Duo ISYLA Share Their Album ‘Of Blood And Star’

Following on from the success of their 2020 debut release ‘Where She Walks’, which received acclaim worldwide, duo ISYLA have released their latest album, ‘Of Blood And Star’, on Earth Day (22nd April).

Their newest collection of work possesses a deep meditative and earthy blend of soft alt folk/pop throughout, with heavenly soothing vocal performance which is very reminiscent of acclaimed singer-songwriter Dido. The tranquil soundscapes are, at times, infused with a kick of funk (in ‘Pretty Lies’) and elements of 60s and 70s style soft soulful tones (featured in ‘Colours Of The Rain’ and Beautiful Change’)

UK singer-songwriters Lizzie Freeborn and Amy Woodburn formed ISYLA back in 2020 to offer a musical response to raising the profile of the climate crisis. The two combine their love for cinematic arrangements, dynamic harmonies and sultry grooves to sing for life on earth.

‘Of Blood And Star’ represents the deeper connections with the earth and each other. Have a listen to the album below…

Song of the Day: Celestial Body – Maidin

MAIDIN presents her debut single, ‘Celestial Body’, which showcases her impassioned vocals soaring over melancholic acoustic guitars, echoing harmonies, and velvety-laced soundscapes that gently seduce and envelop the listener for an immersive and heart-wrenching experience.

‘Celestial Body’ details a love that’s just out of reach and a longing to be with someone that you ultimately can’t have. Maidin confides, “the first idea for ‘Celestial Body’ came to me on a beach in July, when the moon was out in the middle of the day. It’s a really unsettling thing to see, as I’m sure most people know. I started thinking of the image of a “celestial body” to represent somebody who I would’ve liked to be close with, but this person was keeping me at a distance. A celestial body is something beautiful, that you can admire and love from far away, but you can’t ever reach. Melodically and musically, the song seemed to come out of thin air.”

Drawing influences from the likes of songwriting powerhouses Joni Mitchell and Dolly Parton, along with experimental pop musicians St. Vincent and Sylvan Esso, Maidin aims to create music that captures the vivid storytelling of folk music with a fresh and modern alternative pop sound. Her upcoming releases detail coming-of-age relationships and all the relatable emotions that go hand-in-hand with experiencing love, loss, yearning, and grief. 

Have a listen to the stunning single below…

Mae Krell Releases ‘imposter syndrome’ EP

Fresh off a North American tour, New York-based singe songwriter MAE KRELL releases her new EP, ‘imposter syndrome.’ The 4-track EP is the culmination of Mae’s artistic and personal development over the past two years: “I’ve grown up, begun to gain confidence as an artist, and had the opportunity to have my voice really listened to in every step of the music making process. With all of this positive change still comes doubt; and often really intense imposter syndrome, at least for me. This record is about pushing through it because you know it’ll all be worth it.”

The EP is named after the final single to be released, “imposter syndrome,” but was actually inspired by an experience working on one of the other tracks on the EP.

Explaining how it came to be, Mae says, “while working on ‘phantom limb,’ Jakob Leventhal (producer) brought in an incredible pianist to play on the track. While sitting in the studio I had this overwhelming feeling of not being talented enough and feeling like I shouldn’t be there. Imposter syndrome is such a common feeling, especially for people from minority backgrounds, and it really hit me like a truck that day.”

That was then followed by going home and writing this song. Over the course of the ‘impostor syndrome’ EP, Mae masterfully and heart-wrenchingly dissects the relatable feeling of self-doubt. The songs are melodic, intimate, and packed with cathartic lyricism that will strike a chord.

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. With a distinct folk-pop sound and introspective lyrical chops, Mae has earned millions of streams across her repertoire with multiple tracks breaking 500K. With a multitude of career milestones already under her belt, Mae is taking it one day at a time and focusing on writing and recording songs that reach new emotional heights.

Have a listen to Mae Krell’s EP below…

REVIEW: HASTEN MERCY – HEAD FAKE’S MICHAEL BAKER

Fusing indie pop with influences of country and folk music may seem like an odd partnership on paper for many, but this is what fundamentally makes up Toronto artist Michael Baker’s three-piece project, ‘Hasten Mercy.’

The haziness of the 80’s inspired synths softly poke through the hazy backdrop introduces the EP through the single ‘Star You Are.’ The guitar rounds up the three-and-a-half production, giving off a rich Americana sound.

With the driving grit of the electro bassline being the main feature, the second offering, ‘These Things’ (personally) more takes on a trippy downtempo tone, contributed by the woeful presence from the piano and violins.

Offering an appealing imitate setting, the artist invites us into his world through the final single, ‘I Break Everything’. He uses a vocal instrument to give a wholesome folk ballad that works perfectly against the soft electronic backdrop.

Michael Baker, who is the man behind the moniker Hasten Mercy, is known for pushing the boundaries to the extreme when it comes to experimenting with different genres. His solo project is a true testimony of his ability to merge unlikely genres into a very pleasing collection. All three singles have a solid potential for commanding regular attention on contemporary radio stations.

Have a listen to Hasten Mercy’s mini collection below…

Must Listens: I Break Everything, These Things

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…