Browsing Tag

Neutral Milk Hotel

Alexander Joseph put us on the right path with his sun-bleached indie-folk serenade, Summertime Compass

The same uniquely captivating feeling that confounded in the raw and confessional sound of Frightened Rabbit and Neutral Milk Hotel can be found in the latest release from the UK singer-songwriter Alexander Joseph.

The acoustic version of Summertime Compass starts with a bluegrassy Americana sun-bleached timbre from the acoustic strings before the summertime serenade builds into an upbeat indie earworm with lyrics that can lighten any perspective on the forthcoming months.

The start of Summer is usually when I roll my eyes with all the trite singles that bubble at the surface of the airwaves but Alexander Joseph definitively proved that there’s some room for endearing originality left in that market after all.

The acoustic version of Summertime Compass will officially release on June 3rd. You can hear it for yourselves via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Juliya – Power Lines: A high-vibe lo-fi alt-90s fever dream

With two EPs under their belt, the up and coming alt-indie sensation, Juliya, has unleashed their fever dream of a high-vibe low-fidelity track. Power Lines is as sonically boundary-less as Sonic Youth and Radiohead, and just as ruggedly sweet as Neutral Milk Hotel and Elliott Smith. And there is plenty of room for their garagey no-wave alchemy in between the reminiscences.

There’s scuzz by the smorgasbord, yet, that doesn’t get in the way of the grip of the angular indie guitar notes atop of all the discord. It may be a short and sweet track, but it’s also a sure-fire hit of serotonin in a sentimentally blissful alt-90s time capsule. With enough tracks in the same vein as Power Lines under their belt and the right attention, there is no reason Juilya couldn’t climb the indie charts with ease. Give them a hand on their ascent and stick them on your radar.

Power Lines is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Indie alt-folk artist Rhett O’Connor has released his sonorously colourful double A-side, Galactophagist/Untitled 31 Retry.

If you recognise Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane over the Sea as one of the greatest albums of all time, you will want to get acquainted with up and coming indie folk-rock singer-songwriter Rhett O’Connor.

Through his latest two-track single, I’m a Galactophagist/Untitled 31 Retry, O’Connor revives familiar folk-punk tones while adding plenty more accordance to the instrumentals while his dreamy vocals lull you into the visceral emotion caged in the acoustic soundscape.

Galactophagist and Untitled 31 Retry are just as sweet as the most honeyed singles from the Maccabees to add yet another layer to his colourfully sonorous sound; there is a slight cosmic kick in the melodies.

Rhett O’Connor’s new singles will be available to stream from October 8th via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Emancipate Yourselves with Sh’Bang’s Alt-Rock Hit, Bail Money

Philadelphian alt-rock 4-piece Sh’Bang defines themselves as sweeter than punk and heavier than rock, based on their single, Bail Money, taken from their 2020 EP, The Woman Who Changed the World, we affably agree.

Any fans of Neutral Milk Hotel, AJJ, Harley Poe and Amigo the Devil will get caught up in the soulfully eccentric eminence of the single that carries the energy of punk paired with their pretence-less passion that makes no bones about utilising abrasively honest expression.

If you turn to artists such as Social Distortion for your serotonin, you won’t know what has hit you when you hit play on Bail Money. The volatile single delivers the efficacious reminder that eternal conflict is perpetual in many minds; your angst doesn’t alienate you; it offers commonality.

Check out Sh’Bang’s latest EP, The Woman Who Changed the World, via apple music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ricky Hoffman sings the Black Cat Blues in his latest alt indie-folk single.

Debut Demo by Ricky Hoffman

Fans of Neutral Milk Hotel, the Microphones, Elliott Smith and Sufjan Stevens will want to hear Wisconsin singer-songwriter Ricky Hoffman play the ‘Black Cat Blues’.

The expressively ardent Midwest folk single wouldn’t be out of place amongst other iconic cat-inspired tracks; it carries the same endearing panache as Stray Cats’ Stray Cat Strut, Squeeze’s Cool for Cats, and, of course, Love Cats by The Cure. Through the snappy percussion, accordant rings of the acoustic guitar, and the woody bends of the bass, Hoffman created the perfect platform for his unpolished and organic blues-folk vocals that will stay with you long after Black Cat Blues has faded to a close.

Black Cat Blues is now available to stream via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Home Stretch made a seafaringly sweet debut with their album ‘Ocean Boy’

Discernibly, it isn’t just the artwork for The Home Stretch’s album ‘Ocean Boy’ which Neutral Milk Hotel inspired, the same lo-fi psych folk sound resounds right through the debut album from the Birmingham-based newcomers.

The seafaringly sweet album starts with the title-track which allows you to wade into The Home Stretch’s cathartically panoramic signature sound which will undoubtedly be a hit with any fans of Deerhunter.

There’s nothing ambient about the intricate art rock guitar progressions which pop with bluesy pronunciation, but you’ll feel serenity wash over you as you let this mellifluously stunning soundscape arrest your rhythmic pulses and offer indulgent aurally-derived escapism.

Ocean Boy is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

ATMIG – Ah Hah: The Baroque Alt Folk Equivalent to John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’

Escape the 21st-century and slip into the sepia-tinged tones in Detroit-based alt-indie rock luminaries’, ATMIG’s, latest release ‘Ah Hah’ which chorally attacks the nature of consumerism and unfolds as the indie alt-folk equivalent of John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’.

Any fans of Amanda Palmer, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Smiths, The Cure and Echo and the Bunnymen will undoubtedly want to delve to cigarette smoke-stained indulgent single which spills alchemy through the infusion of shoegaze, rockabilly, indie rock and traditional folk.

If Ah Hah was any more absolving, I’m pretty sure I’d be antimatter right now.

Ah Hah was released on December 31st, you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Crow Quilled Confessions Release Fascinating Track ‘A Human Being on the Planet Earth’

A Human Being on the Planet Earth by Crow Quilled Confessions

I recently attended a De La Sol set at a festival in Queens. I enjoyed an interlude in which a voice from the trio said that sometimes you just need to let the beat play. It’s always nice to hear how artists feel about the things they make and how they make them. It’s also nice to see how artists whose styles vary greatly can agree on certain sentiments. Such is the case with Crow Quilled Confessions. Their track A Human Being on the Planet Earth perfectly demonstrates a group who know how to let the beat play when it needs to.

For the first half of the song, there are several elements introduced that seem to orbit around the catchy, strongly-mixed beat. You might miss some details along the way if you aren’t careful, but one thing is for certain, you will feel that beat. It doesn’t seem like a drum part that needs much elaboration. It may not have much to say. This doesn’t stop Crow Quilled Confessions from letting it lead the charge into the second half, which quickly but organically reinvents its status quo with fuzzy guitars and a bass that triumphantly makes its presence known.

From here, the track becomes a ride. Suddenly the beat has taken a backseat for the exploration of all the other themes that had previously been allowing it to lead. For such a dramatic change in priority to occur while holding onto the mood and tone of the song is a major challenge. Even as the song fades out in its last 30 seconds, you can’t help but feel the beat play on in your mind. This is a song that leaves the speakers and really does affect your mind for moments at a time. It’s not overly complicated, but it’s certainly a fascinating track.

-Paul Weyer