It’s pretty unfair that we music publications get swamped by so many emails. Instead of being able to savour every song that comes our way, we have to be fairly ruthless with what we decide to focus our energies on. We thought we’d cheat a little bit and give some love to a bunch of new music that’s come our way recently, all at once.
From emo/indie to darkly screamed metalcore, there’s some great takes of all kinds. Take your pick.
Levels – “Cosmic Waves”
The swirling complexity of “Cosmic Waves”‘ and the expansive choruses were what drew my eye to Arkansas based Levels. The progressive metalcore band features Jake Sanders (vocals), Dalton Kennerly (drums, vocals), Rob Mathews (guitar), Jager Felice (guitar), and Jacob Hubbard (bass). This band do a stellar job of ‘speaking’ via instruments throughout, using hooking riffs to capture a repeated loop of endless nights, alarming and soaring guitar alongside “I’ll be alright” expresses the lie within the statement, and relentless layers tumbling forth build a sense of overwhelm. It’s a powerful atmosphere created of desperation to be free of things being painfully the same.
Soul Blind – “Swirl”
New Yorkers Soul Blind surprised me with this one; the single “Swirl” from their second EP Untitled which releases on 18th September. In the midst of this DIY-job of a music video and rustic garage rock intro was actually a great piece of music. Channeling Kurt Cobain with slurred and distorted vocals with simple guitar and more emphatic verses had my inner 90s grunge kid entranced to watch Soul Blind through the video static. Heralded by guitar and drum full-stops, the bridge both soars and collapses, brilliantly giving an impression of being torn in two.
I’m all for a modern take on grunge, and glad to see Soul Blind flying that flag.
LION – “Oh No”
“I had a really good bad idea” is where “Oh No” begins, along with a sultry riff and a waveringly emotive voice. From there I was already hooked on where the rich vocals of Beth Lowen were going to take me in this LION track. Slow-burn and tensely reined in verses hit an inevitable explosion at choruses, where the track hits rocking peaks and mesmerising catchiness. At the hand of crashing beats, we fall out of touch with reality at a softened and ethereal bridge. It’s a feast for appreciators of rich female voices that do not hold back (a la Fiona Apple). LION’s self-titled EP might be one to check out, hey?
As Everything Unfolds – “17:10”
“17:10” by As Everything Unfolds has been out for awhile (since May), but I only just woke up to its existence, as well as the existence of the band. The UK based post-hardcore/alternative five piece includes Charlie Rolfe (vocals), Adam Kerr (guitar), Owen Hill (guitar), George Hunt (bass), Jon Cassidy (programming & synths), and Jamie Gowers (drums).
“17:10″‘s relatively sedate introduction is somewhat deceptive, so stay with this piece of music for its 2:37 duration. The first minute or so vibes like a slick paced metalcore track with spoken word shared to a bouncing beat. It’s not long after this that the severity is amped up significantly and dark roars ooze from the same vocalist that painted cleanly enunciated takes.
I’m a massive fan of such dynamically varying pieces of music that As Everything Unfolds seem capable of. With the recent frustration in Australian music industry about women not being presented in heavy music, I kind of see it as my duty to share a band of this calibre. Let’s have a festival full of bands like this, hey?
LANDMVRKS – “Blistering”
Marseille (France) metalcore band LANDMVRKS have released another incredible track as well as announced their sophomore EP Fantasy (releasing 19th October via Arising Empire). The things I loved about “Fantasy” have me appreciating “Blistering”; melodic smoothness and hardcore intensity expressed with aggressive pace.
“Blistering” is aflame with attempts to get through to a loved one who has changed and turned cold. Persistent fierceness, blast-beat viciousness, and angular riffs try very hard to wake up the heart, and a trailed off ending (“you won’t get the message”) doesn’t seem promising at all. A live footage video just makes the whole experience even better.
Mirage – “Shades”
Speaking of French metalcore, Lyon based Mirage have released “Shades”; the first release from the band since their Depuis Le Temps… EP released last year. Covered with trigger warnings from the get-go, it’s obvious that “Shades” dives into some pretty dark content. Mirage released the track on World Suicide Prevention day, and are shining a light upon the role of self-responsibility in allowing others to help those suffering, as well as having them be assured that they’re not alone. Dancing between encouragment and frustration, “Shades” tells the story of one who strives for more, without necessarily fighting for it.
Contemplative warmth of the introduction melds with fierce determination to have someone see what they’re doing. Well-meant compassion turns to driven frustration to be heard and heeded. With a hooking chorus, djenty interludes, vocal exploration from serenity and frustration, “Shades” is an impressive piece of music that hits emotive and orchestral peaks.
Sleepwell – “Acreman”
If you love ache-heavy melodic tracks, you’ll appreciate this new track from Sleepwell. It might make you hurt though. Their brutal subject-matter is tough to swallow. The Brisbane band members are collectively processing their grief after the death of a friend of theirs, and it’s tough to feel the anguish in the vocals calling out words that will never be heard by the intended ears. Coupled with a stunning video by Elliot Sauvage, the pop punk track hits hard and is a slam of confronting reality as well as being a compassionate remembrance.
“And part of me forgets sometimes you won’t be coming home soon
When there’s so many stories left to tell you.”
Colourblind – “Water”
Colourblind had me from Bernadette Wright’s chugging bass at the introduction to “Water”. The track is the debut from the Adelaide four piece, who happen to be joining Saviour, Deadlights, and Pridelands on tour. The driving and searching track vibes like anxiously persistent self-talk which pushes again and again to find peace. It’s a great track, where increasingly furious riffs and compounding layers of voice and instrument culminate in an explosive and expressive end. Impressive!
If you’re in the mood for even more new music, head here: http://www.depthmag.com/category/new-music/