Mega-roundup of recent singles with mini-missives about Clara-Nova, Winnetka Bowling League, Cuco, Magic Bronson, Nite Jewel and HAHA …
CLARA-NOVA, “Silver Medal Sunset”
“Second place is just the first place loser,” racecar driver Dale Earnhardt once said. That’s the idea behind “Silver Medal Sunset,” Clara-Nova’s follow-up to this spring’s single “Lover I Built Us a Throne.” Singer-songwriter Sydney Wayser worked with co-writer Isaac Watters and producer Dan Molad on the track. “I heard a podcast about Olympic medal winners and how the bronze winner is elated to have placed, the gold medal winner is ecstatic to have won and how silver medalists have a higher rate of depression after the games because they fixate on how they didn’t win,” Wayser says. “The theme of ‘never good enough,’ ‘never successful enough’ rings true to so many of us. … Getting lost in the self-comparison, the ‘not good enoughs,’ the industry of Los Angeles, avoidance, art vs. success — all the internal mental loops.”
WINNETKA BOWLING LEAGUE, “Breakfast for Dinner”
From the fertile mind of songwriter Matthew Kona — last spotted admitting that “I Like to Hide in the Bathroom at Parties” — comes a sweet pop bop that was in the comedy “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah.” The tune, co-written with Dan Book and featuring Sam Beresford on keys and Kris Mazzarisi on drums, speculates that absence does not only make the heart grow fonder but it limits culinary options. Extra hash browns, please.
CUCO, “Planet Express”
Cuco, aka Hawthorne’s Omar Banos, this week released a new EP, “Hitchhiker,” and even as an artist who’s made bank on songs of romantic longing, he’s never sounded so lovelorn as on “Planet Express.” It’s a sweet, spacey paean about holding on to love no matter the great distances involved. The EP, made with producer Michael Beinhorn, follows last year’s sophomore full-length, “Fantasy Gateway.” Cuco will be performing Sunday night at the Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival at Dodger Stadium.
MAGIC BRONSON, “On the Internet”
Wiseguys Michael Nicastro and Matthew Lieberman, dba Magic Bronson, dish out some good advice in “On the Internet,” and they typically sound like they’re having a party while they’re at it. The release follows the twin singles the duo released in August, and they’ve mentioned that there’s a full-length in the works. Hop on their socials and talk some trash until they say when it’s coming.
NITE JEWEL, “Skinny Dipper”
So what has Ramona Gonzalez been up to since releasing the fifth Nite Jewel album, “No Sun,” in 2021? No less than finishing her Ph.D. dissertation, caring for her 5-month-old and teaching songwriting, audio production and music business at Occidental College. Nite Jewel’s new synth-pop composition “Skinny Dipper” is a collaboration with publisher Sex and Monsters, for a 32-page zine that re-imagines Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee,” with the narrative flipped and retold through comic art and electro-pop.
HAHA, “No Promises”
Speaking of electro-pop, the duo HAHA — Maria Taylor (Azure Ray) and Mike Bloom (Jenny Lewis, Julian Casablancas, Richard Edwards) — have released “No Promises,” the follow-up to “Only Gets Better.” “It’s about diving into beauty, while also exploring our tendency towards self-destructive behaviors, and navigating the ripples that are sure to follow,” Bloom says of the woozy but propulsive ’80s-indebted track. Adds Taylor: “We had a slightly different approach with this one, taking each of our melodies and weaving them together, but also making sure to keep the retrospective aesthetic. Our previous single made me want to take a long summer drive with the windows down and this song makes me want to dance.”