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Pop-Rock

Music

Rebel Kicks takes the existential weight off with their indie pop-rock track, ‘Floating’.

There’s no better breeding ground for power pop than NYC, as proven by the latest release, ‘Floating’, by Rebel Kicks. With similarities to evocative pop-rock outfits such as The Calling and Lifehouse, the brother-fronted duo welcomes you into a familiar soundscape before setting themselves apart with their angular indie jangle-pop guitar notes and the sincerity in their optimism.

Rebel Kicks’ tour plans may have been crushed by the pandemic, but they still endeavoured to lead their listeners to a brighter perspective after recognising the dangers of internal reflection. In short, Floating is an invitation to cut through the noise and reserve energy for positivity. It’s an invitation that you don’t get much of an option in accepting thanks to the infectious positivity.

Floating is now available to stream via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music Rock

Tower Circle offer consolation that you’re unlikely to refuse in their rock track ‘Carry On’

Ahead of the release of their debut album, US-based alt-rock outfit, Tower Circle, have released the title-single to tease their superlatively authentic style which can crush you and put you back together in the space of four minutes.

Carry On is the kind of track that you’d expect to hear in a soundtrack when the tragedy in the plot reaches its torrid peak. The melancholy is just as much in overdrive as the guitars as the track gears towards the outro, only after the quiescent melodies compel you to lean into the soundscape deeper while the vocals offer consolation that you’re unlikely to refuse.

Carry On is one of those gorgeously rare singles that only allow you to realise how profound of an effect it has had on you when it has faded out. With their influences including everyone from Pearl Jam to Led Zeppelin to Bob Seger to Tom Petty, the commercial potential resounds in Tower Circle’s sound.

Carry On is now available to stream via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Allanah Jeffreys – Alone: Ensnaring Alt-Electro-Pop

At the age of 16, Allanah Jeffreys has already graced hundreds of stages across America and performed alongside some of Canada’s most luminary artists. Her latest pop-rock single, ‘Alone’ is a minefield of ensnaring hooks, unapologetic attitude and all too relatable emotion. But you’ll find it pretty hard to feel apathetic about isolation as you listen to the galvanising feat of dance-pop run through.

Alone isn’t just a radio-ready single. It’s a platinum record-ready release that will undoubtedly disrupt the negative narratives around loneliness as we wait to emerge as social creatures once more. Alone may allude to a particular kind of absence, but after the 12 months we’ve all had, it’s safe to assume that plenty of people will find resonance in the lyrics projected by Allanah Jeffreys’ dynamically fierce vocals.

Alone is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Kaviani has released his punky power-pop lockdown playlist staple, ‘Gimme Some Sunshine’

There was no forgetting Kaviani after hearing his 2019 single, ‘Don’t Let the Bombs Drop, Daddy’ that found a powerful way to awaken the listener to the insidious nature of the military-industrial complex. With his latest single, ‘Gimme Some Sunshine’, which officially released on March 12th, the insightful UK-residing singer-songwriter gave us the aural euphoria we were crying out for.

By feeding the influence of The Vaselines, Ramones and Sparklehorse into the track that reflects our collectively suffered mood throughout our dystopic lockdown winter, you’re forced to recollect a time when life didn’t feel so cold. If you need any further persuasion to step into the light, Kaviani’s soulfully reassuring vocals will happily assist.

Here’s what Kaviani had to say about his latest single;

“I used to have panic attacks as a teenager, so the song came from a place of pure anxiety and hate of the winter months when the days are short and dark and just wishing it was light. I feel most problems are easier to cope with in the daylight hours, this song reflects that positive, upbeat vibe.”

Profits from the release will be donated to the mental health charity SANE. Kaviani is also hosting an online charity auction for the cause. With all that in mind, you can probably appreciate why the artist made such an impression on our first encounter.

You can check out the official music video to Gimme Some Sunshine via YouTube. Or purchase the single via apple music.

Connect with Kaviani via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Maddison Skies instilled even more assured positivity on the airwaves with their pop-rock sophomore single ‘Fireworks’

There was no forgetting British pop group, Maddison Skies after hearing their inspiringly optimistic debut single, ‘To the Moon and Back’. Their sophomore single, ‘Fireworks’ hit the airwaves in February 2021, instilling even more assured positivity on the airwaves.

This time, they’ve moved away from the perfect pop formula to incorporate elements of indie rock into the electro-pop hit which boasts a slightly 90s pop feel, but when the guitar solo starts blazoning through the track, Fireworks becomes anything but assimilative.

With another track in the pipeline, it is definitely time to start paying attention to the UK-based trio.

Fireworks is now available to stream via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music Rock

Our senses are heightened ‘When It Rains’

‘When It Rains’ – the fourth single from L.A.-based power-trio senses – is a wash of urgent, driving drums, dark synths, and grinding, overdriven guitars all capped off by vocalist Madison Taylor’s stunning, folk-tinged voice. It’s kind of cheap and easy to draw ‘female-fronted rock-band’ comparisons, but ‘When It Rains’ is an absolute belter of an alt-rock track with some definite favourable Paramore comparisons due to Taylor’s uber-powerful vocal performance riding the crest of Josh Bissell’s crashing, distorted guitar onslaught and Nick Sampson’s pounding backbeat, maybe a touch of Tonight Alive, and a little of Amy Lee mixed in for good measure, sitting alongside some classic ‘Comfort In Sound’-era Feeder or Bush.

There’s a lot more to come from this understated trio, but for now check out the video for ‘When It Rains’ on YouTube, and follow Senses on Facebook and Instagram.

Music

Adam Wendler shows us what the pinnacle of modern folk-pop is with ‘Thin Ice’

Modern folk-pop artist Adam Wendler made their debut in 2017 with their album ‘Never Go Unknown’. With the acclaim which followed, they ensured that they never would.

Their first 2021 release, ‘Thin Ice’, is their finest work to date and the perfect introduction to their timelessly evocative approach to songwriting. The melodiously vibrant anthem could easily keep a mainstage festival crowd arrested and animated.

Tenderness, vulnerability and gratified sincerity project through resounding vocals as they run through the lyrics which give a taste of how sweet it is to fall in love with someone who leaves you mesmerised.

The artist brought plenty of gravitas to the conversation around inferiority. Ultimately, the upbeat folk-laden feat of pop proves that adoration doesn’t need to turn into a passive-aggressive inferiority complex.

The Zoom-born single was created in November in collaboration with Tors; a UK-based, X Ambassadors Management-signed powerhouse who complimented his catchy lyrics. With Dessner-style walls of sonic guitar to bring the track to the close, Thin Ice leaves you keen to grab another ticket for one of Adam Wendler’s emotional rollercoasters. Rest assured, there will be plenty more to come from the Berlin-based Canadian artist in 2021 and beyond.

Since arriving in Berlin, Adam Wendler has shared stages with Post Animal, the Arkells, Ryan Sheridan and Matt Mays and seen his singles rank in the singer-songwriter iTunes charts. Something tells us he’s not quite finished on his ascent to the top.

Thin Ice is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

JJ Enigma brought in a new era of pop punk with latest single ‘Happy Never After’

JJ Enigma may have only made their debut in 2020, but they’re already bringing in the new era of pop punk. Their latest release, Happy Never After is a euphorically bitey earworm, if any new track is strong enough to pull you from your lockdown apathy, it’s Happy Never After.

The optimistic-in-spite-of-nihilism track kicks off with crunchy riffs before the guitars adopt sonic soaring textures and bring you into the adrenalizing bridge which teases the anthemic power of the chorus.

With the same hooky infectious appeal as the chorus in Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’ along with the raucous punch of contemporary pop punk, it’s only a matter of time before JJ Enigma rises up from the underground.

Happy Never After is available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Chrissie Romano Band has released her empowering Americana pop single ‘Resilient Me’

Fans of K T Tunstall, Amy McDonald, or Sandi Thom would be well advised to check out New York threepiece the Chrissie Romano Band and ‘Resilient Me’, taken from the new album ‘Somewhere Along The Way’. Acoustic-guitar led, with Romano’s easy, enticing vocal and a rhythm section that’s tighter than…well, something pretty tight…’Resilient Me’ is a story of struggle and survival and of emerging on the far side a stronger, better person.

It’s a strong, catchy track, with perhaps a smidgeon of Sheryl Crow about it in its singalong-strummed chorus and self-aware, storytelling lyrics, and energetic performance. As an album, ‘Somewhere Along The Way’ is a killer, strong from start to finish without a ‘skippable’ track; ‘Resilient Me’ is a perfect taster.

Check out ‘Resilient Me’, and the rest of the album, on Spotify or via the band’s website.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Zoe Clark – Last One Standing: country-tinged upbeat pop

Poppy, irreverent, and clever, Zoe Clark – from the Music City itself, Nashville Tennessee – has a history of well-thought out, relatable tunes; ‘Last One Standing’, her newest single, continues that tradition, a country-tinged upbeat pop song with hints of what might happen if Katy Perry somehow crossed with Taylor Swift and a dash of Avril Lavigne, self-deprecating but insightful lyrics over the catchiest of catchy tunes. It’s humorous, emotional, and charming all at once, instantly familiar and approachable, whilst having a style and sound that’s ultimately unique.

Clark’s debut EP, ‘Lovers Mark’, released in spring 2020, garnered top reviews as well as getting added to over 140 Spotify playlists; now ‘Last One Standing’ has gone Tik Tok viral prior to release, with 2.3 Million views and over 30,000 presaves. It’s not hard to see why – one listen isn’t enough, it’s memorable, catchy, and snappy as hell. ‘Last One Standing’ deserves to be played. Often. And loud.

Hear ‘Last One Standing’ on Soundcloud; check out Zoe Clark on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes