Atwood Magazine’s Weekly Roundup: April 19, 2024

Atwood Magazine's Weekly Roundup | April 19, 2024
Atwood Magazine's Weekly Roundup | April 19, 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 Mk.gee, Rosalie James, berlioz, Dejima, philine, Portraitures, Yoshika Colwell, Boy Jr., Ivory Layne, Night Swimming, Yarin Glam, Friedberg, Silent Mass, Rubina, Sarah Isabella, & LAUREL!
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Atwood Magazine's Weekly Roundup

:: “I Want” – Mk.gee ::

Desire’ Jackson-Crosby, Fitchburg, MA

Mk.gee can’t stop the desires of the heart in “I Want” from his most recent album, Two Star & The Dream Police. The track is a sweet fusion of RnB and ’80s rock with its soulful vocals and airy, punchy instrumentals.

The song starts out slow and slightly atmospheric, with a steady drum and mellow guitar strums guiding the listener into the point of view of the narrator, who sings about a love he knows is rare but still feels a bit unsure of. It feels something like a nighttime stroll on the quiet side of a big city, with all of the unfamiliar yet colorful sounds that appear throughout the song.

By the time the short musical break before the final verse hits, one can’t help but recall the same nostalgia you feel when listening to the bellowing saxophones connected to the likes of Bruce Springsteen’s iconic sound. In “I Want,” Mk.gee manages to take widely familiar musical elements and weave them into the unique world he’s created throughout the album.

:: “Soft Target” – Rosalie James ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

This song isn’t “made” for me, but as someone who never really felt like he fit in with most people, “Soft Target” is utterly exhilarating – if not straight-up empowering. Rosalie James’ latest single is a spirited, dreamy indie rock anthem for the “over-sensitive drama queens” (her words) – a sonically and emotionally charged song written after she received a neurodivergent diagnosis well until adulthood, reflecting on past and present experiences and all the feelings that came with them. The multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter from Cornwall, UK channels the spirits of Fleetwood Mac and The Killers as she declares herself a “soft target – and you know it, harder on the outside.”

Had a dream about the seventies
Where no-one locked their doors at night
and we fight like fleas
Baby never knows what she’s going to get
A birthday party, a chemistry set
Hey paranoia, shark in the water,
silver loving daughter on every street

We live, forever tangled in the never
try to love a little bit anyway
And you said something about loss and crying on the inside
I’m a soft target and you know it, harder on the outside
They’re still using the same signs – caught me on the flipside
I’m a soft target and you know it

“I grew up not knowing I was autistic,” James tells Atwood Magazine. “I knew I was awkward, difficult, obsessive and couldn’t stand loud noises, tight clothes or people breathing near me. I had no common sense and couldn’t tell my left from right. I walked into doors. I could put my legs around my neck. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t get the things I wanted in exactly the way I wanted them, and when I didn’t get them I made a scene and then I hated myself for it. I was terrified most of the time and thought I was a psychopath because I didn’t feel love or affection in the way other people did. I had stomach aches every day and I cried about cartoon animals. I watched Three Men And A Baby over 200 times. I had a strange relationship with the truth and I habitually self-medicated. They said I’d end up alone.”

“But it’s not just me. ‘Soft Target’ is for the lost generations of women who weren’t diagnosed as neurodivergent because they just seemed A LOT. It’s for the ‘over-sensitive drama queens’ who attracted people that liked us a little crazy and vulnerable but had nothing to give us. I’m still awkward and difficult and scared of balloons. I lost a career and I’m full of chemicals. It’s not an excuse, but it’s an explanation – and I’m not alone. We’re not alone.”

Talk of doing the impossible
But it’s Tuesday night and we’re all full of chemicals
Take my boyfriend like a sedative
We used to be so difficult to live with
Oh pleonasm, tiny little chasm,
now the future has them on every street

We fuel the fire, Z for Zachariah,
neighbour’s got a bunker – it’s six feet deep
You said something about loss and crying on the inside
I’m a soft target and you know it, harder on the outside
I’m the first one you’ll find sleeping on a landslide
I’m a soft target and you know it 

Released April 17, 2024 via Awkward Lion Records, “Soft Target” is the second single (following March’s “Girl I Was”) taken off James’ forthcoming debut album, Full of Chemicals (out this June). Taking its title from the second verse of “Soft Target,” is an autobiographical diary channeling James’ struggles – with neurodiversity, toxic relationships, addiction, and mental health – into deeply cathartic and cinematic songs. “Soft Target” is a passionate, powerful mission statement for both the album and the artist – a memorable introduction to all those just discovering Rosalie James, establishing her as a fearless and unapologetic voice happy to speak her truths, confront her demons, and share her full, unfiltered self in song.

Consider me an instant and lifelong Rosalie James fan.

Why does everybody look the same
Why does everybody look the same
And I’m surrounded by mid-century furniture again
You said something about loss and crying on the inside
I’m a soft target and you know it, harder on the outside
It’s so perfect the way you climb, I’m building us an empire
I’m a soft target and you know it…

:: “Joycelyn’s Dance” – Berlioz  ::

Julia Dzurillay, New Jersey

As the first song off Berlioz’ upcoming album, “Joycelyn’s Dance” expands on a discography already mastering its relaxing house-jazz blend. This track, released in April 2024, feels like you’re reading a newspaper in a lux hotel lobby.

It romanticizes any moment — from longingly staring out of the window on public transit to being engrossed in work while hunched over your laptop. Lyrics aren’t an integral aspect to Berlioz songs, but I don’t think that’s why fans listen to them anyway. These originals are chill and relaxed… and I can’t wait for more.

:: Swollen – Dejima ::

Minna Abdel-Gawad, Boston, Massachusetts

Boston-based, independent, multi-instrumentalist Dejima, is making waves with his groovy and effervescent EP Swollen. This six track project is overflowing with bouncing bass lines, punchy percussion, dreamy synths and echoing vocals transporting listeners into Dejima’s ever expanding and vibrant world.

The project may sit at a 20 minute run time but it certainly packs a punch. Created in collaboration with producer Adam Thein (Djo, Slow Pulp) the two creatives develop a textured and dream-like soundscape that builds upon itself effortlessly.

A highlight of the EP are tracks 4 and 5 “Tastemaker” and “Need.” “Tastemaker” is a wistful and introspective calming psych-rock track featuring woozy and lush guitar lines and an awe striking saxophone solo. “Need,” on the other hand leans into Dejima’s indie rock roots with its velvety guitar lead in before it simply explodes into a meticulously created distorted, ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ bridge. Swollen is Dejima’s most ambitious project yet, truly exhibiting the artists’ knack for sonic world building and immersive soundscapes. Stream Swollen for all of your alternative rock needs!

:: “green” – philine ::

Joe Beer, Surrey, UK

Dutch artist philine takes us on a vivid exploration with her latest single “green” as we witness her first psychedelic trip. Formed around imaginative storytelling lyrics, philine speaks about how her experience allowed her to see life through a much clearer, rose-tinted lens. Through ethereal vocals, dainty melodies and warm, folky guitars, “green” acts like sonic medicine, soothing your soul and nourishing your mind.

The songwriter shares, “During the writing process, I spent a lot of time inside of my brain. I have a huge imagination, and I’m a big overthinker. I tend to live in fantasy more than reality. I get so caught up with how I perceive things and my almost movie like version of life. The upside to it is that with a mind like that, I’ll always have stories to tell. But the thing with a story is, it’s not reality, it’s a story. And it keeps you from living in the actual reality. When that happens, or when reality hits in my face, I isolate myself and become very absent to the outside world. These songs are the moments when I’m captured inside of my thoughts.”

Her honesty is refreshing, as she allows listeners to connect with her on a deeper level, welcoming them into her introspective world. “green” is off of philine’s upcoming EP, side-effects of living in a fantasy. 

:: “Crocus Cries” – Portraitures ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

I can think of no name more fitting, or better suited to capture Mark Scherzinger’s enchanting artistry than Portraitures: The Sudbury-born, Toronto-based singer/songwriter crafts dreamy, intimate, and immersive worlds through sweetly ethereal folk songs full of warm light and introspective wonderment. They approach life with a tender touch, transforming even the most mundane moments into sweet, soul-stirring reveries we can’t help but come back to again… and again… and again. This holds especially true for “Crocus Cries,” Portraitures’ first single of the year following last June’s stirring introductory debut EP Worse for Wear.

Wilting in a well
Meagre limbs and static spells
Faded from a year
Absent from the things you fear
Grief grasps your words
Poem or parable, hollowed holding still

Released April 2 via Bag of Frogs Records, “Crocus Cries” is a celestial, deeply reflective exploration/observation on inspiration, overthinking, and how we can all too often be our own worst enemies – especially in moments of artistic creation. A hypnotic, lush fingerpicked acoustic guitar serves as the song’s base, and it’s upon these gently vibrating strings that Scherzinger’s soft voice comes to life, and majestic flutes swell and soar.

“I wrote ‘Crocus Cries’ about the way feelings of inspiration can often dovetail into those of doubt,” Scherzinger tells Atwood Magazine. “Creating music, and connecting with your community, is what so many artists are after fundamentally, however the hurdles within day to day life to having time and capacity to connect in earnest, can often feel pretty oppressive. ‘Crocus Cries’ was written in a time when I felt unable to follow blooms of inspiration, and found myself stagnating. It’s a reminder to me, and to my community to always follow blooms of creativity, and not get bogged down by hurdles that keep us from connecting with our community through our art. It explores these themes through lyrical imagery of drying flowers, blooming flowers, looming doubt and stagnancy.”

It’s true that Portraitures is a relatively new artist project, but even for them, this song’s blend of folk and jazz influences is fresh territory.

They explain, “‘Crocus Cries’ features my dear friend and frequent collaborator Moss Gibson on vocals, myself on guitar, Matthew Wiewel on pedal steel, and Naomi Mccarrol-Butler on Woodwinds. I had worked with Moss and Matt regularly, however Naomi’s woodwind arrangement really brought new life to the track. My goal with the arrangement was to reconcile my folk and jazz influences, and give each collaborator license to express their musical voices freely. I am humbled to work with such great musicians and friends.”

Crocus cries,
longing looms and iris blooms

Drying on a wire
Spires splitting wildfires
Illusory looms

In other words, not only is this a song about finding and holding onto inspiration, but it’s also an exercise in artistic creativity and freedom; in collective creation and letting go in order to facilitate growth. True to their name, Portraitures has crafted a truly beautiful, breathtaking portrait of a searching soul in this song. If it’s any indication of where they may head next, then consider me fully along for the ride. I’d happily let “Crocus Cries” be the soundtrack to my own dreaming any day.

:: “It’s Getting Late” – Yoshika Colwell ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

Sweet sunlight shines bright on Yoshika Colwell’s beautiful debut single. Introduced to me by none other than Bear’s Den’s Andrew Davie and released March 20th via Blue Flowers Music, “It’s Getting Late” is a golden-hued folk reverie; a sweet acoustic dream whose soft sounds and sweet lyrics serve as the perfect introduction to the English singer/songwriter. Hailing from the Kentish countryside, Colwell conjures imagery of nature throughout her first single, observing the wild and wondrous world buzzing all around her as she stands still.

She calls the song a meditation on “stagnation, the passage of time, fear of failure and ultimately, death and an attempt towards an acceptance of the cycle of time that all things exist within…”

Working together with producer Oli Bayston and musicians like Joe and Liam of Gotts Street Park and Ben Reed (Frank Ocean, David Byrne, Sampha), Colwell brings listeners deep into her world on what’s ostensibly her “day 1” – treating us to an up-close and personal look not just into her mind’s eye, but also into her literal garden – she flips between observation and reflection her voice floating gently atop dreamy guitars, lilting pianos, and tender drums:

Buttercups in my garden
Standing tall
In the breeze that moves them
Bust of a woman made of stone
I won’t touch her, she is too cold
I was so afraid
Of what lay ahead
I lost my nerve
And I stayed in bed
To watch the late year sun in the sky
I lay and I watched the days roll by

“I wrote ‘It’s Getting Late’ in a rare relaxed, almost meditative state whilst sitting and playing the guitar, observing everything that was going on there that afternoon. Noticing the complex microcosm of a garden and how rich with life and detail it is if you start to look properly,” Colwell tells Atwood Magazine.” It was an amazing experience for me to hear the song played by a band when we recorded it at Studio Orbb in January. It acquired a vitality and a kind of pulse that I hadn’t necessarily felt before, and it became more uplifting, I think.”

“The recording of it that ended up on the EP is the first time the band ever played through the song together. It was the end of a long day and we were all tired. We nearly went home but we decided to run through it once and record it, just in case. We caught it first time, and I love that, I think you can feel it in the recording – there’s a freeness, a playfulness, and it’s got some happy accidents that seem to mainly happen early on when you’re still getting to know a song.”

Long grasses sway
In this garden
Birds and beetles
Dart between them
Fig on the branch hangs heavy
Dandelion tells the time
I’ll do it all when I’m good and ready
Who knows if that day will ever arrive
It’s getting late… It’s getting late
It’s getting late… It’s getting late

Just like the world Colwell’s lyrics so vividly explore, “It’s Getting Late” is natural, warm, and wondrous: A delightfully soothing, soul-stirring exploration of life’s little moments of beauty and connection, and an equally exciting introduction to a singer/songwriter we’ll be surely paying close, extra special attention to from here on out. Candid and intimately expressive like Carole King, and as comforting as Joni Mitchell, Yoshika Colwell has set a high bar for herself – and she’s already meeting it: She released her second single, “Adelaide,” on April 17, and it’s just as dreamy, if not even more aching, ruminative, and brooding, than her debut.

And I’m older than I’ve ever been
It’s getting late
And I’m younger than I’ll ever be
It’s getting late
These are the days of our lives
Passing by into night
So take my hand if you’re able
In this garden, we’ll be fine
We’ll beat the time

:: “I Hope You Feel Terrible” – Boy Jr. ::

Chloe Robinson, California

Boy Jr.’s quirky, tongue-in-cheek single “I Hope You Feel Terrible” is a bold anthem for anyone who has wished they could say how they really feel, but never quite had the courage. The indie-pop rock track draws us in with its raw, edgy angst. After someone breaks are heart we can say we only wish them the best, but do we really? Sometimes we want them to hurt just as bad as we do. Lyrics like, “can’t stand imagining me crying but I want you to feel terrible I hope you feel as terrible as me” perfectly sums it up.

Boy Jr. aka Ariel Allen-Lubman holds many musical skills. They are not just a singer, but a songwriter and producer as well. They possess a charisma that is deeply infectious. That vibrant energy has attracted many fans. “I Hope You Feel Terrible,” off of their upcoming album I Love Getting Dumped delivers that same level of spunk. We are here for the in-your-face originality.

:: “good girl guilt” – Ivory Layne ::

Julius Robinson, California

Ivory Layne’s “good girl guilt” examines a condition that many connect with. Oftentimes we can feel as if our desires should be shamed rather then embraced. It can make a person scared to mess up, but is it really a mistake or just something we’ve been made to feel bad about? We all beat ourselves up, but this singer-songwriter pop track reminds us to be a little kinder to our souls. Whether you have grown up under the thumb of religious rules or set your own strict standards, sometimes we need to break-free. This piece allows us to do just that. Starting off gently then erupting into heavier guitar, you get a sense of how conflicted Layne feels. Her lyric, “You got an appetite for craving what your body likes because something dies when you come alive” beautifully paints a picture of guilty pleasure.

Exploring her craft young, she immersed herself in music production as a teenager. From the trees of Nashville to the streets of London she has paved a road to success. Layne performed with big forces in the industry such as The Script and Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness. You can hear her vast talent in all of work , especially “good girl guilt.” You can enjoy her raw, raspy tone guilt free.

:: “Evergreen” – Night Swimming ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

Nothing suits those long, hot summer nights better than a deep, driving indie pop anthem – and with their third lifetime song, UK band Night Swimming have delivered the perfect late-night soundtrack: Released April 10, “Evergreen” burns with an intoxicating, irresistible sonic heat. Sweltering guitars and bustling drums lay the foundations for a cinematic outpouring of visceral passion. “Evergreen” is a melancholic euphoria – the kind of intense song that lights a fire deep inside its listeners, ensuring we never forget where we were when we first heard Night Swimming.

You’re out there meeting strangers
you talk amongst them
and I hang inside
I feel like your old tattoo
harder, I ignore the proof
in a high contrast
I see you, evergreen
I see you, evergreen
I see you, evergreen

Arriving two years after their debut split-single “Freight Train” and “A Wall,” “Evergreen” is a powerful sonic statement from the five-piece of Meg Jones (vocals), Sam Allen (guitar), Jesse Roache (guitar), Josh Nottle (bass), and Torin Moore (drums).

“‘Evergreen’ was recorded live to tape – industrial rhythms are set against a colourful, atmospheric soundscape,” the band tells Atwood Magazine. “It first came about as we wanted to write something with a big, wall-of-sound quality to open our live sets. The song centres around the uncertainty of not knowing where you stand in a relationship. Despite this, it is also an expression of deep feeling for someone. This duality is reflected in the music which, to us, feels pained, yet intermittently euphoric.”

Avoiding cracks in the pavement slabs
echoes of a heavy metal band
removed with no place to land
we wait in line under flickering lights
blank before I speak,
you’re telling jokes as if they’re poetry
when you’re not around
Still I feel you close to me
Still feel you close to me
I’ll feel you close to me
still feel you close to me
(A lucid crystalline
a lucid crystalline)

Citing Beach House and Slowdive, together with The Cure, Radiohead, Wolf Alice, and Warpaint as inspirations, Night Swimming are setting out not just to create entertainment, but rather to craft an experience. They’ve undeniably accomplished that with “Evergreen,” a song that, true to its name, never loses its swagger, no matter how many times you listen.

And with that, here’s to an “Evergreen” summer!

Vivid now
in a crowd
hand on my waist
spinning round
vivid now
yeah, let me down
hand on my waist
spinning round

:: “OWN WORST ENEMY” – Yarin Glam ::

Joe Beer, Surrey, UK

Born and raised in Israel, the now Los Angeles based Yarin Glam creates music that represents every inch of who she is. From her Middle Eastern background, to her desire to spread awareness of mental health struggles and the importance of female-empowerment and self-love, Glam’s music covers it all. Her latest single “OWN WORST ENEMY” focuses on the artist’s tendencies to self-sabotage, often battling with low self-esteem, as she shares, “I’ve lived my whole life being my own worst enemy and I’ve decided to write about that. It’s a dark place, but there’s hope. You can get out of it.”

Offering a sincere and candid approach to her lyrics, the songwriter confides, “I’d say I write a lot about mental health, my struggles with it, the struggles of being a woman in this toxic society we have. I write about those subjects because I want others to know that they’re not alone in this.” “OWN WORST ENEMY” emits a dreamlike aura, as Glam’s silky vocals meander over lush soundscapes and pulsating instrumentation.

:: “Hello” – Friedberg ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

Nobody says “hello” quite like London’s Friedberg. An out-of-body experience about an out-of-body experience, the band’s first song of the year is a cinematic, psychedelic fever dream: A sweaty, seductive haze of guitars and drums and vocals that moves the body while it hypnotizes the mind. It’s the kind of song that gets the blood pumping; a passionate, propulsive fervor that turns every walk into a red-hot strut.

If you get the chance
If you get the chance
Come on take a glance
Come on take a glance
Nobody knows if we′re ever getting back back
Nobody’s had it and we never even tried
Don′t waste your own adrenaline
Come and take that medicine
Nobody knows if we’re ever getting back back
Nobody’s had it, nobody nobody

“‘Hello’ is about being in the mind of a stranger, and seeing the world through their eyes and getting a holiday from my own mind basically,” bandleader (and namesake) Anna Friedberg tells Atwood Magazine. “To see the world through someone else’s mind and have different fears and different views, and just getting rid of my own thoughts.”

Friedberg’s full-body escapist anthem hits its stride in a tantalizing, supercharged chorus:

If you want a night that you never had
Saying all these things that you never said
Being in a mind where you never were
If you want a night that you never had
Seeing all these things that you′ll never get
I don′t know your name ‘cause you never said

Released March 1, 2024 via Clouds Hill, “Hello” is the spellbinding lead single taken off Friedberg’s forthcoming debut album (set to release in TBD 2024) – and a truly singular reintroduction to a band we should all be paying special attention to from here on out. Together now for five years, the four-piece of Anna Friedberg (writer, vocals, guitar, cowbells and percussion), Emily Linden (guitar, vocals), Cheryl Pinero (bass, vocals) and Laura Williams (drums) create post-punk influenced alternative rock that is at once unapologetic and truly all-consuming. “Hello” isn’t just a sweet little wave; it’s a dynamic face-melter that all but ensures we come back for more as Friedberg continue to unveil their forthcoming debut.

Because the “more” is just as good: Their latest single, “My Best Friend,” is just as suave as its predecessor, with Friedberg once again getting under the skin through evocative vocal and instrumental performances that make our hair stand on end.

If you want a night that you never had
Saying all these things that you never said
Being in a mind where you never were
If you want a night that you never had
Seeing all these things that you’ll never get
I don′t even care if you ever said

:: “Nest of Flowers” – Silent Mass ::

Chloe Robinson, California

Do you ever feel like you are headed on a path to nowhere? At times one may feel like they are lost with zero sense of direction. Silent Mass’ “Nest of Flowers” provides listeners with the comfort of knowing there is always a way forward. Mysterious, moody vocals float atop hazy backdrops to create a Cranberries-esque sound. It is easy to become utterly captivated by the seductive style of shoegaze. It only makes sense the piece possesses a haunting quality as we can be haunted by our disorientation.

Silent Mass blends Post-Punk, Ethereal Wave, Shoegaze, and ’90s alternative to construct the ultimate dark anthems. Ammo Bankoff is the brilliant brainchild behind the project. The more you hear the mesmerizing melancholy in her releases, the more enthralled you become. “Nest Of Flowers” emits that same addictive concoction.

:: “Something To Listen To” – Rubina ::

Julius Robinson, California

There is always that one person you just cannot seem to shake? No matter how hard you try to resist, you keep coming back. Rubina’s “Something To Listen To” is a sizzling, sensual track, but underneath is laced in heartache. The tantalizing rhythms and smoky vocals encourage us to dance the hurt away. The singer reveals, “I wrote this song while trying to forget someone, but couldn’t. It’s all about the mess of moving on and feeling stuck. However, the beat makes me want to move, and I can feel serotonin like I’m dancing through the pain.”

The Canadian-Iranian singer-songwriter is known for taking traditional Persian sounds and blending it with contemporary dance influences. Rubina gained a loyal following through her warm tone and powerful synth sonics. Every piece is a testament to her unflinching dedication. “Something To Listen To” was co-written with prolific producer Rico Love (Usher, Beyoncé) and is another bold single to be celebrated.

:: “Intuition” – Sarah Isabella ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

Mother Nature told me don’t just live just to die,” Sarah Isabella sings on her new track “Intuition,” smoothly bringing to life words of deep wisdom we all need to not just hear, but truly take to heart: The East London artist’s first song in three years is a smoldering, ambient, and jazzy alt-R&B slow jam that sees her spilling a heavy heart and weary mind through stunning soul. Released April 11, “Intuition” expresses a powerful yearning to realign and reconnect – to get back to one’s roots and rediscover who we are on the inside, at the same time as we’re uncovering the wonders of nature on the outside:

Lately I have had this strange obsession
Reminiscing on the things of the past
Drifting I have lost my intuition
I have tried to hold on to things I left
Thinking I might quit my job tomorrow
Maybe that’s been holding me back
Selling all my hours just to get by
Mother Nature told me don’t just live just to die
Lived I lost, I loved I tried…
Lived I lost, I loved I tried…

Sweaty drums and a saxophone so hot that’s its scalding make for an enchanting, immediately entrancing experience. Isabella’s words are intense and vulnerable and full of a heavy weight, and yet her performance is utterly weightless – beautifully emotive, relaxed, and serene.

She sounds at peace with the world, even if the song she’s singing says otherwise.

“’Intuition’ is like rediscovering a conversation with myself, one I had neglected for too long,” Isabella tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s a gentle nudge to reconnect with both the natural world and my inner wisdom, emphasising the importance of self-trust above all else.”

“The track is partly inspired by the book ‘Women who Run with the Wolves”, which is about returning to our natural selves and embracing all that we are as women. Intuition is my introspective ode to inner expansion, and writing the song allowed me to lean into myself.”

See I was never meant to stay for long
And I knew better than to stay in places that do me wrong
I wasted time where they did not deserve me
And baby it’s lonely if you don’t hold your own
She said come with me
I’ll take you on a journey see
The space between the worlds we know
If you choose to see the river that runs in you deep
Just share the grief
I’ll show you how to let it go
(Let it go)
Listen close forget about all that you know
(Let it go)
I can show you all the whispers living in your soul

The lead single off her debut EP (set to release this June), “Intuition” is a stunning reintroduction to Sarah Isabella – and one that has us immediately and uncompromisingly hooked. For the artist hasn’t just expressed her innermost self in this song; she’s crafted an entire seductive world into which we can sink our minds, bodies, and souls, immersing ourselves not just in the music she makes, but in the existential experience she creates.

Lived I lost, loved I tried
(Lunar takes me far astray)
Lived I lost, loved I tried
(Changes all I ever made)
Lived I lost, loved I tried
(Pulls me deeper out the maze)
Lived I lost
(Picks me up when I’m away )
Loved I tried
When I’m away

:: “Burning Up” – LAUREL ::

Mitch Mosk, Beacon, New York

Staying faithful to the guru Ron Swanson, I try to never half-ass multiple things – but I definitely whole ass a lot more than I should! It’s all too easy to get caught up in life’s rat race, constantly pushing your mind and your body, running yourself ragged whilst burning the candle at both ends. I’ll be the first to admit that I love keeping busy and having tons on my plate, but there are limits – and I go past them far too frequently.

It’s with this in mind that I listen to “Burning Up” and feel like a kindred spirit to British singer/songwriter LAUREL, who wrote this song as a message to herself, in the wake of her own looming burnout.

“‘Burning Up’ is about not being able to keep up with yourself, just completely burning out continuously, pushing yourself to the edge, trying to find what makes you happy,” she tells Atwood Magazine. “The constant need for excitement, changeability, and adrenaline, which leaves you on the edge of a panic attack. No matter whether you’re in the city or living a simple life in the countryside, your mind is a jungle – relentless and exhausting. You’re kind of looking in all the wrong places… You’re trying to hold onto a sense of yourself, of normality, but in the end you just get lost in it all.”

“This song doesn’t really have a resolution – it’s like, you’re just jumping into the abyss, getting lost in yourself.”

The latest single off LAUREL’s upcoming sophomore album PALPITATIONS (out June 14), “Burning Up” is fiery and aching – but no less glittery or glistening; bright pianos and groovy guitar licks compliment the artist’s impassioned and enchanting voice as she sings about “standing out on the edge” with nothing holding her back. But the best part of that intensely catchy chorus is its final lines – wise words of caution to all of us overachievers who dive into all our endeavors headfirst and giddy:

Life moves fast
And I try to hold on
But I’m jumping off

No, I don’t always keep up with myself, and yes, it’s a problem. But rather than wallow in it, LAUREL has turned her own anxiety on the subject into a euphoric, spirited, and utterly exhilarating dance pop anthem. It’s the pulse of the ‘80s with all the modern glitz and glam you could possibly hope for, packaged into three minutes of dazzling, energizing upbeat joy.

Honestly, who has time to worry about burnout when the music is this damn good? Props to LAUREL for melting my troubles away with a song I’ll be singing all summer long.

— — — —

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