Browsing Tag

Solo Artist

The alt-rock originator, djamesk13, struck again with his grungy proto-punk single, And That’s Where It Ends, And So It All Begun

And That’s Where It Ends, And So It All Begun” is the latest tonally sublime single released by the London-based alt-rock originator djamesk13 (David Kemp).

If Dinosaur Jr veered away from grunge and towards proto-punk and made a pit stop at 90s Britpop to pick up a bit of extra guitar swagger, the sonic result would be in a similar vein to this nostalgically produced hit.

The distortedly and poetically orchestrated single provides a definitive discourse on the nature of our lives which runs through like pre-determined chapters of destiny. Lament it or live it to the max, but that’s the nature of being, captured in the lyrical hooks in this epitomisingly sludgy earworm.

And That’s Where It Ends, And So It All Begun was officially released on November 19th. Catch it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Andrew Curtis disrupted the stagnancy in the rock scene with his viseral-with-fervour alt-rock hit, Unholy Smoke

Running in a similar alt-rock vein to Highly Suspect with added Pixies Trompe le Monde era grit in the melodically brashy guitars that weave through the expertly carved hooks, Andrew Curtis’ latest single, Unholy Smoke, packs a raucous punch. Undeniably, it’s a visceral-with-fervour hard hitter that any staunch rock fan will want colliding with their eardrums.

The UK-based multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter is also revered in the cinematic world after writing and acting in three feature films. Away from the silver screen, Curtis (AKA Motel Ghost) is working on his debut LP to rectify the contemporary issue of stagnancy in the rock scene. If it contains the thematic energy of Unholy Smoke, it’s set to be a resounding success.

Unholy Smoke dropped on October 30th; check it out on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Life goes on in JRtheBand’s resilience-driven folk-rock anthem, Lit Boy

In a bid to pour modernism into the rock arena, the Phoenix, AZ-hailing multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, JRtheBand, has launched his latest folk-rock anthem, Lit Boy, and decidedly succeeded.

The complex guitar work entwines the warm timbre of swampy acoustic guitar strings with the sonic overdrive of electric guitar riffs, while the vocals match the powerful instrumental arrangement. Fans of The Levellers will easily get caught up in the rugged anthemics of this narratively powerful release which draws you right into the visceral centre of the expression, which stridently proclaims resilience in a time that premeditates weakness. If you ever needed affirmation that life goes on after tribulation, it is neatly packaged in this vibrant celebration of fortitude.

As JRtheBand will be releasing a song every three months going forward, we highly recommend saving space on your radar.

Lit Boy is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

South Carolina’s Jimmy Swagg seeks salvation in his latest rock hit, St. Mary

After decorating The Whisky A Go-Go and The Viper Room with his righteous rock gravitas, one of the hottest acts in LA, Jimmy Swagg is here with his salvation-seeking melodic rock single, St. Mary.

St. Mary does away with the usual Rock n Roll cliches and makes a spiritual aura the centre of sonic gravity in the intricately paced admission of frailty, which never gives way to self-piteous ennui. Instead, Jimmy Swagg trailblazes with his canderous outpour of vulnerability that is laced in hope for redemption around the slick riffs and tension-building rhythm section. It is a sanity saver of a playlist staple if we ever heard one, and his international fanbase is more than inclined to agree.

St. Mary is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Dan Zalles laments the monotony of modernity in his 80s-Esque alt-rock single, Email Hell

As digital domains dominate our existence, tracks such as Dan Zalles’ 80s rock-inspired single, Email Hell, feel almost inevitable. Between the atmospheric sonic nostalgia of the soaring guitar lines fed through effects that you’d expect to find on Will Sergeant’s (Echo and the Bunny Men) pedal board and the mundanity of modernity in lyrics, Email Hell is a feat of multi-era convergence that provides ample solace for anyone that doesn’t appreciate the technological advances which left human evolution in the dust.

Email Hell is is just one of the immersively sonorous singles found on the San Francisco Bay Area singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and film composer’s album, Emotionally. We highly recommend experiencing it in its entirety.

Email Hell is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Tommy Trull – Citizen Freak: The Only Synth Rock Breakup Track You Will Need on Your Playlists

Nobody Else in the World by Tommy Trull

With guitars that wouldn’t be out of place in The Cure’s earlier records, rock n roll synthetics oozing from the synths and the funk-chopped basslines, Tommy Trull’s standout single, Citizen Freak, from his sophomore album, Nobody Else in the World, gorgeously drips with unapologetic autonomy.

The North Carolina-hailing multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter is known to hop between genres. With his second album, he paid a genre-fluid ode to the transformations we undergo when separations force our hands into parting ways with co-creators of our worlds that weren’t cut out for perpetuity.

Expression runs at the core of Citizen Freak; the experimental alchemy unfolds as refreshingly as Bowie’s did in his funk pop prime (that will sound hyperbolic until you delve in yourselves).

Citizen Freak is now available to stream and purchase on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

NYC instrumental rock raconteur Alec Berlin has unveiled his latest single, President’s Day

NYC songwriter Alec Berlin has been filling New York venues with his catchy rock hooks since long before telecasters were a twinkle in lockdown-born creative’s eyes. Now he is here with his atmospherically consuming single, President’s Day.

The instrumental track, led by his sublimely overdriven definitively rock guitars and bolstered by the steady percussive panache, takes you through a murky, almost lamenting soundscape, which builds into Foo Fighters-Esque crunchy crescendos and epitomises immersivity. Rarely do instrumental tracks invite you into such evocative depth, but that’s exactly what separates Alec Berlin from the rest.

President’s Day is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: piano rock pioneer Anthony J Fink let the emotion pour in his alt-rock EP, Feel the Rain

As an extension of his commitment to advocate for mental health and spread awareness of the detriment of depression, addiction, and suicide, Michigan’s strongest lyricist and fiercest piano rock pioneer, Anthony J Fink, has released his latest EP, Feel the Rain.

Each of the five singles is a triumph of blazing piano pop-rock-inclined candour, but Fink reminded us why the EP format is so important. From the optimism proclaiming piano pop-rock ballad of an opener to the experimental baroque rock electricity of Masquerade, which gives all of the energy of a rock opera, to the closer title single, which harnesses broadsiding grungy emotion, Feel the Rain is a journey. The final destination? The affirmation that this world breeds disillusion and a tendency to numb the pain but that doesn’t eradicate your power to resist and overcome it.

Rarely do singer-songwriters, of any ilk, achieve such momentously complex and multi-layered productions that absolutely consume you. The Feel the Rain EP made an essential artist out of Anthony J Fink, especially for any rock-inclined seekers of sonic guidance through our vapidly trying times. Buy it. It’s cheaper than therapy.

In his own words:

“Feel the Rain touches on many things. Loss is a big focus. My parents passed away when I was very young due to alcohol addiction. I have struggled with relationships in general in my life and with addiction. This coming January, I will be alcohol-free for four years.”

Feel the Rain is now available to stream on Spotify or purchase on apple music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Don Pedigo darkened the roots of rock n roll with his dusky track, Messenger

‘Messenger’ is the latest dusky feat of roots-deep rock n roll from the Nashville artist Don Pedigo. From an intro of surfy, swaggy, Gretschy tones, the single opens up through narrative lyrics, which follow the same revelatory path as the likes of Dylan & Tom Petty, reeling you into the depths of Pedigo’s candour and originality.

Each new verse is a testament to the solo artist’s proclivity to pour out his heart lyrically instead of dotting together the usual rock cliches, and there is just as much distinction in the dark production, which puts Messenger on the same level as Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand.

Messenger will officially release on August 5th. You can hear it for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Allan Hill muses on impermanence in his sophomore album, Oxford

Unlike many lockdown-born projects, the Indie-folk solo artist, Allan Hill, didn’t give up the ghost when the bars opened again. After his 2021 debut, he’s revealed the delicate melancholia refined in his sophomore 2022 album, Oxford.

In his own words, the LP is a “coming of age turning inwards and an exploration of impermanence, nostalgia, isolation and queerness.” In the title single, the invitingly warm plaintive soul wraps around the simplistic admission, “everything keeps changing, and I’m fine”, which isn’t profound in itself until you start to consider the journey an artist had to go through to make that proclamation.

The fingerpicked Either/Or-era Elliott Smith reminiscences may be strong in the nature entwined single, but Hill’s autonomy as a stunningly talented artist in his own right is enough to quiescently beat them into submission.

Oxford is now available to stream on Spotify. Grab some tissues first though, yeah?

Review by Amelia Vandergast