Atwood Magazine’s Weekly Roundup: October 28, 2022

Atwood Magazine's Weekly Roundup | October 28, 2022
Atwood Magazine's Weekly Roundup | October 28, 2022
Every Friday, Atwood Magazine’s staff share what they’ve been listening to that week – a song, an album, an artist – whatever’s been having an impact on them, in the moment.
This week’s weekly roundup features music by Milky Chance, Sohodolls, Sophie Faith, Yaz León, French Horn Rebellion, ANDRO, Factor Eight, Linebeck, Jake Hays, Andrea, & Kalina Tyne!
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Atwood Magazine's Weekly Roundup

:: Trip Tape II – Milky Chance ::

Isabella Le, Garden Grove, CA

German rock duo Milky Chance have been critically acclaimed for their unique and experimental sound ever since they took the world by storm with “Stolen Dance” in 2013. From then, guitarist/vocalist Clemens Rehbein and bassist/percussionist Philipp Dausch have made a reputation for themselves as genre-transcending musicians with their artful fusion of reggae, electropop, indie, psychedelic rock, and everything in between. It’s always been difficult to confine the band into a single genre, or even two, and their most recent record is no exception. The sequel to 2021’s twelve-song mixtape Trip Tape, the October 5th release, Trip Tape II, is an eccentric collection of energetic yet mellow singalongs.

Released under the band’s independent label, Muggelig Records, Trip Tape II serves as proof that Milky Chance are at the top of what they’re doing, and there’s no replicating the duo’s emblematic sound. Featuring everything from the pulsing dance track “Troubled Man,” to groovy, lo-fi “Fabulous” and a cover of Harry Styles’ “As It Was,” the mixtape highlights the band’s masterful experimentation – with genres that appear otherwise conflicting when paired with one another, Milky Chance have crafted a twelve-song collection that couldn’t make for easier listening.

On their latest record, the pair channeled the human experience amidst modern-day issues on both a personal and global basis. Alluding to their thoughts on the current state of the world via their newest album, Milky Chance shares, “In a phase of feeling pretty alienated due to events of today and lots of devastating realities of human society, we tried to get into someone’s mind coming to earth for the first time nowadays.”

:: “Bad” – Sohodolls ::

Mitch Mosk, New York

A feverish blues rocker dripping with edge and swagger, Sohodolls’ latest single may be “Bad,” but it feels so, so good. The London electro-rock band’s second release of the year is a seductive outpouring of self-confidence dressed to the nines in churning guitars, driving beats, and a charismatic, tantalizing vocal performance infused hot energy and searing emotion. Lead singer Maya von Doll ignites with raw passion as she embraces impulse and instinct, leaning into the fray because it’s okay to do so: Sometimes we have to fight; to speak up for ourselves; to challenge and confront and resist when necessary. “I was good too long, doing it all wrong, I wanted to belong,” von Doll sings. “I took off my mask and now I’m free…”

“I regret not trusting my instinct to stand up for myself,” the Sohodolls frontwoman tells Atwood Magazine. “So, this song is about understanding and accepting that fight instinct. About standing up for yourself and rejecting advice that I think is mostly given to young women in my line of work. You shouldn’t always act on it, but you shouldn’t deny its existence. We are all animals – females included!”

“Bad” hits its mark in the chorus, complete with charged lyrics and an achingly cathartic release:

I’ll burn the sugar and the spice
‘cause I want you to know
I can be good and sometimes clever
But when I’m bad I’m so much better

Speaking up and speaking out doesn’t come naturally to all of us; in fact, society often encourages us to tamper down those behaviors – to be pleasant and affable, agreeable and congenial. But where does walking around with our heads down in the sand get us? Sohodolls aren’t calling for a revolution, but in this song they remind us just how good it can be, to be a little bit bad.

Dominant, arrogant, n’importe quoi,
I only think of the thrill
Intelligent, decadent, ooh la la la
I’m gonna dress for the kill
Dead of the night, thief in the night,
taking command and control
Oh what a kick, to rule with it,
cocky, bossy, goal!
I can be good and sometimes clever
But when I’m bad I’m so much better

:: “Heart Is on My Sleeve” – Sophie Faith ::

Mitch Mosk, New York

Stunningly soulful and achingly raw, Sophie Faith’s third single of the year is vulnerability manifest in a jazzy, smoldering, gospel-tinged neo-soul dream. Released today via Honey & Lemon Music (sweet and sour – get it?), “Heart Is on My Sleeve” stings in all the right ways: Smooth, spine-tingling harmonies, tender, naked piano playing (courtesy of British singer/songwriter Reuben James), and Faith’s own rich and powerful vocals turn a moody, brooding ballad into the hypnotizing, stunningly seductive upheaval of a bruised heart and weary soul.

This is one of those prime examples where a person’s deepest pain gets transformed into unbridled beauty through song. It’s also the kind of catchy, cathartic, softly stirring serenade that could, in the right hands, elevate the London-based Faith onto the global stage. After all, Adele is singing happy songs now; someone’s got to fill in the sad soul gap, and Faith – who co-wrote “Heart Is on My Sleeve” with none other than British multi-hyphenate Stormzy – approaches heartache and longing with just the right blend of refreshing strength and inspired authenticity.

Don’t make me beg, I’m on my knees
And I can’t blame you for the past
You left me there to bleed
If it weren’t for you
Then who would I be
And you can’t see me in the dark
Still my heart is on my sleeve
And I can’t help but feel it’s something we’ve both lost
But all I do is wonder whose to make the call
You can do a little better you’ve been cold
Now to find the words
To let you know

Given what I’ve just said, it might come as a surprise to learn that Faith was previously having second thoughts about her music career. She explains how this song served as the reinforcement she needed to continue forward and soldier on.

“This song came at a time when I’d left my label and I was in an unsure mindset of whether I wanted to continue music,” Faith tells Atwood Magazine. “It gave me a real lease of life to know I have more to give as a singer, and this was a beautiful opportunity to showcase me and my friends on a record that has more of a church feel. At the time I needed something soothing and Stormzy really threw me a lifeline; I was really lucky to get the opportunity to write with him, it just feels really special.”

Don’t make me beg, I’m on my knees
And I can’t blame you for the past
I have to set you free
But if it weren’t for you
Then who would I be
You can’t hear me from afar
Still my heart is on my sleeve
I toss and turn and try to make it through
Been wondering if you’re out there
Feeling the same way too
But, I could do a little bit of find where it all went wrong,
But you could say the words
To solve it all

“Heart Is on My Sleeve” can be a love song not just to a person, but to music incarnate. It hurts in all the right ways, and leaves us breathless, hopeful, dazed, and amazed. Needless to say this is one for the books, and we can only hope that more people are moved by Sophie Faith’s music the way that she’s instantly and effortlessly moved us with this song.

:: It’s Only Takeout Ma – Yaz León ::

Sophie Severs, Boston, MA

Dreamy, snappy, and full of emotion — that’s Yaz León’s debut EP, It’s Only Takeout Ma.

Released today (Oct. 28, 2022), this West-London based musician’s newest project is an exposé on the workings of her psyche, a deep analysis of topics such as nostalgia, distrust, intimacy, and toxic masculinity. León takes time to dissect her emotions with the utmost care, backing her inner reckoning with a punchy, yet ever-so-whimsical r&b imbued soundtrack.

Each track tackles an experience that León has gone through; illustrating her first time falling in love with a woman in the flowing tresses of “August,” and nestling her fears about unreciprocated love in “Whenever You’re Here.”

León comments on the project in its press release, describing: “This project took over a year in the making. It really took everything and a complete character development to finish. I had hoped that where my voice could not carry, the songs would speak louder and reach further. Some family and friends blessed the tracks with love. The EP tells many stories and uses many voices so that it might resonate with more people. It’s less about relatability and more about the personal and the taboo. I hope people enjoy, and start conversations.”

And thus, I encourage you to engage in a thoughtful dialogue with León’s intentional prose — immerse yourself in the hypnotic wavelengths of It’s Only Takeout Ma and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find yourself changed on the other side.

:: “Alice” – Roseburg ::

Joe Beer, Surrey, UK

Provo, Utah’s Roseburg are back and finally breaking the back of their two year silence with “Alice.” With their human touch for timelessness and knack for all things alt-rock making them ones to watch, they re-enter the scene with music that feels fresh, yet familiar. They explain, “It’s become emblematic of us revisiting our foundation. We’ve gotten to go back to when things were easy and hopeful and full of magic, and we’re ready to bring all that back to our fans.”

Through rich vocal performances and punching melodies, “Alice” fuses themes of purpose, life and love into a self-confessed “return to innocence and simplicity”. With escalating rhythms, gripping basslines and indie-infused harmonies, the quartet have solidified their status as exceptional creatives, and their latest single consolidates exactly why.

They may have been silent for the past couple of years, but that hasn’t stopped Roseburg from making their mark in the alt-rock scene. As their tunes stand the test of time, so do they. With the ability to remain fresh and focused, “Alice” marks the start of their next chapter. We can’t wait to see what comes next.

:: “Ya Llegué” – French Rebellion ::

Chloe Robinson, California

There are those rare releases that not only shatter language barriers, but also transcend time and space. French Horn Rebellion’s single “Ya Llegué” featuring Stalking Gia and Cimafunk does just that. The piece exudes such vast raw emotion and magnetism you cannot help but be lost in its complexity. With every bold, eclectic beat and smooth vocal you are lured further into seduction. It instantly makes you want to move your hips each time you listen.

French Horn Rebellion is a daring duo made up of brothers Robert and David PM. They possess a highly addictive funk-fueled dance sound. Their sonics meld seamlessly with Cimafunk. Cimafunk is recognized for a charismatic and colorful Afro-Cuban style. Stalking Gia is an artist, singer, songwriter, model and influencer proving that you really can do it all. Her raspy, soulful quality adds an extra layer of texture to the track.

:: “Natural” – ANDRO ::

Mitch Mosk, New York

Never been afraid of losing, but this time I got my heart in knots,” UK artist ANDRO sings in a brooding moment of honest reflection. “Was keeping all my options open, but now I feel I’m losing touch.” Released today, “Natural” is simply sublime: An achingly heartfelt, beautifully bittersweet, and soul-stirring power-ballad all about those first moments we learn to let someone in after being closed off for so long. The Liverpool-born, London-based pop-soul artist leans into connection and intimacy like it’s his very first time, drenching the ears in a hot R&B laced soundscape replete with buoyant, reverb-heavy keyboards, layers upon layers of enchanting harmonies, and of course, his own glistening, golden vocals.

“‘Natural’ is both a lament and a celebration,” ANDRO tells Atwood Magazine. “I met someone late 2021 and we both connected quite spontaneously and beautifully, when I was going through career and living transitions, which is always scary. We were both having so much conflict between; making room for each other and the challenges that come with a romantic relationship and pushing both our careers as artists. I genuinely thought staying single and independent and not taking a risk on love would somehow be better. But I realized that it’s possible to maintain both, especially in such a fickle industry as the arts. Its important to make those connections that are a little bit more personal than just friends.”

“I didn’t want to give up on something that felt like a natural attraction to me and so I definitely found the decision within my conflict to make room for that person so we could grow together whilst also growing my career. And taking the risk in love, as I think we should always do. However the other person could never sit within their confidence of knowing (or wanting) it could work. And so the chorus of the song is definitely the celebration part of my conflict: A declaration of how much I feel for them during the good and the bad, and that I’m choosing not to run away just because outside circumstances are overwhelming.”

I’m being honest, I’m feeling something for you.
In so many moments.
And I don’t feel like giving up
I’m feeling something for you.
My heart is ignited. And it feels natural.

Spoiler alert: “Natural” does not have a happy ending – at least, not in a Disney “happily-ever-after” fairytale sense. “In the end, the other person didn’t want to make room, and chose themselves and their career,” ANDRO says. But if we think of a happy ending as a finale where our protagonist has grown and emotionally matured, learning something new and valuable that they can take with them and build upon in the future, then “Natural” in, fact, euphoric.

ANDRO’s first offering of the year is also the lead single off his forthcoming three-track sophomore EP Conflict, which follows last summer’s four-track debut EP Mortal. Reminiscent of “Man in the Mirror”-era Michael Jackson (and to a lesser extent, “Follow You Follow Me” era Genesis), with its pulsing guitars and smoldering, larger-than-life drums, “Natural” is easy and fun to fall for. Formerly a member of Mercury Prize-nominated band Jungle, ANDRO is quickly cementing himself as a powerhouse vocalist and an equally talented lyricist; needless to say, we can’t wait to reel through the fervor of Conflict upon its release. For now, we’ll be crying our eyes out to “Natural.”

:: “Before the Fall” – Factor Eight ::

Josh Weiner, Washington DC

I never thought the day would come when I’d be 30 years old and still be eagerly tuning into lullabies, but visual media composer Factor Eight has just made it happen! The Canadian artist born Andrew Bennett has just published what he’s promoting as a “trance-inducing neoclassical lullaby,” and it’s exactly the kind of soothing song that’s worth chilling out to at the end of a busy work week. And here we are on Friday, after all, so have at it!

Factor Eight first entered the scene with his 2016 debut, Dust. While he hasn’t put out another proper LP since then (though it sounds like that’s about to change next month), he’s continued to deliver a solid supply of individual tracks, allowing him to tinker with different sounds and explore lyrical themes such as his mental health and bipolar disorder. “Before the Fall” keeps that trend going strong, as the calm piano playing and humming (provided by co-writer Armen Bazarian) featured early on in the track soon gets punctured by growing harmonium and drum kicks. According to Bennett, this is designed to provide “Before the Fall” with “a sense of impending chaos and a menacing timbre.” The song is about six years in the making– and the effort and innovation can definitely be felt!

:: “All I’ve Got To Say” – Jake Hays ::

Chloe Robinson, California

You know that exhausting feeling when you have tried everything to repair a situation, but nothing is working? Jake Hays’ new radiant pop-rock offering details the agonizing frustration of knowing you need to let go, but your partner refuses to face that reality. Filled with glittering electric guitar riffs and driving drums the track makes a bold splash. Hays serenades your ear waves with his silky high-pitched vocals and we are hooked.

Music has always been present in Hays’ history. His mother Cherie Currie, lead vocalist of The Runaways, inspired him to pave his own path in the music scene. He toured at just 19 and his dedication to his craft has only increased. This pungent track exhibits his robust vocal and lyrical skill.

:: “Waste My Time” – Linebeck ::

Mitch Mosk, New York

Good lines in trying times are easily re-wrote… I’m no stranger when it comes to dancing with a ghost,” Linebeck’s Chrys Teo sings in her band’s alluring and immersive third single. Released today, “Waste My Time” is a beautifully intimate haze of fervent heartache and fuzzy shoegaze. Walls of effected electric guitars (courtesy of guitarist Momo Raickovic) drench the ears in a thick, dynamic, and driving heat that’s perfectly matched by Teo’s cool, sweet singing.

Yes, this song is a melancholic lament of love in the 21st Century – but one can’t help falling for such a stormy dream pop tempest. Hailing from Hamilton, Ontario, Linebeck coat their sorrow with stunning, cinematic sound.

You are always painting flowers in my mind
Picture Perfect, but you’re only chasing lines
Are you just temporary? Lost in my dreams
Slowly drifting but your waves come crashing over me
Hey hey, are you gonna waste my time?
Hey hey, are you gonna waste my time?

“‘Waste My Time’ was heavily influenced by my sister’s first break up, as well as the many misgivings our friends have about dating in the digital age. Dating has always been referred to as a ‘game,’ and while games can be fun, they can also be exhausting,” Chrys Teo tells Atwood Magazine. “The lyrics in ‘Waste My Time’ speak to the feelings of fear and reservation in the beginning stages of a relationship… wanting to protect yourself before getting too invested, and asking for open and honest communication before putting your heart on the line.”

“I’ve always found myself drawn by these large sounding songs in shoegaze and dreampop,” Momo Raickovic adds. “I love feeling lost inside of the music, where you can pick out individual elements while simultaneously being unable to comprehend it all at once. Sonically we strive to blend these elements with very pop-driven melodies and lyrics, which can be rather fussy at times. On ‘Waste My Time,’ I like to think we struck a delicate balance between the two. I was able to indulge a bit on this track, adding multiple different guitar layers, my favourite being the washed out guitar tuned to DADGBD. The only trouble I find is that it can be difficult to know when enough is enough in terms of soundscape. Working so closely with people like Chrys and Will Crann on production means there’s always someone around to reel you back in if you’ve gone too far, or to help push you if you haven’t gone far enough.”

All your words, to me, are empty in acclaim
All your paintings hang in counterfeited frames
Good lines in trying times are easily re-wrote
I’m no stranger when it comes to dancing with a ghost
Hey hey, are you gonna waste my time
Hey hey, are you gonna waste my time
Hey hey, I don’t need your reasons why
Hey hey, are you gonna waste my time, waste my time

Following this summer’s impassioned debut single “Bed” and August’s lush, dazzling follow-up “In My Dreams,” “Waste My Time” sees Linebeck dwelling in an especially personal space filled with an especially potent sense of vulnerability and unbridled sincerity. It’s the no-holds-barred direct impact of a band wearing their hearts on their sleeves that elevates this song to incredible, soaring heights. Fans of indie rock and dream pop bands like Alvvays and Beach House are sure to find refreshing inspiration within Linebeck’s churning, lush, heavy, enchanting, and unapologetically intimate artistry.

Cupid doesn’t have a clue
I don’t need forever, need you forever
Promise but your aim ain’t true
I don’t need forever, need you forever
If you want to melt away
I don’t need forever, need you forever
Lose you to another flame
I don’t need forever, need you forever
Hey hey, are you gonna waste my time
Hey hey, are you gonna waste my time
Hey hey, I don’t need your reasons why
Hey hey, are you gonna waste my time, waste my time

:: “Mario” – Andrea ::

Joe Beer, Surrey, UK

Bringing the perfect amount of sass and sonic energy to the scene, rising pop artist Andrea has returned with her new single “Mario.” With the perfect power-boost, her latest single evolves with confidence and charisma alike, as she blends the iconic Mario coin sound with gripping 808 basslines and nostalgia-tinged grooves. She explains, “Mario is the result of having a confident day and wanting to save that energy for forever in a track.”

Andrea’s ambition was to capture an attitude in her latest offering, and she certainly didn’t disappoint. From romantic cliches to irony, her fables bring out the very best of her creativity. She continues, “Mario started as a joke. Using the coin sound made me think it would be funny to be confident like certain rappers who brag about having an abundance of money. It’s ironic because I’m still broke.” With funky productions and contagious melodies, “Mario” soars with Andrea’s reverberating vocal energy and passion to match it.

It’s Andrea’s hope that her new single will make listeners feel good about themselves, enabling them with the confidence to try new things and step just one foot further out of their comfort zone. Her empowerment and enablement shine brightly, making her one to keep a close eye on in coming months.

:: “Phoebe & Elliott” – Kalina Tyne ::

Mitch Mosk, New York

It’s an undeniably bold move to reference both Phoebe Bridgers and Elliott Smith in your song’s title, and someone else might not have been able to pull it off as convincingly or effectively – but damn if Kalina Tyne doesn’t have us absolutely, utterly enchanted. Out today, “Phoebe & Elliott” is the LA and Nashville-based singer/songwriter’s second single of the year, in fact following yet another “name-drop” of sorts: This past March saw the release of her song, “Chandler Bing.”

Tyne seems to have a pattern for eye-catching track names, and to be quite frank, we’re okay with it at this juncture mainly because her haunting, lush indie folk is all-killer, no filler: Intimate emotional outpourings wash over the ears in waves of softly stirring guitars and vocals that rise to a fever pitch in immersive choruses aching with the sweet rush of cathartic release. So what if the song name is as catchy as the music itself? This is clickbait done right; I’m glad I pressed play.

Almost instantly, “Phoebe ^ Elliott” whisks listeners into Tyne’s nostalgic, wistful reverie:

I used to ride around town with the windows down
40 minute commute from work to my house
And the house was a room in Toluca Hills
And the work was unpaid but I did it still
And I’d play all of the songs that you sent to me
Even picture you sitting in the passenger seat
Looking back on it now, what a sad, sad mix
Phoebe Bridgers and Elliott Smith

The chorus finds Tyne dwelling in her memory’s depths and ultimately recognizing how much her present-day self is different from the person in her past. As such, “Phoebe & Elliott” is a letting go of sorts; a release of that special person she used to love and live for – the one who, per the first verse, turned her on to “sad folk” artists like Phoebe Bridgers and Elliott Smith.

All day, all night, I kept you on my mind
I tried, oh i tried, to be the kind of cool you like
And it’s sad but it’s true, I think I outgrew you
I don’t fit in your world like I used to

To Tyne’s credit, this song is the kind of cool we like: Brutally honest and softly cinematic.

“‘Phoebe & Elliott’ is a song about looking back at the person you once were and realizing how much you’ve grown, how you don’t try to change yourself to get people to like you anymore,” Tyne tells Atwood Magazine. “Creating the song was seamless and cathartic. My producer Diego Ferrera and I nearly finished the whole track in our first session ever together. He completely understood the vision, stacked the track with driving electric guitars and drums, encouraged me to layer as many harmonies and ad-libs as I wanted (the session is HUGE, there are so many vocal layers), and thickened the track with dial tones, pen-scribbling, and other symbolic foley sounds.”

“I love the whole track, but my favorite part of the song comes at the end, when the heavy instrumentation fades out into an acoustic outro ornamented with vocoder harmonies and a Mellotron. Creating the outro expanded my musical experimentation and allowed me to tap into acknowledging the “muses” of the song (Bridgers and Smith). The majority of the track is of course supposed to sound like a “Kalina Tyne” song, but with the outro I wanted to represent Bridgers and Smith, bringing in Smith’s rich acoustic guitar tones and Bridger’s siren-esque soft vocals, creating an atmospheric tribute to the record’s namesakes.”

Props to Kalina Tyne for going for it and nailing the landing. This is one hot song we’ll be listening to on repeat through the cold, dark winter months ahead.

I got the Fender Stratocaster that we talked about
Would’ve sent you a picture but we don’t talk now
And I’ve long since moved from Toluca Hills
You’ve never seen this room and probably never will
And I listen to the songs that I’ve always liked
But was a little too afraid to admit it and I
Can’t help but shudder when I reminisce
On who I was back then

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