To hold a mirror to the dystopic sickness of the day, the critically acclaimed Toronto singer-songwriter, Oliver James Brooks, lyrically narrated our iPhone co-dependency issues in stark contrast to the 70s fever of psych-folk timbres with his alt-folk-rock single, Technologically Stoned.
Illuminating the reality of the evolution of technology which is spurring the regression of society while orchestrating a lava lamp warm soundscape that consoles through the dusky hues couldn’t have been an easy feat; the resolving raconteur succeeded nonetheless.
The accompanying music video, shot on super 8mm film along the Humber River Valley, also acts as a compelling visual exposition of how the chokehold of our phones is blinding us to the natural beauty that is everywhere we turn. If any single is going to convince you to get your dopamine fix in a more organic way, it is Technologically Stoned; the organic and raw production leads by efficacious example.
Technologically Stoned was officially released on September 22; it will also feature in the artist’s third studio LP, A Little Long While, which will be available to stream on all major platforms from November 24.
Watch the official music video for Technologically Stone on YouTube now.
The North Dakota alt-folk artist, composer and producer Joel Porter’s fascination with the human psyche knows even fewer bounds than the experimentalism in his harmonic landscapes.
Art brings meaning to life; in Porter’s work, which includes his recently released single, Godsend, life also brings meaning to art as the quiescent neo-classic melodies complement confessional emotional exploration. With his signature sense of intimate longing, Godsend is yet another testament to his talent and introspective eloquence. With a sound so sweet it stings, the melancholic cries for providence in Godsend are so profound they resonantly overwhelm the senses.
Combined with the aesthetic desolation in the black-and-white music video which visualises the monochromatic hues of a forsaken soul, Godsend is yet another masterpiece in Joel Porter’s repertoire.
Over the course of his career, he’s worked with renowned artists, showcased his music on a national level, accumulated over 7.5 streams, and secured sync placements with the television series The 100 and in the Grey Skies: A War of the Worlds Story video game.
Something tells us the best is yet to come for Porter and his ability to construct bridges between the pensiveness of Elliott Smith and the intricate ambience of Nils Frahm.
The official music video for Godsend will premiere on September 28; watch it on YouTube.
The Yellow Wallpaper made an eternal impression with their debut single, Tell Me to Beg; their spiky attitude punctuated the ensnaring sphere of artful alt-rock, but that was nothing compared to the volition that went into as much overdrive as the guitars in their sophomore single, Run Your Mouth.
Veering more towards the 90s Seattle sound but still sinking their teeth into post-rock production styles, Run Your Mouth is a kaleidoscopic vortex of vindication. In a time when it feels like there’s a cacophony of vacuous contempt at every turn, every bark is worse than the bite and every bitch is in heat, sinking into the single, which delivers an exposition of the shallowness of the hypocrisy of public perception and the psychological effects, is as close to utopia as our dystopic epoch will allow.
Following the sold-out launch show of their debut single in mid-2023, the band is priming to do it all again by launching the single to their hometown crowd in Adelaide.
Run Your Mouth was officially released on September 22nd; stream it on Spotify.
Determined to reinvent Britpop for the 21st-century airwaves, the Cardiff-hailing outfit, Tiny Camels, made melodious headway with their sophomore single, One of Those Days.
By abstracting the laddish swagger that became as synonymous with 90s Britpop as bucket hats with a sweeter vocal register that defies gravity with its interstellar soaring hues around the eternal sunshine in the indie pop guitars that wrap around the kaleidoscopic atmospherics, Tiny Camels delivered euphoria without the hits of ecstasy.
With indie rock hooks as sharp as the ones crafted by the Vaccines when they semi-permanently implanted Post Break-Up Sex in our mind for the entire duration of 2011 around the jangled and angular elements of new wave indie that creates a romantically effervescent sphere of the soundscape, One of Those Days lies on a plateau above the rest of the 2023 indie landfill.
One of Those Days hit the airwaves on September 22; stream it on SoundCloud.
If it isn’t too early for commercial stores to deck their aisles with items that prove we’re in the midst of a consumer-industrial complex, it isn’t too early to pontificate on what will be the staple fixtures on our holiday playlists, especially when the singles are as superlatively resolving as New Year’s Eve from the folk singer-songwriter Susie McCollum.
Part love song, part soulful indie-folk ode to bitter-sweet tradition, the loungey and luxe feel of the NYC singer-songwriter’s debut single allows you to slip into a reflective sanctuary of a soundscape. The gentle piano keys against the minimalist acoustic guitars construct an absorbing platform for McCollum’s endlessly sonorous harmonic notes to drift into as the lyrics go beyond the commodification of the holiday, which, whether we like it or not, forces us to take sentimental stock of the year gone by and anticipate what we’ll be grateful for next year.
However you choose to spend it this year, there isn’t a situation McCollum can’t elevate with her Joni Mitchell, Norah Jones and Janis Ian-esque sound.
After celebrating critical acclaim in his power-pop band, Throwback Suburbia, the Portland-based drummer and songwriter Mike Collins created his studio project, Rooftop Screamers to showcase his original tracks and create an opportunity to work with local and world-renowned vocalists, musicians, and producers.
Swapping guitar solos for the far more euphonic timbres of synth lines, he orchestrated an interstellar sonic fantasy in his latest single, Another Life, featuring Tim Smith, but those power pop proclivities still worked their way into the sticky-sweet synthesis that will enamour any fans of Butch Walker and Father John Misty.
It is all too easy to affix an ELO reference onto any track that could be branded as a cosmic pop odyssey, but the fusion of Beatle-esque pop, classical arrangements, and futuristic iconography necessitated the reminiscence reference regardless.
Something tells me that Another Life will be an earworm that doesn’t quit until you have pandered to it repeatedly.
Proving that time isn’t linear, the London-based outfit, MODEL CITISIN, fronted by Nick Swettenham, brought the 90s Britpop era right back around with their debut single, Been and Gone.
Muso nostalgists are hardly in short supply, but nothing about Been and Gone even comes close to antiquated. The resurgence of the brassy euphoria, psychedelically tined guitar tones, and crescendos carved from violin strings will tempt the souls of the most world-weary indie fans out of repose.
Unravelling as a mash of the signatures of the 90s, with enough room for authenticity in the high-octane melodic hooks that could ensnare a stadium, it’s impossible not to get excited about the foundling outfit’s potential.
With superlatively orchestrated guitar solos that could give James Dean Bradfield a run for his virtuosic money augmenting the sentimentality of the single, which throws in a few Grandaddy-esque synth lines for good measure, Been and Gone is easily one of the most promising debuts I’ve heard in 2023.
Been and Gone was officially released on September 22; stream it on SoundCloud.
The classically trained pianist, electronic music producer and composer, Fabian Jeller used every modicum of his training and talent honing to mark his evolution towards a more viscerally stylistic, organic, and colourful tonal palette in his most seminal single to date, From Zero to Infinity.
The synthesis of classical instruments in the electronic soundscape embodies the vivaciousness of a full symphony orchestra to take you on a journey of vibrant transcendence via the arrangement of the synths and strings, which work in absolute synergy to ensure you sonically arrive at the destination the Italian virtuoso intended.
Blissful, rejuvenating, and deeply evocative in inexplicable equal measure, From Zero to Infinity captures the momentum of life, and all the stratospherically colossal twists and turns it leaves us with no option to traverse. As Bill Hicks once famously said, it’s just a ride. Jeller proved the intrinsic beauty in that ride. Strap yourselves in and surrender yourself to it.
From Zero to Infinity arrived on the airwaves on September 16; stream it on SoundCloud.
After swinging onto the airwaves with their debut single, Time, in June the Floridian five-piece, Abyssal Voyage, has amplified their eclecticism by unveiling their multifaceted beast of a sophomore rock-metal mash-up, Step.
With angularly cold lead guitars that throw you all the way back to when Korn held dominion over the alternative scene around the Pantera reminiscent aggression in the verses, the choruses were the perfect opportunity to impale the track with razor-sharp hooks that give the track infinite earworm appeal. In the same way Grohl can orchestrate melodic vocal hooks that will stick to your synapses like superglue, Abyssal Voyage know just how to infuse addictive fixtures to their furore-driven sound.
The resurgence of nu-metal is becoming increasingly impossible to ignore; if any powerhouse has what it takes to turn the new generation of metal fans onto it, it is Abyssal Voyage with their unique take on nu-metal motifs.
Step was officially released on September 16; stream it on Spotify.
Just a Dreamis the latest orchestrally ornate single meticulously crafted by the Tucson, Arizona artist, Brian Berggoetz. While the acoustic guitar strings keep the orchestration humble, intimate and folky, the cinematic interplay between the cello and violin strings brings a profound sense of elegant refinement to the lyricism, which tenderly chases an ethereal spectre.
With his backing band, Brian Berggoetz has become a prominent fixture in the Tucson live circuit and beyond; his live shows, whether he’s opening for Reverend Horton Heat, Charlie Sexton and Chris Murphy or topping the bill, have a reputation for rendering audiences enraptured.
Original songwriting is just one of his talents in a vast repertoire; he also has an affinity for reimagining classical songs in his distinctive style, which balances euphonic decadence with the intense affability of folk rock to make classical overtones effortlessly accessible to a wide audience. If Eddie Vedder’s soundtrack for Into the Wild infused more orchestral strings, I’m not entirely convinced it would emanate the same delicate visceral mesmerism of Just a Dream.
Just a Dream is now available to stream on Spotify.