This playlist is a compilation of many of the songs that played a major role in developing The Waking Point’s dark and high energy signature sound. The music from these artists inspired a guide for expression, while the engineering on many of the tracks are goals for future productions.
by: katy mombourquette
Ever since he was a kid, Salim Nourallah has had a deep appreciation for English rock ‘n roll music. As he grew up and cultivated a career as a musician into the 90’s, he found his life intertwined with two other multi-talented individuals: Chris Holt and Paul Averitt. The trio started bands together, played on each other’s albums, and got involved in many of the same collaborative projects. The two decades of shared respect and friendship along with Nourallah’s love of English rock have culminated in a new project that celebrates a reenvisioning of old music, called A Break in the Battle. The name comes from the Pretender’s “Back on the Chain Gang”, the words fitting to Nourallah, Holt, and Averitt’s belief in music as a respite from the toil of life. Like a giant love letter to their heroes, each song is stripped back to the essentials, which are then illuminated by the guys with a loving hand. The first round of tracks came out in 2017, with classics like The Replacements’ “Kiss Me on the Bus” and The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry.” After a two year hiatus following the death of Nourallah’s mother, the trio is set to release the second collection of songs later this year.
Kicking things off for round two, the boys have released Nick Heyward’s “Kite.” The original features a full sound, punchy beat, and a complex web of sounds including metallic guitars, warm horns and strings, and twinkling bells. The tone Heyward’s voice vaguely reminds one of Billy Corgan’s, but instead of the patented and glorious harshness that the Smashing Pumpkins’ lead singer is known for, Heyward’s voice is pleasant and earnest. A Break in the Battle’s version maintains that humble, earnest tone in the vocals, and has the same overall spirit as the original, but it achieves this using a different instrumental blueprint. The iconic waterfall-like guitar picking remains in the intro, but in the 2020 version it’s backed by prominent acoustic guitar strumming. The track is less punchy and more dreamy, complete with gentle harmonies and dazzling combinations of metallic guitar and reverberating piano.
One of the biggest pitfalls to avoid when making a cover is trying to sound like a carbon copy of the original. Nourallah, Holt, and Averitt’s version of “Kite” successfully sidesteps this stumbling block. It carefully preserves the essence and integrity of Heyward’s song, but approaches it from a different direction. With “Kite”, we see that the boys’ imagination is just as finely tuned as it was three years ago.
While the rest of the collection will be out later this year, in the meantime there are 16 opportunities on the first collection of A Break in the Battle for you to experience your favourite English rock tunes like it’s the first time.
Who Cares How It Ends is the debut album from War Strings and is the result of passion and perseverance. Los Angeles-based indie artist Andrew Stogel has been working on his craft from a young age and all of that hard work has led up to this. War Strings is an evolution of fronting bands like Dreamer Dose and LOVEYOU combined with his life experiences, both good and bad. Stogel suffered a major head injury that caused him to be bedridden for almost eight months, making him feel like he was on his deathbed. However, he came out of this stronger than ever and stumbled upon a new musical perspective in the process. He recalls, “I wrote Who Cares How It Ends following a debilitating injury in 2018. I remember, on the way to the hospital when things seemed their most dire, feeling a sense of clarity. When I got home, I wanted to get songs down quickly. I spent months stuck in bed, writing in a dark room. Endless days of reflection. Who Cares How It Ends are those reflections.”
The album starts with the sounds of a jarring guitar riff, a sound that becomes very familiar throughout. “Right Side” sets the tone for War String’s signature sound and opens the floodgates for the rest of the tracks to flow through. Sounding like a male version of Snail Mail, “Tragedy” is an indie-punk headbanger that is bound to stick around in your head for a while. The lyrics that stand out the most are, “She’ll ever listen to my love songs / she’s all I want / I’m doing it all wrong”. Not only is Stogel’s sound reminiscent of Snail Mail, but the sounds of The Strokes and Pinegrove. There is a reliance on this prominent guitar sound that compliments his vocals, “Seventeen” is the prime example of it. If you listen closely to the lyrics, “My Alien Heart” stands out among the rest of the tracks. You can hear the strain behind his voice and the passion behind the music.
This re-approach to music and the life-changing experience he faced made Who Cares How It Ends a true journey. About halfway through the album, things start to slow and become more vulnerable. “Archer” sounds like a song that was released in the 90’s, a slow, indie rock single. This sound is similar to “One Shot” and “Loved” as well. The final track, “An Answer”, is the most vulnerable and soft song. Stogel’s vocals float over the light instrumental and leave you with a good taste in your mouth. Over three months, and mostly in bed, he crafted this debut album and overcame a big setback in his life. All music and lyrics were written, arranged, and performed by Stogel himself. He admits of the project:
“I wrote Who Cares How It Ends following a debilitating injury in 2018. I remember, on the way to the hospital when things seemed their most dire, feeling a sense of clarity. When I got home, I wanted to get songs down quickly. I spent months stuck in bed, writing in a dark room. Endless days of reflection. Who Cares How It Ends are those reflections.”
It all represents reconstructing his life and embracing the imperfection because you only have one shot at life, so why waste it?
First of all, just as a reminder, BLACK LIVES MATTER. Period. If you do not agree with that statement or the movement happening right now, kindly excuse yourself from our viewership.
This month has been heavy. But, as I step out of my white privilege and gain new insight every day, I realize how heavy life is for so many others all the time. As a community, we are doing what we can to make an impact. This is going to include highlighting marginalized artists and the voices of our BIPOC brothers and sisters more regularly, merchandise proceeds to Black Lives Matter, financial donations to the cause. This movement will not fall on deaf ears. These changes are being made for good and for the better.
That said, let’s dive into our favorite new tracks of June 2020. You know this soundtrack gets wild, so expect some jams from Glass Peaks, Vilde, RUNN, Grace Gillespie, Caro, Suns Up, and more!
Civil Rights are everyone’s rights. We will not be free until everyone is free.
British Indie-Rock quartet Circa Waves have started out 2020 by hopping on the exciting bandwagon of experimental album release with their new 2-part album Sad Happy. The group is dropping their new record A/B style, with Happy premiering in January of 2020 and the Sad dropping in March.
In anticipation of the first part of the release, Circa Waves premiered the second single from the Happy side of their album on Friday with dreamy pop single “Move to San Francisco”.The single was released with a charming self-shot video of the four piece group quite literally frolicking around the Bay Area, the west coast haven that the song’s subject toys with escaping to with his partner. Romantic California imagery of everything from palm trees to dive bars pairs smoothly with the hopeful track.
The song employs warm and optimistic images of escapism and sunshine as vocalist/guitarist Kieran Shudall sings about freedom and the uncertainty that comes with it. “Oh I wanna live like this / For another dozen years / We could live so free” Shudall repeats throughout the bridge and outro, reminding us what it’s like to feel the temptation of getting lost in an idealistic world where running away to greener pastures can save a fading relationship.
With bright and shiny lead guitar and dreamy mellotron that would make Paul McCartney proud, this gold-toned single is a strong precursor to the upcoming album and a welcome break from this dreary January.
(Two Door Cinema Club support)
Jan 17 – Columbiahalle, Berlin, Germany
Jan 18 – Docks, Hamburg, Germany
Jan 20 – Carlswerk, Cologne, Germany
Jan 21 – Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Jan 23 – Olympia, Paris, France
Jan 24 – Den Atelier, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Jan 26 – TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, Netherlands
Jan 27 – Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium
(UK 2020 tour)
March 27 – O2 Academy, Glasgow
March 28 – Keele University SU, Keele
March 30 – The Tramshed, Cardiff
March 31 – O2 Academy, Leicester
April 2 – The Waterfront, Norwich
April 3 – O2 Academy Brixton, London
April 4 – Liverpool Uni, Mountford Hall, Liverpool
Keep up with Circa Waves here.
written by: madi toman
Still haven’t decided on that perfect music selection for the quiet moments amidst the madness of the holidays? That’s OK.London-based singer/songwriter Ollie Trevers has swooped in with a win for you, boasting five incredibly beautiful tracks on his new EP Cordelia. Each song is dripping with emotion, Trevers’ vocals acting as the main instrument. Sincerely, if you haven’t experienced this man’s vocal talent, it’s absolutely time.
Take first track “Dispassionate Love”, for example. There are points in that song that sound like he is weeping. And then he’s singing at the top of his lungs like a ballad. Not to mention the mellifluous sounds he makes between lyrical stanzas, and the gorgeous note changes while drawing out words. “Can’t Make It Up” follows suit, beginning slower and progressing to a cacophony of sound at points during the track. What I love about this one is that it builds to a head, and then slows down again several times. It leaves you slightly unsatisfied throughout in that regard, though disappointing it is not. It edges more on the side of intriguing.
“Stage of Fools” might be one of the most gorgeous songs we have ever encountered, and the album gets no more upbeat in topic from there. The entire EP details loss in love, emotional wreckage, and the relatable thoughts brought on by heartbreak. “I Need Someone” magnifies this, definitely written in a poetic — albeit low — moment. “Lost Alone” rounds everything out with an audio atmosphere that feels very Queen-inspired, a love rock anthem to its core.
What do you think? Let us know on Facebook!
Track Listings – Cordelia EP
1 – Dispassionate Love
2 – Can’t Make It Up
3 – Stage Of Fools
4 – I Need Someone
5 – Lost Alone
See Ollie Trevers live
23rd January – Nambucca, London
31st January – The Finsbury, London
Keep up with Ollie Trevers here.