Browsing Tag

Alternative Rock


State of Ember release ‘Ghost Of You’

It’s always nice to hear a band that truly appreciates the bass. This instrument can be so neglected in mixes, but when it’s unleashed in just the right way, it can set a truly powerful foundation that enhances everything around it. State of Ember is a three piece band that knows how to make the most of their rock trio. While alternative rock isn’t what it used to be, it’s honestly refreshing to hear some strong drumming and some dynamic guitar work. Lead by a strong yet relatively reserved vocal, Ghost of You is a song that doesn’t need to scream or fight the listener in order to feel like a commanding presence.

There’s a lot of effort here for a song that honestly won’t break too many rules. The structure is sound, the dynamics have peaks and valleys without whispered or blaring sections, and the overall themes are consistent. This song could sneak onto many a playlist without risking being too anomalous. While some might not be able to recognize edge that isn’t skin deep, State of Ember has composure and control where many fringier bands can only flail and hope they hit their target. Ghost of You is a song that knows what it’s doing and makes me miss some of the fantastic alternative rock songs of days passed. Is there more to come? Can we revive the spirit and bring this back into fashion? With State of Ember, we just might have a chance.

-Paul Weyer


Nobodies Birthday release indie rock ‘No Secrets’

There is a wonderful understatement to No Secrets, one that is unusual in this world of bravado and bombast, glitz and glitter. Whilst their peers are writing anthem ready pop in the name of indie, Nobodies Birthday are the masters of the slow burning, brooding meander, never giving away the goods too quickly, never falling for gimmickry or losing site of the song in the name of a quick buck.

Even when the choruses do kick in it is more a series of musical plateaus rather than the mountain peak meaning that as the song crescendos its way to the finish it gradually pays off as it goes along rather than having one music punch line which is often followed by an anti-climax. Nobodies Birthday are the masters of restraint, slow unravelling and heightened anticipation, which means that whilst others may be described as anthemic, they manage to be majestic.



A&R Factory Present: CAVEPARTY

Charging in like a thunder storm, brand new youthful alternative rock band CAVEPARTY  revives rock and roll culture with their first single release ‘No Lies’. The band originating from Liverpool sets to introduce a persona from the North, which is utterly shown in the way the bands blissful-grunge attitude compliments a rousing characteristic in the music.  From one division, there are similarities of Arctic Monkeys and Royal Blood, and whilst there are elements of Pink Floyd and Tame Impala, CAVEPARTY engages with a sound of a sanguine rock-punk, which is what  music of 2017 lacks, and what the underrated band delivers.

The bands dominance is asserted from the get go, with a thunderous punk entrance from the lead guitarist. The vocalist merges effectively with the ongoing flawless melody, resembling a 90s rock feel. The band described ‘No Lies’ as a song “being about frustration of being lied by someone who doesn’t know the whole truth”, and this interlinks with the build up of the guitarists’ steady beat to a big blow out with a thumping, rebellious guitar solo. CAVEPARTY  embrace a mutinous perception which is connected between the lyrics and the euphonious melody.

After a short hiatus, CAVEPARTY  makes a come back into the live music scene which is sharper than ever. Moving away from new age indie-rock, CAVEPARTY plays into a smart idealisation of old school punk-rock, where the true musical masterminds were formed. Cave Party offer a considerable amount of liberation to their fans, introducing a rare contemporary sound into rock and roll culture.

Words By Aly Mchugh


A&R Factory Present: Kaldera

KALDERA are a four piece indie rock band based in Reading. The guys are all 19 years old and sound impressive. Loud guitars with catchy riffs and a great image.

The band were originally “Captain and the Gypsy kid” but they decided to re-brand ourselves and develop a more mature sound, which we think is something in between artic monkeys and the black keys.

Kaldera, whave been gigging around Reading, Oxford, Bristol, Londo and were voted in by the public to play TRUCK festival last summer.

Henry Belcher – lead guitarist
Alasdair Jenkins – bassist
Oscar Robinson – drummer
Tom Waddington – lead singer and songwriter

A&R Factory Present: GROVES

Los Angeles-based GROVES comprised Stephen Salisbury (vocals/guitar), Reid Guidry (bass/synth) and Will Smith (drums). The native Texans met in high school at the age of 14 and after years of sharing the same affinity for music, they left for LA in pursuit of starting a band.

Inspired by the likes of Elvis Costello, Phoenix, Blink-182 and The Beatles, the band’s sound is broad and unafraid to experiment. Highlighted by tight groove based, melodically rich guitar interplay, dark synth underpinnings, and vocals that are at once urgent and passionate.

On January 13, 2016 GROVES revealed the first piece of the puzzle, their debut single “Ender” alongside a music video . The release is currently being spun on LA’s New Alternative: Alt 98.7fm, as well as KCRW, and has also climbed to #1 on Hype Machine’s Most Popular Tracks on Twitter. “Ender is a call to arms and represents the rebirth of our music. We’re very excited to show you the rest of what’s recorded” says vocalist Stephen Salisbury.


A&R Factory Present: Anna Madsen

Hailing from Utah, Anna Madsen currently calls New Hampshire home. Taking inspiration from classic romanticism, fairy tales, and her personal experiences, Anna uses story telling through music as a way to create worlds that listeners can enter and completely absorb.

Musically, Anna has been described as “Lana Del Rey meets Kate Bush meets Enya,” but ultimately her music is completely her own and expands beyond one genre. Her influences include contemporary classical composers, church hymns from her childhood, world music, and modern Alternative Rock and Folk / Americana.

Melodic vocals and lush harmonies define her sound, while cellos, violins, subtle synths, atmospheric guitars, and propulsive drums and loops provide the sonic backdrop. Lyrically, Anna explores topics ranging from mystical romance, fate, and courageous characters from history and her imagination.

In addition to writing and performing music, Anna is a photographer, model, and actress. In August 2015, Anna acted in the motion picture Granite Orpheus, which is scheduled for release in mid-2016. The film’s soundtrack features Anna’s song, “Palm Reader” as well as an Anna Madsen/Alex Preston duet, “I Would Save You.”

For her 2015 debut EP, “Palm Reader,” Anna worked with award-winning producer Brian Coombes and his team at Rocking Horse Studio in Pittsfield, NH. The EP features musical contributions from co-producer Joey Pierog; Pat Gochez and Bobby Rice of Pat & the Hats, noted fiddle player Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki, and cellist Jeremy Harman from the New York City-based Sirius Quartet.

The EP quickly garnered positive reviews. The music site praised the EP’s “lush landscapes of sound” and called it “the most creative and spectacular album of the year.” The music site Musical Discoveries named Palm Reader its 2015 Best of the Year EP.

In January 2016, Anna received two New England Music Awards nominations (Best New Act and Video of the Year) and was invited to perform at the Awards Show in April 2016 at the Blue Ocean Music Hall & Event Center in Salisbury, Massachusetts. In February 2016, she was invited to perform for New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan and the Executive Council at the State House in Concord, New Hampshire.

Her first full length album, Efflorescence, was released on May 21, 2016. The record features notable appearances from Anthony Phillips of Genesis and Jonathan Mover of GTR.


A&R Factory Present: Darla And The Blonde

Encompassing the seductive glamour of goth, the catchy harmonics of pop, the experimentalism of prog and the narrative traditions of folk, Darla And The Blonde are a broad-based five-piece who craft their influences into a bold and distinctive brand of dramatic indie-rock.

Formed in East London by chief songwriter Nina Lovelace (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), the band are completed by Jen Demaris (lead vocals), Rob McCabe (lead guitar), Craig Page (bass) and Tom Loffman (drums).

While Darla And The Blonde’s sound is influenced by the likes of Nick Cave and PJ Harvey, and their live performances take cues from musical theatre, Lovelace’s lyrics are primarily inspired by the concerns and experiences of inspirational women, both real and fictional.

Darla And The Blonde’s single, ‘End Of The Party’, released on 18 March, will be followed in May by a five-track EP that turns its lyrical focus to subjects ranging from age and transgender issues to the escapades of feminine espionage, all set to the band’s impassioned and inventive alt.rock sonics

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