The London-based solo artist, djamesk13, is no stranger to the arenas of Avant-Garde alt-rock, but for his latest release, Everything Is Certain – Your Majesty, he went deeper into the domain than ever before while exploring our strained relationships with high society.
While we used to look at royalty and other figures of the elite ruling class with awe, the tables are gradually turning on the perception shared by the masses. Simply put, Everything Is Certain – Your Majesty is a socialist masterclass, but instead of running in the same vein as the Manic Street Preachers, djamesk13 orchestrated a dreamy grungy dreamscape to run his reflective lyricism through.
“How can you be magnificent when we can buy you” will go down as one of my favourite lyrics of all time, and for the way the instrumentals and ethereally sludgy vox juxtapose the lyrical sting, Everything Is Certain – Your Majesty became an unforgettable release; a paragon of the post-grunge movement.
Everything Is Certain – Your Majesty was officially released on January 28th; stream the single on SoundCloud.
Taken from her I’ve Got Time / We Carry On double A-side single, We Carry On by Debbie Christ is a scintillatingly affecting extension of the Shoegaze genre, which spills all the reverb and chorus effects your heart could possibly desire while adding new arcane layers to the intricate tapestry of a production that will consume you down to the last atom of your being as you’re absorbed in the experimentalism.
The defiance of categorisation within the synthesis of femme garage rock, folk, punk and indie not only invites you into a dream-like aural experience but compels you to embrace your own authenticity and walk your unique path, away from the shame of exhibiting your eccentricities.
After overcoming loss, addiction, cancer, and rebelling against her evangelical upbringing, I can’t think of a better voice to help you chart your own path with resilience than Debbie Christ. She’s an icon, not for all she’s endured, but for her determination to emancipate others from their suffering and embolden them.
Towards the outro, We Carry On moves away from the Angel Olsen-reminiscent choral accordance to deliver rancour in the same vein as Big Thief and Lucy Dacus around the Grandaddy-esque synths that add yet another dynamic to the release that is far too infectious to encounter just once. If there’s any justice left in the music industry, Debbie Christ will be one of the biggest names in indie in 2024.
We Carry On is now available to stream on Spotify.
Dons of Youth, an indie-pop duo composed of Peter Moe and Kelly Matthews III, hailing from Nashville, TN, has crafted a dream pop reverie with their latest track Rush.
Rush is a pristine example of the indie dream pop genre, evoking the ethereal soundscapes akin to Cigarettes After Sex and Beach House and nodding respectfully to the Shoegaze pioneers. The textured tapestry of sound, with kaleidoscopically colourful melodies and harmonious timbres that weave through the air, creates an immersive auditory experience that you will want to be consumed by time and time again. The band’s artistry shines in the elemental melodic interplay, which complements the tranquil and honeyed vocal lines. There’s an intimate quality to the vocals that feels like a secret whispered in confidence, creating a strong emotional resonance that’s both personal and universal.
The duo, who began their collaboration at Belmont University, have matured into an outfit capable of bringing a cogent distinction to their self-produced sound, which puts them in good stead for their upcoming debut album, which promises to deliver a narrative journey through the labyrinth of young love, desire, and romance. These themes are palpable in the tender fabric of Rush, which not only showcases their technical prowess but also their ability to capture the nuanced emotions of coming-of-age stories.
If you take your rock classically cut with a twist of spacey psychedelia, explore the riff-carved cosmos in the standout single, Fairy Tale Ending, from Church Burglars’ debut album, Subconsciously Conscious.
With soaring riffs as strident as the licks orchestrated by Slash’s fair hands fused with the soul-lavished euphonic sensibilities of the Flaming Lips and Pink Floyd, Fairy Tale Ending is a prog-rock meditation on the highs and lows of diehard romanticism. The endlessly caressing vocal lines which have more in common with the Shoegaze pioneers than your average rock outfit draw you right into the gravity of the bitter-sweet release, which stands as a testament to the LA-based outfit’s determination to make real music for real people.
After the founding members met at Berklee College of Music in Boston shortly before the COVID pandemic, frontman Mike Foltz used the international live music breather to travel to LA to record the debut LP independently with the exception of a few lead guitar parts laid down by Alec Grugel. With the full line-up finalised, Church Burglars are making waves in the live circuit; grab any opportunity to see them in an intimate setting before you have to join legions of fans filing into arenas to witness the virtuosity of Foltz.
Fairy Tale Ending is available to stream on Spotify.
Imagine the Beastie Boys augmenting their sound with the anthemics of Nirvana and accentuating the intricacies of the melodies with elements of post-punk, and you’ll almost envision the snarky sharp alchemy which bursts through every (instrumental and mental) breakdown in Jeff from Work’s seminal single, Stand Up, which also forcefully feeds nuances of the Smashing Pumpkins and Joy Division.
Taken from their concept LP, Overtime, which chronicles the oddities of the human experience through the eyes of Jeff, a ready-to-break slave to the rat race, the single is an exhilarant manifestation of rage, corporate disdain, shoegaze etherealism, and pure juggernautical experimentalism.
Their schtick starts to make all the more sense upon learning that the band formed after meeting at an LA ad agency and discovering they had more in common than their workplace angst. It’s an unlikely aural antihero story, but we’re here from it. They have exactly what it takes to become one of the biggest icons of the alternative scene in 2024.
Stream Overtime with the rest of the debut LP which dropped on October 5th on SoundCloud and Spotify.
Since the release of their 2021 EP, Paradise, the Australian shoegaze duo Luce Cargo have been honing their talents and attuning the authenticity in their sonic signature; I Don’t Belong Hereis the first exhibition of their freshly manicured dream pop sound, and it is a sign that if any outfit is strong enough to stand at the vanguard of the 21st-century Shoegaze resurgence, it is them.
With soft angular guitars which echo Slowdive influences leading into My Bloody Valentine-esque walls of distortion, the progressive instrumentation sets the tonal shifts for the vocals which transition from bleeding into the reverb-laden synths with blissful accordance to bursts of primal candour.
The title gives plenty of clues to what the lyrics relay, but the resonance for anyone who feels alienated in their existentialism shouldn’t be underestimated. The compassionately relatable narration of loneliness holds a mirror to the fractures that splinter across society, leaving us all disconnected in an increasingly connected world.
I Don’t Belong Here was officially released on September 29; stream it on Spotify.
With a transfixingly astral vocal register layering harmonies over the retro reverb-swathed synths, Pomaa’s latest single, Wide Eyed, bridges the gap between Siouxsie and the Banshees and cutting-edge outfits in the vein of Wolf Alice and Desperate Journalist while allowing you to linger in a kaleidoscope of dreamy psych-pop tones.
From the first immersion, the artist’s unique talents in blending the spirit of her own hypnotically authentic expression with the mixer of era-spanning signatures from shoegaze, post-punk, psych, pop and indie to pour the perfect sonic mocktail becomes immediately apparent.
Through Wide Eyed, Pomaa narrates the isolation of being the only sober person at a party; starved of connection and wracked with unshakable sensations which embed the loneliness of growing at a different pace to everyone around you.
Wide Eyed will be available to stream on all major platforms from October 11; stream it on Spotify & SoundCloud. If you like what you hear, stay tuned for the release of her debut EP, Bridge to Somewhere, which will drop on November 15.
While shoegaze bands that can cut through the derivative reverb-drenched tones don’t come around all too often in this era, whitewood drive proved that there are still creative ways to push through the washed-out choral distortion with their latest mellifluous-with-malaise single, cosmic hero.
By emanating the darkness of Bauhaus and following the Vapour Trail laid out by Ride, the Connecticut-hailing three-piece succeeded in crafting a single that lends itself well to the traditionalism of the genre while ensuring you have a reason to turn your attention away from your MBV and Slowdive records. The intricately evocative single may stir plaintive emotions, but the accordance lets you bathe in shimmering catharsis in the next breath. It’s a stunning release that harbingers even greater tonal triumphs to come.
cosmic hero is due for official release on September 1st; stream it on Spotify or download the track on Bandcamp.
Putting his previous struggles behind him and getting away from something he feels no love for anymore, Kenesukoh has dropped a quick-fire song to turn our ears up and this one is called i’ll be gone.
Kenesukoh is a Los Angeles, California-based indie shoegaze artist who loves to make soul-carrying singles to take others out of their mental struggle.
Packed with potential and piercing with a speaker-sizzle vibration, Kenesukoh is the type of modern-day musician who keeps things real throughout and certainly isn’t afraid to experiment.
i’ll be gone from the LA shoegaze single-songwriter Kenesukoh is a reminder that sometimes things end before we want them to. This is a single with minimal lyrics and is simply a daydream in real life, that seems to go so fast and take us into a surreal mindset which is hard to overcome sometimes.
Finding the wavy lo-fi middle ground between Nirvana and Elliott Smith, the latest single, Take Me Home, from the DIY indie originator, Peach Giraffe, is a soporifically sweet visualisation of the desire to be enveloped in the irreplicable comfort of home.
In spite of the succinctness of the instrumental arrangement, led by the definitively 90s indie guitars, the single is underpinned by a precariously resonant state of unease that anyone who has a proclivity towards detachment and disassociation will find themselves connecting to.
After this installation of enticing artfulness and expressive candour from Peach Giraffe, our breath is bated for the next authentically raw hit from the artist who holds little loyalty to genres in his fluid discography, constructed by their desire to create whatever comes to mind with minimal inhibition.
Take Me Home was officially released on July 7th; hear it on Spotify.