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Damon Modarres Leads New Music Friday 9/9/2022

Singer-songwriter Damon Modarres of local music collective 242 debuts his first single as a solo artist in this edition of New Music Friday. I know I gush over new music all the time, but I promise you these are incredibly dynamic tunes that I wish we had the opportunity to get more in-depth with. If you only accomplish one thing this weekend, you won’t be disappointed having spent your time getting to know these artists and their catalogs better. Whether you’re looking for hard rock or introspective alt-pop, everything we’ve got is a little special. Find this and more great music on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify.

Damon Modarres has been contributing to making a name for DC area music collective 242. Now he’s making his debut as a solo artist with “4am,” a pop and R&B infused track with a pulsating groove rife with sensuality. The feelings expressed could be fitting if you are longing the one you love or lucky to be awake with one another at the right time. Just goes to show the talent in some of the bands or groups right here in the DMV. 

Briana Piedra, rising star from Portland, OR, currently based in Los Angeles conveys that sense of longing well in her latest single, “Part 2”.  The focus of the track is about a girl exposing her feelings for someone that she had built up over a period of time and kept a secret, she realizes how much this person actually meant to her, but understands and accepts that now it isn’t possible to be together. “And I don’t want to be apart from you, it’s just something I’ve gotta do. I still think about you. I still dream about you.” These lyrics reveal she has been able to find a way to let go.

NYC alternative-pop duo Fake Dad’s end-of-summer 80’s synth-pop anthem “Painkiller” is available now on all major streaming platforms. Already, the feet are tapping, the legs are wiggling, and your mind is intrigued because the lyrics dig deep into surviving an experience or moment in time painful enough to want to forget. The band says, “This track is first and foremost an ode to a relationship between two extremely anxious individuals desperately looking inward for ways to love each other better. “Painkiller” is about more than self-medicating – it’s about self-sedation as a result of chronic existential pain, getting to a breaking point, and making an epic plea for reassurance that you’re going to get through it.”

Cumbria-based Indie-Rock band The Silver Bars found a perfect fit when they aligned with producer by Anthony Chapman (Squid, Franz Ferdinand, Klaxons) for their latest single, “So it Goes”. The high-speed energy, melodic changes, and vocal aerobatics make every moment of this track a true experience. The band says the track is “Inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s novel ‘Slaughter House 5’, which repeats the motif ‘So it Goes’, as a shrug of the shoulders to the events that life throws at you.”

Grab that slide guitar and put on your boots because “Black Clouds” by Heroes Fall & Copperstone brings with it the sense of mystery of heading out into uncharted territory. Certainly a good fit for fans of Joe Bonamassa, Black Country Communion, Brother Dege and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, “Black Clouds” is a collaboration that tells of the travels of a fictitious Gunslinger, inspired by the character in ‘The Dark Tower’ series by Stephen King. The song narrates the weight of the guilt endured by the Gunslinger as his body count rises. The track, infused with southern-rock roots, perfectly expresses the intended feelings of dread and foreboding.

Juliana Hale has the poetic lyricism and edginess that listeners might traditionally apply to Pink. Hale gets personal and passionate, and, yes, a little angry in her latest single, “Vendetta.” The song starkly contrasts her previous release of 2022, “Hold Me,” and perhaps between the two of these songs lies the best expression of the depth of Hale’s artistry. Although, digging into her 2021 releases reveals upbeat party-ready “Chill (So Serious),” as well as trap-influenced “Dollhouse” and hip-hop infused “Crazy.” So, yeah, while we might not necessarily be surprised when Juliana Hale checks off another genre box, we expect it will be just as thoughtfully delivered as everything we’ve heard so far.

“Sludge.” The title says it all. The first note really dials into that sludgy groove while using the metaphor as a sort of warning “that the sludge (toxicity) is in everyone, and you’ve gotta keep it in check or it will consume you.” Canadian rock band The Jailbirds remind us why grunge music became a global phenomenon and how Soundgarden and Alice in Chains became household names. After undergoing a lineup change, The Jailbirds now features drummer Kevin Costa, and multi-instrumentalist Hayden Trafford, as well as founding members, guitarist & vocalist Myke Penney and bassist Liam Hills. If this is your scene, you are going to fall hard for Jungle and The Black River, the band’s 2021 and 2019 EPs.

Daniel Warren Hill

Daniel Warren Hill is an American musician, writer, and motivational speaker. He is best known as the frontman for Washington DC area Alternative Rock band YellowTieGuy, as co-founder of Capitol Groove Collective, and increasing the exposure of artists on a global scale through his work with Alchemical Records. 

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