The Sparks, NV alt-rock artist, A Desolate Light, got his forthcoming debut LP, To Knell and Vanish, off to a scintillating start with the first single released from the concept album, Suppressor.
Starting with the solitary strike of a gong, the spirituality of the release asserts itself from here and unravels further through the Jungian and Zen-inspired lyricism throughout the evocatively high-octane progressions. The instrumentals find themselves in the middle ground between gunge and post-hardcore to stoke the fires of a blazingly hot brand of ingenuity that is uniquely finger-printed to the solo artist.
A Desolate Light is a one-man project fuelled by the enlightened innovation of Sam Spivey (ex-Authmentis); aside from the percussive work, Spivey is putting all the finishing touches on his upcoming 13-track album, which is being fan-funded via his Patreon page and Bandcamp pre-orders of the record.
Suppressor was officially released on September 8th; it is now available to stream and purchase via Bandcamp.
Taken from his debut album, Daddy’s Weird, congo64’s lead single, I Can’t Feel Your Feelings, is a highly addictive aural oddity, consisting of layers of 80s post-punk, grungy overdriven rock and 60’s harmony-laced pop.
It takes a lot for a single to send me down a psychological rabbit hole. But with the crooned post-punk chorus, “I Can’t Feel Your Feelings”, you can’t help but consider the reality of the alienating experience of connection when nothing brings resonance. If you can’t relate, consider yourself as lucky as a lottery winner.
Intriguing substance and titular poetry aside, congo64 notably succeeded in crafting a familiar yet grippingly distinctive sonic palette that won’t fail to enthral any seeker of experimental revivalist alt-rock.
I Can’t Feel Your Feelings is now available to stream on Soundcloud.
‘Lost in the Dark’ is the latest dusky feat of neo-psychedelic synth-rock from one of San Jose’s most prodigal outfits, Dying Pharaohs. If the Editors dropped acid and experienced a spiritual awakening, we’re sure the aural results would mimic Lost in the Dark which drips with post-punk cool and is sweetened by the almost hypnogogic vocals.
The angular indie guitars around the trip-hop beats and glassy synths are beyond anything I’ve heard from the psych scene or the pools of darkwave tracks that hit the airwaves. Let the goths and hippies unite through the compassionate kaleidoscope of monochromatic tones.
Lost in the Dark is now available to stream via SoundCloud.
With their latest single, Don’t Want Me, the Sydney-based 4-piece alt-rock pioneers 51st Avenue contend with heavy emotion through even heavier instrumentals. Their sound carries familiar elements of electronic pop, trap and post-rock, but 51st Avenue delivers them in a distinctive enough way that their sheer authenticity will blow you away just as much as the sound itself.
Soft and succinct verses with delicate female pop vocals are followed with tumultuously thrashing breakdowns that carry the same sense of chaos as you’ll find in Bring Me the Horizon’s sound. With the progressive structure of the single, you can’t help delving in over and over again. With every listen, the boldness of the lyrics becomes even more striking. No one likes to admit rejection, but 51st Avenue owns it in Don’t Want Me; the track allows you to consider that sometimes walking away from you is the best thing a person can do for you.
It comes as no surprise that 51st Avenue has already supported Start Your Own Cult, Cambridge, Young Lions and Hands Like Houses on tour. Although based on Don’t Want Me, it won’t be long until bands can boast about opening for 51st Avenue.
Don’t Want Me is available to stream on Spotify, or you can check out the music video via YouTube.
When the aliens land, they’ll be sending us a warning or two on their way – Seedy Sunday 3 might be the first of those cautionary broadcasts from outer space, kicking off with nothing more than siren blasts before the ‘we interrupt this broadcast’ monotone voiceover warns us of imminent danger. Namechecking burning churches, apocalyptic visions, and that Nigerian prince who keeps trying to send us money all in one verse, ‘Seedy Sundy 3’ is a sparse, tongue-in-cheek blast of eerie sci-fi electronica that’s maybe reminiscent of a mash-up of Devo, Sparks, Flash Gordon, Flesh Tetris, a touch of Electric Six, and just a smattering of Doctor Who, Hitchikers Guide, and C Beebies.
It’s a welcome change from a world weighed down by yet another foppish indie band or wannabe Fifty Cent; fun, quirky, amused and amusing, this is just shy of six minutes of original space jam entertainment. If fifties B-movies had a sound of their own, as opposed to a soundtrack, this might just be it. It’s not quite the end of the world as we know it, but it’s perhaps the precursor to it. Just remember to keep checking the skies for those aliens.
You can hear Seedy Sunday 3 on Spotify (try saying that quickly); check out seedy here.
The Shining Tongues added another facet to the realm of experimental rock with the release of their single ‘Belly of the Town’, just one of the singles found on their ethereally avant-garde 2021 EP ‘The Prayer’.
The standout single pays ode to the sanctity of non-romantic love, it perfectly captures the hollowing drudgery which connection can raise us from. With choral backing vocals coalescing with the despondence in the main narrative, The Belly of the Town is a conceptually ingenious release which proves that absolving celestial tones have a place in dark alt-rock too.
If Peter Murphy picked up indie rock sensibilities, his music would hold a fair amount of reminiscence to this darkly hypnotic lullaby.
If prizes were handed out for the most conceptually evocative release of 2020, it would go to Croatian Experimental Post Rock artist, heyiloveyou, for their 2-track EP ‘Everybody’s Got 2 Sides’.
It’s a nuanced nod to the multi-faceted nature of our personalities with Side One a depiction of melancholy-tinged contemplation and side two an experimental electronic rock traversing of intensely urgent despair. When I say ‘experimental’, I mean Fantomas-level experimental with caustic noise replacing lyrics but saying all that there is to say all the same.
With Okay, the artist paid ode to the agony of being told that you no longer matter through silence instead of words. The experimentally ambient track drives you through the sweaty shaky trepidation of realising that the love which held you together is being withdrawn to the tune of voicemail answering messages.
Needless to say, we’re all too excited to hear what kind of subversive alchemy heyiloveyou serves up next.
You can check out the latest release from heyiloveyou by heading over to Bandcamp.
After Reykjavik-based artist Red Barnett scooped up the Icelandic Music Award for Best Alternative Album with their debut release ‘Shine’ in 2015, we couldn’t help but be excited by the release of their sophomore album Astronauts.
The perfect introduction to Red Barnett’s viscerally vibrant style is undoubtedly ‘Astronaut’. It’s chilling through the dystopic comfort it offers. It perfectly coalesces with contemporary anxiety and uncertainty, but with the warm and exuberant tones in this finely crafted release, it’s impossible to let existentialism creep in.
With sonic synths around neo-classic keys along with elements of Rock and Electro Pop, the singer-songwriter, composer and arranger offers an intoxicatingly fresh taste of retro-futurism. It’s easy to see why so many find solace in their unapologetically expressive yet accessibly immersive sound.
You can check out Astronaut for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.
US Rock artist Amenazar saw their inception almost three decades ago but judging by the magnetism found in their latest single “Lie to Me” they’re just as valuable to the airwaves as they were when they made their debut.
The mark of any good artist is their ability to make you feel instead of listen. And my God, if any Rock artist had the capacity to tear my soul in two with the provocativeness of their sound, it’s Amenazar.
With Lie to Me, they found the perfect balance of sticky-sweet romantic sincerity and rock n roll intensity. But where they truly set themselves apart is through their ability to smash through classic rock archetypes. As great as Guns n Roses and Aerosmith are, we don’t need another act assimilating them. There was definitely no danger of Lie to Me resonating as assimilative with Amenazar’s tendency to pull influence from a wide array of influences, from Alt 90s, to Industrial Grunge to Classic Southern Rock, it’s all in there.
You can check out Lie to Me for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.
You’d be hard-pressed to find old-school crooning alongside cold Post Punk tones and slick Setzer-style rock n roll grooves anywhere other than Toronto-based artist Lucas Penner’s standout single ‘So Well’.
So, you may as well hit play on the beguilingly masterful release which puts a neo twist on baroque. The styling may be on the archaic side, but you can expect a retro-futuristic earworm to crawl in your ear from the outset.
Any fans of Nick Cave, Tom Waits or Fable Cry will definitely appreciate the insidious air to the murder folk-style lyricism which will allow you to feel like you’re being aurally dragged into a hellish stratosphere.
You can check out So Well for yourselves from October 27th via YouTube.