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Best New Indie Music Discovery: “Fastracks” 16

SOUND KHARMA® | August 9, 2021

5 New indie tracks in less than 5 minutes f. Tall Heights, LEVVELS, Spearmint, Medium Love & Elijah Thomas.

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ARTIST INFO

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Tall Heights have relentlessly built a career from the ground up. Starting as buskers on the streets of Boston and now performing in packed venues across North America, Europe, and beyond, the duo has distilled their sound in an organic and unselfconscious way. The unmistakable DNA of their music draws on many elements, but the blend of their two distinct voices, in both harmony and unison, is what elevates it and separates it from the pack.

Hailing from the Boston area, Paul Wright and Tim Harrington met each other in their hometown of Sturbridge through Tim’s older brother. The friendship blossomed in high school when they both took up the guitar and began working on music together. It didn’t take long for them to see the potential hidden in these casual jam sessions. As Paul recalls, “Tim transformed from kid brother to musical collaborator over the course of a summer.”

Combining Paul’s lifetime of classical training, Harrington’s spontaneous artistic instincts, and the prismatic union of their unique voices, Tall Heights’ sonic imprint is in a category all its own.

Inspired by the darkwave sounds of the 80s, wrapped in the Gen X soul of the 90s, tied together by the new millennium electro-clash energy of New York City in the ‘00s, LEVVELS blends the subtleties of each influence’s nuances and ushers them into the modern era to do just that…make you feel.

Working with the Los Angeles based production and songwriting duo HEAVY (Lovelytheband, The Unlikely Candidates, Chase Atlantic, Goo Goo Dolls), LEVVELS has put together an initial release that that has been compared to a modern sounding Depeche Mode mixed with the intense refinement of the Killer’s Hot Fuss…had its origins been a late night/early morning Los Angeles after hours party instead of the bright lights and failed dreams of Las Vegas.

With their first single Keep Me Alive, LEVVELS taps into the franticness of desire amidst a waning connection, all while craving one more taste of lust that has been lost. Shrouded in an energetic pace that builds relentlessly, it leaves one wanting to fully dive into the sins and sounds that exist at the deepest levels of the human experience.

Shifting to their second release “Personal”, the bass groove launches you into the arms of life’s most passionate moments. The drum beat drives your desires directly onto the dance floor and the vocals hit urgently, bringing the listener full force into the passion and complexities of wanting what you have while craving what you don’t. In LEVVELS, you get it all.

“Bundunyabba Blue” is the latest single from the forthcoming Spearmint album ‘Holland Park’, and swiftly follows the wonderful teaser track: “Walk Away From Hollywood”. Produced by Rhodri Marsden (Scritti Politti), and with contributions from Rhodri and Andy Lewis (Paul Weller), its a record that captures the band’s classic sound at its very best and a record they feel is their best yet.

Based around the epic 12-minute title track, the album ruminates on Bowie’s rise and fall, while telling the story of Shirley’s father’s prog band. As Shirley recounts: “They never made it, and there’s nothing online about them, so it’s down to us to tell the story.”

Often referred to as ‘Britain’s best kept secret’, Spearmint have been making great records for a couple of decades now: this will be their ninth album proper. Still the same line-up: Shirley Lee (singing, guitar), Simon Calnan (singing, keyboards), James Parsons (guitar, bass) and Ronan Larvor (drums). This album will be the 57th release on their own hitBACK label.

Medium Love is the latest incarnation of Californian born, London based KC Underwood. After the demise of his previous project Big Deal, (Mute, Fat Cat) the songwriter took a break from the good life but soon began hearing music in his dreams.

Taking it as a sign to start creating music once again, Underwood named the project after a particular dream – one where he was part of an audience that became one super organism, feeling love move through them with the music.

On his latest single, “Unibummer” Underwood seeks to find some small comfort in the endless waves of change of the current age, an effort to grow when the Universe seems intent on flattening you like a pancake.

Partly inspired by fellow hermit turned outsider misfit Ted Kazinsky, Underwood decided instead of blowing people up perhaps a nice melody and kind message can break the spell of modern living. Underwood explains, “He felt like he had to terrorise the USA to get his message heard, which is both insane and relatable.”

Mixed by Nathan Ridley (Gay Girl, Phobophobes) and mastered by Dean Reid (Lana Del Ray), the track gives off a calming, sunny day glow. Soothing backing vocals drift delicately before kicking into a wave of energy, shimmering with singing synths, tight, full drums and impassioned vocals.

With a beachy feeling that starts each verse off, the track moves into floating, woozy energy with dancing, romantic guitars. Taking inspiration from an emporium of genres, artists and decades, Medium Love draws on an amalgamation of influences, creating multiple ear pricking moments. Medium Lover is currently at work on a full-length album with Margot Broom (Goat Girl, Big Joanie, Blue Bendy).

Elijah “Eli” Thomas knew music was his true love at a young age. Eli’s commitment to his music became more of a passion rather than a pastime, he often found himself sharing the piano keys with his father, A talented musician and Army veteran, It was in these moments he developed the capacity to learn music from both an instrumental and vocal standpoint.

Over time, he began singing at church while emulating Jackie Wilson, Prince and Michael Jackson at home.

At 15, Eli auditioned for America’s Got Talent and at the age of 17 auditioned for The Voice. These experiences gave Eli the confidence he needed to pursue a career in the music industry.

Since then, he has performed on numerous occasions throughout his hometown of Kansas City and began meeting with industry veterans and record labels in the hopes of securing a recording contract.

As one who has had to deal with identity and self-confidence issues, Eli plans to use his platform showing young adults they can be themselves without having to compromise. As an artist, he recognizes his dreams are not just for him, but to be shared with those in need of encouragement and inspiration.

Eli has been focused on a major musical project which is sure to secure his spot as a new-age, urban, game changer. The project includes work from the likes of Rey Reel, Lyrica Anderson, Slikk Muzik, Eric Bellinger, Ye Ali, Tasha Catour, Sheldon Body Jr, Courtlin Jabrae, Kove’, Omeretta and Joe Capo.

With this project Eli is expected to reintroduce real R&B and pop music to this upcoming generation. He’s a true 360 artist, singer, songwriter, producer and performer.

Written by SOUND KHARMA®




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