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Ascend with Lunar Paths’ dark indie Avant-Garde single, Rise

Any artist with a track titled MetaGoth#1 in their discography has my immediate perpetual attention; with their latest single, Rise, Lunar Paths went even heavier on the dark haunting beguile.

The layered and looped percussive patterns and eastern rhythms steadily inch you into the heart of the psychedelically tribalistic feat of ethereal indie, which laments the lack of soul in our era that makes mental resilience a necessity; lest you be swept away by the dystopian waves. Rise acts as an all too efficacious anchor, with its glimmers of hope in the shimmering echoes.

The transatlantic duo made the Bela Lugosi’s Dead of this era with Rise. It’s not the darkwave you’ve ridden the crux of before; it’s the ethereal Avant Garde sanctity we sorely need.

Rise is now available to stream on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

VAN ELST – OU ES-TU: Confessionally Resonant Dark Dream Pop

After joining Peter Murphy on his 40th-anniversary tour with his previous band, Desert Mountain Tribe, the Dutch producer, songwriter and drummer VAN ELST focused on crafting dreamy, dark feats of electro, which allow the emotion to outweigh the sum of the sonic parts.

The hooky yet ethereal vocal layers in his single, OU ES-TU, draw you into the monochromatic tones with the grip of quicksand as you sink into the raw confessional lyricism. The ability to expose the most wounded parts of the soul and do it in stylistically reticent form is the mark of a true artist.

As someone who discovered Desert Mountain Tribe on that Peter Murphy tour and was transfixed by the psychedelic cadence of the rhythms, I can’t tell you how stoked I am to see VAN ELST coming into his synth-carved melancholic own.

OU ES-TU will officially release on July 22nd. Check it out for yourselves via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Delve into the azure rock pleasure of Jon Fritz’s latest single, The Pool

Jon Fritz’s latest single, The Pool, is a hellbent power-pop bop, and I may as well name the earworm it left me with; it isn’t going anywhere soon.

With the same hyped-up choruses as delivered by the Foo Fighters around the Stonesy swagger in the verses, The Pool is practically a shot of sonic adrenaline. Finding out how the single came together contextualises the energy contained within it. The track was recorded all in one take by a band that had never heard the song before. The result is a riff-driven feat of pure, unbridled raucous momentum under Fritz’s blues-rock meets college radio rock vocals.

Check out Jon Fritz’s latest single via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

congo64 is comfortably numb in his post-punk-chilled alt-rock single, I Can’t Feel Your Feelings

Taken from his debut album, Daddy’s Weird, congo64’s lead single, I Can’t Feel Your Feelings, is a highly addictive aural oddity, consisting of layers of 80s post-punk, grungy overdriven rock and 60’s harmony-laced pop.

It takes a lot for a single to send me down a psychological rabbit hole. But with the crooned post-punk chorus, “I Can’t Feel Your Feelings”, you can’t help but consider the reality of the alienating experience of connection when nothing brings resonance. If you can’t relate, consider yourself as lucky as a lottery winner.

Intriguing substance and titular poetry aside, congo64 notably succeeded in crafting a familiar yet grippingly distinctive sonic palette that won’t fail to enthral any seeker of experimental revivalist alt-rock.

I Can’t Feel Your Feelings is now available to stream on Soundcloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Koosha Azim – Koryŏ Capsule; psychedelia has a brand-new futuristic hip hop flavour

Some people go on holiday and upload a new picture on social media every 30 minutes; when the Cali experimental hip hop artist Koosha Azim hit Seoul in South Korea, his trip inspired two future sonic worlds on his EP, Koryŏ Capsule.

If you needed any convincing that travel really does broaden your mind, delve into the trippy psychedelic textures in the two-track release. Raw yet robust, Koosha Azim pushes the boundaries of hip hop beyond recognition into trippy territory that you will want to visit time and time again.

Track 1, Fly to the South, is a wavey, reverb-dripping and quasi-spiritual track that allows you to taste the spacey transcendence of his journey. While Track 2, Jeju, is a feat of kaleidoscopic ambience, complete with ethereally ambient layers and soul-infused trap star energy.

Koosha Azim began producing music in 2020 after being inspired by a few talented close friends. He started his production experimentalism by sampling old Persian music and orchestral compositions to create his hip-hop beats. Before releasing his EP, Azim released five singles: the first, The Genesis, arriving in late 2020. He is currently working on his debut LP Godspeed Said the Rain, an avant-garde production that processes a coming of age story and falling in love to the backdrop of war & conflict.

Here is what Azim had to say about his latest release:

“Capturing the excitement of moving to Seoul, South Korea, Fly to the South celebrates experiencing the high life of a new region. Akin to the distortion of the mind on a psychedelic journey, the production is arranged with banging 808s, a spiritual flute sample, and a mysterious synth ambience. It is a hip-hop anthem for the restless youth.

Jeju was inspired by a trip to Jeju Island. The island was a peaceful place that inspired the futuristic world I created on the track. The song discusses falling in love in Korea and feeling like a Rockstar while travelling across the globe.”

Koryŏ Capsule was officially released on July 8th. You can check it out by heading to SoundCloud and Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Prepare to be torn from passive slumber with Cielo Pordomingo’s orchestral alt-electro feat of world music, Wake Up

Here to tear us from our jaded slumber with her spiritual synthetics is the alt-electro trailblazer, Cielo Pordomingo, with her latest single, Wake Up.

‘Enlivening’ scarcely cuts into the alchemy that the composer, singer, and producer used to reflect her soul in the orchestrally heightened single. It’s Europop meets Depeche Mode via Bond soundtrack with a classical chamber outro; need we say anymore? If we want to do Cielo Pordomingo justice as a lyricist, definitely.

Wake Up is far more than your average cry to people letting their lives pass them by. Pordomingo practically takes you by the hand to guide you through your awakening while addressing the problem of our tendency to waste existence by branding it as just another day. At this point, if she started a cult, I’d jump right into it.

Wake Up is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Yarsha exposes the hypocrisy of reality in his harsh electro-pop earworm, Run Coward

The Zurich-based Italian alt-electro originator, Yarsha, has followed his seductively eccentric debut single, Do you wanna dance, with the even more gloriously existentialist alt-electro pop single, Run Coward.

Under anyone else’s orchestration, Run Coward would be a cold and harsh track. Yet, with the inclusion of his personably playful vocals on the Powerman 5000-Esque analog synths, Run Coward doesn’t just hit the rhythmic spot. It tempts some serotonin to spit across the synapses too.

While the haunted synths and nasty electro-industrial discord set the caustic tone to reflect the insidiousness of the rife injustice on our planet that is more akin to the Christian depiction of hell, the cuttingly contemporary lyrics extend the gift of resonant antagonism. We all need more affirmations that the world is messed up beyond rhyme or reason. Especially when they are as infectiously upbeat as Run Coward, and the rest of the world is at work gaslighting us into believing that our fatalism isn’t a sign of sanity.

Here is what Yarsha candidly had to say about his latest release:

“This world is f…ed up. It’s full of hypocrisy on every level. I wrote this song in 2015, mentioning the war in Ukraine when almost nobody knew it was happening. Nobody knows that the Dalai Lama’s son was kidnapped by the Chinese government. Still, it was in many newspapers and tv shows. Assange exposed just the reality and cruelty of facts, and the US is treating him exactly like Putin treats his enemies.

I’m not finger-pointing them; I’m finger-pointing me. I’m the coward. When I see and know all this, what do I do? Nothing. I’m watching Netflix, playing music, and having fun. It’s a struggle to live in such a world: can we do anything to stop this? Or is it better to just run from it and enjoy the good time that pure luck gave us?”

Run Coward was officially released on July 8th. Hear it on SoundCloud.

Follow Yarsha on Facebook and Instagram, or check him out on his official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Enjoy the high life with Emil’s dreamy synthpop sonic story ‘Up in the Hills’

Escape reality with Emil’s latest feat of fusionist alchemy, Up in the Hills. At just 18 years old, the Sydney, Australia-hailing artist has already perfected the art of crafting soundscapes that scarcely seem of this world.

With the artful originality, which pairs dream pop with nuances of jazz and RnB, on par with the likes of Brian Eno and Kate Bush, Emil set himself apart from the rest with his hazy, smoky, summer serenade. The best part? The complete lack of pretence while the narrative lyrics are soulfully being run through. Up in the Hills is pure sonic expressive bliss.

Up in the Hills was officially released on June 26th, 2022. Check it out for yourselves on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Bedroom producer, J4RED transcended genre in his artfully reflective introspection slice, ‘hurt u’

Sometimes it is the emotion that grips you; sometimes, it is the musicality and originality; in his third single, hurt u, the bedroom producer, J4RED, proved that he is a triple threat. Perhaps even more impressively, hurt u transcends genre while carrying vast universal appeal.

The dark mellow pool of experimentalism created the perfect atmosphere for the fiery yet quiescent vocals to ooze into, allowing you to feel every ounce of the exhaustive frustration that breeds from dynamics where the mental scars tally our time together.

After launching his music career with his EP, UNCONSCIOUS, which debuted when he was 17 years old, he joined bands in the UK and Germany, and produced for other bands, such as the up-and-coming metalcore band, Half Me. If he keeps on at this level of momentum, it is only a matter of time before he breaks into the mainstream.

hurt u is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ashes to Amber took the evolution of indie one off-kilter step further with HEEBIE JEEBIES

It isn’t all too long after the prelude that trying to pull out genre or reminiscence from Ashes to Amber’s latest single, HEEBIE JEEBIES starts to feel redundant. The unapologetic indie originator is one of the increasingly rare new names that are willing to expose his soul on the airwaves without hiding behind the style of another.

From gorgeously angular guitars fed through frenetic loops to harsh dancey synthetic textures to hip hop beats to cosmic blisters of dream pop, it’s all fed into the electrifying livewire of a title single to his forthcoming EP. As an anchor for sonic sanctity, Ashes to Amber gave us his sweetest indie-pop vocals, which will undoubtedly be a hit with fans of Peace, Jaws, the 1975, The Maccabees, and Swim Deep.

The HEEBIE JEEBIES EP will officially drop on June 24th. You can hear it for yourselves here.

Review by Amelia Vandergast