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The term ‘indie’ in the music industry has become so ambiguous it has practically become as subjective as the meaning of life. Whichever way it is defined, it is still a massive part of the music industry in the UK and across the globe.

Originally, indie referred to how an artist distributed their music. Over the decades, it became a catch-all term for artists sharing the same sonic off-kilter edge; and, of course, the same moody yet inexplicably cool aesthetic. Indie, as a genre, only came around as the result of experimental artists in the 70s wanting to bring a new sound to the airwaves; instead of solely hoping for commercial success after appeasing one of the major record labels.

Indie artists adopted punk ethos they started to push the boundaries of pop. Instead of commercialising their sound, they pushed it into post-punk, shoegaze, synthpop, Britpop, avant-garde, noise rock and dream pop arenas. For all that separates bands such as Sonic Youth, the Cure, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Joy Division, Elliott Smith and Radiohead, there is still so much that ties them together, namely their attitudes and the loud discordant style.

Along with the bands, iconic venues such as the 100 Club in London, the Hacienda in Manchester, and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow had a pivotal part to play in the traction of independent artists and music. New Indie labels, such as Rough Trade and Factory Records, were amongst the first record labels to truly embrace and encourage experimentalism and authenticity in the artists they scouted and signed – taking New Order and Joy Division as a prime example.

It may have been a while since there was an indie breakthrough act as successful as the Arctic Monkeys, but indie music has far from lost its resonance. Besides, Monkeys won over 42 awards and sold over 20 million records, so that’s going to take some beating, and they’re certainly not the only indie artists currently thriving.

The Welsh indie rock icons, the Manic Street Preachers, celebrated their first number 1 album in 23 years with the release of Ultra Vivid Lament in 2021. The Tarantino-Esque Liverpool outfit, Red Rum Club, released their debut album in 2019, and got to number 14 in the official album sales chart with their album, How to Steal the World, in 2021. Perhaps most impressively, the world’s first CryptoPunk rapper, Spottie Wifi, made just under $200k in album NFT sales in 90 seconds this year.

Georgina White became Trip-Hop’s most arresting chanteuse in ‘LOVE’

Georgina White’s recently re-released single, LOVE, is an aching reflection on the darker shades of affection. As the PJ Harvey-esque trip-hop aesthetics mirror the turbulence of a mind gaslit into accepting abuse by nefarious actions running under the guise of passion, the indie alt-pop framework ensures that White is doing far more than simply following in the footsteps of trip-hop pioneers, she’s synthesising a sound that is irreplicably her own.

The sepia-tinged production by the hand of Dan Myers brings an aura of old-school spectral soul to the soundscape which harnesses the haunting vocal delivery. Delicate yet commanding, White’s voice embodies the complexities of maleficent love, delivering each verse with a chanteuse’s grace and an insurgence of empowerment. Angel Olsen herself couldn’t have performed LOVE better.

Penned after drawing inspiration from the Cruel Intentions soundtrack, LOVE lends from the melancholic depths of the OST; despair pulsates throughout the progressions in the luxuriantly arcane production that melds gritty guitars with syncopated beats that mimic the frenetic rhythms of a heart beating out of sync.

Whatever the Brit-Austrian artist and actress turns her talents to next, it is going to be the epitome of iconic.

Stream LOVE on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Vice Club is a red-hot new flame in the alt-rock fire with their seminal single, Call It What You Want

From the underbelly of New York’s gritty music scene, the NYC icons of innovative immorality, Vice Club have unleashed ‘Call It What You Want’; a track that’s drenched in the raw, visceral energy of grunge, infused with the kinetic seduction of Deftones’ breakdowns, and tinged with the raw emotionality of Silverchair and Thrice.

Rather than play it safe with the vocal performance, Vice Club transgressed expectation with the chameleonic execution by experimenting with pseudo-trap cadences and pop hooks around the gruff deliverances of ennui, creating an alchemically dynamic track with swathes of cross-over appeal. The soaring, intuitively technical guitar solo assures that even rock traditionalists can take something from the evocatively heightened anthem.

Every motif and progression is a testament to Vice Club’s determination to become the architects of a brand-new alt-rock wave and ensure their sound goes untainted by anyone else’s touch. Their DIY philosophy extended from the writing into the recording and production; swathing every aspect in their unique soundprint that will undoubtedly leave an army of alt music fans kneeling at their hedonic altar.

Call It What You Want was officially released on May 31; stream the single on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Emotions Crescendo in Nocebo’s Introspective Indie Debut, Miles Away

Inspired by his icons of evocative introspection, Jeff Buckley, Fabrizio De Andrè and Thom York, singer-songwriter, Mario Ciardiello, traced the reflectively candid echoes of his idols through the debut single, Miles Away, from his newly initiated solo project. Under the moniker, Nocebo, Mario is carrying the legacy of intimate songwriting on his guitar strings.

In the production of his debut, raw unfiltered emotion rushes to the surface of the soul-bearing sonic escapade, which ensues from a stripped-back indie folk acoustic performance before a subtly striking Radiohead-esque crescendo delivers a rush of momentum and visceral emotion, visualising how affections ebb and flow through us, culminating in explosions of rumination.

The versing of abstract consolation to an enigmatically tortured protagonist seeking sanctuary grips you through its compassionate intensity; even if you can’t find a piece of yourself within the narrative, you’ll find yourself in awe of Nocebo’s proficiency in hitting raw nerves with his arrestingly unique sonic signature.

Miles Away is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

EmiTQM has made an ethereal debut with his installation of Latin indietronic pop, IGUAL Y ME PENSASTE

Latin pop sensation in the making, EmiTQM, has made an indelible mark on the Latin pop scene with his dreamy indietronica debut single, IGUAL Y ME PENSASTE, which arrests with ethereal melodic waves in the same vein as Cigarettes After Sex, and originates via tenderly warm and exploratively 8bit-adjacent sequences which envelop you in a sonic world of kaleidoscopic colour and soul.

Translating to ‘maybe you thought of me’, IGUAL Y ME PENSASTE is a reticently sweet embodiment of hope and yearning to reverberate around the mind of the person who ceaselessly occupies every waking thought.

The single is an affectingly unforgettable introduction to the Mexican pop singer-songwriter and producer’s unique style which has already seen him amass a loyal army of fans who relish in his ability to visualise universally resonant facets of the human condition.

The emotions that will flood through you as you follow EmiTQM’s lead through this future-forward earworm reach the pinnacle of visceralism. The hazy love-drunk hues translate with perfect articulation as the lines between reality and imagination blur.

One of the only things with more promise than his music career is that the sun will rise tomorrow. We are already stoked to hear what he has in store for his sophomore release.

IGUAL Y ME PENSASTE was officially released on June 27; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lewis Shepperd primed the masses for a clash against the classes with ‘Council Estate Reject’

Lewis Shepperd

Lewis Shepperd is set to viva la revolutionise the airwaves with his latest single, Council Estate Reject; whichever way the UK election swings on the day of the release, the scathed synthesis of indie, punk, rock, and Britpop will prime the masses for a long overdue revolt against the elite classes. Instead of placing faith in populist politicians and the façade of democracy, tune into this scintillating sonic insurrection.

The hypercharged punk pulse fed through the propulsive basslines and antagonised tempo of the percussion sends sparks of kinetic energy through the frenetic release which captures the collective sense of ennui, fires shots at the mindless monarchists, and evokes an insurgent riot. The three-minute liberation from the dystopia of our age is a sanctuary of electrifying escapism away from the misery that breathes down the neck of the working class.

So, if you miss when John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’ was fiction and the media didn’t solely serve to sink us into subordination, find the ultimate outlet in Council Estate Reject. The embodiment of the punk ethos filtered through an indie rock lens with croons far more seductive than Johnny Rotten was ever capable of, delivers a high-octane shot of vindication which amplifies in potency when the guitar solo slashes through the palpitatingly sweet production.

Council Estate Reject will be available to stream on all major platforms from July 5th; stream it via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Midnight Affairs unleashed their infectiously erratic alt-indie earworm, Blame It on You

For their sophomore release, Blame It on You, the Auckland pop/rock trio, Midnight Affairs, launched a hyper-frenetic hit that affronts the senses with a glitchwavey saturated in delay electro-pop intro before bringing in sticky-sweet neon-lit synth carved melodies which transcend the new wave indie pop trends to implant the independent artist’s sound in unchartered territory few would be bold enough to sonically roam in.

The lamentation of how memories of infatuation can become unescapable haunting spectres which could lead the sanest of minds to the brink of madness anchors the high-octane anthem of mental disquietude in visceral resonance to vindicate the romantically scorned and attest to the independent artist’s ability to render raw emotions into their superlative sound.

The intensity of the production, how deep the hooks sink in, and the infectiously erratic earworm appeal of Blame It on You will undoubtedly see Midnight Affairs go far. With a 5-track EP due for release later this year, Midnight Affairs becoming New Zealand’s premier indie pop rock band isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Blame It on You is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Explore the cosmos with the indie folk-punk Starchild, Charlie Diamond, and his latest single, Magnetic Love Atomic Romance

Charlie Diamond, the self-professed alien on Earth, has shifted sonic form to transmit his latest single, Magnetic Love Atomic Romance.

The rugged and raw folk elements from his previous releases are enmeshed within the release which blends the anthemically augmented aura and massive vocal hooks of The Courteeners with the subversive folk-punk edge of The Violent Femmes. The spacey Bowie-esque middle-eight adds another dynamic to the expansive release. The juxtaposition of the ornate violin strings and cosmic textures allows you to get lost in transmission as you’re prised away from the grip of gravity.

Rather than diminishing the raucous high energy of the release, which signifies that Charlie Diamond is stridently coming into his own, the gritty DIY aesthetic of Magnetic Love Atomic Romance immerses you deeper into the expressively exhilarant release which sees the singer-songwriter stridently wearing his heart on his guitar strings.

If the unfiltered amorous candour of Neutral Milk Hotel never fails to evoke affectionate emotions, prepare to fill your soul with Magnetic Love Atomic Romance which attests to love’s ability to abstract monotony from our mortal coil and liberate us into a higher form of consciousness.

The official music video for Magnetic Love Atomic Romance will premiere on YouTube on June 29th.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Serenity Club launched an attack of anthemic alt-rock reclamation with ‘Taking Back My Life’

The Serenity Club

With pop-fuelled alt-rock choruses that will be euphony to be the ears of the Foo Fighters between verses that reanimate rugged 90s Britpop swagger, The Serenity Club’s latest single, Taking Back My Life, is an unforgettably emboldening anthem of reclamation.

The high-octane synthesis of volition, redemption and serotonin is set to put the London-based triadic powerhouse on the map ahead of their debut five-track EP, Obsession Submission, which is due for release later this summer. The timely release of the single also means that it incidentally coincides with the General Election; I couldn’t think of a better track to listen to on the way to the polling station.

Hints of 90s-era Manic Street Preachers (think along the lines of Slash n Burn, You Love Us, and Kevin Carter) resound throughout the vivaciously fuelled guitar licks and the razor-sharp hooks that don’t stop at pulling you into the centre of this intensely liberating hit. They open the doorway to one of the most determined-to-embed earworms you’ve ever encountered as they work alongside the unflinchingly dynamic vocals of Mit Inajar.

With an exhilarating sound that Wembley Stadium could scarcely contain, The Serenity Club has exactly what it takes to take their career to stratospheric heights this summer; just try standing in their way.

Taking Back My Life will be available to stream on all major platforms, including Bandcamp, from June 28th.

Discover more about The Serenity Club via their official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Run The Enemy filtered indie post-punk poetry through a pensive Americana lens with their sophomore single, Barbara Gray

For their second single, the cerebrally poetic Indie/Americana ensemble, Run the Enemy, unearthed the sublime from the serendipitous, immortalising the fleeting yet eternal encounter between Elvis and Barbara Gray in 1956.

Infused with samples of fervent Elvis fans within an Editors-esque post-punk framework, the Cambridge, UK-based band magnifies the tenderness of transient intimacy in a pop culture moment of pure connection, inviting listeners to inhabit that ephemeral instant and luxuriate in its synchronicity.

With vocals reminiscent of Elbow, choked with emotion and deftly illuminating the lyrical depths, and an atmosphere of sepia-toned nostalgia enveloping the hauntingly angular guitars, iridescent keys, and throbbing rhythm section, Barbara Gray lodges itself in the soul, simultaneously imparting the transcendent nature of a moment never to be lost to history.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better entry into the UK indie scene in 2024. It’s only a matter of time before Run the Enemy tears its way into the mainstream.

Run the Enemy Said:

“The song is about randomly overlapping lives, inspired by the fleeting moments shared by Elvis and Barbara Gray, captured on film by Alfred Wertheimer in 1956 at the Jefferson Hotel in Virginia.

For over fifty years, the girl remained anonymous until she appeared on the Today Show to discuss the one day that her life crossed with Elvis’s, like a crossword clue; he was seven down, she was eight across. Despite the moment being so transient and their lives going in such different directions thereafter, their moment is preserved forever on film.”

Barbara Gray was officially released on June 28th; stream the single on Spotify.

Follow Run the Enemy on Instagram. 

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature Pulsative post-punk meets trip-hop in Dissolved Girl’s 3rd spectrally filmic release, I’m a Beast

From their debut, we knew London’s ‘Trip-Rock visionaries, Dissolved Girl, possessed a locked and loaded arsenal of potential. Their third single, I’m a Beast, is definitive proof of their ability to eclipse the airwaves with their lustrous presence which is a phenomenon in its own right.

I’m a Beast explores the emotional wreckage left by sociopaths and narcissists, creating a darkly cinematic atmosphere through dissonant rhythms and ethereal vocals that paint power into vulnerability.

The blend of trip-hop, post-punk, and indietronica ensures the cold, monochromatic aura seeps into the listener’s psyche, with hooks that pierce deeply and crescendos that provide a cathartic release. Dissolved Girl’s latest single transcends mere alt-90s homage; their intricate instrumentation, driving post-punk basslines, and vocals reminiscent of Shirley Manson establish them as masters of refined, dark soundscapes.

Before forming Dissolved Girl, Nick (guitar, songwriter) and Claire Edbrooke (vocals, songwriter, producer) were involved in various musical ventures, always with the goal of succeeding with original music. Their collaboration led to the creation of a unique sound, bolstered by the addition of Arthur Keys (bass) and Dom Chandler (drums).

Despite their recent formation, Dissolved Girl has already garnered significant radio play on stations such as Amazing Rock & Metal, MM Radio, Radio Wigwam, WDNF-Philly, SLE Radio, Prospect Radio, and Krac Radio. Their fanbase is steadily growing as they prepare for the release of their debut LP later this year.

Dissolved Girl Said

“This song touches on a few concepts, but in its original form, it was about people with personality disorders. They wreak havoc in others’ lives and simply move on to the next victim without remorse or feeling. There is a certain irony that the person inflicting the damage finds moving on so easy, and yet the person affected by their behaviour is left reeling, wounded, and confused about how or why this has happened. It is about feeling resilient as a victim in the face of all that and coming back stronger.”

After being mixed by Dani Castelar – who has three number 1 albums with Paulo Nutini – and mastered by Matt Colton, I’m a Beast was officially released on June 14; stream it on all major platforms, including Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast