Today’s New Finds feature “Violent” by carolesdaughter, “BIG WORDS” by Asha Imuno and “Only Fool” by Jeni Schapire.
“Violent” by carolesdaughter
carolesdaughter is the solo project of 18-year-old Thea Taylor from Southern California. Taylor’s life is full of extremes: she grew up in a Mormon household with a lot of restrictions and rules on things like what she could wear and what she could listen to. As a teenager, she has struggled with drug addiction and has spent years in and out of rehab. Now, Taylor has shown her following that she is reclaiming her power. She rocks striking goth fashion and has proved a diverse taste in music by incorporating multiple genres in her work, like pop, lo-fi glitch, trap, acoustic, and hardcore.
Although Taylor grew up learning to play piano from her nine older siblings, it wasn’t until a six month stint in rehab that she picked up the guitar and started writing her own music. She made a promise to release her songs when she got out, and she delivered. Her most recent song “Violent” has over 10 million streams on Spotify. With just 808s, an acoustic guitar, and her voice, the track is simple—and it’s that simplicity that makes it so good. Under the surface, Taylor plays with the dichotomy between innocence/naiveté and the harsh reality of the world: she sings in a soft, soothing voice, but her lyrics are vengeful; in the music video, her bloody corpse sings on a bed of rose petals and teddy bears. I’m excited to see how Taylor continues to balance life’s polarities in creative ways like that. Listen to “Violent” here.
“BIG WORDS” by Asha Imuno
At 19 years old, Imuno has already released two albums and is well-versed in the music world. He grew up in an extremely musical family, learned to play trombone and piano, later in jazz and marching bands, and taught himself digital composition. Today, his music is influenced by gospel, soul, funk, r&b, and trap. As a member of the multimedia collective, Raised by the Internet, his craft is constantly being refined and propelled by fellow RBTI members, who are all proving to be rising musical talents.
His most recent album, Good News, was released last October via b4. In comparison to his debut album, Full Disclosure, Imuno uses more personal subjects and story-telling techniques. One of my favorite tracks,"BIG WORDS,” manifests his command over delivery and flow, and his versatility as a rapper, singer, and producer. Imuno shares that creating “BIG WORDS” was a grueling process, in part because he lost the files for it and had to reimagine the song, which is where the melodic, atmospheric, second half of the song comes in. On creating this record, Imuno says, "When I first started recording I was a couple months away from graduation, staying in my pops' empty apartment and moving real recklessly. I realized it was time to switch my life up - this song became my way of saying that against all odds, I'm making progress.” Go ahead and add this to your road trip playlist, because it’s the perfect getaway track. Imuno says he has a ton of unreleased music, visuals, and virtual performances, and has also been producing music for other RBTI members, but for now, check out Good News and listen to "BIG WORDS" here.
“Only Fool” by Jeni Schapire
The 21st marked the release of artist and producer Jeni Schapire’s debut EP, What’s In A Name. “Only Fool” is one track you’ll hear off the new record, and it’s definitely going to hit you in the feels. It’s a slow ballad backed by synth, keys, horns, and beautiful harmonies that blend elements of folk and pop. The absence of percussion gives it an ethereal, cinematic vibe, and the collaging of textured sounds and instruments is very reminiscent of Bon Iver.
My favorite part of the song is the beginning of the chorus when Schapire sings, “When the only fool is you, you lose every time.” The emotion behind this line is powered by the rising and falling melody as she sings “when the only fool is you,” followed by one note held out for the words “you lose.” There’s a pause after until she sings the words “every time,” and it really does feel like a punch in the gut after the drawn out melodies prior. The message behind both the EP and “Only Fool” is about being your true-self—not what anyone else expects or wants you to be. For Schapire, achieving that was necessary after a long journey towards accepting her sexuality. She had also been performing under a moniker since she was 15, so establishing her identity as an artist authentically meant reclaiming her name. Thus, What’s In a Name was born. Check it out here.