California Rocker Select Playlist Number 21: Collaboration is the Key

Xavier Druot and World Musicians Play While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Courtesy
Xavier Druot and World Musicians Collaborate Virtually on While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Courtesy

Curated by JOHN DALY

Collaboration despite isolation is the essential element for musicians on the California Rocker Select Playlist Number 21.

Guitarists, singers and musicians from all over the world have virtually gotten together and have released their tunes despite the long odds. The experience has brought back memories for many. Like when we were kids, the best of the new music is coming from inside the bedrooms, playrooms and basements of some of the best new and veteran rockers. Despite the emergency, there is great new music out this week.

Check out the California Rocker Select Playlist on YouTube.

Xavier Druot and Artists: ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’

Thanks to Xavier Druot for posting a constant stream of beautiful covers every day and taking requests from everyone during this crisis. He’s a hero and an incredible talent.

Musicians all over the world still try to do their part and bring pause and comfort to people in these difficult times, even though we’re all in confinement and live music is on standby for now.

Millions of people around the world are dealing with loneliness and cabin fever, not to mention all the courageous champions in the medical sector, transportation, distribution, law enforcement, waste management, infrastructure etc., who put their lives at risk to keep our civilisation going.

Jessie Reyez + Eminem: ‘Coffin’

Toronto native Colombian Canadian singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez released a surprise deluxe version of her critically acclaimed debut album Before Love Came To Kill Us and it’s amazing. The original version of the album, which was released Friday, March 27 included previous released tracks “Ankles,” “Imported” ft. 6lack, her platinum smash “Figures,” and a new standout track “Coffin” ft. Grammy award winning Detroit artist Eminem. Check out “Coffin” here:

Rya Park: ‘Bad Name’

Rya Park has collaborated with some of the best musicians with “Bad Name.”

Settling deep into a sort of angelically sinister groove, the unapologetic kick of ‘Bad Name’ soundtracks an empowering moment for Park. Produced by Ed Quinn (Slum Sociable) + Peter Farnan, with The Temper Trap’s Toby Dundas on drums and mixing duties, the song explores a past toxic relationship that contributed to an eating disorder, but ultimately is a statement of recovery and regaining confidence.

Park’s latest indie rock confessional follows from the incremental success of massive past singles ‘act your age’ and ‘Bitch’ and packs more punch than the two combined.

Diamond 6: ‘It’s On My Mind’

The muddy rock power trio formed in Hong Kong in 2017 with the rare idea of playing just one gig. But, that idea failed and since then they’ve released several singles, including their most recent video It’s On My Mind.

Diamond 6 story is an interesting one; three very different characters with a compelling mix of nationalities, influences and styles brought together in one sonic vision; mixing grunge, rock, electronica and more.

Joshua Bassett: ‘Common Sense’

Already earning major accolades this year including a Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Award nomination for Favorite TV Actor, Oceanside-born Joshua Bassett continues to display that he is a force to be reckoned with and a multi-faceted artist to watch in 2020 with the release of “Common Sense” (Warner Bros).

Joshua explains, “’Common Sense’ was one of those lightning-strike songs: the idea came to me seemingly prepackaged, while I was driving to an acting audition. I could barely keep up with it, spilling out the lyrics into my voice memo’s app. When I eventually parked the car that I was practically living out of at the mall across the street, I quickly whipped out my guitar and finished the song in 15 minutes. Love is love, no matter what ‘common sense’ tells you.”

Angela Munoz: ‘In My Mind’

Angela Munoz, a 18-year-old Los Angeles native, debuts her hypnotic voice with her new album released on Linear Labs. This prolific artist is a prodigy, writing and singing music beyond her tender years. Her captivating voice carries strength and prowess, cultivated by a myriad of first-hand experiences and training in the art of sound.

“I wrote this song thinking about the journey of love. Despite my age I have an awareness of what expressing love looks like. As I was writing this song, I
wanted to challenge myself as a songwriter. This led me to imagine myself in the place of George Gershwin. If I could choose anyone to interpret this song it would be Sarah Vaughan. Ultimately love can manifest itself in many ways.”

Alex The Astronaut: ‘Split the Sky’

It was written during her “early life crisis” and is a message of hope. “Split the Sky” is about life coming at you fast and having to get through a tough time by rising to the occasion while, at the same time, asking herself “If I sit here and watch Harry Potter, will I be alright?”

A talented soccer player, Alex Lynn moved from Sydney to New York on a soccer scholarship in 2017 and studied Math and Physics at Long Island University, where she began writing music. Her songs have since been used as an unofficial anthem of the Australian Gay Marriage referendum.

Taska Black + Miquela: ‘Speak Up’

Presenting a new remix by Taska Black of Miquela, more widely known as her Instagram persona LiL Miquela.

Born and based in Antwerp, Belgium, Taska Black is the artistic vision of songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Joachim Gorrebeeck. For four years Gorrebeeck has been producing and releasing music as Taska Black but the newcomer has been cracking the pop music barriers.

Miquela is a social activist, style icon, and all-around robo-phenomenon, named by TIME Magazine as “the most influential person on the internet.”

EOB: ‘Olympik’

Ed O’Brien is “currently recovering at home and wishing the best for the safety and health of all,” according to a statement and he’s “grateful” to unveil “Olympik.” It’s the latest track from his debut album under the EOB moniker and the album Earth, is still on track for an April 17th release via Capitol Records.

“Olympik” is the third song from Earth to be released in advance of the album. “Olympik” is anchored by a cool groove with Omar Hakim on drums and Nathan East on bass.

Kllo: ‘Still Here’

Kllo – the electronic pop collaboration of Melbourne cousins Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam – announces their new album, Maybe We Could, out July 17th on Ghostly International, and shares its lead single, “Still Here,” with an accompanying video.

Following the release of their adored full-length debut Backwater, two years of global touring, a handful of singles, and a near-breakup, Kaul and Lam both took time away from Kllo to make solo work. The experiences served as a reset, giving them space to learn separately, and, ultimately, to appreciate what they have together. Largely written and recorded upon their return, Maybe We Could signals a new start for Kllo.

Glitzy Groove: ‘Boogie Boo’

Norwegian pop band Glitzy Groove introduces Boogie Boo, turning a new generation on to the best in the disco dance genre.

Members Hanne Haugsand and twins Taiwo and Kehinde Karlsen joined forces after working together as judges on the TV show “All Together Now” back in the good days of 2019.

Get ready for funky grooves and sassy soul and disco.

ADULT: ‘Total Total Damage’

Making the most of quarantine: Blending music production and home DIY upgrades, ADULT releases a cool, synth-based rocker reminiscent of the best of 1980s Berlin.

The dystopian anthem comes in full force with frantic energy which jolts any bystanders to attention, with only the defiant chants of Nicola Kuperus’ vocals outlining the ever-degenerating state of societal affairs. “We’re hoping that the video speaks to a lot of people, because everyone’s feeling cabin fever and wanting to get out, get back to ‘normal’ life'”.

Francesca Blanchard: ‘Did It To Myself’

Filmed in pre-pandemic New York City Blanchard takes an innovative approach to a song about heartbreak. The aching hurt is tangible and Blanchard’s voice is something we can almost touch.

Blanchard is a French-American songwriter based in Burlington, Vermont. Since she released her bilingual folk debut Deux Visions in 2015, the singer-songwriter has been touring throughout the US and Europe and learning what she wanted to say.

Princess Goes To The Butterfly Museum: ‘Love American Style’

Michael C. Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Lazarus), Peter Yanowitz (The Wallflowers, Morningwood) and Matt Katz-Bohen’s (Blondie, Cyndi Lauper) avant-indie trio Princess Goes To The Butterfly Museum have released their new album. Taking their name from a phrase suggested by Katz-Bohen’s daughter, the group constructed an entire world for their music, imagining the Butterfly Museum as a physical space brought to life with the help of legendary mixer Tom Elmhirst (Adele, The xx).

Choir Boy: ‘Complainer’

“Complainer” is the first single from indie pop outfit Choir Boy’s second album, Gathering Swans. Out May 8, 2020. “Complainer” is a sarcastic examination of self pity. The video reveals Choir Boy’s involvement in a seedy back alley fighting ring. Direction and videography by Choir Boy: Chaz Costello, Jeff Kleinman, Adam Klopp and Michael Paulsen, editing by Adam Klopp, action cameo by Sam Rodriguez.

David Ramirez: ‘I Wanna Live in Your Bedroom

David Ramirez writes the songs and Brittney McKenna writes the short stories. The music and the words are worth checking out.

“I’ve had one too many; I should’ve gone to bed. She’s looking right at me; she’s in my head.

How did you get here? It’s nearly four a.m. now, but you can’t go back to sleep for turning over the same memory in your head. It was an unseasonably warm November Tuesday night a few months after you first saw her on that patio. You’d both finished dinner and were thinking of settling in for bed when she looked at you with a playful glint in her eye. “Let’s go out for drinks,” she said, almost teasing.

Check out the California Rocker Select Playlist on YouTube.