It’s a “Damn Shame” if you haven’t heard Kleyn Kutt’s new track

Kleyn Kutt is a Louisville native with ambition. His ultimate goal is to make quality music with a message, not just a good hook—a goal that he has already reached with his new track, “Damn Shame.”

While it’s evident in his music that he is a perfectionist, his approach to writing “Damn Shame” was to “set intentions, have an outline, but let things flow organically and manifest.” It’s a process that clearly works for Kleyn Kutt: “I entered a competition by [Damn Shame’s producer] Custom Made out of Chicago, Illinois. A stipulation was you had to go to his website and use a beat from his website. I spent a couple of hours listening to his catalog while at work, and a track really caught my attention. When it started playing I immediately stopped what I was doing and said, ‘It’s a damn shame.’ I wanted to make something with a message. With everything going on in the world/social media and in my life, the rest just came flowing out.”

The track will immediately catch your attention, and the instrumentals will keep you listening. But the lyrics are what truly shine, and demonstrate exactly how the artist feels about bringing quality and genuine artistry back in a big way. Example: “It’s a damn shame how they create a façade, do it all for the likes and the round of applause.”

It is a shame indeed how a barrier to the music industry has become how many followers an artist has on social media. “I understand numbers mean a lot. A large following equates to a possible large amount of sales, but I think it’s ruined A&R. Ruined it to the point where talent and skills are not necessarily required. It’s more of an emphasis on your ability to garner attention, whether it’s positive or negative. The upside to this is it has now required artists to focus on more than the artistry; it’s required us to also understand music business.”

With his musical gift, business savvy, and ability to adapt to a situation, there is no doubt that we will be hearing more from this artist. Get to know him a bit more below.

Q: What do you want listeners to take away from this song after hearing it for the first time?

A: Be yourself! Don’t get too caught up in approval from others. Just live your life the best way you know how. You only get one life, so live it the way you want.

Q: Is there a recurring theme/philosophy across all your music?

A: I have a motto, 4LDM. It stands for “Living Life, Loving Life, Doing Me”. It’s all about being honest with who you are, and staying true to yourself. People gravitate to what’s genuine. If you’re genuine, people will gravitate towards you!

Q: What’s your ideal gig?

A: My ideal gig actually happened on October 3. I performed at an event in my hometown of Louisville, KY, presented by local activist and retired policeman Ray “Sir Friendly C” Barker, WGZB 96.5, and blog Dope Tho ran by Amoré King. It is called the Live Hard Celebration. It’s an event meant to bring healing and the community together after the Breonna Taylor case and David McAtee incident. It is meant to show the youth of our community in Louisville that there is still hope and a lot to live for in life. When it’s for a good cause, I’m always willing to participate.

Q: What else should your fans know about you?

A: I am also a member of The Immaculate Ones. We are a dope group of artists based in Kentucky and North Carolina. You can find our site at www.TheImmaculateOnes.com 

Check out “Damn Shame” on SoundCloud, and follow Kleyn Kutt on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Killian Hough’s “Spiked Arnold Palmers” is complex and critical

Singer and songwriter Killian Hough, 21, cites Lana Del Rey as one of his influences, and that influence is immediately apparent in the song “Spiked Arnold Palmers (Interlude)” from Hough’s debut album. The first few notes of the song transport the listener into a dreamlike, beachy world—though the lyrics are not so much a dreamy, easy escape than a thoughtful diary entry. The juxtaposition is not an accident.

“My sound is kind of a mixed bag… I really want people to take away that you can be a complex person… there are ups and downs. One of the most important things I want listeners to take away is that mental health is important. Don’t be the person who looks the other way or blames the struggler. A few of these tracks are definitely a call to action.” Given that it’s Mental Illness Awareness Week, “Spiked Arnold Palmers” dropped at an opportune time to spread such a critical message.

On the instrumental side, the beachy vibes distinguish Hough from his musical influences, which also include The Mamas and The Papas, Frank Sinatra, and The Weeknd. Intrigued? You should be. Hough is on a mission to bring back a sound you didn’t know you were missing. “I am an old soul in a lot of ways, especially musically. I really love incorporating [the] folk and surf elements I was raised with. I really want to bring it back.”

If this is what Hough is bringing, we’re ready for it. He puts his heart and soul into his music, and it shows. The “mixed bag” sound is a sound in itself, and we wouldn’t be surprised to hear Hough playing a festival in the future. “If we are talking West Coast or Midwest by the river…that is where my music belongs, I think.” Until then, we think Hough’s music belongs in your earbuds.

Check out “Spiked Arnold Palmers (Interlude)” on Spotify, and follow Killian Hough on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

The New Mutiny’s “Echo of You” makes you think and makes you move

Hampton Roads, Virginia-based rock band The New Mutiny dropped a new single on September 11—and you need to listen. “Echo of You” is a melodic monster—in a good way. But don’t get too caught up in the music without paying attention to the lyrics, which are skillfully written by the band’s lead singer Jason.

Given that September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the timing of the song’s release is on point. While the song is dark, there is an element of hope in the lyrics. “We’ve come a long way toward normalizing mental health care and removing the stigma of seeking professional help, or even just being open to discussing things like depression. But we’ve got a long way to go, so we need to continue advocating and taking care of each other.”

Especially in 2020, this is hugely important. Many people turn to music in dark times, and 2020 has not been easy for anyone. “[The song] has a positive resolution as it comes to an end,” says one of the band’s guitarists, Jeremy. We all hope for the same as we close out this year.

On a lighter note, “Echo of You” is, simply put, an awesome song. If The New Mutiny set out to get your head nodding and your mind thinking, they’ve certainly achieved their goal. Don’t miss this one, and keep an eye out for more music over the next several weeks.

Check out “Echo of You” on Spotify, and follow The New Mutiny on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Sentient Robot’s new track “From the Outset (Your Own Way)” is completely absorbing from the beginning

If you haven’t already discovered Sentient Robot, listen up: The Manchester-based band just dropped a new track, and you need to add it to your playlist.

“From the Outset (Your Own Way)” is an indie synth pop song reminiscent of songs from David Bowie, Talking Heads, and LCD Sound System. But Sentient Robot distinguishes itself, in part, by way of songwriter Nat O’Brien’s exceptional vocals, which steadily absorb the listener into a captivating, 80’s-inspired world. It’s one thing to listen to a good song—it’s another to listen to a song that is capable of transporting you into another reality. Vocals aside, the song immediately sets an intriguing tone. If you usually want a song to hurry up and get to the chorus, you’ll be surprised by how comfortable and satisfied you are in the first verse—and once the chorus comes along it does not disappoint.

Also behind “From the Outset (Your Own Way)” are songwriter, guitarist, and producer Steve Marsden; drummer Pete Marshall (Liam Frost and the Slowdown Family); and bassist Sam Morris (Alfie/Bleep Seals/Marillion). Andrew Stewardson (The Mock Turtles) joins the band on keys for live gigs. The melodic and instrumental balance in this song is impeccable, and I’d be very surprised if we don’t see Sentient Robot start to make some real waves in the music industry.

Check out “From the Outset (Your Own Way)” on Spotify, and follow Sentient Robot on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

The Best Around proves that they are aptly named with their new song, “Margaret”

You may not yet have heard of The Best Around, and that wouldn’t be absurd—the band was formed just this year, during quarantine. What is absurd is how polished their new track, “Margaret,” sounds given that the song was created by piecing together files from each band member who would record remotely.

According to the band’s singer and songwriter, Camron Rushin, “I made a video of myself playing [the song] on acoustic guitar and sent it to Todd [Pruner, who has played bass for English Teeth, Kodachrome, The Foundries, and Christopher Douthitt and the Glyphs, and played lead guitar for The Asteroid Shop]. A few days later he sent me back a file with the rhythm section so I could record my vocals over it. I sent those back, and then he sent those files to Jon [Merz, a multi-instrumentalist who has played trumpet, trombone, keyboards and guitar for Montopolis, My Jerusalem, Soul Track Mind, The Foundries, Monk Parker and Uke] who added the lead guitar and horns… Unlike other bands who can meet in person and practice for hours, we don’t have that luxury. In fact, I’ve only met Jon twice and one of those times was to take some band photos in Todd’s backyard.”

Crazy, right? What’s even crazier is how this song communicates exactly what it was intended to communicate. “Margaret” is a product of the state of 2020, and is very personal for Camron. “Having this existential dread of coronavirus looming, my cousin passing only two weeks before being quarantined (not from coronavirus, but something more rare and unexpected), my cat of 15 years also on death’s door, and just the whole absurdity of the current state of the country, I needed to distract myself by writing something. So, I wrote a song re-interpreting my cousin’s death as her being able to foresee the future and deciding for herself that it was the best time to go… In “Margaret,” you can hear this in the duality of the upbeat music and melody with the downer lyrics about me watching my cousin die. I think everyone does this in some way to cope with the world, rewriting in their heads how a relationship played out to justify their actions.”

For a lyrically heavy song, it is easy to listen to. It elicits a mixture of nostalgia, familiarity, comfort, and melancholy all at once, making it impossible to turn off. If this is what The Best Around can create without even being in the same room, we can’t wait to hear what they will produce in a studio.

Listen to “Margaret” on Spotify, and keep up with The Best Around on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The New Mutiny delivers a solid single, “A Godless Promise Mechanism”

The New Mutiny is a Virginia-based rock band that has been making music together for nearly two years. Their first single from their new EP, “A Godless Promise Mechanism,” was released this summer; we loved it, and think you will too.

Initially you might think you’re listening to a metal band. You’d be partially right—in 2019 the band was awarded Veer Magazine‘s Best Metal Band of the Year. But The New Mutiny can’t be defined so easily. The most interesting aspect of “A Godless Promise Mechanism” is the melody, which sweeps through the heavier parts of the song without sounding like it’s simply layered on top of the instrumentals. It’s skillfully pieced together, and you can hear influences from several different styles and genres of music. The transitions throughout the song keep you guessing and keep you engaged, and you’ll somehow still be completely at attention after hitting “replay.”

Jason, the lead vocalist and one of the band’s guitarists, says, “We don’t intentionally set out to capture a specific sound. The most important aspect of any song we’ve written is the groove. If it don’t groove, it don’t move… If we’re not into it then how could we possibly expect anyone else to be?”

We think you’ll be into it. Highlights for us: around the one-minute mark and the three-minute mark. And everything in between. Check out “A Godless Promise Mechanism” on Spotify, follow The New Mutiny on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and get to know a bit more about the band below.


Q: Are there any instruments you don’t currently play that you’d like to learn?

A (Jason; vocalist, guitarist): I’ve actually started down the long road of learning to produce and picked up a sequencer and have my eye on a couple of other midi controllers, so right now I really wish I knew what all the knobs and buttons did and when it’s appropriate to twist them.

Q: If you could hire anyone you wanted to direct your next music video, who would it be?

A (Jeremy; guitarist): I’d love to hire Don Swanson from Spruce Films. Or George Romero.

A (Jason): Spike Jonze. I always loved watching his videos when I was a kid even if I didn’t get into the song or artist. 

Q: What do you want listeners to take away from this song after hearing it for the first time?

A (Jason): Common ground and solidarity. I actually wrote the lyrics after reflecting on a time about a decade ago when I was trying to combat some pretty serious depression with self-medication. It’s about a riot in my brain. Only after the murder of George Floyd and the beginning of the protests did the lyrics take on a more literal meaning. No matter what war you’re fighting, whether it be internal or a war against a flawed system, you have allies. Somewhere there is someone who will fight with you.