Notelle Returns with Dark, Manic, Industrial New Single “Alive”

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We write often about Nashville’s impressive, vibrant pop scene, and the plethora of talented and diverse artists who comprise it, though, despite their many unique approaches and undeniable personality, it would be fair to say that if you zoom out and look at local pop as a collective, the majority of the most buzzed-about acts are much more alike than they are different. Which is why when we come across an artist like self-described “dark industrial nightmare pop” singer Notelle, it feels like a genuine, revelatory, breath of fresh air.

Not exactly new to the scene, Notelle has been working with DJs and producers around the world for more than five years, amassing millions of upon millions of streams, high-profile playlist adds, and praise in both the pop and EDM world for all of her collaborative efforts. Only more recently, however, has the buzzworthy singer been shifting her focus more towards her solo work, first catching our ear in late 2018 with her stellar formal debut “Power,” and further expanding her sound throughout last year with a string of fantastic subsequent tracks.

Settling onto a sound that echos the industrial, etherial dark prowess of acts like Nine Inch Nails in equal measure with the electro-laced, contemporary dark pop stylings of artists like Billie Eilish, Notelle has managed to bring a darker, edgier, raw, and more macabre dimension to the local pop landscape. Earlier this year, she doubled down on her brooding and dark ethos with a Slenderman inspired tune called “Come for Me,” and, today, Notelle returns with another great new effort- “Alive”

Gritty, industrial, and darkly atmospheric, “Alive” embodies those two above influences perhaps more than any of her other material to date (if Billie Eilish were literally tasked with recording a NIN tribute, we imagine it would go something just like this), and is undoubtedly our favorite Notelle song yet, with it earnest, raw, and manic emotional energy. “Written on brink of hysteria, ‘Alive’ tells how truly electrifying madness can feel,” we’re told in a press release, “Interlacing themes of toxic love with the societal habit to discredit women’s emotions, [‘Alive’] manages to package up honest, gut-wrenching self-awareness in nervy, sonic insanity.”

Hear Notelle’s “Alive” below, and find it on your streaming platform of choice!

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[NO COUNTRY PREMIERE] Bre Kennedy Practices Safe Social Distancing in Homemade Video for New Single “Feel It All”

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The past month of social distancing amidst the spread of COVID-19 has, undoubtedly, been an unprecedented situation for everyone around the world-  difficult, stressful, and a financial burden for even those lucky enough to be healthy, and beyond tragic for those who’ve suffered illness or lost loved ones. Like many segments of industry affected, musicians and other creatives, rendered without the ability to perform live, to collaborate with others in person, to operate in a full business capacity behind the scenes, especially here in Nashville, have been working hard to adapt and make the best of our current reality, and through live-streams and digital concerts, online merch sales, digital releases, and more, they’ve been doing an inspired job.

Though not the first artist we’ve seen record a new single in quarantine, local indie pop singer-songwriter Bre Kennedy just took an unbelievably collaborative approach for someone stuck at home with her latest, “Feel It All,” recruiting her band one friends to all record their own respective parts at home, bringing to life a song penned last year with absolutely stunning effect (we honestly never would’ve guessed this was recorded in such a remote way if we didn’t know otherwise- ah, the marvels of modern technology). To make the process all the more special, Bre and friends documented the process on webcams and iPhones, with Kennedy recruiting regular collaborator Jason Lee Denton to help craft a music video for the track (along with artwork and photos, like the one above, from Aliegh Shields Denton) using behind the scenes and home-shot footage. And, today, to coincide with the single’s official release, we’re beyond thrilled to bring you an exclusive premiere of the video!

“I wrote ‘Feel It All’ last year in a write with Petey Martin,” Bre explains. “After I wrote it, I knew I wanted to eventually rework it for my artist project, I just didn’t know when. I had a dream a few weeks before quarantine happened, that my band and I recorded the song, more piano-driven and obviously, the next few weeks would turn into the nightmare that is COVID-19 and I would be in lockdown in my apartment, away from my band, away from my friends with nothing else to do but create from home. SO I called my band and asked my band and said ‘let’s pass this session around and create ‘Feel It All’ from our own homes during this lockdown and take footage to remember this crazy time.’ And we did! We made a whole song, demoed, produced, mixed all from our own home studios. It was a cool experiment and ultimately gave me hope and something to work towards in this dark time. The song is about realizing that I’d rather feel something, even if it’s heavy, hurts, or hard to feel, than nothing at all. Life’s hard sometimes, sometimes it feels like the world is on fire and there’s nothing I can do but FEEL THAT… and that’s okay.”

Written by Bre Kennedy and Petey Martin, and produced and created by Kennedy, Kyle Dreaden, Jake Finch, Collin Pastore, Andrew Brown, Matt Koziol, and Hadley Kennary, with mixing and mastering by Kyle Dreaden, “Fell It All” feels like a logical epilogue to Bre’s excellent recent sophomore EP, Twenty Something (a followup to last year’s stunning debut, Jealous of Birds). With her powerful voice and sweeping, contemporary yet timeless indie pop style, along with a penchant for earnest, resonant, vulnerable, and emotionally nuanced songwriting, Bre Kennedy has fast become one of the most essential rising singer-songwriters in Nashville’s robust pop scene, and with her latest, a lovely addition to your quarantine playlists, especially with its timely thematic message, she’s only further cementing that status.

Watch Bre’s wonderfully home-shot and collaborative new video for “Fell It All” below, tune into Exit/In Instagram Live today, April 17, at 7 p.m. to watch Bre premiere the single, and keep an eye out for new music, including an in-the-works debut full-length, soon!

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[NO COUNTRY PREMIERE] Caroline Culver Gets “Honest” in New Lyric Video

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Atlanta raised, Nashville based indie folk rock singer Caroline Culver made her stunning debut just a few weeks ago with vulnerable and earnest first single “Honest,” a haunting and heartfelt navigation of maintaining an honest and true sense of self and emotional clarity in the midst of a relationship that isn’t right. If you haven’t yet, you can stream the single now on your platform of choice, but, today, we’re beyond thrilled to bring you a special new release from Caroline- an exclusive premiere of her brand new lyric video for the single!

“It’s easy to lose sight of who you are when you’re with the wrong person,” Culver explains, “So I wrote this song about not being real with yourself and the relationship you are in. It’s also about finding my honest self expression as an artist.” True to the ethos of the song, Caroline’s lyric video is atmospheric and personal, a sort of stylish and timeless and reflective spot that shows the singer lost in thought, pacing around a decorated room with an almost surreal, retro presentation and editing style.

“‘Honest’ is about being in denial and hiding from your real emotions,” Culver adds, on the song’s broader meaning, “Whether those feelings stem from a toxic relationship or something else; I think no matter what- the most important thing to do in life is get real- confront these things. This song grows a new meaning in my life as I continue to sit with it. As a person, I strive to be honest with everything I do; I hope to be transparent with my songs. So ‘Honest’ has really helped me find my self expression as an artist.”

An impressive newcomer in the local scene who we’ll surely be keeping a close eye on, as she channels the wistful, confessional folk rock of Phoebe Bridgers and the atmospheric pop prowess and mysterious allure of Banks, with a dash of edgier rock and roll bite, “Honest” is, already, one of our favorite local singles of the year, brought to life with even more texture and palette in Caroline Culver’s first lyric video. Watch that brand new video below, and follow Caroline on the social media links at the bottom of the page for further updates!

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Brooke Alexx Navigates Intoxicating Effects of Attraction in New Single “Drunk”

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It seems like ages ago given everything that’s happened in the world since, but it was only last month that local singer Brooke Alexx dropped one of our favorite pop tunes of the year, “Downplay,” which she followed not long after with a stunning, self-directed music video.

We told you more about Brooke at the time, and why she’s primed to become one of Nashville’s next big breakout artists, already channeling the aesthetic, talent, and poise of an accomplished pop star. And though we heard then that she had more music on the way, with the isolation of social distancing and a total lack of live music right now, we’re more eager than ever for any new release we can get, and Alexx’s latest, “Drunk” is definitely the bop we need to keep our quarantine playlists fresh.

Co-written with Mary Kutter, Noah Lubert, and Brian Alexander, co-produced by Lubert and Yuval Maayan (who also mixed), engineered by by Chase Coy and Lubert, mastered by Amy Marie, and featuring photography by Luke Rogers, “Drunk” is, like “Downplay,” a confident and vibey pop tune with slick and propulsive production, boasting much more groove and genre-bending flair than we typically hear from modern electro-pop, and showcasing her powerful and unique vocal prowess.

Despite the title, “Drunk” is actually the opposite of a drinking song, instead chronicling the intoxicating and emboldening effects of sudden attraction, more powerful than any cocktail. Awash with hypnotic hooks and just begging to start a bedroom dance party, “Drunk” is exactly the catchy, cool, and lighthearted tune with need for these challenging times (and a certainly the perfect banger for those warm weather playlists). Stream it below, and keep an eye out for more from Brooke Alexx soon!

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[NO COUNTRY PREMIERE] Ahead of Their Debut LP, Blonde Bones Dazzle with Groovy, Propulsive Single “Cape Fear”

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Though they’ve been together now for several years, and an increasing live presence in the local scene as of late, 2020 has seemingly been something of a transformative soft reset and new chapter for indie pop outfit Blonde Bones, whose debut LP, Hiding Out, is due out next month!

Showcasing a slick, melodic, reverb-soaked, energetic, and pop accessible sound, incorporating elements of surf and psych rock, recent tracks “Sunny” and “Woody” have already given us a taste of what to expect for the local trio’s first full-length. And though their next single, “Cape Fear,” doesn’t officially drop until tomorrow, we’re very excited to bring you an exclusive premiere a day early- stream it right now below!

Like the last couple of tracks, “Cape Fear” has no shortage of catchy hooks and earworm melodies, but packs even more propulsive energy, giving off an almost Vampire Weekend-esque vibe in its driving rhythmic structure, groovy guitar style, and dreamy vocals. Like the rest of Hiding Out, “Cape Fear” was recorded by Atlanta-based producer Damon Moon (Blair Crimmins, Big Brutus, Sydney Eloise & the Palms) at his Standard Electric Recording Company, and marks our favorite new song from Blonde Bones-  frontman Christian Barnett, bassist Joe Rebrovick and drummer Daniel Ryan- so far!

You can hear “Cape Fear” right now below, and find on your streaming platform of choice tomorrow! You also tentatively catch Blonde Bones live opening for Flipturn April 25 at The High Watt, though, like all spring shows, we’d recommend keeping an eye on the calendar for the latest updates.

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