Snowhaus – “Flick My Bic” [Official Music Video]

By: Shamus Hill

Western Massachusetts has proven to be home to a variety of highly-listenable artists over the years. Hailing from Hadley, Snowhaus make their debut onto the Graduation Music site today with the official music video for their brand-new track titled “Flick My Bic”.

Directed by Deadmall, the visuals for this release wonderfully encapsulate the rollicking energy that’s persistent throughout the song. Consisting of Nathan Galloway (Vocals/Guitar), Andrew Ring (Drums), and Nick Capezzuto (Bass), Snowhaus’ romantically-driven offering circulates itself around falling in love right in time for winter. Complete with playful lyrics and soaring instrumentation that becomes more indulgent with each listen, “Flick My Bic” is certainly a standout release within Snowhaus’ discography.

If you find yourself in the Amherst-area this Sunday (February 10th), pull up to the Emo Valentine Show which will feature a performance by Snowhaus.

Watch the official music video for “Flick My Bic” below:

http://snowhaus.bandcamp.com/track/flick-my-bic

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Surfliner – ‘KISKA LP’

By: Shamus Hill

Moving from a brighter, upbeat tone towards a more self-reflective direction is the Duxbury band, Surfliner, who grace the Graduation Music pages today with their debut project, KISKA LP. Making their presence known across the world through the release of their first three singles, Surfliner have found themselves at an extremely vital point within their musical careers. An artist’s debut project is one of their most important pieces of work, with it ultimately being what a lot of listeners will remember them by. With the ball in their court, Surfliner are prepared to prove that they have what it takes to bring their music to the next level.

“Foolish Heart” is the first song off of the LP, and it’s here that Surfliner gently ease into the sonic experience. It’s one of the many songs featured on this project that quite literally draws you in closer, similar to moving towards a fire when its freezing cold. As was the case with their first three singles, “Foolish Heart” is accompanied by exquisite instrumentation that allows for a plethora of emotion to be evoked.

As the LP continues further, listeners are met by even more harmonically-rich, well-rounded songs that are the direct result of lengthy periods of learning. A lot of amazing music comes as the direct result of life experience, and it’s overwhelmingly apparent that this was the case with Surfliner as they prepared their debut project.

From here, the LP continues down this reflective, yet smooth-sounding path, with each song engraining itself into the fabric of the listener’s mind. This project is very comparable to Jack Karowak’s Treehouse Audio, in a sense that the instrumentation is the pivotal point for the entirety of the project. With it being so robust, the vocal work is able to be received at an even higher caliber, ensuring that the meaning within this LP isn’t lost. My favorite attribute of KISKA LP is the fact that Surfliner is able to piece together a number of well put-together tracks that seamlessly build off of the last.

We’ve said it a countless amount of times, but the bar for Massachusetts artists has been continuously raised thus far in 2019. With bands like Surfliner only pushing this narrative further, artists across the state will be in need of some thorough development to make sure their name remains relevant as the year progresses. If you find yourself unfamiliar with Surfliner’s discography, get hip now before it’s too late.

Listen to Surfliner’s KISKA LP down below:

CLICK HERE TO STREAM VIA APPLE MUSIC

CLICK HERE TO STREAM VIA SPOTIFY

Mike Fellow – “SOUNDWAVES | UNTITLED” [Music Video]

By: Shamus Hill 

Putting an exclamation point on his HOT WINGS EP is Newton’s Mike Fellow following the release of his “SOUNDWAVES | UNTITED” visuals. This video encompasses two of the tracks that were featured on HOT WINGS, “SOUNDWAVELIVEFOREVER” and “UNTITLED”, and does a phenomenal job at portraying the feelings derived from each. 

Will Haworth (@sherylcrowbar) was charged with the task of both directing and editing this video, and it’s safe to say that he was the perfect individual for the job. The introduction of the video features “SOUNDWAVELIVEFOREVER”, which was the first song off of Mike Fellow’s project. The visuals perfectly align alongside the gritty, yet poised attitudes displayed by Fellow throughout the song, as scenery includes the rising talent performing at his EP release party as well as him and his tight-knit group of friends roaming the streets of Boston. While the overall feeling of the track lies somewhere around ambiance and the state of being mellow, the lyrics speak to an entirely different truth. Fellow is more than aware of what he’s had to overcome to reach the point he’s at, and with this knowledge, he’s prepared to take that leap to successfully follow the path that lays in front of him. 

“UNTITLED” is the second track that is featured in this video, and it’s here where Mike Fellow is shown grubbing on some wings and working on music in a friend’s basement. This portion of the video does a great job at displaying the nonchalant/unbothered attitudes that are exhibited by Mike Fellow throughout both his Hot Wings EP and the remainder of his discography. Fellow has the innate ability to concrete flows that keep listeners coming back for more, and he doesn’t cast a shadow of doubt over anything that he does. It’s this persistent, formidable attitude that will assist him in seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

That said, the “SOUNDWAVES | UNTITLED” visuals are here to bring an entirely new sign of life to the Hot Wings EP. This project is one of my personal favorites to come out of the state of Massachusetts this year, so definitely be sure to set some time aside in order to give it a listen. 

Watch “SOUNDWAVES | UNTITLED” below



Shot by: Will Haworth

Music by: Mike Fellow

Maeko – “FLUX”

By: Shamus Hill 

Making an eye-catching return to the Graduation Music site today is an artist named Maeko, with the first release off of his unending project, Getting Still. And yes, you read that correctly — the project will be unending. “FLUX” serves as the debut “inStillment” off of Getting Still, and, following the first listen-through, it becomes overwhelmingly apparent that the Boston artist won’t be wasting any time producing content that’s enriched with depth. 

When asked about the ideology behind Getting Still, Maeko said: 

“Musically, this project will continually represent how I am changing my approach to life, as well as my day to day, in order to get inspired, focused, and, most importantly, still within. With ‘Getting Still’, I’m interested only in capturing the sounds and styles I am evolving into – and out of – on the way to my next album or endeavor. In a world of constant change, we all need to find stillness within. FLUX marks the beginning of that lifelong journey.”

“FLUX” almost sounds like an older version of Maeko speaking to a younger version of himself. While he’s still a young adult, Maeko has gained a great deal of knowledge throughout his human experience thus far, and his latest shows recognition of the importance of continuously learning and adjusting one’s perception. On “FLUX” he genuinely wants listeners to digest some of the lessons that he’s come across during his 25 years on Earth, all of which are delivered in an incredibly entertaining manner. It is with this talent that Maeko makes use of abstract lyrics to really allow listeners to take what he’s saying and apply it to their own situations, and even if you aren’t going through the exact same set of circumstances that he is enduring, you can still pull away something from “FLUX” that will ultimately better your life. 

The overarching message behind both this track and Getting Still as a whole is becoming “still”, or achieving balance and clear-focus throughout all aspects of life, as Maeko deems it. While this is a goal that’s extremely difficult to achieve (especially given the climate of the world in which we live), it’s all about the journey. Keeping that goal in mind no matter what it is that we’re doing is what Maeko wants us to remember. 

Listen to Maeko’s latest release, “FLUX”, down below: 

Album Review: Maeko’s ‘Dead Center, Looking Around’

By: Shamus Hill

Dead Center, Looking Around is Maeko’s debut album, and the Boston-based artist has crafted a genuinely intelligent project that covers a wide array of human experience, listenable for anyone out there in search of introspection. With this, the UMass Amherst alum demonstrates his progression as both an artist and a person with this release, utilizing a stellar production team featuring BLAKE, Dave Chapman, Natty Reeves, and Esbe. The buoyant, poised sonic structure effectively assists him in achieving a solid concept, which centers around entering, coexisting with, and moving past the hardships of life at its very core. I highly recommend listening to the album from front to back to truly experience his marvelous concept.

Furthering this, Maeko’s latest bestowal navigates through a variety of subjects, ranging from deep loss to  the beauty of life. If there’s anything he wants you to know about Dead Center, Looking Around, it’s that:

The project is a trip to the “hive” from front to back, both sonically and conceptually. The “hive” represents the chaotic, hectic, messed-up aspects of life… Flying in, seeing it dead center, and flying out having learned more.”

As you begin listening to the album, Maeko gives insight towards how he felt upon entry to the world of music as an artist. Soon following this, he dwells on his aspirations to be like some of the artists he sees on stage from afar. He’s confident that his dreams will manifest eventually, however as time continues and more negative events unfold, Maeko’s hopes begin to diminish. This behavior combines with conflicting trains of thought, which ultimately result in Maeko being in “the center of the hive” – a place where he’s seemingly watching all of the chaos unfold all around him. Instead of remaining on the sidelines, he reflects on how he can truly make an impact on the world, and from there begins moving with new knowledge that he’ll carry into the next challenges of his life.

Some standout tracks for me off of Dead Center, Looking Around were “Amber” (ft./Prod. BLAKE), “Scarlett Lining” (Prod. Esbe), and “Rather Bee” (Prod. Natty Reeves). “Amber” is a groovy, yet mellow track which perfectly encapsulates the feeling you get on late summer nights. BLAKE continues his sensational production job on this track, and even hops on the record to add a verse of his own. “Scarlett Lining” features some tremendous production at the hands of Esbe, who excels in helping Maeko continue the lively spirit of this project. This song, in particular, features Maeko’s cry for positivity in the world – something that’s of utmost importance in the current climate in our country. The Natty Reeves-produced “Rather Bee” is a jazzy, ambient record that helps you cool down and reflect, which is exactly the purpose of the end of Dead Center, Looking Around; No matter what we experience, we have to reflect upon these experiences so that we may grow appropriately and learn from them.

That being said, this project is the perfect microcosm of life. We all strive to not only have experiences, but to both learn and grow from said experiences all along the way. Maeko puts these lessons and what he’s learned on display through the use of the metaphorical “hive” in Dead Center, Looking Around in a clear light, making this a must-listen for any fan out there. Be sure to go see Maeko live in Northampton at this year’s Extravaganja event, next Saturday April 21st.

Listen to Boston-based artists’ debut album below:

NLITEN – “FOREIGN” [MUSIC VIDEO]

By: Shamus Hill 

Perhaps my favorite track by NliteN to-date is “Foreign”, a song he released earlier this year and is back this week to revisit with complementary visuals. Alongside Black Shield Entertainment, the rising talent is back on our pages today to provide another eye-catching display of his sounds, reassuring fans that his versatile, in-your-face creative approach will be sure to make you an even bigger fan of the track than you already were. Typically vibrant and high-paced, NliteN’s videos offer an inside peek to his enthusiasm and ability to turn-up regardless of the scenario, just as he throws on display in “Foreign”.

Simply put, this young talent is one of the most hard-working individuals I’ve been blessed enough to come across; Every single time I see him he’s working on something new – a talent that has proved to help him tremendously as he continues to grow and develop as an artist and a person. I’m very excited to see what is next to come, and you should be, too. Get hip by clicking play on “Foreign” below: