Browsing Tag

Americana Pop

Madelyn Jones prescribes indie-pop tranquillity in her latest single, ‘Carolina Blue’.

Colorado-born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Madelyn Jones has followed on from the success of her 2020 debut single, For You, with the release of her tranquil indie-pop track, Carolina Blue.

Carolina Blue is the perfect soundscape for those chilled summer nights; as the lyrics inspire affectionate nostalgia, the mellow pace of the sun-bleached indie-pop instrumentals brings Nashville-style catharsis

At a young age, Madelyn Jones is already exhibiting the same level of maturity and finesse as her dynamic array of influences. The singer-songwriter who has been writing songs since the 5th grade takes inspiration from everyone from Taylor Swift to the Beatles to Frank Sinatra. Discernibly, she can authentically mimic all of the aforementioned’s abilities to evoke emotion through music, and got her money’s worth from her music degree at Belmont University.

Carolina Blue is now available to stream on all platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Natalie Duque has released her gracefully minimalist ballad, Silence Hurts More.

With guitars that will make Slowdive fans swoon combined with tender keys and Natalie Duque’s arresting, almost angelic vocals, Silence Hurts More is everything that a contemporary ballad should be.

Silence Hurts More is just one of the singles found on her latest soul-baring 2-track release, Gemini, that carries the candid nature of Adele’s most emotionally exposing singles and a gracefully minimalist instrumental style which gives the poetically introspective lyricism more room to breathe in the soundscape.

The level of talent in the release easily matches the authenticity. We are incredibly grateful to have found Natalie Duque at this blossoming stage of her career. It is going to be incredibly satisfying watching such an accolade-worthy artist ascend.

Check out Natalie Duque on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jennifer Alvarado is red hot and ‘Playing With Fire’

Songwriting from the tender age of four, and with an album of Christian music (2015’s ‘Hello Life’) already under her belt, Jennifer Alvarado was named ‘One To Watch’ by the Nashville Songwriters Association off the back of her 2020 single ‘I Break Things’ and its four follow-ups. With a Commscope award for original songwriting, Alevarado’s new single – from the freshly released EP of the same name – ‘Playing With Fire’ is a gentle, mid-tempoBlues-tinged Country ballad.

Acoustic-guitar and chilled Texas shuffle drums on the verses, with big powerchord uplifts on the choruses, ‘Playing With Fire’ is perfect summer driving music; simple and immediate, catchy as hell, gritty and honest, with a big pentatonic-focused guitar break and Alvarado’s excellent, emotive vocal carrying the song. There’s obvious reference points; Shania, Taylor, maybe a little of the Meredith Brooks, but it’s exactly the sort of song that should be all over daytime radio and Country Music Television. It’s a great single, and it’s easy to see why it’s already been voted Number 1 on Indie Star Radio’s ‘Top 21’.

Check out ‘Playing With Fire’ on Spotify now; follow Jennifer Alvarado on Facebook and here.

Review by Alex Holmes

Marshall Artz are ‘Coming Home’ with their twin guitars and a brand new album

Marshall Artz

Taken from their fifth album ‘What Matters’, Marshall Artz’ new single ‘Coming Home’ is a mildly folky, Louisiana-tinged acoustic-led duet, fast-paced and upbeat with some bluegrass vibes in places around the banjo-roll lead breaks and slide guitar pieces, all wrapped around the uber-tight fingerstyle rhythm work of Kevin Artz. There’s a folk-rock, Americana feel to the track, reminiscent of 70’s trio America, Bread, or Harry Chapin, with maybe an element of the Doobie Brothers thrown in in the way both players interact organically around the track to create something that sounds fuller than ‘just’ two guitars and vocals.

It’s an excellent track, pacey and tight; lyrically, the title’s pretty much on the money – a long time away, nothing but ‘FaceTime on my iPhone’ to connect with, and ‘today is the day that I’m coming home’. Gentle, fun, and uplifting, ‘Coming Home’ is a great introduction to Marshall Artz new album.

You can hear ‘Coming Home’ here.

Review by Alex Holmes

Delicate, Beautiful, and Haunting – The Real Shade are ‘Waiting For Good News’

The Real Shade

Gorgeously simple-but-evocative strummed acoustic guitar and Tim Vesely’s beautiful, cultured vocal carries the first half of ‘Waiting For Good News’, the new single from Toronto-based The Real Shade, before delicate organ, drum, and backing vocals join us around the mid-point; ‘Waiting For Good News’ is a perfect, tear-jerking-in-a-good-way, poignant and heartfelt yet hopeful and uplifting, it’s an absolutely stunning mix of lo-fi, old-school Americana, folk, and simple, expressive pop. Think Jayhawks, Counting Crows, or the mellower parts of Buffalo Tom, with a little of Paul Westerberg and Justin Townes Earle thrown in for good measure.

Taken from the forthcoming album ‘String Of Lights’, and a collaboration between ‘usual’ The Real Shade singer-songwriter Jane Gowan (Spygirl, Neins Circa) and producer and musician Vesely (Rheostatics), ‘Waiting For Good News’ is inspired both by the feelings a lot of us have right now, as we emerge slowly, blinking and nervously sniffing the air, from lockdown, and the novel ‘All My Puny Sorrows’ (Miriam Toews). It’s an absolutely beautiful, reflective single, perfectly composed and stunningly performed, gorgeous in its simplicity and 1,000,000 times more powerful because of it.

‘Waiting For Good News’ is released on May 14th 2021; you can find more information from The Real Shade’s website.

Review by Alex Holmes

The Dark Days have ‘Georgia’ on their minds.

Take four siblings raised in Colorado, a bunch of traditional acoustic instruments, some serious musicianship and songwriting, and a whole lot of heart and soul, and with a little bit of gentle shaking you might just come out with The Dark Days. Classic, perfect, gorgeous gentle Americana written ‘for our Ma when we were going through the struggle’, ‘Georgia’ rolls and swells along on waves of acoustic guitar, cahon, strings, and singer Xela Dark’s stunning voice; smoky, soothing, sultry, caressing, uplifting, and just plain beautiful, Xela’s vocal is the icing on an already extremely well-baked cake. Think of Counting Crows or the Jayhawks, with Sheryl Crow or maybe Lene Marlin taking over on vocals for Adam Duritz for a while, and you can imagine the sort of territory we’re in here.

It’s a perfect, sweet summer song; something to lie back in a corn field and just listen along to, and let everything else go for a few minutes. That’s pretty rare.

You can check out ‘Georgia’ on Spotify, and follow The Dark Days on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Mental Health Advocate and Alt Pop Sensation Ryan Butterworth Made an Unforgettable Comeback with ‘Safe Not Sorry’

‘Safe Not Sorry’ is the latest single released by up and coming alt-pop sensation Ryan Butterworth. Any fans of Post Malone or other artists who bring an urban groove to their indie-tinged pop tracks will want to immerse themselves in this genre-melding unpredictably progressive single.

After a four-year hiatus, Ryan Butterworth followed on from their 2017 debut EP, ‘After Rain, Look for Rainbows’ with the single that unravels as a soulful exploration of mental health issues. Safe Not Sorry gently reaches out to serve as a reminder that even if life feels still right now, it will start again when you put things in motion, and when that time comes, you can go your own way.

With the eclecticism of the instrumental arrangement that comes complete with a stabbing horn section and some seriously virtuosic guitar work, Safe Not Sorry is an evocative storm that you’ll want to weather more than once.

Check out Safe Not Sorry for yourselves and connect with Ryan Butterworth via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Alison Albers delivers a perfect slice of captivating storytelling folk-pop Americana with ‘Young Love’

Born in a tiny town on the Mississippi River and growing up around dive bars and dirty roads in Montana, now living in San Francisco, writing songs about home, boys, and (just occasionally) girls, Alison Albers has a stunning, fragile yet powerful voice, haunting and mellow, and the kind that whispers gentle truths across one final beer on a night-time porch amidst the sound of cicadas and the throb of traffic in the far, far distance.

‘Young Love’, Alison’s latest single (taken from new EP ‘Balboa’) is exactly that vibe, a lilting winsome vocal, captivating and storytelling atop fingerpicked acoustic guitar and beautifully arranged strings; folky, sweet Americana – think Lene Marlin, Sheryl Crow, Taylor Swift, Emily Barker, and Martha Bailey. It’s delicate, confessional, personal, and honest, apparently effortless, and frankly it’s beautiful. We’re looking forward to hearing a lot more from Alison Albers.

Check out ‘Young Love’, and the rest of ‘Balboa’ on Spotify; follow Alison Albers on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Chrissie Romano Band has released her empowering Americana pop single ‘Resilient Me’

Fans of K T Tunstall, Amy McDonald, or Sandi Thom would be well advised to check out New York threepiece the Chrissie Romano Band and ‘Resilient Me’, taken from the new album ‘Somewhere Along The Way’. Acoustic-guitar led, with Romano’s easy, enticing vocal and a rhythm section that’s tighter than…well, something pretty tight…’Resilient Me’ is a story of struggle and survival and of emerging on the far side a stronger, better person.

It’s a strong, catchy track, with perhaps a smidgeon of Sheryl Crow about it in its singalong-strummed chorus and self-aware, storytelling lyrics, and energetic performance. As an album, ‘Somewhere Along The Way’ is a killer, strong from start to finish without a ‘skippable’ track; ‘Resilient Me’ is a perfect taster.

Check out ‘Resilient Me’, and the rest of the album, on Spotify or via the band’s website.

Review by Alex Holmes

VIDA NOA – Wild Woman: a cliché-free emboldening celebration of femininity

Fans of Stevie Nicks won’t struggle to find the same appeal in the latest single to be released by trailblazing singer-songwriter, VIDA NOA.

Wild Woman is a cliché-free celebration of femininity. The single rings with the same empowering sentiment as Bikini Kill’s ‘Rebel Girl’ and resounds as VIDA NOA’s panoramic vocals work with uplifting guitar progressions which drip-feed euphoria with every bended bluesy note.

Wild Woman is a perfect slice of radio-ready Americana pop-rock which would attract you to the front of a festival crowd like a moth to a flame.

Wild Woman is available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast