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Indie Folk Rock

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.

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

Cass & Crossland – Adeline: Absorbingly Sweet Indie Folk Rock

Phoenix Arizona’s Indie Folk Rock duo Cass & Crossland made their 2020 debut with the absorbingly idyllic single ‘Adeline’. Their timeless approach to songwriting will remind you of the iconic greats while affirming that they’re the contemporaries that the airwaves have been calling out for.

The stunning harmonies find perfect balance with the transfixingly accordant semi-orchestral instrumental arrangement which simultaneously feels minimalistic and resounding. It’s the kind of track you hit play on, and you can’t quite tell if you’re consuming the track or if it is consuming you. The immersive ethereal air to the soundscape perfectly complements the romantically vivid imagery which the lyricism conjures.

With their ability to not only draw affectionate emotion from you as you listen to the track but also leave you endeared by the soul which the track contains, they’re undoubtedly ones to watch. Get them on your radar.

You can check out Adeline for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Logan Bolan offers delicately provocative Stonesy tones with “Flower”

Earlier this year, Californian singer-songwriter Logan Bolan released their evocatively bluesy Indie rock single “Flower”, it may be instrumentally minimalistic, but you can expect the entirety of your attention to fall under the command of this deeply sentimental single.

It is easily one of the most reflectively poignant singles we’ve heard in 2020. It’s the kind of track you’ll hit repeat on for the efficacious way in which it guides you through your own introspection.

Those sweet Stonesy tones under ardent new contortion allow you to slip into the escapism offered by the Rolling Stones while Logan allows you to breathe in the contemporary provocative air of the soundscape through their soul-bearing vocals.

You can check out the official music video to Flower by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Joe Astley – Revolution Postponed: Nuancedly Captivating Indie Folk Rock

https://www.facebook.com/joeastleyofficial/videos/2512937939030156/

With a debut album due to be released in 2020, there’s no better time to jump on the hype of the captivating sharpness found in Joe Astley’s nuanced Indie Folk Rock songwriting.

If anyone can be accurately referred to this generation’s Billy Bragg, it’s Joe Astley. It says a lot about the lack of societal progression that those lyrics could have been written 40 years ago. But the arrestive resonance in the aural mirror which is held up to our society could only have come from an artist writing in our 21st century bleakly unbalanced country.

With vocals which will crawl under your ribs and intensely rhythmic melodies, Revolution Postponed came together as a track which offered that rare unifying aural radicalism which we desperately need on the airwaves right now. Thankfully, I’m not the only one who appreciates the up and coming artist’s distinctive sound. He’s also been championed by BBC Radio Manchester’s Mike Sweeney, and Radio Warrington’s Michael Hall.

Morrissey may have let the North down, but Joe Astley is more than capable of picking up where he left off.

You can check Joe Astley’s performance of Revolution Postponed at the Lounge Recording Studio via Facebook. Or you can listen to the track via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast