Last week, Washington DC area alternative rock band, YellowTieGuy released “Information,” their first studio recording since 2016, saying on their website: “‘Information’, has always been intended as a commentary for doing what is right daily rather than just using social media sharing to feel good about backing causes without taking real action.” The video has intermittent quotes by various public figures encouraging individuals to speak out on behalf of racial equality, while also intentionally placing large segments of a simple black background, inspired by last week’s Blackout Tuesday which much of the music industry took part of to show solidarity with the African-American community and the protests resulting from the killing of George Floyd. You can see the lyrics and YellowTieGuy’s call to action on their website: yellowtieguy.com
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Soft Punch, aka Rye Thomas, of Washington D.C. released his debut album, Above Water on September 15th, after years of working on it.
The album is a labor of love that Soft Punch, the stage name of Rye Thomas, has been working on for years since the diagnosis of his chronic illness. It takes you through the highs and lows, mourning the freedom lost, and celebrating the things that he is grateful for in his day to day life. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to him about his process of writing the album.
The titles of albums are the first thing that an artist sees. That, and the artist’s name. When I first heard the name ‘Soft Punch’, I was intrigued. It was gentle but intentional. “I don’t know if I had a specific ‘A-ha, Lightbulb’ moment, but I was interested in words that sound good together and have multiple meanings,” Thomas said. “It’s a gentle hit, and a nonalcoholic punch. It’s the image of something harsh and something soft is interesting to me. I think I lucked out.”