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Romi O is a singer and songwriter who puts creativity and passion first. Her most recent studio work is an amazing new release titled ‘M2M’ (produced by NY based producer Daniel Blonde), and it feels like the culmination of a truly one-of-a-kind musical journey. For this reason, understanding the flow of this track requires a bit of a backstory about the artist. This is actually the second single from her upcoming debut album, which is expected to be released later in 2023. ‘M2M’ stands out as an example of her art and musical craft. On the one hand, this song has a very catchy and gripping main melody to it. On the other, the song has a hypnotic, mesmerizing groove with angular guitar riffs, as well as some deep bass synth lines. The song deals with the idea of always being ready to question life choices and decisions and approaching everything without the fear of taking things too seriously. It’s important to find a balance, and the song is a very poignant observation of the fleeting nature of the path we carve for ourselves in life with our choices. This thought process holds very true for artists, especially as many creatives constantly question their purpose and their work. The song’s music video feels like another layer. In a way, it is another approach to telling the story, and it offers a visual representation of the core concept that drives this release. The song features some punchy electronic sounds, as well as organic elements such as vocals and guitars to round up the wide palette of sonic colors on this song. The set design is relatively bare-bone, but the artist uses little details and differences in her look and the background to showcase so many different sides of her personality. Each depiction of the artist is an opportunity to showcase personality traits, desires, gender-bending twists, ambitions, and more. At the end of the day, they’re all tassels of the same mosaic, representing Romi O’s incredibly kaleidoscopic artistry and vision. On the contrary, she developed a fantastic approach to indie music, incorporating a wider range of influences into the fold in order to create a much more intriguing and interesting musical offering for the audience. The production quality is outstanding as well, adding more value to the composition and taking Romi O to a whole new level in terms of sonic accomplishment, passion, and musical aesthetics alike. This is exactly what they call a win-win situation because Romi O excels on all fronts on this number.

Singer-songwriter Harriette has shared a new single, ‘bc i love you’ via AWAL Recordings. The song balances airy synths and chugging electric guitar with a postmortem examination of a failed relationship. “I wrote this song a day after I got broken up with – I was trying to figure out what went wrong and was blaming myself,” Harriette explains. “It’s crazy the hoops we jump through to try to make something work because we don’t want to be alone. I guess this song is the product of me processing that phenomenon. It’s why I felt so crazy and alone in this relationship. The song came together so quickly and it was almost effortless to put together in the studio. It is also my favorite song to sing on the EP :).”

Last month, LA trio Gal Pal returned with the one-off single ‘Mirror,’ which reflected the jagged, clanging guitar sound groups like Palm have made popular lately. Yet their follow-up single and the track that properly introduces their new album This and Other Gestures—set for release on June 2—takes a considerably more pop-punk approach, with ‘Angel in the Flesh’ sounding like fellow Angelenos Cherry Glazerr at their grungiest. “I grew up listening to a lot of pop-punk and emo bands,” the group’s Nico Romero explains of the track’s inspiration. “I was a big fan of labels like Fueled by Ramen and Decaydance as a kid. I think this song definitely comes from that background a bit.” As with those pop-punk groups, much of the track’s emotion comes from a sense of longing covered in the lyrics, with Romero and co-vocalist Emelia Austin singing about leaning into love. “It’s easy for me to want to sing about crushes and longing because it’s a fun feeling to indulge in and romanticize, even when it hurts,” Romero continues. “So when I sent a demo to Emelia, I sang the chorus, mostly for reference of how I thought the vocal melody could work. She liked the lyrics so we stuck with it and she built the verses around that initial feeling. Our producer, Danny Nogueiras, saw where the song wanted to go and helped push it further, leaning into those emo-pop roots.” The track arrives with a video that’s less an examination of crushes and more a guilt trip about forgetting your pet’s birthday, told through the over-the-top emotiveness of ’90s sitcoms. [via Flood]

Tragic Sasha‘s latest single ‘The End of The World’ is a haunting and timely piece of music that eerily reflects the anxious state of the world today. Written with her two friends Kaity Rae and Scott Colcombe just before the pandemic in 2019, the song speaks of the fear and uncertainty that was already creeping into our lives. Tragic Sasha’s songs often seem to prophesy the future, and ‘The End of The World’ is no exception. As she says, “little did I know what was just around the corner.” The song’s emotive lyrics and epic synth chords combine to create a powerful sense of foreboding, while its accomplished pop songwriting ensures that it’s an instant earworm. The accompanying music video, which Tragic Sasha made with Dottie Kay, was shot in her grandmother’s old Tudor house in the country. The house, which has been crumbling for many years, provides the perfect backdrop for the song’s apocalyptic themes. Speaking on the new single and video, Sasha explains: ‘I wrote ‘The End Of The World,’ with my two friends Kaity Rae and Scott Colcombe, just before the pandemic in 2019 about being anxious for the state of the world- little did I know what was just around the corner. My songs sometimes have a habit of prophesying the future! I made the video with Dottie Kay in my Grandmother’s old Tudor house in the country. The house itself is beautiful but it’s been crumbling down for many years and I knew it would be the perfect location.’ [via Earmilk]

South London post-punk auteur Heartworms has shared her debut EP, A Comforting Notion via Speedy Wunderground, alongside a video for the blistering track, ’24 Hours’. “‘24 Hours’ is about general struggles of teenage growth, secondary school and moments of regret,” she says. “I wanted the video to be in a school…Gilbert instantly clicked with the idea I had.” The intense monochromatic video depicts a teenaged misfit suffering her way through a day in an oppressive scholastic environment. Her bloodied face and thousand-yard stare, reminiscent of shellshock war victims, is juxtaposed with an onstage performance where she has the high ground – and, therefore, total command of the school battlefield. She finally breaks free of the school uniform by trading it in for a quasi-military uniform, harnessing her power onstage, and literally rising above the bullies who make her life miserable. With this visual, Heartworms lampoons the sassy schoolgirl trope made famous by Britney Spears – and embraces the aesthetic of hip-hop giants Public Enemy, who famously don military uniforms to serve as their own security force. ’24 Hours’ shows the bleak reality of what it’s like to be at the bottom of the high school henpecking hierarchy, and the ferocious rebellion it takes to burn it all the hell down. Heartworms and video director Gilbert Trejo forged their collaboration through Instagram after he followed her and bought a t-shirt. “Gilbert, with kindness and vision for Heartworms, just wanted to help create something special,” she says. “The way he works in favour of the artist, he doesn’t want to take over, he wants to bring to life the small spark that starts in the soul of the artist. He’s a genius.” “Working with Heartworms has been incredibly natural,” Trejo replies. “Being so singular in her vision and having such a strong voice, she knows exactly what she wants and has the strength as a performer to do anything. This video is one of those rare occasions where everyone came together to shoot exactly what was in our heads from the very beginning.” [via Post Punk]

One of Australia’s brightest young talents Charley is back with her new single ‘Worst Taste In Girls’. Written with acclaimed production duo DNA (Jessica Mauboy, The Veronicas), the single is a blast of pure pop joy. A shimmering introduction leads into an addictive electronic beat with hints of the 1980s, before the chorus explodes in delicious melodies and an anthemic chant. The song is based on Charley’s experiences of heartbreak and the challenges of trying to love someone who is emotionally unavailable. “I lay my heart out on the line / They wanna leave it out to dry / Out there, oh, I swear / I’ve got the worst taste in girls,” she sings. “This song came from a place of heart break and needing an outlet to release all my anger that life has thrown at me,” Charley says. “But in writing this song it made me realise that I just need to embrace the heartache, be in love and go for what I want because at the end of the day we’re gonna die so may as well make life interesting while it lasts!” Also out is the music video for ‘Worst Taste In Girls’. Directed by Sean Higgins & Adrian Spuria of Shotography, the video is inspired by the over dramatic American slasher films from the 1980s such as Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday The 13th. [via Women In Pop]

Hot off the heels of her acclaimed debut album Wellif, Tristan aka Isolde Van den Bulcke, is back with new single ‘More Like Her,’ one of Tristan’s most playful and light-hearted productions to date. ‘More Like Her’ comes with a lovely, unpretentious video which Isolde shot together with a couple of her besties. Featuring characters such as “The Slutty Deer”, “The Dandy Bear” and “The Delicate Cheetah” the video is all about unleashing your inner animal. [via Frontview Mag]

In the wake of her edgy, operatic dubstep number ‘Ego’, American-born experimentalist Alex Rapp shares the music video of her single. In the hands of German screen director and photographer Jendrik Schröder, Rapp’s depiction of psychological turmoil turns into a richly symbolic Tarkovskian treat. Combining spectacular costume design with striking low-key lighting and fluid camerawork, three different alter-egos of the main protagonist (Rapp) – a Namibian woman (Yozika Kahuure), a little girl (Kimberley Anne), and a mysterious dark horse – travel through unforgiving landscapes of her psyche. “Establishing the contrast of movement and immobility, of vastness and narrowness” became the main motif for the video. “Isn’t self-absorbed ego also extremely immobile?” he proposed. Starting from the filming location, the project was not short of challenges. Schröder’s recce to Lieberose – the largest desert of Germany 100km south-east of Berlin – with the executive producer Markus Pitta revealed a serious occupational health risk owing to the fact that the area had been a former training ground of the Soviet Tank Corps during the Cold War. “Unfortunately, we found out that the desert was used by the military and there were still mines on the site,” Schröder concluded. While the location they settled on – The Namib Desert in Southern Africa – was clear of landmines, it did have other obstacles that threw sand in the gears. “Because we only had a period of 1-2 hours in which we could shoot with the right light, one of the biggest challenges was to shoot all the scenes of a location before the light disappeared completely.” Another one was the wind. “When we scouted the locations, it was almost windless in the evening,” Schröder said. “Already on the first day of shooting, the wind was so strong that it was almost impossible to put the huge blanket over the horse,” Schröder describes. “The wind was so extreme that the mirrors in the sand were hard to fix and kept falling over.” This affected some cast members more than others. “It also made the soundscape extremely loud, which increasingly stressed the horse.” While the weather conditions might have shaken Schröder’s confidence at times, the footage they captured exceeded his expectations. “In the edit, it was precisely the wind in the horse’s clothing and the trembling of the mirrors that made the shots so magical.”

Halflives have had a fantastic start to 2023, and are continuing the momentum with the release of a new single. ‘EVERYTHING SUCKS’ tells a tale of fighting back against negativity and feeling unfulfilled, channelling those emotions into something more positive and raising the middle finger to those who put you in such places to begin with. Produced and mixed by Jack Wilson (Fickle Friends, Hot Milk) and mastered by Grant Berry (All Time Low, Deaf Havana, You Me At Six), Linda Battilani’s songwriting has this time produced a bass driven track full of defiance. With yet another chorus destined to become stuck in the heads of listeners for days and weeks to come, Halflives brand of alt pop/rock shows more versatility on ‘EVERYTHING SUCKS’ while always containing those enormous hooks Linda has become so well known for. For more on how ‘EVERYTHING SUCKS’ took something negative and turned it into a positive, here’s Linda to tell the story: “It’s funny how randomly and in such a natural way I came up with ‘EVERYTHING SUCKS!’. It’s a song about frustration and rejection, and back when I came up with it I was feeling pretty low, looking for recognition and acceptance that wasn’t coming my way. So I was venting by text with my managers and, long story short, some of the texts I sent in that conversation became the lyrics of the first verse of ‘EVERYTHING SUCKS!’. From there something clicked in my head and writing this song felt so easy, honest and liberating. I told myself “whatever, just say it all, don’t hold back, say whatever you’ve got to say”. And now you’ve got it. Unfiltered, angry, frustrated Linda, bare and raw. Not pretending that everything’s fine anymore. Musically speaking, especially the vocal line in the verses, it’s a little different from anything I’ve released in the past, but you know I didn’t fight the way the song was “writing itself”, I just let it flow and I’m happy with the way it turned out. I’ve never experimented spoken/yelling vocal lines before and I think it really fits the annoyed/angry mood of the song. I also had fun creating my character and costume for the music video as I wanted to be this character who’s been driven crazy by her life and the people in it. The lyrics that inspired it all were “you made a monster out of me”, and from there I also designed (and made) the red “monster” jacket I’m wearing in the music video.” [via Werk]

Melbourne’s queer bubblegum-punk duo Cry Club are back with a new single and video ‘I Want More’. Cry Club have become known for their addictive, cathartic pop-punk, and ‘I Want More’ is no different. Inspired by the injustices faced by marginalised artists in the music industry, the band draws upon 2000’s emo rock influences to create an anthem of empowerment and perseverance. Filmed at The Forum in Melbourne, the accompanying video (directed by Heather and Jono themselves) is interspersed with live footage from their electric show supporting Marc Rebillet in January this year. [via OUT in Perth]

Ahead of the March 31 release of upcoming album Portals, multi-Platinum 12 billion-streaming artist Melanie Martinez reemerged with new song ‘Death’. The track, which furthers the multilayered story of her alter-ego ‘Cry Baby,’ is now joined by a captivating official music video with visuals and a narrative grand enough for the big screen. The cinematic music video, directed, conceived, and costume designed by Melanie Martinez herself, is now available. [via the Music Universe]

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