Browsing Tag

Indie Folk Rock

Casino Moon boiled the human experience down to birth, sex, and death in their indie folk-rock revelation, Fearless

Casino Moon, the South London-based Americana folk-rock ensemble, has distilled the essence of the human experience into their latest single, ‘Fearless’, which unravels as a journey through life’s most primal elements – birth, sex, and death – wrapped in a melody that’s as infectious as it is profound.

‘Fearless’ grips you with its upbeat folk instrumental arrangement, setting the stage for a musical expedition that’s both exhilarating and introspective. The chorus bursts forth with a fearless tenacity, its lively rhythm a stark contrast to the more contemplative alt-indie verses that invite you to delve deeper into the song’s candid narrative.

Casino Moon’s cultivated sound, recognised by icons like Tom Robinson and Robert Smith, shines through in ‘Fearless’. The band’s talent for transforming untold stories into addictive sounds is evident in every chord, lyric and harmony. The vocals seamlessly switch up in energy, mirroring the dynamism of the instrumentals. From the resonant vibrato in the lower registers to the fervour and zeal in the soul-augmented choruses, the vocal performance is a masterclass in raw, unadulterated emotion.

Consider ‘Fearless’ a blueprint for living life with unbridled passion; the crescendos and echoes of evocative wisdom fuel the listener with invincibility. As Casino Moon continues to garner acclaim, with standout performances at festivals and alongside notable artists, ‘Fearless’ stands as a testament to their burgeoning legacy.

Stream Fearless as part of Casino Moon’s Woody Bay EP on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Rossa Murray & the blowin’ winds will warmly render your heartstrings raw with ‘Who Really Wants to Get Clean’

Rossa Murray & the blowin' winds

The hype around the Irish alt-folk/rock outfit, Rossa Murray & the blowin’ winds, may be louder than the melancholic quiescence in the title single from their latest EP, but the accolades are far from hyperbolic.

Who Really Wants to Get Clean is a cutting- with razor-sharp precision – exposition on society’s issues around addiction; so much pressure is put upon the people numbing themselves by any means necessary to change, while the societal issues that make it a necessity for so many get ambivalently swept under the rug.

I can’t even remember the last time a track hit me this hard. The evocative delivery, the desperation in the vignette, the agony that lingers in the tempo of the minor keys, the profoundness in the strings, it all synthesises into a tear-jerking performance that leaves you in a sombre state of contemplation.

Fans of Bill Ryder-Jones and Frightened Rabbit won’t be able to tear themselves away from the Rossa Murray & the blowin’ winds’ discography after Who Really Wants to Get Clean has warmly rendered their hearts raw.

The Who Really Wants to Get Clean – Part 2 EP will officially release on September 29th. Stream it on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Skittish became the ultimate purveyor of folk-rock nostalgia with ‘Mannequin’

The LA-residing indie folk-rock artist Skittish is fresh from the release of their eclectic era and genre-spanning seventh LP, Midwest Handshake. Genre-fluidity may have become the default position for artists in the 21st century, but few succeed in making a smorgasbord of style as cohesively electrifying as Skittish.

Midwest Handshake is a route back to the golden era of emo via a road never taken. Jeff Noller’s vocation in film sound production in recent years allowed him to sonically visualise his concept in panoramic colour.

This time, Skittish enlisted Ben Etter (Deer Hunter, Kaiser Chiefs) to mix and master the album in his analog-centric studio, resulting in a project that draws you in with nostalgia and quells modern malaise with lyrical resonance that could have only been rendered in our blighted with dystopic blues era.

With the Weezer-esque guitars lending themselves well to the earwormy hooks and the drawling with deadpan attitude vocals in the verses evolving into adrenalized harmonies in the standout track, Mannequin, you couldn’t ask for more serotonin from a single. The raucously riled deliverance of unity is the ultimate olive branch to the disenfranchised by ennui outliers. After one hit, you will want to devour the cinematic album whole.

Mannequin hit the airwaves on August 25; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The UK orchestral folk duo River Knight is on melodious form in their sanctuary spilling single, Unsprung

The folk duo River Knight has been fairly quiet since their 2021 album, Grow. They are back on melodious form in their latest orchestral folk single, Unsprung, which borrows fractions of the melody to Take on Me, but with such a stunning orchestral string ensemble and hints of the Verve and 90s Britpop in the verses, who is complaining?

The earworm brings the ragged and rough timbres through the acoustic guitar strings and percussion while the smooth can be found in the gloss of the orchestral crescendos, which are as close to heaven as the impious are likely to get.

Each new progression is a brand-new opportunity to fall in love with the duo who banded together in 2017 as a form of therapy for Darren Knight after the tragic passing of his wife. Stone River was there for unwavering support and to offer the Ying to Knight’s songwriting Yang. The duo are well known on the London, Portsmouth and Southampton live circuit, but it’s only a matter of time before they take their international-level approach to indie folk rock to the status it beckons.

Unsprung officially released on December 16th. Catch it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Frontier Station’s latest folk-rock single is ‘Mediocre’ in title alone

Frontier Station

Frontier Station wove a masterfully enticing tapestry with the close-knit boy-girl harmonies in their latest single, Mediocre, taken from their upcoming debut album, The Birds, The Stars & The Chimney Sweeps, which is due for release on January 20th.

The London-based folk-rock six-piece married Americana rock swagger with the roots of Irish folk and modernised the soundscape with The National-Esque production on the cascading guitars – to awe-inspiring effect.

With Frontier Station, there is the promise that every song tells a tale; with Mediocre, they put a swoonsome romantic epic into melodic motion as they set a scene in a mining town in Thatcher’s England. That name may make everyone with a semblance of empathy cringe, but her cursed capitalist legacy doesn’t stand a chance against the soul impassionedly poured into Mediocre.

Mediocre will officially release on October 28th. Check it out on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sanchez. delivered an off-kilter folk-rock confessional masterpiece with his latest single, Feeling

Sanchez

Following his debut 2022 album, Burgundy, which was produced by the legendary Pete Maher, the already iconic singer-songwriter Sanchez., is here with his latest single, Feeling. With that title, the artist set the evocative bar high; he heart-wrenchingly transcended it with his folk-rock-inspired confessional.

In the cavernous intro that consists of little more than rugged folk-rock pulls of acoustic strings, names like Cohen, Waits and Dylan spring to mind. Yet, Feeling steadily grooves into its own distinct and artful gravitas as the soundscape is enriched by ascending melodies, raw and off-kilter choral sonic power and blisteringly luminous organ notes. It’s Richard Hawley meets Pixies. It is also the aural evolution that melancholic outliers have been waiting for.

Feeling is due for official release on March 2nd; dive into it yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Connect with Sanchez. via Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Skittish shows us the future of thorny folk-rock with their eighth release, House on Fire.

Skittish

LA-based alt-rock outfit, Skittish, shunted folk-rock further into the future than it has ever been with their 8th release, House on Fire. If you can imagine what it would sound like if Hozier did thorny post-rock synthpop, you can get an idea of just how alchemic the fiery release is.

With the female vocals projecting a sense of innocence into the progressively unpredictable instrumentals and the male vocals injecting plenty of raconteur energy into the sporadically symphonic track, even if you listened to House on Fire 100 times, you’d still be picking new fractures of ingenuity from the unforgettably refreshing track.

House on Fire is due for official release on November 19th. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sparks in the Garden have released their swoon-worthy earworm, Let’s Fall in Love Again.

Sparks in the Garden

Sparks in the Garden’s latest pop-rock EP, Trails of Light, comes with an alt-country twang, a sense of soul that makes every single swoon-worthy, and some of the most honed-in talent that we’ve heard this year.

In the standout single, Let’s Fall in Love Again, the folky foot stompin’ rhythms in the verses break into stadium-filling choruses around the indulgently affable lyrics and the 80s rock-style solos that ground the soundscape in gravitas.

The Floridian brother duo has been playing together since 1989, but it wasn’t until 2015 that their sound started to pick up traction. Trails of Light is Sparks in the Garden’s first studio project, we hope there is plenty more in the pipeline.

Let’s Fall in Love Again is now available to stream and purchase via apple music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Indie alt-folk artist Rhett O’Connor has released his sonorously colourful double A-side, Galactophagist/Untitled 31 Retry.

https://soundcloud.com/user-375093285/sets/im-a-galactophagist/s-RHSAuEw8Mjl

If you recognise Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane over the Sea as one of the greatest albums of all time, you will want to get acquainted with up and coming indie folk-rock singer-songwriter Rhett O’Connor.

Through his latest two-track single, I’m a Galactophagist/Untitled 31 Retry, O’Connor revives familiar folk-punk tones while adding plenty more accordance to the instrumentals while his dreamy vocals lull you into the visceral emotion caged in the acoustic soundscape.

Galactophagist and Untitled 31 Retry are just as sweet as the most honeyed singles from the Maccabees to add yet another layer to his colourfully sonorous sound; there is a slight cosmic kick in the melodies.

Rhett O’Connor’s new singles will be available to stream from October 8th via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Alt Indie Rock artist Tom Morris invites you to share ‘The Dark Hours’ with him through his debut release

https://tommorris.bandcamp.com/track/the-dark-hours

Like many artists, Scottish singer-songwriter Tom Morris released his debut single, The Dark Hours’, this summer, but unlike most new releases, the soundscape exhibited the artist’s prowess when it comes to instilling overwhelming emotion as the track becomes so much more than the sum of all parts.

The moody hints of 80s Electro hum around the intricate bluesy indie rock guitars while Tom Morris crafts one of the most infectious vocal melodies I’ve heard this year.

No artist carries the influence of Kurt Vile without picking up the hypnotically mellifluous textures of his meanderingly enticing guitar, which is exactly what is on offer in The Dark Hours which captures the agony of those twilight hours when your body loses most of its capacity for function while your mind runs rampant through every avenue for melancholy.

When I first hit play, I was intrigued by the stylistic collision of genres, by the time The Dark Hours faded out, I was overcome by the artist’s invaluable ability to alchemically offer compassion and comfort through relaying his own bitter-sweet introspection.

You can find out more about Tom Morris by heading over to his official website.

Head over to Bandcamp to stream and download The Dark Hours.

Review by Amelia Vandergast