Artist Interview – BISHAT

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A couple of months ago I reviewed Bishat, a rising alternative vocalist who deftly mixes genres such as R&B, electronica, and pop into her music (check out that review here). She recently released a sparkling acoustic rendition of her newest single, SOBER, and I had the pleasure of speaking with her over Facebook Messenger about her artistic process and beginnings. The acoustic version of SOBER will be available digitally on April 29th, and keep on the lookout for another release in May– I’ll put it up on here when available.

Rhythm Endlessly: First of all, I’m loving Sober and I’m glad it’s getting a heap of attention! It seems like the sort of song that’d have pretty widespread appeal, given its mix of different genres (R&B, electronica, etc.) So I was wondering, are there any other artists/media you drew influence from while Sober was first taking shape?

Bishat: Well, not really, I write about my own experiences and so that just came from me + the vibe we had going in the studio. The music came first with Sober and I just started singing and it came out really quick, but there are of course artists that influence me and everything I listen to. I guess you can trace bits of in my music from Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill to FKA Twigs, The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey and Flume.

RE: That makes a lot of sense. The two singles you’ve released so far don’t sound derivative of any other artist, which is obviously a sign of originality. I can definitely hear some Flume and Lana in your vocal style, though, which is certainly a compliment! Did you have a part in the production/instrumentals of Sober as well as the vocals?

B: Yeah, I was there the whole way through. I’m very hands on. A lot of the time I write something and do the foundation of the production in Logic and the bring it to my producers where we continue to work together. I need it to sound how I want it to, even if I don’t yet have all the technical skills to get it there, but i’m working on it. Though I love collaborating with others. I think having other to bounce ideas of and help push each other is the best way to create great music. It was a team effort, but the lyrics always come from me.

RE: I figured the lyrics were yours; they’re certainly personal/relatable enough! In the same vein, what brought about the creation of the acoustic version? How was that experience different from the original?

B: Happy to hear that! Well, the piano is my back to basics. That’s how I started writing songs in the first place, when I was 13 just sitting in front of my piano, playing other songs or improvising up stuff that eventually turned into songs. And when I write, regardless of if it’s in a session or I write on a beat or track, I like to play it on my piano at home, to feel it for what it is and see if it works, stripped of production. If it doesn’t feel good it’s not good enough. I think the melody should work just with a single instrument. Maybe old fashioned. But Sober felt good and I love how it became something completely different. I think you can relate to the heartache more. I love the production. It’s messy and raw which is great. You can dance to it and really care which the song is also about. Giving in, letting go… but acoustic it becomes more contemplative. Sorry for the long answer!

RE: No worries– it’s really cool to get a glimpse into your process/beginnings, especially in such detail. It really shows the effort and personality in your work. Any live performances so far?

B: Yeah, did one and have another coming up soon and then a few gigs this summer, but I really wanna get more tunes out there so you can go big. I love and hate live. I get so nervous, but once I’m on that stage there’s no better high. I can’t wait to get to travel and see new places and meet new people and share what i’ve been working on.

RE: I hope you get to that point soon; I’m sure the nervousness will fade a little as more gigs come and go (which I’m sure they will)! It sounds like you’re in a really good place musically (not to mention you seem a lot more humble/down-to-earth than a lot of the bigger names out there, which is always admirable). Speaking of “more tunes”, I have to ask: any original tracks/new releases on the horizon?

B: Aw, thanks! Yes, I do, should have a new tune out in May I’ll make sure to let you know when date is set and there’s more info.
RE: Can’t wait– would love to get word of that when the day comes around! Finally, is there any experience/emotion you’re trying to inspire with your music? In other words, what are you hoping your fans will take away from your work?
B: I want people to relate. I write ’cause that’s my form of therapy, and growing up I loved listening to music that made me feel like I wasn’t the only one going through whatever I was going through– whether that was heartache, euphoria, feeling like an outsider, racism or just growing pains, you know?
RE: Awesome. That’s all I got for you today! Thanks so much for talking, I can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with next. So cool to see that music and its associations have always been really close to your heart– that’s what makes great art, after all!
B: Thanks so much- lovely to chat with you. Take care!

 

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Author’s Pick (Submission) – Bones Garage

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BIRTHMARKS :: Bones Garage :: Alternative Rock

Bones Garage is a five-piece indie rock band consisting of Ariel Pedatzur, Eden Atad, Yaniv Bin, Dor Harari and Yoni Deutsch. Their style ranges from soft to hard, from quiet to loud, and the lead vocalists’ pipes possess plenty of depth and emotional range. This track, off their new album, Massacre/Dance (which releases this summer) is a thumping, intricately layered piece of atmospheric dream-pop. The accompanying visual, linked above, is a deftly directed tale of romance and new life, acting as the perfect thematic partner to the track. All interested, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the album, which is sure to make waves in the rock-n-roll blogosphere when it hits. Sounds like: Marina and the Diamonds’ debut album, a softer and brighter Wolf Alice

High Five – 04/27/2016

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1. SOMETHING WRONG :: Frank Gamble :: Alternative

Frank Gamble is the single most interesting act I’ve encountered in months, and I have no idea who they are. An enigmatic and ominous alternative pop (?) act involving an anonymous female vocalist, this project has just the mysterious aesthetic and dark synth-laden vibe that will hold my attention until more is revealed, and then some. Sounds like: a less cheerful Tove Styrke, Läpsley’s manipulated vocals meet Elohim’s psycho-thriller pop

2. IT MEANS I LOVE YOU :: Jessy Lanza :: Trip-hop

Honestly, this song creeps me out. The elements are dissonant, warped, and immaculately produced, as is all of Lanza’s work– she’s an electro-R&B producer operating out of Ontario, and her new album releases May 13th, rightfully entitled Oh No. Check out her first album, Pull My Hair Back, and second single VV VIOLENCE if you’re into it. Sounds like: Jessie Ware with a vicious edge, Hannah Diamond without the glittery pop sheen 

3. GOLDEN AGE :: Lanks :: Alternative

Lanks’ first two EPs didn’t appeal to me so much (a bit subdued for my taste, I believe), but this song caught me by the throat within the first ten seconds. It’s an industrial alt-pop firecracker led by an ear-worm chorus and a fantastic horn-driven hook. Feel free to look up this Melbourne producer/vocalist’s other singles as well. Sounds like: an upbeat Glass Animals, Hozier plus a few dozen layers of bass

4. FOREST :: Giungla :: Alternative Rock

A hard-hitting and distorted rock track with pop roots, Giungla has created a head-banging two-and-a-half-minute masterpiece. Her earlier single SAND hinted at this greatness, and now I can hardly stop listening. Look out for her EP on May 20th. Sounds like: Wolf Alice’s blaring guitar meets Marian Hill’s onomatopoeic drops

5. LOOKING AT YOU :: LOOP :: Electronic Pop

LOOP is an up-and-coming vocalist with insanely catchy pop tunes to offer. LOOKING AT YOU is her second single, and it boasts an explosive chorus and tongue-twister verses recited at the speed of light in a sultry croon. Don’t miss out on this one– this is exactly the sort of music that pop radio would snatch up in a second, if only they knew it existed. Sounds like: Frankie played at a higher tempo, Allie X abandons atmosphere in favor of adrenaline

High Five – 04/20/2016

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1. CAVES :: Sea Bed :: House

Firstly, this song is incredible, lyrically and tonally both. Secondly, Brighton-based Sea Bed’s use of house elements is fantastic, both simple and intricate in the same stroke. Thirdly, do not stop here. The rest of their debut EP, even the sixty-second intro track, is beautiful and just as mesmerizing. I’m thoroughly thrilled that I stumbled across them this week, and will be diligently searching for more releases. Sounds like: Made in Heights meets Flume, Jess Glynne with heavier beats

2. KINGDOM :: Auguste :: Alternative

I can’t even call this pop music, even though it may sound like it, because the components and vocals are too eclectic and dark for me to classify. Beautiful layering and harmony between the two Australian female vocalists wraps around a swirling, start-stop beat that forces the listener to catch their breath. And by no means ignore the gorgeous visual, which I’ve linked below. Sounds like: A younger and brighter Kaleida, classical-driven electro

3. IRIS :: Valley Hush :: Electronic

I was hesitant about sharing this track because I’m selfish. I wanted to keep Detroit-based Valley Hush to myself because they’re obviously going to blow up soon, and it feels good having your own little secret artist to keep watch over until they hit the big-time. But this delicious mix of organic electronica and R&B is too innovative to keep under wraps. Sounds like: Purity Ring, Banks, and Grimes over a surprisingly natural soundscape

4. PLUCKY :: Morly :: Trip-hop

Morly is a young electro-pop innovator, and her recent effort (the stunning Something More Holy EP) is four tracks of pure sonic relaxation. PLUCKY, her most upbeat effort to date, is an ode to departure and loss, rich with snaps and intricately layered vocals. Fingers crossed that an album is coming soon, but for now, I’m content. Sounds like: Banks with a happier outlook and fewer synths, Marika Hackman tries her hand at hip-hop

5. FAR :: So Below :: Electronic

Who is this person, and why is she so brilliant? A fitting closer to this week’s High Five, So Below is an intergalactic New Zealand synth-pop artist by the name of Maddie North, and she’s caught onto something incredible with her self-titled EP. It’s a maelstrom of looped synthesizers and slamming drums, high-octane and breathless. Sounds like: the horror-pop vibe of Allie X meets the effortless vocals of Priest

High Five – 04/13/2016

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1. CALCIFER :: Yoste :: Electronic

It’s clear to me that Yoste is a major innovator in the world of electronic music despite only having two official releases on iTunes. CALCIFER, the most recent of the pair, is a bubbly, finger-snapping slice of glory, and (as the artist names each of his tunes after paraphernalia associated with Ghibli Studios) truly presents an optimistic and sparkling viewpoint on love and affection (as if anyone expected otherwise). He says another single is coming soon, and I’m thoroughly pumped, so for now I’ll keep playing this one (and his earlier release, CHIHIRO) to put a smile on my face for my 9am lectures. Sounds like: Made in Heights on happy pills, lazy afternoons exploring a whimsical forest

2. PLUCKY :: Morly :: Electronic

This is the least minimal track Minnesota-based producer and singer Morly has ever released (including her earlier EP, In Defense of My Muse, and single, THE CHOIR), and it works wonders on the ears. It’s an incredibly catchy and vaguely dark piece of electronic pop, chanted repetition snaking through lilting piano and drums. It comes straight off her new EP, Something More Holy, which is entirely worth a listen or three, especially if you’re into the more subdued, vocal side of electronica. Sounds like: Marika Hackman’s organic soul meets Banks’ moody production, skipping stones across a deep lake at midnight

3. DRAIN THE SEA :: Superhumanoids :: Alternative

L.A.-based Superhumanoids, led by explosively talented frontwoman Sarah Chernoff and a two-member production team, is one of my favorite bands of all-time, hands down. DRAIN THE SEA is a B-side from their debut album, Exhibitionists, which is a work of art all its own; however, my rediscovery of this particular gem has led me to hit the repeat button about ten times over the last 48 hours, and I am not ashamed to say so. Here a gorgeous buildup of ominous synths and thudding bass leads to Sarah’s trademark oscillating coo/snarl, creating a spine-tingling effect. Sounds like: Purity Ring but three times as dark, 80’s drum machines reanimated for evil purposes

4. LETTING GO :: Braids :: Alternative Rock

My wonderful partner Melissa and I recently went on an online music hunt to find new artists for one another, and for me, she found (amongst others) the Alberta, Canada trio Braids. As a delightful result, I now have 26 Braids songs downloaded onto my iPhone. This is one of my favorites, the first track off their most recent effort Deep in the Iris, a staggered, clattering piano-driven pop number with a tragic undertone. “I forgive them all, I hope they believe me,” sighs vocalist Raphaelle Standell-Preston, her voice presenting haunting layered lyrics over oblique percussion. It’s spellbinding, like the rest of their work. Check out MINISKIRT, PLATH HEART, and AMENDS, if you dig it. Sounds like: Kimbra’s off-kilter production over Daughter’s emotional maelstrom

5. NORMALLY I GET IT :: LOLAWOLF :: Alternative

Another selection from the incredible playlist my partner made for me, LOLAWOLF is a positively acidic alternative rap group spearheaded by Zoë Kravitz (Lenny’s daughter, none other). Their music is profane, meticulously produced, and so chock-full of ear-worms that I have to censor myself from unconsciously singing their material in public. Listen to their first EP, and their debut album, and then their second EP, and tell me there’s not some serious artistry going on here. Sounds like: 18+ focuses more on ego than on sex, FKA twigs goes full grit-and-grime hip-hop

Author’s Pick (Submission) – NETA

SILLY LIFE :: NETA :: Electronic

NETA is a male producer and guitarist from Israel. He creates soft, minimal electronic music with acoustic influences, often accompanied by haunting vocals and dark themes. SILLY LIFE, his newest track, certainly leaves the listener on his side. “Your shower is cold and tormented,” croons the obviously talented featured vocalist on this track. The vocals are full and dramatic, and pair well with the instrumentals, which are arguably the most striking element of this track. Glitchy percussion mixes with sweeping synths and gentle guitar strumming, creating a spacious and emotionally dense effect not unlike that of the top electronic producers today. Here, spine-tingling strings trade time with intricately tormented lyrics, to a surprisingly organic effect. Sounds like: Lana Del Rey meets SOHN, Sir Sly trades their frontman for a female vocalist

Author’s Pick (Submission) – Chris Cape

BROWN PAPER BAG :: CHRIS CAPE :: Pop-rap

Chris Cape releases another single from his upcoming EP, a wistful and emotional indie pop-rap piece with electronic influences, just as striking as his previous single (which I blogged about a little while ago). The percussion is organic and well-placed, and the lyrics are meaningful and intelligent– the track almost reads like a story, and the single artwork corroborates the impression of a Wild West-themed backdrop upon which a tragic romance unfolds. Cape’s every release seems slightly more original and impressive than the last– it can only get better from here. His work is becoming more and more “genre-less” as time passes; this is a sure sign of adaptability and innovation in his field. Sounds like: twenty one pilots meets G-Eazy, Maroon 5 with indie vibes and a hip-hop edge