Editor’s Picks 103: EmmersonHALL, Boyish, Maple Glider, Blondes, Girl Scout, & Mumble Tide!

Atwood Magazine's Editor's Picks 103
Atwood Magazine's Editor's Picks 103
Atwood Magazine is excited to share our Editor’s Picks column, written and curated by Editor-in-Chief Mitch Mosk. Every week, Mitch will share a collection of songs, albums, and artists who have caught his ears, eyes, and heart. There is so much incredible music out there just waiting to be heard, and all it takes from us is an open mind and a willingness to listen. Through our Editor’s Picks, we hope to shine a light on our own music discoveries and showcase a diverse array of new and recent releases.
This week’s Editor’s Picks features EmmersonHALL, Boyish, Maple Glider, Blondes, Girl Scout, and Mumble Tide!

Atwood Magazine Editor's Picks 2020 Mic Mitch

 follow EDITOR’S PICKS on Spotify


by EmmersonHALL & fanclubwallet

Achingly intimate and seductively soothing, “Kindergarten” is an unadulterated expression of youth and all its innocence. It’s a tender reminder of who we once were: Wide-eyed, limitless, and full of so many firsts, free of manmade rules, social structures, and everything else that eventually restrains and regulates us over the many years ahead. To be truly young is to not know how liberated you are, for the moment life starts to control you, something gets lost: Something we hear and feel so vividly once again on emmersonHALL and fanclubwallet’s beautiful song.

Kindergarten - EmmersonHALL
Kindergarten – EmmersonHALL & fanclubwallet
Get on bus and walk to back
But Kindergartens can’t do that
Driver calls me to the front
Why can’t I sit where I want
Get to school don’t recognize
Anyone with mother’s eyes
I won’t let my tear ducts open
Not on my first day

“‘Kindergarten’ is a song that’s very much about my parents and my childhood,” emmersonHALL tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s about how I start to feel like a kid again when I’m in a new place surrounded by strangers. The song is a true story for the most part, I did head straight for the back of the school bus with all the cool 8th graders and the driver had to come retrieve me. It’s funny because the lyrics were originally written over a bluegrass style mandolin tune, but obviously the finished product is quite different. I love this song a lot, I think most people can relate to wanting to fit in and missing your parents.”

Stomach hurts it’s not my tummy
I don’t think it’s cute or funny
Using words I’ve been rehearsing
You’ll talk to me like a person

emmersonHALL is a relatively new name on the indie scene, having debuted late last year with the four-track EP, Ography. The project of Ottawa, Ontario singer/songwriter Cole Hallman delivers deeply visceral, delicate, and moving indie/alt-folk music that hits where it hurts. In the case of “Kindergarten,” the emotional response is a soul-stirring combination of nostalgia, affection, heartache, and love. In his voice, Hallman captures a yearning for what once was, but can never be again. We feel just how simultaneously overwhelming and full of possibility the world might once have seemed to our younger selves – to the child who didn’t yet know how things operated, and so acted out of impulse and instinct… And, of course, we remember what it once felt like to seek out a parent for security. That blanket likely no longer exists for those of us listening to this song today, and while it’s a celebration to grow up and leave the confines of that sanctuary, our world is an often cold and unforgiving place. Surely we all think about the safety of our parents’ arms from time to time.

All this and more comes out in under two and a half minutes’ time. To say that emmersonHALL is a new favorite feels already like an understatement.

Get on bus and walk to back
But Kindergartens can’t do that
Driver calls me to the front
Why can’t I sit where I want
Get to school don’t recognize
Anyone with mother’s eyes
I won’t let my tear ducts open
Not on my first day

Released June 7, 2023, “Kindergarten” is the lead single off the artist’s forthcoming self-titled debut album, set for release later this year via Club Records, the Ottawa-based indie record label recently started by Hannah Judge (fanclubwallet) and Michael Watson (Chemical Club, Preloved). Hallman recently followed “Kindergarten” with his album’s second single, “Just Need To,” and while this enchanting groove is just as compelling as its predecessor – it’s a louder, brighter, more radiant song full of lush harmonies and a climactic, emotionally charged chorus – there’s something pulling me back to the warmth, the charm, and the unabating ache of “Kindergarten.”

“Kill Your Pain”

by Boyish ft. King Princess

I can’t help but get the sense that Boyish won’t be a “cult” favorite for much longer, and I’m truly ecstatic at the prospect of a band I’ve loved for so long, and written so much about, finally blowing up. Sure, every artist deserves to be heard on some level, but India Shore and Claire Altendahl’s band has so much to offer the world in terms of poetry and perspective; in terms of what it means to be human, and what it means to share your own humanity with others.

I’ve been over the edge,” Shore sings passionately at the start of their new single, her voice hushed, yet strong and self-assured as she begins to pour her heart out. “Say it again and I’ll take you with me.” Love is messy, and this song reflects bits of that chaos – as well as the magic sparks that fly so freely from our souls. Injecting delicate emotions into breathtaking musical arrangements has become second nature to the indie rock duo, and on “Kill Your Pain,” Boyish once again succeed at channeling their own intimate visceral experiences into raw and unfiltered sonic wonder. That indie “royalty” King Princess joins in on the revelry – or is it a reckoning? – only adds more depth, and a refreshing new flavor, to the already burning fire.

Kill Your Pain - Boyish ft. King Princess
Kill Your Pain – Boyish ft. King Princess
I’ve been over the edge
Say it again and I’ll take you with me
Let you know how it felt
When I scraped my knees going down this mess
Of sorts
Pacing around you’re making your path on my floor
Wasting every minute you get and you say to me

Released June 21, “Kill Your Pain” is Boyish’s third song of the year – following “Girls Are Mean” and “Is This a Breakdown Baby?” – and the latest single taken off their forthcoming EP, Little Demon Boy, set for release later this summer. This will be the duo’s third EP in as many years, following 2021’s We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution and 2022’s My Friend Mica. These records, which followed Boyish’s first two albums (2018’s Carnation and 2020’s Garden Spider), can at times feel incredibly distinct from one another, and yet taken as one, they capture the beauty and boldness of Shore and Altendahl’s ever-evolving artistries.

Maybe we should give it a go
It’s hot in hell where I want you baby I
Couldn’t let you know
I’ve been scared of the state of things lately
I wanted to say to you
Don’t be such a mess just kill your pain
I wanted to say to you
Heaven, hell it’s all the same

“Kill Your Pain” feels like it was once again torn from the pages of a diary that was never locked in the first place; it’s as confessional as it is unapologetic, as direct as it is colorful in its delivery. Speaking with Atwood Magazine, Boyish explain that their new song is “about the intensity of queer love and the feeling of completely enmeshing yourself with another person, whether it’s toxic or healthy.” It’s about being so enmeshed with someone else that “you lose your own identity, and in the end sort of succumb to it and give into it.”

“We wanted it to feel like someone finally realizing they’re in someone else’s hell, accepting it, and giving into some of your darker instincts,” they add. “King Princess added a level of grit to the track that we needed, and we’re so grateful to her for dedicating the time to making the song sound the way we wanted. They have a sort of ‘eat nails’ quality to everything they do, and that’s what the song needed. Working with her was a dream, and so incredibly inspiring.”

When it’s dying down
I’ll be looking across that table for any signs of you
Said it with my chest
My daddy’s wrong about you and I
Clipping every corner never on the other side
Oh why
Is getting you off still making you soft
Maybe we should give it a go
It’s hot in hell where I want you baby I
Couldn’t let you know
I’ve been scared of the state of things lately
I wanted to say to you
Don’t be such a mess just kill your pain
I wanted to say to you
Heaven, hell it’s all the same

It turns out that King Princess – née Mikaela Straus, of Brooklyn, NY – has been a fan of Boyish for quite some time. “My bass player Logan took me to see [them] a couple years ago and I was instantly obsessed,” Straus says. “They sent me the song and I had to jump on it. The rest is history.”

“Kill Your Pain” is a churning, charged fever dream: The anthem of the intoxicated. That wall of sound at its end mirrors the delirious energies climaxing within as we lose ourselves in another’s gravitational pull; as we allow our souls to merge with someone special, turning what was once one into two and becoming something wholly special and new. That process is scary, and Boyish feel it, too; but that’s no reason to hold anything back.

Wanted to be
Something with wings
Wish I could be
Somethings happening to me
It feels so good right now


by Maple Glider

We first formally met Tori Zietsch’s Maple Glider two years ago when she released her Tom Iansek (#1 Dads, Big Scary)-produced debut album To Enjoy Is the Only Thing, a gorgeous record full of emotive lyrics and warm folk melodies that tickled the ears and soothed the soul. The Melbourne-based singer/songwriter has now upped the ante on her forthcoming sophomore record I Get Into Trouble, out October 13th via Pieater (Australia) and Partisan (rest of world).

Lead single “Dinah,” released July 11th, is an empowering record reflecting so much of what remains broken in our world: The ways in which religious texts and other traditions and stories dictate how we understand women – their bodies, their identities, their very existence – in society. At the heart of this song is a disturbance instilled in Zietsch from an early age; one that she finally felt ready to unleash on the world. Doing so feels like a challenge to those longstanding structures, giving us a glimmer of hope that we can change the narrative, reclaim voices that need to be reclaimed, and reframe the way we understand ourselves, the way we as a society view and treat women, minorities, and more.

I Get Into Trouble - Maple Glider
I Get Into Trouble – Maple Glider
I met Dinah at the Bible study
when I was eight years old

She was just a story to them,
but to me she was more than they told

They said “Be God fearing,
don’t be messing with those non-believing”
So I’ve been in the church
making sure no one’s looking up my skirt

But I do not feel safe here,
I wanna feel alive

Do you thrive knowing
that our God favours you over me dear?

And it can all be traced back to the story of Dinah, the only daughter of the patriarch Jacob – a story of rape, of guilt, and of blame. “For me, ‘Dinah’ is the scariest thing I’ve ever put out,” Zietsch confesses. “It’s probably the most pop feeling song I’ve released, but it’s really quite an angry song. I have felt incredibly disturbed and frustrated and sad in the process of writing and putting it together.”

In what feels like a spiritual and musical awakening for Zietsch, “Dinah” breaks away from the folkier roots of her last LP – coming to life with an inspiring energy and musical charge. She steps into the spotlight, supported by rousing riffs and rich harmonies, her glistening vocals now center stage and demanding her audience’s undivided attention.

This is a song (and video) full of depth and meaning, and full of fun as well. “I wanted the video to be fast paced, colourful, and full of energy,” she explains. “The same kind of riled up energy I had when I wrote the song. But it also had to be silly because I can’t help that.”

Maple Glider’s “Dinah” is entrancing, uplifting, and empowering all in one breath: How can it be anything less when she sings, so coolly and confidently, “Go ahead and play the fool while I do not feel safe here. I’ve been in the church, but the church is in my skirt, and my skirt defines my worth in the church, dear daddy.” It’s a defiant jab at a patriarchy that has been repressing and reducing women for far too long. Maple Glider is taking back the reigns over Dinah’s story, and over her own body as well.

“The Basement”

by Blondes

Cathartic release meets feel-good fervor as Blondes break out of “The Basement” with uncompromising drive. The second single off the Nottingham-based indie rock band’s In Separation EP (out July 14 via C3 Records/LAB Records) is exhilarating and invigorating – an impassioned rush of volatile emotion and energy that strikes a chord with anyone who’s ever felt cooped up.

And after the past few years, that’s literally everyone.

In Separation EP - Blondes
In Separation EP – Blondes
Trouble in the basement,
The long straight road
How can you move forward
When you’ve never been shown?
I just want someone to keep me going
Once it comes around then you’ll know it
It’s the way it’s so confusing
It’s the way I just don’t find out
It’s the way you’re always coming over
It’s the way I’m always losing
It’s the way I just don’t know how
It’s the way you’re always coming over

“This is a song that started as a demo during the first lockdown, and it was written pretty much completely remotely by emailing it to each other and adding parts!” Blondes explain. “Fittingly, its a song about feeling isolated and looking for a way out, which I imagine was a very well known feeling for everyone at that time. I love the energy of this track and the way it dials up in the choruses. We returned to work with Rich Turvey on this one, who produced the majority of our first EP. He helped take the demo we’d made and step it up into the thumping single-ready track it’s become.”

“The Basement” follows this past March’s lead single “Love in the Afternoon,” an eruption from the soul’s depths complete with love-soaked lyrics and charming high-octane guitars. “Reminiscent of Catfish & the Bottleman, SPINN, and The Magic Gang, Blondes’ “Love in the Afternoon” is punchy, catchy, and absolutely disarming,” Atwood Magazine wrote at the time. This song is no different: Blondes immerse the ears in an infectious and danceable reverie we can’t help but play over and over again, getting lost in the euphoric experience of breaking free from any kind of isolation that’s holding us back from our full potential.

Running to the races
Three hours ago
Couples in their bedrooms,
Me on my own
I just want someone to keep me going
Once it comes around then you’ll know it
It’s the way it’s so confusing
It’s the way I just don’t find out
It’s the way you’re always coming over
It’s the way I’m always losing
It’s the way I just don’t know how
It’s the way you’re always coming over

“Boy in Blue”

by Girl Sout

There’s more than one kind of tension seething throughout Girl Scout’s latest song, and if I’m being honest, I don’t know which one I like more: The emotion strain of watching a once-cherished relationship crumble to pieces, or the sonic churn of voices rising in unison over searing guitars and unrelenting drums? Both pack a seismic punch, and it’s that multifold twist and turn that makes “Boy in Blue” so unstoppable; so unforgettable.

Granny Music - Girl Scout
Granny Music – Girl Scout
I think you gave me the flu
Said you’d call me back
Now I can’t get a hold of you
Your bedroom
In the afternoon
Said we’d get it back
now I can’t even look at you

It’s been a very busy year for Swedish indie rock band Girl Scout: After bursting out of anonymity late last year with debut single “Do You Remember Sally Moore?” (which, I’m proud to say, made it onto my 76th Editor’s Picks), the Stockholm-based four-piece of Emma Jansson, Evelina Arvidsson Eklind, Per Lindberg, and Viktor Spasov released their debut EP in mid-February. Entitled Real Life Human Garbage, the record was anything but – with Girl Scout’s charming, sun-kissed slacker indie rock soaring through five songs that “help you feel seen and heard.” As we wrote in our artist feature, “It’s a radiant record whose raw emotions, catchy melodies, and brutally honest lyrics make it an instant standout and an easy favorite.”

Released June 14 via MADE Records, “Boy in Blue” continues Girl Scout’s welcome assault on our ears and souls. The latest single off the band’s forthcoming sophomore EP Granny Music (out September 27th) is exhilarating: The group come to a fever pitch in a breathtaking chorus that aches with an honest, earnest intensity:

I’m just a ghost of you
I do whatever you want me to
I can’t believe all the things
that I’ve been missing from your room
My boy in blue

“”Boy in Blue’ embodies the feeling of being stuck in a relationship,” Emma Jansson explains. “It’s about growing apart and realizing you are completely different people that really don’t have much in common other than your infatuation with each other, and losing your own sense of self during that relationship. It is truly heartbreaking coming to that realization.”

Girl Scout sugarcoat nothing, and yet the resulting music is ecstatic – maybe even euphoric – because reaching reaching that understanding is its own reckoning come into view. It hurts to know your love is dying; that the thing you once held so dear has lost so much of its personal value – but maybe there’s power in coming to terms with our emotions and preparing ourselves to move forward; to move on.

I’m just a ghost of you.” The line is pure poetry. It aches and brings a smile to our face at the same time. Girl Scout took off earlier this year with stunning strength, and they’ve nailed the landing once again. Needless to say, Granny Music is looking like another instant favorite.

When I talk
You don’t understand
Hold my heart in the palm of your hand
But it kills me on the inside
Could’ve been your bride
In another life
I’m just a ghost of you
I do whatever you want me to
I can’t believe all the things
that I’ve been missing from your room

My boy in blue

“Hotel Life”

by Mumble Tide

Bristol duo Mumble Tide don’t mumble much, and rather than come and go like the tide, they’ve been a near-constant presence with me since the middle of 2021. Songs like “Sucker” and “On My Deathbed” hit hard and leave a lasting mark, with the band’s debut album Everything Ugly proving an easily repeatable and breathtakingly beautiful indie rock record – one of the year’s finest debuts, and one that went way too under the radar, as far as I’m concerned.

That said, I don’t think the duo of Gina Leonard and Ryan Rogers are destined to be one of Bristol’s better-kept secrets for long; every song they release somehow feels like it eclipses the last, and their first offering of 2023 has proved an especially powerful and provocative reintroduction. Out at the end of May, “Hotel Life” is equal parts grungy and glistening – a seductive, stirring song of surrender and acceptance, power and provocation. Rising from a calm whisper to an untethered shout, Mumble Tide immerse themselves in both fragility and turmoil, tugging at life’s strings and watching it unravel before their very eyes.

‘Tried to throw caution to the wind
I guess I should’ve checked the weather
I want a hotel life
I want a number on my bedroom door
I want a corridor interaction
Trolleys full of bins
A man in a black suit, white shirt
Can’t quite tuck it in

“‘Hotel Life’ is a song about relinquishing control,” Leonard explains. “We wrote it after Ryan’s dad had a ‘funny turn’ whilst on a work trip in Reading and we rushed to pick him up from hospital and ended up staying the night in a weird corporate business hotel on the outskirts of the city.”

“I think hotels can be quite confusing spaces… I like running away in my head to a kind of ‘hotel life’ where I can escape everyone and be completely in control of who I am. Ultimately though, that’s not healthy or possible. The song is overall positive and uplifting (I hope) – it’s about not giving up.”

I want a car park view
over a tarmac beach
I want an empty bed
Taught tight clean sheets
Tried to throw caution to the wind
I Guess i should’ve checked the weather
Everything stands so still
I’m old enough to know better

Balance is key: We can find some inner peace if we accept our place within that constant push and pull between the things we can control in this life, and that over which we are absolutely powerless. “Hotel Life” is a part of that long and winding journey – a heated upheaval that washes over our senses as Mumble Tide reach their cathartic chorus:

I’ve meaning to ask
Who did you choose to be
Or did you let yourself loose
To the next best thing
I’m still breathing fire
Burning the evidence
I’m still playing the game
It’s your turn again
And it’s your turn again

Sometimes the best way to soak up a moment is to sink fully into it; to allow yourself to be. “Hotel Life” offers a front-row seat where we can give Mumble Tide the keys and let them light the ignition. The fire they start will always be worth the watch.

I want a hotel life
Heavy curtains floor to ceiling
So I can pull the dark
Over all the feelings
Turn the tv on
Models with their teeth
I Kill a couple of hours
A couple of weeks

— — — —

Atwood Magazine logo

Connect to us on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine

Editor’s Picks

Atwood Magazine Editor's Picks 2020 Mic Mitch

 follow EDITOR’S PICKS on Spotify

More from Mitch Mosk
Interview: Ruel Breaks the ‘4TH WALL’ with His Cinematic Debut Album
Australian sensation Ruel goes track-by-track through his cinematic debut album ‘4TH WALL’...
Read More