Saro, master of introspection and wearing his heart on his sleeve, recently released his Boy Afraid EP. The sound has an impressive array of Pop, R&B, and Electronic influences that create a soundscape unique to him. In 2016 he released his album, In Loving Memory, which is centered around the loss of a close friend. Throughout the album he talks about the different stages of loss and remembrance. The one aspect of Saro I really enjoy is that he is not trying to sound like anyone else, he utilizes his individuality in order to effectively communicate what needs to be said. With the release of his new project Boy Afraid, I’m sure we can expect new shows and visuals coming soon.
Los Angeles based rapper/activist, Thed Jewel, recently made his debut with single, “Fuschia”. From a pure Hip Hop standpoint, Thed can be pitted against any other rapper with his lyrical and flow abilities, but what I think truly stands out is the content of the music. In this first single, he discusses the issues of LGBTQ discrimination, racism in America, and sexism he has seen in the Hip Hop community. One of the most intriguing parts about Thed Jewel’s story is that he discusses being openly gay while putting out music in a genre that has historically been on the forefront of civil rights activism, yet also had had its troubles with homophobia and sexism. His first release, “Fuschia” consists of so much unique production, lyricism, and critical thought packed into two minutes and forty-four seconds that if this is what he came out swinging with, I am eager to hear what is next.
Ardency is an Indie Electronic duo from Los Angeles fronted by producers Christian Gomez and Daniel Noguera. They have been releasing music for over three years now and with each project their sound becomes further refined and progressive. Their most recent release, Honey Moon, consists of three powerful songs titled “I Saw The End”, “Drown”, and “Under an Ego”. The bright synths and 80’s style drums bring a lift to a contrasting thin but cutting vocal. In “Under an Ego”, the singer speaks frankly about unrequited love and the struggle of wanting to be more for a person who doesn’t desire from you. The amazing production matched by unique storytelling is impressive and definitely something to keep up to date with.
CreeV is the side project of producer/songwriter Colin CreeV. Colin has spent time in a wide variety of genres: hardcore/rock, Pop, R&B, Hip Hop/Rap. As a producer he is consistently ahead of the curve when finding new styles and what the next big sound will be. As a songwriter he has an incredible ear for unique melodies that reveal his wide range of musical influences. He has released a substantial amount of new music over the past couple months, and his musical expertise is consistent on every single one. I’m sure we can expect more cutting edge songs that stand out from the masses to come in 2018.
From Berlin, Germany, Chloë Lewer is the songwriter/actress behind the artist B O K E H. In 2017 she made her debut with her EP, Don’t Leave the Fire. In this project, B O K E H creates an ethereal soundscape of electronic sounds accompanied by jabbing drum rhythms. Apart from the dark electronic tones, Lewer offers a smooth and calm vocal, allowing her lyrics to pose questions and moments of reflection. There are songs like “Great Heights” where the lyrics question another character’s memory of the positive parts of their relationship. It feels anthemic but also pressed for a needed closure. Then there are songs like “Skeleton Woman” which closes the EP, leaving the listener with the weight and pressure brought from needing to move on from something good … but over. B O K E H, has true lyricism and an impressive ear for creating a soundscape that supports the songs. She is currently writing, working on new music and I am very excited to hear what the next chapter will be.
Vinyl Pinups is an indie pop duo made up of husband and wife Brennan Aerts and Khara Lord. Apart from Vinyl Pinups, the couple is a songwriting team, writing for syncs in film and TV in addition to working for other artists. Brennan is clearly an experienced producer, having a heavy handed approach to pop music by adding a lot of varying textures and distorted basses throughout the music. Khara has a unique, airy but powerful voice projecting memorable lyrics and melodies. They are clearly talented, versatile, and consistent, all of which are attributes proven by their music.
Saphir is an Alternative Hip Hop/R&B artist, native to Los Angeles. She has been uploading songs over the past three years to SoundCloud, working with a wide variety of producers with styles ranging from traditional trap beats, future bass, and straight alternative (featuring just guitar and vocals). Her vocal tone and technique is one of her best qualities, in that she is able to successfully utilize a vast array of styles in her music garnering a diverse fan base including lovers of rock, alternative, emo, new-school Hip Hop, and R&B. With her most recent single, “Better Off”, which was recently released on Spotify, she has proven her knack for finding unique cadences, catchy melodies, and vocal expertise.
MRKTS has been making music since 2016 releasing straight Pop Rock gold song after song. Listening through their catalog you can also hear the influences of R&B and soul as well. The band consists of Isaiah Blas, Chad Wolfe, and brothers Casey and Jed Peek. MRKTS’ on their own have made some contacts in the TV and Film sync achieving great spots with the NFL and NBA sports game. Talking to the band they are looking to make their next record and keep putting their best foot forward with better and better songs.
Flood Coats is a Indie Synth Pop band from LA. The duo is fronted by singer/songwriter and multi instrumentalist, Joel P West, with backing vocals and drums by Darla Hawn. Individually, both Joel and Darla have had some success as solo artists and in film sync, specifically with a movie titled The Glass Castle. Their debut album was released in July of this year with a successful release party at The Hi Hat in Highland Park. Their lighthearted soundscape accompanied by deep-rooted lyricism allows them to cut through the noise, defining their own place in this genre.