Browsing Tag

Indie Pop Rock

The Spheres packed their alt indie synth-pop debut, The City of Lights, with evocative kryptonite

If it’s been a while since a debut single has left you utterly obsessed, delve into The Spheres’ alternatively inclined amalgam of 80s synth pop, indie-rock, and dance, The City of Lights. From the suburbs of Toronto, the duo lit up the airwaves with their infectiously hook-rife account of the frontman’s complicated relationship with his city of birth, Karachi, Pakistan. “In the city of lights, you die just for dreaming”, is cuttingly efficacious in alluding to the toll it took on the singer-songwriter and producer Reza Habib.

With the vibrato in the vocals spilling evocative kryptonite across the catchy synth-pop melodies, The City of Lights will blind you with its luminous soul before the solid riffs and punchier vocals conclude the track on a raucous high that will leave you itching for more. Thankfully, that itch will be scratched as more singles from the debut album will drop before its full release in Spring 2023.

Stick The City of Lights to your synapses by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hana Katana pierced through the veil of plastic pop tropes with her pop-rock anthem, Friends Don’t Make You Cry

California-born, Austin-raised artist Hana Katana tore through the plastic pop cliches with razor-sharp precision to deliver the emboldening indie pop-rock single Friends Don’t Make You Cry. Turns out, wholesome content can sit hand in hand with kickass volition.

The lyric “friends don’t f**k you with their eye” is all proof you need that Hana Katana, who took her adapted adage “the tongue is mightier than the sword” for her moniker is one of the wittiest rising artists on the airwaves.

With touches of Paramore with the sonic glam of Marina and the Diamonds around the gorgeously angular indie guitars, Friends Don’t Make You Cry is a triumph. Kathleen Hanna would be proud. Especially, as the rising artist is doing stunt training while working on her visual album that will feature fight scenes to represent the conflict in each song.

Check out the official music video on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Real Zebos captured the banality ‘Indie Girls’ struggles in their latest single

Humility goes a long way in the indie scene, which is just one of the reasons The Real Zebos haven’t failed to amass a staunch following on their journey from Craigslist strangers to a 5-piece garnering over 3 million hits on their most popular tracks.

I’ll be honest; I thought I was going to hit play on their latest single, Indie Girls, and hear yet another cringe exposition on Manic Pixie Dream Girls. Thankfully, the garagey pop-rock jam is an addictive continuation of the same playful hubris found on Pavement’s seminal album, Brighten the Corners, with hilarious observations on the trends of try-hard e-girl vampires and the banality of their struggles. Admitting to loving this track is probably the most un-feminist thing I will ever do, but I can think of infinitely worse hills to die on.

Indie Girls is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Eat your dissonantly superficial heart out to Red Wine Talk’s latest single, Anti-Romance

With an opening lyric as strong as “I don’t need to tattoo your name on my arm, you’re already under my skin”, we were immediately hooked on Red Wine Talk’s latest single, Anti-Romance, which aired after the 9-month hiatus they clearly used to mature their indie rock sound to the nth degree.

Far from your average boy meets girl cliché-fest, Anti-Romance affixes its lyrical lens on the wanton disregard with which we throw away the latest object of affection before searching for another; between the lines underpinning the irony of fawning over Hollywood and pop lyric romances.

I just hope that the cognitive dissonance of the quick sex aficionados out there can fully appreciate this reservedly poignant antithetic ode to love (or lack thereof) in our modern age. The instrumental minimalism truly stands as a testament to the power of the songwriting by this UK outfit headed by vocalist and guitarist Edward Brookes.

The official music video for Anti-Romance will premiere on September 9th. Catch it on Vimeo.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Gemïny has unveiled his electrifying soul-pop reflection on destruction, ‘Hesitation’

Stoking the soul-pop fire that he started with his debut and sophomore single, the Columbia, US-hailing artist, Gemïny, has added even more fuel through his third single, Hesitation.

Around the snapping beats, the kaleidoscopic glow of the delayed guitars, and funk basslines that amplify the amorous energy, Gemïny’s soulfully forceful vocals drive the single forward through its myriad of expressive progressions.

Lyrically, Gemïny spoke to everyone who knows how it feels to lose composure and descend to the depths of destruction in affection-inspired mania, which proves that love & lust are some of the most powerful drugs of all.

After racking up over 50k streams on SoundCloud with his sophomore single, Too Close, there is seemingly little in the way of Gemïny’s ascent to soul-pop fame.

Here is what Gemïny had to say on his third single:

After the heavier content in my previous two releases, with Hesitation, I used a lighter narrative while addressing the story at hand. It speaks to everyone that has done crazy things for a crush (if you haven’t, please keep it to yourself, the thought helps me sleep at night).

It draws from when I uncharacteristically got into a fight at a house party over a girl. I’m extremely prideful, but there I was, a 12-shots-in freshman, breaking walls and smashing tables. A bad look overall, but it encapsulates the essence of hesitation. The juvenile way you impress a crush in grade school; that conflicting mix of excitement and fear that reeks of teen spirit.

Hesitation will release across all major streaming platforms, including SoundCloud and Spotify on July 27th.

Follow Gemïny on Facebook and TikTok.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Andy Hobson brought ascending melodicism to sonic meditation with his latest single, Rise

The London, UK-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and spiritual teacher Andy Hobson is so much more than a diamond in the rough. With his latest single, Rise, he is the calm in the ever-calamitous storm that can’t seem to break away from our shores.

From the outro, you will feel some Nick Drake nostalgia. From there on out, the ethereal orchestral strings under the vibrantly ascending acoustic strings deliver heightened emotion exclusive to Hobson’s meditatively inventive take on alt-rock.

If you merged the plaintive sting of The Verve, the unrelenting compassionate tenacity of Nada Surf in their Let Go era with Radiohead-style gravitas and a burning sense of responsibility to spill the equanimity, the end result wouldn’t be too far away from the profound alchemy in Rise.

Here is what Andy Hobson had to say on his latest single:

“This is a bittersweet song about the passing of time and seeing the ups and downs of life as the same thing. Both can lead to new adventures. The song started as a dance track with big drums and a groovy bass line, but the emotion of the melody and lyrics didn’t really fit, so I stripped it back to acoustic guitar and wrote a haunting string section to give a final lift in the outro.”

Save a spot on your radar, as Hobson’s debut LP is due for release in 2023.

Rise, which was mastered by Stefano Ferracin and features Tom Meadows (Kylie/Will Young) on drums, is due for official release on July 8th, 2022. Check it out on Spotify & SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Her Burden melded Britpop with pop-punk in their melodiously pensive latest release, Figure It Out

With their first release of 2022, the UK alt-indie rock outfit, Her Burden sent us swaggering right back to the bliss of the 90s Britpop era. Figure it Out veers from the tried, tested and endlessly repeated Britpop sound by binging a punch of raw pop-punk to the type of melody that would make any self-respecting Oasis fan swoon.

Her Burden brought just as much to the table lyrically with their narrative of the perpetual optimist that keeps going round in failed circles as they did sonically with their intimate emotional firestorm that proves they have a heady stock of nuance in their arsenal. After the various pandemics impeded their bid for pop rock domination, something tells us there’s no stopping Her Burden now.

Figure It Out is officially released on March 25th; you can check it out via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jack Wakeman & The Dreamstriders share the ‘Cosmic Fear’ in their latest single

It is easy to lament existing in this particular fragment of the space-time continuum. But at no other point in our history would we get to celebrate endearing alt-indie artists, such as Jack Wakeman & The Dreamstriders, and their tracks on apocalyptic optimism.

Cosmic Fear was written after a mental breakdown that left Wakeman overwhelmed by the magnitude of the sky. After the fear subsided, Wakeman was left adrift with existential confusion before he understood that it is ok to leave some things as a mystery. As meaning-makers, it’s hard to know where to draw the line and when to leave our curiosity behind; Cosmic Fear stunningly navigates the epiphany in true 80s synth-pop meets classic rock fashion.

If you like your existentialism sunny side up, the spacey indie pop rock earworm should be considered a playlist staple.

The official video to Cosmic Fear is available to stream via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Conor Latcham gets into the insidious underbelly of manipulationships with his self-deprecating disco track, Running

The Cardiff-based luminary, Conor Latcham has crooned his way back onto the airwaves with his latest spacey, synthy indie-disco pop track, RUNNING. The single was remotely recorded during lockdown with Marc Hughes (Lewis Capaldi, Tom Odell) on drums and Barry Grint (Beatles, Madonna, Prince) behind the mastering desk.

With the surfy angular guitar motifs around the mash of cosmic pop 80s nostalgia paired with Conor Latcham’s cooler than Alex Cameron vibe and the Arcade Fire-style catchy hooks, Running is infectious from the first hit. Despite the euphoria that effortlessly bleeds from Running, the essence of the single is far darker as it delves into the insidious underbelly of one-sided relationships. It is a masterclass in how to use your wit for closure. Grab a notepad and hit play.

You can feel the self-deprecating disco love for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Malo Daniels gave indie Americana pop-rock a soul injection with ‘Waiting for Roses’

After the successful launch of his debut single, Down, Out and Up, in 2022, the singer-songwriter, Malo Daniels, proved that he was worthy of a place on listeners’ radars with the launch of his debut album, Waiting for Roses, which fuses pop, soul, rock and Americana – to swoon-worthy effect.

With a team of Nashville musicians behind him and acclaimed producer, Dallas Dudley, polishing the album, Waiting for Roses is a triumph of romanticism, sun-soaked talent and powerfully mature songwriting. The title single is as hooky as Faith by George Michael, as indulgently indie as Kurt Vile and as soulfully compelling as Prince’s sweetest serenades. With the warm over-driven guitars greeting the horn stabs and Daniels’ honeyed vocal timbre, you’d be hard-pressed finding a track that takes you higher than this unadulterated feat of romanticism and longingly panoramic expression.

Waiting for Roses is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast