Our top ten international picks from around the globe features something for everyone, a little bit of rock, a little bit of pop and a little bit of reggae..
1. Suzie Ungerleider releases ‘Mount Royal’
Two-time Canadian Juno Award nominee Suzie Ungerleider releases the second single, titled ‘Mount Royal’, from her upcoming 10th studio album. The album My Name Is Suzie Ungerleider, due August 13th 2021, officially opens a new chapter of her already distinguished and highly successful career, being the first release since the artist formerly known as Oh Susanna announced that she would now record and perform under her birth name.
‘Mount Royal’, following on from the single ‘Baby Blues’, is a characteristic folky Americana tune with roots influences that follows another personal tale from the chronicles of Suzie’s life, “It’s a romantic song about my time in Montreal when I was just at the end of my teenage years. I had never lived away from home and here I was thousands of miles from where I had grown up. I was still in Canada but I felt like such a foreigner in this French-speaking city.”
The atmospheric and haunting instrumentals frame Suzie’s cinematic lyrics, spinning a tale of colourful young characters dealing with their insecurities, “My roommate Zoe was beautiful and tough with a mane of black curly hair, always playing pool at Bar St. Laurent with a cigarette in her mouth. She was emblematic of how we were all trying to pretend we were in control. Meanwhile I was longing for love and a life in music, but feeling so alone and unable to get there. All the people I knew were trying to act cool yet grappling with impending adulthood and our place in the world, “Who in the hell do we think we are? Shooting for the moon and the stars.”
2. Arsenal Mills drop latest track ‘Cry No More’
Multi-award nominated East Coast rockers Arsenal Mills have dropped a new straightforward installment from their forthcoming EP, Lovesick & Broke; “Cry No More” is available now!
Vocalist and guitarist Brad Milligan says “Cry No More” first came together very spontaneously and naturally. “Griff brought this big, sing-along chorus to me that he’d been working on,” Milligan recalls of the band’s lead guitarist, Griffen Arsenault. “From there, and in only a short time, we had all the music and lyrics written out.”
The song has an infectious, driving beat reminiscent of classic 80s New Wave, and has already proven to inspire feet to move along to it. “I remember everyone in the studio at the time was dancing along to the song while we were recording,” Arsenault recalls. “We figured that was a good indication of how fun this song is!”
“As far as drums and percussion go, this was the first time we decided to mix live and sample drums in a song,” drummer Josh MacNeil explains. “I love how punchy and quick it is; it doesn’t mess around, and just gets straight to the point.
“I couldn’t be more excited about how it turned out.”
“This song has been in my head literally since the day I first heard it,” bass, keyboard, and synth player André Uyterlinde adds. “It definitely has that ‘earworm’ quality; the rhythm is fairly straightforward, but there are a few little cool twists.”
3. Nightshifts release cosmic pop tune ‘Tunnel Vision’
“Tunnel Vision” is the new single from Nightshifts. Baked in optimism and rejuvenation, the track is a dewy springtime tune oozing in escapism.
Nightshifts is the recording project of Toronto based songwriter Andrew Oliver. He works his magic across vintage synths, groovy guitars and drum machines during late-night recording sessions to create soulful and cosmic pop tunes. Nightshifts delivers slow-building progressions of phased synthesizers and delay-coated guitars to create powerful atmospheres that feel close-at-home. The project is both exciting and complex with a fast-growing reputation for kaleidoscopic production and soulful songwriting.
His music carries an underlying theme of imbalance and the challenge to stay present, with the musician confiding, “I very often get caught up thinking about past situations, and looking towards future ones. I write a lot about this imbalance. And ironically, the times I feel most in the moment is when I’m working on music.” Aiming to create music to teleport you to paradise, even if it’s just for three minutes, Nightshifts creates a space to both boogie and feel introspective, whilst learning and feeling something new with each and every turn.
4. Varley release their new single ‘Push Pull’
Berlin-based three-piece Varley unveil the incredible video for their effervescent latest cut ‘Push Pull’. Born from receiving unsolicited advice one too many times, this latest offering is a playful response in the shape of flawless indie-pop.
Sharing a little more, the band explains: “Push Pull” is our tongue-in-cheek response to the unsolicited and sometimes disheartening advice we have received over the years. It was born out of the frustrations that come when people think they know you better than you know yourself or that they know what’s best for you and how this often left us feeling like we were being pushed and pulled in a thousand different directions.
Especially being raised in a society where girls are expected to always be nice and polite, this is our way to break free from that and speak our mind “
The band teamed up with Berlin Director Jen Krause to bring their playful ideas to life, sharing a little more, they said: “After a bit of brainstorming we collectively came up with the idea of a thirty-something-year-old man who is living at home with his parents and not loving life. On the one hand his mum babies him and does absolutely everything for him while his dad resents him for ‘not having achieved anything’. We thought it was quite a funny interpretation of the song and are so happy with the outcome. We got to film it in a hotel in Southern Germany that hasn’t been changed since the 1970s.”
5. Jus Goodie & Bobby Hustle – Better Left Unsaid
San Diego based band Jus Goodie is excited to announce their new song “Better Left Unsaid.” Delivering thought provoking lyrics with an infectious groove, Jus Goodie presents a cool fresh sound with a powerful message. “Better Left Unsaid” is out now and available everywhere! Listen to the new single here: https://ps.onerpm.com/
Reflecting back on the new song, JUS GOODIE’s comments, “It is a song about the importance of being tenacious, and showing that actions speak much louder than words. The title “Better Left Unsaid” delivers the overall message of this song in three short words, while encouraging the idea that some things are simply “Better Left Unsaid.”” The new song is a fusion of vibrant reggae sounds mixed in with a little Jazz for a laid back flavour. Packed with pointed lyricism that inspires reservation over exaggeration Jus Goodie sings Don’t tell me bout how great you are and what you can do if what you say is true just show me the proof // Even when you don’t wanna // just put a smile on your face…
6. Ben Abraham shares ‘War In Your Arms’
LA-based singer/songwriter Ben Abraham has officially unveiled his stunning new single “War In Your Arms.” Out today via Atlantic Records, the track features striking piano melodies and massive gospel harmonies set against a gracefully sculpted beat. It arrives alongside an equally evocative official video starring Abraham.
Produced by James Flannigan (Dua Lipa, MARINA, Matt Maeson) and co-written with fellow Australian singer-songwriter Helen Croome, “War In Your Arms” marks the first track off Abraham’s forthcoming sophomore album, due out later this year.
Of the heavy-hearted lead single, Ben shares: “It’s about that point when the relationship is done and you’re trying so hard to hold onto love, it almost becomes like an act of violence. All you’re really doing is hurting yourself and hurting the other person, until you can gather the strength to say, ‘Enough. I’m done.’”
7. Nathan Lawr Reveals Bold New Single “Restless”
Nathan Lawr came up during the Toronto indie rock heyday that spawned bands like Broken Social Scene and Feist, drumming for Royal City and Sea Snakes. In 2000, he started writing his own folk songs, releasing a series of critically-acclaimed solo albums. In 2010, he started Minotaurs and spent the next 10 years writing, recording, and performing with a psychedelic funk band.
Now, almost a decade later, Lawr has come into his own, finding his voice as a pop singer and releasing his most powerful collection of songs to date. Nathan’s upcoming album, Apocalypse Marshmallow, is a meticulously-crafted, dynamic powerhouse.
The newest single from the album is “Restless” – a song about living in the modern dichotomy: we can have anything we want but we’re relentlessly unsatisfied.
8. Cassadee Pope releases ‘What The Stars See’
Platinum-certified singer-songwriter, Cassadee Pope, has released her latest single, “What The Stars See” featuring Karen Fairchild and Lindsay Ell. The track was written by Pope, Jake Rose and Lindsey Rimes, and was produced by Nick Wheeler (All-American Rejects) and Karen Fairchild (Little Big Town.)
“I was inspired to write ‘What The Stars See’ after sitting outside one night looking up at the stars, curious what their perspective might be looking down on us,” said Pope. “It made me think back to times in my life when I had just come out of a relationship but still felt so connected to the other person. I imagined having the superpower to be among the stars and observe, from their perspective, an ex moving on with their life (or not).”
Cassadee will be releasing the music video for “What The Stars See” exclusively with PEOPLE.com on May 14th. The video, directed by Ed Pryor, is a colourful take on the voyeuristic sensibilities of famed sci-fi action film, Blade Runner, and includes special appearances by both Karen Fairchild and Lindsay Ell.
9. Jax shares her new single ’90s Kids’
Singer-songwriter Jax has shared an unplugged rendition of her new single “90s Kids” – available now via Atlantic Records. The nostalgia-fueled anthem became an instant fan-favorite after being previewed on TikTok late last year, packed with quintessential decade references from Tamagotchi to Britney Spears.
“I’m obviously a 90s kid, and grew up with all these amazing trends that I’m still obsessed with today” said Jax. “One night at 3am I was just thinking of all the times I’d watched ‘Saved By The Bell,’ played Super Smash Bros, danced to Britney Spears and I just put it all in a voice memo. Next thing I knew by sunrise I had this anthem to rep all my fellow 90s babies.”
“90s Kids” follows the release of “Ring Pop,” Jax’s major label-debut which yielded a massive viral response and high-profile appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Access Hollywood & more.
10. Cassandra releases new single ’21 Ragin’
Pop singer/songwriter CASSANDRA is back with a new single that’s destined to be this year’s summer anthem! Click HERE to listen to “21 Ragin.”
With exciting and celebratory lyrics like got my fresh ID and my wallet, find a way to forget last year, champagne in the fridge let’s pop it, Uber’s here, “21 Ragin” is here just in time for listeners to finally break free from the gloominess of 2020.
“21 Ragin was born from my desire to go out and have fun with friends after the year 2020, especially since I just turned 21,” CASSANDRA explains. “This song is filled with nightlife energy and I hope it gets you fired up to dance and celebrate 2021!”