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Psytrus – With You: Raw & Rhythmic Indie Art Rock

With you is just one of the intricate Soulful hit’s from Psytrus’ 2017 album T Shirt Kinda Guy. I had to pick my jaw up from the floor after hearing this dulcetly melancholic rendition that comprises of raw lyrics and poignant melody. As soon as the soundwaves hit me I was pulled in by the reminiscent to the iconic sound of The Verve. Yet, the Psytrus pertains his own angelic sensibility that creates his own unique pioneering sound. The whole album is packed with heart wrenching wonder that creates a wave of rhythmic empathy that washes over you. Psytrus’ experimental sound is heavily influenced by the Art Alt Rock that came out of the 90’s which he recreates with his psychedelically melodic guitar melodies. Once you listen to his track With You it’s clear that all of his music comes straight from the heart.

Malaysian Singer Songwriter Psytrus has been writing and producing his own music for almost a decade, aside from his own creations, he’s the cornerstone of the Malaysian Indie scene after creating his own record label Pulse Soundworks.

Check out With You on Spotify using the link below:

https://open.spotify.com/track/5pCai0UQJpU0Sr7czZ7zOK?si=CXKra7GDTPOSWCp4kW_Ymw

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Cheyenne Benton – Dead & Gone: Pioneering Jazz Funk Pop

Trying to fit Cheyenne Benton into a box to describe her zealous sound is almost an impossible task. The emerging artist has an infectious aura over her which makes her experimental Jazz Pop Soul track one of the most pioneering sounds that I’ve heard in a long time. Cheyenne’s vocal prowess puts her in the same league as vocalists such as Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin and Lady Gaga. Yet with her sound, she’s orchestrated a completely new sensation, infused with a little Jim Jones style pious Jazz. The instrumentals have an awesome funk edge, that makes Dead & Gone ironically inspiriting, yet they almost pertain a Pop Punk edge similar to acts such as Paramore. It’s a universal sound that reputably deserves recognition, even my flowery words can’t do Dead & Gone justice, It’s more than just a track, it’s a ethereal experience that enthrals you through every blast of the trombone, every tap of the keys, every blast of the bass, and every celestial word.

You can check out the vibrant official video to Dead & Gone on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9_DsNYYHzk

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Forward Thinking Nostalgia From Quiet Hours

Songs should grab you from the off, entice you, draw you in and wrap you up in their own musical plane of existence. Quiet Hours are aware of this, even if they are not aware that they are aware of this, because from the opening bars, this salvo of hazy loveliness will have you in its thrall. Its blend of gentle, shimmering ambient textures hung over more solid beats and skittering percussion, cascades of indie guitar and understated nature seem like time travel. They take you back to a host of great bands from the formative post-punk days, when Bunnymen echoed, Icicles worked, The Church were surprisingly anti-establishment and (early) Lush were just that.

But neither is it a backward glancing, rose-tinted nostalgia fest, Kate and Sawyer also sounds very much part of the here and now, a lo-fi cinematic piece of modernity with one foot in today and another striding out to pop pastures new. Music as time travel…how great is that?

Music

It’s Pop Jim, But Not As We Know It!

Staten Islanders Youth Moose have an interesting line in titles, not only their own band name but a song called Yogurt Hair does get you wondering about the world they live in, though in reality they live in the largely moose free environs of Staten Island. And if, given the somewhat crazy and hippyish titles involved you are expecting some sort of Syd Barrett induced neo-psychedelic anaphylactic shock, then I am happy to report that Youth Moose at least runs on a smoother, soothing alt-pop vibe.

It neatly repackages a slightly flower power image but channelled through a rawer 90’s alt-rock busk capturing the essence but not the excess of both eras and serving it up expertly for a modern audience. In short, it’s pop and it’s great, not something you hear said much these days, but it is. It isn’t so much the pop that was, more the pop that might have been but more importantly it is the pop that could be again when our love of slick sophistication and over production has run come to its illogical conclusion. Now isn’t that a comforting thought?

Music

The Ardvark Felon – Love, Life and old VHS tapes

You have to love an artist that comes with his own inbuilt high-brow joke in their name, and knowing that Ardvark Felon is actually an anagram of his real name, if you can live with the poetic license of the spelling, is an immediate tick in the box. And musically the ticks keep coming. Where is Home is a nostalgic inspired by some old home videos and is a subtle mix of psych-pop and folky balladry.

Normally found ploughing a trippy, jazz-rock furrow, here he takes a more understated path, tugs at heartstrings, serenades the simpler pleasures and the people that matter, it is a paean to the past, our collective youths and the transition from innocent dreams to adult realities. It is a ballad at heart, built of emotionally driven personal narratives and rich vocal tones but never cliche or syrupy and  there is some wonderful sonic augmentation. Nothing too dominating, just additional details, which gently colour the musical landscape, enrich the flavours of the song and add some extra depth. Less is indeed more…much more.

Music

Gid Sedgwick creates a new standard with “Ochos”

“Ochos” is a single from UK based up-and-comer Gid Sedgwick. Featuring a unique blend of indie spoken vocals, deep poppy synths, and heavily reverberated beats give us a glimpse into the mind of an artist who transcends the typical idea of what a genre is. Sedgwick takes what we traditionally know as Pop music and adds his own fresh and unique blend of sonic creativity to create a new monster which is going to be a true force to be reckoned with very soon.

“Ochos” is already making tons of noise in the UK, receiving rave reviews from Clash Music, EQ Music and Indie Biscuits, and it is only a matter of time before more people start taking notice. Combining very pop-centric melodies with electronic production and finalizing the craft within the indie songwriter formula creates a special blend of sonic stew which is unique and refreshing. An innovator within his own right, I would expect to hear a lot of noise from “Ochos” and Gid Sedgwick on Pop radio stations across the UK and beyond very soon.

Music

Brandon Bonine – Warranted Worries: Harmonies for the Heartbroken

Warranted Worries by Brandon Bonine on VEVO.

Detroit, Michigan based musician Brandon Bonine has just dropped his latest track Warranted Worries and it’s just become my ultimate feel-good track of 2018. His riffs layer into melodies that breathe as light as air, Warranted Worries is an open admission to the singer songwriters melancholic apathy, it rings with harmonious freedom which makes the track a melodic hit that replaces your stomach lining with rocks. His vocal sensibility mixes in with his genre mash-up of Pop, Blues, Soul and R&B with a little extra guitar twang thrown in for good measure to create an anthemic hit with his latest track Wanted Worries. With a tagline as ‘Making pop music, one mistake at a time’, Bonine’s charisma is hard to resist, especially when he takes such influence from artists such as John Mayer, Billie Holiday and Bon Iver. With his mix of past and present, he creates a rich alchemic aura around him, that makes his sound as infectious as the Pop icons parading around today.

Check out the official music video to Warranted Worries via Vevo:

https://www.vevo.com/artist/brandon-bonine

For more music by Brandon Bonine & information on his tours, check out his website:

https://www.brandonbonine.com/

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Jared Sylvia – Dreams: Sonorous Symphonic Indie

If you’re a fan of Fidlar, Wavves, Grandaddy, Yo La Tengo and Chvurches, you’re going to want to check out Jared Sylvia’s latest debut track Dreams which rings with nostalgic analogue ambience, that proves to be an irresistible ode to Alternative Indie.

The transient beat is a mid-tempo mix of euphoria and dread which proves to be the perfect accompaniment to Jared Sylvia’s angsty lyrics and vocals which flow with poetic anger. The lyrics run with such raw contemptuous melancholy I’m pretty sure even Morrissey would be blown away by this track by the Orlando based college student and his control over his electronic 80’s rock compositions.

It’s hard to believe that Dreams is the first track that Sylvia has put out there. With such a stylish and contemporary production it’s evident that Jared Sylvia’s command over meter and time is something that’s going to see him go far with his music career.

You can check out Dreams via SoundCloud using the link below:

https://soundcloud.com/jsylvia/dreams

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

NiaMarie – History: Indie From NYC Without The Mediocrity

NiaMarie Vargas is an NYC based Indie R&B acoustic singer song writer who has mastered the art of melancholic melodies with her unique, yet a little Kate Nash styling. Her latest track is a heartfelt composition which has been deftly produced by Zhon Doe & Anomaly to encapsulate her iconic ethereal ambience. Her music brings the nostalgic ring of Gin soaked melodies that you would hear in your typical NYC dive bar.

The opening riff won me over right from the first note, with a sweet resonance of the opening of the cult hit Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer, yet she takes a time old sound and stamps her soul right into the heart of the symphony. Her vocals are subtle, yet poignant and raw enough to draw your attention to the poetry in her lyrics over the minimal sound.

NiaMarie’s discography proves to be an eclectic mix of stounds, from Alt Rock, to R&B. Her humble sounds know no bounds and lead her to be anything but mediocre.

You can check out NiaMarie’s latest track History which was released on 05/01/2018 ahead of her new EP on Soundcloud using the link below:

https://soundcloud.com/niamarie19/history

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Thunder Club – Go Ahead: Nostalgic 90’s Indie Pop Rock

Thunder Club may have just sneaked onto my list of all-time favourite Indie bands after listening to their debut track Go Ahead. The Baltimore based band display next level talent by creating such percussion soaked cacophonies with no hint of grandiosity just a humble hint of humility.

With the vocalist’s effortless style and chest tightening passion, he becomes reminiscent to James Dean Bradfield from the Manic Street Preachers in the Generation Terrorists era. His talent may be what makes Thunder Club so enigmatically enthralling, however, each of the Indie-Rock instrumentalists audibly puts their own authority into their latest track to make their collective sound so powerfully resonant. The track pertains to be soft and sweet, with a complementary raucous edge, almost comparative to bands such as Semisonic, Goo Goo Dolls & The Arctic Monkeys. I can’t rate the band enough, so if you just check out one new band this year, make it Thunder Club.

You can check out the Session recording of Go Ahead via YouTube now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyp80j-UtuI

To check out their earlier tracks, their self-titled EP which was released in 2016 is available to listen to via Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/album/1kZFKql2XroL3af6qAO1ls

-Amelia Vandergast

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