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Stephen Chopek Holds Out ‘Empty Hands’ With New Single Ahead Of Upcoming EP ‘Dweller’ – Essentially Pop



Released July 9, ‘Empty Hands’ is the new single from Stephen Chopek. The track comes ahead of the August 6 release of his new EP, ‘Dweller’, on Declared Goods Records.

Stephen Chopek is a name you might know if you read the album small print. Before he released his first solo album in 2012, he had spent more than a decade behind the drums, on tour, and in the studio with other such artists as  Charlie Hunter, John Mayer, and Jesse Malin, among many others.

Chopek is much more than a drummer however, and plays all the instruments on ‘Dweller’, a 6 track EP, which takes its name from lockdown – the universally shared experience of having nowhere to go. For a touring artist to be suddenly stationary for the first time in his life as a professional musician, it was a shock to the system. Chopek had become a dweller. It gave him an opportunity not usually afforded, and he was able to take time with new songs.

“I got to a new place with my writing because I was able to completely focus on this one thing,” Chopek says. “I had the time, so there was no rush.”

With its classic hooks reminiscent of such iconic songwriters as Matthew Sweet, Ben Kweller, Bobby Bare Jr., Paul Westerberg, Tommy Keene, and Evan Dando, ‘Dweller’ has an all round appeal. The EP is preceded by two singles – ‘All Play No Work’, which was released on the 8th of June, and the latest, ‘Empty Hands’.

Chopek’s wife accepted a job which took them to Atlanta, Georgia, from Memphis, Tennessee, necessitating Stephen setting a timeframe for his songs.

“The move gave me a deadline,” he says. “If I didn’t finish recording at home in Memphis, it would have really disrupted the process.”

Once in Atlanta, he was able to listen to his songs again differently, revisiting them anew, and so he re-arranged them, and started the mixing process, before sending them back to Memphis for mastering by Matt Qualls at Young Avenue Sound.

New single, ‘Empty Hands’, brings to mind that of Alan Parsons Project – think ‘Eye In The Sky’ – a timeless sound but with a contemporary edge. Chopek’s characteristic drumming is front and centre, but his vocals are also pleasant and warm, while the synths and guitars are jaunty – even ebullient.

The track comes with a stop motion music video which sees Chopek in the kitchen, in a series of different outfits. It’s very simple and yet it feels entirely appropriate to the music. You can watch the video below.

You can find out more about Stephen Chopek and his music – and we hope you will – by checking him out online on his official website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, and YouTube.

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Pop Music

Cardi B Responds To Queerbaiting Accusations




Cardi B slammed accusations that she was queerbaiting in her latest music video.

On Friday (July 23), the rapper addressed social media backlash which accused Cardi B of queerbaiting, which is a “marketing technique for fiction and entertainment in which creators hint at, but then do not actually depict, same-sex romance or other LGBTQ+ representation.”

Cardi B and Normani starred in their collaborative video, “Wild Side,” where the two are seen naked and dancing on one another. Social media users who attacked Cardi may not have realized that she is a member of the LGBTQ+ community and she has a growing baby bump. Rolling Stone released an article on artists who have been accused of the act, including Cardi, who responded to the accusation.

“Uuummmm @RollingStone queerbaiting? You do know we was trying to hide a whole baby bump right?” Cardi B wrote, referencing her current pregnancy with her second child with her husband Offset.

“Also I’m married to a man but I have express[ed] soo much about my bisexuality and my experiences wit [sic] girls,” she added. “All of a sudden ‘queerbaiting’ is the new word & people use it to the ground!”

“I don’t like this new ‘queerbaiting”’word,” she added in a follow-up tweet. “I feel like it pressure artist to talk about their sexuality or their experiences that they don’t feel comfortable speaking about. If a[n] artist kiss a girl on a video does that means she gotta show videos & text wit wit [sic] other women?”

Last year, Cardi came out as bisexual following homophobic accusations from past videos that she has since apologized for.

“I don’t support the LGBT community because I have ‘gay fans’ I support because of the confused feelings I had growing up on is it normal to like girls? I support because I know how hard it was for my gay cousin to come out to his very strict Dominican family,” she tweeted at the time.

Celebrities Accused of Cultural Appropriation

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Travis Barker Finds New Home At Warner




Blink 182 drummer and musical icon Travis Barker has found a new record label to call home, signing an exclusive worldwide administration deal with Warner Chappell Music. What does that all mean? Let’s try and break it down.

Essentially, the deal Barker signed is one as more than just a performer. With Warner Chappell, he will also be working as a producer and songwriter, both of which he had already been doing recently with massive success.

Barker first rose to fame as the drummer for Blink 182, and also found success with Boxcar Racer, +44, and The Transplants. He’s produced tracks for artists including Machine Gun Kelly, Dirty Heads, Bebe Reha, and Willow, as well.

About the new deal, Barker said he’s “Stoked to be working with everyone from Warner Chappell. Looking forward to a long and successful relationship.”

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Jake Bugg Releases Stunning New Single, ‘Downtown’ – Essentially Pop




Jake Bugg shows songwriting class in new single, ‘Downtown’. Watch the live performance here.

‘Downtown’ is taken from Jake Bugg’s upcoming brand new album, ‘Saturday Night, Sunday Morning’, set for release August 20th on RCA Records. Pre-order here. The album comes ahead of Jake’s spring 2022 UK and Ireland tour.

Dropping ahead of his long-awaited live return at Tramlines & Standon Calling Festivals, ‘Downtown’, started as an idea by Jamie Hartman (Celeste, Lewis Capaldi, Rag’n’Bone Man), and sees Jake make use of the higher range of his voice, giving it an ethereal, ’60s Bee Gees effect.

“Usually, the initial spark of an idea comes from me. And when it doesn’t, it sometimes loses my attention,” Bugg admits. On ‘Downtown’, however, he relished his role as arranger: “Because there were a lot of moving parts and chords, it was almost like a puzzle,” he says. “I’d never approached a song like that before.”

27-year-old Bugg, with 4 albums and numerous hit singles behind him, brings his live show back on the road in Spring 2022. Tickets on sale now and full dates are as follows:

Mon 14th     Newcastle         O2 City Hall
Tue 15th       Leeds                O2 Academy
Thurs 17th   Hull                   Bonus Arena
Fri 18th        Manchester      O2 Victoria Warehouse
Sat 19th        Sheffield           Octagon Centre
Mon 21st      Edinburgh       Corn Exchange
Wed 23rd     Glasgow           O2 Academy
Thurs 24th   Belfast              Ulster Hall
Fri 25th         Dublin              Olympia Theatre
Sun 27th       Birmingham    O2 Academy
Mon 28th     Norwich            UEA
Wed 30th     Nottingham     Rock City
Thurs 31st    Cardiff               The Great Hall

Fri 1st            Bristol               O2 Academy
Sun 3rd         Oxford              O2 Academy
Mon 4th        Southampton  O2 Guildhall
Tue 5th          London             O2 Academy Brixton

Find out more about Jake Bugg and his music online on his official website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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