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Tracks of the Week: new music from SPELLING, Connan Mockasin, Anikka, Gordon Koang, and more

Welcome to the second installment of our feature segment, Tracks of the Week. Where we create a comprehensive list of releases by artist's we love, over here at Underground Apex. Our team sat down and hand picked each track, this week our director Cailey Davern put together this list in collaboration with Adrian Lara and Calla Flanagan. We hope you enjoy these tracks as much as we do!


Revolution by SPELLLING

Bay Area-based artist SPELLLING presents a new video for standout track, “Revolution.” off her upcoming album Turning Wheel. The track is in step with SPELLLING’s singular sound and aesthetic. Cabral’s magnetic voice parades over fluttering keys, eerie synth, and swelling strings. The video is a swirl of oddities - people dressed in exaggerated costumes, rich colors, and off-kilter settings. “The song ‘Revolution’ is about the struggle to feel whole and to find a nirvanic place of ‘completion’ while fighting against and living day to day within a matrix of exploitation,” says Cabral. “I sing about falling complicit to the grim false narrative of ‘growing up’ becoming a body that lives to labor….as an exhaustive submission that is wearing me down... but that there is still a spark of passion... to resist and reignite. The ‘permanent revolution’ I sing about is this idea that the yearning will never die, it will only grow more powerful within us all----for a world in which our greater virtues are encouraged and nourished----this desire is deep within us and this desire will never die out!



2. The Wolf by Ade and Connan Mockasin

Ade and his son Connan Mockasin share the music video, for their first single The Wolf off their new album, It’s Just Wind. Retelling the story of the big, bad wolf, The Wolf, is a twisted, bongwater-and-panpipes spoken-word rehash of the familiar tale, over a drum-machine beat, featuring three porky little shits and a rent-demanding lupine landlord. Tucked under the ruckus of jam, distortion, and wry surrealism, there’s also a quietly contemplative narrative thread to It’s Just Wind. The lines between the jest and the serious, the fictive and the lived, blur, as the plotline of It’s Just Wind coils gently around Ade’s own. There’s a quality of bittersweet self-reflection redolent of Bowie’s Blackstar or Cash’s American IV as an old man, from a point of slight detachment, surveys his life like a

landscape.



3. Rights by Anikka

Anika - the project of Berlin-based musician Annika Henderson - shares the new single/video, “Rights,” from Change, her first new album in over a decade, out July 23rd on Sacred Bones and Invada. Following “Change” and “Finger Pies,” “Rights” drones with Anika’s beautifully plaintive voice and oscillating percussion. In her words, the song is about “turning the tables, giving power to those who normally feel disempowered. This song is about unification not division. This song is about female (/queer/non-binary/marginalised communities) empowerment - the joining of forces, not pitted against each other. This song is about wanting to escape reality but then we can never truly escape it, it will always be there to collect its dues. We can only ever achieve temporary escape. The better option is to bring whatever we want into reality.” During the song’s peak, Anika chants encouragingly: “Feel the power // feel the power // show me power.” The accompanying video, directed by Anika and Sabrina Labis, features Anika and Mueran Humanos’s Carmen Burguess. The video toggles between the virtual and real worlds, playing with the ideas of dreams and displacement, and seeking places of empowerment. Anika elaborates: “At the end of the video, the memory of the feelings, the knowledge that it was possible, remained, that is enough to start bringing it into our own life. We all have rights.” Co-director Sabrina Labis adds: “Making videos is my way to feel power. The power of changing perspectives, escaping conservative structures and landing on a very close and free power-planet where everything is possible. Press play, take off and enjoy.



5. Coronavirus by Gordon Koang

Legendary South Sudanese pop star Gordon Koang shares a message of peace, love and positivity, and is his first offering since 2020’s “idiosyncratically joyous.” 'Coronavirus,' written as a response to his personal experiences of the global pandemic and witnessing the devastation on his and his cousin Paul's home community. Throughout this single, Gordon offers his condolences to those affected by the pandemic, alongside messages of his faith in frontline workers and the hope that circumstances will improve soon. “People suffer a lot. I ask that God gives the doctors the big wisdom to defeat the coronavirus. When people hear my song, I hope that this music counsels them. The song has a lot of meaning, it is telling them to be hopeful.” This release is the result of post-lockdown studio sessions, jamming and recording at Button Pusher in Preston, Melbourne with his new band consisting of Zak Olsen (ORB, Traffik Island) Jack Kong (Baked Beans, Traffik Island), David “Daff” Gravolin(ORB), and Jesse Williams (Leah Senior, Girlatones).



6. Annie's Shoes by Babehoven

Babehoven share their third single, “Annie’s Shoes,” with a stunning accompanying video. Evocative of Arthur Russell’s Love is Overtaking Me or Julia Jacklin’s Crushing,Nastvai, Calliope balances meticulously between the universality of emotion and the particulars that crack you open, that you carry alone. In “Annie’s Shoes,” arpeggiated percussion cuts through hovering synth and acoustic guitar as Maya Bon sings: “I feel done with being someone // You think you can talk through // When I sit and think about it // I wonder why I’m here at all.” The song explodes into a dance party at the end, celebrating life in all of its oddity. Bon elaborates: “‘Annie's Shoes’ is an exploration of a moment in time; waking up in the morning, putting on your friend's shoes while you eat leftover Thai food for breakfast, feeling all of the feelings of becoming an adult, processing losses from many facets, and missing people and pets you love dearly.” The stop-motion music video for “Annie’s Shoes” was created by director and animator Phoebe Jane Hart. Visually inspired by the mystery and sensuality of deep sea flora and fauna, she created a world full of handmade sea dragons, and flowers galore.



7. Dublin, Texas by RF Shannon

RF Shannon the project of Shane Renfro including Jeff Renfro Luke Dawson Will Patterson Jesse Woods Kitty Beebe Ignacio Guerrero, released a new music video and single "Dublin, Texas,' directed and shot by fellow Keeled Scales artist Jordan Moser, the single is the band's first new music since their 2019's Rain On Dust. The song and video finds the band drawing, like a massive cypress, from their Texas roots. After splitting time between Austin and Los Angeles for several years, Shane Renfro has made Lockhart, Texas his home, where his brother/drummer Jeff Renfro also lives.


8. Plant Life- Parquet Courts

Parquet Courts premiered a new song on Japanese radio station FM Karuizawa during Dr. Rob’s show. The song, “Plant Life,” represents the first new original material from the band since 2018’s Wide Awake!, and will be available to fans via the newly-announced limited-edition, physical-only “Plant Life” 12-inch, out now via Rough Trade and available only via the Rough Trade webstore and the band’s website. Additionally, the band have announced a string of new tour dates, which go on sale on Wednesday at 9am EST. ’Plant Life’ the song is my story of rediscovering my passion for music through New York City dance floors,” says Austin Brown. “It's a distillation from a 40 plus minute improvisation prompted by producer Rodaidh McDonald, and every way we've sliced it up illustrates a different mood of the same perspective of ecstasy and aspiration to not only grow, but form roots outside of our own barriers."Side B features a remix of “Plant Life” from Vancouver’s Yu Su that funks up the bassline as well as a celestial mix from Peak Wifi (Austin Brown and Bryce Hackford) reminiscent of Midori Takada.



9. 'Love Song' by Anja

With crystal-clear production that incorporates elements of pop and a voice capable of subtle intriguing moments of raw power, Anja is a fascinating prospect, a songwriter with limitless potential. As lockdowns started across the world in 2020, Anja turned inward and started working on her upcoming EP ‘Songs From Isolation’; a series of tracks about the past year that Anja has been releasing as singles. All of the music is written and recorded at her home, with the correlating music videos being filmed in her backyard with the help from her family. Looking to 2021 with positive energy, her new music perfectly combines Anja’s empowered attitude, bold lyricism, and stunning vocals with a bright, catchy sound. Speaking more on the release, Anja explained: "With not much else to do during quarantine, I started watching a lot of films (mostly romantic comedies) and started fantasizing about the perfect meet-cute. I’m a huge romantic and I always envisioned love like in the movies - deep and authentic, finding your ‘the one’ person in the most magical, beautiful way. I started writing ‘Love Song’ as sort of my thesis on how I view love, how I one day hope it turns out for me :) I sent the demo to my friend and producer Dimitri Morris, and a few days later, he came back with this dreamy, almost Disney princess-like instrumental that can now be heard in the song. I hope that one day I get to play this to my husband and say: ‘see, I always knew it would be like this’




10. Dance to You by Morly

Visual artist and singer-songwriter Morly (aka Katy Morley) announces her debut album ‘Til I Start Speaking, out August 20th on Cascine, and shares new single/video “Dance to You.” Morley's soft, swooning strain of storyteller pop has distilled across the past half decade into an increasingly hushed and heartfelt private language, as lived in as it is lyrical. Her debut full-length took shape slowly during stints in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and London, stripping back the melodies to their essence, driven by a yearning to “reach ‘the other side,’ to live in and be art and music.” The songs that emerged are time-worn, aching, and acoustically rich, like hymns or traditionals, traced in piano, voice, and percussion. She describes the creation process as almost a “subconscious exorcism,” casting out old ghosts and outgrown loves

















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