Every once in a while, an artist or band comes along that obliterates the mold, and New York City’s post-hardcore quartet VRSTY (pronounced Var-Si-Ty) is doing just that with their brand new EP, Cloud City. VRSTY made up of vocalist Joey Varela, bassist Javy Dorrejo, drummer Chris Cody, and guitarist Paul Gregory blend the stylings of R&B, pop, and metal into an exhilarating and unique mix. Unlike their previous releases, the six tracks -seven if you count the bonus remix track- on Cloud City don’t all appear on the surface as full-on post-hardcore anthems. However, the band’s love of pop and R&B are incorporated more blatantly than ever before. The band delved into its creative possibilities and reached for the highest potential they could achieve with the brand new EP. The songwriting evolution that is on display on Cloud City is unlike anything of their previous sets of work. Additionally, unlike their previous two EPs that were self-produced, Cloud City was produced by Andrew Baylis. Whose notably known for his work with Bad Omens and Sylar.
Earlier this fall, on October 30th specifically, the French ten-person folk metal/Celtic punk outfit Barbar’O’Rhum released their second full-length album, Journal de B’O’R, via Mannequin Vanity Records. Shortly following the release of their new album, which has an ample amount of history of pirates both musically and lyrically intertwined into it, I was given the pleasure to talk to the band’s mastermind Capitaine Barbedrut about everything from his and the band’s influences/inspirations all the way to how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the band’s ten members this turbulent year.
Winnipeg pop-punk/punk rock quintet Elder Abuse has returned with their newest collection of music since their highly acclaimed 2017 debut album, Burnt. The Winnipeg band is made up of vocalist Alex Guidry, guitarist Michael Fardoe, guitarist Brandan McLean, drummer Max Power, and bassist Sean Kaye, and are steadily rising with every one of their releases. Elder Abuse has continued to be a staple in the Manitoba punk/pop-punk scene since their first appearance on a stage in Winnipeg circa 2012. Since making their live debut in the city, Elder Abuse has gone on to perform a slew of shows and since went on to release their 2014 debut EP Born to Lose, a split EP with Anchorless in 2016, and their aforementioned debut album Burnt in 2017.
Rapper/Songwriter Raz from Toronto, Ontario, is continuing to make his presence known within the Canadian music and Canadian rap scenes with his brand new aspiring single, “Be Okay.” His brand new single is an infectious blend of hip-hop and pop rock music that’s soaked in the warmth of the summer sun. Raz wrote the track as an ode to the summer while intertwining the hopefulness and some positivity out of the darkness of this wildly turbulent year into song. “Be Okay” was co-produced by music producers Taabu and Andrew Falcao after Raz heard the original production in an Instagram post from Falcao. Raz and Falcao had one sitting in the studio with Taabu to finalize the instrumental on the single and recorded the vocals as well in one recording session.
Pop and R&B singer-songwriter Spencer Sutherland -from Pickerington, Ohio and now based out of Los Angeles- has released his latest single, “Wonder.” Spencer is looking to continue to make his presence known with the continuous release of singles this year. Spencer’s new single furthers this continued motion from his creativity as a musician. “Wonder” is a track that touches on the topic of overthinking. Spencer uses his lyricism to express some of the questions he has running through his head directly into the words you hear on the song.