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.
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.
The 21-year-old indie-pop artist Taylor Upsahl, or better known by her stage name UPSAHL is back in the spotlight with her second EP, Young Life Crisis. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, music has always been around Taylor since quite a very young age. Both her grandmother and grandfather were music teachers. She’s also the daughter of rocker Mike Upsahl, who is currently part of the rock band Surf Through Death. Her father was formerly in the rock band High Horse and the post-hardcore band Stereotyperider. This guided Taylor on a path in music following the family trade and eventually beginning to write original music at a young age as well. Young Life Crisis was written by accident in the middle of the COVID-19 quarantine, then shortly later recorded in UPSAHL’s childhood bedroom in Arizona.
Brooklyn based soft-pop artist mxmtoon projects her mind lyrically as though she were confiding in a journal. At just 20 years old she finds herself living the dream after the release of dusk, her new EP. These 7 songs combine elements of acoustic and mellow-electronic sounds. On this EP are songs about strength in aloneness, being under quarantine, and the strength it takes to move on. This is a follow up to her previously released EP dawn and features Carly Rae Jepsen on the second track, ‘ok on your own’.
The name mxmtoon was originally the title of an Instagram account the artist, Maia, used as an 11-year-old up and coming cartoonist. “[It’s] my initials, ‘MXMT’ with ‘oon’ added to the end in order for it to be a roundabout way of making a username to represent ‘Maia’s Cartoons’” she explained at the start of the interview. Writing from the age of 13 and publishing since 16, making music professionally has simply been “amazing.” The 7 songs on dusk carry a certain calm and restfulness that has long since been easy to come by.