Browsing Tag

Indie Rock

Spotlight Feature: Winchester 7 & the Runners shared their world-weary wit in their ukulele-led indie rock album, Catacomb Songs.

Get your nostalgia fix and your catharsis hit in one in the latest album from the internationally scattered outfit, Winchester 7 & The Runners. Catacomb Songs was just one of the lockdown-born albums conceived via Zoom in 2021; notably, few albums advocate for the future of remote collaboration better than this 9-track release.

The hazy, smoky and garagey vibes in the ukulele-led indie rock album are just as sweet as any album from the Zombies, the Beatles and the Stones. There may be nothing like delving into your favourite records from decades past, yet Winchester 7 & the Runners have their relevant and resonant ennui as an upper hand.

The thought of an indie ukulele rock album may send the blood pressure of music snobs through the roof, but if anyone can change the reputation of the electric ukulele, it is Winchester 7 & the Runners. They know just how to pull the rich, warm timbre from the electric uke to compliment the equally as mellifluous vocals.

The album starts with the quasi-morbid single, Dead Celebrities and New Beginnings, which questions why new beginnings seem impossible for ordinary folk while the famous can enjoy posthumous transformations. Once Dead Celebrities and New Beginnings has grabbed your attention, the album kicks things down a notch with the 70s rock reminiscent single, The Song That You Sing, which opens up a new level of lyrical intimacy that continues through the duration of the album that is tinged with satirical wit and the rare sense of compassion that can only be extended from world-weary soul to another.

Here is what Winchester 7 had to say about Catacomb Songs:

“We released our previous EP, Argos Holiday, last year on December 17th to limited fanfare due to the pandemic. In the following months, we made the best use of our time, took to our home studios and worked via Zoom to produce a follow-up. Catacomb Songs is certainly pandemic influenced in places, especially Riding High Again, which was written in memoriam of a good friend that succumbed to alcoholism during it. However, there is also a message of hope and inspired joy that is directly related to the normalcy we found playing together, albeit apart, amidst the lockdowns and travel bans.”

Catacomb Songs was officially released on December 17th. It is now available to stream on Spotify and Bandcamp.

Connect with Winchester 7 & the Runners to stay up to date with the 60s-inspired alchemy yet to come via Instagram and Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Christopher Kremer has released his elegantly poetic allusion to languor ‘Electron’

If you still hold a candle for the melancholia of Elliott Smith, consider the new EP from folk singer-songwriter Christopher Kremer as an unmissable release. Major/Minor carries just enough reminiscences to tease nostalgia as the Chicago-based artist leaves you enamoured by his down-but-not-out authenticity.

The soul-fizzingly sweet lead single, Electron, is equally as instrumentally melodious as the most cathartic singles from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. The vocals and lyrics lace the soundscape with an all too relatable languor, but even with the poetic allusions to entropy, the hazy choral textures ensure that Electron resonates as a transcendently uplifting release.

Major/Minor is now available to stream in full via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

North Carolina’s Snatch the Snail are set to release their warped and wavy surf punk single, Sunk

Snatch the Snail

North Carolina’s most psychedelic retro surf outfit, Snatch the Snail, is set to release their warped and wavy alt-rock track, Sunk. Instead of sending you under as the track title suggests, the Avant-Garde nuances in the colourfully mellow track feed the dopamine with the same generosity of Pavement’s album, Brighten the Corners.

While the bent to the point of distortion guitar notes ring through plenty of wobbly echo and delay, the deadpan vocals sweeten the track that has all the hallmarks of a vibe-out playlist staple. With the experimentalism of Mike Patton and the punk surf vibes of Fidlar, it doesn’t take a genius why Snatch the Snail are thriving in their niche.

Check out Snatch the Snail on their website, Bandcamp and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lunarcode cut their classic rock energy with an infectiously catchy pop edge in Cuttin’ the Cord.

Lunarcode gave classic rock an infectiously catchy pop edge in their latest release. Cuttin’ the Cord. While the swaggering basslines ooze sex appeal and reminiscence to Arctic Monkeys, the guitars earn Cuttin’ the Cord its rock n roll stripes.

Only a vocalist as dynamic as Vincenzo Carubia could pull the endlessly progressive track together so tightly. From the laceratingly sharp pop vocal hooks to pedal to the metal raucous rock passion, he delivered it all with a devilishly magnetic attitude that makes getting hyped about this powerhouse outfit non-optional.

They may have only been around since the summer of 2020, but they’re already proving that if anyone’s set to take the rock scene by storm in 2022, it is them.

Cuttin’ the Cord is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hip hop and indie-rock go pop-punk in Lewis Shepperd’s latest single, Take My Hand

Lewis Shepperd showed us the true extent of his versatility with the release of his latest single, Take My Hand, which obliterates the boundaries between indie, pop, rock and hip hop. The breaking artist hasn’t idled since we heard his last single, Follow You, which delivered a Kings of Leon style of cool and proved that his soulfully resonant talent should be as revered as Winehouse’s. Since then, he’s performed at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2021, received plenty of BBC airplay and garnered critical acclaim from across the board.

With rap bars mixed with his energised indie-rock vocals atop the instrumentals that continually shift through melodic grooves, tension-fraught build-ups and pop-punk style breaks, Take My Hand is a gift that keeps on giving.

As the garagey distorted rock licks towards the outro prove the value in the perpetual solidarity by depicting the chaotic state of the world, the lyrics remind you how sweet it is to have stunning souls around you. If that doesn’t hit the spot, you may want to check if you’ve still got a pulse.

Take My Hand is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

James Sebastian saved our Shipwrecked Soul(s) in his latest 70s rock n roll hit

James Sebastian

After getting hooked on his unforgettably sweet single, Lemon Sunshine, the UK-based solo artist, James Sebastian, has shown us a harsher 70s rock n roll edge in his latest single, Shipwrecked Soul.

While the vintage garagey tones feed the frenzy in the instrumentals, James Sebastian’s raconteur vocal timbre ensures that apathy isn’t an option when you hit play on this unapologetically feel-good hit. The up and coming singer-songwriter found the perfect way to influence his listeners to take their melancholy in their rock n roll stride. In a time when authority and answers are hard to find, it is beyond refreshing to hear an artist with the ability to vindicate our jetsam-like misery so viscerally. That’s before we even move on to his talent at pulling authenticity of vintage rock. So many artists  have left us questioning if that was even possible. Notably, James Sebastian is a diamond in the rough.

Check out James Sebastian on Spotify and Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

New Jersey indie outfit Rabbit Dream delivered swathes of alt 90s nostalgia in their debut album, The Golden Gone.

New Jersey’s most promising alt-indie rock outfit, Rabbit Dream, have released their debut album, The Golden Gone, which pulls in nuances of grunge, indie, art rock, garage rock and unravels as the ultimate alt 90s fan’s aural wet dream.

The standout single, Stander, is the perfect introduction to Rabbit Dream’s indulgently distorted tones, massive stadium-filling guitars that are just as robust as the licks in the National’s most anthemic tracks and the vocals that embed authenticity in the progressive single. Before the first instrumental buildup, the vocals are honeyed and sweet; after, they start to gather reminiscence to Julian Casablancas as the guitars dial up the frenetic energy. It isn’t your average indie rock earworm, but you’ll be more than inclined to return to it and give it repeat attention. Rabbit Dream is definitively one to watch; for your own sake as much as theirs.

Stander is now available to stream along with the rest of Rabbit Dream’s debut album via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

the Rec show us the English way in their hypnotic psych-tinged rock track, ‘nettles and dock leaves’.

If you thought you’d heard it all when it comes to post-punk revivals, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the latest EP, ep3: The English Way, from the Rec. Syd Barrett aside, rock-inclined textures are rarely as hypnotically arcane as the transcendental tones in the EP, especially in the lead single, nettles and dock leaves.

In 1981, the Shropshire-based founders of the Rec pioneered their original band, the Assassins, who got a taste of fame and found John Peel’s favour before calling it quits. 30 years later, the duo is split between London and LA, but their transatlantic distance didn’t dilute the chemistry between their melodies. With their freshly formed sound, sonic snapshots of the past tie into the present while colliding with Britishly bleak musical landscapes. It’s so much more than a personal nostalgia-fest. It’s an indulgent time capsule to an era that will be forever revered in musical history.

nettles and dock leaves is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Elegant Chasers has unleashed their scuzzed up 90s Britpop revival, Let’s Ride.

Grunge, sunset sleaze and 90s Britpop viscerally converge in the latest single, Let’s Ride, from the indie nostalgia raconteurs, The Elegant Chasers. The anthemically-layered fuzzed up indie reincarnation is robust enough to shove the most iconic tracks from the 90s into the shoegaze category. The scuzzy guitars distortedly create a platform for the high-energy vocals that fall somewhere between Axl Rose and Ian Brown.

If you’re looking for a full-frontal trip back to the most iconic era of indie, Let’s Ride is your fastest mode of transport.

Let’s Ride is due for release on November 26th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ballin’ Jacks revive singalong indie with debut single ‘Success’

Ballin’ Jacks debut single ‘Success’ has been independently released by the London based indie outfit. Following on from their biggest and most successful shows over the summer, including Latitude Festival, the five piece are gearing up to release their debut album, due for release in summer 2022.

‘Success’ is quintessential British indie to it’s very core. With anthemic, sing along choruses that are hand crafted to be chanted from muddy fields during festival season and upbeat positivity throughout. While the vocals are heavily inspired by indie contemporaries such as Sam Fender, the instrumentation leans on inspiration from yesteryear, more specifically in the production of the track. The 60s style production lifts the single to a higher level, creating interesting wall-of-sound-esque dynamics, making the single much more powerful.

Although the song is intrinsically joyous, upbeat and full of hooks, the subject matter is more concerned with dry, sarcastic wit. This again lends itself to the British indie scene of the early 21st century, as this witty takedown of show business highlights their perceived flaws of the industry.

By using familiar chord progressions and warm production, every aspect of ‘Success’ demands that you smile and dance. While this can come across disingenuous in other examples, Ballin’ Jacks recorded the track in such a way that encapsulates their energy, you can feel how real this is to them.

With this hooky, sing along track cookie cut for the festival season, it will be no surprise to find Ballin’ Jacks on many a line up come the summer and if ‘Success’ is anything to go by, their debut album has the potential to be the sound of the summer.

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