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IN THE NEWS:

Tracking COVID-19 at UCLA

Rising Artists: Four hot, new artists to brighten up summer soundtracks

(Katelyn Dang/Illustrations director)

By Isabella Durgin, Vivian Xu, and Austin Nguyen

June 30, 2021 3:57 p.m.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Jason Singer will appear at Shaky Knees Musical Festival. In fact, he will appear at Shaky Knees Music Festival.

This post was updated July 11 at 10:08 a.m.

As rising temperatures melt away winter stagnation, up-and-coming artists are on fire. Summer is the season of vibrance, and sunny days are accompanied by new musicians who will grow even brighter, evading a later autumnal fade.

Read on for the Daily Bruin’s picks of artists whose intensity will last beyond summer’s warmth.

[Related: Music preview: Post-pandemic summer albums reflect optimistic attitudes]

(courtesy of Andy Swartz)

L’Rain

L’Rain makes music as rich and sprawling as the human condition.

In 2017, the Brooklyn-based musician released her self-titled debut album – a free-wheeling collage of psychedelic guitar loops, distorted field recordings and frenetic sax flourishes created in the wake of her mother’s death. Now, her newest album “Fatigue,” released June 25 and recently spotlighted by The New York Times, deals with similar themes of grief.

The record also possesses a new sense of self and immediacy, amplified by the social upheaval and grief caused by the pandemic during the past year. Album opener “Fly, Die,” for example, compacts police brutality into a violent barrage of emergency sirens, air horns and drums sputtering like helicopter blades. On “Find It,” her voice, clearer than before, rings out over guitar filigrees and shakers with its mantra of determination: “Make a way out of no way.”

While the world stands at a crossroad between stasis and change, L’Rain is guiding listeners to hope and healing, one song at a time.

– Austin Nguyen

(courtesy of Sarah Waxberg)

joe p

Not all breakups result in tears and heartache.

Once the frontman of pop-punk band Deal Casino, Joe Parella is now flying solo. The New Jersey singer-songwriter began producing music independently in 2020 following the amicable split of his childhood band and now has several angsty, raw tracks – offset with metaphors of grandeur – to his name. Opening with a haunting guitar melody, Parella’s recent single “Fighting in the Car” laments upon a former girlfriend, analogizing their relationship to one between an inmate and prison guard.

His discography is not devoid of joyful moments though, with songs like “Off My Mind” igniting a celebratory tone as Parella rejoices in his ability to move on from an ex-lover, an attitude only enhanced by dialing up rowdy production when the chorus hits. Despite releasing a single in May, Parella continues to pump out music, hinting at remastering his previous band’s song “Baby Teeth” through a casual backyard jam session while decked out in a floral shirt.

As long as Parella churns out tracks, there will certainly be listeners ready to take them in.

– Vivian Xu

[Related: Music Preview: Artists embrace the present, creating genre-bending tunes for changing times]

(courtesy of Senga Li)

Alice Phoebe Lou

Alice Phoebe Lou is glowing.

The South African singer-songwriter released her third album, “Glow,” in March, marking a new era in her lyrical, sonic and personal expression. With dramatically shortened hair and her signature electric guitar blazing, Lou shined a light on a new path championed by her vulnerable tracks, which were directly recorded on tape. The technique created an alluring quality of expansiveness on “Glow,” with its ethereal single “Witches” drawing in more than 4 million Spotify streams.

The track’s enticement cannot be solely credited to its recording method, as it is also built from Lou’s cultivation of a celestial sound. Her songs exude an airiness that fills a room while still maintaining a refreshing simplicity. Beginning in the fall, the Berlin-based artist will be taking her record on European and North American tours, but for some summer satisfaction, audiences can turn to her golden beach romp in the music video for “Dirty Mouth.”

Despite her European anchor, Lou floats above her tethers into the Southern California soundscape and beyond.

– Isabella Durgin

(courtesy of Kris Herrmann)

Michigander

Jason Singer is making the Midwest proud.

Performing under the stage name Michigander – an homage to his native state – the indie rock artist is proving that he’s capable of taking over more than just the region. Singer’s most-streamed Spotify 2019 track, “Misery,” sounds as if it’s pulled straight from an indie coming-of-age movie. He unabashedly wears his heart on his sleeve, offering his love interest the chance to “take (his) heart and break it in two,” all to anthemic drumbeats and echoed harmonies.

With lyrics that embrace the understated moments of everyday life, like driving late at night, and lulling guitar strums that swell to dramatically climactic choruses, Singer is able to sprinkle his Midwest charm in every track. Though he released his debut single in 2016, the artist will make summer appearances at large-scale music festivals, including Chicago’s Lollapalooza and Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Music Festival.

But regardless of where he ends up, he is sure to stay grounded in his Michigan roots.

– Vivian Xu

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Isabella Durgin | Music | fine arts editor
Durgin is currently the music | fine arts editor. She previously served as an Arts contributor from 2020-2021. She is a second-year English student from Meridian, Mississippi.
Durgin is currently the music | fine arts editor. She previously served as an Arts contributor from 2020-2021. She is a second-year English student from Meridian, Mississippi.
Vivian Xu | Arts editor
Xu is the 2021-2022 Arts editor. She previously served as the music | fine arts editor from 2020-2021 and was an Arts reporter from 2019-2020. She is a third-year neuroscience student from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Xu is the 2021-2022 Arts editor. She previously served as the music | fine arts editor from 2020-2021 and was an Arts reporter from 2019-2020. She is a third-year neuroscience student from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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