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Shoegaze

Goonmetal has released his addictively authentic alt-indie single, For the Moment

With the same floods of bleeding reverb as Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine mixed with the indie jangle-pop melodies and trap pop sensibilities, Goonmetal’s latest single, For the Moment, featuring Treistemm, is a fiery feat of constraint-less experimentalism. It hits the visceral spot whilst leaving you utterly transfixed in the aural chaos as choral tones come up against caustic ones.

The white-hot guitars cut through the mix just as efficaciously as they did in Interpol’s debut record. But there is an accessible lo-fi edge to all of Goonmetal’s tracks that prove his interest in commercial success fell by the wayside as the need for expression took the lead throughout his creative process.

The 18-year-old Glastonbury, CT-hailing artist is a self-taught artist who has made every beat from scratch since making his debut in 2019. He knows exactly how to amplify the raw emotion that is projected into his music. For that reason, he will remain firmly affixed to our radar throughout 2022.

For the Moment is now available to stream via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: NIA paints a portrait of inner turmoil in her downtempo alt-RnB single, Distant Colors

‘Distant Colors’ is the latest compassionately composed single from the New York-born, Philadelphia-based alt-RnB artist, and producer, NIA. Her signature spiritualism weaved its way into the downtempo release that explores inner turmoil for the emotionally attuned. For anyone who has ever cursed the depth of their emotional intellect, Distant Colors will act as an olive branch of empathy. As NIA’s light vocal timbre falls into the echoey and reverb-drenched shimmering guitars, the solid, steady drumbeats give the track enough structure while letting the ambience breathe through. The single was written, recorded and produced at NIA’s home studio; before being mixed and mastered by Tito Orjih at Oscar’s Greenhouse.

Here’s what NIA had to say about the release:

“My single, Distant Colors, expresses the raw emotion of being in tune with our inner struggles. Not only does this downtempo R&B tune tackle the feeling of isolation; it also represents the realness of the relationship that we have with ourselves.”

NIA started songwriting at an early age; on her journey to adulthood, she’s continued to hone in on her inexplicable talent that will instantly pique the interest of fans of Sade. Shortly after graduating from Shippensburg University, she established her record label, Chill Room Records and formed her band, The Chill Room Band. With new material in the pipeline, she’s definitely one to watch.

Distant Colors is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Poetry flows with the mellow vibes in Innocent Tata’s alt hip hop track, The End.

Alt rap artist, Innocent Tata, dropped his latest album, Kiwi (The Bird), on November 15th; with his poetic flows and ambient indie vibes, this is urban catharsis as you have never known it before.

The standout single, The End, is a mellow window into the artist’s candid soul. After a hazy intro that bleeds reverb, the beats start to rattle beneath his butter-smooth rap bars that work their way around the introspective gold in the lyricism. The End drifts through ethereal increments into crescendos of sheer ambient electro ingenuity; your vibe out playlists couldn’t ask for more.

The End is available to stream and purchase via the apple store with the rest of Innocent Tata’s album, Kiwi (The Bird).

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Alyssa Keen & Nickay – thanks but no thanks: emboldening ‘over you’ indie pop

For her latest single, singer-songwriter Alyssa Keen teamed up with Nickay to create the ultimate emboldening ‘over you’ track “thanks but no thanks”

Alyssa Keen’s natural, elysian and airy vocals make it all too easy to succumb to the soul in the romantically scorned track that reminds the listener how sweet it is to take back emotional power over yourself.

Around the easy acoustic guitar chords are stunning nuances of shoegazey indie and elements of style that fans of Kurt Wilde will instantly want to melt into. The single is so much more than your average bitter and coming age of single. Alyssa Keen’s motivation to pull optimistic perspectives out of the bad to enlighten the world is enough to restore your faith in humanity.

thanks but no thanks is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Gard Read pops the perfectionist bubble in his anthemic indie pop debut, All We Can Do

Indie electro-pop artist Gard Read joined the swathes of artists making their debut in 2021 and scarcely left any commercial potential for the rest with ‘All We Can Do’.

While every faction of the media convinces you that you deserve nothing less than perfection while implanting unrealistic romantic ideals, Gard Read popped that naïve bubble with the reminder that Nobody is perfect. The stunning Slowdive-reminiscent guitars cushion the blow while the fiery production mimics the torrid state of mind  we enter when we contend with our insecurities and question if we’re worthy of affection.

Gard Read is right up there with Empathy Test for the way he can turn raw emotion into an anthemic hit that unifies through the resonance. If any track is going to convince you to embrace your imperfect autonomy, it’s All We Can Do.

All We Can Do is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Future-pop fuses with Britpop in Footless Kicks’ debut single, E1 2AM

Footless Kicks

In the ultimate pop-rock crossover, London-based rock guitarist, producer and songwriter, Footless Kicks sent us back to the Britpop era with his debut single, E1 2AM. The devilishly clever single carries the same blissful tones as the Roses along with the driving momentum of JBD’s anthemically charged riffs in The Manic’s most soul-sating hits. Vocally, Footless Kicks truly came into his own. The solo artist’s gruffly soulful vocal timbre is complemented by the dynamic range of the guest female vocalist whose dreamy harmonies sit between Mazzy Star and My Bloody Valentine.

With more singles in the pipeline and the teasing of an album, any alt-90s fan will want Footless Kicks on their radar.

E1 2AM is due for official release on November 8th; you can catch it for yourselves on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hope Called in Sick has released their melancholic playlist staple, Lotus.

Hope Called in Sick

Iconic sonic palettes from the 80s and the 90s converge in Hope Called in Sick’s latest single, Lotus; the shimmering synth melodies paired with the layers of accordant shoegazey reverb made it a multi-stop nostalgia hit.

Plenty of contortions have been spun upon the 80s synth sound, but the husband and wife duo, Rob and Monica Schipul, managed to bring brand-new phantasmal energy out of it. Lotus offers a very different brand of ambience; one that reflects our modern malaise and the duo’s Jungian lens through which they see the world.

Check out the latest release from Hope Called in Sick on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Azure Wolf delivers strident poetry in their indie power-pop ballad, You Belong to Me.

The Winchester, VA indie rock outfit, Azure Wolf, have released their debut album, Tensions. Within the ten tracks, they have practically covered the entire emotional spectrum.

After starting with the shoegaze masterpiece, Black Fur, which captures the alienation in dissociation, the album flows into affectionately strident poetry with the standout single, ‘You Belong to Me’.

Around the shimmering guitars, Victoria Backle’s vocals pour unadulterated emotion into the mix as she proves what unconditional love looks like in the indie power-pop ballad that leaves you with no question about the authenticity of this ingenuity-powered outfit. With the folk, rock, pop and indie nuances all seamlessly infused, You Belong to Me breathes visceral alchemy.

Azure Wolf’s debut album, Tensions, is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Gold Supply take us ‘Completely Underwater’ in their artfully ethereal debut EP.

September saw the debut of The Gold Supply, a collective of ex-major label artists seeking to infringe ambience on the external chaos in the world with their artfully ethereal presence during the pandemic.

Their debut EP, Completely Underwater, reflects the dystopia that may as well be in the water at this point before poetically finding a way to say “mate, same” to everyone who knows how it feels when no sigh is deep enough to take the weight off your lungs.

In the same way that shoegaze icons surrender your soul to the serenity of their soundscapes, the Gold Supply efficaciously leads you to tranquillity through the delicacy of the sparse yet resounding instrumental layers. With a similar sonic palette to Pet Deaths, they’re definitely ones to watch.

Completely Underwater is now available to sink into on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

LIVE REVIEW: The Vaulted Skies at The Angel, Nottingham 24/09/2021

The Vaulted Skies were one of the few bands that became the soundtrack to my insanity during lockdown. When they announced their show at The Angel in Nottingham supporting Lesbian Bed Death, I obviously had to be there in full unashamed fangirl fashion.

Starting with their sludgy hard-hitter, Hollowhead, they instantly asserted their ability to create an atmosphere where hearing the music becomes secondary to feeling it. After a delicate guitar intro that feeds intoxicating post-punk opium vibes, they slammed into an arresting amalgamation of shoegaze, rock and grunge with Molko-Esque vocals that cut above the noise.

Originally it was their gothy dancey hit, Does Anyone Else Feel (Strange)? which ended the set that won me over; the mix of inimitably intricate guitars over a filthy four-on-the-floor beat naturally had me hooked. But with the emergence of their demo release of their slower indie single, Almost Happy, my adoration became far more multifaceted.

Whether they’re creating floor-fillers or stripped-back melodic tracks, there’s a magnetism that proves emotion always comes before ego, which makes it so easy to lose yourself in their sonic alchemy through the sense of unfiltered connectedness.

The Vaulted Skies is easily one of the most criminally underrated alternative acts in the UK right now. Anyone with a proclivity towards pensiveness and pioneering alt-rock should be paying attention.

Listen on YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud

Photo Credit: Rich Lindley Photography

Review by Amelia Vandergast