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Alt Rock

Rob Russell antagonised the airwaves by unleashing his alt-rock debut LP, What It All Meant

Rob Russell’s single ‘Carried‘, extracted from his debut LP ‘What It All Meant‘, is a striking genre synthesis that boldly defies the conventional boundaries of alternative rock. The track is an audacious blend, merging the defiant spirit of contemporary skate punk with the wistful echoes of 90s pop punk, all while embracing the gritty essence of grunge.

Russell’s approach to production is refreshingly unpolished, allowing the song’s inherent rawness to shine through. This choice pays off, as it accentuates the emotional gravity of the track, making ‘Carried’ a lesson in volition.

The single resonates with a sense of rugged honesty, a quality that is increasingly rare in today’s alt-rock landscape. Russell’s vocal delivery is both poignant and powerful, weaving through the dynamic soundscape with a balance of aggression and vulnerability. The instrumentation complements this perfectly, with guitar riffs that are both sharp and melodic, underpinned by a rhythm section that drives through the track with relentless energy.

‘Carried’ stands as a testament to Russell’s ability to channel the ethos of alt-rock’s past while forging his own path. We can’t wait to hear what follows.

Check out Rob Russell’s LP, What It All Meant, on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Matt Camillo – Stop to Look Around: A Transatlantic Synthesis of Americana-Tinged Folk-Rock and UK Indie

Matt Camillo’s seminal single, Stop to Look Around, is a striking synthesis of 90s-tinged UK Indie and American Folk Rock which proves that aged 23, the London-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist possesses a maturity in his music that belies his years.

The track resonates with the melodic influences of Travis, Stereophonics, and Beady Eye, evident in its steady indie rock chords. Yet, it’s the subtle infusion of Americana into the rhythmics that sets this song apart, creating an uplifting yet bittersweet sound that is quintessentially English in its melancholy.

Lyrically, ‘Stop to Look Around’ carries the essence of a love song, yet it’s imbued with a level of artistic ambiguity that allows listeners to find their own meaning within its verses. This narrative flexibility ensures that the track leaves a lasting impression, regardless of how one interprets it.

Camillo, who began composing music at 13 and has since dabbled in Electronica and Pop before settling into the singer-songwriter genre, shows a keen understanding of his musical influences. His experience, including opening for acclaimed acts like Never the Bride and playing at notable venues shines through in this single.

The song’s production balances simplicity with sophistication, allowing Camillo’s vocal delivery to take centre stage. The instrumentation supports without overpowering, creating a harmonious backdrop that complements the lyrical journey. As a precursor to his upcoming acoustic debut EP ‘(Would You) Believe?’, this track cements Camillo’s status as a rising star in the indie scene.

Stop to Look Around was officially released on February 9th. Stream the single on Spotify

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Western Skies delivered lyrical virtues to live by in their kaleidoscope of 60s and 70s rock nostalgia, Always Another Song.

Western Skies’ latest single, Always Another Song masterfully revives the golden era of rock, blending 60s and 70s energy with a modern flair while proving no sonic cocktail is more potent than arcanely uplifting vocal harmonies and raw rock riffs. The Journey-esque chord progressions instantly pull you into the soul of the release before Western Skies show their genre-fluid stripes through their fusion of classic rock, funk and cosmically orchestral instrumentation.

Lyrically, ‘Always Another Song’ offers a refreshing optimism, countering today’s often pessimistic narratives. Phrases like “it doesn’t always have to be as hard as we make it out to be” and “it doesn’t always have to be absolutely everything or nothing” resonate with balance and positivity.

Make the lyrics your mantra while making the band’s debut LP, Awake In Dream, a playlist staple, and you’ll bolster your resilience in an era that is infinitely harder on the psyche than in the 60s and 70s where Western Skies find their folk and rock roots.

It’s an essential listen for classic rock enthusiasts and those seeking music with soul and depth alike. Join them for the ride; you won’t regret it.

Always Another Song is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

NEET and Tidy wrapped their grungy pop-punk hooks around the afflictions of modernity in their LP, Is This Progress?

If any band can advocate for the LP format in an era when our attention spans are shorter than a boardwalk, it is NEET and Tidy with their aural corridor back to the alt-90s.

The sophomore album, Is This Progress? is an unflinchingly reflective exposition of the afflictions of modernity. The sludged-up hooks in Pillow Talk, which captures the bitter taste of a love turned sour, carry all the infectious rancour of Jawbreaker and NOFX, before Play Me launches a straight-up attack on how far the industry has fallen since the golden era of indie and alt-rock. Lyrics in the vein of, “your favourite pop star is the latest infection”, and “another NFT, another stupid dance”, paint a damning portrait of how twisted the industry has come through the contortions of capitalism and narcissism-driven content.

Another standout release within the LP is the evocative evolution of pop-punk into the chorally reverb-swathed remit of shoegaze. Snow (Okay) is a harbingering lament on how the music industry revolves around ableism when it isn’t bleeding vulnerable people dry. From start to finish, the sophomore release from NEET and Tidy asserts the Nashville-residing outfit as one of the most relatable and essential bands in 2024. If you’re always looking for artists with the ability to cut through the static of your ennui, you will find one when you delve into this seminal release.

Is This Progress will reach the airwaves on February 23rd; stream the LP on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Every Glazer chartered a self-sacrificial downfall in his latest release, Singularity

Every time we hear a new release from The Every Glazer, it feels like the first time; there is always something engrossingly unique in the way he pulls you into his productions. The solo artist’s latest single, Singularity, is no exception.

After a moody and nuancedly grungy intro which uses spacey electronica synthetics to echo isolation and desolation, Singularity evolves into a melodic rock lament that unleashes a full spectrum of emotion to pull you back and forth between sentimentality and melancholy.

As the guitars ring with assurance, the angular instrumentation heightens the evocative magnetism of the single which explores how easy it is for others to leave us by the wayside, even if we’ve given our all, which can all too easily be our self-sacrificing downfall.

Stream the official music video for Singularity via YouTube or add the single to your Spotify playlists.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Neil Young meets Pixies in Ryanne + The Rumination’s seminal single, Waste

Indiana’s Ryanne + The Rumination hit the airwaves running with their stylistically expansive self-titled debut LP, which explores the spectrum of human emotions within the psychological ebbs and flows.

The standout single, Wasting, exhibits the duo at their most ethereally magnetic. Ryanne’s crystalline vocal lines cut right through the Pixies-esque atmosphere manifested through the guitar-driven production that exhibits the duo’s influence of Neil Young.

Intimate and profound in equal measure, the artfully immersive single evolves from a dreamy monochromatic release of pent-up emotions to a melancholically stirring alt-pop anthem that won’t fail to pull you into its raw oscillating core. If Ryanne + The Rumination’s is the future of pop, I’m here for it.

Ryanne clearly found her alchemic match in the multi-instrumentalist, Seth Wyatt. The way the single culminates in a post-punk decorated disquiet crescendo after a lament on the frustrations of stagnation is a stunningly affecting way to make an ever-lasting impression.

Waste was officially released on February 9th and is now available to stream with the band’s eponymous LP via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Beast Killer lived up to their ferocious moniker in their feat of punk rock fervour, Comet

Beast Killer, the dynamic duo from Cleveland, Ohio, has once again proven their mettle in the alt-rock arena with their latest single from the album Dystopian Now/Dystopian Me. The recently released single, Comet, is a high-octane ride that seamlessly blends the rawness of punk with the edginess of hardcore, reminiscent of The Hives but with a distinctly Beast Killer twist.

Chris Wright (Vocals/Guitar) and Kris Monroe (Drums) have been collaborating for over a decade, and their chemistry is palpable in this release. The single bursts into life with an energy that is both frenetic and meticulously controlled, showcasing their instrumental precision. The hooks are bouncy yet laden with emotional depth, compelling listeners to engage with every beat.

Beast Killer lives up to their name in Comet by delivering a track that is ferocious in its execution. They pay homage to the early epochs of punk rock while simultaneously steering the genre towards an exciting future. The track transports listeners through a spectrum of emotions, from the ominous terror of space to a serene acceptance, mirroring the thematic journey of their album. The duo’s live performances are known to be explosive and commanding, and this energy is captured perfectly in this recording.

Comet is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The West Midlands era fusionists, Three Mile Island, triumphed once again in ‘Sidearm’s House of Games’

What do you get if you mix 70s rock with Americana and add a dash of brashy and swaggering 90s Britpop? Hit play on the latest single, Sidearm’s House of Games, from Three Mile Island and find out for yourselves.

The uniqueness of the sonic imprint is far from the only achievement in this minefield of indie rock hooks, which proves how tight the West Midlands-hailing prodigal sons are despite their influential differences – each element gets room to breathe and transcend into something completely new in the release that proves that time isn’t always linear; multiple eras can exist cohesively under the sonic duress of those talented enough to amalgamate them.

Having garnered attention on BBC Sounds and Planet Rock Radio, ‘Sidearm’s House of Games’ is a testament to the band’s skill in crafting songs that are not only enjoyable but also resonate with a deep understanding of rock’s evolving landscape. It’s a compelling addition to the indie rock genre, highlighting the band’s potential to leave a lasting impact.

Sidearm’s House of Games is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast  

Ana & Gene Interview: Crafting Harmonies and Breaking Boundaries

In an illuminating conversation with Ana & Gene, the dynamic duo behind the chart-topping hit ‘Narcissistic You’, we delve into the serendipitous beginnings of their partnership, born amidst the solitude of the pandemic and fostered through a shared passion for music and film.

Their journey is a testament to the power of collaboration, where spontaneous creativity and mutual respect for each other’s artistry have led to the birth of sensational tracks. As they discuss the genesis of their unique sound, a blend of retro and modern power pop, and their perspective on the evolving digital landscape of the music industry in 2024, Ana & Gene offer a glimpse into their creative process and future endeavours.

It is safe to say you have both earned your respective stripes in the music industry, what initially brought you together? 

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought us together and we found each other over Facebook.  We started talking about both our careers in the entertainment world of music and film.  We found out that we had so much in common and we appreciated each other’s talents. Then we decided to get together and become a new hit duo sensation to wow the world.”

It’s clear that you both complement each other’s talent and style, but what has been the most gratifying part of the collaborative experience so far? 

“The fact that we just flow so well together while we are creating.  A good example is when Gene started to warm up to play one of our new songs “More Than My Best Friend”.  He stumbled upon some beautiful chords, then I jumped out of my chair and leaned in towards him while he was playing and I started to sing Uh-Oh Who Do You Love.  So that is how our other song was born.”

Your single, Narcissistic You, has become quite the phenomenon on the airwaves and has been in high rotation on radio stations; what do you believe the key to the success of the single was? 

“The key to the success of Narcissistic You comes from the unique way Ana wrote the lyrics and hooks.  She wanted the song to portray as much realism as possible.  Also, the way I played the rhythm helped construct the melody, it brought the song completely together.  But also, our Recording Engineer Joe Bonadonna and our other musicians called “The Scene” including Buddy Woods (Lead Guitar), Michael O’Connor (Bass Guitar), and Rob Lela (Drums), helped and contributed to making the song what it is today.”

We love the retro yet modernised power pop aesthetic of Narcissistic You; were there any bands or artists who influenced the sound? 

“Well, I always loved pop rock, pop punk, and rock music, artists like Green Day and All Time Low.  I always wanted to create my own unique pop rock/pop punk rock music.  So, I explained to Gene what I wanted and then he helped give me his rhythmic flair.”

As you like to keep some of the elements of your music traditional, we’d love to get your take on the music industry as it currently stands in 2024. Is it a digital land of opportunity or a paltry effigy of what it once was? 

“We believe that it is a digital land of opportunity as it currently stands for 2024.  Today’s music Industry isn’t like how it used to be.  But everything is always evolving, and the best bet is to always go with the flow.”

What’s next for Ana & Gene?

“Right now we are in the process of making a new single called “Giving You Love”.  It is a unique blend of Tropical, Pop and Country music.  Just so everyone knows, Gene and I like to create a vast variety of Genres for our fans to enjoy.  Aside from this new single, we are also working on a new EP.  And very shortly, we will be playing with our band The Scene at venues near you.”

Stream Ana & Gene’s EP, Uh-Oh Who Do You Love on Spotify.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

Isla de Luca redefined the femme fatale archetype in her provocatively liberating alt-pop hit, I Already Am One

https://soundcloud.com/isladeluca/i-already-am-one/s-2uIRmKUEKZz?si=e1ec91131191412ab7cbbe435a4c3782&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing

Isla de Luca riotously fucked the gender binary with the launch of her debut alt-pop single, I Already Am One. With the rock licks augmenting the pop hooks and injecting them with adrenaline, the NYC icon staked a serious claim in the pop domain. After ensnaring just about everyone who crosses her on TikTok and Instagram, she’s more than ready to demurely dominate the airwaves with her scintillating synthesis of electronica, pop and rock.

While trad wives are falling over themselves to appease the male gaze as their sole aim in life, Isla de Luca has asserted herself as an indomitable queer pop icon with the refrain “I don’t need a rich man, I already am one”. It’s a subversive twist to die for and to live for. Through her mission to rip up the exploitative tropes around desire and empower others to embrace their provocative power, she stands just as tall as Kathleen Hanna in the feminist landscape.

If you thought femme fatales were all about seduction, feel the vindication cascading from Isla de Luca’s flawlessly electrifying vocal lines and realise the liberation of living as the archetype in their villain era.

For fans of MARINA, Paramore and Sophie, this single isn’t one you want to sleep on.

I Already Am One will be available to stream from February 16. Stream it and follow Isla de Luca on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast