Review: Blessthefall – Hollow Bodies

The fourth studio album from metalcore band, Blessthefall, called Hollow Bodies was produced by Joey Sturgis (The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria) and showcased a band moving their sound closer to a blend between metal and electronica. Having listened to it again with fresh ears, albeit ten years later, the record still holds up. The sound is reminiscent of the electronica found on early Underoath albums, paired with the slick guitar hooks of Escape the Fate, and the metal-tinged leanings of Bullet For My Valentine. It all works out surprisingly well, and features the same lineup as their third album, Awakening, for the first time in consecutive records for the band. The set was released via Fearless Records and would spawn two singles, “You Wear A Crown But You’re No King” and “Deja Vu,” and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hard Rock Albums charts. While Blessthefall wear their influences clearly on their sleeves, the product that comes out of it still feels unique and ambitious.

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Interview: 13th Law

13th Law

Recently I was able to catch up with Evan Lawrence, better known as 13th Law, to ask him the details behind his great new summer single “It’s Alright.” In the interview, this talented artist opened up about his music upbringing, he explained the differences in writing for Babyfang versus his solo project, as well as what fans can be on the lookout for as the year unfolds. 13th Law’s latest single, “LightRun” is out now wherever you stream your music.

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Matthew Lowry – “Coming For You” (Video Premiere)

Matthew Lowry

Today I’m thrilled to introduce everyone to Matthew Lowry, a talented singer-songwriter who is bringing a lot of Florida sunshine everyone’s way on the shimmering new single, “Coming For You.” The song has a nod to the Foo Fighters’ style of humor, paired with the picturesque music storytelling of Ben Folds and the pop sheen of Elton John. Lowry shared:

I knew right away when I wrote the riff for this song that I needed to follow through on it.  It was so much fun from the start because, for a long time, my songwriting had been missing the hard rock that I grew up loving. The stuff that made me want to put a guitar on.  A little Southern flare mixed with the rock anthems I blasted throughout my entire childhood. No better way to be honest with yourself and move forward than to let out the real stuff you have inside. And since this album is about that journey to embrace yourself and move forward in life, it was perfect. Once this was tracked in the studio, that feeling I had from the start was confirmed. I wanted this to be the final single before the album came out.  Lyrically, it’s pretty straightforward: I’m over trying to be anything for anyone. No more fear, no more paranoia. I’m bringing my shit front and center. This is me, this is my music, this is who I am. Then to be really me, we knew that we wanted to make the video as ridiculous and goofy as we could. Since I started planning the album, I had this idea for the “Flamingo County Games” as a Jackass style backwoods Florida Olympics. A bit of a nod to the Foo Fighters in their golden era of amazing music videos with those huge rock anthems. In the end, it all came together, and I honestly could not be happier.

Matthew Lowry’s latest track comes from his new LP, Flamingo County, due out on September 15th.

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Coma Girls – “Candles” (Song Premiere)

Coma Girls

Today is a great day to share the latest single from Coma Girls, called “Candles.” Coma Girls is the moniker of songwriter Chris Spino, and he tackles the themes of addiction, recovery, and wanting to be a better person with grace and poise. On this journey of self-reflection that is drenched in great guitar sounds and soothing vocals, Coma Girls showcase his staying power in the music scene. When speaking on his latest single, Spino shared:

’Candles’ was one of the first songs I recorded for the album. It was also the only one that we ended up re-recording when the album was close to being finished. The original version was very upbeat. We ended up slowing it down. We made the drums more fat and in the pocket, right from the jump of it. The lead guitar part is very inspired by picky guitar players, such as Kurt Vile, that use their fingers rather than a pick. The backing vocals are stacked harmonies that are meant to sound choral, haunting, and continuous throughout the song. The lyrics are very bittersweet. It’s talking about loving someone and always having their back, even though you know that you shouldn’t. It eventually shakes out in the end, which causes a lot of emotional inner conflict.The song takes a sharp left turn towards the end. The distorted guitars come in abruptly. The drums break out, very loudly, into a wall of sound. The chanting mantra, “leave your candles lit, my pain keeps burning on and on and on,” is grief expressed through the death of an ideal, and the struggle that comes along with that afterward. It’s very unsettling to resolve these feelings within myself without the confirmation or acknowledgment of those who disappointed me. It takes a lot of self-work to cope with. Ultimately, a part of me had to die in order to detach myself from whatever toxic environments I was once clinging to. In doing that, I have a new life as a result. As scary as it was at first, it turned out to be very exciting and was the cause of a lot of growth and motivation. I’d been messed up. I participated in so much nonsense in my life. Once I decided to do things differently, there was a real struggle that took place. I think that’s what this song speaks to.

If you’re enjoying the direction of Coma Girls latest track, you can check out more music from this talented artist when his new LP, Crystal Pistol, drops on October 13th.

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Review: Broadside – “Bang”

The Richmond-based trio, Broadside, has returned with a great new single called “Bang” via SharpTone Records. The song features a great guest vocal appearance by Josh Roberts, and continues the sonic exploration of the sound that Broadside tinkered with on their last single (“Cruel”). The track opens with an eerie guitar riff paired with the vulnerable lyrics of, “Hang my head out the window / Watching the cars go / Hoping that one of them / Would change my life / They say it’s all that ego keeping your feet cold / I should listen to my daddy’s advice / I bite my tongue until the blood is running down my chest,” before exploding into a crowd-pleasing chorus. The electric new single was produced, mixed and mastered by Andrew Wade, and he gets a powerful performance out of the talented band.

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RYTERBAND – “Camouflage”

Today I’m so excited to share with everyone the latest single from ultra-talented songwriter, RYTERBAND, called “Camouflage.” The song comes from his forthcoming EP, Echoes, that will be released everywhere music is sold on November 3rd. With a sound that fits within the same realm as Bon Iver and James Blake, RYTERBAND has all the makings of a star. When speaking on his new single, he shared:

As a kid, I was afraid to take risks. Only by focusing on the pain of missed opportunities was I able to escape my own numbness and justify being myself. These days, I cherish authenticity and boldness. I wrote ‘Camouflage’ as a cautionary tale and a reminder to us all. It’s too easy to let life slip by half-lived. I hope this song inspires people to be themselves.

As a composer, music editor, and songwriter, RYTERBAND’s work also graces over 50 TV shows and films, including hits like Euphoria, Brooklyn 99, and The Umbrella Academy.

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Caicos + Lojii – “Subsequent Footprint” (Video Premiere)


Today is a great day to share the latest single/video from indie-pop artist, Caicos, called “Subsequent Footprint.” The track features a great collaboration from Philly rapper, Lojii, and makes an immediate impact on the music scene. The single comes from the forthcoming LP Ascension Intention, that will be released everywhere music is sold on September 15th. I was also able to catch up with Caicos for a brief interview below.

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Review: M.A.G.S. – Destroyer

On the third studio album from M.A.G.S., called Destroyer, Elliott Douglas has destruction clearly on his mind. The majority of the record tackles the themes of self-destruction and personal growth, while also allowing room for some social commentary. Douglas shared his perspective on Destroyer by explaining, “I want my listeners to be immersed in the desolation and chaos of this world, I want them to come face to face with the ugly truth…the dark underbelly of their subconscious…all the internalized trauma and destruction. And I want them to be smiling as they face it, because they can see they are not being swallowed by their darkness but that they are, in fact, holding it in the palm of their hand.” From the artwork depicting an “end of days” scenario of tornadoes touching down on a field of flowers, everything clicks directly into place on this fully-realized record that is filled with experimentation and creativity. While his last album, Say Things That Matter, was a breezy, pop-oriented LP that found Douglas growing more comfortable in his singing voice, Destroyer embraces the chaos in the most thrilling way possible.

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Interview: World’s First Cinema

World's First Cinema

Recently I was able to schedule an interview with Los Angeles-based duo, John Sinclair and Fil Thorpe, who go by the name of World’s First Cinema. In this interview, I asked them about the style of their music, how they do most of their songwriting, and their plans for touring. World’s First Cinema fit well in the realm of the theatrics of Panic! at the Disco, paired with the hooks of Motion City Soundtrack, but they really have a style that needs to be heard to get the full experience.

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Oh He Dead – “Lightning Drunk” (Song Premiere)

Oh He Dead

Today is a great day to introduce everyone to Oh He Dead, a DC-based indie soul band who are preparing to release their sophomore LP Pretty on September 15th. Their latest single, “Lightning Drunk” captures the feeling of falling head-first in love without thinking about any of the negative consequences. It has a sound that infuses the neo-soul of Earth, Wind & Fire, paired with the picturesque dreamy vibes of Fleetwood Mac, all with a modern twist of Amy Winehouse-stylized vibes. Band member Andy Valenti shared:

I can’t remember who said it first, but someone uttered the phrase “Lightning Drunk,” and it just fit so well. I loved the idea of falling in love with lightning. Getting addicted to something so intense, bright, exciting, and dangerous. It felt like a great iteration of the “electric love” lyric that is perhaps a bit cliche. CJ really spearheaded the verse vocals on this one, but I remember working on them with her in my basement apartment, just visualizing all of the different ways that getting struck by lightning feels like a dangerously exciting romance.

If you’re ready to fall head over heels in love with your next favorite band, Oh He Dead is here for you.

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Ben Hazlewood – “Chemical Roulette” (Video Premiere)

Ben Hazlewood

Today I’m thrilled to share with everyone the latest single and music video from Aussie pop star, Ben Hazlewood, called “Chemical Roulette.” On this atmospheric track, Hazlewood proves he’s one of the key artists to watch as this year unfolds. Ben shared,

I could argue it was all a highly scientific experiment to create new neurological pathways; to bend and mould my mind into a new way of thinking. Or, call it what it was; a bender of epic degree, one in which I was crushed, then rebuilt, shattered and swept up. I hit the basement floor of pain and the highest heights of happiness. Whatever way I justify this time in my life…Chemical roulette is a game just as dangerous as it’s Russian counterpart but far more fun, and with this celebratory song of survival as memento of the best parts.

I was also able to catch up with this talented artist for an interview below.

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Review: The Maine – The Maine

The ninth studio album by The Maine is a self-titled effor that was produced by Colby Wedgeworth (the same producer who oversaw four other The Maine albums), and it’s easy to see why the band considers him a “sixth band member.” Having produced landmark records like Lovely Little Lonely and XOXO: From Love and Anxiety In Real Time, this self-titled album seems like the logical sequel to Lovely Little Lonely, so it’s only fitting for Wedgeworth to be at the helm. The new album also bears extra significance with the “8.1.23” street date, and showcases the band’s continued growth as songwriters. The first taste of The Maine came with the lead single, “Blame,” that even got the attention and adoration of The Jonas Brothers on Instagram. The pacing on the new record is electric and frenetic, while still allowing a few songs to brood in the darkness to fit the overall mood and aesthetic of the black & white album artwork. Having released two other singles leading up to today’s release date, “How To Exit A Room” and “Dose No. 2,” The Maine have a bulletproof record on their hands that is filled with a plethora of single-worthy songs that only prove the point of the band being on the top of their game, and quite possibly the world.

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Ava Earl – “Ears Bleed” (Song Premiere)

Ava Earl

Today is a great day to introduce everyone to indie folk/pop artist, Ava Earl. On the second single from her new LP, Too Much (due out everywhere music is sold on September 15th), “Ears Bleed” tackles her personal topic of coming to terms with being deaf in her right ear. Earl shared, ““After going deaf in my right ear, I was left with emotions that took months to unravel, sort, and explain. Six months in, I thought I had come to a semblance of peace when this song tumbled out of me, surprising me with a pain that was still so palpable.” Ava Earl has found early success in her career by opening up for Maggie Rogers while she was still in high school, and has released four albums before she turned 18. With a sound that fits well within the realm of Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, and Phoebe Bridgers, Ava Earl might just be the next most important indie artist to arrive on the music scene. If you’re enjoying the early listen to “Ears Bleed,” you can pre-save it here.

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OSEES – “Stunner” (Video Premiere)


Today I’m excited to share with everyone the latest single and music video from rock band, OSEES, called “Stunner.” John Dwyer shared, “Matt Yoka came up with the idea of filming us playing the song in our rehearsal space with as many people as we could fit, and as many formats as he could stomach. Hi-vis on all the kids. Constricted & claustrophobic just as contemporary routines can be. Noise, obstacle and pointless spectacle. There is no escape!” If you’re enjoying this latest slab of rock, their forthcoming LP, Intercepted Message, will be released everywhere music is sold on August 18th via In The Red Records.

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