Atwood Magazine’s Weekly Roundup: February 23, 2024

Atwood Magazine's Weekly Roundup | February 23, 2024
Atwood Magazine's Weekly Roundup | February 23, 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 Maya Hawke, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Dreamer Isioma & The Celestials!, Adam Melchor, Dominda, Pomme, Selena Gomez, OTH€LLO & Alisha, Destin Laurel, The Mysterines, The Voidz, R E L, Blake Rose, Päter, your hands, Dasha, bog berries, Sterling Hudson, Luke Simo, & remote!
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Atwood Magazine's Weekly Roundup



:: “Missing Out” – Maya Hawke ::

Olivia Martinez, Boston, MA

A few months ago, I was exploring videos of Maya Hawke’s live performances on YouTube. In one video, taken by a fan in the crowd, Hawke played several originals I had heard before and one song that sounded brand new. Whatever this song was, I was immediately hooked by its nineties-esque chord progression and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. It was one of those rare occasions where the melody sounded so instantly catchy and perfectly emotive that I thought maybe I should have heard it before, even though I was sure I hadn’t. I figured it must have been a cover she decided to include in her set on tour… maybe by Pavement or some other indie band from the nineties. But upon further research, I could not find the song anywhere. It wasn’t until I dug further into the comments section that I realized the song, titled “Missing Out,” was an original unreleased single.

Didn’t think I’d get in, so I didn’t apply
Now I’m a drunk hanger-on
Hittin’ on the younger guy
I buy booze for the Ivy League with my television salary
They think they look up to me, ha

In the following months, I listened to the live version of “Missing Out” on YouTube many times, in anticipation of its release. You can imagine how thrilled I was when the official single was finally dropped last week on Valentine’s Day, along with a music video. With the song on repeat in my apartment, I have fallen even more in love with the lyrics, which provide a glimpse into Hawke’s self-perception and insecurities which have developed in tandem with the choices she has made and the opportunities she has missed out on in her life.

I was born with my foot in the door
And my mind in the gutter and my guts on the floor
Holdin’ the party line
Embarrassed all the time

Though not everyone grew up with actors and artists as parents, like Hawke, the fear of having taken the wrong path in life is a relatable feeling. It can be easy to look at one’s peers, especially as a twenty-something, and wonder whether their decisions have provided them with better life experiences than yours. Hawke masterfully takes this self-doubt and puts a poetically humorous spin on it. Take a listen to Maya Hawke’s new single, “Missing Out” and keep a lookout for her new album, Chaos Angel.



:: “Showtime” – Catfish and the Bottlemen ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

Back to the graft again,” Van McCann sings – and I swear, you can hear the smile in his voice. The stage is set, the curtain drops, and the band starts playing: It’s “Showtime,” and after a few years on hiatus and away from the spotlight, BRIT Award winners Catfish and the Bottlemen are back in action and ready to rock. “Just sold my voice for a long weekend,” McCann declares – presumably a reference to this year’s Reading & Leeds Festival, where he and his band mates will be headlining in August. “You bet it was worth it; there’s no other place I’d rather reset.”

Back to the graft again
Just sold my voice for a long weekend
You bet it was worth it
There’s no other place I’d rather reset
Got that right, love
If I wasn’t yours, I’d be somewhere else
On some other time zone
Tryna work things out myself

It’s been five long years since the release of 2019’s The Balance, Catfish and the Bottlemen’s dynamic third studio album, and in that time, spirited tracks like “Encore,” “2all,” and “Longshot” have all aged like fine wine. Still, there’s nothing like the raw rush of a brand new rock song, and hearing the band’s first release of the 2020s this week felt like catching up with an old friend: The Welsh group sound refreshed, reinvigorated, and all revved up on “Showtime,” a self-aware nod to getting back together and doing what they’ve long done best: Put on one hell of a show.

If I’m not moving you
I’ll be straight up outta here
Save analyzing the lies for the guys
who’ve got the time for it

I will say it again!
If I’m not moving you
I’ll be straight off out of here
Save analysing the lies for the guys
who’ve got the timе for it
F**k that shit! Get on this, sometimes
Whеn the thing you love is
right in front of your eyes

Don’t you blink or miss, showtime!
Before you know it’s goin’, gone, and that’s life!

A radiant, resounding eruption of euphoric passion and enthusiastic energy, “Showtime” is the lead single off Catfish and the Bottlemen’s soon-to-be-announced fourth studio album, set to release later this year. It’s a valiant and welcome return for the multi-platinum band, and one that sets a high bar, saying, in so many words, all they might way to say after all this time. “Could’ve called it a night but there’s too much fight in that heart,” McCann boldly cheers. “Get your mind right now ’cause we’re both just about to start.”

Charming and charged, “Showtime” strikes an exhilarating tone for what we can only hope to be a Catfish-filled year ahead.

Making tracks again,
’cause we set our sights on the goal that ends
Me being all yours and you being all mine
If I’m not moving you I’ll be straight up outta here

Annemarie said you went on a spree there asking for me
I love that sh*t! Get on this, sometimes
And the thing you love is right in front of your eyes
Don’t you blink or miss, it’s your time
Before you know what’s going on and that’s life
And the thing you love is right in front of your eyes
So, won’t you get on this? Get on this!



:: SOLAR SONATAS VOL. 1 – Dreamer Isioma & The Celestials! ::

Kendall Graham, Nantucket, MA

Dreamer Isioma and The Celestials! have teamed up to release the SOLAR SONATAS VOL. 1 EP this month. The ten minute, three-track project is doused in funk, and feels like a late afternoon in the summertime. It’s languid and slightly humid but carries the promise of an eventful night.

This is the first EP released by The Celestials! following their debut single, “In My Head,” alongside Isioma, just last month. The four-piece collective from Olympia, Washington mixes experimental rock with “atmospheric synthscapes,” and adds a healthy dose of neo-jazz stylings. This is Isioma’s first project to follow their 2023 album, Princess Forever. The SOLAR SONATAS VOL. 1 EP was released under Dreamer Isioma LLC.

Opening track “Obsessed” is a sweet, jazzy love song. The horns and bass are strong, highlighting the choral, orchestral harmonies in the outro. “Lotus” makes romance a performance. The improvisational jazz drumming becomes frenetic in the song’s second third. Vocal manipulations provide hectic ambiance before a sweet guitar riff, electronically modified, closes out the song.

“In My Head” is the most immediate rock song on the EP. The drums crash like waves breaking, as Dreamer’s sweet, mellow vocals dance with jangly, sharp guitar riffs. They struggle with a forbidden desire for someone else while already in a relationship. The tension is crafted expertly, sweltering throughout the song before detonating at the end like a series of fireworks, ending SOLAR SONATAS VOL. 1 with a bang.



:: “Is There Still a Light On?” – Adam Melchor ::

Rachel Leong, France

Adam Melchor kicks off 2024 with “Is There Still a Light On?” The independent release accompanies the announcement of his upcoming project and newest era in music. A beautiful collision of fingerstyle riff and hearty chords; soft storytelling is only one of the many ways Melchor’s musicianship shines:

There’s patterns in the way I yearn
I shatter everything I learn
and god you look so beautiful

A tale of longing and reminiscence, “Is There Still A Light On?” looks forward while looking back. A yearning for alternative realities, Melchor puts his heart on his sleeve to ask if things could ever return to a semblance of what once was. The track shows off Melchor’s guitar skills and is also produced by the singer himself. Personally, I always get excited when Melchor announces new music – the kind that reminds you of the little joys of what music is all about. As Atwood’s longtime artist to watch, we’re so excited to champion Melchor flourishing into his new era of music.



:: Don’t Mind That – Dominda ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

Irish five-piece Dominda (pronounced “dough-mine-dah”) debuted less than a year ago, and in a short span of time they’ve already spread their warm light far and wide, with songs like “You Never Told Me About Him” and “Meet Me in the Morning” capturing the Dublin group’s unique “neo-funk rock and roll” style. They now shine brighter than ever thanks to the release of their debut EP Don’t Mind That, out today via Wealth and Hellbeing Records.

“We were inspired to write this music in the excitement and energy that has come back into our lives after the lockdown,” Dominda tell Atwood Magazine. “Our new EP Don’t Mind That represents the first taste of that pent up energy and creativity, and there’s a lot more of that to come. The EP provides some context for the band name. Dominda is the phonetic spelling of “Don’t Mind That” in a Dublin accent – it is a phrase that can be heard in response to almost anything. It sums up our carefree and fun-loving attitude and our love of Dublin that we try to put into our music.”

“We don’t just play music; we create a shared experience with our listeners. Our songs are more than just catchy tunes; they’re stories from our lives. We pour our laughter, struggles, and everything in between into our music. We’re offering musical escapism in a time where that is sorely needed. In short, have you got something you’re stressed about? Don’t mind that.”

Among the EP’s six groovy, rejuvenating tracks is “She Got into Berghain,” an almost irresistible profile on someone way out of the narrator’s league… and yet. The band describes it as landing listeners in the “middle of a hazy smoking area somewhere in Dublin” – and so the story begins, with enchanting jazz guitars and colorful lyrics adding to the situation’s intoxicating aroma:

She’s preaching when you arrive,
She’s always got a sarcastic reply, you don’t know her,
but she’s a little ride, and she thought college was bollox,
She said, ‘does the world need another makeup artist?’
You know I think we’ll survive.
She’s strictly gluten free, no MSG, just ketamine.
Drinks nothing but artisan black coffee,
yeah she’s dairy free, loves amphetamines.
But she got into Berghain,
Yeah she says she knows the sound guy,
He’s an old friend.
She’s getting with the barman,
He winks at her as she queues her favourite song.

Longtime friends since secondary school, Dominda’s Ruaidhrí Whelan, Stephen Curtis, Luke Cunningham, Seán Curtis, and Barry Lysaght are sure to become quick and instant favorites for all who discover their effusive and effervescent music. Dive in headfirst – and if you get lost in all the excitement? Dominda!



:: Saisons – Pomme ::

Julia Dzurillay, New Jersey

Pomme is an “if you get it, you get it” artist — someone who requires (and deserves!) critical listening to fully absorb what’s happening. Especially now, in the thick of winter, it’s soothing to have a songwriter who also sees the passage of time/change through music.

In December 2023, the French performer Pomme (full name Claire Pommet) released Saisons — an album inspired by fall/winter, with each track corresponding to each month’s sounds and feelings.

It’s a way of celebrating grandiose, orchestral classical suites in a way that’s concise and almost visceral. With spring and summer on the horizon (and the corresponding spring/summer half of  Saisons debuting soon,) this collection will definitely be on repeat.



:: “Love On” – Selena Gomez ::

Lauren Turner, Reno, NV

Selena Gomez’s new single “Love On” will have you running to book a one-way ticket to France so you can eat warm chocolate croissants, dance along the French coastline and fall madly in love. Released at midnight, Parisian time, February 22, 2024, this flirty and fun track is all about finding new love and reflects the passionate feelings the strong emotion prevails. With some risqué verses and its upbeat tone, the single mirrors exactly what falling in love feels and should be like.

Why we conversing over this steak tartare when we could be
Somewhere other than here making out in the back of a car
Or in the back of a bar

Accompanied by a vibrant music video in the place that inspired it all, Gomez radiates light and happiness. She whirls and twirls around a château in bright colored dresses as people make-out all around her. Gomez co-wrote the lively single with Julia Michaels, Isaiah Tejada, Jordan K. Johnson, Michael Pollack and Stefan Johnson. It is everything pop encompasses and makes for such a lighthearted and thrilling track.

Wait ‘til I turn my love on
I’m no cheap thrill
I’m a roller coaster ride, baby jump on



:: “Papa Cry” – OTH€LLO & Alisha ::

Josh Weiner, Washington DC

I’m currently on a nine-day trek across the glorious Canadian province of Quebec, where I’ve enjoyed a flurry of skiing, hiking, and lively cultural activities. That makes it the perfect time for me to be tuning in to recent releases by les musiciens Québecois, and one fine example of that is Montreal native OTH€LLO, who has just put out a new single “Papa Cry,” featuring Paris-based singer Alisha.

I’m a longtime fan of le hip-hop français– I’ve had plenty of contact with it on the radio station CKOI during this road trip, and I’m also planning to stop by a museum exhibit on Quebec hip-hop tomorrow.. Thus, it’s great to hear Alisha deliver some stellar French-language bars on “Papa Cry,” before switching, Lauryn Hill-style, to an R&B-style sung chorus. “J’ai enfin perdu espoir,” chants Alisha, who grew up on the Indian Ocean island of Mayotte before shifting to the French capital. OTH€LLO takes over from there, changing to English to talk about his rough upbringing without a strong father figure to guide him. “This song delves into the heart of paternal abandonment, a narrative deeply personal to me as a Black man,” he says. “It’s more than just recounting the void left by my father’s absence; it’s a reflection on the profound impact it had on my identity and perception of masculinity.”

Even when I (gulp) return from my trip to Canada in a couple days, I’ll be sure to keep bangin’ this track by a native son who has done his home country justice, not to mention a native daughter who has done just as much to her home island.



:: “what time is it’” – Destin Laurel ::

Grace Holtzclaw, Los Angeles, CA

Destin Laurel is a defining voice in both hip-hop and R&B at only 19 years old – and the artist and producer is catching attention for his new track “what time is it’.” Filled to the brim with hard-hitting beats, riveting cascades of piano, and a decadent string outro, “what time is it’” boasts a hunger for the finer things in life. Defined by his impressively stark cadence that simultaneously remains easy and smooth as butter, there is no lack of authenticity or effortlessness when it comes to Destin Laurel.



:: “Stray” – The Mysterines ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

The first thing you feel from The Mysterines’ latest single is tension: A raw, visceral, and unabating urgency courses through the air as sweaty guitars churn out a dark and ominous melody. Heavy drums add to the fervor, their thick beat dramatic and jarring.

And then Lia Metcalfe comes in, and lights the whole world on fire.

An achingly intense, emotionally charged alt-rock fever dream, “Stray” is The Mysterines at their finest: Explosive and unsettling, impassioned and unapologetic, the Liverpool band’s first single of the year is an angsty, grungy, gut-wrenching eruption from the dark depths of a weary soul.

What a drag it is, look what you’ve done now
You’re not the kind to make real promises
Listen to the city before you step outside
It’s easy to disobey the warning signs now
We’re stray, we’re stray, we’re stray,
c
an we just rewind back?

“‘Stray’ focuses on the aimless and untamed nature of the polarities of behaviour that we experience when dealing with suffering,” The Mysterines’ dynamic vocalist Lia Metcalfe tells Atwood Magazine. “Whether it’s guilt, paranoia or unexplained feelings of grandiosity. Often when the hands of loneliness have a firm grip over one’s eyes, it can turn dangers into open doors inviting you in. We find a certain point of no return and we’re often led astray.”

The Mysterines have been on our radar ever since the 2022 release of their “uncompromising and unapologetic” debut album Reeling, a record that continues to send shockwaves through all who listen. “Their brand of alternative rock is heavy and heated, catchy and cathartic – erupting from a dark, dynamic, and emotionally turbulent core,” Atwood Magazine wrote in our artist feature. “There’s drama in every chord, electricity in every riff, and pure passion in every vocal line, all of which comes together in a breathtaking ecstasy of alluring and immersive sonic churn.”

Another lesson learnt a bit too young
No you’re not the kind to say
You can tell me what honest is
I’m back in the city and you could change my mind
It’s not so easy to see the warning signs now
We’re stray, we’re stray, we’re stray
Can we just rewind back?

Ever ones to capture life’s chaos, upheaval, and inner turmoil, The Mysterines hold nothing back in “Stray,” delivering yet another irresistible, white-hot scorcher that leaves us breathless, restless, and disturbed in the best way possible. The first taste off a forthcoming sophomore album (set to release this summer), “Stray” is been billed as the beginning of a “new era” for the up-and-coming alternative rock – and one that sets an unquestionably high bar for all that’s to come.



:: “All the Same” – The Voidz ::

Francesca Rose, UK

It’s such a wonderful feeling when an artist you love unexpectedly releases a new song. For example, you go on YouTube shortly before going to sleep as a small end of day dose of inspiration and discover that new music was uploaded several hours before and is waiting in your recommended videos. An occasion when the algorithm is welcomed.

A live version of “All the Same” by The Voidz has been lurking on the internet for several years now, which makes the studio version (released 20 February) even more like a burst of joy. The vocal effects are in full force and the vibe is sunny and light with electrifying riffs towards the end. While the overall sound is easy-going, the lyrics are pessimist, tired, and often drifting into the incomprehensible, as though highlighting how society engulfs us in its nonsense.

Chiseled eyes,
Looking at the werewolf sky,
You check the bad news once a day or two
But you don’t know who’s feeding it to you
It’s the same ole crooks trying to buy your vote,
and gossip makes more money than the truth,
But we all want the same ole silly things
The best parts about being a human being,
Waves in the sky, purple diamond eye

The words ‘Because it’s all the same, all the same, all the same, all the same, all the same’ of the chorus whirl with playful repetitiveness. It’s been stuck in my head ever since.



:: “Intuition” – R E L ::

Chloe Robinson, California

R E L’s expressive piece “Intuition” is the ideal track for all those in an era of healing. It focuses on the acceptance of vulnerability and the immense strength that comes from that act. Lyrics like “I can feel every strain in my body, every ache and pain then I know how to fix it,” are powerful words for anyone recovering. Those lines conjure deep lasting imagery. In the visuals R E L portrays herself as a pierrot, representing the masks many of us wear. The bold piece encourages listeners to unveil their most authentic selves, letting go of past trauma and hurt.

Arielle Sitrick is the brainchild behind R E L. and falls under a category she’s coined, “EVOCAPOP” (evocative pop music). Her musical influences range from Queen and David Bowie to Sia and Sara Bareilles and the array can be heard in her passionate offerings. Like her other releases, this new single possesses no shortage of emotion. Be ready to feel it all when you check out “Intuition.”



:: “Suddenly Okay” – Blake Rose ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

It’s an absolute miracle: I was listening to Blake Rose’s new single, and I felt suddenly okay!

All corny jokes aside, the Australian singer/songwriter’s latest release is a seductive, sizable dose of Vitamin D: Sun-kissed melodies and heart-wrenching lyrics combine to make one sweetly seductive reverie in “Suddenly Okay,” a catchy pop song with some significant stomp-and-holler tendencies. It’s energizing, expressive, uplifting, and truly aching all at once – a candid, catchy release whose effervescent hooks and romantic sentiments can’t help but remind me of early Noah Kahan, Caamp, etc.

I’ve not left this room, since you said we’re through
But, hey, if I saw your face, I’d be suddenly okay
I can’t rest, feeling dead, I think there’s bugs in my bed
Thoughts are crawling through my head (my head)
Maybe they can relate to the mess that I create
It weighs more every day
All of my friends say
If I don’t get up out of this cage, I’ll fade away
Hey, I’ve got my head so in the clouds, I miss the rain
I’ve not left this room, since you said we’re through
But, hey, if I saw your face, then I’d be suddenly okay

“‘Suddenly Okay’ talks through the depressive state that often follows a breakup,” Rose tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s very easy to slip into a dark hole and wallow in it forever but, no matter how many people try to help, sometimes the only thing that can pull you out of that hole is if you saw that person again.”

I’ve tried the most to overdose
your Instagram’s of leaves I smoke

To torture myself, I suppose (I suppose)
I sleep with your pillow under my arm,
it feels like you, it keeps me calm

Know I gotta move on, but not today, no, not today
All of my friends say
If I don’t get up out of this cage, I’ll fade away
Hey, I’ve got my head so in the clouds, I miss the rain
I’ve not left this room since you said we’re through
But, hey, if I saw your face, then I’d be suddenly okay

I’m a sucker for bright songs with brooding lyrics, and “Suddenly Okay” is as dazzling as it is dramatic: A soaring, sulking seduction that sends our spirits soaring as its author sulks in the depths of dejection.

I’m admittedly late to the Blake Rose party train, but consider me a new and avid fan: The 26-year-old Perth native has been actively releasing music for six years now, and has over 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone! The recent Los Angeles transplant has made quite the name for himself through two acclaimed EPs – 2021’s A World Gone By and 2023’s You’ll Get It When You’re Older – each of which is a treasure trove of captivating songwriting and candid lyricism. Rose is set to release his third EP, Suddenly Okay, in March 22, 2024 via AWAL Recorings, which will be followed by ‘The Suddenly Okay’ North American tour, running throughout April and early May.

So yes, I do feel suddenly okay listening to Blake Rose’s music, and you know what? I’m better for it.



:: “Catching Cold” – Päter ::

Julius Robinson, California

Taking solace in a distant memory, Päter’s cinematic single “Catching Cold” tells a tale of a far off vision of what once was. The graceful track draws us in with angelic vocals gliding atop a stunning medley of strings. Until age 7, the singer was raised in an island off the coast of Iran – Qeshm, before immigrating to Canada. This song expresses a poignant longing for the now fading world of her childhood. She dwells on her time in Iran fondly, viewing it as a “warm, beautiful place.” That glowing warmth is felt in the intimate piece.

“Catching Cold” is off of her upcoming debut LP 4-7 Company. The offering explores times of solitude, alone with your innermost thoughts. Päter is a captivating artist on the rise with her first single “Dam, Damn” receiving much acclaim. She continues that momentum with the video for her release “Nicotine Hallelujah” obtaining some festival praise. “Catching Cold” is another standout. A great listen when feeling nostalgic.



:: “oh, teacher” – your hands ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

Listening to indie pop newcomer your hands’ debut EP is like being whisked into a warm and wondrous dreamscape: His music is a radiant blanket of tender folk and cozy, alternative sound that wraps itself around the soul, enchanting and soothing all at once. Released today, the four-track songs to sing in your kitchen work, in fact, in every room of the house – even outside – and the one I’ve admittedly got on repeat is the glistening “oh, teacher.” Reminiscent of Bon Iver, Dustin Tebbutt, and Novo Amor, the EP’s opening track is lightly atmospheric and ethereal – a story-song about perspective, presence, purpose, and life’s little moments of meaningful connection – those memorable interactions that, despite their short tenure, leave an indelible mark on us.

“’oh, teacher’ is about the time I was with my friend at a bar after a concert,” Johannes Brandstrup, the Copenhagen-based singer/songwriter behind your hands, tells Atwood Magazine, “about an older gentleman who sat down next to us and just started talking. At first, we found him a bit annoying as we were having a night out in each other’s company but we chatted along with politeness. He asked about us and we told him we were musicians, which he thought was really exciting. Eventually, we got to ask him what he did for a living. He told us that he was a hospital teacher. In other words, an ordinary teacher in a very unusual workplace. He made sure that children with serious illnesses had a normal everyday life with maths and Danish assignments, even though he knew they were miserable.”

“This suddenly put our conversation into perspective. Here we are, two young dreamers, kind of joking about making a bit of music, while he has a job that we believed truly matters! But the way he talked about it equaled our two different worlds. To him, our music was so meaningful and inspiring. I realised that sometimes it can be hard to see the meaning and weight of what you offer to the world, but at the end of the day, we each have a small piece to fill in the big life puzzle that we share.”

“’Oh teacher’ has become such a core of the ‘your hands’ project, because of its duality between the superficially meaningless and the depths of both feeling and thinking. I felt inspired to capture this moment of realization, but I realized in the process that the only way I could do it was by also describing the small dumb things such as ‘having a beer at a concert’ and ‘going skating.’ It’s in the contrasts we see the colors and both sides are entitled to be mentioned.”

“oh, teacher” is a gentle, sweet, and smile-inducing hug. Take some lessons from Brandstrup’s story if you must, or simply sit back, relax, and let your hands’ sun-kissed music shine its light upon you.



:: What Happens Now? – Dasha ::

Josh Weiner, Washington DC

Throughout my years with Atwood, I’ve encountered a good number of developing musicians who have spent time out in both California and Tennessee, for pretty guess-able reasons. Dasha is the latest on my list of artists to put that formula to the test– she grew up out west in San Luis Obispo, but relocated to Nashville to take part in Belmont University’s songwriting program.

She has remained impressively prolific during her time in Music City, having released her first album, Dirty Blonde, in January 2023, and now returned with a follow-up only a little more than a year later. What Happens Now? features a thorough combination of upbeat guitar songs– “King of California” and “What Happens Now?”– acoustic slow-burners– “42” and “Even Cowboys Cry”– and some that shift around both ends of the mood spectrum. The single “Austin” is possibly the best representation of that latter category, and the TikTok video of Dasha demonstrating how to perform the Line Dance to this song has increased its popularity, ultimately turning it into her most-streamed song to date. Bringing a bit of West Coast flair to the country music scene is a bold mood on Dasha’s part, but so far it seems to be working out well.



:: “nobody told me” – bog berries ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

I didn’t expect to be alone this much,” bog berries’ Cooper Evello confesses in his first song of the year. “Getting stuck in my head reviewing all the ways in which I’m not enough.” Oof. Candid, cathartic, and breathtakingly vulnerable, “Nobody Told Me” is a gut-wrenching reflection on expectation versus reality – how we thought our lives would go, and how they actually turned out – wrapped in a warm, intimate blanket of lo-fi bedroom pop. Imagine Death Cab for Cutie and Owl City had a love child, and you get Boston’s bog berries – an architect of wistful, melancholic wonderment whose diaristic, conversational songwriting hits hard and leaves a lasting, aching mark – especially with this song, and especially for millennials.

We’re all aging, and let’s face it: Adulthood isn’t the fairytale we were promised as kids, nor is it the paradisiacal nirvana we dreamed it would be. The days are long, the weeks tend to blend together, and the ruts are real and wretched. Maybe you foresaw this, but if you’re like me or like the narrator of this song, it’s quite a surprise – a shock to the senses, really. Evello spells it out, painfully and passionately, in lyrics that cut to the core while sending shivers down the spine:

Nobody told me life could feel so dull
Nobody told me friday nights
would come and friday nights would go

Nobody told me that it all fades by
Week by week and year by year
I leave my better times behind
I didn’t expect to be alone this much
Getting stuck in my head reviewing
all the ways in which I’m not enough

I’m kinda surprised that it turned out like this
Now I can’t sleep in like I used to
Now I’m way too anxious

As Evello explains, this song comes from a very real, painful, and deeply personal place. “‘Nobody Told Me’ is a little tongue in cheek because in a lot of ways people have ‘told me,’” he tells Atwood Magazine. “I remember my friend’s dad saying ‘college will zip by – some of the best years of your life and it will fly by.’ I remember seeing adults look so sad and talking about work and ‘the grind’ and just all seeming defeated and depressed. I saw adults give up on their dreams and just settle for a job that they kind of like, but not too much, and they don’t make art anymore and they don’t have hobbies and they just work and eat and clean and go to bed and repeat.”

I thought that I’d be better
More together than this
Like my name might last forever
For something cool that I did
But that was delusional and naive
I was just a kid
Wait for me
I’m stuck, I can’t leave the house
Wait for me
I’m lost, don’t know if I can see the route
I’m freaking out I’m sorry
Can’t make it to your party
I wasn’t like this last year
I never thought I’d get here

There’s a lot to unpack in “Nobody Told Me” – it’s ready to be the soundtrack to a good cry, to keep you company on a long night, and to be your next big cathartic release. To his credit, bog berries manages to make a dreamy, soul-stirring reverie out of what one might otherwise call a very productive therapy session.

I didn’t live through any tragedy
It’s just sometimes I’m truly disappointed
how my life turned out to be
I’m kinda surprised at just how weak I am
I fall crying into bed when something doesn’t go to plan
I thought that I’d be better
More together than this
Like my name might last forever
For something cool that I did
But that was delusional and naive
I was just a kid

Growing up and getting older can be tons of fun, too; I’m not going to sit here and pretend that college wasn’t a four-year thrill ride, but I’ve made plenty of incredible memories as an adult as well. This is a song for those moments of anxiety and restlessness, insecurity and self-doubt that inevitably crop up from time to time. It’s a song that speaks to the devil on our shoulder, asking what it’s all for and why we’re even here. It’s a song that begs for perspective, while simultaneously reminding all who listen that they’re not alone in what they’re feeling.

Active since 2021, bog berries is still very much in its infancy. “Nobody Told Me” is only his tenth song, and it’s his first release in over a year – since December 2022’s emotionally charged pop/rock-meets-pop punk fever dream “fail more,`” a song that will resonate with anyone who ever attended Warped Tour). An incredibly talented songwriter willing to wear his heart unconditionally on his sleeve, bog berries is without a doubt an artist-to-watch, and one I’ll be paying very close attention to from here on out.



:: “Tune Out” – Sterling Hudson ::

Grace Holtzclaw, Los Angeles, CA

With his debut album looming on the horizon set for release this March, Sterling Hudson lacks no momentum with his new single “Tune Out.” Phasing in and out of feverishly quick verses and ruminative choruses that subdue you like a daydream, “Tune Out” is a master of contrast. Hudson captivates with a razor-sharp cadence that grinds against his dizzy riffs and choppy beats for a full-fledged sucker-punch. This track is crunchy to the point that it stays stuck on your mind and makes you linger in the adrenaline high long after your first listen. The third official single before the release of Hudson’s debut album, “Tune Out” shows potent promise for an unforgettable first project.



:: “Time Gone” – Luke Simo ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

Luke Simo took me completely by surprise: When I first heard the two-minute “Time Gone,” I thought I was listening to some long-lost Marvin Gaye demo. That’s how good their voice sounds: I mistook them for an R&B legend.

Released today, “Time Gone” is simply breathtaking: A gentle, golden-hued lo-fi enchantment laced with jazzy flute samples, buoyed by a gentle, tender rhythm section, and elevated by a truly singular, one-of-a-kind voice. Simo’s second song release arrives nearly two full years after they 2022 debut single “Mom,” and finds them working alongside lo-fi hip-hop guru Jay Bel (producer) and DJ Louis Shungu (mix engineer) to create a captivating piece you can’t help but fall in love with.

“The song is about feeling the angst and helplessness of being a young adult in today’s uncertain world,” Simo tells Atwood Magazine. Born in DC and based in Philadelphia, Simo’s vocal performance sends shivers down the spine, and their lyrics poetry are poetry in themselves:

Woke up just the other day
Contemplating time and space
Crazy how fast things can change
And how our lives rearrange
Is all this shit up to fate?
Id like to think we can control our own state
Is all this shit up to fate?
Cause things aint lookin that great
Is all this shit up to fate?
Or are we just too stuck in our ways
Things will never be the same
Things will never be the same
Or are we just too stuck in our ways
We are the generation with growing pains
We are the generation with growing pains
We are the generation with growing pains

The lead single off a forthcoming debut EP set to release later this year, “Time Gone” is hopefully just the amuse-bouche – the first taste of a savory musical seduction still yet to come.



:: “CAN’T DO THIS WITHOUT YOU” – remote ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

I can’t listen to remote’s fourth song without smiling; “CAN’T DO THIS WITHOUT YOU” is cozy, cathartic bedroom pop that falls on the ears like a warm, fluffy blanket on a cold night. The Mancunian 21-year-olds have captured the sense of feeling safe and sound – at home and at peace – in a dreamy, intimate, and utterly enchanting reverie:

I’ve been on my own this time 
Taking on my own advice 
So many things to do 
Can’t do them without you 
Been thinking bout whether I suffice 
Rollin’ my fate on a dice 
No time to think it through 
Can’t do this without you 
Do I suffice? Let’s think it through
Is it good advice
to be with you?

“This single encapsulates the feelings of fulfillment that appear after finding someone that you can rely on; especially those that you feel you can’t do anything without,” the pair tell Atwood Magazine. “Through creating this song, we realised that the passion wasn’t just for the person we were writing about, but the music that came as a result. The writing of CDTWOY was majorly inspired by our family and friends, the ones we love and the people we can’t do anything without.”

Color me soothed, stirred, and totally stunned. Like Aquilo and others in the dreamy, alt-pop-ish space, remote have delivered a song that feels yanked from a fragile heart, brought to life through tenderness and the grace of two souls willing to give their all to their art. I can’t wait to hear more from this group.

4 years down the line 
You’re still always on my mind 
Despite the things you do 
Can’t do them without you
We are two different kinds 
Where do we draw the line 
Because although I’m torn in two 
Can’t do this without you 



— — — —

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