Five Favourites: Ci Majr

Having just released her debut EP Side Effects, upcoming Atlanta artist Ci Majr creates uplifting, emotion-filled pop anthems. A specially curated five track project, the EP sparkles with a heartfelt sense of hope alongside a scintillating energy and twinkling hooks.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Ci Majr to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have shaped her as a musician. Check out her choices below and scroll down to watch the recent video for ‘Guillotine’ at the end of the feature.

Daft Punk – Discovery
Discovery was such an important album in my evolution as a music lover and also as a future singer/songwriter/producer. This was one of six CDs in my dad’s car that I’d get to choose from on my morning rides to middle school. There was something incredibly infectious about this album from the beginning. At the root of it, it just felt so new and fresh. I hadn’t heard anything so purely “electronic”. Usually, I’d be able to pick out a multitude of instruments but with Daft Punk it was like a symphony of synths and my young brain was just infatuated. Plus, even reflecting now, the songwriting is so simple in a way but also so catchy, and now as a songwriter myself I can really appreciate how much harder it is to make a simple song that gets your point across. ‘Something About Us’ is a perfect example of that. A lot of repetition, very simple vocabulary, and it’s just so moving and catchy. It is something I aspire towards.


Yanni – Yanni Live At The Acropolis
Yanni is a Greek-American instrumental composer. I actually know this “album” as a live concert DVD (yay DVDs are old school now lol) that my parents had. I grew up playing classical music, so (as a kid) I only saw instrumental/orchestral music as being quite boring and old-fashioned. Yanni, on the other hand, was conducting an orchestra, while playing the bongos, piano and more, and the music was just so lively and contemporary. It was like listening to the soundtrack of a movie but the music is so good you don’t even need or want to see the movie. You can just imagine your own storylines. It was so filled with emotion and passion, and his charisma is just so palpable. I remember going through a phase where I was creating/producing incredibly intricate instrumental arrangements because of my obsession with this performance. Additionally, I loved this album/performance so much that when I was a gymnast as a child I made one of the songs ‘Nostalgia’ my floor routine music.


Christine and the Queens – La Vita Nuova
If you know anything about me, you should know that I’m a bit obsessed with Christine and the Queens. She’s like the queer pop queen I’ve needed for so long. This latest EP La Vita Nuova absolutely blew my mind and what makes it even better is the visual that goes along with it. I watch the visual for it at least monthly and it’s just as good each time. Christine is an artist across the board: musically, visually, her abilities as a dancer. She’s an icon aesthetically and in practice. She’s such an inspiration to me that when she used different configurations of colourful rhinestones on her face in the visual album, it was the inspiration for my use of colourful rhinestones in my music video for Guillotine.


Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience
So even before this album, I was a huge fan of Justin Timberlake, but what makes this album special for me is that it really feels like such an incredibly cohesive and intentional body of work. First off, each of the songs are between 4.5-8 minutes, which is unheard of for a pop album. So many of the songs start with the “radio edit” and then have an outro of sorts, and I was just so easily hooked to each of these songs despite the length. It was similar to hearing Discovery where I felt like the “style” that was captured in this album just felt so new and fresh that I was addicted to this album. I think what I loved most about this album is that it felt to me that Justin and everyone else involved weren’t trying to sound like anyone, it was just like whatever he created, whatever came out, he just went with it and that’s how I’d like to conduct myself as a creative. Not using others as guidelines but just trusting the art that emerges authentically.


Kanye – Life Of Pablo
What I love most about this album is that I wasn’t super into Kanye before this album (like I knew his popular stuff but probably never listened to an album from front to back). Kanye is a rapper but this album is so much more than a rap/hip hop album. It’s similar to The 20/20 Experience where you can just tell that there were just no creative guide-rails and the authenticity becomes the star of the show. It’s just a work of art.

Massive thanks to Ci Majr for sharing her Five Favourites!

Side Effects, the debut EP from Ci Majr, is out now. Watch the recent video for ‘Guillotine’ here:

Track Of The Day: deep tan – ‘hollow scene’

Following their uplifting last single ‘camelot‘, and with acclaim from the likes of NME, So Young and BBC 6Music, Hackney-based trio deep tan have now shared another stirring taste of what’s to come from their upcoming debut EP.

Propelled by glitchy beats and whirring, twinkling hooks, ‘hollow scene’ captivates the ears with the vocals’ compelling seductive allure. Flowing with fuzzed-out shades of ’90s trip-hop, whilst maintaining its own unique sparkling edge and gently haunting majesty, it’s another truly spellbinding offering from the trio, oozing an exquisite rousing splendour. Of the track, the band explain:

“‘hollow scene’ is about the feeling of having to move through life with a certain level of detachment in order to function. Gatekeeping empathy for the sake of an easy life, if you will. It’s a pretty draining business, though, and can make any real search for meaning feel futile. Meursault was wrong and he was right. Robert Smith, however, is always right.

 
‘hollow scene’ is out now, and is taken from deep tan’s upcoming EP, Creeping Speedwells, set for release on 4th June via Practise Music.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Timothy Casten

Track Of The Day: Queens & Kings – ‘Going Through Hell’

Ahead of the release of their upcoming debut EP, Toronto-based, instrument-swapping garage rock duo Alissa King and Brendan Albert – aka Queens & Kings (a name to purposefully provoke thought about sexist language patterns) – have recently shared their impactful latest single.

Propelled by a fuzzed-out visceral energy and gentle blues-rock twang, ‘Going Through Hell’ reflects on the duo’s 10+ year relationship and the struggles they have gone through both personally and as a band. As Alissa’s gritty swooning vocals flow with a stirring, soulful drive alongside scuzzy hooks, it oozes a soaring, impassioned splendour. With shades of the likes of The Kills or Alabama Shakes, it’s a powerful Americana-tinged slice of garage-rock brimming full of anthemic emotion. A sizzling, poignant ode to learning to let go and move forwards in life.

Watch the new video for ‘Going Through Hell’, featuring footage of the duo from over the last 10 years, here:


Going Through Hell‘ is taken from Queens & Kings’ upcoming debut EP, set for release later this year. The EP has been made and mastered with the likes of Vic Florencia and Bill Skibbe from Third Man Records, as well as four time Grammy nominee, Howie Weinberg.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: Bitch Hunt – ‘Eau Claire’

Following last year’s split cassette release with adults, London based non-binary band Bitch Hunt are set to release their debut EP, out next month via Reckless Yes. Having formed at First Timers Fest in 2017, and since charmed us with an immense live set at a GIHE night back when gigs were a thing, the band have now shared the first single from their upcoming EP.

With stripped back jangling hooks and raw, heartfelt vocals, ‘Eau Claire’ is an ode to a Wisconsin town where singer Sian used to live. Building in momentum and shimmering harmonies to a gently scuzzy, emotion-strewn anthem, it oozes shades of the sparse, twinkling energy of Seattle faves Tacocat, creating an effervescent, stirring slice of punk-pop. With its swirling riffs and reflective lyricism, it conjures a warms sense of nostalgia for long summer nights spent with friends; something we can hopefully start to look forward to now… Of the track, the band explain:

‘Eau Claire’ is the name of the town in Wisconsin where Sian lived some years ago, and the song is very much for the good people they met and the good time they spent. It’s also about the rose-tinted glasses we wear when we look at past summers. There was pain and heartbreak among the fun so don’t miss yesterday too much, maybe next year can be even better.

‘Eau Claire’ is out now, available to listen on Spotify. Shapeshifter, the debut EP from Bitch Hunt, is set for release on 28th May via Reckless Yes. Pre-order now via bandcamp.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Glen Michael-Harper