Browsing Tag


Etherdene – Summer Dreams: An Indietronica Ode to Seasonal Longing

Etherdene’s latest single, ‘Summer Dreams‘, is a masterstroke in indietronica, blending the magnetic allure of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with the Smiths’ jangle-pop melodies, all while infusing a shoegaze and retro-futuristic electronica reminiscent of Tiny Ghosts.

Since her solo debut in June 2023, Etherdene has been an indomitable force in the music industry. Each release has solidified her place in the hearts of listeners and playlist curators. Her music, an affectingly arresting cocktail of empowering messages and evocative soundscapes, resonates deeply on every conceivable level.

‘Summer Dreams’, released in the heart of February, initially strikes as a paradoxical choice. However, the track’s lyrical yearning for the warmth and sticky-sweet hues of summer, set against the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest’s rainy winters, unifies through the affirmation that we’re all in it together, and now we have the ultimate soundtrack to our unified longing.

We didn’t think there was much scope for improvement from Etherdene’s previous single, You Are My World, but the complexities within Summer Dreams that reveal a new reason to fall head over heels for the single with every listen prove that Etherdene is poised to become an indietronica firebrand in 2024.

Summer Dreams was officially released on February 9th; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Neil Young meets Pixies in Ryanne + The Rumination’s seminal single, Waste

Indiana’s Ryanne + The Rumination hit the airwaves running with their stylistically expansive self-titled debut LP, which explores the spectrum of human emotions within the psychological ebbs and flows.

The standout single, Wasting, exhibits the duo at their most ethereally magnetic. Ryanne’s crystalline vocal lines cut right through the Pixies-esque atmosphere manifested through the guitar-driven production that exhibits the duo’s influence of Neil Young.

Intimate and profound in equal measure, the artfully immersive single evolves from a dreamy monochromatic release of pent-up emotions to a melancholically stirring alt-pop anthem that won’t fail to pull you into its raw oscillating core. If Ryanne + The Rumination’s is the future of pop, I’m here for it.

Ryanne clearly found her alchemic match in the multi-instrumentalist, Seth Wyatt. The way the single culminates in a post-punk decorated disquiet crescendo after a lament on the frustrations of stagnation is a stunningly affecting way to make an ever-lasting impression.

Waste was officially released on February 9th and is now available to stream with the band’s eponymous LP via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Beast Killer lived up to their ferocious moniker in their feat of punk rock fervour, Comet

Beast Killer, the dynamic duo from Cleveland, Ohio, has once again proven their mettle in the alt-rock arena with their latest single from the album Dystopian Now/Dystopian Me. The recently released single, Comet, is a high-octane ride that seamlessly blends the rawness of punk with the edginess of hardcore, reminiscent of The Hives but with a distinctly Beast Killer twist.

Chris Wright (Vocals/Guitar) and Kris Monroe (Drums) have been collaborating for over a decade, and their chemistry is palpable in this release. The single bursts into life with an energy that is both frenetic and meticulously controlled, showcasing their instrumental precision. The hooks are bouncy yet laden with emotional depth, compelling listeners to engage with every beat.

Beast Killer lives up to their name in Comet by delivering a track that is ferocious in its execution. They pay homage to the early epochs of punk rock while simultaneously steering the genre towards an exciting future. The track transports listeners through a spectrum of emotions, from the ominous terror of space to a serene acceptance, mirroring the thematic journey of their album. The duo’s live performances are known to be explosive and commanding, and this energy is captured perfectly in this recording.

Comet is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Holly Lovelady alchemised around the rough terrain of reality in her scintillated by synths folk-pop ballad, Helvellyn

Holly Lovelady’s latest folk-pop single, ‘Helvellyn‘, is a meticulously crafted piece of aural alchemy. Lovelady, with her arcane vocal harmonies reminiscent of Stevie Nicks and synth lines echoing The Human League, brings a fresh, artful approach to the genre.

‘Helvellyn’ is a scintillatingly spiritual modern ballad that seamlessly blends electro-pop with folk melodies while delving into the highs and lows we’re all fated to traverse. Her enchantingly ethereal vocal timbre effortlessly weaves through the melodies, allowing you to instantly feel at home in her profound presence.

Lovelady’s musical roots, nurtured in the cosy embrace of her grandparents’ home, are evident in the depth and authenticity of her sound. Her journey from covering classics to creating her own path in the music industry is reflected in the song’s metaphorical exploration of the rough terrain of reality.

The single stands out for its balance of artfulness and accessibility. It resonates as an ornate feat, an affecting blend of modern and traditional, without falling into the trap of becoming a dusty relic of bygone eras. Lovelady’s skill in modernising the ballad form while maintaining its soulful core is nothing short of remarkable.

With support from BBC London, BBC Merseyside, and Radio 6, and following a year of personal and creative growth, Lovelady is poised to make a significant impact on the alternative pop scene. ‘Helvellyn’ is more than just a feather in her cap; it’s a bold statement of her artistry and a beacon for the future of modern ballads.

Helvellyn was officially released on February 6th; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Darkwave danced with opium den chic in CHIRAL’s debut single and music video, I BRING CHAOS

Darkwave slipped into opium den chic in CHIRAL’s debut single and music video, I BRING CHAOS. After an opulently tribalistic intro which sees rhythms snake and shimmer with maximum seductive effect, CHIRAL starts to exhibit the shadow side of the Sunset Strip with their sleazy guitars and harbingering hard rock vox – but that is only the start of the ensnaring experimentalism with I BRING CHAOS, which more than lives up to its titular proclamation.

If it’s been a while since you locked sonic horns with a truly authentic darkwave band, the Irish conduits of alchemic fervour are the ultimate avant-garde antidote to the mundanity that has started to infiltrate and oversaturate the alternative music scene.

After founding in 2023, the fourpiece immediately surpassed their wide-spanning set of influences, which includes Therapy?, Faith No More, Deftones, and Tool. If I BRING CHAOS is a taste of what is to come, I already know I’m going to want to devour the broodingly carnivalesque glamour in the rest of their forthcoming discography.

Stream the official music video for I BRING CHAOS which premiered on January 26th on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

NÍNIVE – Aleluya: Celestial Permission to Shed the Weight of Emptiness

After making one of the strongest debuts of 2023, the Ecuadorian Alt-Pop conduit of cinematic experimentalism, NÍNIVE, has returned to the airwaves with her sophomore single, Aleluya, created in collaboration with the world-renowned producer, Enrique Gonzalez Müller.

There’s not just something in the ethereal atmosphere of Aleluya; the intricate complexities within the explorative instrumentals as they oscillate, glitch and melodiously flow are dynamite to the rhythmic senses as they create a beguiling platform for NÍNIVE’s celestial vocal timbre.

As the deeply confessional single professes the weight of internal emptiness, the transcendence within the production is permission to free yourself from that feeling and let light and colour into your soul through resilience, love and awareness of inner beauty. The sonic meditation is the ultimate antidote to the agony of our current era, which makes it so hard to find meaning and fulfilment. We can’t wait to hear what the superlative songstress constructs next.

Aleluya was officially released on February 2nd; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

djamesk13 weaved scathing socialism into a grungy dreamscape with ‘Everything Is Certain – Your Majesty’

The London-based solo artist, djamesk13, is no stranger to the arenas of Avant-Garde alt-rock, but for his latest release, Everything Is Certain – Your Majesty, he went deeper into the domain than ever before while exploring our strained relationships with high society.

While we used to look at royalty and other figures of the elite ruling class with awe, the tables are gradually turning on the perception shared by the masses. Simply put, Everything Is Certain – Your Majesty is a socialist masterclass, but instead of running in the same vein as the Manic Street Preachers, djamesk13 orchestrated a dreamy grungy dreamscape to run his reflective lyricism through.

How can you be magnificent when we can buy you” will go down as one of my favourite lyrics of all time, and for the way the instrumentals and ethereally sludgy vox juxtapose the lyrical sting, Everything Is Certain – Your Majesty became an unforgettable release; a paragon of the post-grunge movement.

Everything Is Certain – Your Majesty was officially released on January 28th; stream the single on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Species Spoke on Staying Inspired on His Experimental Grind in an Exclusive Interview

Minnesota’s Taylor Spiess, better known as Species, has been carving a niche with his experimental trap-tinted hyper-pop edge. A&R Factory pulled him from the studio to explore his musical journey, influences, and how he’s been holding dominion over the airwaves with his hit singles, Barely Breathing and Use Me.

Species, welcome to A&R Factory! We’d love to hear more about your highly anticipated upcoming project with The Lotto Tribe, “Old Me”.

“Old Me is a story about an obvious toxic relationship. It ended with me either coping with it or breaking away from it for periods of time using different substances. Old Me is a song I wrote about that.”

How has the indie label imprint, The Lotto Tribe allowed your music career to gain momentum?

“So far, they’ve helped redistribute my entire catalog professionally and introduced better opportunities for me in this industry. They’ve also shared a lot of knowledge and helped me build a good base for my upcoming releases.”

How did your collaborations with Pardyalone and Henny Hermes come about, and are there any more collabs in the pipeline?

“Pardy grew up in the same town as me; Big Lake, Minnesota. Through mutual connections and just being in such a small community, we ended up in the same crowd. He ended up being influential to me at the beginning of my career by helping me become a better artist/person, building my image and eventually collaborating on a song titled, Sunset Drive. I played it for Pardyalone and his manager Jake, they liked it and thought he would fit on it, so he hopped on the song and killed the feature.

With Henny Hermes, it was a little different. I found him on TikTok, he was promoting a song of his and I liked his voice, so I hit him up on Instagram. He messaged me back and said he would be open to working with me, so I sent him a song I had called DANCING WITH THE DEVIL. He sent me back the verse for that on the same day and I knew we’d be making more together; the sound was just there. Right time, right place. You know? Since then, we’ve released two more collaborative records that we’ve done together, Novocaine and Use Me.”

Your previous projects like Barely Breathing caught plenty of momentum, what do you think was the key to the success of this single?

“I think the key to that project was honestly just loving the song so much and believing in the message. If you have a single that you’re confident in and you want the world to hear, it comes more naturally than trying to push a song just because you “have to drop.” Quality over quantity 100%. With Barely Breathing, I also shot a professional music video to accompany it, so that helped.”

What are your influences and goals as an artist? 

“Definitely the homie SLOE JACK. His work ethic is insane. He’s always doing something to better his craft and embracing a style you don’t hear much of anymore, all while doing it perfectly in my opinion. Also, an artist named, Kringe, for sure. He has out-of-the-box ideas and brings them to life beautifully. He’s a huge example of quality over quantity. My goal is to impact as many people as possible with my art while maintaining who I am and not giving in to pressure around me for I’m hoping a long time.”

Can you tell us about your new distribution deal with AWAL/The Orchard and being involved with the Sony Music network via The Lotto Tribe and A&R Bezel Brilliant?

“I’m super thankful to have this opportunity with The Lotto Tribe and to be distributed through AWAL. I’m grateful to the people who made it possible. I’m just excited to see what’s next and keep doing what I do.”

What does being an artist mean to you, and what are your future plans?

“Being an artist means you can voice your thoughts to be heard and help the people who listen and may face those same struggles in their own life. That’s what it should mean to anyone who’s doing this, in my opinion through music the world can come together. Stories that make people feel and a good beat go a long way! I have a few releases and some cool stuff planned throughout the next couple months. Live sessions, acoustics, and more music for sure. I’m just really looking forward to sharing my art with the world and seeing where it takes me next! So stay tuned.

Hear Species on Spotify and discover more about Species here.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

Morgana harrowed the psyche with their synthesis of emo, punk and grunge in ‘Two Broken People’

Sometimes two broken pieces come together to form a cohesive whole, but more often than not, the sharp idiosyncratic shards find a jarring way of exposing raw wounds. Far from your archetypal vignette of heartbreak, Morgana’s single, ‘Two Broken People (Make Hell Feel Like Home)’, approaches the narrative from a position of mutual position of imperfection. If you’re tired of black-and-white expositions of good and evil and want to find the fucked up fabric of the human psyche in sound, Morgana is a breath of non-dichotomous air.

With the visceral harmonies striking against the momentum in the rock chords as they dig deeper into the narrative and the drums deepening the tumultuous edge to the organically authentic single, Two Broken People is as affecting as the alt-90s hits from the likes of The Cranberries and Skunk Anansie. Through the grungy synthesis of punk and emo, the Kent-based trio, the single retains a signature that could only be scribed by the volition of Morgana.

Vocalist and guitarist Amy Morgan is a natural frontwoman. The mix of her expressive confidence and candid vulnerability ensures their singles don’t just resonate; they harrow the psyche. Dill Taskar (bass) and Tim Whittingham (drums) notably seem to feed off the fervour in her delivery to orchestrate a tight yet brashy riff-driven coalescence of chaos and cultivation.

Two Broken People will be available to stream from February 2nd; stream it on SoundCloud first.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ren Ashfield and the Magicians prescribed euphorically kaleidoscopic rock in their sonic manifesto, Sunny Day Smile:

With Blue Monday safely out of the way for another year, Venice’s Ren Ashfield and the Magicians have brought the sound of summer in their latest single, Sunny Day Smile.

After an intro which allows you to imagine what Echo and the Bunnymen would have sounded like if they embraced warm tonal hues instead of coldly monochromatic textures, Sunny Day Smile strides into a classic rock crescendo, which does far more than pay homage to the past.

By bringing all of the stridence of the Manic Street Preachers with the endlessly affecting soul of Journey and wrapping the production in a kaleidoscopic haze of psychedelia, Ren Ashfield and his outfit of instrumental alchemists delivered the ultimate hit of aural serotonin with this luminous leap into the evolution of rock. The band’s moniker is so much more than a shtick; there’s nothing gimmicky about the evocation of alt-rock sorcery within Sunny Day Smile.

This single, which resounds with a message of hope and resilience despite the world’s weary weight, is just a prelude to the band’s much-anticipated sophomore LP, Sonic Creations, which is set to be unveiled in February.

Sunny Day Smile will illuminate the airwaves on January 26th. Stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast