We at TREMG love spotlighting rising and underappreciated talent to give underground creators a platform and the recognition they deserve. But while we love a good monthly roundup, there’s so much great music coming out on a weekly basis that we wanted to share even more. And artists like BLACKSTARKIDS and Shuko were killing it this week! Here’s what you may have missed over the past few days.
Lauren Monroe dropped her brand-new album, Messages From Aphrodite, on Friday and it’s a wonderland of thought-provoking folk and rock that’s guaranteed to change your outlook on love and bravery. We reviewed three of our favorite tracks, assigning each one to a different Greek goddess, so check that out right here!
Congratulations to the incredibly dynamic Shuko, who just joined the Nettwerk Records family with the ultimate end-of-summer anthem featuring Sarah Evelyn, as well as Casey Veggies of the iconic hip-hop collective Odd Future. “Sunset Ride” is an uplifting track blending everything from bouncy hip-hop to slick jazz, all with Sarah’s velvety vocals and Casey’s clever raps on top. As the lyrics and title suggest, it sets the perfect ambiance for a late afternoon car ride, especially if you’re heading to the beach with friends. Shuko’s work was already mind-blowing, but we can’t wait to see what he achieves in partnership with Nettwerk! His past credits include the likes of Ava Max and The Chainsmokers, and we know his legendary catalog will only grow bigger and bigger.
‘Sunset Ride’ is a feel-good song when someone you really care about is going through something challenging and reminding them of all the good things that are easy to forget. [It’s] basically your perfect soundtrack for the summer—with a classy 90s R&B feel in a modern twist.Shuko
One of the sweetest releases this week was undoubtedly Brooke Candy’s return with “Flip Phone,” a Y2K-flavored track brought to the modern scene with buzzing 808s and a confidently sex-positive attitude. It carries the same excitement and thrill as a passionate teenage romance, which makes the throwback vibes even more relatable! And it’d be impossible to talk about this track without mentioning the stunning music video, created in partnership with PAPER Magazine and the Korean eyewear powerhouse Gentle Monster. “Flip Phone” is a foray into an exhilarating new era of Brooke Candy, and we can’t wait to see how this comeback unfolds.
I wanted this to be the first song I came back with because I had the most fun making it, and I’m just having fun right now. The video was a challenge to make because I wanted it to come out so perfect. And it did. We rented a rain room in LA and just went all out with the help of PAPER and Gentle Monster. Some parts were inspired by Pamela Anderson in Barbed Wire.Brooke Candy to PAPER
Beabadoobee becomes an honorary member of BLACKSTARKIDS with their hyperpop-infused collab “CYBERKISS 2 U*,” an endlessly catchy track about long-distance relationships bogged down by busy schedules. BLACKSTARKIDS namedrop the cities they’ve visited on tour while Beabadobee offers an alternate perspective on the dreamy chorus. The best way to listen to this song is with the volume up while you stroll down the streets of a big city at night – you’ll feel like just as much of a star as our favorite rising alternative trio.
We were inspired by electronic and colorful music from our childhood like Daft Punk and Jamiroquai. Also New York culture in general, the scene that kids have going on down there played a big role in how we wanted our music to sound. Working with Beabadoobee and her producer Jacob Budgen was an amazing experience, because we were fans first then became friends while we toured together. Working together felt natural and was a super fun experience.BLACKSTARKIDS
After “Sad Man” became one of the most popular tracks on her Couples Only album earlier this summer, Queen Kwong enlisted Johnny Knoxville of Jackass fame for a thoughtful music video exploring the song’s denunciation of superficial attitudes and immature drama. The video follows Knoxville’s character as he goes through the ups and downs of his everyday life: arresting irresponsible drivers, passing judgemental bar patrons, and heading to church to pray for some sort of change. The song’s message of building the life you want to live is even more poignant coming from Queen Kwong, who battles cystic fibrosis and received no support from her then-partner when she was diagnosed. Queen Kwong has chosen to rebuild her life on her own terms and “Sad Man” is the creative proof that will motivate you to do the same.
[This song is for] the f*ckboys, the narcissists, the band dudes who think they’re all that. I knew it would take a really special guy to perform in this video, someone who wasn’t afraid of really embracing what the song represents. Even though the ‘Sad Man’ video couldn’t be more different than Jackass, I knew Knoxville was the one for it. He’s clearly fearless and has a sense of humor… We danced around, cried and then we went to a church and prayed. Knox was so open to trying everything. It was amazing to work with someone who could have easily been a diva but instead gave 100% of himself to the role, learning all the words and embracing the discomfort. His performance was so powerful that when he started crying, I started crying.Queen Kwong
New Albums and EPs
After a decade of making a unique blend of alternative rock and funk, the New York nine-piece Turkuaz’s time as a band is coming to an end. And in true Turkuaz style, they’re not going out without a bang to celebrate their legacy and connection with fans. They’ve just given us two incredible albums, PARADISO and APOLLYON, that they had almost finished before the band started to part ways. Founding members Dave Brandwein and Taylor Shell teamed up to put the finishing touch on each project and the results are astounding. Both records offer some of the group’s most show-stopping work to date, and in a way, it makes it even sadder to know that their days as Turkuaz have come to an end.
These two albums celebrate that nine-piece band, and give people songs that they largely haven’t heard and can’t currently see live. We’re focusing on the legacy we created over the past 10 years, rather than lamenting the break-up. The very big picture concept is that Heaven and Hell are two human constructs. The only place that they really exist is right here on earth, and which one you inhabit depends largely on how you conduct yourself and what you choose to believe.Dave Brandwein
Now, we’re heading back to New York to spotlight Baby Got Back Talk, your new favorite progressively-pop-punk group! Their electrifying new Existential Shred EP offers five tracks that stay firmly rooted in what makes pop-punk such an impressive genre while still breaking new ground with forward-thinking attitudes and commentary on modern issues like racism and transphobia. Case in point: the thrilling music video for “Model Minority,” which pays homage to My Chemical Romance’s 2004 “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” music video while flipping the opening dialogue to call attention to the dangers of believing in “reverse” discrimination, as well as highlighting the band’s focus on making a difference rather than “making it” in the spotlight.
We’re what punk looks like in the 2020s: driven by a DIY ethic, conversant with social issues–especially as they pertain to gender and race, enabled by inter-web, bankrolled by day jobs, powered by a rad likeminded community, resonant with the most venerable iterations of rock ‘n’ roll, but firmly committed to injecting some new flavor into the mold.Baby Got Back Talk