‘By the Side of the Road’ is just one of the blissfully melodic singles from Toronto’s premier powerhouse, Deadbeat Superheroes’ latest 4-track EP, Edmonton, produced and engineered by Marek David (QOTSA, Dr Dre, Sheryl Crow).
Inspired by the ambience of Brian Eno’s delay-filtered guitars, the nuancedly 80s track allows you to slip back into the orchestrally heightened assured ease, which knows just what direction to take you in for you to arrive at a destination of mellowed catharsis.
After performing as a violinist in the outfit for the past seven years, the EP is the first release to utilise the soulfully warm vocal beguile of Julie Sun Lee, who carries all the harmonised mesmerism of Stevie Nicks, with none of the assimilation.
After hearing the almost tear-jerking elegance and artistry between the orchestral swells in By the Side of the Road, it is easy to regain lost faith in humanity. If you want proof that humans are still capable of curating awe-inspiring beauty, hit play.
Taken from their debut eponymous LP, the standout single, Tangled, from the Memphis-based fourpiece, Robots! Attack! is a reverently evocative rhythmic trip back to the alt-90s.
The breeze of the midwestern melodies is brought down to earth by southern grit in the grungy amalgam of punk, rock and harder-to-pin-down alternative inclinations that allow the outfit to carry fleeting reminiscences to Incubus and Deftones in their magnetically imploring vocal harmonies and the softly angular guitar lines that are never all too far away from an off-kilter breakdown.
While the lyrics allude to our tendency to fictionalise the characters in our own stories and give them far greater roles than they were destined for, the accordance-soaked instrumentals abstract any bitterness from the bitter-sweet epiphany of realising that time with some protagonists is always finite.
Tangled is available to stream and purchase via Bandcamp.
After a brief recording hiatus, the international alt-rock outfit, Below Bermuda turned up the temperature with the blazing hot funk-dripped riffs with their first release since 2018, Wings. If you’re sick of four-chord rock, dig right into the complex rhythmic patterns in this hit that will dizzy you into mesmerism. Although you might want to batten down the hatches first, Below Bermuda is about as unreckonable as the Bermuda Triangle itself.
The Rise Against vocal reminiscence and melodically hooky instrumentals in the choruses around the frenetic punk rock pacing in the verses create a track that keeps on giving. After one hit of Wings, I knew that Below Bermuda is a band well-worth catching live. Their animated energy that pulls it together just enough to create a tight AF performance will undoubtedly make for an unforgettable live experience.
It just so happens that before lockdown crimped their touring and recording plans, Below Bermuda rip roared through venues and festivals in the UK, earning themselves the accolade of one of the hottest live acts on the scene.
Taken from their debut album, Arrival, Ember Street’s cutting-edge hard rock lead single, Searching, is an affirming anthem for our disillusioned age. With touches of Billy Talent and Highly Suspect to the vocals that spill across the crunchy guitars, anthemic drums and basslines that tightly fit into the frenetically hooky furore of Searching, Ember Street evidently have what it takes to become one of Sweden’s premier hard rock bands.
After getting their rock stripes in various projects, the four-piece utilised their money-can’t-buy synergy in the creation of their debut album, Arrival, which has been in the works for over a decade. Clearly not ones for instant gratification or half-baked hits, Ember Street is one that many rock fans will want to walk down to get their heart-in-throat hard-rock fills.
The official lyric video premiered on November 4th; watch it on YouTube.
After the launch of their debut self-titled album, the three-piece rock powerhouse, Tin Zelkova, became one of the most refreshing names in the genre. The standout single, Soul Shaker delivers a tight rhythmic furore, complete with extended guitar solos and a sense of soul that has been scarcely seen since Soundgarden.
Steven Thompson’s melodically hook-rife vocal lines as a bright and intimate contrast to the murky and overdriven guitars is a mesmerising combination that will be an instant hit with any fans of Highly Suspect, Royal Blood and Badflower.
After writing more than 30 songs by the summer of 2021, the Louisville-based outfit distributed their demo EP and started gracing stages in their hometown. But my god, there’s nothing local about the gravitas in their sound.
Shortly after the release of their first studio-recorded single, they were airing across a plethora of radio stations and performing with the likes of Tantric, Texas Hippie Coalition, Local H, Resist & Bite, Native Sons and many others. If the music industry is still capable of crating iconic acts, my money is on these guys.
Soul Shaker was officially released on September 30th. Check it out on Spotify.
After a promising debut, South-East London’s Down the Years led us down the rabbit hole of their atmospheric ingenuity with their sophomore single, A Thousand Roses. To say that you will feel ALL of the emotions during this white-knuckle ride through candour, all-consuming riffs, and 80s rock nostalgia is no understatement.
The evocatively sublime hit lyrically explores how depression can insidiously take hold of our ability to admit we’re at emotional rock bottom, while the cinematic styling gives you a panoramic view into the black dog’s Machiavellian ways. Starting with guitars railing against the bleeps of a life support machine, building into a rock anthem for the ages with progressive vocals and winding back down into an almost baroque outro was nothing short of stylistic and conceptual genius.
Caught between being galvanised between the masterfully immersive production and sobered by the outpour of demons that have surfaced for many as of late, emotions are hard to place during A Thousand Roses. The only thing that is for sure is that Down the Years is the powerhouse the UK alt scene has been waiting for.
A Thousand Roses was officially released on all major platforms on October 14th. Check it out via this link.
After decorating The Whisky A Go-Go and The Viper Room with his righteous rock gravitas, one of the hottest acts in LA, Jimmy Swagg is here with his salvation-seeking melodic rock single, St. Mary.
St. Mary does away with the usual Rock n Roll cliches and makes a spiritual aura the centre of sonic gravity in the intricately paced admission of frailty, which never gives way to self-piteous ennui. Instead, Jimmy Swagg trailblazes with his canderous outpour of vulnerability that is laced in hope for redemption around the slick riffs and tension-building rhythm section. It is a sanity saver of a playlist staple if we ever heard one, and his international fanbase is more than inclined to agree.
NYC Rock n Roll trio, Holy Vulture, relinquished all control in their latest melodically hook-rife single, I Can’t Help It. With the stabbing staccato rhythms courtesy of the bass and guitar, the tension-filled track efficaciously reflects the reality of powerlessness in the presence of an all-consuming paramour that strips us of our autonomy and replaces it with addiction to the source of the obsession. Who said romance was dead?
Since 2019, Holy Vulture has been bringing a brand-new frenetic rock flavour to the alt-rock scene. Sure, stylistic nods to the icons of rhythmic rock are there, but assimilation certainly isn’t the aim of Holy Vulture’s game.
I Can’t Help It will officially release on September 9th. Check it out for yourselves here.
New York’s smoothest and synth-heavy alt-rock outfit, LUCID LIP, has unveiled their latest heartbreakingly smoky single, Who Would Notice? which taps into the same sense of disillusioned isolation that everyone with any degree of self-awareness has battled with lately.
The lyric, “What the hell does anyone want anyway?”, efficaciously captures the frustration of the irrationality of most of the people you encounter. While “I’m not here to sell my soul, but who would notice?” pulls you into the darkened ennui of depression’s grips. Metaphorically, of course.
Far more remarkably, nothing about the single resonates as self-piteous; there’s a comforting sense that the candour was used as a means of solidarity with the listener.
Who Would Notice? left the same evocative imprint as Incubus did on me back in my slightly less jaded teen years, with a touch of Faith No More’s The Real Thing (I don’t make Mike Patton references lightly).
Who Would Notice? will officially release on July 29th. Check it out on all major streaming platforms via this link.
The London, UK-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and spiritual teacher Andy Hobson is so much more than a diamond in the rough. With his latest single, Rise, he is the calm in the ever-calamitous storm that can’t seem to break away from our shores.
From the outro, you will feel some Nick Drake nostalgia. From there on out, the ethereal orchestral strings under the vibrantly ascending acoustic strings deliver heightened emotion exclusive to Hobson’s meditatively inventive take on alt-rock.
If you merged the plaintive sting of The Verve, the unrelenting compassionate tenacity of Nada Surf in their Let Go era with Radiohead-style gravitas and a burning sense of responsibility to spill the equanimity, the end result wouldn’t be too far away from the profound alchemy in Rise.
Here is what Andy Hobson had to say on his latest single:
“This is a bittersweet song about the passing of time and seeing the ups and downs of life as the same thing. Both can lead to new adventures. The song started as a dance track with big drums and a groovy bass line, but the emotion of the melody and lyrics didn’t really fit, so I stripped it back to acoustic guitar and wrote a haunting string section to give a final lift in the outro.”
Save a spot on your radar, as Hobson’s debut LP is due for release in 2023.
Rise, which was mastered by Stefano Ferracin and features Tom Meadows (Kylie/Will Young) on drums, is due for official release on July 8th, 2022. Check it out on Spotify & SoundCloud.