After earning her stripes as a music producer, the singer-songwriter, Evie Lulu, made her latest single, Adored, definitively her own. Beyond the similarities to Daughter and Warpaint, the lyrically-driven artist is exemplary in her determination to allow spilled ink to manifest as melodic triumphs that catch in your throat before they take up residence as a sludgy indie pop earworm you will always want to appease by giving her candidly kaleidoscopic soundscapes repeat attention.
Pop, rock, and grunge may be common ingredients in many modern-day amalgams, but the songstress who takes inspiration from Bon Iver, Kate Bush, The Sundays and Silverchair when orchestrating her reflectively uninhibited releases is in a league of her own. From the delicious distortion on the guitars to the vulnerability within the vibrato in the vocal lines, Adored is a bitter-sweet sonic dream, which is all too efficacious in its ability to hammer home the emotions expressed.
Adored hit the airwaves on March 1; hear it on Spotify.
With the rhythm section dripping as much sex appeal as the most aphrodisiacal tracks on the Deftones’ White Pony album, the alt-90s oozing from the droning walls of shoegaze guitars that have been distorted out-of-kilter and the killer sludgy pop hooks, the debut single, Branches, from the Tennessee-based artist, Bleach Bath, is beyond promising.
The tinges of emo to the lyricism, which runs through the insecurities that every girl will have battled with at some age, ensured Bleach Bath came out with all vulnerable guns blazing. It is impossible not to get on a level with the singer-songwriter and band frontwoman who has been tearing up stages across Tennessee, priming herself to make an unforgettable debut.
Any fans of Honeyblood, Wolf Alice, Ex Hex, Hole and My Bloody Valentine won’t want to skip this grungy kaleidoscopic dream of uninhibited angst and relatable uncertainty.
Branches was officially released on December 2nd. Check it out on Spotify.
Taken from their hotly anticipated EP, Sometimes, the nostalgically minded and tonally discerning up-and-coming outfit Girl Racers have teased us with the sludgy effect-laden anthem Never Again.
It is authentically indie in the 90s to these ears. Not just the sound but the attitude/aesthetic too. Somewhere between early 90s indie slackers Archers of Loaf and Glasgow Scotland’s noiseniks Urusei Yatsura, Girl Racers found their colourfully garagey sonic signature that is set to scribe itself across indie lovers’ synapses with the first hit of this pessimism-decorated hit.
Never Again will officially release via Bug Dump Records on October 14th. Hear it on Spotify.
With a touch of Oasis to the choral vocals to anchor the anthem in its melodicism, the alt-90s Seattle sound doesn’t asphyxiate any originality out of the revivalist nature of BLUEBOO’s latest single, Cherry Woman. It teases just the right amount of nostalgia for Screaming Trees, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam as your synapses fire to the tune of the Chicago-based artist’s off-kilter hook-filled sonic signature.
Notably, we aren’t the only ones finding addictive propensities in the effortlessly original sound of BLUEBOO. They’ve garnered acclaim from across the globe, especially on their strikingly ethereal seminal single, You Win Abigail, which has amassed over 260k streams on Spotify alone.
Cherry Woman is now available to stream on Spotify.
The 90s-inspired LGBTQ+ singer-songwriter, Frances Gein, made her debut in 2021 after learning guitar during the pandemic – not that her latest single, Lest for Stress, will let you believe it.
The stellar grungy sad-pop hit will remind you of how sweet it was to discover your reigning rock icons as you lose yourself in the choral energy of the guitars and realise just how infectious The Scotland-based artist’s magnetic attitude is.
There are a few hints to hole in the lyricism, but sonically, Lest for Stress carries the same angsty soul as Blondie and The Pretenders while teasing hints of prog rock that lend themselves to the unpredictability of the earworm.
In her own words
“Lest for Stress is an angsty sarcastic social critique of being broke. It’s not a revolutionary song, but it’s a fuck you to everything, everyone, and even myself”.
She’s the icon we never knew we needed.
The single is due for official release on February 11th, 2022. You can check it out for yourself on Spotify.
Hands in Shadow’s latest single, Hater, Fighter…Lover? is an ingenious mash of indie post-punk, funk, grunge and avant-garde. The prelude delivers Nirvana-Esque sludgy tones before the playfully polyphonic keys allow you to imagine the aural result if the Residents and Kraftwerk produced together.
Hands in Shadow found the perfect balance between obscurity and melody, the eerie magnetic pull of the single makes you feel at a loss when the short and sweet psychedelic indie hit suddenly comes to a close. We will definitely be keeping the Yorkshire-based artist on our radar for future releases; we advise everyone with a penchant for avant-garde indie to do the same.
You can check out Hands in Shadow’s latest single for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.
LA’s prodigal sons of alt-rock, Left of the Slash, are set to release their hotly anticipated psych-laden, grunge rock single, Never Let Go. The rising artist may take their sound seriously, but they made the track infectious from the first hit. The vocal personality is just as enticing as Cobain’s during his 1993 unplugged performance of Plateau.
With fleeting reminiscences to everyone from Modest Mouse to Pixies to Sonic Youth to Queens of the Stone Age, Left of the Slash refreshingly eclipse the golden era of grunge and no-wave while adding one of the freshest new takes on sludge pop that we have heard this year.
It would be no surprise to see Left of the Slash’s name added to the roster of artists at Sub Pop or Ipecac Records. Has someone informed Mike Patton that they exist yet?
Never Let Go will be available to stream from June 11th. Check out Left of the Slash via Facebook and Instagram.
Describing themselves as ‘a band specialising in substandard music and haphazard melodies’, Just Pathetic’s ‘Since College’ is a poppy-punk number, with elements of Bowling For Soup, The Police, Sum-41, and Journey all mixed up with a Blink 182 tongue-in-cheek bouncy, upbeat ode to time since…well, you guessed it, since college.
There’s a nice little break-down mid-song, a nice flanged-and-octaved guitar-line throughout, and lyrically there’s some not-too-serious digs at teen entitlement, angst, and ‘emo-days’ mixed up with underage drinking and ‘interesting’ cigarettes. It’s fun, it’s vaguely silly, and it’s catchy, energetic, and exuberant mixed in with laid-back ‘stoner’ vocals (there’s a tiny hint at ‘Superfuzz’-era Mudhoney to the delivery), with the fuzziest guitar tone we’ve heard in a long time. It’s the age-old question: ‘Where have the days gone since college?’
You can hear ‘Since College’ on YouTube; check out Just Pathetic here.
Georgetown grunge trio Tough on Fridays has been on our radar since we heard their unforgettable 2018 single, ‘The Waywards’. With their latest single, Cabin Fever, their pop-punk edge has been stripped-back and replaced by doom-laden tones that will win over any fans of Porcupine Tree.
The gloomy, progressive anthem, complete with a thrashing rhythm section and angular cutting guitar notes that bring Shoegaze nuances into the mix, is a raw admission of the frustration experienced while locked away from normality.
What makes Cabin Fever so intense and cathartic is the realism of the angst. It was delivered in the same despondent way we’ve all been feeling over the past year.
Cabin Fever officially released on May 3rd; you can check it out for yourselves by visiting Tough on Fridays’ website.
Kicking off with a beautifully overdriven, edge-of-break-up Tube Screamer-esque guitar tone and kicking drums, Godzukey’s ‘Alibi’ is a proper old-school grungy rock track, all laconic vocals and doomy, portentous bass and guitars. There’s an occasional hint at Mudhoney in the voicing of the fuzzed-up repeating guitar motif, some gentle nods to early Pearl Jam or Mother Love Bone, and a serious bit of guitar-hero shredding from Conrad Bylsma on the playout solo from around 3’30”. Singer/songwriter Jonas Briggs has a perfect early Foo Fighters/Nirvana/Alice In Chains vibe going on around the vocal delivery, but it should be said loudly and clearly: this isn’t simply a retro-reworking of Seattle’s great and good.
There’s a freshness here, too, a contemporary take on that West Coast sound which presumably comes from the creative kick of new connections and neoteric projects. Briggs and Bylsma reconnected to form Godzukey recently, after years of not playing together, recording the EP from which ‘Alibi’ is taken from the ‘music Briggs was carrying around in his head’, and that novel vibrancy comes through in the rawness of the track’s delivery. In Godzukey Portland, Oregon, might just have spawned a new baby monster.