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Review

PLGRMS Release Electronic Single “Crawling Back”

PLGRMS have released their newest single, “Crawling Back.” While less synth-heavy than their previous music, the electronic element is still there. PLGRMS is stronger than ever and truly in their element.

Hailing from Sydney, their spritely, glitchy electronic pop has gained a reputation for being some of the most inventive, exhilarating electronic music coming out of Australia at the moment.

Where previous singles have landed more on the electronic end of the spectrum, PLGRMS new single “Crawling Back” is more organic in its instrumentation. It still keeps the key elements that make it very much a PLGRMS track, but with more of live-band sound than their previous releases.

“Crawling Back” is about relationships that you can’t help but keep coming back to. Lead singer Jacob elaborates on the inspiration, saying “the song is based around seeing friends go through situations where their relationship had gone bad — and they just stuck around because it was all they knew.”

Despite the song being less personal and more observational, PLGRMS have managed to write lyrics that capture the emotions as if it’s PLGRMS’s own experience.

PLGRMS are Back and Stronger Than Ever

Crawling Back by PLGRMS

A wind-instrument-inspired, carefree riff is our introduction into the song. As the verse comes in, the song feels almost stripped-back, despite the beat and synths. Lead singer Jacob’s voice is warm, strong, and silky, crooning above the music. “It’s me who’s crawling back,” he sings, as the synths ramp up and the drums come in.

A plucked guitar adds a lighter element to the song, contrasting with the strong, bass-fueled synths. “You’re so far away,” Jacob laments. “I hope you still feel the same.” Everybody knows this feeling far too well: yearning for something that’s just out of reach.

The song ends with an explosive chorus, all instruments entering before the outro, featuring a synth-fueled jam. Jacob wails over the music, making for a perfect, sonically-pleasing ending.

“Crawling Back” is a strong pop song, and it will be no surprise to any of us when we start hearing PLGRMS all over.

You can follow PLGRMS on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Review

Grace Blue Release Strong Self-Titled EP

Grace Blue have released their self-titled EP, and it’s filled with alt-pop hooks, strong vocals, and trip-hop beats.

Vocalist Grace Mogz and keyboard player Joseph Arazi met in their hometown of Tel Aviv, Israel, and formed Grace Blue to combine their gifts. In May, the duo moved to Los Angeles to make their dreams reality. Following the move, their first step toward that dream is their self-titled debut EP, a combination of dark emotionally driven trip hop, alongside captivating up-tempo alternative-pop.

Grace Blue’s EP is a Combination of Catchy and Trippy

Grace Blue EP by Grace Blue

The album opens up with one of the strongest tracks on the record, “Wasted Youth.” It’s a perfect song for those feeling as though they have no direction and are running in circles; in fact, the music is the perfect soundtrack for the frenzy of fear. It has a thriller sound, with booming toms and glitchy claps. A fuzzy synth drives behind Mogz’s vocals, which are at the forefront throughout the EP. At times, the main vocals drop out to allow the response of background vocals, which almost sound as though they’re chanting ominously. The high harmonies in the restrained bridge make the final chorus hit harder, with Mogz singing “sleep right through your days; sit back, watch it all go to waste.”

“Fix Itself,” the second to last track on the record, is a quieter song, but another strong song on the album. It opens with a quiet guitar and a soft, plucked synth. “You always whisper ‘it will fix itself,” Mogz sings, “you have to give up on me sometimes.” The song feels pulled back even in the choruses, but when Mogz hisses out “I’m here just as a quick regret,” it hits just as hard as a jam-packed synth symphony. The best part of “Fix Itself” is the bridge, when the toy piano and slightly distorted guitar riff off of each other, creating what might be the most beautiful moment of the EP.

Grace Blue is on the rise, and the glitches, beats, and strong songwriting will only continue to propel them farther into the spotlight. We look forward to hearing their next release.

You can follow Grace Blue on their website and Facebook.

 

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Review

The Blue Hour Release Genre-Defying LP “Always”

The Blue Hour have released their newest LP, “Always,” and it is a blend of haunting, beautiful, and melancholic.

The Blue Hour blends traditional folk melodies with haunting ambiance and some classical structures. The overall sound is hard to define, but creates an otherworldly and hypnotic effect. “Always” is a great demonstration of this.

One of the lead tracks, “Fire on the Rooftops,” features banging and frantic bongos. With the exception of a high-pitched sound sailing around, the melody guides the song entirely, leaving lead singers Brian and Marselle’s voices to take center stage. The lower and higher vocals never feel as though they’re clashing. The song feels as though it should be sang along and danced to around a campfire in the dead of night. It embodies the fast-moving pace of the nightlife without needing clichés or trap drums.

“Block the Sounds” is one of the creepier songs on the album. Marselle’s voice slides around, stark against the barren song. Maria Grig is featured on strings, adding a cinematic and eerie feel. As beats ricochet off of invisible walls and high harmonies echo in the background, “Block the Sounds” is the perfect soundtrack to a thriller movie’s trailer.

Another standout track is “A Tree Stands Alone.” The layers of harmonies sound almost choral, sweet above a lone, picked guitar. The melancholic feel runs high, though there is a tinge of hope injected each time the chord turns major at the end of the chorus. While one of the calmer songs on the album, it is also one that sticks with you the longest.

What truly makes The Blue Hour’s “Always” stand out is their lyrics. Some are romantically poetic; in “On The Wall,” a more upbeat and alternative-pop song, Marselle sings “you traced eternity on my soul.” On False Moon Glow, one of the darker songs, Brian and Marselle proclaim that as “you kiss me desperate under false moon glow, your mouth tastes of sand and the sky is stained.” They also find the most poetic descriptions for the simpler things. In “Come Find Me,” a woman “dances in the moonlight,  a starry field alight, her honeyed voice sings out ‘come find me.'”

Despite not having what could be considered a set genre, The Blue Hour have done an impeccable job putting together an LP that falls off the beaten path, yet has a song for everybody. We’re looking forward to seeing where this band continues to go.

You can listen to “Always” in its entirety on their Bandcamp.

 

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Review

Olivia O’Brien Releases Understated Pop Anthem “RIP”

Olivia O’Brien has returned following her feature in Gnash’s “i hate u i love you,” and it’s as catchy and heartfelt as we could hope for.

Seventeen year-old singer and song­writer O’Brien teamed up with Nic Nac and DaviDior, the producers of DJ Khaled’s “I’m The One,” for her new single “RIP.” Co-written with Drew MacDonald, “RIP” is a track dedicated to exes who have changed for the worst.

The song general laments for the “old” ex, lashing out and criticizing them for their choices and changes. “I wrote ‘RIP’ about when someone you love or someone who is important to you suddenly switches up and it feels like you don’t even know them anymore. Whether they get caught up in the scene or just make all new friends and forget about you, it sucks,” O’Brien explains.

“It can feel like the version of them that you know and love is actually dead. I think that’s something a lot of people have been through, and I can’t wait to hear about how people relate situations in their own lives to the one that I went through.”

“RIP” is reminiscent of the musicality in Halsey’s “Now or Never” – O’Brien manages to create moments that emphasize lyrics and underscore the strength and unique tone of her voice. The lyrics are brutal and heartbroken, with O’Brien belting out the refrain of “RIP to the old you.”

“I fucking miss you,” she sings, exasperation seeping through. “I would have never let you down like you did to me.” But she can’t resist the tongue in cheek kiss-off: “now you’re dead to me.”

The video is a perfect accompaniment. The opening scene finds O’Brien digging through the dirt with a shovel, resting upon it as she serenades the camera. Dirt is smeared across her face, violet locks pulled back into a ponytail, anguish written across her features.

Another prominent scene features O’Brien stalking down the aisle of her ex’s funeral with a bat. She wears all white-, standing out from the mourners donning conservative black attire. She begins violently attacking the coffin and its decor, leaving the incredulous onlookers with dropped jaws and her ex’s parents in horror.

Olivia O’Brien has proven herself as somebody worth knowing in the pop industry. We’re looking forward to what comes next from her as she continues to grow.

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Review

CRITICS Release Jamming New Single “Key Lime Pie”

CRITICS have released their first single since their debut album “All I Wanna Know,” and it’s bound to make its rounds on the internet. “Key Lime Pie” is a track filled with catchy hooks, licks, and riffs. You’ll be on your feet in no time.

The song opens with a funky guitar lick, which drives the song, even when it feels submerged underwater during the verses. The bass line follows along, adding depth to the zingy chords that set the tone for the song. A keyboard joins in as well with its own riffs.

The vocals eventually come in. The first thing you’ll notice is how similar they are to Brian Logan Dale’s from the Summer Set. But it’s not a bad thing; in fact, it’s the perfect voice for this song. The lead singer can fly into a higher register and ground itself throughout the verses and choruses.

He sings of the infatuation you feel toward someone. “You turn water into wine,” he sings. “You could be my key lime pie – I love you all the time.” They lyrics are cute, a little off, yet oh-so-catchy and memorable that you’ll be singing along in no time.

CRITICS’ “Key Lime Pie” is a Guaranteed Hit

The music video is also memorable and absolute fun to watch. CRITICS switch from performance shots to a variety of other costumes and scenes, including, but not limited to, prison suits and hand cuffs, pillow fights, and a faux Hawaiian beach scene with ukuleles, bubbles, and silly sunglasses. You never feel bored or immersed in one scene for too long, which keeps it interesting and refreshing.

Overall, “Key Lime Pie” is an ear worm that you won’t be able to stop humming. CRITICS have found the perfect combination between quirky and catchy, and we’re looking forward to what comes next.

You can follow Critics on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Review

DAIJO Releases Explosive Track “Heart Sting”

DAIJO has released his newest single, “Heart Sting,” featuring Aloma Steele, and it’s no surprise that listeners everywhere are falling in love with it.

DAIJO, the stage name for Benjamin Shir, has been writing behind the scenes for years, but he’s only just begun to make a name for himself. He released “Red Dress” featuring Aloma Steele this year, as well as eclectic remixes such as Designer’s “Panda” and Gnash’s “I Hate U, I Love U.” “Heart Sting,” which features Aloma Steele again, is just as strong and catchy.

DIAJO’s “Heart Sting” is an Immediate Hit

Daijo – Heart Sting by D A I J O

Describing the inspiration behind the song, DAIJO explained, “breakups are tough and the feelings of hurt are strongest in the first moments. My goal was to describe those emotions and embolden the listener that once you are over the heart sting, you will rise stronger and more beautiful.”

The song is a hit. Let’s get that out of the way now.

Starting with a simple beat and manipulated vocals, DAIJO lays the groundwork for a dance anthem. Those warped vocals eventually cut out to showcase Steele’s voice, asserting that she’s “giving forever, not getting enough.”

A build-up leads to a beat-less pre-chorus. “You bring the best and worst to me,” Steele sings, voice fluttering higher and higher. “I love the way we love and fight.” It’s heartfelt and honest – who hasn’t fallen for somebody who drives them insane and brings sanity all at once?

But what really makes the song is the music that drives the chorus and outro. “Don’t hold it back, don’t turn your back on me baby,” Steele pleads, the beat speeding up until the drop occurs. Whiny synths slide everywhere, as out of control as the emotions following a breakup. It’s a drop that deserves an arena filled with people losing themselves and singing along to the music.

DAIJO is making a name for himself in the electronic, “future-pop” scene. We’re looking forward to whatever he drops next.

You can follow DAIJO on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Interview

IBG Interview Series – 7 Questions With Mia LJ

Mia LJ is on the rise following the release of her EP “These Are the Years.” At only nineteen, the singer-songwriter has gained a following of thousands. Her recent music video release of “This Livin” has already garnered 20,000 views in less than two months. We asked Mia about how she’s grown since her EP,  the inspiration behind “This Livin,” and what’s next for her.

Mia LJ Releases Cool Music Video to “This Livin”

Who is Mia LJ?
 
I am a 19 year-old self-taught multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and artist.
 
What drew you to music?
 
At the age of five years old, I became obsessed with the guitar. Personally, Jimi Hendrix & Lenny Kravtiz were massive inspirations.
 

How have you grown since your EP “These Are the Years?”

 
I’ve gone through quite a bit since my debut EP’s release just last year in both a personal and business aspect. Since then, my capabilities as a recording artist have grown more than I could have ever imagined. I’ve actually started to mix my own records, working within various spaces from legendary multi-million dollar facilities to private studio houses. I’ve always independently wrote & tracked my songs, but mixing was a new level of independent creativity for me to take on.
 
You mentioned the “business aspect.”
 
I formally established my business — DBA Mia LJ — in January of this year (2017). Being able to claim this feat at just 19 years old means a lot to me. It’s such a blessing to be able to do what I love and take care of myself at this age. If I were to touch on everything that’s happened behind the scenes, I’d be writing a book. More to come!

What prompted you to write “This Livin”?
 
This may seem crazy as the song was just released, but I wrote “This Livin” in 2013 (at 15 years old). My lyrics are often inspired by future success. “This Livin” was based upon childhood dreams which have transformed into my current reality. I’m sure everyone reading this knows that finding happiness in life isn’t easy.
 
Happiness and success don’t come easy these days.
 
“This Livin” was my way of manifesting a life I’d dreamt of for over a decade through music. Now 19 years old, much of what is described lyrically has come to fruition which makes it a perfect time for release. I am psyched to continue this journey as it’s just beginning!
 
The music video is simple and sleek. Who came up with the concept?
 
Thank you so much! I actually independently created the “This Livin” visual treatment just as I do with my music – every instrument and word you hear in addition to production elements. Being able to visualize what you hear as an artist is definitely an advantage as I’m very picky with my creative direction and quality. Simplicity is bliss. I’m very proud of “This Livin” but must stress, the follow-up releases are on a whole new level. Thankfully fans are really digging what I’ve served up thus far, so I can only imagine their response to what’s coming.
 
What inspires you, both to write about and to keep pursuing music?
 
My day to day life has been a movie for lack of better words. Imagine that feeling you get when watching one of your favorite movies, even better — a movie you create. The suspense is insane. Life is unpredictable. You have no idea what’s going to happen next let alone how it’s going to end. This is what keeps me going in my pursuit. There have already been so many surprising parts of this movie that I’ve grown to love. I could never stop.
 
When it comes to writing music, I am not as inspired by my past as I am by now or the future. Lyrically, words just spill out of me. Occasionally, I use memories of frustration and lust as inspiration when writing about my past experiences. From a more subconscious perspective, self-prophesying lyrics are my favorite. They come with much ease as watching dreams go from my head to reality is incredibly invigorating.
 
What’s next for Mia LJ?
 
Better. Better music, better visuals, better live shows, better person, better life. Better.
 
You can find Mia on Twitter and Instagram.
Categories
Review

Cardiknox Release Infectious Single “Fuck With You”

Cardiknox have released their newest single, “Fuck With You.” It’s their first release since their 2016 album, “Portrait,” and it’s proof that they are stronger than ever.

Cardiknox, a pop duo of Lonnie Angle and Thomas Dutton, has earned a reputation from the likes of Vogue and Billboard as producing massive dance-floor hooks and infectious live synergy. Cardiknox have been on the rise in popularity: they were named by People Magazine as breakout musicians of 2016, and “Fuck With You” proves that they are worthy of this title.

Cardiknox’s “Fuck With You” is a Perfect Blend of Catchy and Emotional

Fuck With You by Cardiknox

The song follows a trope that many artists write about  – falling in love with a serial player. However, Cardiknox has managed to put their own twist on this. “Fuck With You,” while following the story of pursuing a relationship with someone who has a track record, examines what it’s like to trust that the other person isn’t going to fall into their noncommittal routine.

When asked about the inspiration behind the song, Angle said “sometimes being in love is intense. And wonderful and hard and unexplainable. And no matter what bullshit life and people are throwing at you, it’s really only about you and that other person. None of the other noise matters. That’s what ‘Fuck With You’ is about.”

The song also follows a different path musically than other pop songs; instead of explosive choruses, the music strips back, allowing the message to shine through. “Let ’em talk, I only fuck with you,” Angle sings. “I can’t be without you.” Some might call the expletives unnecessary, but Angle explains that they “want you to feel that message almost louder than hearing it in the lyric.” It’s a smart move, as it allows the song to feel more genuine and vulnerable.

“Fuck With You” is a blend of Charlie XCX vocals from Angle, infectious synth riffs that are reminiscent of the Chainsmokers, and honest lyrics like those of Tove Lo.The combination works magically, producing a pop song that will have you singing along long after it’s over.

You can follow Cardiknox on their website, Facebook, and Twitter, and find more of their music on their Soundcloud.