Steve Williams Releases New Album ‘Deja Vu’

"Steve Williams Releases New Album ‘Deja Vu’"

The new album from Steve Williams (Wa Wa Nee, Matt Finish, Choirboys) ‘Deja Vu’ has songs ranging from Glam Rock, Funk and Blues. The tunes have something for everyone including an amazing dream romance story that actually came true, different perceptions of reality, persecution, inequality and some characters who have done jail time or simply gone bad.

All songs were written by Steve except ‘Pump’ with Pat Powell and ‘Ronnie’ with John Kenny. Steve played all instruments but with the help of a few very talented guests: Gus Fenwick, Nic MC, John Kenny, Pat Powell, Glen Muirhead, Ralph Franke, Raechel Summers, and Mac Johnson.
Steve Williams (Wa Wa Nee, Matt Finish, Choirboys) ‘Deja Vu’ has songs ranging from Glam Rock, Funk and Blues
The album was recorded entirely by Steve in his home studio which he has been refining for years.

Steve Williams came to prominence as the lead guitarist in the 80’s pop group Wa Wa Nee, who had top 5 hits and ARIA Nominations in Australia and chart action in Europe and the USA. Following Wa Wa Nee’s breakup Steve worked with prominent local artists, James Freud and Richard Clapton, before relocating to Europe.

In London, Steve built a successful career as a session guitarist working with Jon Lord from Deep Purple, Ray Parker Jr, Real Life and many more. He returned to Australia in 2005 and continued session and production work including musical theatre and television appearances playing with The Choir Boys, Matt Finish and others.

In 2020 Steve released the ‘Surry Road album’. All the tracks were co-written with musicians that he has worked with over his many years of touring and recording. Tracks feature guest vocals from Pat Powell (Melbourne Ska Orchestra and many more) and other well-known vocalists such as: John Kenny (Rockmelons), Tim Watson (Taxiride), Vince Contarino, Terry Slesser (UK), Louise Person as well up-coming Melbourne singer Nic MC.

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Darlene Koldenhoven Releases New Album ‘Traveling the Blissful Highway’

"Darlene Koldenhoven Releases New Album ‘Traveling the Blissful Highway’"

The New Album is due out OCTOBER 14 with the first single Cheerful Mohana already on our playlist this one is gold for relaxing and chilling in downtime

Travel with GRAMMY® Winner and three time GRAMMY® Nominee Darlene Koldenhoven and her musicians on the blissful highway with her upcoming New Age instrumental album, “Traveling the Blissful Highway”. There are twelve instrumental tracks including four with her angelic, harmonic vocalese, occasionally used as background instrumentation. All of her compositions and arrangements invite us to go out and see the world and have a good rest at the end of an exquisite day. There are 53:46 minutes of colorful timbres and some nature sounds to keep you balanced, focused, refreshed, and joyfully relaxed. Darlene performs on keyboard synths, creating a culture of calm: half the album has ethnic influences to gently keep you going on the road and half lets you exit to the rest areas. Even when real travel is not in the picture, pack these traveling soundscapes for your inner and outer journey. With this album, the only passport you’ll need for these destination cities – peace, calm, happiness and bliss is your own mindfulness to visit them and the album as your tour guide.

Darlene says, “After being cooped up so long in Los Angeles, I ventured to London, Las Vegas and Denver during the spring this year for some appearances and was so excited to travel again that when I came home, I started writing to process my emotions from it all and I just couldn’t stop! I hope the listener will enjoy the musical adventure and immerse in the sonic benefits from Traveling the Blissful Highway with me.”

The first single from the album (and first track), “Cheerful Mohana” dropped July 15, 2022.

“Cheerful Mohana” recently received a nomination from the Hollywood Music in Media Awards for Best Ambient/New Age (ceremony 11/14/22 and won Best World Music Recording from the Indie Music Channel Awards.

Mohana means morning raga (scale) in India and is known there to have the power to calm down anxiety and soothe the depressed state of mind. Venugopala Raju, whom Darlene worked with while performing in Bangalore, India a few years ago, plays tablas and an array of Indian percussion. Ron Korb from Toronto, Canada who plays flute and the Indian bansari has also shared the stage with Darlene in Mumbai, India. Using delicate, multi-layered sounds, Darlene performs her composition and arrangements on keyboard synths, adding a touch of her syllabic singing as part of the ensemble, driving it to its cheerful finale.

About
GRAMMY® Award Winner and 3 time Nominee, Darlene Koldenhoven is a vocalist, pianist, composer, arranger, lyricist, speaker, and sonic therapist from Studio City, CA, born and raised in Chicago, IL. Her last two albums, “The Grand Piano Spa” and “The Grand Piano Spa: Legacy” debuted on the prestigious Billboard Classical Crossover Charts at #4 and #8, respectively in May & November 2021.

This past May & June gifted Darlene with a Lifetime Achievement Award from One World Music Radio and Outstanding Legacy Award from the Akademia Awards. She was inducted to the Indie Music Hall of Fame at the GRAMMY® Museum in 2019 by the Indie Music Channel Awards and the COVR Award hailed her “Chromatones” as Album of the Year a few months later.  Several of her albums ranked #1 on the worldwide ZMR Radio Charts and she has 2 Best New Age Vocal Album and Best Holiday Album from ZMR.

Darlene is best known worldwide as the featured soprano in “Yanni, Live at the Acropolis” and for her role as the tambourine-waving choir nun in both “Sister Act” films with Whoopi Goldberg. Ms. Koldenhoven has authored “Tune Your Voice: Singing and Your Mind’s Musical Ear,” a comprehensive music education book with 7 CDs or downloads. She performs her music worldwide.

Darlene Koldenhoven – Traveling the Blissful Highway is Out October 14

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Texas-based alt rock band New Jetz release their first album ‘Expressed Yourself’

"Texas-based alt rock band New Jetz release their first album ‘Expressed Yourself’"

With no less than 4 songs from the new album on our Spotify Playlist these guys are well worth checking out!

Veterans of Texas, NY, and Atlanta alt rock club scenes, the eclectic band is led by a talented trio of songwriter/vocalists including Lee Ann Zimmers Cameron, Brian Mullin, and Kendall Marsh. They also share guitar and other instrumental duties. New Jetz are rounded out by the solid sonic foundation of Chuck Norcom on drums, Jeff Weimer on bass, and Jim Combs on keyboards and synthesizers.

The album was recorded old-school onto analog 2” 24-track tape by John Carey at Crystal Clear Sound studio in Dallas, TX, with the whole band in the studio playing vintage instruments and amps. No click tracks or sequencers. The analog tape was transferred to digital at Welcome to 1979 studio in Nashville by Jeremy Bernstein. Final mixes were completed by Jim in the first half of 2022 at his Common Sound studio in Decatur, GA, and then mastered by Greg Wright. Atmos mixes by Jim and Trammell Starks at StudioMagic in Atlanta, GA.

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The title track by Lee Ann, “Expressed Yourself” is a roots reggae-influenced plea for self-expression and finding oneself.

Make Me Crazy” is another Lee Ann song, this one in a punk vein about being in love. Kendall’s fiery lead guitar,
Brian’s rhythm guitar, and Lee Ann’s acoustic guitar drive this rocker.

Brian continues the punk vibe with, “Reflections” and a call for independent thinking with another scorching solo
by Kendall.

Kendall’s “Privilege” is a chill out roots reggae-esque tune about coping with life, sung by Brian.

Kendall takes lead vocal duties on his “Flesh Wound”, a look at relationships. Lee Ann’s mandolin takes center-stage along with another soaring Kendall guitar solo.

Jet Lag” is a Kendall-penned instrumental tune that throws together elements of classic surf rock and dual guitar lead rock and puts a spotlight on each instrumentalist.

Kendall’s “Secret” is another soul-searching rocker with a great guitar solo.

Kendall and Chuck’s “Time Was Wrong” is the perfect breakup/on-the-road tune with a driving 4-on-the-floor drum and bass, and call-and-response vocal harmonies.

Kendall’s “Crazy Bout the Girl” closes out the album with a song about unrequited love.

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Drawing Arrows Release EP ‘Pinch Me’

"Drawing Arrows Release EP ‘Pinch Me’"

More great tunes from these guys destined for the soundslikecafe playlist

This is the second EP that Drawing Arrows have put together and it holds a lot of importance for the band.

The first track, ‘Pinch Me’, has been a work-in-progress since the boys first started playing together. Despite the fact that it changed format a number of times, it remained a favourite of Sidney’s. With its soulful lyrics and cool groove you can understand why.

‘Lights Out’ provides a little light chaos and fits in well with the energy you’d see in their live shows. The driving bass and drums keep the crowd going as the post-punk guitars keep them inspired.

‘Good Grief’ explores the ideas of dealing with things that you just can’t change. Instead of a melancholic ballad this track hits all the big notes. Another huge, live-sounding song.

Drawing Arrows is a love letter to rock music. Not one band, not one decade, but the whole effect. With multiple influences – from Australian rock’n’roll, US grunge and flamenco guitar to Britpop rock and amped-up punk.

With band members from Spain, the UK and right here in Australia, each member brings their own unique influences. Sidney (vocals) and David (bass/guitar) have previously worked on an experimental dubstep project (Milo Firewater). Drawing Arrows is a creative outlet – a way to channel all their experiences – not just musically. The aim – to create music that feels good to play and to listen too.

Powderfinger, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, Nothing But Thieves and Queens of the Stoneage all inspired an authentic live sound that sits as well on stage as it does in your headphones.

With influences of jazz, alternative rock, punk, Spanish flamenco and pop, Drawing Arrows stay focused on crafting music that makes you want to press rewind and listen again.

Song Descriptions

Pinch me
The most chilled of this 3-song offering from the boys. This is a mid-tempo cruise with clean guitars and a lighter touch on the drums. You can really hear the song writing skills of the band on this one, as well as some superb background vocals and guitar work throughout.

Lights Out
Drawing Arrows have come up with a modern up-tempo rock formula that really works on this tune. There’s plenty to like early on with a great ear catching intro, then Sid’s distinctive vocals and the snare popping chorus. A total winner.

Good Grief
Arpeggio electric guitars along with fast and furious drums and bass start this song off before the vocals kick in.  Some very Radiohead sounds pervade this song in a great way. Up-tempo, hooky and technically challenging but the band get away with it no problems.

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Daxton Releases New Album ‘50% Grit’

"Daxton Releases New Album ‘50% Grit’"

A long-time friend asked Daxton to produce a stripped back, raw but lively and psychedelic dirty blues song. ‘Just something I can really get into as I drink my bourbon to late at night please mate’.

Dax took on the job with gusto and was so engrossed that before he knew it 7 new tunes were born. The song, Rise Above, fulfilled the original request and opens the album. The rest of the tunes don’t disappoint and range from dirty, stompy, bluesy slide pieces to slightly more grungy but poppy tunes with some snare and percussion added in.

Song Descriptions
Rise Above
Dirty scratchy psychedelic harp and cigar box guitar feature in this mid-tempo track from Daxton’s new offering.  Distorted, rough and ready vocals set the tone for the next six tracks on this mini album.

Nothing to lose
A more up-tempo blues tune. Bass, slide cigar box guitar and some simple drums flesh out this one with his life-worn vocals and lyrics filling in the story.

Right On time
Guitar riffs and electric slide stabs plus some nifty catchy vocal lines abound in this mid-tempo song. There’s some stomp box keeping time and enough changes and interesting sounds to keep you rocking all the way through.

Producing and playing music since his early teens, Daxton’s passion has kept him continually creating new material both for his band and solo career. On stage, Daxton comes across like he was born to play, his unique guitar style blending perfectly with heart-warming vocals.

Daxton has appeared at major festivals including the Sydney Blues & Roots and Tamworth Country Music Festival where he supported artists such as Kasey Chambers and Beccy Cole. He also has had one of his tracks ‘Moody Liz’ featured in the popular American TV series Doll House.

Based in Sydney, Daxton is best described as a blues/rock artist with a twist of pop and rock. He plays slide guitar rock/blues songs with a fresh and innovative sound.

Daxton – 50% Grit is out NOW September 23rd
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Kalen Hogan Releases Debut Single ‘Help Me I’m Dying’

"Kalen Hogan Releases Debut Single ‘Help Me I’m Dying’"

 The latest addition to soundslikecafe is a young artist from NSW Kalen Hogan

A guitarist at heart, the process for Kalen is always the music first, layered secondly by the melody for the lyrics to lastly follow. The track has a dream-like quality, filled with melancholy, which sings of a knowing that not all can be saved. Kalen wrote the song after seeing a story of a young person dying in the arms of their parents. It’s a song about wanting to be saved but equally wanting to leave a pained broken body.

Kalen Hogan is a 17 year old solo guitarist singer songwriter, living a very chilled out life an hour north of Sydney, near Wamberal Beach.

Influenced by his musical uncle, Kalen started out jamming on a ukulele as a toddler, before advancing to his first acoustic guitar in primary school. Now in high school, Kalen is composing songs and recently recorded his first track at Damien Gerard Studios, in Gosford.

Kalen’s upcoming debut gig is planned for this summer at Wamberal Beach Surf Club. Kalen will be showcasing a couple of tracks he has recorded to release in 2022 and playing some of the new upcoming tunes, planned for future recording and distribution in early 2023.

Kalen Hogan – Help Me I’m Dying is out NOW (September 23rd)
Foghorn/MGM

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CJ Shaw releases single ‘Lonely Road’

"CJ Shaw releases single ‘Lonely Road’"

Lonely Road is the latest single from ARIA Award nominee CJ Shaw and is an exciting collaboration with international film and television composer Allyson Newman (The L Word: Generation Q, Kusama: Infinity).

A chance meeting on Newman’s return to Australia in 2020, saw her generously lend her expertise to an orchestral vision for the song. This original score, featuring four violin and four cello parts, brings an emotive depth to a poignant song of solitude. Her composition was brought to life by members of the Canberra Symphony orchestra (Alex Voorhoeve and Timothy Wickham) with backing vocals from Hannah Czaban.

This moving and beautiful song is a highlight of CJ’s latest album ‘All Sorts’. The song was written as a parable for CJ’s experience of the music world and the sensation of falling short. Shot in the heart of winter on the Monaro Plains, south of Canberra, the Lonely Road music video clip sees CJ Shaw taking on the persona of a train guard, walking deserted railway carriages, waiting for passengers that never arrive. With the Canberra Railway Museum and the Michelago Railway Station in the backdrop, this beautifully crafted video clip visually plays on the haunting emotive nuances of the song, leading the audience on his journey of fulfillment.

“‘Lonely Road’ is proof that Shaw is a poignant singer-songwriter” Michael Smith (Rhythms
Magazine 24/2/2022).

Song Description

Lonely Road starts out with soft picked guitar and whistling! Strings, piano and female background vocals add to the magic feeling of this mid-tempo folk tune from CJ. The chorus is truly haunting with violins playing a ghostly counter melody which is reflected in the keys and strings. A timeless classic.

Armed with a guitar and a swag full of harmonicas, singer-songwriter CJ Shaw’s intricate finger-picking, word play and storytelling never fails to captivate his audiences. CJ Shaw’s music is distinctly Australian in style, influenced by Paul Kelly and Slim Dusty. His lyrical storytelling and musicality lends itself to audiences of all ages.

In 2020, CJ Shaw was nominated for an ARIA Award for ‘Music Teacher of the Year’ with Jimmy Barnes as his official ambassador presenting him with the nomination. This prestigious music industry acknowledgement recognised his dynamic and poignant songwriting for primary-aged children. These celebrated songs are woven through his performances and albums, played alongside satirical and storytelling Australiana folk songs.

In 2021 CJ Shaw released his album ‘All Sorts’. Combining the best of his children’s songs with his unique brand of contemporary Australiana, Shaw has dubbed ‘All Sorts’ “the ultimate Family Album”. With over a decade’s experience touring and performing at music festivals in Australia and Timor-Leste, CJ Shaw is an exciting Canberra musician at the top of his game.

CJ Shaw – Lonely Rd is out NOW September 2nd through Foghorn/MGM
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Luke Escombe Releases New Album ‘Whale Beach Road’

"Luke Escombe Releases New Album ‘Whale Beach Road’"

Finally out on all digital platforms here is Luke’s latest album, an ode to brilliant songwriting and musicianship all wound up in family stories.
Luke says –

“I genuinely believe that Whale Beach Road is the best album of “adult music” I’ve made, and it’s very special to me because of all the family history written into the songs.

Whale Beach Road is the first full studio album I’ve made solely under my own name. I started writing the songs in early 2020, towards the end of the fires and before the first lockdown. Initially, I was working on a memoir but then the stories started turning into songs instead.

At first, I was hesitant to apply for Jobkeeper in 2020, as I felt like other people needed it more than me, but then I realised it would give me the funds to go and employ all of the amazing musicians on this album, like drummer Evan Mannell, bassist Zoe Hauptmann, Aaron Flower on guitar and Clayton Doley on Hammond organ. There was even enough to get string and backing vocal arrangements for most of the songs, which gives it that luxurious 70’s soul vibe I was after while still sounding modern and clean. I could have been a hermit and lived off beans and rice, but instead Jobkeeper enabled me to keep creating and collaborating with my community.

Whale Beach Road is a very personal album, but I think there’s also something very universal there in that the songs are all about searching for love and hope in an uncertain world. It was all written and tracked between the Northern Beaches of Sydney and the Central Coast, and I think those beautiful locations feed into the sound. Hopefully the album takes listeners to a good place.”

Family – On Feature Track ‘Max and Melanie’

“While I was writing Max and Melanie I had the idea that it would make a good 70th birthday present for my Mum, a way of paying tribute to her family and where she came from. I’d never actually realised it before, but she was a political refugee, an asylum seeker in her own country. I carried on her story in another song on the album – “Lady Sunlight” – and then started to think about my own story, and all the events and circumstances that had led me to the exact place I found myself at the time of writing these songs: a house on Whale Beach Road. That’s how the album found its narrative, and its title. It’s about people trying to hold on to love and hope while confronting the powerful tide of history. To paraphrase the chorus of Max and Melanie, history makes plans for us, but we can still make plans for ourselves. I find that idea very hopeful.”

“Luke Escombe is a rock-soul singer, raconteur, blistering blues guitarist, comedian and songwriter, and very good at them all” – Sydney Morning Herald

Luke Escombe is an ARIA-nominated singer-songwriter who combines his blues, rock and soul influences with subversive humour, poetic lyrics and heartfelt storytelling. He is the creator of the internationally acclaimed one-man show “Chronic” and the writer and front man of multi award-winning Aussie kids band The Vegetable Plot.

Luke has released numerous albums and EPs with his band Luke Escombe and the Corporation and one album solely under his own name, 2017’s Skeleton Blues. The album was recorded direct to tape in a three-hour session at Damien Gerard Studios, featuring his smoky-voiced cover of Bob Dylan’s “Man in the Long Black Coat” alongside distinctive originals like Punctuation Blues and The Lipsi. This new Luke Escombe studio album, Whale Beach Road, was recorded in between lockdowns with some of Sydney’s most in-demand session players.

Luke received his early musical education in London, where his father’s job in the rock and roll industry enabled him to see hundreds of legendary performances by artists like Freddie Mercury, Prince and Bruce Springsteen while he was just a boy. When he’s not channelling his childhood idols, Luke is an ambassador for a number of health charities, a member of the NSW Arts Advisory Panel, a teaching artist with the Sydney Opera House’s Creative Leadership in Learning Program. He is also a song writing mentor with the Sydney Children’s Hospital’s Chronic Illness Peer Support program [ChIPS] with whom he wrote and recorded the track “Wake up Call” in 2021. He believes strongly that music and storytelling can play a transformative role in health, education and society. Among his more obscure awards is the title of “Sydney’s Sexiest man voice”, which he won in a competition on a once-popular Sydney radio station.

Luke Escombe – Whale Beach Road (Foghorn/MGM) August 19

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Daxton Releases Music Video for Single ‘End of the Road’

"Daxton Releases Music Video for Single ‘End of the Road’"

Daxton’s latest music video is for his new single ‘End of the Road‘ lifted from his current ‘Electric Satellite‘ album.

With a green screen now part of his home garage studio and a tonne of spare cardboard boxes lying about it’s amazing to see what Dax has managed to create with nothing but his imagination and time on his hands.

‘End of the Road’ Official Music Video:

The video and song is reminiscent of Beck’s ‘Loser’ and is a bit of a nod to that era although the slide blues element (a signature of Daxton’s) gives it a timeless quality as well and could fit any era from right now to way back.

The album has also just started to garner warm reviews internationally, here are some of the most recent:

“Although it’s blues-based, Daxton plays these songs with an alternative rocker’s edge.” – Dan MacIntosh
https://www.curiousformusic.com/post/daxton-s-new-album-electric-satellite

“A wild, animalistic energy ties together “Electric Satellite” revealing Daxton’s uncanny ability to craft a truly timeless sound.”
https://beachsloth.tumblr.com/post/689331784743272448/daxton-electric-satellite

“Electric Satellite is another blast of electric and eclectic blues, taking in the grunt and groove of rock and the accessibility and melody of pop and using this to forge his own southern fried take on the genre.” – Dave Franklin
https://dancing-about-architecture.com/electric-satellite-daxton-reviewed-by-dave-franklin/

Daxton released his new album ‘Electric Satellite’ earlier this year, a twelve-track slide blues album with up-tempo spacious songs produced by Pat Dow and Marshall Cullen. Daxton has worked with Pat on many projects – someone who has a keen ear for Daxton’s rustic blues mixed with psychedelic pop/rock sounds.

The album is Daxton’s seventh following the release in 2018 of ‘In Verses’ which features songs covering his favourite themes: life and death, the yin and yang of life, love and loss, while still keeping his always positive and up-tempo vibe.

Producing and playing music since his early teens, Daxton’s passion has kept him continually creating new material both for his band and solo career. On stage, Daxton comes across like he was born to play, his unique guitar style blending perfectly with heart-warming vocals.

Daxton has appeared at major festivals including the Sydney Blues & Roots and Tamworth Country Music Festival where he supported artists such as Kasey Chambers and Beccy Cole. He also has had one of his tracks ‘Moody Liz’ featured in the popular American TV series Doll House.

Based in Sydney, Daxton is best described as a blues/rock artist with a twist of pop and rock. He plays slide guitar rock/blues songs with a fresh and innovative sound. His latest album ‘Electric Satellite is a heavy, rustic blues rock album with psychedelic pop/rock sounds.

‘End of the Road’ Official Music Video:

Listen to ‘End of the Road’ on Spotify:

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PG Naylor Releases Latest Single ‘Move Like That’

"PG Naylor Releases Latest Single ‘Move Like That’"

“The song is based on my memories of my first visit to a strip club in Kings Cross in the mid 60s (the Pink Pussy cat – not Chinatown as mentioned in the song – Chinatown just seemed to work better musically).  There was a well known ‘dancer’ there who attracted much interest for her ‘moves’.  The verse about me being hauled onto the stage is entirely imaginary!!” – PG Naylor

A nod to the 60’s rocker with some modern brass and vocal touches make this mid-tempo song from PG Naylor instantly accessible.  Right from the get-go its hooky, rhythmic and very sing along.  There’s a cheeky element to the lyrics and vocals to set it all off too.

PG Naylor brings a new original visit to 60s classic rock music. All songs are written and performed by PG – who was there then in the 60s and is still here now! Although all the songs are new, they slot perfectly into a 60s rock playlist. PG has been playing in rock bands based in Sydney, Australia since the 60s, and after a life in the corporate world he has returned to his first love – 60s rock music. The title track to his album, Sanctuary, was announced as a semi finalist in the 2019 International Songwriting Competition, based in Nashville, USA; the tracks Sanctuary and Hollywood Road were both announced as semi finalists in the 2020 Voyager International Songwriting Competition based in Melbourne, Australia as well.
Demonstrating that there is still great interest in ‘old rockers’, since 2020 his songs have attracted over 80,00 listeners and just under 160,000 streams on Spotify (and still growing every day!)

Official Video:

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