Browsing Tag

Country Pop

Nicki Shakes shares a relatable thirst in her single, I Need a Drink

Country singer-songwriter-sensation Nicki Shakes shared a relatable thirst in the standout single, I Need a Drink, from her debut album, Rise. For everyone that has ever wanted to evade the nefariousness of their consciousness, the bluesy swagger of the melodically upbeat Country pop rock single has all the makings of a playlist staple.

Her eclectically matured sound may sonically take you to a dive bar in Tennessee, but the accomplished UK-residing artist tours her soulful tales of heartbreak and woe across Essex and London. What comes as much less of a surprise is the international airplay Nicki Shakes has garnered with her energy that epitomises artistic dynamism.

I Need a Drink is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Katie Wellenberg raised the stakes in her alt-country protest to superficial charm, ‘Gambler’

Katie Wellenberg did more than show her hand in her latest alt-country single, Gambler, which will be an instant hit with fans of the April March and Hillbilly Moon Explosion-Esque femme fatale allure.

Lyrically, Wellenberg shows us the epitome of humanity through visually striking poetry. Instrumentally, her roots-deep melodic hooks draw you further into the single, which shows how above the charade of superficial charm she is. Needless to say, we should all be at the same level as the stunningly unf*ckwithable Munich-based singer-songwriter. She well and truly came into her swampy roots rock own with Gambler; we can’t wait to hear what follows.

Gambler is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ariana Molkara showed us the epitome of country-pop class in her coming of age debut single, Birdies Gotta Fly By

With all of the class and arcane beguile of a Parisian Chanteuse, the alt-country pop singer-songwriter Ariana Molkara has made a theatrical yet intimately captivating entrance with her debut single, Birdies Gotta Fly By.

Cinematic scarcely covers the luminous production, which comes complete with pianos that would leave Ben Folds weak at the knees paired with infectiously upbeat percussion and orchestral strings to amplify the bitter-sweet coming of age sentiments expressed in the profoundly flawless single.

If this is her coming of age single, Ariana Molkara has a seriously bright future ahead of her.

Birdies Gotta Fly By was officially released on June 3rd. You can hear it for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Americana goes pop in Marcus Liuzzi’s latest single, I Met Her in Memphis

Marcus Liuzzi’s latest single, I Met Her in Memphis, has shifted his alt-country sound to a poppier territory; it is a move we more than approve of. With the playful college rock radio vibes in the vein of R.E.M., mixed with the Memphis Americana instrumentals, you’ll get just as hooked in the narrative lyrics as you will the poppy country guitars that compliment Marcus Liuzzi’s viscerally upbeat vocal style.

It is impossible to listen to the roots deep record that comes with a twist of modernity without turning a smile. We can’t wait to hear what follows. If there’s anything the world needs more of now, it’s stellar songwriters that know how to bring the escapism.

I Met Her in Memphis is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chuck Solo – Only time remains: A roots-rock effigy to love lost and unrelenting emotion

Only time remains by Chuck Solo

Sydney-based singer-songwriter, Chuck Solo, has released his roots-deep country pop-rock single, Only time remains, which runs through as a bitter-sweet effigy to love lost and unrelenting emotion to the tune of bluesy, choppy guitar chords and shimmering reverb.

Each note is plucked on his Strat by hand to boost the folky twang in the minimalist roots-rock track that allows his soulful yearning vocals to resound. Chris Isaak and Neil Diamond fans will instantly feel familiar with Only time remains through the stridently candid delivery of the sharp lyrics. Yet, Chuck Solo didn’t fall short on experimentalism with the sublime sonic layering of Only time remains. Which is accompanied by the equally as psychedelically sweet B-side single, Holding on (too tight). The crooned vocals and just as affectionate choral chords are enough to test your soul capacity’s to feel.

Only time remains is now available to stream and purchase via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Love prevails in Phil Dutra’s retro pop single, It’s Not Enough

It's Not Enough (Falling For Your Love) by Phil Dutra

Break free of your ennui with the old school romanticism in Phil Dutra’s latest retro country-pop single, It’s Not Enough (Falling for Your Love). The Austin Texas artist’s sway-worthy guitar-driven melodies provide a sure-fire nostalgia hit as they croon through the crescendos as Dutra goes all-in with his robustly romantic vocals.

If you cranked up the intensity in Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love by 1000%, it still wouldn’t come close to the stridently visceral release that is the aural equivalent to holding a boombox up underneath an ex paramour’s bedroom window. Romance will never be dead, for as long as there are songwriters in the same gorgeous vein as Dutra.

It’s Not Enough is available to stream and purchase via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Laurel K Adams has released her artful country-pop crossover single, Dancing in the Eye of a Hurricane.

The 17-year-old singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Lauren K Adams has released her debut alt-county-pop crossover EP, The Introduction. The standout single, Dancing in the Eye of a Hurricane, carries the coveted gravitas of an artist that has dedicated their life to honing in on their craft, but discernibly, the melodies that her poetic lyrics breeze through are as natural as breathing. If you could imagine a hybrid of the best parts of Cohen, Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush, you’ll get close to imagining the ingenuity on offer here.

You’d be seriously hard-pressed to find another up and coming artist with such succinct talent when it comes to capturing the multifaceted complexities of the human experience. The airwaves are an infinitely better place for her debut. The motivation for it goes beyond the yearning for accolades; it stems from the far less factious inclination to empower her listeners.

Dancing in the Eye of a Hurricane is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spin out of control with Nav’s Hook latest indie folk-pop single, Drivin’ Me Crazy

In his latest single, Drivin’ Me Crazy, up and coming artist Nav’s Hook pulled up the roots of rhythm, country and blues to create an indie-folk-pop jam that pays ode to romantic mania. The infectiously uplifting track comes complete with shimmering Gretschy guitars, foot-stompin’ rhythms and some all too efficacious vocal hooks which make an earworm out of the release.

Any fans of Ryan Adams, Chris Cornell, John Mayer and Jason Isbell won’t want to miss out on this expressively seductive radio-ready track that practically begs for repeat attention.

You can check out the official lyric video for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

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

Joonas Tanner – Ordinary Day: A Cinematically Raw Sign of the Times

Austin, Texas-based singer-songwriter Joonas Tanner finds the inspiration for his country-pop crossover singles by introspectively delving into the complexities of love, life and human emotion. His latest single, ‘Ordinary Day’, explores the relationships that reached a breaking point during the 2020 lockdown. Even if you didn’t feel that disjointing feeling first-hand, Ordinary Day still hits bruisingly hard by stripping the grandiosity out of modern romance and replacing it with the reminder of how mundane loveless ordinary days can be.

Ordinary Day was produced by Nashville’s very own Simon Reid, who allowed the soundscape to unfold as an all-consuming feat of country pop-rock that holds sonic reminiscence to the likes of Shinedown and Staind. If you want to test your soul’s capacity to feel, hit play on this cinematically raw sign of our times.

Ordinary Day is now available to stream via Spotify, Bandcamp and YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast