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Global Artists Spotlight: Heather LaRose, Claire Reneé, Olivia Lunny

Hear new tunes by musicians from across the world

This week's Global Artists Spotlight features musicians (from left) Heather LaRose, Claire Reneé, Olivia Lunny. Photos: Courtesy of the artists

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ChrispyD – “Lonely Nights”

U.S.-based pop artist ChrispyD addresses mental health on his latest pop/funk single “Lonely Nights.” Written during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the singer grew quite lonely and spiraled into a breakdown, feeling lost. By penning the track, he was able to tackle these emotions. Built on a tight groove, the song is filled with chunky guitar parts while the musician’s silky vocals are a breath of fresh air.

KTJ & CARLY – “Rollercoaster”

American duo KTJ & CARLY showcase a powerful new single called “Rollercoaster.” Through the track, the pair combine their EDM influences with soulful pop. The song explores the intense ups and downs of loving someone, aided by their striking vocal harmonies and atmospheric instrumentation, which add to the experience.

Sam Valdez – “Palms Casino”

The newest single from Los Angeles-based artist Sam Valdez is a glimpse into her forthcoming album Take Care. The sun-soaked track includes wistful vocals and blends shoegaze, Americana, indie-rock, and pop. Talking about the song, Valdez says, “[It is about] letting yourself act on impulse and just owning the consequences. It’s about wanting to evolve and find excitement without chaos, but knowing it’s okay to mess up and explore your curiosities too.”

Wriss Parker – “Splash”

A native from Sioux Falls, hip-hop artist Wriss Parker brings us a bubbly new offering titled “Splash.” The new track is filled with dark undertones, fiery rhymes as well as indulgent production. With regard to the song, Parker says, “Music should make people feel. That’s all I want, is for people to feel the things that we are doing and appreciate the artistry behind it.”

Heather LaRose – “2 Young 2 Die”

Hailing from Westchester, New York right on the edge of Manhattan, singer-songwriter Heather LaRose’s nostalgic and breezy music is second to none. Earlier this month, the artist released her fresh new offering titled “2 Young 2 Die.” While sonically the song is upbeat and includes LaRose’s brand of beachside pop music, the musician’s lyrics battle negative emotions in a relationship that she feels is too new to end. The bittersweet song definitely invokes plenty of emotion and is one to play to remind yourself of one’s deeply rooted beliefs.

Phoneboy – Nevermind

Hoboken, New Jersey-based indie rockers Phoneboy recently released their debut full-length album titled Nevermind. The three-piece outfit throws in a bit of teen angst in their music while also being inspired by rock outfits such as the Arctic Monkeys and the Strokes. Across the record, the band craft hip-shaking singalongs, stomping instrumental sections, superb dynamics and more.

Claire Reneé – Wings

American singer-songwriter Claire Reneé recently released her nine-track R&B and jazz album titled Wings. The hypnotic record is inspired by relationships and how people cope with both, the beautiful and challenging sides of it. Reneé says, “The human experience encompasses lots of different emotions. There may be some anger, sadness, clarity, visits from spirit guides and even epiphanies.” She adds, “Getting to the other side brings light and even empathy to the very same ones who hurt you, couldn’t show up for you or wronged you in the past.”

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Ellington – Ellington

On his new self-titled five-track record, Los Angeles-bred musician Ellington Ratliff – who goes by his first name – ties together alternative music, hip-hop, Motown and jazz to create a fresh new sound. With the new batch of songs, Ellington – who previously played drums for pop-rock group R5 – is on the right path of creating his own brand of alternative music.  

Posy – Abroad

Portland-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Rudy Klobas aka Posy has managed to encapsulate various soundscapes from across the world through his travels on his latest five-track EP Abroad. Posy includes bird calls while in Tokyo, windchimes in the coastal town of Kawazu and more. The record also features diverse collaborators as well as exquisite instrumentation that features harp, saxophone and violin parts juxtaposed with electronic sounds.

Abigail Rose – “out of my hands”

Nashville/Los Angeles singer-songwriter Abigail Rose sings about letting go of things you can’t control such as getting older, other people’s emotions, what the future holds and more on her new poignant single “out of my hands.” The musician’s vocal prowess rises to the top on the pop-tinged track that she penned over a Zoom co-write session last year and reflects what she was feeling during the pandemic.

DNIE – “Hourglass”

London-based Edin Skenderi has been running his label Lacuna since 2016 and he’s now thrown his hat into the music ring with his own project DNIE. The debut single “Hourglass” features Los Angeles singer-songwriter and producer Arkane Skye digs into hip-hop and alternative sounds but also introduces a startlingly good guitar lead to close things off. Skenderi says in a statement about the song, “[It’s] about time flashing in front of our eyes, and all of the memories that we have created slowly becoming more distant as we move on.”

Vyolet – “Honey”

Invoking several delectable metaphors, New York City artist Vyolet aka Laura Spira’s third single “Honey” runs at an aptly sweet pace, brash bursts of bass tucked under more atmospheric synth work and the singer’s vocals. Channeling a bit of Lana Del Rey amongst others, Vyolet says about the track, “’Honey’ is my sedated daydream drenched in luxury. When knowing your worth means going after what you want, sure…I’ll show you what I have to offer, even if I’m the prize to be won.”

MINOE – “Crazy”

On her third single “Crazy,” Montreal-based pop artist MINOE offers up a tumultuous realization about relationships; that she’s happy alone. The two-minute track sees her R&B/pop voice emote over a guitar-inflected skittering trap beat. Much of MINOE’s music – including her newer single “Burden” – revolves around exes and epiphanies and the artist is currently prepping for her debut EP this summer.

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Tommy Newport feat. EARTHGANG – “Stargazer”

Originally British but settling down in Wichita, Kansas, Tommy Newport’s distinct voice has so far amassed millions of hits for songs like “I Forgive You” and “Movie Screen.” He’s hit up Atlanta hip-hop group EARTHGANG for the trippy, impeccable new single “Stargazer.” While rappers WowGr8 and Olu take turns with verses, Newport is providing introspective vocal hooks throughout, switching up between addressing a person and questioning them as well.

Kymara – “Home” ft. Bobbie Johnson

Dutch neo-soul artist Kymara launched off to wide listenership with her 2020 single “You” and her follow-up is a slinky, easygoing sound on “Home,” expressing urgency in her lyrics, plus guest verses from Brighton rapper Bobbie Johnson. Released via U.K. label QM Records, Kymara shares that the lyrics for “Home” came from her late father, who was also a songwriter. She says, “I got most of the lyrics from my dad after my mum gave them to me a couple of years ago. I read one of his songs and one line that stuck with me was ‘trees turn into gold’ which then inspired me to write ‘Home.’”

The Bash Dogs – “Who’s Your Daddy?”

Californian rock band The Bash Dogs are every bit their party-friendly, champagne-popping selves in their picturesque song “Who’s Your Daddy?” While the video portrays the band wooing a few women, the song is half-joking yet glimmering and psychedelic surf-rock that’s informed by disco. The band comprises guitarist-vocalist Nate Barrett, bassist Nathan Schmok, drummer Jeremy Barrett and guitarist Kyle Gaffney. Barrett says about the track, “It’s not a deep song, not about being ‘the man,’ or ‘your daddy;’ it’s more of a party song. Pure fun, tongue in cheek. Sure, we’re a party band, but out of all the songs, this is genuinely about either a person or a puppy… The lyrics could apply to both.”

Olivia Lunny – “Sad To See You Happy”

Not one to mince words but still perhaps present it as sweetly as possible, Canadian pop artist Olivia Lunny has her own way to get over an ex on “Sad To See You Happy.” With bittersweet feelings professed, the peppy song seems to have all the makings of an early 2000s tune, complete with a few guitar riffs that’s been fitted to be retro. In the accompanying music video, Lunny is seen carefree, only to realize her neighbor is the former boyfriend she’s trying hard to forget.

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