Music

INsiders Guide: Lyle Kam, Forces, Kandle, Kennen, Elizabeth, Rebecca Perl, Tired Kid, Xelli Island, Amos, Griff Clawson, Nykki, Carmanah, Will Powers, Devan, Gillian Heidi, Ramengvrl, Georgia Black

This is my absolute favourite song that I’ve written…

Consider the feeling of meeting someone and their presence rendering you speechless. You become self-conscious and words don’t come out right… and you don’t want to let this chance slip away because you might never see them again. Experiencing this kind of love at first sight, you can understand how someone new can quickly become your entire world.

Then, you come to learn that they are in a relationship, and all you want is to just be able to unlove them and act normal. It’s understandable to think like this, I’ve been through it. In a world where we are constantly looking for bursts of dopamine to not feel lonely, I want you to know that there’s nothing wrong with being sad sometimes.

Produced with fellow artist Kennen, “Unlove” really captures the raw emotion I was feeling at the time. The desperation that comes with wanting someone so badly, but always being out of reach.

Thank you for allowing me to have a moment to get this off my chest.

LYLE KAM

Credit-Joe-Fuda

Hi, we’re Forces.

I’m Jess and this [motions to the right] is Dave. Dave and Jess, Jess and Dave. It’s been that way for over 20 years. A time long enough that the lines between life, music and love have become beautifully blurred. We wouldn’t have it any other way.  

The name ‘Forces’ implies a literal “joining of forces” between Dave and I, each contributing our power into doing the thing we love to do most: making music, together.  But, it’s also rooted in our love of joining forces with our musical community, and our passion for creating experiences for our friends to play and perform together.  

Forces became a thing in 2017 after we closed the book on a whirlwind decade of recording and touring with our former band, The Golden Dogs.  That trip took us all over the world and we had the privilege to support great artists; biggies like Sloan, Feist, Bloc Party, Libertines, Kaiser Chiefs, Thurston Moore and even the late great Roky Erickson (twice!).  One thing that still astounds us is the number of amazingly talented people who grew through our band who continue to do great things and are still our dearest friends: members of Zeus, Taylor Knox, Wax Atlantic, and Brave Shores, to name a few.  All of these musicians, including Dave and I, cut their rock teeth in the Golden Dogs.

The new music video for my single, “Spell,” is a seasonal tribute to the movies that fit perfectly with the air growing colder and the leaves changing colours.

Watch the official “Spell” visuals on YouTube now.

Follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as well.

https://kandlemusic.ca/

A child raised on Goosebumps, ushered into adolescence with Buffy, the memory of campy horror holds a fondness like a first love that will never die. I can’t help but pine for these films of a bygone era. Suspiria. The Craft. The Evil Dead. Exaggerated and dramatic, full of sleaze and schlock, how could we not pen a love letter to our old friend as we’re cooped up inside for this spooky season? A tribute to hyper-saturated, technicolor witchy fun – my video for “Spell.”

🖤 Kandle

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One too many tales of unrequited love–that’s what inspired Kennen’s first projects. The singer, songwriter and producer works out of his own room and creates songs that combine the charms of indie/bedroom pop with the addictive qualities of modern and retro pop styles.

No stranger to making music, Kennen had been self-taught as a producer since the age of 12, before eventually deciding to sing on his own tracks by the beginning of 2020. He landed on the radars of listeners around the world after self-releasing “Timothée Chalamet”.

His anticipated debut EP “Kennen’s Cassettes” is expected to come soon

Stepping into her sound like a silk robe, Elizabeth is the patron saint of sad girls on her debut record, the wonderful world of nature (out now), with a DELUXE version including new songs out October 23rd, via AntiFragile. 

Elizabeth is a glamorous tragic, a queer pop anti-heroine holding a curtain of glittering melodies over ugly truths.

Casting herself as the antagonist wielding pop songs as weapons, she wipes away her running mascara and escapes a destruction of her own making. This debutante divorcée has traded in her white veil for a cocktail and concocted a collection of shimmering heartbreak bangers that celebrate the femme and her indulgent indiscretions. The record is a testament to obsession and the desire to consume as much – of people, of substances, of herself – as she can.

A fixation on intimacy extends far beyond just the lyrics – in designing the sound of her record, Elizabeth sought to create a feeling of intense closeness with listeners, to give the impression she’s hovering close, dealing out melodic incantations like a trusted friend or conscience on your shoulder. The effect is immediate, drawing the listener fully into their body and reminding them of the weight of heartbreak and desire. In facing the futility of holding onto something that’s already slipped out of her grasp, Elizabeth has created a new kind of heartbreak album.

Rebecca Perl is a New York born, Los Angeles based artist whose music fuses both honest folk and catchy pop. Raised in a family of musicians, Perl picked up the guitar at just 12 years old, learning her love for music was the best way to articulate all the complexities and riddles that love and life had to offer. With each year, Perl has found a way to create a sound that is both fresh and familiar, while questioning, embellishing and celebrating the most human experiences and connections that rent space in all of our hearts and minds. 

Perl’s songwriting often touches on love in all forms – with herself, with others, a night out, a moment in time. “I never run out of things to say when it comes down to it”, she reveals. Her latest single “Blame You” is highly inspired by personal experiences. Perl confides, “When you go through heartbreak, it’s easier to blame the other person than yourself. Nobody wants to take blame for a failed relationship. Sometimes it’s nobody’s fault, and that alone can keep you up at night. At the time, blaming him was the only way I found peace with the situation and it helped me move on.” The stunning song features delicate instrumentation, warm, emotional vocals and soaring soundscapes, creating a cinematic atmosphere, certain to pull at your heartstrings. 

Inspired by the likes of Sasha Sloan, Julia Michaels and Maggie Rogers, Perl shares, “I’m very into female pop artists that tell stories and make you feel something.” The songwriter hopes that by sharing her own perspectives, it may help others feel heard and bring clarity to different situations. “We all go through the same things and it’s nice to know that you’re not alone”, she continues. 

Perl has seen success having garnered over a million streams for her music to date, selling out Webster Hall and landed opening spots for pop rock artists like Gavin Degraw, Teddy Geiger, Howie Day, Ryan Cabrera, Tyler Hilton, Olivia Newton John and more.

Tired Kid is the moniker for Thomas Kelly, a musician/composer based in Toronto. Thomas tries to create music with a vintage warmth and psychedelic nature. Inspired by bands from all eras of time, he picks out elements from each like a florist picking out flowers to create a bouquet of sound for eager ears to listen upon. Pure familiarity, pure nostalgia.

Xelli Island is the independent dream pop project of vocalist, songwriter and shapeshifter Lianna Vanicelli. Having fronted one band after another since she was 14, Vanicelli tired from the conflicts of a group dynamic and has found strength and a clear creative direction as a solo artist. Her island is something of a mirage; a melodic, lyrical haven to the unbridled human spirit and travails alike. 

Hailing from Detroit and a blue-collar upbringing, the prideful half-Filipina made the leap to Los Angeles at the end of 2017 with barely enough money to last two months. It is from her unique, down-to-earth perspective of establishing a creative life in Detroit’s music scene, the whimsical, eye-opening experience of visiting loved ones in The Philippines since childhood, and finding her purpose early in life that Xelli is able to write from a place of charming yet humble wisdom. Her music is an honest reflection of both the inner and outer world that she moves through with lyrics detailing the beauty and the struggle of navigating through life, love, and this imperfect society we co-habituate today.

The project is a serendipitous result of Xelli working closely with producer and long-time friend Jon Zott. They have been co-producing and co-writing the songs since summer of 2019, with additional collaboration from bassist Mathew Hofman. Vanicelli is careful to avoid songwriting that feels too formulated. 

Her upcoming five-track EP Meet Me at the Waterfall sees the songwriter touching on love and loss in all aspects. She explains, “Not just romantic love, but learning to appreciate what’s in front of you. How powerful love is, how it lingers, how it hurts.” The message behind the immersive EP narrates how we’re all human and that being a human can be a strange experience. Vanicelli continues, “I love melding really human experiences with dreamlike sounds that make you live in those moments for a few minutes.” 

Leading single “02 20 20” features quirky soundscapes and a colorful melody which provides the backdrop for Vanicelli’s unique, ethereal voice. The artist reveals how nature is a constant inspiration for her music, both lyrically and sonically. She confides, “I just feel like we’ve moved so far from nature as humans, so I tend to weave it into lyrics and sounds because it’s still very much a part of us and it’s this really comforting theme in a world where it’s so easy to get caught up in the unnatural things.” 

Then there is “Bad for You” – delicate, falsetto vocals, an upbeat rhythm and shimmering synths emit a feel-good track, wrapping up all the best parts that Vanicelli has to offer and delivering it in an infectious and sentimental package. 

Meet Me at the Waterfall is slated for release later this year.
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After illuminating the nations Saturday nights on ITV with his knock-out performances of Wiley’s track Boasty and AJ Tracey’s Ladbroke Grove, The Voice Kids semi-finalist Amos, releases a jaw-dropping statement in his new release ‘Letter To Boris’. At just 14 years of age, Amos’ appearance in front of a live studio audience and millions of viewers, stood out for its confidence, originality and maturity beyond his years. Whilst dropping his own lyrics to two of the UK’s biggest hits in British Black Music from the past 18 months and clearly loving the UK Rap scene, he then took the nations breath away by boldly hitting the semi-final with his self-penned, powerful record ’No Violence’. The Voice Kids UK wrote on their Facebook “It takes a very special talent to bring an original song to life at the Voice Kids. Amos, you’re an inspiration”, as the star was discovered in front of our very eyes.

The artist is Griff Clawson! He’s an LA-based singer/songwriter who has gained immense support & recognition for his anthemic voice on tracks with DJ global-stars such as ARTY, Matoma, Devault, Manilla Killa and Boombox Cartel. In an alternative 2020 without COVID-19, Billboard is confident that his track with EDM heavyweight ARTY “You’re Not Alone” would be “one of the summer’s favored mainstage anthems…”

Pop princess on the rise Nykki is back with feel-good stirring bop ‘Home To You’ – STREAM HOME TO YOU HERE – WATCH THE HOME TO YOU VIDEO HERE.

Testing the boundaries of a long-distance relationship, the new single, says Nykki, is “about falling in love in restless times”. Opening up about the inspiration behind the lyrics the Czech born artist adds “drawing from my own personal experience, I wanted to tell the story of a great first love, one in which despite being far away, with other people coming between and with doubts and insecurities creeping in, you realise that what you already have is more than enough”. The teen rom-com inspired music video perfectly depicts the distance and attachment between the two young lovers making use of split screen sequences juxtaposed with shots giving us a glimpse into the character’s own stories and everyday life.

Written and recorded during lockdown, ‘Home To You’ is the product of a series of online sessions with British producer and songwriter Peter Hammerton, whose credits include writing and producing for a cross-section of artists such as Little MixJames Arthur, Paloma Faith and pop queen Kylie Minogue, to name a few. Invoking mighty anthemic hooks over soaring beats, the song is the perfect post-summer soundtrack for gloomy October days. “In light of the recent challenges we have all been going through, coming out with such an uplifting song seemed like the right thing to do,” enthuses Nykki.

“Showing the extent of her range with every release”, as written by Wonderland Magazine in their recent <<‘New Noise’ feature>>, Nykki has rolled out a string of bops which marked her as a newcomer to watch. Debut single ‘No Cry’ catapulted the Czech-born artist into the international pop world, with Billboard praising her “commanding vocals” and giving their seal of approval to her debut video, which has now clocked up over 1 million YouTube plays, since premiering on the world’s most influential music media brand. Whilst the single’s remix by Leon Lour peaked in the UK Commercial Pop Top 30 Club Charts at number 13. In her follow up single ‘Lost My Mind’, Nykki showed her good girl turned bad persona through the convincing acted scenes and dynamic choreographed shots of the track’s video, which has now reached nearly 1.5 million YouTube views. Eloquently acclaimed by Rollacoaster Magazine for her “emotionally tinged, energetic pop songs that boast undeniably catchy hooks,” Nykki graced the pages of the magazine’s latest Spring/Summer issue, before going back into the studio. While the stripped down versions of her EDM-laced pop songs have been praised for their “glossy dynamics” by one of the world’s foremost authority on pop music authority on pop music Popdust.

With ‘Home To You’, Nykki confirms herself as an artist capable to take on the pop realm, and with more singles in the pipeline she is set to unleash her full potential.

Like the rainforests from which their name derives, the steady beat of the west coast can be found within the sound of Carmanah. From muddy blues-funk to light soaring melodies, Carmanah creates music that curves and tumbles through valleys and over peaks guiding the listener on a celebratory sonic journey.

Recognizing Carmanah’s passion for their home and the ways it influences their music, renown producer Gus Van Go (The Arkells, Sam Roberts, Wintersleep) coined the term “West Coast Soul” to describe their unique sound. The band’s first album, Speak in Rhythms produced two #1 CBC Music tracks, the effervescent ‘Roots’ and shimmering, brooding ‘Nightmare’, setting the tone for this new west coast sound.

With one album behind them and one ahead, Carmanah is crafting a musical niche of their very own, a vintage blend of the intuitive and the technical; a blend that lies somewhere among roots, rock and blues — all seamlessly woven together by Laura Mina Mitic’s soulfully luminous vocals.

Iris, their forthcoming album is a natural evolution and a moody counterpoint to their debut. Recorded between the wild forests of B.C. and the concrete high rises of Brooklyn, Iris is a heartfelt offering, a tapestry of thoughtful stories for our time. Undulating rhythms and bountiful instrumentation create a rich sonic backdrop for driving melodies and potent lyricism. The first track ‘Mountain Woman’ shows rousing vocals layered atop of propulsive rhythms, a joyful assertion of feminine energy and natural power. Lead single ‘As I See You’ is one of the gentler songs on the album, a sultry composition that speaks of friendship and holding up the people you love while valuing what they love in you. It’s a track that carries a compassionate message; “By embracing those who love us, within ourselves we can find a sense of home and belonging in our own skin”, says Mitic, “By caring for the environment around us, we also care for ourselves.”

Will Powers is the brainchild of songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer Oli Palkovits. Oli won the 2019 NOFMA Outstanding Album award for his 2017 self-release Flowers of Atacama. Following the release, he moved to Montreal, where much of the material that would become the Will Powers’ debut EPs was written. He has since moved back to Sudbury and is currently working on several albums with members of Murder Murder and Tommy and the Commies.

credit-Austen-Ambraska

Devan has been pursuing a music career since she was a kid; the brazen 10-year-old dropped off a homemade demo – to no avail – at the iconic Olympic Studio, home to Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder and David Bowie. Now in 2020, the Toronto-born/London-raised singer-songwriter is gearing up to release her debut solo project.

Leaning into her wildly diverse musical influences thanks to a transatlantic childhood, Devan is creating her own voice by melding together her heroes, including the poetic songwriting of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young; and the pop vocal production of Florence + The Machine, Adele and Amy Winehouse. Her solo debut “Real Shot” has been described as “mesmerizing” (Wonderland), “pure nostalgia wrapped up in notes and lyrics” (Idobi) and “a magnetic tune that understands the gravitational weight of its pull” (Vanyaland); perfectly setting the stage for Devan’s follow up release “Almost feat. Corey Harper”, due September 25.

Rising singer-songwriter Gillian Heidi has teamed up with Chicago-based electronic producer GOLDHOUSE to put a brand new spin on her single, “Desperate.” GOLDHOUSE, who has previously worked remixes for Niall Horan, Zara Larsson, and Billie Eilish, infuses Heidi’s heartfelt R&B-pop track with pulsating percussion and vibrant synths, bringing the song to club-ready perfection.

Though just sixteen years old, Boston-native Gillian Heidi demonstrates a musicality wise beyond her years. With powerful, reflective lyrics, rich vocal chops, and clever pop melodies, her songs are relatable but never predictable. She chronicles life’s ups and downs, ebbs and flows, and trials and tribulations with thoughtful clarity, poetic eloquence, and a stirring soulful voice.

As it does, music essentially chose Heidi. Rather than waking up crying in her crib, she typically arose from slumber by singing. Inspired by her older brother, she picked up piano at just four-years-old, penning her first composition only a year later. With dad keeping a guitar around the house, she grabbed it at the age of twelve and taught herself how to play. Under the influence of everyone from Taylor Swift to Ella Mai, the teen singer-songwriter dove into assembling what would become her independent debut EP, Unfiltered.

Heidi broke on to the scene last year with her debut EP, UnfilteredThe EP’s lead single, “What It Felt Like,” impressively tallied 200K+ Spotify streams — no small feat for an independent artist’s debut. She kicked off 2020 with a slew of new singles, “high,” “static,” “desperate,” and her most recent pop ballad, “fray.” With her debut album, 3AM, slated to release next year, Heidi is quickly emerging as a pop newcomer to watch.

Stream “desperate (GOLDHOUSE Remix)”
https://song.link/us/i/1534344920

Indonesian rap queen Ramengvrl links up with fast-rising Korean-American rapper Ted Park for new single “Look at Me Now” – her second release of 2020 with the prolific US label EMPIRE as she takes her hard-hitting music globally.   

Perhaps one of her catchiest tracks to date, the narrative of “Look at Me Now” tells Ramengvrl’s authentic story of perseverance and hope. The lyrics are inspired by her honest, real experiences of ditching her stable life in a 9-5 corporate job to becoming an award-winning artist at the top of her game, smashing any perceived glass ceiling and telling her doubters to “Look at Me Now”. It’s a tale that anyone with dreams can feel and connect to as each of us fights every day to achieve our own personal greatness, just like Ramengvrl has done. 

A fiery guest verse from Ted Park, a signee of Korean-American rap star Jay Park’s imprint H1GHR MUSIC, adds a fresh spin to the track, his unique lyrical perspective taking the track to a new level.

Speaking on the track, Ramengvrl explained: “This song is for anyone who’s determined to shut down their haters. When I was first starting to experiment with music I was working in a 9-5 job, people in the office laughed at my music coz they thought it was dumb, at the time it had an impact on me and I tried to hide it. Eventually I stopped caring what others thought and just went for what I felt was right. I kept going until I became what I am now; I’m happy and doing what I love. That’s the whole point of the song, you can laugh at me but look who’s laughing now. I hope this song can also be an anthem for all of the hustlers out there to just keep going no matter what the society says about you. I was so hyped up the first time I heard Ted Park was down to work on this track! I’ve been a fan of his dope flow and style, but also the fact that he’s had a phase where he had to live in a basement with no money, but now he’s got fans in US and Asia crowding his shows, he’s getting bags and keeps on leveling up. Something that definitely resonates with the theme of the song. So, who better to grace the 2nd verse than him?”

Georgia Black is a contemporary Blues singer from North London, heavily influenced by artists such as Shirley Bassey, Etta James and Peggy Lee. She kicked off her professional singing career fronting Agent Provocateur’s Dirty Stop Out, with The Clash’s Mick Jones, Bobby Gillespie and AP’s Joe Corre. Her time in the couture meets punk show-band saw her performing in venues such as Camden’s Koko and international festivals, including Vienna’s Life Ball Festival and Berlin Fashion Week.

Since then, she has been working on her personal sound, imbued with the old jazz, blues and soul influences she grew up on, and has recently teamed up with producer Joshua Woolf to develop this further. Working alongside Grammy Award winning mix/mastering engineer Aamir Yaqub (Rihanna, Sia, David Guetta), their time spent in lockdown was filled with online sessions, where they were able to perfect Georgia’s distinct, velvet sound. 

“Invisible Enemy” was written at the very start of the lockdown and was inspired by a conversation Georgia had with a colleague of hers, Roberta – Georgia works as a Learning Support Assistant in a college for her day job. Roberta said, “Don’t you think it’s crazy that whenever we’re usually unwell, we feel we have to be the hero and push ourselves to go to work, but right now, to be the hero is the other way round?” This really resonated with Georgia and built up an image in her head of super heroes saving lives by staying at home, which laid the foundation for the song. Sonically “Invisible Enemy” is very theatrical in nature, showcasing cinematic soundscapes reminiscent of something from a Bond movie. Her soulful, sultry vocals bring to mind the likes of Lana Del Rey, whilst the seductive synths emit a mesmerising release. 

Georgia wrote “Repeat & Play” at a time in her life when she felt stuck, like a record on repeat – in the same never ending cycle, not achieving her goals, in relationships, seeing the same awful things happening in the world, and with general life dissatisfaction. Through effortless, smoky vocals, haunting harmonies and mellow melodies, the musician has crafted a laid-back song to ease the soul. 

Georgia’s previous ventures have included supporting Omar at Manchester’s Band on The Wall and innovative projects like Punchdrunk’s production of The Drowned Man – an immersive theatrical show that saw attendance from Adele, Prince Harry, Madonna, to Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul. She has also collaborated with numerous top-drawer producers, including Guy Chambers in the past.

instagram.com/IAmGeorgiaBlack

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neillfrazer@hotmail.com

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