There aren’t many tracks that can get me to proclaim feelings of love before the chorus even begins. But Handmade Amigo’s second debut single “Let it Roll, Or the Whale” hit the spot like no other musical collective have before. The Psychedelic Soft Indie Rock & Roll Jam is a carnality of uplifting pleasures that reminded me of the sweet melodies of bands such as Dinosaur Jr.
They teased the introduction with a lullaby of sonorous sound before crashing into the verse with a raucous ensemble of percussion headed by a bass soaked atmospheric beat. Attempting to deconstruct this track is ion impossible. The complexities and melodies fuse themselves so tightly together, it’s just best to sit back, relax and enjoy the cacophony on offer from The Orlando, Florida based quartet.
The Handmade Amigo’s switch from rattling guitar riffs with an adequate pinch of moody reverberations straight through to piano sweeps to reincarnate the song through every second of the 04:26 duration.
Judging by the innocently charming music video, they’ve got a long way to come in the industry, but I’m most definitely sold on what they have to offer.
Indie as a genre has been pretty well defined for a while now. Having evolved from its original musically political meaning within the music industry to become a genre label in its own right, it generally indicates pop aware melody and musical adroitness, that fine line between commerciality and underground cool, between accessibility and integrity. But what does the indie band of 2017 do to stand out from the pack?
One answer is to do what The White Lakes have done. Forget warping the genre or kicking down generic barricades, and cross-pollinating your sound with the tricks and trappings from elsewhere to gene-splice indie into some sort of modern musical Frankenstein’s monster isn’t the answer either. It isn’t about subverting expectations, it is about feeding them. It is about doing what the rest of the pack do but just doing it so much better. Underline – so much better. The result of such an attitude can be found on Live Wyre. It isn’t so much contemporary indie looking for a new direction or a change of musical trappings, it is instead the sound of indie just done a lot better than 99% of the competition. Why doesn’t every band realise that it is that simple?
They may be new kids on the Philadelphia rock block but Cologne have really arrived with a fully formed sound. One part stadium rock, one part indie cool and one part pop accessibility, it is hard to see who they wouldn’t appeal too. Musically it gives them great scope to build sonic architecture in the space around them but also play with subtle musical dynamics, deliver songs dripping with euphoria but also commercial accessibility.
And it is this fantastic generic balancing act which sets them apart from the pack As popists and rockists wage pointless pitched battle, Cologne clearly adhere to the cult of the song, preferring to take the role of tunesmiths who exalt composition over flash and muscle. If this song is the perfect rallying point for those who have long understood that this middle way has always sported brilliant acts – pop acts muscled up by a dash of rock, rock acts whose bluster is tempered by indie details and indie acts happy to explore pop immediacy – then the fact that hey have an e.p. called New World available is just the icing on the cake.
Not only possessing a really cool, not to mention unusual, name, Painted on Silent Blue trade in dream like indie-pop, music. It does so by swathing lilting piano sounds with lush harmonies, changing languages as others might change key and it is this multi-linguistic delivery which best sums up what lies at the heart of their music. Even if they are not singing in a language you can understand, Miracles never loses its appeal, proving that vocal lines are more than just about communicating in words but are equally able to communicate through emotion on a less conscious level.
This Viennese duo certainly knows the art of understatement and like all working with such spacious sound palettes fully understand that atmosphere and anticipation are just as important as the actual notes, rhythm and words that they use to create these gossamer tracks. Beauty is as much about what is left out as it is about its more obvious qualities and Painted on Silent Blue are fully aware of this.
Jibba James new track Forced Conversations, In a nutshell is subsequently disappointing if you’re looking for polished and authentic indie ensemble, however if you’re looking for something raw, natural and rhythmic you’re in for a treat.
The sound is as minimalist as it comes. Just one man and his guitar taking you on a journey through his own plaintive pain and misery. In a way it’s rare to hear someone so unadulterated as Jibba James, however, there isn’t much that sets the acoustic singer song writer apart from the other acoustic indie musicians that are filling up the soundwaves.
It sounds like every other track that you would hear as you walk down the high street in whatever city you’re from, it’s not that I want to detract from the talent that is on display in his latest track Forced Conversations, but I feel as though it’s not enough to really invoke any sense of feeling through the soundwaves if you listen to this track at home. Grandiosity certainly isn’t his style as he allows his tracks to progress with angst, revelry and sonorous acoustic effects.
If you’re a fan of minimalist indie, head on over to YouTube to listen to his latest track now!
Some people say that real music is dying out, that we’re headed for a future in the absence of dulcet angsty undertones from guitar wielding musicians. Yet the Scottish solo artist Tom Oliver proves that his genre has a lot more to offer with his debut single Photogenic.
His debut 4 track EP is days away from public release, and I’m well and truly caught up in the hype.
His pre-release single Photogenic reverberates with nostalgic jingles accompanied by his raw, unpolished vocals which are not too dissimilar from acts such as The Arctic Monkeys & other of the UK’s indie greats. His EP titled ‘If I Sugar Coat It Enough, You Might Just Like It’, is carefully tuned as he follows a swift progression through the chords ending the track with a riff that celebrates his natural rhythmic ability. His almost nasal voice has a charming allure when matched against the resonant lyrics in which he reaches out to a complacent audience. The track stumbles through his innocent revelry which should see him quickly gain notoriety with the self-proclaimed fluorescent adolescents.
Head on over to his website to check out his single Photogenic now:
MEDIC is a three piece indie pop band from Nashville, TN, with a sound that is the result of various sources of inspiration together with an artistic vision and creativity that stands out from the rest. Their sound is reminiscent of stadium concerts by big artists such as Coldplay, while their lyrics are an interesting blend of honesty and abstract expression. In this case, their most recent song “Wander” features a pop sound that is not like what you’d imagine a pop song to sound like. Apart from this, the production aspect of the song makes it stand out from the rest even more. With a polished radio friendly sound this song is ready for a great success.
“Wander” does not only deliver a precise artistic vision through a polished sound but it also features a set of lyrics that are both honest and creatively poetic. Sung through catchy melodic phrases, which are also very ear friendly and singable, the lyrics add a lot of dimension and depth to the song along with the way the instrumental arrangement and digital effects are crafted. Overall these guys have something very fresh to offer and their sound is cool and enjoyable to listen to! Check it out!
Kuzo is possibly the freshest act on the Electro Pop scene today. The LA based duo are currently hitting up the underground with their euphoric minimalist beats & pensive lyrical style. Their latest track Mirage follows a seamless progression that you’d be all too happy to listen to as you drive into the sunset. The vibrant beats have a transcendent quality behind them, with poignant lyrical layers for your mind to unravel as you get lost in the music. It’s the perfect mix of downtempo and trance to create music that will motivate even the most melancholic of people to dance. Fans of LCD Sound System, M83, and London Grammar are highly recommended to check out this track.
It’s almost impossible not to be moved by the duo’s impeccable first class sound infused with their striking sleek and sultry image. Electro fans are insatiable for their sound which they have finetuned since their earlier debut hits. With mirage they’ve undoubtedly made their anthem, it’s ridiculously catchy, and comes with the demand that you don’t just listen to the track once.
Check out Kuzo’s latest hit Mirage via the SoundCloud link below:
A kaleidoscopic release from an unpredictable act that will keep you on your toes.
Oya Paya is a band with a truly spontaneous and eclectic approach to their productions. Their music could be considered avant-garde, but their work lacks the pretentiousness and self-indulgence that is often associated with that particular artistic current. In other words, Oya Paya does not create challenging music for the sake of it, but to follow a genuine need to say something in a different way.
Their recent release is titled “Put My Record On”, and it is a great way to showcase how their sound can be smart, yet accessible.
The song is featured within the band’s remarkable debut EP (essentially self-titled, yet stylized with some fascinating fonts) which you can listen to by clicking this link. This particular project is more than an EP in its traditional sense, as each song has a vibe of its own, with an accompanying music video to offer a visual backbone to each tune.
“Put My Record On” is not actually a single, but rather a mix of tracks taken from the EP, combined with a few unreleased numbers and other exciting projects. The project’s broad creative scope is also reflected in the very nature of the band. The 3 masterminds behind Oya Paya come from different countries and bring different creative background to the table. In spite of the band’s drummer being currently stuck in Singapore (his homeland) due to immigration issues, the group is still eager to make more music, while fighting to get him back to the UK.
Woman, the first musical card from Embers forth coming album, is all the ammunition that you will need to convince you that pop is in safe hands, though pop isn’t really an effective enough term to pin down where this song sits generically. Yes, it has all the infectiousness and accessibility that the genre implies but there is so much more going on as well. It has the glitchy groove of a trip-hop classic, the sultry sass of a soul standard and a brooding and considered alt-rock presence.
And that is the joy of the modern musical world, as genres bleed into each other and boundaries are no longer stumbling blocks, savvy artists realise that anything is possible. Whilst many acts attempting such generic musical fusions find that the result is a watered down middle ground which seems to be a musical compromise, Embers instead seem to feel more intense and more focused than the rest and the result is a wonderful strand of dark alternative pop that for all its brooding undercurrents heralds in a bright future for music.