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TuskHead blurred the boundaries between acoustic pop-punk and folk in ‘Breaking the Man’

The boundaries between Americana, acoustic pop-punk and folk blurred beyond recognition in the rhythmically arresting latest single, Breaking the Man, by the Dutch musician, singer, and songwriter TuskHead.

With the bends of bluegrass weaving around the pull of the percussion, which won’t fail to awaken your rhythmic pulses and the lyrics, which sting with vulnerable volition, Breaking the Man is a hard lyrical pill to swallow, but the upbeat rhythmics take some of the sting from the deeply relatable pensiveness, allowing it to unravel as a cathartic olive branch to anyone unwilling to do the same and make the admission of ‘I’m not alright’.

Asking the time-old question, “how can you love me if I hate myself” and alluding to the fight from within that pills can salve but can’t solve, the heartache with the world is heart-wrenchingly affecting.

Breaking the Man was officially released on October 13th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Marshall Falcon is the Dr Frankenstein of Rockabilly Revivals in ‘Last Stand @ Little Muddy Creek’

The gloves are off, and the gunpowder is packed in Marshall Falcon’s riotous rockabilly hit, Last Stand @ Little Muddy Creek. The rock-tight rhythmics are enough to make The Meteors sound as fierce as a pebble skipping across a pond, but the raucous exhilarant appeal to the inexplicably pulled-together production is just one facet of magnetism.

Falcon’s infectious personality brings the record to life in a way so visceral that he may as well add the accolade of being the Dr Frankenstein of hillbilly music to his long list of achievements.

Prior to working on his debut solo LP, Go West Young Man, which synthesises Tex-Mex fusion, hillbilly rock explosions and country soul, the Rio Bravo, Mexico-born, Houston-raised artist established some of Houston’s most revered bands in the 90s and filled support slots for everyone from Ice-T to At the Drive In. He has also championed other Houston talent with his award-winning indie music label, Broken Note Records and opened a recording studio in Oregon. It’s safe to say he’s left an ever-lasting impression on the music industry, both through his own work and the work he has supported. When his new sophomore LP drops this fall, don’t be surprised if his legacy starts to know few bounds.

For the full Last Stand @ Little Muddy Creek experience, watch the official music video, which premiered on September 20 via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Unknown River set the bar for honkytonk hits plateau-high with ‘Outlaws on My Trail’

The Floridan singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Unknown River set the bar for penning immersive escapist honkytonk hits plateau-high with the standout single, Outlaws on My Trail, taken from his debut album, The Dead River Passage.

The fiddle and banjo-driven single delivers a vignette of a man coming to regret the repercussions of his down-and-out actions; the combination of the simple country living exposition and the upbeat arrangement and vocals is enough to make the experience of outlaw-evading sound like a riotous way to see the sands of time slip away, and therein lies the beauty of Unknown River’s indomitable magnetism.

By taking the influence of bluegrass, delta blues, country, rock and old-timey traditional tunes, Unknown River’s amalgamated Americana signature is designed to strip away the plight of modern-day malaise and entrench you in the ease and euphoria of eras that are far from bygone – roots-crafted sanctuaries are just one hit on play away. Press it.

Outlaws on My Trail is available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chloe Chadwick confronted short-fused ghosts in her captivatingly all-consuming alt-rock hit, Temper Gene

Cheshire’s most promising singer-songwriter, Chloe Chadwick, has stepped off her international touring circuit to strike sonic gold once more with her latest single, Temper Gene.

The impassioned pop-rock soundscape that delivers a captivatingly all-consuming indie-country twang digs deep into the phenomenon of falling head over heels for someone who will only inevitably keep you under the thumb with their short-fused psychopathic tendencies. How she managed to stay true to her brand of unadulteratedly passionate song crafting while exploring such a dark theme is a mystery that only lends itself to magnetism.

Her ability to spin such arrestive melodies around the maladies of the contemporary trappings of sociopathy transcends talent to paint Chadwick as one of the most seminal artists of our era. Just one hit of Temper Gene will leave you with the compulsion to lose yourself in her diverse back catalogue, which was created with a little help from world-class producers, including Chris Garcia and Kevin Dippold.

Temper Gene was officially released on August 11th; stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The blues rock renegade Chance Brown supercharged the airwaves with his electrifying single, Come See ‘Bout Me

The Victoria BC roots rock renegade Chance Brown delivered a bluesy bluegrass invitation you won’t want to turn down with his latest single, Come See ‘Bout Me.

Don’t let the acoustic guitar-wielding cover art fool you. Come See ‘Bout Me is more electrifying than anything Jack White has crafted in his entire career and just as rich in mainstream appeal thanks to the garage rock infusion. The track is so much more than a live wire, it is more reactive than the Chernobyl power plant at the point of explosion.

Between the harmonica blasts, the lap steel tones and the tightly controlled chaos of the choruses, Chance Brown succeeded in paying homage to the traditions of blues and ensuring that those aural traditions have a place in the contemporary music industry.

After spending his life in unwavering devotion to honing the different elements of song-crafting, Chance Brown has polished his talents and maintained his passion, initially ignited by the likes of Justin Townes Earle and Gord Downie, enabling him to become one of the most scintillating raconteurs of truths in any town.

Come See ‘Bout Me was officially released on the 18th of August; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Amy Corey instilled compassion into country pop with ‘If I Could’

When Amy Corey isn’t writing and recording radio-ready hit singles, she’s giving TEDx talks, being an Ambassador to the HCMC Peace and Development Foundation in Vietnam and being proactive in her role as a mental health motivational speaker.

The Vietnam-born artist, who was adopted to America at six months old, has melodically extended her mental health advocacy in her latest single If I Could, which soulfully shares some of the sonic proclivities with Taylor Swift’s country pop records as Corey strides into her own with her compassionately compelling vocal and lyrical lines, which allude to the immense crushing gravity of loss.

There’s just enough ambiguity in the lyrics to allow the listener to wrap their own meaning around the lyricism, which amasses an emboldening energy through the momentum of the classic pop crescendos. It’s a stunning release from an artist evidently intent in her mission to spread empathy and understanding in a world that can all too often feel devoid of it.

If I Could was officially released on August 8th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Blake Robert served Southern-twanged high-octane soul in his country pop-rock single, On My Mind

The Austin sound resounds in the eponymous debut country pop-rock album from the up-and-coming singer-songwriter Blake Robert.

The heart-on-sleeve standout single, On My Mind, spills Southern-twanged high-octane soul by the smorgasbord as the radio-ready production lends itself effortlessly well to drunk-in-love euphoria. With over two decades of experience crafting Eagles-esque earwormy guitar hooks, the rhythmically sharp ones implanted in On My Mind effortlessly reel you into the romanticism, which is just as magnetically sticky-sweet as the affectionate escapism found in Taylor Swift’s upbeat hits.

If you’re a fellow TX native and you can’t get enough of the debut album, catch Blake on his 2024 live tour through Austin, and keep him on your radar for more addictively energetic releases.

Blake Robert’s self-titled LP is available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Get your recklessly raucous country rock fix with Tracy Inman’s latest single, I’m Drunk Again

When only boozy & bluesy tongue-in-cheek country rock will hit the spot, dig into the latest single, I’m Drunk Again, from the recklessly raucous singer-songwriter Tracy Inman.

From endearing accounts of encounters with bullfrogs to tales of hedonism that make Charles Bukowski sound like a lightweight to sing-along choruses and foot-stompin’ rhythmics, I’m Drunk Again delivers it all in one tidy, polished, and infectiously feel-good package.

Even though the country genre is proliferated with songs about whiskey, the St. Louis-hailing singer-songwriter still managed to pull something original out of the brown paper bag. I can only imagine how well I’m Drunk Again goes down in a live performance in crowded and bleary rooms.

Stream I’m Drunk Again on Spotify, or check out Tracy Inman via his official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Madison Hughes painted a vignette with the poison arrows of a lothario in her country single, The Heartbreak Kid

If Helen of Troy could launch a thousand ships with her face, trailblazing country songstress Madison Hughes could do the same with her velveteen vocal lines in her latest single, The Heartbreak Kid.

Not one to skate by on her most obvious talent, Hughes always ensures her vignettes come to life in enthrallingly vibrant colour. With her latest slice of Americana, she painted a portrait of the kind of lothario you will always hope to never know while providing pitch-perfect solace to the ones that have been shot with poisoned arrows.

The Florida-residing artist started her journey at 10 years old. Since, she has won over all three judges on NBC’s The Voice, which subsequently resulted in her cover of Knocking on Heaven’s Door being streamed half a million times on YouTube. Her most popular single, You or the Whiskey, found a place on the Billboard “7 Must Hear Country Songs” list and the New Music Friday County Spotify playlist. The Heartbreak Kid is easily deserving of the very same accolades.

Stream The Heartbreak Kid on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Skip Seattle and Go to the Ozarks for Your 90s Grunge with Jeremy Phillips’ Latest Single, Crazy

Country and Grunge rarely collide, but when they do, as proven by the latest single, Crazy, from Jeremy Phillips and The Ozark Grunge, evocative firestorms spark in the gruff vocal timbre and southern rock riffs, which will take you higher than a billionaire in space.

With the raucousness scouring the soul in Crazy, the hit is rough around all the right edges, but at its core, it’s a heartfelt release strong enough to pick you up off the floor if you reach to it in your lowest moments.

While the lyrics allude to how love is one of the only acceptable forms of madness, the blazingly tight instrumentals, which will throw you right back to the 90s, sell sludged-up sanctuary. While so many artists are keen to assimilate the Seattle grunge sound, Jeremy Phillips proves the distortion sounds just as sweet in the Ozarks.

Crazy is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast