Well, the songs start coming and they don’t stop coming… or whatever it was Smash Mouth said. August has been chock full of new music releases and I was thrilled to put together a list that ranged from longtime favorites to a new discovery. September and October are looking to be packed with new album releases, so there will surely be lots more to come.
Without further ado, here is the latest edition of ON REPEAT…
A R I Z O N A – “Hanging On”
When A R I Z O N A released their new album, A R I Z O N A, in May, it was the only thing I listened to for a week and a half straight. It’s safe to say their follow-up release, “Hanging On”, had a lot to live up to… and if you haven’t guessed by it’s inclusion in this column, I’ve had this one on repeat too. The dramatic instrumentals that lead in to the chorus and the twinkly synths that close it out remind me of dreamy EDM acts like San Holo.
Here’s what vocalist Zachary Charles had to say about “Hanging On”:
“‘Hanging On’ is a song written in the middle of the 2020 quarantine relatively early on in the third album process. It quickly became an internal favorite of ours, and was supposed to make it to the album but some unforeseen parts of the process kept it from being ready in time. The song is about dealing with the long term effects of losing someone close to you, and in turn a piece of yourself. It focuses on how we don’t ever really get that piece back, and how that can personally look or feel sometimes in day to day life as we wrangle it internally; all the while being forced to interface with the rest of the world still moving around us. It remains a special song (written alongside two close friends and collaborators Ryan Pulford and Ryan Edmundson), and I’m very happy it made its way out closely following the album as it’s very much a part of the overall journey.”
Catch A R I Z O N A on their Live For A Night tour this fall.
gnash – “wet cement”
So I’m just going to keep you in your feels for a bit here, okay? I will never forget interviewing gnash a few years ago: he described the arts-and-crafts activities he liked to do in his meet-and-greets, and he told me about the importance of meditation in his life (that conversation inspired me to start doing yoga every day). Last October, he began releasing a series of double-sided singles that culminated in The Art of Letting Go. “wet cement”, his newest release, was co-written with LA-based singer-songwriter John Mark Nelson. gnash says, “after a friend told me his dad has cancer, i wrote this song as an exercise in pre-grieving. my parents are older, and i’ve lost friends & uncles & grandparents along the way, but never had the perfect song to say, ‘i miss you, come back home.’ this song is for everyone i’ve ever missed (& ever will).” Head to his website to see what gnash is doing next.
Yoke Lore – “Holy Havoc”
I’ve been keeping up with indie-pop artist Yoke Lore (Adrian Galvin) since he released “Fake You” in 2018; I was stoked to hear that, after a killer stream of singles and EPs, he’ll be releasing his debut full-length album Toward A Never Ending New Beginning on September 22. “Holy Havoc” is the final single to be released before the album arrives. The dreamy, meandering track will let you choose your own adventure as you listen. Galvin says about the song,
“‘Holy Havoc’ is my way of telling myself that it doesn’t always have to be a struggle. I think of myself as a rock. sometimes I have to remind myself I’m part flower too. Change can be smooth like the subtle lunar cycles or it can feel like a rebellion. Its okay to not to feel ready. Its okay too for there to be doubt. A modicum of fear allows us to become valorous. It allows us to rise above ourselves. We must overcome our limitations with the chaotic grit we dig up out ourselves. Its the best way to let the light in.”
Yoke Lore is currently on tour across North America; tickets are available on his website.
Eric Hunker – “Get Better”
We’ve all been there: stuck in the muck and unable to see past the fog, standing in place and waiting for a reminder that brighter days are ahead. Enter Eric Hunker’s “Get Better”: reminiscent of singer-songwriters like Jason Mraz and Eric Hutchinson, the track feels like it came right out of a conversation among friends. The Tulsa, Okla. native has twice debuted on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter Top 20 chart; he’s also taken the stage at SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, and the United Nations (um, WHAT?! So cool!). Eric Hunker’s website has a list of all of his upcoming shows.
Stickup Kid – “She Was The Rain”
Last but not least – everyone say happy birthday to ME, because today (on my birthday), Stickup Kid released a new song. “She Was The Rain” is the San Jose, Calif. group’s first release since 2020’s “Miss You In The Summer.” The song begins with the rhythmic strum of an acoustic guitar – coming in steady like rain itself. A rainy day gives you time to think, and the lyrics to “She Was The Rain” are all about self-reflection. Discussing the track, vocalist Tony Geravesh says, “This song is a reminder that I’m not a perfect person. I’ve made mistakes and I’ve lived with a lot of guilt at times. I’ve also taken accountability and have grown into a better version of myself and continue to every day. This song is about owning your mistakes and straight up paying for them by acknowledging that you’re living with the consequences. It’s a song about the human condition.” Visit Stickup Kid’s website or follow them on Instagram to see the latest updates.