Currents

  • La Luz

    Hardly Art has released the new self-titled album from La Luz!

     

    Recorded at Linear Labs Studio in Los Angeles with the help of Adrian Younge, La Luz fearlessly launch themselves into a new realm of emotional intimacy with a collection of songs steeped in the mysteries of the natural world and the magic of human chemistry that has found manifestation in the musical ESP between guitarist and songwriter Shana Cleveland, bassist Lena Simon, and keyboardist Alice Sandal.

    Listen: La Luz – “The Pines”

    La Luz – “The Pines”

  • Kids In America

    Kids In America

    "Dive (feat. Magic Giant)"

    Kids In America’s new single “DIVE” features fellow SoCal band MAGIC GIANT, was co-written with Twin XL’s John Gomez, and is a joyous anthem featuring big horns and a festival-ready sing along chorus (“DIVE into your love” my radio friends!).

     

    “While the track asks the listener to just go for it, the sounds and feelings around the message are bright and inviting. Big horns and gang vocals treat and entreat. That was the intention of the group all along.” —American Songwriter

     

    Kids In America have a big tent philosophy of creating music and collaborating with a wide variety of other artists in a way that invites everyone to let loose and let go.

     

    They’re a modern twist on the classic California sound of the 70’s Laurel Canyon scene. In their short career they’ve already amassed 10 million streams to date, and released successful collaborations with the Grisowlds, The Mowglis, Luna Aura, Big Data and now their friends MAGIC GIANT.

     

    Most importantly, with songs “a no-brainer addition to your playlist…will stick in your head long after he sun sets” (Billboard) and “hooks on hooks, harmonies for days” (Esquire), Kids In America is finishing their debut album to be released in early 2022—we’ll Keep You Posted!

    Listen: Kids In America – “Dive (feat. Magic Giant)”

    Kids In America – “Dive (feat. Magic Giant)”

  • Sam Evian

    Sam Evian

    Time To Melt

    Gliding with synth, and grooving with twinkling rhodes, Sam Evian’s honeyed vocals cap off the blissful new single “Never Know,” which mulls over looking past our current reality, and leaning into what Could be. Sam drops the new long player “Time To Melt” on 10/29, and with a suitably hypnotic and apt nod toward the album’s title, please check out the video below! 

     

    ‘Never Know’ is kind of about escapism, dystopian realities, and aliens. Sometimes it’s more fun to sit there and look out, you know? It’s a wild time to be alive, for better or for worse. It used to be that we only had fiction and conspiracy to feed our off-world fantasies. Now we have fighter pilots coming forward about strange, impossible experiences they’ve had in the sky.” —Sam Evian

     

    “Time to Melt” is a glowing set of soulfully psychedelic pop gems and a testimonial to the life and wisdom to be found when you give yourself the mercy of space. Following a brief decampment to upstate New York to create his last album, “You, Forever,” Sam Evian realized he could no longer resist the urge to escape the anxious city life. So he and his partner split from New York City to build their refuge and Sam’s studio, Flying Cloud Recordings, in the Catskills.

     

    That reflective, relaxing environment shaped Time to Melt,” an album of sounds so pleasant and compelling that you put it on and follow the slipstream. There are songs of celebrations, like “Easy to Love,” and tracks that reckon with the weight of our time, even when it sounds largely weightless, like “Knock Knock.”

    Listen: Sam Evian – “Never Know”

    Sam Evian – “Never Know”

  • The Districts

    The Districts

    Great American Painting

    The Districts Are Back to save us all! The soaring, spirited “I Want To Feel It All” is the first single off the Philly-based band’s upcoming fifth album “Great American Painting,” which is produced by Joe Chiccarelli (Spoon, The Strokes, Broken Social Scene) and will be Out 2/4/2022.

     

    “‘I Want To Feel It All’ is about feeling everything possible all at once, and emotional fireworks and loving the universe and everyone in it. But it also saves room for being about death and the darkness underlying all existence, and forgiveness and pain and acceptance,” explains The Districts’ vocalist/guitarist Rob Grote. “The video takes place in the twilit Pennsylvania hills, where we perform with fireworks in the ever fleeting present this song seeks to grasp. The surreal undertone to the video represents the detached dreamlike world this song lives in, while the unspoiled American landscape is a symbol of idealism and the natural mystery that inspires our work.”

     

    The upcoming “Great American Painting” (out 2/4/2022) ultimately fulfills a mission The Districts first embraced upon forming as teenagers in small-town Pennsylvania: an urge to create undeniably cathartic music that obliterates hopelessness and invites their audience along in dreaming up a far better future.

     

    “I Want to Feel It All” is about as equal parts thrilling and nostalgic as you could hope for. The Districts tap into their usual guitar style while adding other textural elements that expand upon the emotional lyrics. Accompanying the single is a cinematic music video co-directed by Frank Apollonio and the band. Filmed at night, it captures that magical sense of wonder and grandeur that occurs when you’re young, in love, and out late with friends. —Consequence Of Sound

    Listen: The Districts – “I Want To Feel It All”

    The Districts – “I Want To Feel It All”

  • Lala Lala

    Lala Lala

    I Want The Door To Open

    Lala Lala, project of Chicago-based musician Lillie West has released her new album, “I Want The Door To Open” on Hardly Art, and presents its lead single/video, “DIVER.” Following 2018’s acclaimed “The Lamb,” West wanted to make something sonically bigger and thematically more outward-looking than anything she’d done before; a record that would be less a straightforward documentation of her own personal struggles and more like a poem or a puzzle box, with sonic and lyrical clues that would allow the listener to, as the title says, open the door to the greater meaning of those struggles.

     

    I Want The Door To Open” is a musical quest undertaken with the knowledge that the titular door may never open; but it is through falling in love with the quest itself that one may find the next closest thing. It’s a bold exploration of persona and presence from an artist questioning how to be herself fully in a world where the self is in constant negotiation.

     

    First single “DIVER,” is the thesis of the album.” It’s a pop song of Kate Bush-esque proportions, replete with layered synths and booming, wide open drumming contributed by fellow Chicago musician Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, and West pushing her vocals to the ragged edge.

     

    To describe the theme of “DIVER,” West says I want total freedom, total possibility, total acceptance. I want to fall in love with the rock.” The rock in question is a reference to Sisyphus, the mythical figure doomed by the gods to forever push a boulder up from the depths of hell. “I think it’s easy to feel like we keep making the same mistakes over and over again, that we’re Sisyphus. The key is falling in love with the labor of walking up the mountain.”

     

    The diver in the song references the character Anna Kerrigan in the book Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan, a woman who works at Brooklyn Naval Yard and becomes the first female diver sent down to repair ships.

    Listen: Lala Lala – “DIVER”

    Lala Lala – “DIVER”

  • Low

    “HEY WHAT” is Low’s thirteenth full-length release in twenty-seven years, and their third with producer BJ Burton.

     

    The new album finds the beloved group focusing on their craft, staying out of the fray, and holding fast their faith to find new ways to express the discord and delight of being alive, to turn the duality of existence into hymns we can share. These ten pieces—each built around their own instantaneous, undeniable hook—are turbocharged by the vivid textures that surround them.

     

    The ineffable, familiar harmonies of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker break through the chaos like a life raft. Layers of distorted sound accrete with each new verse – building, breaking, colossal then restrained, a solemn vow only whispered. There will be time to unravel and attribute meaning to the music and art of these times, but the creative moment looks FORWARD, with teeth.

    Listen: Low – “Days Like These” (radio edit)

    Low – “Days Like These” (radio edit)

  • Colleen Green

    Colleen Green

    Cool

    “Cool is Colleen Green’s first record since 2015’s acclaimed ‘I Want To Grow Up,  and the lead single “I Wanna Be a Dog” sees Green celebrate the simplicity of a canine life and question why she’s still overcomplicating her own.

     

    Colleen Green has always been cool, but on 2015’s “I Want To Grow Up,” she didn’t necessarily feel it. Too young to be free of insecurities but old enough to be sick of them running her life, Green was experiencing an existential crisis. Five years and a new album later, we find her parsing out what it means to be grown-up—and realizing that it’s actually pretty “Cool”.

     

    Burnt out on bad feelings and ready to have fun with melodies and beats, Green enlisted producer Gordon Raphael (The Strokes) to take her songs to higher ground while keeping her lo-fi aesthetic intact. Raphael was already a fan, having caught a show in L.A. and finding himself “struck by how confident and powerful she looked, even though she was the only one onstage.” He agreed to take the gig, and together with drummer Brendan Eder and hip hop producer Aqua over a few weeks in Los Angeles, “Cool” was created.

     

    Green’s reminder to herself is that you get what you give, so it’s important to try and be the best person you can—a hard-won but essential lesson in the emotional maturity that defines “Cool.”

    Listen: Colleen Green – “I Wanna Be A Dog”

    Colleen Green – “I Wanna Be A Dog”

  • Caroline & Claude

    Caroline & Claude

    “Stir The Pot" (clean radio edit)

    Australian siblings Caroline & Claude’s sparkling new single “Stir The Pot” drips with an acerbic wit befitting the pair’s age, has hooks-for-days and is mixed with more than a little chaos. It’s ruthlessly catchy songwriting in this first reveal from the duo, and you can introduce yourself to them via this irreverent and playfully self-directed video below!

     

    Turning the freewheeling glee of “sh*tposting” into a bright, vintage-sounding pop song, the track is a perfect introduction to a brother-sister pairing more than willing to stir up a little drama in a decidedly staid musical landscape. A punchy, puckish arrival for the pair, it’s an indelible first taste of the symbiosis Caroline and Claude have been building since birth.

     

    Caroline and Claude — real names Hannah and Dylan — were, in a sense, born into music. Performance was part of their lives from a young age, whether in the form of the jam sessions they’d have with their extended family, or putting on shows for their parents.. But their musical lineage goes even further than that: their grandparents are singers, and used to sing in jazz cafes in their native India. In other words, the fruit that comes to bear in Caroline and Claude’s music grows from a perfect push-pull between nature and nurture: the result of innate musical genes given space to grow and create with impunity.

     

    In mid-2020, forced into pandemic-induced isolation together, Caroline & Claude started to make music, and soon realised they’d stumbled upon something special. The duo are diametric opposites, the former a classic extrovert and the latter a total introvert. Where Caroline spends her days chasing the kind of emotional connection and social interaction that fuels her art — which, aside from songwriting, also encompasses poetry — Claude is a quintessential studio rat, content to spend his time finessing and perfecting his production techniques.

     

    The result is a harmony that’s unique and entirely theirs, and not unlike the one conjured when they sing together. It’s Caroline & Claude’s own kind of magic: introvert wit and extrovert emotionality intertwining to create witty, bombastic tales for a new generation of pop fans.

    Listen: Caroline & Claude – “Stir The Pot” (clean radio edit)

    Caroline & Claude – “Stir The Pot” (clean radio edit)

  • Day Wave

    Day Wave

    "Before We Knew" (radio edit)

    Following the release of his acclaimed EP “Crush” last April, Day Wave has returned with a new single and video for breezy reverie “Before We Knew”!

     

    A lyric like “I feel like tapping out, but I can’t let you beat me” naturally rings out as both timely and empowering, yet there is an existential and enduring pain ringing out in Jackson Phillips’ voice on “Before We Knew.” Phillips has been releasing hooky, smooth guitar pop as Day Wave since 2015, but his latest communicates a sense of renewed urgency—and for good reason.

     

    Speaking on the track, Jackson comments: “I wrote “Before We Knew” last fall after taking a long break from writing songs. When I sat down to create again, I knew I wanted to let go of my old process, I wanted to make music feel fresh for myself again.”

     

    The product of that new writing process, the sharp guitar tone and playful stomp of “Before We Knew” fuse into something raw and refreshed. “It was scary abandoning an approach that felt right in the past, but finding my footing with a new writing process was really rewarding,” Phillips says. “When I finally let go of what I thought I was supposed to be making, this song just came to me.”

     

    Day Wave first emerged from the Bay Area in 2015, when Phillips began releasing a series of singles and EPs that racked up tens of millions of streams on Spotify and garnered rave reviews in both the US and Europe. Vice praised the music as fitting “snugly in between heavy dream pop and jangly indie rock,” while The Guardian hailed it as “downcast surf pop that makes [Phillips] sound like a one-man DIIV,” and Billboard called it “sweetly melodic…the stuff John Hughes characters would have swooned over.” Buoyed by the ecstatic reaction, Phillips put together a touring band and hit the road, earning dates supporting the likes of Albert Hammond, Jr. and Blonde Redhead in addition to landing festival slots from Lollapalooza to Governor’s Ball. In 2020, he released his first EP with [PIAS] Recordings, “Crush.” New music is forthcoming.

    Listen: Day Wave – “Before We Knew” (radio edit)

    Day Wave – “Before We Knew” (radio edit) 

  • The Blossom

    The Blossom

    "Sports Car"

    Sydney born, now LA-based THE BLOSSOM reveals their latest habit-forming anthem in “Sports Car” —somehow simultaneously gutsy And gentle, Lily Lizotte writes their songs where the dark intertwines with humor and playfulness, with a perspective that’s almost an abstraction of raw emotion itself.

     

    “Sports Car is the energy of my project in full effect. Lamenting the past, present and future…I’m in perpetual dreaming. Boisterous while swerving out of the hell-ish turmoil I’ve been slugging through. Chaotic good. My burning youth, head in the clouds and stretching out my growing pains to grab something bigger. I build small homes and carve out spaces in my mind for pain, insecurities and all my fears.” – THE BLOSSOM 

     

    Having Already nabbed a Radio.com ‘Alt Pick Of The Week’ and a Triple J Radio ‘Unearthed Artist Of The Week,’  THE BLOSSOM, née Lily Lizotte, covers a full emotional spectrum on their 97 BLOSSOM EP with insecurity, gender dysphoria, depression, anxiety, and growing pains all woven into the fabric of the songs. Their songs are mostly about how they feel about their feelings, a perspective that’s almost an abstraction of the raw emotion itself. It’s a reflection of their personality – one where darker elements are intertwined with humor and playfulness – and it makes for an incisive debut that melds together the distinct, exciting worlds that inspired them to start this journey originally.

     

    “dives into the depths of their emotional experience, dealing with gender dysphoria, depression, anxiety, insecurities, and more, tracing a chaotic collage of the young adult experience.” – Under The Radar 

     

    “THE BLOSSOM, released the 97 EP this spring that took on gender fluidity and ’90s nostalgia in the same breath, and along those same lines, Lizotte loves to mix super masculine signifiers with their take on high-femme lightness.” – UPROXX 

     

    “showing off unique songwriting and a deep bag of references….THE BLOSSOM’s vulnerability and singularity is precisely what has awarded them such a dedicated fan base and placed them amidst a community of like-minded artists” – Hypebeast

    Listen: The Blossom – “Sports Car”

    The Blossom – “Sports Car”

  • Foreign Air

    Foreign Air

    "Your Touch"

    Enigmatic electro-indie/alt-pop duo Foreign Air are Back With A Banger of a new single in “Your Touch”! Written and recorded during the beginning of quarantine, it’s about coming to terms with the end of a relationship, leaving Los Angeles and exploring those feelings when you feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you.

     

    Foreign Air are frontman Jesse Clasen and Jacob Michael, who co-write and co-produce all their material, and dropped their debut album, “Good Morning Stranger” in October of 2020. Before that, they released 10 singles, as well as the “For The Light” EP, starting with the glitchy, spectral “Free Animal,” which Nike snapped up immediately for an ad, and everyone from Samsung, Vodafone, Microsoft, to Showtime, ABC, and Vice soon followed.

     

    Foreign Air’s music has been streamed more than 100 million times on Spotify and Apple and they have toured with Bishop Briggs, Bleachers, Misterwives and more.

     

    + 142M+ Global Streams to date and Averaging 600k / week

     

    + 11k YouTube Followers

     

    + 10k Facebook Followers

     

    + 9k Instagram Followers

    Listen: Foreign Air – “Your Touch”

    Foreign Air – “Your Touch”

  • Self Esteem

    Self Esteem

    Prioritise Pleasure

    Self Esteem’s forthcoming second album is “Prioritise Pleasure” (out 10/22) and the New Single & Video for the Title Track pulls apart and inspects the mantra running through the core of the album, unpacking unapologetically tending to your own needs, confronting your flaws and dealing with the ways you’ve been wronged.

     

    The song is a wide screen mantra, remembering to put myself first and in turn making myself a better, more present person. My journey to accept myself is far from over, but over the last few years some of the age old simple shit has started to finally kick in. Love yourself, be in the moment, put your needs first – that all used to feel so abstract and impossible but with a bit of will power (and writing a tonne of songs about it), I finally not only see the benefits but am actively enjoying them. – Rebecca Taylor (AKA Self Esteem)

     

    Did You Catch Her Engaging Performance on Later…with Jools Holland for the acclaimed last single “I Do This All The Time”?!

     

    As Self Esteem, Rebecca Taylor has shaken off the shackles of her indie band past to become the unapologetic star she always wanted to be.

     

    Breaking a personal cycle of trauma-suppression on the forthcoming “Prioritise Pleasure” Taylor says, starts with laying out instances of her personal experience – self-doubt, heartbreak, sexual assault, the urge to compare – and realising that one stands out as something that truly can’t be justified as part and parcel of life.

     

    With her statement debut “Compliments Please”–championed by The Guardian UK, Drowned In Sound and Most of millennial Twitter –Self Esteem gave voice to the feelings of insecurity and misogyny-induced frustration that many face every day, emboldening a whole new audience with powerful, truth-telling lyricism that speaks to her love of rhythmic noughties pop and RnB. This Fall, the follow-up “Prioritise Pleasure” is set to do the same, shedding light on important issues around female autonomy, comparison culture and more, but always with an inimitable knack for relatable self-deprecation and snappy dressing, using her time on stage to create an immersive space of both catharsis and celebration.

     

    As Self Esteem, Taylor proves that we can all grow from what we go through, but that life is far too short not to embrace yourself in your most honest of forms – no apologies necessary.

    Listen: Self Esteem – “Prioritise Pleasure” (clean radio edit)

    Self Esteem – “Prioritise Pleasure” (clean radio edit)