Canadian born alt-pop-folk artist Keeley Shade seems to have materialised from nowhere. Her debut track On My Mind has sparked intrigue, featuring on the NZ top 20 and earning over a thousand streams on Spotify. The track is an impressive first release, establishing Shade as a force worth watching.
Keeley Shade’s On My Mind swells into existence like waves on the sand. The instrumental intro is built by fading piano and a crackling microphone. The producers use every ounce of sonic space. The simple melody in the first verse allows the dreamy soundscape to speak for itself, and Shade’s lyrics are mysterious, allowing for an open interpretation.
The introduction of high guitar in the interlude feels like your mind opening. One My Mind’s production is flawless and creative, experimenting with texture and painting colours. The empty space is always meaningful, building a pensive atmosphere. The purity in Shade’s vocal delivery is calming.
The bridge provides a low moment in the song, as Shade thinks about throwing it all away. The backwards vocals are otherworldly, giving the sense that we are caught in a trance as the piano plays reverberating scaled. The sudden shift in tone is a risk that pays off when the track returns to its original vibe.
On My Mind is an innovative first release, and I look forward to seeing where Keeley Shade goes next with her sound. You can keep up with here on Facebook and Instagram.
After years of working collaboratively with New Zealand songwriters and musicians, the isolation of 2020 has inspired something completely different from Molly Devine. It’s been a year of polar opposites for the artist. One moment she was touring the country with her new single Call Me Up, the next she was home alone crowded by her thoughts along with the rest of Aotearoa. Fortunately for Molly she runs a music school out of her home, so she spent her hibernation in a mini recording studio.
Wanderer is about the “magnetism (Molly) feels towards simplicity and easefulness”. The track is a first for Molly, as she wrote and produced it solo. Wanderer comes with a beautiful music video that paints pictures to compliment the soundscape.
Wanderer begins with a sparkling right hand piano line, and twinkling city lights to match. The introduction is based around a montage of busy modern living; a time-lapse of traffic, flight times at the airport, a crowd at a zebra crossing. As Molly’s soothing voice describes a “familiar silhouette leaning against the door frame”, the imagery settles into a warm indoor scene. There’s poetry in Molly’s lyricism. She “loves you like the ocean loves the moon”, drawing imagery from nature to parallel human emotions.
I particularly enjoyed the appearance of classical guitar; an intricate line written by Jayendra Birchall. The dynamic blend of Molly Devine’s songwriting and Birchall’s mystical performance results in an ethereal piece of writing; reminiscent of some of Sufjan Steven’s work. Wanderer is a beautiful piece of writing. I look forward to keeping up with Molly’s journey on Facebook and Instagram.
Photo: Nik Brinkman
Goodspace are a low-fi indi rock band with “hints of hiphop and songwriter sensibilities”. They write music to “make you feel present”; an achievement not to be understated in the fast paced modern world.
Braces is an atmospheric piece of writing. It’s a plug your headphones in and think about life kind of a track. Goodspace have done an excellent job of creating something soothing for the anxious moments that riddle us all sometimes. The mellow guitar lines and soft-spoken vocals are perfect for bringing a spiraling mind back to the planet.
The lyrics are simple, but sweet. The opening line “when everyone turns and looks at you, when you don’t even wanna be here at all…” captures the restless feeling of anxiety. They capture these intrusive thoughts with pensive expertise. Goodspace move on to say “I know I’m the same, just in a different way”- it’s comforting to remember that we all feel that way sometimes. Braces is like having someone finally “get it”.
Goodspace are up to all sorts of exciting things in 2020. Keep up with them on Facebook and Instagram.
Georgia Maria is back with more sharp edged ethereal magic. Age of Reason builds like a storm from bar one. It starts with a gripping fingerpicking line which dissolves into a rhythmic moment matched with the percussion. She then introduces an epic distorted guitar, and that’s just the first five seconds. As always, I was struck by the complexity of Maria’s instrumentation and writing; no decision is a filler as she modulates and shuffles metres with engaging precision.
Maria’s lyrics are once again poetic, and almost prophetic, too. Featuring killer guitar lines, rumbling percussion and eerie vocals her sound could be described as “apocalyptic jam”. The chorus and verses are rich with chaotic drum fills and guitar lines that move with the vocals.
She brings diversity with a brief palm muted section and breathy vocals warning the listener to “beware of where (they) tread”. It feels like a key cinematic scene riddled with foreshadowing. Maria doesn’t pause here for long though; it’s straight back to a driving rhythm section and full noise from the guitar.
Georgia Maria is a name to watch out for— we certainly are doing just that. Keep up with her edgy brilliance on Facebook or Instagram, and listen to Age of Reason here.
Fighting on the frontlines of the pandemic in London hospitals hasn’t stopped MYRY from adding another beautifully melancholic piano track to her repertoire.
Stuck in a Loop is a stripped back inner dialogue accompanied by MYRY’s warm piano and WULF‘s soft vocals.
The song is gentle but builds with a quiet strength that stretches and swells until you’re swept up in swathes of synths bringing the song into a rich climax. The music sounds like a beautiful blend of Regina Spektor and Lydia Cole, combining the charm of a singer-songwriter and a piano with a sophisticated soundscape of synths.
MYRY has built a reputation for herself with the success of her Debut Single Ghosts, called a “Headphone moment” by BBC introducing. Record of the Day said her “voice [was] as captivating as Freya Ridings or Birdy“, but MYRY’s success began earlier than this. As a teenager MYRY was a Youtube success garnering millions of views from various covers, including everyone’s favourite song with a cup, “When I’m Gone“.
Hints of an upcoming EP from MYRY have been mentioned, and we can’t wait to get our hands on it.
Lengths is a manifestation of that low place enough of us are familiar with. Best listened to while lying on the floor, the song feels like a cry for connection. “Won’t you ask what’s on my mind cause I’ve been dying to let you in”.
The song itself is charmingly underproduced. The low fi crackling of the microphone helps to evoke a sleepy and lost atmosphere. Aevis’ raspy vocals and earnest songwriting are reminiscent of Rusty Clanton.
The introduction of doubled vocals part way through evoke that feeling of going around in circles in your head with the same troubling thoughts. Lengths is vulnerable, and sincere. Aevis as an artist is difficult to track down, but you can listen to his beautiful music on Spotify.
Painted Soup was quite the discovery for us. The band is self described as “music about flowers, and sometimes those flowers are also ghosts.” Seconds into listening to their track ‘Transit 1’, we found this description couldn’t suit more.
Transit 1 is a part of an autobiographical album written by Jacob Wolos, and a part of 3 song concept. Each song is a snapshot of a different feeling within a failing relationship. Transit 1 is backed by the sound of a flowing stream, with warm finger plucked guitar echoing along with dreamy vocals all blended together into a beautiful tapestry of sound that soothes you, but leaves you with a slight sense of unease. The track is truly something beautiful.
Painted soup is a long-time collaboration between artists Jacob Wolos, and Doug Lang. Growing up in a family of therapists, Jacob explores the underlying concepts of being, the why’s of being, and why we persist through so much difficulty. His writing is self described as “…seated somewhere between a semi-cogent argument of being and fever dream.”
If you’re in New York city, make sure to see Jacob Wolos’s music used with dance company 277 dance project this summer!
To listen in, head over to Painted Soup on Spotify and Instagram and bandcamp.