, communicating desperation one minute and rapture the next. You never doubt that he means it. You never doubt it’s the truth, unfiltered, unapologetic, laid bare.
“The album was written from the point of view of someone who has a functioning sadness,” Jack says, “who has had his day-to-day depressions and anxieties that have influenced the decisions he’s made. The album is about that functionality, that day-to-day battle, conversation, tug of war. We’re making a film at the moment, to go with the whole album. The premise of it is that it’s me in the back rooms of my mental health, on my own, interpreting the album. The one thing it needs to do is for the very last shot to be exactly the same as the opening shot. Because this battle in my head is cyclical, infinite; it’s a line of consistency, a time loop that’s just going round and round and round.
“I think this is the first time I’ve felt proud of the songs I’ve made. I wrote this album as someone - and for anyone - who likes dancing but doesn’t necessarily want to go out on a Saturday. It’s dance music for people who don’t want to go out! And that’s the music that I love: music that doesn’t care if you’re standing up or sitting down. It’s going to give it to you either way.”
The Aces have released the music video for their most recent single, “My Phone Is Trying To Kill Me” today, taken from their highly anticipated new album Under My Influence released 12th June via Red Bull Records. Watch it here, Created by the band whilst in quarantine, the homemade video delves into the pressures of social media and the attachment one can feel to their digital devices. "Given the time, we’re not able to make music videos in the way we normally would, but we didn’t wanna let that stop us”, The Aces explain, “so we decided to grab our phones and cameras and take the matter into our own hands and make a little homemade music video for ‘My Phone is Trying to Kill Me.’ It ended up being hilarious and so much fun to make and we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we did making it!” Last week The Aces announced their sophomore album Under My Influence, and shared an exciting preview of the album with their fans. Check out the trailer here. The album will include their recent hits, “Daydream,” “Lost Angeles,” and “My Phone Is Trying To Kill Me” among others. Pre-order it today here. Spread over 14 tracks, Under My Influence brings fans deeper into The Aces’ world of funk-tinged romance, heartfelt breakups, and relentless positivity—no matter what’s going on. Together, sisters Cristal and Alisa Ramirez (vocals/guitar and drums, respectively), McKenna Petty (bass), and Katie Henderson (lead guitar/vocals)—all friends since grade school in Provo, Utah—explore growing up and falling in love in the 21st century with candid honesty and endearing relatability. From lead single “Daydream” to the beachy “Kelly,” anthemic “My Phone Is Trying To Kill Me” to the bittersweet “Lost Angeles,” The Aces push their sound to more buoyant heights, grounded in learned realities. Where When My Heart Felt Volcanic left off with the hope of a lover returning, Under My Influence finds The Aces standing tall, cheeky, and fantastically independent. When The Aces were just starting out, their website described the group as “a band of four girls preparing to take over the world.” Well, preparation time is over. With Under My Influence, The Aces have officially entered a full-fledged global takeover. No “Daydreaming” needed.
UNDER MY INFLUENCE Track List:
Daydream New Emotion My Phone is Trying to Kill Me Kelly Can You Do All Mean Nothing 801 I Can Break Your Heart Too Lost Angeles Not Enough Cruel Thought of You Going Home Zillionaire
About The Aces It’s been two years since the quartet released their acclaimed debut album, When My Heart Felt Volcanic. In those two years, the band sold out their headline U.S, U.K and European tour, supported 5 Seconds of Summer, and spent countless hours documenting everything in-between in the songs that make up Under My Influence. Universally relatable and yet deeply personal, The Aces return with the confidence only time and true friendship can bring. Under My Influence isn’t just an album brimming with honesty, it’s an album brimming with trust—trust in themselves, as individuals, as a group, and with their fans.