When asked what genre her music is, Kelsey Byrne basically shrugs: “people called it pop… [so] I guess it’s pop.” It’s hard to tease out just how much of her songwriting – which she releases under the name VÉRITÉ – holds to this laissez faire philosophy.
When it comes to the typical band résumé, “video game soundtrack” is a fairly uncommon highlight to find.
As soon as you see Chie Fukami’s toy piano, you have a good idea of what you’re getting into. And lest you think it’s just an aesthetic choice, rest assured this style permeates her music.
A Voice for the Innocent, a non-profit organization founded in 2012, gives a voice to victims of sexual abuse, offers support, and raises awareness.
We talked to founder Jamie Sivrais about his journey, bands who have supported the cause, the organization’s run on the 2016 Vans Warped Tour, how to combat victim blaming, and more.
Take a read below.
Trigger warning: discussion of abuse
Although Noname had been rapping and performing poetry locally since 2010, it took a feature on fellow Chicagoan Chance the Rapper’s “Lost” for the hip-hop community to start paying attention to an astonishingly creative new voice (Chance himself calls it the best guest verse of his career). And while more and more features steadily poured out for listeners over the next few years, it wasn’t until 2016 that Noname gave us her free debut mixtape, Telefone.
Photo credit: Phillip Woodbury
Jana Horn’s projects do not appear to be chained to perfectionism. That’s not meant to be a backhanded compliment; it’s a characteristic the Austin, Texas-based musician wears on her sleeve, wryly noting in her Five Songs description that the EP was “recorded in my closet.” It’s a style built on intimate humanness, a sense of ownership that whatever leaps out of the speakers is the unadulterated product of transition from heartstrings to guitar and microphone.
photo by Bailey Foster
Sometimes, music carries an ability to elevate. Not necessarily in the sense of improving your mood. Rather, you get this feeling of floating above and looking down to see people and knowing all everything and everyone else are just minuscule specks going about their own lives with no idea that you’re alone up there, watching.
Photo credit: Yours and Owls
It’s understandable, if regrettable, that Sampa the Great only had room for one adjective in her moniker. One could assign others: Sampa the Eclectic, the Unapologetic, the Imaginative. Her selection certainly makes sense, though. If there is one thing she has striven for since childhood, it is to be a great artist.
Image credit: Trevor Flores
Former Disney star Hayley Kiyoko’s Citrine EP is a refreshing look at love and self-acceptance away from the male gaze and into something that is purely her own. In an interview with Teen Vogue, the singer commented that the days leading up to her latest release felt like being ready for the prom several hours too early. “I want [listeners] to feel empowered,” Kiyoko said. “I want them to lose their self-doubt and kind of walk with a little swagger in their step.”
California-based artist Banks is at it again with her hypnotically dark sophomore album, The Altar, a release which has been described as neo-R&B and “a trap, hip-hop, electronic cocktail.” Her first record, Goddess, was a somber and beautiful mixture of both mystery and emotional nakedness, and The Altar is styled similarly.