Songwriter Maria Maita-Keppeler
Aaron Wessling/Courtesy of the artist

The Hugs — “In the Dead Black Night”


The Hugs were formed in Portland in 2007 by lead singer and songwriter Danny Delegato. The group’s latest single, “In the Dead Black Night,” was recorded with assistance from producer/mixer Gordon Raphael (The Strokes, Regina Spektor). Here, the band deftly matches a catchy funk beat and the hopeful lyrics of a traditional pop song with painfully beautiful vocals and an ominous instrumental undertone that create the unnerving effect of something darker lurking deep from within.

MAITA — “Dumb”

Drawing from the past to create something new is a delicate balancing act for most artists, but MAITA has pulled it off with ease on this rendition of Nirvana’s “Dumb” (from the 1993 album “In Utero”). “I’ve always loved “Dumb.” The lyrics are so simple and yet whip-smart, and the song has so much restraint in it,” the band’s namesake and lead singer Maria Maita-Keppeler said of her cover version. “We of course took that as an opportunity to bust the song open halfway through and run with it, which feels a bit like an homage to what Nirvana first offered me in my early days as a music listener: permission for unadulterated release.”

Q — “If You Care”

South Florida R&B recording artist Q (aka Q Marsden) was groomed to be a musician from childhood; he spent considerable time growing up in the U.S. and Jamaica with his studio-owning father and musician mother. Produced by Q and co-written by Steven Marsden, “If You Care,” he finds inspiration in the laid-back style of classic ’70s soul groups. Lyrically, the song delivers an emotional gut-punch full of frustration and pain which is brilliantly accompanied by a graceful and cinematic music video from director Loris Russier.


Tags: Culture, Music