Tag Archives rising star

Introducing MABES and her new EP Keeping The Noise Down


Rising British folk-pop artist MABES made an unforgettable entrance with her 2019 album Wait & See. Primed for stardom, the magnetic singer-songwriter’s debut – which includes smash hit “America” – garnered over 20 million collective streams in less than 12 months. Now, following a slew of releases this year and a taste of TikTok virality, MABES unveils her marvelous EP Keeping the Noise Down and new single “Might As Well” via The Other Songs / Amuse.


Describing her sound as “honest” with “a country twang influenced by pop,” MABES first picked up the guitar at 15 and learned to write by mirroring British act Laura Marling’s folk-poetry. Though oceans away in the UK, MABES developed an admiration for American artists and credits Carole King, Joni Mitchell, John Mayer, and The Smiths as some of her influences. With nearly 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone, she’s been featured on their Easy, Fresh & Chill, Hot Acoustics, Mellow Pop, Very Nearly Nashville, and Sad Songs playlists as well as New Music Friday (UK) while Apple has featured her releases on Acoustic Chill, Breaking Singer-Songwriter, Mellow Days, Relax, Today’s Acoustic, and more.

MABESThe new EP, written partly in Nashville last year, is a pure reflection of her interest in Americana and folk music as well as a nod to the community she fell in love with during her time there. Each song on the EP is outfitted with poignant lyrics, rooted in folk sensibilities and wrapped with impeccable sincerity. The title track, Keeping the Noise Down,” was co-written with Jonny Latimer (Ellie Goulding, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man) and bubbles with pop potential as MABES opens a dialogue about social anxiety amid warm guitar chords and irresistible electronics. The second track, Stuck in the Rain,” was co-written with Dan McDougall (Noel Gallagher) and tells a whimsical tale of hope and endurance. Other songs to complete the body of work include the guitar-heavy Slow Drowningand the new single “Might As Well,” an infectious, mid-tempo slow-burner, featuring a breezy, anthemic chorus and luscious horns.

“Might As Well” (co-written and produced with artist Quarry) arrives immediately after MABES’ eye-opening experience with cyberbullying. Her 2019 single America was coincidentally featured on a popular TikTok video, resulting in thousands of comments falsely accusing the Essex, UK-born artist of being a “Republican Halsey” across her social media and YouTube channel. Approaching this unfortunate onslaught with grace, MABES provided a comedic response on her Instagram which converted online trolls into supporters and additionally inspired a fan club (aka the Mabies) in just under a week. The final track to be revealed seems more timely now, as MABES reflects on the pressures of social media and the challenges she faces with it. On the track she confesses, “Stuck in this place / with my reputation / They know my name / some of them claim to know my information… / Might as well / try to be someone else / It’s hard as hell / wishing I was someone else.”

MABES elaborates on the EP: “I was the ‘new girl’ 3 times throughout my school years, and every time I started somewhere new I thought ‘this will be the time I find my real friends.’ But no matter what, other kids my age were just very different to me. I questioned who I was, what I believed in, and wondered why no one else thought as deep about things as me. I couldn’t find that place where I was comfortable, or where I belonged. My friends were shallow and I couldn’t see the good in anything. The songs in my Keeping The Noise Down EP are a reflection of those times and how it was for me.” She continues, “Although it was a painful time, it’s actually shaped me to be a better, more understanding person in adulthood. For that, I’m glad. Now I’m on a mission to help people out there that feel like I did – ‘the new girl’ – realize they’re not alone and that there’s quite a few of us that just want to keep the noise down…”

“’Keeping The Noise Down’ is a mini-manifesto for Mabes’ warm, open approach.” – CLASH

“…delightful…” – EUPHORIA

“…brimming with the charm of Adele and the songwriting prowess of Joni Mitchell…” – SPINDLE 

MABES’ forward-thinking, emotionally raw songwriting style has led to relatable, cutting-edge intelligent pop that marks her as a unique new artist. With her dreamy vocals and an air of timeless authenticity, there’s no doubt

MABES is cementing herself as a global entity and an artist to watch.




Jenny Hossain at WMA (US)

Jamie Cologna at WMA (US)

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Images provided by Felicity Griffiths

Kylie Hughes Talks Her Single “Heat” and New Album


Pop singer/songwriter Kylie Hughes is grabbing everyone’s attention lately. Not only has Hughes performed at venues all around California with no intentions of slowing down, but her new self-titled album was just released as well. She opened up about her inspiration, career thus far, and more.


Cliché: When did you start singing?
Kylie Hughes: I started singing and playing guitar in middle school. I always grew up singing around the house and had a knack for memorizing a song after just one listen. I also started playing guitar because 1) My dad had guitars all over the house and I was mesmerized by how pretty they looked and sounded and 2) My middle school boyfriend was into Blink-182 and said he could play guitar better than me and I’m a tiny bit competitive.

Who are your musical inspirations?
The first songs I learned to play were off of Michelle Branch’s Spirit Room album and she has always been a big influence for me. My first concert was Sheryl Crowe and the first CD I stole from my friend was a Spice Girls CD. So I love me some “Girl Power.”

What are some songs we might find in your music library?
I’m all over the map. I love Kacey Musgraves, Elle King, Beyoncé, Maren Morris, Shakey Graves, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, LP, Kanye, and I love putting on Buena Vista Social Club to just hang out.

How would you describe your sound?
Guitar-based Pop, Americana, singer/songwriter, folk/country-ish? It’s a hybrid.

Tell us about your song “Heat.”
“Heat” is kind of a “racy” song about a hot and heavy relationship. It’s one of those songs where you daydream about your crush pulling up in a really hot muscle car. They whisk you away to nowhere in particular but it doesn’t matter because they’re hot and you’re hot and you’ve just got “heat.” It was just a song that wrote itself and you can move to. It’s really fun.

What do you love about performing?
When I get to perform my own songs, that’s like therapy. It’s sharing something that has come out of a personal heartache or insight and I love getting that immediate gratification where I can tell if someone in the audience is connecting with me.

What would you want your fans to know about you?
That I think you’re gonna like what I’m doing. [Laughs] I have a sense of humor and I like to bring that into my music and my music videos. Unless it’s a sad song, then I’m suuuper sincere and not trying to be funny. I want everyone to know that this new self-titled album is truly me so…let’s see if we click?

What are your plans for the future?
I want to keep making music and trying to help everyone hear it! Check me out on Instagram @misskyliehughes and Facebook @kyliehughesmusic which I update all the time.

Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com

Kylie Hughes Talks Her Single “Heat” and New Album: Photographed by Shalon Goss

JW Sargent Talks Debut EP, “In Retrograde”


JW Sargent is aligning the stars and preparing to take 2017 full force. This month, we’re getting to know the alternative-indie singer-songwriter from Philadelphia a little better as he talks about his start in music, how his music helps him deal with issues he’s faced, and what’s to come this year. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out Sargent’s debut EP, In Retrograde, out now.

Cliché: Tell us about yourself. How does your personality reflect in your music?
JW Sargent: All of my songs come from a very personal place. I find myself trying to work through the issues that I’m facing in the songs that I write. Music helps me deal with a lot and as a result, each song is fairly representative of my life during the period in which it was written. For instance, “Run” was written during a really crazy time for me and is about me searching for simplicity in the face of chaos, while “Ghost” is about dealing with loss and the feeling that life is transient. Music has always been an incredible outlet for me and has really helped me make sense of a lot of things in my life.
How did you get your start in music? What sparked your love for it?
I fell in love with music when I was very young. My father was really into music and got me interested at a very early age, but he didn’t play any instruments, so he sort of lived vicariously through me. I got my first guitar and started taking lessons when I was 7 years old, started playing in my first band in 4th grade, and really never looked back. I owe all of that to my parents, specifically my father for getting me interested and involved so early on.
What is your songwriting process like?
Most of the time when I write music, I will start just kind of playing guitar with some ideas in mind. Sometimes I’m looking to write something upbeat, sometimes something more ambient, so I play around with different guitar parts and try to build out pieces of the song. Then I’ll start playing with different sounds and adding different layers. While I’m working on the music, I’ll hum some melodies and jot down any lyrics that come to mind, but typically that comes last in my workflow.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?
Absolutely! Writer’s block is so real and one of the most frustrating things. Sometimes I’ll be super inspired and sketch out a song very quickly and other times I’ll try for hours and get nowhere. It’s easy to want to give up, delete what you’ve recorded, and just try again some other time, but for me, I always try to persevere. I forget who said it, but I heard somewhere that you have to write the bad songs to write the good songs, so I always try to keep that in mind. As a result, I have so many half-written songs that haven’t turned into anything yet, but I go back, I revise, and I keep moving. As long as you keep writing, writer’s block can’t hold you down forever.
How would you describe your sound?
It’s always tough to pin down, but I typically describe my music as guitar-driven indie music with some electronic elements. My influences are pretty diverse, but some have said my songs are somewhere in between Bon Iver and Brand New, which is definitely the coolest comparison that I’ve heard.
What has been the hardest thing so far in your music career?
Music is a really tough industry. In most cases, it is a labor of love; so much time and effort goes in, but often there is little yield. Every band has played shows where they have played to only the other bands and every musician has had to start over in some capacity, whether that be scrapping a song or leaving a band. For me, I don’t think there has been one specific catastrophic event in my career, but there has certainly been a series of peaks and valleys. When you put so much of yourself into your music, it’s really easy to get emotionally invested in what you’re doing, so I guess, for me, one of the hardest things about music is starting over.
What’s been the most rewarding thing so far?
I have had a ton of really incredible moments in my music career, but I think the top for me at this point would have to be releasing In Retrograde. It was my first solo release where I wrote and recorded everything on my own. I put so much time and energy into every detail of those songs, so to be able to listen to the finished product on Spotify and see the videos on YouTube is such an incredible feeling and absolutely worth all of the hard work that went into it.
Where would you like to see yourself this year and what are some things we can look forward to?
I definitely have a lot of plans and goals for this year. I am always writing and recording, so there will definitely be some new songs in the pipeline at some point. I also plan to start playing some shows, which I am really excited about. Outside of that, I’ve rearranged some cover songs and have been brainstorming some video ideas, so there’s lots to look forward to!
Read more Music news on ClicheMag.com
JW Sargent Talks Debut EP, “In Retrograde”. Photography by Jesse DeFlorio

How Civil Youth Plan On Taking Over 2017


I love surprises and the feeling of pure joy that dances in the pit of your stomach when you’re being pleasantly surprised, and let me tell you, I was amazed after discovering the Philly trio that is Civil Youth. From their offstage brotherhood to their onstage unity, together they are, without a doubt, going to be some of the biggest rising stars of 2017.

With their energy on stage and soul-driven and captivating lyrics, Civil Youth is about to shake up this next year, and once you hear them, you won’t want to miss out on anything that they are doing. We caught up with the Civil Youth guys at their show in Orlando, FL on their Behind The Echoes Tour and got to know them a little better.
Cliché: Tell us about yourselves. Who are the artists behind Civil Youth?
Michael Kepko: Civil Youth is Michael Kepko (vocals), Daniel Chapman (guitar), and Evan Seeberger (drums).
How did you form your band?
Civil Youth formed in Boston, Massachusetts by myself and then I brought the music and idea back down to Philly when it didn’t pan out up there. I had known Dan since high school, and Evan had produced the second album. We all knew what this band was about. We all understood what we were trying to do and didn’t want another option in life other than music.
How would you describe your sound to people that have yet to hear your music?
We can be described as Alternative. We grab so much from so many genres, I think that sums it up in a vague manner.
How has your sound developed since you started?
In the beginning, the music was undeveloped. Now, we are a lot heavier, and also more defined with the genres we strive towards.
Your live set is pretty epic. What is the thought process behind how you create such an experience for fans?
People have told us we have an energetic set, which is great to hear because when we play live, it’s our way of releasing stress. It lets us be the people we are comfortable being, so when we get up, we just give it all we have. I think people can relate to the honesty behind what we do, which is what we want.
You guys have been worked on your new album this past year. What was the writing process like for you guys?
The writing process for this newest album was different than what it always has been. This time, Evan wrote a lot of the music with me, and we had a lot of defined writing moments as opposed to sporadic thought.
Do you all play a part in writing the lyrics, or does each member have his own specific role?
I write all the lyrics and music except with the newest album, where Evan wrote half the music.
What should we be most excited about when it comes to your new album?
I think the best part of this album is that it truly is the sound of Civil Youth. It’s unique yet so catchy.
In 2017, what are some goals you have set individually and collectively as a band?
Our personal lives are really this band, so the goals for the band are getting onto a booking agent’s roster and touring with some big bands.
Where would you like to tour this upcoming year?
The UK, hands down.

Read more Music News on ClicheMag.com
How Civil Youth Plan On Taking Over 2017: Photographed by Imani Givertz

Stealing The Spotlight: An Interview with The Stolen


I’ll have to admit: when I first discovered the up-and-coming band The Stolen, I found myself blasting their eclectic sound at max in my car. The pop-punk Jersey boys have a sound that perfectly combines Cliché faves The Maine and The 1975 with a twist of ‘90s rock and modern pop, all mixed into four incredibly talented musicians. The Stolen dropped their latest EP I’m So Dead in April along with a aesthetically pleasing music video for one of the five songs off the EP,  “Can’t Get Enough.” Here, frontman Dom Cuce filled us in on who The Stolen is, their spring tour, and songwriting.

Cliché: For those who haven’t heard you guys yet, can you give us a rundown on who The Stolen is and what your band is about?
Dom Cuce: We are a four-piece band from Old Bridge, NJ. We originally formed in 2005 playing cover songs of our favorite bands at the time. After years of playing together, we started writing our own songs and touring year round.  
What was it like to record your latest EP, I’m So Dead?
The recording process for this record was a little different than what we have done in the past since we recorded a large portion of it ourselves. We tracked guitars with a guy named Mike Oettinger up in Union City, NJ, and then we tracked drums and vocals ourselves at a studio in Red Bank, NJ. Our guitarist Rob mixed the entire record and then we had it mastered by Robin Schmidt. Again, it was a lot different than the recording process in the past. We have never self-produced a record, so doing it was an amazing experience and we are extremely happy with how it came out.
How has the response been from fans since you put out the EP?
We’ve gotten an amazing response from our fans! Whether it’s through social media or them coming out to a show and singing along, the response to the new music has been great. We can’t thank them enough.
Who writes the songs in your band? Is it a task for one specific person, or do you all jot down lyrics as a collective?
When writing music, our process is a little different. Rob (guitar) will come to us with some lyrics and some chords on guitar, and if we are all vibing it, we go to work on the song, all making it our own. In my opinion, it’s a good way to create music because now we have four people throwing their ideas in and it allows us to create something we all love.
We love how your sound has an alternative rock/R&B feel, especially in your single “Can’t Get Enough.” Who or what influences your sound?
We take influence from so many bands and artists. I think it shows in the music we consume. In the van, we will listen to literally everything, and when I say everything I mean it. [Laughs] You’ll catch us listening to so many different artists from so many different eras and they all have an influence on the music that we create.
You guys just wrapped up a spring tour. What was that experience like for you?
The tour was amazing! It’s always a good time for us and we always look forward to going out on the road and seeing our fans.
Speaking of touring, when can we catch you on the road again?
Most likely this summer!
What are some goals you guys have for the future of The Stolen?
I would say to tour as much as we can and keep making music that is true to ourselves.
How can we keep up to date with all that you’re doing?
We are on every form of social media, so everyone could follow us there to stay up date.
Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com
Stealing The Spotlight: An Interview with The Stolen: Photographed by Kenny Lewis