Browsing Tag


The sands of time slip away in Jeff Batson’s transmission of Americana-tinged college radio rock, End of the Grains

The feel-good fervour in Jeff Batson’s latest single, End of the Grains, allows you to imagine a parallel universe where Slash turns his iconic riffs to quintessentially uplifting college radio rock which effervesces with full-bodied and finessed to the nth-degree twangs of Americana.

The sentimentality within this sticky-sweet reminder of our mortality rings with immense sincerity, allowing the warmth-infused waves to crash over you as you catch the Nashville-based star’s indomitable lust for life. If you take each one of the mantras rhythmically laid out in the uplifting anthem, your life will start to feel like a utopia before the outro comes around and compels you to dive back into the melodically enriching tour de force.

Virtuoso may be a word that gets banded around a little too readily in the music industry, but Jeff Batson is a rare artist who warrants it with his mettle, which led to a Grammy nomination for writing the chart-topping single, The Rock, for fellow country star, Tracy Lawrence.

Batson’s career has been an endless series of triumphs, from sharing stages with Hank Williams Jr, Tracy Byrd, and Collin Raye to performing on TNN’s Prime Time Country show. With a presence that could light up any room, he deserves to be championed to the end of the earth.

Stream End of the Grains on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ross Flora grappled with the melancholy of unfulfilled potential in ‘As the Crow Flies’

Ross Flora

Ross Flora’s EP, As the Crow Flies, is a poignant and reflective journey through the heart of country folk. Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Flora’s upbringing in a milieu rich with R&B and Bluegrass influences is palpably reflected in the acoustically adorned, stripped-back title single. His gruff, resonant timbres weave through the wistful yearning harmonies, creating a tapestry of sound that resonates deeply with anyone who has ever grappled with the melancholy of unfulfilled potential.

The lyrical tempo of As the Crow Flies is akin to a melodied spoken word sermon, imbued with regretful poetry. Flora’s background as an English major shines through in his lyrical craftsmanship, as he skilfully interweaves themes reminiscent of literary greats like Dickinson, Thoreau, and Whitman. The result is a narrative that is both deeply personal and universally relatable; Someone hand him a Grammy for the line “I’d be half the man I’d ought to be less than half the time”.

Ross Flora’s journey from the family farm to Nashville, performing over 4,000 shows and collaborating with acts like “Johnny T” Band and “Smoke n’ Guns,” has clearly honed his ability to capture the essence of southern rock and outlaw country. If you want to hear a heart poured out in melody, hit play on As the Crow Flies.

Stream the As the Crow Flies EP, which debuted on October 27 on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Pump Action gave soul a potent shot of style in their alt-rock single, Blood Thinner

For their latest release, Blood Thinner, Nashville’s most dynamic alt-rock outfit, Pump Action, synthesised a cultivated-in-emotional-resonance soul-infused blend of rock, funk, and blues.

By anchoring the track in the traditions of songwriting, following the grooves into evocative territory and juxtaposing their old-school song crafting with freshly envisioned sonic style, the quartet, which came to be in the practice rooms of the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music established itself as one to watch.

After a stripped-back intro which gives the John Mayer-esque vocals plenty of room to breathe, the instrumental layers start to intricately interweave to deliver a progressively compelling testament to their naturally rhythmic talents. By never letting the introspective poetry within the ode of unfaltering passion become overshadowed by the tight driving force in the rhythm section, Pump Action became unequivocally worthy of placement on your playlists next to Allen Stone, Fleet Foxes, and Polyphia

Blood Thinner was officially released on November 10th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Country luminary, Colt Graves, released the ultimate anthem for positive defiance with ‘Dirt on Me’

Colt Graves

Much like imposter syndrome, people coming out of the woodwork to attempt to drag you down to their depressive imbittered depths is a sign you’re on the right path; Colt Graves’ latest single, Dirt on Me, is for anyone who traverses this mortal coil with nothing but compassion, positivity, ambition, and autonomy fuelling their world-weary souls.

It is one thing to speak to the haters; it is another entirely to vindicate the people on their own paths with a country rock anthem that can easily define the future of the genre. Just as his grandfather, Josh Graves, got inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame after introducing the resonator guitar to the genre, Colt Graves is making innovative waves of his own – which is easier said than done in 2023!

Dirt on Me is an adrenalized amalgam of Southern rock in the vein of Shinedown, Lil Nas X hip hop elements, vicious pop hooks, and modern beats, all tied together with country instruments and the depth and class of Steve Earl.

The genre fluidity within Dirt on Me may be bang on trend, but clearly, Colt Graves will never be one to sell his soul at the expense of his veracity, which makes the superlative hit one of the most visceral anthems the Country genre has ever contained.

“Have you ever felt like no matter what you do, it just isn’t good enough for some people?

Dirt On Me is for the people living true to themselves and trying to do the right thing, regardless of what anyone else has to say about it. It’s a ‘fed up of the bullshit’ anthem and a call to confident and more prideful arms; you can’t please everyone; the harder you try, the worse you will end up.

People are always going to ‘Throw Dirt On You’ and try to drag you down, but positivity always wins, and the best thing we can do is ignore the noise and keep moving forward.”

Stream Dirt on Me on all major platforms from May 11 via this link.

Follow Colt Graves on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

It Slipped Away: Brooklyn’s Maria Lane sends our hearts into a flutter on Nashville

Sharing such a sweet message for her beloved sister after leading us deeper with her recent interview, Maria Lane misses those cherished moments and will never forget the genuinely close bond on Nashville.

Maria Lane is a prolific Brooklyn, New York-based indie pop singer-songwriter who performs the kind of melodies which are made with so much authentic beauty.

Her music, which revolves around the themes of love, loss, heartbreak, relationships, mental health, and self-esteem, reflects the varied and layered experiences of her life.” ~ Maria Lane

Gloriously genuine and teaching many about how to treasure that time close to those who we adore, Maria Lane displays a value which can’t ever be copied. Stupendously elevating and transporting us into the mirror of the message, Nashville is a quietly sublime experience from start to finish.

Nashville from Brooklyn, New York-based indie pop singer-songwriter Maria Lane is one of the most caring songs ever made. She performs with sweet serenity and guides us so elegantly through a marvellously kind moment. With ear-tingling vocals and insightful lyrics, we’re opened to a loving world where a sister’s bond shall never be broken no matter the distance.

Turn this up on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Interview: Maria Lane tells us more about that special feeling and leads us into her new single Nashville

After sitting down with the soulfully real Brooklyn creative Maria Lane recently, our hearts were calmed by such a genuine human. Telling us more about how she got into music, her inspirations and we found out more about her new single which drops on the 7th of April, Nashville.

Thank you for sitting down with us Maria Lane. Where in the world are you today and what inspires you in life?

Maria: Happy to be here, thank you for having me. I am in Brooklyn, NY. What inspires me is experiencing different things in life, achieving my goals, and overcoming challenges.

How did you get started in the music game and what do you love about the creation process?

Maria: I’ve been singing and writing songs since I was little. I always knew it was where I felt the most like myself and I felt writing was a really good way to process my thoughts and feelings.

I love the feeling when you first finish writing a song, and then you get to take it to the studio and add the production process on top of it. My songs are so personal to me so getting to add the production to match the story and lyrics is really special to me.

Please tell us more about your new single Nashville and the lyrics behind this personal song?

Maria: I started writing “nashville” last year. My oldest sister knew in 2023 she would officially be moving out of NYC and writing this song felt like closure for me to accept that she is really leaving. My sister was my first roommate when I moved to NYC, I had my first legal drink with her when I turned 21 and hated it, she recently got engaged last year and a wedding is now on the horizon. These lyrics remind me of reminiscing on our time together in NYC. My favorite lyrics in the song are “and suddenly it’s silent, left with your bags and an empty apartment” because it’s like shit.. she’s really gone now.

Who did you grow up listening to and what was the last performance you saw live?

Maria: I grew up listening to The Beatles, Billy Joel, Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana, Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles, Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, James Taylor, Regina Spektor, Paramore, lots of Broadway Cast Recordings, and a lot of Alt Rock bands. I discovered I enjoyed a variety of genres, which I think have influenced me today. The last concert I went to was Lizzy McAlpine who has become one of my favorite artists.

Who has helped you in your career the most so far?

Maria: Anyone who has ever believed in me and continued to encourage me. My producer Julian has really helped me grow as an artist and discover my sound, so I’m really grateful I get to create with him.

When you close your eyes for a few moments and visualize your ideal place in the world, where is it and who do you see with you?

Maria: In terms of outside my current reality, the ideal place in the world for me would be to be performing on Broadway, with my friends and family supporting me in the audience. It’s a dream I’ve had since I was 7 years old and I get lost daydreaming about it pretty often.

Last, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard?

Maria: Know what YOU have to offer is special and there is a place for you. It’s easy to compare yourself to others because people are similar in so many ways but there is no one like you. Whether or not you sound or look like somebody else, you are your own authentic self. Also manifest and be delusional, I’ve heard that works wonders haha.

Listen up on Spotify.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

Slender Dan orchestrated a superlative existential meditation with ‘Time is Running Out’

With vocals as ethereally magnetic as Cigarettes After Sex atop cinematically intricate Aphex Twin-ESQUE beats and apocalypse-centred lyricism, the latest single, Time is Running Out, by Slender Dan, is the ultimate existential meditation.

With chilling vocal samples alluding to how our child-like proclivities are the main reason behind our destructive tendencies that have led the earth to the point of collapse, there’s no exaggerating the sombreness of the dream-like Avant-Garde score. Yet, Slender Dan simultaneously succeeded in creating a tranquil feat of electronic ambience that will quell your end-of-days fears.

The striking mindfulness within the layers of lush reverb allows the tonally transcendent single to unravel as one of the superlative feats of post-modernism you could add to your playlists.

The Nashville-residing duo comprising Heather Dickinson (vox, keys, guitar, bass), and Patrick Ahern (drums, production, vox) debuted their first EP on KEXP in 2021 and has had its fair share of successes since. Time is Running Out is just one of the singles to feature on the forthcoming LP, GESTALT. In their own words, here is what it traverses:

“GESTALT is a 1 hour long, 19 track, avant-garde electronic album. With 13 songs and 6 interludes, Slender Dan presents a sobering critique of modern Orwellian forces- commenting on such topics as propaganda, censorship, the lack of consensus on truth, and the attempt to remain sane in the midst of insane times.”

Time is Running Out will officially release on March 2nd. Hear the official audio on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Like a Steven King Cameo: Mark Buerschaper recalls the story of that Pumpkin Man

"Pumpkin Man" by Mark Buerschaper

After drinking some tasty beers and sparking up his imagination to get the mood alive again, Mark Buerschaper rips those solos up and shows us that honest music with heart is still the best on Pumpkin Man.

Mark Buerschaper is a Downers Grove, Illinois-born Nashville, Tennessee-based indie singer-songwriter who makes that old school vibe you just want to dance with.

Chronicles the tale of the Pumpkin Man that devolved from being a human being to becoming one of his own home-grown creations.” ~ Mark Buerschaper

Showing us deep inside the vegetation that swamped the mind and changed everything forever, Mark Buerschaper shows us why we should all take a break from life and listen up to someone with a fascinating story to tell the world. There is no fake flash on offer, only a sense of much-needed realness and an intricate style which shall inspire many.

Pumpkin Man from Nashville, Tennessee-based indie singer-songwriter Mark Buerschaper is a timeless track that has been forged from many years of experience in this rather odd world. Sung with a gritty tone to awaken your ears, we find a skilled creative single to marvel at from an underground master who continues to make that authentic music for the ages.

Listen up this top single on Bandcamp and see more vibes on his Facebook.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Royce DeZorzi shows us impressive skills on the groovy wonder that is Denver

Released from his upcoming album, Royce DeZorzi shows us his incredible guitar skills on an ode to a city that has truly been a proper home on the goodbye tribute called Denver.

Royce DeZorzi is a Denver-based, Nashville, Tennessee-soon-to-be based indie Americana singer-songwriter who blends in elements of bluegrass and folk into his sonic landscapes.

I’ve ended up on the outside looking in from a lot of past relationships, friendships, and musical partnerships. During recording, I found myself in the right space to sit down and reflect on some things I’ve learned and experienced here, and, just as importantly, say thank you and goodbye.” says DeZorzi

Delighting all of our veins and causing our hearts to flutter in well-needed peace, Royce DeZorzi has just released a single that is hardly forgettable and packed with expert layers of brilliance. Soothing and super mellow, this might be a single that shall get you clicking your fingers and tapping your toes.

Denver from Nashville, Tennessee-soon-to-be-based indie Americana singer-songwriter Royce DeZorzi is one of the more pleasant singles you’re likely to hear today. Rich in skill and genuine in production, this is a perfect song for when you just want to reflect for a little while. No vocals are needed, and the picture is so clear from a wonderful musician, who continues to strengthen his craft no matter what is going on in the world.

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

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Melo RoZe takes care of business like a genuine boss on ‘Like Dat’

Working exclusively with respected producer Chrispy Beats on her new project, Melo RoZe shows us she is ready for anything as she drops probably the hottest single you will hear today with statement single on ‘Like Dat‘.

Melo RoZe is an Atlanta, Georgia-born, Nashville, Tennessee-based indie RnB singer-songwriter and all-round superhero who is always elevating her skill set.

She creates music that makes her fans get in-touch with their feelings, confront their haters, build their confidence, and have fun listening to her vibes.” ~ Melo RoZe

Making you ease into her growing collection with gleeful excitement, it feels like Melo RoZe has found her ideal focus and excels with a timeless classic that Ashanti would be proud of.

With her first EP, ‘Melomaniac‘ on the way in a few months, the growing entrepreneur Melo RoZe is possibly her best single yet and shows us a vocal control that shakes your laryngitis with a tingly gem to never forget.

Like Dat‘ from Nashville, Tennessee-based indie RnB singer-songwriter Melo RoZe presents to us a young woman who is on the rise and shows us why her music is the voice of a new summer. Showing us how she gracefully sings from the heart always and backs it up with that hard work needed to build the empire, her ambitious authentically seems to lather on your earlobes and is a dynamic experience to raise your game with.

Tune into the future with her Spotify release and float into her world on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen