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Go down the rabbit hole with Observe the 93rd’s histrionic alt-rock anthem, Mad as a Hatter

Observe the 93rd created the ultimate contender for the histrionic alt-rock anthem of the year with their latest single, Mad as a Matter. If you could imagine what it would sound like if Highly Suspect veered into the spooky symphonic cabaret arena, you’ll get an idea of what you are in for when you hit play, but bank on getting more than you bargained for with this maniacally exhilarant hit.

With whirling dervish-esque symphonic keys contorting into gyrating progressions and the industrial rock descent into deeper obscurity, Mad as a Hatter takes a common trope and stretches it out on a tightrope of experimental innovation. The syncopated pseudo-trap hit will be hit with fans of Tallah, Wage War, Stolen Babies, Fable Cry, Poppy, and Schoolyard Heroes.

Mad as a Hatter is as un-archetypal as tracks get, which makes it all the more impressive that Observe the 93rd effortlessly implanted earwormy choruses. So far in their career, they’ve been voted Best Alternative Rock Band and Best Male Vocalist at the Central Pennsylvania Music Awards in 2021. And they’ve supported Three Days Grace, Stone Temple Pilots, Seether, Puddle of Mudd, Drowning Pool, Saliva, Joyous Wolf, From Ashes to New, and P.O.D.

Stream the official music video for Mad as a Hatter on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Mikey Vee invites you inside the mind of ‘The Artist’ with his visionary rap track.

If you have ever wondered what it is like inside the mind of an artist, the latest single, The Artist, from the hip-hop luminary, Mikey Vee, will fill you in on the struggle behind the success.

By touching on complicated relationships with perfectionism, the flow states that allow hours to slip by like seconds, and the essentiality of egos, it is safe to say that Mikey Vee hit all the right notes and painted with all the right strokes in his uninhibitedly candid rap track, which pulls in melodic guitars to amplify the rhythm of the 808s.

With a touch of playful zeal to his rap bars, it is all too easy to get on the hook of The Artist. Forgetting about the urban earworm is another thing entirely.

The official music video for The Artist premiered on May 12; catch it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Pop-Punk trailblazer, Brooklyn Belton, unveiled the ultimate adversity aftercare anthem, Just Fine

Starting with an instant hook that sounds like it came straight out of the Bowling for Soup arsenal, the debut single, Just Fine, from the Ohio pop-punk trailblazer, Brooklyn Belton, effortlessly became one of our favourite alt-rock earworms of 2023 so far.

With an instrumental arrangement so tight it is practically corseted, Brooklyn Belton polished the punk rock genre with her anthemic slice of stellar songwriting, which won’t fail to leave you galvanised for the way the exhilarant guitars wrap around her lyrics that compel you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and deal with the cards of adversity your autonomy has dealt you.

When the chorus comes around, you’ll lose yourselves in the euphoric energy while simultaneously finding yourself in the candid introspection that perceptibly oozes from the wounds of a personal battle.

Just Fine hit the airwaves on April 14. Check it out on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Nethermead delivered darkwave decadence in his latest alt-pop hit, Bodysnatcher

Sam Smith’s music video for I’m Not Here to Make Friends has nothing on the latest filmic masterpiece from the alt-electro-pop artist, Nethermead; neither does Eyes Wide Shut, for that matter. The baroquely fetishistic aesthetics in Bodysnatcher amplify the tribally entrancing rhythmics of the track that makes a serpentine meal of carnal pleasure.

South Louisiana has spawned innumerable southern gothic icons, but few pertain the same scintillating allure of the artist and producer who genre-bends industrial, darkwave and alt-pop to set salacious scores that have never been settled before. If you want to empower your libido while feeling the sharp hooks of a catchy chorus, hit play and never look back. Closer by Nine Inch Nails may go down as one of the sexiest singles in history, but Bodysnatcher is hot on its lascivious heels.

The official video for Bodysnatcher is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Slip into the indie synth-pop sanctum of Aquarium Drinker’s reflectively melodic single, By Design

Finding the synthesised middle ground between Alan Vega and Beach House, the up and coming Seattle-based alt-pop artist Aquarium Drinker created a sentimental synth pop haven with their latest single, By Design, which is due for release on February 24th.

After the strobing synths in the prelude feed the euphonic energy, the indie singer-songwriter introduces his quiescently deadpan vocals. Despite their laidback attitude, it is all too easy to connect with the soul of the reflectively poignant release, which ponders how much control we have over our lives and how much was brandished on a blueprint from our first breath.

By Design is beyond anything we have ever heard before. Yet, through the resonant intimacy, few soundscapes we have heard this year are satisfyingly sweeter.

Here’s what Aquarium Drinker had to say about his latest single:

“Many of my songs, like this one, are about being disappointed in others. The sole theme of By Design is on the points of contention in a relationship with one of my exes. We had differing opinions about a political issue; I couldn’t bring him into my frame of mind because that is how he was raised to think… By Design.”

Stream the official music video for By Design by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

NY’s JShell teamed up with rock royalty for his post-punk spliced hit, Haunted

To kick off 2023, rock-inclined NY multi-instrumentalist, JShell, will be releasing 15 music videos in 30 days from his hotly anticipated audio and visual album, IN MY HEAD, featuring members of rock royalty, including Steve Hackett (Genesis) and Katie Jacoby (The Who).

We were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of Haunted, featuring Karen Abrams, Fernando Chirinos, and Sofie Jane. The single starts with a dramatically suspenseful horror score before giving way to the gravelly post-punk basslines and vocals that flow in the same biting vein of PIL and Magazine to bring in a nuclear explosion of rock.

The female vocals bring a shot to the heart of Joan Jett glamour before the maniacal riffs extend the progressive nature of the hit that throws curveball after curveball. It’s not rock n roll as you have known it before, but anyone with an affinity for experimental rock will want to get acquainted with this riotous feat of ingenuity.

The official video for Haunted will premiere on January 25th. Catch it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

solos has unveiled his innocently sweet star-crossed indie-pop single, only mine

Recently, there has been a lot of demonising rhetoric about people crushing on their friends; the up-and-coming Boston-based artist and producer, solos, proved that it is completely possible to respect the friend you want to go further with through his single, only mine.

The melodic indie-pop single that pushes the accordance from the acoustic guitars to the front of the mix is an extension of resonance to everyone who finds themselves lamenting over the lack of mutual attraction but maintaining gratitude for the friendship.

The ornately mellow short and sweet track, complemented by the music video, is one of the purest things you will see and hear all year. His crystal-clear RnB-tinged pop harmonies against the mellifluous flow of the instrumentals are wholesomely transcendent.

The official video for only mine premiered on January 13th; watch it yourself on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

LUCID LIP unveiled their end of the beginning smoky alt-rock odyssey ‘Room to Grow’

We couldn’t get enough of LUCID LIP’s soulfully seminal single, Who Would Notice? Hearing they are back on era and genre-amalgamating form in their single, Room to Grow, was a rare reason for exhilaration in the age they lament in this timely, smoky, synth-driven hit.

Horror films have made us accustomed to the odd ghosts dotted around a creepy building. The NYC outfit explored the infinitely more tangible phenomenon of nothing being left in our sightline but phantasms of everything and everyone that has given up the ghost in “the end of the beginning”.

It is as isolated and lonely as Bowie’s Space Oddity. But the feeling of estranged detachment needn’t be miles from the earth’s surface when life on earth has almost turned into a paranormal investigation as we look back on everything that these torrid times have torn away from us.

Still pertaining to some of the beauty of the world that we seem hell-bent to obliterate as the bombs drop, the forests burn, and tensions run high, the humanistically pure single becomes infinitely more evocative.

For anyone who finds it hard to express their deep, dark sadness for the collective state of the world. Or anyone with no one left to confide these complex feelings in, Room to Grow is an essential hit that is sure to inspire a few cathartic tears. I know I shed a few.

Room to Grow will officially release on January 1st. You won’t want to miss it. Stream it on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow LUCID LIP on Instagram and Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Imelda Gabs sophisticated the pop genre to the nth degree with her mournfully minimalistic neo-classic pop single, RECKLESS

‘RECKLESS’ is the latest intensely compelling single from the pop innovator Imelda Gabs. From a mournfully minimalistic neo-classic prelude of minor piano keys, the contemporary ballad that comes to terms with a disposition of recklessness seamlessly builds; utilising the dynamic vocal range of Imelda Gabs to orchestrate one of the most strident crescendos to ever grace the pop genre.

The pain exhibited borders on primal as the independent singer and producer gave an intimate view of her own shortcomings to universalise the phenomenon of letting our inner saboteur lead us to a position of self-doubt, regret, and inner hostility.

The 24-year-old Belgian and Congolese artist grew up in Switzerland, where she studied piano, violin and signing before evolving as a composer and songwriter. Since 14, she has been gracing prestigious stages amongst world-renowned artists before she started to focus on her recorded music, and my God, the airwaves were crying out for her elevated balletic grace.

Watch the cinematic official music video for RECKLESS on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Spotlight Feature: Glimpse Behind the Scenes of Gated Estates’ Agitated Art-Rock Debut Single, A Letter, with the Live Studio Music Video

Breaking out of the Brecon Beacons, Gated Estates released our favourite debut single of the year with their agitated art-rock release, A Letter. Now, there is a glimpse of how the single was orchestrated; no magic was lost in the live studio version.

The video filmed in their home studio within rural wales provides a voyeuristic view of the gently tensile keys artfully pushing against the angular notes spilling from a Fender Jazz Master while the synths and loops in the background complexify the soundscape to create an alchemic exemplification of music that is greater than the sum of all parts. Christmas came early for the Neil Halstead fan in me as each guitar note transfused choral reverb into the single while the lyrics and vocals resounded with amplified ephemeral grace.

Just when I thought I couldn’t love Gated Estates more, they gave a bird’s eye view as they pulled the rabbit out of the proverbial hat in the compassion-encompassing single that navigates the bitter-sweet relationship between our present selves and our inner child.

Usually, music can only resonate with a subset of people that have experienced certain dynamics. As we have all grown from innocent vessels with naïve views of the world and optimism for the paths we will walk, A Letter speaks to everyone.

We can’t wait for the intellectualism bound to ensue from their sophomore release.

Watch the live studio video for A Letter, which premiered on December 9th on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast