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Indie

Jack Cade – The Glitter Around Your Eyes: Achingly Affecting Americana

Bewilderland by Jack Cade and the Everyday Sinners

If you always turn to Cohen, Waits and Nick Cave for sonic solace, redirect your quest for sanctity toward Jack Cade’s folk-meets-alt-country LP, Bewilderland.

His gruff baritone notes against Helen Muggeridge’s glassy-with-soul harmonies create a heart-wrenchingly sentimental dynamic in the standout single, The Glitter Around Your Eyes. Like all of the most affecting love songs, the alchemic feat of Americana lyrically locks into the minute details of affection to elucidate how deep in the veins the affection runs.

Around the bluesy guitar bends, honkytonk piano keys that give the track a touch of the 70s and the roots-wrapped tones as a courtesy of the slide guitar, the two vocalists portray a hesitant yet fervent testament of passion which reaches the epitome of compelling. Slow dance to it, cry your heart out to it as you mourn lost loves, or make it a playlist staple; whatever you do, don’t pass up on this timelessly touching serenade from the UK-hailing conduit of candour.

The Glitter Around Your Eyes was officially released on January 26th; stream the single and Jack Cade’s seminal LP, Bewilderland, on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

In Tune with Matt Camillo: An A&R Factory Exclusive Interview

Dive into the musical mind of Matt Camillo, where the echoes of Americana Folk-Rock blend with bitter-sweet indie melancholy. From the romantic balladry of his latest single ‘Stop to Look Around’ to his explorations across Funk, Jazz, and Post-Punk, Camillo’s narrative is as diverse as it is profound.

Discover the inspirations behind his debut EP, his evolution from a MIDI-tinkering teenager to a multifaceted musician, and his aspirations to impact the music world.

Matt Camillo, welcome to A&R Factory! We’d love to know a little more about your latest single, Stop to Look Around, what’s the story behind the single, and what do you hope listeners will take from it? 

“It was the last song I wrote for my debut EP. It was written very quickly with the intention of writing a romantic ballad, but it turned into this Americana Folk-Rock thing or something Jewel could have written, though I got told several times that it sounds like Oasis for some reason.

This song is basically about doing the best with what you’ve got here and now, but once it’s out in the world it’s not up to me anymore to attach a meaning. The listeners can literally do whatever they want with it.”

Is Stop to Look Around reflective of who you are as an artist or are there more multi-faceted sides that will become exposed in your future releases?  

“I wouldn’t use it to describe who I am musically, but I feel like it’s a good representation of my Folk-y side. The songs I’m working on right now span from Funk to Jazz to Post-Punk even though I’m still working hard to make these different styles match together when it comes to an EP or Album.”

When did you get into music, and how has your relationship with music changed since the creative spark first ignited your desire to create? 

 “I started at 13 years old just writing instrumentals with MIDI in my bedroom. Then the guitar and the piano entered the scene, and eventually I found my voice (literally!). It’s always a discovery, this music thing. Every time I feel like I’m comfortable with a certain style or approach then I tend to move to new territory, but I always feel I’m still proving something to that kid in the bedroom.”

With such a wide range of influences, was it hard to create your own sonic signature? 

“Doesn’t matter how hard I try to find that sound, I’ll never catch it. I’m more focused on what’s naturally gonna come out of my failed attempts. And that should be good enough, I guess.”

What was the first and last single that had a profound impact on you? 

“The first Coldplay record (and the first one I ever owned) changed my life and helped me to bring out that same bittersweetness I’ve always felt as a kid. More recently I fell in love with ‘Live At Montreux, 1976’ by Nina Simone. She represents everything that an artist should be. Farless, honest and passionate. But she managed to be even more than that. So, I’d say ‘Trouble’ by Coldplay and ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free’ by Nina Simone.”

Where will your artistic journey take you next?  

“Right now I’m doing early attempts at my first album. Just experimenting and combining different worlds together until I feel something is moving. I’m taking my time. I’m giving way more space to the electric guitar, arrangements and production. Also messing around with my lower vocal range. It’s gonna be way different from what I already released, to say it short.”

If you could make one positive change with your music, what would it be? 

“I just want my music to help people connect more with reality and with who they really are or at least to offer them a new point of view.  Real music is so much more powerful than any other medium and that’s why the state of this industry is in such conditions.  Maybe I wanna prove that it can still free us or maybe I just wanna have my own fun. Music won’t stop tho.”

Stream Matt Camillo’s latest single, Stop to Look Around, on Spotify.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

Neil Young meets Pixies in Ryanne + The Rumination’s seminal single, Waste

Indiana’s Ryanne + The Rumination hit the airwaves running with their stylistically expansive self-titled debut LP, which explores the spectrum of human emotions within the psychological ebbs and flows.

The standout single, Wasting, exhibits the duo at their most ethereally magnetic. Ryanne’s crystalline vocal lines cut right through the Pixies-esque atmosphere manifested through the guitar-driven production that exhibits the duo’s influence of Neil Young.

Intimate and profound in equal measure, the artfully immersive single evolves from a dreamy monochromatic release of pent-up emotions to a melancholically stirring alt-pop anthem that won’t fail to pull you into its raw oscillating core. If Ryanne + The Rumination’s is the future of pop, I’m here for it.

Ryanne clearly found her alchemic match in the multi-instrumentalist, Seth Wyatt. The way the single culminates in a post-punk decorated disquiet crescendo after a lament on the frustrations of stagnation is a stunningly affecting way to make an ever-lasting impression.

Waste was officially released on February 9th and is now available to stream with the band’s eponymous LP via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Grizzly Bird – Backpacker: A Soulful Sojourn Through the Indie-Folk Landscape

Grizzly Bird (AKA Hans Gnendinger) presents ‘Backpacker‘, an attentive commentary enveloped in a melodious indie folk journey. This single, nestled within the anticipated album ‘Creatures‘, stands out as a synthy, lyrically driven exploration of the backpacking subculture, infused with a wit and insight that is both refreshing and thought-provoking.

Gnendinger, a stalwart of the Berlin folk scene, brought his Bavarian roots and urban experiences to bear in this track. His storytelling, honed through years of songwriting and life’s vicissitudes shines through in the light-hearted track which delves into the essence of human nature and our quest for meaning, all while maintaining a lightness of touch that is characteristic of Grizzly Bird’s style.

The lyrical wit reminiscent of John Grant, combined with the tongue-in-cheek reverie akin to Alex Cameron, positions ‘Backpacker’ in a unique space within the indie genre. Gnendinger’s voice carries the narrative with an effortless grace through the Radiohead-esque soundscape which exhibits Gnendinger’s skill with the acoustic guitar and his ability to weave complex emotions into his compositions while the synthy backdrop adds a contemporary edge to the folk foundation

In essence, ‘Backpacker’ is a mirror held up to a generation that seeks meaning in the nomadic, Beatnik lifestyle. Grizzly Bird, through this track, offers a perspective that is both critical and empathetic, urging us to question the romanticism of backpacking while also acknowledging its allure.

The official music video for Backpacker will premiere on February 16th; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Royston Vasie – Creeping: A Melodic Renaissance in the Indie Landscape

If you have had your fill of indie landfill, cleanse your sonic palette with the latest release, Creeping, from Melbourne’s most affecting melodicists, Royston Vasie.

With synth melodies sweeter than honey/Grandaddy, soulfully sludgy ennui in the same vein as Dinosaur Jr, sweepingly angular guitar licks that give Johnny Marr a run for his money and a modernist touch as a courtesy of the Jaws and Peace-esque indie accordance, Creeping is a smorgasbord of influence which amalgamates to portray Royston Vasie as one of the most promising up-and-coming artists on the airwaves in 2024.

After releasing their first two albums through Courtney Barnett’s now-defunct label, Milk! Records, Creeping marks a shift in their musical style, which previously oscillated between the garage ethos of Black Lips and the shoegaze of early The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

If the outro leaves you aching for more, mark your calendar for the release of the fourpiece’s upcoming album, Through the Canopies, which will arrive on May 15.

Creeping will inch its way onto the airwaves on February 15; stream the single on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Romantic Rhapsody on Airwaves: Allen Miller’s ‘People Pretending to Be You’ Melds Indie Pop with Cinematic Love

Allen Miller

Allen Miller took the romantic comedy from the silver screen to the airwaves with his latest narratively panoramic indie-pop love song, People Pretending to Be You. The heart-in-throat hit jangle pops in the same vein as The 1975, carries all the sticky-sweet earworm potential of a Taylor Swift chart-topper, and flows with a flood of emotion, emanating the pop panache as Harry Styles.

To round off the influential smorgasbord, you’ll also succumb to the stylistic sonic gravity, which pulls you in with the same visceral pull of the snappy moody beats featured in the boygenius discography. Yet, the melodies and vocal magnetism fall by the wayside when you lock into the cunningly tender poetry within the lyricism, which proves that Allen Miller is a writer first and an artist second.

Exploring the sensation of everything falling into place as your soul cohesively connects to another, Allen Miller reached the paragon of romanticism by putting his heart on his guitar strings and paying such an affecting ode to the ethereal feeling that most screenwriters fail to sincerely capture.

People Pretending to Be You will be available to stream on all major platforms, including Spotify, from February 9th.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sugar Crease – Lemon Cake: A Histrionically Vortexical Indie Neo-Pop Odyssey

Lemon Cake by Sugar Crease, extracted from their sophomore LP, Lemon Warhead, is a neo-pop odyssey that redefines the boundaries of indie with its baroque-esque indulgence and kaleidoscopic layers, which transform the mundane into a fever dream of sonic extravagance.

The way the vortexical instrumentals weave through the track is reminiscent of a grand ‘let them eat cake’ gesture, opulent and unapologetically bold. At the heart of this auditory vortex lies the crooning indie vocals, serving as a gravitational pull amidst the whirlwind of sound. As a cohesive whole, the track is so compelling that it could make even Mike Patton’s work seem pedestrian by comparison.

Despite the histrionic effects, Lemon Cake possesses a deep, compelling quality. It’s a sugar fix of an indie single that appeals to a wide range of listeners, from fans of the Walkmen to devotees of Magazine. The track is a testament to Sugar Crease’s ability to blend the whimsical with the profound, creating music that resonates on multiple levels.

Sugar Crease, originally a musical therapy group, has evolved into an indie powerhouse. With their recent decision to push their music and prepare for live performances, they have added a new dimension to their artistry. The addition of guitarist Mark Finch, instrumentalist Andrew Preston, and drummer Richie Gradwell has completed their lineup, leading to sold-out gigs and a growing fanbase. We can’t wait to hear where they go from here.

Stream Lemon Cake on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Teles electrified the indie rock scene with their power pop-hooked hit, Olivia

By fusing Manics-esque 90s Britpop with the high voltage energy of power pop and throwing some magnetic rock-licked indietronica synthetics into the electrifying mix which embodies Yorkshire’s indie rock spirit, Teles didn’t just hit the ground running with their latest single, Olivia, they blazed their dynamism right across it and scorched the earth with their exhilarated sonic signature.

You just can’t help getting swept up in the momentum as Olivia depicts the torment of seeing someone short-selling themselves in relationships, especially when the knife is twisted even deeper through a connection to the person who can’t see their value while looking past you. It’s a paragon of an indie rock anthem that is set to seal the outfit’s fate as trailblazers in the UK indie rock scene. It’s only a matter of time before they are as big as their sound. Your time is running out to see them in intimate venues; get on it.

Olivia will be available to stream from January 29th; stream the single on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Never look at apocalyptic fiction the same again after losing yourself in McKay’s indie-folk earworm,  Last Man Alive

Staying true to folk roots while not getting entrenched in its antiquities, the Nashville indie folk quartet McKay made the genre relevant for this generation with their larger-than-life rendition of their latest single, Last Man Alive.

If you have ever immersed yourself in apocalyptic sci-fi media and wondered if you would have the determination to endeavour or simply submit to the same fate that removed the majority of the planet, you’ll hear familiar thoughts and questions echoed back at you. But McKay goes even further by touching on all of the ways that we make sense of space and time as society keeps on buzzing away. It’s impossible not to become caught up in a state of contemplation as you listen to the harmonica blow over the raw folk chords and Hudson Haining’s pontificating vocals, which bring you right into the introspective world the promising outfit constructed.

With the evocative pull of Deathcab for Cutie fused with the sonics of Neutral Milk Hotel, McKay’s sound is original as it is intimately affecting.

Last Man Alive will be available to stream on all major platforms from January 28; stream it on SoundCloud first.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The modern malaise in KEEF’s ‘Adela Road’ is sonorously close to home

In their latest single, Adela Road, KEEF masterfully encapsulated the essence of 90s Britpop while infusing it with a modern indie rock spirit and extended the sonic timeline further with the psychedelic soul of the 60s to pay a vibrant homage to the past while allowing the release to resonate profoundly with the present.

The echoes of Britpop are weightlessly carried in the kaleidoscopically colourful melodies as the crooning vocals emanate the same indie rock raconteurial soul as The Walkmen. As past and present combine, parables for modern times entwine within the rhythmic allegory of how bitter-sweet footfall on paving stones can be when it brings back the memories of brighter days gone by. The sonorousness of the vocal performance as it finds complete synergy with the richly textured instrumental arrangement ensures that every line hits with bruising precision.

While music is subjective, I can safely say that Adela Road will be close to home for many. It’s thick with the modern malaise that makes it so easy for days to slip away without any tangible meaning. It’s a fucking stunning release, which shines a light on how high the calibre KEEF’s output is. “I’ve been counting the gravestones to pass the time, so many memories, so many lines” may just be one of the stunningly haunting lyrics I’ve heard since The Holy Bible first tore my soul in two.

Adela Road will be officially released on January 26; stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast