Roxbury’s Tony Bodega is making his presence known in 2020, as he recently dropped the official music video for his hypnotic single, “Roll$ Out”.
Off of his 2019 project, Drgz & Wifi, “Roll$ Out” is most definitely a standout within Tony Bodega’s musical catalog. Equipped with a smooth, almost whispery delivery that helps put an emphasis on his clever lyricism, this track is extremely well-executed from every angle. Jakob Bauwens did a tremendous job with his visual work here, as this music video rests as one of the best thus far this year.
Watch the official music video for “Roll$ Out” at the link below:
Hailing from Western Massachusetts is Deadmall — an extraordinary duo composed of Gabe Gill and Honeyfitz that specializes in crafting starry eyed music that gracefully leaves the mind of the listener in perfect solace. While both Gabe and Honeyfitz are in possession of solo discographies, there’s something captivatingly unique about the music the pair have released alongside one another — with this sentiment only being reinforced on Deadmall’s latest project, Zach’s Mice, which was released this past Friday. To gain some more insight towards what went into the making of this project, I had a conversation with Deadmall where the duo touch upon the group’s origins, their transition to NYC, and how Western Massachusetts ties into their identity.
Shamus Hill:To start things off, I wanted to ask about what went into the making of ‘Zach’s Mice’. What were some of your early goals in terms of recording the project? And how did they change with time?
Honeyfitz: We made it mostly last Fall and it definitely didn’t feel like we were starting an album.
Gabe Gill: I think we started it kind of half-heartedly because we still had to finish up parts of Bunny Rabbit and the Deadmall 1 EP at the time, but I think we wanted it to be bigger sounding and more polished from the start. I don’t know what our first thoughts on the sound of it were.
Honeyfitz: We were just making songs — doing whatever felt like the next step sonically from Bunny Rabbit and DM1, but there was no big plan. I think it’s the album where our production is most synced up. We were making beats in a super collaborative way where its hard to tell who’s contributing what.
SH:I see where the both of you are coming from. This project in particular seems to combine a variety of sonic elements from the group’s prior releases, and the both of you also appear to be meshing sonically better than ever. Would you attribute this to anything in particular? Like was there something about living together in Hadley recording music that amplified things? Or would you say this is just the result of years of development alongside one another?
GG: I think definitely because this was the first project we made when we lived together, a little of both. But living in the same space made it so much easier to be in the same space mentally and kind of be taking in the same influences at the same time.
H: We made a lot more songs because we were together all of the time, whereas Bunny Rabbit we made essentially in a week in December 2017 when Gabe was living in Boston. There was this urgency to make those songs before Gabe went back to Boston. Zach’s Mice feels like we could take our time and execute the things we learned on the first project.
GG: But still, most of the songs were made in one session. I think it honestly wasn’t until after ZM that we’ve started working on songs for much longer. They still have some of that urgency just in that we both were writing really fast and just putting all of our ideas down.
SH:That makes a ton of sense because you can quite literally hear how in sync the both of you are throughout ZM. The bond the two of you have has really enabled your music to reach entirely different heights. While on the subject of Hadley, how would you say Western Massachusetts, and MA as a whole ties into who the both of you are? And subsequently how it ties into your music?
GG: Really deep! I think a lot of the initial Deadmall aesthetic and idea was really around trying to make music that was inspired by growing up in Western MA and the landscape, community, feeling, etc. of being from there. A lot of [our] music has this contrast between like really dense, dark passages that feel like a house party or something where you might be crushed with 200 kids in a basement & then there’s parts that feel like just driving or walking on the bike path or a field where everything feels really huge and empty and beautiful.
H: WMass is the best place! Both Gabe and I have been really integrated into WMass music scenes for a long time, and that’s always been super helpful in terms of always having models for bands and musicians making shit happen for themselves, but I think musically the stuff i make has always been as much in opposition to the people around me as it was influenced by them. It’s funny now to be surrounded by people who are making similar music to me, cause I’m really not used to it.
GG: Same, which is funny because I think the music scene in WMass is also equal parts more like our music and less like our music than it was when we were teens. Like there are people doing stuff with autotune and like emo/hip-hop adjacent stuff but we were more hanging out with kids in rock bands and I think Deadmall ends up sounding mostly like neither of those things, or both of them.
H: Gabe and I used to book shows together before we were really friends because we knew that our music had more in common than other peoples’, but I don’t think we could have articulated that at the time.
SH: It’s really interesting that you say that, because it seems as if Massachusetts as a whole has been birthing this exact type of artist. A lot of artists here are upset by the art (or lack thereof) that’s surrounding them, so they strive to create something unique to fill that void. In my eyes that’s the essence of what you two are accomplishing with Deadmall.
H: Yeah I think that’s it really. I would never want people to get the impression that WMass isn’t full of people making great music, but none of it was ever quite what I wanted to hear, and it’s taken me a long time to figure out what it was that I wanted to hear, but I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on it now.
SH:I wanted to ask about what went into the decision to move to NY, and how would you compare it with MA in terms of its effect on your music?
GG: It’s definitely different in NY. I think it was a thing I always wanted to do when I was like in high school, but we moved kind of for no reason. I think meeting Rothstein and seeing how he was able to network and connect with a community of musicians here inspired me to just take that logical step. It’s ended up impacting me as a person way more than it’s really influenced my music though, because musically I’m always chasing a feeling of like riding a bike over a bridge.
H: I never wanted to move to NYC. It just kinda happened, like the cards fell into place and all of a sudden it seemed like the logical next step. I was seeing this community that Gabe had gotten to be involved in and was excited to be around people making similar stuff.
GG: In some ways being in NY has made me focus in on what I carried from WMass into my music and accentuated those elements. I think we would have gone a little crazy if we stayed in WMass, which has a big comfort but it feels like the time of our lives to try and get a little more out of things.
H: Yeah it was time. The last year there was incredible, but it also felt like the walls were closing in a little bit, like every knows each other and you just see the same faces over and over again like since high school.
SH:Change is both good, and inevitable, so it’s exciting to see how well this transition has been working for the two of you. Moving back to the subject of Zach’s Mice, how would you describe the project to someone who’s never heard it before?
GG: It’s for kids who are starting to feel a little anxious about how much time they’ve spent in their hometown. We made this big crazy list of influences on the Deadmall instagram but it kind of sounds like nothing. To me it sounds like the coolest, most smooth take on like “emo rap”, but it also has like an experimental folk song and a yacht rock song and a song that sounds like a T Minus beat so I don’t know. I guess I’d call it “noise pop”.
H: It’s funny because I think there are lots of specific influences and thru lines, but it’s hard to put my finger on the bigger genre or sound. I think it’s sort of stadium rock that we made in my bedroom.
SH:What can listeners expect next from Deadmall?
GG: Our next album is way mellower, it’s like bigger and calmer. And we both have solo projects coming I guess.
SH:That’s another thing I meant to ask about as well, what would you say is different about the music you two make collectively under Deadmall than the solo stuff?
H: It used to feel like Deadmall was a blend of our solo stuff, but now it feels like our solo stuff is hugely influenced by Deadmall.
GG: Ya for my new solo stuff a lot of it was me trying to figure out what I couldn’t or wouldn’t do on a Deadmall song and use that to trace the sound of what I was going to do as a solo artist.
H: It takes me much longer to make honeyfitz songs, and it feels like much more of a cerebral process.
SH:Do you two have any parting words pertaining to Zach’s Mice for our readers?
GG: It’s the best album, I’m stupid excited about it honestly.
H: Just that we play the mice on the album, it is stupid good, and it feels so nice for it to be coming out because we’ve been listening to these songs for a year now.
SH:Thank you guys so much again for taking some time out of your weekend for this interview!
Randolph’s Lance Jackson has been on fire as of late — with his string of stellar releases only being furthered as he slides on some Ricky Felix production for his latest track, “Museum”.
The feeling that’s derived from this song is comparable to suddenly having a 70 degree day in the midst of January. Just when you need that warmth and positivity more than ever, Lance swoops in to deliver some heat. From both a sonic and lyrical standpoint, Lance Jackson manages to fill his listeners’ ears with a heartwarming reminder that we all have purpose and should be striving toward greatness:
“Life’s hard of course, I can’t argue that,
I find peace knowing this a process, I thank God for that”
Lance Jackson – “Museum”
Helping to take this release to an even further height is videographer, Colin Pagnoni, who’s proven to be one of the most capable in his craft throughout Massachusetts. His work continuously showcases the talent prevalent within the Bay State, and this theme remains relevant on “Museum”.
Watch the official music video for “Museum” at the link below:
Making his debut onto the Graduation Music site today is Springfield native, Righteous Justen, who last month dropped off the official music video for his elegantly crafted single, “Who Got Next?”.
Featuring an exceptional freestyle to start things off, this nearly two minute long visual does not waste a second in terms of providing listeners with some captivating raps. Righteous Justen possesses this natural ability to flow with exceptional ease — and this is what “Who Got Next?” is essentially at its core. He’s fully equipped to go toe-to-toe with any rapper who dares to question his capabilities, and isn’t prepared to shy away from sharing his craft with the world. With the sheer amount of talent put on display through this release, I’m certain that Righteous Justen is only going to continue to turn some heads as 2020 marches forward.
Watch the official music video for “Who Got Next?” at the link below:
Fresh off of a groundbreaking 2019 that ultimately resulted in an R&B Artist of the Year Award (Boston Music Awards), the ever-so-talented $ean Wire is prepared to unveil his most notable body of work yet, Internal Dialect, tonight at midnight.
“Pull Up” served as the second single to debut from the album, and was accompanied by an extremely well thought out visual — the first that $ean Wire has released up through this point in his career. Both the song and the Creek-directed video do a superb job at capturing the pure essence of who $ean Wire is as an individual, and it appears as if he’s only growing more comfortable with respect to opening up to his listeners about his personal life experience. Living proof of the fact that authenticity and originality will always prevail, $ean Wire is assuredly the next talented artist to blow out of Massachusetts.
Simply put, it’s ridiculously difficult to find an artist of $ean Wire’s caliber, and tonight he’s going to prove exactly why this sentiment rings true.
If you haven’t yet, watch the official music video for $ean Wire’s “Pull Up” below:
This upcoming Monday, December 30th, is set to be an incredible one as Chase Murphy will be headlining ‘The Roaring 20s’ at the Brighton Music Hall alongside both Swooli and Packy Marciano. Each of these Massachusetts-born artists are in possession of sensational discographies, so the Graduation Music staff thought that it’d only be right to select a few tracks that fans should familiarize themselves with prior to Monday night. If you consider yourself a fan of the local music scene, then this event is definitely a must-see, with each of these talents being some of the most reputable that our area has to offer.
Chase Murphy – “Miami Vices”
Featured on his latest project, Long Winters, “Miami Vices” is one of our favorite Chase releases to-date. While the majority of his songs make use of a pop-infused sound, this project allowed the Brookline native to experiment more with the Hip-Hop side of his artistry, which ultimately resulted in a project that his highly-pleasurable to listen to.
Swooli – “Millennial 20s”
Swooli’s “Millennial 20s” dropped towards the end of this past September, and is an excellent preview of what fans will see this Monday, as the music video literally shows Swooli performing with natural grace. He relays an infectious energy throughout each of his songs, and this feeling will only be amplified once he touches the stage at the Brighton Music Hall.
Packy Marciano – “Perfect”
More than 2 years since it’s release, Packy Marciano’s “Perfect” is quite literally that, perfect. He’s released a handful of tracks since Side Effects dropped, however this one will always be the first I think of when it comes to Packy. He’s consistently been one of the most electric performers that Massachusetts has to offer, so if you’ve yet to see this Brockton native on stage then there’s no better time than now.
While we may presently find ourselves within the dark, gloomy depths of a freezing cold December, Garrett Merk is here today to deliver us some uplifting energy as he recently dropped the official music video for his new single, “AWOL”.
Directed by Frace Media, this visual features scenes throughout Brockton as Garrett reminisces on both the city and people that have assisted in molding him into the individual that he currently is. Anyone who’s followed Graduation Music over the course of the last few years will undoubtedly recognize Garrett’s name, as he’s consistently released music of a ridiculously high caliber. He manages to infuse each component of his discography with an infectious aurora that is distinctly unique to him, and it’s because of this that Garrett’s fanbase has grown at the rate it has. He’s gearing up for the release of his debut album in approximately a month, and if “AWOL” is any sign of what this project is going to be sounding like, then it may ultimately be one of the best to come out of the state of Massachusetts in several years. If you’ve yet to explore Garrett’s discography up through this point, then there’s no better time to do so than right now.