Browsing Tag

alt

Music

Heavy Salad have given ‘cult hit’ a brand-new meaning with their debut album “Cult Casual”

The debut album from Manchester’s finest soulfully-blessed Psychedelic trailblazers Heavy Salad has finally dropped.

Cult Casual hit record stores on September 25th and affirmed that the optimism that I’ve held since hearing their eccentrically resolving sophomore single Battery Acid in 2019 was entirely well placed.

Some records, you put on the turntable and know you’ll be apathetic about letting the needle hit it again. Others, you know you’ll delve right back in for the successive hits of emotion which manifested the first time around. Cult Casual is firmly in the latter camp.

Track 1, Death is a gentle Surf Pop easing into the colourful chaos which ensues in the form of their cult hit (in the most literal use of the phrase) Battery Acid. Track 3, The Wish is the feat of feisty grunge which blows every other Garage Rock artist in Manchester out of the water while simultaneously giving artists such as Dinosaur Jr a run for their money.

Track 4, Inner Versions carries the same bite as The Wish, but this time the playful angst is projected over punchy Indie Rock licks, leaving plenty of space for guitarist Rob Glennie to humbly unveil the virtuosic talent he’s been hiding all along. Track 5, Reverse Snake is Heavy Salad’s psych Rock scathing attack on the ideocracy which led us to Brexit. Arcanely, they actually succeeded in creating a high-vibe Anti-Brexit track.

Fans of Avant-Garde will be suitably enraptured in the album from Track 6 where the experimentalism truly starts to take hold. After you’ve enjoyed all the juicy Psych Pop earworms, it’s time to immerse yourselves in the unpredictable yet pragmatic progressive nature of High Priestess and This Song is Not About Lizards. Unapologetically, the tracks take seismic shifts in tone and ferocity, leaving you at the mercy of their rhythmic prowess and whatever celestial magic the Priestesses are serving up in the form of their intoxicating vocals.

Whichever plateau you’ve floated to with the former singles, Routine Dream will allow you to crash down to earth with the scuzzily confrontational track which serves an aggressive yet compassionate reminder that you’re probably living blind. Thankfully, there’s plenty of aural comfort in Slow Ride which will make sure that you’re in the best possible mindset for the evocative assault which follows.

The final track It’s OK to Bleed will break my heart over and over again. In a time where people are more likely to invest in bitcoin rather than their emotional intelligence, it’s utterly priceless. Straight from the intro, the tenderness rings through the guitar progressions, then, the vocal and lyrical empathy bring torrid emotions to the front but there’s plenty of solace to be found in the track which unravels as gospel for the impious.

In short, it’s a cosmic rollercoaster and easily up there with the best things to happen in 2020. Listen to it.

You can check out Cult Casual via Spotify & Bandcamp or you can (and you definitely should) treat yourself to a CD or vinyl copy of the album released via Dripped in Gold Recordings.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Take a trip back to the Alt 90s with The Young Love Scene’s latest single “Honey”

Honey by The Young Love Scene

If it’s been a while since you’ve deemed a feat of dreamy, sludgy and distorted Alt Rock as obsession-worthy, hit play on the latest infectiously melodic earworm “Honey” from Vermont-based Alt Rock artist The Young Love Scene.

The Young Love Scene may have a fairly DIY approach to their sound, but instead of hindering the track, the intimacy is amplified and it is even easier to fall into the absorbing mix of crunchy distortion and singer Gordon Goldsmith’s alluringly harmonic vocal timbre.

If the Smashing Pumpkins and Weezer had an aural lovechild, I can imagine it would turn out something a little like Honey.

You can check out Honey for yourselves by heading over to Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Rebecca Downes has released her artfully enticing aural storm “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”

I love nothing more than when artists tear the stigma from insanity. Naturally, I’m infatuated with Alt artist Rebecca Downes’ fiercely unapologetic latest single “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”.

The artfully atmospheric release is enticing from the first striking note. To start, there’s tender turbulence behind her plaintively evocative vocals which steadily runs through her wisdom-spilling lyricism. As the track progresses, the intensity builds, and any true audiophiles are sure to have a few jaw-drop moments.

It would be no stretch to say that Mama Weer All Crazee Now is the most stylistically entrancing single we have heard in 2020. From now on, if Rebecca Downes is pouring her introspective into any soundscape, I want to hear it. I want to drink in the intoxicating cocktail of aural ingenuity and sheer passionate determination to deliver a track drenched in sincerity and perception-shifting wordplay.

You can check out Rebecca Downes latest single by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

AnLony – Mertsd2ac featuring Anna Maria Olsson

https://anlony.bandcamp.com/track/mertsd2ac-2-ft-anna-maria-olsson

Part of AnLony’s ‘Pe Ra Tu Ja’ EP (the title a sort of modernistic portmanteau of peregrine and thuja), a musical commentary on Anlony’s life during 2019 and 2020, ranging in scope from the birth of his nephew to the political struggles in Hong Kong.

‘Mertsd2ac’ is just shy of five minutes of experimental fusion, starting softly, with building chords over the sounds of rain, thunder, and birdsong, before the vocal, an almost chanting, droning (in an obviously intentional way), building slowly before the beautiful, haunting violin of Anna Maria Olsson slides in around the three minute mark.

Find AnLony’s music on BandCamp.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Kaia Black – Really: A Piano-Led Ode to Pain

Starting with a simple, four-note repeating piano phrase, ‘Really’ by Kaia Black is the simplest of songs, a one minute eleven seconds ode to pain and a lack of understanding, the final refrain a plaintive ‘I don’t think you’re sorry’.

The piano part carries the track, and, admittedly, the vocal leaves a little to be desired, the attempt at nonchalance coming across instead as perhaps lacklustre and unsettled. That said, there’s an interesting concept, the simplicity of the track itself a challenge and a change from the over-instrumented, over-produced mainstream that often counts for ‘alternative’ music.

Kaia Black is on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Mariposa Extension Number has made an evocatively fierce Alt Pop debut with their EP “Guru”

If all debut releases impressed us as much as 17-year-old artist Mariposa Extension Number’s, he’d have some serious competition. But as it happens, the amount of intense aural alchemy in their debut EP “Guru” was practically unparalleled.

For me, the marks of a great artist will always be how much passion they project into their soundscapes and how unapologetically bold they were when offering a brand-new sound. There are stamps of approval all over the artists unique and artful infusion of Electronica, Pop and RnB.

It evocatively stings, but stylistically, you couldn’t ask for a more ahead of the curve debut. Don’t just watch this space, jump on this incredible release and get Mariposa Extension Number on your radar as I’m sure it won’t be the last experimentally mesmeric record from them. They’re definitely one to watch.

You can check out Mariposa Extension Number’s captivating debut via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Aimee Saturne has made a salaciously daring Pop debut with “Don’t Tell My Boyfriend”

Don’t Tell My Boyfriend” is the salaciously daring debut Dark Pop single from LA artist Aimee Saturne. If it was any more debauched Christian fundamentalists would be on a mission to cancel her.

Her sultry vocal timbre perfectly matches the lyrics which go further than pretty much any other Pop single I’ve ever heard. There may be plenty of tracks about romantic indiscretion on the airwaves, but Aimee Saturne’s is definitely the hottest. Even the atmospherically tantalizing stylistic beats drip with sex appeal.

To say that she’s earned a spot on our radar feels like an understatement. We’re practically infatuated.

You can check out Aimee Saturne’s provocatively ensnaring single Don’t Tell My Boyfriend for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Ruby Drive put a Horror Punk Twist on Pop Punk with “Fruit Punch and Arsenic”

https://rubydrive.bandcamp.com/track/fruit-punch-and-arsenic

US Alt Pop-Punk trailblazers Ruby Drive dropped their latest scathingly rhythmic single “Fruit Punch and Arsenic” on May 6th. If you missed it, you missed out on a timely record which offers scuzz, angst and importantly an outlet for the anger we’ve been feeling throughout 2020.

Any fans of the Misfits are definitely going to want to hear their Horror Punk twist on Pop-Punk which can be found in the discordantly ominous instrumental tone and lyrics.

Lyrically, Fruit Punch and Arsenic is somewhere in between the tale of Sid and Nancy and the far more romantic saga between Romeo and Juliette. A striking narrative of two lost souls attempting to shield each other from inescapable misery, ending with an arsenic cocktail. Who said romance was dead?

You can listen to Fruit Punch and Arsenic for yourselves by heading over to Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

That Hidden Promise – You Can Have the World: Captivatingly Sonic Alt Indie

Ahead of their debut album release, UK Alt Indie solo artist That Hidden Promise released their sonically anthemic single “You Can Have the World”. Be prepared for your preconceptions on Indie solo acts to be thrown out of the window when you hit play.

With nuances of 90s Britpop combined with soaring Post Punk guitar hooks, the single is as electric as it is accessible. Any fans of the Manic Street Preachers’ Holy Bible era will be as captivated by the guitar work as we were.

With a higher tempo than your average Indie hit, there’s an intensely momentous feel to You Can Have the World. Yet, none of the angular intricacies was lost from the Post-Punk style guitar progressions.

You can check out You Can Have the World via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Shxnnon invites you to get in touch with your emotions with “Feelings”

If you’re a fan of RnB Soul classics but wish they were more fitting for contemporary and confusing times, hit play on breaking artist Shxnnon’s recently released single “Feelings”.

With her 5th single, Shxnnon ensured that Feelings pertained the heart-warmingly resolving effects of classic Soul while offering a colossal amount of stylistic appeal.

Switching between synth notes which are doused with lush reverb and delicately intricate piano keys allowed the past and future of Soul to converge in the deeply evocative hit which gives you a candid view into Shxnnon’s frustration, optimism and passion. It practically begs for repeat attention through sheer authenticity.

Feelings is available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast