Browsing Tag

Art Rock

Dreams and reality blur in Baz Edmondson’s artfully alternative folk single, The Shepherd’s Lullaby

Baz Edmondson’s sophomore release, ‘The Shepherd’s Lullaby‘, is an ornately tender foray into a euphonically artful world where dreams and reality blur into a harmonious symphony.

This single, beating in the heart of Bournemouth’s folk scene, is a testament to Edmondson’s stripes as a singer, songwriter, and storyteller. It is an intricate blend of traditional folk and art rock, showcasing Edmondson’s unique ability to take feelings and transform them into musical experiences that resound like no other.

The gentle piano keys, placed at the forefront around the orchestral strings and other folk synthetics amplify the sentiments in the sleep-dusted serenade which sees the instrumentals ebb and flow into crescendo, bringing a sense of grandeur while never overpowering the release.

Edmondson’s vocal delivery is reminiscent of Thom Yorke’s fervour, imbuing the song with a raw, emotional depth that is both captivating and haunting. The navigation through the highs and lows of the melody is a journey you will want to take with Baz Edmondson time after time.

For those seeking to rediscover the feeling of their soul being whole, Baz Edmondson’s intricately artful folk world is a journey worth embarking on.

The Shepherd’s Lullaby was officially released on January 31; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Slip into a chorally Lynchian delirium with Milk Bar Gang’s latest orchestration, The Accident

Hitting play on the latest single, The Accident, from Milk Bar Gang, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve slipped into a chorally Lynchian delirium as you allow the cultivated hazy dream pop tones to wash over you, submerging you in ethereal Avant-Garde surrealism.

The song’s sonic landscape is a complex tapestry, weaving together elements of Shoegaze’s choral dreaminess and the experimental edge reminiscent of Glenn Branca while the incorporation of jazzy rhythms and darkwave elements contribute to its rich and diverse texture.

Lyrically and thematically, The Accident delves into profound concepts. It reflects on the uncontrollable circumstances of birth and the ensuing struggle against oppression, as well as the emergence of resistance. This philosophical depth is matched by the music’s atmospheric synths and sharp guitar riffs, underlined by a rhythm section that couldn’t be further from archetypal. The unsettling melodies and chord progressions further enhance its impact, creating a sound that is simultaneously bleak and beautiful.

Recorded at home and refined by professionals in Melbourne, the single is a testament to Milk Bar Gang’s commitment to their craft. The band, formed in 2021 by Felix Chapple and Bianca Cao, brings a diverse range of influences and experiences. Chapple’s history with various Melbourne bands and musicians, combined with Cao’s background in dance and visual art from Beijing, contribute to the unique identity of Milk Bar Gang. If this is how they chose to end 2023, we’re aching to hear the artfully cohesive orchestrations that are lurking in the pipelines.

The Accident will debut on New Year’s Eve; hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Immerse yourself in the artfully metamorphic instrumentals in Blinded By Hope’s seminal prog-rock release, All We Know

Blinded by Hope

Emotion charters the path through the artfully metamorphic instrumental arrangement in one of the standout singles from Blinded by Hope’s debut LP, The Darkness That Surrounds Us.

The Australian innovators found their signature sound between the landscapes of prog-rock, melodic rock, and art rock to allow the seminal single, All We Know, which unravels as an emotionally resonant and sonically complex piece which takes you through the dark depths of human emotion via a backdrop of artfully progressive instrumentation.

From the opening notes, All We Know draws the listener into its profoundly reflective aura which swells around the alt-metal roots in the complexity of musical structures. But don’t let the gravitas in the release fool you, the track is as accessible as it is resonant as it vies for your attention through technical prowess and the emotional odyssey it represents.

The vocals echo the tender yet powerful style of Incubus, adding a soulful depth to the track. This vocal gravity anchors the song’s tumultuous ebb and flow, creating a captivating tension that is both stirring and poignant. The band’s focus on crafting a meaningful song, rather than just showcasing technical skill, shines through every note and lyric, making All We Know a superlatively compelling listen.

Stream Blinded by Hope’s music on Spotify, and keep up to date with news of the release via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Shashaa Tirupati & Elephant Gym orchestrated an Eastern art-rock masterpiece with Jhalleyaa

With almost 8 million monthly listeners and endless internationally revered accolades behind her, the Indo-Canadian singer-songwriter and music producer Shashaa Tirupati is one of the biggest artists of this era; her recent collaboration with Elephant Gym on ‘Jhalleyaa’ is set to cement her legacy into the world music arena.

The richly vibrant instrumental arrangement evolves from a soulfully quiescent score of pure artful beguile into an Eastern rock earworm with ever-ascending rhythmics. It is effortless for your rhythmic pulses to get in sync with the sublime sonics delivered by Shashaa Tirupati and Elephant Gym who conjured alchemy while aurally exploring unchartered ground. The celestial timbre of Shashaa Tirupati’s signature Bollywood-esque vocals against the progressively intricate instrumentals is a one-way ticket to transcendence.

Jhalleyaa was officially released on November 3rd; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Therum etherealised existentialism in his psychedelic darkwave score,  Mirror of Stars

Therum searched for identity in the cosmos in the standout single, Mirror of Stars, from his psychedelic darkwave album, Darklines Within Us; in the process, he added a new ethereal trajectory to the evolution of existentialism.

Through croons, which call out into the void of the alien soundscape that would be on a plateau beyond our perception if it weren’t for the huge bass adding weight to the release, are resolvingly efficacious in their interstellar mission of drawing you right into the melancholic soul of the art rock Tour De Force.

If you have ever struggled to make sense of the material and social reality we’re confined to and feel an even greater sense of alienation when you try and situate yourself in the context of the twisted tapestry of existence, Mirror of Stars is proliferated with apt consolation.

VNV Nation once declared that this world is just an illusion trying to change you. Therum’s more astute observation of disillusion, duality, and the mind being as unchartered as the galaxy feels far more nuanced.

Mirror of Stars will be released as part of Therum’s LP, Darklines Within Us, on November 3rd. Stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Mosa melodically sculpted the twilight in his latest electronic score, The Night Sets In

Mosa

Lose yourself in the dusky twilight of the latest electronic folk serenade by the Oxford-based sound designer Mosa. His scintillating single, The Night Sets In, is a plaintively compelling composition that could be easily compared to the artfulness of Radiohead, Mogwai, and Low; although those comparisons can allude to the diaphanously sonorous atmosphere of his sound, they don’t do Mosa’s intrinsic authenticity much justice.

His unique ability to infuse the dusty soul of blues into his sound design around the neo-classic keys and ethereal motifs establishes him as one of the most authentic artists around in 2023. We were hooked after hearing his single, Helicopter, earlier this year, after hearing The Night Sets In, which could easily rival the beguiling gravitas of any of the releases on the Westworld soundtrack, we are even more assured that Mosa is one to watch.

The Night Sets In will be officially released on October 7th. Hear it on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Northern Arms lifted the veil on Americana alchemy in ‘This Thing Called We’

An amalgamation of influences from Bowie, Nick Cave, Arcade Fire, Velvet Underground and Pulp was always going to transpire as a cosmically compelling Tour De dark melodic Force, but what wasn’t a given was how much This Thing Called We by Northern Arms would stir the soul to such a viscerally amorous degree.

Northern Arms lifted the veil on Americana alchemy in his latest single, for which the Philadelphia-haunting song crafter enlisted the help of a stellar lineup of instrumentalists, who all brought their own profoundly deft touch to the art-rock installation.

If This Thing Called We came before Bowie’s Heroes, the single that will never be lost to history would easily be considered derivative. That may sound blasphemous until you’ve drenched yourself in the decadently morose romanticism; feel free to hit play and argue with me, because the way the single encapsulates the heart-wrenching pain that true love can leave us to linger in couldn’t be closer to the agonising mark.

Stream This Thing Called We on SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Silverhours reached the pinnacle of art-rock innovation with ‘The Miser’

With the artfulness of Radiohead, the arcane beguile of Bjork, the atmospherics of Mogwai, and the elevated ornate grace of Sigur Ros, the standout single, The Miser, from the sonic exploration of an album, Madeleine Moment, by Silverhours is a sensually multi-sensory firestorm of gravitas.

By amalgamating jazz and electronica in an intimately lo-fi production space, The Miser is the epitome of uninhibited expression, orchestrated by an artist enthralled by the geometry of musical rhythms. In full, the LP tracks a story that scarcely leaves any of the visceral emotions by the wayside; they’re all materialised in the juxtapositions between melodies, harmonies and memories to capture the haunting echoes of the past.

After getting kudos from Nick Cave after winning his online covers competition, Silverhours started to pick up traction in their career, leading to the launch of this drenched with evocative ingenuity debut LP. If it’s good enough for Nick Cave, it is good enough for your playlists.

Stream Madeleine Moment in full by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Stone Branches reached the pinnacle of intimately introspective indie rock with The Way Out

With angular indie guitars that will sucker punch the soul as viscerally as the ones crafted by Interpol and The Toxic Airborne Event, mixed with a Mogwai-esque ethereal atmosphere, the up-and-coming indie outfit, Stone Branches, is undeniable in their latest single, The Way Out.

The intricacies of the artfully intimate lead guitar work will speak volumes to anyone on the introspective side of the spectrum as the lyrics portray the value of hindsight and coming to terms with the past. The sporadic touch of twee indie twang to the reverberantly rich vocals brings a sense of purity to the melancholy that is superlatively laid out by the art-rock outfit that is currently being hailed as one of the most original live acts on the South Coast.

After releasing their debut EP, Mantra, in December 2022, the emotionally intelligent Southampton-hailing outfit has proven to be an unreckonable force in the local scene and far beyond after receiving airplay on BBC Introducing and reaching the Grand Finals of the Isle of Wight New Blood Competition against 5000 other artists.

The Way Out will officially drop on August 4th; hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The devil is in the art-rock detail in Outerrings’ latest single, Titan

With a soundscape sweet enough to appease fans of Mogwai, Radiohead, and Sigur Ros, the latest single, Titan, from the Durham-based alt-rock trio, Outerrings, is an ethereal lesson in melodicism.

By using the consistent presence of the gentle yet rhythmically compelling guitar chords as an anchoring point in the release in place of percussion, Titan is as antithetical as alt-rock singles come, but it is all the more mesmerising for it in its reverb-drenched gravitas.

By underpinning the release with the vulnerable fragility of the vocal lines that cry out to those laden with ennui and burden, it is an evocatively artful ride everyone alienated by modern culture will want to strap themselves in for.

Titan was officially released on July 2nd. Hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast