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Nick Cave

LeoJJChill leaves us ensnared with his minimalist folk sound.

LeoJJChill

With years of songwriting behind him, LeoJJChill has given us a taste of what we can expect from his future releases. Anyone who found them ensnared by Nick Cave’s new material created in collaboration with Warren Ellis will quickly become ensnared by the ease of the melodies and the command of the vocals above the gentle acoustic guitar progressions.

His songwriting that takes you right back to the roots of folk is simple, but it isn’t without soul or authentic artistic licence, and that is exactly what leaves you absorbed by LeoJJChill’s less-than-archetypal approach to lo-fi folk. We eagerly await his official indie-folk debut.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chris Sunfield has the femme fatale fear in his latest single, Don’t Kill Me.

Don’t Kill Me is the latest single from Chris Sunfield, an artist quickly becoming renowned for his conceptual explorations of classic pop idioms to the tune of snaking, swampy blues-rock that isn’t afraid to go Baroque through symphonic styling.

His radio-ready psychobilly single is probably the most accurate femme fatale depiction I’ve ever heard; what Single White Female is to cinema, Don’t Kill Me is to the airwaves. Any fans of the Cramps, the Brains, Amigo the Devil, Nick Cave, or Mad Sin will find plenty to love about Sunfield.

Don’t Kill Me is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Paul Bidault – Who Do You Think You Are?: Dark Swinging Murder-Folk

If you cranked That Handsome Devil’s sex appeal up to 11, you’d be left with Paul Bidault’s latest swampy, swinging, dark-jazz folk track, Who Do You Think You Are? Which experiments with a more maleficent side of the sound that Tom Waits made iconic.

With swing band percussion rattling around trombones and consistently evolving guitars in the richly dark and eerie soundscape, Bidault’s whiskey-soaked murder-folk vocals that wouldn’t be out of place in the Psychobilly scene have the perfect atmosphere to fall into.

The Paris-born, Mexico-city based artist is one to watch for anyone that gets their kicks from stumbling into tracks that carry familiar themes while completely reinventing them through the artist’s vision.

Who Do You Think You Are? was officially released on August 20th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to Spotify or the artist’s official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Corey Mejai – Stuck Inside a Lost Dream: Ethereal Indie-Folk

If Tom Smith broke away from the Editors and started a solo project, we’re fairly certain there would be stark reminiscences to singer-songwriter Corey Mejai’s latest release, Stuck inside a Lost Dream.

The downtempo release allows the acoustic guitar chords to dominate the minimalist instrumental arrangement that is laced with trippy ethereal effect to add even more mesmerising beguile to the post-punk tinged indie-folk single.

Stuck Inside a Lost Dream is due for release on July 21st; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to Soundcloud. For more info, head over to Corey Mejai’s website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Zack Tomasko shows a softer side to the murder folk-style with ‘Let Tonight End’

‘Let Tonight End’ is the latest single released by singer-songwriter, artist and producer Zack Tomasko; the urgency and emotion contained in the release paired with the duality between the light and dark textures amplify the sincerity found in the lyricism. Discernibly, Tomasko tore his heart off his sleeve and poured it into the stormy, resonantly manic release.

Let Tonight End may start with stark reminiscence to the likes of Nick Cave and Jack Ladder but as the pensive piano-led soundscape progresses, warm, jazzy, and soulful tones start to work themselves into the score as Zack Tomasko’s vocals make a seamless shift from deadpan direct lyrical deliverances to ardent, soul-exposing indie crooning.

Let Tonight End is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Singer-songwriter [ai] has released their archaically infectious serenade, ‘Love in the Time of Tuberculosis’.

The idea of archaic disease probably won’t leave your heart beating faster in any positive way but the latest subversively amorous single from [ai], ‘Love in the Time of Tuberculosis’, definitely can.

If you can imagine what would happen if Nick Cave’s macabre mind melded with Tim Minchin’s ability to lyrically laugh in the face of mortality and the not so romantic aspects of existence, you’ll get an idea of what is on offer in this uniquely captivating soundscape.

The baroquely theatrical pop track comes with Brian May-style guitar solos, arresting piano-led progressions and [ai]’s ability to pull poetic parallels from across the ages. The single is a poignant reminder that the world has always been full of catastrophe, and it didn’t just start going to pot in 2020, we’ve had 100 years of adversity, no matter how much we feel personally slighted in the present.

You can check out Love in the Time of Tuberculosis for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast.

Alt-folk alchemist, Bill E Daly, has pulled light from the darkness with ‘The World is Waiting’

In the same way you wouldn’t want to strike up a conversation with someone that had nothing to say, we should be mindful of which artists we take the time to listen to, any amount of time spent listening to Irish singer-songwriter, Bill E Daly will be well-invested.

The lifelong artist may have only just started to make waves as a solo artist, but after decades honing in on their craft and increasing the value of their introspection, there has been no better time to get acquainted with his unique alt-folk sound.

Their latest single ‘The World is Waiting’ was penned during the first lockdown in 2020 after sympathetically witnessing the impact of lockdown on young adults. While many struggle to see past their own plight, Bill E Daly extended his compassion to some of those hardest hit by the pandemic. Everything feels like it’s the end of the world to those still adjusting to adulthood, the levels of despair while the world stands still is unimaginable.

With reminiscences to Nick Cave, PJ Harvey and other alchemists of alt-folk who aren’t afraid to experiment with darker tones on the sonic palette, The World is Waiting atmospherically encapsulates the dull view which so many have taken upon the world. Lyrically, Bill E Daly finds unique ways to inspire optimism and instil confidence.

It’s a stunning single transpired from just as stunning sentiment.

The World is Waiting is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

LEE DAVEY has painted a stark meta portrait with their swampy demonic folk rock single ‘Incubus’

We’ve all had spare time to spend with our demons in recent months, Alt Rock artist LEE DAVEY spent plenty of time mentally frolicking demonic spirits before penning their darkly hypnotic single ‘Incubus’.

Nick Cave comparisons are easy to make, especially with the ‘red right hand’ lyrical reference but allowing you to believe that Incubus is solely an assimilative work would be nothing short of criminal. The mythology-laden lyricism allows LEE DAVEY to transcend the Murder Folk genre and enter the realm of Demonic Folk Rock. Expect slithering rhythms, tinges of swampy Americana Alt Folk and searing solo work which affirms that LEE DAVEY’s prowess as an instrumentalist parrels their abilities as a lyricist. The dark imagery he paints with does more than just leave a macabre canvas behind. It exposes the darkest corners of our minds, the ones we can barely look into ourselves, let alone invite others to see.

You can check out Incubus for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Samuel H James – Summer: Tenderly Nihilistic Darkwave Murder Folk

https://soundcloud.com/samuelhjames/summer

Portsmouth, UK-based Multi-Instrumentalist, Composer, Artist and Producer Samuel H James has released their entrancingly chilling darkwave murder folk single “Summer”. Considering the Summer we have all just endured, the despondence and tender nihilism ensure that Summer is one of the aptest new releases that you’ll hit play on this year.

Any fans of the macabre lyrical styling of Nick Cave, Arab Strap and Jack Ladder will definitely want to give the cutting Post Punk track a listen. As the powerful beats retain tribalistic rhythmic momentum, Samuel H James seeks dramatic vengeance for the loss of a fictional lover, allowing you to get wrapped up in the atmospheric imagery which is crafted from the verses which run through as pensively cutting meta poetry.

Summer is available to stream via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lucas Penner has taken Post Punk to a seriously slick new stratosphere with “So Well”

Lucas Penner

You’d be hard-pressed to find old-school crooning alongside cold Post Punk tones and slick Setzer-style rock n roll grooves anywhere other than Toronto-based artist Lucas Penner’s standout single ‘So Well’.

So, you may as well hit play on the beguilingly masterful release which puts a neo twist on baroque. The styling may be on the archaic side, but you can expect a retro-futuristic earworm to crawl in your ear from the outset.

Any fans of Nick Cave, Tom Waits or Fable Cry will definitely appreciate the insidious air to the murder folk-style lyricism which will allow you to feel like you’re being aurally dragged into a hellish stratosphere.

You can check out So Well for yourselves from October 27th via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast