Browsing Tag


Sweet Limb shattered the illusion that police brutality is a 21st-century novelty in his single, Relate

Sweet Limb took his latest hip-hop EP, NICE, right back to the old school and around the Bronx block to deliver an urban atom bomb of nostalgia.

With his standout single, Relate, the Austin-based flow king reigned supreme as he rode the steady rhythmic waves of the funky basslines and 808s, which become the centres of gravity in the minimalist polished track that shatters the illusion that police brutality is a new issue and the only one that marginal communities feel the forces of oppression from.

While many rappers rushed to contribute to the voices in the BLM movement, Sweet Limb bided his time to speak for everyone who can’t relate to the portrayal of the onslaught of police violence in the media, not because it wasn’t a barbaric travesty, because it was a tale as old as time and pretending otherwise is just another brand of injustice.

The NICE EP will hit the airwaves on August 1st; hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Interview: MASSIVESAD keeps the Balance no matter what currents await

Sitting down with us and letting us profoundly within his brave art which illumes many to carry on despite the carnage, MASSIVESAD opens us up and tells us all about Austin, Balance, staying healthy mentally, and his upcoming full LP concept record.

Llewelyn: Hi MASSIVESAD, we are super happy you’re chatting with us today. First, when you close your eyes and imagine your ideal sound and audience, what does it sound/look like?

MASSIVESAD: When my eyes are closed, a little grin starts to creep onto my face, because I can see an audience of people who grew up loving and finding new music that they discovered in films. So much of my favorite and deepest sonic influences come from filmscores or soundtracks (especially from “Remember the Titans” or “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”) and so my music has taken on a cinematic nature of expression that makes the listener feel like each song of mine that they hear sort of tips their life (or at least the moment) over into the climax of the “film.” I imagine my songs being those that play when the plot turns and the characters start to make sense of their surroundings. I think my audience will be the kind of person who feels that they are living inside of a movie, and that my music is a soundtrack that helps them to get wherever they’re going. And … when I open my eyes, I do think that I’m starting to see that take shape !

Llewelyn: Alright. Let’s get into your new single called Balance. How did you first conceptualise this release and what is the meaning of it? Also, who was involved in the project and who do you hope this single reaches?

MASSIVESAD: “Balance” is the fifth “Chapter” in the concept record that I’ve been writing and releasing one song at a time since February 2020. The whole concept tells the story of mental breakdown and total burnout … essentially the path from what I’ve dubbed, “Breakdown to Brilliance.” “Balance” finds us in the middle of that story, well after the initial tremors of burnout have shaken everything up and set listeners (and me, as a sort of guide or narrator) on the path toward healing, and ultimately joy. “Balance” is the chapter that explores the question of, “How do we find balance when life feels uncertain and rocky? How do we pursue or engage in relationships when we feel unstable, mentally and emotionally? How do we compartmentalize (healthily) all the different “lives” we feel we live when our life feels like it’s been turned on its head? How do we seek balance as we do the hard work of travelling the road from sorrow to joy, especially when it’s difficult and uneven ground?” So, now that we have “Balance” (Chapter 5), we can begin to parse through the answers to those questions and continue to make headway toward a more sustainable mental health, lifestyle and relationships.

Llewelyn: You’re based in Austin, Texas. What’s the scene like there as we’ve heard such great things? Where are some of your favourite local spots to watch live music at?

MASSIVESAD: I’ve gotten to become embedded in a really great scene of singer-songwriters here in Austin. We call our group “Hoboglabotribin” … and also, affectionately, “The Hobo Boys.” We’re just a small handful of artists dedicated to spurring one another on as we all work as hard as possible to achieve our creative goals and visions. When one of us is feeling worn down and discouraged, there’s the rest of us to lend a shoulder and encourage us. When we need help preparing for shows or help promoting new songs, we all jump in as the frontline of the fanclub and support group. We’re all trying to be one another’s biggest fans and encouragers. Everyone needs that, no matter how independent they are. And, especially as literal, independent artists, we need that much more support. We’ve established a really solid community of comradery and it’s been a huge help to me since moving to Austin. Locally, we love Hole in the Wall and The Spiderhouse Ballroom for shows!

Llewelyn: You courageously speak about burnout and mental breakdown in your music. This is such a major issue in modern-day society. What do you feel is the cure to these issues and how can our readers make sure they’re staying healthy mentally in such a rush-filled world?

MASSIVESAD: I could write a book trying to answer this question. I think the most important thing is to be honest in recognizing how often discomfort or frustration or disappointment or bitterness or so many other emotions that accompany burnout might actually be just this small, vulnerable seed of sadness deep down inside of each one of us. When I realized that all the stressors and negative emotions were just the outpouring and expression of pure sadness within me, then I was finally able to address that sadness and choose how to move toward joy from THAT space. MASSIVESAD is that portal for me. It’s like a gate. MASSIVESAD is where I discovered that under everything, all the armor that sadness had dressed itself in, I was able to begin to understand the “why” behind my sadness and then treat it like a wound that needed protection, dressing and nurturing. For me, burnout and breakdown came from a really palpable sense of disappointment and frustration surrounding how my life was panning out, so when I got to the very core, where that sadness was fending for itself, I was able to then join in the good fight for my own joy and growth. Slowing down and taking the time and space to pinpoint that sadness can make a profound difference on how we approach and step into the future. I hope MASSIVESAD creates a safe space for people to do that work.

Llewelyn: We’re so excited to see you’re releasing a full LP concept record. One single at a time right? That sounds like life in general right now. 1 step and 1 day at a time. Please let us know all about what’s next and the energy behind this style of releasing music.

MASSIVESAD: As the concept record is released and evolves over time with each song, I think we’ll see the sonic landscape move from a very experimental and alternative soundscape to a more lighthearted and hopeful atmosphere. We’re only halfway through with “Balance” so we’re just now coming around the corner (I think you can hear that crux in the bridge), and we’ll start to hear the sound shift with coming releases! But, I can guarantee MASSIVESAD will always stay true to what I’ve coined as the “Cinematic Singer-Songwriter” sound! I think that speaks for itself!

Llewelyn: Do you have any funny gig/touring/musician or fan interaction stories you don’t mind sharing? For example, a story from an event that made you laugh or a moment when you just knew…this is why I love being a musician.

MASSIVESAD: What a great question! I’ve had plenty of silly and heartwarming interactions with friends and fans at shows, etc, but I think the most “this is why I’m doing what I’m doing” was recently at a house show at The Providence House here in Austin, TX, where my buddy and trusted photographer, Mason “Sasquatch” Mansfield hosted a fundraising event for a documentary film that he is making about the issue of wrongful convictions and plea bargaining in the American judicial system. Sasquatch and I each have personal stories of our fathers being wrongfully accused and convicted, and then also being forced into really terrible plea bargains that took them from our family and pretty severely altered all of our lives forever. So, when Sasquatch invited me to write some songs for the doc ( for more information on the project), I was both honored and very challenged, because I’d never ever written a single thing about that experience in my childhood. It’s a very difficult headspace for me to enter into, just because of the way that that time affected me and my family. But, I wrote a song called “Don’t Cry for Me, I’m Already Gone” that I got to play for everyone at the fundraising event, and it was one of the most viscerally powerful performances of my entire life. I felt like I was a tsunami, (gently, somehow) crashing over the entire audience there, and I felt seen and very profoundly heard, and in that moment I knew that this is why I write, and this is why I sing, and this is why I share my art with the people I love – to help people to heal. That song, and Sasquatch’s documentary, and the songs that some of the other Hobo boys wrote for the fundraiser were a beautiful gate into a very sacred space that we all got to share in that night. I’ll never forget how powerful that whole evening was, and I can’t wait for the documentary to feature those songs as well. It’s going to change some very important things, and help a lot of people.

Llewelyn: Lastly, what do you hope for the future and what words do you have to comfort those who are struggling right now?

MASSIVESAD: This is probably the most boring answer, but I’m struggling to financially keep up with the amount of songs I write. Recording as an independent artist can get to be very expensive, and though I could “do it all myself,” it’s more fun and fulfilling to be a part of something with other artists, but for everyone to make a living and be supported, it just takes a lot of money … money that streaming doesn’t bring, and shows only help a little with. So, I’m trying to find sustainability in my craft, when and where I can. It’s a struggle, but it’s worthwhile! When people come to my shows and purchase my music, that is a huge help and encouragement!

Turn this up on Spotify.

See more news and gig info on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Restless Nights: Evan Charles wants much more than a shadow on Low Road Runnin’

Trying to get higher and hoping for the music to never stop no matter what, Evan Charles sees the wild coyote glimpsing as he takes another look into the illuminating sky on Low Road Runnin‘.

Evan Charles is an Austin, Texas-based Mr Pink Records-signed country singer-songwriter who is best known for being in the local band, Altamesa.

Charles was selected as one of six Austin-based songwriters to participate in the international touring and documentary film organization Project ATX6, reigniting his passion to put storytelling back to the forefront.” ~ Evan Charles

Truly an inspiration to so many who just want to be happy, Evan Charles is on fire with a special song made from the heart. Showing his progression from band life, this is a quality single made by an experienced great who will only get better.

Low Road Runnin’ from Texas-based country singer-songwriter Evan Charles is a truly enticing soundtrack to play rather loud when those lonely nights start to catch up. Teaching us about those wild memories which can change everything if the mindset flips, this is a truly excellent song.

Turn this up on loud and forget all worries.

Listen up more on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Last Night: The Big Gun Show flows through Mexico on the way to Chicago

With the money thin and much to ponder, The Big Gun Show wonders when the healing will come from losing a love which is so treasured beyond anything else with the superb single Chicago.

The Big Gun Show is an Austin, Texas-based indie rock band who love to play that golden era type of music which is fused between 1970-1973.

Imagine a song swap in the basement of Villa Nellcôte among outlaws Haggard & Waylon, sided by modern-day honky tonker Charlie Robison. Also in the circle are members of Jet, Lucero and Blackberry Smoke. Graham Parsons demonstrates country stylings to Keith as Ray Wylie Hubbard makes Jagger and Freddie King laugh while they wail in unison like old, drunken friends.” ~ The Big Gun Show

Stoned again and giving us a really fine single to love for its authenticity, The Big Gun Show reminds us what true reflection sounds like in 2023. This is pure artistry at its best with a riveting sound to turn up on full volume only.

Chicago from Austin, Texas-based indie rock band The Big Gun Show is an old-school song with a vibe many just can’t ever forget. Inside this real song with purpose, we are taught to never give up no matter where the roads shall wander in this odd world.

Listen up on Spotify for more.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Marilyn Eden loves her music like they love their drugs on Red Religion

With a much-awaited EP out in mid-June, Marilyn Eden sings with a raw intensity which will inspire many souls to pick up the pen and delve deeper into the exquisite polish possible on Red Religion.

Marilyn Eden is a Santa Fe, New Mexico-born 20-year-old alt-pop singer-songwriter and Berklee student who sings with an orchestra-like appeal for true music fans.

Although she has a passion for Pop and Alternative music, Marilyn is also a classically trained vocalist with over eight years of experience. Her years of training and hard work led her to further her education at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where she is currently studying Music Business and Performance.” ~ Marilyn Eden

Stunning all with her gorgeous tone and original style, Marilyn Eden impresses mightily on Red Religion and shall cause an ear-quake of monumental proportions. Do you know the feeling when you realize what type of music you actually like? This is one of those incredible moments to cherish as we are captivated by a musician who hasn’t even found her peak yet.

Red Religion from Austin, Texas-based indie alt-pop artist Marilyn Eden is a sensational soundtrack which will strike the hearts of those who have felt a deep feeling boiling in their bloodied veins. Sung with a majestic nature which shall cause minds to listen closer, and play louder.

This is cinematic stuff from a truly mesmerizing creative who makes the kind of music which will be forever memorable, for all the right reasons.

Hear this fine single on YouTube.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Broken Heart: Austin pop duo melotheory asks for one more moment together on breathe

With a refined atmosphere to reminisce inside and taken from their 3-track EP named breathe and no eyes open, melotheory dreams of one more moment with a special kind of spirit on breathe.

melotheory is an Austin, Texas-based indie pop duo who were founded by Austin Pedersen and Patrick Insull. After meeting through mutual friends in 2020, they’ve navigated through a 2-year music project which is clearly made with supreme skill.

With the album now complete, melotheory are re-arranging their music for the stage and will be performing throughout Austin and beyond in the coming months.” ~ melotheory

Tranquil throughout and guiding us through the past trauma and into a possible reconciliation, melotheory shall ease many fast heartbeats and stuns our cold hands with a warming reminder that anything is really possible romantically.

breathe from Austin, Texas-based indie pop duo melotheory is a mellow daydream which shall pour rather beautifully into our awaiting epicentres. This is a soothing soundtrack which is made with so much quality, that shall surely instil a sense of hope that is much needed for many loveless souls.

Each second might change moods forever, in a world which needs much more hope and understanding.

Turn this up on YouTube.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

All I Could Do: Evan Charles lets the wind take him in on Remember When

Dousing the flames behind and taking himself into a warmer state of mind, Evan Charles takes charge of his life by moving into calmer waters after a tough breakup in the past with the excellent Remember When.

Evan Charles is an Austin-based singer-songwriter and member of the local band Altamesa who has recently joined up to film a documentary with Project ATX6 and is signed to Mr Pink Records.

Embarking on his first venture outside of his Austin mainstay, Charles is launching a solo career rooted in earnest, poetic songwriting.” ~ Evan Charles

Taking us into this movie-like story with twists and turns, the melodic Evan Charles has brought a timeless feel back into our lives with a dynamic gem made for modern times.

Remember When from Austin-based singer-songwriter Evan Charles is a hugely sentimental track which will take our hearts into a massively nostalgic place. Recalling an unforgettable moment and wishing the love had continued longer, we find a slightly regretful message which shall be so relevant for so many.

In a love-quick world, being grateful no matter the outcome is the only way to live after all.

Listen up on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

I’m Not Alive: straight stitch feels the haunted world bite hard again on HalfLife

Feeling like the fresh path is close after so much recent trauma, straight stitch aim in the right direction and fire hard with a floor-shaking new track to paste all over your shocked speakers called HalfLife.

straight stitch is a grunge, shoegaze, and noise-rock fused band who shreds the airwaves with a powerful sound your whole soul needed to witness.

They are committed to sonic destruction, all sharing a love for surf-punk in their early teenage years. Now, ages 19, 22, and 21 they hope to combine shoegaze and grunge with the energy of early bandcamp no-wave.” ~ straight stitch

Slashing straight through our eyes and into our deeper conciousness, straight stitch are in no mood to mess around and might cause some loud foot stomping to occur on many sweat-drenched dance floors.

HalfLife from the Austin, Texas-based grungegaze band straight stitch is a heavy-to-the-core track which will evidently soak your awaiting spirit and give it an extra vibration. Turned up to the max and showing us an electric soundscape to truly salivate over, this is a fine effort with that extra underground quality that’s so hard to find easily these days.

Hear this fab new single on Spotify and see more via IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Break Free: PURE is at their heavy best with the rampaging release Caught in the Undertow

Released from their 9-track debut album called Vita Brevis, PURE show us what hardcore sounds like in 2022 with their speaker-breaking single all about being Caught in the Undertow.

PURE is a powerfully constructed Austin, Texas-based indie hard rock and metal band who are influenced by heavyweights such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Alice In Chains, Megadeth, and Metallica.

Formed by Brent Moore, Rob Hanz, and Sebastian Steber in early 2020. Dave Kulikowski was brought in to fill out the bottom end shortly afterword and the band struck gold with their front person, Caitlin O’Connor, in July 2020.” ~ PURE

Snapping away our previously foul mood with a heavy performance to remember forever, PURE pulsate us in places that have been hidden away from the world for years. Rattling with a combustion filled energy that will shock many, this is a heart racing anthem for those who needed it most.

Caught in the Undertow from Austin, Texas-based indie hard rock and metal band PURE is a scorching hot track from an outfit who roars into mountain-topping heights here. With a massively loud and window smashing sound that will wake you up if you were sleeping before, this is a track all of us who need to be uplifted away from the doom of the current world.

Hear this fine new single on Spotify and see more on the IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Good Time: Honey Made grows tired of the games with the groovy delight Upstairs

After delighting our faces with 2019’s Perfect Getaway, Honey Made are rather incredible on a sensually loving single that will have many embracing their lovers tightly Upstairs.

Honey Made is a 9-piece Austin, Texas-based indie primal-soul RnB band who are inspired by the greats such as James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, and Earth Wind and Fire.

Gliding in swiftly with a classy tone that might cause uncovered necks to blush suddenly, Honey Made makes that silky treat that is so easy to digest. Vocally excellent and with an aura that shall take you places in your mind that you had forgotten, which brings your mood back to true freedom. There is a hum in the speakers that can’t be taught, as their intuitive melodies bring great joy to all who listen closely.

Upstairs from the 9-piece Austin, Texas-based indie primal-soul RnB band Honey Made is one of the more crisply woven-into-your-soul singles that will make you smile. There is an incredible quality attached here that is rather magnificently created and world class to the max, as you just imagine that sparked up night that has turned into something memorable.

When you look inside those eyes and see that romantic flame, it’s best to keep it alive.

Listen up to this top new track on Spotify and see more news via IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen