Browsing Tag

Indie Folk

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

Foundry Town Survivors bring in the future of indie-folk with their seminal single, Foundry Town.

Foundry Town

Foundry Town Survivors are bringing in the future of indie-folk by going back to the storytelling roots of the genre and incorporating the production nuances from succeeding eras.Their seminal single, Foundry Town, taken from their new 2021 EP, is a world-weary vignette of the small hometowns that may as well be composed of quicksand for the way they bring you down. And yes, I’m aware that sounds a little cliché, but it’s a sentiment plenty can relate to; even if you grew up in a major metropolitan area, you’ll know how it feels by the time the outro in Foundry Town rolls around.

The yearning for something more, something greater rings through in the gruff Cohen-Esque vocals as the versatile strings pull you through bitter-sweet crescendos and swells of optimism that shimmer in the easy acoustic progressions.

Their new EP is due for release on November 5th. It will be available to stream and download on all major platforms. Check out Foundy Town Survivors on their official website. 

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Dave Thomas O’Gorman gives us a taste of The Sweetest Blood in his ethereal indie-folk single.

Dave Thomas O'Gorman

Indie-folk singer-songwriter Dave Thomas O’Gorman’s latest single, The Sweetest Blood, will be accordance to the ears of anyone that finds themselves with a preference for the softer and ethereal side of folk.

It won’t just be his imagination that you will get to enjoy when you press play; his melodies are all too easy to slip into and get lost within while the vocals anchor you into the bitter-sweet sentiment of the affably lovelorn single.

Dave Thomas O’Gorman has exactly what it takes to become the Cat Stevens of this generation with his endlessly consoling melodies and vocals that parallel. After racking up over 1 million streams on YouTube, snagging a spot at Longitude Festival and featuring on BBC, RTÉ Radio 1, Newstalk FM, Radio Nova, FM 104, KCLR FM and Galway Bay FM, we certainly aren’t the only ones hyped by his sound.

The Sweetest Blood officially releases on October 28th. Check it out for yourselves via his official website.

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

Gary Wight takes us to A House by a Beach in his accordantly sweet debut single.

‘A House by a Beach’ is the heart-wrenchingly soulful debut single by the up and coming North East of England hailing singer-songwriter Gary Wight.

Even though the debut falls into the 70s acoustic rock n roll camp, the artist’s inclination to incorporate genres from across the spectrum permits his sound to resound free from rock n roll cliché. Instead, he delivers unassimilated soul that won’t fail to pull you in through the folky affectionate lyrics and the ring of the accordantly picked guitar notes.

If Syd Barrett and Elliott Smith met in the middle, the aural result would be infinitely reminiscent of A House by a Beach.

A House by a beach is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Nathaniel Graham takes us to ‘Sky Valley’ with his classically-inspired folk single

The breaking folk singer-songwriter, Nathaniel Graham, made light work of establishing himself as one to watch when he made his lockdown debut in May 2021. You only need to listen to his latest ambient work, Sky Valley, to see why so many found comfort and escapist refuge in his timeless, classically inspired composition style.

The simple yet masterful guitar-driven melodies canter along at a tranquil pace as the bright, sun-kissed tones epitomise the serenity of summer days away from the chaos of modernity. Around the classical Spanish guitar influences, you’ll find intermittently bluesy folk twangs that add an incredible dynamic to the Newcastle-born, London-based artist’s soundscape.

With a debut album in the pipeline, it is safe to assume that Nathaniel Graham’s career will be just as bright as his optimistically light singles.

Sky Valley is now available to stream on Spotify.

Migrant Birds invite you to ‘Feel it All’ in their cinematic folk single.

North Carolina-dwelling indie-folk-pop trio Migrant Birds craft their accordant singles to ensure that folk stays contemporary. Their standout single, Feel it All, rekindles the magic of old-school folk while allowing you to get lost in the lush modern production.

In Feel it All, orchestral strings quiver below light acoustic guitars while the sublimely layered harmonies drift above. Any fans of Noah and the Whale, Mumford and Sons and Friendly Fires will want to save a spot on their playlists for Migrant Birds and their escapism-aiding soundscapes.

Feel it All is available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Trying To Forget: South Yorkshire singer-songwriter Gerard Frain drops introspective debut release ‘Remember’

Taken briskly from his upcoming debut EP cleverly named ‘Roominate‘, Gerard Frain has us feeling in a rather reflective gaze into the mirror as you ‘Remember‘ being with someone so special, who you thought would be holding your hand forever.

Gerard Frain is a Leonard Cohen, George Harrison and Paul Simon-inspired indie-folk singer-songwriter from South Yorkshire in England. He fuses that memory-filled nostalgic energy which sweeps you outside into the fields full of nature, as you recall those past moments which you can’t easily forget.

Recorded entirely by himself in his bedroom he’ll have you emotionally grasped by the lyrics one second and tapping your toes the next.” ~ Gerard Frain

Sung with a comforting melody full of classic fondness to those who you want to remember, this is a wonderful song with such beauty attached. For a debut release, you have to admire this quality on a track that reminds you of those legendary music days, with the all-time icons he grew up listening to.

Remember‘ from the highly promising South Yorkshire indie-folk singer-songwriter Gerard Frain, is that feeling-I-regret single that has you in a rather sad trance, which is so hard to snap out of. Your mind is transfixed onto that moment which saw you drift away and you feel an empty heart resurface, as you wish things were so different.

No one wants to grow old and alone in this lonely world after all.

Listen to this debut track on Spotify and see more on his IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Apres Pompeii has released his poetic folk-rock single, Clay.

‘Clay’ is the latest poetic folk-rock single released by singer-songwriter Apres Pompeii. What starts as a conceptually intimate and bleary soundscape seamlessly builds into a sonically choral indie hit with sweet psychedelic kicks in the percussion and plenty of colour in the artfully crafted melodies.

After a sonic crescendo of angular indie guitars, the Pittsburgh-based artist brings the tempo back down to conclude the single on a note that will enamour any fan of Violet Femmes, Frightened Rabbit or Manchester Orchestra. If you are always on the lookout for the Elliott Smith of our generation, hit play.

Check out Apres Pompeii’s latest single on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast