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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Steve Nash: You're On My Mind

You're On My Mind is the new single from Small Bear Records recording artist Steve Nash. The track is a nice smooth pop song. It has a solid hook, engaging melody and is just a good pretty song, which is sometimes enough. This is music without pretense or ego, it's simple, with lyrics that are personal and universal. Stream and buy You're On My Mind at the link below.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Lucy Morris: Swimming In Broad Waters

Swimming In Broad Waters is the debut EP from Isle of Man band Lucy Morris, a collaboration of Postcode members Marie Reynolds and Kieran Ball, with contributions from Martyn Cain and Steve Leach, released by Small Bear Records. The 3 tracks are a stylish and engaging take on progressive folk melded to a bit of a post-punk aesthetic. There is a compelling vibe to the vocals which pair perfectly to the deep lyrics. Instrumental arrangements have nice melodic passages, the drums deliver that perfect drum sound that only comes with a hard hitting drummer and the guitar alternates between a darkish twang and moody subtle tonality. Overall a very strong EP that will likely find its way on repeat. Watch the video for EP track Five Days, then stream and buy Swimming In Broad Waters at the link below.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Liz Hogg: Liz Hogg

Brooklyn based singer/songwriter Liz Hogg has released her S/T debut album. The ten tracks are an amalgam of experimental, avant garde song stylings. Hogg eschews any vestiges of song form and song craft, to deliver an album that is pure art for arts sake. There is an ample display of instrumental chops, and some hints at pleasing vocals, but as a whole the album is disjointed and lacking of a musical center to which the listener can engage. We appreciate the artistic expression resident in this album, but it will appeal to a very small segment of listeners who like their music way out in left field. Stream and buy Liz Hogg at the link below.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Pacer: Bangers

Bangers is the sophomore single from Toronto band Pacer. The track is in the vein of heavier Weezer stuff, with a good beat, fuzzed out guitars and reverby vocals. The song is engaging, but the instrumental parts are a bit repetitious and lackluster. This is a good band that needs to find their legs as recording artists and mature a bit with their offerings. Definitely worth a listen, but not likely to be a heavy repeat song. Stream and buy Bangers at the link below.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Aeges: Drifter

L.A. band Aeges is back with a new single, Drifter. The track, plus a bonus acoustic version, is an EMO emulating piece reminiscent of The Used and Panic at the Disco. Hard, dark, noisy and edgy, with plenty of teenage angst, pounding guitars and heaviness. The acoustic version loses none of the edge and is an enjoyable counterpoint to the full band version. Stream and buy Drifter at the link below.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Liya: Listen

Listen is the new EP from Israeli artist Liya on Australian label Blind Mice Productions. The four tracks are dark synthpop, with influences from Bjork to Polica. Deep, engaging synthpads, with a slight noise laden production, atmospheric vocals and towering harmonies abound. There is a bit of a retro feel to the synths, but not in a derivative way, the music is fresh and smart, drawing the listener into the songs. This is a solid EP that should find its way onto repeat for a while. Stream and buy Listen at the link below.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

George Crotty Trio: Four String Nomad

Four String Nomad is the latest album from the George Crotty Trio. The seven tracks are not your usual fair, but rather are an imaginative and original take on the classic jazz trio with a cellist, bass and drums. The music and arrangements show depth and virtuosity, with engaging counterpoint, nice improvisational passages and complex, yet accessible stylings. This is some of the most original jazz we've heard in a long time and the cello makes a great lead instrument for this format. This album is darkish, exciting and totally compelling; an absolute must have. Stream and buy Four String Nomad at the link below.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Pas Musique: Electronic Brain and A Finnish Bedtime Story

Brooklyn based electronic outfit Pas Musique have released Electronic Brain and A Finnish Bedtime Story as advance tracks for their album The Phoenix, due in March on indie label Alrealon Musique. The two tracks are different in sonic vibe and character. Both are avant garde electronic, with the former being very free form and glitchy, while the latter is more melodic and noisey. Both tracks are more to the experimental side of electronic music and will appeal to those who like their electronic adventurous, unique and original. Stream and buy Electronic Brain and A Finnish Bedtime Story At the link below.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Macintop: C i d a d e D o V í c i o け陰ン

Brazilian electronic group Macintop brings us their debut album C i d a d e  Do  V í c i o  け陰ン. The nine tracks are electronic bedroom pop with a bit of a chill vibe, some edgyness and nice stylistic range. This is music that is anti-genre, residing in a no mans land where elements of pop, electronica, ambient and chill wave are merged into a unique aural offering. Retro synth pads abound, as does an energetic vibe. Not sure if this is a release that will find its way to repeat as there is a lack of engaging character, but it is a nice listen. Stream and buy C i d a d e  D o  vVí c i o  け陰ン at the link below. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Norman Salant: Always All Around You

Always All Around You is the latest album from NYC singer/songwriter Norman Salant. The ten tracks are nice, stylish folkrock and Americana, with lyrical depth, imaginative arrangements and crisp production from the likes of JP Bowersock (Ryan Adams and The Strokes). The album is engaging in its totality and has a sonic vibe that will keep the listener fixated and the album on repeat. Over the course of 21 releases spanning seven years, Salant has shown both creative prowess and staying power. This is an artist who should be in everyone's collection and is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Always All Around You at the link below.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Chez.Kito.Kat Records: Kit Sounds Eight

Montreal indie label, Chez.Kito.Kat Records is celebrating their twelfth birthday by giving everyone a gift. Kit Sounds Eight is the 8th edition of their compilation series and is available as a free download on Bandcamp. The album features seventeen of the label's artists and ranges from analog techno to psychedelic rock, ambient, breakbeat, experimental and electronica. This is a great way to grab over an hour and a half of music from this fine indie label and is a definite must have. Stream and download Kit Sounds Eight at the link below.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Yellow6: Reflect

British guitarist and Silber Records artist, Jon Attwood, has been making pristine instrumental music under his Yellow6 moniker for 20 years. To mark this milestone, he brings us a truly epic work, the 5 CD set, Reflect. This massive artistic undertaking is all new music and stands as a testament to a guitarist that rises above mere genre and stylistic formats to create music of superlative depth and sublime beauty. It is almost unfathomable to try and conceptualize the sheer magnitude of an undertaking, that is surely the artistic equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest. What the listener will find in this gigantic compendium, is an incredible array of instrumental chops, an inspired sense of composition and arrangement, crisp production and an abundance of damn fine music. This collection is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Reflect at the link below.

Burner: Burner

After releasing the devastating single, PSA, in December, Toronto punks Burner are back with their S/T debut EP. The seven tracks are thrash aristocracy, showcasing the band's hardcore roots. This is music that accepts no bounds and takes no prisoners. Punk is meant to challenge and Burner is the school bully kicking the arse of all the lame pussy pop in its territory. You'll get enough edge to slit tires, the kind of rawness that will make your parents worry and all of the attitude that gives full authenticity to the punk aesthetic. A definite must have. Stream and by Burner at the link below.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Luka Fisher: Internecine Vampires & Konbanwa: Live Flaying


Our friends at North Carolina's Silber Records bring us two new EP releases, Internecine Vampires, the latest EP by Luka Fisher and Live Flaying, by Konbanwa. The five tracks on Internecine Vampires continue Fisher's penchant for dense freeform ambient music. Combining melodic drones, with dark sonic imagery, dissonant passages and bits of noisy shading, Fisher again pushes the boundaries of ambient forms. On Live Flaying, Konbanwa, aka Rowland Yeargan, delivers an extended 22 minute work employing a wide selection of instruments, synths and textures to develop a piece that spans the world with an ambience and drone persona of originality and uniqueness. Silber continues to be the leading purveyor of experimental music and we look forward to continued releases from this fine label as we move into this new year. Stream and buy Internecine Vampires and Live Flaying at the links below.

Box of Moxie: Hatteras Surf Buzz

Hatteras Surf Buzz is the fourth single since November from Virginia based Box of Moxie. Once again the group underwhelms by releasing their fourth lackluster track as a single. We have to wonder if they even know what a single is, or if their raison d'etre is just to make lame forgettable music? In truth this track is better than the previous three, the music is nice and actually seems to work with the vocals, which at best are an acquired taste. However, the song itself is terrible. It's poorly written, lacking any vestiges of songcraft or interesting lyrical content. At this point all we can hope for is that a bolt of lightning strikes them and they emerge with newfound savant abilities. Stream and buy Hatteras Surf Buzz at the link below.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Rod Gilstrap: Cavalier

Cavalier is the sophomore album from Wyoming based singer/songwriter Rod Gilstrap. the eight tracks are superlative Americana. The songs are well written, though overly cliched, well played and well performed. That said, the album is very hard to listen to. The vocals are so loud and harshly EQ'd in comparison to the rest of the each track, that the overall effect leaves the tracks almost painful to listen to. This is a very good record totally compromised by bad production. Sometimes an artist needs a producer to save them from their own egos by simply telling them to turn the vocals down. We hope there are a trained set of ears in the room on this artist's next release. He is too good to be consigned to obscurity by lack of production taste. Stream and buy Cavalier at the link below.

Luke De-Sciscio: Love

Love is the latest album from UK singer/songwriter Luke De-Sciscio. The seven tracks are a modern take on the folk music one would have expected to find in Greenwich Village in the 60s. The music is minimalist featuring guitar, piano and the occasional percussion. With two extended tracks , De-Sciscio explores subjects with literary flair and personal intimate messages. The album is edgier than one would expect for the genre and the music has an engaging aesthetic, that draws you into the songs and the depth of their messages. this is an altogether strong record, with surprising elements and a compelling persona. Stream and buy Love at the link below.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

David McFarlane: Fieldwork

After an eight year wait, Toronto singer/songwriter David McFarlane has released his sophomore album Fieldwork. The eleven tracks are engaging folkrock, with plenty of fuzz, nice arrangements and some towering harmonies. The production has a bit of a lofi feel, which at times comes across as overly harsh. There's plenty of dynamic variety and the whole album works, though with such a long span between releases, one would expect something truly great, which this album is not. The biggest question then becomes, is this artist credible given the eight years between albums. This would be an overly long hiatus for an established artist, but for an indie artist with only one previous release, it calls into question whether one should invest in engaging with the artist if no new music will be forthcoming in a timely manner. We appreciate any artist's need to see their musical vision realized, but with the sheer amount of artists struggling to be heard, one must question whether the music press should devote any of its limited space to an artist with such a gap in releases. Stream and buy Fieldwork at the link below.

Bottle Next: Bonus & B-Sides

French band Bottle next have released Bonus & B-Sides, the followup EP to their 2014 EP and January 2017 debut album. The first thing that comes to mind, is that if all you can manage to release in 4 years is an EP and an album, you should come with your best new material, not rebrand the stuff that didn't make it to the album. This EP is what one would expect under those circumstances, a lack luster affair full of dated hard rock.  The six tracks are bar band fare, offering nothing original or engaging. Stream and buy Bonus & B-Sides at the link below.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Beauty In Chaos: 20th Century Boy Video

On December 11th, we brought you the review of Finding Beauty In Chaos, Ministry's Al Jourgensen's new album as Beauty In Chaos. Now we have a video for album track 20th Century Boy. Watch it below.

The Thin Cherries: On Moose Island

On Moose Island is the sophomore release from Chicago band The Thin Cherries. The ten tracks have a nice progressive tinged indie rock feel. We hear all kinds of influences from Brit pop to California indie folk, with some helpings of prog rock giving the whole album stylistic depth. The songs are expertly crafted, arranged and produced, showcasing a band at the height of their collective powers. The album is enjoyable, engaging and musically satisfying; a definite must have. Stream and buy On Moose Island at the link below.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

I Ya Toyah: Code Blue

Code Blue is the debut album from Chicago based artist I Ya Toyah. The ten tracks have an experimental edge coupled to more IDM leaning melodies. The album is deep, complex and engaging. There is plenty of industrial aesthetics to give the tracks a raw dynamic, which plays nicely with the ethereal, atmospheric vocals. The album is thematically heavy, with plenty of artistic intensity to draw the listener into the totality of the album's immersive experience. Stream and buy Code Blue at the link below.

Post Lovers: Post Lovers

Post Lovers is the solo project and S/T debut album from Athens based singer/songwriter Eleni Karageorgou on Inner Ear Records. The thirteen tracks are smart, engaging musings of indie folkrock, with nice touches of a post-punk aesthetic. The songs have a sublime lyrical depth and varied instrumental palette. This is an album of excellence and accomplishment, showcasing an artist displaying a musical maturity way beyond what is expected of a debut release. A definite must have. Stream and buy Post Lovers at the link below.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Tate Chasers: Extras

Dallas Artist, Tate Chasers, has released Extras, his two song followup to his debut album released last spring. The tracks occupy a bit of a no mans land stylistically, with elements of commercial rock, altrock and a hint of modern commercial country. Both songs employ ample guitar chops, strong vocals and crisp production. The songwriting is well crafted and hooky, making both pieces radio ready. We see this record appealing to an older listener base into classic rock and finding a home on adult contemporary stations. Stream and buy Extras at the link below.

Morrison: Heart on Fire Video

Back on December 7th, we reviewed, Heart on Fire, the new single from Female vocalist Morrison. Now we have a stylish video to go with the track. Watch it below.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Sam Goku: Swallows Flight

Electronic artist Sam Goku brings us his new single, Swallows Flight, on Netherlands indie label, Atomnation. The extended track, totalling over seven minutes, is a masterwork of cool metallic synth pads, interspersed with atmospheric melodic passages. Taken together they build the distinct sense of movement and spatial complexity, tying the track name into imagined imagery. The track is catchy, engaging and altogether wonderful in its depth and richness, a definite must have. Stream and buy Swallows Flight at the link below.

The Differents :It's All Too Beautiful

It's All Too Beautiful is the fourth album from Chicago band The Differents. The ten tracks have a very retro late 60's pop rock vibe, with the obvious comparison to Chicago, but also with ample helpings of Small Faces and The Replacements. Unfortunately, the album is completely retro, lacking a connection with today's music in any way. There's plenty of chops on display, but at the same time, the album is best suited as a release for people who stopped listening to new music long ago. This is a good record that will find it difficult to resonate in the indie market past their established fan base.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Room In The Wood: The Mars EP

Liverpool based The Room In The Wood are back with The Mars EP, their third release this year. The four tracks are catchy post punk tinged progressive folk. The EP offers up plenty of stylistic variety, with an ample supply of instrumental chops, paired with vocals reminiscent of Nick Cave. The trio of Dave Jackson, Paul Cavanagh and Colin George Lamont, deliver an EP that shows their prolific output does not come at the expense of quality. What you get is a band of depth flexing its creative muscles and turning out good music at every turn. Watch the video for EP track Mars (Won't Save Us), then stream and buy The Mars EP at the link below.

Daniel Isaiah: Only One Left

Only One Left is what appears to be the debut album from Daniel Isaiah. We say appears, because this is an artist who has nothing, and we mean nothing, on their Bandcamp page. No info, location, credits, release date, bio...nothing. It's cool for an artist to build a mysterious persona, it's another to be so obscure as to seem disinterested in engaging with an audience. The nine tracks are interesting indie rock, with a varied palette stylistically. The songs are descent, but lack the compelling vibe that engages deeply. A good album that is worth a listen, but likely will not find its way onto repeat. Stream and buy Only One Left at the link below.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Fame: Wide Awake

Wide Awake is the debut single from Toronto band The Fame. The track is an expertly crafted piece of indie rock. The song is strong, the vocals are strong and the arrangement is strong. This is an engaging track that shows rock still has some dynamic legs to stand on. The track has a nice raw, edgy sheen, towering harmonies and is destined to be on repeat. This is a top notch debut and we ca't wait to hear more from this band. Stream and buy Wide Awake at the link below.

Lowlands: Gorge

Gorge is the new album from Lowlands, on Austrian indie Wilhelm Show Me The Major Label. The eight tracks are avant garde takes on a post-punk aesthetic. The album is dissonant and free-form, and will appeal to those that like their music experimental. Commercial song structure is nonexistent and the overall effect is as raw and edgy as a dead razorfish. This is music that is meant to challenge the listener, to shakeup one's perception of what music is and where songform is going. Not everyone's cup of tea, but yet imaginative and risky. Stream and buy Gorge at the link below.