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New Music Radar

New Music Radar for November 8th, 2023

The Beatles – “Now and Then”

The Beatles (ever heard of them?) released what has been dubbed the “last” Beatles song, “Now and Then,” last week. What can be said of the final tune from one the greatest bands of all time? “Now and Then” is a resurrected John Lennon piano demo turned into a guitar-driven soft rock ballad. Is it the most impressive Beatles song ever recorded? No, but it’s still poignant, a forlorn love song that feels, much in the same way that watching “Get Back” did,  like witnessing a communion of ghosts. “Now and then / I miss you / Now and then / I want you to be there for me / Always to return to me,” they sing, simple words that hit with bittersweet irony when contemplating the idea of the last piece of music from four iconic collaborators.

Contributed by Kate Bryan

DJ DollaMenu – “Stardust”

Extra Chill Fest 2023 alumni DJ DollaMenu, the multi-talented rapper, DJ, and comedian, dropped a new single last week called “Stardust.” This one is two minutes of straight bars about living a busy, lavish lifestyle, and how he must carefully organize his priorities. Sure, DollaMenu likes to party, but business and one particular woman come first, and you won’t catch him with his nose in any “Stardust.”

Contributed by Chris Huber

Hotline TNT – Cartwheel

NYC-based DIY shoegaze heroes Hotline TNT released their second full-length album, Cartwheel, last week. Recommended to the team by Wesley Heaton of Daddy’s Beemer and occasional contributor Elliott Hay of The New Curious City, this was a great find for this week’s Radar. The album has a lofi sound that also manages to be big and constantly in your face, resulting in a mellow catharsis that feels like a warm, fuzzy blanket draped over a wall of guitars. Meanwhile, crispy and prominent drums root the whole thing firmly in the grounds of rock and roll.

On The Playlist: “Beauty Filter”

Contributed by Chris Huber

Razor Braids – “She”

Brooklyn based queer garage rock four-piece Razor Braids released a new single called “She” on November 8th. The track couples an upbeat, gritty rock arrangement with more pop-focused vocals and harmonies, “She” offers a subtle nod to 90s nostalgia while maintaining an energy that is distinctly modern. Lead singer Hollye Bynum says: “It’s a song about being present when you meet someone really special: you don’t want to think about what happens tomorrow or what happened in past relationships, because when you look at her you just get to be in the moment.”

Contributed by Chris Huber

Sir Chloe – “Home Where” 

Vermont-based indie rock group Sir Chloe dropped a new single, “Home Where,” last Friday. To me, the beauty of a Sir Chloe track is a particular amalgamation of elegance and edge, and “Home Where” perfectly exemplifies this duality. The song is propelled by the spare beat of a snare drum and ticking bass. Singer Dana Foote’s vocals are crisp yet tinged with ennui as she sings “Home where / Nobody goes / I want a place I call my own / Home where / Nobody knows / What I become when I’m alone.” There’s a richness to the production, some orchestral touches flutter in the soundscape between bars. A clanging, fuzzy, barrage of garage rock noise led by bold guitar serves as punctuation. 

Contributed by Kate Bryan

Reuben Knights – Boy Sings In Yard / Boy Sings In Church

Greenville-based rocker Reuben Knights recently dropped a double album in two parts: Boy Sings In Yard, released on October 29th, and Boy Sings In Church, released October 15th. Both records are angsty blues, folk, and yes, even punk and shoegaze influenced, which hints at the artist having a very wide range of musical tastes and influences, before you even bring the skill to the table. This is a new discovery for the Extra Chill fam, but it’s exactly the kind of local underground rock record that we’re always hoping to find. It runs deep at 20 songs to explore, with some of them being quite long (6+ minutes) and jam-oriented, including hints of improvisation. Yes please.

On The Playlist: “Harold and Parade” from Boy Sings In Yard

Contributed by Chris Huber

SmxkeDoji – Wrong Turn

There’s a rising renaissance happening in Charleston Hip Hop and SmxkeDoji has become one of my favorite #GxldApproved artists to watch grow into the scene. With the release of his newest self produced EP “Wrong Turn”, Doji continues to ‘keep smoking’ and ‘rolling up’ with new tracks showing his versatility and commitment to growth in all aspects of his sound. While his previous album, “Keep Smoking,” celebrated the allure of the “sweet sinsi” and featured an impressive lineup of collaborators, “Wrong Turn” takes a different route with three distinct sounds. From the hard-hitting New York drill vibes of “Control” to the infectious Southern Trap energy of “F*** it Up” and the lively flute-driven bop of “Daytona 500,” SmxkeDoji remains true to his signature relaxed style and timeless rhyme cadence. Unapologetically lyrical, he commands respect as an artist who HOLDS NO BARS.

On the Playlist: “Daytona 500”

Contributed by Thaddeus Adams

MGMT – “Mother Nature”

MGMT announced last week that their fifth studio album Loss of Life, their newest collaborative effort with Christine and the Queens, is due out in February. The cozy lead single “Mother Nature” introduces a more inviting guitar over MGMT’s past exploitation of fuzzy synthesizers. The easygoing single “Mother Nature” is stormy and buoyant in all the right places.

Contributed by Sarah Grace Sherbondy

Mark Fury feat. N01R – “Let You Go”

Mark Fury’s latest release, “Let You Go” featuring N01R, is a blend of easy-moving R&B vocals and passionate, energetic storytelling. N01R’s Jagged Edge-like vocals infuse the love ballad with soulful melodies, while Mark Fury delivers pungent lyricism that draws listeners into his world of relationship and romance. With this track, Fury captures the essence of being caught in the haze of memories and unfulfilled desires, compelling listeners to confront the bittersweet reality of letting go and pursuing the love they truly crave. This sticky yet genuine concept resonates deeply within the intricate framework of love and relationships.

Contributed by Thaddeus Adams

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – The Silver Cord

It’s hard to believe that a band as young as King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are already celebrating their 25th album release, The Silver Cord, released in late October. While they’ve been a band since 2010, their rise to fame was fairly recent, and began with the prolific promise to release five albums in 2017, and then repeating that same thing with five more albums in 2022. This is their second album release of 2023. It’s a two-disc release that features a wash of synthesizers and electronic grooves on disc one, followed by extended mixes of the same seven songs on disc two. The Silver Cord continues to showcase the group’s ability to effortlessly evolve and experiment, with yet another genre under their belts.

On the Playlist: “Theia”

Contributed by Chris Huber

Momma, Narrow Head – “Sunday/Medicine” 

Dallas’s Narrow head and Brooklyn’s Momma expose their admiration for each other’s artistic abilities and discographies by covering each other’s songs. Narrow Head offer their take on “Medicine” by Momma, while Momma performs “Sunday” by Narrow Head. Both covers embody each band’s ability to fade into the 90s-2000’s take on alternative music through similar interpretations of these softer high-hat takes, while riffing on the other band’s songwriting skills.

Contributed by Sarah Grace Sherbondy

The Original Man – “Bonjour”

One of Charleston’s hip hop luminaries and Influence Life LLC CEO, The Original Man, also known as The O, dropped another #GxldApproved single with, “Bonjour.” Recently performed at The Coastal Carolina Fair, the song received an overwhelmingly positive response from the crowd. In a musical landscape often saturated with feel-good tunes, “Bonjour” serves as a refreshing reminder to dream big and pursue greatness. The track’s motivational essence encourages listeners to rise above the negativity and cynicism that often accompany personal growth and the pursuit of higher standards. With “Bonjour,” The O delivers an empowering anthem that resonates deeply and inspires individuals to embrace their potential without hesitation or regret.

Contributed by Thaddeus Adams

Q – Hello, Everyday Changes

Florida-born R&B/soul singer and producer Q Marsden, known simply as Q, released a three-song EP, Hello, Everyday Changes, last week. The final track, “Changes,” begins with a snappy drum beat and a sticky bass line, reminiscent of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” or Off the Wall-era Michael Jackson. Q’s vocals, so clear and deftly rendered, bring the song to the fresh present. He is staccato at times, then draws out a note, playful and pensive as he sings about looking back. Lines like “I won’t forget the times / When I felt the love from you” make “Changes” feel like a fitting end-of-the-year track. The song carries a mood of grateful, if not a little wistful, reflection, even in its danceable pop frame.

On The Playlist: “Changes”

Contributed by Kate Bryan

McKay – “Naive”’ 

The budding emotive folk outfit McKay from Nashville, TN introduces a raw ode to growing pains with their newest single “Naive.” McKay embraces a blend of Americana and dazzling 90s twang, while maintaining the folk-rock melancholy that continues to develop as part of their sound.

Contributed by Sarah Grace Sherbondy