Browsing Tag

Pop-Rock

Valiancy gives us our ‘Good Vibes’ fix in his latest alt-pop sonic sanctum.

With the sweet harmonic Beach Boys-style soul against the Saul Williams-Esque heavy beats, Valiancy’s latest alt-indie pop fix, Good Vibes, delivers what it says on the tin. Not through condescending euphoria peddling tropes, but through exuding nothing but transcendent soul that remains sympathetic to the reasons we need good vibes tracks in the first place.

The songwriter and producer orchestrated a soundscape unique enough to pique your interest and pull you in, yet experimentalism was notably secondary to ensuring that the infusion of harmonic pop vocals and ensnaring alt electro beats became a sure-fire hit of catharsis.

Get your Good Vibes hit by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Future-pop fuses with Britpop in Footless Kicks’ debut single, E1 2AM

Footless Kicks

In the ultimate pop-rock crossover, London-based rock guitarist, producer and songwriter, Footless Kicks sent us back to the Britpop era with his debut single, E1 2AM. The devilishly clever single carries the same blissful tones as the Roses along with the driving momentum of JBD’s anthemically charged riffs in The Manic’s most soul-sating hits. Vocally, Footless Kicks truly came into his own. The solo artist’s gruffly soulful vocal timbre is complemented by the dynamic range of the guest female vocalist whose dreamy harmonies sit between Mazzy Star and My Bloody Valentine.

With more singles in the pipeline and the teasing of an album, any alt-90s fan will want Footless Kicks on their radar.

E1 2AM is due for official release on November 8th; you can catch it for yourselves on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Vulpine break new ground with their experimental post-rock EP, Ventures.

Scotland’s most melodic alt-rock outfit, Vulpine, has released their genre-spanning debut EP, Ventures, which brings a rare sense of accessibility to math rock and plenty of solemnity and poise to emo pop-rock.

The best introduction to their atmospheric, progressively gripping songwriting style is the title track, which carries the evocative weight of Frightened Rabbit combined with the instrumental furore of Mogwai.

From an ambient prelude, an intricately immense storm kicks up in the instrumentals, taking you through gripping breakdowns and even sweeter crescendos that hit the climactic spot every time. As the consistently in-flux sonic palette switches up through the progressions, vocalist, Pete Fox, demonstrates the provoking range of his vocal power.

The Ventures EP released on October 1st. It is now available to stream and purchase on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sparks in the Garden have released their swoon-worthy earworm, Let’s Fall in Love Again.

Sparks in the Garden

Sparks in the Garden’s latest pop-rock EP, Trails of Light, comes with an alt-country twang, a sense of soul that makes every single swoon-worthy, and some of the most honed-in talent that we’ve heard this year.

In the standout single, Let’s Fall in Love Again, the folky foot stompin’ rhythms in the verses break into stadium-filling choruses around the indulgently affable lyrics and the 80s rock-style solos that ground the soundscape in gravitas.

The Floridian brother duo has been playing together since 1989, but it wasn’t until 2015 that their sound started to pick up traction. Trails of Light is Sparks in the Garden’s first studio project, we hope there is plenty more in the pipeline.

Let’s Fall in Love Again is now available to stream and purchase via apple music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

XANDE breaks barriers with his mental health alt-pop stormer, DOWNFALL.

Alt-pop singer-songwriter and producer, XANDE, is set to release his rawest single to date with DOWNFALL, which doesn’t just open up the MH conversation; it drops an atomic bomb to break down barriers and advocate for mental health awareness.

By mixing with contemporary pop elements with trap textures and alt-rock stylings, DOWNFALL could easily be  universally adored. If you thought that Wrecking Ball was evocative, brace yourselves for the emotional firestorm that blazes throughout this massive melodic hit.

The Portugal-born artist penned the single to reflect the emotions that transpired through being a caregiver for his father, who suffered from schizophrenia and PTSD. It finds a nuanced way of portraying the very real truth that the symptoms of someone’s mental health conditions can cause another’s trauma.

As someone that has also had to constantly creep around depression and anxiety during childhood, I couldn’t help finding myself in the lyrics; that hollowing feeling of knowing that your emotions will always be secondary and the people that should have your back just let you fall or push you even further. It’s a stunning single, in every conceivable way. We can’t wait to hear more.

The official video to DOWNFALL will premiere on October 8th; you can check it out for yourselves on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Layla Frankel evades genre and embodies soul in her standout single, Dear Jennie.

Layla Frankel’s recent releases may evade genre, but they revolve around style and soul. Her standout single, Dear Jennie, is a stunning testament to her effortlessly uplifting sound. With her influences ranging from Bonnie Raitt to Sheryl Crow to Joni Mitchell to Bob Dylan, she found her own voice in between, and what a voice it is.

With the same ABBA-Esque piano chords that allowed the Manic Street Preachers to get to the top of the album charts when they used them in their latest album, The Ultra Vid Lament, Dear Jennie brings just as much euphoria with her complexly layered sound that indoctrinates unpredictable progressions, cathartic crescendos and sheer vocal dynamism.

Dear Jennie is available to stream on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Alien Al and the Juperoids welcome you to the future of dystopic pop with their standout single, Alice.

After a successful debut with their single, Probe, the electronic space rock outfit Alien Al and the Juperoids, fronted by actor and singer Alyx Nazir, have released their ground-breaking self-titled debut album.

The perfect introduction to their conceptual, expressionist style is the pop track, Alice, which starts with the same arresting atmosphere of existential sci-fi films that welcome you into cold dystopic futures. Through the eerie progressions, the single picks up some more archetypal pop tendencies along the way before a frenetic rock outro. In the strangest and most beautiful way, Alien Al and the Juperoids prove the value and warmth of music in our embittered world through Alice.

The debut album from Alien Al is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Nancy Dawn Olsen dares to dream in her ballad, I Don’t Want to Wake Up.

I Don't Want To Wake Up by Nancy Dawn Olson

If reality doesn’t quite hold up to the metaphysical bliss that greets you when your head hits the pillow, sink into Nancy Dawn Olsen’s latest single, I Don’t Want to Wake Up which captures the dreamlike state our minds enter when they entertain our ardent desires that fall out of focus come the morning light.

The ballad kicks off to an ethereal and vulnerable start with minor-key minimalist piano chords; as the orchestral swells raise the energy, Olsen matches it with her resoundingly pitch-perfect vocal timbre. I Don’t Want to Wake Up becomes a firestorm of a single that reminds you that love unparalleled, but there are few things as visceral as the absence of it. Lyrically, it may be the opposite of Aerosmith’s Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, but it carries exactly the same fire.

I Don’t Want to Wake Up is now available to stream and download via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Franklin Gotham has released their stoically stellar single, Without Being Alone.

Franklin Gotham’s latest single, Without Being Alone, is a tender power-pop embrace that you’ll want to fall into time and time again for the comforting vintage tones, dreamy doo-wop vibes and compassionate lyricism. If you can imagine what Pavement would sound like if they picked up the same romanticism as Syd Barrett, you will be able to get an idea of the sticky-sweet euphoria delivered.

Without Being Alone stoically explores the kind of love that leaves you on the sidelines exploring the infinite possibilities with impassioned impatience. If it’s been a while since you looked at love with rose-tinted glasses, the sweet succinct melodies in this synaesthesia-inducing single will efficaciously remind you.

Without Being Alone is now available to stream and purchase on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

OGGY created the ultimate break-free 80s rock anthem with her third single, Find My Way.

OGGY’s latest single, Find My Way, shifted us from curious to obsessed before the first chorus hit. The rock-inclined London-based singer-songwriter has what it takes to leave the same impression on the airwaves as Amy Winehouse with her endlessly uplifting jazz-fused finesse.

After being born in a small, closed-minded Croatian town, OGGY (Olga Savic) found herself inspired to create the good that she couldn’t find in the world through her music. After securing some Croatian festival slots, she knew that to truly make her mark she would have to leave her hometown. After moving to the UK in 2017, she started to study songwriting in 2020 – which is when she came into her own as a songwriter and performer.

Find My Way is the ultimate break free rock anthem that follows the journey of finding new love after heartbreak. This one is definitely for the scorned romantics out there. The shimmering guitar tones, choral atmosphere and OGGY’s sultrily fierce vocals are enough for your heartbeat to fasten alone.

Find My Way officially released on September 10th. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to Spotify or Soundcloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast