New Album: Fearless (Taylor’s Version) – Taylor Swift

Swifties, are you sitting down? Good, now make sure your breathing.

Taylor Swift’s first recorded album has dropped, and I couldn’t be more excited.

The 31-year-old singer-songwriter dropped a rerecorded version of her second studio album, Fearless. The re-recorded version is titled “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)”.

Photo Credit: Screenshot of Tweet from @taylorswift13

The re-release is swift keeping her word to re-record her music before the “Lover” album. In the event, you’re not up-to-date on the Scooter Braun-Taylor Swift battle here’s the low down.

Scooter Braun purchased her masters which ignited a heated public battle between Braun and Swift over music ownership. And, swift made the announcement she would rerecord her first six studio albums, to call them her own.

She shared on Good Morning America “I just think that artists deserve to own their work, I just feel very passionately about that.”

Swift re-recorded “Fearless (Taylor’s Version) in late 2020, the first re-recording released.

Photo Credit: Taylor Swift on Instagram

The new release provides fans 27 tracks and includes incredible talent like Keith Urban and Maren Morris: All the songs from the original and platinum of “Fearless”, six unreleased songs, and a bonus track.

Photo Credit: Screenshot of Taylor Swift Tracklisting for “Fearless Taylor’s Version” on Twitter

You can stream Fearless (Taylor’s Version) right now on platforms like Spotify or Apple Music.

Let me know what you think about “Fearless Taylor’s Version” by connecting with me on Twitter or Instagram.

Cover Photo: Beth Garrabrant

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

KCR One-On-One: Beauty School Dropout

I got to sit down last week with Beauty School Dropout to talk about their music, working with Lauren Sanderson, Cole’s boyfriend Harry Styles, their clothing brand Dropout, and so much more.

You can watch the video here, but below is the lovely interview!

I am so excited today because I am here with Beauty School Dropout! How are you all doing today?

Cole : We’re doing great! 

Bardo : Excellent.

Brent : Waking up.

Cole : Kinda in a frenzy. I just got back from the beach, literally we all just walked in just before this meeting.

Perfect, perfect. So let’s just start this off by individually introducing yourselves and your role in the band.

Cole : I’m Cole, I sing and play guitar. 

Brent : Ok, I’ll go second. 

Bardo : Save the best for last!

Brent : I’m B, or Brent and I play bass.

Bardo : I’m Bardo and I’m a producer and I play guitar.

Cool! I’m not musically talented whatsoever. I played the drums when I was ten, but I gave up because I kept learning the basics and I wanted to learn songs. So my mom sold my drum kit. 

Bardo : I sat through lessons my whole life and I just always end up quitting or like getting kicked out because I never actually did practice. I would just write songs or manipulate the teachers into opening up GarageBand and writing songs.

Brent : See I’ve been nasty since I was born. 

My drum teacher, it was like this very tiny room, and he had very strong smelling arthritis cream that he would put on like right before we started every time. This room would be 2×2 and just smell like arthritis cream, so now you understand why I quit.

Cole : Yeah, that’s pretty funny. Just BENGAY stinking up the room. 

Brent : Ah BENGAY.

It made no sense. 

Cole : Wow, fire. 

Yup

Cole : I’m so sorry.

But how did you get into making music together? 

Cole : Oh, together? It’s kind of a long tale. It’s serendipitous how we all met. Our story is a little bit funnier. There was this girl I had a crush on and I saw that her friend was in my hometown, so I hit her up when I was going home to San Diego, and I was like, “Wanna hang out?” and she was just like, “Can I bring my boyfriend?” And I was like, “Yeah! I would love to meet your boyfriend!” 

Brent : I’m the boyfriend. 

Cole : And this was the boyfriend and we ended up becoming boyfriends too. 

Brent : Yeah! My favorite part is imagine you’re the boyfriend that’s showing up. And I just bought him coffee because I wanted to swoon him. I was like, “wow this dude is so hot, I’m gonna make him my boyfriend.” 

Cole : Yeah, it was pretty mutual. And then we met at a show. I used to help co-produce events at this spot called Winston House. We had a mutual friend who was performing and he showed up. At that time it was still kinda a solo project / we were just starting to figure out that we wanted to play shows together, and so we ended up kind of forcing him into the corner. And we were like, “No, no, you’re joining this band.”

Bardo : At the time, I was producing for other artists and just doing the whole songwriter producer thing. The first session we did it was just like these two guys came over and we just started making stuff. We’re like, “Oh OK, cool.” At first I was like I’m not going to be part of this. 

Brent : “I’m just going to produce.”

Bardo : I’m just gonna watch this thing.

Brent : And you never left.

Bardo : And here I am. Cole never left.

Cole : That was also on the decline of my last relationship, so I like started staying on the couch or something. It was hectic. 

Bardo : Everyone left the session one time, and I was literally about to go to bed. It was like 3 in the morning and for some random reason, I just decided to walk back downstairs. My phone was dead or some shit, and I hear this banging on the outside door. I look outside, I thought it was a homeless man. It’s Cole, back from his house, and he’s like, “can I sleep on your couch?” 

Cole : My girlfriend kicked me out. 

I mean hey, it all worked in the long run because here you are!
Cole : Yeah, yeah. Definitely. It all happened for a reason.

Wild stories, but great stories. Probably one of the best I’ve heard honestly. 

Photo Credit: Natasha Ribeiro-Austrich | @natribaus

How did you come up with this name Beauty School Dropout?

Cole : So, I’m so OCD about naming things and when this was still technically my solo project, I was running through various different monikers that I was trying to figure out what I wanted to go under. One day, I kinda just popped this one into my brain, and threw it in my bio. This was probably like 6 months before we even started doing anything together, any of us. Then at the time when we started working, I was like I think this is what the name should be. And everyone has been really kind and loving about it, so we kept it.

Catchy, but if you do search your name on Google the first thing that comes up is like stuff from Grease.

Brent : Wait so we have a new metric for ourselves. Once we’ve beat that, we’ll know we made it. 

That’s like Of Mice & Men, the band, the same deal, the book comes up. But now they come up, which might just be my Google. 

Cole : It definitely does. I grew up listening to them too.

Bardo : I get scared when people search on Spotify. Does like Grease come up or do we come up? 

I think you do on there thankfully.

Brent : We got Frankie Avalon on there.

Cole : I don’t mind all too much because I love that movie and I feel like somehow people will remember it. Even if they don’t find us, or are intending on finding us, or vice versa like, it just sticks. They’re like, “oh! Beauty School Dropout, that band!” 

Bardo : I saw this cover, or someone was covering Beauty School Dropout Grease, the other day. I looked on YouTube and I’m like what?? Then I was like, oh. 

Wrong one, wrong one.

Cole : Like wow people are covering our songs.

Bardo : But it’s cool because I mean like certain people aren’t necessarily going to remember, a lot of younger, Gen Z kids, aren’t going to remember Grease. They may not have seen the movie or they just ya know. So Beauty School Dropout will just be this thing that is more of a saying, which is kind of cool. 

I honestly forget that there are people younger than me out there. 

Cole : We watched a video last week of what, kids or teeenagers reacting to Nirvana and Paramore. 

Paramore???

Cole : Being like, “Oh what is this?” Like what? Who raised you?

Brent : They’re like, “Oh I’ve heard this song before.”

It’s like this song recently, Potential Breakup Song, because Aly and Aj just did a revamp of it and made it explicit. But I have two little sisters, they’re 18 and 16. They’re like, “Oh yeah that’s the song from TikTok.” I looked at them and I was like, “that’s not a song from TikTok, that’s my childhood.”

Bardo : That song slapped. I remember buying it on iTunes. 

You gotta get the explicit version now because it makes you even more mad. 

Bardo : So good!

Brent : Oh, I know that song.

So good. 

Bardo : The Cowbells movie. 

Oh my gosh! I talk about that all the time and my sisters won’t watch it with me! It’s a classic! 

Photo Credit: Natasha Ribeiro-Austrich | @natribaus

Let’s talk about this year already for you all, since you started off by releasing a song with Lauren Sanderson called over again. So how did that collaboration even happen or come to be?

Cole : I met Lauren a while back, also when I was throwing shows at that place called Winston House. She did a showcase there and that was kind of the initial step of us meeting. There was another showcase like two or three days later that we went to and she was performing, also hanging out with one of our friends at the time. So like, when quarantine started we kinda hit the ground running and sent our producer pack out to a bunch of artists that we admire, wanted to work with, whatever, just to see who would come back. And she was one of the first people and we’ve kind of ended up getting our hands on just about all of her songs since. But that being said, because we were producing a lot of her music, we got a feature on her re-release, which was pretty special to be able to share with her. 

That is such a great song, and I love Lauren Sanderson. So I found out about you all, and then that song was released, so my mind was just not being able to comprehend.

Brent : That’s sweet!

Cole : That’s amazing. Yeah, she’s fantastic. In fact, she just underwent surgery on her vocal chords. I tracked her vocals on Sunday, the day before. It was like the last thing she could do before, she did a one take and then left and was like peace and I was like OK.

That works! See the transformation after surgery. 

Bardo : Yeah, we gotta wait a couple weeks and then we’ll get her voice back. But, it’s gonna be kind of gnarly. Like, the transition back into singing after intensive surgery. 

Cole : Yeah for real, it’s gonna be weird, but she’ll be fine!

Yeah! 

Bardo : It’s a character builder.

The live music video for this song is probably my most watched video on YouTube yet, which is really bad. I think the day it came out, I was replaying it and my roommates were probably very annoyed. But, was that video a collaboration between you all and Lauren or how did you come up with that idea?

Bardo : She came to us with it actually. She was like, “I wanna do a live video.” Basically, she wanted to do a live music video for it but her whole style and aestchis is like retro, mtv, kind of vibes. 

Cole : Camcorder, VHS vibes.

Bardo : It was cool because we actually shot that all on VHS. Her guy does all her stuff 88 mm, or is it 8 mm? 

Cole : 8 mm. Clint. His name is Clint.

88 would be very interesting, but 8 yeah. 

Bardo : I don’t know anything about the mm.

Cole : Super medium format.

Bardo : But 8 mm. Clint is fucking rad. Point is, his name is Clint. He’s dope. He shot it all on VHS. It was sick, because we had a camera behind the drum set and like all these other like old skate video cams around everywhere. And then I was laughing when we got the video back because I thought they just put filters on, like to make it look all VHS. Turns out, he actually like went and bought a bunch of used TVs and just filmed the TVs. Like played it through the VHS, then filmed the VHS TV. That’s how they actually did it and I’m like oh that’s really cool. So he’s like all about it. He’s like really really cool.

That’s insane. I thought it was just a bunch of filters too till now. 

Bardo : That’s legit. 

Brent : Like rock vibes. 

Bardo : So that was actually recorded live too. 

That’s the version I played on my radio show because that’s the version for me. 

Cole : Oh sick! That was kinda I guess where it became collaborative because we brought all our gear, band had to set up and do the whole mix on it. And we sent that back, and they did the video and kinda spliced that together. 

I don’t know how she danced around in those shoes. I wear platforms all the time but those were like higher than I’ve ever worn. 

Cole : My ankles would have been snapped. 

Me too, I’m very accident prone. I fall walking with nothing around me, so that would have been a disaster. 

Photo Credit: Natasha Ribeiro-Austrich | @natribaus

What is your songwriting process or creative process normally like and has that changed during covid? 

Cole : To be honest, it didn’t change all too much. My background is songwriting for other artists, as is his, as he is too but more on the production side as well. So when we met, we kinda just had this synergy creatively where we were like, “OK, we can apply this to people outside of just our project.” So, when covid hit, we were probably 6 to 8 months into already being in the studio, like day and night, just writing through and through. I guess nothing really changed, if anything it was kind of a silver lining for us because then our friends stopped hitting us up, so we were actually allowed to just work and not have to be putting people off. Yeah, we just kept our heads down and hit the ground running and we ended up working with Lauren and a few other great artists that I don’t even think we can necessarily talk about yet, but there’s some really cool ones on the backburner right now. 

Well I’m excited for those!

Cole : Yeah, top secret!

Top secret! Guess I can’t find out yet, it’s fine. 

Obviously you’re a newer band having only started really in 2020 and you have only a handful of singles out. Personally, my favorite is Make It Through the Night with Die For You in a very very close second. But, what is your favorite song that you have all made together and why?

Cole : Your face right now. Nothing that is out unfortunately. I think we were still very very much still discovering ourselves throughout that whole process. I think in that, we were kinda just like, “oh, let’s put stuff out!” Which we did, and it did a lot of great things for us, it was definitely perfect for what we were trying to achieve at the time.

Brent : We were in the womb, we’re ready to give birth now.

Cole : Yeah, the trial phase. But now, the new music that we are waiting on, or I mean finishing, about to put out hopefully later this year, depending on what kind of happens between now and the next couple months, is far FAR more better than anything we’ve put out.

Bardo : Far more better.

Cole : Far much. Very excellent. Super great.
Brent and Cole : As far manys.

Cole : Much better.

Just another thing I have to wait for!

Bardo : But, it’s more in line with what we wanna actually be making. Not like the songs we have out aren’t us, because they are us. That was just us in that moment. Like Last Time Was the third song we ever made and we just like put it out. So we had to go write a hundred songs to figure out 5 songs that really define us. And we also write so much for other people that it’s this thing like you kinda pick up along the way like, “Oh, wait we did that thing in their song, we should do that for ours.” We kinda steal things, but we’re stealing from yourself, you know. It’s cool to like go through the process and we have to learn, and we’re always going to evolve. The EP we’re finishing right now is probably going to be different from the second EP we put out, but it’s all going to be us. We’re doing it, so. 

I like that description of it. That’s just like you in that time, that was your sound in that time. I really like that. 

Cole : If I had to choose one, I’d probably say Last Time or Die For You.

Brent : I would say the same. 

Bardo : Probably Last Time.

Make It Through the Night isn’t a popular one over here I guess.

Bardo : I think there’s just a lot of…I don’t know. 

All your faces tell me everything I need to know.

Bardo : You should hear the original version of that song.

I would love to! We could make it a KCR exclusive, play that on air.

Cole : It was Make It Through the Summer originally. Yep. Trust. That was just a crazy evolution.

Brent : There’s some residual trauma from that. 

I can see it in your eyes even through the screen. 

Cole : Only because again, at that time we were still so young, and what we were doing and there’s this thing that a lot of artists face of the emotional attachment to a song, like a sentiment. That specific song saw so many different changes and evolutions and it was kind of jarring for us to try and accept those changes. But at the end of the day, we’re always trying to achieve the best song possible. I think it was kind of this weird, frustration of going back and forth between, like, Ah is this really better? Or is this just a change? Like what and if  it is better or like I like this old thing because of what intention was there. 

Bardo : We’ve always heard this song so many times, it’s like hard for us to have a clean opinion on it. 

Brent : There’s also 30 versions of it.

Bardo : There’s 30 versions of this song. And also, it’s really tricky because when you listen to all the new things you’re doing, you get so attached to those. All this new stuff that we’re working on right now is just like, in my opinion, so much more mature and advanced.

Brent : It’s elevated.

Bardo :  Yeah, it’s elevated. So much cooler, in my opinion. Something like that, it’s like almost hard to listen to the old stuff, because you’re like, “dang, I wish we had done this differently.” But you can’t beat yourself up about it. You had to get there. 

Brent : We’re older and wiser now. 

Bardo : Yeah, 6 months older. 

Yeah, that’s how I feel. I’m turning 22 this year, I’m young.

Cole : I just turned 23 and I feel young. 

I feel so old already, so.

Brent : I turn 25, and so does he. 

I don’t even want to think about that, that’s scary, I’ll have a breakdown. 

Cole : We’ll *buzzer noise* skip that subject.

No, cut off. 

I think that even though you only have a few singles out, you have a very distinct and unique sound. How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never listened to your music before?

Cole : That sound or the new sound?

New sound, you can do new sound. 

Cole : Diesel. It’s just diesel. 

Brent : I forgot who said it, but I really like it. It’s like the Neighbourhood produced by Skrillex, with hip hop influences.

Bardo : Blackbear, the Neighbourhood, Skrillex collab. 

I like that!

Brent : But like definitely not just like dead-on, but it’s a cool starting point!

Once again, excited! 

Brent : More rock, more rock. 

Bardo : Definitely have a lot of rock. 

Cole : The new stuff is hard as fuck honestly. 

That’s what I’m needing. I’m having a very hard time finding new music that I actually want to listen to. I’m like thinking of a very specific sound, because I’m not really a person who likes pop music, my radio show is called Everything But Country. So no country. 

Brent : I love it. 

So, no country for me. I’m like all rock, that’s how I’ve always been, so trying to find new music right now is hard. 

Cole : We’ll have to after this send you some of the unreleased demos so you can vouch.

Please! I could write about it a little bit and be like, “I can’t tell you much, but this is good!” 

Cole : Yeah, we love that! 

So I saw on your Instagram that y’all are making clothes, a brand called Dropout. Do you want to talk about that a little bit?

Cole : Yeah, we would love to! It’s kinda the extension of us. We treat it more as a clothing brand than it is merch. I don’t even think we’re really thinking of it as our touring merch, it’s more just this other entity that we’re running. We just did the official launch of the hoodies! We had the hats out for a little bit, but I think that was kind of just to test the waters , see what people were really interested in. Also for us to be able to see how many people are actually going to actively buy and support this small business of ours that’s starting. Yeah, the hoodies just dropped, we’re about to start doing vintage tees. We got a plug on a vintage wholesaler, so we’re trying to keep it as sustainable as possible because that’s a huge thing for us as well. Gonna start dropping more clothes pretty actively here in the summer, so keep an eye out! Go buy a hoodie now!

I’m excited. I just keep saying that, “I’m excited, I’m ready!” 

Brent : It’ll be like a wave and will just hit.

I know! That’s seriously what it’s going to be. One day, everyone’s gonna know your name because you drop it all at once. 

Cole : Yeah, that’s what we’re going for!

So out of all of the releases from 2020, besides your own songs because obviously already described how much you love those, but what was your favorite release from 2020?

Bardo : We only listen to our music, that’s why we hate it so much.  

Brent : Probably the Nothing But Thieves album. That slaps!

Cole : That was really good! Oh! Amo by Bring Me the Horizon. Or was that before? It was, god we’ve been in such a black hole. I don’t even remember. 

That was a great album. I was listening to it in my car one day, I heard Evanescence singing, and I was like, “this kind of sounds like Evanescence here!” And I’m driving, so I wasn’t looking at my phone. I was being a good driver that day. So then I like got home and looked at it and I was like, “wow okay this is sick!” The whole reason she’s on the song is because she actually sued Bring Me The Horizon for a song on their last album because it sounded similar to an Evanescence song. So that’s how they got her.

Cole : So they got her to feature? That’s awesome. Oh god, now I’m gonna hit my Spotify real quick, I playlist all day, so I know that I’ll have something.

Brent : Yeah, I’ve been super about this artist glaive. He released a lot of cool stuff last year, this year too. 

I think one of my favorite releases last year was Glue by Boston Manor. That was one of the best ones, I love that album. There’s this artist that I actually found on TikTok called Brakence.

Brent : Oh! I was just about to bring it up!

Cole : Brakence is great!

Punk2 is so good!
Cole : Yeah, Brakence is fire! Yeah he was definitely one of my favorite artists that I found from last year. Also, Brent Faiyaz. He is one of my favorites, hands down. 

Brent : We just all bring out our Spotify’s. 

I know. Everyone’s sitting there scrolling. 

Cole : And I’m a basic bitch, but Drake. I love Drake. We love Drake. If you couldn’t tell by all the Drake. That was like a big troll at first, then we were just like, “No, let’s actually do it!”

That’s OK, I’m a One Direction fan. I know I like look more emo and everything, but I was a Belieber and a Directioner back in the day, so that shaped me into who I am. I’m like One Direction always. 

Cole : My boyfriend used to be in that band. 

Yeah, haha, I already know about that. I have the Watermelon Sugar vinyl and [a mutual friend] grabbed it and was like, “wait, is Cole on the back of this?” And you’re literally on the back of my vinyl.

Cole : I’m immortilized in that fucking speedo. 

Bardo : You’re really immortalized. 

Brent : You’re gonna go down in history as the dude in BSD and the one on Harry Styles’ Watermelon Sugar Vinyl. 

We actually should talk about that. I don’t know why I haven’t brought that up. How did you even get into [the Watermelon Sugar] video?

Bardo : I’m surprised no one’s made more of a bigger deal about it, like on TikTok. 

I don’t think anyone’s made the connection! 

Bardo : We’ve had some people comment like, “that looks like the guy who’s in the Watermelon Sugar video.

You could go viral on TikTok, just post like a TikTok of you, and just be like, “yeah this is me! I’m actually in a band.” And you’ll blow up!

Cole : I love that! We were thinking of doing a Watermelon Sugar remix in the speedo.

You should do it.

Brent : it’s undeniable.

Exactly, everyone would know it’s you then. 

Cole : But that was a fun time. 

That’s insane to me, I can’t believe that. It completely left my mind, I forgot that you were in that for a second.

Cole : Yeah it was super random. I have a casting agent friend who hit me up the night before. He was like, “Hey, need a male for a Harry Styles shoot. They already said they want you.” Or whatever. I was like, “Oh, sure!” Then it turned into a whole ass thing that I was just so not ready for. 

I can’t imagine getting an email that says, “Yeah so Harry Styles says that they want you in the video!”

Cole : I don’t know if it was Harry or his team.

It’s Harry. Just pretend. 

Cole : It was Harry. Harry actually called me up the night before and was like…

There, I’ll edit that whole part out [his team], don’t you worry!

Bardo : I think Harry had a crush on Cole.

Brent : Yeah, yeah. Like I thought you guys were dating. 

Photo Credit: Natasha Ribeiro-Austrich | @natribaus

Besides music, and now your clothing brand, what else are you all passionate about? *silence* I’m sorry to ask that in the middle of a pandemic.

Bardo : We like crypto-currency! We’re like really into investing and stuff. 

Brent : We do!

Cole : We’re like actual finance nerds. It’s pretty funny. Music and finance. 

Look at the new Stock Market here.

Cole : We gotta invest in ourselves. 

Brent : Gotta get those gains!

Cole : I don’t know, I think we’re passionate about a lot. I love to skate and make art. I’ve picked up tattooing over the last year, which has been fun and kind of brought me into a bunch of cool situations. I know you guys got some crazy ass talents too, so don’t hold back. 

Brent : I just like anything that’s fun. Besides music, I like tattoos too. I’m a nerd, I like video games.

Cole : I feel like anything creative, we’re all pretty down to take on. 

Bardo : Mountain biking. 

Cole : God, fuck that. 

Brent : NO! Not mountain biking.

Cole : This man took me mountain biking. I hadn’t ridden a bike in maybe a year, let alone ever a mountain bike. His dad and him took me electric mountain biking through the outs of slough and I almost died four times. We made it up the hill, which was fine, like, “Oh sick! You made it! Cool!” No one told me how to go down the hill on the bike, so of course we start sending it and I got thrown off the bike into the bushes, over the handlebars at least three different times. 

Bardo : We were at the bottom of the hill and we’re all there and I’m like, “Where’s Cole?” And this dude comes ripping down the mountain, and he’s like, “Oh, your buddy’s back there, he’s in the bushes.” He’s like, “He’s fine! He’s just in the bushes.” 

Cole : Have you ever seen those bad motorcycle crashes where people like fly over the handlebars and like ragdoll? That was me. 

Bardo : I don’t know, we love hiking and nature and shit. We don’t have a lot of time right now. 

Brent : Ping pong! We love ping pong. 

I am so good at ping pong and I have the worst hand-eye coordination possible, but somehow ping pong and pickleball are where I thrive. 

Bardo : Pickleball is super super fun.

I think at Big 5 they have a pickleball set that you can buy for like $20, I have been thinking about it. 

Bardo : It’s like a smaller tennis ball right?

It’s like a plastic ball with the holes in it, wiffle ball maybe. Then it’s a really short net, but with similar rules to tennis with a smaller court. I played it in middle school, that’s all I know. 

Cole : That or tether ball. 

Brent : Or that thing that’s like the trampoline in the middle.

Spikeball! 

Brent : Yeah, I wanna try that. 

Do you know what Kan Jam is? It’s a northeast thing. It’s a frisbee game but you have two literal cylinder cans, and there’s a little slot. You have to throw the frisbee and you can either hit it, the other person hits it into the cylinder. Or, if you get it in the slot, it’s an automatic win. That’s our spikeball in the northeast.  

Bardo : Yeah! I’ve played Kan Jam!

Cole : Have you ever been larping? 

No, I have not!
Brent : You should larp. I love larping!

I would do the makeup for it, I could do that.

Bardo : I used to work at Red Bull when I lived in Nashville and we’d go deliver Red Bull to people at events and things. We pull up to this park one time, at a Larp Festival. Literally for the entire day that we were supposed to be working, we parked the car and just larped. 

Cole : That’s so fire. 

Bardo : We still just gave them Red Bull and they gave us like swords and stuff. Larping is pretty cool. They’re really into it. I really respect it. 

Brent : I respect it too. It’s hard to do. 

Bardo : I was into airsoft when I was a kid, that’s kinda like larping.

Brent : Me too!

Cole : I wanna play airsoft.

Brent : I want to go paintballing.

Bardo : I’ve never been paintballing. 

I’ve never been paintballing. I’ve shot a gun once in my life, a pink pistol when I was 12, in the woods. That’s it. It was with an adult, don’t worry. 

What are your plans for the rest of 2021? New songs? I know you mentioned possibly an EP.

Cole : A lot. We got a lot. Plotting right now. First and foremost, shows. We’re about to start playing shows again. Well, we have a show that we are about to plan for like a month from now. After that, probably preparing to launch. Put out some music and visuals, hopefully by the end of the year. Again, that kind of depends, we’re in the middle of a few different opportunities that are on the table right now, so I guess it’s kinda just like navigating which one is the most appropriate for us, what allows us the most creative integrity because we do literally everything from designing, to the music, to the creative, to like even packing the orders. Literally everything, we do it. For now, we’re gonna kinda continue building from the ground up and probably in the next 6 months start really thinking about what songs we want to come out with first. 

I’m excited again! I hate that I keep saying it, but I’m excited. 

Cole : Yeah, we are too. It’s gonna come faster than we think. We’re just really scratching the surface now, waiting for what we’ve been trajecting for. Keep your eyes and your ears open because it will be happening sooner than later. 

Anything else you want to add? Where can people find your music?

Cole : Do you know Josh Gunther? 

Why does the name sound familiar? 

Cole : I don’t know. We had this whole thing, joke, but like there’s this movement now, “Joshua Didn’t Pay.” Just in case you didn’t know, I figured you should. 

Brent : #JoshDidn’tPay

Cole : #JoshDidn’tPay, brother diesel. We were robbed. 

Bardo : That’s a whole other story. 

Brent : But on another note, we’re on all streaming platforms.

Cole : Yeah, we’re on all streaming platforms. So if you want to reach out and talk about life or anything, we’re here. We love other people, so.

Bardo : And watch our TikTok videos. 

Brent : We remix songs. 

Thank you all so much for sitting down and talking to me! 

All : Thanks so much for having us!

Cover Photo: Natasha Ribeiro-Austrich | @natribaus

Written By: McCaeley O’Rourke

Artist on the Rise: Baby Queen

With the release of two new very open and authentic singles, “Raw Thoughts” and “These Drugs,” Baby Queen is making a name for herself. 

Are you ready to discover your next favorite artist? Well look no further, because it is going to be Baby Queen. Baby Queen is a stage name for Bella Latham, 23 year old South African-born, London based multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. She grew up in South Africa, started making music at the age of 10, but did not become serious about it till she was 16. At the age of 18, she decided to pack up her things and move to London to make a name for herself, and that is when she adopted the moniker Baby Queen. She immersed herself into the life of influencers and parties in London, and that is what inspires all of Baby Queen’s music, along with issues like internet addiction and mental health. She released her debut EP, Medicine, in November of 2020, that was filled with upbeat melodies and dazzling pop-hooks, with lyrics about her struggles with depression, body dysmorphia, and so much more. She describes her music as, “intelligent pop”, which I think fits perfectly for her sound. 

Even though it has only been a few months since the release of her debut EP, Baby Queen is back with two new very honest singles.

Raw Thoughts

Baby Queen started off the year strong, with her first release on January 13th, “Raw Thoughts”. Bella said that this is the only song that she wanted to start 2021 with, and I am so happy that she did. “Raw Thoughts” was inspired by the most horrendous, soul-destroying breakup that Bella went through in 2017. She felt like her world had ended, and was even more crushed when he started dating a beautiful model shortly after. Bella and her friends decided to have a night out in London, which turned out to be the wildest night of their lives. She woke up the next morning, feeling a mix of freedom and despair, and the pain of holding onto something that made her feel safe for so long, and wrote this song. The writing of “Raw Thoughts” made the weight on her shoulders disappear and she felt like she could breathe again. The lyrics are open and honest, while the sound is the polar opposite of that. The song goes through ups and downs sonically, with her intelligent pop influences still being heard throughout. The chorus is my favorite part of the song because of the progression mixed with the lyrics. The beat kicks in right at the angriest part of the song, bringing the emotions to new heights.


Photo Credit: Baby Queen Raw Thoughts Cover Art from In2une

The music video for “Raw Thoughts” is almost that of a coming of age movie that you watched as a kid, wishing one day that would be you. It has clips of Baby Queen and her friends having fun, both on a low quality camera so it feels like you are the one filming, mixed in with moments on a higher quality camera that feel more music video-esque. The whole video just feels like you are one of Bella’s friends along for the day having the time of your life. It really reminds me of my own friends and the stupid adventures we used to go on in the middle of the night because we were bored.

If I had to give a rating for the song and video, it would be a 10/10. I love songs that make you want to get up and dance, but lyrically are a lot darker. “Raw Thoughts” is the perfect name for this song, because that is exactly what the lyrics, raw thoughts. If you don’t get up and dance during the chorus of this song, then you need to re-evaluate your music taste and maybe get your ears checked.

These Drugs

I got to be on a Zoom call with Bella over a month ago, and we all got to hear “These Drugs” a few days before it was released. From the second I heard this song, I was blown away, and I absolutely fell in love with her music. She later on performed the song acoustically, which of course was even more beautiful. “These Drugs” takes a heavy topic like depression and drug abuse marrying it to a catchy song that will get stuck in your head. The verses are very calming and slower than the rest of the song, with the guitar and synths mixed in the back. The simplicity and slowness of the song allows the lyrics to be the center focus. While the chorus is very simple, it is so powerful, especially with the lyric, “Every time I take these drugs to pick me up. All I ever do is cry.” The bridge is my favorite part of the song, as she lets down her guard and completely opens up with her emotions.

This song was written when she was in a really bad place and believed she wasn’t a good person or she didn’t deserve good things. Bella said, “I think for so long, there were so many parts of myself that I was refusing to acknowledge or pay attention to, and when you ignore your own pain or refuse to face up to your mistakes, you can get yourself into a self-destructive cycle, which is ultimately what ended up happening. I think escapism is necessary, and we all find our escape in different places, but some are just healthier than others.” She felt uncomfortable with being so open and honest with her lyrics in this song, and knew she was taking a risk with releasing it, but she wanted to share this story with everyone. With this song, she wants people to know that if you can accept all parts of yourself, even the darkest ones, then you can learn to like or love yourself and you won’t feel that need to run away anymore.


Photo Credit: These Drugs Cover Art from Baby Queen

In addition to the single, she released an accompanying music video, which the idea came from the first line of the song : “I don’t wanna do drugs anymore. If you saw me through the eyes of a bathroom stall, your skin would crawl.” This is one of her favorite lyrics that she has ever written and was inspired by her obsession of only ever seeing somebody through the eyes of different bathroom stalls. She felt like she had the most euphoric moments of her life in those bathroom stalls, and wanted to recreate that. The video has four different bathroom stalls with four different energies and narratives. I don’t want to spoil too much, but one bathroom set has neon pink lighting, Barbie dolls hanging from the ceiling, and glitter and balloons covering the bathroom. You will have to watch the video to find out the rest of the beautiful sets.

I love this song so much, and even played it on my radio show, Everything But Country, in celebration of International Women’s Month. “These Drugs” is so raw, so honest, and a song I feel like I can relate to, and so can many other 20-somethings. It is about this battle you have with yourself in your head, and trying to escape that feeling by partying and taking drugs. Even though you have those euphoric moments in the bathroom stall, you still wake up the next morning with those same dark thoughts. That escape can only last so long. If I had to rate this song and video, they would both get 10/10. 

Written By: McCaeley O’Rourke

Feature Photo Source:  In2une Music


New Album: Justice – Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber does it again! A year after dropping his album “Changes” Bieber is back with his latest album “Justice”.

On Friday, March 19, 2021, the 27-year-old singer released his sixth studio album, “Justice”. Not only did we get a new album but a music video for the song peaches featuring Giveon and Daniel Caesar.

The trio in the video are cruising down in a car a night singing above love, which is on-brand on Justin Bieber and I’m not mad at it. 

The album has 12 tracks from the singer along with previously released singles “Anyone”, “Holy” feat Chance the Rapper, “Lonely” with Benny Blanco, and “Hold On”. Features on the album include Khalid, The Kid LAROI, Dominic Fike, Daniel Caesar, Giveon, BEAM, and Burna Boy.

Photo Credit: Screenshot from Peaches by Justin Bieber Music Video on YouTube.

Thursday, March 18, 2021, prior to the release the pop singer tweeted that he would “support organizations that embody what justice looks like in action,”

Organizations include The Martin Luther King. Jr. Center educates nonviolence and creates a beloved community.

The Poor People’s Campaign which is “Building a movement to overcome systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy.”

Photo Credit: Screenshot of Support Organizations Tweet from @JustinBieber

Towards the end of February, Bieber shared in a post on Instagram the reason behind the album. “In a time when there’s so much wrong with this broken planet we all crave healing and justice for humanity.” He continued “In creating this album my goal is to make music that will provide comfort, to make songs that people can relate to and connect to so they feel less alone.”

Justin hit the mark on this one. I felt that connection with a list of his songs throughout the album. Some of my favorites include Unstable, Hold On, Ghost, and Peaches. You can stream Justin’s new album “Justice” now on music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

Let me know your favorites by hitting me up on Twitter or Instagram 

Cover Photo: Screenshot of Album Cover of Justin Bieber “Justice” from Spotify. 

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA