Premiere: B-Drop Worldwide Showcases Phantom Isle, The Habits, Roman Lewis, Danny Singh, and Friedberg

B-Drop
B-Drop Worldwide
A music series for emerging artists and hidden gems, B-Drop Worldwide premieres its third showcase featuring Phantom Isle, The Habits, Roman Lewis, Danny Singh, & Friedberg!




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 featuring 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 third iteration of this unique melting pot of music premieres today, with five special performances from the United Kingdom and the United States: Featured here are London-based artists Jango Flash and Sorebae, alongside Los Angeles-based artists The Habits and Danny Singh.

B-Drop
B-Drop

“B-Drop Worldwide came from B-Drop TV, an online music platform supporting emerging artists doing a similar format,” 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. In 2020, 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!”

B-DROP WORLDWIDE SHOWCASES CUFFED UP, SOREBAE, CHEER UP CLUB, JANGO FLASH, & THE RARE OCCASIONS

:: PREMIERE ::

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.

The project is now a collaboration between Avnet and Bella Elbaum as co-producers, and Joseph Calhoun as graphic designer/videographer.

“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 Phantom Isle, The Habits, Roman Lewis, Danny Singh, and Friedberg in the series’ third episode, and dive deeper into these artists and their B-side picks below!

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B-Drop Worldwide is produced by Cindi Avnet, Bella Elbaum, Joseph Calhoun, and UK Producer Joshua Woolf. The Los Angeles performances were shot at Resident DTLA with hosts KTJ & CARLY, and the London performances were shot at The Old Blue Last with host Karima Francis.



Phantom Isle

Phantom Isle

Phantom Isle
Phantom Isle

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

Phantom Isle: The two tracks came out of our collective grief for losing brother, friend and band member Matt Marchant in 2019. We hadn’t approached the subject in our songwriting yet, and some of us were finding it hard to breach, so the two songs looked at past traumas that were not directly related to Matt’s passing. 1992 delves into childhood anxiety of a parents breakup and 1997 is a tribute to the passing of a grandparent. – Josh

The experience of losing Matt is still very fresh and there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think of him, it’s the same for us all. We’ve been using this time to think about the happier times in his life but it’s meant essentially blocking out the trauma of the last months of his life which were particularly hard. As we’ve found with 1992 and 1997, which are about different experiences as Josh says, it’s helped to process and make sense of them. Writing those tracks has given us the strength to write more about what we as a band and what my family experienced with Matt’s battle with cancer and his incredible bravery, so we’re starting to explore that with some of the newest stuff we’ve been writing. – Pete

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

Josh: Cemetery Gates – The Smiths. I loved this song as a teen, it’s the classic happy go lucky strumming of Johnny Marr with Morrissey’s dark and melancholic lyrics. Being gay and also losing family members quite young, it just struck a chord with me at that time. Feels like an A-Side to me.

Sam: Green Onions – Booker T & the M.G’s. This song has been a personal favourite of mine since I was a child, the first time I heard it it was stuck in my head for weeks. The feel good, easy going groove laid down by the band, with Booker T Jones coasting over with the organ melody, it puts me in a good mood whenever I hear it. Probably the catchiest instrumental track of all time!

Pete: I picked I Am The Walrus by The Beatles of course. Not my favourite Beatles song but it’s a track that sums up how experimental and bizarre they were at that time especially. Much of what’s in the top 10 nowadays is very ‘safe’ and homogenised and the fact that a band who were arguably the the most famous band on the planet could release something with such wacky and playful lyrics and musical ideas yet still be so appreciated is ace.

Jonny: Born Slippy – Underworld. Not just a song about alcohol addiction, but a song about a very English manifestation of such, from the local slang and place names (“pissed in a tube-hole at Tottenham Court Road”) to its insinuations of drunkenness as a coping mechanism for stiff-upper-lip emotional repression (“Let your feelings slip boy / But never your mask boy”). Karl Hyde sings it like an increasingly belligerent hooligan getting ready to kick his own ass.

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

Phantom Isle: It’s become a lost art I feel, a great B-side is meant to be the pleasant surprise that catches you off-guard. I think the best B-sides do that and even fight to be the significant track. Never an afterthought. – Josh

In my early teens (circa 2003) I used to love going into a record shop and buying singles in those thin clear plastic cases, often with artwork just as impressive as the albums. Normally because I couldn’t afford to buy a whole album! They were like tiny albums in their own right and B-Sides are what made them become that. One I remember in particular was the B-Side to The Zephyr Song by Red Hot Chili Peppers which was a track called Body Of Water, such a raw and underproduced track which had a very live feel. Kids today don’t know what they missed, don’t get singles in thin plastic cases with amazing artwork these days! – Pete

Danny Singh

Danny Singh

Danny Singh
Danny Singh

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

Danny Singh: The songs I performed are the next two singles off of my new band “RUOK?” ep BLU. For the record, I just wanna say that I’m tired of the fake ass people, fake ass vibes, fake love, fake happiness, etc etc. If I tell you I love you, best believe I meant it with everything in my heart. #EverythingDOA 🙅🏾

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

Danny Singh: “Heartbreak Hotel” is a song I listened to on repeat, as I went on my daily commute to the city. I love all the jazzy touches behind it, and seeing the way MJ performs, gives it a whole new story, opposed to the original record on the B-side. I love a good ol’ jazzy-grimey blend. That’s New York for me.

Friedberg

Friedberg

Friedberg
Friedberg

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

Friedberg: “Lizzy” – I wrote “Lizzy” on the way home from a party night at Cheryl’s (bassist) house in South London. A friend of Cheryl was playing this really dark and interesting live-set at the party and suddenly some random lines of the poem by TS Eliot “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” started to fly around my head. And Michelangelo was there too- just leaning against the wall, speaking to Cheryl and casually sipping on a Gin & Tonic…

“Midi8” – It was a hot summer’s night in Berlin. I went to the studio in Neukölln and heard Daniel Brandt (one of our producers) record that great bass line on the synth. I immediately had this melody in my head so I stormed in the room, over to the microphone which was in a really weird position, bent down with my rucksack still on my back and was shouting that melody into the mic over and over again (“what if I didn’t hear you, what if I didn’t care, maybe it’s not about you, maybe it’s just the air”) until the lyrics somehow got stuck in my brain and I started to believe them myself. And then we just played another synth, tons of cowbells and a tambourine on top and it was pretty much finished. For the music video I had the vision of surfing on a giant cowbell and my dream came true haha. Midi8 is definitely one of my favourite songs to play live and always the last song in our set – it’s sooo much fun!

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

Anna Friedberg: I’ve chosen John Cale’s version of LCD Soundsystem’s “All my friends”- mainly because these are 2 of my favourite artists/bands and I just loved the idea of these 2 amazing musicians melting into 1 of my favourite songs. I don’t even know if I actually like John Cale’s version, but in my head it is great:) (And his voice is perfect for the song)

Cheryl Pinero: I always found that ‘Rhododendrons’ by Bloc Party sounds both sad and dreamy. I was probably around 17 years old the first time I heard this b-side, but the feeling of the music still resonates with me now. The built-up to the bridge and guitar solo is my favorite thing in the whole song- it’s so emotive and beautiful.

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

Friedberg: B-sides are a great possibility to showcase a different side of your work as an artist. A side that’s possibly more out there or weird. The great thing is that these songs are then directly connected to the actual single and reach a wider audience through that. Because of this they sometimes even become the more popular song than the A-side in the end. It enables the listeners to choose.

The Habits

The Habits

The Habits
The Habits

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

The Habits: The songs we performed are the last two tracks off our EP “What’s The Worst That Could Happen?”. That EP was put in a specific order because it tells an emotional story of hesitantly finding love, trying to keep said love, losing it, and then finding yourself in the process. “Shoulders” is the turning point of the EP. It’s the realization that you’re ready to let go and move on. “breathe!” is a kind of finale full of self realization and growth. The songs are very inward looking and were so therapeutic and, honestly, a little scary to write. These two songs in particular are such direct representations of what I (Wolf) was going through at the time of writing them so, it’s always reflective when we play them. Also, they both have this energy when we perform them live that we just love.

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

The Habits: I brought in my mom’s band’s single from the ‘80s. She was the front woman of a surf/punk band called The Wigs. I think knowing that as a child really started me down this path of creativity and music specifically. The B-side is called “Stiff Me” and it is one of my favorite songs of hers. More than that, I just love that she understands the hard work and dedication it takes to write, record, perform, and just do anything in the music industry. This B-side is a great reminder of the support we have from family.

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

The Habits: B-sides are so cool because they give you a more in depth look at who artists are. The B-side is usually more revealing of the identity of a band or artist than the single is. It’s what they really want to say and do. It’s for them, sort of speak. At least, that’s my opinion.

Roman Lewis

Roman Lewis

Roman Lewis
Roman Lewis

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

Roman Lewis: “Dancing in My Underwear” and “Ballad of Tuesday” are two new unreleased songs. These versions have no drums or electric guitar so not the final thing but felt good to play.

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

Roman Lewis: Saying Radiohead and The Smiths are two of my favourite artists is no hot take, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. If you can make a song, let alone a B-Side, as emo and dancy as “Talk Show Host” or “How Soon is Now?” I’m yours.

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

Roman Lewis: In this day and age, I think releasing B-Sides is a bit irrelevant. There’s no real use to it. The idea of it being less about commercial success and more about releasing that one song you really like though is a great philosophy. I think we could all do a bit more of that..

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