A couple of artist from New Jersey have some new music to share! Philip Marflak and Kayla DeRosa come together as Phavors, having met during instructive music lessons, the two found an advantage in working together. With Kayla on vocals, and the music & lyrics by Philip, they express themselves with PETALS, their debut single. Described as Dream-pop or Indie Folk, it is a beautiful balance of ethereal and acoustic sounds, with lyrics pondering and reminiscing love indulgence. A first of many to come as they work on the finishing touches of the PETALS EP.
Watching London Lo grow since her debut EP has been a pleasure and an inspiration; She moves with ease! Does not do too much, or too little, as she pops back in from a hiatus to release a new single. GONE OFF YOU has already hit the radio in Chicago as well, another achievement to follow her debut single CLEAR MY MIND, which hit the radio off its release as well. She did however stay busy in silence!
She may have had her first release since last year after that one TUESDAY IN LA, but she did plenty to occupy her time. Curating her own open mic events and working to get her music on mainstream radio, she also performed live on multiple occasions, including one at SXSW, and her first sold out event at Sofar Chicago. Let us not forget to mention that she made her way into Netflix Original Special SOUNDTRACK. Since the debut of her wildly creative debut EP PDA (Public Display of Artistry). London Lo has been making some serious boss moves and it is exciting to see where she is headed in this new decade.
Photo: @renacaptures Styling: @kenyasherron
HMUA: @londonlolooks Jewelry: @miaghogh
The Surge, member of the Mic Commanders, and known for his intensely witty, sharp lines, and distinctive voice, recently dropped a hilarious animated video to the lead single from his 2020 LP SURGE IN GENERAL WARNING. The LP runs 17 tracks long at almost a full hour, and featuring only one Mic Commanders comrade, SamIam the MC. The lead record from the album, RAP RAP RAP, produced by Dreamtek, has a visual out now, done by Big Herc.
The visual is incredibly impressive for animating different characters and scenarios involving phones and social media, notably that of Surge in a library. Done in a comical animation style, it is bound to have you laughing while pondering the harsh words from beginning to end. The Surge basically calls out how rappers self promote on social media platforms, namely Facebook. He strings multi-syllabic rhyme schemes in an explanatory manner regarding the different habitual tendencies of rappers.
Some of the specific things he calls rappers out for are: tagging 99+ Facebook users in a music promotion post, going live on Facebook with nothing worthwhile to say, or artists having meaningless discussions in an endless thread of comments. Every line hits home in terms of the daily activities seen from local rappers. The Surge is highlighting symptoms of some the twisted normalcies we find in the music business.
Talent often times is a harvested practice but for Queen Mars it seems to have come natural! Just as well as her ambition and hustle to grow with her craft. With a hand full of songs in her belt, an EP and a few shows, this new artist is making her growth seem effortless. Just coming into the spotlight and already making big moves as an artist and turning heads, a real down to Mars girl.
A talent that we found at one of our Open Mic events at Subterranean on Tuesday nights. More than that, it was a competitive event, and she won favored performer of the night among many talented Chicago artists, crowd decision! With beautiful vocal range, her stage presence stole the show. Catching the audience with R&B and Pop music vibes, as she sings from the soul.
Putting in work early in this year, her win at our Subterranean Open Mic prepares her for the stage again as she is prized with a featured event performance with a full set, March 3rd. Perfect timing as she just released new music for to build up on the momentum, TO ALL THE FUCK BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE. Getting deep into her personal diary with this track, she lets out the big F**k You to retire her feelings of the past, with the help of D’mitri; complimenting the song and Queen Mars vocals flawlessly. She seems more than ready for the world and when she hits the stage she proves it.
Find more on her Spotify linked below, and catch her Sofar Sounds performance on 3/11/20.
Cover Photo : @CCWOD
Ayoo continues with their growth and experimentation with their sound and we are all here for it. We even got a closer idea of who their influences are for their music and sound in an interview with By The Wavs. Both Brothers naming mutiple artists, specific to no genre. From Dr. Fresch, Dom Dolla, AC Slater, Kid Cudi, Bone Thugs, Syn, Habstrakt, Excision and more, you can see why AYOO’s sound seems to be ever changing.
Recently releasing a huge collaboration piece dubbed FREAK OUT, and with a name quite commonly known in the Dubstep community. Rico Act performed and collaborated with acts such as Snails, DirtySnatcha, Sullivan King, Spag Heddy to name a few, and now Chicago’s very own AYOO works with the titan, as Benasis did a couple years earlier. Now this tracks name is to be taken seriously, because the three of them blended hip hop, and mid tempo bass to perfection. AYOO is no stranger to adding hip hop influence or vocals to their records, in fact you can hear the influence in all of their original tracks. This follows their remix of THE WAVE by WOLFBITER, and as you can see, another switch up in style as AYOO get bolder with their sound, what and who they work with.
Kat Baker, Tony Baker and Lonnie Phillips are the members of rising Chicago based rock band, Broken Robots. Harnessing an eclectic sound: whispery, melancholic vocals, with bass lines that sound like a cross between Seinfeld and The Faint‘s bassist, Dapose. Broken Robots have a style that cannot easily be compared.
The music video features the three band mates performing DIMES AND QUARTERS in various locations, showcasing their chemistry and tenderness. “I’ve been feeling like a fish, out of water. I’ve been trying to pay the rent with dimes and quarters.” The chorus is deeply felt throughout the song (especially if you’ve ever been broke) and it never feels repetitive. Their compositional style along with their build ups, crescendoing runs, late bridge, and even a guitar solo from Tony Baker, all feel in good taste. This song contains a well thought out and complex structure; which is appreciated in the day and age of formulaic pop rock and pop bands.
Dimes and Quarters is the 4th song from the upcoming EP THE ESCAPE ARTIST. Written and produced by Kat Baker, Tony Baker, and Lonnie Phillips, mastered by Blaise Barton working out of Joyride Studios. The music video was produced, directed, shot and edited by Joel Lopez of Lumbra Records. Broken Robots offer something different in the current saturated world of music and their single, DIMES AND QUARTERS, is in our permanent rotation.
Cover Photo: Joel Lopez
RhymSter, the flagship artist and co-leader of Ever Evolved, has released his third project and second dual emcee-producer collaboration with Edmur Quinn, following up RhymSter’s previous record, PURE NOON. RhymSter employs smooth uptempo flows with clever lines, sprinkling storytelling over soulful sampled, heavy bass, new school beats. Each record has a distinct yet similar vibe which make the tracks fresh and cohesive. He recruits fellow Ever Evolved members Radcliff Music and Mike Booth,who together along with RhymSter make Triangle Offense, on the song ALL WEEK LONG. The other three songs are entirely composed of vocals from RhymSter making this a short but sweet four record EP.
The intro track, I FEEL IT, starts with a high pitched vocal sample, leading into the hook rapped by RhymSter. “I feel it in my bones, its about that time, blisters all up on my hands from this mountain climb, escaping death up in my nightmares yelling I gotta live, me while I’m ready for it all to see what it gonna give.” This song centers around the theme of not quitting or giving up. To stay the the course while on the road to achieving your goals and living out your dreams. RhymSter ends this record with a hopeful repeated bridge.
ALL WEEK LONG is the second record with Triangle Offense. RhymSter starts the record off rapping about a typical weekend schedule of his, including a Friday night party, Saturday night show and a Sunday afternoon studio session. This song deals with some youthful weekend hacking done by the crew while moves have to get made. “All week long, Ive been grinding handling business, try’na to take care of all these children, putting myself in this position, grinding hard so say lets get it get it.” Radcliff Music comes in with that classic rhythmical smack talk, mentioning how Triangle Offense is a group with respect and a name, yet no album. Radcliff Music ends his verse saying he is not letting any weak people take him out.
Track three, DISCONNECT & UNPLUG, is a thoughtful exploration into the lifestyle of a musician born and bred out of Chicago. RhymSter writes lines such as “disconnect and unplug, this lifestyle is a heavy drug, tip toe on the borderline, tell you that I’m more than fine,” and “they want us to look through the glass, but not open the door… thank the internet for showing us the worlds colors, increasing single mothers, and decreasing eachother.” The track fades at the end leaving you barely to hear the last few lines of RhymSter’s lyrics, adding to the emotional effect of the record and leaving you wondering what was said. The weight of the beat and his lyrics leave the listener to ponder their own feelings.
C’MON SON, the finale track has a wonderful gospel sample. Paired with complex bars by RhymSter, making references and puns such as, “Breaking bread with my all brothers, Jesus in the last supper…” and “PURE NOON ya know I will, MAINTAININ while I wait for it, so watch out man!” RhymSter ends the track with a hilarious sample of a monologue from a famous film. Tying up this dense yet short project that leaves you wanting more!
In a time where men dominated the rock music industry there was Patti Smith pioneering her own sound in the 70’s. Born in Chicago in 1946, she started being influenced by music at an early age. She would first start listening to artists like Patience and Prudence, Harry Belefonte and Bob Dylan. Moving from Chicago to Philadelphia, then New Jersey before finally leaving Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and moving to Manhattan, New York on her own. This is where things start to take off!
In Manhattan Patti Smith met photographer Robert Mapplethorpe while working at a bookshop with American poet Janet Hamill. Becoming romantic with Mapplethorpe, in a book she later wrote called Just Kids, she considers him one of the most important people in her world and “artist of her life”. In ’69 she would go to Paris to perform in the street and in theater, later returning to live with Mapplethorpe at Hotel Chelsea. Getting more deeper into creativity this time around.
The same year Patti Smith would provide a spoken word soundtrack to ROBERT HAVING HIS NIPPLE PIERCED, an art film by Sandy Daley starring Mapplethorpe. She starred in FEMME FATALE, a play by Jackie Curtis with Wayne County and also Tony Ingrassia‘s play, ISLAND. Smith would be spending much of early 1970 painting, writing and performing as part of St. Mark’s Poetry Project. In ’71 for one night she performed in COWBOY MOUTH, a play she co-wrote with Sam Sheppard, who she wrote a few poems about.
Getting into more music, Patti was briefly considered to be the vocalist for Blue Oyster Cult, who she wrote several songs for like, DEBBIE DENISE, BABY ICE DOG, CAREER OF EVIL, THE REVENGE OF VERA GEMINI and more. She would also be romantically involved with on the the bands members as well. In the midst of all this she also wrote rock journalism pieces for Rolling Stone and Creem. By 1974 Patti Smith would become a rock star in her own right.
In 1974, Patti Smith would form Patti Smith Group originally with Lenny Kaye, Ivan Kral, Jay Dee Daugherty and Richard Sohl. Financed by Sam Wagstaff, the band recorded their first singles HEY JOE and PISS FACTORY , which included a spoken word piece about fugitive heiress Patty Hearst for the A-Side and time in a factory on the B-Side. Signed by the Clive Davis of Arista Records, the Pattie Smith Group recorded their first album HORSES, fusing poetry, spoken word and punk rock. While touring, on January 23, 1977 as she was dancing on stage, Patti Smith fell 15 feet into a concrete orchestra pit, breaking several neck vertebrae. They would produce a few more albums before the 70’s end, including RADIO ETHIOPIA, their most famous EASTER and WAVE.
Patti Smith would return to music in 1995 briefly touring with Bob Dylan. The next year she would work on a Kurt Cobain tribute record GONE AGAIN, following up with two albums, PEACE AND NOISE and GUNG HO, that would receive Grammy nominations for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. After TRAMPIN, another album release, in 2005 Patti Smith would be named Commander of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. After closing out the legendary CBGB music venue in a tour de force, 3 & 1/2 hour set, in 2007 Smith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She continues to be a force in the music industry to this day!
First introduced to Brittney Carter at one of Ever Evolved’s first networking events in 2017, she was attention capturing indeed. There standing in the space formerly known as BLSD Boutique in uptown Chicago, DJ Scend turns down the music for Brittney to express her truth acapella. No one expected the explosive lyricism that this short seemingly quiet, comfortably dressed girl has come to bring. Completely taking over the vibe of the room with what she had to say from her heart and mind.
Fast forward today Carter has grown as an artist, filling in her shoes, gaining respect from her peers and establishing a fan base. Racking up quite a number of releases and collaborations, she recently added to her playlist with a couple of new tracks! Over two laid back beats produced by Nascent, Brittney expressed her nostalgia over a significant other and the growth from the experience. What is most impressive is how smoothly & quickly she a can articulate and express herself through so many words, she is a very composed artist with a lot on her mind! Click on the cover art by Cookie Kwan to listen to and purchase BACK THEN and THE SIGNS.
When Säge The 64th Wonder aka Seji,aka Shintendo is seemingly quiet in the rap/hip hop scene in terms of music, in actuality he never stopped releasing, producing and creating content. Namely his commissions of his unique animated art style that the Chicago scene and beyond cannot quite get enough of. It feels as though when Säge gets bored or anxious, as all genius multi talented artists do, he jumps back into the rap arena and shows why he is been a staple of Chicago hip hop since 2012. But he was making waves even two years prior to that because of his skill and technicality off the jump and having a team of emcees and artists surrounding him, if you remember The Terra Godz.
You cannot cast Säge as just indie, hip hop, nerd core or anime rap. He is so much more than that considering he actually embodies a large part of the East Asian culture being a visual artist himself. He clearly studies and consumes the culture to a high degree. He is a fusion of a lot of things that really get fleshed out if you can actually go through his entire catalog. Säge has gone through numerous re-brandings and some classics that might not be available to listen to right now. Do not fret however since he is re-releasing some oldies quite soon as well as an album of brand new music in February.
Until then ponder, soak and absorb this. “Damn, will they ever play me for the masses?” Asks Säge to an alternate version of himself, something like a conscience which in turn responds (using a higher shifted pitched voice) “Even if they don’t, I still feel you make the classics, still think you’re greater than the greatest in this rap shit, is that a question you’re asking? We’re passed this, Just pass this blunt.” Säge the 64th Wonder, the flagship leader of SlumpGang777, will have some amazing pieces to look forward to in 2020.