Posts tagged music
Empire of the Sun in NYC

By Miranda Chiechi


Empire of the Sun comprises of Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore.

Empire of the Sun comprises of Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore.

Empire of the Sun wrapped up their three night residency this weekend in New York at Webster Hall. This North American tour stretching from New York, to Texas, to California is celebrating the ten year anniversary of their debut album, Walking on a Dream. Australian electronic pop duo was nothing short of otherworldly. The band was equipped to deliver an amazing experience for their fans, with elaborate stage sets, eccentric costumes and the iconic headdress lead singer, Luke Steele, has been adorned in a majority of their album covers and during their live performances.

This year’s tour marks the ten year anniversary of Empire of the Sun’s debut album.

This year’s tour marks the ten year anniversary of Empire of the Sun’s debut album.

The show started off with a futuristic video and a dark stage which slowly lit up as band members strolled on to stage. The hall buzzed with anticipation. The moment Steele’s headdress came into view, the fans went wild. Empire of the Sun played all their big hits, like “Walking on a Dream,” and “Alive,” and lesser known gems like, “Swordfish Hotkiss Night,” which kept the crowd grooving and rocking all night long. Their last album came out in 2016, but the band released a re-issue of their first album this year complete with their new song “Chrysalis,” to celebrate the anniversary. In an interview about two years ago, the duo said they were starting work on their fourth album, so we can only hope Empire of the Sun will be releasing even more new music this coming year.

Steele finished their set before coming on stage for an encore by smashing his baby blue guitar on stage, leaving it in shards. Their 80s, rock, electronic, pop infused tunes delivered not just a show for New York, but an experience.

BLEND's Monthly Music Radar: April

By Berkley Moates


Photo from Indie Midlands

Photo from Indie Midlands

  1. “my strange addiction” by Billie Eilish

  2. “SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS (feat. UMI)” by Cautious Clay 

  3. “Superpowers (feat. GoldLink)” by Col3trane 

  4. “Lose My Mind (feat. Mr Gabriel)” by Jai Wolf

  5. “Cigarette” by RAYE, Mabel, Stefflon Don 

  6. “Kool Aid” by Sam Willis

  7. “Summer Love (feat. Matter Mos)” by Midnight Quickie

  8. “If I Know Me” by Morgan Wallen

  9. “Are You Bored Yet? (feat. Claire)” by Wallows 

  10. “Price On My Head (feat. The Weekend)” by NAV

Spotify Link

Wallows

Photo from The Daily Listening

Photo from The Daily Listening

Recently, Austin’s beautiful spring weather has led me to binge listen to bands that make me feel like I’m cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway with the windows down, Wallows has become one of those bands for me. The trio has been together since they were 11 but recently has gained traction from performing on several late night shows. Their sound screams All-American alternative rock band with a side of west coast ocean waves. In late March, they released a new album so be sure to blast it next time you go out in the sun.

Sam Wills

Photo from Instagram

Photo from Instagram

If you know me, you know it’s no surprise that some undercover UK artists make the radar each month. British born, Sam Wills, immerses American soulful vocals with splashes of UK infused beats. Imagine Justin Timberlake and Disclosure’s music having a baby, that’s the vibe Sam Wills creates. His music just makes you feel gooood!  Bring out his tracks when chilling with friends at Zilker or driving around the city.

Midnight Quickie

Photo from Instagram

Photo from Instagram

 Can we talk about the name of this group? Pretty genius right. Especially because this group of producers and lead vocalist from Indonesia will make you dance! After listening to their song “Summer Love”, on BLEND’s radar this month, you will be able to start pre-gaming summer early in April! All those summer feelings may flush back but the beat will keep you moving.

What We Really Think of Billie Eilish

Who is Billie Eilish? Why do we like her? Why do we not like her? Is her middle name really “Pirate”? Who the heck is Finneas? (Like, you mean Phineas and Ferb?) So many questions about the newly 17-year-old who is approaching superstardom. But the most important question is: When we all fall asleep, where do we go?

By Kimberly Webb


Photo from Mary Kang

Photo from Mary Kang

Billie Eilish Pirate Baird-O’Connell is just like her name: anything but normal. Now, to be honest, if you haven’t heard her name...you’re probably old. Sorry. This talented teen has billions of streams...and she *kinda* stands out. She dresses like a gothic anime rapper in extremely baggy clothes with hats and jewelry galore. It’s an interesting paradox for a girl to wear a bright neon jumpsuit 5 sizes too large for her, sing about being a serial killer with an angelic melody, and then name her album don’t look at me. Billie was born to actor/artist parents Maggie Baird and Patrick O’Connell, who homeschooled both Billie and her older brother Finneas to foster and develop their creativity. Billie grew up dancing and joined the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus at the young age of eight. She started writing songs when she was eleven, and her first song “Fingers crossed” was actually inspired by The Walking Dead.

Photo by Cameron Postfoorish

Photo by Cameron Postfoorish

Finneas O’Connell, who co-writes and tours with his sister, has acted in a few films and had recurring roles on Modern Family and Glee. They are a dynamic duo in the music industry. Billie has expressed her immense appreciation and love for Finneas, posted on her Instagram: “This is my big brother and my best friend. I would be precisely nothing without him.” Billie and Finneas wrote and then posted the breakthrough song “Ocean Eyes” in 2015 to SoundCloud, and boom. A star was born. At the time, Billie was only 13, singing lines about love and napalm skies- with incredible control and range. She later released her album don’t smile at me that furthered her fame and blew her up into a well-known name in pop culture.

Billie’s Album Covers:  don’t smile at me

Billie’s Album Covers: don’t smile at me

Billie’s Album Cover:  Ocean Eyes

Billie’s Album Cover: Ocean Eyes

With such a distinct style and sound, Bill’s music is incredibly unique and pretty hard to categorize...she fits no one genre. With her excessive use of the words “dude”, “dick”, and an assortment of cuss words, she isn’t here to take things too seriously. She won’t be placed in a box, and she doesn’t want to be. Her voice is so different and honestly just...well, cool. Weird. Eclectic. New. With her talent and personality, there’s no question why she’s on everyone’s music radar. She has been given the opportunity to express a wildly imaginative gift, and she is doing it in a way that captivates millions of people. It’s not that Billie Eilish is controversial, it’s just that we are all trying to figure her out and loving not being able to at the same time. Even while having to deal with a complete change of lifestyle at such a young age, Billie has not allowed her mass fame to make her stop being herself. That’s not to say the fame hasn’t affected her— she has made statements about how crazy her life has become. She is constantly cracking jokes and laughing.... It can be hard to remember that this megastar isn’t even a legal adult yet, and she still harbors a teenage spirit and zest for life, which is evident when she is interviewed or posts on her social media accounts. She shares her life with her fans, gets intimate with crowds at concerts, and has even opened up about her struggle with Tourette's Syndrome with all her fans on social media.

Photo by Daria Kobayashi Ritch

Photo by Daria Kobayashi Ritch

Photo by Alexandra Gavillet

Photo by Alexandra Gavillet

Billie’s new album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? drops March 29th...and I can barely contain myself. When asked about the album name in an interview, Bill’s response was immediate. “I mean, dude,” she said. “Where the f*** do we go?! I’m sure somebody’s gonna be like, oh, it’s your brain doing this — but, like, you cannot give me a good explanation. I do not understand. Dreams are a really intense part of my life. I’ll go through a month where I’ll have the same nightmare every single night — a dream that’s so bad that the whole day is off, or a dream that’s so good that none of it’s true.” However, some people are turned off to Billie’s newer music as her more recent songs and videos have gravitated toward the macabre. The album cover is a little creepy, a severe contrast to her previous one.

If you’re not into the darker side of art, you might not like her change of style this second album. However, her voice on the three singles she has released that are on the album is still soft and pretty. “when the party’s over” is about the passionate haunting of heartbreak. The music video showcases Billie in a pristine white room with white clothes crying black tears- which was not all special effects, as she showed on her Instagram with the caption “Just so y’all know how real that video was. Stung like a mf.” “bury a Friend,” is told as a horror story inspired by sleep paralysis that gives you chills from the ominous music and unnerving lyrics. “Wish You Were Gay,” is about wishing the reason your crush didn’t date you was due to differing sexual orientation rather than the fact that they just don’t like you; with clever lines like “I ate alone at seven, you were six minutes away,” the masterpiece takes a few listens to really process. All three songs are vastly different from her previous music and from each other, and I encourage you to take a listen and cultivate your own opinion if you haven’t already. As you can tell, her look has changed as she has grown and mature both as a person and as an artist.

Photo from Red Carpet at 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards

Photo from Red Carpet at 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards

So, yeah, Bill’s a little weird. But that’s why we love her. She doesn’t follow the status quo and she doesn’t care. She seems to be the future. Billie Eilish Pirate Baird-O’Connell is exactly who need at the forefront of the music game right now: someone who is unapologetically herself. Even if you don’t like her, you can’t help but give her credit for her unique sound and clear talent. I’m ending this article with a few of her lyrics that really stand out or hit home— she and Finneas are truly modern poets and the musical application is just superb.

Her lyrics are just like her: intriguing and real. Spotify

“If teardrops could be bottled

There'd be swimming pools filled by models

Told a tight dress is what makes you a whore

If "I love you" was a promise

Would you break it, if you're honest

Tell the mirror what you know she's heard before

I don't wanna be you anymore”

— “idontwannabeyouanymore”

Miguel, Mass Meditation, What More Could We Really Ask For?

Miguel truly has done it again. Headlining a mass meditation at SXSW, he brought us back to our calmer sides; a much needed break from the madness currently running throughout downtown Austin. The Big Quiet is an organization that hosts massive meditations for every day people, usually including some musical performances. We were lucky enough to get Miguel, sunset behind him, and peaceful minds surrounding us.

By Judy Carroll


Photo from ktswblog.net

Photo from ktswblog.net

Miguel gave Austin a most beautiful performance doing a rendition of his two songs, “Now”, and “Adorn”, with an orchestra for instrumentals. Picture this with the beautiful skyline in the background, yeah, he did THAT. The best part about it you may ask? He did it for free! All you had to do was RSVP and wait in line, talk about worry-free meditation.

Interestingly enough, Miguel wanted to be a dancer when he was younger, but at just 14-years-old started recording his own songs, and we are so glad he did. My favorite fun fact about the artist is that his favorite superhero is Wolverine (most recognizably played by Hugh Jackman). Well, same here Miguel, same here.

If you’re interested in seeing Miguel, check out his upcoming shows below.

Sunday, April 7th, 7:00pm at the Aztec Theatre in San Antonio, Tx

  • Click here for tickets

Saturday, April 27th, 8:00am at the Cesar Chaves Plaza in Sacramento, Ca

  • Click here for tickets.

Remember to subscribe to BLEND for updates on great concerts, when they’re coming to town, and how great the performances were. Happy SXSW!

Sources: www.news24.com

Sharing Headphones is a Thing of the Past:

Ex-NFL Player Jason Fox founds the first social-focused music-sharing platform

Calling all music connoisseurs…you’re going to want to read this article. After playing six years of professional football for the Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions, Jason Fox founded EarBuds, a real-time social music platform. EarBuds is a social music app that allows users to livestream from playlists they have curated on Spotify or Apple Music. Friends, followers and new connections can join to listen alongside the host. And, yes— it is completely free with a Spotify or Apple Music account, and you can save the music you find on the app back to either Apple or Spotify (ohhhhhh hell to the yes!). Even if you have Spotify and someone else has Apple music, you can still listen to/with each other...so the war between the two streaming apps can subside (at least a little bit). As someone who considers music one of the most important aspects of my life, I can honestly say that this is actually one of the coolest ideas...ever. Kinda mad I didn’t think of it first.

By Kimberly Webb

Photos Provided by Jason Fox


image3.png

Growing up, two of Fox’s biggest passions were sports and music; he wanted nothing else but to be a professional athlete, which he accomplished successfully. And now, Fox is accomplishing a way to connect athletes with fans by tying his two passions together. Fox thought of this creative idea one day about halfway through his career when he was warming up next to Cam Newton before the first game of that season. Cam had his headphones in and was getting in the zone for the game, and Jason found himself wondering what he was listening to during his warmups. Fox then thought to himself, ‘How cool it would be if Cam's fans could hear his pregame playlist? There are 80,000 fans here, and millions more watching at home. ‘ This is where Fox realized that a music social media app could really “connect athletes and their fans...or even just friends and family.”

image2.png
image1.png

“There are social platforms for everything these days,” Fox said, “but music has remained incredibly stagnant even though it can be, and is supposed to be, social.” Having always been the type of person to bet on himself, Fox set out to create EarBuds and give people the opportunity to turn into personal radio stations in complete real time and function as a social media app with messaging and collaboration. The business world and the sports world are often intertwined, and more recently, has tended to be with technology-based companies...and now, a few years after his idea, Jason just soft-launched the app in the app store. EarBuds already has some big names who plan to be on the app or who are already on the app, including Baker Mayfield, who did his first stream this past week.

“EarBuds lets my friends and fans listen in on my world. Whether that’s my pregame playlist, when I’m training during the off-season, or just hanging around the house. My music is their music, and it’s real. It’s real-time. It’s authentically me. I love it.”

— Baker Mayfield

Photo from Mayfield’s Instagram

Photo from Mayfield’s Instagram

So now, music fans of Austin (and everywhere else!!!), your call to action is:

  1. Download EarBuds on the app store

  2. Test it out and get your friends to do the same

  3. Give any feedback possible

They want to hear everything; EarBuds is a user first company. See you guys on EarBuds! I’ll follow you (;

Blood Orange's Sold Out Show in Austin

Blood Orange graced Austin with their presence last Friday night at Emo’s. The indie R.&B.  group has been on the indie radar for a while now, but have garnered more attention with the release of the album Negro Swan, that came out last year. Texas welcomed Blood Orange with quite the enthusiasm, having sold-out shows at all of their Texas dates, including Austin.

Written and Photographed by Karla Bruciaga


You may be wondering what the hype is all about, so here’s a little background about the group if you haven’t heard of them. Blood Orange is a project that began in 2009 by musician Dev Hynes. Hynes is also known for his production work and collaborations that he has done with artists like Sky Ferreira, FKA Twigs, and most recently Mariah Carey.  

IMG_2094-Edit.jpg

Even though Hynes is a creator of pop music, his own musical style is distinct in a delightful way. The show was a clear representation of this. Hynes and his band created an immersive experience that had the crowd in awe, but at the same time they maintained an upbeat energy that had everyone moving to the music.

The group played a lot of their new material from Negro Swan, but they also mixed in songs from past albums. Hynes fellow vocalists— Ian Isiah and Eva Tolkin, created beautiful harmonies with Hynes that showed the unity of the group. Dev Hynes has a flawless way of blending together classical music with R.&B., which is easier said than done.

The only downside to the show was that it passed by too quickly and when Hynes spoke into the mic “that’s it” everyone was left waiting for an encore, that sadly didn’t come.

If you’re interested in getting into Blood Orange, here are some of my song recommendations that were played at Friday’s show: “Charcoal Baby, “Champagne Coast, and “Jewelry.

What We Really Think About Ariana Grande

It is no secret that Ariana Grande is one of the most influential artists of this generation. Her music has reached millions and topped charts. She is the first solo artist since the Beatles to take the top 3 spots on Billboard 100. However, she is no stranger to controversy. Recently people have been calling her out on some of the issues with her songs and the messages they convey. Being at this level in the industry comes with a lot of responsibility, has Ariana forgotten that?

By Kennedy Woodard


Photo from Pinterest

Photo from Pinterest

Ariana is without a doubt an amazing singer with vocal cords made of actual gold, however, she seems to always be in the spotlight for saying something controversial or being involved in some kind of feud. Let’s start with the most recent hot water this tea queen has been brewed in. After Mac Miller’s death fans took to Ariana’s social media to attack and blame her for his death. I want to go ahead and say no one should be blamed for the death of another human being unless they murdered them. It is wrong and sick to think that Ariana could have caused this in anyway. However after the initial shock had died down and attention had been moved on from the pop singer, she’s back in the spotlight for tweeting at people and talking about Mac Miller, posting photos of them together on social media. This is a little strange to me because usually when grieving it is a private thing, but in this day and age social media is being used to exploit personal matters so I can’t entirely be upset with Ariana for this. Our own society perpetuates a culture that glorifies depression and grief by publicly showing it online. After all of this I thought maybe she will take time for herself. And then the song hit.

Thank u, nextwas released and people lost their minds. The song references specific people in it, one of them being the late rapper Malcolm. At first I was singing this song at the top of my lungs on my way to class., but the more I listened, the more i couldn’t shake the feeling of uneasiness with the entire atmosphere of the song. The fact that it came out right after the whole Pete engagement gate and the passing of Mac made me feel as though this is all for publicity. It is marketing at its terrifyingly best. Take tragedy and a highly publicized relationship break up, put them together and you have the perfect platform to sell some records. Although I do respect and admire the message of loving yourself at the end of the song, I have a problem with the circumstances and climate that it came out of.

After that, it seemed like Ariana was just pumping out music. Now with a new single, “7 Rings” and a new album she is seemingly back on her grind. Once again, she has sparked controversy with her song “7 Rings”. I listened once and liked it. Then I listened to it again and I can’t get the fact that the beats are stolen. Not only are these beats not hers, the entire image she is suddenly embracing is stolen. The music video parades tropes of R&B, hip-hop aesthetic as well as using black women as props to further feed off of the culture she is appropriating. She is profiting from the same ideas and music that the black community and artists originated and were never given the same platform or publicity she is getting. Don’t get me wrong, she is not the only artist who has done this. It is a problem with the environment America has created throughout history, but it certainly does not need someone as influential as her perpetuating it.

Ariana Grande is not a bad person or a villain, but she is certainly not perfect and has some significant things to learn and grow from. The Grammy feud just furthered my growing disdain for the ‘me, me me!’ aura about her. It is one thing to have a problem with the Grammy’s wanting to market like how you market ( greedy and off-putting) but it is another to publicly air the drama on Instagram. Is Ariana Grande a great artists who is simply being persecuted for doing nothing, or are her catchy lyrics and rhythmic beats distracting us from the real message she is sending?

Where my Witches At?

You know them, the mysterious, all-too-troubled musicians who cast their spell on the world and made us all fall in love. Fleetwood Mac. I had the pleasure of watching them perform here in Austin, TX at the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday night. I’ve always been a fan of the band’s music and the show inspired me to find out more. Out of all of the drama, old and new relationships, and incredible music, here are three of my favorite tid-bits of their career ups and downs.

Written & Photographed By Judith Carroll

The Gold Dust Woman was gracing us with her voice just as the show was beginning.

The Gold Dust Woman was gracing us with her voice just as the show was beginning.

  1. Stevie Nicks (vocalist) and Lindsey Buckingham (former lead guitarist and vocalist), were romantically involved at the time when they joined the band as new members in 1975. They were not a part of the original crew and when they joined their relationship was already in turmoil, but they stayed together for the sake of the band. After many affairs and the stress of being in a sensational band together, the relationship didn’t last much longer.

  2. When Stevie Nicks joined the band, there was already a female vocalist, Christine McVie. During Nicks’ audition, existing crew members gave McVie the option to veto her if the two didn’t hit it off. Through the divorces, constant comings and goings of band members, and rock-star lifestyle, Nicks and Mcvie remained close. As the only two female members of the band, they stuck together when they could have easily been enemies and I LOVE this. They even bought matching apartments together after realizing that staying in the male member’s’ bachelor pad wasn’t for them. If that’s not friendship goals, I don’t know what is! They were each others comfort in a world of chaos and we love to see that female power and companionship.

  3. Their hit album Rumours, is really just a collaborative diary of all of the love and pain they experienced with each other. Various songs were written as letters of truth between the band members, making music out of the words they couldn’t say out loud. Perhaps one of Stevie Nicks most popular songs, “Dreams”, was written in response to a much angrier, “Second Hand News”, written by former lover, Lindsey Buckingham. The band knew through musical talent alone, they had something special. They stuck together the best they could for the sake of the music and I for one am one thankful fan.

Above is another scene of their enchanting show, taken using the HUJI app.

Above is another scene of their enchanting show, taken using the HUJI app.

Lastly I wanted to share some of the most special moments from their show. Dedicated to Christopher Cross, someone our eternal romantic Stevie Nicks says is her favorite artist of all time, she took a sweet moment and sang “Landslide”, a song she wrote herself. She also did a cover of “Don’t Dream It’s Over”, originally written by Neil Finn while he was a band member in Crowded House. Finn is now touring with Fleetwood Mac. They sang this song during the concert as a message of peace, love and coming together and the audience ran with it. We all put our modern equivalent of lighters in the air, (or phone flashlights), and sang along; it was absolutely beautiful and perfect for us Austinites. Fleetwood Mac? Yep, still got it.

Sources: www.uncut.co.uk

Soccer Mommy Concert Recap

Amidst the sea of Carhart beanies in the  inescapable 35 degree chill, Soccer Mommy brought the heat to Mohawk’s outdoor stage for a sold-out show February 8th.

By Blair Fielder

Photography by Alec Marshman


Soccer Mommy will be performing at Coachella this year.

Soccer Mommy will be performing at Coachella this year.

Soccer Mommy, the indie-pop band fronted by cool-girl Sophie Allison, brought a fresh realness to the stage with a no-frills  performance giving Austinites a taste of what’s to come from the band’s Coachella set this April. Due to the band’s spot on this year’s Coachella bill, this tour is likely to be the last time fans have the chance to experience the band in a more intimate venue making this concert truly a special one. Playing feminist fueled songs that resonate with anyone who’s been in love, Soccer Mommy’s setlist had the crowd singing along for an overall “chill, but kinda sad” night, in the words of Allison herself.  The Austin show was part of a larger tour promoting Soccer Mommy’s highly acclaimed album Clean, earning the band spots in Rolling Stone and Billboard’s top albums of 2018 lists.

IMG_3776-3.jpg
IMG_3796.jpg

Allison’s vocals and style took center stage as she pulled off pigtails, Balenciaga sneakers, and a hot pink guitar while rocking out. The set started with “Henry” off of For Young Hearts (2016) which set the laid-back tone for the show. Between Allison’s personal anecdotes about her mom listening to her on the radio to her frequent stops to warm her hands on the space heater, made the performance more transparent than most concerts, allowing fans an inner look into the band’s psyche.

After performing fan-favorites like “Your Dog” and “Last Girl,” the band took a break giving Allison a chance to take the stage alone for somber cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”. Let’s just say I wasn’t crying, you were. Regardless of the emotions Soccer Mommy made me feel, I left the concert empowered and ready to take on the patriarchy. Singing that I don’t want to be anyone’s fucking dog with a sold-out venue full of people is something that I highly recommend to anyone who has the chance, and I would like to personally thank Soccer Mommy for inspiring these sentiments in young women. Who would’ve thought that a band with a name that sounds like a suburban man’s dream was the progressive feminist rock group we all needed? That’s why we will be playing Soccer Mommy on repeat for days. 10/10.

Friday Night Jam Sesh with KONGOS & FITNESS

KONGOS and their opener, FITNESS, rocked out the Historic Scoot Inn! Even though the weather was hitting in the 30s and there was the occasional drops of rain, did that stop the crowd from having a good time? Absolutely not! I mean c’mon, even the security guard was head banging. With glove clad hands, these bands had the crowd partying through the night.

By Lauren Castro

Photography by Chandler Christopher


The opening act, FITNESS, is classified as a synth-pop duo and was the perfect warm up for the main band. The energy on stage between lead singer Max Collins and guitarist Kenny Carkeet was electric. Their interaction with the crowd allowed their humor to shine through as well. Between their killer dance moves and songs like “Get Dead” and “Kill the Rich”, FITNESS is definitely a band to look out for.

FITNESS jamming out at the Historic Scoot Inn on Friday evening.

FITNESS jamming out at the Historic Scoot Inn on Friday evening.

Playing songs primarily from their newest album 1929, Pt. 1, KONGOS is an alternative rock band consisting of four brothers originating from South Africa (not to mention, they’re all pretty attractive). With the crowd stomping along to the beat and the smell of alcohol in the air, the atmosphere was carefree and you couldn’t help but sing along (even if you didn’t know all the words). Not to mention, the Historic Scoot Inn added to the vibe with the string lights and open venue. To make the night even better, the playful feud between the two bands allowed the crowd to feel apart of an inside joke. At one point, FITNESS’ Collins came on stage during KONGOS’ set with his daughter on FaceTime...pretty sick.

KONGOS is made up of siblings Dylan, Daniel, Jesse, and Johnny Kongos.

KONGOS is made up of siblings Dylan, Daniel, Jesse, and Johnny Kongos.

While on stage, Jesse Kongos mentioned Buscall, an 8 part documentary series on YouTube that allows the viewer to see inside the life of the band. I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to watching it during my free time.

KONGOS have faced a few challenges during tour such as their bus getting into an accident, but that hasn’t stopped them from providing unique music to all the cities they have traveled. Overall, loved them. I would be lying if I said I haven’t been listening to their album religiously since Friday. 10/10 would see again.

Best New Artist Nominees: Grammy Awards 2019

It’s no secret that most of these artists have been around for a while. Dua Lipa’s hits have been anthems for freshly heartbroken girls for a year now, and H.E.R. has been getting us in our feels since her collaboration with Daniel Cesar. These artists are just now being recognized by the Recording Academy. And it’s about damn time.

By Kennedy Woodard


Let’s start with first impressions:

  • Luke Combs: Luke Bryan circa 2005 is that you?

  • Greta Van Fleet: Note to self, play this when your having a breakdown and are starting “over”.

  • Chloe x Halle: Are these literal angels? Did God himself produce this song?

  • Dua Lipa: I didn’t just get out of a relationship, but I do have some new rules. Rule #1: Never stop playing this song.

  • Bebe Rexha: We’ve come a long way since that G-Eazy collab.

  • H.E.R: This is what the feeling of silks sheets would sound like.

  • Margo Price: BADASS.

  • Jorja Smith: My soul has been spoken to.

Photo from Billboard.com

Photo from Billboard.com

Luke Combs

I’m not going to lie, I am not a country listening type of human, so when hearing Luke Combs for the first time my initial reaction was, ‘hell no’. But, putting my biases aside this artists could be the next country music star. He has hits, “Hurricane” which has gone double platinum and, “Beautiful Crazy” which has a version with Leon Bridges. If Leon Bridges did a collab with him, then he is worth a non-country lover like me giving him a listen.

Photo from Rolling Stone

Photo from Rolling Stone

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet is not only cool AF, they are young AF. The band is composed of two 21-year-olds and two 19- year-olds. These kids will take you back to the golden ages of rock and have you thinking you’ve been transported to Woodstock. Their songs are perfect for a riding through Austin with the windows down, blaring so loud your speakers might burst. This psychedelic rock band is for the cool kids your parents warned you about.

Photo from BBC

Photo from BBC

Chloe x Halle

You know when you’re little and you imagine what entering heaven is like, picturing a chorus of angels greeting you with the sweetest harmonies you’ve ever heard? Those angels are Chloe and Halle. These young women are coming up to be some of the best vocalist of their generation. Not only are their vocal chords made of gold, so our their minds. They are avid activists and preach about loving who you are and your skin. This is black excellence at it’s finest. Plus, Beyoncé basically anointed them to the throne when she decided to be a mentor to the duo, so we better pay attention and bow to the throne.

Photo from imgnooz.com

Photo from imgnooz.com

Dua Lipa

If you’ve ever been to a club, a restaurant or simply turned the radio on, then you know who Dua Lipa is. She is becoming the queen of pop. Not only has she made a number of hits, she is a the coolest, badass woman ever. She moved to London at a young age to pursue her music career and now look where she is! Collarwith Martin Garrix and Diplo. Her music is for those who just need to dance it out.

Photo from Amazon

Photo from Amazon

Bebe Rexha

BeBe Rexha first came into national spotlight when she was featured on G Eazy’s song, “Me, Myself, and I”. Now, she is rising to the pop charts. She started off writing some of the most popular songs for popular artists like David Guetta and Rihanna. Now with a couple eps and a debut album out, she is becoming a radio regular. You might have heard her song, “Meant to Be” with Florida Georgia Line in which she showcases her versatility and dives into country. Watch out for her, I’ve got a feeling she has a hit coming our way.

Photo from The Fader

Photo from The Fader

H.E.R.

H.E.R. bursted onto the scene when Daniel Caesar featured her on “Best Part”, a song that makes us all wish for that kind of love. Her voice carries a soul that is unmatched. She is taking the R&B world by storm and has put out multiple hits in a short span of time. Her music speaks to the soul and makes you breathe a little easier. Not only is she nominated for Best New Artist, but she is also nominated for Album of the Year, Best R&B Album, Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song. If you haven’t listened to H.E.R. (no pun intended), who are you? Plus Rihanna likes her which means we LOVE her.

Photo from Rolling Stones

Photo from Rolling Stones

Margo Price

Margo Price is the kind of country, folk artist needed right now. She is a full on feminist with songs like, “Pay Gap”, starting conversations on women’s rights. She is doing what all artists should be doing; using their platform to start conversations and open doors. With her talent and mind, she is on her way to becoming country’s new big star (move over Carrie Underwood). She doesn’t sing about her man and his truck, or how she’s gonna take a bat to her mans head after he cheats. She is writing music for the generation of women who are changing things. She is the new voice for women in country music.

Photo from Music Week

Photo from Music Week

Jorja Smith

Jorja Smith has a voice that makes me want to drink wine in a dark, jazz club while wearing the finest black turtleneck. She’s the kind of artist you make charcuterie boards for. Her song, “Blue Lights” is what got her noticed by Drake and then put on his album. The song is a sort of call-to-action song about police brutality and how that affects young black men. She has gone on to release a debut album with hits like, “Teenage Fantasy” and, “On My Mind”. Something about the brits, they just get it right. She may give H.E.R. a run for her money for the new female voice of R&B.


BLEND's Monthly Music Radar

By Berkley Moates


  1. “ruby” by Ben Khan

  2. “Mile High” by James Blake, Travis Scott

  3. “Jade (Feat. Blood Orange)” by Lolo Zouaï    

  4. “Monte Carlo (Feat. WET)” by Toro y Moi

  5. “Coming Alive” by Two Another

  6. “Longshot” by Catfish and The Bottlemen

  7. “Grave” by Summer Walker

  8. “Trampoline” by SHAED

  9. “MIDDLE CHILD” by J. Cole

  10. “mother tongue” by Bring Me The Horizon

Spotify Link

Photo from The Current

Photo from The Current

By infusing R&B vocals with pulsing electronic breaks, the London local, James Blake, has once again surpassed any expectations from the music world. In his latest record, Assume Form, he collaborates with hip-hop artists Travis Scott, Andre 3000 and Metro Boomin, giving his listeners a contemporary resonance beyond one musical genre. His melancholy yet sexy echoed sound is unique and distinctive making him an artist to check out this winter.

Photo from HumanHuman

Photo from HumanHuman

Underground yet upcoming artist, Lolo Zouaï, is the cultural blending future of pop music. Her vocals demonstrate her subtle, witty attitude and passionate songwriting. By playing with the lines of R&B and Pop music genres, her tone is sensual, powerful and honest. Her single released with Blood Orange that’s on our radar is an essential late-night jam this February. 

Photo from Capitol Records

Photo from Capitol Records

Catfish and The Bottlemen is the UK Alternative Rock band you need to be obsessed with. Their relatable headbangers somehow put you in your feels on the low, while collectively making you rock out with friends. Their music connects to fans across the globe and across age groups as a result of their intertwined 80s rock- and-modern alternative influences. Their latest single on our radar this month, “Longshot”, just dropped making their fans wildly on edge for a future album release in the coming year.

Toro y Moi Concert Recap at Stubb's

Toro y Moi graced a sold-out Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater Friday, January 25th to promote their new album Outer Peace and spread the funk to a city that has been backing the band for the past 10 years.

By Blair Fielder

Photography by Alec Marshman


Toro y Moi singing to the Austin crowd on January 25th

Toro y Moi singing to the Austin crowd on January 25th

BLEND’s Favorite Moments (in no particular order):

Toro y Moi recently came out with an album titled  Outer Peace

Toro y Moi recently came out with an album titled Outer Peace

  1. When the brainchild of Toro y Moi Chaz Bear thanked the city of Austin for supporting him through the band’s growth over the last decade.

  2. When Toro y Moi invited Kelly Zutrau of Wet on stage for their collab track “Monte Carlo,” where Zutrau showcased her high notes as Chaz Bear kept his sypher strong.

  3. Bear’s happy dance moves that kept the spirits high and the crowd smiling almost as much as he did.

  4. Hearing eight out of the ten new tracks from Outer Peace, which came out a week prior to the show, like “Fading” and “New House”.

  5. When Toro y Moi took it back to his roots with a performance of his first single from 2009, “Blessa”.

  6. Yelling in unison with Stubb’s to the band’s question of  “Who Cares about the party?” with “I came to see the band play” during “Who I Am”.

  7. When Bear invited the crowd to “get funky” before dropping  “New Beat,” a disco-worthy track from Underneath The Pine (2011).

  8. Singing along to fan-favorites “So Many Details” and “Girl Like You.”

  9. Seeing the joy of the  crowd entranced by the synth-heavy dreamy beats— I mean these people were getting it.

To relive the concert, check out this playlist for the full setlist of the night.



BLEND's Monthly Music Radar

By Berkley Moates


  1. “Sticky” by Ravyn Lenae

  2. “Everything Apart” by Foxwarren, Andy Shauf, and D. A. Kissick

  3. “Mine” by  Leven Kali

  4. “Sometimes” by Goth Babe

  5. “What I Know” by THEY. (feat Wiz Khalifa)

  6. “Social Jungle (Hippie Sabotage Remix) by Herizen

  7. “SOLO” by JENNIE

  8. “SAYONARA” by Aries

  9. “A.A.T.” by SG Lewis (feat. Drew Love)

  10. “Wake Up Call” by Manila Killa and Mansionair          

    Spotify Link

Photo from YouTube

Photo from YouTube

Leaving his teen years, Santa Monica native Leven Kali, began an impressive burst into the industry with collaborations with large names such as Drake and Playboi Carti. His blissful style makes you instantly feel good in his track, “Mine”.  Keep an eye out for his name and new releases as his undercover status becomes known in 2019!

Photo from larimerlounge.com

Photo from larimerlounge.com

The British talent, SG Lewis, collaborates with many vocalists while serving us an electronic build that simply makes you move! His latest release, “Dark”, includes a genre fusing track on our list this month with his unique collaboration with Drew Love. This edgy, confident track is exactly what we all need to hear going into the new year!

Photo from metrotimes.com

Photo from metrotimes.com

Revyn Lenae escalating popularity as a low-key R&B singer caught our attention for this month’s list. Her soulful, groovy music is perfect for an afternoon with the girls or late night drive in the city. Lenae’s vocals are smooth and classy making her an undercover artist to check out!

A Guide to Austin Free Week 2019

To kick off the new year, Red River Cultural District is hosting their annual free week with concerts all over town. Check out the bands playing when and where each night.

By Blair Fielder


image1.png

Tuesday, January 1st

  • Leather Girls, Go Fever, The Rotten Mangos, and more at Hotel Vegas at 9pm

  • Marfa Crush and Rival Waves at Stubb’s at 8pm

  • Palm Daze, Sherry, and Groove Think at Mohawk at 7pm

  • Indoor Creature, Mary Bryce, Born Again Virgin, and Vonne at Cheer Up Charlies at 9pm

  • Me Mer Mo Tuesday + 3rd Year Anniversary at The Volstead Lounge at 6pm

  • Modular Sun, Fuvk, Camp Counselor, and Pealds at Swan Dive at 9:30pm

  • Fragile Rock, Honey & Salt, Tinnarose, and more at Barracuda at 7:30pm

  • Do Your Homework, Subverter, Cheeky Orange, and more at Beerland at 9pm

Wednesday, January 2nd

  • Ume, Darkbird, and Cosmico at Mohawk at 6:30pm

  • TC Superstar, SHMU, Chill Russell at Mohawk at 6:30pm

  • The Reputations, Honey Made, Whit, Lord Buffalo, and more at Empire Control Room & Garage at 8pm

  • Catright, Fanclub, Megafauna, Glaze, and more at Barracude at 7:30pm

  • Sharks in the Deep End with Belcurve at Stubb’s at 8pm

  • Tinnarose, Nevil, Lake of Fire, and Mountebank at Hotel Vegas at 9pm

  • Big Bill, Sailor Poon, Pelvis Wrestley, and more at Cheer Up Charlies at 8pm

  • Girvo, Glassing, Deep Cross, and Ell at Beerland at 9pm

  • Think No Think, Billy King, Ghost Wolves, and more at Swan Dive at 9:30pm

Thursday, January 3rd

  • PR Newman, The Oysters, and Lola Tried at Hotel Vegas at 8pm

  • Otis the Destroyer, Think No Think, Boyfrndz, and Megafauna at Mohawk Austin at 7pm

  • Duel, Amplified Heat, Sour Bridges, and more at Empire Control Room & Garage at 8pm

  • Abhi the Nomad with The Bishops at Stubb’s at 9pm

  • The Reputations, Go Fever, Tinnarose, and more at Cheer Up Charlies at 9pm

  • Horti & Friends with Slomo Drags, Belcurve, and more at Mohawk at 7pm

  • Super Thief, Leche, Ruiners, Dregs, and Luvweb at Beerland at 8pm

  • Spice Poon and Flesh Lights at Barracuda at 8pm

  • Tyler Jordan, Sherry, Spirit Ghost, and Dude Elsberry at Hole in the Wall at 7pm

  • Crema with Ulovei and guests at The Volstead Lounge at 10pm

  • The Singularity, Mr. Kitty, Lov3rs, and Boy Sim at Elysium at 8pm

  • Chillbill, The Naked Tungs, The Boleys, and Pelvis Wrestley at Swan Dive at 9:30pm

Friday, January 4th

  • Ringo Deathstarr, Narrow Head (HTX), Burnt Skull, and Chronophage at Beerland at 9:15pm

  • American Sharks with Not In The Face, Billy King & the Bad Bad Bad, and more at Mohawk at 8pm

  • Soul Supporters, Mayeux & Broussard, JD Clark, and more at The White Horse at 8pm

  • Tiarra Girls with Los Nahuatlatos, Hans Gruber and the Die Hards, and Huerta Culture at Stubb’s at 8pm

  • Clyde & Clem’s Whiskey Business, Harvest Thieves, Worm Suicide, and more at Empire Control Room & Garage at 8pm

  • Crashing in with King Louie and more at The Volstead Lounge at 7pm

  • Megafauna, Belcurve, Dinner with Matt Gilchrest at Hotel Vegas at 7pm

  • The Western Civilization with Marijuana Sweet Tooth, Whit, and Sprain at Mohawk at 8pm

  • The Stacks, Mean Jolene, Hong Kong Wigs, Pelvis Wrestley, and Cosmic Chaos at Hole in the Wall at 8pm

  • The Bad Lovers, White Dogs, Black Basements, and more at Hotel Vegas at 9:30pm

  • Dames and the Giant Peach IV at Swan Dive at 7pm

  • Nolan Potters Nightmare Band, Leather Girls, Hidden Ritual, and more at Barracuda at 7:30pm

Saturday, January 5th

  • Whiskey Shivers, Icing (Covering Cake), Madisons, and more at The Parish at 8pm

  • Ume, Calliope Musicals, Teddy Glass, A. SInclair, and more at The Historic Scoot Inn at 7pm

  • Ringo Deathstarr, Moving Panoramas, Why Bonnie, and more at Barracuda at 7:30pm

  • Tameca Jones, Shy Beast, Quin NFN, The Bishops, and more at Empire Control Room and Garage at 8pm

  • Swells with Night Cap at Stubb’s at 9pm

  • Scorpion Child with the Well, Eagle Claw, and Greenbreard at Mohawk at 8pm

  • Night Glitter, Deep Time, Blushing, Pataphysics, and more at Cheer Up Charlies at 8pm

  • Christian Bland and the Revelators, The Rotten Mangos, Go Fever, and more at Hotel Vegas at 9:30pm

  • Communion, Lady Killer Richshaw Billie’s Burger Patrol, and Monte Luna at Mohawk at 8pm

Sunday, January 6th

  • Kathryn Legendre with Sour Bridges, Jomo,the Possum Posse at Stubb’s at 8pm

  • Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Band, Temple of Angels, Hidden Ritual, and more at Hotel Vegas at 9pm

  • Harvest Thieves, Ben Ballinger, and Otis Wilkins at Mohawk at 7pm

  • DJs No Kid$ and Diggy Dutch at The Volstead Lounge at 8pm

  • Future Museums, Sun June, Daphne Tunes, and more at Beerland at 8pm

BLEND Attends the Austin Music Video Festival Awards

On December 8th, Native Hostel hosted the Austin Music Video Festival Award Show where the attendees walked the red carpet and enjoyed live performances by Shy Beast, Blastfamous USA, Chucky Blk, Le Destroy, Bourgeois Mystics, and DJ 2 Smooth Girls. Jeremy Roye and Anthony Erickson, the founders and directors of AMVF. emceed the award show for a full house eager to applaud the winners of the week long festival where musicians and directors from over 50 countries submitted their videos. Below is the complete list of winners:

By Blair Fielder

Photography by Alec Marshman


Instant Classic Award- TULIPS ft. Gill Bates “Tigerilla” Directed by Tom Noakes

image6.gif

Best Horror Video Award- Midas “Caroline” Directed by Michael Middle Middelkoop

image13.gif

Keepin It Weird (Best Experimental) Award- Bourgeois Mystics “Jan Pehechaan Ho” Directed by Diego Lozano

image2.gif

Best Narrative- C.O.W. “Shanghit Mone¥” Directed by Stef Zins

image5.gif

Overachiever (Best Student Video) Award- Gwenmarie White “Skjemt Blod” Directed by Gwenmarie White

image1.gif

Best Performance- Holiday Sidewinder “Leo” Directed by Thom Kerr (Ensemble)

image7.gif

Funny or High (Funniest Video) Award- Hider “Don’t Pretend It Was Nothing” Directed by ScaryJacks

image9.gif

Best Cinematography Award- EROSION “Black Dress” by Insightful Directed by Brandon Bloch and Tim Sessler (DOP: Tim Sessler)

Best Director Award- Young Fathers “Toy” Directed by Salomon Ligthelm

image3.gif

Best Art Direction Award- Franz Szony '“Petunia” Directed by Franz Szony and Holly Hubbell (Art Director: Franz Szony)

image12.gif

Best Animation Award- Rulo “Pájaro Vagabundo” Directed by Francisca Silva

image8.gif

Best Visual Effects- CHINESE MAN “Golden Age” Directed by Frederic D’Ascoli and Annabelle Faustin

image11.gif

Best Interactive Video Award- Brightly “Rugby” Directed by Charlie Gleason

Music Video of the Year Award- Childish Gambino “This is America” Directed by Hiro Murai

image10.gif

Alright Alright Alright (Best Austin Video) Award- Big Bill “Last Meal” Directed by MJ Haha

image4.gif
.Paak House in the Park

It’s safe to say here at BLEND we are obsessed with Anderson .Paak! YES LAWD! Beyond his modern funk and R&B jams, .Paak has carried his persona of pure love and happiness for life with him while touring around the world

By Berkley Moates


In the past two months alone .Paak has dropped his fourth studio album, “Oxnard”, and entered his December with a Grammy nomination for best rap performance for his single, “Bubblin”.

Photo from paakhouse.org

Photo from paakhouse.org

With all this success bubblin’ up around .Paak, he has continued to invest in his fans, especially those who are underprivileged and in need of a little more happiness. .Paak took the initiative to create “.Paak House”, partnering with the Brandon Anderson Foundation, a two year old event that supports Los Angeles locals in need through musical, educational and spiritual wellness. .Paak inspires the community by speaking with members about his relatable past and giving advice about building stepping stones out of road blocks.

Photo from .paakhouse.org

Photo from .paakhouse.org

Early this December, the 2nd Annual .Paak House had an incredible line up of performers including artists Ty Dolla $ign, Thundercat, Smino and Schoolboy Q. The day filled with food vendors, music and other activities is built to create a “safe haven,” for those working through major life struggles and to offer a space to feel carefree and motivation to continue racing towards happiness. To learn more about the event or donate visit paakhouse.org.

Mac Miller's Spotify Studio Session

By Berkley Moates


Photo from store.warnermusic.com

Photo from store.warnermusic.com

It’s been exactly three months since the R&B and rap artist, Mac Miller, tragically passed away in his home at the young age of 26. His passing left a void in the music community around the world and is still taking time for people to comprehend. Spotify Singles released Mac Miller’s live acoustic session from their studios earlier this year as a continued tribute to his legacy. You can hear his warming yet nostalgic vocals in these recordings of, “Dunno” and “Nothing from Nothing”, in his session with Spotify.

Spotify Singles

Photo from rollingstone.com

Photo from rollingstone.com

Since Miller’s passing, a tribute concert was organized to commemorate his complicated yet beautiful life featuring some of his collaborators and friends from his years in the music industry. The list of top notch stars who performed and appeared at the tribute included Travis Scott, Anderson .Paak, SZA, Vince Staples, Earl Sweatshirt, Chance the Rapper, John Mayer and more. The emotional and empowering event swept across the world through the online live stream collectively uniting his fans through their tears, memories and respect for his raw and undeniably remarkable musical legacy.

BLEND's Monthly Music Radar

By Berkley Moates


  1. “Guiding Light” by Mumford and Sons

  2. “All Eyes” by Crooked Colours

  3. “Can’t Relate (feat. YBN Nahmir, YG)” by DaniLeigh

  4. “NOTHIN LIKE U” by KYTRANDA, Ty Dolla $ign

  5. “Right Now” by The Undercover Dream Lovers

  6. “count on” by Shallou Colin

  7. “My Own Thing” by Chance the Rapper, Joey Purp

  8. “Is Magic Gone” by FKJ

  9. “Cheers (feat. Q-Tip)” by Anderson .Paak

  10. “For You (feat. Tory Lanez & G-Eazy)” by Phora


Spotify Link

Photo from thatsmags.com

Photo from thatsmags.com

Under the name, FKJ (French Kiwi Juice), Vincent Fenton produces simple, low-key beats that melt like butter. His latest release, “Is Magic Gone”, appears on the radar this month as a subtle groove to add some chill to your December. If you’re beginning to study for finals in school or need to detox after work, FKJ’s smooth sounds will fulfill your needs.


Photo from Star2.com

Photo from Star2.com

Mumford and Sons, the British folk band, has continued to create rick and powerful albums fusing country, rock and bluegrass into their sound. Their latest album, Delta, has showcased the musicians’ incredible song-writing and instrumental talent in their ongoing collection of brilliance. “Guiding Light” is just one of their impactful, atmospheric tracks on the new record, and why it’s on BLEND’ radar for the month.


Photo from soundcloud.com

Photo from soundcloud.com

Crooked Colours, an electronic trio from Australia, is beginning to make waves with their eccentric sound. Their song, “All Eyes”, on our radar is the perfect late night, chilly car ride vibe. Their raspy vocals and upbeat flow have made them a hot act rising in popularity overseas. CHECK THEM OUT!

Concert Review: Her's

Dream pop group, Her’s, had their first ever New York show and managed to transform Williamsburg’s venue, Baby’s All Right, into a cozy, English pub full of old friends.


Written and Photographed by Miranda Chiechi

Playing at Baby’s All Right earlier this month was Her’s first time in the Big Apple.

Playing at Baby’s All Right earlier this month was Her’s first time in the Big Apple.

It was obvious how close the Liverpool duo, consisting of old classmates Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading are. The two’s quirky attitude and humor never fail to make the crowd laugh and make everyone feel like the pair’s old college mates.

Her’s released their second album in August of this year.

Her’s released their second album in August of this year.

The two shared everything from stories about their deceased cats to ex-lovers to whimsical monologues between songs from Laading. The band’s newest album, Invitation to Her’s, came out this year with popular singles like, “Under Wraps” and “Harvey”. Along with these new tunes, Her’s played old favorites from their debut album, including “What Once Was”. Her’s had a loyal fanbase in the crowd, but with Laading’s noteworthy guitar playing characterized by his vigourout dance moves and Fitzpatrick’s goofy facial expressions, it wasn’t hard to quickly acquire new fans.