Tag: AWAL

New Video: Rising Canadian Artist Magi Merlin Shares an Unapologetic Black Anthem

With the release of her first two EP’s 2019’s On My Way to the Listening Party and last year’s Drug Music EP and a handful of standalone singles, the fairly mysterious yet rising Canadian artist Magi Merlin (pronounced MADGE-eye) has exploded onto the national scene: She has received praise from CRACK Magazine. Along with that she has opened for Lido Pimienta and played at Osheaga Festival alongside ODIEJessie Reyez and others. 

Earlier this year, the rising Canadian artist released the Funkywhat-produced “Free Grillz,” a track that featured Merlin’s mix of fiery, self-assured bars and sultry crooned hook gliding over icy, trap hi-hats, skittering snares, glistening synth arpeggios and a tweeter and woofer rattling bass line. “Free Grillz” found the Canadian artist hoping to aspire to at least some of the tropes of hip-hop fame while reflecting on a series of bitterly harsh and inescapable, daily realities, like having oblivious people carelessly mispronounce your name, misogyny, kicking clingy and stupid men out of your life and so on with a mix of humor and world dominating swagger.

Merlin’s third EP Gone Girl is slated for a May 27, 2022 release through Bonsound/AWAL. The EP’s material may arguably be the Canadian artist’s most personal and audacious effort to date: Merlin grew up in Saint Lazare, a suburb of Montreal, created by Nixon types in 70s. A Place of white folks by white folks. Much like in the States, the suburbs are viewed as the epitome of all that’s good and “normal.” Unless of course, you’re Black and Queer — and that perceived normalcy is challenged.

The EP, which continues Merlin’s ongoing collaboration with Funkywhat draws from 90s house, drum ‘n’ bass, Motown and acid flecked hip-hop to create a sound that evokes smoky, after hours clubs — but with rumbling bass lines and thunderous 808s. Thematically, the EP sees the rising Canadian artist touching upon generational angst, fake friends, casual racism and more.

The rising Canadian artist’s latest single “Pissed Black Girl” is a sleek and hyper modern pop song that features Merlin’s assured vocal delivery gliding over icy synth arpeggios, skittering trap beats and a sinuous bass line. Interestingly, “Pissed Black Girl” is rooted in a familiar pent up frustration with fake white progressives and phony liberals but instead of the cliched trope of angry Black woman, it’s a dance floor friendly banger that tells those fakes to go fuck themselves and sit down, while the rest of us get down.

“I wrote this song summer 2020,” Merlin says. “I was made to really look at my identity as a Black woman and what that identity means to the people I surround myself with. I didn’t realize a lot of the people I had around me at the time that identified as progressive, leftist and ‘allies’ were not as supportive as they made themselves out to be. Talking with them just resulted in arguments instead of compassion and understanding. This made me very angry and the only thing I was able to do to vent my frustrations and arrive at some form of catharsis was by singing about it.

“The title of the track references a story an ex-friend recounted to me as well as what I and many other black women who speak their minds are reduced to: an ‘angry black woman.’ This ex-friend told me about a time they went to a predominantly white party in the suburbs and one of the party-goers, while staring out onto the front lawn of the house, said: “wow, there’s a N***er on the lawn” – one of many atrocious acts that go unchecked in white suburbia and various other white spaces. If there is anything I’ve learned from my experiences with ignorant and bigoted people, it is how unapologetic I need to be about my existence. I’m a girl; I am pissed and I’m Black. What about it?”

The accompanying video features the rising Canadian artist being unapologetically herself — but at one point dancing in a circle of flames that reads “Pissed Black Girl.”

New Video: FUTURE KULT Delves Deep into our Near-Dystopian Future

FUTURE KULT is a emerging music project featuring Cardiff-based film composer Sion Trefor and Berlin-based musician and art producer Benjamin Zombori. The duo holed up in the remote Mexican region of Hildalgo to write and record their forthcoming self-titled, full-length debut, slated for a February 11, 2022 releaser through AWAL.

The duo’s work fed off what they’ve been seeing in the overall zeitgeist — an uneasy and mad world in conflict, with technology consuming the life and soul of the consumer. Thematically, the album sees the duo questioning what it even means to create art in this particular moment. Has the world accepted the all-consuming algorithm as ruler — or is it possible to make music and art that reflects and comments on our moment?

For the duo, to be human means to be engaged in a battle of retreat against overwhelming technological forces, with the soft-power of our machines hardening into a prison for our minds. They claim that it’s not long clear if humans shape their computers, phones, their avatars and the internet — or if these devices shape us, our desires, our thoughts and our expression.

FUTURE KULT’s first single “Hildago” is an expansive track that’s simultaneously cinematic and menacing, centered around a noisy and dense arrangement featuring buzzing bass synths, skittering boom bap, scorching guitar, brooding horn blasts, layers of glistening synth arpeggios, distorted vocal samples paired with breathy yet ironically detached vocals. This is the sound of our near dystopian present.

The accompanying video was shot by Zombori in the Mexican desert, just outside of its namesake town. The video shows fragments of a mysterious folk tale centered around a masked hero, who mysteriously arrives to protect the villagers from dark and unseen forces seemingly recorded on a battered VHS tape.

New Video: The Trippy Visual For Velvet Starlings’ Anthemic New Ripper “Technicolour Shakedown”

Southern California-based garage rock Velvet Starlings` — wunderkind founding member, singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist and producer Christian Gisborne, drummer Foster Poling and bassist Hudson Poling — initially started as a solo recording project with Gisborne writing, recording and producing every instrumental part on the project’s 2015 self-titled debut, released when Gisborne was just 15. Velvet Starling’s sophomore EP Love Everything, Love Everyone was released in 2019. Both EPs charted in the top 5 at Specialty Radio and landed at #1 on KROQ’s Locals Only.

s 2019 Emerging Stage competition — and as a winner, he and his new bandmates will be playing a Summerfest main stage set on September 17, 2021. The band also recently announced a handful of live dates, which you’ll see below.

engineered the album in the middle of his living room, as a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns. Sonically, the material is influenced by early  Jack White, Thee Oh Sees and Arctic Monkeys while revealing Gisborne’s own take on the sound, which he describes as “beach fuzz psych with a big cheeky nod to the UK Invasion.” He adds “in the gloom and doom of COVID, I found myself reminiscing all the time about the days when we would wait in line for hours to see our favorite bands. The songs on the first album reflect everything i felt I was missing out on.” Looking forward to 2021 and beyond, Gisborne says “I think a Rock ‘n’ Roll renaissance is coming after this crazy year of lock down. We’re hoping that a full front-to-back of Technicolour Shakedown will evoke the feeling you get at a rock ‘n’ roll house party — wherever the listener may find himself.” 

h out the project’s live sound. The collaboration can trace its origins to when Giborne met the Poling while waiting on a line outside a 2019 Cage The Elephant show. Quickly discovering a shared mutual love of The Who` and Spongebob Squarepants, the trio set up plans to jam at a rehearsal space. Previously, the Velvet Starlings founder and creative mastermind had long hired session and touring musicians but as his friendship with The Polings growing deeper, Gisborne recognized that the next era of the project would feature them as his bandmates.

Last month, I wrote about the swaggering Technicolour Shakedown album single “Back Of The Train.” The rousingly anthemic psych rock stomper was centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drums and Gisborne’s guttural howls. Sounding a though it could have been released in 1964, 2008 or even two weeks ago, the song as the Velvet Starlings founder told Flood Magazine “is about struggling as a musician while taking nothing for granted. ‘Back Of The Train’ centers around a sneaky low note 60s guitar riff and drums so over-compressed it would make The Sonics cringe. I think it’s awful in the best way possible.” He goes on to further describe it as the story “paying dues and making sacrifices while making sure to enjoy the ride along the way.”

thunderous power chords, blown out drums. The end result is the sort of crowd-pleasing ripper that you can imagine sweaty crowds bouncing up and down to in a darkened, divey club. “The track is an anthemic ode to going out and to live music experience, and colorfully describing the energy of catching your favorite and on the local scene and being packed in a venue like sardines — and loving every minute of it!”

New Video: Follow Velvet Starlings on a Hallucinogenic Chase

Southern California-based garage rock Velvet Starlings` — wunderkind founding member, singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist and producer Christian Gisborne, drummer Foster Poling and bassist Hudson Poling — was initially surged as a solo recording project with Gisbourne writing, recording, producing every instrumental part on the project’s 2015 self-titled debut EP, which he released when he was 15. When Gisborne was 17, he released his sophomore EP, 2019’s Love Everything, Love Everyone. Both EPs charted in the top 5 at Speciality Radio and landed at #1 on KROQ’s Locals Only.

Gisborne’s work with Velvet Starlings has also caught the attention of The Kinks’ Dave Davies and acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, who count themselves as fans of the project, as well as the BBC. Adding to a growing profile, Gisborne won Milwaukee Summerfest’s 2019 Emerging Stage competition, which has led to a Summerfest main stage set on September 17, 2021.

Velvet Starlings highly-anticipated full-length debut Technicolour Shakedown is slated for an August 27, 2021 release through Sound x 3 Recordsr/AWAL/The Orchard with a vinyl release in the States by Kitten Robot. Much like his previously released material Gisborne wrote, produced, engineered and mixed Technicolour Shakedown — in the middle of his living room as a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns. Sonically, the album’s material draws influence from a number of various sources including early Jack White, Thee Oh Sees and Arctic Monkeys while revealing Gisborne’s own take on the sound, which he describes as “beach fuzz psych with a big cheeky nod to the UK Invasion.” He adds “in the gloom and doom of COVID, I found myself reminiscing all the time about the days when we would wait in line for hours to see our favorite bands. The songs on the first album reflect everything i felt I was missing out on.” Looking forward to 2021 and beyond, Christian Gisborne adds “I think a Rock ‘n’ Roll renaissance is coming after this crazy year of lock down. We’re hoping that a full front-to-back of Technicolour Shakedown will evoke the feeling you get at a rock ‘n’ roll house party — wherever the listener may find himself.”

After completing the album’s material, Gisborne recruited the Poling Brothers to help flesh out the band’s live sound. The Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer met the Poling Brothers while waiting on line outside of a 2019 Cage The Elephant show. After realizing that they all shared a mutual love of The Who` and Spongebob Squarepants, they found themselves setting up plans to jam at a rehearsal space. Although Gisborne had long hired session and touring musicians, with his friendship with the Poling Brothers growing deeper, he recognized that the next era of the project would feature them as his full-time bandmates.

Technicolour Shakedown’s first single “Back Of The Train” is a swaggering and rousingly anthemic, psych rock stomp centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous yet murky drums paired with Gisborne’s guttural howls that sounds as though it could have been released in 1964 or 2008 — or yesterday. As Gisborne told Flood Magazine: “The song is about struggling as a musician while taking nothing for granted. ‘Back Of The Train’ centers around a sneaky low note 60s guitar riff and drums so over-compressed it would make The Sonics cringe. I think it’s awful in the best way possible.” He goes on to further describe it as the story “paying dues and making sacrifices while making sure to enjoy the ride along the way.”

Directed by Megan Blanchard, the recently release video for “Back Of The Train” is one part classic Hitchcockian chase meets The French Connection, one part psychedelic trip and one part 120 Minutes MTV-inspired video.

Sloan Stumble is the 20-something  Aledo, TX-born, Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and creative mastermind behind the critically applauded and rapidly rising indie rock/indie pop project Dayglow. The project can trace its origins to Struble’s teenaged years, growing up in a Fort Worth suburb that he has referred to as a “small football-crazed town,” where he felt irrevocably out of place. Aesthetically and thematically, the project finds Struble crafting material cen nloater red around a hard fought, hard won optimism. 

Much like countless other hopelessly out of place young people across the globe, Struble turned to music as an escape from his surroundings. “I didn’t really feel connected to what everyone else in my school was into, so making music became an obsession for me, and sort of like therapy in a way,” Struble recalled in press notes. “I’d dream about it all day in class, and then come home and for on songs instead of doing homework. After a while I realized I’d made an album.”

Working completely on his own with a minuscule collection of gear that included his guitar, his computer and some secondhand keyboards he picked up at Goodwill, Struble worked on transforming his privately kept outpouring into a batch of songs — often grandiose in scale. “Usually artists will have demos they’ll bounce off other people to get some feedback, but nobody except for my parents down the hall really heard much of the album until I put it out,” Struble recalled. With the self-release of 2018’s Fuzzybrain, the Aledo-born, Austin-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer received widespread attention and an ardent online following — with countess listeners praising the material’s overwhelming positivity. 

In 2019, Struble re-released a fully realized version of Fuzzybrain that featured Can I Call You Tonight,” a track that wound up being a smash-hit last year, as well as two previously unreleased singles “Nicknames” and “Listerine.” With the two new singles, the album further establishes Struble’s growing reputation for illuminating emotional pain in a way that not only deeply resonates with listeners but while managing to make that emotional pain feel lighter. 

Struble kicked off 2021 with the infectious and sugary pop confection “Close to You,” a track indebted to 80s synth-led soul — in particular Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald‘s “On My Own” Cherelle’s and Alexander and O’Neal‘s “Saturday Love” and other duets, but imbued with an aching melancholy and uncertainty. He then made his national late night TV debut on Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he, along with his backing band, played “Can I Call You Tonight.” 

Continuing upon that momentum, Struble’s highly-anticipated Dayglow sophomore album Harmony House is slated for a May 21, 2021 release through his own Very Nice Records and AWAL. After Fuzzybrain‘s release, Struble had started to write material that was inspired by the 70s and 80s piano-driven soft rock that he had been drawn to — and around the time he had been watching a lot of Cheers. “At the very beginning, I was writing a soundtrack to a sitcom that doesn’t exist,” Struble recalls. And while actively attempting to generate nostalgia for something that hadn’t ever been real — as well as something most of his listeners had never really experienced — the album’s material thematically is about growing up and coping with change as an inevitable part of life. 

“Balcony,” Harmony House‘s fourth and latest single may arguably be the most upbeat song on the entire album. Centered around shimmering guitars, bouncy synth arpeggios, four-on-the-floor drumming and an incredibly infectious hook, “Balcony” is a summery, feel good house party anthem that will get everyone jumping up and down and shouting along to the chorus. “I wrote ‘Balcony’ quite a while ago, but it’s been through tons of phases & revisions before landing on this final version,” Struble says of his latest single. “I wanted to make a song that felt like The Cure, BRONCHO, and the Mario Kart Soundtrack huddled up. Not sure why— it just feels nice 🙂 Hope you enjoy it and play it at a house party or something cause that’s definitely what it’s for/about”

The rising Texan artist also announced series of North American tour dates that we hope actually will happen. The tour includes an October 17, 2021 stop at Webster Hall. Check out the tour dates below. 

North American Tour Dates:

09/09/21 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues

09/10/21 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s

09/11/21 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live

09/13/21 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren

09/15/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre

09/16/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre (SOLD OUT)

09/17/21 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues

09/18/21 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory

09/22/21 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom

09/23/21 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater

09/24/21 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom

09/26/21 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox

09/28/21 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot

09/29/21 – Denver, CO @ Summit

10/05/21 – Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe

10/06/21 – Nashville, TN @ Brooklyn Bowl

10/12/21 – Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage

10/13/21 – Charlotte, NC @ The Underground

10/15/21 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts

10/16/21 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club

10/17/21 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall

10/19/21 – Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club

10/21/21 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall

10/23/21 – Toronto, ON @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre

10/24/21 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Elevation

10/27/21 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue

10/29/21 – St Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall

10/30/21 – Kansas City, MO @ The Truman

New Video: Dayglow Releases a Nostalgic “School House Rock!” like Visual for “Woah Man”

20-something Aledo, TX-born, Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Sloan Struble is the creative mastermind behind the rapidly rising, critically applauded indie rock/indie pop project Dayglow. The project can trace its origins to Struble’s teenaged years, growing up in a Fort Worth suburb that he has referred to as a “small football-crazed town,” where he felt irrevocably out of place. Aesthetically and thematically, the project finds Struble crafting material centered around a hard fought, hard won optimism. 

Much like countless other hopelessly out of place young people across the globe, Struble turned to music as an escape from his surroundings. “I didn’t really feel connected to what everyone else in my school was into, so making music became an obsession for me, and sort of like therapy in a way,” Struble said in press notes. “I’d dream about it all day in class, and then come home and for on songs instead of doing homework. After a while I realized I’d made an album.”

Working completely on his own with a minuscule collection of gear that included his guitar, his computer and some secondhand keyboards he picked up at Goodwill, Struble worked on transforming his privately kept outpouring into a batch of songs — often grandiose in scale. “Usually artists will have demos they’ll bounce off other people to get some feedback, but nobody except for my parents down the hall really heard much of the album until I put it out,” Struble recalled. With the self-release of 2018’s Fuzzybrain, the Aledo-born, Austin-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer received widespread attention and an ardent online following — with countess listeners praising the material’s overwhelming positivity. 

In 2019, Struble re-released a fully realized version of Fuzzybrain that featured Can I Call You Tonight,” a track that wound up being a smash-hit lat year, as well as two previously unreleased singles “Nicknames” and “Listerine.” With the two new singles, the album further establishes Struble’s reputation for illuminating emotional pain in a way that not only deeply resonates with listeners but while managing to make that emotional pain feel lighter. 

Struble kicked off 2021 with the infectious and sugary pop confection “Close to You,” a track indebted to 80s synth-led soul — in particular Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald‘s “On My Own” Cherelle’s and Alexander and O’Neal‘s “Saturday Love” and other duets, but imbued with an aching melancholy and uncertainty. He then made his national late night TV debut on Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he, along with his backing band, played “Can I Call You Tonight.” 

Continuing upon that momentum, Struble’s highly-anticipated Dayglow sophomore album Harmony House is slated for a May 21, 2021 release through his own Very Nice Records and AWAL. He’d been writing new material after the release of Fuzzybrain and at the time, he found himself drawn to piano-driven soft rock from the late ’70s and early ’80s. Simultaneously, he was also watching a lot of Cheers at the time. “At the very beginning, I was writing a soundtrack to a sitcom that doesn’t exist,” Struble recalls. And while actively attempting to generate nostalgia for something that hadn’t ever been real — as well as something most of his listeners had never really experienced — the album’s material thematically is about growing up and coping with change as an inevitable part of life.

“Woah Man,” Harmony House‘s third and latest single is a carefully crafted, slow-burning ballad. Featuring an airy, soft rock-inspired arrangement of strummed acoustic guitar, electric guitar and atmospheric synths, “Woah Man” is centered around lyrics informed by personal experience and newly acquired wisdom — and Struble’s unerring knack for writing an incredibly memorable hook. Interestingly, the song reveals a young artist, who is readily accepting that the only certain thing in life is change and that moving forward often means letting go and experiencing the ride for better or worse. 

“’Woah Man’ is one of my favorite songs I’ve written so far. I initially wrote it for a friend who was going through a hard time, but then later realized that I was really writing about myself,” Struble explains in press notes. “In the middle of so much change, growth, and responsibility, I found myself feeling a lot of pressure. After months of feeling like I had the world on my shoulders and that I was growing up too fast, I realized that in order to grow, you have to move on sometimes. You have to let some things go. And for me, what I needed to let go of was the feeling of being in control of everything. I had to let go of holding on (very meta, I know). I just remember finishing the song and feeling so much relief and clarity about who I am becoming. The song has continued to help me through so many different stages of growth in my life— I hope it does the same for you.”

The recently released, gorgeously Johnny Chew animated video for “Woah Man” is a nostalgia-inducing and dream-like visual that’s indebted to Schoolhouse Rock!, Yellow Submarine and Peanuts. But at its core is the realization that while life is simultaneously complicated and beautiful. “I wanted the ‘Woah Man’ video to have a sentimental/nostalgic feeling to it,” Dayglow’s Sloan Struble explains in press notes. “Three things that make me feel those emotions are Charlie Brown, School House Rock, and the Beatles movie, Yellow Submarine — so with the wizardry of Johnny Chew, we made the ‘Woah Man’ music video combine all three of them.”

20-something Aledo, TX-born, Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Sloan Struble is the creative mastermind behind the rapidly rising, critically applauded indie rock/indie pop project Dayglow. The project can trace its origins to Struble’s teenaged years, growing up in a Fort Worth suburb that he has referred to as a “small football-crazed town,” where he felt irrevocably out of place. Aesthetically and thematically, the project finds Struble crafting material centered around a hard fought, hard won optimism.

Much like countless other hopelessly out of place young people across the globe, Struble turned to music as an escape from his surroundings. “I didn’t really feel connected to what everyone else in my school was into, so making music became an obsession for me, and sort of like therapy in a way,” Struble said in press notes. “I’d dream about it all day in class, and then come home and for on songs instead of doing homework. After a while I realized I’d made an album.”

Working completely on his own with a minuscule collection of gear that included his guitar, his computer and some secondhand keyboards he picked up at Goodwill, Struble worked on transforming his privately kept outpouring into a batch of songs — often grandiose in scale. “Usually artists will have demos they’ll bounce off other people to get some feedback, but nobody except for my parents down the hall really heard much of the album until I put it out,” Struble recalled. With the self-release of 2018’s Fuzzybrain, the Aledo-born, Austin-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer received widespread attention and an ardent online following — with countess listeners praising the material’s overwhelming positivity. 

In 2019, Struble re-released a fully realized version of Fuzzybrain that featured Can I Call You Tonight,” a track that wound up being a smash-hit lat year, as well as two previously unreleased singles “Nicknames” and “Listerine.” With the two new singles, the album further establishes Struble’s reputation for illuminating emotional pain in a way that not only deeply resonates with listeners but while managing to make that emotional pain feel lighter. 

Struble kicked off 2021 with the infectious and sugary pop confection “Close to You,” a track indebted to 80s synth-led soul — in particular Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald‘s “On My Own” Cherelle’s and Alexander and O’Neal‘s “Saturday Love” and other duets, but imbued with an aching melancholy and uncertainty. He then made his national late night TV debut on Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he, along with his backing band, played “Can I Call You Tonight.

Continuing upon that momentum, Struble’s highly-anticipated Dayglow sophomore album Harmony House is slated for a May 21, 2021 release through his own Very Nice Records and AWAL. He’d been writing new material after the release of Fuzzybrain and at the time, he found himself drawn to piano-driven soft rock from the late ’70s and early ’80s. Simultaneously, he was also watching a lot of Cheers at the time. “At the very beginning, I was writing a soundtrack to a sitcom that doesn’t exist,” Struble recalls. And while actively attempting to generate nostalgia for something that hadn’t ever been real — as well as something most of his listeners had never really experienced — the album’s material thematically is about growing up and coping with change as an inevitable part of life.

“Woah Man,” Harmony House‘s third and latest single is a carefully crafted, slow-burning ballad. Featuring an airy, soft rock-inspired arrangement of strummed acoustic guitar, electric guitar and atmospheric synths, “Woah Man” is centered around lyrics informed by personal experience and newly acquired wisdom — and Struble’s unerring knack for writing an incredibly memorable hook. Interestingly, the song reveals a young artist, who is readily accepting that the only certain thing in life is change and that moving forward often means letting go and experiencing the ride for better or worse.

“’Woah Man’ is one of my favorite songs I’ve written so far. I initially wrote it for a friend who was going through a hard time, but then later realized that I was really writing about myself,” Struble explains in press notes. “In the middle of so much change, growth, and responsibility, I found myself feeling a lot of pressure. After months of feeling like I had the world on my shoulders and that I was growing up too fast, I realized that in order to grow, you have to move on sometimes. You have to let some things go. And for me, what I needed to let go of was the feeling of being in control of everything. I had to let go of holding on (very meta, I know). I just remember finishing the song and feeling so much relief and clarity about who I am becoming. The song has continued to help me through so many different stages of growth in my life— I hope it does the same for you.”

New Video: Rising British Singer Songwriter Jordan Mackampa Releases an Ebullient Visual for “Magic”

Jordan Mackampa is a rising London-born and-based Congolese-British singer/songwriter. With the release of “Under,” 2016’s Physics EP, and 2017’s Tales From The Broken EP and Live from the Grand Cru EP, Mackampa has received critical praise from NME, The 405, The Line of Best Fit, Clash, Indie Shuffle, Wonderland and others while his work amassed over 50 million Spotify streams.

Mackampa’s work is inspired by his Congolese roots and his mother’s love of legendary soul singers like Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Curtis Mayfield. And as a result, the Congolese-British singer/songwriter has developed a reputation for pairing old-school singer/songwriter soul, earnest songwriting and catchy melodies with a modern songwriting approach. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you may recall that Mackampa’s highly anticipated, full-length debut Foreigner is slated for a March 13, 2020 release through AWAL.  

Reportedly, the album’s material draws from the sounds and stories of the cities he’s spent time in and inhabited over the years, and while documenting his life as an outsider, the material’s sound is a melting pot of cultures that draws from his birthplace in the Republic of the Congo, his mom’s classic soul record collection, hip-hop obsessed childhood in North London, and his Coventry, UK-based teen years, immersed in indie rock — and all of that meshes together to create a hybrid of alternative pop, soul and indie rock. 

Late last year, I wrote about “Parachutes,” a breezy and deliberately crafted track centered around a radio friendly yet loose arrangement of twinkling keys, shimmering guitars, a sinuous bass line and propulsive drumming pared with Mackampa’s easygoing vocals, evoking the soaring highs of being in love and the embittering low of heartache within the turn of a phrase.  The album’s latest single “Magic” is a breezy and swinging pop song that reveals Mackampa’s genre-defying sound: the song draws from old school soul, Bossa nova and samba simultaneously. “This is a bossa nova and samba-infused feel good kinda track about when you can’t get someone off your mind,” Mackampa says in press notes. “”You’ve had one taste and you want more!”

Directed by longtime collaborator Tom Ewbank and featuring choreography from Taali Kwaten, the recently released video for “Magic” was filmed in a South London underpass is centered around the Congolese-British singer/songwriter and his backing band performing the song in front of a collection of diverse partiers, who dance the night around.  The video manages to further emphasize the song’s ebullient joy of being infatuated by new love.