Browsing Tag

Acoustic Pop

Kathleen Elle weaves alchemy into the romanticism of her latest soul-pop single, Magic

Kathleen Elle

The award-winning viral singer-songwriter, Kathleen Elle, is set to bring the alchemy in her latest piece of ear candy, Magic. The soul-pop single follows on from her single, Nervous, which saw her go viral in 2021 with her Taylor Swift-reminiscent sound and resounding lyrical intimacy.

Magic contains enough panoramic emotion and sonic panache to make it fitting in a Blockbuster feature soundtrack. Yet, Elle’s indie roots still pull through in the Grammy-worthy production.

What I can’t help but admire about Kathleen Elle is her ability to pour romanticism back into the world which rivals her talents in lyrically cutting close to the bone. She’s also earned a sentimental place on our radar through her mission to see 5-minute pop singles prolific on the airwaves. She certainly made a case for them with the narrative structuring of Magic.

Magic is due for official release on February 10th. You’ll be able to check it out for yourselves via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Castle KYD pulls visceral emotional punches in ‘The Mess You Left Behind’

On November 26th, Idaho indie singer-songwriter Castle KYD brought accountability in trend with his artfully expressive single, The Mess You Left Behind. In the Waitsy intro, there is little but solemn vocal notes and the quiescent murmurs from the acoustic guitar; as the track builds up to the pre-chorus, that’s when the sharp hook digs in and pulls you deeper into the intrinsically melodic work.

The Mess You Left Behind truly is the pinnacle of contemporary indie-folk pop. His innocently sweet scorned vocals, the celestial accordance in the choruses and lyrics that prove the extent of his determination to transfuse raw emotion into art makes Castle KYD one of the most gifted artists of his generation.

We didn’t need the self-taught artist’s bio to tell us that his music is an amalgamation of desire for connection, a means to cope and a way to turn banality into something meaningful. You can hear it in every ounce of passion poured into this evocatively bruising seminal release.

Here is what Castle Kyd had to say about his latest release:

“Mess You Left Behind was written on a sleepless night, thinking about someone I lived with and had to leave because it was so toxic. In 15 minutes, every feeling, anger and blame poured out of me and formed a poem which became a song in those minutes. After months, I still miss and crave them despite their emotional abuse; I blame myself for craving that, the person who instilled a lot of hurt in me. After struggling to get over it, I’ve become paradoxical; I am the mess this person left behind.”

The Mess You Left Behind is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Olivia Gubel takes us to ‘The Prom’ with her latest acoustic folk-pop ballad.

One of LA’s most promising stars, singer-songwriter Olivia Gubel, has bestowed upon the airwaves an acoustic folk-pop ballad that is uplifting enough to register as celestial.

‘The Prom’ captures the innocence of youth; if you’re currently living it, you will feel the resonance; if those days are long behind you, you’ll get a potently sweet shot of nostalgia while listening to this reflectively sweet single unfold.

At 18-years-old, Olivia already has the musicianship within her to create true connections with fans old and new. Her powerfully poetic lexicon, endlessly magnetic vocals and instantly accessible soundscapes make her a folk-pop triple threat.

The Prom is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

.Wav Rider shares affectional agitation with Step Away, featuring Nikki Silva

To make sure that the listener’s heartstrings are well and truly tugged, alt-indie rock artist .Wav Rider’s latest acoustic single, Step Away, unravels as a heart-wrenching duet featuring vocals from Nikki Silva.

Step Away captures that fraught moment when the realisation that a situation is no longer healthy hits. Despite his sweet and affable indie pop-rock vocals, you feel every ounce of affectional agitation.

When Nikki Silva’s come into the choral and sun-bleached soundscape, the narrative becomes multifaceted, serving as a stark reminder that no matter how much time you spend with someone, or how well you know someone, there are some things that you will never see eye to eye on, mostly because you stop looking and want to turn away completely.

Any fans of Frank Turner, AJJ, Neck Deep and All Time Low won’t want to sleep on this release.

Step Away is now available to stream on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Overslow helps us to dive back in with his acoustic summer pop anthem ‘Deep Blue Water’.

As we emerge from one of the most stagnant and isolated winters of our lifetimes, Overslow’s single, Deep Blue Water, featuring Alex Amto, serves as a poignant reminder of what it truly means to live instead of just existing.

The acoustic folk-pop single is instilled with compassion and meta inspiration for those who find themselves tentative when it comes to picking themselves up delving back in. It is the perfect summer pop anthem; in every possible way. Catchy Choruses? Check. High-vibe life-affirming lyricism? Check. Stabbing horn sections around stunning acoustic guitar solos? Check.

Fans of Lewis Capaldi, George Ezra and Sam Smith will want to immerse themselves in Overslow’s radio-ready pop-rock single.

Deep Blue Water officially released on June 18th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud or Overslow’s Twitter or website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Folk noir soulstress Echo Wants Her Voice Back has released her most evocative single to date, ‘Wife’

‘Wife’ is the latest poetically Avant-Garde single from Cypriot-born, London-based singer-songwriter and actress Echo Wants Her Voice Back. Starting with a minimalist, spiritual intro that any fans of the Cranberries will appreciate, Wife is captivating from the start. The conversationally imploring vocals lead you right into the heart of the track, and that is a trip you’re going to want to take over and over again.

With a touch of Gwen Stefani-Esque attitude to the folk-pop lyrics in the chorus, the seamlessly progressive single is proof of the alchemy that can breathe through a release created without constraint. The baroque pop outro that carries reminiscence to Emilie Autumn’s archaic sound is a haunting way that ensures Wife will stay with you long after the outro

With her second EP in the works, Echo Wants Her Voice back is well worth room on your radar.

Wife released on May 21st; you can hear it for yourselves via SoundCloud and Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Madeleine Bradford has released her celestially striking single, Resting Bones.

Resting Bones is the celestially transfixing latest single from US singer-songwriter Madeleine Bradford. At the age of 17-years-old, her music already boasts narratively-meta lyrics, arresting vocal harmonies and a spiritual edge that compels you to lean even deeper into the single to abstract the emotion and introspection. Even the silence that follows the outro is resounding.

If anyone has what it takes to become the next Phoebe Bridgers while establishing themselves with a distinctive style, it is Madeleine Bradford. The mellifluous guitars in Resting Bones possess the same level of alchemy that you will find in Elliot Smith’s most intricate releases as faint orchestral swells add striking crescendos to the deeply provoking single.

Resting Bones is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Farrah Hanna explores evolution in her indie-folk single, ‘Everything is Different Now’.

With an introduction that is the aural equivalent to Nikita Gill’s collection of poetry, Fierce Fairytales, the prelude to Farrah Hanna’s latest single, ‘Everything is Different Now’, instantly puts you in a suggestable and contemplative state. With the following verses flowing through in Farrah Hanna’s conversationally narrative style, you will find yourself amongst the lyrics as the changes in your life coalesce with Hanna’s.

Any fans of Angel Olsen, Big Thief and Phoebe Bridgers will appreciate Farrah Hanna’s quaintly lo-fi acoustic folk style. The meditatively short and sweet single uses haunting, almost neo-classic, keys sporadically behind the gentle acoustic rhythms to amplify the already potent sense of emotion in this succinct indie-folk instant classic. Everything is Different now allows the inevitability of change to feel far less daunting.

Everything is Different Now officially released on May 6th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ethan Yates will be here for the ‘Rest Of Our Lives’

Ethan Yates is a Christian singer/songwriter from East Texas, USA; don’t let that tempt you into making assumptions about his music, though – this is no confessional, congregational piece, rather a beautiful, gentle acoustic-focussed track with a definite Americana-meets-indie, college-radio vibe.

There’s a real Paul Westerberg/Replacements feel to Yates’ vocal, some delicate slide guitar, and an almost Kings Of Leon feel to the rockier parts. Little bits of alt-rock like Paramore and mellower Bring Me The Horizon, Taking Back Sunday, or Dashboard Confessional meld with choice Americana like Counting Crows and the Jayhawks, with some beautiful harmonies and a perfect understanding of melody and composition, ‘Rest Of Our Lives’ really is as good as it comes.

You can check out ‘Rest Of Our Lives’ on Spotify; Follow Ethan Yates on Instagram and Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

 

The Dark Days have ‘Georgia’ on their minds.

Take four siblings raised in Colorado, a bunch of traditional acoustic instruments, some serious musicianship and songwriting, and a whole lot of heart and soul, and with a little bit of gentle shaking you might just come out with The Dark Days. Classic, perfect, gorgeous gentle Americana written ‘for our Ma when we were going through the struggle’, ‘Georgia’ rolls and swells along on waves of acoustic guitar, cahon, strings, and singer Xela Dark’s stunning voice; smoky, soothing, sultry, caressing, uplifting, and just plain beautiful, Xela’s vocal is the icing on an already extremely well-baked cake. Think of Counting Crows or the Jayhawks, with Sheryl Crow or maybe Lene Marlin taking over on vocals for Adam Duritz for a while, and you can imagine the sort of territory we’re in here.

It’s a perfect, sweet summer song; something to lie back in a corn field and just listen along to, and let everything else go for a few minutes. That’s pretty rare.

You can check out ‘Georgia’ on Spotify, and follow The Dark Days on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes