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SILA LUX | “Beautiful”

Whether it was performing in the church choir, playing piano or competing with an award-winning drumline, Sophie Taite Trautman — better known as Sila Lux — has always felt drawn to music. Her latest release, a cover of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful,” is a healing message for tough times. “Growing up, when I would listen to this song, I’d realize that if someone like Christina could have days where she didn’t feel like enough, then someone like me having those days and thoughts too was OK,” she says. “I especially made this for my LGBTQ+ family, BIPOC and for anyone who has ever been told, ‘You are not enough.’” The video was filmed and mastered at Atlanta’s Stanwood Studio, where Trautman works as an audio engineering and production intern. Keep your eyes peeled — she plans to release a handful of covers, original music and healing sound baths done live on Instagram in the near future. 

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JANELLE MONAE | “Turntables [Emotion Picture]”

Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, producer and actor Janelle Monáe has always had her eye on the future. In early 2010, she adopted the android persona Cindi Mayweather and blessed earthlings with The ArchAndroid, followed by The Electric Lady in 2013. And while her previous records address social and political topics, 2018’s Dirty Computer, an electro-pop album, used technology to bring attention to the barriers that still suppress those who refuse to conform to societal norms. This year’s release of “Turntables” was recorded for the film All In: The Fight for Democracy, which examines the history of voter suppression and the activists who fight for the rights of U.S. citizens. Lines like “America you a lie / the whole world about to testify” resonate deeply amid recent attempts at voter suppression in this country. 

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THE VINYL SUNS | “Bad Feeling”

Since 2015, the Vinyl Suns have provided a kaleidoscope of sound that incorporates hints of indie rock, surf rock, blues and Southern rock. Over the years, the five-piece — Paxton McLelland (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Callahan (lead guitar, vocals), Jack Lloyd (drums and percussion), Trae Berry (bass) and Seth Radman (saxophone) — have released a handful of singles, a full-length album and an EP. With summer quickly fading into fall, the group’s latest release, “Bad Feeling,” takes viewers back to those carefree days under the sun. The video climaxes at about 3:30, when Radman busts out a minute-long flavorful sax solo from atop a pool ledge.

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