Browsing Tag


Weather the storm with Chris Chism’s indie Americana folk exposition of introspection, When It Rains Down on School Street

Chris Chism’s single ‘When It Rains Down on School Street’ is a folk offering steeped in Americana and visceral emotion, reminiscent of a melancholic gaze through a rain-glazed window. This consolingly evocative release spills into the soul, embodying the essence of introspective folk music.

The gentle, finger-picked guitars in the track carry an alt-country flair, intricately woven and effortlessly carrying Chism’s vocal notes. His voice, a shot to the heart, resonates in the celestially timbered vein of Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, and Ray LaMontagne. It’s this combination of delicate guitar work and soul-stirring vocals that elevates the single to the epitome of pensive solace.

‘When It Rains Down on School Street’ aches for both literal and metaphorical brighter days; Chism’s ability to capture this longing, coupled with a sense of cynicism that often accompanies life’s storms, makes the track a poignant reflection of the human condition.

Raised on a diet of bluegrass and classic country, Chism’s roots are evident in his music. His journey from metal and punk to the folk and country scenes has culminated in a sound that will see him go far. Now a fixture in North Carolina’s folk scene, his music reflects the stories and struggles of working-class people, infused with raw honesty and deep personal connections.

When It Rains Down on School Street was officially released on March 25; stream the single on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

As Was sold indie alt-country sanctuary in his latest single, Borrowed, featuring Joshua McBride

Off the back of his successful sophomore LP, Open Container, the LA native singer-songwriter As Was (AKA Kosta Stanisavljevic) collaborated with Joshua McBride on his latest single, Borrowed, and exhibited his freshly honed alt-country meets indie sonic signature.

Following the gentle finger-picked notes of the guitar strings, ethereal with melancholy vocals drift into the simple yet stirringly profound production as the lyrics unravel as a narrative of ennui from someone who only finds comfort in isolation.

Haunting enough to rival Tom Odell and Elliott Smith, arcane enough in its alt-country atmosphere to stir in the same vein as Kurt Vile and San Ilios, As Was effortlessly succeeded in sonically visualising the aching emotions which inspired Borrowed, which explores the anxiety-fraught sensation of feeling like you’re living on borrowed time, relentlessly seeking reasons to keep hanging on.

Part of the affecting intimacy of As Was can be attributed to his stint away from listening to other artists as he was cutting his teeth as a singer-songwriter. He felt the influence of other artists diminished his own ability to achieve sincerity at a time when he truly tried to find himself. Now he’s a well-established artist, he continues to ground himself deeper in his distinction, and his discography is all the more deeply felt for it.

Borrowed was officially released on February 29th; 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

Jack Cade – The Glitter Around Your Eyes: Achingly Affecting Americana

Bewilderland by Jack Cade and the Everyday Sinners

If you always turn to Cohen, Waits and Nick Cave for sonic solace, redirect your quest for sanctity toward Jack Cade’s folk-meets-alt-country LP, Bewilderland.

His gruff baritone notes against Helen Muggeridge’s glassy-with-soul harmonies create a heart-wrenchingly sentimental dynamic in the standout single, The Glitter Around Your Eyes. Like all of the most affecting love songs, the alchemic feat of Americana lyrically locks into the minute details of affection to elucidate how deep in the veins the affection runs.

Around the bluesy guitar bends, honkytonk piano keys that give the track a touch of the 70s and the roots-wrapped tones as a courtesy of the slide guitar, the two vocalists portray a hesitant yet fervent testament of passion which reaches the epitome of compelling. Slow dance to it, cry your heart out to it as you mourn lost loves, or make it a playlist staple; whatever you do, don’t pass up on this timelessly touching serenade from the UK-hailing conduit of candour.

The Glitter Around Your Eyes was officially released on January 26th; stream the single and Jack Cade’s seminal LP, Bewilderland, on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Shotgun Waltz Fused Americana and Echoes of the Alt-90s to Craft the Ultimate Derision of ‘Pity Party’ Throwers

Single: Pity Party by Shotgun Waltz

.What do you get when you fuse the roots of Americana and alt-country with the nostalgia of the alt-90s? Hit play on the latest single, Pity Party, from the raconteurs of cliché-averse aural experimentalism, Shotgun Waltz, and find out for yourselves.

The first shimmering notes tease you into expecting a soundscape akin to The Madness’ eccentric spin on ska pop before the quintessential rock lead guitar work starts to blaze through the college radio rock production that makes it impossible not to warm to the outfit and their no prisoners held approach to lyricism.

Shotgun Waltz made it definitively clear that they wouldn’t be blowing up balloons for the wallowers in their circles. Instead, the pity partyers are mercilessly derided for their tunnel-vision naval-gazing as the ultimate reminder that self-disgust is still self-obsession is laid out across the exhilarating rhythms.

With echoes of new wave indie jangling through the release which never lets go of its Americana twang, the energy in Pity Party is riotously infectious, which bodes incredibly well for the Boston-based artist’s upcoming LP, which is expected to drop in April 2024.

Grab your invitation to the Pity Party by heading over to Bandcamp where you can stream or purchase the single, which was officially released on January 22nd.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The blues rock renegade Chance Brown supercharged the airwaves with his electrifying single, Come See ‘Bout Me

The Victoria BC roots rock renegade Chance Brown delivered a bluesy bluegrass invitation you won’t want to turn down with his latest single, Come See ‘Bout Me.

Don’t let the acoustic guitar-wielding cover art fool you. Come See ‘Bout Me is more electrifying than anything Jack White has crafted in his entire career and just as rich in mainstream appeal thanks to the garage rock infusion. The track is so much more than a live wire, it is more reactive than the Chernobyl power plant at the point of explosion.

Between the harmonica blasts, the lap steel tones and the tightly controlled chaos of the choruses, Chance Brown succeeded in paying homage to the traditions of blues and ensuring that those aural traditions have a place in the contemporary music industry.

After spending his life in unwavering devotion to honing the different elements of song-crafting, Chance Brown has polished his talents and maintained his passion, initially ignited by the likes of Justin Townes Earle and Gord Downie, enabling him to become one of the most scintillating raconteurs of truths in any town.

Come See ‘Bout Me was officially released on the 18th of August; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Matt Mullins & The Bringdowns harbingered the ‘Beginning of the End’ in their expansively influenced single

Matt Mullins & The Bringdowns may be alt-country at their core, which their single, Beginning of the End, efficaciously signifies but written into the rich tapestry of a single are elements are folk, grunge, psych and new wave indie to create a genre-bending odyssey.

Their stylistic fluidity is one thing; the way they allow emotion to drive the momentum and paint a panoramic portrait of the human psyche and all that defiles and uplifts it is quite another. The Beginning of the End takes a raw and real anxiety for the people prolifically questioning the sustainability of our societies and enraptures the listener away from it all with the unshackling nature of the stellar songwriting.

Beyond the Slash-style soaring guitar solos, the Eddie Vedder-esque gruff vocal timbre, the gangly indie melodies that will appease any fans of the Psychedelic Furs, and the rugged folk elements which reminisce with the tones made iconic by the Levellers lies the true beauty of Matt Mullins & The Bringdowns. For your own sake, experience it for yourselves.

Beginning of the End, along with their latest album, Monarch Sessions, from which it was taken, is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lorne Riley has released his page-turning upbeat country earworm, That’s All She Wrote

‘That’s All She Wrote’ is the latest quintessentially country single from the singer-songwriter Lorne Riley, who ingeniously cloaked his latest pop and rock-encompassing feat of Americana with swathes of 80s nostalgia to take you on a sonic journey you’ve never muddied your metaphorical boots with before.

You just can’t help falling in love with the small-town boy who has dug up his Northern Ontario roots and implanted them in his new residence in Dubai. Evidently, you can take the boy out of the country, but you can never take the country out of the boy.

Since making his debut in 2019, he’s featured on the Nashville Music Row Chart; That’s All She Wrote is yet another hooky chart-worthy hit from the singer-songwriter who knows exactly how to infuse his vignettes with bold imagery and a sense of soul that will awaken your own.

That’s All She Wrote was officially released on April 28; hear it on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Dan Slyker’s “Mexico” provides a much needed musical escape.

Dan Slyker’s “Mexico” is a refreshing and unique addition to the alt-country genre. The song features a vibrant and upbeat sound that is a blend of traditional country elements, such as banjo and guitar, with electronic noise and even a mariachi band, resulting in a rich and engaging musical arrangement. It’s the kind of song that makes your ears perk-up and say to yourself “well, this is new.”

Dan’s gritty and tuneful voice perfectly complements the energetic instrumentation and adds a sense of rawness and authenticity to the song. The lyrics tell a story of a man escaping to Mexico with a sweet and enticing young lady, to forget his troubles and enjoy life, making the song relatable and catchy.

Dan Slyker’s musical style is a mix of various genres, including country, bluegrass, rock, and hip hop, which he blends together to create a unique sound that sets him apart from other country artists. He draws inspiration from his childhood experiences of living in different parts of the US, where he was exposed to a wide range of musical styles, from west coast twang to mainstream rock and pop.

Dan’s mission is to break the mould and challenge the traditional country music scene, which he believes has become too serious and predictable. With his innovative sound and powerful lyrics, Dan Slyker is a rising star in the alt-country genre, and “Mexico” is a perfect example of his talent and creativity.

Unravel to D’Arc’s Family Jams’ psychedelically sweet vintage soul in ‘Unwind’.

After hearing the debut album, if someone told me D’Arc’s Family Jams is the new sonic moniker of Duncan Trussell, I wouldn’t hesitate to believe them. The eccentric synth lines that are drenched in retro Americana soul are sweeter than honey, but there’s no sugaring away the artistic merit of this spacey psychedelic country-rock-rooted LP, which will undoubtedly see the South Jersey-residing brothers go far.

Anticipate Beatles-ESQUE dual harmonies by the smorgasbord with aperitifs of funk-riding bass, kaleidoscopic guitar melodies and lashing of vintage tones in the standout single, Unwind. If you’re sick of hearing egos take the lead, and you’re desperate for a soul-lightening sonic experience, slip into the delectable ease of this devilishly promising debut. If anyone has what it takes to knock Jack White off his perpetual pedestal, it is D’Arc’s Family Jams.

The debut album from D’Arc’s Family Jams will officially release on March 9th. Catch it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast