Song of the Day: Colorblind – Mae Krell

New York-based singer-songwriter MAE KRELL‘s single, ‘Colorblind’ was written and recorded in quarantine, created remotely from start to finish with the help of producer and multi-instrumentalist Jakob Leventhal. Over swirling, sliding guitars and sparse drums, Mae grieves the end of a relationship in painful and relatable detail: “I squeezed your hand, you flinched / The skies turned black, I blinked / I never practiced my goodbyes / I didn’t think that I had to.” Mae’s sharp lyrics and aching vocals brim with palpable emotion as they call back memories of a love that once was.

“I wrote ‘colorblind’ in the midst of what I thought was going to be the end of a relationship with the first girl I ever truly fell in love with,” Mae says of the inspiration behind the single. “I’ll be the first to admit that I feel everything too much, but during the couple of days that this was going on, I really felt like the world was ending. I was wildly sad while also being very restless in a way that I had never experienced before.”

Following a two-year hiatus, Mae Krell returned in early 2020 ready to embark on a new musical era. With a newfound maturity and understanding, she has perfected her folk-pop sound and introspective lyrical chops. At just 22 years old, Mae exudes a musicality wise beyond her years. Influenced by revered singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan, Phoebe Bridgers and Gregory Alan Isakov, her songs are intimate reflections that confront trauma, self-love, and personal truths. Her singles have amassed millions of streams to date, with last year’s singles “wash,” “home,” and “garden,” all individually breaking over 500K streams.

In addition to her artist career, Mae has worn many different hats in the music industry. She was photographed live music from the likes of Rolling Stone and Sony RCA, founded the online music publication Tongue Tied Magazine and, most recently, started Bitch Mgmt, a multimedia marketing and PR company. With a multitude of career milestones already under their belt, Mae is taking it one day at a time and focusing on writing and recording songs that reach new emotional heights.

Check out the lyric video for ‘Colorblind’ below…

Penelope Antena Delivers Touching Piece, ‘Back To Say’

Belgian and French singer/songwriter PENELOPE ANTENA is carving out her own genre melding path that has garnered praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, Marie Claire and France Inter. Her mother is renowned singer Isabelle Antena (a pioneer of Electro Samba) and her grandfather is jazz pianist Marc Moulin (the reason Blue Note opened its EU headquarters, and who was sampled by the likes of Jay Dilla).

Her touching ballad, ‘Back to Stay’, which is taken from her glowing sophomore effort, Beamorose (out 19th August on Youngbloods), adapts folk, Americana, and gospel sensibilities. A powerful cover of John Martyn’s 1967 single, Penelope’s soaring vocal work and free-flowing piano arrangement emphasizes the original heartfelt character, casting a resonant ode to lasting love in the face of inevitable change.

Here’s your chance to listen to Penelope’s version of ‘Back To Say’ below…

Art Block Shares Touching Single, ‘Brother’

I first heard the single, ‘Brother’ on Instagram and the heart-wrenching acoustic arrangements immediately touched my soul (which is a rare occasion!) I had to reach out to the person behind the beautiful single, East London-based folk singer/songwriter ART BLOCK and expressed my admiration for his latest offering and in turn, he submitted his single.

So I’m absolutely delighted to share ‘Brother’ with you guys, among a pool of other talented newcomers here on NEW LEASE MUSIC.

Produced by Ian Barter, who recently produced Gabrielle’s covers album, ‘Do It Again’, piano-led ‘Brother’ heavily possesses Art’s main influences, Radiohead and Jeff Buckley, where I get a sense that this amazing storyteller narratives a story of betrayal, through his magically delicate vocal performance.

‘Brother’ is out now on all good download/streaming sites…why not check out the video for the single below…

Toronto Musician Alex Beraldo Releases New Single, ‘Southern Heat + Video

A year ago, Toronto musician and guitar builder ALEX BERALDO released his new album, ‘Freaktone Sessions’ to exactly zero fanfare, since it was right at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. This isn’t a story that is unique to Alex, in fact, it’s a story that many musicians releasing music last year have. But what is unique, is that he decided to shine some light on his overlooked album by re-releasing the single ‘Southern Heat’, along with a new live video filmed in his luthier workshop, on the anniversary of the album’s release.

‘Southern Heat’ is one of those songs that takes you by surprise. It seems like a sweet, romantic love song at first, but then it straight up hits you with an emotional punch that sits with you long after the song has ended.

Alex has been making music since 2006 and describes his sound as “a uniquely weird take on folk, blues, rock n roll and country music. Think John Prine trying to be Bob Dylan, but he hung out with Bradley Nowell.

Alex has fronted several bands and been a solo act, touring Canada multiple times from coast to coast. He’s independently recorded and released ten albums as the frontman of bands The Breaks and The People, including five solo efforts.

‘Southern Heat’ is available now on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes, and other digital retailers and streaming services…why not check out the bitter-sweet single below…

Album Interview: HomeBody – Bill Jr. Jr.

Introducing East Vancouver’s musician Russell Gendron into the blog’s interview hot seat. He’s the frontman and songwriter for indie folk band BILL JR. JR. whose third album, ‘Homebody’ was released back in January. So I spoke to Gendron about the eight-track project and whether the pandemic impacted the production of the album.

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How is 2021 treating you so far?

BJ: My pleasure. 2021 has been great thus far. I’ve definitely had to adjust some plans and be at peace with the uncertainty around me but all in all, I’m good.

NLM: You released your album HOMEBODY back in January. What is the public perception on the singles so far?

BJ: It’s been going well thanks. The press’ thoughtful reviews we’ve received for Homebody has been fun to watch roll in and I’ve been packaging up vinyl to post every other week since the album’s release. It sure would have been nice to play some shows however.

NLM: What inspired you to produce the album?

BJ: The idea to make the album was borne from a collaboration at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity during an artist residency. I had a bunch of finished and unfinished songs about Vancouver and the idea of “home” and I joined forces with Dan Nettles and Daniel McNamara in order to bring them to life.

NLM: What is/are your favourite single(s) from the album and why?

BJ: I like “Run Home” because it’s fun to play live and it goes on for a long time.

NLM: So how would you describe the album’s sound to potential fans?

BJ: Hmmmm, pleasant, expansive, emotional and pulsing.

NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the album, who would it be and
why?

BJ: Is Sufjan Stevens available??? His voice is magical and devastating and I’d love to hear
it blended into this record.

NLM: Did the Covid pandemic present any drawbacks in the production of your
album?

BJ: Covid disrupted the tour we had planned so that was tough to let go of. At this
point, I don’t think that this album will be what we all feel like playing by the time
shows are happening again. Is what it is, we pivoted and I’m happy with how it
went despite the challenges.

NLM: Do you have other project(s) for 2021?

I’ve been tucking myself away in a little cabin this spring to give myself space to write
songs. I’m not sure what that will end up looking like but I’m enjoying the process.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

BJ: Bandcamp is a great place to listen to and support our music. Otherwise, we’re all over
the internet in all the usual places.

NLM: Finally, any special shoutouts to those involved in the production?

BJ: Daniel Mcnamara and Dan Nettles!

Bill jr. Jr’ s ‘Homebody’ is available now on download and streaming sites.