Premiere: B-Drop Worldwide Showcases Slothrust, The Islas, Velvet Starlings, Opus Kink, Modern Eyes, & The Roves

B-Drop
B-Drop Worldwide
A music series for emerging artists and hidden gems, B-Drop Worldwide premieres its first showcase featuring Slothrust, The Islas, Velvet Starlings, Opus Kink, Modern Eyes, & The Roves!




Just as every country has its hidden gems waiting to be discovered, every artist has their own hidden gems waiting to be heard.

Atwood Magazine is proud to be introducing B-Drop Worldwide, an exciting new music series giving a platform to emerging artists and shining a spotlight on the A-sides, as well as the beloved (but oft-neglected) B-sides. The first of this unique melting pot of music premieres today, with six special performances from the United Kingdom and the United States: Featured here are London-based artists The Islas, Opus Kink, and The Roves, alongside Los Angeles-based artists Slothrust, Velvet Starlings, and Modern Eyes.

“B-Drop Worldwide came from B-Drop TV, an online music platform supporting emerging artists,” founder Cindi Avnet tells Atwood Magazine. “Prior to the pandemic we were filming twice a month in a studio space, doing a few bands each time. The bands would do two songs – an A-side and a B-side, with a brief interview at the end. The last question we asked the artists would be what’s one of your all-time favorite B-side. When COVID hit, we decided to do continue virtually with Instagram live streams every Monday and Friday doing a similar format.”

“One day I realized I wanted to create a worldwide community that supports emerging artists everywhere. Our plan is to film every 6 to 8 weeks moving from country to country. We will have six artists total performing each time we do the session: Three from the US, and three from the country we have chosen. The format will be similar to regular B-Drop, but it will be in-person sessions. We will also try to support indie labels from other countries by supporting their bands from their respective countries. We started with the UK, and because we think that it came out so well we might spend the summer doing UK sessions just to build up momentum before we move to another country!”

Why B-sides?

“Historically, often B-sides became more popular than the A-sides,” Avnet explains. “At B-Drop we want to encourage artists to have a chance to play one of their songs that is less well known or may have never been recorded. It’s interesting to have them do a current single as well as a B-side. From my understanding most music platforms want to just hear the current single but on our show we enjoy having the point of difference.”

B-Drop Worldwide is a showcase on a mission.

“Going forward, our vision is to bring attention to bands that may not often have opportunities and chances to thrive in this overcrowded music space we are in, Avnet says. “Our focus is to bring attention to undiscovered artists that may have not had the chance to be seen and heard otherwise. My hope is B-Drop listeners will discover new artists that they may never have heard before and add them to their playlist of artists to listen to. Also if someone is already a fan of the artist, then perhaps they will enjoy their B-side if they’ve never heard it before. The main thing for B-Drop is cultivating music discovery from new artists.”

Avnet’s favorite B-side? “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys, from the band’s unparalleled 1966 album Pet Sounds (the A-side was “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”). Co-producer Bella Elbaum’s go-to B-side? The Beatles’ “Baby You’re A Rich Man” (the A-side was “All You Need Is Love”).

B-Drop Worldwide is all about expanding our musical horizons. Discover Slothrust, The Islas, Velvet Starlings, Opus Kink, Modern Eyes, and The Roves in the series’ first episode, and dive deeper into these artists and their B-side picks below!

B-Drop Worldwide is produced by Cindi Avnet, Bella Elbaum, Joseph Calhoun, and UK Producer Joshua Woolf. The Los Angeles performances were shot at Moose Cat Studio with host Lucy La Forge, and the London performances were shot at Laylow with host Karima Francis.



Slothrust

Slothrust (LA)

Slothrust
Slothrust

Atwood Magazine: Can you share a little more about the songs you performed and what they mean to you?

Slothrust: “Cranium” is the first track off of our upcoming album, Parallel Timeline. I think of it as an absurd mating ritual dance by one of those beautiful complex birds with iridescent tail feathers, except instead of feathers I am holding family heirloom tweezers and my hands are coated in honey. It’s sweet, but incredibly uncomfortable and definitely a bit overbearing.

“The Haunting” is a track from our last record, The Pact. This is one of my favorite songs to perform solo. For me this track lives in one of my favorite places, which is the gap state– not quite asleep or awake.

Can you dive a little deeper into the B-side(s) you highlighted, and why that music is special to you?

Slothrust: I used to play bass in a Nirvana B-sides cover band back when I lived in New York. Nirvana is a band that I listened to so much growing up and it’s always a gift to discover lesser-heard recordings of theirs.

I remember when I had the AFI album Sing The Sorrow on CD. I used to listen to it all the time on my discman on my way to high school and the hidden track “…this time imperfect” was so exciting because it felt like I had uncovered an amazing secret after listening to the eleven or so minutes of music on the track leading up to it. What a strange and delightful surprise. It became one of my favorite songs of theirs.

What's the significance of a B-side, for you?

Slothrust: B-sides offer an authentic look at an artist’s music beyond what they were certain the rest of the world would hear. They feel both historical and also mysterious. I love a little mystery.

The Islas

The Islas (London)

The Islas
The Islas

Atwood Magazine: Can you share a little more about the songs you performed and what they mean to you?

The Islas: We performed our single ‘Close’ which was released in September 2020. This track has been our best received single with plays on BT Sport, Radio 1 and it topped the Amazing Radio Charts which was excellent. We recorded the song at the start of the covid pandemic and we were thrilled to have the chance to release it.

The second track is a brand new song called ’Still Coming On’ which is from our up and coming EP. We’re so excited to have this EP put out there, it’s been a whole year in the making and we are so proud of it. This was the very first time we ever played this song live!

Can you dive a little deeper into the B-side(s) you highlighted, and why that music is special to you?

The Islas: The B-Side I highlighted was ’Too Much To Ask’ by Arctic Monkeys. Like many bands, Arctics are a huge influence and I was particularly obsessed with how well Alex Turner could mould himself lyrically and musically as the band moved from LP to LP. It’s a B-Side to the anthemic Fluorescent Adolescent and it has some excellently written lyrics. My personal favourite is:

“Would a kiss be too much to ask?
When you fit me as sunday’s frozen pitch
Fits the thermos flask”.

I love the working class terminology that Turner uses, and the dulcet guitars make for a really strange but beautiful track.

What's the significance of a B-side, for you?

The Islas: B-Sides are great and they give fans the opportunity to really dive deeper into their catalogue. Should the day ever come where we can release an Album we’d always ensure that our B-Sides would be recorded too! It’s an opportunity to show versatilely and growth as an artist which sadly I don’t think many mainstream artists do so much nowadays, so it’s great to keep it alive with B-Drop!

Velvet Starlings

Velvet Starlings (LA)

Velvet Starlings
Velvet Starlings

Atwood Magazine: Can you share a little more about the songs you performed and what they mean to you?

Velvet Starlings: We first played a song called “back of the train”. That song is about the trials and tribulations of playing rock music in this day and age, taking your time, paying your dues, getting to your destination and enjoying the ride. HG Wells in the style of psych garage genre, is a sci fi epic about teaming up with Doc Brown, the doctor (Doctor Who), HG Wells and all of the other time lords to go back in time and save the world from its current trajectory and fate.

Can you dive a little deeper into the B-side(s) you highlighted, and why that music is special to you?

Velvet Starlings: We chose “Hey Bulldog” and “Lady Madonna” because Hey Bulldog is my favorite Beatles song of all time and it’s so funny to me that it was the b side! It’s got the most badass riff in the Beatles discography, all 4 members playing on it in a time when they weren’t exactly best mates, and I think John Lennon’s best vocal takes as well as representation of what makes him epic. That crazy sound at the back of his throat only he can produce.

What's the significance of a B-side, for you?

Velvet Starlings: Well traditionally a B side is there to support the main single, or give some extra context to what the single is in relationship to the full album before it is released. But I also look at it as an opportunity to throw something left field out there that may not reflect the goal of the A side.

Opus Kink

Opus Kink (London)

Opus Kink
Opus Kink

Atwood Magazine: Can you share a little more about the songs you performed and what they mean to you?

Opus Kink: These two are reworked iterations of songs we started writing when we formed the group, so they’re a sturdy signifier of progress. The sensation of playing them live is what they really mean to us because yes, it’s a good feeling to spit all that bile. As we hope you can see.

Can you dive a little deeper into the B-side(s) you highlighted, and why that music is special to you?

Opus Kink: I’m not sure how I came to select an obscure Oasis b-side, but my seventeen-year-old self thanks me as he tries to pull his fluffy hair into mod bangs. So that’s for him. Come Together is objectively special to everyone, isn’t it? Like a first kiss, or finding a full baccy pouch on the toilet floor.

What's the significance of a B-side, for you?

Opus Kink: After A must come B; after one, two; after life, death – the duality of earthly existence is aptly represented in the B-side, which brings us both sorrow for that which has passed and a yearning for that which, God willing, is yet to come.

Modern Eyes

Modern Eyes (LA)

Modern Eyes
Modern Eyes

Atwood Magazine: Can you share a little more about the songs you performed and what they mean to you?

Modern Eyes: “Absolute Midnight” is the first single on our upcoming debut EP. Its the first song we have released that is completely self produced by the band ourselves. During the pandemic we took the time to write and record a full EP and sit on it till the time felt right.

“Conversations Kill” is the first song we ever put out and is a bit of a fan favorite when we close out our shows. It’s what we consider a straight out of LA song. I remember playing our first show and everyone singing along and we were all shocked since it was the only song out and we didnt even think anyone had heard of us.

Can you dive a little deeper into the B-side(s) you highlighted, and why that music is special to you?

Modern Eyes: Oasis is hands down one of our top 5 influences. The britpop era with big production and guitar focus is something we have integrated into our own songwriting and production. We’re hoping the industry gets back to that kind of thing. Music is a way for us to deal with anything we are going through, love, heartbreak, that feeling of overall togetherness when you are at a show with all your friends. We hope that people can have the feeling we get listening to Oasis when they hear Modern Eyes.

What's the significance of a B-side, for you?

Modern Eyes: B-sides a lot of times are even better than the single bands are pushing in our opinion. A lot of times when we listen to records, we tend to skip over whatever is on the radio and do a deep dive and most of the time its a b side that really makes us fall in love with something.

The Roves

The Roves (London)

The Roves
The Roves

Atwood Magazine: Can you share a little more about the songs you performed and what they mean to you?

The Roves: I’m happy to share. Alberto Zi and the Uptown Three was a real band name, taken from a band that tom was in briefly, they folded after a few months. I took their monniker and made a song around it, about a local music fan who becomes very attached to a band who eventually make it to the top and he gets shut out as they progress from pubs to big venues, like fullstaff in henry 5th, I know ye not ole’ dude, he’s shabbily treated.

Can you dive a little deeper into the B-side(s) you highlighted, and why that music is special to you?

James: Me personally it was Mr Pleasant by The Kinks, I love dave’s harmonies in the verses, clever bit of writing from ray, I mean it says it all doesn’t it, ‘mr pleasant don’t mind’ when in fact he probably does mind.

Tom: I believe I chose ‘God Only Knows’ didn’t I? Was a B-Side to ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’. I mean, can you believe it?

What's the significance of a B-side, for you?

The Roves: B side…. Well it’s a curio, that’s a treasure, the b-side historically can either share an attitude and a sound with its cousin the a-side or they can be worlds apart in every sense. I.E: the a-side is a flash smug git walking around the place with his snooker cue permanently chalked, the b-side can’t even get on the table to even play one game,

And it figures when you hear some of these a-sides that they come up with these days, I’m not going to mention any names but it really is a disgrace

— — — —

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