Humans tend to make art about the things they enjoy, and throughout the ages, gambling has been a topic of much artistic focus because it’s one of humanity’s oldest vices. From Cezanne to Caravaggio, countless greats have portrayed rolling the dice or betting on cards. Modernity’s music is by no means above focusing on the flick of the dealer’s wrist, and there are thousands of songs that portray gambling, the highs, and the lows. Here are the most famous for you to enjoy as you join their ranks.
Four-time GRAMMY® award winning duo for KING & COUNTRY announced today the UK radio release of its unprecedented collaboration with the world-renowned entertainer Dolly Parton on the group’s award winning, RIAA Platinum single “God Only Knows,” as well as a powerful music video. The iconic Country Music Hall of Famer’s presence on the track takes the song to new heights, with shimmering acoustic guitars complementing the song’s message of hope.
It really doesn’t feel like five years since 2016’s reissued debut album ‘Sirens’ was being described as “a debut of remarkable depth” by none other than The New York Times. The album was originally self released in 2014, but the indie label reissue saw appearances from Sara Bareilles and Gotye and really cemented Ben Abraham as a songwriter of note. He co wrote Kesha’s RIAA certified double platinum Grammy award winning smash hit ‘Praying’ amongst a host of other songs. However, that catalyst moment of his life also accompanied a tumultuous, faith sapping part of his life as he went through a serious break up. Ben responded to these trying, difficult times as only a songwriter can and used this time as inspiration for a selection of songs that speak to the undeniable possibility of rebirth after all the loss and pain.
Walker County is a sister duo from Sulphur Springs IN, a town of 390 people. Ivey Dene and Sophie Dawn would take frequent trips to Nashville from Sulphur Springs very early on, busking on lower Broadway. In fact, the first time the sister duo busked on Broadway Ivey was 12 and Sophie was 9 years old. Bitten by the performance bug the sisters started playing fairs and festivals until about 7 years ago, this duo made the move to Nashville permanently to pursue their passion for music full time.
I recently chatted with The Shires about their music and Ben Earle, one of the duet, mentioned that he felt U.K. Country acts were being seen as less of an embarrassing cousin in Nashville and that this was massively highlighted by the emergence of duets with respected US Country artists. The Shires have recently duetted with Lauren Alaina and Jimmie Allen on reworked Shires songs. Now, highly acclaimed UK Country artist Tim Prottey-Jones has released a brilliant new original song with “An Artist You Need To Know” , according to Rolling Stone Country, Stephanie Quayle.
As well as being a club burner, ‘Be About It’ also serves as an homage to the great house-infused pop songs of the 90s. It’s an enthusiastic call to the dance floor, and a promise of parties to come. It encourages listeners to put aside excuses, and realise our goals. ‘Be About It’ is the epitome of spring, rebirth, renewed energy, and rediscovered hope. Above all, the song is a note-to-self. Indeed, for Dovley, it’s time to make a move from being a well-regarded house and dance singer to a genre-transcending artist who delivers messages that resonate for listeners of all kinds.
Up-and-coming rapper Que 9 is a born storyteller, and he has been doing it with his music since 2016. The Detroit native, who was born Quarrion Philips, has never been afraid to put himself out there and tell the world what he feels. He started at the age of four, playing instruments in his basement, which evolved into making and creating ringtones. Since then, Que has been filled with the urge to create the best music possible while still being relatable and honest with his listeners.
Pennan Brae’s latest single, ‘El Camino’, comes from ‘Lit’ and is accompanied by a lyric video directed by his long-time collaborator, Rob Fitzgerald. An homage to the classic Chevrolet vehicle, which was introduced as a coupe back in 1959, and last produced in 1987 as a standard two door station wagon. Understandably, the song is flavoured with the 80s and those long hot summers we all seem to remember (did they actually exist?). We see rock-n-roller Brae ready for life to start picking up pace again after being left by his love. Fitzgerald interleaves vibrant patterns over the vintage vehicle, and we are pulled along and get lost in the liberating journey.
Lion Babe is a fire-hot electro-soul duo from New York City, who first got together back in college when Jillian Harvey was just about to enter a dance career and Lucas Goodman was looking for bands to produce. The pair got together out of genuine curiosity and chance, and have been non-stop ever since. They’ve worked with the likes of celebrity producers like Pharrell Williams and Childish Gambino and have received rave reviews from Rolling Stone, among others. They’ve rocked the main stage at Coachella and have been ambassadors for Pantene. Now their new single, ‘Frida Kahlo’ from their album, ‘Rainbow Child’, is just the latest incredible project from Lion Babe.
‘Been Broke’, from Lil Rod and featuring Squalla, is a mesmerising and gorgeous RnB and hip hop single. But listen closely and you’ll realise that within – around the 3 minute mark – Lil Rod gets deep and personal, and makes an astounding observation. No longer is he worried about getting locked up, he tells us, and additionally he no longer has to worry about the the expense of paying bail. His life has changed, and because of that, many of his worst insecurities have disappeared, and he can plan accordingly.
No matter how depressed and isolated we may have felt over the past year at the state of the world, there’s still every now and then, a beam of light that shines down and reminds us that things aren’t so bad. One such beam of light is new indie rocker Oceanator, also known as Elise Okusami. The New York native has been a talented and dedicated musician from the age of nine, and she even got her brother involved when they formed their own band, back when Elise was still only in the 4th grade. Since that time, she’s hardly had a moment to slow down. Oceanator’s unique indie-rock, grunge-pop sound has consistently been deeply moving and challenges just about everything.
Joey Holman (of HOLMAN) and Roddy Bottum (Faith No More, Imperial Teen, CRICKETS, and Nastie Band), are together in life as well as their new collaborative project, MAN ON MAN. With a timeless indie-rock style, their new single, ‘Stohner’, was born of the hardships they have experienced during the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. They moved from the East to West Coast at the start of the virus, and in the span of just six months, the couple lost both their mothers. The pair celebrated the impact both women had on their lives by pouring their hearts into, in their words, “pop melodies that collide effortlessly with both a shared melancholy and simultaneous hope.” If you’ve not already realised, MAN ON MAN abbreviates nicely as M.O.M.
Just like the rest of us, IAN SWEET has spent the pandemic focusing on herself and her needs. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2014, IAN SWEET, then known as Jillian Medford, put together a band to help build her dreamy pop sound. She parted ways with the band 4 years later, and started putting her attention into honing her craft. New single, ‘Sing Till I Cry’, is the latest in a series of highly anticipated releases.