Emerging hip-hop artist Cody Presley has released his latest single “Before You Go”on all streaming platforms today. Produced by Vaegud and HXRXKILLER, the emo rap track is the final single ahead of Cody Presley’s sophomore EP, Twenty7, set for release on June 10th of this year via indie-label Happy Place Music Group. When discussing the inspiration behind “Before You Go,” Cody Presley writes:
“I wrote this while being in a situation of ‘its all or nothing.’ The last text message to make it through before everything comes crashing down on you. When you cherish something so much it can be extremely tough to let go of someone dear to your heart.” – Cody Presley
Growing up in Pensacola, Florida, Cody Presley used his small town hardships to his advantage; sharing his raw passion and pain through his music. Mixing elements of emo-rap, alternative, and trap – the 27 year-old’s discography of heartbreak and loss speak to the hopeless romantic in all of us. His singles “Dead Inside” and “Nosebleed” have amassed over 150k streams collectively; launching the emerging artist and producer to new heights in a fast-paced digital world. Cody Presley’s fans are drawn to his relatability in his lyricism and presence; there’s no choice but to pay attention.
Cody will be releasing his latest cathartic project, Twenty7 EP via indie-label Happy Place Music Group on June 10th of this year. Stream the latest single from the sophomore EP, “Before You Go,” on Spotify.
With a catalogue that travels from alternative dark pop to bass booming trap bangers – Watson’s music is fresh and unconventional, pushing boundaries with each release. Today, the American recording artist releases his newest single “DROWNING” – the angsty underbelly of toxicity coming undone. The emo-punk inspired track is an ode to being crushed by cupid’s sledgehammer and finding not all is lost after.
The music video release, directed by Raymond Galvan, is a hilarious spoof of music shows in the era of 90s MTV – featuring Watson as the reporter of music talk show Punk Pastures interviewing all-girl punk group The Watsons. As the interview unfolds into a cringey question montage, the music video leads into a special The Watsons performance of “DROWNING” and a cameo appearance of his OnlyFans exclusive Billy Mays inspired infomercial, “James Brown.”
When discussing the track, Watson shares:
“I made this song in the middle of a party – you can hear it in the background at the beginning. So – like the song – though dark, you can feel the good times in the vibe of it all.” – Watson
Watson is the sub-ego of an automation currently operating as an American recording artist. Born in Los Angeles of Hatian descent, his diverse musical palate is always on display; Watson touches all genres including a mix of Eclectic SadBoi Pop, Sex Rap, Future RnB, Internet Alternative and Post-Pop Indie. Through modern engineering, Watson has pioneered a revolutionary method of melody. In June 2020, the newly-independent artist released his debut EP titled Hallelujah, I’m Free. The EP’s viral single “Dance Alone” became an instant Tik-Tok sensation, launching himself in the reign of Complex UK, Billboard, and Wonderland Magazine. Watson will be releasing a plethora of new music this year, including two releases each month for the entirety of Summer 2021.
Visit Afropunk for the exclusive music video premiere of Watson’s newest single “DROWNING” – available on all streaming platforms today.
Listening to Sunset Blush by Philadelphia’s indie darling Kississippi—otherwise known as Zoe Reynolds—feels like sitting shotgun in the summer, windows rolled down halfway, a lukewarm breeze passing by your shoulders. It gives the sonic effect of goosebumps. A fairly big step away from 2016’s EP We Have No Future, We’re All Doomed, this release has pulled the project into a much more pop-influenced direction. This move comes across as extremely natural for Reynolds, who is diving into her own sound following the departure of former bandmate Colin James.
Her vocals are more confident than ever, and her songwriting is tender and sharp all at once. She bares it all on the breakout track “Cut Yr Teeth,” with lyrics that tap into the anxiety of realizing someone may not actually be who they appeared to be (“The person you made yourself out to be / would feel sorry for what you have done to me.”) There’s something about the distance created by the use of the second person—that biting “you”—that makes it even more intimate. It’s almost as if she’s having a conversation with the listener, like they’re tapping into something they shouldn’t be. But then, in a way that only she knows how to, Reynolds brings you back into her world mere minutes later on “Red Lights” with one use of the word “we.” One of the sweeter tracks on the album, “Red Lights” is the unmistakably slow burn of a blush you can’t shake, with simple lyrics that say more than words usually can (“Red lights / Kisses on the nose / Hope we hit traffic on the way home.”)
There’s an energy present on this album that we haven’t seen before from Kississippi—partially thanks to anthemic tracks like “Easier To Love” and “Adrift,” which both drip with synths, while retaining an edge. With saccharine harmonies and upbeat, driving guitar parts, both tracks appeal to her new pop sensibilities. They are also undeniable highlights of the album, giving her vocals a chance to soar. Not only does Reynolds avoid the cheesiness that is often symptomatic of indie rock artists experimenting with pop flirtations, but she does so triumphantly. She creates a novel sound, a possibility which is always questioned in our ever-skeptical-of-pop world.
Sunset Blush is rare and remarkable, unearthing a ferocious femininity that has been there all along. It shows a clear progression for the artist, who is (unsurprisingly) seeing well-deserved success in the wake of its release. It’s already surpassing older releases on streaming platforms and showing no signs of slowing down—especially not after her tour with Dashboard Confessional.
Read more Music Reviews on ClicheMag.com Kississippi Dives Into Pop With ‘Sunset Blush’: Featured image courtesy of Kississippi
Two vibrant southern cities, with two totally different music scenes, but one incredibly common thread: a passion for the live music scene. Of course I’m talking about Austin, TX and Nashville, TN, the current home of our two latest Bands Interviewing Bands participants, Almost Famous Friends (Austin, TX) and Bryan Howell (Nashville, TN). The two got to know each other through our latest feature, which you can check out below.
Bryan Howell: First, I’d like to congratulate you for the release of I’m Not Who I Want To Be! What were you trying to say to the world with this debut album?
Almost Famous Friends: One thing we want listeners to know when they hear our music is that they are not alone. Music has always been a huge part of our lives, and being able to share that experience with other people is really important to us. Bryan Howell: This album is clearly a very personal, emotional work. Are there any tracks that were particularly difficult to write/perform?
Almost Famous Friends: One track that was written during a particularly difficult time in my life is “Better Off.” I was going through a very rough time in a relationship and was feeling extremely alone, but playing music with my best friends always pulls me back up even at my worst. Almost Famous Friends: What’s your favorite song to play live?
Bryan Howell: Just one?! I feel as an artist, I’m doing a huge disservice if I just touch on one emotion or feeling for a whole set. There has to be a bit of an emotional gamut or rollercoaster that you ride through the show, for myself and the audience. Granted, much of my music is pretty high-energy, but I hope people get that I’m dealing with a variety of different topics inside of that, and the tempo shifts and song change-ups bring about an arc and depth to things, too. I love getting all loud and angry with the guitar, cranking up the tempo and blowing things down with songs like “Cold Little Heartbreaker” and “‘Cause I’m A Lion,” but then there’s the levity and context for me of doing a slower song that still has an edge to it, like “Tough To Say Goodbye” or “Not Like The Movies.” Then there’s a few spots where I play a song and really let loose on the guitar, like “Baby, Don’t Look Back,” and that’s a release as a songwriter and as a musician that feels really cathartic, and hopefully connects with the audience on the night I would put it in the set. I can’t choose just one moment or song–there’s a variety of things I want to touch on through the set and hopefully people will remember.
Bryan Howell: The Austin music scene is clearly a huge community. Do you have a favorite venue or event in the area that you perform at?
Almost Famous Friends: One of our favorite music venues in Austin right now is Fine Southern Gentlemen. FSG is a DIY venue in the heart of east Austin that is very popular among the local pop-punk/alternative scene right now. We always enjoy our time playing there. Bryan Howell: You guys put out a video for “All I Can Do” and it almost looked like a live video. Was this live or a planned video?
Almost Famous Friends: This was a planned video that I (Tristan) and our drummer Aris made together, with the help of our photographer friend Abbie. We’ve always been a group that likes to get our hands dirty and do the hard work ourselves, and I think this music video shows that.
Almost Famous Friends: Do you have a pre-show ritual or habit?
Bryan Howell: Yeah, kind of a few actually. My mindset is in fifth gear going into the red line before a show, so I want to make sure to stay focused. I was once told that not listening to the act that went on before me would help, and it does when the night’s lineup order is like that. I feel kind of shallow for doing it, but stepping out of the venue after hearing some of their set really keeps me focused, while allowing me to know what they were doing onstage and being able to talk to them after. It’s finding a balance of being supportive of other musicians, while keeping to myself and making sure my performance is my focus, too. Then I often go for a walk to warm up my legs and meditate a bit during that, and then I do some stretches, because I’m a pretty physical performer and I need to be ready to go when I hit the stage, and the performance and singing aspect is going to take a lot of energy and exertion. After that, it’s a matter of making sure things are ready to go–Gatorade and water ready to go onstage to stay hydrated, setlists as needed, and so on. Once I’m all tuned in and in focus like that, the show is still never predictable for a lot of reasons, but it is pretty easy for me to segue into and roll with. Almost Famous Friends: What city would you play if you could choose only one?
Bryan Howell: That’s a tough one. I hope in the near future to get to play London–I would love to get the chance to go to England and play there. They love American rock n’ roll and are really passionate and informed about music from all I can tell, and from talking to some fans I’ve heard from online. I’m also a Clash fanatic through and through. So it would be great to get to play there and see the city and the country where so much of this great music came from. That said, I’m having the time of my life right now playing in Nashville, and every venue so far has had its own flavor to it, so I could probably be happy just playing here too. Almost Famous Friends: What’s a goal you have for the next year?
Bryan Howell: I kind of have more than one. I’d like to get my first full-length album coming out, Take The Risk, in the hands of some kind of distributor or independent label. To get it out there, for one, and also because I want to have a proper vinyl release for it. That has been a goal of mine with this album from the get-go when I started pre-production. I would love to be able to hold my album in a vinyl format, and I’ll probably get that done one way or the other. And knowing people could put it on their turntable….wow. But this all ties in to putting together a new band in Nashville that can play and expand off of these songs, and that I can go on the road with and play them and other ones I’m writing or will have written. That’s another big one. I feel like I’m only beginning to tap in to my potential as a songwriter and live performer now, and I want to be able to harness and channel all that creative energy with the right people and get it out there this next year. Follow Bryan Howell: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | Bandcamp Follow Almost Famous Friends: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bandcamp
Read more Music News on ClicheMag.com Bands Interviewing Bands: Bryan Howell & Almost Famous Friends. Photo credit: Bryan Howell (top) by Mark DiOrio. Almost Famous Friends (bottom) by Abbie Bosworth