What’s Going On: easy life, Amythyst Kiah, Banx & Ranx, 49th & Main, John Roberts

In this week’s edition of What’s Going On, we’ve got the hottest new releases from easy life, Banx & Ranx, 49th & Main, and John Roberts. Plus, buzz-worthy Americana singer-songwriter Amythyst Kiah’s remarkable Green Day cover. As always, if you dig what you’re hearing, be sure to stream and follow these artists. 

easy life – UK band easy life is set to take over the world and their new single “OTT” with New Zealand-based pop sensation BENEE is another step closer to global domination. The forthcoming album from those Leicester boys, MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE…, tackles themes like sadness, regret, and excess, and that perfectly describes what “OTT” is all about. The deceptively upbeat track has incredibly stark and relatable lyrics, something we’ve come to expect from easy life. On working with easy life, BENEE says: “So stoked to have worked with the easy life boys on this, such a wicked bunch of humanssss!!! Hope u guys love the song, its all summery and I’m a sucker for melancholic lyrics sooooo!”

Listen to easy life’s new single “OTT” with BENEE below.

Amythyst Kiah – Singer-songwriter Amythyst Kiah surprised the world with her cover of Green Day’s “Hitchin’ a Ride.” Originally released in 1997 as the first single on Green Day’s Nimrod album, “Hitchin’ a Ride” was a huge alt-rock radio hit and Kiah makes it her own by highlighting the song’s haunting qualities and evocative lyrics. If you like what you heard, Amythyst Kiah’s 4-track EP Pensive Pop is out on August 12 and also features covers of Tori Amos, Katy Perry, and Joy Division. 

Explaining why she chose “Hitchin’ a Ride”, Amythyst Kiah says: “‘Hitchin’ a Ride’ is one of those songs that I loved to head-bang to when I was alone in my room, but I never really gave much thought to what Billie Joe Armstrong was actually singing about. I ended up revisiting it for this project, and when I read the lyrics while listening, I was really blown away to realize that it’s a song about a person struggling with addiction. Billie Joe has a great sense of melody and storytelling, and this song is a great example of that.”

Listen to Amythyst Kiah’s cover of “Hitchin’ a Ride” below.

Banx & Ranx – Montreal production duo Banx & Ranx are throwing their hat into the song of the summer discussion with their new single “Fire” featuring JP Cooper. The duo has crafted hits for Shenseea, Sean Paul, and Tinie Tempah, so it’s no surprise that “Fire” is an immediate earworm. Banx & Ranx are known for their signature ECM (Electronic Caribbean Sound) which is definitely present on “Fire” and perfectly compliments the smooth vocals of English crooner JP Cooper. Why JP Cooper? According to Banx & Ranx: “We absolutely loooove JP Cooper. We invited him to our songwriting camp in Montréal and ended up creating ‘Fire’ from a demo he had on his phone. It’s pure party and chilling vibes.”

Listen to Banx & Ranx’s new single “Fire” featuring JP Cooper below.

49th & Main – Irish indie-pop duo 49th & Main have got a new EP on the way. Must Be Nice is due out on July 22 and with that comes the release of the new single “Up To Something.” The duo consisting of Ben O’Sullivan and Paddy King recently played the famed Glastonbury festival last month and “Up To Something” is sure to keep that momentum going. All about nights out and good times, it’s the chill feel-good track we all need right now. Describing the vibe they were going for on “Up To Something”, 49th & Main state: “This is a long night, forgotten conversations and empty wallets kinda tune that you just can’t help dance to.” 

Listen to 49th & Main’s new single “Up To Something” below.

John Roberts – Break out your poppers! Nu-disco artist John Roberts is back with “Take Me Dancin’”, a true summer scorcher. John Roberts, gay icon, brilliant singer, and voice of Linda Belcher on Bob’s Burgers, has a knack for releasing delicious dance tracks and has worked with names such as Beth Ditto and Debbie Harry. Produced by frequent collaborator Junior Sanchez, “Take Me Dancin’” is sexy and entrancing and marks an elevation in Roberts’ sound. John Roberts says about the new single: “Building off of what we started with the last album and elevating the sound a bit more, ‘Take Me Dancin’’ has a bigger sound and more pop vibe. More drama.” We loved his 2021 album Lights Out, so here’s hoping that there’s a new album in the works.

Listen to John Roberts’ new single “Take Me Dancin” below.

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