Browsing Tag

Indie Rock

Owen Hamlin gives us the Green Light in his debut garage rock single.

‘Green Light’ is the melodic psych-pop-tinged debut single from the breaking garage rock artist Owen Hamlin; any fans of The Strokes, The Kooks and The Libertines will want to experience the vintage tones for themselves.

With the inventive use of the wah pedal, we can guarantee that the guitar solos in Green Light hit like no other. Owen Hamlin’s use of brash and kaleidoscopic textures resulted in a soundscape that is as scuzzy as it is soulful.

With his debut album Right as Rain in the pipeline, you will want to save space for Hamlin on your radar.

Green Light is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Am I Here On My Own: Inspiring Reading band Third Lung urge us to stick together tightly on their excellent ‘What Is a Life?’

After smartly forming the much-anticipated LODDFEST (on Saturday 18th September 2021) with the awesome folks at THE LODDON BREWERY, Third Lung drops their third single of the year which urges us to join together and get back into the live music rhythm on ‘What Is a Life?‘.

Third Lung is a well-respected Reading, England-based four-piece indie-rock band with a terrific sound which seems to wash all your worries away into the distance. They make that meaningful music with such real introspection into issues which are actually important.

Their wondrous heart-beating sound can be compared to a few other bands but they are the most relevant one around in the UK currently. It feels like they are really building an impressively resilient castle that will never ever be conquered – no matter what the world says – as they perform for more than themselves. They seem to be able to lift you up no matter what your day is telling you to do – and the soundscape is absolutely scrumptious – just like a tasty cold drink after a salty swim in the sand-filled sea.

Song of 2021 so far.” ~ Tom Bright

This is the story about coming closer again and making sure that those you truly care about are there right now, no matter what has happened before. After many gigs and festivals lost, the live music scene all over the world has been decimated and this feels like a way to change the current tide of doom.

What Is a Life?‘ from the top quality Reading, England indie rockers Third Lung, is a true classic single in every sense of the word. Their stunning vocals, carefully crafted lyrics and blush-heavy sound, has all the makings of a real gem for our tired hearts. After so much time away from each other, this feels like a sensational single we can all jump up and down to, hug closely to, and make new friends with. This really is one of the best tracks of the year so far without doubt, as it is one of those memorable songs you feel deep in your beating heart, packed full of pure joy and love.

Music really does heal all worries away.

Stream their new single on Spotify and see more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

The Anthem For Unity: Michael Loonan calls for acceptance and unity from all with ‘Celebrate This Life’

Featuring the mightily skilled drumming of Noah Levy, Michael Loonan asks us to heal up quickly so we can build a much better tomorrow on his latest single called ‘Celebrate This Life‘.

Michael Loonan is a highly experienced Saint Paul, Minnesota-based indie pop/rock singer-songwriter and is also a supremely talented multi-instrumentalist. He has a calm aura about him, and transmits this wonderful beacon of hope peacefully in his music writing, and the results are a toasty ear-warmer to say the least.

I actually wrote this song several years ago, but it seems fitting for the world now, as we’re emerging from a pandemic and moving toward better unity each day”. ~ Michael Loonan

With some terrific guitar riffs and mellow feel-good energy, this is a star-gazing creation which has you taking a big breath of relaxation, as you take some time to appreciate what you have. His vocals illuminate through the clouds above and calls for us to find a beach and gather around, to get on the same wavelength again, so we can work much together in the future.

Loonan has been involved in the Minnesota music scene for decades; he was the renowned ‘Loony Bin Band’ on The Mischke Broadcast and has performed on the same bill with Smokey Robinson, NRBQ and Badfinger.” ~ Michael Loonan

Celebrate This Life‘ from the Saint Paul, Minnesota-based solo musician Michael Loonan, heartily shows us a kind man who only wants to promote life in the best version possible. We have had so many worries lately and have been trying hard to carry them on our breaking shoulders – the huge boulders of stress have become too much – and its time to put them down.

Unity and peace is something special that we all need, and its really is possible if we all believe enough.

Stream this exciting new single on Soundcloud and see more on the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

I Know What That’s Worth: Alabama act Salvo have us enraptured on ‘The Most Evil Person on The Face of the Earth’

Formally known as the electric punk act named ‘Pain‘, Salvo did life for a while and have come back to warm our hearts again with their exciting new track named ‘The Most Evil Person on The Face of the Earth‘.

Salvo are a Birmingham, Alabama-based indie rock band. They make that classic sounding music that is a pleasure to your ears and has a musical theater-type energy attached to leave you so captivated.

Many of the band members of Salvo used to be in Pain, who released four albums and toured heavily in the ’90’s, earning a nationwide fan-base that remains gleefully loyal. Pain produced videos, recorded for Cartoon Network, had their songs included in television soundtracks, and worked relentlessly as one of the most unique pop-punk bands to come out of the post-grunge era. After a much-needed hiatus, most of Pain has returned as Salvo.” ~ Salvo

This is the story about being a highly mean person who has no good vibes for the world after being let down before, which is matched with an abundance of sensational soundscapes which has you feeling you are in a different world, that lifts the roof off your day. The have so much buoyant charm on this fast paced single, which will surely leave you breathless at times.

The Most Evil Person on The Face of the Earth‘ from the vibrant Birmingham, Alabama-based indie rock band Salvo, is a thoroughly riveting performance that has you feeling like they are so hungry to return to their glory days. You sense their high octane levels which contains a punchy attitude, that steams through your speakers and gives you a toasty high five. This is such an entertaining track, which takes you to another level of delight.

Stream this new single on Spotify and see more on the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Birmingham’s most raucous indie punk rock luminaries Mild Headache have dropped their latest single, ‘Near Me.

Any fans of sticky-sweet vocal hooks and chaotic indie rock instrumentals will want to delve right into the latest release from the Birmingham-based raucous luminaries Mild Headache.

‘Near Me’ is a rhythmically fierce white-knuckle ride through ensnaring alt-indie elements, softened by the playful earworm potential of the anthem which is far reminiscent of the tones you’d hear from across the pond.

The last thing we needed was another indie-pop-rock assimilating act; Mild Headache put the unoriginal to shame. They have exactly what it takes to ascend in the ranks with Cabbage, SHAME, Gender Roles and Hot Milk and hit the same heights. If you get a chance to see them live, take it.

Near Me is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Dying Pharaohs – Lost in the Dark: Neo-Psychedelic Synth Rock

‘Lost in the Dark’ is the latest dusky feat of neo-psychedelic synth-rock from one of San Jose’s most prodigal outfits, Dying Pharaohs. If the Editors dropped acid and experienced a spiritual awakening, we’re sure the aural results would mimic Lost in the Dark which drips with post-punk cool and is sweetened by the almost hypnogogic vocals.

The angular indie guitars around the trip-hop beats and glassy synths are beyond anything I’ve heard from the psych scene or the pools of darkwave tracks that hit the airwaves. Let the goths and hippies unite through the compassionate kaleidoscope of monochromatic tones.

Lost in the Dark is now available to stream via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

London’s prodigal son John Lion returns with his latest indie rock hit, ‘The Sun is Up’

London-based singer-songwriter John Lion has followed on from his lockdown debut with the stellar slice of alt-rock, The Sun is Up.

With a slight post-punk snarl to the vocals that find themselves in between the stylings of Cornell and Gallagher along with the definitively British jangle pop indie guitars that are laced with Seattle-style-sludge, The Sun is Up is a fiercely energetic revival of the alt-90s, we can’t wait to hear more. You fall into the scuzzed-up, cutting track, instrumental hook, line and sinker.

The Sun is Up is now available to stream via YouTube.

Follow John Lion via Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Cherry Vynil has released their optimism-imparting indie rock single, ‘Lights’.

Cape Town’s most promising indie pop-rock outfit Cherry Vynil released their latest single, Lights, which explores the meaning of life through shimmering melodies, vibrantly uplifting vocals and an anthemic level of energy.

With a sound that sits somewhere in between Bastille’s and the 1975, they’re seamlessly in line with the jangle-pop trend, but with their optimism-spilling lyricism, they well and truly set themselves apart on the airwaves.

Lights officially released on June 25th; you can check it out on all major streaming platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Rich Ragany and the Digressions – ‘Beyond Nostalgia and Heartache’ album review

Beyond Nostalgia & Heartache by Rich Ragany And The Digressions

Why is Rich Ragany not consistently selling-out theatres and gracing the covers of the likes of Mojo and The Wire? That’s a question that repeatedly came to mind during the first couple of listens through new album Beyond Nostalgia and Heartache. So, for the uninitiated, first – some history; ‘Rags’, Canadian-born but now firmly London-based, was frontman and principle songwriter with The Role Models, who gave us three great albums, the last of which – 2017’s Dance Moves – hit #25 on Vive Le Rock magazine’s Albums of the Year Top 50.

But, at the same time, Rags had a “bunch of songs that weren’t very Role Models-like”, and – with the help of guitarists Gaff and Kit Swing, and a plan to just do “a little solo thing” – they grew into the first Rich Ragany and the Digressions album Like We’ll Never Make It, and a band completed by the excellent additions of Andy Brook (keyboards), Ricky McGuire (bass), and Simon Maxwell (drums). Tours followed with The Lemonheads, The Men They Couldn’t Hang, Whitfield Crane, and Warrior Soul, and a slated slot as main support for Status Quo’s Backbone UK tour. Then…lockdown.

So, with plenty of time and ample supplies of talent on hand, the band got busy writing, arranging, and recording a bunch of new songs. The result, then, is this; Beyond Nostalgia and Heartache. There’s a poignancy to that title that’s reflected throughout the album; September 2020 saw the sudden, tragic death of Rags’ older brother George, aged just 57, from Glioblastoma, an aggressive and fast-developing form of brain cancer. That led to last year’s From Nowhere To You single, a touching tribute to George in aid of The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, but you can hear George’s presence throughout Beyond Nostalgia…particularly in the slower, more reflective Sleep and album opener Sometimes You Can Hear The Voices.

That’s not to say that Beyond Nostalgia… is melancholy, though; far from it. This is a record about hope, about finding the light in dark times, and about bright futures; it’s uplifting, instantly familiar and yet fresh and light and scintillating all at once. There’s pop sensibilities in here hand-in-glove with the rock, along with touches of Country Rock and Americana, and that airiness that seemed to come from Minneapolis bands like Hang Time-era Soul Asylum, Husker Du, and The Replacements; in fact, it’s Paul Westerberg that springs to mind most often whilst listening to Beyond Nostalgia…, both in terms of Ragany’s vocal delivery and lyric writing and in the deliciously well-crafted song-writing, the upfront arrangements, and the instant catchiness and ear-worm hooks of songs like It Was Lonely At The Time, Fade In Blue, and the rockier Marionette, little flashes of the lyrical poetry of Dave Pirner and the road-trip rock choruses of Ragany’s compatriot Brian Adams.

Guitarist Kit Swing delivers some stunning, soaring co-vocal work across the album, notably on Heartbreakers Don’t Try, Blackout ‘Til Tuesday, and album closer This Is How You Spell Tonight, and there’s some subtly gorgeous guitar work and tasteful, retro-feeling Hammond and Rhodes piano work throughout, but ultimately – despite the masterly performances – this is primarily a record about songs. And it delivers them in spades.

Beyond Nostalgia and Heartache is a stunning, beautiful record, inspiring and optimistic, positive, comfortable, and immediate. Catchy, hummable, and full of songs that glue themselves inside your head as if they’ve been old friends for years, Beyond Nostalgia and Heartache could just be the album The Replacements never made.

9.5                               Alex Holmes

Never Lose Your Imagination: Banjiboi leads the way with the attitude we all need to have on ‘Cigar Boxing’

Sounds from the Waltz Mine by Banjiboi

Formally known as Aro who still frequents the world on occasion, Banjiboi blesses our hungry souls with his incredible single from debut album ‘Sounds from the Waltz Mine‘, that is called ‘Cigar Boxing‘ and features some of the best quotes ever written mixed with insanely awesome guitar skills.

Jack Hays aka Banjiboi is an outlaw indie-rock artist and music producer from hard working Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has a style that screams underground king – as he makes quality music without wanting the fame – as he is doing this for the love of the lifestyle.

Banjiboi, a rumored relative of the notorious Jesse James and descendent of Tex “Gold-Fingers” Calloway, a successful gold panner during the California gold rush, took a different trail to establishing himself as a household name during a time when social media and digital streaming started to change the ways of the wild and lawless West and the landscape of music forever.” – Banjiboi

With sounds derived from blues origins of The Mississippi Delta to darker country tones and blazing banjo licks, Banjiboi combines the best of modern and vintage styles in an attempt to breed positivity and unify a very polarized nation.” – Banjiboi

With country inklings emanating swiftly from the cozy van belonging to Banjiboi, bass driven electronic music, old school hip hop beats and acoustic finger pickin’, this is a top song that has you in raptures for its pure authenticity.

Cigar Boxing‘ from the humble Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania producer/rock artist Banjiboi, is a testament to an outlaw artist who travels from state to state, gaining knowledge from his travels, and puts it all together so skillfully for us to consume. This might be one of the most interesting musicians in the world, who cruises around like an invisible legend with his trusty dog and laptop, keeping things simple and making incredibly underrated music that actually has real unifying soul.

Stream this new single on Bandcamp and see more on the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen