Who: Small Reactions is an Atlanta-based quartet insistent on musical clarity. Dubbing their brand of music “nerve pop,” they seek clear sound through the honest interplay of four instruments: guitar, bass, vintage organs, and drums. The band has supported the likes of Titus Andronicus, Portugal. The Man, and Mac DeMarco.
What: Come to the mystic fair of “New Age Soul” and enjoy the vibe.
Why: Combine guitar twang with psychedelic pop and we are here in a flash, toe-tapping and head-bobbing the whole way. We’ve found ourselves humming the hook and repeating “we’re new age souls” like it’s the beloved theme song to a Burning Man sit-com.
“‘New Age Soul’ is the opening salvo from our just released album of the same name. Sung as a loose stream-of-consciousness narrative, the song depicts scenes from a fair taking place on the outskirts of a small west Texas town. The imagery is evoked from DJ Little Danny’s radio show “The Cool Blue Flame” on WFMU (he broadcasts from west Texas), but the song doesn’t sound much like the hypnotic R&B, mystical ’60s pop, or lonely country that he’s known to spin. In spirit, we tried to connect to a place slightly out of sync from its surroundings. The first line of the song — and, ultimately, the album — is “At the desert’s mouth, the Internet’s out”. This is something that (hopefully!) exists out of place and time, yet remains tangible and real and worth traveling to.” – Sean Zearfoss of Small Reactions
Who: CLAVVS is the alt-pop duo of Amber Renee and Graham Marsh. Hailing from NYC, the pair is determined to produce danceable bangers full of self-acceptance and personal truth. Having produced hits for Gnarls Barkley and Kid Cudi, as well as sharing a stage with Ibeyi and Baio, crushing their personal goals seems like a forgone conclusion.
What: This club is cramped, let’s “Get You Home”.
Why: Whisper-light lilting vocals breeze through jungle drums and electric notes. You can’t help but move your body when the deep tones flesh out the chorus. Perfect for a dance party on the rooftop or a solo groove session in your preferred fortress of solitude.
“It’s sort of a sexy song that starts out with strangers meeting for the first time, but later on you learn they’ve stayed together for years and held on to that first spark. The ending is one of my favorite moments on the album. It becomes almost tender as a contrast to the start of the song, mirroring the ways relationships often grow and shift into something unexpected and beautiful.” – Amber Renee of CLAVVs
Who: BLEACHx is the moniker of L.A.-based queer songwriter Jeremy Thurber. Wanting to “bleach” his past and start fresh, he is creating playful pop tinged with darkness and self-reflection. Broken hearts and bad decisions burst through his lyrics. Collaborations with artists from SHINee to Meghan Trainor give him a varied landscape from which to grow.
What: Climb the steps to the pop-catharsis temple with “Dead Inside”.
Why: Perfect for fans of angsty & edgy K-Pop, the track starts out leaving a trail of tears which eventually morphs into a trail of blood. “Woe is me” transforms into “Hell hath no fury” over a pulsing hip-hop beat. BLEACHx’s distinct voice is given the main stage throughout, adding to the barbed aesthetic of the song.
“‘Dead Inside’ is such a personal song to me, it really embodies all the loss in my life, how I felt at the time and the birth of the BLEACHx project, it’s a fun song that is a culmination of all the genres and writing styles I love and a goodbye to all the negative feelings I had inside. I wanted something dark and Maniacal you could also dance to. When I wrote it my dad passed away and my BF left me because he couldn’t deal with the grief of it all and it was exactly how I felt inside.” – BLEACHx