Songs from Michael Mayo, Amanda Tenfjord and Royal Wood, among other artists, from part of this week’s New Release Friday roundup. Listen to the full playlist on Spotify and read notes about eight of those songs/videos.
Johnny Kulo – “Loyal”
Berlin-based Indian singer and producer Johnny Kulo is one to watch. He’s just released a new EP showcasing his soulful brand of R&B. “Loyal” is one of the 5 tracks on the project. This seductive 2000s-influenced song gets you to appreciate his impeccable vocal ability and songwriting. About the creation process, Kulo recalls, “This was one of those songs that didn’t take a lot from me in the studio to cut out. Another day, August Ingram and I just hit the studio, listening to records and passing around instruments, riffing off – I came up with the little guitar loop, and started humming what ended up becoming the hook. I was just talking stupid, talking about tryna stay loyal but having too many distractions in my lifestyle.”
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Michael Mayo x Harrison Walker – “Long Late Nights”
“Long Late Night” is a new single from US artist and producer Michael Mayo. It saw him collaborate with London-based musician Harrison Walker. The synth-laden dance-pop track is a whole vibe. “This song is written based on the feeling when you’re just driving home and you sometimes just wonder if you kept driving what would happen. this song is about that feeling you get and actually doing it,” says Mayo, whose R&B-inflected vocals carry you along as you listen. “Long Late Nights” is a very good tune.
Amanda Tenfjord – “All In”
Emerging singer-songwriter Amanda Tenfjord has announced her debut album which is scheduled to drop on October 21 via Propeller Recordings. Alongside the news, the Greek/Norwegian artist shared a new single, “All In”. This is an upbeat and joyous indie-pop song which Amanda co-wrote with fellow Norwegian artists dePresno, SKAAR and Bjørn Helge Gammelsæter. She says, “‘All In’ is about falling in love – but when the timing isn’t perfect. When all your friends are telling you it’s a bad idea, but all your senses are telling you to go for it. It’s about trusting your gut, taking a leap of faith and going all in. I’ve been looking forward to releasing this song as my last few singles have been more about the sad and melancholic parts of a relationship. This one is definitely about the more fun and exciting part, and I’m looking very much forward to performing it live.”
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Mikalyn – “Phases”
Fast-rising artist Canadian pop artist Mikalyn is back with another song, “Phases”. The track was produced by Chris Grey, who also filmed the accompanying video on a 90’s-era VHS camcorder. In term of the lyrics, “Phases” in an honest and reflective piece. “The song is really self-explanatory to an extent; I’m singing about the different phases you go through in life but ultimately, the big takeaway from the song is to not dwell on the past,” Mikalyn reveals. “It’s not worth it because no matter how much energy you devote to it, you can’t change anything. And while I think everyone sometimes wishes they could do things differently, sometimes what you believe to be small moments can end up leading to bigger things.”
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Madeline Consoer – “Wish It Away”
Nashville singer-songwriter Madeline Consoer has released an anthemic track called “Wish It Away”. With songwriting which bears influences from country music, the track’s production leans towards mainstream pop, the engaging synths and all. Lyrically, Madeline embraces nostalgia, something that extends into the music video. She explains, “‘Wish It Away’ is for the 16 year old, just getting their first car, all the way to the 83 year old, reminiscing on the great life that they had. We can all relate to wanting to go back in time and living a couple of our favorite moments one more time. You never know how good you have it until you’re out of it, and you wish you didn’t wish those good times away. Growin up ain’t all that you think“
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Dave McKendry – “How Ashes Are Made”
Ahead of his debut album which arrives later in September, Belfast-born Vienna-based singer Dave McKendry has released a new song, “How Ashes Are Made”. The folk-pop ballad is the second single taken from that upcoming record. “How Ashes Are Made” was inspired by Dave’s own toxic love experiences. It feels so bittersweet, just like the singer-songwriter intended it to be.
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Royal Wood – “Armour”
“Armour” is an indie-folk piece from Canadian singer-songwriter Royal Wood. He wrote this song with Jamie Scott while in London. It is about asking someone to open their heart to be able to fall deeper in love together. “It’s an act of faith and courage. Unfortunately the need we have to be loved is often sabotaged by the armour we wear to protect our own hearts. The irony is if we dropped our guard and let genuine love in and out we would all be happier in this world,” says Royal Wood. Out on Cordova Bay Records, “Armour” was released together with a beautiful music video.
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ROSIE – “Something I Hate”
Sensational singer-songwriter ROSIE vulnerably bares her insecurities on a new ballad she named “Something I Hate”. The single is out on Arista Records. On it, you’ll hear ROSIE’s hauntingly honest lyrics which are accentuated by the emotional guitar and piano melodies. She notes: “Creating ‘Something I Hate’ was such a painful yet cathartic experience for me. I’ve always tried to write about what scares me, but speaking on such deep-rooted insecurities such as body dysmorphia and eating disorders was truly terrifying. I hope this song reaches every single person who needs to hear it and that it helps to heal others the way creating it has healed me.”
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