Artists (from top left) Byron Nicholai, Black Lilys, Patterns of Decay, Juniper Youth and JJ Rosa. Photos: Courtesy of the artist; Regenweibchen Photography; Sean Ageman of Washed Up Media; Devon Dawson; Courtesy of the artist
Juniper Youth – “Poison”
Boston-bred rockers Juniper Youth recently released a music video of their soaring track “Poison” off this year’s debut album, Blood Remembers. The song includes a strong rhythm section filled with lively drums and intricate guitar work as well as dynamic vocals, while the clip features the band performing the track interspersed with imaginative 3D animation.
Byron Nicholai – Ayagnera (The Beginning)
Alaska-based musician Byron Nicholai embraces his culture through his new album, Ayagnera (The Beginning). The record includes hip-hop, pop and R&B elements as well as the artist’s native music called yuraq. In a statement, he says, “I came up with the title Ayagnera [The Beginning] because I felt like it was the start of Yup’ik [group of indigenous people] modern music. There’s currently no other Yup’ik music that is released like this other than what I’ve put out.”
Patterns of Decay – “Chrysalis”
New York-bred metallers Patterns of Decay are monstrously incisive with their blend of metalcore, death metal and breakneck-speed melodies on their second album, which is also titled Patterns of Decay. Released on April 15th, it’s certainly not as playful in its intent as their 2018 debut album Suicide Notes in Comic Sans. The dark rituals and ominous intent seen in the music video for the song “Chrysalis” is proof enough as it rages in a near-unpredictable manner of styles.
JJ Rosa – “Rockstar”
London-based artist JJ Rosa teams up with rapper Lexy P for a rock-infused pop song that’s just begging to be performed in an arena. Injected with Rosa’s fuzzy guitar leads and echoing vocals, Lexy P’s rap adds an additional dimension to the high-energy song. Rosa says in a statement, “‘Rockstar’ came about as a personal representation of my past experiences getting signed as a young impressionable female starting out in the music industry, the battles I’ve faced since feeling like the inferior sex and how I’ve now fought my way out [to] the other side and become ‘stronger than I’ve been before.’”
Black Lilys – “Störm”
French pop duo Black Lilys, comprising siblings guitarist Robin and vocalist Camille, ponder questions revolving around a toxic relationship on an existential level on “Storm.” True to its name, the track builds up from quiet, sparse guitar melodies to become a grandiose, poignant song. The duo say in a statement about the song’s themes, “A toxic relationship can take several months or even years to consume someone completely. It’s a slow and meteoric descent at the same time. ‘Störm’ captures one of those moments of silence before the dreaded storm when the mind manages to find enough space and energy to think. It is a brief moment of hope, a doorway to escape.”