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Get all the latest music news and reviews in the Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Richmond, VA areas.Visit us daily and stay up-to-date on your favorite local and national acts.

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After a Decade in Gestation, D.C.’s own Kemi Adegoroye is Set to Release EP ‘For the Record’

Kemi Adegoroye dreamt her entire life of having her own album-release party. It will finally happen on Jan. 29, but thanks to the coronavirus, it won’t be quite as she imagined. Absent from the event, to be broadcast online from Crescendo Studios in D.C., will be a live audience, though several of her bandmates will be present to share her music with the DMV—and the world.

“It’ll be full lights, five cameras, a full production. And people will be able to watch it safely and comfortably from their homes,” Adegoroye said this month, adding that the song arrangements will be slightly different from what will be heard on the EP, also recorded at Crescendo. “I love that it’s full circle. So to be able to come back [to Crescendo] for the release out into the world is a really special thing.”

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One Way Out Speaks Freedom in Black Lungs (and a Broken Heart)

My first introduction to One Way Out was as an open-mic host at Villain and Saint in Bethesda, MD, which closed its doors on September 30, 2019. That would mean I had the pleasure of catching their music careers beginning to develop at the ground floor, before many of them had turned eighteen, similar to my exposure to Southern Maryland rockers Flippin’ Eyelids. Today’s young rock bands have a leg-up on previous generations in that their parents have been watching a two-decade or longer restructuring of the music business, which has yet to settle into its ‘final’ form. The family units that manage these young artists and develop them into career minded individuals are much more aware of their intellectual property, and the ability to harness the various benefits that technology and connectedness afford.

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Kim Shires Encourages All To “Ride Your High”

This week, I got the wonderful chance to speak with up & coming artist Kimberly Shires, a native to the DMV area, about her new single called “Ride Your High.” “Ride Your High” is Shires’ debut single. The record is a bluesy rock tune with her sultry vocals and features her own father, Dean Shires, on the organ. The record was produced, mixed and mastered by Max Rich of Los Angeles, CA, who also played guitar and bass for the track.

While this is Shires’ debut single, it’s certainly not the first time she’s been involved in music. It might not even be the first time you’ve read her name on this platform. She is also one of the writers at Alchemical Records. Shires is the type of person who really goes for it, and in that vein she has been dedicated to different forms of music for decades.

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Vacation Manor Just Wants “You”

Vacation Manor is a band that has really caught out attention lately. Their 2016 debut EP, Girl, Say, yielded fan favorites such as “A Toast and a Spirit” [9.9 million Spotify streams] and “Careless” [6.2 million Spotify streams]. On its heels, 2018’s Everything I Can’t Say Out Loud elevated their total streams past 25 million powered by “Say We’ll Make It” [1.5 million Spotify streams] and more. During 2019, they commenced their next chapter. Reteaming with Girl, Say producer Kyle Cummings, the musicians wrote and recorded their new EP, Thoughts in Progress, Pt. 1.

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Learn more about D.C. Band Color Palette

Color Palette – comprised of Jay Nemeyer, Joshua Hunter, Matt Hartenau, Rogerio Naressi, and Maryjo Mattea – is an Indie/Electro/Rock band from Washington, DC. The band’s sound has been compared to that of The Cure, M83, Depeche Mode, and Tame Impala. They’ve shared the stage with the following notable artists: Charli XCX, The Naked and Famous, Soccer Mommy, Mother Mother, Day Wave, Yumi Zouma, and Mr Little Jeans.We we’re fortunate enough to learn more about them through an interview.

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Zen Warship Will End 2020 With Anything That Grooves

Zen Warship has been a living, breathing, and evolving band that entered the Washington D.C. area music scene in 2016. The band revels in the enthusiasm fans show on the dance floor for its captivating live sound that blends various elements of funk, rock, soul, and disco, along with individual influences including pop, punk, and jazz. As 2020 draws to a close, Zen Warship in its current stage of metamorphosis prepares to release their first full-length album aptly titled, Anything That Grooves, currently available for pre-order on Bandcamp, and on all other major music platforms on December 11. Alchemical Records had the pleasure of sitting down with Tyler, Roberto, Alison, and Preethy to dig into the inspiration behind the album and the recording process the band is using to help listeners immediately feel connected to those live elements that are such an important component of the band’s sound.

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Ben DeHan Travels A Universe of Genres with Miss Cacophony

Baltimore rising star Ben DeHan recently released his new single “Miss Cacophony.” We are thrilled to get the chance to introduce it to you, along with a deep dive into DeHan’s music and influences. His body of work, lyrical prowess, and sonic textures are all incredibly robust.

Washington DC is well known for our outstanding punk scene. Many of the most influential punk bands of the last few decades came from DC, from Minor Threat and Rites of Spring to even Fugazi. A lot of them recorded with Don Zientara at one incredible studio called Inner Ear in Arlington, VA. Punk is one of the most cherished parts of the larger DMV music scene. In addition to the insanely famous older bands, there’s also a ton of contemporary punk going on. At festivals, clubs, outdoor venues like Fort Reno, radio shows, and recording studios, DC punk music lives on. The global pandemic has shifted the atmosphere, but not erased it.

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DMV Native Sarina Bites Back on Recent Stylish & Spooky Single

Upcoming music star Sarina is a DMV native, born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland. She
has released two projects in 2020 alone, her first called Glass Paradise and the most recent a
full-length venture called Come to the Light. Alchemical Records is thrilled to introduce you to
this powerhouse artist and her most recent single, “Bite Back.”
We recently covered Sarina’s lovely song “Love I Like,” which is accompanied by a gorgeous
little retro video. Sarina continues the retro theme with “Bite Back.” The vibe mimics the
Scooby-Doo cartoons or the title sequence of Frankenstein, complete with old-fashioned title
sequences and spooky vibes. It’s the perfect song for this Halloween: a mixture of gorgeous
October visuals and an anthem for standing strong. “Made my decision / don’t need to think
twice / eyes full of fire and heart made of ice,” she sings, promising to be the kind of woman who
bites back when she is treated poorly.

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Premiere: Howard Rose and Robbie Cavanagh are Sending Us All “Greetings from Paradise”

Howard Rose and Robbie Cavanagh are two artists from the U.K. that have been gaining a lot of popularity in recent times. While Howard draws influences from James Brown, The Beach Boys, and The Beatles, Robbie Cavanagh draws influences from James Taylor, John Mayer and Elton John, and when the two collaborate it creates a very unique overall feel that creates a feeling of peace.

The pair recently worked together on a track called, “Greetings from Paradise” which is actually their first release to come from Nova Records, and is the result of a lockdown collaboration. We are excited to have the opportunity to premiere this track. The two initially did not intend to write a ‘lockdown song’ so they actually decided to write about the opposite, which is where the name “Greetings from Paradise” actually came from. Rose says, “the song alludes to ‘perceived blessings of a lockdown misspent. An opportunity to work, uninterrupted on what you were put on the earth to do, and how that can affect you. How something seemingly blissful can turn to the mundane given enough time.” We actually had the opportunity to interview both Rose and Cavanagh, which you can check out some of their answers on our website.

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Washington DC’s Very Own Ikey Seizes the Day on “Go Outside”

Ikey is a Washington DC artist who has been making waves around the globe since he began
his robust music career. His latest single “Go Outside” is just the last in a long string of gorgeous melodic-rap works, ones that appeal to a broad range of audiences interested in many genres.

Ikey is proudly Nigerian American and says he makes records for “the streets, the internet, and
most importantly the Third World.” His influences include music from all across the African Diaspora, but as a longtime DMV resident, he’s especially intertwined with Washington DC Go-go music. He also references Wyclef Jean and The Notorious B.I.G as favorites. And the delicate piano instrumentals on “Go Outside” trace all the way back to his first album.

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Mystery Friends Wants You to Have an Awesome Time on “Nowhere to Be”

This week, I called the band Mystery Friends over the phone. I had loved my sneak peak of their recent single “Nowhere to Be” and was feeling lucky that I was about to catch even one member of the rock-disco Washington, DC crew. Instead I caught three of them: the vocalist and synths-player frontwoman Abby Sevcik, guitarist and synths-player David Mohl, and bassist Robbie Lee. Once we covered their DIY music video (the production has been delayed briefly, allegedly because the video includes roller-skating but David is a roller-skating novice), Mystery Friends and I talked about their old record, new projects, and upcoming work.

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Get To Know More About Indigo Seeds New Album, “Patterns”

Indigo Seed is a band based in Seattle, Washington that has just come out with their debut EP. The EP is titled, “Patterns” and if you are a fan of The Doors, Tame Impala, or any other psychedelic rock than you have to listen to this project. It includes some guitar riffs that will be stuck in your head for hours, as you are entranced with the overall feel the track gives you. We will let the music speak for itself, but we were lucky enough to get to interview Indigo Seed below. Check it out and learn some more about them.

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Jackii Kennedy Can’t Find “The Zone”

Jackii Kennedy is an LA based singer/songwriter who has recently really caught our attention. She was born in the Florida Keys and travled to the Golden Coast to pursue her passions. She also has synesthesia and sees colors when she listens to music (her cover art is influenced by the colors she sees when listening to the song). She makes funky, psychedelic pop/r&b music and says she “wants to make the definition of queer pop as fluid as your sexuality at 2am after a little too much tequila.” She writers and produces all of her music with Ryan Raines (Dominic Fike, Peach Tree Rascals, Will Jay), Hudson Taylor (Kanye West), and Drea Rose. We can see the influence that these producers have on her music, as she has a unique sound that we feel combines something like Dominic Fike with a little bit extra of a pop feel.

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Stephanie Mathias Shows Her “Hero Side”

Stephanie Mathias, of Lake Ridge, Va, has been busy navigating the new realities of 2020, and she is getting it done. Stephanie, who makes a living as a session violinist said, “I lost my career overnight”. At the beginning to lockdown, depression started creeping in. It did not take long before Stephanie pulled up her bootstraps to reclaim back as much of her normal as possible, such as practicing martial arts and working again. Stephanie also created some great new music. The acoustic version of Stephanie’s new single “The Hero Side” was released on September 18 and we can look forward to the fully produced version soon. “The Hero Side” available through her website, stephaniematias.com.

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Anna Hamilton Justifies the Need for “Self Help”

Anna Hamilton can be seen on Season 2 of NBC’s Songland as a featured writer for Ben Platt, and you may have heard her acoustic cover of “Bad Liar” made famous by Imagine Dragons, garnering millions of fans. Her latest release “Self Help,” during this time is no coincidence as it speaks now to the feelings of millions of listeners who have had to readjust or re-imagine what their lives should look like while facing various stages of quarantine.

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