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New Music Friday Chapter 27

Aug 28, 2020

By ALICE

ZZ Ward released her new single, “Giant” today, August 28th, along with a live performance of the song shot earlier this year at the Gothic Theatre in Denver, CO. “Giant,” written by ZZ, is about empowerment and she had this to say about this anthemic track, “This song came from feeling so close to someone that their pain felt like mine, watching them get hurt over and over felt so real. This is a reminder for my friend and to anyone who needs to hear it, that you can always find the Giant inside when you feel small.”

“Giant,” is the latest of a series of new songs released over the past 10 months including “Sex & Stardust,” “Break Her Heart” and “The Dark” which carry the theme of equal parts warrior and vulnerability, while the latter is a poignant take on “facing the unknown, leaving fear behind and living in hope.

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Toronto based singer/multi-instrumentalist GRAE recently released her sophomore EP ‘Permanent Maniac,’ along with the title track of the EP and an accompanying music video. Across the 6-track collection, she traverses topics like internet dating, heartbreak, and the music that inspires her, all packaged in an eclectic alt-pop sound that slinks, grooves, beckons, and sways.

In the alternative-leaning title track, GRAE confesses her love to Robert Smith of The Cure. The video finds her expressing her adoration, writing music, and jamming in her room, all while objects and journal scribbles burst into animated life around her.

“‘Permanent Manic’ is a love letter to Robert Smith from The Cure. I’ve had a real obsession with him since I was a teenager and even went through a phase where I did my makeup like him and dressed like him. The Cure’s music hits me in a way like nothing else has, and I’m so inspired by Robert, his sound, his writing. This song is about how I love him, and he’ll never know. ‘Permanent Maniac’ is definitely the vibe I’ve been trying so hard to create for a long time. So, thank you once again, Robert Smith (if you’re reading this, I love you).” – GRAE

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Following its first play on BBC Radio’s Zoe Ball Breakfast show this morning, Travis have unveiled the Fran Healy-directed video to their stellar new single “The Only Thing” featuring Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles. The track is the fourth to be taken from their eagerly anticipated new album, 10 Songs, which will be released on October 9th on BMG. 

On the video, Fran comments; “This is definitely my Covideo. One of the main prerequisites was to somehow get us all on the same stage and try to capture the spontaneity of a duet while the performers are in different locations. Leading up to the shoot, I would send Susanna a video of a great duet. Summer Wine, I Got You Babe, Islands In The Stream. I hired a small film crew and persuaded Glasgow’s Theatre Royal to open its doors to us. I directed the shoot remotely, via three phones. One in the DP’s ear, one FaceTime trained on the monitor and one iPhone with the band. There were so many moving parts. I’m amazed we got there and it turned out great.”

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Los Angeles artist Desure announces his new Pollen EP with the release of the single and music video for “Masochist,” a funky, disco-flavored salute to the hedonistic underbelly of L.A.’s late-night party scene. The music video was directed by Collin Duddy and Desure. The Pollen EP will be released on November 20.
“Everybody has something inside of them that they try to hide or suppress,” says Desure. “A secret or some animalistic quality. This song reveals the beast within us all.”

Stocked with songs that are every bit as colorful as the pink letters running across the record’s cover, the Pollen EP finds Desure turning a new page. It’s a sound that’s every bit as diverse as his native Los Angeles, a town whose anything-goes spirit and melting pot of musical traditions — including alternative rock, West Coast pop, psychedelia, punk, and indie-folk — left a permanent mark on the songwriter. With this new record, he salutes those wide-ranging influences while also moving beyond them, chasing down a style that’s adventurous, lushly Californian, and uniquely his own.

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Back in March, Gus Dapperton and director/longtime collaborator Matthew Dillon Cohen had the idea for the video for his single “Post Humorous,” intending to shoot it much earlier, but production was ultimately halted due to the pandemic shutdown. After four months of lockdown, Dapperton reunited with Cohen to safely get to work on the project. Filmed at Brooklyn’s The Sultan Room, Dapperton portrays a struggling young comic who gets himself into trouble, bringing the bittersweet song to life.

If you’ve followed the 23-year-old’s career from the bright and charming early singles and EPs to 2018’s full-length album Where Polly People Go to Read, you’ll have recognized that the singer-songwriter-producer has entered new territory here. The new album explores human pain and suffering, but also healing and redemption. Dapperton began writing Orca while on tour in 2018, exhilarated by performing for fans and first-time listeners in countries he’d never visited before, but feeling the stresses of the road as well. “I was unbalanced,” he recalls. “My lifestyle and habits had gotten extreme. I wasn’t getting eight hours of sleep a night, I was drinking and doing drugs often. Wasn’t eating healthy. And on top of it, I was performing. A show can be the most inspirational, emotional high; but if something goes wrong it can be devastating.”
Those precipitous highs and lows, and the desire for home, took Gus to dark places—even if it wasn’t obvious to those around him. One of the nastier aspects of depression is how it sabotages and dismantles connection; you’re alone in your head, feeling unable to communicate what you’re going through, and if you’re a young, physically healthy person the folks around you won’t necessarily see what’s afflicting you.
Gus’s creative decisions in pursuit of a raw sound to match these raw emotions didn’t come easily. “I’m a huge advocate for putting myself in vulnerable positions in my music,” he says but admits that confronting these feelings “was a chance to be open that I was afraid of.” But he pushed himself and, with the help of his friends and family, came out on the other side stronger. “It was cathartic to put these emotions into music,” he says. When Orca is released in September, he won’t be the only one feeling that way. 

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