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Alt Indie

Music

Gully has brought optimism with him into the new year with their single ‘Carpe Diem’

Seizing the moment may be harder than usual in 2021, unless that means grabbing the fanciest biscuits in Tesco, but it’s still possible to indulge in unforgettable experiences, such as hitting play on ‘Carpe Diem’, the latest single  released by UK Indie Jazz artist, Gully.

After gaining plenty of traction on the radio waves, thanks to Radio Bristol and BBC introducing, with his debut EP,  ‘Student Blues’, Gully, and his 6-piece band, teamed up with producer Jax Beats to create a mix as timeless as it is fresh. The contemporary Indie inclinations weave amongst the roots-deep flowing Jazz licks with such natural ease, it becomes impossible not to melt into the cathartic grooves of the shimmering soundscape.

If your soul melted at The Arctic Monkeys’ cover of Amy Winehouse’s ‘You Know I’m No Good’, Carpe Diem will undoubtedly have the same evocative impact.

You can check out Carpe Diem for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Divisions vent their ‘Quiet Frustrations’ on post-truth politics and social division

Divisions by Divisions

If UK alt-rock five-piece Divisions had scripted 2020, they still couldn’t have come up with a more appropriate time to release their eponymous second album (due out March 12th). In preparation, they lead in with this, the opening single from the ten-track album, available via Bandcamp and with an accompanying ‘lockdown-special’ video on YouTube.

‘Quiet Frustrations’ is a powerful track, a statement around social division, post-truth politics, the frustrations of pandemic-stricken Britain, and that horrible over-arching ennui and exhaustion that’s seemed to blanket us all for the last couple of years. It’s a great song, potent, intelligent, thoughtful, and unusual yet with enough commercial nous to appeal to a wider audience; think Thirty Seconds To Mars with a little more introspection and inner-city tower-block feel, and you’re pretty much on the money.

See the lock-down video for ‘Quiet Frustrations’ on YouTube. Buy ‘Quiet Frustrations’, and pre-order ‘Divisions’, from Bandcamp.

Music

Voyce Memos’ forthcoming single ‘West Girl’ is dizzyingly eclectic indie electro rock at its most psychedelic

Voyce Memos

Texan electronic rock artist, Voyce Memos, is set to release their sophomore album ‘Chronology’. We’ve been lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the dizzyingly eclectic standout track, ‘West Girl’.

With popping Post-Punk & New Wave-tinged guitar melodies and Voyce Memos’ soulfully enrapturing vocal timbre, West Girl is a consciousness-consuming exhibition of how transfixing Indie Rock can be when orchestrated under dynamic vision.

The matured high-vibe Indie hit incorporates elements of Post Rock, Synth Rock and Psych. As it runs through, you’ll be hit by aural curveballs from every direction. Even more pertinently, you’ll be inclined to be taken on the rhythmically psychotropic journey time and time again. It isn’t your archetypal Indie Pop earworm, it’s something far more infectious which leaves you inclined to get repeat hits of the euphoria which you’ll easily squeeze out of the melodic hooks.

From funky syncopated guitars to mesmeric garage rock frenetic thrashing, West Girl doesn’t just paint across the tonal palette, it ravenously claws at influences spanning through the decades to create a timeless hit.

West Girl will be available to stream from February 5th along with the rest of Voyce Memos’ forthcoming album ‘Chronology’. In the meantime, you can head over to Spotify to check out their earlier releases.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Absideon revives nu metal with their new wave sound in ‘Ephemeral’

https://absideon.bandcamp.com/track/ephemeral

Kicking off with a delicately picked, reverb-soaked clean guitar part before launching into the full-on aural assault of distorted guitars, heavy drums, and thundering bass alongside twin, intertwined vocals, ‘Ephemeral’ from Texarkana duo Brett and Casey – a.k.a. Absideon – is a riotous storm of melodic metal which screams from the speakers and launches itself, bodily, at your earlobes.

There’s obvious comparisons with Linkin Park, System Of A Down, or Seether, but the melodic rock and clever timing shifts set ‘Ephemeral’ apart from the welter of generic sound-alike Nu-Metal wannabes; there’s some serious musicianship on show here, for sure, but the duo also clearly have talent in abundance around both vocal and production duties. ‘Ephemeral’ is the opening track from Absideon’s new-this-week six track EP ‘Reflections’, and on the basis of this it promises to be an absolute firestorm of a record.

Check out Absideon on Spotify and Facebook now.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Violette – Eos: Ukulele-led Retro Americana Pop

The very talented Violette Remington – daughter of a musical family from Orange County, California – is a 19-year-old singer-songwriter with a penchant for vintage dresses, rockabilly stylings, ukulele, and guitar. With ‘Eos’, her third single, she delivers a cute little slice of retro Americana set to ukulele, but the star of the show here truly is Violette’s voice; lilting, soaring, and sing-song, with maturity and timbre far belying her tender years, Violette’s delivery is clearly honed by her years performing in musical theatre and performing for friends and family.

Listing influences as diverse as Linda Ronstadt, Debbie Harry, and Aretha Franklin, and taking inspiration from the 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll scene and the 1960’s musical revolution, ‘Eos’ is an absolute delight, a touch of the unique and genuine in a world of carbon-copy dance-pop and manufactured X-Factor bands.

Check out ‘Eos’ on Spotify, and follow Violette on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Lewis Shepperd’s ‘This Blood Is Yours’ – modern yet retro emo-tinged rock single takes us to the dark side.

There’s a distinct ‘Police’ feel to Lewis Shepperd’s bass-heavy driving new single ‘This Blood Is Yours’, a modern-yet-retro pop-rock style delivered courtesy of Regatta De Blanc or Outlandos d’Amour-style guitar and syncopated, off-beat bass work.

Luke Shepperd’s vocal is reminiscent of Sting on ‘Message In A Bottle’ or ‘Roxanne’, mixed in with some serious emo-cred through the track’s vampirism stylings, and with maybe a contemporary Ed Sheeran or Jamie T vibe thrown in for good measure. It’s mature but not jaded, classy without being elitist, the mastering genius of Pete Maher (The Killers, Liam Gallagher, The Rolling Stones) clearly adding a smattering of indie-rock sparkle to the track.

Shepperd’s debut single, ‘Me’, has already received over 25,000 views on YouTube, and was featured in Music Week Presents as well as being the ‘Tip of the Week’ on BBC Solent radio upon its release. On the basis of this, there’s every likelihood ‘This Blood Is Yours’ will outdo it.

See the video for ‘This Blood Is Yours’ on YouTube. Follow Lewis Shepperd on Instagram and Facebook.

Music

Nick Bohle – Cold Room: A Chillingly Disparate Depiction of Lonliness

‘Cold Room’ is the sophomore release from American Indie singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nick Bohle, you might want to grab a jumper before you hit play, describing the single as ‘chilling’ seems like a crass understatement.

The dark indie ballad offers so much more than the introspection alluding to loss and loneliness, you will feel those very same isolated agonised emotions crawl beneath your ribs as Cold Room cinematically cruises through its progressions.

Nick Bohle’s experience as an acclaimed actor discernibly bled into the soundscape which unravels as theatrical aural storm, yet with the sleek and atmospheric production, even when Cold Room hits its most tremulous peak it remains mellifluous and simply mesmeric.

You can check out Cold Room for yourselves via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Sonic Indie and Celestial Soul Collide in Nikola’s Transfixing Alt Indie Rock Single ‘Pink Lights’

After spending years successful touring bands, Minnesota-hailing artist, Nikola Hamilton, released their ground-breaking EP ‘Darling’ and established themselves as one of the most luminary singer-songwriters who have made their debut in 2020.

The standout track, Pink Lights, will allow you to imagine what would happen if Interpol chose to team up with Hozier. You get the cold, cutting sonic style with the almost celestial vocals which tear though the darkly atmospheric soundscape and speak directly to your soul.

If Nikola made a bigger impression with their sleek Darkwave debut, we’d have concussion.

You can check out Nikola’s EP for yourselves which was released on November 13th, 2020 via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Is It Safeway or Woolworths? Only The Gaffs really know.

It would be oh too easy to dismiss The Gaffs’ ‘Is It Safeway Or Woolworths?’ as one more in a long line of dreaded ‘novelty singles’, but that would totally disservice the superbly crafted chorus hook, exquisite guitar work, and the obvious quality of the song-writing and musicianship here. Insanely catchy and sing-along, beneath the gonzo lyrics is a solid indie-pop song, reminiscent in place of the Kings Of Leon’s ‘Sex On Fire’ or, just maybe, Sultans Of Ping FC’s ‘Where’s Me Jumper?’.

The Gaffs cite themselves as ‘some of the greatest thinkers of their time and are willing to ask the big questions around consciousness, existentialism and the difference between Safeway and Woolworths’. While that may be pushing it, they’re certainly a quality indie-pop band, and ‘Is It Safeway Or Woolworths’ is definitely a quality pop tune.

Check out the video for ‘Is It Safeway Or Woolworths’ on YouTube, and follow The Gaffs on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Filling up our appetite for live music: Nightbird Casino combine genres beautifully on ‘The Mains’

Nightbird Casino swoop into our lives to feed our hungry hearts with their latest epic track called ‘The Mains‘. This is a new song that has been made-ironically-due to the current pandemic as the band were able to lock themselves into their home studio and make an absolute gem of a track.

Taken off their first full length release for two years called ‘Gregorian Nap‘, this is a dreamy indie rock track that has so many genres inside, you might need to get extra fillings to add into your packed sandwich. The sauce is so delicious here and the multi-instrumentalists James Moore & Don Shepherd certainly know how to put on a show with the way they bend genres like an Avatar and destroy any pre-conceived notions about what a band should sound like.

I love how the intriguing electronic-type start taps in hot and then the smooth vocals catch you off guard for a few seconds as you close your eyes and imagine being in a packed sweaty music bar, listening to this quality up close and personal.

The bass-lines are so heavy here you might need a new speaker after blasting this loud to annoy the pesky neighbors, who kept you up late last night with their rubbish music. You can feel the love and care that was put into this new single. This is about that love that was so strong but things turned sour like off milk and you feel a sense of regret about what happened but relief at the same time.

The Mains‘ from the New York and Southern Californian fused duo Nightbird Casino is a song that leaves you gazing outside the window and its easy to get lost in the song. This is a welcome distraction from the morbid news and seeing grumpy and sad people all over the place. The time spent locked inside has worked and this is a quality single to add to playlists and is best played really loud.

Stream this top act on their Spotify and see what comes next via IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen