Katrina Parker - Michael Blakeman - SoccerPractise - Brynn Andre

Katrina Parker was featured a couple of times here in July and returns with 'Don't Give It Up' her latest single which is a fabulous mixture of folk & Americana plus, a further taster for the album 'Stars' due out early next month.

From Michael Blakeman we have his brand new E.P 'Future'. This is beautifully textured synth pop that is imaginative, sometimes a little experimental, but never dull.

Just four weeks since we were first introduced to SoccerPractise they are back with 'Younger Looking Skin'. It's a genre defying electronic piece that is atmospheric and understated, it's also very, play me again material.

Minneapolis singer/songwriter Brynn Andre has shared 'Bright Side'. It's a refined modern alt pop song that slowly lets it's hooks dig in.

Katrina Parker - Don't Give It Up.

Katrina Parker knew from a very young age that music was her calling. Swinging in her backyard in rural North Carolina, belting Patsy Cline at the top of her lungs, she felt connected to the pure joy of expression and knew it was something she was meant to do. “Music was total catharsis. It provided me both a means of escape from the world around me and a way to connect to the people around me - something lifesaving for a painfully shy, awkward kid,” Parker remembers. This love of music carried over into her teenage years and young adulthood.

After a move to LA where she worked on honing her songwriting and playing live whenever and wherever she could, Katrina found herself on Season 2 of NBC’s The Voice where she progressed into the top 8 contestants, gaining thousands of new fans and glowing nods from LA Weekly and Rolling Stone. It was a whirlwind experience that ended abruptly, leaving Parker to check off all the post-reality competition boxes. Red carpets and TV appearances became the norm, but the busier she became ‘maximizing’ her opportunity, the further away she felt from what made her love music in the first place. Her full-length album, In & Out of the Dark, was created in the turbulence of this period. “I was overthinking the entire thing, working from my head instead of my heart and missing the mark,” Parker reflects.

Feeling buried beneath the trappings of post-reality TV, Parker abruptly cut ties and stopped her promotional appearances. Her focus shifted to developing a sense of normalcy and reconnecting to that original spark, taking time to remember why she started singing and writing in the first place. The image she called back was from her childhood - swinging in the backyard, singing her heart out all by her lonesome, bathed in the natural reverb of her rural surroundings, doing exactly what she was born to do. She continued to cultivate that feeling and began writing again, this time with a clear touchstone for why she was making music.

Parker’s new album, Stars, reflects the duality of a childhood spent in rural North Carolina and an adulthood in LA, shifting between sinuous Southern roots and starry Laurel Canyon magic. Parker describes it as “Sparkling Desert Pop/Folk with a lot of warmth, a little bit of magic, and a touch of banjo.” Producer Josh Doyle of 3 Theory Music knew it was important to not overwhelm the songs with ornamentation, leaving Parker’s rich and tender voice front and center. The resulting recordings are clearly made from a place of confidence, channeling the clear-eyed nuance of Gillian Welch, the emotionality of Hozier, and the deep-rooted Americana of Over the Rhine.


Michael Blakeman - Future (E.P).

Future is the experimental debut EP from Michael Blakeman. The Perth musician has re-directed his progressive energy into the circuits of the analog, the lead single Brazier To The Lake a synthwave revitaliser.

After spending years on various rock and metal projects, the EP is Michael’s first foray into the sounds of the 80s. Self-produced and recorded in his home studio, Future matches revivalist gore with an emphatic melancholic energy. The lead single Brazier to the Lake a dark and brooding march of operaHc drama and retro-futuristic voguing.

Fueled by the complexity and experimentation of metal music, composition and songwriting quickly became a large part of his musical focus. Michael's second love is technology, and it wasn't long before he learned how to combine them by pursuing audio production and sound engineering.

Fast forward to 2019 and Michael has released his first solo EP effort, Future. “This release was a huge step outside of my comfort zone,” says Michael. “I’ve been involved with music for a while, but nearly all of that time was spent playing guitar in various bands. I wanted to push myself by creating something of my own from the ground up. Earlier this year I became enamored with the classic Minimoog synth sound, so I decided to take a deep dive into the sound and aesthetic of the era it inspired.”

Spanning six songs, Future listens through like The Human League have been hacked by Pertubator, Michael Blakeman expands upon the tireless tropes, re-invigorating the textural and rhythmic possibilities with an influx of technical and metal-rooted inspiration. The tweaked instrumentals and warbled odes only deepening Blakeman’s commitment to exploration and electric vibes.


SoccerPractise - Younger Looking Skin.

New Zealand electronic voyagers SoccerPractise return with the icy and melancholic 'Younger Looking Skin', the latest release from their forthcoming album, Te Pō, due for release October 18, 2019.

Bringing to mind the frozen isolation of New Zealand’s Deep South, new track 'Younger Looking Skin' evokes the feeling of walking home alone on a winter’s night, a tightly wrapped coat the only protection from the biting air.

The song opens with a breathless choir sample and programmed hand-claps which echo with cold indifference before spilling into a deep bass line, garage guitars and a deeply personal lyric exploring the conflicted memories of childhood and loss, enveloped in a frozen choral chamber.

“Hanging pictures on the wall / I was witness to it all / the silence is dull photos are all we have left now”

Although the song brings to mind elements of bands such as The Chills, Joy Division and The Stone Roses, 'Younger Looking Skin' remains suspended within SoccerPractise’s peculiar vision of genre-defying electronic music delivered with an off-kilter, human pulse.

The visual accompaniment, created by Wellington-based visual artist Erica Sklenars, features real footage of faceless students returning from a university toga party on a cold night in Dunedin, a southern New Zealand city with a large student population.  Their faces buried in their phones, the subjects are seemingly oblivious to the cold, to the camera and to their fleeting presence on the landscape itself.


Brynn Andre - Bright Side.

Brynn Andre is a Minneapolis singer/songwriter. With echoes of Ingrid Michaelson and Sia, her voice conveys heartbreak and hope in equal measure.

Brynn is a vocalist, composer, and pop producer. She believes in combining delicate, sensitive sounds with driving, electronic textures.

Fever is a track about wild love. The kind that will melt you down but feels so good in the process.

It’s anthemic and escapist with a beat that will stay with you. A singer/songwriter feel paired with huge instrumentation. Cinematic and intense.