Melo Makes Music releases "Drain U" featuring Ravyn Lenae

By: Tatiana Hazel

It’s here at last! The highly anticipated single “Drain U” from Chicago rapper Melo Makes Music goes above and beyond all expectations. Melo has created a refreshing sound not only in Chicago, but in the world of hip-hop. His unique blend of hip-hop and punk influences shine through in his flow. The way he hits every word so powerfully really helps to get his message across. "Drain U" is the third single off of Melo’s upcoming project, Nomads, which will be his next release.

"Drain U" is produced by another Chicago artist, Martin $ky. The two have worked together on all three of Melo's latest singles. This is definitely a collaboration to be excited about. Martin $ky’s flawless production ties together perfectly with Melo’s unique voice and style. Also tying in perfectly is a feature from Chicago's very own Ravyn Lenae, who adds her angelic vocals and smooth melodies to the track. Cellist Sylvie Grace adds strings that bring a dark and alluring vibe to the song.

Melo touches on some pretty heavy topics in his music. The visual series leading up to the release of "Drain U" coincides with the message of the song. The series shows Melo being murdered and then coming back to life, with "Drain U" representing his revival. Sometimes relationships - or just people in general - can be distracting but Melo sings  “even when distracted not a fucking soul can phase me,” and this should be a message to us all. Stay focused, stay true to yourself, and don’t let a single soul Drain U.

Listen to Melo Makes Music’s “Drain U” and keep an eye and ear on the rising Chicago star.

 Photography by Garrett Duncan

Photography by Garrett Duncan

Musa Reems debuts music video for single "Not With Gang"

By: Tatiana Hazel

Musa Reems stays true to his roots in his new music video for single "Not With Gang". Most of the video was shot on the West Side of Chicago, the place Musa calls home. The single is the first track off his upcoming debut full length project, Where The Sun Never Rises.

“Not With Gang” is all about Musa embracing the people in his life who are genuine and who he can call his family. Growing up in a city like Chicago it is important to know what people to keep close to you and who is “Not With Gang”.

Check out the video below!

Melo Makes Music Delivers His Road to "Drain U" via New Visual Series

By: Tatiana Hazel

Melo Makes Music pulled a Frank Ocean on us last night.

The Chicago artist took to social media a few days ago to announce the release of “Drain U” at 6pm on October 25th. Eager fans tuned in for the release, only to find a one minute and 12 second long clip announcing the true release on November 1st. Melo announced that this clip is the first in a series of ads set to release daily until the song drops.

Will “Drain U” ever see the light of day? We sure hope so. For now let’s enjoy the captivating visual series that leads us to the big reveal.

Watch "Drain U" Ad I below:



Dive into Beach Bunny's Pool Party

By: Nina Clevinger

The leaves on the trees may be changing, but the fresh and happy feeling of summertime will never fade - especially if you’re listening to Chicago-based singer/songwriter Beach Bunny. 


Beach Bunny - Lili Trifilio to those who know her personally - brings upbeat vibes to the cold front coming our way. Her latest EP, Pool Party, features five original tunes that are heavily inspired by the lax craziness that is summer. 


Her life isn’t all fun-in-the-sun, however. Trifilio attends DePaul University, a well-known business school in Chicago. She is undecided in her major, but knows music is the ultimate goal. 


"Surrounding myself with people who loved music is what allowed me to grow and pushed me as a musician the most,” said Trifilio, when asked what spiked her interest in pursuing her music career.  "After coming to DePaul, I met so many like-minded, talented people and this is what ultimately lead to the creation of Beach Bunny.”


The name 'Beach Bunny' stems from multiple things: Trifilio’s love for animals, and her admiration for surf culture and the music that goes with it. According to her, female surfers are often referred to as "beach bunnies.” Trifilio combined these things and magic was made. 


Pool Party is full of emotion, but mainly focuses on the lives of other people, according to Trifilio. Her more personal compilation is called ANIMALISM, and was dropped in December of last year. 


"I've been singing for as long as I can remember, which is why I think pursing music came naturally for me from a very young age,” said Trifilio. "I started playing music in the fifth grade, after my dad signed me up for guitar lessons, and continued playing and covering songs [throughout] high school.” 


Now a college student, Trifilio has big plans for her future. She wants to make music forever, and has high hopes for making it in the professional industry. 


"I have big dreams, and although I understand that there may be setbacks and obstacles, I have smaller goals that comprise of a bigger end goal,” said Trifilio. "My philosophy is that anyone can do anything if they pursue it with full force and make their goal their life.” 


Trifilio is determined to make her goals happen. Within the next year, she has plans to drop a few new singles, produce and sell merch, and make her Beach Bunny daydreams come to life with a tour on the West Coast. 


Lucky for her, dreams won’t be too hard to turn into reality - most of her friends are musicians, and double as her muses. 


"My biggest inspirations are my friends,” said Trifilio. “[They] consistently deliver amazing performances and make me want to get better and better everyday.” 


Her music gives me a Zooey-Deschanel-meets-the-Beach-Boys-type vibe, and I seriously dig it. The songs are short and sweet, but they carry with them a certain depth - both lyrical and instrumental. 


Trifilio isn’t wrong in thinking she has what it takes to make it far -  she does. Her music is just the right amount of serious, while still remaining incredibly fun. 


Be sure to check it out here.

Zombie Mañana: The Human Experience


A violin begins to play over a smooth electric beat. Two seemingly different sounds that coincide to create a unique, aesthetically-pleasing sound. Sounds begin to loop and build with vocals, drums, violin and synth. The energy of the sounds seems as though it must come from a booming band of six or more, but only three people are on stage. Hypnotic visuals spiral on the projector as the lights dance on the faces of the three performers.   

Zombie Mañana is a Chicago-based band consisting of Danny Biggins, Dustin Borlack, and Cassandra Lynn. Danny began writing solo work in 2013, and in the turn of 2016 he brought on drummer Dustin and vocalist/violinist Cassie.

After seeing the band perform live, I was blown away. They have the unique ability to combine a variety of genres and sounds that go deep beyond just melodies and harmonies. What makes Zombie Mañana different from the rest is their ability to use outside sounds from nature, and the voice as an instrument rather than just vocals. They have sampled sounds such as laughter, birds chirping, a train passing, and the sound of a haunting, out-of-tune organ as only a few examples. They use elements of life to heighten the instrumental and vocal experience. 

I was lucky enough to get the chance to speak with Zombie Mañana at the show. 


CRAFTED: Where did the name come from? 

ZOMBIE MANANAThe phrase Zombie Mañana first appeared as lyrics I wrote late one night: "I'm trading sleep for a zombie mañana," (from New Meanings). A couple days later the phrase was stuck in my head. I liked the way it looked and the sound of it, and also the social/political commentary that is implied in the name. 


C: What genre would you consider Zombie Mañana, and who are your main influences? 

ZM: Electronic singer/songwriter, rock, psychedelic, alternative, dub, fusion. We played in jazz bands in college, and in that time got into classical and world music as well, all of which influences the compositions. Our main influences include Radiohead, Animal Collective, Flaming Lips, Dirty Projectors, and Beck, to name a few.


C: Tell me about the writing process. 

ZM: The songs often start either with a rhythmic idea or I'll stumble on a chord progression and write to that. I compose and track everything in Ableton Live. I'll create melodic and riff ideas on either guitar, keyboard, or just simply my voice. As for the lyrics, they often come last but sometimes I stumble on a phrase or I hear someone say something cool and I'll decide that I'm going to write a song around that idea. When Dustin and Cassie each joined, they had to learn a bunch of songs that already existed. They have really brought these songs to new heights. Learning all these songs has helped them to really get into the vibe that I'm trying to create, and will prepare us for songwriting going forth. We just recently began writing new songs together. Dustin has been sending live drum recordings by phone that I have made music around. Technology!


C: How will having additional writers add to the sound of the band?

ZM: We are excited for that because I am always open to ideas and new perspectives that I hadn’t thought of before. Collaboration will take the art to new places. Dustin has had a lot of input on live transitions for the songs and expanding certain sections for improvisation. The new songs that are being written have a lot of cool and complex rhythmic ideas. It helps that we are both like minded when it comes to music and humor. Cassie has a wonderful sense of melody and I look forward to picking her brain and including more vocal harmonies. 


C: Any last thoughts? 

ZM: Zombie Mañana is a band focused on manifesting more than just sound. We make use of live visuals - often by our friend Brandyn Zpacely. We aim to connect with the audience on an intimate level. Sometimes life is sweet, sometimes life is scary. Same goes for our music. We aim to express a wide range of the human experience. There is a lot of tension and uncertainty in the world right now, and we need to feel connected more than ever as a species. This world needs more art. Humans need more empathy and compassion for others and this planet. Otherwise, it will most certainly be a "Zombie Tomorrow". 


Zombie Mañana has a few dope upcoming projects: a new single will be out soon, and there's a show October 7th at The Store, a venue in Lincoln Park, Chicago. 





Get Lost in Bad Suns' New Album, Disappear Here

By: Rachel Vogrich

In need of some new music? Lively and electric SoCal vibes radiate off of Bad Suns sophomore album, Disappear Here.

The California-based indie group released the 13-song album earlier this month. The album brings a number of different emotions, depicted specifically in each song. Some songs are extremely upbeat, while others get you all in the feels - the seemingly perfect balance for an album.

Reaching No. 2 on Billboard with their single, "Cardiac Arrest’’ from their first album, Language & Perspective, Bad Suns has gained major props. Within their short career so far, the band has toured with popular artists such as The 1975, The Neighbourhood, Halsey, Hunny, and now COIN. The rising indie group proves time and time again to new listeners that they mean business.

Disappear Here focuses more on upbeat, electric melodies and has much ‘movement’ to the songs. “Heartbreaker,” the second song on the album, is sure to be a fan-favorite, being one of the catchiest and guitar-centered singles – a personal favorite of mine off the album.

The band will be in Chicago on October 28, at Double Door in Wicker Park! Don’t be hesitant to scope out Bad Suns' new album and maybe even get a ticket. Tickets can be purchased here


Electro-Pop Duo Druzy Wows Both Coasts with "Can You Hear Me Knocking"

By: Nina Clevinger

  Druzy Members: Luc Alexiades and Bri Conroy

Druzy Members: Luc Alexiades and Bri Conroy

The beat may be heavy, but the second Bri Conroy’s angelic voice hits the track, the tune immediately lightens up into a summer anthem. 


Bri Conroy joins Luc Alexiades to create the Los Angeles-based electro-pop duo, Druzy. Their new hit single, “Can You Hear Me Knocking,” captures the youthful innocence of a fresh relationship, as well as the complete opposite of that - the mature realization that this relationship means more to the person than they originally thought. 


The lyrics remind me of something Lana del Rey might sing - they’re edgy, mysterious, and full of an almost obsessive kind of love. 


"Music has done so much for us,” said the duo. "It’s not only given us this creative outlet, but it's been something we've both loved since an early age. There was never a conscious moment that steered us into this direction, but rather, the pursuit of doing what we loved always felt natural.”


The two members of Druzy are actually from the same West Coast town, but didn’t end up crossing paths until they began studying at Berklee - an incredible music school in Boston. 


Ever since then, the two have combined the vocal talents of Conroy with the production skills Alexiades creates, the two becoming one: Druzy. 


"We had a band of four people, but at the end of the day the two of us realized we had the same vision, music taste and goals, so we broke off and made Druzy a duo,” the members said. "We found that creating together was what we truly wanted to pursue, so we moved back home to Los Angeles and have been working together ever since… It’s crazy how this project began on the opposite side of the country and we managed to bring it back home.”


“Can You Hear Me Knocking” is the duo’s biggest hit yet, it’s wavy electro-pop vibe the perfect fit for what is popular in electronic music right now. It’s sweet, it’s sultry, and it absolutely oozes summer love.


“Out of all of the ones we have released, we have a strong connection to 'Can You Hear Me Knocking,’” said Alexiades. "Bri started it almost one year and a half ago - when we first started working together - and, since then, has been through so many versions. It's grown and developed right along side the two of us.” 


The duo said their favorite track together has yet to be released, so keep an eye out for what they drop next. It could be the banger of the year. 


As for their future plans, Druzy wants to keep building their fanbase and eventually go on tour. 


"Being able to move people emotionally with our music is a goal of ours,” said the duo. “Eventually, we’d love to share our music across the world.”


The two add that they have a few exciting surprises up their sleeve. Be sure to check them out here

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