Browsing Tag

UK Indie

London’s Forsylver became indie royalty with their latest release, Promethazine Queen

Launched to a capacity crowd at 93 Feet East in Shoreditch, the latest single, Promethazine Queen, from London’s hottest breakthrough indie outfit, Forsylver, is the perfect introduction to the expansively influenced outfit who have hit the ground running straight out of the gate.

With a vocal style that shifts between invokes the sticky-sweet euphonic magnetism of The Feeling harmonising atop the flares of funk in the eclectic indie-pop-rock tapestry to Arctic Monkeys-reminiscent cutting commentaries Forsylver’s distinctive style emboldens the sincerity within Promethazine Queen. From the Daft Punk-esque riot of a middle eight to the jangle pop guitars to the complex time signatures in the rhythm section, Promethazine Queen is a perfect circle of expression and innovation.

Instead of following trends, the fourpiece, fronted by Joe Ewer with Will Farrow carving out the funk-pop guitar chops, Alex McKenzie feeding the rhythms on bass and Shunya Matsumoto giving the percussion a Radiohead-art-rock flair, are etching their innovation into the tapestry of the future of indie.

Forsylver may have only been on the scene since late 2023, but they’re already an unreckonable force. With plenty more planned for 2024, they should be the epicentre of every indie fan’s radar.

Promethazine Queen was officially released on May 3rd; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Vouchers struck a raw nerve with the melodic malaise in their alt-post-punk seminal release, Dead History

OYEZ! by The Vouchers

The Vouchers’ standout single, Dead History, from their debut album OYEZ! doesn’t break the post-punk mould; it is a sublime continuation of the disorder initiated by Joy Divison, infused with the melodic malaise of Dinosaur Jr.

Driven by the creative synergy of Mark Langston, Tom Brown, and Matt Clifton, the three-piece intertwines satirical observational poetry with a distinctive North East twang, resulting in unapologetically raw, eloquently monochromatic chemistry.

Dead History captures the essence of The Vouchers’ distinct approach; the track is a sonic labyrinth where angular hooks meet the cold tonalities of an ennui-laden atmosphere, and sparse lyrics become poignant bursts of clarity. The minimalist lyricism of Dead History might initially seem understated, but every word hangs in the air of the release that ticks all the right post-punk boxes.

If you’re looking for a new indie band to get behind, you’ll need to keep the pace as The Vouchers make their inevitably rapid ascent.

Stream and purchase Dead History on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Doolallys augmented the tribulations of banality in the indie rock anthem of the year, How Long Will This Go On?

Imagine how affecting a synthesis of the most stirring elements of Editors, Audioslave, and Arcade Fire would be, amplify the infectious appeal of that amalgam to the nth degree, then you will get an idea of what awaits you when you hit play on the single, How Long Will This Go On? From The Doolallys.

If any guitar-based outfit with deadpan lyricism deserves to reach the same heights of success as The Reytons, it is this Brighton-based trio, which is already making all the right waves in the industry.

After winning over BBC Introducing in 2018 and snagging a live radio slot in 2019 before honing their sound into a cultivated augmented with anthemics sonic signature, The Doolallys got to work on their upcoming debut EP; months after wrapping up the recording, the band suffered the tragic loss of their founding member and bassist Connor Kilbane in October 2022. After a hiatus, the band decided to honour Connor by moving ahead with the EP; if How Long Will This Go On, is a taste of things to come, it won’t just be a part of the band’s legacy, but UK indie’s legacy. Between the aching relatability in the lyrics which speak of relentlessly monotonous banality and the kinetic chemistry that cuts through the release, How Long Will This Go On deserves a perpetual place in the indie charts.

How Long Will This Go On is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Run The Enemy brought even more tragedy to the legacy of Sylvia Plath with their Post-Punk vignette, She Writes Poetry

Poetry may be becoming a dying art form, but it lives and breathes through the hauntingly melodic introspection in the standout single, She Writes Poetry, from Run the Enemy’s hotly anticipated debut album, Trail of Tears.

After the post-punk-tinged and angularly cavernous lead guitar work in the prelude, the timbre of the melancholic indie vocal lines spectrally appears in the achingly pensive release which finds the monochrome middle ground between Editors earlier work and Interpol’s most affecting expositions of ennui.

With the final crescendo, She Writes Poetry, which gives Richey Edwards and Morrissey a run for their lyrical vignette money, builds into a massive all-encompassing production with strings carving through the post-punk atmosphere.

Written to allude to the abusive relationship between Plath and Ted Hughes, the Cambridge-based outfit succeeded in bringing even more tragedy to the legacy of Plath, given that she stuck her head in an oven in her final moments and penned some of the most pensively affecting works to date, that is some feat of ingenuity.

Stream She Writes Poetry as part of Run The Enemy’s debut LP, Trail of Tears, on Spotify now.

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

San Ílios delivered retro-indie nostalgia as you’ve never known it before in ‘Wanderlust’

For their sophomore single, the up-and-coming alt-indie duo San Ílios explored a phenomenon that everyone can relate to; Wanderlust unfurls with sonic visualisations of freedom flowing throughout the indie-folk-pop production which cuts through various avenues of retro-indie nostalgia. Imagine an evocative synthesis of Radiohead, Modest Mouse and Coldplay, and you’ll get an idea of what kind of soundscape you will escape into when you hit play.

The vocal harmonies are as light and airy as the instrumentals that meld strident horn stabs with the steady ring of acoustic guitar strings, piano pop melodies and scintillatingly artful effects that allow Wanderlust to veer into art rock territory. By drawing influence from Keane, Arcade Fire, and U2, the UK-residing up-and-coming outfit gave their growing fanbase a taste of the familiar before feeding them swathes of ingenuity that will undoubtedly see them go far after the launch of their debut album.

Wanderlust was officially released on February 4th; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Matt Camillo – Stop to Look Around: A Transatlantic Synthesis of Americana-Tinged Folk-Rock and UK Indie

Matt Camillo’s seminal single, Stop to Look Around, is a striking synthesis of 90s-tinged UK Indie and American Folk Rock which proves that aged 23, the London-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist possesses a maturity in his music that belies his years.

The track resonates with the melodic influences of Travis, Stereophonics, and Beady Eye, evident in its steady indie rock chords. Yet, it’s the subtle infusion of Americana into the rhythmics that sets this song apart, creating an uplifting yet bittersweet sound that is quintessentially English in its melancholy.

Lyrically, ‘Stop to Look Around’ carries the essence of a love song, yet it’s imbued with a level of artistic ambiguity that allows listeners to find their own meaning within its verses. This narrative flexibility ensures that the track leaves a lasting impression, regardless of how one interprets it.

Camillo, who began composing music at 13 and has since dabbled in Electronica and Pop before settling into the singer-songwriter genre, shows a keen understanding of his musical influences. His experience, including opening for acclaimed acts like Never the Bride and playing at notable venues shines through in this single.

The song’s production balances simplicity with sophistication, allowing Camillo’s vocal delivery to take centre stage. The instrumentation supports without overpowering, creating a harmonious backdrop that complements the lyrical journey. As a precursor to his upcoming acoustic debut EP ‘(Would You) Believe?’, this track cements Camillo’s status as a rising star in the indie scene.

Stop to Look Around was officially released on February 9th. Stream the single on Spotify

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The modern malaise in KEEF’s ‘Adela Road’ is sonorously close to home

In their latest single, Adela Road, KEEF masterfully encapsulated the essence of 90s Britpop while infusing it with a modern indie rock spirit and extended the sonic timeline further with the psychedelic soul of the 60s to pay a vibrant homage to the past while allowing the release to resonate profoundly with the present.

The echoes of Britpop are weightlessly carried in the kaleidoscopically colourful melodies as the crooning vocals emanate the same indie rock raconteurial soul as The Walkmen. As past and present combine, parables for modern times entwine within the rhythmic allegory of how bitter-sweet footfall on paving stones can be when it brings back the memories of brighter days gone by. The sonorousness of the vocal performance as it finds complete synergy with the richly textured instrumental arrangement ensures that every line hits with bruising precision.

While music is subjective, I can safely say that Adela Road will be close to home for many. It’s thick with the modern malaise that makes it so easy for days to slip away without any tangible meaning. It’s a fucking stunning release, which shines a light on how high the calibre KEEF’s output is. “I’ve been counting the gravestones to pass the time, so many memories, so many lines” may just be one of the stunningly haunting lyrics I’ve heard since The Holy Bible first tore my soul in two.

Adela Road will be officially released on January 26; stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

AFTERDRIVE augmented introspection in their curve-transcending indie pop-rock hit, Stick Around

If you’re a sucker for catchy indie pop-rock hooks, evocatively sonorous vocal versatility, and complex layered arrangements, you’re going to want to save a space for the UK’s hottest breakthrough artist, AFTERDRIVE, on your radar. Their standout single, Stick Around, which augments melancholic introspection to anthemic stadium-filling levels, is a testament to the outfit’s ability to craft music with swathes of cross-over appeal.

Opening with choral, reverb-drenched guitar lines that hark back to the dreamy soundscapes of Slowdive, Stick Around immediately sets a tone of profound contemplation. This serene beginning soon gives way to a burst of energy as the song transitions into an electrifying chorus.

With the vocal performance bearing resemblance to the impassioned earnestness of Matty Healy, the single comes charged with emotional depth, which gives even more power to the uplifting and poignant melodies. Even though their music is perfect for live performances where their energy and charisma shine the brightest, Stick Around has all the makings of a playlist staple.

With over 30 gigs in 2023 and a growing presence in the festival circuit, AFTERDRIVE is clearly on an upward trajectory. Their music, as Connor Bennett of BBC aptly put it, is the start of something big. For those who yearn for music that combines the best of indie pop and rock, look no further than AFTERDRIVE’s latest offering.

Stick Around is available to stream on Spotify and all major streaming platforms.

Keep up to date with the latest releases from AFTERDRIVE via Facebook & Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Oxford singer-songwriter Emma Hunter brought Latino Post-Punk to UK shores in her artfully augmented single, Guilty

If Iggy Pop is the Passenger, the Oxford singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist Emma Hunter is the driver in her biggest single and battle of conscience to date, Guilty, which hit the airwaves on September 29.

With her artful sonic signature scribed through her Flamenco guitars augmented with a brashy and garagey high-octane post-punk energy that will ensnare fans of Siouxsie Soux and Debbie Harry, this guilt-riddled and demon-parading evolution is a far cry from her former releases which reach the epitome of affectingly arresting.

Hunter’s new-found strident approach to enticing listeners into her conceptually cunning creativity will undoubtedly put her on the right trajectory towards the reverence she’s deserved from the outset. As much as the industry maintains that it favours authenticity and talent, her absence from the charts is a damning testament to their appetite for melodic monotony.

Stream Guilty via YouTube and Spotify and keep up to date with Emma Hunter’s new music via Facebook and Instagram. 

Review by Amelia Vandergast