Chris Stills – Calling the Underground
A decade in the making, Calling the Underground was an unreleased single that makes its debut on the digital, deluxe version of Chris Stills’ latest album – Don’t Be Afraid – which released last week.
Being the child of an acclaimed artist can never be easy, but Stills holds nothing back as he exhibits his own musical prowess. Yet, as he embarked upon a similar career path by signing to Atlantic Records just as Stephen Stills had done many years ago (Stephen Stills of legendary US-folk band Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (or, CSNY.)). However, with this release, Chris has evidently stepped out of what might’ve been his father’s shadow.
This single stands as a hallmark of Stills’ ever-increasing talent and his own brand of folk-rock is sure to sit pretty with fans and radio-listeners alike.
Throat – Bareback
When one thinks of grunge, one typically imagines a dusty part of America, wherein some angst-ridden teens declare their rage at the world by expressing the unfair nature that accompanies it. One doesn’t typically consider Nordic countries to be particularly grunge-y, but Finnish group Throat are contributing to the change of that perception.
With throaty, gut-wrenching beats, Bareback is the album to play late at night. Its rough nature is surprisingly smooth to digest and provides an insight into this band’s unique view of the world. As their sophomore album, Bareback must meet expectations for fans and set the bar even higher for future releases. I think it certainly succeeds to create a punchy atmosphere.
Not for the faint of heart, listening to Bareback sounds like a mosh pit in itself – sweaty, fast, and dirty, but all in a good way.
LVL ONE HERO – FLEX ON MY EX
With an extremely high saturation of emo-rap flooding SoundCloud, we’ve witnessed the birth of a new genre – Cloud Rap. LVL ONE HERO join these ranks. This is arguably the hardest music scene to break through in – with thousands of people mixing their own beats at home and uploading them to SoundCloud for free, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of MP3 files, links, and generic beats.
LVL ONE HERO employs the help of Anteven to create FLEX ON MY EX, a song that wouldn’t go amiss amongst the styles of Post Malone and Lil Peep. Complete with trap rhythms that create tensions that can only be resolved with physical movement, LVL ONE HERO has seamlessly crafted a club bop.
With only one other song on his SoundCloud so far, LOH is evidently a new artist with wide prospects. FLEX ON MY EX is an aggressive ballad that will be stuck in your head for hours.
Francesco Fonte Band – Eight
This London-based progressive rock band will undoubtedly have you shaking your head.
Featuring some impressive vocal work by the titular Francesco Fonte, Eight is the fifth album to be released by the band, and all a distinct sound that covers a broad scale of musical ability and sound.
From the show-stealing falsetto, banshee screech in Bloody Dream to the slick bass which greets us in Burn, the Francesco Fonte band has something for everyone – they are perfect for fans of classic rock legends such as Nine Inch Nails and Pink Floyd.
However, I did notice a few moments where I thought that the vocals had been mixed strangely. The recordings fell flat at some parts and did not give Francesco Fonte the full justice that his vocal ability deserves. Perhaps this can be attributed to the vocals being delivered through the left channel more than the right, but this is something that can easily be balanced and remedied in the future.
Regardless, this album contains some bangers that will satisfy your inner-grunge. Eight is a compact and intense collection of Francesco Fonte’s musical ability, and it has me excited to see where the band can go next.
DiipSilence – Phrases
A small, 3-track EP containing mystical beats, DiipSilence’s latest chillstep album Phrases is a fine addition to any Relax/Study playlist.
With DiipSilence based in Los Angeles, one’s imagination can run away with images of Venice Beach and the Hollywood Hills as they calm themselves to this short but intimate EP.
The dreamy ambience created in Phrases is enchanting and should not just be regarded as background noise. Be careful with this one as you might lose yourself for hours.