Atwood Magazine’s Weekly Roundup: February 9, 2024

Atwood Magazine's Weekly Roundup | February 9, 2024
Atwood Magazine's Weekly Roundup | February 9, 2024
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 Noah Kahan, Dehd, Schoolboy Q, NoMBe, UNA MIA, Glixen, Mandi Crimmins, Sadye, TOLEDO, Hollow Coves, Picture Parlour, Jetta, Usher, Matney, & TOUCAN!
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Atwood Magazine's Weekly Roundup

:: “Forever” – Noah Kahan ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

Tender, cinematic, and overflowing with love, “Forever” is a fitting finale to Noah Kahan’s Stick Season saga. A soft, soul-stirring folk-pop confessional that grows from gentle, hushed balladry into a spirited stomp-and-holler celebration, the track captures so many facets of the artistry Kahan has realized, and wholeheartedly embraced, over these past two years. The Vermont singer/songwriter creates an experience that is at once intimate and epic as he wears his heart unconditionally on his sleeve, singing about old demons and insecurities, opening up and letting love in.

Let’s drive for no reason, let’s see where these wheels land
Let’s grind down the curve of this earth
You look fine in the evening and, honey, it’s starting to storm
When we kissed in the car in the school parking lot
Where I’d go with my friends to get drunk
Used to wish I meant anything to anywhere, to anyone
When forever was a sentence, sentence to death
Oh, when you wеre a running tear, I was a drop of sweat
And, thе edges of your soul, I haven’t seen yet
Now I’m glad I get forever to see where you end

He’s still the same small-town kid from Strafford, population 1,075 – and letting someone in means sharing his special places – both physical, and in memory – with them. It also means letting go, to a certain extent, and creating space to make new memories and build a new life, together. Kahan rises from a fragile, ethereal, shiver-inducing Bon Iver-esque pre-chorus to a sonically and emotionally charged chorus that calls to mind the folk rock sounds of Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers – and he does it all while seamlessly staying authentic to himself:

I won’t be alone for the rest of my life
I’ll build a boat for when the river gets high
And I’ll meet a girl in the heat of July
And I’ll tell her so she knows
That I’m broke, but I’m real rich in my head
That I broke a bone that never healed in my hand
So, when I hold her close
I might loosen my grip, but I won’t ever let her go
I won’t ever let her go

“Forever” is the namesake to Stick Season‘s final form, the two-hour long Stick Season (Forever), out today via Mercury Records / Republic Records.

“Forever is a long time,” Kahan shares. “This album cycle has felt like forever, and I’ve loved every second of it. I have loved living in this world. I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin, more proud of what I was representing in my songwriting, and more vindicated by the response to a record that was really an extension of my soul. When I sat down to write ‘Forever’ with Gabe Simon, I didn’t know I would be sealing off the album with it. I thought it might just be a nice standalone single, but as I listened to the story, I realized I was writing about perspective. The idea that a place can remain the exact same physically but becomes totally different as our lives and our experiences change.”

“The word ‘forever’ used to terrify me,” he continues. “I hate finality, there is too much uncertainty and boredom affiliated with ‘the rest of time.’ Now though, I’ve found forever to mean there is limitless possibility. There is so much joy in the world, waiting to be found. That is something that Stick Season has shown me, that this year has shown me. Sometimes it just takes a change in perspective.”

“I hope you enjoy these songs, I hope they continue to find you in the times you most need them, like they did for me. I do not know what is next, but I’m glad I get forever to find it.”

The second verse of “Forever” sees Kahan reveling in more recent memories – sometimes based in old haunts, and sometimes in new places – as he basks in the glow of intimacy.

Remember when we called the cops
‘Cause I got too high, and you got scared
And the cops just laughed?
We can’t make rent, so we window-shop
In the Upper West Side, oh, my God
Could you imagine that?

It’s that shared special connection so many of us are striving for; that Kahan, himself, doubted for so long. Now that he’s found it, a new world has revealed itself to him – and he’s never letting go.

“Forever” is romantic; there’s an element of infatuation, of love’s intoxication, to the song, but as we understand from Kahan himself, the song extends beyond the experience of a crush; it’s about being open to what the world can offer us, if we open ourselves to it first. It’s about optimism, and learning to look up.

This is what a musical smile sounds like. Graceful and gorgeous, vulnerable and dramatic, “Forever” is a powerful send-off; one that ends Stick Season on the highest high, as Noah Kahan lets the love in.

I won’t be alone for the rest of my life
I’ll build a boat for when the river gets high
And I’ll meet a girl in the heat of July
And I’ll tell her so she knows
That I’m broke, but I’m real rich in my head
That I broke a bone that never healed in my hand
So, when I hold her close
I might loosen my grip, but I won’t ever let her go
I won’t ever let her go
When forever was a sentence, sentence to death
Oh, when you were a running tear, I was a drop of sweat
And, the edges of your soul, I haven’t seen yet
Now I’m glad I get forever to see where you end
To see where you end

:: “Mood Ring” – Dehd ::

Kevin Cost, Austin, TX

Chicago! That is all I have to say.

I’m just kidding, but I certainly cannot be the only one that has been paying attention to this iconic city for generating some of the most unbelievable music in recent years, or you could even say since the dawn of time. Let’s not forget that Chicago is one of many cities that birthed various genres, including house, contemporary jazz, and gospel, and some even consider it the mecca of rock.

Speaking of Chicagoan music, Dehd, formed in the city in 2015, has been pumping out some of my favorite records since their first self-titled album, Dehd, back in 2016. They continuously push the boundaries of the indie rock scene, experimenting with surfy vibrations and exhilarating pop sounds while sticking to their DIY roots. “Mood Ring” off their upcoming album, Poetry, continues their legacy as innovators.

The new single gives the impression that the trio has entered a new era, which is always exciting. However, you still hear the rapturous vocals of Emily Kempf, accompanied by the effortless guitar riffs of Jason Balla and Eric McGrady’s uplifting and infectious drum patterns. It is a fantastic intro to the new record, set to release in early May, and oh-so comforting to die hard fans knowing that they are continuing their distinctive Chicago sound.

:: “Blueslides” – Schoolboy Q ::

Connor Muldowney, Washington, DC

I adore the relaxed, lush, lounge piano instrumental on “Blueslides,” the new song released to promote “Schoolboy Q’s” upcoming album Blue Lips. Over this serene piano and string piece, Schoolboy Q brings a lyricism casual in its bleakness, as though hovering storm clouds approach at a slow but sure pace.

He raps about feeling invisible, speaking on being “taken for granted” by the people he has helped, saying he feels like a prisoner in his own house but “I don’t know if they noticed.”

He furthermore expresses an insecurity of his time as a successful musician being up, saying;

Better climb out of that hole
before you f* up your blessings
‘Fore you realize that it’s over
with and start to get dеsperate

The song even includes a possible reference to fellow rapper and friend Mac Miller’s overdose. Despite all of the grim subject matter on the track, Schoolboy Q’s cadence remains calm and assured. He doesn’t feel like a man dumping his problems in a sloppy manner on the listener, as a lot of “confessional” music can run the risk of, but rather the processed emotions of a mature person who knows the bleak reality of his situation, but has sat with those dark feelings long enough to express them in a meaningful, beauty song.

:: “Space for Two” – NoMBe ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

Noah McBeth, it’s been far too long! Mr. Electric Soul himself, known to the public by his moniker NoMBe, returns today with “Space for Two,” a dreamy and carefree celebration of intimacy, connection, and togetherness. It’s the first we’ve heard from the Hawaii-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer since the release of his “kaleidoscopic and vulnerable” (my words) sophomore album CHROMATOPIA back in 2021 – and based solely on this new single alone, it would seem NoMBe is still riding that radiant, effusive high.

Running from a past life
I was thinking last night
We should get away, just me and you
Finger on the map like
We should live our best life
Skinny dipping til our lips turn blue
Shawty you know where to find me
Just give me a sign I’ll be flyin’ in a heartbeat
Sexy sugar mami, riders never die see

I’ll be by your side when you call
Any time, any place for you

“I’ve always been an outlier; too rock for R&B, too R&B for the rock kids,” NoMBe shares. “I’ve learned to embrace it. ‘Space For Two’ is the first song off my upcoming EP that features stories from my life. These songs were written years ago that never made it on the first album but still mean a lot to me.”

I’ll go anywhere
As long as there’s space for two
So would you run away right now
I dare you to

The lead single off a new EP scheduled for release in April, “Space for Two” is an unrestrained, unfiltered revelry. It’s a charming return from an artist we’ve loved from day one – and a reminder that NoMBe is unmatched: There’s no one, in today’s musical landscape, whose songs resonate with as much depth, color, and unadulterated energy. Put this song on and prepare to smile from ear to ear.

:: “Better Care” – UNA MIA ::

Josh Weiner, Washington DC

I’m gearing up for another fun skiing and hiking trip to Canada trip over my upcoming February break next week, and as I always do when I’m about to head up to the Great White North, I’m getting in the right mood for it by lending an ear to current Canadian musicians. While my road trip will be Quebec-centered this time, I’m open-minded about what’s taking place one province over in Ontario, and it turns out that includes this: a native daughter known as UNA MIA is establishing her presence in the music industry, having released her debut single, “Lose You,” this past September, and is now returning with a new track this week entitled “Better Care.”

Of Balkan heritage, UNA MIA has been based in Ontario her whole life– born in Toronto, raised in Belleville, and educated at the University of Kingston. She’s long had a passion for R&B and Soul music, and is now fusing both of them into her personal musical projects, including her latest track, which finds her entering Rihanna mode by asking, “How can I take better care of you? How can I make your body go oooh?

“’Better Care’ speaks to the beauty and importance of self-pleasure,” UNA MIA says. “So often, we’re focused on pleasing the other instead of ourselves. This song is an anthem for feeling free in your own sensuality and celebrating being intimate in the most authentic way.”

It’s an appealing concept on paper, and even more so on record – I’ll be sure to give UNA MIA a salute from not too far away as I slide down the slopes of Mt. Tremblant in just a few days’ time.

:: “foreversoon” – Glixen ::

Will Yarbrough, Philadelphia, PA

Out of this new wave of American shoegaze, Glixen sound like they could’ve blown in from the same misty British coastline as My Bloody Valentine. Heck, the band’s first EP was cheekily named after a song on Loveless. Their own songs check the genre’s all-too-important boxes, too, with distortion that swirls like cotton candy and vocals so pillowed with reverb that they’re unintelligible as a foreign language.

But Glixen also embody the changing indie rock landscape. Not only are they full of feminine energy. There’s not a pasty white dude in the bunch. Aislin Ritchie became besties with bassist Sonia Garcia while working together at American Apparel. Though it wasn’t until Ritchie spent year one of the pandemic recording solo that she reconnected with Esteban Santana (guitar) and Kiere Johnson (drums), who both played in her previous outfit.

Phoenix hasn’t always been a hotbed for shoegaze, but growing up in the suburban desert has led these young trailblazers to envision greener pastures. “The slow pace and emptiness instilled this sense of longing in me,” Ritchie told me over e-mail. “Music provided me the escape I needed to feel free”.

That gnawing melancholy feeds into the newfound heaviness behind Glixen’s new single. The guitars still swirl and smear before tightening around a riff that’s grungy enough to drill through the earth’s crust. But it’s the drums that give “foreversoon” a deeper gravitational pull, tumbling with the slow, paralyzing force of an avalanche viewed from space. “The world around me isn’t as bright and shiny as it was when I was younger”, Richie said when asked about what forces are guiding their upcoming EP.

On our planet, people aren’t afforded enough space to wonder — especially when they look like Glixen. Maybe that’s why their generation is gravitating toward shoegaze. It gives them a safe place to dream. “Let’s stay this way for some time,” Ritchie sings with starry-eyed serenity, like she’s inviting you to stand with her inside the eye of a storm.

:: “LOSE CONTROL” – Mandi Crimmins ::

Joe Beer, Surrey, UK

Hailing from Massachusetts, the now Los Angeles based artist Mandi Crimmins uses songwriting as a healing mechanism, allowing her to close the door on chapters of her life and simultaneously deliver vital messages to the masses. Her new single, “LOSE CONTROL” is demonstrative of just that, as she painfully recalls a traumatic experience she had when she was in college. By telling her own story, she hopes to be a voice for others, as she bravely shares, “I was groomed and trafficked by someone older who I thought was my friend. It took me nearly 7 years and a lot of therapy to accept that it happened. Because accepting it happened meant accepting that I was never in control and that I was a pawn. I wanted to tell my story publicly without shame, in hopes that it might bring peace, validation, and community to someone who might be struggling with the same thing.”

This empowering message is delivered through a raucous rock soundscape, where clashing instrumentation combines with Crimmins raw lyrics and soaring vocals, all driven by emotion and sheer determination to not let these things define you.

:: “Pretty Traumatized” – Sadye ::

Chloe Robinson, California

We all have different coping mechanisms for the trauma we have faced. Some people lash out, some recoil in fear, but Sadye uses light-hearted humor. That captivating wit is displayed in her upbeat dark-pop piece “Pretty Traumatized.” The playful rhythms are a stark contrast to the message of severe pain and suffering. Growing up fighting an uphill battle with cancer and now having made it out the other side, she can joke about it in a therapeutic track. Listeners are instantly drawn to how infectious yet real the song is.

In the vain of Kim Petras and Charlie XCX, her mesmeric hooks and shining synth beats are refreshing to fans. Sadye puts so much soul into each release touching on powerful personal topics. Her themes of dealing with difficult partnerships and seeking self-worth resonate deeply. “Pretty Traumatized” is another passionate offering to connect to. Even if you have not struggled with illness, most of us know what it is like to tackle tough matters in our lives. Sadye shows us it is okay to be… ‘pretty traumatized.’

:: “Lindo Lindo” – TOLEDO ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

TOLEDO’s latest song is so great, they named it twice! Released in mid-January, “Lindo Lindo” is a dusty, ethereal indie rock reverie: A dreamy enchantment sung in Spanish and English that finds the Brooklyn-based duo of Daniel Alvarez de Toledo and Jordan Dunn-Pilz basking in the sweet glow of infatuation.

At least, that’s my take.

when you were stirring your drink with your hand
on the flight from barcelona
and the light came in through the window
you looked beautiful and pale
in your dads old Patagonia
and calling out from the back row
i heard the boys sing:
“lindo a mi me pareces lindo
siempre bésame
mio, mi amor y my vida
lindo di me que quieres si no
quieres pasar los dias
siempre juntos en brazos mios”

“‘Lindo Lindo’ started out as a 30 second demo from 2020,” Dunn-Pilz tells Atwood Magazine. “Dan was noodling on those two chords and singing in Spanish. At first we were intimidated by how different and unapologetically playful it was, and shelved it. Eventually we resolved to lean into this energy and finish the song. I set the verses on an airplane to tell a very specific story of watching your partner get rizzed up. As Daniel’s partner uses they/she/he pronouns, the use of ‘Lindo‘ vs ‘Linda‘ was meant as a playful way to poke at gender identity throughout the song. This person/character is attractive to anyone and being catcalled by all sides.

you say it doesn’t make you mad
to feel like you’re wanted
so i tell you I’m glad
and try to stay dishonest
but the blue-light of the screen
and the in-flight magazines
and all the women on the intercom
they sing:
“lindo lindo, lindo lindo”

and all the girls sing:

The song’s title translates roughly to “cute” or “handsome” from Spanish; lindo is a common compliment – an endearing gesture that shows your appreciation for the recipient. That same token extends into TOLEDO’s song, as they revel in the sweet glow of a moment of connection.

Soft, subtle, hot-on-the-mic vocal harmonies give the track an intimate surreality; it feels as though the duo are both near and far, singing right into our ears as they dwell in this golden hour daydream.

lindo a mi me pareces lindo
siempre bésame
mio, mi amor y my vida
lindo di me que quieres si no
quieres pasar los dias
siempre juntos en brazos mios

:: “Photographs” – Hollow Coves ::

Dimitra Gurduiala, Italy

In an increasingly fast-paced world where money and productivity rule the day, what really matters? What value do memories have if we are so projected into the future? What is the point of taking so many photos if we no longer look at them, no longer frame them?

Listening to “Photographs” by Hollow Coves brings these questions and many others to mind, along with a few tears filled with nostalgia. There is something really special about capturing a moment by taking a photo with the intention of having a physical copy of it, I think. Time stops, you go and calmly get your rolls developed, you collect your photos. Time becomes tangible, solid, it is as if the memories become even more real.

We’re living in a digital age
The kids are playing video games
The photographs never get framed
And nothing is quite the same
Dusty albums stored for years
Journals kept to void her fears
And even though nothing’s the same
Her legacy never fades

With the rise of new technologies, however, we lose some of that. There is no longer that nostalgic magic of flipping through photos together with loved ones. There are, of course, other advantages we have gained from technological innovations, from being able to take digital photos everywhere. In “Photographs,” however, the Australian duo and their sweet folk pop perfectly captures how important and valuable it is to have a physical copy of one’s memories, since “This is how we always remember / This is how we never forget.” A touching piece indeed.

:: “Norwegian Wood” – Picture Parlour ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

I am admittedly a little late to the party – this song come out last July, after all – but I only just discovered Picture Parlour last week, and I promised myself I would review the band’s two stunning songs in chronological order. Hence while October’s “Judgement Day” was technically the first Picture Parlour track to pique my interest, today I’m taking a light dive into “Norwegian Wood” – a song whose auspicious title already had me in folds, before I ever listened.

It’s as thin as Norwegian wood
What could a crook know about love?
I tend to chew what I can get
Not sure I know my body yet
It hurts to show but it’s not easy knowing what I know
When I’m down, I’m so down
If I expressed myself, well, you wouldn’t stick around me

Released July 23, 2023 via Universal Music Group, “Norwegian Wood” is, first and foremost, not a Beatles cover. Cinematic in scope and breathtaking in depth, Picture Parlour’s debut single is an anthemic eruption of emotionally charged indie rock, complete with rousing, edgy guitars, thunderous drums, radiant keys, and the achingly intense vocals of one Katherine Parlour – whose unflinching lyrics reckon with feelings of solitude and imbalance; of feeling like you don’t belong, like you don’t have an anchor, and your house is not a home.

Considering the weight of these emotions, is it any wonder that this song would hit so hard? Parlour wrestles with her place in the world as together, she and her bandmates churn with fiery, fine-tuned finesse. “I thought I’d screech in the face of death, but I went into liquidation like my businesses,” she sings, giving her touching poetry a touch of grit and gruffness:

It’s as thin as Norwegian wood
What could this crook know about anything?
I thought I’d screech in the face of death but
I went into liquidation like my businesses.
It hurts to show but it’s not easy knowing what I know
When I’m down, I’m so down
If I expressed myself, then you wouldn’t stick around me.

For Parlour, this song is an all-too honest story: “‘Norwegian Wood’ is an unvarnished confession to a loved one, inspired by Haruki Murakami’s novel ‘Norwegian Wood’ and its relationship with the infamous Beatles track,” she explains. “Written not long after I moved from Liverpool to London, the track coincided with a loneliness felt upon moving to the capital. The despondency that came with my life shift elicited the song: a burning inner dialogue of total transparency with oneself as well as loved ones.”

“In a nutshell, ‘Norwegian Wood’ represents how being human can feel on those dimmer days.”

Save yourself,
a love like this is bad for your health.

Save yourself
from the woman who loves you.

Whereas so many bands these days debut with half-realized, semi-demo quality tracks that may or may not wind up on their debut album (or EP), Picture Parlour come to us fully baked: The vision of Katherine Parlour, guitarist Ella Risi, bassist Sian Lynch, and drummer Michael Nash has a clear knack for vulnerability first and theatricality second – their stadium-sized sounds begging to be played at the highest possible settings. “Norwegian Wood” imbues a familiar classic pop wireframe with infectious raw energy and dizzying emotion; it’s unapologetic, candid, cathartic, confessional, and altogether brilliant. Others may fall into referencing Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, and even more recent acts like The Struts, but I say that from the jump, Picture Parlour have stood out on their own.

Here’s to a fresh, new band with limitless potential.

It hurts to show and it’s not easy knowing what I know
When I’m down, I’m so down
If I expressed myself, then you wouldn’t stick around me.
I’m no mystic but you can trust me with the rest of it
I was a flight risk in my time. If not for you,
then rest assured I’d go without this life.

:: relax, the house is on fire – Jetta ::

Joe Beer, Surrey, UK

London-based artist Jetta has just unveiled her debut album, relax, the house is on fire, offering listeners a poignant reflection on riding the rollercoaster of life. As she navigates these tumultuous moments, she stands tall with a smile on her face, refusing to be knocked down by things that are out of our control. This empowering message is delivered through lighthearted and relatable tales, such as “call me when it’s over,” where she touches falling in and out of love.

The Liverpudlian shares, “This album is an accurate representation of me dealing with not dealing with life; a coping mechanism for not coping, if you will. You could call it denial or acceptance, depends how you choose to look at it really.”

relax, the house is on fire features a beautiful amalgamation of swirling synths, hypnotic beats and electronic embellishments, all underpinned by Jetta’s impressive and unique vocals. Throughout the 14-track album, Jetta takes you on a journey and by the end she leaves us feeling a sense of hope, knowing that we’re all in this together.

:: “Ruin” – Usher ::

Josh Weiner, Washington DC

Usher is performing at the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday, and I’m puuummmppeeddd! Like others, I’m getting ready for the big performance by revisiting his back catalog and enjoying the reminiscence in the process– 2004’s Confessions album is basically middle school in a nutshell for me. On top of that, though, I’ve been incentivized to check out what Usher has been up to lately, since– exactly like last year’s SB halftime performer, Rihanna– he hasn’t actually released a new solo LP since 2016 and will have to play the nostalgia card big time to win back fans’ attention with his much-anticipated show.

As it turns out, Usher is indeed gearing up for his first new LP in many a moon (Coming Home, it’s called) and has put out a preview of it entitled “Ruin.” It finds the singer in “Burn” mode, decrying a relationship gone south to the point where “you ruined me for everybody.” It might not be so groundbreaking thematically, but it shows Usher can still carry a falsetto convincingly and make smart production choices– this time teaming up with Nigerian Afrobeats producer Pheelz, who is also granted a short vocal segment midway through. Plus, the music video is a pretty nifty concept– it’s fully iPhone footage and finds Usher and crew busting some solid dance moves across a studio apartment. I’m looking forward to seeing more of that on Sunday in Las Vegas!

If you’re like me and have roughly a half-hour commute to work each day, then that’s just about the right amount of time to make your way through the entire “Ruin” release on Spotify– the original song, the instrumental, and five remixes from the likes of MÖRDA, Junior Taurus and Major League. Usher is clearly intent on re-entering the pop culture arena in grand style! Catch you in Vegas this weekend, old buddy.

:: “All Fired Up”- Matney ::

Chloe Robinson, California

Do you remember your last big night out? Do you recall that pumped up feeling you got from knowing you were about to totally tear up the town? Matney’s “All Fired Up” takes you straight back to that pure revved up rush. The energetic track masterfully melds blues, funk, hard rock and heavy metal to create the ideal in-your-face party anthem.

Singer, guitarist and songwriter, Mike Matney was raised in rural Virginia. That upbringing has led to releases taking influence from southern rock. Matney’s music focuses on dealing with past demons and his unflinching faith. Some of his biggest inspirations include Billy Gibbons, Frank Marino and Pat Travers. “All Fired Up” showcases the same electric grit those idols possess.

:: “Don’t Understand Why” – TOUCAN ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

Holy sh*t, this is so soulful. TOUCAN’s Conor Clancy has a voice of pure gold, and he knows how to use it. His latest single, “Don’t Understand Why” (released today) is a smoldering feel-good seduction of the senses full of yearning, brooding, and plenty of blue notes. “I’m feeling the chemistry sparklin and burnin between you and me,” Clancy sings at the top, “but I’m still not seeing enough of you and I together.” Lush, rich harmonies accompany his voice as the track progresses and Clancy continues to spill an aching heart, ultimately coming to a fever pitch in a breathtakingly bright and buoyant chorus:

‘Cause I just don’t understand why
Tell me baby
‘Cause I just don’t get it, no
I just don’t get it, no
I just don’t understand why

The words are so simple, but there’s nothing simple about this song. Soul music doesn’t come from simplicity; it comes from an aching inside, and TOUCAN clearly feels that inner churn in spades. 

“When I write, there’s a certain feeling I want to hone in on, or I create a story in my head that the song is based on,” Clancy tells Atwood Magazine. “So this song is about that feeling of plucking up the courage to tell someone you think you should be together, that there’s something really special between you. But I wanted to frame it in a way that wasn’t too sentimental, that still had that feel-good factor.  I wanted something that was nice and chilled out, but still had that brassy, boppy energy.”

“The lyrics are meant in a kind of cheeky way, saying that you’ll really have to spell it out why we’re not together, because I just don’t understand why?”

There goes another one undone
and now I know I’m not the only one
It takes two to tango and we’re tangled up
In love
So please say it to me
I need to hear the words out loud
Why you and me are not something real right now

Reminiscent of Al Green and Marvin Gaye, “Don’t Understand Why” is a breathtaking neo-soul seduction from an artist that needs to be on everybody’s radar. Based in Tramore, Ireland, TOUCAN has the Midas touch, and there’s no telling what an artist with this much talent – and such a once-in-a-generation voice – can do.

I don’t wanna wake up someday
And only then really realise
my heart was with you the whole time
So let’s take a second to think about
me being yours and you being mine
Chorus 3 (triple):
Cause I just don’t understand why
Tell me baby
Cause I just don’t get it, no
I just don’t get it, no
I just don’t understand why

— — — —

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