LVRBOY – “all my friends are sad” | The Hidden Hits: Stripped Down

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // January 15, 2021

Love and heartbreak are two emotions LVRBOY is very in tune with, and it certainly shows in his heart-on-sleeve discography. The Nashville-based romantic crafts indie pop records that listeners are instantly captivated by, and it’s about time you familiarize yourself with his magical abilities.

At a time when he recognized how hurt everyone around him was, LVRBOY picked up his pen and began writing what would become one of his most emotional tracks yet: “all my friends are sad.” Originally recorded with Leah Sykes, “all my friends are sad” incorporates melancholic pianos and LVRBOY’s signature sad boy vocals that’ll undoubtedly make you shed a tear.

Our favorite hidden hit makers have undoubtedly impressed us time and time again, but we’re taking it to the next level… by taking it down a notch. We’re showing you just how insanely gifted these rising artists really are with stripped down performances of their hidden hits, which means no fancy studios or professional cameras.

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Follow Akeem Oh’s Love Story in “Winter Crush” Video

Photo Credit: Rémi Thériault (@remitheriault)

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // January 14, 2021

Based in Ottawa, Akeem Oh is a versatile talent you’ll soon be hearing on airwaves throughout the world. Whether he’s a hopeless romantic or simply an incredible songwriter, Oh certainly deserves your attention. Before we get to indulge in his forthcoming EP this summer, Oh holds us over with a lighthearted new video for “Winter Crush.”

On “Winter Crush,” Akeem Oh shared, 

“I wanted to create a song with as many layers as I could put into it. The song itself is about those first few dates you have with someone. You’re just getting to know them and everything seems to be going so well. I wanted to recreate that feeling of being overwhelmed by someone.”

It’s not every day you fall head over heels for someone remarkable, but today’s the day you’ll absorb Oh’s innocent love in “Winter Crush.” The indie-pop-rock track is now accompanied by a playful visual that follows a new couple experiencing butterflies for the first time. By the end of the “Winter Crush” video, you’ll be yearning for a snowball fight with your closest friends. 

“I wanted all of that to reflect in the music video as well. What I love the most about the music video is how innocent it all feels. It’s the start of something new between these two people. They’re off, doing silly things together for the first time. There are dancers in a few scenes, and they are there to amplify those feelings.”

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LOONY’s “raw” Is an Exceptional Ode to Natural Beauty

Photo Credit: Ryan G (@shotbyrcg)

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // January 14, 2021

What else is there to say about LOONY that hasn’t already been said? This Toronto-based goddess of a musician wears her heart on her sleeve, so it’s not surprising that LOONY spoils us with the most truthful songwriting. Ahead of her highly anticipated forthcoming EP, soft thing, LOONY is pleased to present her sultry new single, “raw.”

On “raw,” LOONY explained, 

“​‘raw’ is being in the moment with someone, and being completely clear, completely present. It’s waking up beside someone and seeing them in the light of day. And I mean, really seeing them. Daylight can be harsh and unforgiving – it lets you see in high definition all the things that we usually hide whenever we get the chance.” 

Fine dining restaurants may keep lights dim to build romance, or it could be to keep us sitting in our seats during awkward first dates because we can’t get a good look at who’s sitting across the table. Regardless, “raw” has LOONY fully appreciating someone for their personality, looks, and literally everything else you can think of–which is a very refreshing outlook we’ve been lacking in our generation. With gospel background vocals layered beneath LOONY’s beaming charisma, “raw” is an exceptional ode to natural beauty and acceptance. 

“There’s a lot of songs on this next project that deal with a love that’s deeper than the physical, and it’s not that ‘raw’ doesn’t express those same sentiments – because to love someone truly is all about going below the surface – but it’s also a blatant and unapologetic celebration of that surface, a marriage of body and soul through a lover’s eyes. It’s seeing someone in their raw, naked glory, seeing yourself in their reflection, and being absolutely in love with every inch of it.”

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carobae Accepts Hard Truths with “Ur Ex From College”

Photo Credit: Mason Goodson (@thatgirlmason.jpg)

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // January 14, 2021

Trust us when we say carobae is going places. With a knack for penning emotionally-driven ballads, this Nashville-based newcomer connects with us through her coming-of-age stories that’ll have you shedding tears in no time. Ahead of her highly anticipated forthcoming project, The Longest Year: Part Two, carobae delivers her soul-stirring new single, “Ur Ex From College.”

Nobody does bedroom pop quite like carobae, and “Ur Ex From College” solidifies this. From carobae’s captivating storytelling to her delicate vocals, “Ur Ex From College” is easily one of our favorite releases from this indie pop darling yet. For those of you who’ve been in a relationship with someone who’s stuck living in the past, “Ur Ex From College” will bring you more comfort than you could’ve ever expected.

On “Ur Ex From College,” carobae reflected,

“‘Ur Ex From College’ comes out tomorrow and I…. couldn’t be more ready. Wrote this one over a year ago while I was still in it with a boy who obviously wasn’t over somebody else.”

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Emmit Fenn Embraces Darkness with “Edge of the Dark”

Photo Credit: Jack McKain (@jackmckain)

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // January 13, 2021

Emmit Fenn has been around for a few years, but what he has up his sleeve is much better than anything you’ll hear all day. With his highly anticipated debut album due this spring, Fenn has been perfecting the project so that his listeners are gifted the very best of the best. But before we get to indulge in Far From Here, Fenn is giving us a generous preview with his ethereal new single, “Edge of the Dark.”

As someone who’s gone through major growth periods, Fenn channels this progressive energy into “Edge of the Dark.” Drizzled with muffled beats, “Edge of the Dark” incorporates stunning pianos for an organic soundscape we really can’t get enough of. As if this atmospheric track wasn’t already astounding, we’re treated to an EDM-esque closing that’s too good for words.

On “Edge of the Dark,” Emmit Fenn shared,

“You only get one debut album and this is mine. I’ve had the incredible opportunity over the years to try lots of different genres and styles and when you listen to this body of work it’s pretty clear that this is the result of that. I think a lot of artists find themselves in a certain lane early on and feel like they need to stick with it their whole career, but constantly creating different things is something that has always excited me and something I will always do. Each song on the album brings something new, something different, and ‘Edge Of The Dark’ is no different.”

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Emotional Oranges and Chiiild’s “Bonafide” Is Genuinely R&B at Its Finest

Photo Credit: Brando (@brando)

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // January 13, 2021

Emotional Oranges first hopped onto the R&B scene in 2019, and how they’re so astounding remains a mystery ‘til this day. Ahead of their highly anticipated project, JUICEBOX, this charming duo is teasing us with a tasty collaboration with Chiiild, a boundary-breaking newcomer in the world of soul. If you’re on the market for quality music, let Emotional Oranges and Chiiild take you away with their fantastic new single, “Bonafide.”

On “Bonafide,” Emotional Oranges reflected,

“We were listening to a lot of Sade and The xx at the time. I wanted to make something that felt like it could score that iconic ‘Black Swan’ mirror scene. Once we got locked in, Max from slenderbodies helped bring the idea to life in a couple hours. Getting the Chiiild vocals on the hook was the cherry on top – we’ve been looking for the right song to do together since tour.”

For those who don’t know, the dictionary defines ‘bonafide’ as genuine or real, which is exactly what you get when Emotional Oranges and Chiiild join forces. If the irresistible bass lines don’t already have you hooked on “Bonafide,” the sultry vocals will surely have you swooning in no time. More than anything, “Bonafide” gets us even more pumped for what’s to come in Emotional Oranges’ JUICEBOX.

Chiiild continued,

“’Bonafide,’ like the title, is about a genuine unwavering love. Withstanding the good times and strengthening during the bad.”

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“Flashbacks” Continue to Haunt Zach Hood

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // January 13, 2021

You may recognize Zach Hood from TikTok, but have you ever taken a moment to recognize how insanely breathtaking his vocals are? The Alabama native may not have a massive discography quite yet, but he’s been hard at work on original music, which will certainly impress you. With the fresh start that comes with 2021, Hood is pleased to present his mesmerizing debut single, “Flashbacks.”

Certain memories may take longer than others to leave our minds, and Hood knows this soul crushing feeling all too well. Between the soothing acoustics and personal lyricism, “Flashbacks” is a touching ballad about loss that has Hood accepting the circumstances–no matter how painful it may be. By the end of this emotional track, we’re already itching to hear what’s next from this emerging talent. 

On “Flashbacks,” Zach Hood shared, 

“So stoked to announce that ‘Flashbacks’ is finally out! This year’s been so crazy, but I’m so thankful for everyone that made this happen. Words cannot describe how much this means to me. Love you guys.”

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ROMES’ “Drinking on My Own” Calls for a Virtual Dance Party

Photo Credit: Brody White (@brodywhite)

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // January 12, 2021

As far as indie pop duos go, ROMES is one of the most energetic artists we’ve come across thus far. Comprising of brothers Jacob and Nicolas Bitove, the Canadian group has been around since 2015, but their eclectic songs are even more infectious now than ever before. With plenty more music planned for 2021, ROMES is proud to present their intoxicating new single, “Drinking on My Own.”

Although this vulnerable track was written at a time of darkness and struggle, “Drinking on My Own” has brought comfort and encouragement to countless lives across the world. Layered with pulsating beats atop hypnotic electronics, “Drinking on My Own” calls for a virtual dance party. The colorful visual for “Drinking on My Own” features ROMES among pink balloons, cereal bowls, and adorable puppies… but what does it all mean?!

On “Drinking on My Own,” ROMES explained, 

“Our new song ‘Drinking on My Own’ … was written during a particularly dark episode with anxiety that I was battling. As someone who’s struggled with anxiety for quite some time, this song is for anyone listening to know that you’re not alone in this uphill battle. It speaks about social anxiety particularly, and the way we deal with that loneliness and depression that comes with it. Over the last few months, it seems to have taken on a whole new life with all of our self-isolating due to global lockdowns. But maybe there’s some light we can find in being alone during these dark times.”

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Johnny Stimson Conquers Tough Times with “butterflies”

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // January 12, 2021

You may know that Johnny Stimson has been under the mentorship of Elton John, but did you know that he’s one of the best R&B-pop artists ever?! After graduating with a finance degree, Stimson embarked on his only uphill music journey, and he hasn’t looked back since. It’d be remiss to ignore Stimson’s utterly delightful soundscapes, which we hear more of in his charming new single, “butterflies.”

After reflecting on the current state of the world, Stimson found it fitting to pen a hopeful song about perseverance and growth, which became “butterflies.” Decorated with swirly synths and irresistible vocals, “butterflies” transports us to a place of joy and optimism. By the end of this dreamy track, we just want to run along the sandy shore with butterflies chasing behind.

On “butterflies,” Johnny Stimson reflected, 

“Feels like there’s been a cocoon around the whole world lately… Here’s a song about perseverance. It’s about feeling your way through the tough times, but not giving up. I think if we all keep holding on, we will all be even more beautiful on the other side. Like butterflies. Hope you like this one!!”

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Q’s “Garage Rooftop” Video Is as Dreamy and Romantic as It Gets

Photo Credit: Noah Kreider (@nkballa)

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // January 12, 2021

If Q is still an unknown name to you, you’re entirely missing out on some of the best music from last year. Following the unveiling of his latest EP, The Shave Experiment, Q is back at it again with more incredible content for us. In addition to his gorgeous fusion of R&B and neo-soul, the Florida native continues to leave us stunned with his romantic new video for “Garage Rooftop.”

Considering how timeless and unreachable his sonic tendencies are, we’re convinced that Q was meant to exist in another decade. While “Garage Rooftop” has Q basking in the goodness of feeling completely open with someone, the adorable video offers a visual depiction of this entrancing narrative. Whether the lovestruck pair is enjoying each others’ company during a cozy picnic at the park or a lovely evening stroll at the beach, the “Garage Rooftop” video is an absolute dream. 

On “Garage Rooftop,” Q explained,

“It’s really about love and being yourself around the person that matters to you a lot. You care about them and you love them and you’re able to just exist and be you with them.”

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