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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Canadian Country-Punk Artist Manny Blu Releases Dynamic New EP 'DEViL'

Canadian country-punk artist Manny Blu has released his sophomore EP DEViL. The EP contains five tracks, "Train," "Might As Well Lead," Valet," "Circle Up," and "Rusty Things,” all written by well-acclaimed songwriters including Michael Hardy, Ryan Hurd, Craig Wiseman, and more.

Now available on all streaming services, DEViL is a complete country mixtape that Manny Blu delivers with solid vocals and his developed style. It combines love stories, ballads, and one powerhouse country rock-infused party anthem that every listener can relate to and enjoy. The EP also features collaborations with Blaine Holcomb and Canadian vocalist, and fellow Montreal-native, Brittany Kennell.

In Blu's own words, he describes the EP as "an ensemble of songs that have a variety of skill sets and sides of me as an artist that I haven't shown before. DEViL is made like a mixtape of different sounds and styles that we will keep making moving forward."

Blu has created a stir, and more of a name for himself as his music in the Nashville scene has developed this year with the release of four singles off his DEViL EP. His first release, "Train," has surpassed one million streams since its release. "Might As Well Lead" introduced listeners to Blu's falsetto and the range of instrumentation in his new music as the electric guitars and drums were paired with the sweetness of violins. "Valet" showed a different side of Blu's vocals and charisma, surprising and impressing reviewers.

One reviewer described the "Valet" track as "A much-anticipated change of pace for Blu and showcases the astonishing versatility in his voice, as well as the previously undiscovered tenderness." (Three Chords Country). "Circle Up" shot up on several playlists such as "New Music Nashville," CMT's "The Roundup," “Canada's Country,” and more as fans loved the tempo of the track and related to the call to action to embrace the weekend. One new track debuted on the EP is "Rusty Things." The focal song will be spotlighted throughout the release weekend and was previously teased on Blu’s Live & Turned Up series.

Along with his new EP, Blu has also recently found a following on TikTok and is locking down shows for the fall since he has finished his Live & Turned Up Volume 2 series of his Live & Turned Up concert series. The former hockey player, MMA fighter, and native Canadian first launched his Live & Turned Up series to showcase his incredible live performances during the pandemic. Blu and his band wanted to recreate the energy of a live show in each Live & Turned Up video, saying, "I wanted to lean into alternative content, and I thought playing our live versions of songs and recording them was a fun way to do that...we wanted to showcase how exciting our live show is."

In the series, Blu gave fans a look into his live vocals by filming videos in one take. He also exemplified what he believes 'country punk' truly is, which he explains as "country music to the core, with a punk attitude."

The first Live & Turned Up series Vol. 1, debuted earlier in the year and consisted of Blu and his band performing some of their favourites and other popular covers. The video setlist included The Pretty Reckless' "Death By Rock and Roll," "BLOW," originally performed by Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, and Chris Stapleton, and Blu's originals, "'95" (only available in series), "Old Money," "Burnout Town" (from Blu's 2020 sophomore EP), and "X on My Heart" from his 2019 debut.

The second Live & Turned Up series kicked off on April 30 with a Machine Gun Kelly cover of "Kiss Kiss" and concluded on July 2 with Blu's original song "Rusty Things", which is the spotlight track for DEViL. Live & Turned Up Vol 2 included several powerhouse performances such as Blu putting his spin on Miley Cyrus' "Prisoner" and live performances of his other original songs, "Train"and "Playback" (from his album Leave It Like It Is ). Live & Turned Up Vol 2 was filmed at the historic Exit/In in Nashville, Tenn, which has been the focus of a campaign to preserve its historical existence.

Manny Blu has recently received attention for his TikTok videos that showcase his personality and the Country Punk style – a creation of music that combines the lyrical storytelling of country music and the heavy infused beats and sounds of pop-punk.

Despite the difficulties that all artists faced in the past year, 2020 was a landmark year for Manny Blu as he continued to make himself seen in the country music community. The promising artist expanded his team to an international level through added representation in the US and the UK, and successfully released his EP New Ink filled with major songwriters like Josh Osborne, Ross Copperman, and Rhett Akins, and found success with his debut release from that project "Born to Ride," reaching over 360K views on YouTube and surpassing over 1M streams worldwide.


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