The Detroit indie-rock sextet of Kate Hinote (vocals, lyrics), Erin Williams (backing vocals, keys, lyrics), Tony Hamera (guitar, synths), David Johnson (guitar), Bryan Talaski (bass) and Jim Faulkner (drums) chronicles pivotal moments of growth, heartbreak and change on their latest cathartic EP, Time Didn’t Matter.
“I certainly hope that people can relate to it and have that feeling,” Hinote said. “Any time you’re making music, you hope that people can react to it in some way, and I am considering that when I’m writing, but I also gotta get stuff out.”
As an emotional outlet, Time Didn’t Mattercarefully opens the floodgates of past relationships, present circumstances and future possibilities. Six passionate tracks flow alongside introspective lyrics, fiery goth-rock instrumentation and ethereal shoegaze sensibilities.
“That’s just what kind of comes out … I’ve always written that way and still try to write in a way that can be interpreted,” Hinote said. “It’s a little vague, so that it can be left open to interpretation, and there are certainly some specific relationships that are addressed on this EP.”
The Barcelona, Spain indie-pop singer-songwriter and guitarist thoughtfully addresses unanswered questions, lingering uncertainties and changing relationships on her latest contemplative single, “Over.”
“It just happened, and it wasn’t really autobiographical because I wasn’t dating anyone at that point,” said June, who’s currently an art history and political science senior at the University of Michigan.
“It’s interesting, with so many of my songs, they just kind of happen, and the ability to write ‘Over’ without having felt it personally … I genuinely don’t know where that came from.”
Throughout “Over,” a tranquil symphony of pensive electric guitar, hopeful cello, crashing cymbals and thunderous drums infuses June with newfound strength and confidence.
She sings, “I can’t help but to let you know/That this is more than intended/I never meant to let you go/I said I loved you and I meant it/It isn’t over just cause you say it is/I’d like to tell you where my ending begins.”
“With the guitar pattern, I knew that I wanted a message, and I wanted it to be really restated. The verses are structurally the same, but obviously lyrically different,” June said.
“The choruses are different, and as that desperation nears the end, that’s when the music starts building up, and the cello gets stronger, and the drums come in. The drums are almost cacophonic, and I wanted them to be loud … like something’s breaking, and it’s not in your control to mend it.”
“Ethan pushed me to try new things. In the first session, he was giving me auto-tune vocoders that sounded like T-Pain, and I was like, ‘What is this? This is awesome!’ It was such an awesome experience to see it evolve with the mindset of someone who’s really different,” said June, who recorded the track at Ethan Matt’s home studio in mid-February.
“It’s really just a close-knit community of people who are always willing to help. It’s so incredible because you can be like, ‘Oh, I need a trombone,’ and you have like 70 people available.”
The Detroit indie-pop collective instantly travels through space and time to revisit past heartbreak on their latest breezy single, “Chicago.”
“I went on a trip to Chicago with a very important person in my life a few years ago. It’s not about that trip; it’s about that relationship,” said Issac Burgess, Jupiter House Band’s vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer.
“It’s an honest song about a lot of internal struggles and just trying to cope with a lack of somebody you’re used to having in your life.”
Throughout “Chicago,” a ripple of soft drums, glistening cymbals, scintillating electric guitar, subterranean bass and tweeting synths blow across the mind’s universe and yearn for lost love.
Burgess dreamily sings, “Can’t keep feeling down/Ya turned my heart around/And now I feel like a fool.”
“I’m such a sucker for love songs, but I’ve always been self-conscious about writing them. This is my take at a bit of a love song … kind of a breakup song,” he said. “I wrote it when I was 23, and I’m almost 25 now. I think it will mean a lot to other people.”
After visiting “Chicago,” Jupiter House Band shifts their musical orbit to “Feel Like (Wow),” an upbeat, funky ode to maximizing time and setting boundaries.
Infectious waves of pulsating synth, eager drums, jittery bass and curious electric guitar immerse Burgess in long-awaited relief.
Alongside those “Feel Like (Wow)” sighs of relief, Burgess sings, “Can’t keep what’s goin’ on/Or keep from knowin’ how/Your scent on my Oxford shirt/Makes impression how/Makes me feel like wow/I can’t help but think of her.”
“I’m reaching a point in my adulthood where I just can’t give my time and my energy to everyone all the time. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing either,” he said.
“In the past, people have gotten upset, and even I have gotten upset, when you couldn’t reach someone all the time, or you couldn’t be with someone all the time. You could chalk that song up to having a general consensus of not wanting to waste time with drama, gossip or talk.”
“These albums have both really been connecting with a lot of people. They really inspire both of us to keep going … and things have been improving the past couple of months. Hopefully, we’ll be moving in a more positive place,” Berry said.
“With my music, I’m not looking for acclaim or huge financial sales. These things would be wonderful, but I just want to connect with people. If it makes somebody happy … then it’s like, ‘Mission accomplished.’”
Both Nubdug Ensemble and Chaudhary whisk listeners along genre-bending adventures filled with precious metals, mechanical wonders, white wine and public transportation. Each Volume 2: Blame and Meow Meow Band track instantly brings a welcome element of surprise and enthrallment and repeatedly plays inside appreciative minds.
“I wanted to try these individual sounds, and if you listen back to something like The Residents, I thought, ‘How did they make those sounds and what could I do with that?’ It’s very late ‘70s things with different kinds of technology to get that sort of raw thing, and they use different instruments here … or use this process or that process,” said Chaudhary, who also collaborates with Berry in Nubdug Ensemble.
“I thought, ‘What if I work with this drummer and this synthesizer player and see what happens?’ It turned out to be great, and that’s the genesis of some of the things like ‘North Berkeley BART’ and ‘White Wine.’ Once I started working with Calvin Weston in 2020, it was like this perfect vehicle for recording some of this music.”
The San Francisco cabaret psych-punk trio of Ellie Stokes (vocals, guitar, piano, synth), Jack Stancik (bass) and William Stokes (drums) celebrates creepy plastic cuisine, nervous guests and ghoulish mannequin hosts in their new immersive 360 video for “Neuroplasticity.”
“It’s all kind of weird CGI people, and you turn around and someone has a plate of eyeballs,” said Ellie Stokes about the interactive video. “The detail in it is amazing, and one guy sitting down has motor legs, and he keeps moving. You’re forced to look at people and figure out what’s going on in their heads.”
One step inside the “Neuroplasticity” characters’ collective headspace reveals the innovative mindset of Honeymoon Supply Co. Grooblen collaborated with the Los Angeles-based visual artist to direct and create the stunning video.
“I told her to include some stuff, but for the most part, it was just her and how she perceived the song,” said Ellie Stokes. “She was like, ‘Well, what about a dinner party?’ and I was like, ‘Oh my God, that would be so cool, and what if you included some creepy dish that could be misinterpreted?’”
Throughout the David Lynch-esque video, a pair of guests anxiously determines whether to sample eyeball appetizers, bloody cocktails and emerald gelatin molds. Their spooky hosts quietly observe as floors move below and flames erupt overhead.
“She was looking for creative projects, and it took her about a week to put it together,” said Ellie Stokes. “I love that kind of stuff, and I’m excited to put it out there.”
The video also perfectly reflects the spooky, haunting imagery depicted in Grooblen’s “Neuroplasticity” single, which spotlights the human brain and body’s resilience to heal and adapt from past traumas.
“‘Neuroplasticity’ is about how everything can change in a second and how our brains and bodies are so interlinked,” said Ellie Stokes, who was diagnosed with a rare optic nerve condition in 2020, but has since recovered.
“I wrote it from the perspective of the nerve in my brain telling me what was going on. It’s digging deep into this new part of myself that I hadn’t really thought about before.”
Max Preissner understands the importance of being present and helping others.
The Ann Arbor hip-hop artist, entrepreneur and educator follows this personal mantra as founder and CEO of Be Now Media, a newly rebranded marketing agency, media production company and record label.
“This entire rebrand is based on my strongest core value, which is helping people with my knowledge and experiences. I used to think that was only possible through my own music,” said Preissner, aka Max Price.
“However, I recently realized that through Be Now Media I can increase my positive effect exponentially by helping people who help others.”
After struggling with anxiety and depression in his early 20s, Preissner read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment and learned how to be present.
“I learned that most of my suffering was coming from my thoughts. By focusing my attention on the present moment and my senses, I could calm or stop the thoughts and the suffering,” Preissner said. “I have tested this extensively, and it still holds true to this day.”
To focus on the present, Preissner started meditating and created a personal development plan that was inspired by different programs and teachings. Those efforts resulted in a renewed mindset, which helped him revisit his daily priorities and recalibrate his outlook on life.
“I’ve meditated every day for the past two years, and I decided to make self-management my No. 1 priority,” said Preissner, who holds a Master of Arts in music business from Berklee College of Music and teaches a “Self-Management for Artists” course at Washtenaw Community College.
“I have developed a routine and structure for myself that allows me to live in the most effective, efficient and authentic way possible.”
As a next step, Preissner decided to rebrand his MindState Marketing and Media company as Be Now Media. The rebrand better reflects the skills, values and passions he’s developed in life.
“This has provided me with an ultimate sense of purpose and fulfillment in life, and I want to share that experience with others,” Preissner said.
“It has led me to a place where I have turned my dreams into reality. The idea for the rebrand just came to me, and the name ‘Be Now’ represents everything that I’m about.”