The instantly trailblazing 60s psych pop-inspired indie rock act, Darcy Court, brought plenty of the Cali heat into their euphonically blissful debut single, Bar of Clay, which unravels to the narration of the conflated emotions that transpire when locked in a too-good-to-be-true crash and burn relationship and all you can do is await the final collision.
The kaleidoscopic synaesthesia-inducing melodies feed into the rich timbre of the single that flirts with the alt-90s era just as much as the 60s psych-pop nuances to create an era-spanning indulgent tonal pool that you’ll find infinitely temperate.
Indie debuts don’t get much more promising than Bar of Clay. Darcy Court have got exactly what it takes to reach the same heights as their iconic 60s influences.
Bar of Clay was officially released on April 8th; it is now available to stream on Spotify.
The alt-indie-folk-rock newcomers, Winternom, are set to bring souls in from the cold with the standout single, True, from their sophomore album, The Cold or the Crowd. Sonically, the hazily sweet single sits between Elliott Smith and Pavement, with a few proto-punk-meets-psych-pop nuances.
Lyrically, the Ottawa, Canada-hailing artist comes into their own with their witticisms that walk the line between existentialism and affection in a way that pays ode to the Alt 90s while still delivering emotive modernism. Despite its overarching lo-fi vibe, the dreamy textures in True never resonate as brash. Instead, they keep the tones bright to contrast the less than sunny, deeply relatable vocal disposition.
True is now available to stream along with the rest of Winternom’s triumph of an album, The Cold or the Crowd via Spotify.
The South Florida residing alt-indie duo, The Low Highs, have released their eagerly anticipated sophomore single, Don’t You Ever. The mellifluous earworm allows dream pop, indie psych and folk-rock textures to pull together in the atmospherically absorbing release that cuts to the core of romantic scorn.
Don’t You Ever captures the disjointing feeling of realising a relationship was filled with empty promises of perpetuity before exploring the confusion that leaves us questioning every exchange and retracted extension of affection as though our interpersonal history has been rewritten with the utterances of a few words.
The Kraftwerk-y style melodic synths and funky indie disco percussion paired with the hypnotically distorted vocals make exploring those torrid emotions infinitely easier. You’d be hard-pressed to find another up and coming outfit bringing a better aura to the airwaves. It’s almost ironic that a song on empty promises was so promising.
Don’t You Ever premiered on January 21st. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.
‘Minds and Makers’ is the psychotropic sophomore release from alt-indie solo artist Bent 290 (Dakota Schilling). With hints of Midwest Emo in the vocals, nuances of reggae in anthemic guitars and lashings of electronic psych euphoria, it’s impossible not to warm to the multi-instrumentalist and songwriter’s instantly enamouring expressionism.
If you could imagine what it would sound like if Muse, All American Rejects, and Tame Impala aurally met in the middle, you’ll get an idea of the kind of bitter-sweet soul on offer here.
The project, Bent 290, was born during the 2020 lockdown when Dakota locked himself away in a cabin in North-Eastern Indiana. His debut release broke onto the airwaves to critical acclaim in 2020. After the release of his power-pop hit, we’re sure that only good things will follow.
Minds and Makers is now available to stream on Spotify.
US alt-indie artist KennethWayne’s experimental sound is constantly in flux; taken from his LOOK UP mixtape is the best introduction to his eccentrically affable style. Sound of Regret is a sweetly kaleidoscopic hit of lo-fi psych-pop that retains soul despite the retrospective melancholy.
Between the kicking percussion, accordant guitar chords and the masterful straight-off-the-tape-deck vibes, if Sound of Regret fails to leave you feeling endeared, you can assume your soul is defunct. Fans of Elliott Smith, the Beatles and Nick Drake definitely won’t want to miss out on this release.
Sound of Regret is now available to stream on SoundCloud.
London-based Singer-songwriter and emissary of soul, Rob Quo, has released his EP, Let It Spin, which captures his vintage-inclined style at its most accordant and psychedelic.
If you can imagine what it would sound like if the Zombies covered ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’, you’ll get an idea of the hazily sticky-sweet vibe Rob Quo orchestrated with the lead single; Talkin’ Bout the Truth.
The EP marks the singer-songwriter’s transition away from folk and blues and into the realm of experimental aural eclecticism. With an LP in the works, due for release in 2022, the old school crooner is well worth a spot on your radar.
Talkin’ Bout the Truth is now available to stream via SoundCloud.
‘City Living’ is the latest ethereal lo-fi psych-pop track from up and coming independent singer-songwriter Louie Miles. With tinges of 60s psych-pop, the same arcanely evocative air as artists such as Mazzy Star and Elliot Smith, it’s a blissfully kaleidoscopic hit from start to finish.
Between the mellow accordance of the guitars and the choral vocals, you will find an overarching sense of detachment that comes via the lyrics that allow you to resonate with the sense of directionless and cityscape detachment.
Louie Miles’ single, City Living, is now available to stream on YouTube. Follow him on Instagram.
‘Spirit City Kiss’ is the latest single released by alt-indie-rock artist KAIS, the suitably sweet grungy tones are tinted with the nuances of psych-pop and swathes of alt 90s nostalgia. If Dinosaur Jr’s 2021 album didn’t hit the spot, the hazily over-driven tones in Spirit City Kiss definitely will.
Fans of Blur, The Charlatans, The Beatles and Dinosaur Jr alike will want to delve into the psychotropic soundscape inspired by the cities that make us feel home, even if our home is on the other side of the ocean. The dreamy reverb wraps around the subversive lyrics that may sound like your usual amorous tropes at first but if you read between the lines, you’ll find that KAIS has, once again, explored ubiquitous social dynamics and tapped into a relatively unexplored part of our consciousness that yearns for our spiritual homes.
Being no stranger to international travel, the Canadian, Jordan-born singer-songwriter and instrumentalist now finds himself residing in Cyprus, where he works out of his recording studio, Hot Soap Studios.
KAIS has been travelling the globe and gracing stages since the early 00s. In 2014, he took part in the Mayor of London Big Busk. In 2014, he graduated with a diploma in Music Production and Sound Engineering (Point Blank Music College). With a full band, he performed throughout Vancouver, Toronto, and Seattle in 2016 and 2017.
With an EP in the works and due for release later in 2021, you’ll want to save a spot on your radar.
Spirit City Kiss released on May 14th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.
Plenty of people became familiar with San Francisco’s Jared Harper’s smoother than smooth falsetto vocals through his audition on The Voice that saw him put a roguishly sweet rendition of The Rolling Stones’ iconic track, Satisfaction. The audition has garnered over half a million streams on YouTube, but discernibly, singer-songwriter comes into his own by bringing his original material to life. His latest single, All for Me, is the perfect example.
In All for Me, Jared Harper carries his influences in his vintage guitar tones. Any fans of the Strokes will get the same buzz from the kicking instrumental progressions that create an anthemic platform for Harper’s endlessly imploring vocals that would have sent 60s psych-pop fans into hysterics back in the day.
He’s perfected the art of the pop-rock choruses, but All for Me is so much more than your average baseless earworm. The single is an invitation to listeners to seize the day and break out of periods of stagnation; you almost don’t need the lyrics to say anything; the over-driven fuzzed-up instrumentals will leave you psyched until the outro.
From the first jangly tonally tropic note in Pretty Visitors latest single ‘Hollywood Tantrum’ which features on their AA release alongside ‘I Think My Life is Working Out’ you’ll instantly feel the endearing warmth which raises the temperature in the New Wave Indie Pop hit.
With a nuanced Jazz infusion, Hollywood Tantrum exceeds every expectation you have when delving into a new artist’s sound. Authenticity, check. Rhythmic magnetism, check. Soulfully-expressive lyrics, check. It may be a sticky-sweet track, but it was never in danger of resonating as saccharine thanks to the hint of vocal despondence which ensured that every hint of euphoria you feel is grounded in gritty reality.
The Essex-based trailblazers are undoubtedly one to watch.