Tuesday, March 28, 2023

HOT TRACK | 'Room To Moan' - Sunshine Riot

With their new EP on the horizon, Sunshine Riot are continuing to make noise...and strip it back a little on latest track 'Room To Moan'

This new single is the third from Loud, Bright and Violent and it sees the Boston band seamlessly play with sound, switching from quiet verses to crashing choruses with ease and style. The choruses feel harsh in comparison to the softer, reserved verses which feels apt given what the song is about - life and the inevitably that is death. 

'There's a line in Soundgarden's 'The Day I Tried to Live', it goes 'The lives we make / Never seem to get us anywhere but dead'. It always struck me,' says Sunshine Riot frontman Jonny Orton. 'There is something gripping about that lyric – I think we all do tend to make a life, at least in part, because we don't want to think about the one certainty that makes us alive. Death is an awfully scary thing – I'm not sure what comes next. I hope it's not nothing, forever.'

Orton's gritty vocals in the chorus add an extra layer to the meaning, raw as he ponders the fragility of life. A guitar riff leading into, and throughout, the bridge adds a lovely piece of flair and class, something that I'm starting to associate with Sunshine Riot - their sound always seems to have that little extra something that elevates them, and makes you take notice.

Loud, Bright and Violent may be coming out just next month but, for us, it can't get here soon enough.

Check this one out.


For all things Sunshine Riot, click here

Monday, March 27, 2023

NEWS | Charlie Worsham Joins Ward Thomas On UK Tour Starting March 30th

Prolific recording artist and multi-instrumentalist Charlie Worsham will be making his long-awaited return to the UK at the end of this month to tour with British duo Ward Thomas. Playing 13 shows with them across the country, full information and tickets can be found here.

'I was literally 10 minutes from the Nashville Airport, trying to get back to the UK to sing when the Covid lockdown began. I won’t take a single note for granted on this visit' says Worsham. 'Plus, in all the years I’ve loved touring in the UK, this tour with Ward Thomas is my first time being part of a Trans-Atlantic lineup. It means so much to me to be a part of this particular tour, because it represents how deeply connected Nashville and London have become in the country music space.'

Full UK Tour Dates

30th March - Glasgow, The Old Fruit Market*

31st March - Gateshead, Sage*

2nd April - Liverpool, Olympia*

4th April - York, Barbican*

5th April - Manchester, Albert Hall*

6th April - Birmingham, Town Hall*

10th April - Cambridge, Corn Exchange*

11th April - Cardiff, St. David’s Hall*

13th April - Bexhill-on-Sea, De La Warr Pavilion*

14th April - London, Barbican Centre*

15th April - Southampton, Central Hall*

17th April - Reading, Hexagon*

18th April - Bath, The Forum*

(* - with Ward Thomas)

Worsham most recently released his 2021 EP Sugarcane. Produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town), it’s an emotional homecoming for Worsham. What began as personal reflections from a daily writing exercise, grew into something much more universal — six songs that celebrate the love, perseverance, struggle and joy experienced through life and the people who are there through it all.

Sugarcane features single 'Fist Though This Town', which Billboard declared 'compelling from the first note', while Music Row praised 'Super powerful...the hard-times lyric and its blue-collar attitude grab you by your coat lapels and command you to pay heed. Brilliance all around.'

At the end of 2022, Apple Music Country launched Pickers Radio, hosted by Worsham. The 12-episode feature has most recently seen him chatting to Vince Gill and Dierks Bentley, who Worsham will be joining on his Gravel & Gold tour across the US in his band this summer. Listen to Pickers Radio here.


For more on Charlie, visit his website.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

REVIEW | 'Safe And Sad' - katie drives


With new EP Safe And Sad, katie drives takes us back in time and shows us why she's an artist to keep an eye on in the future.

Safe And Safe makes me feel nostalgic for the 00s pop-punk and pop-punk I grew up listening to. It has an infectious energy with beats that'll get you bopping and lyrics that'll quickly get you singing. 'Anywhere But Here' and 'Jump or Run' feel like classic anthems of these years but they're more than mere intimations. With each song, katie brings an intensity that's unmatched, signalling she's ready and more than capable of being a new face of this glorious genre.

'Ghosts' is a collab with Dear Me, and it's a rollercoaster, a break-up song written from the perspective of the person who ended contact. It's smartly written and smartly switches between poppy verses and rocky choruses - the way katie plays with genre, overall, is a delight as it keeps things sounding fresh.

The opening to 'Underestimate Me' is brilliantly apt, encapsulating the song's title, starting slow and brooding before absolutely erupting into high power and kickass pop-punk - the verses and chorus continue this pattern, going from first gear into fifth gear in the blink of an eye. Seriously, do not underestimate katie, this song proof that she can seamlessly switch those gears. 

This EP is packed full of life and energy as it is but 'Next To You', in particular, is a song that really comes to life. It starts light before drums kick in and the guitars intensify, once again a satisfying masterclass of going 0 to 60, flawlessly, on a track that's laced with the raw feelings entangled with comparing yourself with another person. 

'Death Dreams' closes the EP on a very high note, offering a real showcase of katie's vocal power on what's probably the heaviest feeling track - less pop-rock, more classic rock with some gorgeous guitar riffs interwoven amongst some captivating imagery. Vocals, lyrics, sound...this track hits new highs on what feels like every level, a real good track that leaves you wanting more, the best sort of end to an EP.

Safe And Sad. Also bold and brilliant. Give this a listen!

1. Anywhere But Here
2. Ghosts (featuring Dear Me)
3. Jump or Run
4. Underestimate Me
5. Next To You
6. Death Dreams

Safe And Sad is out Tomorrow (March 24)

For all things katie drives click here.

Monday, March 20, 2023

NEWS | UK Country Duo Jubilee Release Video For 'Party'

Jubilee’s Billy Warren and Justine Wilson have a No 1 country album and two No 1 singles in the country chart to their name, so far…...

Dolly Parton’s musical director Kent Wells is a champion of their heavenly harmonies. Audiences including a headline show at the prestigious Glasgow Royal are entranced by Jubilee’s bittersweet ballads, which often inject a dark undertow beneath Justine and Billy’s swooning vocal interplay.

Jubilee have succeeded without any hype, a stature which has grown over word-of-mouth from the couple’s Facebook Live shows during lockdown, quickly mushrooming from 600 viewers for their first stream to achieving over 100,000 views for concerts from Billy and Justine’s living room. 

Being championed by Dolly Parton’s MD was a result of those Facebook Live shows, as Wells was introduced to Jubilee by sax great Joe McGlohon, a veteran of playing with Reba McEntire and Etta James, who’d been tipped off that Jubilee’s home concerts were something special.

Moving debut album You And I and its heartrending single 'Don’t Make Me Look Into Your Eyes' reaching No 1 in the country chart on independent label Vacancy cemented Jubilee’s organic success.

Jubilee’s welcoming community is set to gather pace once their new music is unveiled. They’ve been working with writers including Gary Miller, Luke Porter and Colin Preston. 'I don’t know how Gary comes up with some of his lyrics,' smiles Justine. 'He must put himself into a very dark room.'

Having filmed the video for their infectious single 'Party' in Spain ('The heat was a challenge, it was just roasting,' laughs Justine), Jubilee are set for a wild celebration once people get to hear what’s next.

One listen and you’ll want to join Jubilee’s ‘Party’ too - the track was also chosen as Record of the Day by Record of the Day!


For all things Jubilee, click here!

Thursday, March 16, 2023

REVIEW | 'Ancient Lights' - Hannah Scott

Hannah Scott's new EP 'Ancient Lights' absolutely sparkles.

Hannah has called it 'a collection of old songs [she] thought deserved a second chance at being heard' and she is right. These songs were meant to be heard and shared and loved - we love them, and we think you will too. 

It may be just five tracks but it's a fantastic sample and demonstration of the talent she has in her locker. Hannah writes, plays piano and guitar, and even engineers this album. Stefano Della Casa, her trusty collaborator, also adds an extra touch of class with cello and his own creative input. It's a wonderful partnership that has brought to life five fantastically thought provoking songs.

'Ghost Town' opens, a gentle piano track that builds, cello and guitar joining in, the initial isolation that's provoked slipping, naturally, into a feeling of assertiveness. 'Identity' follows on nicely, a warm number that wraps the listener with comforting words of reassurance - it feels like a natural progression.  

'Into Your Grief' is raw, a brilliantly beautiful piano led track. Here, Hannah offers a comforting presence in her lyrics, wanting to ease someone's pain and hurt by being there, by reaching out and being a friend, a support. Songs like these will always find someone that needs them, this is a powerful song and one that will resonate.

'Skimming Stones' continues this comforting theme, this time through a feeling of finding happiness with one's self and one's company - it feels like a warm blanket, safe, the gentleness of the guitar cozy. We end on a farewell - literally - in 'Goodnight to Elisabeth', an unknown identity whom Hannah has lost and is regretful of not having the chance to bid goodnight to. It's sorrowful, Hannah's voice dripping with emotion, and another song that will hit home for many a listener. A beautiful number, a beautiful collection of songs.    

A gem of an EP, a gem of a talent in Hannah Scott...a talent that is only surely going to shine brighter.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

NEWS | JATK Release Retro-Authentic VHS Late-Night TV Video For Single 'Don't Come Knockin''

Photo Credit: Aneleise Ruggles

Boston's JATK have unveiled the soulful video for 'Don't Come Knockin''. 

A creative marvel and massive undertaking, the retro visual for the indie and R&B-influenced single is positioned as recovered VHS footage of a long-lost late-night TV appearance on The Dick Griffin Goodtime Hour, where JATK appears as the musical guests. 

The entire video was crafted and constructed by Jatkola and his team, giving it an authentic, lived-in feel. From the set design to the characters to the TV ad spots, everything was created in-house, and there are a handful of Easter eggs that recall '60s- and '70s-era TV talk shows. There's also a merch line tied into the video, using actual VHS tapes for the physical release, taped over whatever was recorded by whoever owned them years ago.  

'It's a song about not feeling like the other person is 'for real' in a relationship -- that you're in a non-reciprocal situation, a one-sided deal, they're playing games while you're being sincere, that sort of thing,' Jatkola says. 'It us fully inspired by old school '60s R&B production that you'd hear on a Temptations or Smokey Robinson record back in the day.' 


For all things JATK click here.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

INTERVIEW | 'This Is a Great Story and It's Also a Trial' - Never Coming Home Talk New Single 'Nevermind' and Pushing Through Bad Luck


(Photo Credit: Owen Tierney)

It's never been a better time to check out Never Coming Home.

Never Coming Home are Aidan (guitar/vocals), Anthony (guitar vocals) and Merritt (drums) a slick and sick Rhode Island based pop punk, emo junk powerhouse trio. A kick to the face (literally) brought them together and they're set to release new track 'Nevermind' on March 10.

Aidan and Anthony took time to chat to us about the track, their beginnings and their plans for the year.


Hi guys! Appreciate you taking the time to talk with us! How did the two of you - plus, of course, Merritt - come to form the Never Coming Home that I am talking to today?

Aidan: We met at School of Rock, an organisation that puts together groups to play songs. We were all in high school at the time and met doing the indie rock show. We got together on a few songs, and played on stage for the first time then. I was actually in hospital in Delaware when I wrote this guitar riff and I thought it was pretty good so I sent it to some friends. Anthony liked it and reached out to me about doing something musically. Then, later that week, he kicked Merritt, our drummer, in the face at a show while he was crowdsurfing. That's how they met *laughs* And that's how we got him for the band. We had known him for a little bit before then though.

Anthony: Yeah, I had met him prior at School of Rock but we reconnected at that show...where I ended up kicking him in the face. Everything just worked out, everything went well from there. That was March 31st of 2019. Wow...that's scary.

Your first show was, pretty wildly, just about a month after the band came into existence, right? That must've been a pretty hectic time when you'd just literally formed the band?

Aidan: That's correct, yeah. Give or take.

Anthony: I don't know if it was a month after - it was a month after that I booked it because some band had dropped off some show so we hopped on. We had no songs written, we'd barely practiced. I have vivid memories of [how] I was at Disney World the month before the show. We'd got the posters back and I was in line for a ride and I was posting everywhere like 'oh my god look we're a real band, we're a real thing!'.

Did you ever regret jumping into a show that quickly?

Anthony: Not at all. We wrote so many songs. I think the YouTube video of that show is still up, you can go hear those original songs. None of them were good, not a single one was a solid song but it was what we had at the time.

Aidan: We'd maybe worked on two songs that were more just like improvisational jams. We spent the weeks leading up to it just trying to actually make the songs for the show, and we barely succeeded. 

It must've been a great learning experience, writing and putting together music for that show.

Aidan: [It] definitely taught us. We got good at jamming with each other, starting a song with no plan for it and turning it into something cool.

Anthony: Did we even have merch for that first show?

Aidan: We had no merch and no songs out. We didn't even release a song until like three or four months after that first show.

Anthony: The first show was around June and we didn't release a song until like August. That song is still up on Spotify. Don't listen to it. It's not good. *laughs*

Aidan: Don't say that!

Anthony: It still exists for historical purposes.

Aidan: If you wanna listen to a song listen to some of the new stuff like 'Nevermind' that's coming out soon.

A great segue! What can you tell me about 'Nevermind', your new track, that's out March 10?

Aidan: I wrote this pre-pandemic.

Anthony: It was one of the first songs of the new batch that we had.

Aidan: It started off, in my mind, as kind of a downer of a song. I played it to Anthony with this catchy riff and we turned it very pop-punk. I really like the direction we went with it, it's gonna play well. It's got that classic pop-punk feel.

Anthony: I find that happens a lot whenever we write songs and someone brings it to me and then it turns into [something different]. That happened with our song 'You Crushed Me and I'm Not Ready to Laugh About It'. Our prior bassist wrote that one, it was supposed to be acoustic. He brought it to me and it turned into a pop-punk song. It seems that keeps happening!

Aidan: It's The Hefler Effect.

You guys formed and then, as we all know, there was a global pandemic. But, you rallied and you're here now, on the verge of new music and an exciting year for y'all. How hard was that time, especially as still very new band back then?

Anthony: It hit us really hard because [we had] our biggest show at that point, we were opening for Doll Skin and we were so excited and we'd been promoting it all month - that song 'You Crushed Me...' was releasing that day, [and] literally the day before that show with Doll Skin was the day everything happened. I remember we were practicing the day before. Merritt was sitting on the couch and I [was] on my phone watching all of the Covid stuff unfold, knowing the next day we had to play. I didn't realise the extent of the danger of the situation, I was like 'screw this, we've been promoting this all year, let's do a house show or something'. Then it really all started to unfold and we were like 'this is something serious'. 

It was very disheartening for us. We had released a song that day, right before this major world event and we were supposed to play the biggest gig we'd ever played. We were just stunted at that point. We were also supposed to go in and record three, four more songs right after [but] everything just stopped. It was a lot. 'You Crushed Me...' still ended up becoming one of our biggest songs probably because of the pandemic because of TikTok. But it was definitely a big bummer, sitting there and watching all that happen the day before our biggest show.

Those songs were, ultimately, an EP that you were planning on recording I believe.

Anthony: So much shit has been thrown at us. We ended up recording that EP, which was was supposed to be an EP but we ended up releasing as singles because that didn't work out. Our producer, Zack Fiske, we talked to him about how the recording of that EP--.

Aidan: Was cursed.

Anthony: We were cursed. Everything that could've went wrong, went wrong.

Aidan: The heatwave.

Anthony: The heatwave; our [stuff] kept breaking; the last day of recording vocals, I almost had to go to the hospital because...*laughs*. My voice was getting a little shot and we had some vocal spray. I usually use vocal spray but it was a different kind, and I didn't realise until after I had swallowed like three cups that it says on the back 'Do Not Swallow'. So we're then panicking in the middle of the studio like 'oh no, what do we do?'. 

There was so much other stuff...wasn't there a dead raccoon in the studio? In the vents?

Aidan: A skunk sprayed by the vents so it made the whole studio smell on the last day of recording.

Anthony: It was so bad. Recording that EP, the way I saw it though, was like 'this is a trial'.

Aidan: 'This is a great story'.

Anthony: Yeah, this is a great story and it's also a trial like 'you know how hard it's gonna be, do you really want this?' I wanted it enough that I would go through all of this to get this stuff recorded. 

Aidan: And we'd do it again!

Anthony: We did, and thank god it didn't go as bad this time.

I love how, to promote the track, you put it on five cassette tapes and had a giveaway. How important is it for you guys to think of these unique and fun ways to hype your new releases?

Anthony: I grew up with Twenty One Pilots and they had a lot of story based ARG stuff. I love that stuff. The cassette tapes were a last minute plan. It keeps things interesting, and gets people excited I find - it gets me excited to do it, my favorite part of everything is promoting this stuff. It's a lot of work but it's work I really, really enjoy - putting together this [and] the phone number mailing list we just did.

Even the original plan for the cassette tapes fell through. It was supposed to be a scavenger hunt, we were going to hide them all around all around University of Rhode Island campus the days leading up to the song...but, of course, it ended up raining every day with our luck. So we ended up having to raffle them off. 

Trying to come up with outside of the box promotion has always been definitely a big thing for us, to try and set us apart from other bands. I like a little bit of mystery and intrigue [and] it's a fun little thing to involve people in.

Looking ahead to this year, 2023, what can we expect from Never Coming Home?

Anthony: This last year, we didn't really do much.

Aidan: We didn't release music but we went on our first ever tour.

Anthony: We did that, that was good.

Aidan: We wanna keep on going on some out of state tours, weekend runs. We're from Rhode Island and we play a lot of shows in Rhode Island but we're really trying to break out and play like Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey.

Anthony: Touring is a big goal for us this year. And music, since we didn't release much last year, we are hoping to really, really push songs. Every year we make plans and certain things fall through, so I don't want to get too ahead of myself with it, but we have a lot of plans for a lot more music this year. 

We're hoping to drop our first EP this year, our first actual collection of music and maybe an even bigger collection of music after that next year - maybe something called an album, I have no idea [but] we'll see. 

You can expect a lot of stuff from us, especially around spring/summer time.


'Nevermind' is out March 10.

For all things Never Coming Home, click here.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

NEWS | Indianapolis Alt-Rock Band Chin Up, Kid Returns After a 4 Year Hiatus

Indianapolis alternative rock band Chin Up, Kid has released 'Back Again', its first new song in 4 years (out via Legend Recordings/InGrooves Music Group), to coincide with the band's ten-year anniversary.

'After four years, Chin Up, Kid has both picked up where they left off and reinvented themselves at the same time,' founding member Jon Benjamin says. 'We are writing the best material of our career right now for an upcoming LP. It’s honestly insane how quickly the chemistry was revived after going in different directions. We couldn’t be happier to say Chin Up, Kid is back!'

Chin Up, Kid was formed in 2013. They shortly after released their debut EP, Home Advantage. They showed success throughout playing many shows in Indiana including their local stop of the 2015 Vans Warped Tour. In 2016, the band again self-released another EP titled, The Way You Live Is Common. After a few lineup changes, Chin Up, Kid began writing for what would become their full-length label debut, Swing With Your Eyes Closed. 2018 saw a new era for CUK with the release of its self-titled second full-length record.

The new single 'Back Again' marks a fresh chapter in the decade-long history of Chin Up Kid, and they welcome you along for the ride.

For all things Chin Up, Kid click this.

Friday, March 3, 2023

NEWS |The Wolfe Brothers Announce The Release Of New Album 'Livin' The Dream'

Just over ten years since award-winning sibling duo The Wolfe Brothers captured the attention of their home country as they progressed to the final of Australia’s Got Talent, they have announced the release of their sixth studio album, Livin’ The Dream, out worldwide on April 14th, 2023 via BMG.

Two tracks from the project are already available; the title track and multi-week Australian #1 radio hit 'Livin’ The Dream', and a brand new song, 'Here’s To The Ones'.

The Tasmanian brothers, Nick and Tom Wolfe, wrote the songs during the pandemic over many Zoom writing sessions with writers all over the world. Nick Wolfe took on production duties, working alongside veteran Australian record producer and musician Rod McCormack, along with multi-award winning producer Matt Fell.

The Wolfe Brothers have become renowned over the past few years for their jaw-dropping live shows and steady ascent to Australian country music’s upper echelon. Part of their rise has been due to talent, and a lot of it due to hard work. But the truth is, Nick explains, 'we come from four generations of farmers and musicians. We grew up and Tom still lives on the farm that has been in the family for over 120 years.'

Their father, Malcolm Wolfe, encouraged them to start playing and helped facilitate their first shows in their early teens. Malcolm was a rock drummer in the popular Tasmanian band Midnight Revival. Their grandfather played saxophone, touring around the brothers’ home state of Tasmania with the Wolfe Family Band. Their great-grandfather was a fiddle player. It is this pedigree and the abundance of musical influences that were always around them at home on the farm throughout the brothers’ youth, combined with an innate musicality, that has resulted in the development of a unique yet embracingly familiar sound that is The Wolfe Brothers.

The title track from Livin’ The Dream was released in October 2022, and scored the brothers another #1 in Australia. Nick Wolfe explained ''Livin' The Dream' is a phrase I'm sure we all have heard every day in conversation. Most of us have probably even said it ourselves. Usually, it's making light of a challenging situation. I love it because instead of having a whinge about how snowed under we are, how tired we are, how overworked or how busy we are, we do the Aussie thing and just say - yeah mate just livin’ the dream. To me it's saying there's good and bad in every job out there. That's life. It's keeping your spirits up, cracking a smile and rolling with it.

'Sonically, 'Livin' the Dream' is a conscious decision by us to get back to our country roots. We explored a lot of pop and rock territory on our last record but we want to come out of the gate swinging country style and give everyone a taste of what's to come for the rest of this record that we're really proud of!'


For all things The Wolfe Brothers, visit their website.

INTERVIEW | 'Songwriting Is The Ultimate Test of Vulnerability' - Samantha LaPorta

Songwriting is the ultimate test of vulnerability. That's what Samantha LaPorta believes, and it is something that shines though her mu...