Single Review: “The Last American Virgin”

“The Last American Virgin” is the latest single from KATZ, a trio from Manchester, UK, self-released this New Year’s Day, as the first single of their upcoming EP to be released on February 3rd.

The band consists of Ben Williams on vocals and guitar, James Bradbury on lead guitar and bass, and Archie Wilkinson on drums.

The track is a bittersweet tale of lovesickness, inspired by the film of the same name, with an energetic mixture of surf-rock, indie pop and, punk, proudly DIY and Lo-Fi, as it was recorded “in an attic bedroom of a shared student house” according to the band, directly into cassette on a TASCAM 244, the venerated 4-track portastudio.

KATZ – fLTR: James Bradbury, Ben Williams, Archie Wilkinson.

It starts with a frantic guitar strumming of 2 chords for a short while, an almost metronomic drum joins in, then the first verse comes, summing up the song for us:

Dreaming of her

Wishing I could be with her

She sees other guys

Wish I could make her mine

The pace of the song is energetic, the urgency emanating from it is nothing short of infectious, standing in sharp contrast with the melancholy and disillusionment found in lyrics, like the chorus:

Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m not your type
why’d you have to tell me you’re mine
Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m not your type
why’d you have to feed me these lies

Towards the end of the song, the drums play a machine-like staccato and Ben lets out a wistful falsetto, almost like a lament, before ending the track with a final chorus.

The end result is a lively tune, a song that contains elements of a potential classic: a universal pop song theme, a relentless tempo, and tight musicians whose sound seems embarked on a mission, we won’t hear the last of them for sure.

Single Premiere: “Well Understood”

“Well Understood” is the latest single from Superflaw, the side project of Anthony Cunard, lead vocalist of Blanky, collaborating with Edward Madill from the band WYLA and Daniel Ryan, released Today January 25th as the last single from their upcoming album “Fictitious”, to be released this January 29th on Manor Records.

The track is a dirty slow waltz with a heavy bluesy edge, guitars take center stage and keep elbowing even while it’s Anthony’s turn to show up and share with us a cautionary tale of longing for the wrong person, almost as he’s headed into a deliberate car crash and he makes his best effort to keep his eyes open, as he sings in a raw, visceral howl:

and I tried so hard to avoid dependence throughout my childhood.
but I’m here with you now always up to no good.

Anthony delivers the lines in a somewhat drifting fashion, showing little regard for lyrical structure, giving the tune a stream-of-consciousness feel, as if he’s exposing an inner dialogue with us, the listeners:

and I tried so hard to show you that I could be anything you wanted.
but I’m here with you now and it’s well understood that we’ll be more later if were less in the meantime.

Superflaw – fLTR: Anthony Cunnard, Daniel Ryan, Edward Madill

In conclusion, the single is a wicked yet alluring slowcore ballad, the raw emotion overflowing from the murky guitars and vocals have a strange charm in their special, untidy way, and hard as we might try, we cannot help but keep coming back for more of this.

Single Review: “Keepsake”

“Keepsake” is the latest single from Permanent Vacation, the British/American acoustic duo based in Rome, self-released this January 20th, and it’s the last single out of their debut album, to be released this march on the Z Tapes label.

The track is another example of their characteristic blend of indie-pop and low-key folk, slow guitar arpeggios greet us politely, and a soft voice shares with us a melancholic lamentation:

Tell me you miss me and I’ll see you soon

Tracing your veins in the black of a room 

Taking up spaces wherever you move 

Fighting off this deep and terrible gloom

It’s a tale where the empty spaces take too much room to cope with, where the narrator keeps telling herself that someday her other will be back, while at the same time knowing fully well that it’s only a futile illusion.

The arpegios continue throughout the song, with the lyrics and the vibe creating the picture of the narrator dancing a slow, lone waltz with the memories of a long lost love, those feeling are expanded in the second verse:

I read your letter six times yesterday

Smoothed out each wrinkle and tasted your name

See you tomorrow but it never came

Been here a while but who can I blame? 

The narrator engages in emotional self-harm, poking into inner open wounds and making sure they won’t heal, at least not for now, towards the end another guitar enters the scene to add to the overall bittersweetness of the song.

The song expresses tastefully the feelings of loneliness that can exacerbate in winter, a fitting soundtrack for this troubled winter from this duo, who are commendable for their sincere and consistent output.

Single Review: “Never”

After a short break of 3 weeks, we’re (ok…ok, I’m) back in business, with (debatably) renewed energy and (hopefully) sharpened ears.

“Never” is the latest single of Khrystal, a singer-songwriter from Kansas City, KS, released on the last day of 2020, on Manor Records.

“Never” – Khrystal

The track begins with a haiku over an atonal bossa-nova guitar, letting us know that we’re about to enter unfamiliar territory:

Solar alignment

To end and begin are brave

Universal flow

A minimalist rhythm pattern sets in, and Khrystal, in a unique delivery halfway between humming and hushed rapping, shares with us, who are willing to listen, a short story of self-determination, gratitude and humbleness, and faith set to poetry, with lines that appear at each end of the song:

I’m writing this letter to you

Tell you I won’t be back soon

Tell you it will be never

The song ends after the second instance of this verse, ending the song in an abrupt fashion.

indie music review, indie music reviews, indie music blogs, khrystal

The song stands out for two reasons: the first one is its brevity, at 1:16, it’s impressive the way that Khrystal has managed to cram a notable amount of substance into such short duration, the second is its ambience, she succeeded in creating an unusual vibe, almost dream-like, without resorting to sound effects trickery, using just her poetry, subtle guitar strumming and her breezy, almost whispering voice.

An original and positive note to wave goodbye to a (to say the least) difficult year.

Single Review: “Honey Touch”

“Honey Touch” is the latest single from Charlotte Bumgarner, a singer-songwriter based in Tulsa, OK, released this December 11th on Manor Records.

The first word that popped in my mind within the opening seconds is “Sweetness”, the track opens with a soft synth pad chord, giving the sense of entering into a cloud, and when Charlotte’s delicate vocals slowly radiate, the cloud walls feel like aural cotton candy, the feeling only intensifies with the first lines:

honey touch, sweetest taste oh a sugar rush

indie music blog, indie music review, indie music reviews, Charlotte Bumgarner
Charlotte Bumgarner

While the dreamy ambience keeps glowing in the background constantly, the lyrics take a bittersweet detour, especially towards the end, when Charlotte laments:

i can never let go of you or this feeling in my chest

feeling in my chest

After those lines are uttered, the music ends in a fadeout, the clouds fade away into the distance and we slowly drop down back into reality.

The single is a delightful example of Dream-Pop, the soft sounds and ambience took me on a brief sonic watercolor daydream, the ideal soundtrack for a winter sunset.

Single Review: “Caretakers”

“Caretakers” is the latest single from Permanent Vacation, the British/American duo based in Rome, and it’s the first single out of their debut album, to be released next year on the Z Tapes label.

The track is another showing of their signature brand of ambient-tinged minimalist indie-folk, it begins with a single acoustic guitar, whispered vocals enter the scene like a soft wave, delivering lines such as:

Go ahead and leave it out back

The price is always the same

We’ve been waiting for you

Like the end of the day

Guitar lines come and go, leaving a trail of sound behind them, as if trying not to disturb the soft vocals in their storytelling, gathering again towards the climax, where the lyrics are repeated, like a mantra:

You always said the same thing

And I kind of liked it like that

The lines keep being repeated well after the guitars fade out, giving a sense of a mantra on a low fire until it goes out too.

The tune transmits a strong feeling of reminiscing about those small and seemingly insignificant moments that for some reason keep popping back uninvited in our minds, give us a short burst of a warm feeling inside and a silly smile in our faces, a recurring theme in this duo’s distinctive music.

Single Review: “Wired/Weird”

“Wired/Weird” is the debut single of Beige Banquet, the project of London-based musician Tom Brierley released Today on the Just Step Sideways label.

Tom, formerly of Australian noise-post-punk band Noughts, brings us a first taste of his upcoming debut solo album, due to release in early 2021.

While still rooted in the post-punk territory of his previous work, this time Tom takes a smarter art-punk approach to his music, an angular track with repetitive guitar lines, sharp rhythm section, machine hand clappings and stream-of-consciousness lyrics such as:

Breath from last night gone

Indented bed sheets,

Stained with sweat,

And dark grease marks

indie music review, indie music reviews, indie music blog, beige banquet
Tom Brierley – Beige Banquet

Keeping with the artsy approach, the chorus mirrors the verses, the music gets much denser, bringing the song to its climax while the lyrics are cut to a bare minimum:





The track ends with another climactic chorus only to reach an abrupt silence, finishing it with the same intensity as it began, leaving you wondering what hit your ears.

The outcome is a fascinating art-punk gem, an aural display of light and shadows, Tom serves here as an illusionist, hiding and showing elements at will, keeping us wondering what other marvels are still behind the curtain, just waiting to be exposed for all us to listen, I’ll keep waiting on the front row in anticipation.

Single Review: “Won’t Stop Dreaming”

“Won’t Stop Dreaming” is the debut single from The Reality TV, the musical project of Benjamin Mace-Crossley, a musician from Chester, UK, self-released this past November 16th.

Benjamin, who’s also known as half of the experimental post-punk duo PKNN explores in this single a more melodic and accessible side of his music, gone are the spoken word vocals and dense rhythms, or at least they’re stored away until another opportunity arises.

The track is a blend of indie-pop and minimalist synth-pop with subtle elements of his more familiar post-punk, it starts with a simple and straightforward drum machine pattern and casio-like chords, adding layers upon layers of sounds, starting with his voice and completing the build up with the guitar, with an unassuming guitar solo in the final minute.

indie music blog, indie music review, indie music reviews, the reality tv
Benjamin Mace-Crossley – The Reality TV

The most noticeable thing to my ears are his vocals, they’re relatively high in the mix, more than the usual, Benjamin sounds very confident in front of the mike, and he also sings his own harmonies in the second half of the track, giving an interesting range of vocal hues.

True to his Post-Punk sensibilities, Benjamin penned a lyrical cautionary narrative of a toxic and self-destructive relationship from a first person POV:

And I won’t stop dreaming

And you wont stop letting me down

Can’t you see I’m broken on my knees

You’ve got me by the throat, stop letting me breathe

What comes out of all of this is a dark yet poppy tune, Benjamin is definitely not afraid of showing a lighter shade in his music, and we won’t stop enjoying the single thanks to it.

Single Review: “Sad Eyes”

“Sad Eyes” is the latest single from “The Shop Window”, a band from Maidstone, UK, to be self-released this November 27th.

The core of the band, Carl Mann and Simon “Syd” Oxlee, have a long experience in the music scene, playing together in some form or another since starting in the mid 90’s as a band named Westpier, and together with Martin Corder and Phil Elphee, they bring to our ears a brilliant Jangly Power-Pop anthem.

Interestingly the track sounds nostalgic yet refreshing, a homage to the great bands of the pre-britpop days but at the same time forward-looking with lots of vigor, it begins with 4 bars of a lone jangly guitar line with the rest of the band joining in with a bang, letting us know that things are going to get intense.

indie music blog, indie music review, The Shop Window

The song is a bittersweet tale of shared moments between Carl and his Grandmother, it’s a song filled with love, an ever-lingering feeling of the unavoidable end, and the importance of enjoying those moments together and cherishing them while you still can.

The poignancy of the tune is well expressed in the lyrics:

I showed you photos of your great grandson

How he’s grown, how he smiles

Reminds you of when I was young

For a moment time stood still

Thanksgiving is not celebrated around these parts (Israel) but the song lovingly stressed the point of how all of us should be thankful to our Grandparents and cherish every moment we can still spend with them, I sure will.

Single Review: “darkgreenspirits”

“darkgreenspirits” is the self-released debut single from twomoonsaway, a band from Hillsborough Township, NJ, released last September 27th as the first song off their upcoming EP.

The track begins with a desolate guitar line, followed by frontman’s David Panarese whispered contemplative lyrics, setting the way for the rest of the band to kick through the door in the next verse, starting a punchy yet balanced set of verses complemented with David’s strong melodic vocals, only to return to introspection in the last verse with the lone guitar line.

The song is about pain, the pain of being in what appears to be a toxic relationship, and the further pain, rather than relief, of getting out of it while you can, only to expect even more pain facing the hardships that surely will follow, as reflected in the lyrics:


i know you fucked up

don’t try n fix it i’ve had enuf

cold hands to match your heart

ill fuckin try my best not to fall apart

The song is a fine Indie Rock effort, with marked Post-Punk influences, the band, which is comprised of Carlee Ahart, Brandon Chu, and Justin Tanis in addition to David, sounds tight and precise, the production is more than adequate, letting David’s vocals be heard clearly while blending with the music.

A great debut, which will keep us wanting for more with high anticipation for the EP.