Chris Pittaway: This track is surprisingly tense and driving, given its flat, sneering delivery and not-particularly-varied instrumentation. Its retro-futuristic atmosphere and snarky political commentary demand multiple listens to reach their full effect, but when they do, it’s pretty darn chilling. [7/10]
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Chris Pittaway: Not bound down to any explicit era or genre (besides “indie rock”), “Voices In My Head” sees Bob Mould diving into deep soul-searching territory. Soundtracking his paranoia are fuzzed-out guitars that occasionally erupt into understated solos. Mould can “play the victim, or get on with life instead”, but his weary vocals make the turmoil that much more poignant for the time being. [7/10]
With his band Glossary on hiatus, Tennessee’s Joey Kneiser released his third solo album in November 2015. Calling The Wildness “a love letter to rock and roll”, Kneiser’s influences show, ranging from Bruce Springsteen and the Band to Neil Young and Bob Dylan.
Stripping back Glossary’s soul-laden sound on the folkish “Heaving Only Wants Us Once We’re Dead”, Kneiser describes the song’s genesis: “First off, I’m not a very political person, but this song is more like a letter to my young biracial nephews – as boys who will grow up as a minority in America, I wanted to give them a song that belongs to them.”
Dustin Ragucos: Somehow “Humanize” feels like an indie rock track that’s been translated into the hip-hop and R&B sphere. Maybe it’s the Bon Iver influence that rubbed off on Lizzo, considering that he’s contributing to her record. Track-wise? Pretty “meh” stuff that required its surprising last quarter to get listeners back into its world. [5/10]
Stephen Wyatt: London’s HÆLOS convened with its muse and produced “Oracle”, a song that attempts to defy time and space. Vocalist Lotti Bernardout summons the heavens and returns with a voice eerily evoking shades of PJ Harvey during her most restrained, yet intimate moments. “Oracle” gives into the night as the house rhythms explode through the breathy atmosphere. Taking tiny fragments of inspiration from Massive Attack, the band forges its own identity in spite of its referential nod to Bristol’s finest. The ghost in the machine aches to emerge from its captivity. In the end, Berndarout and company do so without regret. [8/10]