On "AF1s" from her new album "Sleeping With Roses II", Chelsea Cutler has written an endearing love letter to a love lost with a soft, wavy sound blending in acoustic guitar led by her sweet voice. The song has a laid-back, personal feel, and is named for the shoes in the lyric: "loosening Nike laces on our AF1s". Chelsea wrote on Instagram: "I know I say this about every song but AF1s is seriously the most important thing I've written in my life. I've never created something quite like this one – it's so honest in its imagery and unapologetic in its nostalgia.
Nike Air Force Ones are kinda representative of the whole SWR (Sleeping With Roses) era to me. I've performed in them, made amazing friends in them, have stumbled home drunk and alone at 3am in them. Crazy how a pair of sneakers can be a symbol of everything I've done and felt in the last ten months since leaving college.
I wrote AF1s in a bathroom of a shared green room in Ottawa, Canada, recording my ideas with Apple headphones and then did most of the production on the plane back to the US. [I] finished it later with Andy Seltzer and couldn't be more excited for it to finally come out. This is how some of the best ideas happen and come to fruition. Not in studios or in writing rooms but in crowded shared green rooms and on tiny propeller planes."
Norwegian producer Chris Viviano has put out a fantastic new future bass/pop single called "Running". The track blends electric guitar with progressive synths in the verses, with beautiful vocals soaring over the top. Viviano explains: "'Running' is about being in a relationship, knowing you're no good for the other person. It's about the struggle you go through. Knowing the right thing would be to leave, but never really being able to."
Toronto-based producer Slooze has released their latest single "Desolation" following on from their previous releases telling the story of a world ravaged by endless war. As the survivors start rebuilding their civilization, they encounter a threatening and unknown advanced species. On Desolation, Slooze sets the scene: "Following the annihilation of the last survivors, the invaders survey the area for any last traces of their enemies. Their surroundings are charred and the sky is filled with smoke; fire burns throughout the lands. As they all regroup, the next fleet of reinforcements arrives - the time has come to begin the colonization. Enter absolute 'Desolation'".
It's the perfect theme for a track like this, with futuristic cinematic builds, menacing soundscapes and heavy electronic beats reminiscent of 1788-L.
Rapper Aaron Aye has put out the first single since releasing his fantastic debut album "Orphan" earlier this year. Orphan centers on his experience growing up with his single mum who died two months after being diagnosed with cancer when he was 15 years old. Despite that, the album is a "celebration. It's an album for the lost kids struggling to find their purpose... When people hear this project I want them to never hear the word 'orphan' the same way again. I want young men & women, no matter what their story is, to embrace their uniqueness, their individuality, and believe in themselves."
612 has a harder edge than the album, with big brass stabs, a groovin' bassline and Aye's fantastic vocals flexin' over the top. Listen to 612 below and check out Orphan here.
Toronto-based artist Deanna Devore has released her new EP "Half and Half" featuring downtempo electronic pop blended with acoustic instrumentation. She shows off her songwriting diversity particularly on the second-last track "Breathing Room" which has a beautifully haunting folk singer/songwriter sound. The lyric, "give your heart some breathing room", floats across with silky harmony and striking power over violins and acoustic guitar.
"Lyrically I delve into the darkness and light of love and life", reveals Devore of the album. Devore also did a wonderful job producing the album herself in a home studio, saying: "I'd love to inspire other songwriters and other female multi-instrumentalist/producers. There aren't many of us out there it seems, so I'd love to inspire more female musicians to self-produce."
Electronic producers Au5 and Nytrix have teamed up to bring us their new euphoric single "Only In A Dream". The track starts out softly yet you can feel the energy about to be unleashed in the vocal melody and production suspense. The chorus brings out huge melodic dubstep that will knock you back and have your heart soaring.
Stonebank has released a huge remix of Haliene's "Dream In Color" on the official Monstercat remix EP alongside fellow artists AMIDY, Ferry Corsten, Jason Ross, Mazare and Ruben de Ronde. The verses shimmer like a giant lake at night reflecting Haliene's beautiful vocals embodied in an overhead meteor trailed by explosions of colour.
Norwegian band Pom Poko have aptly been described by DIY Mag as having the "intensity and fizziness of a bottle of Coke and pack of Mentos". Their band name "Pom Poko" comes from a wildly creative 1994 Japanese animated film of the same name from celebrated Studio Ghibli, and it suits their balls-out non-conformist style of indie pop/rock perfectly. "Follow The Lights" has a fantastic off beat rhythm and fun colourful sound. Catchy sing-along vocals, riffs and crunchy guitars come together to make a cool rockin' tune. The track will feature on their upcoming album "Birthday", due out 22nd Feb 2019, which you can pre-order here.