Rising Star

PREMIERE | Balloon Ride Fantasy Releases 'Arcadia'

New wave pop flavored with dance energy

Balloon Ride Fantasy, a synth-pop/new wave band, premieres "Arcadia," a dreamy pulsing tune inspired by fantasy fiction and pop nostalgia. "Arcadia" is from the band's BRF EP, dropping July 20.

Made up of Chris Olszewski (lead vocals, producer), Phil Conley (guitars, synths), Bethany Conley (vocals), Brad Schneider (bass), and Jordan Wood (keyboards, synths), Balloon Ride Fantasy has shared the stage with The Chainsmokers, Chvrches, and Metric, as well as opening for The Naked and Famous at the Feed More Festival. In addition to music, Wood has appeared on HBO's Mindhunter, and NBC's Downward Dog.

"Arcadia" kicks off with coruscating synth layers leading into a new wave pop tune. Olszewski's textured timbres pervade the lyrics with gleaming sonic hues, as Conley's background vocals finance smooth sighing harmonies akin to gossamer tendrils. A simmering sax solo infuses the tune with taut harmonic pigments.

The rhythm of the track takes on an electronic dance momentum, infusing the music with a pulsing, driving energy. The combination of new wave pop flavors and dance brio gives the tune chic stylish tinctures of oomph, especially on the swelling colors of the chorus.

Shot with Ridley Scott-like interplays of dark and light, the video was filmed at Pittsburgh's famous hot spot, Evaline Party House. The visuals depict an initiation party for a mysterious cult, governed by a lioncorn, which is a hybrid of a lion and a unicorn. Mannequins, masks, and glow sticks saturate the video with fantasy ambience.

With "Arcadia," Balloon Ride Fantasy integrates creamy new wave flavors with the pulsating vitality of electronic dance. The result is a yummy concoction of stylish music.

Follow Balloon Ride Fantasy on Website | Facebook | Instagram

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.

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PREMIERE | Abhi the Nomad drops new single "Planes"

10 cities, 8 states, 4 countries, 1 Abhi.

Jonathan Swecker

A man with no place.

Abhi the Nomad has lived in 10 different cities, in 8 different states, and in 4 different countries since leaving his native Madras, India. His new LP Marbled out February 9th tells the story of his journey. His journey doesn't sound unfamiliar to others who immigrated to the US. In fact, it sounds a lot like many of my international friends and colleagues I went to school with. Part of Abhi's journey was being denied another visa after college due to immigration laws. Abhi was torn from his job, girlfriend, and friends and forced back to India due to this hitch in the road. He quickly relocated to France and was able to come back to the US thanks to acceptance into a graduate program. Though frustrating and isolating, Abhi has always had music to turn to throughout these tumultuous times and Marbled is a product of that.


Abhi is no stranger to having to up and move at a moment's notice. He didn't add the modifier "The Nomad" to his name in this latest case of relocating but when he was very young. From a young age because of his father's job, Abhi has had to reluctantly move 8 times over the course of 18 years. From Madras, India to Beijing, to Hong Kong, to New Delhi, to the Fiji Islands, to New Delhi again, then finally in Thousand Oaks, California where he finished high school. Throughout these years, he's been writing songs that eventually became the outline to Marbled.

Listen to "Planes."

While Abhi continued to fines and work on Marbled, he released "Floors" and "Underdog" and created a buzz online. He eventually signed with Tommy Boy Records creating the opportunity to release Marbled that has ultimately been a lifetime in the making. Today Abhi the Nomad premieres with us his latest single from the highly anticipated LP. "Planes" has a certain smoothness and swagger to it. It's soothing in a way. The funky, groovy bass-line has a way of saying, "it's going to be alright." I love the instrumentation as a whole. Not only does it work incredibly well in tandem, each individual line takes you by surprise at just the right time. Abhi the Nomad has been compared to Childish Gambino. In ways, he also reminds me of Donnie Trumpet and this particular tracks rapping style gives me hints of the unapologetic delivery of Broadway hit Hamilton.

Listen to "Marbled" here.

If you can't wait for Marbled which Hot New Hip Hop calls, "funky, lyrical, and slightly weird," you can check out some of Abhi's other singles that have been released in anticipation for the album. So far he has released the title song "Marbled", "Sex n' Drugs", and "Mama Bling."

If you love Abhi the Nomad follow him on Facebook | Instagram