Editor’s Picks 74: L.S. Dunes, Charlotte Lawrence, Peace Ritual, Sadurday, Dear Boy, & Abby Sage!

Atwood Magazine's Editors Picks 74
Atwood Magazine's Editors Picks 74
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 L.S. Dunes, Charlotte Lawrence, Peace Ritual, Sadurday, Dear Boy, and Abby Sage!

Atwood Magazine Editor's Picks 2020 Mic Mitch

 follow EDITOR’S PICKS on Spotify

“Permanent Rebellion”

L.S. Dunes

The hottest supergroup of the 2020s arrived late last month in a maelstrom of surging guitars, searing drums, and feverish, fiery vocals – but you don’t need to know who’s in L.S. Dunes in order to connect with their music: I innocently stumbled upon their debut single earlier this month, and was hooked in an instant; it wasn’t until I looked them up later on that I realized who this band was, and by then I was already listening to them on repeat.

Stare, neither wait for your arrival
Chastise in the weight of your approval
Tongue tied never rest
Buried in your favorite dress

Released August 26 via Fantasy Records/Concord, “Permanent Rebellion” is the start of something very special: An unapologetic uproar of passion, polish, and pure energy channeled through a volatile volcanic eruption of sonic fury. It’s a stunning, hard-hitting song that all-too-perfectly blends alt-rock and punk with a touch of metal, and just as well: Comprised of My Chemical Romance’s Frank Iero (guitar), Coheed and Cambria’s Travis Stever (guitar), Circa Survive’s Anthony Green (vocals), Thursday’s Tim Payne (bass) and Tucker Rule (drums), L.S. Dunes are a cross section of the modern rock canon, each of its members a seasoned professional and master of his craft. Yes, the band sits at the intersection of all that made 2000s-era rock and punk great, but don’t mistake them for a throwback or legacy act; as evidenced by their first two songs “Permanent Rebellion” and “2022,” L.S. Dunes are fully charged and ready to carry a generation’s worth of angst and edge forward into this new decade.

For its part, “Permanent Rebellion” is an ominous, urgent ‘forever war’ style upheaval built on the need to be resilient against dread and stand up to looming danger: The band take that sinking sensation of apocalyptic catastrophe and evil lurking around every corner, and pit it against an uncompromising spirit – an innate refusal to back down or surrender our fight. A flood of turbulent emotions rises to the surface as Anthony Green screams a visceral and violent chorus, pouring himself out in droves of anguish and ecstasy:

I don’t want to be alone like this
Why don’t you make it what you want it to be?
I don’t want to be the victim here
Another victim here

From its churning beat to its scorching melodies, “Permanent Rebellion” leaves us breathless and dazed. Its follow-up, September’s single “2022,” is an equally intense and dramatic overhaul. Like a vampire sinking its teeth in or the antagonist of the Peter Pan series, L.S. Dunes have us hooked. The band’s blistering debut album Past Lives is set to release November 11, 2022. Stay tuned for more “super-charged anthems crackling with punk energy” and “a sound unlike anything that has come before it”; this truly is the next great wave in rock music history, and it’s happening in real time right before our very ears.

False alarm defeat
The way I pick
The night fades
Apostles of deceit and instant facts
The night shakes
All around us
Everything starts to beat
I don’t wanna take the long way home
But I don’t wanna find anothеr way
Don’t need to know what your opinion is (what your opinion is)
I don’t wanna be alone like this (I don’t wanna stay shut)
Why don’t you makе it what you want it to be (Sleeping through the operation)
I don’t want to be a victim here
Another victim here


Charlotte Lawrence

The follow-up to Charlotte Lawrence’s intimate and breathtaking eponymous EP is nothing short of gut-wrenchingly extraordinary. Released September 23 via Atlantic Records, “Morning” is an achingly intimate and vulnerable tale of cheating love and the inner reckoning we experience in the light of a loved one’s betrayal: The pain that hits us physically, mentally, and emotionally; the hole that lasts for days, weeks, months on end; the endless (rhetorical) questioning, words shouted into the dark abyss that was once occupied by trusted body. Produced by Ben Gibbard and Andy Park, “Morning” hurts so, so good.

My body, my body feels like winter
And I stayed in bed until dinner
I don’t feel the way I look anymore
You gave your love away to someone else
I know she knows my name
So take responsibility
For the crimson letter on your face

In my interview with Lawrence around last year’s EP release, I wrote about how the singer/songwriter “has come into her own with self-assured confidence and vulnerability,” “dwelling in the caverns of the self and rising to breathtaking heights as she bares her soul for all to see, hear, and feel.” The same can be said of her new song, which expertly blends catchy, brightly buoyant melodies with stunningly raw emotional displays. Such stirring poetic (and therapist-approved) lines like “there’s no accountability for this battered heart you can’t repair” cut us deep, deep down on a level that goes far past the skin itself.

Morning, does she know you in the morning?
Does she know all of your broken parts
and secrets like I do, like I do

Speaking candidly with Atwood Magazine, Lawrence explains just how much this song means to her.

“’Morning’ is my first collaboration with Ben Gibbard,” she shares. “Death Cab and The Postal Service were huge influences in my formative years of songwriting and lyric appreciation. To work with a hero of mine and have him and Andy Park, so graciously, make me feel as though I was on their level and create a safe place where we could be vulnerable, elevated me to a place where I feel I have made the best art I have been able to make thus far. I am so proud of this song because I believe it reflects my point of view both lyrically and musically as a woman just trying to heal some pain and figure out how I feel and what I want. It’s okay to not always know. That’s part of the journey and I’m okay with that. I feel as though this song is a really good intro to the sound of the album that we’ve created. A step forward for me. And the guitars are louder.”

You called me, you called me from her bedroom
And said that you would be home soon
I fell asleep and woke up alone
You gave your love away to someone else
I see her everywhere
There’s no accountability
For this battered heart you can’t repair

Out of tremendous, overwhelming pain, Charlotte Lawrence has created in “Morning” something utterly and undeniably beautiful.

“Tears of Joy”

Peace Ritual

Charming vocal melodies and heated electric guitars craft an intoxicating wash of warm sound around the ears as Peace Ritual shed “Tears of Joy.” The captivating debut single and opening track off the band’s self-titled EP, released earlier this month via Last Ride Records, is an immersive rush of alt-rock and dream pop wonder: Stunning and sweet, seductive and soaring, this song has all the elements of a hit in the making.

Still waters stir my hope
Where they stop, no one knows
You guide me by the heart
No signal, far from home
Angels sing ’round the throne
And chase your Holy Ghost
I need you

Hailing from Sydney and Melbourne, Peace Ritual introduced themselves earlier this year, and have spent the past six months slowly teasing out all the reasons why they should be our new favorite band. Comprised of Joel Martorana (Endless Heights) and Thomas Elliott (Harbours), with co-writing and production credits from Sam Bassal (Ocean Grove), Peace Ritual come out of Australia’s hardcore scene, and yet the duo are undeniably alternative-leaning-pop: Their songs are softer and sweeter, although everything still manages to have a bit of an edge. We hear it in the chorus of “Tears of Joy,” where overdriven guitars create an impermeable wall of sound around Joel Martorana’s impassioned, aching voice.

Slow down
I’m lost in the thrill of desire
Feeling you burn with my fire
I’m lost and I’m nervous, my soul knows no purpose
You colour the joy in my tears

This music is passion defined. The band calls it a celebration of the highs and lows of life and love: “’Tears of Joy’ touches on the (almost) supernatural or spiritual high of falling in love, and blurs the lines between a pursuit of faith, relationships and heartbreak,” Peace Ritual tell Atwood Magazine. “It’s a song about the different thoughts and feelings that keep you up at night – from the joy of dreams coming true, to the nightmares of heartbreak. Even in moments of angst, stress or heartbreak – it’s all evidence you have been bold enough to be vulnerable and to have truly lived. Revolving around the peace and pain in surrendering to your inner voice and being vulnerable to ‘needing someone or something’ – whether that be love, a family member or found through your spirituality.”

There’s something inherently beautiful about being so alive and open to all of life’s possibilities: About embracing the fullness of the emotional and experiential spectrum such that, whether you’re currently reveling in the highest high or drowning in your lowest low, you glow because you’re here and you’re able to feel everything. We all know the world is a far cry from sunshine and rainbows, but “Tears of Joy” is a reminder that even at its worst, life is invaluable; something so special that goes beyond what words alone can express. Slow down, I’m lost in the thrill of desire.

Still waters take us home
Pray and hope for all we know
You’ll find me close to heart
I feel you losing touch,
Lord knows we’re far apart

I know you’ll be leaving again
I need you…
Slow down
I’m lost in the thrill of desire
Feeling you burn with my fire
I’m lost and I’m nervous, my soul knows no purpose
You colour the joy in my tears



First of all, I love the name “Sadurday.” Second of all, I can’t get enough of this band’s music: Hailing from Pennyslvania, the alternative-grunge duo of vocalist/guitarist Annie Jean Linn and multi-instrumentalist Nick Comanici make achingly intense, unapologetically dramatic music with a catchy flare. 2021’s self-titled debut EP is well worth the listen, but it’s through their recent singles – “Out of Touch,” “Unable,” and now “Mary” – that Sadurday have risen as this incredible force of raw rock fury. Falling in-between My Chemical Romance and Nirvana, Sadurday are fresh and ferocious – and nowhere is this better felt than on their brand new release “Mary,” the lead single off their forthcoming sophomore EP Nothing 2 Celebrate, out October 21st.

Well you’re talking a lot, but what can you say?
Your lipstick is smeared, hair is in your face
You’re taking a drag as you’re breaking it down
Mary what is that sound?
Mary what did you say, Mary what did you say
Mary what did you say, Mary what did you say

“‘Mary’ is about the unseen, the paranormal possibly, and a lurking sense of uneasiness or danger,” Annie Jean Linn shares. “It is the first song that Nick and I collaborated on together. He had approached me over Instagram about stepping in as the vocalist/lyricist, and he sent me the instrumentation to write to. It was really to see how we meshed as a team, and it just came together so easily. It was the initial stepping stone for us as a writing team and it really set the tone moving forward. All my writing is a little on the dark side, like most of my work, and Nick is very skilled with composing some well thought out and heavy instrumentation. It made for a perfect fit.”

Now you’re tearing to pieces in the backseat
Searching for meaning in the crow’s feet
And you’re holding your breath like it will help me
Taking pictures of things you know I can’t see
Mary can you see?
Mary what did you say, Mary what did you say
Mary what did you say, Mary what did you say
Well you’re talking a lot, but what can you say?
Your lipstick is smeared, hair is in your face
Your taking a drag, as you’re breaking it down
Mary what is that sound?

“Mary” is already a haunting, hot-blooded uproar, and its music video makes the song’s experience all the more powerful. No doubt this is the kind of heavy music that makes the darkness more appealing; that makes us want to rage, churn, burn, and bask in the shadows.

“Forever Sometimes”

Dear Boy

The title track off Dear Boy’s recently-released debut album is nothing short of dreamy post-punk brilliance: “Forever Sometimes” aches with hushed vocals, reverb-laden guitars, and pulsing drums that come together to create an intimately enveloping listening experience. Active in LA’s underground music scene for nearly ten years, the indie rock band of Ben Grey (vocals / guitar), Austin Hayman (guitar), Keith Cooper (drums) and Lucy Lawrence (bass / vocals) are one of the City of Angels’ best kept secrets, with three EPs and a healthy smattering of singles to their name already. Released mid-September via Last Gang Records, Forever Sometimes is years in the making, introducing the band as an alternative tour de force as comfortable in soft balladry as they are in hard-hitting, rip-roaring overhauls and groovy, dance-friendly reveries. While songs like “Say When,” “Unbecoming,” and “(On My) Mind” help highlight Dear Boy’s multi-faceted talents, “Forever Sometimes” is the track they can proudly hang their hats on as defining this chapter of their artistry.

I make plans with crooked lines
The night feels wrong when it turns out fine
And i’ll make time to be a mess
If I taste the sound of your old address
It’s my fault there’s nothing you can do
I’d do anything for you
There’s nothing you can do

“‘Forever Sometimes is’ the study of goodbye,'” Ben Grey explains. “We wanted to write a song that deals with life after death, love after life and the complexity of what it means to leave something or someone behind. ‘When’ is something truly over and what does that really mean? Closeness is a paradox. You can feel intensely connected to a person when they’re gone and fundamentally alone lying next to them. Almost every song on this record deals with these kinds of emotional contradictions and what they do to us. The video was always meant to be a supernatural love story inspired by the visual style of Madonna’s ‘Vogue.’ That might come across pretentious or silly in print, but it was the only atmosphere that made any sense for this song. Sometimes in life, you have to say goodbye for a second time and I just couldn’t imagine any other way to represent that. After over a year of recording, ‘Forever Sometimes’ was the very last song we worked on. When it was done, we knew that our album was too. It was time to say goodbye to this record and to the process that had been a great comfort to us during the most difficult years of our lives.”

The kind of song that aches in all the right ways, “Forever Sometimes” is a heavy, heart-on-sleeve exhale: Dear Boy immerse us in dazzling waves of glistening guitar and emotional vocals that ensure we’ll come back for plenty of future listens. Be sure to give their debut album the undivided attention it deserves.

Show me only
Well at least now you know
Well at least now you know why
I disappear
Forever sometimes

“The Florist”

Abby Sage

Abby Sage has created something utterly hypnotic and beautifully haunting in “The Florist.” The second single off the LA/London-based alt-pop artist’s forthcoming EP of the same name (out October 21 via Nettwerk) is tender, with an underlying turmoil that can’t help but tremble in spite of the song’s lush glaze. Light yet heavy, laid back yet irresistibly intense, “The Florist” surprises in how deep it ends up cutting the soul.

Crack in the pavement
Tell your friends before they smash their face in
Old and faded
Call the florist hope to make something pretty of it
Cut, Step, Trip, Crack
Cut down, trim back
Call the florist hope to make something pretty of it

Try as we might, we can’t always help out the ones we love; we can’t always be the harbinger of light and joy. Yet nevertheless, we try. “I’m someone who’s so protective of their friends,” Sage tells Atwood Magazine. “When something is broken, I want to fix it. And a florist is someone who through their actions makes a room prettier – because flowers always manage to do that.”

“The Florist” is inherently a metaphor. “What is the job of a florist? To make things a little prettier, to bring light to a space, to express love. Can a Florist fix the heinous state of the world?????? Call the Florist and hope to make something pretty of it. Tell your friends before they smash their face in, etc. It’s a bit more hopeful in the sense that there are things that can be saved or made beautiful again.”

Cut, Step, Trip, Crack
Cut down, trim back
Cut, step, trip, crack
make something pretty of it

It makes you wonder… A florist can make us feel good in the moment, but are pretty flowers a solution to our problems or just a band-aid in the moment? Abby Sage’s song is plenty hopeful, but there’s a reason we feel some trepidation and tension in her melody; there’s a reason for the ominous sense of doom that can’t help but loom overhead. This song is so much more than meets the eye, and credit goes where credit is due: In “The Florist,” Sage has simultaneously challenged and soothed us. The result is equal parts compelling and unsettling, and I, for one, love a song that makes me think.

See them staring
Finger on the trigger wanna make something bigger of it
Old and faded
call the florist hope to make something pretty of it
Cut, Step, Trip, Crack
Cut down, trim back
Call the florist
hope to make something pretty of it
Cut, Step, Trip, Crack
Cut down, trim back
Cut, step, trip, crack
make something pretty of it

— — — —

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Editor’s Picks

Atwood Magazine Editor's Picks 2020 Mic Mitch

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