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Music Blog for Indie Rock Fans

Spotlight Feature: KAIS is artfully transcendent in his new EP, Hot Air Balloon

The alt-90s are definitively alive in the latest EP from the multifacetedly talented artist and songwriter KAIS. From his studio in Cyprus, the award-winning and BBC-favourite artist delivered three melodic singles that toe the line between artful ingenuity and meditative transcendence.

The opening single, Horizon, carries reminiscences of BETA BAND, but via a 25-year wormhole with its languid guitar licks, groovy trip-hoppy drums and blissful boyband-style vocals.

Track two, Turning to Gold, is enough to throw you right back to the not-too-distant nostalgia of Doves’ There Goes the Fear with its lush, laid-back, bluesy laments and heartbreaking swoonsome melodies.

The final and eponymous track, Hot Air Balloon, boasts a more dynamic, choppy funk, which echoes The Bends era Radiohead via Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ more melodic syncopations.

Putting the context behind his singles, KAIS said

“Horizon is a Citizen Cope / David Gilmor-esque inspired ode to tapping into one’s inherent free spirit, which commonly unearths in the lovers’ bond. It paints an image of a man that once swam with his beloved in the magic of a summer night’s sea and attempts to reconnect with the ubiquitous “baby how’s your day?”

Turning to Gold is a hymn of lovers as they traverse life’s highs and lows. It reaches into metaphysical spheres while weighing on the fact that bliss cannot be found when one is merely dreaming.

Hot Air Balloon is a metaphor for pregnancy. As the process unfolds, whereby a spirit permeates and rises into the boundless world, a Hot Air Balloon rises into the ether (where our thoughts drift and amalgamate).”

If any contemporary can unwrite all the false premises of capitalist romanticism and affirm that the beauty of love and life lies in the simplest of moments, it is KAIS. He knows just how to bring his epiphanous concepts to life so that the sonic end result is just as mind-bending as his laureate-like revelations.

The Hot Air Balloon EP is now available to stream on Spotify, Bandcamp and YouTube.

Follow KAIS on Facebook & Instagram

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Caragold wants that peaceful equanimity for us all on their beautiful new single arranged with healing ‘Sunshine’

With their debut album set for release in July 2022, Caragold is in truly inspiring form with an enlightening single that compels us to look further than that meaningless material item that won’t make you happy on ‘Sunshine‘.

Caragold is a Glenwood, Washington-based indie rock 4-piece band who has such a divinely mellow style that might have you sliding those sunglasses on and getting back into nature.

The founding member, Ross Charland, would retreat to the cabin every couple of months to write in solitude. Enough trips to the wilderness laid the foundation for the band. Yes, you may say that this stereotypical mecca to the cabin in the woods proved fruitful.” ~ Caragold

Sending us into a water-filled world that is such a delight in all of our senses as you look to get in touch with our magnificent world again, Caragold shows us that peace and love that is such a welcome ear-hugger. Smooth vocals are on offer here with a band who seem perfectly in tune to what humanity needs right now.

Sunshine‘ from Glenwood, Washington-based indie rock 4-piece band Caragold is one of the harmonious singles on offer in 2022. They sing in unison and urge us to get out of those dusty boxes – that will never make your heart joyful – unless you break out and swim free. The calming energy is rather tremendous and will take you into a better place that only has good intentions.

The unpretentious message from Caragold is one of deep meaning and exactly what we all needed to hear today.

See this peaceful video on YouTube and see more news via the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

The Mystical Hot Chocolate Endeavors delivered a prodigal prog-rock evocative firestorm through their single, MU-TH-UR

I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting a band under the moniker The Mystical Hot Chocolate Endeavors to sound like, but as sexy as Deftones & Kyuss wasn’t high on the list.

Fresh from the release of their MU-TH-UR EP, they sucked us into the atmosphere of the title single, which catapulted us across the spectrum of human emotion with the tightly tumultuous post-rock gravitas.

There is something endlessly sweet about the melancholy-tinged harmonies, which run in the same vein as Incubus, creating a bridge over the proggy furore that can’t be pinned down with any discernable accuracy. MU-TH-ER was the result of pure unbridled experimentation. Yet, with the stellar songwriting talent, The Mystical Hot Chocolate Endeavors makes it easy to enjoy going along with the ride that hits you with crescendo after curveball after breakdown. Considering that gas prices are at an all-time high, you may as well expand your horizons with the hypnotic propensities in the progressions in MU-TH-ER. We know we will. Repeatedly.

MU-TH-ER is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Leicester’s Her Burden refuses to follow the fake sheep who have faulty morals on ‘Better Than Me’

After roaring into our lives with their terrific single from late 2021 with ‘Way Too Good for Me‘, Her Burden pumps up the voltage to giddy heights of brilliance with a feast of meaty drum-filled energy to savour on ‘Better Than Me‘.

Her Burden is a powerfully constructed Leicester, UK-based indie alt-rock/punk band who is known for their thunderously exciting live performances at local festivals.

Breaking the door down and dragging out those fake leaders who live two lives and prey on the less fortunate, Her Burden rips the masks off and leads us to happier lands. They are in guitar-smashing form here and take us on a thrilling ride that will surely exhilarate our taste buds and give us all something to rejoice in when we needed it most.

Better Than Me‘ from Leicester, UK-based indie alt-rock/punk band Her Burden is a marvellous single from a well-respected outfit who is only rising upwards. Blessing the airwaves with a rocket-fueled song that is all about showing they refuse to lower their morals to be cool or accepted, this is a purposeful message for many to learn from.

With a sledgehammer sound and breathtaking vocals, which seem to shake your core awake, a track with substance is on offer here for those who want to know that they have the right mindset too.

Listen up to his ear-pleaser on Spotify and check out more info on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Brazil-based artist Caroline Meksraitis drops mysteriously dark 2nd single all about that ‘Haunted Mind’

After soothing our ears with her lovely debut single called ‘Somebody Else‘, Caroline Meksraitis returns with her much-anticipated second release that might give you shivers with, ‘Haunted Mind‘.

Caroline Meksraitis is a Brazilian indie pop/rock singer-songwriter who has been on a mission to make music her full-time career since she was just 16 years old.

Caroline has always had a very special relationship with music and grew up under the influence of big names in the music industry like: Queen, The Beatles, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.” ~ Caroline Meksraitis

With her debut EP on the way soon, Caroline Meksraitis sends us into a whole new world of intrigue on ‘Haunted Mind‘ with a vocally superior single to truly get your tender teeth stuck inside.

Music has always helped Caroline go through different moments in life: making memories, feeling understood or even less lonely.” ~ Caroline Meksraitis

Haunted Mind‘ from Brazilian indie pop/rock singer-songwriter Caroline Meksraitis is a groovy single that shall unravel the nightmare that has engulfed this wonderful musician. Sung with a passionate intensity that shall get your imagination running wild, this is a track that shall have you turning it up all the way on full, to enter this creaking door story.

Sometimes we just need to get the darkness out, to let the light back in again.

Hear this new single on her Spotify and see her exciting life on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

tuesday nite has made their ambient indie rock debut with the harmony-driven single, following after me

The harmony-driven ambient indie-rock duo, tuesday nite, came together during the pandemic through a shared love of tiny desk concerts, even more compact harmonies and indie contemporaries, such as Pinegrove and Phoebe Bridgers.

Now, they’re here with their debut self-titled release, featuring the lead single, following after me. If Mazzy Star and Vanessa Carlton met in the alt-90s middle, the convergence of evocative style would undoubtedly emulate the same radiant warmth in following after me.

The yearning love song stridently triumphs in depicting the bitter lows and the highs that leave a perpetual need for that co-writer in our lives to make a return. In every conceivable way, the unpretentiously expressive single floors you with the fluency of its expression. Debuts this impressive don’t come along every day. Get them on your radar.

Following after me is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jake George needs that extra time on the cinematic release about ‘Your Ghost’

Taken from his brand new 11-track album called ‘Drive All Night‘, Jake George is at his illumination-filled best on the deep thinking new single about that vivid journey beyond the present with ‘Your Ghost‘.

Jake George is a Melbourne, Australia-based alternative psychedelic funk/rock solo singer-songwriter, music producer, and sound engineer.

Returning with a song that should be in all of our playlists when we need some true introspection, Jake George takes us back to a time that we have all possibly hidden away inside a locked cupboard. Lifting us into a whole new world that seems to strike your soul with that feeling – which is so hard to explain – this is a delicately emotional release made with so much love.

Your Ghost‘ from Melbourne, Australia-based alternative psychedelic funk/rock artist and music producer Jake George is the type of single you play loud when you are floating in that deep reflective state of mind. He performs with a realness that is so rare these days and takes us into a better place and time. Vocally advanced and with so much deepness, this is a track that will have your heart beating so much faster than before as you delve through your darkest emotions.

Finding your way will take as long as it needs to until you are conclusively ready for the next step.

Check out this new single on Spotify and see more via the IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Jordan Dean dreams about when they could be together on ‘Saturday Evening’

Asking for the teasing to end as he can’t stop thinking about their possible romance, Jordan Dean shows us a fresh approach that has an old school feeling interwoven that takes you back to a better time with ‘Saturday Evening‘.

Jordan Dean is a Nashville, USA-born indie alternative rock singer-songwriter who performs with that extra edge needed and has that incredible vocal ability that will make you swoon with delight.

Pulling from garage rock acts such as Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, and The Libertines, Dean crafts a unique sound that is both fresh and timeless. Writing meaningful, practical, down-to-earth pop songs about the experiences of young adults in contemporary society, he plays on both his own experiences and his observations of the ever changing world around him.” ~ Jordan Dean

Sending our thoughts back into a merrier time that will have you thinking about the time you wondered if they were a tease or hinting at a romance, Jordan Dean brings a lively breeze back into our lives with a thoroughly enjoyable track that is packed with a thrilling ambience to bask in.

Saturday Evening‘ from Nashville, USA-born alternative rock singer-songwriter Jordan Dean is one of the more uplifting tracks you will feel this year. Charming our speakers with a cheeky wink and another round to sip on quickly, this is a fine single that shall get you moving and grooving again. Showing us that honest picture again as the world moves on from the previous isolation, you will surely turn this song up all the max to the maximum.

Hear this top new music video on Spotify and see more via his IG page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Smooth Retsina Glow clears our head as the fresh path awaits on ‘Live it up’

Taken from their 3rd studio album called ‘Metapahysical‘, Smooth Retsina Glow groove it up with a song all about moving onto greener pastures that will sooth the soul again for that all-important upliftment as they ‘Live it up‘.

Smooth Retsina Glow is a Lehigh Valley, USA-based 3-piece alternative band who are known as one of the hardest working acts around.

Surviving everything from line up changes, a pandemic, and lockdowns.” ~ Smooth Retsina Glow

After thrilling us with their previous single about taking a chance with ‘Something to Show for This‘, Smooth Retsina Glow is at their delightful best with an upbeat single that shall open the light again from the window that has been shut for too long.

Live it up‘ from the prolific Lehigh Valley, USA-based 3-piece alternative band Smooth Retsina Glow is a song that will have you finding all those goals you wrote on your notepad years ago. With a happy vibe and a tone that shall take you into a positive frame of mind, this is one of those songs to play on full voltage when you are heading into a new destination.

Realizing when you need to turn the page is the key to all future contentness.

Listen up to this new single on YouTube and see more on the IG page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

LUXTHEREAL has unleashed the alt-rock soundtrack to our destruction, Humanity’s Fall

The latest single, Humanity’s Fall, from the Phoenix Arizona hailing artist LUXTHEREAL, sonically resonates like a sombre-breakup track but the only thing that has departed is the promise of an empire that will stand the test of our destruction. The concept is stunning; the execution of the atmospherically hooky harbinger is equally sublime.

With a touch of proto-punk, garage rock and post-punk, there is a protestive vein running right through the intrinsically melodic body of the single, which forces you to contemplate our failures. And sure, it’s nice to dissociate and shop for your favourite nerd items on Amazon while the anthropocene raises the temperature and the parasites with shoes, otherwise known as our world leaders, carve out a new ring of hell on this side of the earth’s crust, but we can only hide our heads in the sand for so long before they boil in there. Kudos to LUXTHEREAL for being true to their moniker and delivering raw realism.

Humanity’s Fall Remastered by LUXTHEREAL is available on SPOTIFY & ALL major streaming services, you can view the video here!

Review by Amelia Vandergast