Wilting as the world sizzles, fresh air is at a premium yet if in sound that is exactly what we found as our friend Shauna of soundscapers UMMAGMA and SHAMELESS PROMOTION PR came a calling with another bundle of new singles she thought might spark our appetites here. Of course she was right and we present to you our first selection from that healthy collection…
With a snarl as virulent as its inherent catchiness, Underdog is the new single from Canadian outfit ON. It is also the first taster of the trio’s new album, and as the band heads out on their Underdog Tour, a rousing incitement to find keen attention.
ON is the creation of vocalist/bassist Lucy Di Santo, guitarist Steve Fall, and drummer Dan Cornelius, a threesome with rich experience as part of the Toronto music scene for years with bands such as DANKO JONES and ROCKET SCIENCE. ON itself was originally a side project for its members across the 1990’s and 2000s but now to the fore of their creativity with their self-titled full-length poised for its September 16th release, pre-ordering available right now via INDIESTRUCTABLE RECORDS.
A slice of alternative/indie rock with a punk ferocity to its attack, Underdog is an urge and encouragement to rise up from adversity which immediately hooked ears through Lucy’s animated tones and the raw push of guitar. Swiftly after, it erupts in an insistent temptation of sound and enterprise, the webs of the guitar and its rhythmic manipulation as potent as that of vocals and their rousing words.
With hooks dangled with hungry eagerness and emotive intensity in its roar as well as the pugilistic dexterity of its rhythmic incitement, Underdog proved one inescapably rousing engagement and an inescapable persuasion to go explore that larger proposal.
An equally enlivening proposition is Ascension Heights, the debut single from British duo KARAMELIEN. The song is a hug of soulful indie pop with its groove as infectious as its melodic breath and lyrical smile is poetic; quite simply it is a seductive captivation.
East Grinstead based, KARAMELIEN unites the craft and prowess of singer-songwriter Léanie Kaleido who captivated last year with her acclaimed solo album, How To Weigh A Whale Without A Scale, and guitarist Mark Foster; the pair long-time friends who have previously played together but KARAMELIEN their first true joint adventure.
Ascension Heights is a song inspired by and featuring a sample from Top Topham’s track of the same name, he the original founding guitarist of THE YARDBIRDS and Léanie’s father. Produced by RIDE front man Mark Gardener and featuring guest appearance of bassist Mo Pleasure, formerly of EARTH, WIND & FIRE, the track breaks on a fanfare of invitation before relaxing into a gentle but keen stroll through sunny melodic skies and warm emotive reflection. Keys and guitar quickly entangled ears in suggestive enterprise whilst Léanie’s familiar tones are as seductive and encouraging as ever.
With a rhythmic swing equally as relaxed yet rich incitement, Ascension Heights held court on attention and pleasure in swift time, anticipation for future offerings as quickly brewed.
With their new album on the eve of its release, STARRY SKIES have captivatingly previewed it with their single, Smile Through the Dark. It is a song bred of contemplation and organic beauty which lured the imagination as potently as ears and a natural curiosity for the band’s full-length.
The Glasgow based band was founded by Warren McIntyre in 2014 and consists of Jenny Lunan, Heather Phillips, Sophie Pragnell, Johnny Rooney and Adam Scott alongside its creator. Small Wonders is the band’s fourth album, the crowdfunded successor to their acclaimed 2020 long player, Do It With Love. It is a release already being dubbed a “masterpiece” and offering songs which are nurtured in positivity and the encouragement to look for the light in everything.
Smile Through the Dark epitomizes this, the track a gentle but insistent proposal of sound around lyrical rumination and encouragement. There is an inherent liveliness and infectiousness to the ballad though which is echoed in the vocals and their emotive energy as equally the involving enterprise of the guitar which all shape the song.
With greater keenness and energy by the minute, Smile Through the Dark casts its own potent captivation with a hope inspiring smile.
Lastly we suggest exploring ahead of the band’s new album, Alarms Stop Ringing from A SHORELINE DREAM. The track is the band’s new single and teaser for their LATENIGHT WEEKNIGHT RECORDS released full-length Loveblind which is unveiled September 23rd.The song is a rich experience of the Denver band’s unique fusion of shoegaze, post punk and post rock essences, and a return after their pandemic led hiatus which quickly captured attention and the imagination.
Consisting of Ryan Policky and Erik Jeffries, the former the major writer and creator of Loveblind, A SHORELINE DREAM creates soundscapes within their songs which immerse the listener in dilemma and suggestion, Alarms Stop Ringing epitomizing that prowess. From its lively rhythmic enticement, guitars and keys swarm around the senses, their presence cloudy and intense yet mesmeric as they surround the virulent insistence of rhythms.
Waves of sonic intrigue and haze sweep the track which bears an eighties post punk dexterity to its manipulation, vocals just as otherworldly yet earthily infectious in their persuasion. It is a compelling mix which soon had ears gripped and another sparking sure contemplation of exploring the band’s new full-length.
ON TOUR DATES
August 14 – NIAGARA FALLS (supporting Said The Whale)
August 18 – Toucan, KINGSTON
August 19 – CafeDekcuf, OTTAWA
August 20 – Baldwin Festival, BALDWIN
August 20 – Dakota Tavern, TORONTO
August 23 – Flying Monkey (acoustic set), BARRIE
August 25 – Rhythm and Brews, CAMBRIDGE
August 26 – Doors Pub: Taco Joint & Metal Bar, HAMILTON
August 27 – The Richmond Tavern, LONDON
Pete RingMaster 11/08/2022
Copyright RingMaster Review