Aztec Brides self titled demo EP
Toyko’s Aztec Brides shared a self-titled demo EP, Dec. ’21 for a strong introduction to the three piece. The self proclaimed progressive grunge act create sharp, melodic, and vivacious sounds within 20 minutes. Erina Ito’s range is striking and harnesses the vigor of Dolores O’Riordan at times. While the 5-track offering can be appreciated in its entirety, “Nova” and “New Delhi” will highlight the band’s flexibility and full compositions.
Mom Friend Cost Of Living
Going into the new year with the energy brought by Mom Friend’s latest album, Cost Of Living. Atlanta-based artist and sole creative behind the pseudonym, Emily Backus, writes songs for different versions of ourselves that never got to speak up. Cost Of Living carries sentiments from previous release crying lessons, but closes peacefully for a next era. The album’s realistic croons of getting older, evolved notions of love, and saying goodbye to an old friend, create the needed space for growth. Engineered and mastered by Catherine Backus, the album’s DIY esthetic speaks like a familiar friend. The tracks’ catchy power pop hooks make for an easy ear-worm, but don’t let that distract you from Emily Backus’ personal storytelling.
dead boyfriend heaven sent
Denver’s dead boyfriend had a challenge for themselves: 12 days off work, how many songs could be finished? The answer was 3, from start to finish, and the results make up their 3-track EP, heaven sent. Rough, raw, and starry eyed, the lofi indie and folk tracks are promising. A warm perspective drowns on a stormy fretboard and stands out on “movie star” and “… trophy wife….” There’s more to be polished, but dead boyfriend’s storytelling and build is worth the investment.
Pálidos Fim do Nada
Portugal-based band shared their 11-track album, Fim do Nada, late Dec. ’21. It is a jazzy and progressive collection which fuses a cosmic soundscape with psych-pop hooks. Conceptually, the album seems to question and be divided by time, utilized by the use of clear instrumental breaks. This album is a great palette cleanser going into the new year for its full wall of sound, heard clearly on “Memória Parte II.”
Nikki Morgan For Your Consideration
Nikki Morgan’s Americana essence and at times, sultry tone, tells such a cherished and intimate story on the artist’s latest release, For Your Consideration. Born in North Carolina, crediting Chicago as home for development as an artist, Morgan’s magic is heard the strongest on her folk ballads. The artist’s melodious and vulnerable delivery on tracks such as “One More Night” pave the road for the million stories yet sung by Morgan. The sweet and passionate vocal range by Morgan warms up the coldness of a break-up scattered throughout the album.
Morgan stated that the album was a “fun project” to try home recording– seeing the artist writing all songs and playing all instruments — almost warning listeners of a raw production. This warning isn’t needed for For Your Consideration, and we hope Morgan continues polishing her craft.
Infected Minds “Towards the Truth”
Greek progressive rock band share their lead single “Towards the Truth” taken off their upcoming album, Reanimated due February, 9, 2022. Katerina Kehagia’s punch throat vocals complement the thick and muddy guitars that are soaked in dark percussion of doom. All in all building the scene for mistrust, executed neatly on this track.
New Zealand’s Gramsci share their post-rock lead single “Ourselves” taken from their forthcoming LP, The Hinterlands, due February 11, 2022. It’s an expressive and introspective piece that tips a greater concept to be examined on the LP. The track’s obsessive, haunting vocals act as a strong lead before screaming guitars favorably break the tension. Gramsci consistently craft polished and visionary pieces, one which was effortlessly translated on the video directed by Richard Bell.
Marión Raw Deep Cuts / “Hideaway”
Multidisciplinary artist Marión Raw made her debut as a solo artist on Deep Cuts last year, stepping away from former band Love la Femme. The 13-track album crosses through rough, folk rock to countryside storytelling. Tender and beautiful, Deep Cuts was a favorite release of 2021 for its emotive allurement and brilliant narrative. The album’s lofi production warmly courts a confessional bedroom style hybrid, which became more structured on Marión’s strong follow-up, “Hideaway.”
Spending time between Mexico and the U.S., we are hopeful for upcoming shows. Be sure to catch Marion’s set on this years SXSW 2022 Showcase.