Talented Musician Simone Istwa Transforms Pop Punk to Their Mold in New Single “Kiss Everyone”


Let’s face it, sometimes we listen to music that is a tad too vanilla and need more avant-garde in our lives. On our latest visit over to Rain Phoenix’s LaunchLeft we are checking out “Kiss Everyone”, the latest single from Simone Istwa. While some artists merely grow into the world of music, Istwa was born directly into it. With parents like Sam Phillips and T Bone Burnett in your corner, it would be a wonder if Istwa didn’t go down the path of a musician. However, at a very young age, Istwa was already discovering their own musical style and path at least a stone’s throw away from the familiar pop music sound. Istwa began pursuing songwriting when they were 13, finding early roots in pop and americana. However by 16, Istwa embarked down a new path in writing successful mini-musicals to be enjoyed by the masses. It is clear that Istwa simply loves being in the musical spotlight and is open to any creative outlet where they can feel satisfied and thrive.

“’Kiss Everyone,’ originally based on Sophie Day’s photo book by the same name, is about friend group dynamics, feeling hungry for acceptance amongst your peers. Sometimes your friends are the loves of your life and their opinion of you, their willingness to include or prioritize you, is what your entire sense of self, all of your confidence is riding on. And that’s codependency. I set it to this pop punk, Muffs-inspired progression to give it a classically teenaged setting. But that’s an illusion, a fantasy of the past, because we arrive at the lyric: ‘How did I get here, where are the friends that I miss? What’s a nice kid like me doing in a place like this?'” – Simone Istwa

After joining Launchleft last year, Istwa quickly developed their sound and produced what we now know as the Heartweb EP. Featuring sounds anywhere between the likes of Nina Simone to the Velvet Underground, it is obvious that Istwa is an incredibly talented musician and producer. Listeners snag a taste of this wide range of styles in the EP’s latest single “Kiss Everyone”…or a underground rock banger about fthe nature of friendships and their dynamics. Easily slotting into the place of a musical rebel, Istwa is taking the wave of pop-punk that is vibing right now and transforming it to make it fit their vision. While their sound may be a bit left of center, there is always space for them to grow and thrive in the indie music realm. If you need more of Simone Istwa, their new EP Heartweb just dropped in full over at Launchleft and you can listen to it here!

Aesthetically, the world I’m painting with the record is, on one end, candy coated in a plastic sheen and on the other, dusty, dug-up artifacts of the past,” Istwa explains. “Some of the guitar sounds are synths and some are actual guitars. I like to make the real ones sound fake and the fake ones sound real, so when you’re listening it’s like walking through a room of funhouse mirrors.– Simone Istwa

Make sure you check out the music video for “Kiss Everyone” on YouTube below!

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Simone Istwa

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Are there any other projects/albums/movies that you think we should check out? Let us know in the comments! Make sure to follow Modern Neon Media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube!

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Brandon Stuhr

Who am I? Just some guy who decided to start writing on the Internet years ago and now operates his own brand and site. Owner/Operator of Modern Neon Media, I make all kinds of niche content to suit my interests at the time. DIY Enthusiast, Brewmaster extraordinaire, and avid freak for geek culture. Follow on my socials for a more "on" version of me.

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