Browsing Tag

the national

John Dhali took feel-good indie-folk to stratospheric new heights with his latest single, Taste

With caressing crescendos and swells of soul by the smorgasbord, the indie-folk singer-songwriter, John Dhali’s latest release, Taste, definitely isn’t an acquired one.

What starts as a gentle and euphonic offering of indie art-pop bliss transcends into a rock-licked all-consuming aural entity as you’re left to face the untamed passion in the lyrics and vocals and the equally as robust production.

When Taste reaches its anthemic peak, it is enough to rival Mr November by The National. Yet, I’m not sure The National could get away with the sweet and lofty ukulele melodies that John Dhali uses to amplify the high vibe soul. When he says his sound marries the feelgood accessibility of George Ezra with the evocative depth of Buckley, he more than backs it up with his viscerally euphoric discography.

It comes as no surprise that the Northwest, UK-born, London-based artist has already garnered attention from BBC Radio 1 and 2 and won regional awards for the best solo artist. We can’t wait to see his career blow up after the launch of his forthcoming album.

Check out John Dhali’s latest single, Taste, on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

London’s most ensnaring indie alt-rock outfit, The Lunar Keys, have dropped their compassionately sonic hit, Stop This.

Any fans of the National will find a similar level of affection for the latest single by the indie alt-rock outfit, The Lunar Keys. Stop This was mastered by John Davis (Royal Blood, the Killers, U2), who gave the soundscape the same sonic boost that he has become renowned for.

After a gorgeously melodic bass intro, Stop This moulds into a psychedelically tinged indie rock hit that leaves you higher than the intricately angular shoegazey guitar notes. The perfectly balanced mix allows the vocals to effortlessly breeze between the ascending progressions that seem to pull you in deeper with every scuzzy synth line and clean-cut guitar note. If you have ever felt something in the same vein as “stop the world, I want to get off” when it comes to your tumultuous emotions, the lyrics will undoubtedly resonate.

Stop This is due for release on October 8th, 2021. You can check it out for yourselves via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Last Clouds take you to the sonic depths of dejection with their ethereal indie electronica track, Black Hole Lives.

With an intro that mashes The National-style tender piano keys with glitchy caustic electronica, the sense of duality starts resonating early in The Last Clouds’ latest single, Black Hole Lives.

There is an overarching sense of inescapable despair while the restive drum patterns epitomise our refusal to sit restless with ennui. Resonate with it, and you will find yourself consumed by the monochromatic tones, poetic lyrics and psychologically reflective rhythms as you’re taken to the sonic depths of dejection. I mean, do you really have anywhere better to go?

As the single progresses, the reverb that took the sting out of the naturally intimate, Paul Banks reminiscent vocals in the intro starts to slip away, allowing the emotion to ebb and flow with the crescendos, saving the most visceral for last.

I don’t make Paul Banks comparisons lightly, but if any new single is going to leave you an emotional wreck, it is Black Hole Lives and I can personally vouch for The Last Clouds when I say they pour plenty more into their live performances than Interpol.

Black Holes Lives is the second release from the Cheshire-based synth duo’s upcoming album, English Melancholy. The single was officially released on September 17th; you can check it out via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Marc Delgado tells The Cautionary Tale of Richard Manuel

The Cautionary Tale of Richard Manuel is the indie psych-folk debut single from Woodstock-based, California-born singer-songwriter Marc Delgado. If the styles of Paul Simon, the National and Dinosaur Jr coalesced, the sonic result wouldn’t be all too far from Delgado’s debut that pulls the storytelling roots of folk up through a sleek and modern production.

The kicking beat, lofty colourful guitars and spacy synths converge to create a psychedelic platform for Delgado’s instantly magnetic vocals that draw you in by the unapologetically unadulterated passion to provide 3:28 minutes of total aural escapism.

The Cautionary Tale of Richard Manuel is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Fendahlene – High and Low and Back Again: Alchemically Evocative Alt Indie Post Punk

With an intro which carries the same aural weight as a quiescently morose melody from Nils Frahm, Alt Indie trailblazers Fendahlene’s single kicks off “High and Low and Back Again” with a teasing start before settling into an intricately masterful feat of Indie Power Pop.

Any fans of the National, R.E.M., Bon Iver, Arcade Fire and Interpol will definitely want to pay attention to the band’s latest release. There’s no replicating that Alt 90s sound, Fendahlene didn’t have to, the Australian-based artist has been crafting alchemically evocative tracks since their inception in 1994.

With the cuttingly angular Post Punk guitar tones weaving around the resolving vocals, High and Low and Back Again unfolded as an unforgettably soul-filling stylistic Indie hit. We’re already stoked to hear what is next.

You can check out High and Low and Back Again for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

There will be plenty more to come from the band in 2020 and beyond. Keep up to date with the artist’s latest news and releases via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Calboa’s latest release ‘Same S**t’: a newly found motivation in music

With a tumultuous past behind him and a newly found motivation in music, English artist Calboa has released his new single ‘Same S**h’, an ode to living through the same everyday problems and being able to atone for the mistakes we make, changing our way of life.

Indie to the bone and melancholic in his lyrics, Calboa inherits precious knowledge from acts such as The Doors, Nick Cave and The Libertines, demonstrated through a creative and straightforward approach to his music. He covers both personal and universal themes such as the loss of friends and loved ones and the dangerously easy descent into the world of drugs.

In this light, ‘Same S**h’ represents a relatable anthem for us all. Starting with a syncopated organ to set the tone for the first verse, crunch guitar lines quickly kick in to expand the rocky sound of this ballad, while his vocals reverb passion and honesty.

Calboa can classify as a poet – a multi-instrumentalist who finds in music his greatest expression and a way out of the “s**t” he’s had to deal with by using his experience as a means to inspire listeners.

Though the song is titled ‘Same S**h’, it’s definitely not the “same shit” you’re used to hearing, so go check it out on Spotify.

Review by Jim Esposito.

Mondé – Best At: Intensely Emotive Indie Art Rock

Mondé

Up and coming Melbourne Indie artist Mondé is set to release their emotively raw, accordantly powerful Indie Art Rock single Best At. Fans of The National, and The Editors, you’re going to want to hear it.

Mondé possesses the rare ability to make lightly orchestrated instrumentals bleed pure weighted emotion. If you’re as aurally sensitive as me, listening to Best At will be an emotional sucker punch.

The humble yet stridently ardent romanticism-soaked lyrics allow you to warm to Mondé instantaneously. You’ll be captivated by his talent when it comes to making the inexpressible expressible.

It’s not only the momentum which picks up as the single progresses. The raw unfiltered soul also amps up in ferocity as the poised and gentle Indie vocals evolve into forcefully zealous choral howls. The seamless build up in intensity is just one of the reasons why this flawless track demands repeat attention.

Best At will be available to stream from April 20th via SoundCloud.

Stay up to date with the latest releases and news via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

A&R Factory Present: Useless Cities

Starting off in a disused public toilet in Kentish Town as a rehearsal space, Useless Cities was up and gigging after about 12 months.

The outcome is bittersweet melodies and feelings, all pinned together by a skewer of flowing guitar sound. Intertwined male and female vocals are anointed by a holding piano sound and warm bass tones, aligned on OCD-like overthought drum beats.

They have just finished recording their first EP with Jessica Corcoran at Gravity Shack Studios in Tooting. It has had radio play on the Uni of Cork campus indie radio show, Freakscene radio show and Spark Sunderland new music show.

Useless Cities are an indie 4-piece with male and female vocals: Tom – Vocals/Guitar, Conny – Vocals/Keys, Clare – Bass, Sebs – Drums.

For fans of –  The National, Arcade Fire, Mogwai.

https://www.facebook.com/Uselesscities/

A&R Factory Present: Slowlights

Slowlights are a London based four piece, mainly influenced by Arcade Fire, The National, Local Natives and Coldplay. They started 2016 by recording a debut EP with producer, Peter Miles.

The band have been on the road supporting Eliza and The Bear. Slowlights are independently releasing one track a month from the EP to their soundcloud page, Only Young is the third song that they have put out.

The EP will be released as a whole on June 1st!