Browsing Tag

College Radio Rock

Bristol’s Most Strident Troubador, Alex Comaish, Augmented the Ultimate Indie-Folk Anthem with ‘Brother’

Alex Comaish’s latest single ‘Brother‘ is a poignant narrative wrapped in an augmented fusionist production that splices jangly indie pop with warm echoes of Americana, transmits the essence of college radio rock, and throws back to the 90s Britpop era while following in Billy Bragg’s footsteps. The crisp and unpretentious production allows the song’s emotional core and Comaish’s raw talent to shine through and illuminate the airwaves with affectionate fervour.

This Bristol-based troubadour brings a fresh sincerity to the genre as he elucidates that brotherly bonds may not always tie you to the perfect person, but those connections are worth their weight in gold. His strident vocal performance is an energetically affecting testament to the unspoken love and unbreakable ties between siblings.

The vignette behind the song is as compelling as the track itself. Comaish’s lyrics, penned in the throes of adventure, are imbued with genuine gratitude and affection that’s often left unsaid in the hustle of daily life.

As the first of a series of releases planned for the year, ‘Brother’ sets a high bar. It’s a track that not only showcases Comaish’s songwriting prowess but also his ability to connect with his audience on a deeply personal level.

Brother was officially released on March 1st; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Shotgun Waltz Fused Americana and Echoes of the Alt-90s to Craft the Ultimate Derision of ‘Pity Party’ Throwers

Single: Pity Party by Shotgun Waltz

.What do you get when you fuse the roots of Americana and alt-country with the nostalgia of the alt-90s? Hit play on the latest single, Pity Party, from the raconteurs of cliché-averse aural experimentalism, Shotgun Waltz, and find out for yourselves.

The first shimmering notes tease you into expecting a soundscape akin to The Madness’ eccentric spin on ska pop before the quintessential rock lead guitar work starts to blaze through the college radio rock production that makes it impossible not to warm to the outfit and their no prisoners held approach to lyricism.

Shotgun Waltz made it definitively clear that they wouldn’t be blowing up balloons for the wallowers in their circles. Instead, the pity partyers are mercilessly derided for their tunnel-vision naval-gazing as the ultimate reminder that self-disgust is still self-obsession is laid out across the exhilarating rhythms.

With echoes of new wave indie jangling through the release which never lets go of its Americana twang, the energy in Pity Party is riotously infectious, which bodes incredibly well for the Boston-based artist’s upcoming LP, which is expected to drop in April 2024.

Grab your invitation to the Pity Party by heading over to Bandcamp where you can stream or purchase the single, which was officially released on January 22nd.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Todd Michael Chapman’s latest melodic rock hit, Mesmerized, is enlivened through heart-on-riff soul appeal.

Romance isn’t dead; it was raucously revived through Todd Michael Chapman’s latest single, Mesmerized, which gives all the heart-in-throat electricity of Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing while channelling a fervid authenticity that stays true to the singer-songwriter’s rustbelt inspired melodic rock edge.

The confessional lyricism narrated through the strident vocal lines that will stir your soul as the bluesy rock hooks feed infectious appeal in the sublimely produced record ensured that the New York-born and-raised raconteur delivered a timeless hit that will resonate through the ages. With a touch of R.E.M.’s college radio rock nostalgic appeal laced with Chapman’s ability to make the old feel brand new, Mesmerized will leave you exactly what it says on the tin.

After hearing it once, I know it will be a sonic landscape I return to time and time again to be enlivened by the uninhibited heart-on-riff soul appeal.

Mesmerized was officially released on January 5th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sean T MacLeod – Sweetness: Indie Licks Like Sugar

Sean T MacLeod’s latest single, Sweetness, emerges as a scintillating gem in the indie music scene, showcasing MacLeod’s innate talent for crafting memorable melodies. This jangly new wave indie track echoes college radio rock and stands out for its ability to transcend the ever-growing pile of indie landfill by offering a captivating testament to MacLeod’s skilful composition, each crescendo serving as a gateway to a realm of affectionate euphoria. Someone might want to tell Morrissey that this is what a Charming Man sounds like; charm oozes from every sonic pore to create a colourfully nostalgic aura which reflects MacLeod’s seasoned experience in the industry.

Sweet in name, and sweet in nature, the upliftingly affecting soul will linger with you for days after you hear the harmonised to the nines vocal lines and piano glissandos sweep across the melody with a graceful fluidity, while the angular, exuberant guitars inject a vibrant energy into the track.

Sean T MacLeod’s background as a former member of the Dublin-based band Cisco, and his collaboration with U2’s Paul Barrett, has evidently contributed to his profound understanding of music composition and production. After hearing Sweetness, we join an army of his fans eagerly anticipating his 5th solo album, That’s When the Earth Becomes a Star.

Stream Sweetness on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Prepare for the vintage tonal transcendence in No Named’s seminal rock single, Fall in Love One More Time

With all the heart-in-throat romanticism of R.E.M.’s The One I Love fused with the ease and psychedelic tonal colour of 70s rock and the raucous appeal of Sunset strip sleaze legends The Dogs D’Amour in the chorus, the seminal single, Fall in Love One More Time, from the underground trailblazing outfit No Named weaves through the epochs of rock to deliver a timeless rock-licked love letter.

Signed, sealed, and delivered, the melodically eloquent release is a testament to the band’s journey from pain and suffering to joy and inner peace through the avenue of music. With the determination to root their tracks in authenticity and emotion and to keep the traditions of recording and producing alive by not being seduced by modern production, No Named is one of the last vestiges of the classic era while delivering refreshing iterations of sonic transcendence through their tracks.

Stream Fall in Love One More Time via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lock horns with ‘The Devil’s Daughter’ in Doug Burton’s Latest Installation of Indie

Good Music by Doug Burton

With a touch of college radio rock in a R.E.M.-esque vein fused with the same sense of lyrical conviction you would find in a New Model Army release, the seminal single, The Devil’s Daughter, by Doug Burton is a quaintly visceral experience that couldn’t have been penned by any other hand.

The folky tendencies are inexplicably balanced by the rock reverence and the pop hooks, enabling the Williamsburg, Virginia-based solo artist and producer to establish himself as an originator in the contemporary music landscape. He’s been cutting his teeth since he first started playing in high school bands in ’85; it is safe to say that at this stage in the game, he more than knows his way around a sticky-sweet melody.

Stream and Purchase The Devil’s Daughter on Bandcamp, or order the Good Music LP while the limited-edition vinyl copies last.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Groovy Shirt Club chiselled a modern edge into rock n roll nostalgia with ‘Electric Flowers’

With Groovy Shirt Club on the scene, no one can claim ‘they don’t make ‘em like they used to’. Their latest single, Electric Flowers, chiselled a modern edge into a vintage sound, captured through a live euphonically melodic performance.

The vocals in Electric Flowers are enough to give you the Chris Isaak chills, and elements of the psych originators (the Beatles, obviously) can also be noted in the kaleidoscopic soul that spills across the entire sonic landscape that you will want to visit time and time again to affirm that rock n roll isn’t dead, it’s still alive and kicking on the underground. There’s also an undeniable touch of the college radio rock sound that R.E.M. defined with their creamy chords and ruggedly sugared harmonies.

Electric Flowers is available to Stream on Spotify.

Join the Groovy Shirt Club gang on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jimmy Nebula has unleashed his indie psych pop serenade, Take It All

If the Stone Roses hailed from LA instead of weathering the grim up North UK weather, their indie hits would have been as euphonic on the ear as the Cali-residing artist, songwriter and producer Jimmy Nebula’s latest single, Take It All.

Just one of the singles to feature on the forthcoming LP due for release this Spring, Take It All is tinged with psychedelically sunny heat to warm the blisters of melancholy that pop in the same vein as Joy Division’s in the soul stirringly pure release, which also carries a touch of the Pixies and R.E.M.

Beyond any reminiscences, Take It All is a triumph in its own melodic right; through Nebula’s ability to meld light and dark, soul-stirring and heart-tearing feels. If emotion doesn’t flood to the surface while you’re listening to Take It All, you may want to check if you still have a pulse.

Take It All is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Square Pyramid sang the post-punk blues in their grungy hit, Run Down Dirty Soul

Taken from the eponymous debut album from Square Pyramid, the standout single, Run Down Dirty Soul, is a progressively exhilarating mash of era-spanning alternative culture. From post-punk to blues to grunge, it’s all on the table in this enlivening intrinsically originated hit that has what it takes to unite music scenes once and for all.

With atmospheric hints to Echo and the Bunnymen in the chorally cold rings of the guitars in the intro along with bluesy harmonica blasts before the track slams into a grungy revival of off-kilter alt-90s and college radio rock tones, clearly, each of the three members of Square Pyramid came to the outfit with their own influences and inclinations. And therein lies the blisteringly experimental alchemy within Run Down Dirty Soul. It is a sonic amalgamation that no other outfit has brought to the table.

There’s nothing quite like allowing multiple parts of your personality to meet each other in the space of one song, and that’s exactly what Run Down Dirty Soul achieved for me.

Check out Run Down Dirty Soul on Apple Music and YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Mike Power – I Like You: prepossessingly pure alt-rock

Fuelling the intimate feels of Elliott Smith with the swanky proto-punk zeal of the Kinks and the melodic colour of the Beatles, the latest single from Mike Power which carries eccentric echoes of Pavement, Courtney Barnett and Decemberists, is a soul-rendered alt-rock riot.

The tight instrumental framework of I Like You allows the affably sweet sentiments in the uninhibited declaration of passion to hit that little bit harder as you lose yourself in the blossoming soul that heightens the winding alt-90s influenced rhythms to the nth degree. It doesn’t quite drop the L word, but I think we can all agree that the ‘like’ phase in a foundling relationship when we’re enamoured by every idiosyncrasy is just as prepossessing.

I Like You is just one of the singles to feature on the increasingly popular sophomore album, Compulsions, from the NYC-formed Mike Power band. We wholly recommend making time to appreciate the dynamism of it in its entirety.

I Like You is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast