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Global Artists Spotlight: Howard Kaye, Once Human, MK xyz And More

Hear the latest by musicians from across the world

This week's Global Artists Spotlight features musicians (from left) Howard Kaye, Once Human, MK xyz and more. Photos: Courtesy of the artists; Justin Jackson (MK xyz)

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Sis – Gnani

Californian singer and multi-instrumentalist Sis’ new six-track EP Gnani juxtaposes electronic soundscapes and pop elements quite effectively. The record includes analog synths, vintage keyboards, rolling beats as well as Sis’ delicate breathy vocals that create a dreamy and melancholic haze.

Howard Kaye – “Devil’s Playground”

U.K. rocker Howard Kaye teams up with drummer Ben Thatcher (from rock duo Royal Blood) for a pulsating new single entitled “Devil’s Playground.” The song is a heavy dosage of sinister and dark rock n’ roll, filled with droning guitars, Thatcher’s intricate drumming, Kaye’s steely vocals and more. In a statement, Kaye said, “I was inspired by the track ‘Black Skinhead’ by Kanye West and wanted to write a song based around a drum loop. ‘Devil’s Playground’ is a letter to myself, it’s a song about my experience with sobriety and staying clear of the bad influences. It’s a reminder to myself to keep strong, keep focused and not to be steered in the wrong direction.”

MK xyz – “One Time”

With an artist name that stands for her initials (Makaila becomes MK) and what she terms as “the unknown variable” (xyz), there’s truly multi-hyphenate ambitions at play. MK xyz, a singer, rapper, dancer and actor, recently served up a no-nonsense single with “One Time,” as part of her EP Sweet Spot. With a sultry hook that’s paired with impeccable choreography in her music video, MK xyz is well on her way to having it all.

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Once Human – “Cold Arrival”

Formed by guitarist Logan Mader (part of the early years of Machine Head) and vocalist Lauren Hart in 2014, Los Angeles melodic death metallers Once Human make a fist-tight, rattling offering with their latest single “Cold Arrival.” Part of their upcoming third album Scar Weaver (out in February via earMUSIC), the somber song marries polished tones with Hart’s deftness between growls and clean vocals. Guitarist Max Karon says the song is dedicated to a friend of the band, who passed away suddenly. “These last eighteen months have been a solemn reminder that the lives we lead and the people we know are not immortal. The acknowledgment of that harsh reality is ‘Cold Arrival,’” he added in a statement.

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