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Ludwik Konopko has released the ultimate bohemian alt-country playlist staple with his latest single, Chickee Chick

Ludwik Konopko’s latest single, Chickee Chick, is the ultimate playlist staple for any alt-country fans that aren’t looking to get the blues. The jazzy and progressive single has warm tones by the smorgasbord between the walking basslines, shimmering acoustic guitar chords and arresting infusion of slide guitars.

Even when the vocals kick in, they are sitting low enough in the mix to bring a touch of the human element but not detract away from the organic alchemy that is blossoming from Ludwik Konopko’s Avant-Garde flair.

The Lviv-born guitarist, composer, and arranger has been performing publicly since the age of 19. Just some of the notable ensembles that he’s been involved with include the Lviv National Philharmonic, Tea Fan Club, popular travelling bands and flamenco fusion groups. Notably, he poured every ounce of his creative life experience into the composition of Chikee Chick. It drips with bohemian cool and doesn’t fail to enamour along the way.

Chickee Chick is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Meet your new slide guitar hero in Forest Ray’s psych-folk single, Always

Forest Ray

The notion of forever may be farfetched, but Forest Ray’s title-single from their upcoming album, Always, melodiously exhibits the beauty in love persisting. The folky psych rock soundscape carries the finger-picking influence of the late and great John Prine as the psychedelic nuances freshen the familiarity under the honeyed timbre of Forest Ray’s vocals.

The soaring guitar slides bring an absorbing dynamic to the release, entrenching Always next to the roots of Americana while simultaneously bringing in the future of psych-rock. Forest Ray deserves to be equally as revered as Kurt Vile for their hazy and cathartic sense of soul that leaves you with no question over their sincerity. For your sanity’s sake, delve in.

The single, Always, will release on January 22nd with the official music video.

Check out Forest Ray on SoundCloud, Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Holding Your Hand: Virginia-based country artist Noel Williams sends us incredible debut track ‘Never Letting Go’

As she gently closes her eyes and recollects when they were apart for a while and she didn’t like the feeling at all, Noel Williams knows that she is in such a happier place now and is ‘Never Letting Go’.

Noel Williams is a small town Amherst County, Virginia-based indie country artist who was formally in the Army and performs with a respectful nod to the ’90s.

She is a country artist through and through and been singing since she could speak-singing in churches and with various musical groups throughout her life.” ~ Noel Williams

With such a transfixing vocal ability that has you feeling so nostalgic as you remember holding hands with someone who makes your whole body glow with joy, Noel Williams is quite tremendously exquisite on her highly memorable debut single. As the air of contentment takes over rather quickly as she found her true love again, you feel that Noel will make use of this second chance to be with someone who was there the whole time.

Never Letting Go‘ from the Amherst County, Virginia-based indie country solo singer-songwriter Noel Williams, is one of those sweetly-made singles that you can’t help but turn all the way up to full volume. You sense that she is making up for a lost time in her music career but is in no rush – as she is self-aware enough to realize – that to be truly happy you need to be living in the moment, not the past.

Life is all about letting things flow anyway, as everything happens for a reason.

Listen to this truly special song on Spotify and see her socials on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

He’s A Fool: Homeland Hope tells that boss to get lost on ‘Life Is Tough (But I’m a Whole Lot Tougher)’

Taken off their massively ambitious 25-track album, Homeland Hope shows us that we need to value ourselves despite all the noise in this wild world on ‘Life Is Tough (But I’m a Whole Lot Tougher)‘.

Homeland Hope is an American-based indie-country duo that makes the type of soundscapes that are filled with Christian values that has you tapping your toes and singing along.

Growing up in North Carolina, Kathryn Bryant has always had country music in her blood. Michael Justin Lee, on the other hand, might seem to be a very unlikely person to become a country music creator, having been born in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, powered by a burning passion for country music, Lee perfectly complements Bryant, crafting spell-binding compositions and creating joyful music together as Homeland Hope.” ~ Homeland Hope

Presenting us a song that encourages us to brush away anything or anyone who is holding us back, Homeland Hope is at its honest best with a vocally-charged performance that is filled with courage and backed up with a likeable melodic blend that only seems to sweeten the soul. Heightened with a guitar-filled combination of merry melodies, you sense that they are only getting started on this delightfully inspiring journey of standing up for yourself.

Life Is Tough (But I’m a Whole Lot Tougher)‘ from the USA-based indie-country Homeland Hope, is a catchy new single all about staying strong no matter what challenges come your way. The world can be tough and people might try and throw sand in your eyes to distract you, but if you stay true to yourself then there is nothing that can really stop you from reaching your goals.

Hear this brand new YouTube audio.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

The Captive: Craig Gould tells us the sad story of the lonely prisoner who is held by the ‘Captain Of The Seas’

After the well-deserved success of his much-loved debut ‘Ain’t No Place To Hide‘, Craig Gould returns with the 2nd single that shall form part of his full project which is due for release in Spring 2022 on this heartbreaking tale about the fearsome ‘Captain Of The Seas‘.

Craig Gould is a Burton-on-Trent, UK-based indie alt-folk/Americana/country singer-songwriter and is also a highly inspirational Mental Health Campaigner with CALM.

As the heavy oceans take down someone who shouldn’t be chained up so cruelly, Craig Gould brings us a thought-provoking new single that takes you into such a thoughtful place to ponder deeply. There is so much to like about such a memorable track like this – that takes you into a whole new world of thinking – and imagining a life where you are at the mercy of someone so unnecessarily evil.

Captain Of The Seas‘ from the Burton-on-Trent, UK-based indie alt-folk/Americana/country singer-songwriter Craig Gould, is a vocally-pleasing effort of excellence that might have the hairs on your arms standing up to attention. He sings with such a joyful style and the well-constructed lyrics completely grab you by your soul, to lead you to into this cinematic-like story.

Being free is something we should never stop fighting for no matter what.

Hear this captivating single on Spotify and see what unfolds on his IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Learn From My Mistake: The Deserves tells us the true story of how ‘Love Is Strange’

Wrapped inside a highly-reflective tale of how a past relationship just appeared to sadly fade away like a lost shoe in the gusty wind, The Deserves explores the broad force of that weird feeling you can’t seem to ever explain on the breakup story of ‘Love Is Strange‘.

The Deserves is an indie-country band that performs amidst a vintage feel and carries you to a place that you can remember if you close your eyes long enough to recognise the time and place.

Guiding us into a somewhat sad story that transports you into a broken picture that was once so bright, The Deserves directs us into their world which is so pensive and sombre. This is the story of questioning why this didn’t work out, as the words fail and you put it down to bad timing to make you feel a bit better about the whole experience.

Love Is Strange‘ from the mysterious underground indie-country band The Deserves, is a thoughtful new single which will have you feeling so reminiscent about that previous relationship that just didn’t work out. You can’t explain why and it really eats at you ravenously – as you take another sip to water down the pain burning horrendously inside your fragile soul – and vow that the next one will be a more productive time for your heart to feel the true nurturing of a special soul.

Rather be single than be in the wrong romance is what they say.

Hear this new single on their Spotify page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Birds Over Arkansas have released their emotionally-charged slice of Americana ‘Sunflower’.

The melodically unorthodox outfit, Birds Over Arkansas, ended their five-year radio silence with the release of their highly anticipated emotionally charged slice of Americana, Sunflower, which reinforces the ‘good things come to those who wait’ idiom with Adamantium strength.

With the sweet choral vocals harmonising against the practically effervescent acoustic melodies as they weave through intricate rhythms, Sunflower is practically a gateway to another dimension. You’d be hard-pressed to find more escapism in a soundscape from any other up and coming outfit. It carries the sweetly sonorous appeal of Elliott Smith paired with a matchless cinematic roots-deep folk twang. We can only hope that Birds Over Arkansas has more aural salvation in the pipeline.

Sunflower is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Foundry Town Survivors bring in the future of indie-folk with their seminal single, Foundry Town.

Foundry Town

Foundry Town Survivors are bringing in the future of indie-folk by going back to the storytelling roots of the genre and incorporating the production nuances from succeeding eras.Their seminal single, Foundry Town, taken from their new 2021 EP, is a world-weary vignette of the small hometowns that may as well be composed of quicksand for the way they bring you down. And yes, I’m aware that sounds a little cliché, but it’s a sentiment plenty can relate to; even if you grew up in a major metropolitan area, you’ll know how it feels by the time the outro in Foundry Town rolls around.

The yearning for something more, something greater rings through in the gruff Cohen-Esque vocals as the versatile strings pull you through bitter-sweet crescendos and swells of optimism that shimmer in the easy acoustic progressions.

Their new EP is due for release on November 5th. It will be available to stream and download on all major platforms. Check out Foundy Town Survivors on their official website. 

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Only the soulless won’t be spellbound with Mark Lewis Heavenor’s artfully lamenting folk single, Young Boy.

Scottish songwriter, composer and guitarist, Mark Lewis Heavenor has released his most poignant work to date with his morosely gruff art-folk single, Young Boy. While the soundscape paints a quaint sepia-toned ramshackle town in your mind, the music video juxtaposes it by using a soul-sucking British ghost town as a location to place two dancers as they find inspiration despite the lamentable landscape.

Like many artists, Heavenor pulls plenty of inspiration from Tom Waits to create his own artfully rich sound but in every progression, you hear Heavenor push past assimilation into the realm of authentic creation.

The weight of the heavy yet bright vocals crawls under your ribs as you listen to the art-folk instrumentals quiver, rattle and angularly blossom from the fretboard. With the gentleness of Elliott Smith, the lyrical conviction of Kurt Cobain in his more melodious work and the cinematic pull of his Flamenco/Americana Folk guitars, you’d have to be soulless not to be spellbound.

The official video for Young Boy premiered on October 20th; it is a stunner; go check it out on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Laurel K Adams has released her artful country-pop crossover single, Dancing in the Eye of a Hurricane.

The 17-year-old singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Lauren K Adams has released her debut alt-county-pop crossover EP, The Introduction. The standout single, Dancing in the Eye of a Hurricane, carries the coveted gravitas of an artist that has dedicated their life to honing in on their craft, but discernibly, the melodies that her poetic lyrics breeze through are as natural as breathing. If you could imagine a hybrid of the best parts of Cohen, Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush, you’ll get close to imagining the ingenuity on offer here.

You’d be seriously hard-pressed to find another up and coming artist with such succinct talent when it comes to capturing the multifaceted complexities of the human experience. The airwaves are an infinitely better place for her debut. The motivation for it goes beyond the yearning for accolades; it stems from the far less factious inclination to empower her listeners.

Dancing in the Eye of a Hurricane is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast