Rosi Golan Reawakens With ‘Underneath’

After a year-long hiatus in Paris, Rosi Golan returns to her music career with a reawakened sense of self and a new album. “I didn’t feel like I was connecting with what I was writing,” Rosi says in retrospect. “So I decided I needed to take a break, go on hiatus and accept the fact that the world wouldn’t end if I didn’t make music for a year.” (With her significant fanbase and decade of major sync success, that was easier said than done!)

Golan’s third full-length project, Collecting Bullets, due out this summer, is proof that a little time off can do wonders for the mind, body and creative soul. The new album marks Rosi’s transition into pop/electro-pop and features collaborations with Madi Diaz, Greg Laswell, Richard Harris and producer Kevin Seaton (Snoop Lion, Active Child, Shy Girls). The album’s first single, “Underneath,” releases on iTunes and Spotify this Friday, May 19th.

‘Underneath’ takes a plunge into a hypnotic pool of swirling electronic textures. Heavy drums kick and shatter as the pulsating bass massages the senses and awakens the vascular system. Golan’s seductive vocals bestow a euphoric trance as she melodically recites ‘You never hear me calling / I never see you leaving / I’ll never close my eyes / Wait for the dream to come / And pull me underneath.

“‘Underneath’ describes that feeling of when someone is near you but also disconnected from you,” Golan says. “It’s about that feeling of being lonely next to someone, but still feeling so co-dependent that you can’t pull away from the situation – so you hope for something else to kind of end it for you.”

Make no mistake! ‘Underneath’ is a very dark and somber story disguised as infectious dance pop. Melancholy has never sounded so luscious.

Rosi Golan 1


Trae Tha Truth ‘Changed On Me’ ft. Money Man

Let’s face it. Trae Tha Truth isn’t so much the Asshole By Nature he claims to be. Deep down, he’s truly a nice guy with a heart of gold. Otherwise, why would he throw a bone to Atlanta trap rapper Money Man and carry the Future-reincarnate through their latest 808 Mafia produced collaboration, ‘Changed On Me’? Oh, yeah…that’s right…Trae recently brokered a deal with Atlanta’s living legend, T.I. making Houston’s ABN the VP of Grand Hustle Entertainment. Unfortunately, VP job duties also include carrying less talented cookie-cutter rappers to stardom as ‘Changed On Me’ is not only redundant to current industry…It’s just flat-out boring.

There was a time when buying the new Trae album meant you were about to hear some of the sickest shit Houston had to offer. Unfortunately, that’s no longer a guarantee. The rich and immersive productions that characterized Trae’s early career have been replaced with the bland, droning, trap beats of today’s industry standards. Losing Composure, Same Thing Different Day and to a lesser extent, SLAB, all seem like a lifetime ago as the huge sweeping choruses and flash-flood delivery of those rookie years have become a distant memory. Trae has left all of that rhythmic diversity behind him and instead chosen to crank up the intimidation factor as the guttural growl in his voice has become his main melodic focus. Kewl. Don’t get me wrong. Trae still possesses the ability to carry some hefty bars when he wants. But, he’s not really spitting vocabulary of any significance here. And Money Man’s contribution is absolutely forgettable.

By no means is ‘Changed On Me’ the worst song in the world. But, unfortunately, it just leaves more to be desired and I find myself wondering what could have been had this collaboration been with…let’s just say…Z-RO? Hopefully Trae can follow T.I.’s direction and make it mainstream while also staying true to his originality. But, that transition is currently proving difficult.


Jen Zava Premiers Inspirational ‘Power To Change’

Soulful alt-rock artist Jen Zava has mapped a career ‘covering’ Austin’s vast musical terrain. Since relocating in 2001, the Georgia-born songstress has ‘done a little bit of everything in the music world’ while contributing to the works of many local favorites. However, a career focused on supporting the musical ventures of others forced Zava’s own music to simmer on the back burner. Fortunately, the time has come for the passionate and fiery siren to formally introduce herself with her debut solo album, Power To Change, due out June 2.

We received a sneak-peak at Power To Change this morning when Zava shared the album’s inspirational title track. Originally crafted as a personal pep-talk, ‘Power To Change’ deals with battling life’s struggles and overcoming the petty emotions that often consume us. The soulful alt-pop melody radiates with a fierce sense of determination and is a testament to what Zava stands for; that in changing yourself, you have the power to change the world. “This song is about fighting that inner negative voice that shows itself in the form of self-doubt, negativity, jealousy, comparisons and telling yourself you’re not capable,” admits Zava. “I’m talking to all those negative inner emotions and telling myself that I do have the power to change the things about myself that I don’t like or that don’t serve me well.”

The self-reflective track features Zava’s uninhibited, soul-baring lyrics belted through ethereal chords of enthusiasm. Striking keys and harmonious acoustic shuffles peppered by rattling hand percussion ground the upbeat pop tempo with a deep rootsy, gospel base.

The song represents Zava’s internal strength, hopefulness and desire to improve herself and the world around her. She has finally decided that now is the time to share her genre-bending music because it’s definitely worth hearing. After listening to ‘Power To Change,’ we’re just curious what the hell took so long?

The Official Power To Change Release Party w/ special guest Ray Prim will be held Thursday June 1 at The Townsend located at 718 Congress Ave. Suite 100, Austin, Texas 78701. Doors will be at 7:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 8 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Ten percent of ticket and album sales will be donated to Kids in a New Groove to provide instruments and music lessons to children in foster care.

Visit for additional information.

Jen Zava press photo 1

Photo by: Todd Wolfson

Written by: Douglas Leach

Post-Rock Virtuosos Mogwai Return With ‘Coolverine’

With eight studio albums of boundless post-rock instrumental epics in which you can practically see the Scottish-based band teasing the melancholy from their six strings, it is very easy to take Mogwai for granted. ‘Coolverine’, the group’s first taster of upcoming record, Every Country’s Sun, follows in a long line of Mogwai slow burners with cataclysmic climaxes that feature ridiculous monikers (see ‘I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead’, ‘Glasgow Mega Snake’ & ‘I Love You, I’m Going to Blow Up Your School’). Yet to write them off as one trick would be to take away from their years of well-honed dexterity; it’s better to view the band as soundtrack artists with each LP scoring music for a film that never was.

From the opening echoes of ‘Coolverine’ you can almost envision a camera sweeping across an ice-encased Siberian landscape before settling on a lone individual trudging through the unforgiving mass of snow, the biting cold nipping at his face through the fur of his parka’s hood. The track is practically structured like a storm, calming down midway to make way for some 8-bit style keys before an icy blizzard envelopes the white plains, drums slicing through the choral hum of the synths before balance is restored and the guitars fade into the clouds.

Arriving at the start of winter, Every Country’s Sun promises to soundtrack those cold lonely evenings in front of a roaring fire. Mogwai may not evolve on ‘Coolverine’ but they do lay the ground work for their next adventure.

Every Country’s Sun is released 1st September.


Written by: Matthew Barnard

Q&A With Emily Bell Post-Kali Release

Now that the Emily Bell’s highly anticipated release of Kali has come and gone, and the after party has subsided, we spoke to the very busy rocker on how she feels about the EP.

How are you finding the reception of Kali?
Pretty great I think! I can only really gauge the reception by the energy at the show and playing this music live has been the most fun I’ve ever had on stage. Honestly, any reaction is welcome. Music is so personal and subjective, so it’s almost impossible for me to judge it one way or another. When you pour your heart out and leave it on the table, all bets are off!

Has this differed much to your first release?
Yeah in a lot of ways. The first record was recorded live more, a lot of the production and style happened in the moment. With Kali, I took a much different approach. I spent a lot of time crafting the parts and style. The guys and I got down to the brass tacks and just demoed and played and played and demoed until we got to where we wanted to be. I got to a place of trusting myself more creatively and was able to put a lot more of myself into the details.


How was the Kali release show at 3Ten ACL Live?
Magical. If I could have kissed everyone there on the mouth I would have.

How was recording the EP, any hiccups?
It was awesome. The studio is my favorite place to be. Sometimes the hiccups are the best part, it’s when you get to problem solve and get really creative. I did leave a pot of rice on the counter long enough for it to turn into a science experiment though. None of us wanted to deal with it so we just let it sit there and watched it like a petri dish through the glass top. A friend stopped by the studio and was thoroughly disturbed so he took it outside and hosed it down. I guess the point being, the studio has a way of warping your mind.

Why did you choose these songs for this EP?
They were what happened when I got down to writing. These were the first songs I wrote after we lost my partner’s daughter to a chronic disorder. I had these ideas of radical change before she suddenly passed and when she did, I knew that I had to completely throw myself into the deep end because that’s what she would have done and what she would have wanted me to do. It took me a while to reckon with everything and write again, but eventually, I was ready. I wanted it to feel triumphant and not defeating. Feminist anthems while still reckoning with pain and loss.

Which is your favorite song, and why?
I have a special relationship with all of them of course. But I guess right now if I had to name one, I would say Goddess of Destruction. There’s a lot packed into that song. But in short, it’s about embracing anger, that anger can be a very useful catalyst for change. And where we are at today, there are just so many reasons to be angry. It is so necessary that we recognize the anger and not let it fester, but channel it into action.

It is so important that we continue to point out that what is happening in our country right now is not right, that it is putting our most vulnerable citizens in danger. Millions of people marched on January 22nd 2017 because we are very angry at this administration’s treatment of women, the LGBTQ community, the sick, the poor, immigrants, Muslims, Latinos, African Americans. So I’ll choose that song because it’s a reminder that it’s not healthy to allow anger to fester nor is it healthy to ignore it. The only thing do is to use it to ignite continued change for good.

What are your plans for the future?
To keep getting better at what I do. I’m always going to want to top what I just did. So that’s what I plan to do.

What would you tell any young girl who wants to be in your position?
Listen to your inner voice. Take your time and enjoy the journey. Stay hungry for knowledge. There is always something new to learn. Never give your power away to anyone and never compromise when it comes to your art and your image. You are more powerful and capable than you might think. It’s a hard truth that young women are very vulnerable in this business. We have to be very selective with the people we keep around us and who we take advice from. Work with other women, and support other female artists, they are your greatest allies. Take care of your voice. Singers don’t get to put their vocal cords in a case after the show. Your body is your instrument, love it and protect it!

Her EP is available to stream and buy on her website

Twitter @EmilyBellMusic
Insta @EmilyBellMusic

Author: Megan Matthews

Emily King ‘You and I’ Tour at Antone’s Photo Review

NYC’s Grammy-nominated Emily King showcased her lush pop, soul and indie flavor at Austin’s iconic Antone’s Sunday evening as part of her current acoustic ‘You and I’ tour. King presented her collection of polished, stripped down songs in the manner they were originally crafted…just her and a guitar. Photographer J. Alan Love witnessed King bare her soul at the intimate performance. See a few highlights from the evening below.



Photos by: J. Alan Love

girling and Their Tragically Hip ‘Side 1’

Austin’s alt-pop-rock girling has unveiled their most recent effort, “Side 1”, which is set to release Friday, May 19. The official girling “Side 1” release show will take place the same date at The Sidewinder in Austin with support from the rock group A. Sinclair & alt-rock artist Ben Millburn. Acting as a continuation of the band’s signature nerdy, garage-rock sound, the follow-up to girling’s 2016 self-titled album is riddled with warm familiarities: the lullaby-like keys, the howling vocals, and distorted guitars. Tragic lyrics reside behind these sweet-sounding melodies, giving special insight into guitarist/vocalist Andy Sharp’s life. The five-track EP is filled with poetic stories of regret and sincerity that are all disguised by the aromatic musicality.

“It’s a dark sensibility wrapped in a pop kind of candy wrapper,” says drummer Rusty Zagst of girling’s sound. The opening track, “Shattered,” is syncopated, smooth, and full of soul. It’s a track of distress, describing how easily love can shatter you and leave you in a million pieces. “Fiction” is the perfect embodiment of girling’s dark, sugar-coated rock sensibilities. A joyous beginning quickly turns awry with Sharp’s caterwauling “I had a brother who drowned in the lake / He swallowed water until he sank / His girlfriend told me to stay in the boat / Said it’s just another one of his jokes.” A bright mix of keys and guitars shroud the melancholic lyrics, leaving them waiting to be discovered. Eventually, emotions swell together and push back against the buoyant track, but instead of a displacing interruption there remains a beautiful mix of dark, light, and Patrick Swayze dancing in the moonlight. In a complete turn, a sense of pure grit and toughness resides in “You’re Not Right” thanks to the distorted guitars, heavy drums, and the accusing lyrics that proclaim “you’re not right.” Sharp describes the song as being “weird, raw, and full of swagger.” Melodies are a primary focus of this album, whether it be in the keys, guitar or vocals. These cheery and well-crafted melodies help throw the calamities behind a guise. The tracks all come together to create an encyclopedic album that archives emotions that often get lost in most modern music.

girling is more than just music for this group of guys. It’s a family affair when it comes to the five of them. Zagst speaks about the family chemistry of the group, saying that the allure isn’t “lost on us that when the five of us come together in a room that we’ve got something pretty special.” It’s about creating magic and telling the stories that you can’t get out all on your own. It’s music for a more thoughtful audience, those that look beyond the surface and try to find a deeper connection. When asked about the themes and stories that follow the EP, Sharp says that “A lot of the stories and a lot of the darkness comes from saying things in a song that you can’t actually say to people in real life.” Music is an outlet for more than just the musicians. It’s a living art that has a varying effect depending on who is listening. girling’s tragically hip customs have transcended past the ‘who’ and ventured into the ‘why’. It’s a bitter taste of the real world, but it comes with the sweet aftertaste of knowing there’s an entire community out there that feels the same way.


Written by: Sawyer Click

Brother Ali Debuts Transcendental ‘Never Learn’

Brother Ali has never shied away from expressing his spirituality through music. The divine Minneapolis rapper and devout Muslim has earned wide critical acclaim for his deeply personal and socially conscious style of hip-hop. Ali’s latest album, and first in five years, All The Beauty In This Whole Life, represents the most recent chapter in the rapper’s celebrated journey.

Ali recently debuted an enlightening and metaphysical video for the album’s second single, ‘Never Learn’. The Kron-produced video was shot in New Mexico at Muslim-built worship and healing center Dar Al Islam. You may recognize some of the imagery as Dar Al Islam also served as the location of Tupac’s posthumous ‘Wonder If Heaven Got a Ghetto’ some twenty years ago. ‘Never Learn’ finds Ali in deep reflection illuminated by an omnipotent spiritual light. The video also features the synchronized choreography of Al Taw’am, twin dancers from Minneapolis whom Ali refers to as “royalty.” “Their movement speaks of their family legacy of dignified regality,” Ali said in a statement (via NPR) of the dancing duo.


Photo by: Shelly Mosman

Alexa Dark’s Shares ‘Blur’ Off Debut EP

Alternative rock songwriter and guitarist, Alexa Dark, announces her debut EP, Empty Drinks/Empty Hearts, due out August 2017. The album was produced by Angelo “Doc” Velasquez (The Weeknd’s Trilogy, The Fray, Christina Perri) and mixed by Patrick Kelly.

Raised between Spain, London and Germany, now based in New York City and London, the songs are inspired by Alexa Dark’s transient lifestyle. The songs were written in bedrooms, planes, between drinks outside East London clubs during early morning hours and on the concrete of various metropolitan cities. Conceived in heartbreak, in transit and from boundless nostalgia, these tracks intertwine cultural and personal narratives, influenced by the Spanish singer songwriters played in her childhood kitchen, in addition to female rock legends such as Patti Smith, Debbie Harry and Kim Gordon.

Blur” is one of the first songs Alexa wrote and has evolved to cater to many different relationships and situations throughout her life. It’s a “fuck it” anthem, of sorts, but still portrays vulnerability, baring her bones. The timeless acoustic opening breaks into Dark’s moving vocals of a  scorned woman pushing away from a torn relationship. As for the remainder of the the EP, “Nothing More” is an “anti-love” song, about loving but in an untraditional sense. Referring to the EP’s title, “Empty Drinks” is a party anthem that encapsulates the sober realization and reflection on the emptiness felt at the end of the night.

MC Overlord: If ‘You Ain’t Know,’ Now You Know!

Take a moment and allow MC Overlord to reintroduce himself with his tenth album, You Ain’t Know? That’s right. Tenth album…and with just as many ‘Hip Hop Artist of the Year’ awards, “The Godfather of ATX Hip-Hop” really needs no reintroduction to a scene he helped create. So, maybe a more fitting description should read, You Ain’t Know? is a hard-hitting reminder that MC Overlord is still serious about his business and he’s never vacating his spot. That means period!

Overlord sets the record straight with You Ain’t Know’s assertive a cappella intro before the album’s heavy boom bap productions beat down the backdoor of the opener with ‘Make Em’ Do’. Produced by Vallejo Music Group, You Ain’t Know? addresses various stages throughout Ovey’s journey as he delivers the album’s reoccurring theme “it’s my life and mine to own / If you ain’t with it, please stay up out my zone.” From his childhood as life’s punching bag on the guitar driven “Bully” to finding purpose on “Take The World,” You Ain’t Know? plays close to an autobiography focusing mainly on Overlord’s persistence as an MC and perseverance in establishing a legacy. The album’s production is classic old school looped with heavy bass drums and punctual rhymes all whipped together by Wolverine-esque scratching from co-producer DJ Crash. Ovey’s flow is as fluid as ever with sharp, relatable wordplay that strikes with veteran confidence.

The south Austin MC has spent more than two decades nurturing Austin’s hip-hop scene and has helped pave the way for younger generations to follow. He has earned his rightful place amongst the city’s pantheon of music legends all-the-while remaining genuine and grateful. There’s no doubt that MC Overlord is one of the most loved and respected artists around. But, for any of you young cats eyeing his crown, you’re gonna have to wait your turn. Because, as You Ain’t Know? proves, Ovey’s not quite ready to pass that torch. But hey, if you ain’t know, now you know.

MC Overlord hit the stage last Saturday at Come And Take It Live for his Official ‘You Ain’t Know?’ Album Release Party. Photographer Demetrius Judkins was on hand to catch the MC doing what he does best. Check out the highlights below.

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Written by: Douglas Leach

Photos by: Demetrius Judkins