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Abyssal Voyage – Step: Nu-Metal As You’ve Never Known It Before

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.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Brian Berggoetz tenderly chases an ethereal spectre in his orchestral folk score, Just a Dream

Just a Dream is 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.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Angel Quintas – Feel at Home: Cosmically Cosy Indie Pop Worth Staying In For

If the Beatles entered their kitchen sink era while picking up a few Ziggy Stardust proclivities, their kaleidoscopically soul-affirming singles would be as cosmically cosy as the latest single, Feel at Home, by the Floridian adult contemporary singer-songwriter, Angel Quintas.

Rather than assimilating 60s and 70s icons, the self-taught musician and producer abstracted influence from their tonal palettes and weaved them into a tapestry stitched with more contemporary alt-indie production techniques to deliver a nostalgic sanctuary with modernist décor.

While it is all too easy to bemoan the lazy days that put few demands on your time, especially with the age of the influencer making you feel guilty for not living the lifestyle of the rich and famous every day despite being neither, Feel at Home, colourfully illustrates that few things can match home comforts while delivering musical theatre akin to the sonic performances of Father John Misty who always goes the extra euphonic mile to leave you fully consumed.

Feel At Home hit the airwaves just in time for Autumn on September 15th stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hotel Security reached the pinnacle of euphonic furore in their symphonic pseudo prog rock hit, Forget It

If Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster did an 8-ball of speed before falling into the studio, their sound still wouldn’t match the fervour in the latest single, Forget It, from New York City’s most volatile prodigal sons, Hotel Security, who have been trailblazing through the NYC alternative scene since 2020.

With the symphonic keys adding a histrionic edge to the tumultuously tight instrumentals that revolve around the dizzying guitar riffs that rip roar with Psychobilly-esque furore, Forget It would be an all-out attack on the senses if it weren’t for the melodic hooks infused through the catchy vocal melodies that give you a centre of gravity in the chaos of the pseudo-prog rock orchestration. Ironically, Forget It is as brutal as an MK-Ultra operation.

Forget It was officially released on September 15th; strap yourselves in and experience it for yourselves via Spotify. For more info on the self-professed band of music nerds, visit their official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spike Casino has unveiled his surreal sophomore folk-rock single, Lobsters and Guns

Surrealism is never far from the equation when the LA-hailing singer, poet, writer, producer, and general music shape-shifter Spike Casino turns his hand to a new sonic creation.

His sophomore single, Lobsters and Guns, unravels as a kaleidoscope of obscurity; if New Model Army shared a few tabs of acid with the Legendary Pink Dots, their always panoramic lyrical pictures would share the same quintessentially out-there air as this alt-folk rock harbingering serenade.

Once you’re immersed in the spiritedly cadenced single, the minimal connotations between lobsters and guns in the world outside of this track won’t dare to phase you. Instead, you’ll be enthralled by the depiction of a gangster-fuelled seaside town they should probably close down if this single is anything to go by.

Lobsters and Guns was officially released on September 1st; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Seattle’s Christian Rock Reverend Ryan Graves Used His Credence to Create an Electrifying Alt-Rock Hit with ‘Enemy’

Impressively, Ryan Graves is fresh from the release of his second LP of 2023; far from new to the game, he became an integral part of Seattle’s Christian alt-rock scene in the 90s; with his latest album, Human, which stands up to the cataclysmic threat of AI, Graves definitively proved that he can still hit the high-fire mark.

With a rap-rock edge that is just as sharp as the ones carved by The Beastie Boys in the verses of the standout single, Enemy, and classic rock credence making its way into the choruses, it is an electrifyingly hair-raising hit that mainlines the adrenaline through the post-rock instrumentals that create a platform for Graves’ piously enlightening vocals.

Graves’ latest album, Human, was officially released on September 11; stream it on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Kayla Friend quelled the melancholy in her breakup track, Over, with enchanting ethearealism

Before putting down roots in Texas, the California-born, NY-raised singer-songwriter Kayla Friend forged a successful career in theatre before branching out as an independent artist following the pandemic; her experience as a music theatre composer lent itself effortlessly well to her sound. Her enchanting melodies and vivacious vocal harmonies create an otherworldly cinematic atmosphere you can easily lose yourself in before you find yourself in the all too resonant lyricism.

Her latest single, Over, follows the plaintively painful experience of separation; with the blossoming orchestral swells in the indie-pop score, the single is underpinned by a sense of rebirth to quell the melancholy in the perfectly emotionally rounded single. With the guitars that seem to pirouette around her celestial soprano vocal lines, Kayla Friend created one of the most stunning singles we’ve heard in 2023. It’s only a matter of time before she’s snapped up by a major label.

Over will be released on September 22nd; hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hex Date cut right to the carnal core with their debut alt-rock hit, DIE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY

LA’s literally and figuratively hottest new alt-rock outfit, Hex Date caused a Dionysiac stir on the airwaves with their vehemently hook-rife debut single, DIE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY.

The track title may appear maleficent and macabre, but the sonic experience of DIE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY is a sensually awakening revelation. With the rhythmic salaciousness of In This Moment and Deftones and Mars Rose’s dark pop harmonies drawing you into the carnal centre of the single, the alt-rock scene will never recover from the genre-defying storm that tore through it by the fair hands of the prodigal fourpiece.

Taylor Momsen might not have any choice in moving over for Mars Rose; the superlative siren has exactly what it takes to take Hex Date to the top of the charts.

DIE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY was officially released on September 8; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jessamine Barham melodised marionette melancholy in her compelling vignette, Puppet Girl

Every time the dark indie folk singer-songwriter Jessamine Barham turns her creativity to the composition of a new baroquely imaginative piano score, complete immersion in her archaic vignettes is non-optional.

In her seminal avant-garde single, Puppet Girl, the San Diego-hailing artist melodied marionette melancholy by inviting you into a world of powerlessness, subjugation, and betrayal.

Taking the single at face value, you will enjoy a jaunty Evelyn Evelyn-esque cabaret tune; look a little deeper at what is written between the lines, and you will lock into an exposition on the limitations life can find a way of imposing on us. No matter how free we think we are, we all come with strings attached, making Puppet Girl a resonantly dark reflection of reality.

Puppet Girl is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ines Belayouni delivered a hit of pure wanton decadence with ‘Attention’

In her two-year stint away from the airwaves after dropping her debut single, The Way You Make Me Feel, in 2021, Ines Belayouni has been hard at work honing her sound into one that stirs the soul, mesmerises rhythmic pulses and epitomises the phenomenon of the perennial pop earworm.

With her latest single, Attention, the Tunisian LA-residing singer who has been ingrained in the arts from a young age and has dominated the live circuit in jazz and pop circles, unveiled a fusionist masterpiece which transcends genres and era hallmarks to deliver a hit of pure wanton decadence.

Even though we can all relate to the innate desire for attention, it took a brave artist with a sublimely soulful vocal register to turn the trait into a sonic experience of pure empowered seduction. Ines Belayouni invigorated the smooth 80s RnB pop motifs that proliferate the synthetics of the track to an addictively infectious degree. It is only a matter of time before she moves from criminally underrated to critically acclaimed. Be part of her ascent from the underground.

Attention is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast