Royal Blood Gets Dark With New Single “Lights Out”

Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher, otherwise known as Royal Blood, have proven that they have more than one card up their sleeve with the release of their newest single, “Lights Out.” The U.K. rock-duo unveiled their forthcoming album, How Did We Get So Dark? to be released June 16 via Warner Bros. Records, and left fans writhing in anticipation for more as they watched the enthralling video for the album’s lead single. It’s fuzzy, loud, and surpasses every expectation set for the record-breaking pair that is bringing hard-rock back to prominence.

The video for “Lights Out” starts with the calm before the storm, focusing on the two bandmates in an innocent-looking room. As the music tenses up, ripples in the floor begin to deceive our eyes, hinting at the entropy to come. There we are, on the edge of the seat asking what else could they possibly give us, when BAM! All of a sudden bodies explode from the walls in perfect pulse with the unrestrained chorus. Harmonies hit heavy, backing up bassist/vocalist Kerr’s already booming voice, while drummer Thatcher wreaks havoc on the set. In perfect time the pair feeds off of each other’s energy, offering a syncopated and tense anthem. A blood-red filter covers the screen as the bridge hits, marking the climax of the piece. Directed by the Sacred Egg, this is where the song and video finally come together to tell us the cult-like and risque story that’s been forming in the shadows. An unapologetic and deliciously funky bass solo screams out as a faction of harpies devours Kerr. And just as soon as it all started, it’s over, and we find ourselves staring at the same innocuous room, but this time we know the ghosts that hide in the walls.

If this single is any indication of what fans can expect from Royal Blood, then we can expect the familiar tones that we’ve grown used to, but more refined and matured. The sludgy bass, banging drums, and gritty vocals have all come together to form a mighty album. The award-winning band has admitted that although this album is still very much close to their roots, that they have experimented with new sounds and instruments to allow for a greater impact. The ten track album is en route to wow audiences from all musical preferences. Royal Blood is here to stay, and this new single promises an album that will only cement their place in hard rock’s future. Long live rock’n’roll, and long live Royal Blood.


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Written by: Sawyer Click

Photos by: Perou



Return of Clarence Clarity the Alt-Glitch-Pop Mastermind

In a world of derivative rock bands and cookie cutter pop stars Clarence Clarity defies all classification; his 2015 twenty track debut, No Now, conquered subjects as wide ranging as cancer, religion and incest via lush melodies hijacked by walls of sound akin to an excitable child with a Korg Kaossilator. It was exhilarating, ballsy and fucking bonkers with a seasoned weirdness that begged the question of where on earth the London-based instrumentalist would go next. Well, in what might possibly be the worst segue ever, turns out Clarence is going nowhere on this planet, opting instead for interplanetary rhythms on second record LEAVE EARTH, with ‘Fold ‘Em‘ being just a tantalising taste of what’s to come.

The track is a beautiful mess. ‘I’m folding you, like cash in an urn’ Clarence croons delicately over the cacophony of colourful clatters, barely squeezing through the overblown synths like he’s wrestling with a sentient N64 that’s sick of him pushing his buttons. At the forty-second mark the track breaks down with the head massaging cheeps of birds; you can almost feel the sun beating down onto the white sands with palm trees swaying in the warm breeze before BAM! 404 this beach cannot be found. The instrumental kicks you squarely in the crotch sending you flying backwards down a gaudy rabbit hole in which the Mad Hatter lies in a pool of his own blood leaving Clarence Clarity to take his place at the head of the table.

Following a solid verse by Tampa-based rapper SHADI, ‘Fold ‘Em’ concludes with the transcendental echoes of a gospel choir warbling over a lilac sea of Windows 95 logos and Renaissance sculptures. It’s an assault on the eardrums that’s a lot to take in but the sickly sweet melody tickles the pleasure centre so much that you’ll be hitting that ‘play’ button until it becomes so worn you’ll only know where it is due to the placement of the rewind and fast forward.

If post-No Now singles such as ‘Vapid Feels Are Vapid’ and ‘Same’ are anything to go by (the latter of which headlined an EP that purely featured the same track five times) then LEAVE EARTH is set to be an alt-glitch-pop masterpiece. Clarence Clarity is an artist that will divide opinion but Christ, he convinced me.


Written By: Matthew Barbard

Photo by: Dempsey Thomas

‘Southside Still Holding’ With SUC Legend ESG

It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years since ESG dropped Shinin’ n’ Grindin’…one of my all-time favorite SUC classics. Just thinking of ‘Realest Rhymin’’ immediately takes me back to hazy neighborhood voyages in the Pathfinder shaking the block with a trunk full of Orions. The hip-hop industry has progressed…or regressed, a great deal since the SUC ruled the south in the late 90’s-early 00’s. Even worse, it seems each year we lose yet another legend from Houston’s southside. Thankfully, there’s still a handful of SUC originators putting it down for the southside of H-Town. ESG’s latest banger, ‘Southside Still Holding’, is an instant classic that struts with timeless SUC swagger. The grimy twang in his voice has aged slightly, but this is the ESG from nearly two decades ago back to let the world know he’s still sailin’ da south on an ocean of funk.



Photo courtesy of Houston Press


LA’s Trapdoor Social Debut ‘Winning As Truth’ Video

A classic tale involving knights, men in fancy coats, a money-tree, and a caterpillar, oh, and of course you can’t forget the major-league catchy tune that engulfs your ears in the most blissful way possible. In a scene dying for a breath of fresh air, LA’s Trapdoor Social is here to satisfy all of your indie needs with their newest single ‘Winning As Truth’.

With a heavy rhythm, intoxicating melodies, and a smooth flow, the 5-piece’s new single off of their self-titled album is the anthem that you didn’t know you needed. Reminiscent of Fall Out Boy, Imagine Dragons, and One Republic, TDS is bringing in the new wave of alternative music that has been craving fresh blood. Merritt Graves, the singer of the power-pop group, delves into the song by telling us that it “takes aim at the idea that successfully gaming the system makes someone ‘right’.” A strong sense of true integrity flows not only through the band’s songs, but through their beliefs as well. With a keen concern for the environmental degradation, TDS weave community and charity into their schedule, often participating in fundraisers to aid environmental causes.

Director Matt Walker (Skepta, Saint Pepsi, GRMLN) takes the audience on an adventure that breathes in perfect sync with the song’s structure and meaning. We meet our hero as he is thrust on a noble quest, and we follow his Iron-Age story to the climatic end. Tension builds throughout each chapter of the tale, and a cool wave of relief washes over the audience with every turn of the page.

After watching this video, I’m torn between watching Game of Thrones and screaming the song’s lyrics at the top of my lungs on a top-down road trip with my best friends.


Written by: Sawyer Click

No Need to be ‘Insecure’! Shane’s Video Reaches a Million Views

I’m a keen believer that an artist forgoing their surname has a direct correlation to their talent (take Usher, for example, nobody questions him) and Shane is no exception. The 24-year old recently released a video for ‘Insecure’, one of the six songs on his EP – Sad, which, using my aforementioned logic, can only be described as the justification of his lack of a surname.

Maybe I’m not telling you anything new, especially if you were one of the two million lucky people who’ve already seen this video, posted to his Facebook. But, whether you believe me or not, this triple threat – I mean, have you seen his dancing? – is unsigned (for now), and working in California to kill the time between wooing girls in churches.

The dancing, obviously, is a key part of the music video. But would you believe, Shane didn’t just follow directions, oh no. He choreographed it. That Magic Mike-esque dance sequence? All him! Incredible. There really is something for everybody in this video; a pretty girl, a pretty boy, a rebellion against conformity, a few jazzy dance moves, and even a church. What more do you want?

Now, I know, you’re thinking “triple threat? Singing, dancing, what’s his third talent?” Well, he only went and edited the video, didn’t he? The boy doesn’t need a surname with skills like that.
While the audio is his heart-wrenching love ballad, with a relatable hook, the video introduces the notion of the song being a duet. It features Shane’s female co-star professing her insecurities (I see what you did there, Shane) through lip-syncing to his voice, grinning the way I’m sure Sandy did when Danny Zuko danced for her. It perfectly captures that fear of falling for somebody, while the electrifying dancing simultaneously acts as a visual synonym for the excitement that accompanies it.

As fun to watch as the video is (believe me, I watched it more than once), definitely check out the rest of the EP, produced by Craig Williams and completely written by Shane, on Spotify or iTunes.


Written by: Megan Matthews

Original article dated June 16, 2016

Weezer Debuts ‘Feels Like Summer’ From Forthcoming Eleventh Album

Being a Weezer fan is like playing with fire, eventually you’re going to get burned. Beginning with 2005’s questionable Make Believe the nineties nerd rockers began a steady decline culminating in the magnum opus of asinine albums, Raditude, which includes ‘Can’t Stop Partying’ a track that exudes so much cringe you’d be at risk of a wince-induced aneurysm. It appeared idiosyncratic frontman Rivers Cuomo had been blinded by the need for their tracks to pander to the mainstream, alienating long term fans of 1994’s widely considered classic, The Blue Album and 1996’s rough around the edges diary-like confessional, Pinkerton. Then all of a sudden they released the self referential ‘Back to the Shack’, lead single from ninth LP Everything Will Be Alright in the End, which saw Cuomo beg forgiveness for his musical sins confessing ‘sorry guys I didn’t realize that I needed you so much, I thought I’d get a new audience, I forgot that disco sucked.’ This upward trajectory continued with last year’s California inspired White Album with its crunchy guitars harkening back to the group’s glory days. Now with the release of ‘Feels Like Summer’ it appears Cuomo has forgotten once again that disco does indeed suck.

Whereas on Pinkerton, Weezer drew influence from Giacomo Puccini’s 1904 opera Madama Butterfly, on ‘Feels Like Summer’ their reference points derive from bland chart toppers Imagine Dragons and Twenty One Pilots. Commencing with a sing-a-long baiting barrage of ‘na na nas’ the band descend into the mediocre realm of middle-of-the-road pop rock featuring a chorus doomed to soundtrack MTV commercials with Cuomo’s banal repetition of the hook ‘and it feels like summer to me.’

Rivers recently annotated the lyrics to ‘Feels Like Summer’ on Genius discussing how on the pre-chorus the ‘powers that be’ wanted a severe autotune but he fought against it. How heroic. It makes you wonder with soon to be eleven albums, two of which occasionally crop up on ‘best of’ lists and millions of fans the world over, why record company tinkering would still be an issue.

The track is tipped to be the lead single from the upcoming Black Album, the apparent antithesis of the sunny White Album with Cuomo elucidating how it will feel like ‘an urban environment, night-time and gritty and hopefully [with] a lot more modern, synthesized sounds, samples maybe.’ The band’s use of more electronic instruments shouldn’t be sniffed at though, if they play their cards right there’s the potential to craft something as magical as The Postal Service’s Give Up, with Weezer displaying on numerous occasions their musical dexterity, it’s just a shame that this taster of what’s to come is so painfully underwhelming. Hopefully everything will be alright in the end.


Written by: Matthew Barnard


Cover photo: Brendan Walter

Dallas R&B Hybrid Producer Ish-D Premiers ‘Holding Aces’ Video Ft. Lakei Day

Dallas’ hottest new arrival, Ishmael Davison, aka Ish D, is bringing a new hybrid age to urban music. The 24-year old producer/songwriter/engineer fuses provocative R&B with House elements and unorthodox songwriting into a genre bending, trance inducing experience.

His first lead single, ‘Holding Aces’ featuring Lakei Day, is a sensual tribute to love and lovemaking. “Holding Aces is about what it feels like to fall in love,” Ish says, “and it’s a smashup of things that I love musically.” The video focuses primarily on Lakei Day and her evocative vocals layered over smooth R&B keys. The beat gradually pulsates leading into a House vibe dancing through the chorus. “The video is dedicated to my other half, who’s a dancer,” Ish Claims. “I figured she’d enjoy it.” ‘Holding Aces’ was written while Lakei was head-over-heels in love and Ish D does a fantastic job capturing that emotion with this salacious track.

‘Holding Aces’ is now available for purchase on iTunes and the artist’s website.


Written by: Douglas Leach (

Sara Jackson-Holman: ‘Run’ Video Review

Sara Jackson-Holman has a voice you may recognize, her eerily transcendent tone is definitely making its way around; featured on the likes of Pretty Little Liars and Orange is The New Black.

Her latest video, ‘Run’, from her LP ‘Didn’t Go To The Party’, is femininity at its finest; with only the strongest love reserved for her friends throughout. It features a mere cameo of the female strength and independence captured in her almost-folk twist on a pop song.

There’s a very French vibe to ‘Run’– but maybe that is just the Marie Antoinette wigs, painted in watercolor. It feels almost like a French disco collided with modern day America, in a seamlessly beautiful conglomeration, too delicately rough to be more than a painting. Or maybe she’s just really into that karaoke, it’s hard to say.

Throughout the video, we’re introduced to her friends…her ‘pastel posse’; who’re presented, to us, with as much valour as a gang of train robbers, but with a touch more aesthetic. There’s an almost-ethereal feel to the girls as they dance across verdant landscapes or sing in neon lit rooms, and it’s only heightened by Jackson-Holman’s delicate voice; it’s relaxing and innocently sweet.

Mellow, I think, is the word for it.


Written by: Megan Matthews