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Allegra Krieger wistfully shuffles onwards on new single "The Push and the Pull"

“No matter where you go you will still feel the same,” croons Brooklyn-based songwriter Allegra Krieger on new single “The Push and the Pull,” a prescient line for a young artist, but one that evokes the century long folk tradition of charting the human condition through emotive, guitar-forward music. Paired with a downtempo shuffle and a winding vocal performance, Krieger unravels a tale of romantic discord, her narrative accented by the odd acoustic arpeggio or electric noodling — such sparse-yet-noticeable instrumentation maintains the track’s forward momentum, without detracting from its central voice. Moreover, this balanced interplay between instrument and voice imparts an atmosphere of Americana, which paired with Krieger’s wistful, bittersweet lyricism evokes comparisons to the crafts of indie folk performers such as Adrianne Lenker and Jason Molina — give it a listen below, via Northern Spy Records. Photo by Liz Maney

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Premiere: Tatum Gale parties in place with new track “Joanna feat. Laura Jinn,” new EP out 5.1

In these trying times wherein every club and bar this side of the Hudson is shuttered indefinitely, we need a bop, a slapper, a two-step inducing jam to keep the party-in-place going. Thankfully, a champion emerges in the form of producer-songwriter-multihpyhenate Tatum Gale, whose new track “Joanna” provides the necessary downtempo vibe for a socially responsible indoor kickback. Vocalist Laura Jinn takes centerstage, with a sultry performance unraveling an indoor tale of unrequited love, soft-spoken both in its narrative and supporting production; shimmering keys and a chilled percussive beat make for a hazy instrumental that evokes feelings past, consistently minimalist yet always present and grooving. Reminiscent of the scaled-back atmospheric instrumentals heard on Yaeji’s EP2 and the progressive, dance-forward chillstep of Toro y Moi, it’s required listening for those among us with restless feet, seeking some necessary motion-inducing music — stream our premiere below, and keep an eye out for Gale’s sophomore EP Both dropping May 1st.

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PREMIERE: Amy Rage's singular pop vision explodes on debut "Doin' It Right"

Jersey City songwriter and producer Amy Rage debuts her maximalist sound on new anthem “Doin’ It Right,” a dazzling showcase of synth-driven indie pop with nods to 80s femme forerunners such as Madonna and Blondie. A singular product of the artist’s existential crisis earlier this year, induced by the slog of the 9-5 and feelings of office-bound inertia, Rage turned to a small MIDI controller and a makeshift home studio to craft a vibrant sonic escape from the malaise. Hammering synthesizers and a strong emphasis on larger-the-life vocals, alongside emotional lyricism stressing how the right person can render the world’s sanity inane, propel this saturated electronic bop forward, delivering a single evocative of pop’s past and present stylings. Recommended for fans Charli XCX and Perfume Genius, stream our premiere below, and keep an eye out for Amy Rage’s forthcoming debut EP out later this year.

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PREMIERE: Bandits on the Run soundtrack modern love in new short film "Love in the Underground"

The baroque-pop sensibilities of New York trio Bandits on the Run well make for cinematic music — with vivacious cello lines intertwining with acoustic guitar, and three part harmonies as a centerpiece, there’s a goosebumps-inducing element to their tunes, a plethora of hair-raising moments wherein the band’s distinct parts emerge from quietude into a full, sunny sound. It’s fitting then that their newest single, “Love in the Underground,” was released alongside a nine minute short film for which the track serves as score (and in which the band serves as background players), enabling listeners and viewers to become swept up by the band’s dynamic, driving performance. Visually charting two strangers (actors Jason Gotay and Michael Hartung, themselves a couple IRL) falling in love on the subway, their dialogue is told primarily through choreography and music, a conversation which spans several station stops along the L and the East Williamsburg streets, before settling in at an atmospheric speakeasy — where the film visually enters its second act. Transitioning from an upbeat, primarily string-forward approach to the tone of a piano-driven ballad, Bandits on the Run re-emerge in the bar to perform a slower, more somber rendition of the track, creating a visual and sonic B-side to the entire production that builds to this featurette’s heartfelt climax. An impressive endeavor by any metric, aided by production from veteran companies Chucklehead and Must B Nice and choreography from co-director Lane Halperin, it’s required, sweetly succinct viewing in a time where love might seem far away — though it could just be one train car over. Watch it below. Photo by Fletcher Wolfe

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From the submissions: jake or luca's "friends and a half, summer forever and ever"

From 2016 to 2019, Jacob Levine toiled away at his new EP friends and a half, summer forever and ever on his iPhone, creating a loose conceptual record about a summer spent indoors — “because of depression and all,” in Levine’s own words. The end result is a crushing, intimate lofi release under the moniker jake or luca that’s filled with entrancing songwriting and melodious vocal performances, one that captures the dulling nature of mental illness in terms lush and bright. Charting the experience of untethered day-to-day living (“dreaming”) or the creeping feeling you’re letting someone else down (“bet you would”) through primarily acoustic guitar and the human voice, Levine’s craft is nuanced and meticulous, able to render malaise in a manner that’s both deeply personal and universal; snapshots of binging television and imagining the ghost of Zelda Fitzgerald find themselves situated within an ongoing internal monologue detailing an abiding hope things will get better, and the corollary fear that they won’t. Moreover, the record’s production, which features Levine’s layered vox front and center with occasional ambient synth, furthers its confessional qualities while lending a reassuring warmth to each of its six tracks. Recommended listening for fans of (Sandy) Alex G or Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell, give it a thoughtful listen below. —Connor Beckett McInerney

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