pop

NEW MUSIC: Barkley- Faster

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

I'm obsessed with Barkley! She's a new pop singer songwriter in town who just released her debut single, "Faster". Produced by the very talented Matias Mora, the track highlights Barkley's sultry vocals and visually rich songwriting. You feel the rush and the adrenaline powering through, building up throughout the track. The music video is hot, illustrating fiery tones of young love and reckless innocence with simple yet powerful imagery. I can't wait for more music from this girl!

CONNECT WITH BARKLEY

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NEW MUSIC: Autumn in June- HEROin KIDZ

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Electro-pop artist  Autumn in June released his newest single last week, "HEROin KIDZ". Like his pervious tunes, the bass-heavy synth beats will have you grooving your shoulders, then your hips, until your entire body starts making its way to the dance floor.  Take a closer look though, and the lyrics illustrate much more serious tones of pain, feelings of loneliness, of coping.

  "You can drown in misery / But you should know/ I'm only me/ I'm only dealing with the pain"

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Backstage Chat: Stalking Gia @ School Night 5/11/15

photo and interview by Shabnam Ferdowsi

I have never seen the Bardot as packed for a School Night as it was on Monday night. And although I couldn't see a thing from where I stood, Stalking Gia blew me away. The NYC-based artist played her first LA show that night and stole the crowd with her sultry vocals and cool charm. 

I was able to meet up with her after her set and take a few minutes to ask her some quick questions.  

How did you feel about your first LA show?

It was insane. I actually came to this venue a month or two ago to see another band play; it felt cool to be the one playing this time. I got a lot of adrenaline off [the crowd].I had fun picking different people in the crowd and just zoning into them. I'll just freak people out: I'll stare at them to the point where it's kind of uncomfortable. I love it. 

How do you want to leave your audience feeling?

Inspired, happy, and flowing with creativity. 

So how did you come up with the name "Stalking Gia"?

I feel like the whole music industry, the whole aspect of celebrity and social media is just stalking. There's no other word for it; everyone tries to make it normal- but like no, it's stalking.

Have you had any stalkers?

Just random things online... Maybe gaming? Maybe that happens to me? And then maybe I stop playing? World of Warcraft, maybe? I don't know, something like that.

What's your music scene in New York like? And how does it feel different than the one here in LA?

It's more secluded, and I feel like there are less people within the scene. But at the same time, all the writers [at Warner/Chappell Publishing] are super close and tight-knit. It's real nice to have that strong community. In LA there's just so many people and all so spread out; then again that could be a good thing. Positives and negatives on both sides, and it's good have a little of both. 

1 Fun Fact: I'm obsessed with anime. I can't wait to go to Japan one day, and I wish I was a J-pop K-pop star.


CONNECT WITH STALKING GIA

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Interview with FRANKIE

WHO: FRANKIE

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Current Location: Los Angeles

Sounds Like: "credible pop"

I first heard of FRANKIE when I saw her play We Found New Music's showcase at the Bootleg Hifi a few weeks ago. She opened up the night and blew my mind. I was instantly hooked. So I hit her up for this shoot + interview a week later, and met up in her producer's Silver Lake abode. After our chat over a cool glass of Coke (because it was simply too hot for water that day) and a fun photo session in the backyard, I can easily conclude she's one of the sweetest people you'll meet and about make some waves in the music world.

Read more about the popstar below and listen to her newest single, "New Obsession", off her upcoming EP!

You've been getting so much great reception on the new music. What are you doing differently than you were before?

I feel like because we were just having fun with it, that's why people  respond to it so well. It's not like we're making these formula pop songs; its just us vibing and having a good time.

We're calling it "credible pop". We don't want it to be guilty. No matter how it's produced, we want people to just be like, "that's a nicely written song." 

What's been your favorite show you've played so far?

I played a show in San Francisco at the Rickshaw Stop in January. I really expected no one to be there, even though it's my hometown. But it was packed and we had so much  fun on stage. I think we just went into it with really low expectations that when we came out it was so awesome. In LA it's a little different because you never know who's going to be in the audience, who they work for, you never know. But oh man, we just had such a blast up there [in the bay].

How did you decide on this pop sound?

"Blackout" started the whole EP, and it was so strange [how the song came to be]. I was falling asleep one night, and it was during that moment where you're almost asleep, where you're literally not thinking about anything. I payed attention for a quick second and realized I was singing a song in my head, full lyrics and melody. I was like "What? woah! what am I doing?". So I recorded a voice memo, half asleep; it's hilarious. After I had that I somewhat knew what the song was going to sound like. I teamed up with Petros, and he's amazing. His production quality is so quirky and has so much attitude which I love. So  "Blackout" created this little sound on its own. 

Your EP is going to be called DreamState. Does that title have something to do with how "Blackout" came about?

Yes!  After I wrote "Blackout" I was just channeling that, so half the EP came from stuff like that. 

The other half of the EP I wrote with  my band. We went to this beach house for two days and wrote all these songs, "New Obsession", "Problems Problems" and "Gold". It was crazy: we came back, tried them out the songs and loved them all. 

If you could tour with any band this summer, who it would be?

There's this artist, BØRNS, I'm really loving right now. I feel like his pop is really credible as well, so I feel like we could be a really cool mix together. That would be awesome, and not insanely out of reach. 


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CONNECT WITH FRANKIE

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LOCAL SPOTLIGHT: Lincoln Jesser

Haven't heard of Lincoln Jesser yet? It's about time you did. This local LA artist is making that synth-pop that makes you groove and writes the lyrics that make you roll down the car window and sing at the top of your lungs. 

Take a listen and get to him a little better below!

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If someone’s never heard your music before, how would you describe it to them in one sentence? Psychedelic synth pop.

If you could collaborate with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why? Marvin Gaye...I'd want to produce for him. His voice and his message were both amazing beyond words.

As an artist, what’s on your long-term bucket list? Scoring a film.

What do you want listeners to take away from your music? I'd hope my music inspires them to take risks in the name of happiness, and to let the people they love know that they do in fact love them.

What’s your favorite concert you’ve been to? Daft Punk at Coachella 2006, MGMT in Brooklyn 2007, and The Strokes at Lollapalooza 2010

Who are you listening to right now? Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Lemaitre, and CHVRCHES

CONNECT WITH LINCOLN JESSER on Facebook

ACOUSTIC: Fever Charm- Sound of Summer

"We're guys who write pop songs, that play rock music,  that wish they could play funk."

Where: Northern California 

Who: Arieh Berl (vocals, guitar), Théo Quayle (guitar), Jared Tyler "JT" Gagarin (drums), Yianni Quayle (bass).

Arieh, Théo and Yianni met back in middle school up in Oakland. They met JT when he and Yianni had a class together at the Berklee College of Music in Boston during their freshman year. Fever Charm as we know really kicked off when JT joined in on the music making. 

Dream Collaborations: HAIM, The Strokes, Funkadelic, Major Lazer, Pharrell, Ricky Reed from 'Wallpaper'.

Bucket List: Play with the Red Hot Chili Peppers; play the local Bay Area venues (i.e. the Fox Theatre); festival tour; group tattoos of a galloping giraffe.

What's in a name? "Well we were all really sick, and it was because we were eating way too much Lucky Charms."

 

Artist Spotlight: DownBeat Keys

photo: Shabnam Ferdowsi

Where: Brooklyn, NY

Who:  Kadahj Bennet (vocals), Baldwin Tang (keys), Andrew Root (bass), Ryan Calabrese (drums), Jared Schneider (guitar)

Sounds Like: Hip Hop with a pop groove.

 “We started out as a groove band, and then we went into pop songs, then we kind of came back into groove song [with the EP Memory Chrome]”

Beginnings

“’Wouldn’t it be crazy and revolutionary if we did hip-hop, with a live band’… Then we didn’t talk about it for four year”

The DownBeat Keys formed at Day Hamilton College their senior year to create a live, hip-hop band.  

Why DBK

“The sound of it, the syllables, and to be able to use letters, DBK.”

                                      _________________

Connect with The DownBeat Keys!

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DISCOVER: Friends With Cameras- Wake Me

Friends With Cameras is an LA-based group. ‘Wake Me’ is their first track released on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

I hope you like what you hear because you can most likely anticipate more awesome music from then soon! I’d recommend following them on Soundcloud,

An Interview w/ The Casket Girls

What inspires your songwriting?

Dreams, absinthe and the desire to consciously connect to the collective unconscious. Perfect little soul, stuck in the middle. Elemental blow, speaking in riddle.

 How were you able to hone in on your own distinct style?

Ryan and us are coming from such different places that our unlikely marriage bears strange fruit without our interference. 

If you get collaborate with any musician (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

A Bulgarian women’s choir. The voice of angels.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

European tour!

Who are you listening to right now?

Siri telling us the way to San Jose 

CONNECT with The Casket Girls!

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PHOTOS: Imagine Dragons at The Forum.

2/14/14. Los Angeles, CA.

What an incredible show. The Forum is huge, and although I wished I’d seen them in smaller, more intimate venue where I could’ve felt their music more, Imagine Dragons killed the stage. From the drum solo, to the guitar solos, to the memorizing lighting designs, the crowd was loving (the screaming girls were proof).

An Interview w/ The Naked and Famous

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Answers by Thom Powers:

What was your inspiration behind In Rolling Waves?

Touring, living full time as a musician, the past, the present, the future, Passive Me, Aggressive You, success, failure, love, sex, trust, compassion, friendship, hunger, boredom and of course a sense of gratitude and responsibility to our wonderful fans.

How was it different than your first album?

We had less time, more resources, more refined skills, more refined ambitions and a desire to challenge ourselves as performers, song writers, producers and engineers.

Could you say your songwriting has changed or developed in the past two years?

Definitely. Where I normally would’ve remained fixated on production, timbre, layering and mixing, I tried to re-focus myself with basic songwriting: chords, lyrics and melody. We definitely tried to create greater dynamic impact with In Rolling Waves, both sonically and emotionally. Sticking to a very performance-friendly sonic template helped us achieve this. All the songs are “live” songs. Between the 5 of us we can perform each and every part. 

What’s been your favorite part about touring?

I think being able to meet fans is pretty special. Especially when they’re not expecting it! It’s hard to pick a favorite part though… the entire experience is a privilege.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

Coachella, More touring, Coachella again, The Governors Ball, Europe in the summer, American winters, writing, demoing, recording new music… making it through to 2015!

CONNECT with The Naked and Famous!

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// 

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WATCH: Smallpools- Mason Jar (Official Music Video)

It’s finally here! In a montage recapping their tour, Smallpools just released their video today, and all I want to do now is find a band to tour with so I can make a work of art like this.

Check it out!

An Interview w/ MajorLOVE

 We are Major and Johnna Harris, a husband wife indie pop duo out of Phoenix, Arizona. We met at a concert and now we get to perform in them together. The two of us are truly blessed to be able to share our passions and make music we love together. It all started with us writing parody cover songs as friends and has since blossomed into a serious project (and marriage!!) under the title “MajorLOVE” 

How does your relationship play into your music?

Firstly, being married, bandmates, and business partners really is amazing. When we write we try to pull on personal experiences. It is our goal to bring our listeners into our lives and to give them a glimpse into our relationship. For example, “Sunrise” is about a couple of late night drives that we took to California, from our home here in AZ, when we first met. I (Johnna) had it in my mind that the sun rose over the ocean. I called up a couple of friends, Major being one of them, and convinced them to hop in the car with me last minute and hit the beach. We made it all the way to Laguna Beach only to realize that the sun was rising behind us. Needless to say, we spent the day sleeping on the beach, had a super fun bbq, and then a food fight to top it off. We had so much fun and that was really the first time Major and I got to spend in deep conversation. “Sunrise” encompasses the beginning of our forever. 

     We really rely on each others strengths and have a lot of fun getting to know more about ourselves through the songs we write.

How did we come up with our band name?

Haha, to start, my husband’s legal name is Aaron. The last band he was in there was another member named Aaron so he started going by A.J. (gag me backstreet boy!) His band was playing a festival in Mississippi and the crowd thought he introduced himself as Major, clearly a cooler name, so from that point on he went by Major. When we started working on our own music a couple of our friends joked we should go by MajorLOVE and it just  

kind of stuck!

Why do we make music?

We are passionate about connecting people to music through an experience. The reason we make music is because it is one of the best ways to start conversation, it’s a place to ask the hard questions, and a platform for building something so much bigger than just the two of us. 

If we could work with any artist past or present who would we choose?

For this project, we could narrow it down to two: Danger Mouse and Nate Ruess of Fun.

Danger Mouse because, he’s so out of the box and his programming is OUT OF THIS WORLD. I think we could learn a lot from him.

Nate Ruess because he is so darn good at writing lyrics and we love his Arizona roots.

If you like what you hear, buy their new album, 

Story

, on 

iTunes

!

Connect with MajorLOVE!

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