Synth-pop singer/songwriter TRACE has been on everyone’s radar for her warm vocals, electronic sounds, and effortless mix of pop and R&B. The likes of Stereogum, Pigeons and Planes, and Indie Shuffle can’t get enough of her and she just premiered her debut EP ‘Low’ on Spotify. Read on to get to the lowdown on Trace.
Hey TRACE what’s good? Thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
It’s my pleasure. And yes. Let’s see. I’m from Southern California, born and raised. Currently call Los Angeles home and want to kind of live everywhere one day. I enjoy personality tests, really good wine and when the weather is somewhere between gray and really gray. That’s probably a good start.
With a luscious new single with Christofi that’s already hit over 200k listens on Hype Machine and ethereal vocals that we can’t get enough of, we chatted with electro-pop artist AYER about his musical upbringing, current projects, and more.
Hey AYER! Thanks for chatting us. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? We can’t help but fall in love with your ethereal vocals. Did you have a professional musical upbringing? Thank you very much, and yea, I did have a very musical upbringing. Lots of voice lessons, voice-over recording gigs, and throughout my school years and into college, training in classical, choral, music theatre and studio recording. What allowed me to learn the most, though, was dissecting and trying to understand pop songs. For the longest time I couldn’t make sense of how a pop song got from point A to point B, let alone to a bridge or ending – and harmonies, forget about it. The voice has always just kind of been there, but at this point in my life I am so proud of just you know, training myself in how to write pop music, and not losing patience with my curiosity.
With a stunning new single dropping on September 9th, we caught up with London electronic pop duo Empathy Test about their sci-fi influences, European tour, and more.
Hey guys thanks for chatting! Who is Empathy Test? Empathy Test is Isaac Howlett (vocals) and Adam Relf (production). We’ve known each other since we were six and eight respectively and have been friends ever since. We grew up in the South East of England and we both now live in London.
We heard that your name was inspired by the film Blade Runner. Tell us about that and has that movie influenced your style? We made our first EP (Losing Touch) before thinking of a name. So it was a case of finding something that worked with the music. We’ve had a lot of people compliment on it, so we’re glad we spent some time thinking about it. Isaac decided to re-watch one of our favourite sci-fi movies, Blade Runner, for inspiration. In the movie, they use an ‘empathy test’ to work out if someone is a human or a highly advanced android called a ‘replicant’. The theory is that it’s empathy that distinguishes us from machines. Empathy Test makes music with machines but that music speaks to people on a very human level. The fact that the Blade Runner soundtrack was also an influence on our music, created a neat circle of reference.
Singer/songwriter Matt Kivel just premiered his video for “Permanence,” announced an upcoming double LP due out in October, and consistently gets praised by the likes of Pitchfork, SPIN, and more. We caught up with the LA-based artist to chat about the collaborative recording process of 'Fires on the Plain,’ his evolution as an artist, and more.
Hey Matt, we’re stoked to have you be part of our series! Let’s start off with a quick introduction. Who is Matt Kivel? Hi! Thanks for having me. I am 30 years old, married to a very intelligent woman named Emily, and I have been writing songs and making records for a long while now. I live in Los Angeles and have lived here, more or less, for the past 27 years. I enjoy reading, playing music, watching movies, and boxing … I feel like I’m on an old timey dating show right now.
With an addicting new single out, and the ability to beautifully pair alt, pop, and electronic sounds with emotionally raw lyrics, Adam Jensen will be one of your new favorite artists in no time. We chatted with the Boston-based artist/producer about his major influences, production style, and more.
Hey Adam! What’s your story? Hello there! That’s a tough one. My story is equally everything I am, and everything I am not. In short, I’m just a ruffian from Boston who was lost until I found music as a means of staying out of trouble.
Have you seen a Volvo covered in inspiring messages in your city? The Bergamot have been driving across the U.S. on their Unity Tour, stopping in each state to perform and have people write messages of hope and unity on their Unity Car. We caught up with the husband and wife duo to talk about their amazing journey, their final show in NYC this weekend, and more.
In 10 words or less describe the Unity Tour. Life changing – the greatest stories in life are real stories.
WARGIRL just made their debut with “Mess Around” and “PEOPLE” on Stereogum and it’s impossible not to get hooked on their signature groovy, danceable sound. We chatted with the Long Beach, CA-based band made up of members of Cold War Kids and revolving guest musicians about their debut, backstory, and more.
Give us a breakdown of everyone in the band. The band is made up of core members and revolving guest musicians. The original batch of recordings were a collaboration between half of the current WARGIRL lineup and half of the Cold War Kids. Once we started gigging it very naturally evolved into the band we have now with the odd guest appearances. Matt Wignall was the inception point for the band, he runs analog studio Tackyland in Long Beach and has strong central american expat tendencies. Drummer Erick Nieto was a long time collaborator with Wignall, he came from Ecuador to America when he was young, and spent two decades trying to become a citizen while playing percussion and futbol to pass the time. Jeff Suri is the other drummer, a PHD chemist who invented a device that tests blood sugar without drawing blood. Tamara Raye is the bass player, she rides triumph motorcycles and we have to deal with her bass amp because it doesn’t fit on the bike. Enya Preston is the keyboard player and the youngest member at maybe 20? She speaks Japanese and seems to be really good at everything, probably home schooled judging by the hint of social awkwardness. On vocals is Marika Dahlin. She lives in a tiny two story garden shed art studio near LAX, and we are not sure how she makes money. Also singing is Anne Dereaux, a Nashville to LA transplant and architect.
Powerhouse vocalist, Sagan Amery, shares the deets on LA-based metal act Hail Sagan’s new video for “Dark Cloud,” what it’s like to join EMP Label Group, why some members of the band wear masks, and more.
Hey Hail Sagan, let’s start off with a little introduction. Where did you come up with your moniker? Sagan is the first name of our vocalist Sagan Amery. So it’s a play on her name and pop culture. And of course, we follow the Supreme Order of Saganism, along with all of the Saganists out there.