Towne's making waves and blowing minds with their new video

There's no story, no plot, no definitive take... and yet Towne's new video takes you places you don't expect

Lauren Napier

"We came from two different places, different musical backgrounds...

But we meet in the middle… that's why we're called Towne," says Steevie Steeves of her musical other-half Jon Decious. The two come together to create a sound that embodies a little bit of everything. Taking the best of folk, alternative, soul, and country and blending it into something unique. While they defy genre classification they certainly don't defy the laws of good taste. Their work has only garnered further and further praise as their star has grown. As they release the video for their new single "Camouflage," we see these two continue to grow into their sound in new and exciting ways, and take steps in a visual language that enriches their own brand of musical storytelling.

There's a simple elegance at play in "Camouflage." The duo strip the instrumentation down and let the lyrics do the talking. Melancholy personal truths are sung over a straightforward chord progression. Light piano tinkling, some plucks, and ethereal synth swells fill out much of the rest of the sound, with a few hints of guitar mixed in (Though Decious' trademark playing takes more of a backseat here). All of this is underpinned by a direct one-two beat, and it all comes together to take a moment in time and capture it in song form. A lover feels invisible to her partner, and sings words she can't say. Like a haiku, the compactness of the presentation hints at a depth of fathoms beneath.

"One of the things we love most about the video is that there is no direct story line," says Decious. "When we approached the director, Brian Vaughan… the only stipulation we had was that we didn't want a 'story video'," echoes Steeves. A bold move on the part of the band, but one that pays off. The limited context presented only strengthens the song's emotional narrative, allowing the viewer to project themselves onto or into the piece. "No actors, no plot. It's Steevie performing with her own raw emotion," confirms Decious.

Set in a beaten-up Nashville Hotel, ("drug deals were going down in the parking lot and, god-knows-what-else, was going on in the other rooms," says Steeves of the filming location) Vaughan's video sees Steeves performing her song in a moment out of time. She is dressed like a runaway, with notes of Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks lingering about her like perfume. Next to her is Decious, accompanying her, dressed in a clean-cut, yet roguish oeuvre. He is obviously present, but somehow as distant as he is familiar. Over the course of the video nothing changes physically about the situation, but through the sheer force of Steeves' performance it feels as though the world has been stopped and started again.

"The last thing we wanted to do was act out our take on the song and ruin what others took from it. Once you put a song out into the universe, it's not really 'yours' anymore anyways - if anything, the goal is to have others make it 'theirs'," says Steeves. Following Towne's vision, Vaughan has bolstered fans' ability to do that. Whilst the video is set in a recognizable locale, said locale is there for emotional context, not narrative. The thesis could be said to be that when these things are happening to you, no matter who or where you are, you feel like you're alone in a cheap motel. But even that could be too specific a read of the piece. The beauty of "Camouflage" and its video is that no interpretation is definitive. It means what you want it to mean, and Towne and Vaughan give permission for you to be right.

The "Camouflage"video is out now, and the song can be found in the links below.

Towne's EP, titled Audacious, is coming out on May 18th

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

Thomas Burns Scully is a PopDust contributor, and also an award-winning actor, playwright, and musician. In his spare time he writes and designs escape rooms. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Popdust Presents | Darja and the exclusive on her new single "Darkest Blue"

Watch Darja and hear "Darkest Blue" first on Popdust!

Press Photo

Listen now to Darja's brand new single "Darkest Blue" exclusively on Popdust and watch our special, in person interview!

MARCH 2, 2018 -- Hailing from Riga, Latvia, and being raised in Germany and the UK, the multilingual singer/songwriter Darja (pronounced Daria) is already moving the international music scene. Having lived in four different countries and speaking four languages fluently, this multi-dimensional globe trotting singer, songwriter and performer, is a true citizen of the world, who pours her soul into sounds of haunted nostalgia one moment, and the sound of wild carefree ecstasy, the next. "Darkest Blue" puts all her greatest strengths and beautiful vulnerabilities on full display:

Splitting time between her education and her music career, she appeared on TV music competitions, including Germany's Popstars in 2001 and ITV's Pop Idol, Season 2 in the UK. During Popstars Darja gained significant publicity in Germany and started working on a solo career with Producer Tony Coutura. Darja decided to put on hold a solo record deal offer by East West Records, owned by Warner Brother, to pursue a BSc in International Relations at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Sciences. While still in college, in 2003 Darja participated in ITV's Pop Idol (Season 2), where she was selected into the last 5 groups of 10 in the competition. After her performance of Shakira's "Underneath Your Clothes," Simon Cowell drew a comparison between her and Shakira: she possesses "that certain hit factor," and as a result, he states, "as a pop star package, I think it was excellent."

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EXCLUSIVE | Listen "13" Rappers Spit Fire On Epic Posse Track Just Released Today

Listen to "13" -- Brent Butler, Deascent, Crimdella, Paco The G Train Bandit, J thegodis, DOMOSOCRAZY, Que Cee, Ratchet By Nature, Ohene Cornelius, Redddaz, Stonehenge Parnhashnakovsky & Sir Kn8

Posse cut records have long been revered in hip hop, and "13" proves that tradition is live and well.

February 13, 2018 New York City - You heard it here first!Brent Butler, a Jersey-raised rapper, producer, and guitarist just released a new track teasing his upcoming debut solo EP, L I L A C. Known for his eclectic combinations of musical genres (often paying homage to his punk roots, performing live instrumentations on his records and at shows, transitioning back and forth from rap to singing), it's a totally welcome surprise to hear him straight rap on his latest self-produced beat, and then turns the mic over to 12 (yes, 12!) indie rappers in this non-stop, whirlwind of a record.

So whose on the line up? In order of appearance: "13" features verses from Deascent, Crimdella, Paco The G Train Bandit, J thegodis, DOMOSOCRAZY, Que Cee, Ratchet By Nature (Sam Wise & Apples), Ohene Cornelius, Redddaz, Stonehenge Parnhashnakovsky, and Sir Kn8 (part of the duo Killin H8).

"The idea was to give a spotlight to my favorite artists in the local scene and just make a fun, crazy record before finishing up the EP," Brent tells Popdust. "I didn't actually know where it would stop. I made this mean ass beat, and didn't intend to use it for myself. I thought I'd probably give it to another artist. But it's so energizing and got me so pumped that I ended up forming a few bars, which - probably unconsciously - ended with a hand-off to Deascent."

In 2015 Brent and Bronx-bred rapper, Deascent, released a 7-track concept EP together called THE COLD PRESS, and began fronting a full live band by the same name in partnership with singer/songwriter and bassist, Dan Victor.

"I'm all about collaborations, so working on my first solo EP, L I L A C, may have had me a bit stir crazy in the studio. When Deascent heard the track and responded with his own 8 bars, I was like... okay let's go nuts... Next it was 4 rappers, then 8, then 11, and it kept going. It easily would have gone over 13, but we drew the line there decided to do a surprise release on the 13th... cuz you know, numbers."

"13," like many in the grand tradition of posse cuts, possesses enormous gravity and has such insane energy because each artist brings their own personalities and emotions to the song; each has their own reaction to the music and plays off what the artist before them performs. It's a giant conversation, which in the case of "13" ends up being wildly compelling . Lyrics range from the bombastic, braggadocios remarks you may expect from rap, to the political, philosophical, and straight up psychedelic.


Follow Brent Butler on -- IG: @brentbutlermusic | FB: brentbutlermusic

Order Of Appearance:

  1. Brent Butler
  2. Deascent
  3. Crimdella
  4. Paco The G Train Bandit
  5. J thegodis
  7. Que Cee
  8. Sam Wise (Ratchet By Nature)
  9. Apples (Ratchet By Nature)
  10. Ohene Cornelius
  11. Redddaz
  12. Stonehenge Parnhashnakovsky
  13. Sir Kn8

Tell us what you think of the record and check out all 13 of the artists, each of whom have impressive, independently released catalogues and upcoming projects. And look out for Brent Butler's full EP L I L A C, due this spring!

Team work makes the dream work. - Popdust

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Popdust Presents | Dom Marcell: From the bayou to the boardroom to the bedroom

INTERVIEW | Five lessons in business with Dom Marcell

It's been a long time coming, this Dom Marcell-PopDust interview. The Puerto Rican born, New Orleans raised, and Wall Street groomed singer, writer, and dancer started on his musical journey years ago, placed it to the side when he felt that he wasn't achieving success at a pace that made sense, and then picked it back up when he was prepared for the life of an artist. An infusion of caribbean, latin, and New Orleans Bounce sounds, Dom Marcell's music is his DNA. Here is his story.

"Ask somebody else about my credentials"

Dom went to an arts school for elementary and high school. He made the decision at 17 to attend college and pursue his music career simultaneously knowing that it was a big task. He majored in business and communications, recognizing the importance of combining his right and left brains, the artist with the analyst. Duality follows him wherever he goes, which makes sense for the Gemini who double majored in business and communications while in college. While in college, he made sure to stay connected to the entertainment world, interning at some of the world's biggest media brands, HBO and Atlantic records, to name a couple. When music didn't happen for Dom in what he considered a timely basis, he decided to shelve music and concentrate on his studies. A three year law and MBA program was his solution.

"At the end of the day, you have to be realistic too, you have to give yourself milestones."

Maybe it's the business major in him, but all of his goals have clearly laid out plans–complete with timelines and milestone checks varying in length of time. I guess that detail and thoughtful consideration is not only what transforms them from dreams into plans, but what makes Dom the artist so successful. Marketing strategies, building a useful team, operating as a product, and fielding candid feedback are all a part of his executed roadmap to success. How may artists do you know that conduct focus groups to determine the "viability of the music"? Yeah, in the words of the incomparable Jay-Z he's not a business man, he's a business, man.

"I just don't go into something blind because I know I invested time and money into my JMBA...but music is a startup company."

You can't help but notice the level headedness he approaches his career, especially for an artist and creative. He parlayed his business and law degrees into his music career, trademarking and copyrighting his business entities associated with his music. How did he know it was time to pick up music again? An interesting question, to which Dom provides a thoughtful answer. After doing everything the right way, he was not satisfied with his life. While this was the dream route for many of his peers getting asked to come back to his investment firm and getting a business degree and his law degree still didn't bring him that happiness. What did was, songwriting. Interesting because when i asked him to choose between singing and songwriting without hesitation he chose songwriting. Songwriting led to the first song he recorded, DTK. He hadn't heard himself in years, and after the most important test in determining whether a song was hot or not, the car test, he failed it. He let the song sit on a shelf, came back to it as he became more comfortable with his voice, and then played the finished version for friends.The follow-up, Unique, is an affirmation that he was the person he thought he was, and not who people told him he was not. It was the song version of his reality. He was capable, accomplished, and talented.

Peep the whole interview , where he also encourages us to tell our friends that they aren't on the right path. Constructive and honest feedback is necessary. Watch us practice how to tell your friend he's not as talented as he thinks he is in the episode of Popdust Presents below.

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