Seven Fresh Songs #120
KiNG MALA — Cult Leader
“If I wasn’t a narcissist, I wouldn’t like me either.” Areli Castro aka KiNG MALA takes no prisoners on her path to self-empowerment. But enjoyed with a grain of salt, this dark pop anthem can be your energizing pick-me-up when your self-esteem needs a boost.
“I want this song to be two minutes of pure unabashed confidence. I want people to let themselves get lost in the fantasy of the most confident version of themselves (even if it’s a bit toxic). I want this to be a song people turn to when they want to feel like a badass!”
Listen to “Cult Leader,” our Song Pick of the Day here:
Cab Ellis — The East Coast Hold On
“The East Coast Hold On” marks the last single and title track of Cab Ellis’s second album, out on May 20, 2022. While the year is still only four months old, I know that The East Coast Hold On will be among my favorite albums of 2022. One of the perks of being a music blogger is getting early access to new music and this album is spectacularly good thanks to the stellar songwriting of frontman Connor Abeles and the musical wizardry of legendary producer Gordon Raphael.
Like all tracks on the album, “The East Coast Hold On” is deeply rooted in Connor Abeles’s personal experiences and musings on life. When we recently met over coffee, Connor told me about the inspiration for the song which left me in awe and pondering the thoughts a little further. Connor says:
Over the past few years all I’ve been thinking about is why people hold onto certain things and let go of others. Why they leave and why they stay. Their job, their relationship, where they live. I was asking myself over and over. I thought of growing up on the east coast in Maryland and how the sentiment of it all was reflected in the handshake I’d do with my friends where you slap hands and lock your fingers together. “The east coast hold on”. The east coast is where I learned about hustle and intensity and love and family and brotherhood.
Learn all that Connor Abeles aka Cab Ellis has to say about “The East Coast Hold On” on the band’s Instagram account. The vibrant song is especially fascinating in its live version, with fans singing along, and participating in the actual handshake. There will certainly be more East Coast opportunities to see Cab Ellis, but here’s already one on the West Coast to put on your calendar, June 15 at the Venice West.
Listen to “The East Coast Hold On,” our Song Pick of the Day:
Connect with Cab Ellis here
Jenny Berkel — Lavender City
In summer, things seem easy-going, and you may overlook dishonesty just because everything feels so good. But when reality hits, you have to grapple with the fact that you should have known all along. This is the story that Canadian singer/songwriter Jenny Berkel tells in her beautifully arranged song “Lavender City.”
Our Song Pick of the Day is the third single from her album “These Are The Sounds Left from Leaving,” out on May 13.
Listen to “Lavender City” on your favorite streaming service or below on Bandcamp:
SOFTCRUSH — Puppet
While New York indie rockers SOFTCRUSH formed only in the fall of 2021, they demonstrate impressive songwriting chops and exquisite producing skills with their debut single “See You Go” and the follow-up “Puppet.” The four band members each bring their own musical background and influences to the project, and the result is an exhilarating take on the indie rock genre.
SOFTCRUSH is comprised of Josh Brennan (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), William Sawikin (drums, synths), Leonidas Gioutlakis (lead guitar), and Gerard Pugliese (bass), and it’ll be exciting to hear what they have in store next.
We asked Josh about their new single, and he says:
Early demos of “Puppet” were made in the summer of 2021, prior to the formation of SOFTCRUSH. The song was inspired by the anxieties and late nights spent overthinking that can often come when exploring a new, but uncertain, romantic connection. Recorded partly in the studio and partly in a bedroom, this track is a true DIY creation.
Anxieties can happen with anything that’s unknown and when allowing yourself to get lost in your thoughts; a sentiment beautifully juxtaposed by the joyful flow of “Puppet” that doesn’t even hint at any darker thoughts. SOFTCRUSH is onto something here and got me hooked because this is indie rock at its best!
Listen to “Puppet,” our Song Pick of the Day:
Connect with SOFTCRUSH here.
C’Est Karma — Coffee
“I make coffee now” is a good description for the moment you have grown up and are responsible for your well-being. For Karma Catena aka C’Est Karma it was her move from Luxembourg to Amsterdam and living in her own space that inspired this reflection about big life changes. And don’t worry: while the song starts as a quiet piano ballad, it moves quickly to the big, artful production we are used from her.
Karma gives us some background:
“‘Coffee’ is a song about growing up. I moved away from home for the first time this year. It was a strange and at the same time very liberating experience. This process also made me very aware of the fact that I am growing up. I’m leaving my adolescence behind and staring straight into adulthood’s eyes. I wanted to take the simple and subtle changes in my life and turn them into a metaphor for my own adulting. However, all these changes also come with existential fears, and insecurities I never knew I had. The fear of living an adult life, of being caught in an endless circle, the insecurity that the most exciting part of life will soon come to an end. ‘Coffee’ is a very introspective and intimate song, both musically and lyrically.”
“Coffee” is the last single of the EP “Amuse-Bouche,” out on May 13. Watch the video below:
Listen to our Song Pick of the Day on SoundCloud or Spotify:
E-Prime — Stop Runnin’
Montreal is very much on my mind these days because I am traveling there again soon and of course thanks to its excellent music scene. Naturally, I am always curious when I learn about new music from Canada’s second-most populous city.
Quel surprise! While electronic synth-pop sibling duo E-Prime didn’t ring a bell, their previous formation, Doomsquad, did since I’ve seen them several times live and we covered them on glamglare before too. Looks like Jaclyn and Trevor Blumas moved from Toronto to Montreal, because that’s where they’re based now. Their new single “Stop Runnin’” is beautifully chill, with playful touches and a mesmerizing production.
Asked about “Stop Runnin”, Jaclyn Blumas says:
“Stop Runnin” was written about an intense best friend breakup. Changing through the passage of time, we can sometimes fall out of sync with the people who we thought would walk beside us forever. Major events can transform us and staying in touch with yourself and your friends keeps you real. It can feel like hard work sometimes, but it’s a gift worth the effort. The no closure, lingering disconnect from a friend who has always “seen” you feels like a glass splinter in your foot: it’s awkward and makes your whole body squirm.
This track is about finding that balance between self love, friendship and empowerment. Community is and will always be what fuels me, but you still gotta prioritize your self-love first, you’ll be a better friend this way. Doesn’t matter how much of a powerhouse, mega babe with all the talent in the world you are, “making it” can’t be enjoyed if you gotta climb over your friends to sit on a throne alone. Stop runnin’, start loving yourself!
Without taking anything away from this powerful reminder, let’s memorize it once more: Stop runnin’, start loving yourself, and let’s do so best by enjoying the gorgeous track!
Listen to “Stop Runnin’,” our Song Pick of the Day, and check out the accompanying video too:
Connect with E-Prime here.
Ruth Radelet — Crimes
“Crimes” is the new single by the former singer of the band Chromatics Ruth Radelet. The bright, glittering synth-pop track — produced in collaboration with Filip Nikolic of Poolside — explores questions about how far you want to go to be successful. She explains:
“‘Crimes’ is about the pursuit of success at the expense of one’s integrity, and the exploitation of others in order to get ahead. It’s about the price we pay for our choices, and whether or not it’s worth it. The question, ‘Is it easy to start over?’ can be interpreted in two ways — it’s meant to ask how it feels to continually reinvent yourself until you lose sight of who you are. It also asks how hard it would be to walk away from it all.”
Listen to our Song Pick of the Day, “Crimes,” here: