Los Angeles-based producer Daniel Graves has been turning heads with his addictive industrial pop project, Aesthetic Perfection, for nearly two decades. Since forming in 2000, Graves has released five full-length albums, numerous singles and music videos, all the while reinventing what it means to be a dark electro artist. Blending industrial, pop, goth, and everything in between, Aesthetic Perfection defies definitions in a world that demands them.
Today marks the release of the visually stunning and eccentric new music video for “Gods & Gold“, an instantly gripping industrial pop crossover anthem with an unforgettable hook that listeners will be humming for days. The track features scorching guitars by the inimitable Richard Z. Kruspe of Rammstein, who adds an extra aggressive punch to the tune. Watch the deliciously avant garde video now via Alternative PressHERE.
Aesthetic Perfection mastermind Daniel Graves says about “Gods & Gold“: “Gods & Gold was a very challenging song for us to work on. I really wanted to push the envelope here and try something new. We’d been tinkering with it for quite some time and it was just coming up short. Once our friend Richard Kruspe expressed interest in playing on the record, I instantly knew he was the missing puzzle piece. I didn’t even realize I’d had his playing style and vibe in mind when I was writing the track until that very second. Then BOOM, just like magic it all came together. It instantly became our favorite song and obvious choice for the first track on the album. Of course, we’re all enormous Rammstein fans and honored to finally work with Richard in a professional capacity.”
“Gods & Gold” is cut from Aesthetic Perfection‘s fifth and latest studio album, Into The Black, which hit stores everywhere on March 29 via Close to Human Music. Featuring an all-star cast of collaborators such as the aforementioned Richard Z. Kruspe, Jinxx of Black Veil Brides, Mick Kenney of Anaal Nathrakh and Krischan Wesenberg of Rotersand, Into The Black is the most mature Aesthetic Perfection album to date. Fans can order Into The Black and “Gods & Gold” now via Apple Music, Amazon and Bandcamp. Physical editions and merch are available HERE, and the album can be streamed via Spotify.
Into The Black features acclaimed drummer Joe Letz, recognized for his work with artists such as Emigrate (also featuring Richard Z. Kruspe), Combichrist, Wednesday 13, Genitorturers and several other top heavy music artists.
Dark and gritty, yet undeniably catchy and melodic, Into The Black builds upon the band’s past while solidly keeping its eyes focused on the future. From the haunting electronic melodies of “Supernatural” to the twangy guitars of “Echoes“, from the punch-to-the-gut beat of “No Boys Allowed” to the soaring highs of “Mourning Doves“, Daniel Graves takes the transgressive art form known as industrial pop to the next level.
Aesthetic Perfection will head out on a full North American headline tour beginning September 6, 2019 in San Diego, CA. The tour will feature support artist Empathy Test and will visit over a month’s-worth of cities, coming to a close in Los Angeles, CA on October 19. See below for all tour dates, and visit Aesthetic Perfection‘s website HERE for tickets and HERE for VIP information.
Aesthetic Perfection Tour Dates with Empathy Test:
September 06, 2019 – The Casbah – San Diego, CA September 07, 2019 – Club Red – Mesa, AZ September 08. 2019 – Rock House – El Paso, TX September 12, 2019 – Amp Room – San Antonio, TX September 13, 2019 – Elysium – Austin, TX September 14, 2019 – Warehouse Live – Houston, TX September 15, 2019 – The Church – Dallas, TX September 17, 2019 – The Goat – New Orleans, LA September 18, 2019 – Drunken Unicorn – Atlanta, GA September 19, 2019 – The 926 Bar – Tallahassee, FL September 20, 2019 – The Orpheum – Tampa, FL September 21, 2019 – Will’s – Orlando, FL September 24, 2019 – The Milestone – Charlotte, NC September 25, 2019 – Fallout – Richmond, VA September 26, 2019 – Dangerous Pies – Washington, DC September 27, 2019 – Voltage Lounge – Philadelphia, PA September 28, 2019 – The Knitting Factory – Brooklyn, NY September 29, 2019 – ONCE Ballroom – Boston, MA September 30, 2019 – Mohawk Place – Buffalo, NY October 01, 2019 – Coalition – Toronto, ON October 02, 2019 – Howlers – Pittsburgh, PA October 03, 2019 – The Event Center – Cincinnati, OH October 04, 2019 – Small’s – Detroit, MI October 05, 2019 – Reggie’s – Chicago, IL October 06, 2019 – Club Anything – Milwaukee, WI October 07, 2019 – Warehouse – LaCrosse, WI October 08, 2019 – Red Sea Lounge – Minneapolis, MN October 09, 2019 – Riot Room – Kansas City, MO October 11, 2019 – Marquis Theater – Denver, CO October 12, 2019 – Area 51 – Salt Lake City, UT October 14, 2019 – Pub 340 – Vancouver, BC October 15, 2019 – Highline – Seattle, WA October 16, 2019 – Paris Theater – Portland, OR October 18, 2019 – Brick and Mortar – San Francisco, CA October 19, 2019 – Lodge Room – Los Angeles, CA
Aesthetic Perfection is:
Daniel Graves – Vocals Elliott Berlin – Keys & Guitars Joe Letz – Drums
American Singer/Song-writer Joe Settineri has released the official music video for his impassioned pop single “Hello Goodbye.” Originally premiered on Paste Magazine, “Hello Goodbye” was written in collaboration with platinum Nashville-based producer Mike Krompass (Smash Mouth, Nellie Furtado).
“Love lost, regret, and the power of saying, “goodbye.” Moving on, though is rarely that simple. Our love lives are tangles of good and bad – pushing and pulling – never wanting to let go, yet, needing to break free. Searching for that allusive feeling of ‘true’ happiness. Did we give up too soon? Will we ever know? Why can’t we forget? Does clarity ever present itself? This song emotively asks these questions and explores the purposeful intention to move on and the confusing, often conflicting emotions that come with it. I said goodbye, but why can’t I forget?” Searching for clarity — finding a new path – is never easy.” – Joe Settineri
“Clarity is never an easy path when it comes to this emotion called love, however, what Joe Settineri brings is his ardent musical talents as he carries his lyrics of rich passion simply and understandably. Joe’s vocals and the embracing notes from his piano show his arrival time is welcomed in the world of pop music while the video imagery is the perfect compliment to the heart of “Hello Goodbye.” Simply put, Joe Settineri’s music delivers the power to believe in love again.” – Paste Magazine
“… American singer-songwriter Joe Settineri has a habit of writing love songs, but just listen to his music and you’ll understand why … and understand the power of Joe Settineri.”
Originally from the mid-west, Los Angeles based singer songwriter Joe Settineri was a late bloomer. After the music world wooed him away from a finance career, and years spent being one of a handful of go-to singers in Los Angeles, Settineri established himself as an exceptional singer-songwriter in 2009 with his widely praised first studio album, STAY (LML Records). His second full studio album, BEYOND YOUR CONTROL, was released 2014 and followed up by his most recent EP, BE THE ONE in 2017.
Joe’s newest singles, “HELLO GOODBYE,” “BATMAN CRIES,” and “OXYGEN,” all collaborations with multi-platinum Nashville-based producer Mike Krompass (Smash Mouth, Nellie Furtado), are slated for release in summer 2018.
Joe lives in Los Angeles with his husband and two children.
Miss Krystle recently released her new EP Inevitable earlier this fall. As Arizona cools down from a particularly “Cruel Summer,” and as the US at large continues to struggle with obstacles across the board, Inevitable is a breath of fresh air ready to bring a second wind to all who listen. The Inevitable EP will be “on your mind and in your dreams… burning in your memory,” as it is truly “Unforgettable.”
Ever the inspiration, Miss Krystle continues utilizing all her passions and talents to their fullest potentials in all 6 tracks on the EP. She is a humanitarian, a philanthropist, an intellectual juggernaut, and a phenomenally talented musician; not only is the EP immensely entertaining, it is also incredibly uplifting and nurturing. Miss Krystle had this to say about her new EP: “It was my mission to be impactful. We were going for in-your-face, this is how it is. We also wanted it to be empowering. I wanted to tell my fans that despite everything that has been going on socially and politically this year, you can find your power and your voice. I want them to remember to never give up. Lastly, I wanted to showcase my own vulnerability.” Throughout the entire album, these words certainly do ring true.
The Inevitable EP is a wild journey through many of the emotions, passions, experiences, and darkest thoughts that the human mind is capable of. The energy levels of the album are like a rollercoaster, with some songs pumping the listener up and getting them ready for a night on the town and others making the listener wonder if they should curl up on the couch with a comfortable blanket and a pint of their favorite ice cream. Miss Krystle has a one-of-a-kind style in her approach to music, but it fits in perfectly with other contemporary pop artists. Some of her new songs also seem like they’d easily find a place on a Dance Dance Revolution playlist, as they would be delightfully fun to dance along to. Others still would be perfect for someone’s first pick at karaoke.
Generally, pop music and similar genres are not known for their depth or insight, yet Miss Krystle easily marries popular culture, philosophy, and deep introspection in her musical work. During a preliminary listen, her songs sound as if they’d easily find a home in any club or on one’s favorite Top 40 radio station. Don’t be fooled, however—upon further inspection, the lyrics peel away, layer by layer, revealing a deep exploration into the human condition and how it impacts contemporary society.
From anthemic, affirmational title-track “Inevitable”, Miss Krystle explores themes of fitting in, watching the world around us, learning from our experiences, seeing the horrors of humanity and the world around us, yet still keeping calm and carrying on.
She tackles the concept of how “they tell us how to fit in… tell us how to get by,” while still struggling to find our own identities in this mad world. While the song could be about so many different topics, from love to revolution, it instantly becomes a bright beacon in the night, guiding all who may feel lost.
In fact, out of all the songs on this EP, “Inevitable” itself may be the most exceptional and singularly profound track. Coming out at a time when many of us may feel utterly lost and hopeless, Miss Krystle reminds us to “rise for what matters, lasting until the end.” She needs us standing with her, united. This is a call to arms, not to fight what is wrong in this world, but rather to fight for the ability to support one another, to remind ourselves that we are all in this together. “We are, none of us, alone,” as ancient Chinese philosopher Fushumongu stated long ago.
As we’ve seen, time and again across this country, people are “taking it to the streets, not afraid to take a stand.” We do have strength in numbers, and we will fight. We have had enough. We’ve all woken up to this new day, and we “can’t give up on what we love.” Victory truly is inevitable. This song, like a mantra, shall inspire countless others to greatness in the coming days.
On top of any newfound courage in the realms of love and activism, Miss Krystle also calls us to come “together, woman and man.” This is truer now more than ever before. None of us can ignore the future, no matter how hard we try. Now, let’s get ready to “spark it up.”
Wild Like Fire
While the more insightful songs and verses from Miss Krystle’s new EP are absolutely striking, the album has a great mix of fun and fiery tracks as well. When “Wild Like Fire” comes on, it’s difficult to not instantly get pumped up. This song is a true energy boost, from the lyrics to the beat. “Welcome to the show.” Miss Krystle “can’t control it,” because she really is a pro. This song is great to drive to with the volume up, but it would also find a home in any club or, perhaps, bedroom. While Miss Krystle certainly has her own, unique style, fans of Kylie Minogue and similar artists may really enjoy “Wild Like Fire” and other songs off this EP.
Better Than You Think
On top of Miss Krystle’s self-assuredness and self-knowledge of her more primal urges and experiences, she also covers those more intimate feelings that often accompany physical connections between lovers. “Better Than You Think” is a love ballad of sorts, reminiscent of a modern Shakespearean sonnet in its lyrics. The symbolism and imagery in this song are quite powerful, from “collecting stars like fireflies, I’ve never felt this much alive, living the life before we die, and we return back to the sky,” to “baby the altitude is fine, on this journey, you and I, watching auroras hypnotize, getting lost deeper in your eyes.” The romantic notions in this song would melt even the coldest of hearts.
As much as many of us know that the only person we can truly rely on in this universe is ourselves, Miss Krystle explores feelings most of us have felt before. She shows a serene vulnerability, acknowledging the dangers but also the securities that can come out of relying on another beautiful soul for sustenance. Someone else to share this journey, and the wonders of the universe, with, as she serenades us with “and if I burn up on reentry, I knew you’d want to be here with me, you knew that one last kiss could save me, floating with you for eternity… everything’s good as long as you’re here with me.” Miss Krystle takes us on an odyssey to space, giving us “galactic goosebumps everyplace” as we cruise “on highway milky way.”
Just as Miss Krystle explores these elements of our humanness, she also explores how the best intimate relationships involve two souls coming together, knowing more about each other than they may let on. Indeed, Miss Krystle shows that she knows us better than we think that she knows us, as our human experiences are similar to one another despite their singularity. In fact, through her work, Miss Krystle may also reveal how she may know herself better than she thinks that she knows herself.
While many of us can relate to the feelings Miss Krystle explores in “Better Than You Think”, some of us may have unfortunately experienced some emotions and experiences that are quite antithetical to that beauty. “Erase You” is a song that explores the darker side of love, when we find ourselves in a relationship that ends up being something we were not quite expecting. Still, Miss Krystle’s penchant for self-examination and metacognition still shines through brightly in the lyrics. “I never understood your distance, I thought I got it right, but now you’re gone and I’m alone.” Anyone who has been through something like this can empathize with how painful this situation is.
Miss Krystle counters this betrayal with self-empowerment, starting the song with a vigorous mantra: “You’re in the presence of a Goddess, but you forgot to bow, and now I got my eyes up on the blade I’ll use to take you out.” She continues with some conflicting lines later in the song, showing the sort of infighting and uncertainty our spirits must endure in terrible times such as this treachery of love. As she struggles with these feelings, she shares her efforts to forget: “You can hand it over, no more staying sober, I drink it away to erase you. I need to escape what you put me through. I drink it away to erase you.”
While coming to terms with reality and coping mechanisms, Miss Krystle also explains some positive strategies for her situation: “So you thought you’d be a martyr, and leave me with your sin, but little did you know, I gave it up before your words began… I’m glad you’re gone and I’m alone, so I can go and live my life.” While all is fair and love and war, this war takes no prisoners, and the cost is high.
Despite Miss Krystle’s best efforts, she is only human, and the song ends with more of this battle still to be fought. “If I could just wake up with you next to me, everything would be just how I need it to be. I don’t want to feel all this pain, don’t want to be alone. I need you to feel the same, and get your arms back around me.” These heart-wrenching lyrics make it apparent that there are no happy endings in the real world, but we all have the power to make it through as stronger versions of who we used to be.
From the second “Anything” begins playing, it is difficult to not imagine it being played while a model walks down the runway, or while a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race lip syncs for her life. The beat really gets the blood flowing, and it is great to drive or work out to. It’s nearly impossible to not feel sexy and powerful while “Anything” plays, so “why you actin’ so shy?” Miss Krystle shows us something that will make our hearts bleed, so we “best be getting ready” because she’s gonna get us rockin’ steady. While it may be hard to focus, Miss Krystle helps us learn to “live it up.”
The song “Relevant” was saved for the end of the EP, and for good reason. “Relevant” is rife with self-awareness and introspection, and it is clear this song is very personal for Miss Krystle. However, it also serves as a reminder to the rest of us to let go of where we began “and be reborn in the wake of it.” These lyrics are quite relevant to the theme of symbolic rebirth, and it is also quite fitting for Phoenix, Arizona.
Miss Krystle also reminds us to “feel at home in the place” we’re in, and to “never mind the storm.” Our dreams will keep us warm. We all struggle to become relevant while traversing our own paths through this life, and “we constantly test our innocence.” Likely pulling from her own experiences, she reminds us of the ultimate cost of giving parts of ourselves away in order to reach our goals: “May our broken halos serve as evidence; pieces of our souls for percentages.” As she states proudly, “I’m holding on to me.” We all may get a little lost on the way, but we must always remember who we are and where we came from.
Continuing this philosophical journey through personal trials and tribulations, Miss Krystle explores how “we all wanna be somebody,” but in the end, “all we really need is somebody… down to make us feel we’re relevant now.” Perhaps that somebody is a lover, a family member, or a friend; that somebody may even be ourselves, especially when the path becomes increasingly treacherous, or when the storm becomes too tempestuous. To quote Miss Krystle, “At the end of the day, all we are really looking for is someone to make us feel like we matter. My message is that the only person who should make you feel relevant and loved is ultimately you.”
Don’t forget, “we make our own strength, we make our own peace,” and we really are so strong. “We can do this.” We are all a part of history, but Miss Krystle and her new EP Inevitable have certainly found a comfortable home in modern popular culture. As we all enjoy these 6 sublime songs, we also wait with bated breath for future releases from Miss Krystle. Hers is a flame we do not want to go out, as she brings a lot of light to this oft dark world.
(Top featured photo by Tony Mandarich Creatives)
News & Reviews from the Fiery Mosh Pits of Arizona