Monday Night Mix – Marc Buford, The Nielsen Valley, The Radio Makers, Jay Ssandri, Joe Bourdet, Mikey Demilio, Brand New Friend, Szymon Justyński, Hope Vista and V V Brown

Welcome to Monday Night Mix on, where the beginning of your week is met with a curated blend of fresh sounds and undiscovered gems! Dive into a musical journey that transcends genres, showcasing both emerging talents and seasoned artists on the verge of breaking through. Whether you’re easing into your post-weekend routine or looking for some inspiration to fuel your week ahead, Monday Night Mix is your destination for eclectic beats and soul-stirring melodies. Join us as we explore the cutting-edge of the music scene, presenting a mix that’s as diverse and vibrant as our listeners. Grab your headphones and settle in; the Monday Night Mix is about to elevate your evening to new sonic heights!

Marc Buford – “Simply The Best (Tina Turner Cover)”

With a deft touch and somber reinterpretation, Marc Buford brings new life to Tina Turner’s classic “Simply the Best.” Gone are the brash pop sensibilities of the original, replaced by a hushed and mournful rendition that allows listeners to experience the song through a fresh, introspective lens. Buford’s voice, reminiscent of artists like Damien Rice and Gregory Alan Isakov, instills a sense of melancholic longing. The sadness in his tribute to Turner’s recent passing permeates the performance, transforming a pop anthem into a haunting elegy that resonates deeply within the soul.

Buford’s talents as a songwriter and producer, well-known in Indie Rock circles and attested by his collaborations with the likes of The Knocks and Mumiy Troll, come into play here. His ability to handle different musical genres with finesse is evident in the way he’s adapted this once-energetic tune into a pensive reflection. Supported by his impressive musical portfolio and acclaim from notable figures such as Pete Doherty and Carl Barat, Buford’s “Simply the Best” is a brave venture into a beloved classic that pays respectful homage while revealing an underlying sorrow. It’s a testament to his artistic flexibility and a beautiful ode to an icon whose influence will endure.

The Nielsen Valley – “Uptown By The Rails”

Nestled in the distant echoes of a timeless landscape, The Nielsen Valley’s “Uptown By The Rails” offers an ethereal and complex musical journey that transcends the boundaries of genre and era. It’s a piece that embodies the concept of a remix of time and place, blending various musical styles from different decades into a singular expression of the artist’s personal story. The track, part of an instrumental EP that serves as a precursor to an upcoming full album, mesmerizes with its intricate layers and intricate storytelling, inviting listeners to embark on an otherworldly adventure, millions of years away, in a far-off, fictional universe.

The enigmatic nature of The Nielsen Valley as described by the artist adds an air of mystery to “Uptown By The Rails.” It’s a place where music flows and vibes resonate, a hidden canyon accessible only to those who can hear its distant melodies. The track captures this elusive quality, weaving a rich tapestry of sound that evokes a sense of wonder and exploration. With the promise of a soulful singer to grace part 2 of the album, The Nielsen Valley extends an open invitation to those willing to drift through galaxies and chase the vibey rays of morning light or the shadows of moons. It’s a profound and imaginative piece that entices the senses and fuels the imagination, a glimpse into a world that defies location and time.

The Radio Makers – “Edible Hearts”

The Radio Makers are taking the stage with a splash, releasing their debut album “Lucky Stars,” of which “Edible Hearts” is a standout track. With this single, the Bristol-based quartet exhibits a musical personality that’s rich in contrasts and intriguingly deceptive. The lyrics paint a bleak and cynical picture of relationships, filled with insincerity, contempt, and a hunger for something more meaningful. And yet, the musical execution, with its groovy bass-lines, edgy guitars, and catchy melodies, provides a bright and danceable canvas that highlights the contradiction between the emotional core and the aesthetic presentation. It’s a piece that calls to mind the best of Talking Heads or Duran Duran with its irresistible anthemic power pop sound, masking the bitter reality within.

“Edible Hearts” is an exploration of superficial connections and the fragility of relationships, where friends only hang out to fill a void, and sincerity is replaced with empty compliments and a shallow pursuit of vanity. This undercurrent of social commentary gives the track a depth that elevates it above a mere pop anthem. Instead, it’s an intelligent dissection of modern friendships wrapped in an infectious, cross-genre package that’s both familiar and innovative. With “Edible Hearts,” The Radio Makers are poised to make a lasting impact, serving up a thoughtful commentary on today’s social landscape through irresistible tunes that could very well become the anthems of a generation seeking authenticity amidst the inauthentic.

Jay Ssandri – “Alive”

Jay Ssandri’s “Alive” is an embracing, warm-hearted track that seems to glide effortlessly from his soul to the listener’s ears. It’s evident in every strum and every note that this song comes from a deeply personal place, reflective of Ssandri’s transformation from the quiet kid in the back of the room to a singer-songwriter expressing his inner world. With influences like Bon Iver, Hozier, and Jack Johnson, Ssandri has managed to craft an acoustic folk sound that feels both intimate and universal. The melodies are unpretentious, filled with a sense of joy and a chill vibe that instantly puts the listener at ease.

The success of “Alive” lies in its authenticity and the honest portrayal of Ssandri’s journey with music. His vocals, suffused with a sense of contentment, mesh perfectly with the delicate guitar work that carries echoes of his days learning to play with blistered fingers. The song celebrates the simple joy of being alive and being in love with music, something that resonates with anyone who has ever found solace or joy in a song. Jay Ssandri’s dream of leaving a mark on the world through his music feels palpable here. “Alive” stands as a testament to his talent and passion, and it’s a song that could easily find its way into the hearts of listeners looking for comfort and connection in acoustic melodies. It’s a promising debut that suggests that Ssandri’s voice will indeed ring for generations.

Joe Bourdet – “Call You Friend”

In Joe Bourdet’s poignant tribute “Call You Friend,” listeners are greeted with an outpouring of grief and remembrance. Written in response to the tragic passing of two of Bourdet’s bandmates in PAINTED HILLS, the song emanates an emotive urgency, achieved through the clever use of vari-speed on the OTARI half-track tape machine, speeding up the tempo and subtly altering the pitch. This technique lends a particular resonance to the tom toms, providing an undercurrent of melancholy that weaves throughout the composition. The lyrics “All along the levee, the water is lapping up / Tired earth, about ready to give it up” are awash with symbolism, a mournful dirge reflecting a landscape fatigued by loss and longing. The spacious arrangement, rich with a guitar-centric style and featuring the rhythm section of Will Scott on drums and Bourdet’s own picked bass, grants listeners room to absorb the grief laid bare.

Mimi Michel’s harmony vocals float gracefully atop the music, lifting the track with a bittersweet resonance. The use of the Leslie spinning speaker effect on the electric guitar adds a hypnotic quality to the music, echoing the surreal nature of loss. Lines such as “Are you feeling no pain, feel no wind, feel no rain / but ain’t it a shame, for we who remain, to go on without you ’til the end” epitomize the soul-searching desperation and acceptance found in this track. “Call You Friend” is more than a tribute; it’s a musical journey navigating the complex topography of mourning, a shared experience that echoes long after the final note. It is a testament to Bourdet’s artistry that he has crafted a piece that is as moving musically as it is lyrically, a fitting memorial to those he called friends.

Mikey Demilio – “Lucy Lust”

Mikey Demilio’s “Lucy Lust” is a raw exploration of lust’s pull and the painful undercurrents that arise when love takes a bitter turn. Recorded in an isolated studio in a shed three hours south of Nashville in Savannah, Tennessee, the track carries an intimacy and authenticity that sets it apart. With a sound akin to indie rock luminary Mac DeMarco, the song fits comfortably within the realms of Indie and Alt. rock while maintaining a distinct flavor. The lyrics “Little Lucy she love me so / Oh maybe she an angel / Lucy lust / I love her since 18” reveal a dichotomy between innocence and desire, lust and love. Demilio’s personal experience infuses the lyrics with both vulnerability and intensity, as the narrative details moments of celebration, conflict, and the inevitable realization of something lost.

Musically, “Lucy Lust” thrives on a balance of tension and release, reflecting the turmoil described in the song’s story. The rugged edges of the recording, perhaps a product of the shed-studio environment, lend an earthy authenticity to the track, giving listeners the sensation of being privy to a deeply personal confession. Lyrics like “I’m scarred baby I don’t wanna stay clean / In your eyes lies words I can never say / Inside you girl that’s where I wanna stay” are unabashed in their yearning and discomfort, painted against a backdrop of guitar-driven melodies and atmospheric arrangements. This release, part of a waterfall-style unveiling of new material, with a song dropping on the second of each month, ensures that “Lucy Lust” is not only a powerful stand-alone piece but also a fascinating chapter in a larger musical narrative. As an exploration of the darker sides of human connection, it’s a potent testament to Demilio’s ability to turn personal pain into compelling art.

Brand New Friend – “Talk It Out”

Brand New Friend’s “Talk It Out” emerges as a delicate and heartfelt exploration of the struggle to articulate emotion. With a gentle indie-pop touch, the track wrestles with the ineffable, seeking to put into words those thoughts and feelings that are often lost in translation. Written in a rural Antrim warehouse filled with machinery and sawdust, “Talk It Out” is described by vocalist Lauren as having “started life as a completely different song” before being transformed into this introspective gem. This process of metamorphosis is mirrored in the song’s construction, with an instrumental that has been lovingly reworked and a top line that saw collaboration between band members. The result is an offering that feels both raw and polished, capturing the essence of something inexpressible. Set to be the first release from the forthcoming album “Grandstand,” due out September 15th, the song marks a promising prelude.

The track’s reflective theme is a testament to Brand New Friend’s growth, from their humble beginnings in the rugged north coast of Northern Ireland to festival stages across the UK and Ireland. Having shared the stage with acts like Snow Patrol and Lewis Capaldi, and received airplay on prestigious radio stations, the band’s reputation for incendiary live shows and honest indie-pop sensibilities continues to rise. “Talk It Out” feels like a culmination of the experiences, the trials, and the victories that have shaped them thus far. Produced by Danny Ball, the song showcases the band’s ability to balance introspection with infectious melody, offering a taste of what’s to come in “Grandstand.” With this new release, Brand New Friend has delivered a poignant reminder of music’s power to reach beyond words, resonating with those universal feelings we all know but often find hard to describe.

Szymon Justyński – “Mekambe”

Szymon Justyński’s debut single “Mekambe” is a captivating blend of Brazilian Funk, Funk Carioca, Nu Jazz, and Jazztronica that tantalizes both the ears and the feet. Introduced as a “Funk hit from the future,” the track seamlessly melds a strong jazz virtuosity with infectious dance grooves. As a bassist, composer, and producer, Justyński’s diverse influences create a unique sonic palette, reminiscent of artists like Nu Genea and Lionel Loueke. The track exudes a summery vibe, designed to be the perfect accompaniment to sunny days by the sea, yet equally at home in the hands of a DJ looking to get people moving on the dance floor. The energy and craftsmanship in “Mekambe” herald a strong introduction to this young Polish musician’s self-titled debut album, building anticipation for what’s to come.

Born in 1996 and immersed in music from a young age, Szymon Justyński’s journey from piano prodigy to multi-instrumentalist has been marked by experimentation and a boundless love for musical exploration. His determination to record every instrument on his debut album in his own flat speaks to a dedication and vision that sets him apart. “Mekambe,” with its vibrant rhythms and innovative fusion of genres, showcases not just Justyński’s prowess as a musician, but also his ability to transport listeners to another reality through his music. Released via Italy’s Rivamare Records, the track is a testament to the global reach of his sound, bridging cultures and styles in a way that feels both fresh and timeless. With “Mekambe,” Szymon Justyński has not just introduced himself to the world but positioned himself as an exciting new voice in contemporary music, ready to lead listeners on a thrilling sonic adventure.

Hope Vista – “Las Vegas Makes Me Sick (Rock Version)”

Hope Vista’s “Las Vegas Makes Me Sick (Rock Version)” is a brooding entry in the world of Alt. Rock and Alt. Pop, carving out a space that’s both familiar and distinct. With similarities to artists like Halsey, FLETCHER, and Tate McRae, Vista’s style incorporates elements of alternative sadness and breathy pop, yet this track takes it a step further, diving deep into the anxiety-laden corners of her psyche. The glitchy fusion of sounds in this rock version adds an unsettling edge, mirroring the discomfort explored within her lyrics. The narrative, as always, is rich and vivid, reflecting her unique commitment to storytelling and her passion for exploring the human soul’s darker aspects.

“Las Vegas Makes Me Sick (Rock Version)” stands as a bold statement from Hope Vista, who once performed under the name Ravive. This transformation is more than just a name change; it’s an evolution of sound, style, and identity. Fueled by Diet Dr. Pepper, therapy, and an unflinching examination of self, Vista’s latest offering is more than just a song. It’s a raw, mesmerizing portrait, pulsing with genuine emotion and intricate sonic layers. A moody phantom for your ears, she continues to position herself as dark pop’s new it-girl, turning her most eerie thoughts into intoxicating art. With this track, Hope Vista invites listeners to confront the uncomfortable and the uneasy, all while dancing to a beat that’s impossible to resist. Her talent for translating anxiety into allure marks her as a unique voice in the contemporary music landscape, and “Las Vegas Makes Me Sick (Rock Version)” is a compelling testament to that talent.

V V Brown – “Twisted”

VV Brown’s “Twisted” marks a triumphant and thought-provoking return after a decade-long hiatus focused on personal healing and family life. The track, inspired by James Baldwin’s seminal work “I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO” and the music of Erykah Badu, delves into the complex and urgent subject of cultural appropriation, examining the theft of black culture. Like a deftly penned essay, “Twisted” weaves together lyrical intelligence and sonic richness, making it more than just a song, but a sociological statement. Drawing on Raekua’s cinematographic insights, Brown’s reproduction of content highlights the power dynamics between the appropriators and those being appropriated from, resulting in a stark and poignant anthem that resonates with both the heart and the mind.

25 years into an illustrious career, V V Brown shows no signs of slowing down. Instead, her music has matured, reflecting a newfound liberation from industry pressures and a keen interest in provocation. “Twisted,” like Brown’s entire upcoming LP, aims to start conversations, not just through its sound but also its artwork, lyrics, and overall ethos. The influence of artists like Ms. Lauryn Hill and Solange can be heard, yet Brown’s style remains uniquely her own—experimental, courageous, and passionately engaged with the world. Living in the countryside, she draws from the peace and routine of family life to create music that’s both empowering and unsettling. “Twisted” stands as evidence of her radical power as a provocateur, and her commitment to making art that feels as real and raw as life itself. Her long-awaited return is not just a personal triumph but a cultural moment, one that promises to keep listeners thinking long after the song ends.

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