Kicking off with a delicately picked, reverb-soaked clean guitar part before launching into the full-on aural assault of distorted guitars, heavy drums, and thundering bass alongside twin, intertwined vocals, ‘Ephemeral’ from Texarkana duo Brett and Casey – a.k.a. Absideon – is a riotous storm of melodic metal which screams from the speakers and launches itself, bodily, at your earlobes.
There’s obvious comparisons with Linkin Park, System Of A Down, or Seether, but the melodic rock and clever timing shifts set ‘Ephemeral’ apart from the welter of generic sound-alike Nu-Metal wannabes; there’s some serious musicianship on show here, for sure, but the duo also clearly have talent in abundance around both vocal and production duties. ‘Ephemeral’ is the opening track from Absideon’s new-this-week six track EP ‘Reflections’, and on the basis of this it promises to be an absolute firestorm of a record.
The very talented Violette Remington – daughter of a musical family from Orange County, California – is a 19-year-old singer-songwriter with a penchant for vintage dresses, rockabilly stylings, ukulele, and guitar. With ‘Eos’, her third single, she delivers a cute little slice of retro Americana set to ukulele, but the star of the show here truly is Violette’s voice; lilting, soaring, and sing-song, with maturity and timbre far belying her tender years, Violette’s delivery is clearly honed by her years performing in musical theatre and performing for friends and family.
Listing influences as diverse as Linda Ronstadt, Debbie Harry, and Aretha Franklin, and taking inspiration from the 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll scene and the 1960’s musical revolution, ‘Eos’ is an absolute delight, a touch of the unique and genuine in a world of carbon-copy dance-pop and manufactured X-Factor bands.
With harmonies which find themselves somewhere between the timbre of Blur and the Beach Boys, Martin Paul Cuthew’s progressive soul-saver of a single ‘Stand Tall’ starts to unravel. By the time the hooky chorus hits, Indie Punk Folk influences start to fall into the mix in a way that would leave any fans of Frank Turner enamoured.
The lockdown-born single was orchestrated to instil optimism and determination in the downtrodden. It’s a powerful Pop Rock reminder that growth is something to take hold of with positivity instead of grief and fear. It’s a nuanced way of saying that life is too short to fill it with salty tears.
You can check out Stand Tall for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.
Soft, jangly indie-pop is overdone at times these days, but ‘Redefined’, the first single from Shared Image’s new album ‘Who Decides Who Does What?’, is a cut above the usual ‘three lads with Telecasters from Crewe’, with a charm and style all of its own.
Shared Image – hailing from Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is a little more exotic than Crewe for sure – have pretty much answered their own album-title question here – this is the brainchild of Craig Delin, a 20 year veteran of bands now forging his own path by writing, creating, performing, and producing ‘Who Decides Who Does What?’ all by himself. So it seems he decides pretty much who does everything, and on the basis of ‘Redefined’, that’s working to extremely good effect.
Vocals, guitars, keyboards, drums and programming, and synth parts are all down to Delin, the whole track sitting together beautifully; there are elements of old school alt-rock indie goodness in the likes of Pavement, a little of Johnny Marr’s guitar work and certainly some Modest Mouse, coupled with a little of They Might Be Giants and maybe a touch of Crowded House in the mix too. That’s a pretty heady mix, and on ‘Redefined’ it works extremely well. Based on this, Delin deciding Who Does What is a pretty sensible plan.
‘Who Decides Who Does What?’ is out now across all major streaming platforms. You can hear ‘Redefined’, and the rest of the album, on Spotify, and follow Shared Image on Facebook.
There’s a distinct ‘Police’ feel to Lewis Shepperd’s bass-heavy driving new single ‘This Blood Is Yours’, a modern-yet-retro pop-rock style delivered courtesy of Regatta De Blanc or Outlandos d’Amour-style guitar and syncopated, off-beat bass work.
Luke Shepperd’s vocal is reminiscent of Sting on ‘Message In A Bottle’ or ‘Roxanne’, mixed in with some serious emo-cred through the track’s vampirism stylings, and with maybe a contemporary Ed Sheeran or Jamie T vibe thrown in for good measure. It’s mature but not jaded, classy without being elitist, the mastering genius of Pete Maher (The Killers, Liam Gallagher, The Rolling Stones) clearly adding a smattering of indie-rock sparkle to the track.
Shepperd’s debut single, ‘Me’, has already received over 25,000 views on YouTube, and was featured in Music Week Presents as well as being the ‘Tip of the Week’ on BBC Solent radio upon its release. On the basis of this, there’s every likelihood ‘This Blood Is Yours’ will outdo it.
When your first solo single (2019’s ‘Not Crazy’) goes on to make you only the third artist to win a Radium Award and is the most popular track of the year on Atomic Magazine’s stream space, you must be doing something pretty right. Now, following two further singles, Chris Miller returns with what may be his most beautiful, emotional track yet.
Raw, honest, and open, like the conversations it refers to, ‘Alcohol and Cigarettes’ is all about those difficult but necessary conversations with friends or family, when you’re struggling; about opening up to those that care for us, letting go and accepting vulnerability in return for succour and support. It’s exquisite, a mixture of Chris Stapleton’s ‘Whiskey and You’ and Justin Townes Earle, Miller’s heartfelt confessional vocal initially sitting atop sparse, perfect piano before the track builds slowly to its acoustic-guitar-drums-and-piano denouement. It’s stunning, a genuinely outstanding and powerful single which truly should earn Miller even greater plaudits in 2021.
‘Cold Room’ is the sophomore release from American Indie singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nick Bohle, you might want to grab a jumper before you hit play, describing the single as ‘chilling’ seems like a crass understatement.
The dark indie ballad offers so much more than the introspection alluding to loss and loneliness, you will feel those very same isolated agonised emotions crawl beneath your ribs as Cold Room cinematically cruises through its progressions.
Nick Bohle’s experience as an acclaimed actor discernibly bled into the soundscape which unravels as theatrical aural storm, yet with the sleek and atmospheric production, even when Cold Room hits its most tremulous peak it remains mellifluous and simply mesmeric.
You can check out Cold Room for yourselves via Spotify.
After spending years successful touring bands, Minnesota-hailing artist, Nikola Hamilton, released their ground-breaking EP ‘Darling’ and established themselves as one of the most luminary singer-songwriters who have made their debut in 2020.
The standout track, Pink Lights, will allow you to imagine what would happen if Interpol chose to team up with Hozier. You get the cold, cutting sonic style with the almost celestial vocals which tear though the darkly atmospheric soundscape and speak directly to your soul.
If Nikola made a bigger impression with their sleek Darkwave debut, we’d have concussion.
You can check out Nikola’s EP for yourselves which was released on November 13th, 2020 via Spotify.
OCCORO’s single ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ will enamour fans of RnB and poetry alike. From the first offering of nuanced meta lyrical wisdom, attention piques as you prepare yourself to hear more linguistic prowess, OCCORO certainly delivers.
Nothing Gold Can Stay is the title track from the Dallas-born, LA-based singer-songwriter and producer’s debut EP, any fans of Robert Frost will recognise the title, while everyone will get a fresh distinctive sonic experience to indulge in when they hit play. Nothing Gold Can Stay does so much more than just cover the same RnB ground. With almost psychotropic Indie tones in the absolving soundscape, it is as rhythmically transfixing as it is lyrically powerful.
Their lexicon is just as awe-inspiring as their visceral ardent lyrical flow, and as for the production, you couldn’t ask for a more commanding and all-consuming feat of contemporary Indie RnB.
You can check out Nothing Gold Can Stay for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.
Slow Capital is Andrew Dailey, a filmmaker from Kansas City, MO, who is currently based out of Brooklyn, NY; a precursor to a six-track EP planned for early 2021, Slow Capital’s second single ‘Underground’ is a beautifully mature fingerpicked acoustic guitar track, mellow and delicate, alluring in its simplicity, and carried along by Dailey’s poetic, storytelling lyrical content and up-front vocal delivery.
At just over three minutes long, ‘Underground’ is a perfect piece of alt-folk, confessional, poetic, a narrative tale to music with a harmonious, melodic guitar line and a gentle, tender vocal. You can hear ‘Underground’ on Spotify, and follow Slow Capital on Instagram.