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Solo Artist

Ricky Hoffman sings the Black Cat Blues in his latest alt indie-folk single.

Debut Demo by Ricky Hoffman

Fans of Neutral Milk Hotel, the Microphones, Elliott Smith and Sufjan Stevens will want to hear Wisconsin singer-songwriter Ricky Hoffman play the ‘Black Cat Blues’.

The expressively ardent Midwest folk single wouldn’t be out of place amongst other iconic cat-inspired tracks; it carries the same endearing panache as Stray Cats’ Stray Cat Strut, Squeeze’s Cool for Cats, and, of course, Love Cats by The Cure. Through the snappy percussion, accordant rings of the acoustic guitar, and the woody bends of the bass, Hoffman created the perfect platform for his unpolished and organic blues-folk vocals that will stay with you long after Black Cat Blues has faded to a close.

Black Cat Blues is now available to stream via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Leave Behind: Leifer knows he needs to make a change on ‘Black and Blue’

With his much-anticipated album ‘Ahead From Where We Came‘ on its way soon, Leifer carefully sends us such an introspective gem that will have you turning this all the way up with ‘Black and Blue‘.

Leifer (pronounced Lifer) is an acclaimed New York City-based alt-soul solo artist, multi-instrumentalist and freestyler. He makes that riveting type of music that catches you off guard at first, and he sizzles so smoothly in your speaker that you might need to listen twice.

Ranging from delicate ballads to euphoric alt-soul anthems, the album aims to explore the relationship between mental health and love as the protagonist forges through the highs and lows of depression and anxiety through the lens of his relationships.” – Leifer

His voice is such a pleasure on the previously battered earlobes, as he shares such an incredibly intimate real story of a relationship that went sadly array, as the walls closed in and you felt like you needed to move on. The mellow tone is sensually caring, as he sings lovingly with such clarity on a riff that is rather sweet and tender. You feel the regret in his voice as he wanted the love to last forever – but knows that he needs to work on himself first for that to happen- if its not too late.

Black and Blue‘ from the much-respected New York indie alt-soul solo artist Leifer, is that story where you wish the page could go back in time, as the communication broke down like a tired car and caused you to hit rock bottom. Sometimes life is there to teach you things and humble you up – other times its just plain harsh – and shows you that we can only control, what we can control.

Stream this top song on Spotify and check out the IG for more.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Danny Ritz – Window: The Most Relatable Love Song You Will Ever Hear.

Alt indie artist Danny Ritz has followed on from his debut EP with his latest artfully lo-fi single, Window. If you’re irresistible to the charms of bedroom pop, you’ll quickly succumb to the enamouring tones of psych-pop, synthpop and art-rock.

While most lyricists do their best to maintain a pretence of sanity in their songs, Danny Ritz threw his sanity by the wayside to channel organically manic, relatable emotions into Window. Any fans of John Grant, Spector and the Lathums will want to experience it for themselves.

With the macabrely inventive lyrical lines such as ‘you left my heart circumcised’, you can’t help but engage with the single. The intrigue is all too intense as you listen to Window unfold through the playfully polyphonic, unapologetically authentic progressions.

Window is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Here For You: Ohio singer Calakapepe knows what the heart desires on ‘All I Want Is You’

As the rampaging romantic feelings seep deep into the veins and warms the heart so tenderly, Calakapepe takes a chance on love, as he searches frantically for happiness on the new single called ‘All I Want Is You‘.

David James C. Michel aka Calakapepe, is an entertaining solo singer-songwriter/rapper, teacher, pianist and Northern Kentucky University Music Composition graduate, who is from Cincinnati, Ohio.

He is a creative artist who looks beyond normal conventions to show us music that simmers inside you for a moment, before exploding into your soul with reckless and loving abandon.

This is the message about trying for something that might not work out, but the journey to getting there is the fun part as you go where your heart takes you. The passion is there and the will for it to succeed, the next mission is to see if you both want it enough and for the stars to align just right.

All I Want Is You‘ from the emerging Ohio multi-talented musician/teacher Calakapepe, shows us the love that he has for someone close, who takes his breath away and makes him do things he wouldn’t normally say or do. This is the true moment when you know deep inside, that you are deeply in love.

Stream the lyric video on YouTube and see more of his music journey on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

3oland goes all in with his indie electro pop track ‘Whatever You Want from Me’

After making an unforgettable impression on us with his 2020 single, ‘You Keep Running’, Copenhagen-residing pop artist 3oland has released his brooding, glassy single, ‘Whatever You Want from Me’ and left us even more assured that he’s one to watch with his contemporary yet undeniably accessible sound.

If you could imagine what it would sound like if 90s pop artists carried the style and gravitas of contemporary alt-indie-pop icons, you’ll get an idea of what is on offer in Whatever You Want from Me. It’s a touching lyrical tale of self-sacrifice and an invitation to one of witness the sincerest forms of unconditional love; there’s no doubt it came straight from the soul.

Whatever You Want from Me is now available to stream on SoundCloud.

You can also check out 3oland via his website, Instagram and Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lloyd Jerwood takes us To New York with his debut dream-pop single.

After spending years as a session guitarist working alongside Greta Isaac and Hannah Grace, Lloyd Jerwood made his solo debut with his single, ‘To New York’.

The dream-pop track speaks to dreamers, to the ones who live vicariously through fantasy instead of inviting real-life chaos into their lives. Considering that we’ve all had plenty of time to spend with our fantasies and exploring meta possibilities during pandemic life, it is safe to say plenty will find resonance within this evocatively fiery release that utilises driving indie jangle-pop guitars and shimmering synths, to exhilarating radio-ready effect.

After such a promising debut, the rest of 2021 looks bright for Lloyd Jerwood.

To New York is now available to stream via Soundcloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Toby Charlesworth – To Say Goodbye: Organically Raw Indie Acoustic Folk

North London’s Toby Charlesworth followed on from his 2021 successful debut EP with the release of the captivating indie-folk single, ‘To Say Goodbye’. The 23-year-old singer-songwriter uses music to express what words alone cannot; To Say Goodbye is the perfect testament of his expressive talent.

With the same tender tender lyricism as Tom Odell paired with Charlesworth’s vocals where nothing is dramatic, prosaic or forced, every note is organically raw as he laments on ‘a beauty he used to know’.

The single perfectly captures all of those self-deprecating thoughts that come to fruition after saying a goodbye that we never wanted to say. It’s the kind of track that can leave you in a daze as the lyrics force you to contemplate your losses and find gratitude for the ones that are still around.

To Say Goodbye is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Brandon Wade wants us all to ‘Dance Again’

Brandon Wade

Sometimes, the choice is between doing what’s easy, or doing what’s right. That’s the story behind Brandon Wade’s ‘Dance Again’, a gentle, uplifting acoustic ballad carried by Brandon’s sublime picked guitar parts and stunning vocal. There’s a touch of ‘The Bends’ era Radiohead about it, if Radiohead hadn’t started playing around with all the electronics, some Kevin Garrett, maybe a helping of James Bay, Michael Rosenberg/Passenger, or Hozier, too – think airy, space-filled contemporary acoustic guitar and a vocal delivery that flirts at times with falsetto, but never gives anything but exquisite delicacy.

Brandon Wade wants to write music that inspires people, and to be a ‘voice for those too afraid to speak or who think their words have little meaning’. With ‘Dance Again’, he’s produced a beautiful single about love, loss, and learning that really does have a voice all of its own.

You can check out Dance Again here.

Follow Brandon Wade on Instagram.

 

Review by Alex Holmes

Max Diaz – Mr. Manson: A Snarling Furore of Fuzzed Up Alt-Rock

American solo artist Max Diaz has already racked up over 1-million streams with their visceral take on alt-rock, based on their standout track, ‘Mr. Manson’; he is still criminally under-appreciated.

It has been a while since a feat of alt-rock allowed my curiosity to pique so intensely, but this snarling furore of macabre garage rock reels you in hook, line and sinker by using Manson’s infamous line, “I’m nobody, I’m a tramp, a bum, a hobo, I’m a boxcar and a jug of wine and a straight razor …if you get too close to me”, as a prelude. What kind of outlier could resist that Kerouac-style resonance?

It’s a fuzzed-up obsession-worthy track that fans of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are going to appreciate. Although it is safe to say that the distortedly electric choruses are infinitely more infectious. Instead of retaining an (archetypal) rebellious sense of ‘cool’, Diaz opted for no-wave aural insanity, allowing the soundscape to match the unstable state of Manson’s mind.

Of course, a track like Mr. Manson wouldn’t be complete with a burst of sonic guitars forming a wall, but this wall of noise comes wrapped in razor wire It really wouldn’t be a surprise to see Max Diaz signed to Ipecac Recordings or Sub Pop soon.

Mr. Manson is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Find catharsis in our hyperNormalised world with Cosmic Order’s searing protest track ‘Burn It All Down’

Cosmic Order

If turning on the news leaves you with the wish to see the corrupt economic system crash as the pathological liars we call politicians are held accountable, Cosmic Order’s old school rock track, ‘Burn It All Down’, is definitely for you.

After seeing the duality between the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan compared to the raw beauty of the Sicilian countryside, the one-man-machine, Angelo Silvio DiPippo found himself holding a unique perspective, which he has shared through his latest album, ‘Duality’.

Burn it All Down is the perfect example of the awakening tracks that you will find on his latest LP. Along with the tight rock n roll grooves, you’ll hear lyrics serving an essential reminder that, for the most part, we’re sleepwalking through a hyper normalised hellscape.

Burn It All Down can be streamed and purchased via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast