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Nim – Avalon: An Expansively Intimate Exploration of Dystopic Ennui

Nim’s latest single, ‘Avalon’, is a testament to his evolution as a multi-instrumentalist and sound designer. From the outset, the track immerses listeners in a world where ambient electronica melds seamlessly with a cinematic synthesis of post-rock and trip-hop. The minor key arrangement, rich in ambient textures, sets an ethereal yet intensely emotive tone to maintain a melancholic undercurrent without becoming overwrought.

The lush reverb sugars the pill of the dystopic ennui, while the desolation in the vocals is so laden with solitude they feel as if they are reaching out from the vastness of space, seeking connection in their isolation.

Nim’s background as a pianist and singer is evident in the meticulous construction of ‘Avalon’. The track defies easy categorisation, drifting through the realms of post-rock, trip-hop, and ambient IDM with a fluidity that speaks to his versatility. The introduction of a trappy backbeat, both solid and glitchy, adds an unexpected yet mellifluous twist, intensifying the track’s introspective mood.

Hit play and journey through Nim’s dystopian vision, where the feel of the music takes precedence and the haunting exploration of malaise resonates long after the last note fades.

Stream Avalon on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Victorrio came in hot & heavy with his alt-RnB debut, I Would Never

Victorrio’s debut single, I Would Never, marks a compelling entrance into the alt-RnB scene. He came in hot and heavy with the narrative journey which bares his battle scars and weaves through the complexities of romantic turmoil with a finesse that belies his newcomer status.

It’s a genre-defying piece, effortlessly melding elements of stylised soul with a trappy backbeat and pop-inflected production. The brooding effects that add layers of depth and intrigue will undoubtedly resonate with fans of The Weeknd, yet Victorrio carved out his own niche within this familiar territory while exploring the darker side of love. If you’ve ever been burned in ways that leave you perplexed by a romantic partner’s capacity for ruthless malevolence, I Would Never is the ultimate aural salve for heartless iniquity.

To make I Would Never even more affecting, his voice, smooth yet commanding, delivers each line with an alchemic mix of vulnerability and strength and each verse unravels as an intimate vignette. By using his experimentalism as a narrative device which mirrors the track’s tormented thematic elements, I Would Never became haunting and alluring, innovative and introspective in equal measure. Naturally, we can’t wait to hear what follows.

I Would Never was officially released on February 9th; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Steps From the Cliff modernised Magazine with their darkwave cover of The Light Pours Out of Me

In one of their most daring releases to date, Steps From the Cliff modernised Magazine’s 1978 single, The Light Pours Out of Me, bringing the seminal release in line with the trends in the darkwave synthpop domain while amplifying the broodingly dark energy of the post-punk staple.

It was a bold move to rework the original, given all of the scintillation that pours from the atmospherically ensnaring production, but the Santa Cruz-hailing outfit, fronted by Tim Knapp, succeeded in putting their own mark on the single. The sombre reflections within the harbingering downtempo lament become all the more affecting through the contrast of the shimmer of the crystalline melodies carved by the glassy synths and the whispered snarls which carry the lyricism with maximum conviction.

The Light Pours Out of Me features on Steps From the Cliff’s most recent EP, Knowhere Fast, which reached the airwaves on January 26.

Stream The Light Pours Out of Me on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Rokeby’s Cover of What is Love is an Arcane Sermon of Mourning, Desperation and Torment

For his debut single, the London-based up-and-coming artist, Rokeby, proved what difference a minor key can make when he melancholically reinvented the 1993 single, What is Love, which was a flood of euphoric momentum under Haddaway’s dance pop duress.

The acoustic rendering of the single completely recontextualised the lyricism; the minor key piano notes and the gospel-esque soulfully profound vocal harmonies allowed the cover to unravel as an arcane sermon of mourning, desperation and torment. The ethereal production which sees his vocal range defy gravity swims in sincerity, inviting you to get lost in the undercurrents of agony inflicted by the absence of affection or the presence of imperfect love.

By taking inspiration from Hozier, Tom Odell, Bon Iver, Freya Ridings and David Kushner for this track and the rest of his forthcoming EP, which was co-written and produced with Tom Fuller, Rokeby is set to become the UK’s biggest evocateur of 2024.

Rokeby’s debut single was officially released on February 21st; stream the single on Spotify, and keep the artist on your radar for the launch of his debut EP, which will follow in 2024.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Bristol’s Most Strident Troubador, Alex Comaish, Augmented the Ultimate Indie-Folk Anthem with ‘Brother’

Alex Comaish’s latest single ‘Brother‘ is a poignant narrative wrapped in an augmented fusionist production that splices jangly indie pop with warm echoes of Americana, transmits the essence of college radio rock, and throws back to the 90s Britpop era while following in Billy Bragg’s footsteps. The crisp and unpretentious production allows the song’s emotional core and Comaish’s raw talent to shine through and illuminate the airwaves with affectionate fervour.

This Bristol-based troubadour brings a fresh sincerity to the genre as he elucidates that brotherly bonds may not always tie you to the perfect person, but those connections are worth their weight in gold. His strident vocal performance is an energetically affecting testament to the unspoken love and unbreakable ties between siblings.

The vignette behind the song is as compelling as the track itself. Comaish’s lyrics, penned in the throes of adventure, are imbued with genuine gratitude and affection that’s often left unsaid in the hustle of daily life.

As the first of a series of releases planned for the year, ‘Brother’ sets a high bar. It’s a track that not only showcases Comaish’s songwriting prowess but also his ability to connect with his audience on a deeply personal level.

Brother was officially released on March 1st; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Thai chi Rosè prescribed the ultimate aural aphrodisiac with her latest contemporary RnB hit, Cumfort

Thai chi Rosè’s latest single, ‘Cumfort‘ blends the sensuous rhythms of R&B with a bold, contemporary edge. The track is a masterful concoction of the exotic and the erotic and an aural aphrodisiac that resonates with the pulse of modern soul.

Rosè’s vocal prowess is undeniable, weaving through the track with empoweringly alluring confidence. Her ability to assert herself through her lyrics, reminiscent of the edginess found in Cardi B’s work, is balanced with a nod to the style and soul of Aaliyah. Meanwhile, the production of ‘Cumfort’ is a labyrinth of intricate rhythms, each beat meticulously crafted to complement Rosè’s vocal lines. The track does not just play; it pulsates, drawing listeners into its hypnotically steamy flow.

As the firebrand of contemporary RnB continues to captivate audiences worldwide and rack up millions of streams, she proves that her music is not just for the moment – it’s for the ages.

Cumfort was officially released on February 23; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Rookie – Resolve: A Volition-Charged Resurgence of Emo-Tinged Post-Grunge

Familiar enough to give you a sonic slice of déjà vu, fresh enough to leave you exhilarated by the trailblazingly emo-tinged post-grunge revival, the latest alt-90s single from the Italian renegades of scuzz, Rookie, is an anthem for the ennui-inclined that will leave you inclined to push your speakers to their limits.

Everything about the augmentation of hook-laden lament compels you to feel the full visceral force of the deliciously distorted earworm, which doesn’t just burrow down into your psyche; it bares its teeth and refuses to let go.

Fans of Jawbreaker, The Smashing Pumpkins and Dinosaur Jr won’t want to miss out on Resolve, which was released after a lengthy hiatus Rookie used to hone the volition in their sound. Now that the power trio is back in the studio recording their new EP, SHELTER, with Matteo Tabacco, they’re more than worth a spot on your radar.

Add Resolve to your Spotify playlists.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Anxious affection resounds in The Good Neighbors’ synth-swathed synthesis of alt-pop and indie-rock, Room for You

The Good Neighbors borrowed a cup of earmilk from The Strokes for their latest single, Room for You, before pouring it into a synth-swathed production that eclipses the contemporary indie synthwave trend.

After moving away from their syntheses of alt-rock and punk, The Good Neighbors aligned their creative ambitions with their passion for painting across the alt-pop and indie-rock spectrum. Room for You not only exhibits the duo’s softer side; you can FEEL the authenticity, soul and delicious devil-may-care approach to constraint-less fusionism. The seminal single is uninhibited expression in scintillatingly melodic motion.

The jazzy neo-pop middle eight extends the experimentalism to the nth degree to assert the Buffalo, NY-hailing duo as genre fusionists that are a cut above the rest as they regale a vignette of anxious affection and explore the neuroscience of expanding our minds to accommodate people capable of turning our world’s upside down. Hit play and meet your new aural addiction.

Room for You will hit the airwaves on March 1st. Stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ami Leigh darkened Americana’s Door with the Luxe Beguile in Her Ground-breaking Single, Foretold ft Neil Gibson

Ami Leigh, hailing from County Durham, UK, has long been an aurally beguiling chameleon. Her latest single, Foretold, marks a striking foray into country rock, infused with the essence of Portishead and the chill of rock-licked post-punk.

Foretold is a poignant narrative of doomed love regaled through Leigh’s crystalline vocal lines. Her voice, imbued with soulful clarity, weaves through the hauntingly reimagined Americana soundscape, creating a contrast that is both striking and harmonious. The cold, instrumental chill she introduces strips the genre of its traditional warmth, yet the ensuing guitar solos ignite a familiar country rock fire. This juxtaposition is Leigh’s genius, offering a fresh, yet respectful nod to her influences, ranging from The Cure to Pink Floyd.

Neil Gibson’s contribution cannot be overlooked. His guitar work echoes the emotional turbulence of the song’s narrative while elevating the release and adding layers of complexity and familiarity, ensuring Americana aficionados won’t feel lost in the artfully arcane textures. Foretold doesn’t just belong to the country rock genre; it expands it.

If you have ever endured a relationship fated to meet an ugly demise and come out the other side imbittered by your own naivety, expect Foretold to hit hard as the guitars shimmer and the harmonies bring you to rapture.

Watch the official music video for Ami Leigh’s latest single on YouTube, add it to your Spotify playlists, or purchase the track on Apple Music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Embers of Silence unleashed his industrialised electroclash pop-rock lament on capitalism, Attaboi

After the prelude echoes the nostalgia of the scuzzy hooks to The Cardigan’s My Favourite Game, the industrialised electroclash of pop and rock, Attaboi, from Embers of Silence evolves into a juggernautical earworm that swaggers with as much attitude as the spikiest icons of Britpop.

The lament on contemporary capitalism is infectious from the first deliciously distorted & discordant note, from there on out, every hyper hook and slice of snarled vocal mesmerism pulls you deeper into the infectiously augmented protest track that exemplifies the multi-instrumentalist and producer’s artistic intellectualism.

It’s not every day that you encounter an artist with the ability to make cerebral art accessible and void of pretension. Clearly, the Ohio-hailing one-man machine, Samuel Austin is a rare visionary, one that would sit well on the playlists of Tears for the Dying, Atari Teenage Riot, and Machine Girl.

If the upcoming LP, A Beautiful Thing, carries an ounce of the cultivation in Attaboi, it will easily be a contender for one of the best albums of 2024.

Stream the Single Mix of Attaboi via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast