Lilla Vargen, We Were Thunder

Lilla Vargen, We Were Thunder

As if last week didn’t give us enough to be thankful for, the week ended with a stunning EP release from Lilla Vargen, titled We Were Thunder. (As an Irish singer/songwriter, Thanksgiving meant nothing outside of the continental United States, but we’re still reeling about how perfect the timing was on this release.) Beginning with the powerful, building ballad that is “The Shore”, Lilla sets the bar high with her strong — yet ethereal — vocals commanding the voyage. Heart-wrenching, the lyrics speak of torment over past love. But the song’s gorgeous melody holds with it hope for the future. “Solitary” brings another tortured love to the forefront, as Vargen sings of a relationship that feels cold even when those involved are together.

The idea of drifting apart and feeling “solitary” matches the soundscape perfectly, which is something that is so uniquely Vargen. She continues to rip our souls apart with “Why Wait”, where she sings of the loneliness of unrequited — or perhaps not yet realized — love. This one hit home. “Trouble” plays with the notion of timing always being off between two flames. Another highly relateable — and infinitely gorgeous — track to center yourself in knowing you’re not truly alone in this. She winds down the EP with “On My Mind”, leaving the open ended question asking why her love interest is always on her mind.

We are clearly going to have this magical EP on repeat for a while. But it begs the question, will there be a resolution in coming work to this heartbreak? Or will it be like your new favorite indie film, leaving you with a cliffhanger that keeps it cult status for years to come? Let us know what you think on Facebook!

We would tell you to catch Lilla with one of our favorites, Dermot Kennedy, on December 17th at the O2 Academy Leeds, but the event is sold out. And we get it.

Keep up with Lilla Vargen here.

steven king, steven king on ice

steven king, steven king on ice

If you’ve been looking for instrumentals that will touch your soul simply and evoke emotion before the vocals even hit, check out Steven King‘s new full-length Steven King on Ice. In fact, try on the first track “Water” for size, and you’ll already see what we mean. Not to mention the fact that King’s pace switches pretty fervently between slow ballads (“Seams Are Splitting”, “Fly to the End”, “Run to the Back”, “Wine”) and a relatively danceable pace (“Water”, “Black Mood”, “Champion the Idiot”, etc.) throughout the nine track album.

Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, King has crafted melodies that make most of these tracks streamlined for television and movie placement. We are floored by the talent on Steven King on Ice. “Champion the Idiot” has pulled some obvious inspiration from 60s favorites, while songs like “Milkshake” have a bit more of a 90s appeal to them. And — even though there are a myriad of topics addressed in the album and, in that way, it can feel kind of scattered — it all seems to come back around to introspective thoughts, highlighted with lines like, “What’s this world to you?” in last track “Wine”.

We’re very into this album in its entirety, and will probably be championing it all week on Spotify. Take a listen below, and let us know what you think on our Facebook page!

Keep up with Steven King here!

vanwyck, molten rock

vanwyck, molten rock

Breezy, ethereal vocals. Light as a feather instrumentals, a warm and inviting soundscape. All of these factors are involved in VanWyck‘s newest full-length release, out today. The project, titled Molten Rock, is comprised of twelve impossibly beautiful tracks, inspired — in part, at least — undoubtedly by the folk of yesteryear. A slow, steady pace is established with first track “Supermarket Line”, and continues into “Lead Me On”, while “Rock Carver” brings with it more assertive instrumentals and a raspier take on the vocals.

“Make of Me” slows everything down to a crawl, gorgeous and sprawling in its soundscape. It is here that we take pause, to realize how important it is to note the comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Nathalie Merchant that VanWyck’s debut album drew, and to notice the way the music has evolved in the space and time since that album was released in 2018. As we roll into “Carolina’s Anatomy”, we feel an attraction to a new love the way this song seems to convey.

Have you ever been this close to feeling no remorse
and being where you want to be

“High School Gym Wall” is even more delicate than its predecessors, something we never would have guessed by its title. Haunting in a way that impresses, it perfectly introduces “Be It to the End”, which brings with it a darker, more theatric atmosphere. “Breakfast Room Revelation” is layered, a ballad of sorts that holds as one of our favorites from this collection.

“The Boatman Calls” and “Like an Ambush” are both solidly beautiful tracks, leading into “The Rock Steady Creeper” which is also impossibly relaxing in its disposition, despite the title. VanWyck expertly rounds out the album with twelfth and final track, the title track, which has the sonic feel of witnessing molten rock cascade down a landscape. The lyrics are descriptive, painting an intense picture, comparisons we all have the capacity to feel.

This album, if nothing else, urges you to feel. Whether by its intense and relatable lyrical content, or its lavish soundscapes. Experience it in full below, and let us know how you feel on Facebook!

Keep up with VanWyck here.

christine smith, meet me on the far side of a star

christine smith, meet me on the far side of a star

Christine Smith is a songstress capable of bringing both a hint of gothic-inspired sounds and inspired lyrics. Her new 9-track release Meet Me on The Far Side of a Star is no different, catapulting its listener into a slightly whimsical existence. Starting out slow and steady, an absolute ambiance is created with “This Love”. The piano leads the way into “You Can’t Hurt Me Anymore”, and an ear that has never witnessed Smith’s music can sense a very theatrical disposition almost off the bat. And perhaps that’s the magic about Meet Me on The Far Side of a Star, as it feels as though all of these songs could be written into a stage performance. Both “Trying Not to Fall in Love” and “Happily Never After” could both be read as tongue in cheek, though the genuine attempt to avoid love is a real thing that many people grapple with.

“Feels Like Yesterday” brings the nostalgia in like a train at high speed, while the title track brings the tempo up slightly more than its predecessors. “I Know This Moon” feels like a lullaby, and wonderful caress compared to the other tracks that are part of this collection. It might appeal to the increasing number of people who are starting to follow moon cycles a little more closely, and become something almost sacred for some. “Very, Very” feels just as delicate, while “We’re Never Going” is the perfect final track, as there is a sense of finality not only in its title, but also in the structure of the instrumentals.

How wonderful to feel like this audible journey closes out as perfectly as it could. Enjoy the album in its entirety below, and be sure to let us know how you’re feeling about it on Facebook!

delores galore, new growth

delores galore, new growth

Alright, we are way overdue for stepping back in time with a killer soundscape to aid us. Packed to the brim with disco-era synth flare, Delores Galore‘s new album New Growth sounds a little more old school than one might assume when dissecting the album title, though it has a fresh spin with relatable lyrics and a fun, carefree feeling. (Truly, this is exactly what we needed to help us along through these slightly-more-serious months as we all meet year-end goals and continue to kick ass to end this decade right.)

“One Touch” gets us in the mood with husky vocals, glittering reverb and a vocal spoken breakdown that is equal parts honest and soulful. “Corpse Inside” has more of a psychedelic tone to it, a track that brings the tempo down, and the feelings out. “Still We Stay” follows it, much more 80s in nature, and just as magical as its predecessors. This one has an instrumental tempo that is slightly off-kilter when lined up with the vocals. This slight difference creates an otherworldly atmosphere for the duration of this dance track.

“Don’t Stop Me Now” has a very techy opening, with a soundscape that makes us feel as though we have been dropped inside an original Nintendo console to fend for our lives. The frantic feeling the instrumentals create is only slightly offset by the smoothness of the vocals, creating a balance similar to the song before it. Delores Galore rounds out the release well, with the slower tempo’d “Circles”. It feels epic, and should we find it placed in a Stranger Things-esque period piece, we wouldn’t think it out of place.

Get a sneak peek of New Growth below with “One Touch”, and keep your eyes peeled for more!

Keep up with Delores Galore here.

teleportal, devour

teleportal, devour

Rock collective Teleportal – comprised of Johnny Rossa (Vocals), Beth Liebling (Vocals and Bass), James Bourland (Guitar), and Ric Peterson (Drums) – just released a theatrical, 11-track album titled Devour that does – if not specifically that – really provide an attitude all its own. While the instrumentals of “Space Bone” introduce the collection with a dark soundscape, it lightens with the layering of new instrumentals and lighter vocals. Eventually a wailing note makes this song into what it is, and we’re transported back in time while also being pushed significantly into the future. “The Plague” has an undeniably frantic feel to its sound, energizing in its disposition, while “Disaster” evens out the tempo a bit for a more traditional rock sound. “Mansions” slows it down to that psych rock soundscape, giving us whirring guitar parts we didn’t even realize we were craving until now.

“The Organizer” dips back into classic rock, a little more of a ballad. We’re pleased with the way it pulls Rossa’s vocals to the forefront, providing this heartbreaking feeling we wouldn’t otherwise get from a different set of pipes. “Slither on the Ceiling” brings with it a funky feeling, the vocals rough and enticing. “Velvet Math” definitely feels more technical, with computerized sounds throughout and an otherworldly vocal presentation. While “Pull the Trigger” has a title that might feel a little more morbid than its predecessors, the crashing cymbals and punk rock feel make it fit right on in with several genres, including garage, punk, and classic rock.

“Ruins” slows everything down as an instrumental track driven by a classic drumbeat, while “Eel” does seem to exist in a watery, psychedelic soundscape. (The intentionality behind the undertones of the songs and their title pairings is almost poetic in itself, don’t get us started here.) “Gamma Dust” is quite possibly the perfect ending to this collection, as from beginning to end you feel an eery connectedness to the scattered percussion, haunting vocals, and layers of sound. Soothing, chaotic, intense.

Keep up with Teleportal here.