"Drunk on Me" J. Antonette

Weekend Music for the Soul: “Drunk on Me” by J. Antonette

"Drunk on Me" J. Antonette

Songwriting is truly the art of telling your story through music. Artists and songwriters are the first to imagine the bones of a new song based on personal experiences. Those first elements are near and dear to an artist’s heart and message. When these details of songwriting resonate with a broader audience, they create a feeling of mutual understanding between artist and listener. Today, Nashville country artist J. Antonette shares her story and collaborative insight behind her emotionally raw hit single “Drunk on Me.”

// Introducing J. Antonette //

J. Antonette started her music career as a background singer for the well-known country-rock artist Melissa Etheridge. She then went on to backup Grammy Award Winning Artist Michael Bolton and open for a variety of country artists, including Jordan Davis and Tucker Beathard. Originally from NYC, Antonette has since relocated to pursue country music in Nashville. She currently releases music as well as collaborates with other artists as a songwriter.

We are excited to have the opportunity to speak with J. Antonette about the making of her recent single, “Drunk on Me,” which addresses the difficulty of a relationship that you know may not be good for you.

“He drives my heart like he stole it”

PoetryDansLaRue: I love the rawness of “Drunk on Me.” The clarity of the vocal and ballad-like style paints a clear picture. Can you tell us about the early stages of the song?

J. Antonette: “Thank you so much! While writing a different song with my friend Lyndee, she mentioned that she and another writer, Colleen Francis, had an idea that would be a great fit for me. Lyndee and I spoke about what I was going through in my personal life. When she sent me the work-tape, I immediately knew I had to be a part of this. At the time, I was with a person who displayed addictive tendencies. It felt like I was living the exact idea of the song. I loved it when he was drunk on me. The highs and lows. The thrills and the crash. I think I tend to get in these toxic relationships and cling to the good instead of all of the red flags. Many of us can relate to being love drunk at one point or another.” 

“The ladies were so wonderful to let me join in on the creation of it. I took some time sitting at a coffee shop with tears in my eyes. I wrote in some details from my relationship that I was in the process of leaving. This time allowed me to put my spin on it.” 

PDLR: I enjoy hearing how multiple perspectives combine to create a song that felt perfect for you at the time. How do you usually go about songwriting? Do you often work with other songwriters?

J. Antonette: “My process ranges from writing alone, in my apartment in the darkest hours of the night to weekly scheduled co-writes. I have about four writing sessions a week with different writers whom I admire or respect. I never want to be the best writer in the room. When I work with others who push me and are extremely talented, it helps make me a better writer.”

“When it comes to how I write or what I write about, I usually pull from experiences that I’m going through at the time.  If I feel passionate about a topic, that may inspire me as well. I love collaborating with other artists. It forces you to work harder instead of settling for what you believe is “good enough.”

“Young, reckless, and free”

PDLR: I agree that working with others can only benefit you as an artist. Who else do you work with on your songs as far as instrumentation and production go?

J. Antonette: “For each of my songs thus far, I’ve worked with different producer friends! I’m blessed to be surrounded by incredible talent both in L.A, Nashville, and NYC. “Drunk On Me” was produced by Johnny Dibb with additional instrumentation by Tyler Tomlinson.”

PDLR: Since you moved to Nashville, what opportunities have shaped you as a musician?

J. Antonette: “I think when you move to Nashville, you have to step up your game. Not just as a singer, but as a writer AND performer. You have to work harder than the person next to you. This town is home to the most talented musicians in the nation! I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world performing with musicians and write with new artists whom I admire. I’ve joined the community and performed at some amazing writers rounds in town. It’s been a beautiful experience! My very first gig in Nashville was the well-known showcase, “Whiskey Jam.”

PDLR: Do you have new songs coming out soon?

J. Antonette: “I have been writing my butt off! I do have plans to release new songs in 2020, but right now I have not decided on which to release. I’m trying to push myself to write my best work and then pick from them!”

“I love when he’s drunk on me”

// For the Listener //

“Drunk on Me” is our take on a breakup song before you bid the final goodbye. The listener can feel the pull of the relationship where you know it’s not right, but you stay anyway. There is a bittersweet side to the song when the singer shares the story from her point of view, “He doesn’t look good on paper, I know his record shows, he’s a little rough around the edges, but it’s different when we are alone…”

We can picture this song being played in the car when you are questioning if something feels right or wrong. “Drunk on Me” by J. Antonette can be your next breakup song, comfort song, power song, or even love song. It is up to your interpretation of what the song means to you at a particular moment. The beauty of music begins with the songwriters’ and artists’ personal experiences but transfers wide and deep across endless barriers.



Last Vacation Talks New Single, Music Video, and The 1975

Our most recent interview with Last Vacation has been a long time in the making. Flashback to March 11th, our chats about quarantine were nonexistent but imminent. Fast forward a few days later, and schools closed, tours were canceled, and stay at home orders were upon us. Amid all the chaos, Last Vacation released their anthemic single, “How Could You Hurt Somebody You Love?” on April 17th.

The Boston band has been not so sneaky about their references to The 1975 during the promotion of “How Could You Hurt Somebody You Love.” They even changed their Instagram bio to “A not so good version of The 1975.” We beg to differ, though, and would argue that they are underestimating their unique sound. While fans can surely pinpoint the connections in their work, the distinct vocal and pop-punk feel of the new single does not line up all that much with the Manchester band.

Let’s jump into our interview and dig a bit deeper into the making of “How Could You Hurt Somebody You Love…”

PoetryDansLaRue: Can you take us back to the early days of “HCYHSYL?”

Last Vacation: “This is a song that we wanted to release for a long time. We wrote it about a year ago and now feels like the perfect time to put it out there. “Eternal Romantic” was a slight jump for us, but I think that “HCYHSYL” is more of where we are now.”

PDLR: I’m curious about the process and the backstory of “HCYHSYL” since it is a breakup song…

Last Vacation: “We wrote this one a bit differently. One thing that we were inspired by was something that Blink 182 did on their self-titled album. They each wrote a separate verse and then fit the pieces together. In the case of “HCYHSYL,” Travis Rutzel, the singer, wrote the first half of the song. Then, I (Scott Anderson, drummer) wrote the second half of it, including the choruses. We never wrote a song this way before, Travis was always more of the lyricist.”

“In regards to the lyrics, I was seeing somebody at the time and recently started dating someone else. The relationship fell apart rather quickly, and the feeling of betrayal led me to the phrase “How Could You Hurt Somebody You Love?” I think we were all able to relate to that as a band and realize how it could connect with a broader audience. Everyone has that question for somebody, and you are that question for somebody else. It seems to resonate well with people.”

PDLR: How has “HCYHSYL” translated with a live audience?

Last Vacation: “We noticed over time that it stands out in our set and people seem to respond well to it. We recently did a couple of shows back in early March with PHANGS and Hand Made House, and we were happy with the reaction. We would like to branch out with that song a bit and maybe do a couple of remixes. I was also thinking of doing an acoustic version since we wrote it acoustically. It seems to be THE song. We believe in it, and it’s the most honest track.”

PDLR: How did the video come together for “HCYHSYL?”

Last Vacation: “The video was inspired by how some of The 1975 aesthetic looks very retro, but not really at the same time. It has a lot of neon and high colors. We filmed it in single shots where you see one of us at a time. There’s some splitting and stuff like that. It was kind of a choice to film it that way. It’s been about a year since we released our first video, so this one is pretty big for us.”

There is no doubt that Last Vacation is talented. In this time of self-discovery and reflection, we advise them to continue to define and develop their unique sound.

Check out this former Last Vacation feature on PoetryDansLaRue for more background on the band.



On the Rise: The Perfect “Time” for FABER

FABER "Time"

South London soulful singer-songwriter, FABER, celebrates the release of new single “Time” as PoetryDansLaRue’s On the Rise artist of the month. FABER’s passion for music, embedded from her youth, came to fruition with the release of her first EP ‘I AM’ in 2018. The momentum from the EP shines through in her powerful, yet mournful track “Time” released Wednesday. Today we delve deeper into the track for an exclusive interview with FABER.

JoBros Inspo

PoetryDansLaRue: I saw that you took an interest in music at a very young age. When did you begin writing your songs?

FABER: “I started writing music when I was in my early to mid-teens. I have a graveyard of unused tunes on my laptop that never developed into something more. I remember loving the Jonas Brothers when they first became famous, and that spurred me on to write a lot. Specific moments stick out in my mind from my childhood. I remember when I was about five years old, I made up a silly hook after “bath time” and would sing it all the time. My sister and I still laugh about it to this day. “

Strong Support System

PDLR: Who helped you along the way to achieve your goals in music since then?

FABER: “My friend Tom, who I wrote “Time” with, has significantly helped develop my writing. He’s a fantastic pianist and comes up with incredible harmonies. I feel like we understand each other when we write. We are always on the same wavelength.

My family and friends play a huge role in supporting me, as well. They always come to my gigs and encourage me to do things if I’m too shy or hesitant. They believe that no goal is unreachable.”

“Time Heals the Wounds Love Makes”

PDLR: “Time” is an emotionally raw and transparent single. Can you go deeper into the story and tell us about the background?

FABER: “Time” is about the pain of being endlessly available for someone you love, and the unbearable yearn for them to give you the same attention that you give them.  It’s about obedience in love, but also knowing when to call it quits. I wrote the opening verse when someone I was seeing canceled on me for the umpteenth time. I felt weighed down with sadness and self-loathing, but on the other hand, I could not stop myself from pining for their affection.”

PDLR: You mentioned writing the song with Tom Althorpe. Can you talk about that collaboration and the process of how the song came together?

FABER: “I remember walking into my parent’s bedroom after the guy just canceled, and with a heavy sigh, I sang out the first verse without any thought. I already knew how the song went. I felt the pain so deeply I think it just poured out of me straight away. After that, I wrote a few more lyrics and then brought it to Tom to help me mold it. I’m a simpleton when it comes to chords, so he did the goods on this one! We sat in our university rehearsal rooms for a bit and wrote the rest together. I have the video I recorded of us making it on my Instagram.”

“Always thought that you were right for me, you’ve always made me sing from the heart…”

Album on the Horizon

PDLR: Can you reveal any plans for 2020?

FABER: “In 2020, I am dreaming some things into existence! With some luck and a sprinkle of fairy dust, hopefully, we will see my debut album come out, with a few singles leading up to it. I’ve got a few big shows booked and am overall very excited to see where things lead.”

“Time” is a song that immediately draws you in and forces you to feel the heartbreak that FABER recounts. It is a ‘hook you on the first listen’ type of track that will have you widening your eyes and applauding her vocal strength and poise. Stream “Time” available now on all platforms and keep up with FABER below!



On the Rise: The Young Something

The Young Something

The Tampa, Florida alternative-pop duo, The Young Something, inspired a new feature on PoetryDansLaRue with their angsty, and captivating tunes. This month, the group appears on the blog as the first “On the Rise” artist of 2020. The young duo recently released a new dreamlike single, “She” on January 10th. Today we chat with Alex Bonyata and Bella Beyer of The Young Something about their journey as artists, turning points in their career, and “She.”

Young Start

PoetryDansLaRue: How long have you worked together, and how did you start as artists?

The Young Something: “We started making music together in 2015. We did a summer songwriting program in high school called ‘The Grammy Museum’s Music Revolution Project.’ The program sparked us to write together, and eventually, it grew outside of that. We haven’t stopped writing since. It will be about five years of us working together. For the first two years, we were an acoustic indie-folk duo (under the name AB+). Around the beginning of 2018, we rebranded, changed our name, developed our new sound, and became The Young Something.”

PDLR: What other changes did you make to your band when you changed your name?

TYS: “We played as a duo for the early part of our career. We wanted to be able to rock out on stage, so we brought in a full band. We got a drummer and a bassist. Several different musicians step in. It’s great to be able to expand.”

‘About This’ EP

PDLR: The new EP, ‘About This,’ sounds very indie-pop-punk. What sounds or influences were you thinking of when you developed your introduction EP as The Young Something?

TYS: “Our sound went from indie-folk to more so alternative-pop on this EP. We have always been big fans of Jack Antonoff as a producer and songwriter. We are also fans of Lorde, so when those two collaborated for her album, that played a huge part in inspiring the sound on our EP.”

Notable Moments

PDLR: What are some career highlights that you have experienced since you’ve worked together as The Young Something?

TYS: “We have had some pretty incredible opportunities. One of our most notable moments is that we played in support of Ringo Starr! We did SXSW for the first time in 2019, and we recently got confirmation that we will be a part of 2020 SXSW as well.”

“She”-January 10th Anthemic Single

PDLR: How does your new single “She” compare or differ from your other tracks?

TYS: “It is a rather anthemic track to add to our musical repertoire. When we write songs, it feels like such a journey, and I (Bella) feel strongly connected to this song. We were eager to put it out and see the response. “She” has a slightly different vibe from our other tracks.”

“I see you. Got that original style, Lana Del Rey smile, confidence that goes for miles..”

“She” one hundred percent exudes the signature style à la Jack Antonoff that The Young Something mention as inspiration for their songs. The vocal is soft and soothing while the production adds a yearning and urgent call to emotion. The lyrics could be a page torn from Taylor Swift’s diary. The single paints the perfect picture of longing in a dramatic, ‘scream-your-heart-out, driving with the windows down’ pop anthem.

The Young Something has an exciting 2020 ahead and plans to release several singles throughout the beginning of the year. The group is looking forward to SXSW and hopes to build a wider-range tour shortly after. Stream “She” on all music platforms and follow The Young Something on social media below.



a ride down the ‘san diego freeway’ with howard and the hopeless

howard and the hopeless san diego freeway
EP artwork by Jordan Dudenhoffer

In a world where streaming, sharing, and shuffling are at the fingertips of music consumers, artists have a daunting task to create the next best thing. San Diego solo artist, howard and the hopeless, has cracked the code, so to speak on his new EP, ‘san diego freeway.’ The seven-track project plays with the cohesion and variety of a full-length album. Each track, the artwork, as well as his signature lowercase aesthetic all seem to fit together strategically. The stand-out singles, “Poison” and “Set Me Free” will have you pressing add, play, and repeat.

Today we chat with Ian Logue on expanding his music career and defining what has come to be howard and the hopeless.

branching out with howard and the hopeless

poetrydanslarue: Had you released any music before the making of ‘san diego freeway?’

howard and the hopeless: “my other band, electric elms, has released four singles and a full-length album since 2017. ‘san diego freeway’ is the first project of mine where i played all the instruments myself. this idea was always a musical goal of mine. two of my favorite musicians, paul mccartney, and david bazan (of pedro the lion) inspired that aspiration.”

pdlr: When did you begin working on howard and the hopeless as a solo project?

howard and the hopeless: “i started thinking about putting out an independent project in mid-2017. the groundwork for howard and the hopeless and the writing of the songs that would become ‘san diego freeway’ didn’t happen until later in 2018.”

pdlr: Do other musicians help out, write, or play with you for howard and the hopeless?

howard and the hopeless: “i wrote and recorded about 90% of the album myself. the engineer for most of the ‘san diego freeway’ studio sessions, jacob montague, helped with a few guitar parts. he also produced and played a few instruments on the song “k(no)w.” jacob and i went to high school together. he did the mixing and mastering on almost all of the material i made with electric elms. he helped me take ‘san diego freeway’ across the finish line.

grant turley, another one of our high school friends, recorded the bass on “someone else.” the three of us had an instrumental indie band in high school. we mostly played in my parent’s attic.”

‘san diego freeway’

pdlr: Can you elaborate on the concept of ‘san diego freeway’ as the title? How did these songs fit together?

howard and the hopeless: “this album came at a time when i was experiencing a lot of major changes in my life. i wrote these songs around the time that i broke up with an ex that i dated on and off for three years.

soon after that break up, i decided that i wanted to move to la and give music a shot as a full time career. i spent a lot of time in hollywood at a friend’s studio. i was signed to his label at the time, so there was a lot of driving back and forth to make music with him. i get a lot of good thinking done while i’m driving, so the concept of this album (not to mention the lyrical content) came to me on the road. the 405 freeway in la connects to the 5 south and is called the san diego freeway. i always found this odd because the 405 doesn’t take you to san diego.”

a road map of songwriting

pdlr: What do your writing and recording processes entail?

howard and the hopeless: “i am not too picky when it comes to getting in the studio and recording. i usually have a song pretty nailed down by that point. i am open to suggestions from engineers or other musicians as well to get the right sound or vibe. i put a lot of trust in my engineer, who is usually jacob, to get me to the place i want to go with a song.

this ep was unique to write in the sense that i set out to do it with a specific vibe in mind for each track. i envisioned it as a mental road map of peaks and valleys that i wanted to reach throughout the ep. after experimenting with different guitar sounds, i settled into a style that i wanted the ep to convey. from there, i focused on distinct emotions that i wanted to highlight in each song.”

breaking down the tracks

pdlr: The song “Myself” seems very personal with a lot of self-reflective lyrics. Was this song challenging to write?

howard and the hopeless: “the hardest part of writing “myself” was knowing that it was going to be the most brutally honest song i’d written in my career. the song starts with “i’ve never loved me half as much as i love to hate myself.” in the “most depressing lyrics that i’ve ever written” category, that one’s at the top of the list. i wrote the lyrics driving back to san diego from los angeles at 11 pm on a saturday night, and put music to it the next day. it was a pretty quick process.

as these lyrics were things i wanted to put on paper for most of my adult life, the album is reflective of who i was five or ten years ago. i didn’t have the courage to write lyrics like that when i was twenty. writing songs like “myself” turned out to be very cathartic for me.”

“your parents passed down some kind of poison. that’s okay, so did mine.”

pdlr: “Poison” reminds me of some of my favorite ’90s songs. Were there specific tracks or artists that influenced the making of this song?

howard and the hopeless: i wouldn’t say that there was any particular artist or song that influenced the making of “poison.” my primary influence on the ep was the late ’90s-early ’00s indie rock music out of the pacific northwest. a lot of the big names, like modest mouse, death cab, and, my most significant influence, pedro the lion played a part. david bazan is a massive inspiration for me. his lyrical honesty, guitar lines, and his knack for melody have their fingerprints all over this ep.

even though i know bands like third eye blind and eve 6, i never thought they had any influence on my music. you’re not the first person to tell me that “poison” had a real ’90s feel to it, though.”

down the road

pdlr: What are some future goals for howard and the hopeless?

howard and the hopeless: “my main goal is to release a full-length album. that concept is in the early formation phase right now. in some ways it will be a continuation of ‘san diego freeway.’ a lot of the material on ‘sdf’ is emotional baggage that i carried around since i was younger. i think the next album will focus more on the current emotional baggage. i’m also looking forward to playing shows with some of the songs from ‘sdf’ and some newer material. we played one show for the ep release party and that’s it so far. i’m excited to see what kind of live show we can put together in the next couple months!”

‘san diego freeway’ is an EP that you appreciate for the sincerity and reflection. The artistry demonstrated through the concept, lyrics, and instrumentation certainly draws listeners to pay attention. If you find yourself singing along to it on the road late at night, that might be just where it belongs.

follow howard and the hopeless

// instagram // spotify //

Jonah Melvon: From Ghostwriter to Solo Artist

Jonah Melvon Artist to Watch

Have you ever had a kick yourself moment when someone tells you an artist is going to blow up, you ignore it, and then they do? Well, listen up because Jonah Melvon is one heck of an artist to watch. Plus, you can enter our giveaway* to hear his new single before anyone else and cop some merch from his latest album!

*All details, requirements, and rules for the giveaway can be seen here on my Instagram post.

San Francisco Bay area artist, Jonah Melvon has been making waves in the music industry for quite some time now. Starting his career as a ghostwriter, Melvon quickly realized his passion was in songwriting and artistry. He has since gone on to release his debut album Rain Water Project in January of this year. He plays countless live events and is currently gearing up to release his new single “Sunday Mornings” on September 15th. Today we talk with Jonah about his tireless journey with songwriting, tour success, and the direction of his new music.

‘Rain Water Project’: The Drought is Over

PoetryDansLaRue: Tell me about the concept of your album Rain Water Project that you released in early 2019.

Jonah Melvon: “When I began writing for this album, I was writing this other project called Dreaming Again to help save a non-profit organization. One of the songs that I was writing for that project, “Knockin,” became the last song on Rain Water Project. That song felt very much like rain to me, almost Sade-ish. As I transitioned to writing the album, I started writing more songs with very reflective and thought-provoking arrangements. The chords were feeling a lot like rain in the harmonies.

When it came time to choose the title, I thought of my now 4-year-old daughter and the difficulty of getting her to go to sleep. I discovered this ‘rainwater app,’ and it worked wonders. There had also been a bit of a drought for me musically. As a ghostwriter, I could not even claim my work. These concepts all came together as well as adding the symbol of the cover art. The idea of the umbrella makes sense because I enjoy helping people, and I’m big on equity and empowerment.”

PDLR: It’s cool to hear how all of those pieces came together in the right order and how the album has multiple meanings to it as well.

Renowned Songwriter

PDLR: I did see that you have toured with some insane artists in the past, Miguel, Black Eyed Peas, and T.I. to name a few. Do you have any interest in collaborating with them or other similar artists?

Jonah Melvon: “I’m open depending on the message, the sounds, and the vibes. I’m more into the vibe than the message at first. Then I’m into what the song is saying. If it is an inspiring song that puts you in a certain mood, for example, I’m more into that. Being in the Bay area, there are a lot of relatively unknown artists, but all it takes is someone in our group to make some noise. I have been collaborating for the most part with my close community. As far as specific artists go, H.E.R. and Daniel Cesar would be on my radar. Sade would be a bucket list collaboration because I grew up listening to her music. I’m fortunate to be working with my sisters on my music as well.”

PDLR: You mentioned before that you were doing some ghostwriting for other artists. Do you do all of the writing for your projects?

Jonah Melvon: “Oh, yes! If I’m gifted with something, it’s the ability to be able to write songs. I have no shortage of words *laughs* and I love to connect with people and engage. There are a lot of things that I’m passionate about and want to share. So, yes, I have written all of my songs. If someone else wrote for me, I would first want to see what it is. Also, with jumping genres from soul to hip-hop, it probably wouldn’t work for my autobiographical style. Now, having an editor and people to bounce ideas off of will certainly help to define what you are trying to say.”

From The Bay to the U.K.?

PDLR: You look so busy with live performances! How do you prioritize the shows that you play?

Jonah Melvon: “We have a great thing going on here in the Bay area. The tech-craze boom has taken over. We are playing everything from tech companies such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pandora, etc. These are elite types of shows exclusive to those employees. Although my friends, family, and fans are thankful for these types of opportunities, they can’t get into the shows. So, my sister and I have decided to do a lot more specific cities, venues, and festivals. It’s a lot of art and culture that celebrates the African diaspora and all of these different walks of life. So, we play a lot at the moment, but I am trying to slow it down a bit. I recently had an offer to join a tour in the U.K., but we turned it down. I want to focus on new music and recording first before we get there.”

PDLR: Have you done, or do you plan on doing any shows on the East Coast?

Jonah Melvon: “It has been a while since I have played out there. We played in Rochester at Blue Cross Arena with a friend of mine, but it has been a long time. Ironically enough, all of the new works that I am producing are with a guy in New York. We have the coast to coast thing going on. I will probably reach out to him in the future and start doing more out there. L.A. is right around the corner for me, which provides a lot of opportunities. I might end up playing in the U.K. before I play in New York, though, we will see.”

PDLR: It seems like you have a connection in the U.K. having mentioned a tour opportunity and playing over there.

Jonah Melvon: “They are playing my project there more than anywhere else, specifically in London. I’ve done a million radio drops for the DJs out there.”

PDLR: I love the U.K. radio! I think they are so progressive. The concept of Beats 1 on Apple Music, coming from Zane Lowe (formerly of BBC Radio 1), is so innovative. The hottest records that they release daily are always the next big thing. It’s a perfect market for artists!

Jonah Melvon: “The U.K. is very passionate about the arts in a very raw sense. It’s not as commercial. They love songwriters, innovation, artists getting paid their due justice. I would share with them some of my Spotify or Apple Music links and some of them would say they don’t even use it and would prefer the MP3. They didn’t want to promote all of the streaming services. I don’t think it’s how it’s being received (streaming, download, CD, etc.), but more that music is a piece of art and the value should reflect what it is worth. That way, artists can stay creative if we give them the space to do it.”

The Calm of “Sunday Mornings”

PDLR: I heard your snippet of your next single “Sunday Mornings” on Instagram. Is this new track branching out in a different direction from Rain Water Project? Or is it stemming from the sounds on the album?

Jonah Melvon: “It could be an extension from Rain Water Project. I enjoyed making the sounds that we made on that album. I felt like it was a cool place for me to be as an artist. The fans are asking for more of this type of material. This song, however, and these new songs that will be coming out, are lyrically infused with rhyming, but have a lot of singing tones. I think people are intrigued by the title of the song and they will understand it as soon as they hear it. Sundays, traditionally speaking, are the days that we allow ourselves to be most calm. Everything from the melody to the delivery is saying slow down with me like Sunday morning and take the time to engage each other.”

PDLR: Anything else you would like your fans to know about your new music coming out?

Jonah Melvon: “I’m just excited for everyone to hear it! This campaign is the most strategic I have been because I haven’t posted the whole song ahead of release. Before I would be so eager to share my work with promoters, curators, and editors that my songs would end up being shared before they dropped. This time I’m proud that I’ve held onto it, and I’m grateful that fans are so supportive and engaged.”

It is apparent that Jonah Melvon, having dedicated an endless amount of time to his work as a songwriter, should be on your radar as an artist to watch. You can check him out below and stay tuned for “Sunday Mornings” to be released on September 15th!



SAINT SLUMBER ‘YOUTH//3’: The Culmination of ‘YOUTH’

saint slumber youth//3
Photo by Keira Zhou

New Jersey indie-rock band, SAINT SLUMBER, completed their YOUTH// EP trilogy Friday with the release of YOUTH//3. The three-piece, made up of lead vocals Josh Perna, guitarist Aaron Brown, and drummer Matt Carpenter, has focused on the concept of youth and its fragility throughout the trilogy. Today I chat with drummer Matt Carpenter about why YOUTH//3 is “brutally sad,” finding their sound, and what’s next for SAINT SLUMBER.

‘YOUTH//3’: Grieving the Loss of YOUTH

PoetryDansLaRue: So, the EP is out now, which is very exciting! I know it was mentioned that YOUTH//3 is “brutally sad,” can you pinpoint one of the five songs that was more emotional or difficult to write?

SAINT SLUMBER: “I would say, “THIS TOO SHALL PASS.” It’s a big, sad ballad. I think it’s going to tug on the heartstrings of people. There are a few lines in there that make you want to tear up. Josh writes all the lyrics, so it’s more personal for him, but we can all relate to what he’s talking about.”

PDLR: Is that the [only] one that sticks out as “brutally sad” or is the theme to the EP more emotional stripped-down songs?

SAINT SLUMBER: “I’d say that there is a more emotional theme to the whole EP. Especially since it’s a culmination of the whole topic that occurs throughout the YOUTH trilogy. YOUTH//3 is a final statement, grieving the loss of youth.”

PDLR: With it being five years since the beginning of the trilogy, has your perspective of the concept of youth changed?

SAINT SLUMBER: “I’m the oldest member of the band. I’m 28 years old, but at heart, I always feel like I’m a 14/15-year-old kid. I think it’s holding onto that aspect of wonder and awe of life and the innocence of being young. It never really goes away. You have to grow up and mature a little bit, but it doesn’t entirely go away. I don’t know if too much of my perspective has changed. I think in general, we did our best throughout the trilogy to encapsulate that feeling. Some of these songs aren’t very old, so they are pretty fresh ideas.”

Finding Their “MANTRA”

PDLR: Is there a defining song from the trilogy that you would recommend to new fans?

SAINT SLUMBER: “For me, I’d say it’s “MANTRA.” What we thought was interesting throughout the whole YOUTH trilogy was not only topically, that it’s about maturing and the loss of youth, but that by YOUTH//3 our sound has evolved the most. We feel like this EP is the sound that we’ve been trying to reach for the past five years. “MANTRA” was the one that immediately, once the song was in its finishing process, that we were like, “This is it!” Although I do think people are going to like “BIG BIG LOVE.” I think it’s the most unique song that we’ve written so far.”

Coincidentally, “MANTRA” was the first song that I heard by them. The theory checks out, in my opinion.

Before ‘YOUTH//’

PDLR: In the early days of songwriting before YOUTH//1, what artists did you draw inspiration from to create your sound?

SAINT SLUMBER: “I think it’s been a long process of the development of our sound. We all grew up playing in metal and hardcore and post-hardcore bands. So that’s our background, and I think that will always be part of us. It influenced our current sound and especially our live show. As you get older, as you mature, you want to create music that is a little bit more you. So, we grew up also with The 1975. We were on the earlier end of The 1975 (THEY STAN AND WE ARE HERE FOR IT). We looked up to bands like Imagine Dragons that were redefining the indie sound. Radiohead has been a big influence to us as well. I could name a million bands…”

After ‘YOUTH//’

PDLR: So, I hear that the 4th EP is already in the making? Does EP 4 have a completely different vibe? Or is it stemming from the momentum from the 3rd EP?

SAINT SLUMBER: “The next batch of music is coming from what we’ve been writing throughout the YOUTH// process. We didn’t necessarily think that they belonged on any one of the albums. They still fall within the same vibe. Not that these are leftover songs, but they are other ones that we had in our pocket. Then we have some MORE songs too for the future that kind of break away from that vibe a little.”

PDLR: Aside from EP 3 and 4, what’s next for SAINT SLUMBER? Can we expect any shows soon?

SAINT SLUMBER: “We are right now, most focused on getting tours. We are hoping to book some shows soon for the fall. We do want to get some live shows in New York and Philly in the earlier fall.”

We will be on the lookout for sure! Check out YOUTH//3 and the trilogy in its entirety with this SAINT SLUMBER playlist below!



PLAKE Nixes the Filter On Raw New Single “Bleeding Out”

Plake Bleeding Out

Hunter Plake made his break-out debut on The Voice Season 12 by turning the chairs of Alicia Keys and Gwen Stefani. Initially joining team Alicia but later stolen by Gwen, he made a lasting impression on Voice fans nationwide. Today we talk about his band, PLAKE, with brother Dakota and their newest track, “Bleeding Out.”

Recommendation: If you haven’t already, listen to the song NOW! Try to focus on the lyrics and the message and your overall first impression of it without context.

On New Single”Bleeding Out”

PLAKE dropped their new emotionally transparent single “Bleeding Out” on August 2nd after a ten-month hiatus from releasing music. Upon asking about the concept and process behind the making of the song and his struggle with depression here is what Hunter had to say:

PLAKE: “I mean, people don’t really write about it [depression] because you feel like it’s an embarrassing thing. Honestly, I think being a creative person, when I experience emotions, I don’t feel half-assed with any emotion. If I’m experiencing love, I experience it very intensely, anger, etc. When I wrote the song, it’s about the feelings of depression. It’s constructed in a way where it talks about the different stages of it and where you end up mentally at the end. At the end, the reason why I switched the lyrics up, the reason why I did that is because that’s how you get out of depression. You start to care about other people instead of just yourself.”

“This is the first time that we released a song that’s so intense. I like to say that we have pretty different sides to our band: our happy side with songs like “Eden,” and then “Bleeding Out” is the most extreme sad version of our band that we have.”

Unfortunately the music video for “Bleeding Out” was recently removed, but Hunter describes it as “very dream-like.” He explains that the video paints a picture of your average person struggling with day-to-day life and using devices as a distraction to escape depression. In the video, his brother, Dakota, is “trying to get him out of the virtual world and back to reality.” We will be on the lookout for the repost in the future!

On the Songwriting Process

PoetryDansLaRue: Can you guys talk about your songwriting process? Who does most of the writing? Who does the producing?

PLAKE: “I write my best when I’m honestly by myself. I do like writing with people too sometimes. With an emotional song like “Bleeding Out,” I wrote the song, and then after that, I had ideas of where I wanted to go with production because I’m producing as I write too. I start with a melody, and I have that melody in my head. That’s kind of how our song begins. Once we start recording it, we start picking it apart. When we’re doing that, both of us are in the studio. Dakota is playing guitar mostly and helping me get a fresh perspective on what’s inside my head.”

PDLR: So, “Eden” was the first song that you released as a band and you released eight songs after that, correct? For some reason, I could not access “Hurricane Lovers” on Apple Music…?

PLAKE: “We released seven songs after “Eden,” including “Bleeding Out.” We released “Hurricane Lovers,” and we pulled that one down, “Scared,” and “Cold Vibes,” we pulled down. So those, that we pulled down, there’s different reasons behind each one, but we just realized it was a hard left. We see ourselves as what we’re gonna be in the future and anything that might hurt us, we eliminate.”

PDLR: Which song do you feel represents your sound the most and the sound that you’re going for in the future?

PLAKE: “My answer is going to be the same as every artist. Whatever we just released is gonna be the answer because we just did it. But, it’s a journey, if we look back on it in twenty years, we might see a different version of us. Right now, “Bleeding Out” is exactly what we want.”

On The Voice

PDLR: Can I go back a little and talk about The Voice? Do you keep in contact with any of the coaches/contestants?

PLAKE: “I stay in contact with the contestants. As far as the coaches go, the show and my relationships with the coaches are not as personal as you would think. So, I haven’t stayed in touch with them. There are a few people from the show that I stay in touch with.”

PDLR: I feel there is a little bit of a disconnect from following some of The Voice contestants throughout the years…

PLAKE: “Honestly, unless you’re an internet meme, blowing up overnight doesn’t happen. I made the decision that I was doing music full time before I even auditioned. So, when I went there, I thought it was convenient, and I could get a little bit of attraction. Since then it’s been making connections with people in the music industry. A lot of our connections came from the show and us just reaching out to people. It helps being on the show to reach out to producers, etc. I think the disconnect you’re talking about is the fact that people don’t blow up overnight. They might go there and expect that they will. That’s not how it works if they don’t put in the work like every other artist, building your sound and building your image.”

Coming Soon

PDLR: What’s next for PLAKE?

PLAKE: “We’re about to release the rest of our projects and are planning that out right now. Probably going to be a single next month and a full EP in October. The rest of the EP is more based on relationships with kind of the same sound as “Bleeding Out.”



Check out this PLAKE playlist below for more!