Keep Your Secrets Bring “trauma.” to Light this New Music Friday 11/18/2022
Keep Your Secrets of Washington D.C. have a new release, “trauma.” that was just debuted today on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, etc., that certainly has mainstream appeal musically while being able to explore difficult topics. We thought we might be on a trend of exploring music that overcomes obstacles when we landed on “Control” by Common Air and the introspective offering “SLOW DOWN ON GAMBLIN” by Salt Fox, but we dive into vastly different vibes with the last half of this week’s New Music Friday feature. Pat Satchmo and Paul Anthony bring us island-infused love song “Brown Eyes”; Ed Staal gets cheeky in “Naked”; Californa Condor rocks our socks off with “9 92 6 19 THE SYSTEM” and Mag Meg takes us out of our comfort zones into the world of zany performance art rock that would make a Frank Zappa fan smile. As always, find this and more excellent music on the Alchemical Recods Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify or YouTube, and you can thank us by following that playlist so you’ll hear what we’ve cooked up for you when we get back from the Thanksgiving break.
Keep Your Secrets expertly mixes elements of pop-punk, rock, power pop and metal into the music of their latest single, “trauma.” Drummer Matt Nguyen-Ngo as a “tribute to all those dealing with childhood trauma that has lingered into adulthood.”
Lead vocalist Malerie Gamblin explains, “It’s basically about growing up in a hyper strict household and feeling stifled and controlled. I wanted people who may have also experienced this growing up to feel like they’re not alone and that their experience is also valued. Because there is often a focus on neglectful parenting, I wanted to highlight those who may have been harmed by the opposite experience.”
“trauma.” is the second single from the forthcoming second EP by Keep Your Secrets, mastered by Mike Kalajian (New Found Glory, Hot Mulligan) and mixed by Casey Cavaliere of The Wonder Years, who suggests the band’s new music is like carrying “the weight of 1000 suns.” The official music video for “concussed.“, is available now, and we expect more hot new tracks will be available soon.
While the subject matter is strong, it’s hard not to walk away from “trauma.” without feeling a little more whole. The aggressively uplifting musical nature combined with the emotive lyrical and vocal performance deliver a strength that we know Keep Your Secrets hopes listeners will benefit from.
“Control” by Common Air serendipitously continues on the theme of coming to terms with our pasts, presents, and futures. “Control” has a slick, smooth sound contained within a groove reminiscent of a classic rock sound; guitars are sometimes crystalline in nature and other times screaming like a searing firework or incoming projectile. The song explores concepts of control, being controlled, and relinquishing control.
Songwriter Nick Reichheld explains, “This song is a depiction of the seemingly overwhelming nature of the frustrations of life, and grand injustices that are continually happening everywhere. It’s easy to feel helpless and like we just have to accept the fact that greedy politicians, pundits, and CEOs of massive corporations have sold out their morals, the notion of societal peace, and the ecological future of the planet in exchange for their own paydays. Younger generations are constantly being belittled by older generations for being “spoiled,” “lazy,” and “entitled,” and for not understanding the way the world works. When in reality, we do understand how the world works, and we want a better system and a safe future with a liveable and thriving planet. This song hopefully can serve as a reminder that when you feel helpless and alone in your private/social life or within the confines of a system that you feel will never truly hear your voice, you can always do something to take control and take back a sense of agency over your own life.”
“Control” is the first single by Common Air, led by Reichheld, who, after a brief hiatus, re-enters the music scene as both a songwriter and a producer. During the pandemic he started two grad school programs at once, one for songwriting at NYU, and one for Audio Engineering at Belmont in Nashville TN.
Salt Fox takes us down a different path with “Slow Down on Gamblin”. The track premiered alongside the release of the debut EP, Places by the Cedar Falls, Iowa-based indie-pop outfit which formed from the ashes of the now-defunct group Beverly and the Accordion. The music has a video game-like quality with a swinging guitar feel that uplifts the song. The video uses a race car scenario on the open road as a metaphor for being in the pursuit of our dreams (or so we imagine). “Slow Down on Gamblin'” puts listeners squarely in the groove with hip-hop vocals counterbalancing the singing hook on the chorus. It’s a song that makes you want to take a risk and bet more on yourself.
Jamaican rocksteady singer Pat Satchmo sings the hook for “Brown Eyes”, a track full of that funky reggae island feel. The verses are sung by Grammy-nominated recording artist Paul Anthony whose introduction to his father’s reggae and dancehall music merged with his own admiration and love of hip-hop; beautifully merged in “Brown Eyes” but also hinted at in previous singles − in 2022 alone releasing an impressive amount, including “Endless Love”, “Reggae Healing”, “Feel the Riddim”, “Summer Rain”, “Free Up”, “Burning Bridges”, “nft” “Selfish”, and “Hold On”. Phew! Every single track highlights one aspect or another of Anthony’s influences; some songs are observably more pop-leaning, dance-oriented, or otherwise provide a gateway for his music to overlap with a variety of genres while still being in tune with his roots. Paul Anthony believes music has the power to change lives. He proclaims, “Music is such a powerful, influential art form. I feel most accomplished as an artist when a person tells me that my songs helped them through a tough time, or made a positive impact on their life. That is my WHY.”
Pharrell Williams would be proud with the intro to “Naked” by UK up and coming pop artist Ed Staal. At first it feels akin to the spirit of “Happy” but by the hook it takes on a life of its own in a much more ethereal atmospheric way. “Naked” is one of six new tracks found on his third and latest EP, Battle Scars & Broken Hearts, available now wherever you listen to fine music. The song is over before you know it, which in the context of the EP leaves room for “Loved and Lost” and “WHY” to hit your heart hard on either side; in context of the single is all the more reason to put “Naked” on repeat.
Talking about the new single ‘Naked’ and the EP as a whole, Ed says: “‘Naked’ is a song that is probably the most relevant to where I am in my life right now. It’s an upbeat, cheeky way of me saying ‘I just wanna have fun right now and that’s ok.’ It was probably the easiest and simplest song to make yet it’s probably my favourite on the project.”
” 9 92 6 19 THE SYSTEM” is the latest single and video by California Condor, a post-apocalyptic band coming from the Baltic States of Estonia. We were really impressed with this well-written, well-produced track intended for fans of hardcore and metal music that highlights all the musicians, especially the lead vocalists trading between screams, deep baritone verses, and anthemic choruses. The band is currently in booking mode with plans including upcoming 2023 festival dates in South America and Europe to be announced. Might be time to hit the road; the band has definitely been putting their time in the studio, with “9 92 6 19 THE SYSTEM” being California Condor’s fifth single of the year. It was preceded by “Chandelier”, “Dissident (The Band)” “The African Wolf” and “ILLUMINATOR”.
We expect you haven’t heard a lot of music like “Monkey Boy”, by Mad Mag, and the featured track from their brand new EP, Who Deserves Balloons and Medals released earlier this November. We love everything about the bio (found on the Mad Meg website), the contents of which we can neither confirm nor deny. The band is full of this lusciously full and vibrant energy. The drums are thumping, the guitars are crunching, and the whole record feels a bit like a kind of rock opera you are invited to experience rather than just listen to. It is officially our duty to bring this intriguing and exceptionally creative offering to your attention. If you’re a fan of “Monkey Boy” we expect you will absorb the other six songs found on Who Deserves Balloons and Medals with equal fervor.
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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Philadelphia-based queer punks Witch Weather have a message for anyone who feels hopeless and worthless: you are not alone. With an irresistible sound that draws from 80’s goth and lo-fi grunge, the indie duo wears their heart on their sleeve, giving voice to complex emotions that many would opt to suppress in the recesses of their minds.
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