Music Reviews

New Noise [Indie Variety]: Useless Cities, The Swoons, Haux, and Mike Simmons

Useless Cities Stay“-  London based band, Useless Cities, stir up emotions with their track “Stay.” With a sense of longing provided by assertive keys, and counteractive dreamy escapades, courtesy of free-flowing guitar riffs, “Stay” is a fusion of melodic pain that is instantly enjoyable. Pairing the track sweetly would be the interchangeability of male and female vocals, which adds the “fresh” factor to alternative and shoe-gaze sounds. Their self-titled EP is a welcoming standing point of who they are, and what they have to offer on future releases.


The Swoons Sabre“- Built upon an EDM foundation, The Swoons’ track “Sabre” oozes with indie peaks, electronic transitions, and the essence of a quality summer dance track. Beautifully executed with soft vocals, the fused duo, based from London and Toronto, sharply recreate intense emotions with their use of synthesizers and a controlled vocal stance. As the track progresses, a flutter of sounds emerges, yet in a clean fashion that one may appreciate the construction of melodies. As much as this is a great dance track, the overall craft and care within the story line-expressed clearly within vocals- leans the duo towards a broader genre of talent that is waiting to emerge. “Sabre” anticipates this expansion, as well as their debut EP, set to be released this fall.


HauxSeaside“-  Berkshire native, and London based songwriter, producer, and singer, Woodson Black, creates a surreal relaxation of sounds that is gorgeous in every element. The 24 year old shines through his emotive vocals, and wavering echos of production that transports a listener to the edge of a pulling tide. Balancing ambient melodies, with dreamy waves, Haux’s natural production pushes through the hazy sentiments, and allows the focus to be his alluring rhetoric. “Seaside” instantly becomes a track to fall in love with it for the beauty emitted.


Mike SimmonsEmpty Holes“- Los Angeles artist, Mike Simmons, may be the gem we’ve been looking for. “Empty Holes,” off of the album Sunburn, drips alternative rock from the 90s, with a slight country twang in the delivery, and an indescribable amount of heart embedded in Simmons’ shaky, strong vocals. Opening without hesitation into a catchy hook of “ah’s,” the tracks’ melodies flow with ease from verse to verse. As simple as the construction might be, Simmons’ soul bleeds from the hoarseness of his voice, ultimately capturing the moment between the crunchiness of the guitar. “Empty Holes” projects a timeless sound of emotional and progressive waves that instantly becomes a favorite.

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