Atlanta-born, LA-based singer-songwriter, McCall is leaving an indelible mark on the music scene. Inspired by the natural progression of life, her bluesy-rock pop grooves explore relationships, femininity, and everything else that makes McCall –– McCall. With powerhouse harmonies and melodies that burrow a vintage genre, her aesthetic is one that transports retro pop-rock fervor into the digital age.
McCall’s most recent single, “Stone Cold,” is an addictive record that evokes flashbacks of toxic bonds. The track is supported by impressive guitar dexterity, providing a solid core for her symmetrical lyrics.
There’s something effortlessly genuine about the natural blend of McCall’s tunes, breathtaking voice, and her bad*ss energy, but we’ll let you be the judge.
McCall’s next single, “Lavender” drops Feb. 21.
“Stone Cold,” is a song that explores that frustrating feeling of not being able to let go of a relationship that’s not good for you. How do you break yourself free from that kind of toxicity (that can be addicting at times) and walk away?
Oh, I’m not good at it all. I’m definitely very addicted to that feeling of trying to make someone like you. What I do is binge listen to all the songs that we would listen to when we were together, to their music if they were musicians, and kind of get all my bad feelings out to prove to myself I’m not afraid to listen to those songs anymore. I don’t know; it’s really hard, actually. I feel like I don’t have good advice on it. I just write about it a lot, and eventually it will fade out. I’m coming out of a relationship now. We broke up nine months ago, but just now I’m out of the toxicity of it. It takes a while; you just have to ride it out.
In a world where we’re always looking for the next best thing, or rather constantly leaving and finding something new (and sometimes better, sometimes not), what is the fine line between settling and not settling?
That’s a great question. It’s kind of hard to settle because someone is always doing better than you or someone is always getting that opportunity that you wanted or even an opportunity that you hadn’t even thought about and then you’re like, “Wow, why didn’t I think about that?” Music-wise, that’s a good thing for me, because even when I feel like I’ve accomplished something, I look at my peers and they’ve accomplished something better. That can be helpful and hurtful in certain ways. Relationship-wise, you need to have that feeling because obviously, there’s always someone more attractive or whatever but it’s really hard to find that one person you connect to perfectly. It’s hard but you just have to see what clicks and what doesn’t.
The lyrics, “Leaving me lonely / But I can’t walk away,” from “Stone Cold” is such a heavy statement. Why do you think even when we don’t feel good or feel like we’re like it’s going nowhere, we still stay?
I think it depends on the relationship. For me, what “Stone Cold” was about wasn’t a real relationship. It was just about a friend of mine; we mutually liked each other, and it never really worked out. That line is wanting so badly to be liked by this person and to feel worthy of their time that when they don’t give it to you, you’re upset but you’re still willing to try again and again. You’re willing to change things about yourself just for the pure idea that they might like that. That feeling can be addicting –– it’s like a puzzle, it’s like what else can I do to make this person like me or change the way they feel about me even if it’ll never work because we’re not right for each other.
Well said. So, in both contexts of relationships as well as the music industry, what pushes you and motivates you to keep going when it feels like nothing’s going right or rather, your expectations aren’t met?
This sounds kind of cheesy, and I don’t really know what type of God I believe in or the universe, but I really feel that this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I give a lot up to the universe and I’ll know it’s all going the way it needs to go. I work really hard so when things don’t turn out how they should, it’s easier to accept that it wasn’t in the stars.
Hope can be a tricky thing when it comes to how we deal with our problems, relationships, mental health, even the issues with our world today. We tend to hold onto the past in hopes that something will change. Obviously, that’s not always the case and more often than not, it won’t ever happen. How do you think we can navigate that?
There comes a time, if you’re really honest with yourself, you’ll realize that you’re holding onto something that’s not worth it anymore. That’s a really hard place to get to, and I think I definitely overstay my welcome in hopes. If you aren’t honest with yourself and the situation, at some point something is going to knock you so hard off your feet that you don’t have a choice but to come to that realization. Just taking time to think with yourself, self reflect, check in, and be like, “Is this actually the right thing to do?”
The music video for “Stone Cold” is the perfect mixture of aesthetically pleasing but still conveys that frustrated feeling of not being able to walk away. The value of visual art is equally as important as the audio in regards to who you want to represent as an artist. What do you feel like you’ve been representing with your music?
Ooh, what a great question. Griffin Meyer directed the music video and we collaborated a lot on the aesthetics. He did an absolutely amazing job. Ursula Bowling was the art director and she killed it as well. I had a great team on that video. We went with this theme of Venus because I feel like what I want to represent is femininity and kind of changing what being a woman means. I’ve always felt very masculine and very tomboy-ish. Sometimes, I feel like I missed out on this “high” femininity that Venus represents.
So with this video, and the music that’s out and the music that’s about to come, I’m just trying to say, “I am a woman.” And that you know, just redefining what it means today to be a woman and what strength and power look like.
It’s an amazing video, and “Stone Cold,” is amazing as well. Congratulations on everything!
Thank you so much. I’ve been sitting on these songs we have yet to put out, and some of them, it’s been years. So we’re just going to put them out and see what happens. I’m really excited!
Dianna Lopez: The new Queen of Alternative music
There’s a new sheriff in town! Oh, and by the way, her name is Dianna Lopez. And did we mention she can sing her as* off! In a world saturated with hip-hop and r&b, the New York native is in an alternative lane of her own. If Sade had a baby, Lopez would hands down fit the bill. Her sultry sound is nostalgic, yet contemporary –– not mention hypnotizing. NDLYSS spoke with with her recently in a one-on-one interview to find out the scoop on the new face of indie rock.
Dive in below.
Much of your music video collection utilizes strong storytelling technique, where do you draw your creative inspiration from and how hands-on are you with directing?
It all depends on the video, but most of the time I’m doing my visuals with friends or people who I know, it’s a collaboration. I usually come up with a concept or vision board of what I see… I’m pretty hands on. I like to keep things super simple. Honestly, some of the visuals were actually shot in my house.
What artists were you listening to in your younger years?
I definitely listen to Sade, my parents were always playing her growing up. Honestly, when you think about it Beyonce and Rihanna were like the only black girls that were pretty big when I was growing up. They were the people who I was listening to in middle school and high school. They were the only ones being represented in the media. I also listened to a lot of Donna Summers and a lot of old school music. I was only exposed to r&b and hip-hop when I was younger but as I get older I’ve found more interest in alternative music.
Do you have a theatrical background? I’ve noticed a recurring theme in your dance moves.
I grew up doing ballet and some interpretive dance at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. I’ve always loved to sing, act, and dance but I wasn’t sure which one I would pick growing up so I just picked all three. The one I really stuck to was singing.
Black Musicians are often boxed in by r&b and rap expectations, how difficult was it to find support on an alternative road less traveled?
It was really difficult when I first started. If you listen to my earlier music on Soundcloud you’ll hear the difference of people influencing me to do certain beats that is geared towards more of an r&b sound but it’s never really what I wanted to do. Once I started speaking out about what I was more interested in doing people would tell me it’s boring or that no one is going to want to listen to it. I just had to block out those negative people because if you love something you just have to do it regardless of people’s opinions.
Referencing your track “Tell me why – Brown Skin Song,” which you wrote as an open letter to women of color, have you ever faced colorism or shadeism in the music industry?
I’m going to steer away from the music industry because I wrote that song in the beginning stages of my career. My friend Dave Langston co-wrote the song. I decided to go with that song because I grew up in a town called Rockland County. Most of the schools that I attended were predominately white so a lot of my friends were white. I was always the one black girl… I dealt with a lot of racism although they didn’t realize they were doing it. I didn’t want to go out in the sun because I didn’t want to get too dark. I grew out of it and began to love myself. I want people to know black is beautiful.
“Predictable” is your first release of 2019 as a follow up to your 2018 EP, Foreign Space. What the overall concept?
It just so happened that some guy I used to talk to who comes in and out of my life as he pleases hit me up out of the blue. I’m at the point in my life where I’m not mad about him coming in and out, I’m just like you’re predictable. You can come but I’m not going to pay you much mind. He comes around every few months. It’s a pattern! I just wrote a song about it.
What in-store for your upcoming indie rock EP?
My fans can expect me to be more into my sound than I’ve ever been. There will be five songs on there with no features, it’s just me.
The Chainsmokers Announce “WORLD WAR JOY” North American Tour
Grammy Award-winning artist/producer duo The Chainsmokers have announced their massive “WORLD WAR JOY” North American headline arena tour for fall. Multi-platinum band 5 Seconds of Summer, who is featured on The Chainsmokers’ latest single “Who Do You Love,” will be joining all dates along with rising pop star Lennon Stella, who is opening the show. The 41-city tour, produced by Live Nation, will kick off on September 25 in Cincinnati, OH and make stops in major cities across the U.S. and Canada before wrapping in Vancouver, BC on December 6. See full tour routing below.
Tickets for the tour will go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, February 15 at 10 am local time at LiveNation.com. Additionally, The Chainsmokers will offer VIP packages for each show with options that include premium seating, an invitation to The Chainsmokers’ soundcheck, a Q&A session with Alex and Drew immediately following soundcheck, specially designed merchandise and more. Fans can visit www.VIPNation.com for more information.
The tour announcement comes on the heels of The Chainsmokers’ latest single “Who Do You Love” featuring 5 Seconds of Summer. Released last week via Disruptor Records / Columbia Records, the track immediately shot to No. 1 on iTunes and has already accumulated nearly 14 million combined global streams to date. Additionally, the track was added to Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist in 37 countries, added to their largest playlist Today’s Top Hits and added to Today’s Hits on Apple Music.
The Chainsmokers Tour Dates:
September 25 — Cincinnati, OH @ U.S. Bank Arena
September 27 — Boston, MA@ TD Garden
September 28 — Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
September 29 — University Park, PA @ Bryce Jordan Center
October 3 — Detroit, MI @ Little Caesars Arena
October 4 — Chicago, IL @ United Center
October 5 — St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
October 8 — Toronto, ON @ Scotiabank Arena
October 9 — Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
October 11 — Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena
October 12 — Buffalo, NY @ KeyBank Center
October 13 — Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein Center
October 15 — Washington, DC @ Capital One Arena
October 17 — Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
October 20 — Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
October 22 — Atlanta, GA @ State Farm Arena
October 24 — Miami, FL @ AmericanAirlines Arena
October 25 — Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena
October 26 — Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
October 29 — New Orleans, LA @ Smoothie King Center
October 31 — Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
November 1 — Austin, TX @ Frank Erwin Center
November 2 — Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
November 6 — Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center
November 7 — Indianapolis, IN @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse
November 8 — St. Louis, MO @ Enterprise Center
November 9 — Madison, WI @ Coliseum at Alliant Energy Center
November 12 — Milwaukee, WI @ Fiserv Forum
November 14 — Oklahoma City, OK @ Chesapeake Energy Arena
November 15 — Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
November 16 — Wichita, KS @ INTRUST Bank Arena
November 19 — Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
November 21 — Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena
November 23 — Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena
November 24 — San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena
November 26 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum
November 29 — San Francisco, CA @ TBA
December 1 — Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center
December 3 — Tacoma, WA @ Tacoma Dome
December 5 — Portland, OR @ Moda Center
December 6 — Vancouver, BC @ Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
Courtesy of PR NEWSWIRE
Hailey Knox’s “Bittersweet, Poetic Confessional” Gets Cinematic Reimagining in New Music Video
Coinciding with the first date of her debut headlining tour, today “music sensation” (People) Hailey Knox has dropped the all-too-relatable music video for her song “Hardwired”. Co-starring Cameron Boyce (from Disney’s “Descendants”) and shot at the YouTube Space in NYC, the video for “Hardwired” captures the lyrical content of the song, highlighting the isolated, disconnected growing pains of a young woman trying to find her voice: a somber Hailey sits at a diner with friends and imagines herself breaking out her introversion, finally feeling free to express herself.
Conceptualized in her bedroom and written on a hotel floor, “Hardwired” is one of Hailey’s most personal songs in her already impressive catalog of work. “I feel like I’m singing the notes jotted down in my journal” Hailey shared with Ladygunn who premiered the video today, while Sirius XM’s “The Coffee House” also recently added the song to their rotation. The track will also be a part of an upcoming Acoustic Cafe session.
The “bittersweet, poetic confessional” (Atwood) is the title track off of her recently released ‘Hardwired Mixtape’, a “soulfully infectious” (Brightest Young Things) collection of professionally recorded tracks, short voice memos, and demo-like looping snippets that showcase an artist with songwriting chops wise-beyond-years, and an unforgettable live performance where Hailey has the “ability to create a symphony of sounds with just her voice, a guitar and a looping pedal” (Earmilk).
Her headlining tour, which starts today in Philadelphia, will stop in 14 cities including New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, and Nashville. The tour follows a recent performance at SUNDANCE as part of the BMI “Snowball” showcase. Hailey promoted that appearance by performing on local morning shows Good Day Utah (KSTU) and Salt Lake City Fresh Living (KUTV).
THE HARDWIRED TOUR DATES
2/12 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
2/14 – Baltimore, MD – Metro
2/16 – Pittsburgh, PA – Smiling Moose
2/17 – Detroit, MI – Lager House
2/19 – Chicago, IL – Shubas
2/22 – Nashville, TN – High Watt
2/23 – Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn
2/24 – Richmond, VA – The Camel
2/25 – Washington D.C. – Songbyrd
2/27 – Asbury Park, NJ – Wonder Bar
2/28 – New York, NY – The Loft @ City Winery
3/1 – Hamden, CT – The Space
3/2 – Amityville, NY – Amityville Music Hall
3/3 – Boston, MA – Middle East
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