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Is music trendy now? //

Flared pants, little shirts, tote bags, hair clips, thrifting… 

These are all clear trends that stem from the fashion industry. 

But there is no line that can’t be crossed when it comes to trends. Tik Tok has been a huge contributor to its current rise. Depending on your algorithm, your FYP (For You Page) constantly funnels out the next fad of whatever you’re into in that everyone seems to love hopping on the bandwagon. 

When it comes to the music industry, this has made a huge impact on unknown singer-songwriters looking for an outlet and trying to gain enough attention for A&Rs to find them. They’ll find a trend that seems to be picking up, put their creative take on it, and find themselves on a major label’s radar in an instant.

While some have argued that the music made from trends have no use and will die out quickly, the plus side is the current new take of modern music has been entertaining to watch and has introduced a lot of people to newer, unknown artists. 

Here are some of the my favorite trends in music right now: 

BRINGING BACK 80s

  • The overuse of Synth leads and 80s drum patterns have inspired a lot of artists these past couple of years. You can hear 80s inspired music in 2022 from the entire DAWN FM – The Weeknd Album, Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia album, Harry Styles channels his ‘a-ha’ moment with the release of As It Was.
  • My personal favorite 80s inspired song is from a VERY talented upcoming artist, Amber Ais – Ordinary

POP PUNK (Angrier tho)  

  • I’m pretty sure we’ve all wanted to be in a band or were obsessed with them at some point. Artists had the chance to channel their inner emo kid during this movement. In Olivia Rodrigo’s breakup anthem, good 4 u, or in Willow Smith’s entire discography. 
  • My personal favorite POP PUNK inspired song is between Leah Kate’s 10 Things I Hate About You or Tate McRae’s she’s all i wanna be. 

WHAT IF THIS SONG WAS….? 

  • The biggest success story I’ve seen to this day was from LA based singer and producer, ASTN, on his incredibly sultry version of Billie Eilishs’ Happier Than Ever

SONGS TO SCREAM TO IN YOUR CAR (with your besties)

  • This isn’t necessarily a specific style of music that people are following. The trend is to sit in your car, explain your song, and prove why it’s good enough to be on aux worthy while driving through a tunnel while screaming it. This generally consists of angry breakup anthems or broken hearted ballads, no in-between. 

Mine is, abcdefu – Gayle or my favorite, EatSpit – Slushpuppy ft. Royal & The Serpent.

You can find my favorite takes on music trends on my beloved CROWDSURFER COLLECTIONS playlist on Spotify <3.

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Luck Reunion

Luck Reunion is a one-day, laid back country music festival turned musical family reunion hosted by the Willie Nelson Family and held on their private ranch in Luck, Texas, just outside of Austin. Held on St. Patrick’s day, this was the 10 year anniversary for Luck Reunion, and we thought it was a heck of a good time.

The backdrop for the music is actually an old western movie set — it was built in 1975 and served as the backdrop for the film adaptation of Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger. The biggest names in Texas outlaw music appeared, including Charlie Crockett, Vincent Neil Emerson, a surprise performance from Jason Isbell, and of course a headlining set from Willie Nelson and his sons. 

There was an open bar for all who purchased tickets to the event, along with food trucks and free Melt ice creams and Topo Chico to quench your thirst during the heat of the day. The VIP area had a Gibson guitar pop-up, a tattoo artist, signed guitars, fresh Oysters, and tintype photos. Folks sported country western fashion, with cowboy hats, boots and everything in between. 

One of our personal favorite moments were the stripped down acoustic shows from Tre Burt and Vincent Neil Emerson, held in a small chapel that held less than 50 people, and another in a two-story saloon. 

A popular choice for shopping was the little shop selling “Willie’s Remedy” and various hemp products, along with a “Weed Legal” neon sign. Across the dirt road, a barn held a display of artifacts and photos from previous years at the ranch.

It was a perfect summer day in Texas for live music and a fun day overall, a breath of fresh air and a step outside from the chaotic SXSW events this week. To end the night, Willie got a lively reaction from the crowd by singing this song during his headlining set— “If I die when I’m high, I’ll be halfway to heaven.”

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Matroda at the Church

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Tai Verdes, Chelsea Cutler, and Quinn XCII at Moody Amphitheater

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Concert Review: PVRIS

PVRIS put on an electrifying performance at Southside Ballroom in Dallas on Sunday. The band had the crowd buzzing from song #1, kicking off the show with their hit new single, “Monster.” They went on to play tracks from their newest album, Use Me, while mixing in some classics, from “Dead Weight” and “Gimme a Minute” to “St. Patrick” and “What’s Wrong.” Despite the crowd being a bit smaller than other stops on PVRIS’ tour so far (Sundays are tough) their performance was energetic and fans thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

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Concert Review: Betty Who

Pop artist Betty Who opened for Ke$ha last night in Dallas at South Side Ballroom and put on an awesome show. Check out our photo review below. Images by Natalie Perez.

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Artist Interview: Eraste

For our readers that might not know, talk a little bit about how you got started with music.

Yes, hi! My name is Eraste and I’m an alt-pop musician! I didn’t have a huge upbringing in music, and it was mostly me listening to whatever was popular on the radio and (since I’m from texas) country music. I think the great thing about not having a lot of musical influences growing up is that I’ve had the opportunity to create my own tastes, and a lot of them were albums I loved in my teenage years of course lol. I grew up leading worship and connecting with people through music, and I found out I actually really love pop music. From the beginning, I naturally gravitated toward pop hits and so being a pop artist felt really natural. I didn’t really have anyone to teach me how to be a musician or singer, so everything I did was from having a good ear and passion for music and I think that’s what sets my music apart from a lot of other musicians.

Tell us about some of your musical influences and favorite artists you derive inspiration from.

For sure! So like I said it’s a lot of albums I loved in my teenage years, such as Melodrama by Lorde for one, and Badlands by Halsey. One person I have loved longer than anyone else is none other than Taylor Swift! I love her story-telling and the way she can craft an idea, she is easily the best songwriter of our generation. I also grew up watching her bend between genres and make her career match however she was feeling at that time in her life. She won a Grammy in THREE different genres! Like hello? Simply phenomenal. Lorde is someone that really taught me the importance of one-liners and painting a picture with your words, she’s great at using really specific details and weaving them into a broader story to create something meaningful AND relatable. Halsey is the first person that made me completely fall in love with electro-pop music, that album really shaped a generation (shout-out to 2014 Tumblr culture for taking that and RUNNING with it haha) that was the first time I listened to music and thought “WOW I didn’t know music could be THIS GOOD!” I gravitated towards it and their music is still my favorite to this day.

How has your writing and producing style developed over time?

OOoh I love this question, I love talking about songwriting! Yeah, so I think working with more established producers gave me a perspective of approaching my songwriting through a really “professional” lens. It was great to gain those skills of co-writing in a room with other songwriters, and that’s something I definitely want to do in the future! But with the songs I’m writing right now it was really important to me to do it on my own, and prove I could write amazing music without the help (or pressure) of anyone else, and it’s definitely been the best songwriting of my career so far. It’s great to learn from other people and try out their processes, but at the end of the day, it’s best to listen to yourself and what works for you.

Tell us about “Crashing Every Party” and how you crafted that EP.

Right yes! So speaking a little more on that I got fortunate to work with some experienced producers. I had just lost my job due to coronavirus and everything happened by pure chance. They moved back to Texas because of the pandemic and we just decided to make some music! I didn’t go into the experience with any kind of expectations, and I only wanted to make something honest and explore everything I thought I was capable of doing. I really pushed myself to be uncomfortable with the EP and I think that’s what sets it apart as something honest, scary, and adventurous. We got into a room and wrote a lot about a lot of topics and at the end of the day, I’m so happy with what it became. I wanted to make a little pop music and country music and kind of everything in between, and I think when people hear it they realize how much fun we had in those sessions!!

What’s your favorite song you’ve worked on so far?

That’s a hard one! I love all of my songs and it’s so hard to choose one haha! I think I would have to say my debut song “Break My Own Heart” though! I wrote it with my good friend Good Guy Levi and we honestly have so many similar experiences that it was really easy to write with him. He’s someone I trust so much and we frequently give each other advice on music and life! Some people you meet and it’s like you’ve known them for years and that’s definitely how we are. So when I had this idea for a song it didn’t feel like work to get it out, and it was really raw and I loved it! The songs that tumble out and don’t feel like work are always the best. That song will always have the most special place in my heart (pun intended haha)

Your songs have a chill, easy going vibe to them. Do you feel like that represents your actual personality or is that more of a persona?

I think it represents who I am! I try to be as honest and relatable in my music as possible, and that stays true to how I live my life. I try to be welcoming and easy-going with new people I meet to make them as comfortable as possible, and I pride myself on that! The most important thing we can do is make the people who are important to us feel seen and heard and so that’s what I do with my music. I am like… irritatingly honest haha. And so when you hear experiences or stories it’s definitely from my life and perspective!

What are the current projects you’re working on? What’s the plan for this year (after all the corona craziness?)

I am working on some singles for sure! I don’t really have a plan yet besides write and write and WRITE! I feel like with the pressure gone from my debut ep, I have a ton more freedom to do whatever I want to! So lot’s of fun things in store. Hopefully I can play some shows on my EP soon too! I am VERY VERY excited for what the future has in store!

Where can people find you?

I am on ALL social media and streaming platforms under the name Eraste! I am active the most on tiktok and twitter @eraste ! I can’t wait to interact with ya’ll! And special thanks to Gaby for doing the shoot for my upcoming single “favorite secret” !

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Evan Giia, K. Flay, and Louis the Child at Stubbs

A fully impressive lineup of young artists came to Stubbs in Austin this past week, with up-and-coming pop artist Evan Giia opening the show, badass rocker K. Flay getting the crowd hyped, and Louis the Child delivering with their classic beats, vibes and remixes. Check out the photos below, taken by Gaby Deimeke.

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Song Review // Jensen McRae – ”Wolves”

Beautifully crafted. Perfectly worded. Iconic. Show-Stopping…

This song made my jaw drop, put a knot in my stomach, all while simultaneously making me fall in love with music all over again. 

The instrumentation is simple and raw which is exactly how the song is supposed to be portrayed. When you think about what it represents, there’s nothing more you should add to the instrumentation because it’s the honest to God truth and we don’t need to cover it up as the wolves in disguise are. The guitar riff is consistent and stagnant yet haunting. This complements Jensen’s incredibly low vocal tone and gives excellent delivery to the message she has about the wolves.

We’re talking about the people who prey on people as wolves do. 

Let’s take a look at the first verse. 

I was 15, still in the valley

Walking in a parking garage

First time I met a wolf in person

At first I thought it was a dog

I tried to dodge him, he was faster

Than I’d ever had to be

He smiled and howled in the same moment

It knocked the wind right out of me

Let’s point out that when she means – ‘‘At first I thought it was a dog’’ – it simply means what it is if you’re looking at it as a wolf from an animal perspective. But in the perspective of a wolf being (in this case) a man, this hints at the ‘‘nice guy’’ persona that these predators put out and victims mistakenly fall for. 

Verse 2: 

I was 19, still fun at parties

He plied me with shot after shot

He assured me he was harmless

Why did I ever trust a fox?

I ignored all of my teachings

How I survived, I can’t believe

I almost let him get his claws in

Still knocks the wind right out of me

This part stopped me in my tracks. Now if it wasn’t obvious, she clearly nods to the wolf as a human cisgender male. 

‘‘I was 19, still fun at parties’’ – at which now, she longer can be ‘‘fun’’

‘‘I ignored all of my teachings’’ – women are raised differently from men to be wary of them 

The way she sings ‘‘I almost let him get his claws in’’ – truly breaks my heart because the vocal performance sounds as if she’s choked up from this traumatizing incident, even as it was noted an ‘‘almost’’ incident

Chorus: 

Now I bury my smile and show no interest

Now I carry myself a little different

Now I avoid the woods

Now I know the wolves

This! Chorus! 

There’s a reason why we don’t smile or ‘show any interest’ because we’re afraid of what might happen to us. Jensen has done an incredible job writing from the perspective as a predator in the wild and working that into the realities of victims of sexual assault. She’s truly created one of my favorite songs and one of the best lyrically written songs (IMO), but take a listen to Wolves, as well as her newly released EP, ”Who Hurt You?” and tell me what you think!

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Sunsquabi at Empire Garage in ATX

Sunsquabi performed last night at Empire Garage in Austin, and we took some photos of the show. Check them out below! Images by Gaby Deimeke.