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New Music Friday: Uni, Matthew Roberts, Christian French, & CHAII

Jul 10, 2020

By Tyler Mitchell

Uni, the New York-based psychedelic rock trio of bassist Charlotte Kemp Muhl, vocalist Jack James, and guitarist David Strange, is ready to debut their first song of 2020. Titled “Debris” on the track, the band ditches the fuzzy guitar and thrashing drums of their past songs for piano and an ornate entourage of strings; It’s got all the landmarks of an apocalyptic blockbuster soundtrack, which probably explains the track’s impressive accompanying video: a Mad Max: Fury Road and Stranger Things mash-up, complete with face prosthetics and eerie middle America wandering.

Debris is about a post apocalyptic cult, embracing the manifesto of “Mutate or Die”, and using the metaphor of the end of the world for the end of a relationship. 

Right after we filmed it there were pandemics and riots, so it felt eerily premonitory of the despair and destruction of western civilization getting it’s comeuppance, but also about the phoenix of a better future rising from the ashes. 

The main inspirations were Man Who Fell To Earth, Nam June Paik, and Mandy. Jack plays the genderless alien cult leader. David is the warrior, and I was inspired by the mysterious and ominous presence of Kim Jong Un’s sister and royal advisor for my role.

Listen to “Debris” on Spotify

Photo – Tyler Mitchell

Find Uni

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Inspired by the sounds of his youth and as a graduate of music, Matthew Sunstone cultivated his unique soundscape from personal experience. From a small council flat in the East End of London, Matthew’s young ears were first introduced to the docile aura of John Denver, and his passion to learn grew as he absorbed John’s tones. Over the last few years, Matthew has become a recognized face within the fashion world as a signed model. However, fashion has always been a bystander to his zeal for music. Matthew’s lyrics speak of simpler times and his heartfelt devotion to those who have inspired and helped him to find his feet. His voice has been compared to the likes of Bowie and his latest single “Ideal Life” has been well received with acclamation from Fred Perry, Fuuucking Young magazine.

Find MATTHEW ROBERTS

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Christian French, one of 2020’s fastest-rising stars—with over 200 million Spotify streams under his belt — is back today with “Make or Break up”, an entrancing track that finds him at the pivotal crossroads of a rocky relationship. The enrapturing, introspective track is the newest entry from the staggeringly successful star’s hotly-anticipated good things take time EP (via Disruptor Records/RCA Records), which drops later this summer. “Make or Break up” is about miscommunication and misunderstanding within a relationship,” Christian says. “I wrote this song from an experience I had with someone where we were in a big fight, and neither of us was willing to budge. In the end, we decided that we’d always be transparent with each other no matter how badly it hurt, because honesty is synonymous with love and respect in a relationship. It’s the only way a couple can continue to grow and can make or break any relationship.” The 23-year-old Christian French has already won support and acclaim from TIME Magazine (who named his song “crowded room” one of the best songs of the week), Billboard Magazine (“mesmerizing”), Ones to Watch (“dazzling”), and more. “Make or Break up” follows the singer’s highly successful breakout track, “Head First”, which has maintained astounding momentum since its 2019 release. “Be honest with those you love, including yourself,” Christian says of his must-hear new song. “Say what you need to say so that you can free yourself from a million presumptuous thoughts running through your head and break through to truth and understanding.” Later this summer, French will release the Good Things Take Time EP, on Disruptor Records/RCA Records, a collection which includes “I think too much,” plus singles “Crowded Room” and “Time of our Lives,” all songs that have surpassed millions of streams to date. 

The 23-year-old former pre-med student and hockey player has already won support and acclaim from TIME Magazine (who named his song “crowded room” one of the best songs of the week), Billboard Magazine(“mesmerizing”), Ones to Watch (“his classic pop sound melted with his charming vocals is to die for”), Atwood Magazine (“soothing vocal timbre”), and more. The singer-songwriter and Indiana native has etched a space in pop music that examines the hardships of anxiety, doubt and insecurity in a way that doesn’t brood or self-deprecate. Instead, it filters his perspective through a lens of positivity, connecting with a legion of fans who identify with his brand of optimism and authenticity.

Photo – Mickey Mars

Find Christian French

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Genre-bending Persian/New Zealand rapper CHAII expresses her diverse creative powers on her debut extended-player Lightswitch—a bold six-track visual EP showcasing sounds and footage from Oman to Joshua Tree. With the release of her debut EP, CHAII is ready to take her place on the world stage and is rapidly making an impression as an exciting new talent to keep an eye on. Stream the Lightswitch EP HERE 

Despite her sudden arrival, CHAII’s music has already attracted the attention of Italian fashion brand FENDI, mixed martial arts organisation UFC and Charlize Theron’s new film The Old Guard, which drops globally on Netflix today. In June, CHAII was announced as the first-ever Spotify RADAR artist in New Zealand. RADAR is the streaming giant’s global emerging-artist platform, which helped launch international stars including Lauv, King Princess, Jorja Smith, G-Eazy and Trippie Redd.

Inspiration for the Lightswitch visual EP came from CHAII’s journey of learning more about Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. The resulting upheaval forced countless creative talents, including musicians, actors and artists, to leave Iran and relocate to California after their work was banned in their homeland. Forty years later, California remains home to the largest Persian music community outside of Iran. Of this inspiration, CHAII said, “I am part of the new generation of Iranian immigrants who are creating music outside of Iran. Coming from New Zealand, where there’s a very small Persian community that you barely see or hear from, it was a revelation to experience the perfect blend of Western and Persian influences when I first visited LA to see family”. 

Find CHAII

INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE

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