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Queer punk collective DREAM NAILS drop their new single ‘BALLPIT,’ a disco-punk war cry, taken from their highly anticipated sophomore record DOOM LOOP (set for release October 13 via Marshall Records, produced by Ross Orton). Packed with a snarling punk rock attitude and brazenly cut with a grimy alternative disco flavour, ‘BALLPIT’ sees DREAM NAILS addressing the defiant act of self-care and forcing yourself to be present, slow down and enjoy life. “This song is about having fun for the sake of it.” declares drummer Lucy Katz. “It’s about the pursuit of hedonism as a radical act. Sometimes the dread and hopelessness caused by the succubus of late-capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy, and environmental devastation feels overwhelming. These problems aren’t going to be solved by acting silly in a ball pit or writing a song about it, but part of breaking through the doom loop is learning how to have self-compassion, to carve out moments and spaces where we can play and simply exist.” Bassist Mimi Jasson expands on the track’s sticky plastic origins by adding: “After a show, with the band tired and depleted, Anya started begging everyone else to check out this adult ball pit, aptly named Balls Deep… She was honestly desperate to go. We caved and ended up spending an ecstatic hour surrounded by ‘sticky coloured plastic,’ laughing, and jumping in, over and over again… ‘Drowning in colour’ is the ultimate goal.” Filmed in an Essex meadow on the grounds of a youth music project the band are collaborating with on their Arts Council England-funded project Dreams of Revolution, which facilitates youth engagement with zine culture, political music and aims to increase access to the music industry. The cryptic video features a leather leather-clad character (portrayed by bassist Mimi Jasson) representing someone seeking pleasure on their own terms, while simultaneously depicting an image that the mainstream would understand as sexualised from the latex and fetish attire. “…the giant Zorbs we used looked like alien eggs,” explains frontman Ishmael. “This concept aligns with the idea that Mimi’s character gave birth to the band, who, in turn, frees the creature searching for its own pleasure and autonomy, guided by our sound.”

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Bonnie McKee has dropped a new music video for ‘Hot City’ directed by Joe DeSantis and Bonnie Mckee. The song was released as the second single from her upcoming sophomore album Hot City last month, following ‘SLAY’. It was written by Bonnie McKee, Kelly Sheehan, Jroc and Oliver Goldstein. Produced by Oligee. She wrote the song in 2011, but the track was never released due to leaving her label Epic Records at that time. This time, she re-recored the song for the new album. Bonnie McKee said of the video, “The ‘Hot City’ music video is every bit the bright and highly stylized 80’s fever dream I envisioned it to be all those years ago, and I’m elated to finally let it live!’ Bonnie McKee said of the song, “I wrote ‘Hot City’ in Miami 2011, at the height of the golden age of sparkly maximalist pop music. I was carefree, riding the high of co-writing my first global hits on the Teenage Dream album, and finally catching my stride after years of barely getting by as a struggling songwriter. I was at the top of my songwriting game, and always felt like this song was some of my best work, but my label deal fell apart and it never saw the light of day. With the recent resurgence of nostalgia for 2010’s pop, (and a lot of encouragement from my fans!) I decided to crack open the vault and re-record all my old masters of the era, and it’s been extremely gratifying bringing the visuals to life.” She continued, “I always wanted to write a song about an imaginary destination a la ‘Funky Town,’ ‘Paradise City’ or ‘Electric Avenue,’ because I feel like it’s an evergreen theme-escaping to paradise-that people can bop to 50 years from now.” She added, “As a kid I was fascinated by the movie trope of “repressed nerd” gone wild. From Michelle Pfeiffer’s transformation from insecure Selina Kyle to kick ass Catwoman in Batman Returns, to virginal Sandra D’s leather jacket ‘Tell me about it, stud’ moment in Grease, there was a thrill and a danger to a woman embracing her sexuality that I found exhilarating. I purposefully didn’t cast a love interest in this video because for me, it was never the male gaze that resulted from these bad girl makeovers that excited me, it was the power and confidence they exuded in their uninhibited state. My hope is that ‘Hot City’ can allow the listener to escape to a place where they can leave their troubles behind and embrace their inner vixen!” [via pmstudio]

In July, Pittsburgh’s Code Orange announced plans to follow their 2020 album Underneath with a new album called The Above, coming at the end of September. The hardcore/metal experimenters launched their new era with a single, ‘Take Shape,’ which features the one and only Billy Corgan. Now, Code Orange are circling back with a new single and video (directed by the band’s visual/audio collective NOWHERE2RUN), ‘Mirror,’ which features Reba Meyers on lead vocal. “This song has a special place in my heart,” Meyers says. “To me, it’s the climax of this style of my writing in this band thus far. Take a look in the mirror, are you bored?” Jami Morgan adds: “‘Mirror’ is NOWHERE2RUN’s first foray into full music video production from conception all the way to the final edit. It’s fitting that we took on a song that is dynamically disparate from anything Code Orange has ever done. It’s a little softer, a little more lush, and led by a powerful performance from Reba. It’s another important piece of the puzzle that is The Above.” [via Stereogum]

Meet UCHE YARA, the gifted 20-year-old multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter who grew up in Austria and is now based in Berlin. Despite not even releasing one song, UCHE YARA has stunned audiences across Europe in recent months with her confident and powerful performances, going straight from her high school final exams to playing over 40 shows with her 4-piece band, which have included Wilderness, The Great Escape, MELT and opening with Bilderbuch for the Rolling Stones. The sound is almost indescribable, melding an incredibly wide range of genres from psychedelic rock, tango and R&B with remarkably wide-ranging vocals to create a truly mesmerising sound that unbelievably is all the work of one person. UCHE YARA releases her long-awaited debut single and video ‘www she hot’, a tour de force of a track that is a real statement of intent from this talented young artist. Written as UCHE YARA’s love song to Mother Earth, it ironically highlights all the beautiful and ugly things that keep on happening on our planet and affect us all. “It was never my plan to write about this topic” explains UCHE YARA on the creation of the track, “yet it seems that subconsciously something must have been preoccupying me after all. From the beginning, it was clear to me that I wanted to write a feel-good song that is simply fun to play live and unites me with the audience. I fully produced and recorded the song in my first shared flat in Berlin. I couldn’t really sing at the time because I had a bad flu…probably that’s the reason why I was playing around with my vocals so much. Initially, I wanted to write a track that unites the live-audience and me and would be equally fun on both sides. So here it is, have fun <3”

Nessa Barrett has teamed up with producer Whethan for a new single, ‘sick of myself’. The track follows on from Nessa’s recent slot at Reading & Leeds, as well as her EP hell is teenage girl. Whethan says of the collab: “’sick of myself’ is the perfect collaboration between Nessa and I’s sound and I’m excited to play this one out at upcoming shows.” “So excited to be releasing this collab with Whethan,” Nessa adds. “He’s such a talented, cool artist. I hope everyone loves this song as much as we do.” [via Dork]

Baby Queen – AKA Bella Latham – shares her new single, ‘Quarter Life Crisis’, which arrives in the lead up to the release of her eagerly awaited debut album of the same name. ‘Quarter Life Crisis’, stemmed from a conversation Latham had with her cousin’s girlfriend. “I felt like I had so much responsibility, but I still felt like a child. I was talking about how I felt, and she said the phrase, quarter life crisis.” Baby Queen looked up the phrase and felt validated: “People have this experience where you’re looking both forward and back. It’s the realisation that actually, you can’t fuck around anymore. Fucking around finally comes to an end.” So, in songwriter Max Wolfgang’s flat, the pair wrote the song together. It has, what Bella calls, “a creepy nursery rhyme vibe”, both catchy and foreboding. “I feel like my mind is 25-sided / I’ll let you know if I ever survive this,” she sings prophetically. [via Line Of Best Fit]

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