Browsing Tag

the national

Isiah & The New People led a rhythmic indie-folk-rock revolution with their debut EP, Boxes

Rooted in roots rock tradition and daring in execution, the debut EP from Isiah & The New People proves that no sonic flavour can rival pure, raw creativity. With an unadulterated emotion as the kindling which ignites through the friction of rhythmic volition, the fourpiece tore down the barricades of the soul, one visceral lick at a time with their four-track EP, Boxes.

The Little Chute, Wisconsin collective of veteran artists amalgamated a genre-fluid compendium of songs that dig deep into the trenches of the human psyche while awakening the senses of anyone who stumbles on this encapsulation of sonic liberation, which was released on the symbolic day of July 4.

The opening track, 1000 Tears, smokes out rich organic indie folk-rock textures with the sax lines while bridging the poetic expressiveness of Bob Dylan and the visceral intensity of Eddie Vedder. Isiah Driessen’s vocal versatility resounds as he navigates effortlessly between the deep, soulful timbres of Johnny Cash and the piercing clarity of James Taylor’s emotive howls.

Cherry Tree, shifts gears towards a more intimate setting, weaving Paolo Nutini-esque vulnerability into the fabric of its melody with tender acoustic guitar plucks and heartfelt vocals.  The third offering, The Girl Downstairs, introduces a grittier, blues-infused sound that showcases the band’s ability to morph stylistically. The overdriven guitars and raw energy inject a robust dynamism into the EP, demonstrating their chameleonic adaptability and broad musical palette.

The EP concludes with Where’s Lake Waldo? a track that ventures into psychedelic territory with ennui-pained lyrics and expansively kaleidoscopic sonics. The tinged-with-existential-pondering is a fitting end to the EP’s narrative—questioning, exploring, and seeking.

With Boxes, Isiah & The New People articulated a philosophy of musical and personal exploration. It is the ultimate statement of artistic liberation which lays down a promising trajectory for the band which is sure to resonate with any music fans searching for an aural mode of genuine connectivity.

Isiah & The New People said:

“We put things in boxes; whether it’s people, ideas, or ourselves. However, every day we have the chance to be reborn, let things go, and take on new perspectives. I felt myself being put into a box. My pursuits in music have been about breaking out of it.”

Stream Boxes on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

ARCTISKY became the Chris Isaak of his Generation with ‘Unreal Love’

ARCTISKY

ARCTISKY’s latest single, Unreal Love, is the smoothest slice of rock-fervoured seduction your rhythmic pulses have ever wrapped around.

Impassioned in the same vein as The National’s Trouble Will Find Me LP, the single, prised from the Maldives-born, Melbourne-based troubadour of slick soul’s debut album, Roots Vol. 1, is a tapestry of lush tonality, stitched with edges of indie pop, the passion of RnB, funk grooves, and rock roots which puts the singer-songwriter in the same league as Chris Isaak.

Your heartbeat will become the second most important rhythm coursing through you as soon as you immerse yourself in the authenticated hit which exhibits ARCTISKY as one of the most sincere revolutionists on the airwaves. With vocal harmonies that pour as deliciously as the mellifluous melodies that unravel as a confluence of ornate piano keys, reverb-swathed synths and soaring guitar lines over the propulsive rhythm, Unreal Love is as close to heaven as you will get on the airwaves.

Unreal Love will be available to stream on all major platforms with Roots Vol 1, including Spotify, from June 14.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Nick Cave Meets the National in Harry White’s Latest Feat of Melancholic Liberation, A Way to Go

Harry White’s single, A Way to Go, extracted from his seminal LP Elvera, released on February 23rd, is a profound exploration of introspective lyricism and eclectic soundscapes.

The London-based artist embarked on a new musical chapter with his third album. A Way To Go, in particular, stands out as a vivid illustration of White’s artistic evolution. The influence of Nick Cave permeates through the keys and the gravelly drama of the vocal lines, while the introspective and intimate lyrics carry the magnetic flair of Leonard Cohen.

White’s venture into a more eclectic sound palette is evident in the fusion of electronic effects and the inclusion of a scratchily turbulent backbeat, hinting at The National’s influence. This backdrop is more than just a sonic layer; it’s a canvas for White’s philosophy that the world’s end is inevitable, regardless of individual actions. This theme, rather than being oppressive, is presented with a liberating twist, making A Way to Go a paradoxically uplifting anthem of melancholy.

The track is a compelling blend of styles, reminiscent of the transcendent zeal of ELO, yet amplified with a gothic romanticism unique to White. As the singer-songwriter gears up for live performances, A Way to Go solidifies his position as a seminal artist on the London circuit.

Stream A Way to Go on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Tyler Street’s latest indie-folk confession, ‘Faith, Wisdom, You’, is spiritual poetry in melodic motion

Candid, confessional, and captivating in equal measure, the latest single, Faith, Wisdom, You, from the Dallas-born, Napa-based singer-songwriter Tyler Street is poetry in melodic motion.

After the raw yet euphonic timbre of the acoustic guitar strings, the up-and-coming luminary cuts straight to the crux of the lyrical essence of the single, which resonantly explores a melancholic exposition of an inability to control the tides of emotion. The gentle vocal performance provides a scintillating juxtaposition to the lyricism, which carries the admission of uncontrollable anger.

With hints of Frightened Rabbit and The National within the indie folk production fused with the soulful warmth of Jack Johnson and the emotional intimacy of Elliott Smith, Tyler Street cultivated his sonic style to complement his soulful aura, which echoes the self-awareness and mindfulness inspired by his spiritual awakening. Take notes of the Eckhart Tolle-esque introspection while losing yourself in the transcendence of the guitar notes as they’re artistically amplified by the presence of chamber strings.

Faith, Wisdom, You was officially released on December 21. Stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

London Graffiti put the writing on the wall in their art-rock tour de force, These Words

Keeping the soul of grunge but stripping back the sludge, the Oxford, UK-based alt-indie rock outfit London Graffiti unleashed the ultimate aural eye-prickler with their latest single, These Words.

If you melded the pensive folky panache of Frightened Rabbit with the art-rock arrangements of Radiohead and the progressively dark atmosphere of Porcupine Tree, you’d get close to the evocative mark made on the indie rock landscape by the band that has already won the favour of plenty of mainstream radio stations, including BBC Introducing.

It is impossible not to be choked by the emotion-fuelled energy in the single, which also pays tribute to the National, Joy Division, and the Doves. Originality oozes from every effortlessly cool pore of These Words, yet never to the detriment of the projection of frantically inhibited dejection.

These Words was officially released on March 16th; hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Dolly Mavies – I’m All Sugar: Get Your indie Anthem Fix

Oxford, UK singer-songwriter, Dolly Mavies, set the indie anthem bar impossibly high with her latest single, I’m All Sugar, which surges with the same rhythmic and vocal energy of Somebody to Love by Boogie Pimps in spite of the folky flavour.

Taken from her debut album, The Calm & The Storm, the stellar single from the artist who takes influence from the likes of Patti Smith, The National and Daughter, created a uniquely exhilarating listening experience that makes no bones about pulling you through an ardently visceral arrangement where a curveball lies on the edge of every progression.

If Dolly Mavies isn’t as big as Mumford & Sons by the end of the year, someone may as well scorch the earth of the music industry so we can start again. It’s punk as fuck, yet, Mavies still maintains that ever-addictive girl-next-door appeal.

I’m All Sugar will officially release on March 24th. Hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jakob the Liar – H E A R T B E A T: The Only Heartbreak Hit You Need to Hear This Year

Considering that we’re living in a post-truth world, we may as well tune into a reality falsifier, especially if they’re as endearingly magnetic as the alt-indie singer-songwriter Jakob the Liar.

His latest single, H E A R T B E A T, is his first contribution to the airwaves since the successful launch of his 2020 EP, Crystallised in Moonshine, and it is a melodic dream. The concept of running away from your own heartbeat won’t be foreign to anyone that has known heartbreak, but few can bring that world-shattering sensation into poetic motion as well as the Danish London-residing artist.

If The National, Bon Iver and Springsteen had a riff-soaked lovechild, the sonic result would be just as sweet as the anthemic intimacy in H E A R T B E A T.

H E A R T B E A T is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

I Am Grounded: The Eighty Six Seas drops timeless new track I Need My Girl (ft. Elly Kace and Straight Pepper Diet)

Doing rather remarkable things to surprise himself and all listeners, The Eighty Six Seas covers The National on his brand new release called I Need My Girl (ft. Elly Kace and Straight Pepper Diet) 

The Eighty Six Seas aka Nick Stevens is a Brooklyn-based alternative folk-pop singer-songwriter who after seven years living in Boston, finds his soul alive in new sounds which are inspiring his every move.

Stevens was studying at the University of Connecticut when he first started crafting songs, finding his footing as a solo folk artist and later cutting his teeth with indie rock collective The Condescending Foxes.” ~ Nick Stevens

Urging us all to never forget who is truly important in this rather tempting planet, The Eighty Six Seas soaks all of our worries away in an instant here. Pure and taking us to the pacifying waters away from evil, this is a rather excellent effort from all angles.

I Need My Girl from Brooklyn-based alternative folk-pop singer-songwriter The Eighty Six Seas is a relaxing single to change many mixed moods with. Offering us so much hope and love, this is a catchy anthem for all the right reasons. With softly spoken words and kind exuberance, we find an uncorrupted song to wash all worries away.

Hear more news on Spotify. See more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Romantic Indie-Rock Raconteur Griffin Robillard is Electrifying in His Anthemically Rythmic Hit, Laws of Longing (LOL)

Griffin Robillard

For the exact same reasons I fell in love with Editors from the first hit, I felt my pulse quicken to the snappy electro-indie gravitas and vocal magnetism from the indie rock raconteur Griffin Robillard, in his single, Laws of Longing (LOL).

The production is as polished as it is colossal as it wraps around the die-hard romanticism in the lyrics and the dance-worthy rhythms evocatively heightened with every ardently pitch-perfect vocal stretch. With Grant Eppley (The National, Maggie Rogers, Spoon) in charge of production, it was never going to be lacklustre. Yet, clearly, the raw material already came with a scintillating sheen.

When most people endure a broken-off engagement, they fall into an insular vacuum of self-pity. Notably, it did little to quell Griffin Robillard’s intensely passionate drive, which puts a visceral amount of momentum into Laws of Longing. It is just one of the singles found on his upcoming debut album, Big Pieces Energy, penned-post-heartbreak and due for release on March 10th.

Laws of Longing will officially release on February 10th. Hear it on Griffin Robillard’s website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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