#54 - Little Supernovas 🌞

Your Weekly Music Round-Up: Zach Bryan album review, remembering Jimmy Buffett and AUGUST 08, Scarlet mishap, textFX, Patrick Droney.

Happy Labor Day Weekend and Sunlighter Sunday! Hope everyone drinks a margarita for Jimmy this weekend 🍹

Here's what we have queued up this week:

  1. 🌶️ Review of Zach Bryan by Zach Bryan.

  2. 💿 This Week in Music: Remembering Jimmy Buffet and AUGUST 08, Scarlet mishap, textFX.

  3. 📈 Weekly Charts: New album debuts.

  4. 🎙️ Patrick Droney is our artist of the week.

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Rating Rationale: We were hooked on this album from the first track, a poem called “Fear and Friday’s,” written and recited by Zach Bryan himself. The words and life lessons from the poem are so deeply profound and emotional that you can’t help but lean in to hear the rest of the story, which he ushers in with a Jimi Hendrix-style Star Spangled Banner intro in “Overtime.” Zach began writing songs at age 14 and kept the habit of writing during his free time after enlisting in the U.S. Navy at age 17. Eight years later, he was honorably discharged, which allowed him to pursue a career in music. With the exception of a few features (Sierra Ferrell, Kacey Musgraves, The Lumineers), this entire album was written and produced by Bryan, himself. It’s a trailblazing representation of where country music is going, so if you’re not paying attention to country, the time is now. The record exposes a vulnerability that digs into the depths of emotion and heart that country music has always stood for. Dare I say Zach Bryan’s rustic, raspy voice is a little reminiscent of Johnny Cash?

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Top News

🍹 Rest in Paradise: Yesterday, the legendary Jimmy Buffet passed away after decades of constructing the reverie of a beach vacation we all aspire to have. A true icon, Jimmy’s vivid lyrics associated with the coastal lifestyle should make us grateful for the little things in life.

♾️ 08/08: 88rising’s Ray Jacobs, better known as AUGUST 08, passed away earlier this week in the same month as his symbolic title, infinity. It’s a true tragedy, and we’re especially saddened by the news. More than just a talented singer and songwriter, he was formative to the success of the primarily Asian music label, 88rising. His contributions on Head in the Clouds, particularly, “Midsummer Madness,” will leave a lasting legacy.

👯‍♀️ Why So Similar? Doja Cat has been swimming in hot water lately. This week, she revealed her upcoming album, Scarlet, and to her chagrin, her fans pointed out that her album artwork looked a little too similar to a German metal band’s album artwork (probably because both albums were illustrated by the same artist). After the mishap, a new cover illustration was revealed.

🪝 Visceral: The feeling you get when you see Miguel floating around with hooks in his back while debuting new songs in his experiential collaboration with Sony. The Box worthy?

🎤 Power K-Pop: In 2021, HYBE and Geffen Records partnered together to audition over 100,000 female applicants from across the world to create a U.S.-based K-pop girl group reminiscent of the intense K-pop tryouts in South Korea. It’s now down to 20 women.

💯 Another Milestone & Era: Not only did Taylor Swift recently hit 100 million Spotify monthly listeners, making her the first female artist to reach this milestone in Spotify history, but she also announced an upcoming Eras Tour Movie.

📺 You Gotta Watch This: Watch Lupe Fiasco work with Google on leveraging their in-house language models to create raps. For more info, check out textFX in Industry & Tech.

Industry & Tech

✍🏾 textFX: That’s the latest Google AI-powered tool leveraging Google’s PaLM 2 LLM (large language model) to improve the creative writing process for songwriters and rappers.

🤝 Meli+: French music streaming platform, Deezer, is expanding its partnership with LATAM online marketplace, Mercado Libre (the Amazon of Latin America), to be included in their Meli+ subscription service. Why is this important? As streaming services continue to battle it out for global market share, this expansion becomes a strategic leverage point for Deezer in a market that has grown rapidly in the last few years.

🎶 Jukebox Hero: Music royalty trading platform, JKBX, will be launching in September to allow investors to “purchase” shares in royalty streams of hundreds of songs. This directly competes with other royalty purchasing platforms such as SongVest, Royal, MasterExchange, etc.

✂️ Deep Cuts: Longplay, a music app focused on music lovers who enjoy listening to full albums, has been revamped to improve your deep-cut listening experience.

💰 Securing the Bag: Universal Music Group acquired UAE-based, Chabaka Music, to bolster its commitment to serving listeners in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. SymphonyOS raised a $1 million pre-seed round (which included 21 Savage, 24kGoldn, LVRN Records, and others) to improve its marketing tooling for artists, independent labels, managers, and other creators.

🌐 Web3 Updates: LimeWire has partnered with Polygon Labs to launch an AI studio that will encompass both music and video capabilities.

Upcoming Music

🦍 E-Zoo: Due to “supply chain disruptions,” the first day of long-time EDM festival, Electric Zoo, was canceled. However, the festival officially opened on the second day, albeit two hours later than anticipated.

🗑️ Halfway Gone: If you’re a fan of The Killers’ early albums like Hot Fuss (“Mr. Brightside”) or Sam’s Town (“When You Were Young”), you might be disappointed by this update. The Killers were originally planning to revisit their early sound that brought them mass appeal but have since decided against that path in order to continue exploring Americana.

🤔 Chart Recount? Russ makes a case for chart data collusion and favoritism amongst the media brands owned by Penske Media. We’re not going to say we disagree because there’s a real conflict of interest here.

👀 Some sources say, Ye will be dropping new music “any day now.” ILOVEMAKONNEN will be dropping an album with Lil Peep’s posthumous estate next week. HAIM might have new music on the way with Jai Paul (quite the unexpected collaboration). Jay-Z recently reactivated his Instagram to announce new music is on the way. K-pop boy band, TXT (Tomorrow X Together), announced their third studio album (second of the year) will be coming in October. JID’s next album is Forever & A Day. Jorja Smith will either be Falling or Flying. Taking Back Sunday will be dropping 152 in October, their first full-length album in 7 years. Not sure who asked for this one, but Duran Duran is dropping a Halloween-themed cover album aptly named, Danse Macabre. Beirut will be releasing his first album since 2019 in November.

🚶‍♂️ Artists On Tour: Travis Scott announced his first tour since the Astroworld incident in 2021. Playboi Carti has postponed his Antagonist arena tour to 2024. Zach Bryan, Slowdive, Laufey, OMEGA X, Sexyy Red.

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📈 What’s Trending? Most of the new debuts this week are concentrated around newly released albums (Billboard 200). We covered the top 3 in our Weekly Forecast but here are several more that charted well:

  • Rocket Power (RIP Takeoff) - Quavo

  • ISTJ: The Third Album - NCT DREAM

  • Greatest Hits - Aerosmith

  • Snow Angel - Reneé Rapp (we covered this one last week)

  • El Toro 2 - EST Gee

  • Pretty Little Poison - Warren Zeiders

  • Appaloosa Bones - Gregory Alan Isakov

  • World Music Radio - Jon Batiste

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Primer: Patrick Droney says the song he listens to every day is, “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher, and views his recent sophomore record as a soundtrack replaying the scenes of his life. As a child of the ‘90s with deep inspiration from motion pictures, he uniquely pairs every track with a coinciding movie from the ‘90s, including: Back To The Future, Parent Trap, Dead Poets Society, and Ghost.

Rhythm & Blues: Patrick’s father was a session guitarist in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, which made it easy for Patrick to pick up a guitar at age seven and never put it down. Five years into playing, Patrick submitted a tape of himself playing blues guitar for a contest, which resulted in him winning the Robert Johnson Foundation New Generation Award. This award paid dividends when he got the opportunity to perform alongside his greatest musical inspirations—B.B. King, James Brown, Robby Krieger from The Doors, Chris Layton, and Tommy Shannon.

I Want To Be A Part of It: That experience kickstarted the next sixteen years of Patrick’s relationship with music. After spending his college years at NYU learning production and music business while gigging every weekend, he developed a penchant for songwriting that helped him score a publishing deal with Lance Freed (President of Rondo Music International). This allowed Patrick to build relationships with mentors and collaborators in LA and Nashville (where he currently resides).

Genre: Cinematic-pop

Influences: B.B. King, Don Henley, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen

Current Label: Warner Records

What’s Next: Although his music reflects influences from every genre, he says the blues are ingrained in every note he plays. Just like the inspirations who came before him, he’s already focused on how he can be a legacy artist in the next 30-40 years. This fall, Patrick is supporting his sophomore album, Subtitles for Feelings, with 14 tour stops across the United States.

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Wrap Up 👏

We're closing the newsletter this week with a different reenactment of Miguel’s “Viscera Experience.”

Who’s Burning? 🌡️

Miguel, burned by the internet.

The Merch Table 💳

  • 🌇 Medellín Sunset: That’s the colorway of J Balvin’s upcoming Air Jordan 3 collaboration, which will be released on September 23rd. However, this week, J Balvin was spotted with a newer colorway (“Rio”) that hasn’t even hit production yet.

  • 🌸 Twenty-Eight: Louis Tomlinson’s new brand, 28, is hoping to bridge the English football pitch with skateboard culture.

  • ❌👨‍💼 FDT: If you know YG’s iconic rally song against Donald Trump, then you’re probably not surprised that YG capitalized on Trump’s recent mugshot for his brand, 4HUNNID.

Sunlighter Playlist 🔀

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See ya next Sunday 😎

Chris and Donya

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