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Alt-Pop

Alyssa Keen & Nickay – thanks but no thanks: emboldening ‘over you’ indie pop

For her latest single, singer-songwriter Alyssa Keen teamed up with Nickay to create the ultimate emboldening ‘over you’ track “thanks but no thanks”

Alyssa Keen’s natural, elysian and airy vocals make it all too easy to succumb to the soul in the romantically scorned track that reminds the listener how sweet it is to take back emotional power over yourself.

Around the easy acoustic guitar chords are stunning nuances of shoegazey indie and elements of style that fans of Kurt Wilde will instantly want to melt into. The single is so much more than your average bitter and coming age of single. Alyssa Keen’s motivation to pull optimistic perspectives out of the bad to enlighten the world is enough to restore your faith in humanity.

thanks but no thanks is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Nemos has released his Italian 90s revival album, La leggenda del soldato gentile

Italian aural visionary, Nemos, has released his expressively eccentric third album, La leggenda del soldato gentile.
With the title single carrying a similar rhythm to Blur’s Song 2 along with choral-orchestral stylings and Hanson vibes, the punchy high energy track is a European twist on the sonic palettes that we came to love in the 90s.

Even if the instrumentals fell flat, La leggenda del soldato gentile would still be a bop-worthy hit thanks to the unfaltering passion in the vocals as they verse the Italian lyrics. La leggenda del soldato gentile doesn’t just permit you to share the energy of the soul-sating track; it practically demands it of you.

Nemos’ third album, La leggenda del soldato gentile, is now available to stream in full on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sofia Werner’s latest single, Lost, reaches the pinnacle of alt-pop

After a moody Twin Peaks-Esque intro, Sofia Werner’s latest indie electro-pop single, Lost, lures you in through melancholy before bursting into a spectacular feat of vibrantly visceral future pop. If you can imagine what it would sound like if London Grammar found some serotonin along the way in their soundscapes, you’ll get an idea of how much panache Werner is bringing to the contemporary pop scene. Lost finds a poignant way of alluding to how people act as our biggest anchors and centres of gravity while wrestling with an almost arcane level of passion.

The Mexico City-born, Atlanta-based artist started honing in on her vocal and instrumental talent at five years old. So, by the time she was ready to make her official debut in 2020, she had what it took to rack up over 200k streams with her hit singles on Spotify alone. We would tell you to get her on your radar, but we’re fairly sure that she will be impossible to miss in the near future.

Lost is available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sarah Rae tempts shadow sides to the surface in her surf noir single, Shadow Girl.

If April March had a deviously arcane side, her hypnotic rhythms would share the same maleficent magnetism as Sarah Rae’s latest single, Shadow Girl, which was orchestrated to tempt shadow sides to the surface.

The operatic harmonies interlace with the artfully tumultuous instrumentals, acting as a cascading anchor through the symphonic scores, disturbed dream-pop layers and surf rock noir style. Naturally, the Atlanta-based artist is one to watch. She’s by fair one of the most original artist’s we have heard in 2021.

Shadow Girl was officially released on November 11th; it is now available to stream on SoundCloud. The album from which the ethereally Avant single was taken is due for release in 2022.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Wally Hoak opens up in his dark pop hit, HARD FEELINGS

Dominican Republic-born, Brooklyn-based dark pop prodigy, Wally Hoak, has been garnering plenty of hype since making his debut in 2020. His most popular track to date, Complicated, has racked up over 33k streams since the release, and based on his latest single, HARD FEELINGS, it is unlikely that his career will stop gaining traction any time soon.

In HARD FEELINGS, raw emotion is projected into dark, thorny synth lines as reverb swirls around the 808s under Hoak’s emotionally sultry vocal timbre. Lyrically, it became the ultimate ‘don’t talk to me, I’m angry track’ as it alludes to the alienating emotions that sting at the surface in the wake of toxic relationship dynamics.

Hoak went so far beyond scratching around at surface level with HARD FEELINGS; he cut right to the marrow. Naturally, we can’t wait to hear the next confessional masterpiece.

HARD FEELINGS is now available to stream on Spotify.

Connect with Wally Hoak on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

CHARLES HS voices collective insecurity in his crowd-inspired indie folk-pop single, Stereotype

CHARLES HS

‘Stereotype’ is the latest single and crowd-created project of London-based indie folk-pop singer-songwriter CHARLES HS. The single pulled together as an amalgamation of collective issues and insecurities voiced by his Instagram followers – given how Stereotype was created, the coherent synergy of the lyrics becomes even more profound.

Atop of the accordant folk-pop guitars that will be a big hit with Bill Ryder-Jones fans, the lyrics haunt the soundscape as they reflect some of the darkest facets of our ego-driven superficial reality. Stereotype proves that we’re only ever alone in a physical sense, never emotionally. It truly sets the bar for UK singer-songwriters wanting to make an impact.

Stereotype is due for official release on November 12th, 2021. Check it out via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Valiancy gives us our ‘Good Vibes’ fix in his latest alt-pop sonic sanctum.

With the sweet harmonic Beach Boys-style soul against the Saul Williams-Esque heavy beats, Valiancy’s latest alt-indie pop fix, Good Vibes, delivers what it says on the tin. Not through condescending euphoria peddling tropes, but through exuding nothing but transcendent soul that remains sympathetic to the reasons we need good vibes tracks in the first place.

The songwriter and producer orchestrated a soundscape unique enough to pique your interest and pull you in, yet experimentalism was notably secondary to ensuring that the infusion of harmonic pop vocals and ensnaring alt electro beats became a sure-fire hit of catharsis.

Get your Good Vibes hit by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Future-pop fuses with Britpop in Footless Kicks’ debut single, E1 2AM

Footless Kicks

In the ultimate pop-rock crossover, London-based rock guitarist, producer and songwriter, Footless Kicks sent us back to the Britpop era with his debut single, E1 2AM. The devilishly clever single carries the same blissful tones as the Roses along with the driving momentum of JBD’s anthemically charged riffs in The Manic’s most soul-sating hits. Vocally, Footless Kicks truly came into his own. The solo artist’s gruffly soulful vocal timbre is complemented by the dynamic range of the guest female vocalist whose dreamy harmonies sit between Mazzy Star and My Bloody Valentine.

With more singles in the pipeline and the teasing of an album, any alt-90s fan will want Footless Kicks on their radar.

E1 2AM is due for official release on November 8th; you can catch it for yourselves on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Space pop goes baroque in J.T. Rogers’s latest single, The Cycle of Orbit, featuring Carter Costello.

After the successful release of his 2021 debut album, All Through Time and Space, J.T. Rogers teamed up with Carter Costello for his latest alt-pop hit, The Cycle of Orbit. After hearing the synthy-sweet hooky chorus, I’m fairly sure I surrendered a significant proportion of my soul to the mesmerising collaborative duo.

I don’t make Peeing Tom reminiscences lightly. Yet, the Seattle-born, LA-based artist warranted it with his uniquely evocative mix of vocal vibrato and reverb atop of the baroquely twisted instrumentals.

J.T Rogers took space pop to a fairly dark place, but those who find their minds in the shadows regardless will find plenty of salvation in this gorgeous amalgamation of bedroom pop, lo-fi and emo which is just as psychedelic as the most Avant work from the Legendary Pink Dots.

Costello adds a gorgeous dynamic single with his commanding debonair-vibe vocals. It comes as little surprise that J.T. is starting to amass so much traction in his career. We can’t wait to hear what he pours onto the airwaves next.

The Cycle of Orbit is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Go Home Wasted: Manchester band MYOTO keeps the fun going all night with ‘Two Step Sally’

Following a lip-licking and hangover-fueled drinking of thirstily consumed Baltika lagers together on team bonding night at Wetherspoons, MYOTO rev up our intriged senses with their delightfully portrayed new single called ‘Two Step Sally‘.

MYOTO is a ruggedly exciting four-piece alt-pop act from the legendary city of Manchester, UK. They make that movie-like soundscape that has you grabbing your new lover close, and locking lips for as long as possible.

Forming a band right before a national lockdown might not have been the best of starts. But, for Myoto it was a fruitful period.” ~ MYOTO

The guzzling vibes are fully in tune with the theme of the night as the energetic energies combine to see if this could be an extra late night evening, with someone who totally gets what you are about. Made with a heightened sense of party vibes and a thriving tone, you feel like this is a track you won’t easily forget.

Two Step Sally‘ from the thrilling Manchester, UK-based alt-pop band MYOTO, is a powered up single that shows much potential with mysterious vocals – that you need to turn up on full to catch the whole story – with marvelous melodies to have you feeling so much better than before. This is the type of song to put on when you have just arrived home from the pub, and feel the urge to keep the night going as long as possible.

Hear this fine new effort on Spotify and check out their IG for more exciting stories about their much-anticipated progress.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen