Like the Facebook page: facebook.com/NewsquestSessions

Kid Astray – Roads

G.Smith – X

Bohdi – Amazing, Pt.1 ft. Cactus?

Deer Scout – Sad Boy

Livingmore – Never Slow Down

Bora York – Open Tales

Beta Days – Agendas

Mr Little Jeans – Stitches

Ghost Airplane – Charm

Holiday Party – I’m Still Here

Esther S – Leave The Light On

Okay(K) – (The) Gazetter

KID ASTRAY – ROADS

Norway’s Kid Astray tick that feel-good indie-pop box with panache.

The quintet’s electro-tinged Roads is a song that shimmers with its sweet synth and euphoric beats.

Like facebook.com/kidastray

G.SMITH – X

LA’s G.Smith started out as a visual artist before crossing over into production.

On track X there’s plenty of raw feels. Charting the end of a relationship, the song’s looped vocals and soaring melody takes us on a path of discovery.

About the song, G.Smith said: “X was written about kind of the moment you wake up and you realise you’re a different person than you used to be, and that kind of blind-sided feeling that you have to constantly be revaluating yourself and everything around you because everything is changing all the time and that feeling hurts, which the song definitely covers; that pain.

“But I think I also felt very excited and hopeful, not just about the future in general, but that I could thank pain because it’s so necessary, and I didn’t feel like I had to be scared of it anymore.

“Fear was a big part of my life and now I feel kind of fearless.”

Like facebook.com/gdotsmithmusic

BOHDI – AMAZING, PT.1 FT. CACTUS?

Denver’s Bohdi was the guy in your school study room listening to Skrillex on full blast whilst doing his maths homework.

He’s been DJing for the past four years and recently released his self-titled debut album. Pulling from his love of dance music and its energy, he combines heart-on-the-sleeve honest lyrics to create a mix of electronic hip-hop that packs a punch.

Song Amazing, Pt.1 ft. Cactus? has a raw, feel-good factor to its bouncing beat and easy-on-the ear lyrics.

Bohdi said: “This is the first song off my debut album, Bohdi, and that came out in the spring. I’ve been making that all year, and I’m really excited that I’ve finally got it finished and put it out because it was a really big project for me.

“This song specifically, how this one came about is an interesting story. I had the lyrics for a really long time. I was walking my mom’s dog in Vermont, it was late at night and I was just kind of thinking about a lot of things, feeling a little silly.

“The first line is in French - jeune ou enfant - that directly translates to young or child. What that meant to me was ‘am I just young and trying to figure out these things that most young people are trying to figure out or am I actually a child and do I need to do some growing up before I’m ready to handle things?’

“That was the basis of when I started the rest of the lyrics. From there is was mostly things that I either felt kind of cool about or kind of silly about, putting those on a level playing field and then reminding myself with the chorus that either way I’ve got a lot of things going for me.

“That’s a general message to I guess anyone listening to it; there are great things and there are bad things, but when you put them on a level playing field you’re doing great and you’ve just got to keep moving, and you’re doing great and you’re amazing. That’s the main message behind the song.”

Like facebook.com/bohdimusic

DEER SCOUT – SAD BOY

(deer scout by Amanda Silberling)

Don’t be fooled by deer scout’s tender tones, as Dena Miller’s music tells a formidable story.

Track sad boy, which pokes fun at the predominantly male indie scene, plays on its poignant tone.

Dena, from Philly, said: “I wrote sad boy about the Scott Pilgrim archetype and male vulnerability as an aesthetic, with a nod to shi**y boys my friends have dated.

“I think there's a double standard where men are often applauded for expressing emotion while the emotional labour of women and non-men often goes unacknowledged in relationships. 

“I’ve just got back from my first tour with a band from Philadelphia, Francie Cool. We spent a week and a half driving around the US Northeast, played some magical shows and met some really special people.

“Now that I'm home I'm hoping to start demoing a full length album. I'm still working out the arrangements and finding people to collaborate with, but the songs are all written and I want to get them recorded before I get sick of them.”

Like facebook.com/dearsprout

LIVINGMORE – NEVER SLOW DOWN

Alex Moore and Spencer Livingston, the dynamic duo behind Livingmore, first met in Los Angeles back in 2014 when they were both in other bands.

The vocalists/guitarists joined forces with Mike Schadel (drums/keys) and Rodrigo Moreno (bass) to round off the quartet.

Citing the likes of Rilo Kiley/Jenny Lewis, Garbage and Scotland’s very own Belle and Sebastian as influences, Livingmore’s sound alternates from slow-burning and dreamy to forceful and enthusiastic.

On song Never Slow Down, its energy is optimistically nostalgic with chocolate-smooth harmonies backed by a classic bluesy beat.

Of the track, the band said: “The song is really about moving forward and never looking back. It has a sort of Americana and mod-rock feel to it, which has tied in our band’s sound.

“As we continue to evolve we are writing more up-tempo songs with many rock ‘n’ roll elements, and Never Slow Down is one of our songs that showcases that side and what’s to come in the future from us.”

Like facebook.com/livingmoremusic

BORA YORK – OPEN TALES

(Bora York by Jordan Nimlos)

Led by creative talent Chris Bartels, Minneapolis band Bora York serve up guitar-driven dream-pop.

It’s easy to get spirited away by song Open Tales, with its buoyant beat and melody.

About the track, Chris said: “It's a love song about my relationship with my wife Rebekah – who also sings with the band – and never giving up on each other. 

“There are a few specific references in the lyrics to meaningful moments from our relationship. 

“Open ‘tales’ refers to the stories, the journeys, the ups and downs, of our life together and also reminding ourselves we can keep writing and crafting our story together - and that we shouldn't sell ourselves short or ever settle in life.

“It was a stylistic turning point in the creation of Bora York and the first album. I had it in my head that Bora York was going to be a folk-based project, and that definitely took a turn. 

“Open Tales was one of the leading songs where I took a conscious effort from the start to steer away from folk into more synthpop territory.

“My friend, who's also a music producer, was talking to me around that time about the importance of bass lines. And to that point, I had only one song that I can remember where the bass line was a standout element of the song. 

“So I made a point to write a bass line that was catchy and recognizable, and important to the song - not an afterthought. 

“I've been a lot more into bass lines when writing ever since that.”

Like facebook.com/BoraYork

BETA DAYS – AGENDAS

Pensive, dreamy rock Beta Days is the one-man project of Bristol, Rhode Island’s songwriter, recordist and multi-instrumentalist Bill Bierce.

Track Agendas glides along with its delicate guitar and keyboard with a sentiment that pulls on the heartstrings.

About the track, Bill said: “Agendas is about realising that in the end people are only looking out for their own interests, and that those will ultimately determine their actions and motivations in life.

“As much as we’d like to think other people are of equal importance, your own ‘agendas’ will decide what you do.

“As for the production, the drums wound up accidentally being in tune with the song, which people were surprised wasn’t intentional.

“The rack and floor toms just happened to hit the root notes of the chord progression, which is neat.

“The noisy fuzz guitar at the end is also memorable because it’s completely improvised and from the original demo. I wasn’t able to play anything better when we went to properly record it. Sometimes it’s all downhill after the first take.”

Like facebook.com/betadaysmusic

MR LITTLE JEANS – STITCHES

Norway’s Monica Birkenes – aka Mr Little Jeans – spent her childhood immersed in music, soaking up early influences from the likes of PJ Harvey and Massive Attack.

Now based in LA, the singer-songwriter serves up a sparkling synth-pop offering with track Stitches.

About the song, Monica said: “Stitches is about an encounter with my first long-term boyfriend and resurfacing feelings of our once not-so-black and white relationship.

“Ten years post break-up there were a rainbow/spectrum of emotions." 

Like facebook.com/mrlittlejeans

GHOST AIRPLANE – CHARM

Ghost Airplane is an alternative/electronic rock duo from North London.

After years of various musical projects, both Chris and Shereen joined forces to invent their own style, combining haunting backing vocals with catchy riffs. The first single, Nose Dive, was the starting point that laid the groundwork for the rest of the songs that made it onto their debut EP Charm.

The title track, swirling with heavy-textured synths and a trippy beat, wills you to sway along softly with the story.

About the song, Shereen said: “Charm’s the second track from the EP we put out last year.

“The track’s really about when you meet somebody and you become a bit infatuated with them, and kind of being stuck in that crazy head space really.

“We recorded it in Chris’ bedroom in about a week. I’d already written the lyrics and melody, Chris came up with a really cool guitar riff and Charm is the result.”

Like facebook.com/ghostairplane

HOLIDAY PARTY – I’M STILL HERE

(Holiday Party by Mitch Fresta)

Welcome to the party. 

Holiday Party is the brainchild of Luke McDonald (The John Steel Singers) and Mel Tickle (PYNES, Little Scout) and is now a growing collective, with Scott Bromiley joining soon after.

Drawing influence from artists like The Avalanches, Beach House and J Dilla, the band builds songs with homemade samples, creating junkyard pop music that works conceptually on the premise of a twisted end to a teenage house party.

I’m Still Here, the band’s first release, twinkles with its flickering bells and swinging strings. It’s a cracker of a debut and a solid showing of what’s to come.

Like facebook.com/holidayparty

ESTHER S – LEAVE THE LIGHT ON

As well as being a soulful singer-songwriter, Montreal-based Esther Spiegelman also turns her hand to the art of producing.

Drawing listeners in with song Leave The Light On, she accompanies her hauntingly spellbinding vocals with a mixture of harmonic and mellow tones.

About the track, Esther said: “This is the song that started off the writing process of my new EP, In The Fog.

“It started with a simple guitar riff that later would be looped throughout the entire song. When I wrote Leave The Light On, I was sitting on my bedroom floor with the window open and the rain was coming through into the room.

“It really caught my mood when I was writing, so I set up a mic to capture the rain sound that you hear in this song.

“For me, the song really has a lot of tension and complex feelings and I wanted my vocals to represent that. I wanted something raw, distorted, and a little bit unsettling.

“Recently, I have been experimenting more with electronic elements and manipulating my voice in ways I wasn't brave enough to do before, using filters and effects, and pushing my limits as an artist and a producer. It was this song that inspired me to explore these new ideas and put together this new EP.
“The lyrics of this song are abstract. It’s pieces taken from some poems I wrote a few years back, the parts that stuck with me the most.

“This song is not quite a love song. It's more about the struggle of letting go of things and people not meant for you, a big conflict of feelings. Holding on. Leaving the light on, in hopes that you can still be yourself and find yourself, even in a place that isn't good for you.

“But it's also a song of hope. Understanding that you need to grow from certain situations, leaving your past self behind to find better things, no matter how drawn you are to stay there."

Like facebook.com/EstherSmusique

OKAY(K) – (THE) GAZETTER

Okay(K), who also releases under the name Gladwell, mesmerises with his chill-wave.

About the hypnotic track (The) Gazetter, the musician said: “A gazetter is a geographical dictionary often used with a map or an atlas.

“Sometimes we may have visions of the future or past mapped out and detailed within a dream, sorta like déjà vu or foreshadowing.

“History shows that we have grown as a civilization and we're always discovering new things so there’s always room for growth as a people and when we come together in unity there is no limit to what we can accomplish. That’s the gist of it.”

@heyokayk