By: Shamus Hill
Caev recently appeared on Mass Music Radio's blog with the official music video for "Is What It Is", and nearly a month later he returns with a brand new visual, this time for his single "Don't Break It".
Teaming up with Daniel Maldonado of Bridge Vision Films, Caev assisted in making this one of his best videos to date. "Don't Break It" is a heartfelt track that circulates around love scars. Fashioned with romantic scenes that eventually build up to Caev's assassination by his significant other, "Don't Break It" details the fear of a relationship's end.
This song is the latest high-caliber addition to Caev's discography, and given the fact that his rate of releasing music has seen an uptick throughout the first quarter of 2021, I'd say keep this Boston artist on your radar.
Watch the official music video for "Don't Break It" below:
By: Shamus Hill
Siblings Brandon James and Big Super, who together help make up Boston's Rebel Mafia Global, make their presence known following the release of the official music video for "Blood Brothers".
Both Brandon and Super are individuals who have made stellar contributions to the Massachusetts music scene over the course of the last few years. Brandon, who is the owner and operator of FNS Films, has been producing music videos for artists from Boston for nearly 7 years now. He's worked with the likes of Poleboy D Rose, Trottie Gang, Kye Bills, and so many more throughout the Bay State as both a videographer and an artist - displaying how multi-faceted his talents truly are in the process. Big Super, who used to release music under the moniker Superior, has steadily released some of the best raps that are in existence in MA. He possesses an incredibly powerful demeanor, something that becomes known almost immediately when listening to "Blood Brothers".
The way that these two artists are able to mesh their talents together is second-to-none, with "Blood Brothers" being one of the more notable releases from Massachusetts in 2021. The dynamic that they possess will no doubt carry their artistic careers onward, and I'm truly looking forward to what both Brandon James and Big Super will accomplish with time.
Watch the official music video for "Blood Brothers" below:
By: Shamus Hill
For those of you out there who are solely operating under Plan A, with zero intention of establishing a Plan B, then Neemz is here today with your new anthem.
"Plan A" is the latest release from the Boston-based artist, and also serves as the third addition to Neemz's discography up through this current point in time. While some may read "third" and view Neemz as being towards the beginning of her artistic career, this statement doesn't do her artistry any justice whatsoever. Each new single takes on a life of its own, something that has continuously drawn me back towards her music.
"Plan A" revolves around aspiration toward success, particularly while doing something that you're head-over-heels passionate about. While many people in this world are told "not to put all of your eggs into one basket", Neemz is here to denounce this thinking entirely. She's a firm believer in fully-investing oneself into their life's passion, and views the idea of having a Plan B as detrimental towards achieving what one wants to achieve in their life. Faith is something you need to possess if you're trying to make your dreams reality, and Neemz simply wants to remind you of this.
Watch the official music video for "Plan A" below:
By: Shamus Hill
For those that stay up-to-date with the latest happenings within the Massachusetts music scene, anytime a Van Buren Records release makes its way to the timeline, you know you're in for an amazing day. Upon seeing that the music video for Van Buren's new single "BRAIN DEAD" had officially been released, I rushed to YouTube to see what the blossoming collective of artists had produced.
"BRAIN DEAD" utilizes the best talents from SAINT LYOR, Luke Bar$, Lord Felix, and Jiles, and places them over some wondrous production at the hands of former MA resident, Mike Hector. "Ballin' out my hometown, everybody know my song!" exclaims SAINT LYOR, as shots of a stretch limousine cruising around the city of Brockton are presented to the viewer. This artistic collective is on a mission to put the City of Champions on a global scale, and as they release more new music, they step closer towards this goal.
This track is simply a taste of what is next to come from VB. Given the fact that they have a timer on their website counting down the next 16 days, I think it's safe to say that we should be expecting a release from Van Buren Records this upcoming month. Whether it's an album for a specific artist, or a collective-wide offering that presents everyone's talents on a singular project, only time will tell. Be sure to follow Van Buren Records on Twitter and Instagram in order to follow the updates on this upcoming release.
Watch the official music video for "BRAIN DEAD" below:
By: Mike Scarfo
Anyone who has followed the Massachusetts music scene over the past decade recognizes Cousin Stizz as one of the biggest names to come out of the area in recent memory. At this point in his career, the Dorchester-native is certainly no stranger to hip-hop stardom, working with the likes of Doja Cat, Offset of Migos, and Freddie Gibbs to name a few. Stizz continues to add to his impeccable resume early in 2021, as he links up with rising Canadian rapper Jazz Cartier for a dark, trap-infused single “Nothin’ 2 Me”.
“Nothin’ 2 Me” features a dark, gloomy instrumental with heavy trap drums, stark piano chords, and haunting vocal samples, an aesthetic that fits both artists perfectly. Jazz Cartier is an artist that I personally have been on for a number of years, dating back to his Hotel Paranoia record in 2016, which featured a sonic palette liken to early-era Travis Scott. What impresses me most about Cartier is his ability to blend his charismatic delivery with trippy, psychedelic production, two elements that are difficult to execute in tandem. Yet, “Nothin’ 2 Me” actually shows off Cartier’s ability to adapt to the smoother approach of Cousin Stizz. In his hook and opening verse, Cartier describes his nonchalant attitude towards toxic materialism in an attempt to block out the unnecessary outside noise that can accompany fame.
However, Stizz steals the show in the back half of the track, as his verse reflects a cohesiveness between him and Cartier in terms of subject matter and energy. Stizz provides clever and witty lyricism, emphasizing his desire to focus on his own version of success while monetarily taking care of those around him. Stizz delivers his bars with grit and confidence, adding a welcomed dimension to the track that would simply fall flat without his efforts. I find myself captivated by Stizz’s ability to command the production and make it compliment him, rather than the other way around. The way in which he galvanizes his audience highlights how far he has come as an artist.
Cousin Stizz continues to prove his relevance in hip-hop through yet another successful big-time collaboration, as “Nothin’ 2 Me” is an early favorite of mine in 2021.
By: Shamus Hill
Debuting his first single of 2021 today is Cambridge rapper, Connis. He recently made his way onto our blog following the release of the official music video for "SPF 30", and this time around he's here to celebrate his birthday with a new single titled "26".
Being that I just turned 25 a few weeks ago, I understand the feeling of angst that comes attached with this period of one's life. This angst tends to revolve around complacency - not being where we'd like to be in life or not having accomplished what we thought we would up through this point in time. Connis references this feeling throughout "26", and even expresses his hopes that if he's not on the right path at this current moment, then he hopes that he'll be walking down it soon.
As the track develops, Connis' sentiments shift towards being grateful rather than that of fear/anxiety. While he does reflect on the craziness of everyday life, and even speaks on some of what he endures within his most critical relationships, Connis still manages to be appreciative of those who surround him. Each new addition to his catalog of music is highly reminiscent of a raw, unedited journal entry. As one listens through the Cambridge native's discography, they'll quickly realize that he's never once shied away from putting his life experiences into his music.
Connis is someone that you can truly get to know following through his music, and this statement rings truer than ever following the release of "26". Additionally, it's the two year anniversary of his 2019 debut album Conn(is), and if you've yet to listen to this Massachusetts classic, then you seriously have to stop slacking.
Listen to Connis' latest single "26" below:
The pandemic has hit the music & entertainment industry especially hard since it began in March, 2020. In the past year, some of the best local venues in the Boston area were forced to close their doors forever and many more continue to struggle everyday. With the restrictions on social gatherings and a total shutdown of nightlife, DJs, and artists have been deprived of the opportunity to perform. Not only are they losing their livelihood, they're losing the chance to remain connected to the crowds, the fans, and all of the music lovers in our wonderful community. Beyond that, we've seen the emergence of a new kind of performance, one that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home, streaming online. To celebrate the DJs & Artists who have been able to adapt and continue their amazing work despite the challenges and roadblocks faced, we present to you the new.NORMAL Virtual Music Festival!
By: Mike Scarfo
Massachusetts-based indie artist Maeko is simply a jack-of-all-trades. He’s proven his ability to execute contemporary, sad-boy styled sounds on his moody, introspective 2020 EP Good Grief. His most recent single, “Lifelike” with fellow Boston vocalist Sleeping Bela, showcases his brilliance as an emcee through passionate double-time flows, and an undeniable vivacity that radiates through speakers. The heaviness of these releases portray the compromised mindset Maeko was in last year, a sentiment that most of us can probably relate to on some level.
Now, Maeko returns with a newfound energy in his first release of 2021 with “Capricorn”, featuring rising Queens, NY musician Hadji Gaviota. The soundscape of “Capricorn” is synonymous with the impending spring season on the East Coast, perfectly capturing feelings of warmth and brightness, a sound that’s been lost in Maeko’s discography for some time. As we slowly work towards a “new normal” as a society, the guitar-driven indie pop smash feels like a beautiful rebirth and breath of fresh air.
The smooth, sultry vibe of “Capricorn'' conveys how versatile Maeko’s musical ability is, but ultimately it’s the combination of charisma and relatability within his lyrics that stands out most. There’s an element of easy-going bliss in his tone, as Maeko croons the impulsivities of possibly “dying [his] hair orange” and living his life in a carefree nature. He reflects on taking a step back from the everyday grind in an attempt to improve his inner perspective, yet acknowledges his psyche is still a home for unwanted thoughts and insecurities from time to time. He utilizes metaphorical language, comparing his mind to that of a neighborhood, as he details: “And it’s a fact that my mind can be a dangerous neighborhood / But I still walk in it late at night / And all I ask, don’t box me in I don’t do labels good / cause I tried that once upon a time”. Maeko also achieves gorgeous harmonies in the song’s accessible hook, further reiterating carefree themes through imagery of “making your problems go up in smoke”, and simple nuances of life such as “taking a swim” or “working remote”.
Hadji Gaviota adds lyrical elements that relay similar themes of picking yourself up when you’re down, highlighting a break-up that deeply affected him. The opening lines within his verse emphasize the continuation of the song’s clever writing: “Thought you knew I was a Baggitarius / When you threw me in the bag, like Terius”, a subtle reference to longtime R&B star The-Dream. Pair that with Gaviota’s catchy vocal cadences, and there is nothing not to love about this song.
The joyful and serene “Capricorn” should be a staple in your spring and summer playlists as we look forward to brighter days ahead.
Listen to Maeko and Hadji Gaviota's "Capricorn" below:
By: Shamus Hill
Vintage Lee's newest single "Dune" may only be less than two minutes in length, however it still manages to pack a punch - nestling its way up the ranks as one of the best Vintage releases of recent memory. She tapped in both John Rawl and Luke Kaneb of after.pangea to bring this visual to life, a move that ultimately paid off dividends as it just might be her best one to date.
Featuring wintery beach scenes within the frigid state of Massachusetts, the music video for "Dune" genuinely feels otherworldly at times. Climbing her way up snow-coated dunes as the ominous instrumental builds up in the background, it feels as though Vintage Lee is quite literally reaching new heights following this release. I recently reflected on her discography during my Mass Music Minute segment on the Mass Music Morning Show, and something that I always mention when speaking of Vintage Lee's artistry is how she's been in possession of her distinctive style ever since "Right Now" debuted five years ago. So many singles, projects, and a 2K feature later, Vintage Lee is seemingly only picking up the pace with respect to her craft. If you're not too familiar with her music, then the squad here at Mass Music Radio suggests you change that.
Watch the official music video for "Dune" below:
By: Shamus Hill
If you've ever taken a drive down to Marshfield on a hot summer day, then you'll know what I mean when I describe the beautiful, hazy atmosphere that seemingly takes hold of the entire landscape throughout this specific time of the year. Being from the area myself, it's something that I've done frequently in life. Hailing from the South Shore of Massachusetts are Tyler Wyatt and Sam Worley, who together make up the adventurous duo - Surfliner. They just recently released a new single titled "Above Water" which perfectly encapsulates the sentiment that I described above.
Surfliner first came across my radar while I was still a student at UMass Amherst. Tyler Wyatt also attended UMass while I was there, and through friends I was able to come across the bands self-titled single "Surfliner". Fast forward to nearly two and a half years later, the band has still been going strong, adding a long list of new music to their discography.
What consistently brings me back to Surfliner's music is the undeniable feeling of happiness and joy that is attached to each second of their songs. "Above Water" is yet another example of this, as both the instrumentation and vocal work come together to formulate something that's really beautiful. It's the perfect soundtrack for a midday summer drive, something that I think we all are looking forward to doing after the cold winter we just escaped.
In addition to Tyler and Sam, who are the original founders of the band, Surfliner has also added John Carlson on bass, helping to give Surfliner a more fully-fleshed out sound when their taking their talents on the road. They've performed throughout the Northeastern United States, even gracing the stage at their hometown's Levitate Music Festival in 2019. Once the pandemic settles down, I would certainly expect them to be back on the road, so be sure to follow them for updates on when their next performance will be.
Listen to Surfliner's latest single "Above Water" below: