Browsing Tag

Orchestral Pop

Arden – I Don’t Sleep: A Poignant Alt-Pop Symphony of an Exposed Heart and Soul

The London-based alt-pop pioneer, Arden, found the inspiration for his latest single, I Don’t Sleep, through the fear that once you have laid your soul bare, there’s no covering it up to the ones you exposed your vulnerability to.

There’s sweetness in the sentiment “there will always be a part of me that’s yours” but the bitterness of that part of you becoming redundant in the wake of a breakup is a cutting juxtaposition. Lyrically, it is powerful enough to make you view relationships through a brand-new cautious lens. Still, within the blossoming swells in the piano melodies and the orchestrally carved crescendos, there’s a scintillating atmosphere, full of spirited passion – stirring enough to make you want to take the dive into inevitable pain.

I Don’t Sleep is a testament to Arden’s ability to blend poignant lyrics with lush musical arrangements. The song achieves a cinematic quality, panoramic enough to be part of a blockbuster soundtrack, yet intimate enough to tug at the heartstrings with every note. Arden’s cultivated songwriting, reminiscent of Owl City, shines through in I Don’t Sleep. His soulful vocal performance, memorable melodies, and sophisticated production showcase a maturity beyond his years.

As he opens 2024 with this energised and refined sound, Arden solidifies his place as an artist to watch, captivating audiences with his honest and witty songwriting.

I Don’t Sleep will hit the airwaves on January 5th; stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jessamine Barham exhumed a ‘Shallow Grave’ to speak on the violent oppression of women in her latest single.

Jessamine Barham released her most striking single to date when she read the harrowing tale in her latest single, Shallow Grave. The haunting vocal harmonies atop the staccato acoustic guitar strings and as the centrefold within the quiescent orchestral swells of chamber pop strings brought the solemnity within Shallow Grave to spectral life in a way that assures us that even though Jessamine Barham’s dark pop stylings are niche, her talents of a sonic narrator of feminine tragedy should never be underestimated.

The days of the Salem witch trials and being sectioned with hysteria may be behind us, but the violent oppression of women will always be a tale as old as time. It was no feat of hyperbole to lyrically infer that feminine acts of rebellion can incur the death penalty. Some may say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but life hath no tyranny like the men determined to keep us chastised.

Shallow Grave was officially released on September 24; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Bree Gregory cut right to the emotional core with her orchestral ballad, See You Soon

The Adelaide singer-songwriter Bree Gregory captured the bitter-sweetness of impassioned goodbyes and the beauty of uninhibited vulnerability with her latest orchestrally arranged piano pop ballad, See You Soon, which strips the sonorous production right back to her vocals, piano keys and a string quartet.

Between the cutting crescendos and the steady strides in her dynamic vocal register that carries the same sense of beguile as Adele, See You Soon cuts you right to the emotional core.

Moving away from her RnB soul sound, which saw her peak at number 4 in the top 10 AMRAP charts with her single, Waiting, was a bold move, but discernibly, her talents lend themselves efficaciously well to more than one genre. We can’t wait to see where this Billboard & Grammy-worthy exposition of viscerally warm raw emotion takes her. Even greater successes are surely in the pipeline.

See You Soon will debut on September 22; stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Kayla Friend quelled the melancholy in her breakup track, Over, with enchanting ethearealism

Before putting down roots in Texas, the California-born, NY-raised singer-songwriter Kayla Friend forged a successful career in theatre before branching out as an independent artist following the pandemic; her experience as a music theatre composer lent itself effortlessly well to her sound. Her enchanting melodies and vivacious vocal harmonies create an otherworldly cinematic atmosphere you can easily lose yourself in before you find yourself in the all too resonant lyricism.

Her latest single, Over, follows the plaintively painful experience of separation; with the blossoming orchestral swells in the indie-pop score, the single is underpinned by a sense of rebirth to quell the melancholy in the perfectly emotionally rounded single. With the guitars that seem to pirouette around her celestial soprano vocal lines, Kayla Friend created one of the most stunning singles we’ve heard in 2023. It’s only a matter of time before she’s snapped up by a major label.

Over will be released on September 22nd; hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Grand Nights descended with his demons in the orchestral pop-rock masterpiece, Falling

Render your heartstrings raw with the latest single, Falling, from the alt-pop evocateur, Grand Nights. The orchestral pop-rock outpour of artfully uninhibited emotion takes you on a cinematic cruise through the kind of introspection that only dares to visit you in the dead of night; hang onto the ornately atmospheric nostalgia tight as you’re driven through the 80s and 90s via a route never taken.

After cutting his teeth as a drummer in a metal band, honing his talents in rock, punk and pop bands, the one-man powerhouse behind Grand Nights was ready to take to the centre stage and exhibit his heart-in-throat lyrics that amplify in visceralism to the tune of his panoramically immersive melodies.

With his EP, South of Everything, in the pipeline, there has never been a better time to implant Grand Nights on your radar.

Start the descent with Falling, by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Cameron Owen diaphanously covered Les Miserables’ Bring Him Home

After Cameron Owen’s cover of Bridge Over Troubled Water left us insurmountably arrested, we couldn’t wait to feel our emotions swell with the orchestral crescendos in his latest single, Bring Him Home.

The compellingly diaphanous ballad is as graceful, delicate, and powerful as an angel’s wing for the way the theatrical pop cover of the Les Miserables prayer comes to life through the minor piano keys and his unfaltering vocal lines fusing as the ultimate aural redemption story for humanity.

Just as Les Miserables conveyed the resilience of the human spirit and its ability to endure heartbreak while still keeping courage, love and passion at our core, Cameron Owen’s reworking of the number will serve a poignant reminder of our innate inner capacity for beauty.

Bring Him Home was officially released on April 21; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ariana Molkara spellbound us with the spectral lexicon in her orchestral pop single, Boogeyman

LA’s Ariana Molkara became the spooky pop supreme with her orchestrally spellbinding single, Boogeyman. By using spectral lexicon to allude to the haunting nature of breakups, the 19-year-old singer-songwriter and actress staked her claim as one of the most talented songwriters of her generation.

Between the lines “now I’m stuck seeing your ghost, except I want you to haunt me for forever, you being gone is the horror” and “Hey Mr Mr, how about we do something sinister” the imagery grips you with a strength far greater than the fear instilled by the most iconic horror flicks.

Of course, there was no forgetting Molkara from her debut single, Birdies Gotta Fly, which introduced us to her effortless pitch perfection and magnetic vocal presence. Through Boogeyman, Molkara well and truly came into her artful own.

Check out Boogeyman for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Angie Hakeem clutches the sands of time in her cinematic pop ballad, Too Soon to Die

Too Soon to Die is the latest classically cut pop single from Ohio’s sincerest singer-songwriter Angie Hakeem, who stretched her glassily dynamic vocals back through the decades to remind us of how sweet our perspectives on love and life used to be.

The real beauty within Too Soon to Die is the lyrical ambiguity that allows you to implant your own experiences with loss, grief, and fear of losing into the cinematic ballad. It certainly wouldn’t be out of place in the Disney music genre with its orchestral arrangement, swoon-worthy crescendos and vocal highs that tempt the floodgates to open.

Too Soon to Die will officially release on July 8th. You can stream it for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ariana Molkara showed us the epitome of country-pop class in her coming of age debut single, Birdies Gotta Fly By

With all of the class and arcane beguile of a Parisian Chanteuse, the alt-country pop singer-songwriter Ariana Molkara has made a theatrical yet intimately captivating entrance with her debut single, Birdies Gotta Fly By.

Cinematic scarcely covers the luminous production, which comes complete with pianos that would leave Ben Folds weak at the knees paired with infectiously upbeat percussion and orchestral strings to amplify the bitter-sweet coming of age sentiments expressed in the profoundly flawless single.

If this is her coming of age single, Ariana Molkara has a seriously bright future ahead of her.

Birdies Gotta Fly By was officially released on June 3rd. You can hear it for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Find the difference between night and day in the US indie-pop artist Hyde Park’s standout single, The Insomniac’s Lament

Few new 2022 releases have resonated with us quite as much as Hyde Park’s composition, The Insomniac’s Lament. After an evocatively loaded neo-classic prelude, the cutting minor-key piano melodies flourish into blossoming progressions and the poetically-titled single transitions into an orchestrally-scored power-pop single that glistens with optimism.

The evolutionary nature of The Insomniac’s Lament marks just how significant the shifts in our psyches can be. It brings brand-new meaning to the expression “it’s like night and day”.

The Insomniac’s Lament is just one of the singles on the indie-pop singer-songwriter’s debut EP This is Just a Simple Song. Even the US-based artist’s humility leaves us excited about his potential for success.

The Insomniac’s Lament is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast