POSTS BY: MIKE DEL RO

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923 – [Brendan Bennett]

By Mike del Ro // 23 Sep 2019

The Southwest-Florida raised musician talks about his new song and using music as a vessel to heal his own personal traumas.

It’s Victor’s Internet–we’re just living in it.

By Mike del Ro // 23 Sep 2019

When I met Victor for the first time, the then 17-year-old musician and I had arranged to link up at a coffee shop in Wicker Park to record an interview. Huddled in the corner of the crowded room on a snowy afternoon, I asked the up-and-coming artist, whose track “Tinder Song” I’d just discovered a month prior, about the artists that had been inspiring him most lately. At the time, he’d mentioned names like Jasper Bones, Banes World, and Cuco. I remind him of that day now as we’re sitting in the chilly lobby of the Lyrical Lemonade office in the middle of summer in Chicago. He’d just gotten off the road opening for Cuco’s headlining tour, a full-circle moment that even Victor has trouble summing up in words. His new project, simply titled ‘Victor’s Debut’, seeks to take the experiences he’s had over this time period and sum them up in song form. The breadth of his music has grown along with him–a quality that comes through in the carefully arranged tracklisting of ‘Victor’s Debut’. While the first half presents more of the dreamy, emotional side that Victor’s music has explored deeply in the past, the second half undergoes …

Pull Party – [Narissa]

By Mike del Ro // 22 Sep 2019

A west coast rapper by the name of Narissa makes her first appearance on our blog today with a new music video for her song “Pull Party”. The LA native’s song is part of the soundtrack to an indie film titled “South Central Love”, and the accompanying visual matches that vibe on every level possible, relying on iconic shots of Narissa and crew strutting around the city. The song itself is an instantly catchy club banger that showcases the up-and-coming artist’s bars over bass-heavy production. On “Pull Party”, Narissa introduces herself as a straightforward, blunt lyricist who possesses the ability to go viral off of her knack for memorable one-liners and hooks that beg to be rapped along to at your next party. Get in tune below:

I Put My Whole Life on the Internet – [LOWERLIPDRIP]

By Mike del Ro // 20 Sep 2019

LOWERLIPDRIP are making their debut on our page today with their new two-track EP, ‘I Put My Whole Life on the Internet’. The group of Chicago experimental hip-hop artists have popped up on my radar many times this past year, and these two new songs are no doubt their boldest, rawest offerings yet. “Auto Save” immediately gets a listener immersed in the brash, cold world of LLD with a buzzsaw synth that cuts through the speakers for a chilling introduction. They then proceed to trade menacing bars back and forth in a flurry, feeding off each other’s energy. The track definitely stands out for its production, as a barrage of distorted sound gets programmed into a disorienting rhythm. The second track “Live Stream” feels just as jarring, as the lyric “it’s a live stream suicide” gets repeated in an eerie chant. Listen to LOWERLIPDRIP’S two new songs below, and peep more music from the rising collective on their Soundcloud if you like what you hear.

Plated – [SoloSam]

By Mike del Ro // 20 Sep 2019

Above all, SoloSam is a man of his crafts. The Chicago rapper is no doubt dedicated to his mastery of the pen, and it wouldn’t take that deep of a dive into his discography to realize that. But with the release of his latest project ‘Plated’, Sam’s tying his love for rap with his equally strong passion for the culinary arts. How many rappers do you know that released their new EP with an accompanying cookbook? Until this moment, I would venture to guess the answer was zero. Over the past few years, SoloSam has made himself known in the Chicago hip-hop scene as an artist with the ability to move crowds just off his raps alone. ’Plated’ the EP offers a heaping supply of SoloSam’s bread and butter, straight bars packed with a healthy mix of substance and boasts finished with guttural conviction that can’t be questioned. Sam’s gravelly voice rumbles with a power that commands whatever beat he hops on, setting the pace with the plethora of flows he keeps at the ready. He’s laser-focused all throughout, consistently coming through with verses that cut with the precision of a chef’s knife. His skill becomes most apparent in the …

Grown Man – [JT Flowers]

By Mike del Ro // 19 Sep 2019

Earlier this month, JT Flowers released the first single from his forthcoming EP titled “Lose My World”. The song contained the blueprint for Flowers sound: a fusion of hip-hop with elements of grunge and rock mixed in to make for a grimy, aggressive listening experience. Today, he doubles down on that sonic blueprint with a new single titled “Grown Man”. Flowers takes the fiery energy of his sound up a notch on this song, which is by far the brashest addition to his discography thus far. His unruly growling voice is solely backed by a distorted guitar and hard 808s. While the song doesn’t really go anywhere else once the initial beat hits, there’s definitely potential for something greater to come that resonates from Flowers’ willingness to experiment and fully embody a style. The press release for Flowers outlined his background in academia, explaining that the Portland-based artist “recently pivoted away from a Yale degree, a Rhodes scholarship, and a sure-to-be successful career in politics”. It also described his EP as “the perfect proving ground for an artist who can not only make hits, but do so without sacrificing ingenuity and authenticity.” With the project, titled ’Steel Rose’, set to …

UNFAIR – [Victor Internet]

By Mike del Ro // 19 Sep 2019

Victor Internet is just one day away from releasing his highly-anticipated debut EP, fittingly titled ‘Victor’s Debut’. The Chicago-native artist shared the music video for the EP’s first single, “VEINS”, last month, and today, he gives us another peek at what to expect from his project with “UNFAIR”. Victor comes to terms with multiple recent changes in his life on “UNFAIR”, seemingly linked to the pursuit of his music career and also coming of age. The 18-year-old songwriter confronts his own demons on one of his most vulnerable and personal records yet, coming off as resentful at some points in the song and triumphant at others. Underscoring Victor’s moment of rumination is a gloomy instrumental produced by himself, Billy Lemos and Junior Mesa. The beat feels like the soundtrack to a slow, cloudy afternoon, composed mostly of murky electric keys and lo-fi percussion that subdue the energy of the track. Check out Victor’s tour dates here and keep an eye out for our Q&A with him coming soon.

Graffiti EP – [Roy Blair]

By Mike del Ro // 18 Sep 2019

Earlier this month, indie songwriter Roy Blair dropped a three-track EP titled ‘Graffiti’. The LA-based artist, who broke through with his viral track “Thunder” in 2016, expands his music into new territory with ‘Graffiti’ while still holding onto the angst-ridden, heartfelt sound that listeners have been grappling onto ever since his debut. With the opening track “I DONT KNOW ABOUT HIM”, Blair’s able to recapture the epic-ness of songs like “Thunder”, making use of roaring harmonies and distortion to give the song a wide dynamic range. While the depth of Blair’s music is a signature quality of his, he also shows more restraint in his production choices on this EP, making the most of the tools he does use. “FANTAZIA”, for example, highlights Blair experimenting with glitchy effects that result in what sounds like a broken-down disco record, grounded in his high-pitched choral vocals. He then returns to form on “YOU WERENT ENOUGH”—an emotional ballad that’s driven by Blair’s vulnerable songwriting as he pieces back together what sounds like a broken relationship. The melodrama plays out over multiple movements, as the song’s instrumentation mirrors the phases of the narrative. It’s on this track that his strength at challenging predictable song …

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