Nick Arneson Interview

Portland based musician and producer, Nick Arneson, is an indie rock artist who recently released his new album, MidLifeCrisis on August 17, 2018.

Arneson’s raw emotions come out to play a major role in this new album, and I had the pleasure to chat with him about the meanings of the songs.

Tell me a little about the album, is there an overall message being told?
The overall theme is kind of in the title. I joke with my friends that I am going through a midlife crisis. This is almost like my sports car or model girlfriend. The message is about all the shit you have to take care of when you get to be my age (39).

But there is also another layer, if you spend some time with the album the bigger meaning is societal. As a country, we are kind of going through a midlife crisis as well. With social media now its hard to rally around a cause because we can’t focus on one problem at a time to help fight the evils of the world.

Which song on the album sticks out as having a personal meaning to you?
The whole thing is personal, there’s not an ounce of bullshit. But there are a couple relationship songs on there that are super personal. Try and Stay are really close to home, but the latter half of the record is more existential in nature.

Tell me about the inspiration behind the song ‘Once’?
I quit drinking recently, it was something that I had dealt with for a long time. The song Once is basically me talking to myself about that. Whatever vices people face, its about that inner voice that everyone has telling them its not worth it, but their body just isn’t listening.

If you had to pick one song to tell people to listen to that would sum up the whole album, what song would it be?
I would say, Inertia. Its the most outlaying song and my favorite on the album. Its the most rock and roll, and I played all the instruments except for bass. It starts out very inward talking about the process and then it goes into social commentary talking about whats going on around us. It has a lot of my over all message of the album. But I would also pick Outsiders, it talks about not quite fitting in with the crowd and being a little different.

What can fans except to see from you in the upcoming months?
I feed the internet. I do live performances, I have a place I call ‘The Barn’ and I do a live stream on there. So in the next few weeks I’ll be doing a performance on there and I typically announce them weeks out. Sometimes we do full album performances, and we did one for the album release.

But musically, I’ve been working on the next album. I got so much material that I just don’t know what to do with it. So I’ve been trying to stay on this album for a little bit long and then move on to the next.

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You can keep up to date with Nick and his music on his website www.nickarnesonmusic.com

Photos provided Bradley PR and Marketing.

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Boy Hero Releases New Single “Window Pains”

Boy Hero releases new single, “Window Pains” which has us hoping for a new EP from the group soon.

Boy Hero has previously been releasing throwback covers to keep our earbuds entertained; already covering A Day to Remember, All Time Low and My Chemical Romance. When I spoke with singer, Dan Rudd, last December he told me that he was working on a spooky-Halloween themed EP in which he was hoping to release this fall.

I always look forward for new material from Boy Hero and “Window Pains” is no disappointment.

You can listen to “Window Pains” as well as all of Boy Hero’s previous material on all platforms.

Window Pains Youtube (Audio)
Window Pains iTunes
Boy Hero Spotify
Boy Hero iTunes
Boy Hero Twitter
Boy Hero Instagram
Boy Hero Facebook

Songs of the Season | Fall and Winter 2017

Now that spring is officially upon us, even if it doesn’t feel like it in Wisconsin, its time to talk about the songs that defined the previous season for me. I’m sure I’m not the only one that when they hear a song they think of specific time or moment. There are certain songs that when I hear them, I think of a season and year. These are the songs that defined that time of year for me.

The first song up is off of one of my favorite album releases of 2017, and it’s “Where The Mind Wants to Go” by I The Mighty. This whole album really was one that I listened to all the time during the fall and winter so it was hard to pick a specific song. But I kept going back to “Where the Mind Wants to Go” when I needed a song to fill the silence. I would also like to mention that his whole album is a great one to go on long drives with. I took a trip up state playing this album on repeat and it fit the mood of the drive perfectly.

Second song that defined the season would be “Numbers” by The Cab. I noticed, that besides a few songs, the fall and winter season was filled with nostalgia; listening to a lot of throwback songs from middle and high school. The Cab was one of those groups that I felt were very underrated when I was in middle and high school. This song in particular was one that I never really paid attention to until this past year and its a beautiful song that had me singing every time.

“Hero” by Monsta X was my Kpop representative song of the season. Just something about the beat in this song gets my day started every morning. I would specifically play this song first on my playlist to get going in the morning. It was my mood setter, if you will, and trust me when I say this beat will get stuck in your head. If you are a fan of kpop and you haven’t listened to Monsta X before, what are you doing?

Finally, I’m going to end with a new release song as well as a new to me song of the season. The new release song being “Pray” by Sam Smith. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m in love with Sam Smith’s voice and this song was one I had on repeat throughout most of the fall and winter season.

Every season, I like to discover songs and artists that I’ve never heard of before. This previous season that would be Leikeli47’s song “Miss Me.” It’s typically not a style of music that I would listen to during the fall and winter because it is more hip/hop and electronica, but it really stuck out to me and I loved it.

There you have it, the top songs that defined the season for me. Although these are not all the songs that I’ve listened to during the fall and winter months, these are the ones that I listened to the most and that stood out to me the most.

If you want to check out any of these songs, I have linked all the songs listed above. But if you want to check out more or want to know what I’m listening to during the year, I will leave my Spotify playlist for Fall and Winter 2017 linked down below, as well as my Spotify profile so you can follow all my playlists and stay up to date on what I’m adding during the year.

Spotify Fall/Winter 2017
Spotify Profile

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NEW LANGUAGE | Interview

NEW LANGUAGE is an Los Angeles based group that was started by Tyler Demorest and Matt Cohen. The two have been writing and playing in bands for almost a decade and in 2016 formed NEW LANGUAGE.

Recently the band has released an EP entitled, “Everybody Screams” and two music videos for their songs “Everybody Screams” and “Show Me.” I had the opportunity to chat with Demorest and Cohen about their new releases.

Tell me about your song “Show Me,” what is it about?

TD: We started jamming with a friend of ours and it just grew instrumentally that way. Lyrically, it is about things that I [Tyler] is struggling with. I left it open for people to interpret what they are struggling with. For me [Tyler] its about what goes on around me and like if you’re not raised a Christian, you can still be a good person for example.

Did you come up with the concept for the music video?

MC: The concept itself is just a fun tone with our mascot. It was filmed all in one shot and Tyler did the animations.

TD: We just thought it would be cool to have Richard [our mascot] dance in the streets of LA and have like dancers and confetti canons but not be too over the top or silly.

Explain the meaning behind the title track off the EP, Everybody Screams.

TD: Theres just a lot of yelling from both sides and not a lot of listening. People are just not willing to listen to each other and have an intelligent conversation anymore.

The music video is a little different, what was the concept about?

TD: With the video we wanted to show that concept of the song. So we photoshopped pictures of ourselves with big mouths just covering the whole face. That just represents the concept of people screaming. And behind us are just images that symbolizes what the song was saying and creating a feeling of how big the world is and how many problems people have. Just gives you a sense of humanity, I guess.

Is there a theme or message throughout the EP?

TD: I wouldn’t say that there is a theme or message with our EP, I just write about what I’m feeling or wrestling with at the time. We don’t sit down and say “okay this EP is going to be about this theme.”

Which song off Everybody Screams  would you recommend to a new listener?

TD & MC: Show Me because it just represents what anyone can be going through. Its up to interpretation by the listener.

How would you describe your stage performance?

MC: I would say that whenever we get up on stage we just kind of give it our all. I would call it energetic and inducing. We always like to get the audience involved and we hope that audiences feels the same energy we feel.

Anything set for the future of NEW LANGUAGE?

TD: Yea we have a few songs coming out in the next couple of months and some shows set for us to play in the beginning of May. But generally just more shows, more music and hopefully a new EP in the summer.

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You can check out NEW LANGUAGE’s songs on their Youtube and be sure to stay up to date on NEW Language news you can follow them at their social media links below.

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Website

Photos provided by Bradley PR + Marketing

J-Hope “Hope World” | Album Review

Is it possible for an album to give you the stank face but also be full of puppies and rainbows? I never thought it was possible until I listened to the long awaited mixtape by BTS’ J-Hope.

For over a year now, fans have been waiting for J-Hope to release a mixtape to complete the rap line’s collection of solo albums. The day finally came in mid February when he announced that his mixtape was set to release March 2, 2018.

On the day of the release, the 7 track album went out along with the music video for the lead single, “Daydream.” I’ll be honest, I listened to that song for a solid 30 minutes on repeat after it was released. For anyone that knows J-Hope, or at least anyone who is familiar with his bright, off the wall personality, will understand when I say this is a “J-Hope” song.

The music video along with the lyrics and the beat of the song match perfectly with J-Hope’s personality and vibe. He always brings a sense of “hope” and sunshine to the group and it shines bright with this song. Another song on the album that compliments this match to personality would be the title track, “Hope World.”

But when you get past the puppies and rainbows vibe songs you get songs like “Base Line” and “항상 (Hangsang) ft. Supreme Boi.” These songs are where his true roots show with hard base lines and intense lyrics that give you that “stank face” reaction.

This even blend of hard and soft makes for a mixtape that throws all sorts of emotions in your face and perfectly depicts his style and personality. Overall, I’ve been playing this album on repeat since its release and I’m incredibly pleased and proud of J-Hope for taking his time to release a solid album that he’s proud of.

The album is available on iTunes and Spotify.

Nokay ‘The One I Feed’ | Album Review

Nokay is an East Coast based Indie/Pop/Electronic songwriter who has been featured on Huffington Post, AXS, Tattoo.com and many more. His previous single “Fear” (which has received 50k plays on Soundcloud) made my playlist for the year and was one of my favorite releases of 2017. You can read a short review of his song “Fear” here. Nokay just released his follow up single “Passenger” which is featured on his upcoming debut EP “The One I Feed.”

Being a fan of Nokay’s smooth, rich, voice I was excited to be asked to review his debut EP. As previously stated, “Fear” was a music highlight for me for 2017 and his new single “Passenger” is climbing the list for 2018. There are movements to this song that remind me of being on a boat. The verses are slow and steady like a calm ocean, just floating on the water enjoying the scenery.

But when the chorus kicks in, the waves start to hit. The boat is rocking and you’re holding on, trying not to fall off. The moments of calm and chaos add to the story behind the song and a journey in his life. You can read the full story behind the song on Genius. The length of time it took to make this song paid off, because it’s beautifully composed and executed.

The next two songs on the EP are “Mercury” and “Antares” and the EP closes with “Fear.” One thing that I love about Nokay’s writing is the journey that he takes you on through his words and his supporting insturmentals. His songs have mountains and valleys that emphasize his vocal abilities, emotions and meanings or inspirations for each song.

When listening to music I want to be taken on a journey, feel the emotions of the songs, be wrapped up in the world of the artist, basically get lost in it. Nokay is an artist that allows you to do just that and really experience his music. I am excited to see where this EP will take him and I’ll anticipate more work from him in the future.

You can listen to Nokay’s music on Soundcloud, iTunes and Spotify.

Be sure to check Nokay out on his social media sites for the release of “The One I Feed” and other upcoming events from him.
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Website

*Photos curtesy of Bradley PR + Marketing*

Recent Music Purchases

The month of January meant the month to spend all of my gift card money on iTunes music purchases.

Here are all the purchases I made in the month of January. Some are new releases and some are older. Regardless, there is something about adding new music to my library that gets me all excited.

“Don’t Go” – Vacances (single)
This was a song that I had previously done a review for, I just never got around to buying it until this month. Highly suggest you go check it out as well as his music.

“Flicker” – Niall Horan (album)
Again, this is an album that I had been listening to nonstop on Spotify and mentioned in my favorite albums of 2017. But, it wasn’t until January when I finally took the plunge and bought it.

“Smile, and Wave” – SAINTE (album)
Mentioned before in my favorite albums of 2017, I loved this album and the whole return to music that Tay Jardine had after WATIC ended. An album that I was always meaning to buy but just got around to it now.

“Lower” – Amber x Luna (single)
This was actually a new release that I purchased right away after hearing it. I normally don’t buy a song or album right after its released unless its by a group or artists that I love. But, I made an exception for this song because its so catchy and both Amber and Luna’s voices sound beautiful.

“Welcome Back” – iKON (album)
I just recently got into iKON and the whole fandom surrounding them. So I went a a binge of their music and I can see how the whole fandom thinks they are under appreciated because they are.

“Harry Styles” – Harry Styles (album)
Again, an album that I had been listening to on Spotify since it released, but this is the first time I actually thought to buy it. Also, very happy I did because I am seeing him in concert this June.

“Birthday Gamble” – Jay Park (2 song single release)
I love everything Jay Park does, so naturally, when this released I got it as soon as I could.

As I always do, the songs and albums mentioned are linked so you can check out what I’m listening to and maybe purchase them yourselves.