Browsing Tag

Folk Pop

Spotlight Feature: Castle KYD pulls visceral emotional punches in ‘The Mess You Left Behind’

On November 26th, Idaho indie singer-songwriter Castle KYD brought accountability in trend with his artfully expressive single, The Mess You Left Behind. In the Waitsy intro, there is little but solemn vocal notes and the quiescent murmurs from the acoustic guitar; as the track builds up to the pre-chorus, that’s when the sharp hook digs in and pulls you deeper into the intrinsically melodic work.

The Mess You Left Behind truly is the pinnacle of contemporary indie-folk pop. His innocently sweet scorned vocals, the celestial accordance in the choruses and lyrics that prove the extent of his determination to transfuse raw emotion into art makes Castle KYD one of the most gifted artists of his generation.

We didn’t need the self-taught artist’s bio to tell us that his music is an amalgamation of desire for connection, a means to cope and a way to turn banality into something meaningful. You can hear it in every ounce of passion poured into this evocatively bruising seminal release.

Here is what Castle Kyd had to say about his latest release:

“Mess You Left Behind was written on a sleepless night, thinking about someone I lived with and had to leave because it was so toxic. In 15 minutes, every feeling, anger and blame poured out of me and formed a poem which became a song in those minutes. After months, I still miss and crave them despite their emotional abuse; I blame myself for craving that, the person who instilled a lot of hurt in me. After struggling to get over it, I’ve become paradoxical; I am the mess this person left behind.”

The Mess You Left Behind is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

CHARLES HS voices collective insecurity in his crowd-inspired indie folk-pop single, Stereotype

CHARLES HS

‘Stereotype’ is the latest single and crowd-created project of London-based indie folk-pop singer-songwriter CHARLES HS. The single pulled together as an amalgamation of collective issues and insecurities voiced by his Instagram followers – given how Stereotype was created, the coherent synergy of the lyrics becomes even more profound.

Atop of the accordant folk-pop guitars that will be a big hit with Bill Ryder-Jones fans, the lyrics haunt the soundscape as they reflect some of the darkest facets of our ego-driven superficial reality. Stereotype proves that we’re only ever alone in a physical sense, never emotionally. It truly sets the bar for UK singer-songwriters wanting to make an impact.

Stereotype is due for official release on November 12th, 2021. Check it out via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Birds Over Arkansas have released their emotionally-charged slice of Americana ‘Sunflower’.

The melodically unorthodox outfit, Birds Over Arkansas, ended their five-year radio silence with the release of their highly anticipated emotionally charged slice of Americana, Sunflower, which reinforces the ‘good things come to those who wait’ idiom with Adamantium strength.

With the sweet choral vocals harmonising against the practically effervescent acoustic melodies as they weave through intricate rhythms, Sunflower is practically a gateway to another dimension. You’d be hard-pressed to find more escapism in a soundscape from any other up and coming outfit. It carries the sweetly sonorous appeal of Elliott Smith paired with a matchless cinematic roots-deep folk twang. We can only hope that Birds Over Arkansas has more aural salvation in the pipeline.

Sunflower is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Art-soul goes pop in James Asare’s latest single, Star-Crossed

If all artists were as ambitious with their storytelling narratives as James Asare, the airwaves would be a utopia of expression that brings the world closer through shared experience and emotion. The singer-songwriter’s latest art-folk single, Star-Crossed, goes back to the roots of storytelling while planting modernist marks in the soundscape.

With Pavement-style guitars sporadically ringing in the quiescently folkish single that ambiently twists and turns through the azure melodies, Asare perceptibly made the single his own while making it as heart-wrenchingly soulful as Dusty Springfield’s You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.

Star-Crossed is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

UK singer-songwriter Hannyta has released her spirited folky synth-pop single, Wildflower.

UK-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Hannyta attracted a loyal fan following with her spellbindingly unique covers of singles such as Fight Song and Jar of Hearts. Her debut original single, Wildflower, proves that when she’s bringing life to products of her orchestration, even more visceral, spiritual alchemy breathes. The moody synth-pop stylings, Hannyta’s almost arcanely soulful vocals and the folkish elements create a brand-new brand of entrancing electro-pop.

Not only does Hannyta boast authenticity, but she also boasts the ability to make that authenticity infectious from the first hit. Hit play, and you will greet your new perennial pop earworm. How she has such a refined style at the age of seventeen is quite frankly beyond us. We can’t wait to hear what she has in store for her sophomore release.

Wildflower, which was officially released on October 22nd, is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Alex Young has released his lovesick acoustic indie-rock ballad, Might Just Catch Your Eye.

Out into the Light by Alex Young

Singer-songwriter Alex Young is here to remind us that romance isn’t dead with his emotionally iron-wrought acoustic indie-rock ballad, Might Just Catch Your Eye.

The Barnsley-based solo artist’s affectionately ambient single captures lovesick agony while keeping the minimalist yet resounding instrumental melodies ring free of the disquiet conflict. If Glen Hansard leaves you floored with his contemporary spin on folk songwriting, you might want to sit down before hitting play on Might Just Catch Your Eye.

Might Just Catch Your Eye is now available to stream and purchase on Bandcamp along with Young’s debut album Out Into the Light.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Giulia Gatti dug down to the roots of storytelling with their debut single, Fix What You Break.

As the songwriting duo Giulia Gatti continues to enamour an international fanbase with their striking singles that take inspiration from soul, RnB and pop, we delved into their spellbinding debut single, Fixed What You Break. We instantly found ourselves arrested by the raw lyricism and confrontationally soulful vocals in the scorned post-breakup single.

Hell hath no fury like a woman who has endured the fallout from someone’s lack of accountability and reached breaking point, but Fix What You Break finds a stunning way of capturing the emboldening feeling of drawing a line in someone else’s destruction.

Giulia Gatti comprises Italian singer-songwriter Giulia Menegatti and Danish composer and guitarist Jonas Dannerbugt. With the gravitas in his tender fretwork and Menegatti’s resounding old school vocal timbre, they allow the roots of storytelling to blossom in their soundscapes.

Fix What You Break is now available to stream via Spotify.

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

Olivia Gubel takes us to ‘The Prom’ with her latest acoustic folk-pop ballad.

One of LA’s most promising stars, singer-songwriter Olivia Gubel, has bestowed upon the airwaves an acoustic folk-pop ballad that is uplifting enough to register as celestial.

‘The Prom’ captures the innocence of youth; if you’re currently living it, you will feel the resonance; if those days are long behind you, you’ll get a potently sweet shot of nostalgia while listening to this reflectively sweet single unfold.

At 18-years-old, Olivia already has the musicianship within her to create true connections with fans old and new. Her powerfully poetic lexicon, endlessly magnetic vocals and instantly accessible soundscapes make her a folk-pop triple threat.

The Prom is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Pop Noir Chanteuse Annabel Hailey Has Released Her Soulfully Organic Single, Rhythm of Life

Annabel Hailey

Finland-born, Amsterdam-based singer-songwriter, Annabel Hailey, has released her latest jazzy single, Rhythm of Life; you’d be hard-pressed to find a more mesmerising pop-noir chanteuse.

Any fans of Tori Amos, The Anchoress, Fiona Apple and Kate Bush will quickly feel their senses surrender to the rich and exotic 50s flamenco vibes and organic Nordic pop elements in the soundscape that oozes as much class as the Upper East Side. With over 500k Spotify streams under her belt to date, Hailey has exactly what it takes to be the next big name in folk-inclined alt-pop. We can’t wait to watch her ascent to the top of the charts. She is a rare visionary in a world so swathed in monotony.

Rhythm of Life was released on October 1st; check it out for yourselves on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast