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J fired shots in his arcane parody pop-rock hymn, Our Men

Satirically blasphemous shots were fired at the military-industrial complex and the absurdity of piety in the latest single, Our Men, from one of the UK’s most enigmatic originators, J.

Having already witnessed J through his single Shame on You, we knew to expect a certain degree of endearing obscurity in this single, described as a stimulation of humour, intellect, emotion, body and soul, yet the one-man powerhouse exceeded all expectations in the spacey chorally psychedelic pop-rock hit that simultaneously gives Jonathan Pie, Prince and The Beatles a run for their money.

The cleverly meta single delivers intricate layers of depth that stack up to stand as a monolithic testament to J’s ingenuity. Not one to throw himself into expositions half-heartedly, Our Men cracks open the psyche of a warped military captain turned priest with a penchant for invasion and occupation. The parallels of tyrannical control were always there, it just took an audaciously bold artist to create a sonic boardwalk between them.

The guitar work that could make angels cry as it soars throughout the gospel-esque pop production towards the outro is the icing on this arcane parody’s cake. Naturally, we can’t wait to hear what J sinks his lyrical teeth into next.

Stream the official music video for Our Men when it premieres on YouTube on May 15th.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Entwine with Alba James’s folk-pop reverie, You Belong to Me

In their latest single, You Belong to Me, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alba James equally exhibited their profound connection to music and nature. Hitting play opens a doorway to a portal of fantasy, constructed by a mind attuned to folk-tale reverie; in the same vein as Cosmo Sheldrake, James rhythmically renders naturalism into her productions, which also tap into the enduring appeal of Dodie and Sufjan Stevens.

Though the title of the single implies possession, the free-spirited energy that breezes throughout the production with the retrospection of affection acts as an unexpected contradiction. James’ arcanely serene vocal lines drift through the organic layers of instrumentation attesting to how integral giving room to breathe is in a world full of confines.

Despite their relatively fresh innings in the music industry, the French Sweden-residing folk-pop troubadour allowed their aural talents to blossom from a young age before releasing their debut single, One in a Million, in 2020. Since then, they’ve shared 13 singles and their critically acclaimed EP, Bedroom Walls ahead of You Belong to Me. Even though nothing is off lyrical limits, themes of ancient mythology, queer love and nature are the cornerstone of the artist’s inspiration.

The next time you feel the need to touch grass, just tune into her discography instead.

Stream the official music video for You Belong to Me which premiered on May 7th via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

GETNER enriched the Manchester music scene with their expansively influenced Rock n Roll debut, White Walls

Manchester’s newest band of prodigal sons, GETNER, modernised vintage rock n roll tones with the shaking, rattling and rolling reverence in their debut single, White Walls.

With a rhythmic undercurrent reminiscent of The Undertones, an injection of Irish rock roots, garage-y blues rock nostalgia in the same vein as the Jim Jones Revue through the shimmering organ timbres and the barely tamed guitar riffs, White Walls is an expansively influenced Rock n Roll tour de force that asserts GETNER as one of the most promising Manchester bands on the scene.

By thriving on the unique sonic proclivities that each of the four members brought to the table, the band of superlatively talented artists ensured that White Walls hit the airwaves hard enough to bruise it. Feel the impact and be a part of GETNER’s inevitable ascent.

Stream the official music video for White Walls via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Slim Piccins preached to the streets in his cinematic old-school hip-hop track, Legal Dope

Slim Piccins’ latest single, ‘Legal Dope‘, is a refreshing divergence from contemporary hip-hop which almost feels like a parody compared to the hits from the golden era. The Charlotte, NC native brings a unique blend of raw, husky vocals reminiscent of Tyler, The Creator and Rick Ross, yet Slim Piccins stands distinct in his lyrical prowess. The track is a luxe fusion of orchestral strings and traditional hip-hop beats, creating a soundscape that is grounded and filmic in equal measure.

The narrative of resilience is a gritty testament to overcoming adversity without resorting to the typical glorification of material wealth. Piccins’ bars resonate, echoing the struggles and triumphs of a life that most can relate to.

His voice, deep and textured, weaves through the melody, adding a layer of authenticity. The production deserves equal acclaim for the way the orchestral elements elevate the song into a cinematic domain.

In ‘Legal Dope’, Slim Piccins doesn’t just perform; he narrates, he educates, and he inspires. This track is a bold statement in the hip-hop genre, proving that true motivational music doesn’t need the crutches of luxury and excess. It’s a raw, unfiltered glimpse into the soul of an artist who is not afraid to bare his scars and share his story.

Stream Legal Dope on YouTube now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Madam Who? Has riotously returned with her pop-hooked and rock-licked electro-clash earworm, Peter Meter

Electro-pop-rock meets hip-hop in the latest single, Peter Meter, by the indomitable visionary, who always favours the bold and rejects the mundane to empower others through the electricity in her eccentric expressionism, Madam Who? In her rap verses, the trailblazing sonic mould-breaker gives all the ensnaring electro-clash energy of Peaches before the track descends into a Garbage-esque alt-90s earworm in the choruses to deliver the ultimate liberating anthem.

The larger-than-life vignette of how her Grandma Rita used to absolve her of her boy troubles took Madam Who? 20 years to write, but now it has arrived, complete with a fully characterised music video and a quirkiness akin to the B-52s, we can all drink in the sage wisdom, which you may not want to follow to the T, but one thing is definitive about this track, it will riotously shake every ounce of ennui out of you.

After overcoming brain cancer, Madam Who? Has remained relentless on her mission to defy expectations and verse for the underdogs. In 2023, her debut EP, Reclaim Your Power, caught the attention of Good Morning America, and her story aired to 1.7 million viewers. Now that Peter Meter is on the airwaves, the Maryland-residing singer-songwriter is set to spill more serotonin and uplift countless people from their minor and major tribulations.

The official music video for Peter Meter premiered on January 19th; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hope overcomes fear in the live recording in the woods of Lara Eidi’s folk ballad, Maybe Then

When so many folk artists find their muses amongst natural phenomena, Lara Eidi’s live performance in the woods of her latest single, Maybe Then, will make you question why the acoustics of nature aren’t a more common setting for recordings.

Maybe Then is a captivating continuation of her previous singles, Breathe Love, and Summer Winds within the depth of the spirituality and connectivity to the organic nature of reality many forget we exist in.

Her dynamic operatic vocal range projects melancholic uncertainty and fear against nothing more than quivering cello strings and open atmosphere, which readily drinks in the sombreness within the folk ballad, armouring Maybe Then with heavy emotional artillery, ensuring that every arcanely harmonised and succinctly held note strikes every conceivable visceral chord as it drifts into the woods of Immitos Mountains in Athens and nuancedly advocates for hope for peace and unity following the genocide of Palestinian civilians.

Watch the live performance of Maybe Then via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Shrapnel unleashed the meta(l)morphosis of the year with their latest single, In Gravity ft Scott Kennedy

In collaboration with Scott Kennedy (Bleed from Within), the eclectically inspired metal monoliths Shrapnel unleashed the meta(l)morphosis of the year with their latest single, In Gravity.

All the precision, power and prowess that catapulted Shrapnel to acclaim is ensnaringly evident in the fervently cathartic juggernaut, which sonically and thematically moved with the times to acknowledge the pain, tragedy, and isolation collectively endured in recent years and to place the powerhouse at the pinnacle of modern metal.

After breaking through the chains of expectation and obligation to confine themselves to assimilating thrash antiquities, In Gravity is an adrenalized statement of intent. There’s no understating the riled euphoric energy which insurgently courses through the veins of the anthem for optimism where demons are exercised, and the past is forsaken for the present.

Between the exhilarating earworm propensities in the melodically cataclysmic choruses, the brutality of the breakdowns, the relentless dynamism of the guitars, and the flawless production by Jens Bogren (Sepultura, Kreator, Devin Townsend), the new maturity of Shrapnel is priming them to become the orchestrators of the album of the year in 2024.

In Gravity was released on December 7. Add it to your metal playlists on Spotify or stream the official music video on YouTube.

Follow Shrapnel on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Dora Gola – The Last Tear (Ostatnia Lza): Electronic Folklore Has a New Eloquent Author

For her latest single, The Last Tear (Ostatnia Lza), the electronic folk artist Dora Gola tapped into the divinity of her femininity to create an innately spiritual Clannad-esque score of pure beguile.

With her ethereal vocal timbre scintillating the orchestration of awakening Eastern beats and the reverb-swathed synth lines which give the release an ambiently explorative energy, the Polish Ireland-residing singer-songwriter and dancer reached the pinnacle of transcendent folktronica soul.

After her debut single, Dark Sand, saw her revered by Hot Press and The Irish Times Magazine as one of the most exciting acts to emerge from Ireland in recent years, expectations on the rhythmic seamstress were set high; with each new release, she’s surpassed all expectations.

Stream the official music video for The Last Tear by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Anni & John Lister taught a lesson in cinematic seduction in their jazz score, Man of Mystery

The art of seduction is stitched across the intricate tapestry of the latest cinematic jazz score from multi-instrumentalist and producer John Lister of Fingerman Studios and singer-songwriter, Anni. With Anni’s demurely siren-esque vocal lines narrating a tale of a Man of Mystery over the retro big band spy movie sound and the soft jazz stylings bringing decadence by the smorgasbord, the espionage-centric vignette will leave you hot under the collar and beyond.

If the producers for the next Bond film don’t enlist the superlative talents pertaining to Anni and Lister, who co-wrote the song together, they will have missed a lascivious trick. Heaven knows the franchise needs to redeem itself after Billie Eilish sang the last Bond theme.

The official music video for Man of Mystery premiered on September 8th; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Every Glazer’s talents are as boundless as his imagination in the melodic rock sonic sanctum, 23 Figments

To release his latest single, The Every Glazer dug through his alt-rock archives to uncover the single, 23 Figments, which was originally recorded in 2003 at Goblin Cross Records in Toronto with the contributing artist and recording engineer, Ross Goodfellow.

Ross Goodfellow may no longer be with us, but his legacy lives on in this rhythmic masterpiece; you can hear his organically vibrant percussive command pull through clearly on the soulful djembe beats as the rest of the instrumentals emanate a euphonic aura stylised by the likes of Incubus.

With Ross Goodfellow’s passing bringing new context to the single that explores figments that the mind conjures, 23 Figments is a deeply evocative work. As it pays homage to the early 00s rock sound that still rings with fragments of Seattle grunge, The Every Glazer embraces nostalgia and mellifluous innovation simultaneously to craft an original single that is all too efficacious in offering your soul sanctuary.

Check out the AI-created music video for 23 Figments via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast