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  • Fernando Triff

Rising Star #34

Updated: May 4

Welcome once more to the captivating realm of "Rising Star," where we extend a sincere invitation to delve into the mesmerizing depths of musical exploration.

In our perpetual pursuit to redefine the confines of traditional music, we proudly present "Rising Star 34" – not just a mere blog post, but a dynamic symphony of ingenuity and artistry, poised to elevate your auditory experience to unprecedented heights.

Picture an intricate tapestry of emerging talents hailing from every corner of the globe, each wielding their distinctive sonic palette to craft a masterpiece of melodies that resonate with the core of human existence. From the resounding triumphs over adversity to the tender expressions of love and devotion, prepare to embark on a kaleidoscopic voyage through the expansive spectrum of emotions.

In this remarkable showcase, the artists transcend mere performance; they are storytellers, spinning intricate narratives that entice you to explore the depths of their imagination. Through the universal language of music, they beckon you to embark on a transcendent journey, where each note serves as a portal to a world of limitless creativity.

"Rising Star 34" transcends the confines of genres, embracing diversity as its guiding ethos. Here, innovation takes center stage, and unity becomes the binding thread that connects us all. Prepare to be enthralled as each artist unveils their unique perspective, enriching the fabric of our shared musical odyssey.

So, are you ready to embark on this extraordinary adventure?

Join us as we navigate through uncharted musical territories, where talent knows no borders, and creativity knows no bounds. The stage is set, the performers are poised, and the symphony is on the brink of commencement.

Brace yourselves for yet another enchanting experience – "Rising Star 34" eagerly awaits your eager ears! 🌟🎵

Embracing Empowerment with Earth to Cheska's "Power"

In a world where strength and resilience reign supreme, Earth to Cheska emerges as a beacon of empowerment, delivering a fierce blend of indie pop anthems that inspire confidence and self-assurance. Led by artist Cheska Zaide, this project is more than just music—it's a declaration of independence, a celebration of authenticity, and a rallying cry for anyone who refuses to be silenced.

Cheska's musical journey began at the tender age of 12, when she penned heartfelt anthems of teenage angst for her band, A+ Dropouts. Their journey led them to the stages of the Vans Warped Tour in 2015, but Cheska's path took a detour as she pursued her studies at UCLA and Sciences Po in Paris, earning a degree in Economics. However, the call of music remained strong, and in 2024, Cheska reemerged with Earth to Cheska—a project fueled by the idea of embracing one's inner superhero and facing the world head-on.

The debut single, "Emily (Better Days)," caught the attention of audiences and critics alike, earning a spot on YouTube's Alt Frequencies playlist. With her first headline show at the iconic Hotel Cafe in LA selling out, Cheska proved that she was ready to reclaim her place in the music scene. Last November, she released "Money," a raw and unapologetic anthem that resonated with Gen Z sensibilities, drawing comparisons to the likes of Weezer, Green Day, and Olivia Rodrigo.

Now, with "Power," Earth to Cheska takes her message of empowerment to new heights. This "Girl Warrior" banger delivers an electrifying blend of edgy beats and fierce demeanor, serving as a rallying cry for confident women everywhere. It's a reminder to embrace one's inner strength, to stand tall in the face of adversity, and to never apologize for being exactly who you are.

But beneath the bravado lies a vulnerability—a glimpse into the inner workings of a larger-than-life character who grapples with her own doubts and fears. "Power" is more than just a hype anthem; it's a testament to resilience, reminding listeners that every fall is an opportunity to rise stronger and fiercer than before.

As Earth to Cheska gears up for a string of releases and an ambitious tour across Europe and the USA, one thing is clear: this is only the beginning. With her DIY parking lot tour and commitment to engaging fans and bands alike, Cheska is on a mission to spread her message of empowerment far and wide.

So, to anyone who needs a reminder of their own power, press play on "Power" and let Earth to Cheska be your guide. Because when the world knocks you down, there's only one thing to do—get back up, stronger, badder, hotter than ever before.

The Transits: Navigating Musical Highways with "Heartbreak Queen"

From the streets of Durban to the shores of Auckland, the journey of The Transits has been one of serendipitous reunion and musical evolution. Born from the ashes of a long-lost teen-punk band, Cabbage, The Transits emerged as a multinational force, blending indie-punk fervor with synth-pop allure. Their debut record, "Heartbreak Queen," is a testament to their resilience, creativity, and unwavering passion for music.

Crafted across oceans and time zones, "Heartbreak Queen" is the culmination of years of friendship and shared musical history. With Dom Antelme and Tyrone Smith based in Auckland, New Zealand, and Ryan Lunn holding the fort in Durban, South Africa, The Transits deftly weave together their individual experiences and influences to create a sound that is both nostalgic and forward-thinking.

The album's lead single, "Heartbreak Queen," serves as a captivating introduction to The Transits' sonic landscape. With its infectious keyboard riff and high-energy drums, the song navigates the rollercoaster of relationships with honesty and candor. It's a poignant reminder that sometimes, the ones we idolize turn out to be mere illusions, shattered by the harsh light of reality.

Accompanying the release of "Heartbreak Queen" is a striking music video featuring the band as crash test dummies, symbolizing the resilience and perseverance required to navigate life's trials and tribulations. It's a visual metaphor that mirrors the band's own journey—a testament to their ability to weather storms and emerge stronger than before.

Throughout the album, The Transits showcases their knack for crafting hook-laden melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. From the urgent propulsion of "Lost Ones" to the moody introspection of "Fall Into Dark," each track offers a glimpse into the band's multifaceted creative vision.

With accolades ranging from chart success to prestigious film festival awards, The Transits have quickly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the indie-punk scene. Their music resonates with audiences across continents, bridging geographical divides with its universal themes and infectious energy.

As The Transits embark on the next phase of their musical journey, one thing is clear: their debut album is just the beginning. With a growing fanbase and a relentless drive to push boundaries, The Transits are poised to leave an indelible mark on the world of music. So, press play and join them on their exhilarating ride through the highways of sound and emotion.

Exploring Musical Whimsy with Cormac Liotta's "I Bought A New Pedal"

In the bustling streets of Los Angeles, amidst the vibrant energy of Hollywood, musician and producer Cormac Liotta embarked on a whimsical journey that would inspire his latest EP, "I Bought A New Pedal." Taking a stroll down Sunset Blvd from his new digs, Liotta stumbled upon a new pedal, setting the stage for a musical adventure filled with witty lyrics and infectious pop-rock beats.

Released on April Fools Day, "I Bought A New Pedal" is a playful ode to spontaneity and creativity. Liotta's songwriting prowess shines through as he channels influences from the early 2000s, reminiscent of bands like Fountains of Wayne and Jimmy Eat World. With each track, he invites listeners into his world, where catchy melodies and clever wordplay reign supreme.

The EP captures the essence of Liotta's musical journey, from the moment of inspiration sparked by a simple purchase to the culmination of three vibrant songs that showcase his talent and vision. It's a testament to the power of seizing the moment and finding inspiration in the everyday.

At its core, "I Bought A New Pedal" is more than just a collection of songs—it's a celebration of the creative process and the joy of making music. Liotta's infectious enthusiasm permeates each track, inviting listeners to join him on a sonic adventure filled with twists and turns.

With his new EP, Cormac Liotta proves that inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places. From the streets of Hollywood to the depths of his imagination, he crafts a musical experience that is as refreshing as it is captivating. So, strap in, plug in, and get ready to rock out with "I Bought A New Pedal" as Cormac Liotta takes you on a journey through sound and storytelling.

Bit3R's "Desperate Measures": A Voyage into Indie Pop Nostalgia

Embark on a musical journey with Bit3R's latest indie pop offering, "Desperate Measures," a delightful tune that transports listeners back to the heyday of yacht rock. With its eccentric vocals and a jazzy melodica solo, the song exudes the refreshing essence of spring and the promise of new beginnings.

Poetic and profound, "Desperate Measures" paints vivid scenes of relatable experiences, leaving audiences uplifted and intrigued. At the helm of Bit3R is Cameron Navetta, a lifelong songwriter and bedroom producer whose creative output has flourished under this new moniker.

Influenced by the smooth sounds of yacht rock and disco from the '70s and early '80s, as well as contemporary indie music, Bit3R's musical palette is as eclectic as it is captivating. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Neil Young, Sufjan Stevens, Fleet Foxes, and more, Navetta infuses his own unique style into every note.

Recorded in the comfort of Navetta's bedroom, "Desperate Measures" is a testament to the power of DIY production and the boundless creativity that flourishes in intimate spaces. It's a testament to Navetta's ability to craft compelling narratives and melodies that resonate with listeners on a profound level.

At its core, "Desperate Measures" is a song about seizing opportunities and embracing the twists and turns of fate. It's a reminder to shoot your shot and make the most of the chances life presents.

Reflecting on his musical journey, Navetta shares, "Bit3R is the culmination of a two-decade-long journey as a songwriter and producer. Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder has had a significant impact on my life and therefore on my music. I've always been known for eclecticism in my art, and I believe my complicated trauma history and personality states have something to do with that."

With "Desperate Measures," Bit3R invites listeners to embark on a voyage of sonic exploration, where nostalgia meets innovation and every note is infused with passion and purpose. It's a testament to Navetta's artistic vision and a glimpse into the boundless possibilities of indie pop music.

Unleashing the Musical Melting-Pot: Calamity Jay's "Music Monster"

In the vast landscape of contemporary music, where genres collide and boundaries blur, emerges a duo that defies convention and celebrates diversity. Calamity Jay, composed of the enchanting Rahel Rosenwald and the versatile JayC Be, embarks on a musical odyssey that transcends time and style with their latest record, "Music Monster."

At the heart of Calamity Jay's sound lies a fusion of folk, blues, and indie-pop, woven together by Rahel's angelic vocals and JayC's atypical guitar prowess. Their unexpected union blossomed from an audition for another band, culminating in a partnership that epitomizes creative synergy.

With influences ranging from the folk and rock of the '70s and '80s, Calamity Jay's sonic tapestry is rich and diverse, reflecting their eclectic tastes and shared musical journey. From notable performances at the Ambialet Presqu'île Blues Festival to radio accolades and nominations, their trajectory is marked by moments of triumph and acclaim.

"Music Monster," the fourth single from their forthcoming EP, showcases a bold new direction for Calamity Jay. Rahel's vocals delve into flamboyant rock territory, supported by JayC's blues-infused guitar work. The lyrics explore themes of disillusionment and resilience, with a hopeful reminder that music is a potent balm for the soul.

Recorded at their bunker studio, "ALMA," in Albi, France, "Music Monster" is a testament to the duo's DIY ethos and unwavering dedication to their craft. Engineered by JCB, the EP captures the raw energy and intimacy of their creative process.

With "Music Monster," Calamity Jay invites listeners on a journey of exploration and introspection, where the boundaries between genres fade away, and the magic of music reigns supreme. As they continue to carve their path in the musical landscape, one thing remains certain—Calamity Jay is a force to be reckoned with, blending authenticity, passion, and creativity into a sound that is uniquely their own.

RISE: Crafting Catharsis with "Without You" from Memories and Possibilities

In the heart of Liverpool's vibrant music scene, a phoenix has risen from the ashes, bearing the name RISE. This four-piece band, comprised of Sam Kinley, Paul Kinley, Alex Mahoney, and Brian Petch, has returned with a purpose, delivering a powerful EP titled "Memories and Possibilities" that encapsulates their journey of loss, rebirth, and musical evolution.

At the core of this EP lies a poignant track titled "Without You," a stirring testament to the band's resilience and emotional depth. Drawing inspiration from the tragic loss of their original band member, Steve Kinley, "Without You" ventures into the difficult terrain of grief with unwavering sincerity. It's not merely a song; it's a cathartic expression of love, pain, and the enduring spirit of camaraderie.

The first note, "Without You" envelops listeners in a sonic embrace, weaving together driving guitars and ethereal synths that pulse with raw emotion. Sam Kinley's vocals soar above the mix, delivering lyrics that resonate with anyone who has experienced the profound ache of absence. Supported by Paul Kinley's keyboard melodies and backed by Alex Mahoney's dynamic drumming and Brian Petch's evocative guitar work, the song builds to an anthemic crescendo, leaving an indelible mark on the listener's soul.

What sets "Without You" apart is its authenticity. This isn't a contrived attempt at commercial success; it's a genuine outpouring of heartache and healing. Each chord progression, and each vocal inflection, is infused with the collective grief and resilience of RISE. It's a reminder that music has the power to transcend pain, connecting us in our shared humanity.

Recorded at Whitewood Studios under the expert guidance of producer Rob Whiteley, "Without You" captures the raw energy and passion that defines RISE's live performances. The studio becomes a sacred space where memories are forged into melodies, and possibilities are born from pain. It's a testament to the band's dedication to honoring their past while embracing the future.

As RISE continues to carve out their place in the music industry, "Without You" serves as both a tribute to their fallen comrade and a beacon of hope for the journey ahead. It's a reminder that even in our darkest moments, there is beauty to be found and that through music, we can find solace, connection, and the strength to rise again.

Kings County Gives New Life to New Order's Classic with "Blue Monday" Cover

Los Angeles, CA - When it comes to iconic hits of the 80s, New Order's "Blue Monday" stands as a timeless anthem that has transcended generations. Now, hard rock band Kings County, hailing from Orlando, FL, has breathed new life into this beloved track with their reimagined version that promises to shake the very foundations of rock music.

Comprised of Rob Dexter (Vocals, Bass), Steve Bell (Guitars, Vocals), Joe Lopez (Drums), and Bill Kania (Guitars, Vocals), Kings County has taken "Blue Monday" and injected it with their signature hard-hitting sound. With heavy guitars, earthy drums, and aggressive modern vocals, the band has transformed the classic into a dynamic and electrifying experience that captivates listeners from the first note to the last.

Lead vocalist Rob Dexter reflects on the timeless appeal of "Blue Monday," stating, "Great songs stand the test of time, and 'Blue Monday' is no exception. Over the years, we’ve realized that a lot of the 80s new wave bands converted well to hard rock. For some reason, you could take one of their songs, heavy up the guitars, and it just came together, like it was meant to be."

Directed by Jon Vulpine, whose impressive portfolio includes work with Three Days Grace, Skillet, and Seether, the music video for "Blue Monday" was shot at M3 Studios in Miami, FL. While the video maintains a straightforward performance approach, it is elevated by high-end lighting and Vulpine's keen eye for capturing the band's raw energy on screen.

Speaking about the collaboration with Vulpine, Dexter expresses, "A great video starts with a great song, and our producer, Chuck Alkazian, absolutely brought the song to life with his signature drum sounds and in-your-face vocals."

Produced by Chuck Alkazian at Pearl Sound Studios in Canton, MI, "Blue Monday" is a testament to Kings County's commitment to pushing boundaries and redefining the limits of rock music. With plans to continue creating new, original music alongside Alkazian, whom they consider a fifth member of the band, Kings County is poised to make an even greater impact on the music scene in the coming year.

As they gear up for live performances and aim to reach as many new ears as possible, Kings County remains dedicated to their fans and the unparalleled experience of sharing their hard-rock style with audiences around the world. With "Blue Monday," they have proven that classics never die—they only get louder.

Russ Nelson's "5 AM": A Sonic Odyssey of Self-Discovery

Prepare to embark on a captivating musical journey with Russ Nelson's latest track, "5 AM." With its powerful vocals, driving guitar riffs, and thought-provoking lyrics, this song encapsulates the very essence of alternative rock, leaving listeners spellbound from start to finish.

As a solo project, Russ Nelson takes on all instruments and vocals, pouring his heart and soul into every aspect of the song's creation. Drawing inspiration from iconic bands like The Replacements, Goo Goo Dolls, and Nirvana, as well as literary influences such as T.S. Eliot, "5 AM" is a testament to Nelson's eclectic tastes and profound artistic vision.

Recorded at BC Studios, "5 AM" is a testament to Nelson's dedication to his craft. With its seamless production and infectious energy, the track showcases his talent as both a musician and a songwriter. From the raw beauty of introspection to the existential themes of self-discovery, each lyric resonates with authenticity and emotional depth, inviting listeners to delve into the depths of the human condition.

But what sets "5 AM" apart is its ability to transcend the boundaries of genre and resonate with audiences on a deeper level. Through its fusion of soulful melodies and introspective lyrics, the song offers a transformative experience, challenging listeners to confront their own fears and insecurities while embracing the light of self-realization.

While "5 AM" may be a brand new project, it's already making waves in the music scene, garnering attention for its captivating energy and thought-provoking themes. With its infectious hooks and soul-stirring melodies, this track is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who hears it.

So, if you're in search of a sonic odyssey that will ignite your passion and inspire introspection, look no further than Russ Nelson's "5 AM." It's a song that defies expectations and invites you to explore the depths of your own soul.

Exploring the Boundaries with BRUJ's "The Edge"

Dive into the ethereal soundscape of BRUJ's latest track, "The Edge," now streaming on Spotify. Combining Khruangbin-style guitar strumming, 90s hip-hop ambience, and Daft Punk-inspired synth layers, this song pushes the boundaries of genre and creativity, offering listeners a mesmerizing journey through sound and space.

Led by Raphael on vocals and synth, Simon on guitar and bass, and Antoine on drums, BRUJ is a trio of musicians whose musical journey began in the halls of a school in Brussels back in 2012. Drawing inspiration from eclectic sources such as Khruangbin, Daft Punk, Tame Impala, and Gorillaz, they've cultivated a sound that is uniquely their own—a fusion of funk, hip-hop, dream pop, and love.

Recorded in the attic of an old Château farmhouse in Saint-Marc, "The Edge" captures the magic of its surroundings, weaving together intricate layers of sound with precision and finesse. Mastered by Geoffrey Raes in Louvain-La-Neuve, the track is a testament to BRUJ's commitment to sonic excellence and innovation.

But "The Edge" is more than just a song—it's a reflection on the limits of life and beyond, exploring the universe we create within ourselves. From the opening notes to the final crescendo, it invites listeners to ponder the mysteries of existence and embrace the beauty of the unknown.

Reflecting on the journey that led them to this moment, bassist Simon humbly accepted first prize for his prowess at the Emergenza competition in Belgium, attributing his success to the collective effort of the band. It's a testament to the camaraderie and mutual respect that define BRUJ's dynamic.

As "The Edge" captivates audiences around the world, BRUJ prepares for a string of releases and a tour across Europe and the USA. With their DIY ethos and infectious energy, they're poised to leave an indelible mark on the music scene and beyond.

So, press play and let BRUJ take you to "The Edge" of musical exploration. As they push the boundaries of genre and creativity, they invite you to join them on a journey through sound and space, where anything is possible and the universe is yours to explore.

Victor V. Gurbo's "All The Pretty Girls": A Satirical Snapshot of Heartbreak

Victor V. Gurbo unveils a poignant narrative with his latest track, "All The Pretty Girls." Inspired by a night of futile attempts to move on from a broken relationship, this song captures the essence of despair and resignation with a touch of satire and self-awareness.

The band, consisting of Victor V. Gurbo on vocals, Kenny Lee on lap steel guitar and electronic drums, and Mark Caserta on bass guitar, hails from Brooklyn, New York, where they first joined forces in 2012. Drawing influences from iconic artists like Bob Dylan, Bright Eyes, The White Stripes, and John Prine, their music embodies a raw, bluesy, foot-stomping sound that pays homage to the rich tapestry of American song and poetry.

Recorded in a home studio as a demo, "All The Pretty Girls" reflects the collaborative spirit of the band, with each member contributing their unique musical sensibilities to elevate the composition. Lead guitarist Kenny Lee's experimentation with lap steel guitar played a pivotal role in shaping the song's distinctive sound, adding depth and texture to the narrative.

The track itself is a testament to the band's ability to craft storytelling through music. It paints a vivid picture of a night filled with dashed hopes and unfulfilled desires, as recounted by Victor V. Gurbo. As he observes his friend's futile attempts to find solace in the company of others, the refrain "All the pretty girls are asleep tonight" serves as a poignant reminder of the impossibility of escaping one's own heartache.

But amidst the melancholy lies a sense of irony and self-awareness. "All The Pretty Girls" is not merely a lamentation of lost love, but a wry commentary on the absurdity of seeking solace in fleeting encounters. It's a song that invites listeners to reflect on the universal experience of heartbreak, while also embracing the humor and resilience that lie within.

As Victor V. Gurbo aptly puts it, "These songs should feel like they're somewhere out of time." With "All The Pretty Girls," he achieves just that—a timeless tale of love and loss that resonates with audiences across generations. So, press play and immerse yourself in the evocative world of Victor V. Gurbo's music, where the lines between past and present blur, and emotions run deep.


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