Browsing Tag

Roots Music

Marygolds transcended space and time with the blues in their indie Americana single, Time Machine

The Louisville, Kentucky-hailing indie Americana outfit, Marygolds, made light melodic work of stripping away the past few decades and bringing a bygone era back to life in the standout single, Time Machine, from their eponymous 2023 EP.

Everything rests mellifluously easy on the timbre of the vintage bluesy guitar chords, which shimmer with early ’60s nostalgia as they drive the evocative instrumental arrangement under the gospel-esque vocals which reach the epitome of old-school soul. With the intimacy infused into the massive roots-wrapped production that could rival Father John Misty’s masterful work, Time Machine is so much more than an ode to the past; it’s a ticket back to soulfully sepia-tinged sanctity of it.

Perhaps even more remarkably, even though Marygolds left no clues to their 21st-century habitation behind in the cinematic gravitas of their work, their reverence for roots music didn’t come close to resounding as archaic. The outfit comprised of progenitors of modern blues is definitely one to watch.

Time Machine is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Unknown River set the bar for honkytonk hits plateau-high with ‘Outlaws on My Trail’

The Floridan singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Unknown River set the bar for penning immersive escapist honkytonk hits plateau-high with the standout single, Outlaws on My Trail, taken from his debut album, The Dead River Passage.

The fiddle and banjo-driven single delivers a vignette of a man coming to regret the repercussions of his down-and-out actions; the combination of the simple country living exposition and the upbeat arrangement and vocals is enough to make the experience of outlaw-evading sound like a riotous way to see the sands of time slip away, and therein lies the beauty of Unknown River’s indomitable magnetism.

By taking the influence of bluegrass, delta blues, country, rock and old-timey traditional tunes, Unknown River’s amalgamated Americana signature is designed to strip away the plight of modern-day malaise and entrench you in the ease and euphoria of eras that are far from bygone – roots-crafted sanctuaries are just one hit on play away. Press it.

Outlaws on My Trail is available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lucas Pasley put his audience in the saddle of injustice in the roots release, Icelandic Horses

The authentic but by no means archaic Americana luminary Lucas Pasley twanged plenty of timeless soul onto the airwaves with the release of his third album, Ponies Back Home. The serenely composed release, which carries all the Grammy-nominated allure of Bonny Light Horseman’s debut LP, starts with the standout single, Icelandic Ponies. 

With melodies that sway in the breeze of his songwriting which pays homage to his Appalachian Mountains roots and a voice so soothing it could placate a rabid raccoon, there’s no overstating the arresting allure of Icelandic Horses.

His slide guitars reach the pinnacle of sonic catharsis as the lyrics lament the inherent unjustness of the universe while showing you the beauty within it in the same breath. The fragility of life is laid out in a series of short and bitter-sweet vignettes to brim you with gratitude for the burdens you don’t bear and fill you with empathy for the ones who do.

Stream Lucas Pasley’s album, Ponies Back Home, on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Fretbenders – Wandering Soul: An Americana Beacon for Wanderlust Dreamers to Follow Home

Taking you simultaneously to a veranda in Sicily and a back porch in Louisiana, the soundscape in the standout single, Wandering Soul, from the singer-songwriter duo The Fretbender’s seminal album, Long Overdue, is a beacon for the wanderlust dreamers to follow home.

Between the harmonicas, slide guitars and folksy vocal lines which sugar the atmosphere with compassion for the world-weary to savour, Wandering Soul is a timeless rootsy Americana offering which will nestle you within its euphonic comfort.

The husband-and-wife duo, Diane and Bob Kordas are known for their homely senses of soul and their unique roots infusions, which allow heritage sounds to resound on contemporary airwaves. Following their hotly anticipated LP, we hope there’s plenty more in the pipeline.

Wandering Soul is available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The heartfelt hip-hop innovator KNG JMZ is on luminary form in his originality-enmeshed hit, WASH


Rocksteady roots music rips through the intro to the latest alt-hip-hop stormer, WASH, from the artist KNG JMZ, who is making short work of rising from the underground with his killer lines, archetype-smashing instrumentals and infectious vocal energy.

Once the rap bars are in full flow, KNG JMZ contrasts the originality-enmeshed beats with his steady flows that will easily arrest the rhythmic pulses of any Run the Jewels fans. But if you’re looking for an assimilative artist, look far beyond this indie rapper who finds his inspiration from the dynamic culture hip-hop represents.

After being born and raised in Winnipeg, experiencing his fair share of hardship, and learning the joys of perseverance, KNG JMZ curated an ethos out of making all his content heartfelt. You scarcely need his bio to affirm that; tune into the evocatively convictive introspective wit in WASH and hear it for yourself.

WASH will officially drop on March 31. Check it out on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Californian solo artist, Beau James Wilding, put the grit in folk with his reverently fervid single, SET MYSELF ON FIRE

With the choppy discord in the acoustic guitar strings against his gravelly punk blues vocals, the Californian solo artist, Beau James Wilding, orchestrated a roots rock masterpiece with his latest single, SET MYSELF ON FIRE.

We didn’t need his bio to inform us of his intense emotional relationship with sound and music. But learning that the relationship was strengthened after he was left legally blinded by a disease at eighteen made the fierily ardent passion in SET MYSELF ON FIRE burn with even more reverence.

Any fans of Dogs D’Amour and The Quireboys won’t want this fervidly impactful single to pass them by. The dark poetic imagery in the lyrics paired with the frenetic pace of the guitar rhythms that consume the instrumental arrangement with their ragged timbre is a sobering multisensory experience that reaches the pinnacle of gritty folk.

SET MYSELF ON FIRE will officially release on January 13th. Stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Roots music wraps around rap in BigRedMusic’s melodic indie hip hop single, Pack Mentality

Roots music meets rap in BigRedMusic’s latest single, Pack Mentality, which will win over any B. Dolan fans. To spice up the genre-fluid instrumentals, Spanish guitars with a touch of Eastern rhythm intricately weave a melody around the trappy 808s and the rap bars that hit every single mark.

Lil Nas X walked in Old Town Road so BigRedMusic could run in Pack Mentality, which wittily explores cultural phenomena of people’s tendency to act insufferably every time they are together enabling each other’s toxic behaviour. The introspection is just as hot as the immersive grooves in the high-fire track, which established the up-and-coming artist as talented as Eminem when it comes to slamming rap bars. It is no stretch to say that he is one of the hottest rappers on the underground right now.

Pack Mentality is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Marlais looks ‘Out of the Window’ in his quiescently beguiling folk tale

Stream Of Forms by Marlais

Stuttgart, Germany-residing folk artist Marlais takes inspiration from the deep roots of English and Irish folk for his quiescently beguiling aural tales that transcend the commercialisation of Folk to outpour intimately uninhibited emotion.

His latest hymnal single, Out of the Window, is an arresting invitation to lose yourself in the narrative, which unfolds to the minimalist folk instruments and harmonically ethereal electronic motifs. It’s gospel for the impious, a triumph in connectivity through the ambient relay of sincere emotion that carries as much through the vulnerable vocal timbre as it does through the celestially sombre instrumentation.

Out of the Window, taken from his forthcoming LP, Stream of Forms, is now available to stream and purchase via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hodges Country stand and deliver raucous country rock euphoria in ‘Country’s Kicking’

The country rock raconteurs behind Hodges Country are primed and ready to take you down the ramshackled county line in their latest upbeat single, Country’s Kicking, which has been picking up plenty of steam on the airwaves since its July 2022 debut.

With over 128k streams on SoundCloud alone, the father and son duo led by American singer-songwriter Steve Hodges paid a stunning ode to his late wife, who was the co-creator and muse behind many of his greatest hits; her legacy is in a blaze of glory on the basis of Country’s Kicking alone. How the wake and tragedy can translate into such euphoric country rock raucousness is the epitome of beauty in my book.

Delve into the bluegrass righteousness for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Copperhead Jones is down by the water in his narratively blissful country single, Cold Beers and Tight Lines

While deployed with the US Navy in 2012, the Texan country crooner, Copperhead Jones, started to pen his roots-deep Americana songs. A decade down the line, he is fresh from the release of his narratively escapist sophomore album, Anchor.

The standout single, Cold Beers and Tight Lines, lyrically sets the scene of a more serene time, while the upbeat Americana instrumentals feed the euphonic highs through the flair of the bluesy piano motifs, winding Country guitars and assuredly steady percussion that would have a dive bar crowd tapping their feet to the tight snappy rhythmic magnetism in no time at all. Regardless of the mood that Cold Beers and Tight Lines catches you in, the soulfully sincere soundscape is sure to brighten it.

Cold Beers and Tight Lines is now available to stream on Spotify along with the rest of Copperhead Jones’ 2022 album, Anchor.

Review by Amelia Vandergast