Philadelphia’s Viv and the Revival have been on our radar for a long time now, and their progression as artists has been incredibly impressive to see. Viv Peyrat was already crafting sophisticated pop songs when, in 2012, he earned the opportunity on OurStage to have his winning track “Fire” featured in a campaign for the London Olympics on NBC. Just a few days ago he released a new single called “Faded,” and it finds Viv at the top of his game. The song has a great groove, driving but atmospheric, punctuated with acoustic guitars, and all glued together by Viv’s smooth and soulful vocal. He closes the deal with a delicious hook and a great lyric. Listen below.
Hungarian artist Naked Woods (aka Eszter Polyák) makes unassuming mini-epics that are difficult to classify. They sound comfortingly familiar while remaining remarkably original. On the new single “Clouds of the Storm,” some New Order-esque musical changes, a bit of Cyndi Lauper vocal inflection, and a wholly modern electronic groove make for an engrossing listen. Polyák creates, records, and mixes her music herself, and with each release sounds increasingly confident. Listen below.
We are shamefully late to the party on this one. We’ve just discovered that one of our favorite singer/songwriters, Jes Hudak, has formed a new group, Neon Void, along with rapper and singer Roan Smith (aka Know One). Hudak writes and produces (as “Ponymane“) in addition to singing and playing piano, while Smith contributes rhymes along with some excellent graphic design. Almost as impressive as the music is the fact that they collaborate from different cities; Hudak in Brooklyn and Smith in New Orleans. The duo’s single “Can’t Have You” was released back in December. While that means we’ve missed a couple of months of enjoying this, hopefully it also means we won’t have to wait too long before the next single drops.
Woodstock NY’s Ghost Against Ghost have released a track from their forthcoming album still love. The new song is called “Unarm,” and it is a massive, spaced-out blast of streaming riffs, thundering drums, off-kilter chords, and cathartic distorted noise, all couched in the dreamy glow of an ocean of reverb.
The LP will be released on April 14th via Our Silent Canvas in two versions; the first is the more subtle “audiophile” version, dynamic and challenging, while the second is a more standard commercial master in keeping with current industry standards. Listen below and follow Ghost Against Ghost on Twitter @gagdoctrine.
Nashville singer and songwriter Lauren Strange, along with her band the Pretty Killers, just released a cover of The Cranberries’ 1994 hit “Zombie.” Strange’s rendition of the song is faithful to the original, and allows the eclectic artist to showcase the more intense edge of her vocal spectrum, while the band stretches out on the driving backing track.
Strange has been a longtime presence on OurStage, racking up chart successes and placing as a finalist in our Intel Superstars competition. She also won the grand prize in the John Lennon International Songwriting Contest country category, among other awards. Follow her on Twitter @laurenstrange.
One of last month’s Finals winners, Konshens The MC, often performs with his seven-piece band State of Mind. A recent project of the group is Classically Dope, a show that incorporates with the band a classical ensemble. We wanted to share this great video of them performing Konshens’ winning track “Militant” at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts back on February 8th.