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Album

Spotlight Feature: Winchester 7 & the Runners shared their world-weary wit in their ukulele-led indie rock album, Catacomb Songs.

Get your nostalgia fix and your catharsis hit in one in the latest album from the internationally scattered outfit, Winchester 7 & The Runners. Catacomb Songs was just one of the lockdown-born albums conceived via Zoom in 2021; notably, few albums advocate for the future of remote collaboration better than this 9-track release.

The hazy, smoky and garagey vibes in the ukulele-led indie rock album are just as sweet as any album from the Zombies, the Beatles and the Stones. There may be nothing like delving into your favourite records from decades past, yet Winchester 7 & the Runners have their relevant and resonant ennui as an upper hand.

The thought of an indie ukulele rock album may send the blood pressure of music snobs through the roof, but if anyone can change the reputation of the electric ukulele, it is Winchester 7 & the Runners. They know just how to pull the rich, warm timbre from the electric uke to compliment the equally as mellifluous vocals.

The album starts with the quasi-morbid single, Dead Celebrities and New Beginnings, which questions why new beginnings seem impossible for ordinary folk while the famous can enjoy posthumous transformations. Once Dead Celebrities and New Beginnings has grabbed your attention, the album kicks things down a notch with the 70s rock reminiscent single, The Song That You Sing, which opens up a new level of lyrical intimacy that continues through the duration of the album that is tinged with satirical wit and the rare sense of compassion that can only be extended from world-weary soul to another.

Here is what Winchester 7 had to say about Catacomb Songs:

“We released our previous EP, Argos Holiday, last year on December 17th to limited fanfare due to the pandemic. In the following months, we made the best use of our time, took to our home studios and worked via Zoom to produce a follow-up. Catacomb Songs is certainly pandemic influenced in places, especially Riding High Again, which was written in memoriam of a good friend that succumbed to alcoholism during it. However, there is also a message of hope and inspired joy that is directly related to the normalcy we found playing together, albeit apart, amidst the lockdowns and travel bans.”

Catacomb Songs was officially released on December 17th. It is now available to stream on Spotify and Bandcamp.

Connect with Winchester 7 & the Runners to stay up to date with the 60s-inspired alchemy yet to come via Instagram and Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Can Hardly See: Xanacova releases debut sixteen-track hip-hop album that urges us to ‘Send Help’

Powered resourcefully by indie label The Lotto Tribe, Xanacova shows us deep inside his extremely creative mind on the brand new sixteen-track release called ‘Send Help‘.

Xanacova is a passionate eighteen-years-young indie emo hip-hop artist from Austin, Minnesota. He makes that introspective blend of music which is full of deep thoughts and self-doubts, in this harsh world which seems to lack the love it had before.

Send Help is a 16 track intimate hip hop genre album that talks about Xanacovas own struggle to be someone who matters in the world he lives in.” ~ Xanacova 

There are no fillers here on this quickening heart-beating effort, as he seems to grow majestically on each track. The honesty is quite remarkable and particular gems have to be ‘Working‘, ‘Go To‘ and probably the best track all them all, ‘All Night‘. There is so much sadness, darkness, hope and true integrity on each of these songs especially, that has you admiring his inner strength to show the world his true feelings.

He raps with so much consistency the whole way through and the catchy beats keep you hooked on the line all the way to shore – as you are enthralled by his confident delivery – for such a youthful artist with much promise.

Send Help‘ from the emotionally stressed out Austin, Minnesota-based indie rapper Xanacova, is a conscious release which shows you a young man who is looking for his true path, in this confusion-filled life. He feels that he is set for fame and wants it so bad, as he performs with that extra flair that only the few possess. This is the type of album to put on when you are feeling down and need a boost, from someone who lives through his music each day.

You feel like this is the art form which truly sets him free, so he can climb out of his current state of mind and find that self-enlightened happy place of contentment.

Hear this new album on Spotify and check out the IG music channel.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Texan Alt Rock newcomers Tough on Fridays tease the release of their sophomore album “Ways to Kill Time”

Tough on Fridays are set to release their sophomore album on September 4th. Ahead of the highly-anticipated release, we’ve been given a sneak peek of the infectiously catchy single “Pleased to Meet You”.

The Georgetown, TX artist’s Grungy Pop Punk sound may just restore any faith which you’ve lost in this generation’s up and coming artists. With the sharp melodic hooks, euphoric choruses and scathingly visceral vocals it’s safe to say that Pleased to Meet You comes with a fairly vicious Pop Punk bite. No review of Pleased to Meet You would be complete mentioning the captivating nuances of Post Punk which helps draw the dynamic track to a close. The cutting angular solo work even gives Daniel Kessler (Interpol) a run for his money.

Any fans of Dream Wife, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Airborne Toxic Event and The Regrettes won’t want to miss out on the release of what promises to be one of the hottest album drops of 2020.

A Fantastic Way to Kill Time will be available via all major streaming platforms from September 4th. In the meantime, you can check out their earlier releases via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Matthew Bertram – Destiny: Synthy-Sweet Alt Indie Pop

If you’re looking for a synthy-sweet Pop treat to liven up your playlists, Matthew Bertram’s second album Destiny will sate any aural sugar cravings.

While each track on the artist’s sophomore album carries an arsenal of euphoria, the best introduction to Matthew Bertram’s playfully captivating style is the title track. Good vibes are guaranteed.

In Destiny, 80s Synth Pop and modern Lo-Fi Indie Experimental Pop combine along with hints of Indie Alt Rock. Matthew Bertram boundlessly creative approach to production along with the magnetically expressive Indie Pop vocals instantly puts Matthew Bertram leagues apart from any other Alt Synth Pop artist we’ve heard this year.

Even though Matthew Bertram achieved a vibrant and resounding sound with Destiny, there’s still an incredibly enamouring intimate appeal to the soundscape. Naturally, we’re hooked. And we’re fairly sure that you’ll share our new-found obsession as soon as you hit play too.

You can check out Matthew Bertram’s single Destiny for yourselves via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast