Category: indie blues

Live Footage: Up-and-Coming British Singer-Songwriter Sam Fender Performs Two for Vevo DSCVR

Over the past two years or so, the up-and-coming Newcastle, UK-based singer/songwriter Sam Fender has received attention both nationally and internationally for crafting rousingly anthemic material that broadly focuses on hard-hitting social issues, broadly drawing from his own experiences growing up in Northeastern England. Unsurprisingly, the Newcastle-based singer/songwriter was featured on BBC Sound of 2018‘s shortlist, which he promptly followed up with a sold-out headlining UK tour. 

Fender built upon a rapidly growing profile with the release of his highly-anticipated EP Dead Boyslast month Polydor Records and EP single “That Sound” is centered around rousing, power chord-based arena rock, centered around enormous, raise-your-beer-in-the-air-and-shout-along worthy hooks, soulful vocals and a bluesy vibe that sonically brings  The Black KeysSlavesRoyal Blood and others to mind. As Fender explained in press notes at the time, “Simply put, ‘That Sound’ is a celebration of music, but it’s also a not-so-subtle middle finger to the naysayers that tend to rear their heads as soon as things start to work out for you, especially back at home. It’s about finding strength to ignore it all, and keep doing your own thing.”

“Play God,” Fender’s attention-grabbing debut single established the Newcastle-based singer/songwriter’s song and overall aesthetic — rousingly anthemic hooks and enormous blues power chords paired with his soulful vocals; however, unlike “That Sound,” the song is centered around politically-charged, conscious lyrics that belie the British singer/songwriter’s relative youth.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts on Vevo’s Vevo DSCVR series. Vevo DSCVR is Vevo’s curated, emerging artist platform, meant to promote the best up-and-coming artists that the video sharing site believes will have a significant impact on the future. Vevo invites the artist to perform some of the best video in a live session and throughout its run, Vevo has featured an impressive and eclectic array of artists including Jack Garratt,James Bay, Years & Years, Wolf Alice, Sam Smith, Jorja Smith, Maggie Rogers, Alessia Cara and Ella Eyre among others. This past year has seen Vevo DSCVR inviting up-and-coming pop artists Billie Eilish, Bülow, Donna Missal and Charlotte Lawrence. Interestingly as the year is quickly come to a close, Vevo has been busy announcing their Artists to Watch 2019 list, which included the Mobile, AL-born, Los Angeles, CA-based Elley Duhe, who performed “Savior,” the aforementioned Fender and a lengthy list of others. Recently Fender was invited to perform live version of “That Sound” and “Play God.”

New Video: The Playfully Ironic Visuals for Winstons’ “Without You”

Comprised of Lou Nutting (guitar, harmonica, and vocals) and Ben Brock Wilkes (drums, vocals), the up-and-coming Virginia-born, Brooklyn-based indie rock duo Winstons can trace their origins to when the duo met while working at Williamsburg hotspot and music venue, Baby’s All Right. And with the release of 2015’s Turpentine EP and Black Dust, the duo quickly received attention for a soulful, garage-based blues rock that sonically speaking seems to owe a debt to The Black Keys, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, complete with a visceral and forceful earnestness — and for making a decided point in recording live to tape, with no touch-ups, no overdubs and no-retakes; in other words recording with the old adage, first thought, best thought. “Without You,” the A side of their “Without You”/”Enough” 7 inch will further cement the duo’s growing reputation for blues and garage rock that possesses an unmistakable immediacy — while in this particular song, a visceral
Directed by Buried Muse, the recently released video for “Without You” cuts between footage of the duo performing at Baby’s, hanging around and singing the song and running around all over Brooklyn — to suddenly encounter their dopplegangers looking back at them.

Currently comprised of husband and wife and founding duo of Cristina Martinez (vocals) and Jon Spencer (guitar, vocals), equally known for his two other bands Pussy Galore and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion; along with Jens Jurgensen (bass), who had a stint in renowned punk/metal band The Giraffes; Hollis Queens (drums, vocals) and Mickey Finn (keys), Boss Hog formed back in 1989 as a sort of accidental side project, when the band’s founding duo of Spencer and Martinez were told of a last minute vacancy on the bill at CBGB’s. Spencer and Martinez reached out to friends and collaborators and quickly put together a band featuring members of The Honeymoon Killers and Unsane, along with Spencer’s Pussy Galore bandmate Kurt Wolf. That first gig together was reportedly an underground sensation — partially because Spencer played the entire set completely naked. And although the band has gone through a series of lineup changes, over their 28 year run, the band have developed a reputation for releasing disturbing and sexually incendiary material through some incredibly renowned record labels — including Amphetamine Reptile Records, In The Red Records, and DGC/Geffen.

BROOD X is Boss Hog’s first full-length album in almost 20 years, and from the album’s first single “17,” the material on the album is a wild and heady mix of dusty, shuffling, sleazy, whiskey-soaked blues, snarling punk rock attitude, noisy no-wave-inspired art rock, shoegazer rock and seductive baroque-inspired pop to create a sound that not just uncompromisingly defies genre conventions while expressing the bilious and strange mix of hopelessness, fear, uncertainty, fury, bitterness and the uneasy, desperate longing to make sense of an absurd, dangerous, new world run by an ignorant maniac. Part existential howl into an indifferent void and part a clattering yet sensual and subversive call to have art be your solace in desperate times, the song may arguably be a call to get out there and resist through one of the most human ways we can — through art.







Born in Reno, NV and currently based in Nashville, TN, alt rock/blues rock artist Jack Berry can trace the origins of his recording career to when he wrote and recorded his first album while studying in Los Angeles. Berry then worked and performed along the West Coast as one half a of a duo before before he decided that it was time to go solo. Relocating to Nashville, Berry spent several months couch-surfing and writing and recording material with the hopes that he could catch the attention of that city’s local press.

Eventually, Berry began receiving praise from outlets both locally and nationally from the likes of Nashville SceneThe Deli MagazineBlues Rock Review and others, which resulted in slots at Toronto‘s North by Northeast (NXNE), CMJ and SXSW‘s Red Gorilla Festival. Since then, Berry has played a number of venues between his home base and NYC; however, 2016 may be his breakthrough year with the Spring 2016 release of his latest album, Mean Machine. 

“The Bull,” Mean Machine‘s first single is a sultry and bluesy single that pairs arena rock friendly power chords, propulsive and carefully syncopated drumming, an anthemic hook and Berry’s seductive crooning and howling that sonically seems to draw from Soundgarden (think of “Mailman” “Spoonman,”and “Fell on Black Days” off Superunknown) as it does from old-school blues and contemporary rock.

Comprised of Vincent Davies (vocals, guitar and bass), Ranald MacDonald (vocals, keys, guitar and bass), Josh Lewis (guitar and bass) and Oscar Robertson (drums), the London-based quartet Hidden Charms formed last year and with the release of their double A single “Dreaming Of Another Girl”/”Long Way Down,” the London-based quartet quickly received attention nationally as the the single received extensive airplay from the likes of radio personalities Zane Lowe of Beats 1, Annie Mac and Huw Stephens of BBC Radio 1 and John Kennedy of XFM (aka Radio X).  And of course, as a result of their growing national profile, the band has opened for Benjamin Booker, Hanni El Khatib and X Ambassadors and had a four-week Club NME Koko residency.

Building on their rapidly growing the British quartet’s latest single “Love You ‘Cause You’re There” consists of buzzing and bluesy guitar chords, propulsive drumming, anthemic hooks and howled vocals in a song that sounds as though it were directly influenced by The Black Keys and 60s mod rock (think of early The Who, The Kinks and The Animals) — and possesses a similar self-assuredness that belies their youth. Of course, at its core is an aching longing — the sort of longing that comes up from lonely nights drinking in shitty dive bars, reminiscing over someone who may not be right for you and yet you need.