Trey Pearson – “Don’t Dance 2.1”: The Columbus, Ohio-based pop singer is a local music icon who returns with this bombastic bop that is absolutely Top 10 worthy. The song serves as a callout to haters and hypocrites and is dedicated to those trying to come to terms with themselves in a world of divisiveness and disdain. Pearson is an out and proud artist who hopes his journey and marvelous music serve as solace to those who are blazing a similar path. The single contains spot-on vocals, delightful beats, and an amazing arrangement that make it a danceable anthem. The former Everyday Sunday vocalist has found himself and his musical groove and there is no turning back with no apologies made. If “Don’t Dance 2.1” turns some haters into supporters and/or helps people along their own journeys of self-discovery, then the song is automatically a hit. Those who enjoy the styling of the late George Michael’s “Fastlove” will fancy this tune and have it on repeat for a hot minute or two.

My Dark Reality – “Things You Should Know”: Signed to Bentley Records last summer, the Ohio hard rock outfit is back with a bang. This thrashing hard rock tune has crisp guitar play, dynamic drums, brilliant bass work, and sharp vocals from Nerak Roth Patterson, Sr.. The rock climate is in good hands with this band as it seems that they are picking up where they left off with their 2020 singles “Soulless” and “Ashes to Ashes”. Those who like their rock n’ roll straightforward and pedal-to-the-metal are going to love MDR and everything they have released thus far. Once live shows are thing widespread again, this band will be able to do what they best and entertain on a stage like only they can.

Bloodthirsty Virgins – “Burn After Reading”: The Columbus band led by vocalist/guitarist Nikki Wonder consider themselves to be ‘Spaghetti-Western/Vampire Dramatic Rock’. This song is foot-on-the-throat, take no prisoners, rock n’ roll and the formula is fantastic. On this latest offering, the single has Wonder’s vivacious vocals accompanied by strong guitars, brilliant bass, and dynamic drum work. The song has already been broken in at respected rock station CD 92.9 FM and the band has a contract with Scioto Records, helping bolster its potential outreach. This head-bobbing single is worth all the streams and spins it gets and fingers crossed that Bloodthirsty Virgins garner a lot of play off this well-crafted track. People who are impressed by “Burn After Reading” will likely enjoy some tunes from the band’s self-titled album such as “The Want of You” and “The Skin”.’

Sierra Blax – “INYIM”: A collaboration with Tim Rose, this fiery R&B/pop single has all the makings of a breakthrough hit if heard by the right people in the industry. An up-tempo love song directed to an ex, the song’s protagonist takes ownership on things not working out with the line “It’s not you, it’s me.” Blax seeks to be herself and do her thing which she does very well with confident singing combined with catchy, soulful beats in the background. That noted, this jam will remind people of the sultry stylings of Joss Stone, who did well for herself in the business. The L.A.-based singer-songwriter is building her audience organically and the talent and merit are there for Blax to go nowhere but up as evident on her previous singles “Loose Cannon”. “Good Type of Love” and “Just for Now”.

Lalalow – “Sensory Deprivation”: This Finnish duo of vocalist/keyboardist Nina Jackson and guitarist/bassist Tommi Laivamaa is ready to take the world by storm. Their latest single is electropop goodness with on-point vocals and cunning synthesizer work. Per an interview given by Jackson, the song is about the loneliness stemming from the year-long pandemic and the challenges to communicate and decipher reality. The song’s construction from start to finish will mesmerize listeners and hook them in, moving bodies and souls simultaneously. “Sensory Deprivation” has legs to make a dent on the Hot AC chart as it is catchy, charming, and attractive. Those looking for more mind-bending pop tunes from Jackson and Laivamaa can look no further than last year’s single “Quiet Lately” and their self-titled EP.  

Laveer – “Real Thing (Chilled)”: This Columbus synthpop quartet has a harmonic new single that shows some true talent from the lads. This version is a dynamite ballad that oozes tight vocals and marvelous melodies. There is absolutely no reason either version of “Real Thing” (the original being upbeat electropop) cannot heat up the Top 40 chart. Laveer demonstrates a knack for beautiful songwriting and execution that should lead to a fabulous career locally and beyond for several years. Whether “chilled” or regular, “Real Thing” lives up to its title and it is only a matter of time before the lads are heating up stages with fellow local studs such as The Raquels, Something Else, Spirit Of The Bear, among others.

Johnny Ashby – “Getting Started”: Born in England, but living in L.A. the folky singer-songwriter is ready to unleash his brand of indie jams on the universe. His current single possesses superb singing and polished guitar play that should find itself well on alternative and AC stations. Throughout the tune, Ashby displays haunting vocals that have an excellent cadence against the gentle guitar play. This indie folk delight is going to resonate with a lot of people and Ashby himself has gained some traction over the years. Previous releases have seen airplay stateside and across the pond with songs gaining placement on shows ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘Pretty Little Liars’, to name a couple.

Aibai – “Glow”: From Minneapolis comes this prodigal producer’s single created in conjunction with Swims. The single is two and a half minutes of well-crafted electropop that ought to help Aibai garner a following. The vocals are perfect for the music and based on this song alone, Aibai should be in high demand as someone artists will want to work with in the future. She makes electronic music that has potential to branch out beyond the raves and her current release is a successful attempt to broaden her horizons by tweaking the formula a tad. Every bit as good as Calvin Harris and Darude, Aibai’s talent is proven on her 2020 series of singles “Imagery”, “Enough”, and “Insomnia”.

Photo by Elise Hisdal

Yndling – “Childish Fear”: Also known as Silje Espevvik, the Norwegian singer-songwriter makes her remarkable debut with a dream pop bop. The tune makes excellent use of bass, drums, synthesizer, and floaty vocals to create a musical cloud that will carry Yndling extremely far. The mid-tempo track is slickly produced by Einestor Sandberg and it clicks on all cylinders. The song will send a tingle down listeners’ spines as it entails a psychological hindrance towards expressing love. The story alone will resonate with people who struggle with stagnation in relationships and the harsh reality of being at a crossroads. The lyrics and oral output are from the heart and that makes the personal tale Yndling is telling even more authentic and special. It is only a matter of time before more outlets take notice of the tools and talent Yndling has as she has already been praised by the likes of 1883 Magazine and Earmilk.

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