Category Archives: Check ’em Out!

Alfie Templeman – Forever Isn’t Long Enough

photo credit: Blackksocks

18 year old rising star Alfie Templeman has released his brand new mini-album Forever Isn’t Long Enough on Chess Club Records (MØ, Mumford and Sons, Jungle etc). Previous EP Happiness In Liquid Form followed Templeman’s trio of rapturously received EP’s – 2018’s Like An Animal, and 2019’s Sunday Morning Cereal and Don’t Go Wasting Time – in introducing the world to a prodigiously talented young musician, songwriter, producer, and performer. The Bedfordshire-born teen, self-taught on 10 different instruments, has enjoyed a meteoric rise and cemented his place as one of UK indie’s brightest lights.

Templeman’s latest single “Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody” is currently on the B List at BBC Radio 1, following his fourth consecutive Hottest Record in the World with Annie Mac. Templeman has also shared the music video for mini-album track “Wait, I Lied”, directed by Thomas Davis.

Speaking about the new video Alfie says: “We filmed “Wait, I Lied” in a couple hours. The thing that I love about it is that the whole video was just ideas myself and Thomas came up with on the spot, it’s totally spontaneous, we didn’t plan anything and just went for it. I hope people appreciate my amazing dance moves, I think it’ll be my next career if this music thing doesn’t work out!!”

Alfie Templeman will also embark on a Spring 2022 headline tour – including his biggest show to date at London’s O2 Shepherds Bush Empire on Mar 16 – as well as supporting Declan McKenna in the UK and heading out on a maiden US headline tour, alongside shows with Chloe Moriondo later this year. Full list of live dates below. 

Featuring rapturous singles “Forever Isn’t Long Enough” and the aforementioned “Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody”, the new mini-album is Templeman’s final and most substantial body of work before recording starts on his proper debut album. Templeman explains: “I wanted to make a refined and focused pop record – something more widescreen than an EP but more concise than a full-length album -with a feel somewhere between Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Tame Impala’s Currents. In making Forever Isn’t Long Enough I realised that I needed to slow down a little and work on things carefully. The songs took anywhere from one day to 4 months to 2 years to finish for this record, but I made sure each one was perfect and I’ve never been more proud of how they all came out.” 

With an impressive 106k Instagram followers since his first post in 2019, over 1 million monthly Spotify listeners, and a cumulative streaming figure of over 60 million,  Alfie Templeman has come a long way since the release of debut track “Like An Animal”. At one point in 2020, Templeman had three songs in the Music Moves Europe Talent Chart Top 20; was featured as the cover star of Dork Magazine; was included in the FIFA 21 soundtrack; in February, was H&M Artist of the Month in the UK, with accompanying store visuals and playlist support. Templeman was previously handpicked by Apple from a global shortlist of rising artists to front their #shotoniphone campaign and was chosen by YouTube Music to be a worldwide ‘Foundry Artist’ in 2020, following in the footsteps of artists such as Dua Lipa and Rosalia, featuring on 90-foot billboards in Times Square in NYC and Central LA.

See Alfie Templeman live in 2021/22:
July 22 | Truck Festival, Steventon 
July 29 | Kendal Calling Festival, Penrith 
Aug 12 | 110 Above Festival, Atherstone
Aug 25 | O2 Academy, Bournemouth (with Declan McKenna)
Aug 27-29 | Reading & Leeds Festival
Sep 3 | Neighbourhood Weekender Festival, Warrington
Sep 9 | O2 Academy, Leicester (with Declan McKenna)
Sep 18 | Brixton O2 Academy, London (with Declan McKenna)

Nov 23 | Bowery Ballroom, New York (with Chloe Moriondo)
Nov 24 | Brighton Music Hall, Boston (with Chloe Moriondo)
Nov 26 | Velvet Underground, Toronto (with Chloe Moriondo)
Nov 28 | The Crocodile, Seattle
Nov 29 | Holocene, Portland
Dec 1 | Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco
Dec 3 | The Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles
Dec 4 | Voodoo Room, San Diego


Mar 2 | The Cluny, Newcastle
Mar 3 | Saint Luke’s, Glasgow
Mar 4| Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Mar 5 | Gorilla, Manchester
Mar 8 | Leadmill, Sheffield
Mar 9 | Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Mar 10 | O2 Institute, Birmingham
Mar 11 | Thekla, Bristol
Mar 12 | Patterns, Brighton
Mar 16 | O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London
Mar 18 | The Academy, Dublin
 

Alfie Templeman – Forever Isn’t Long Enough – tracklisting:
1. Shady
2. Forever Isn’t Long Enough
3. Hideaway 
4. Wait, I Lied 
5. Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody 
6. Film Scene Daydream 
7. To You 
8. One More Day (feat. April)

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Newest Love: Clubhouse

Columbus, Ohio five-some Clubhouse reveal “Heartbroke,” the follow up to “Weekend”, which Billboard described as: “a happy couple-filled video for “Weekend,” the singsong chorus of which evokes the dream pop stylings of Absofacto and Half Alive.”

“Heartbroke”’s accompanying music video was directed by Hunter Lyon and depicts a dramatically, haunting vision that mesmerizes throughout the entire journey.

The song is about the waves of emotions one goes through while dealing with a breakup, not necessarily the breakup itself. Judging by the upbeat instrumental, it’s not all sad and gloomy, but let’s take a look at our emotions and see if a breakup can be turned into an energizing experience.



Clubhouse says: “For us, “Heartbroke” isn’t just about one of our experiences with someone we loved. It’s a combined reflection from all five of us on those relationships that drove us absolutely nuts. When you love someone so much, but you know you’re going crazy trying to make it all work.”

After an unexpected yearlong pause from Max Reichert’s battle with bone cancer, these new songs mark soil for the band Clubhouse after his recovery. They wrote these anthemic pieces while home in Ohio during the winter holidays, reflecting on the stepping stones in new relationships that one naturally experience. While falling in love, we tend to excite ourselves and overshare, whereas Clubhouse takes the alternative route, “You know that we can do it / every weekend / but you just wanna talk on the low”. The nonchalant story of keeping it casual juxtaposes the up-tempo and jazz-filled production, welcoming the listener to experience this timeless summertime tale.

Five best friends forged from the middle school garage band made of Max Reichert, and twin brothers Ari & Zak Blumer in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. Through grade school, the three neighborhood friends developed their styles from the paradigms of Coldplay, John Mayer, The Killers, Green Day, and many more. Come university, they embraced two new members, Michael Berthold and Forrest Taylor, by the laws of serendipitous action and collaboration. The five formed the eclectic band Clubhouse, discovering early success in the greater Midwest territory, garnering millions of streams, and performing sold-out shows across the tri-state area.

Four years and five college degrees later, Clubhouse set forth on pursuing their dream to release greater records and perform around the world. Three months into this journey, the band was halted with harrowing, unforeseen news…Max Reichert had been diagnosed with stage 2 osteosarcoma in the left thigh. Max entered immediate surgeries, removing and replacing his femur & knee cap and undergoing countless chemotherapy treatments. However, with the collective strength and positivity from his best friends, they rose to the occasion through life’s most brutal and unforgiving hardships.

This genesis of new life established a collective vision for the band explained by Max best, “Make the most of the life you were given, because you only have one life to live.” Clubhouse is an invitation to come for the music and stay for the genuine gatherings of best friends that lift you from the lowest of lows and show you the highest of highs. Clubhouse makes music for when we need it most.

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Alfie Templeman – “Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody”

18 year old rising star Alfie Templeman has shared his brand new single “Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody”, and has announced details of his new mini-album Forever Isn’t Long Enough – out on 7 May via Chess Club Records. The track premiered as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record In The World on BBC Radio 1 – his fourth consecutive Hottest Record. Forever Isn’t Long Enough, which serves as Templeman’s final and most substantial body of work before recording starts on his debut album proper, is available for pre-order HERE


“Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody” is Alfie Templeman’s first single since riotous bop “Forever Isn’t Long Enough” arrived back in September 2020; Templeman has since been included in an amazing run of 2021 tips lists, including the BBC Sound Of 2021, Radio X Great X-Pectations, MTV, Amazon Music, Vevo, The Sun, Sunday Mirror, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Official Charts UK, Wonderland Magazine, Huffington Post, and more. 

The new single – written, performed, and produced entirely by Templeman in his bedroom – takes inspiration from classic groove-laden 80s pop, with sultry sax lines weaving their way between popping guitar rhythms. The Bedfordshire teen explains: “I first wrote and recorded “Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody” back in 2017 when I was 14 years old and it’s been ingrained in my memory ever since. I’d always go back to it and try to re-record it but I could never quite get it right – then I went on a Tears For Fears binge and realized that it needed that “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” kind of production. I got back in the studio, changed a few lyrics, and cut it in a couple of hours. It’s probably my favourite song on the new record.

Adding about the mini-album: Forever Isn’t Long Enough is the most polished collection of songs I’ve ever made. I wanted to make a refined pop record somewhere between Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Tame Impala’s Currents. Making Forever Isn’t Long Enough made me realise that I needed to slow down a little and work on things more carefully. Songs could take anywhere from a day to 4 months to 2 years on this record, but I made sure each one was perfect and I’ve never been more proud of how they all came out.”

With an impressive 105k Instagram followers since his first post in 2019, over 1 million monthly Spotify listeners, and a cumulative streaming figure of over 50 million, Aflie Templeman has come a long way since the release of debut track “Like An Animal”. At one point in 2020, Templeman had three songs in the Music Moves Europe Talent Chart Top 20; was featured as the cover star of Dork Magazine; was included in the FIFA 21 soundtrack; in February, was H&M Artist of the Month in the UK, with accompanying store visuals and playlist support. Templeman was previously handpicked by Apple from a global shortlist of rising artists to front their #shotoniphone campaign and was chosen by YouTube Music to be a worldwide ‘Foundry Artist’ in 2020, following in the footsteps of artists such as Dua Lipa and Rosalia, featuring on 90-foot billboards in Times Square in NYC and Central LA.

Alfie Templeman – Forever Isn’t Long Enough mini-album – out May 7th 2021 on Chess Club Records

1. Shady
2. Forever Isn’t Long Enough
3. Hideaway 
4. Wait, I Lied 
5. Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody 
6. Film Scene Daydream 
7. To You 
8. One More Day (feat. April)

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Saint Misha – “On Fire”

Saint Misha is a Toronto-based DJ with a growing international following, both online and through traditional radio — he is already being played in multiple countries. An accomplished artist in other mediums, now solely focused on DJing/Production, he has taken his passion to new heights.

His potential to make a global impact is truly felt when he plays live, as he understands crowds and has the ability to both satisfy audiences in the moment, while leaving them wanting more.

As he continues to record and release music, watch out for several new releases from Saint Misha coming in late 2019 and early 2020!

“On Fire” by Saint Misha, released on Enormous Tunes (Nora En Pure, Croatia Squad) has been a deep house smash hit this year, being supported by the likes of Hardwell, and Nora En Pure. With heavy radio play in many countries, the quality of production is evident, Saint Misha is one of the ones to watch for 2020 with many releases to come

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Check ‘Em Out: BENE – “Soaked”

Hailing from the suburbs of Auckland, 19-year-old Bene has emerged as New Zealand’s up and coming indie pop artist of 2019 with a Gold-Certified chart-topping hit that’s already garnered millions of streams and support from Zane Lowe, Lily Allen and more. Newly signed to Republic Records, Bene is re-releasing her breakout single “Soaked” as she sets her sights on the U.S.

After posting GarageBand demos on SoundCloud when she was just a senior in high school, Bene caught the ear of producer, Josh Fountain, and began writing and recording at his Golden Age Studio. “Soaked” quickly climbed Spotify’s Viral Charts, streaming over 14 million times, charting on Australia’s Triple J radio Hottest 100 of 2018 and holding the number one spot on New Zealand’s Shazam Top 100 for two months, not to mention achieving Gold Certification in New Zealand and Australia. With endorsements like Zane Lowe and Apple’s Beats1 radio, Bene went from playing her first small club gig to her first arena show—opening for longtime role model Lily Allen—in a matter of months.

Of “Soaked,” Bene says, “To see my song catch on with so many people already has been amazing. And now signing with Republic to bring my music out into the world is just bloody crazy.”

“Soaked” sets the stage for further music to be released from Bene this spring.

 

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East Forest & Ram Dass To Release Collaborative Album + Song ft. Krishna Das

Acclaimed electronic artist East Forest (aka Trevor Oswalt) has released his collaborative song with legendary spiritual teacher Ram Dass,  “I Am Loving Awareness (Feat. Krishna Das)” via Paste Music. The track is featured on East Forest’s new album East Forest x Ram Dass, which will be released in four chapters throughout 2019, with Chapter 1 out January 25 via Aquilo Records. The album features East Forest’s music accompanied by new teachings from the author of Be Here Now, Ram Dass. Listen and share “I Am Loving Awareness (Feat. Krishna Das)” here. Pre-order Chapter 1 here.

In June 2018, East Forest was invited to Ram Dass’ home in Maui to join in conversation and record brand new teachings from the legendary teacher. After capturing these words of wisdom, East Forest returned to his studio in the high desert of Southern Utah to compose the soundtrack to beautifully support each songs’ subject. In these new recordings, Ram Dass’ words speak masterfully to the modern challenges that so many face with technology, dark thoughts, the nature of the soul and so much more. The new East Forest record also features guest appearances from the likes of Trevor Hall and Grammy nominated artist, Krishna Das, all framing Ram Dass’ teachings with contemporary voices and cementing the 87-year-old spiritual teacher into an echelon of relevancy and immediacy — offering a direct antidote for a highly polarized nation that is deeply in need of a universal voice of wisdom, connection and unconditional love.

“Music is a language that all souls understand. I’m honored that my teachings have been paired with a musician like, East Forest, who has crafted an album with so much love.” – Ram Dass

“We forget that we are nature. We feel so much separation in our modern life, inundated with so much information; I believe our solutions will come from the inside out. They’re already here, we’re just uncovering them. It’s all a process of discovery. We need to give space for that which wants to emerge — making this music is my way of creating some space, and inside I hope we can hear an answer.” — East Forest

Ram Dass & East Forest

East Forest has been the leader of underground ‘sound healing’ ceremonies around the world since 2008. Using music as a tool, he has trailblazed the field of organic tech, building bridges between the digital and natural world. Being fully independent and playing in the private shadows allowed the sound of East Forest to emerge: an emotional and spacious musical lexicon with a sound that took shape out of a practical need to play solo for five to six hours while guiding a room full of listeners in deep meditation. Live looping and layered keyboard melodies filled the musical space while angelic vocals and original field recordings floated above.

Word organically spread and a devoted community shared East Forest’s early albums, many of which were live recordings captured directly from his sound healing performances.

Moving into festivals, theaters, and clubs, electronic beats and diverse live instrumentation eventually joined in, from strings and analogue synthesizers to african kora. East Forest’s electro-acoustic ethereal sound continued to evolve and he found himself performing in a diverse range of settings from SXSW, Google, Mysteryland, to Grace Cathedral, Summit at Sea, as well as his own TEDx talk.

More than a dozen albums later, East Forest continues to explore a path of emotionally driven music that pulls from ambient, classical, electronic and indie-pop genres.

Ram Dass made his mark on the world by teaching the path of the heart and promoting service in the areas of social consciousness and care for the dying. When Ram Dass first went to India in 1967, he was still Dr. Richard Alpert, an eminent Harvard psychologist and psychedelic pioneer with Dr. Timothy Leary. In India, he met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, affectionately known as ‘Maharajji’, who gave Ram Dass his name, which means “servant of God.”

On his return from India Ram Dass became a pivotal influence in our culture with the publication of “Be Here Now”. In fact, those words have become a catch phrase in people’s lives for the last 40 years. With the publication in 2011 of “Be Love Now” Ram Dass completed his trilogy that began with “Be Here Now” in 1970 and continued with “Still Here” in 2004. He released “Polishing The Mirror: How to Live From Your Spiritual Heart” in 2013 and released his most recent book, “Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Love and Dying” with co-author Mirabai Bush in 2018.

Ram Dass now makes his home in Maui and teaches world wide through his website RamDass.org and continues the work of Neem Karoli Baba through the Love Serve Remember Foundation.

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TEES 4 TOGO – Cool Tees For a Great Cause

Kathleen Hanna has launched TEES 4 TOGO, a brand new, star-studded line of T-shirts designed by — and portraying designs of — Hanna and her friends. 100% of the profits go to Peace Sisters, a Pasadena-based non-profit that financially assists to fund local girls’ school tuition costs in Dapaong, Togo West Africa, the hometown of current Pasadena resident and Peace Sisters founder, Tina Kampor. Each shirt is cozy, colorful, sweatshop-free, and costs$40 each—the amount it costs for a girl to attend school in Togo for an entire year, including books.

In Togo, Hanna points out, people usually don’t have enough money to send their children to school, especially if they have boys and girls at home. “People often decide to spend their money on the boys. When Tina was an educator in Togo she saw so many girls’ dreams fall by the wayside. She came to California determined to change that.”

For her birthday last November, Hanna organized a Peace Sisters gofundme, which raised almost $9,000. Hanna also began throwing fundraisers at her home, was named a Peace Sisters ambassador and regularly attends board meetings with Kampor, learning how each dollar the group earns is spent. Feeling bolstered by the team’s professionalism and attention to detail, she decided to do more. That’s when Hanna got the idea for TEES 4 TOGO.

TEES 4 TOGO emulates Kampor’s own donations to her home country. “Tina came to Pasadena from Togo, got her nursing certificate, and started sending girls through school. First, she sent two girls through school. The next year she sent five. Before she started Peace Sisters as a non-profit in 2016, she had already sent 130 girls to school with her own money.”

Photo Credit: Jason Frank Rothenberg

Through it all, Hanna has worked to address and facilitate conversations around inclusivity, equal opportunity, sexism, and breaking societal expectations. “We’re not gonna have equality in the world if we don’t hear African women’s voices,” Hanna says. “And we’re not gonna hear women’s voices if they have no education. Another part of this is Trump saying Africa is a shithole. How can I respond to that as a citizen? How can I do something positive in light of that? I found an organization run by somebody who grew up in West Africa, who flies money back to the school every year, and has already been doing it for 15 years. This is my opportunity to be an ally to her already successful project.”

Kampor brought three things to the girls in Togo on her recent April 2018 trip: money for girls’ tuition, solar lamps, and her own vivacious spirit. With TEES 4 TOGO, Hanna hopes to continue Kampor’s work by giving West African girls an opportunity for education, which, she argues, is more vital than ever today.TEES 4 TOGO is just the beginning. Hanna says: “Eventually the dream is to send all the girls to college, and help with housing needs, which may start happening as early as this November, depending on how many shirts I can sell!”

TEES 4 TOGO is consistent with Hanna’s renowned feminist and DIY philosophies. 15 TEES 4 TOGO designs:
— Sleater-Kinney performer and actress Carrie Brownstein (drawn by Kim Gordon)
— Comedian Patton Oswalt (drawn by writer and performer Sam McPheeters)
— Joan Jett (drawn by artist Sarah Larnach)
— Beastie Boy and Hanna’s husband Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz (drawn by musician Seth Bogart)
— Public Enemy rapper, author and producer Chuck D (drawn by political artist Adee Roberson)
— Sociopolitical comedian W.Kamau Bell (drawn by musician by Eric Adams)
— Musician & Hanna’s former Le Tigre bandmate JD Samson (drawn by Kathleen Hanna)
— Body/Head and Sonic Youth musician Kim Gordon (drawn by Ooga Booga artist Steve Dore)
— Actor and comedian Kristen Schaal (drawn by Coleman Fitzgerald)
— Grimes (drawn by artist Maddy Mathews)
— Author, artist, performer and actor Justin Vivian Bond (drawn by illustrator Greg Kozatek)
— Author and musician Brontez Purnell (drawn by illustrator Janelle Hessig)
— Actor and comedian Hari Kondabolu (drawn by Bill Thelan)
— Writer and director Jill Soloway (drawn by artist Hannah Lucy)
— Bikini Kill, Le Tigre and The Julie Ruin musician, activist & actor Kathleen Hanna(drawn by Charlotte Farmer, Jhonny Russell, Katie Edmunds & Jess Marshall)

 

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White Panda – “Hands On Me” ft. Loote

So, I’ve been a fan following White Panda for years now. He does some amazing mashups, check out some of it below:

Now, after years of working on his own writing skills, he’s released a debut track titled, “Hands On Me” and features fantastic vocals from Island Records’ emerging pop duo Loote. It’s fun, upbeat, feel-good, party-ready…everything one looks for in summer jams.

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Newest Love: The Hip Abduction

Sometimes inspiration strikes from the immersion of living in a faraway place. Sometimes, inspiration stems from a place that everyone can relate to, but maybe no one’s actually been. This is the music of The Hip Abduction, the vibrant St. Petersburg, FL-based collective that formed over a mutual appreciation for West African and early Jamaican reggae/dub music.

The Hip Abduction began through informal jam sessions and quickly coalesced into a sound that attracted national attention. For Gold Under the Glow, the band’s 2016 third full album release, THA engage an indie pop acumen alongside a highly emotive and roots-driven sound.

The Hip Abduction featuring David New (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Powers (bass), Dave Johnson (baritone and tenor sax), Sean Fote (keyboards), Matt Poynter (drums, vocals) and John Holt III (kamale ngoni, guitar, vocals) have shared stages with the likes of Grace Potter, Ziggy Marley, Galactic, Umphrey’s McGee, Matisyahu, Thievery Corporation, 311, Moon Taxi and more. Watch out for more festival plays in 2017 including Jam Cruise, Sweetwater 420 Fest, Summercamp, Electric Forest, FloydFest, Deep Roots Mountain Revival, Peach Fest and more as well as coast to coast dates.

Upcoming Shows:
MAY 04 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, CO
MAY 19 Chive By Southeast, FL
MAY 26 Cali Roots Music & Arts Festival, CA
JUN 01 Plaza Palooza, TX
JUN 16 DUCK CREEK LOG JAM, OH
JUL 12, 13, 14 Camp Bisco, PA
SEP 21,22 Camp Deep End, CA

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New Music: Freedom Fry – “Classic”

Los Angeles based duo Freedom Fry has shared their retro-inspired official video for recent single “Classic,” pulled from their long-awaited debut album Classic out June 1st. Featuring models Madison Paige (profiled in The New York Times) and Jayden Robison, the video is co-directed by the band and Ryan Lumley.

Freedom Fry previously shared their video for “Wild Child,” teasing another track that will appear on their debut album this summer. Following a series of shows at SXSW and a live session with KUTX, the band will bring their kinetic energy to a hometown show in Los Angeles on 4/10 at Moroccan Lounge.

See my post about Freedom Fry from last year, here.

Composed of Parisian-born Marie Seyrat and Michigan-born Bruce Driscoll, Freedom Fry has independently amassed over 50 million streams on Spotify and earned numerous #1 appearances on HypeMachine. They recently shared a #girlpower version of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Man On Fire,” which is featured in the new animated film from Intuit, racking up over 20 million views to date. Freedom Fry’s music, which heavily bleeds the warmth and sunshine of their home state of California, skirts the lines between pop, folk, and alt rock and can be heard in over 50 films, shows, and commercials including Judd Apatow’s Love, Showtime’s Shameless, Grey’s Anatomy, and in high-profile ads for fashion labels such as Lanvin and Madewell. They have performed in Europe and throughout the U.S. with the likes of Stromae, Phantogram, and X Ambassadors.

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