Seven Fresh Songs #55
Our daily song picks
Listen to all our song picks on our Apple Music or Spotify Playlists.
33 1/3 — Timedown
The past year saw many artists do things differently. As we all learned to not only remain six feet apart from each other but to stay at home entirely, some artists took this as a challenge to collaborate more than ever. While we had featured Bryan Edwards’ and Kelsey Warren’s Juneteenth Mixtape, last year, we are excited to shed some light onto Kelsey’s newest project, the bi-coastal 33 1/3. Kelsey Warren of indie-rock band Blak Emoj is based in New York City. The other two members of 33 1/3 are Saf Ro, whom we became fans of thanks to the Juneteeth Mixtape, and Gabby Buko aka Gnoia, who both call Los Angeles their home.
Yesterday, they released their first single “Timedown,” an instantly appealing track that brims with understated cool. The heavy basslines and intriguing rhythms contrast beautifully with Gabby’s bright and enchanting vocals. This is music to play on repeat!
We asked Kelsey how this project started, and he told us:
Saf Ro and I’ve been friends for a long time and always wanted to collaborate on a project. But it wasn’t until quarantine 2020 when we started to seriously put songs together pitching for other artists. So we figured, now’s the time to finally put out our own collab. I had a ton of ideas and tracks I’d send to him. He would rearrange and add these cool things, and we’d both write back and forth that way. It sounded cool but I felt it needed something else, but not one of our voices singing. I suggested maybe having another person to handle vocals, writing lyrics etc… Saf Ro brought Gnoia into the mix who is excellent. She was the missing puzzle piece. And here we are.
Change in pace and outlook can have the most exciting outcomes. “Timedown” is such a fantastic song, and we also asked Gabby to tell us about her side of the creative process. She says:
“Timedown” to me represents the initiation into the hero’s journey, both literally in content and symbolically in the collaboration of the group. When Saf Ro showed me the songs, I was drawn in by something I couldn’t quite put my finger on but knew I wanted to be part of. I felt the terrified, anticipatory feeling that comes with venturing into the unknown, which inspired a lot of the writing. This allowed me to be free when writing (less thinking and more knowing) and when I was feeling stuck, Saf Ro helped to coax out the authentic elements through late night pep talks.
Listen to “Timedown,” our Song Pick of the Day:
Connect with 33 1/3 on Instagram.
Devan — Night Drives
Driving late in the dark has its own meditative power and London-via-Toronto singer, songwriter and producer Devan shares such a moment with us in her new single “Night Drives.” As the lights pass by — watch the lyric video to get into the mood — thoughts float freely through her mind. The restrained production features an unexpected left turn for the chorus, making for an utterly appealing pop song.
“Night Drives” is on Devan’s upcoming EP “Pink Noise”, out on February 26.
Watch the lyric video here:
Connect with Devan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Evan Isaac — Incandescent Eyes
The first thing I have learned about Evan Isaac was that the Pittsburgh-based synth-pop artist “draws from the moment when creating music. Time and energy flow bountifully towards the horizon leaving you feeling nostalgic and excited.”
Are not all musicians inspired by their surroundings, by what they are going through? How to interpret this? It became clearer upon listening to Even Isaac’s newest track, the beautifully understated “Incandescent Eyes.” It seems that Isaac takes the “moment” much more literal, treating it as the fleeting occurrence it is. The feel of “Incandescent Eyes” is light and airy, transient, and almost not there. Like the touch of luxurious lace on naked skin.
For “Incandescent Eyes,” Evan Isaac collaborated for the second time with Delhi-based indie electronic duo Shoals, and the result is an instantly appealing, restrained electro-pop gem. About the collaboration process Isaac says:
I love making music with Sidharth and Utkarsh of Shoals. Sid and I are close friends from college. Although we live on the other side of the literal world, there are very few people I coordinate with musically on a regular basis. Naturally the song was completed completely remotely. We have a good sense of what material resonates with each other.
Here’s to more future collaborations as they are highly fascinating and extremely well done! Listen to “Incandescent Eyes,” our Song Pick of the Day:
Connect with Evan Isaac on Facebook.
Gaeya — Tide For The Change
Imagine stepping out of a cabin somewhere in nature. The sun has just risen, the light is crisp and the air clear, and around you, the wildlife awakens. This is the feeling that “Tide for the Change” by Swedish musician Gaeya evokes when it swells from a simple piano line into lush soundscapes with subtle nature sound bits (the red-tailed hawk makes an appearance). This is in line with Gaeya’s mission to excite her audience for nature’s joys with music and live events.
The song is on her brand new EP “Awakening,” out now on all streaming services. She explains:
“An awakening starts when we are open to see things from a higher perspective. It can mean that we sometimes need to elevate ourselves to see another view in life to gain the most growth.”
Watch the video “Tide For The Change” here:
Connect with Gaeya on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Brijean — Ocean
Brijean Murphy and Doug Stuart teamed up to make music together under the moniker Brijean. Ahead of their upcoming full-length album “Feelings,” they share the new single and video “Ocean”. The album will be out on February 26th via Ghostly International. The new track is as beautiful and compelling as one would expect from a song titled “Ocean.” One can sense the sunlight dancing on the water’s surface, complete with seagulls diving for sustenance and waves relentlessly swashing ashore. Like a much-needed mini-vacay, recharging in less than five minutes!
The video’s director flatspot ___• remarks:
Various methods of video feedback and modular video synthesis were utilized to manipulate the footage captured by Brijean and Doug. We decided on a black and white treatment of the footage, contrasting with selective coloring and unusually cropping of the clips to evoke a dreamlike sequence, bringing the ocean to the desert.
In 2018, Murphy and Stuart began collaborating. Both are known in the close-knit Oakland music scene and share a common background in jazz, Latin, and soul music. Murphy is also the high-in-demand percussionist for acts like Poolside, Toro Y Moi, or U.S. Girl.
The duo’s first sessions resulted in the mini-album Walkie Talkie (released in 2019 on Native Cat Recordings). They continued to collaborate with other Oakland-based musicians, inviting friends Chaz Bear, Tony Peppers, and Hamir Atwal over, and they all ended up contributing to the album.
Murphy says about these collaborating times:
We improvised on different feels for hours. Nothing quite developed at first but we had seeds. We re-opened the sessions a couple months later, after returning from tours, and spent a month developing the songs in a little 400 square foot cottage.
We can not wait for the album to drop! For now, watch the video for “Ocean,” and indulge in our Song Pick of the Day:
Connect with Brijean on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Luna Shadows — Nite Swim
In “Nite Swim” L.A.-based pop songwriter and producer Luna Shadows explores how a Romeo & Juliet story could have unfolded in the present day. Obviously, being in constant contact these days would have changed the story’s outcome significantly. This makes the song a summer love story on the surface, but Luna Shadows goes deeper than that in the lyrics. She explains:
“When I think of the extremely problematic R+J, a lot of their tragedy is based on farcical miscommunication that could’ve been so easily avoided in 2021. Yet in an age of instant & excessive communication, there has been a sharp rise in youth depression, suicide, and overall unhappiness. This song masquerades as euphoric but underneath raises some fairly dark questions re: technology and our mental health.”
“Night Swim” is on Luna Shadow’s upcoming album “Digital Pacific,” due out on February 12. Pre-order here. Listen to our Song Pick of the Day below:
Connect with Luna Shadows on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
La Poré — All We Have Is Us
In his previous single “Blame”, Nick Samson aka La Poré asked his significant other to blame him for whatever might not go as hoped for. With his new single “All We Have Is Us”, he ties in with that theme and reassures his love that even though things are currently not the way they wish they were, they still do have each other. And this is a lot! Many people tend to take finding THE ONE for granted, that it will eventually happen but this is not necessarily so. The more we would want to truly appreciate it when we have met our soulmate.
The gifted artist used to live in Columbus, Ohio, where he was part of Cleveland-based pop band Captain Kidd, on drumming duties. Early last year though, Samson and his wife packed their bags and moved out West. Now they call Los Angeles their home.
When asked about “All We Have Is Us”, Samson says:
There’s a lot to unpack with this song. It was written in February, right before Covid hit. I was newly married, just moved to Los Angeles a few months prior, and knew very few people. It was scary. It was tough. Of course we had no idea a global pandemic would hit and make things even stranger in this strange new place. The song still resonates though, maybe even more so now. Feeling uncertainty, feeling discomfort, and sort of longing for a sense of normalcy and peace through big life changes
While Samson is describing his individual, personal experience, we can totally relate to it. And the longing for a sense of normalcy and for a little bit more peace might be universal. A song as bright and beautiful as “All We Have Is Us” helps to get the equilibrium back, for several minutes at least anyway. We don’t get tired to listen to La Poré’s gorgeous vocals and irresistible songwriting and production, and are looking forward to find out what comes next!
Listen to “All We Have Is Us,” our Song Pick of the Day: