Indie International II
Welcome to the Indie International, a periodical that exclusively shines the light on undiscovered artists from around the world! We’ve been neck-deep in talent over the past few weeks, so without any further adieu lets dip our toes into uncharted waters and feel the flow!
We featured UK storyteller Owen Tromans’ last album ‘For Haden’, and just one week ago Tromans released a brand new LP ‘Golden Margins’. Pairing up once again with his backing band “The Elders”, Tromans’ style flits between traditional singer/songwriter narratives and campfire folk jams.
Recorded in the country-side in the dead of winter, there is a palpable loneliness that pervades ‘Golden Margins’; at times the stories seem to unfold in one’s own mind like ghostly memories, crawling ever so slowly in front of one’s eyes, but the pace never slows to a complete standstill, and Tromans cleverly sprinkles bits of humor and wit to hold the listener in reality. “I think the pyramids were built by Africans/Seems to make the most sense”
Although Tromans has no trouble despelling conspiracy theories in ‘Pyramids’, “Sometimes I find/You got to narrow your mind”, his penchant for weaving his own folk stories is a testament to his abilities as a both a storyteller and an artist rooted firmly in reality. For me, growing up in Canada, Troman’s procures visions along the lines of The Tragically Hip and the legendary Gordon Lightfoot. Transitioning from accessible, alt-rock inspired humor-ballads that would slot nicely into any bar on the outskirts of town, to full-blown chamber-folk unfurling like an audio graphic novel, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get from Tromans, but the result is undeniably poignant, and one can’t help but get lost in his stories.
Stream the album in full via soundcloud.
Hailing from the Electric City Peterborough in the heart of southern Ontario, Graeme Kennedy has released two tracks from his upcoming full-length. Oozing with style and swagger, “No Use For the People” is a sidewalk-slapping stroll through the city. Kennedy’s sing/talk vocals drip with confidence and certainty, while the minimalist rock and roll arrangements keep the pace quick and punchy. It’s brilliance is in subtlety, coupled with the overarching “not giving a fuck attitude”, in spite of everything seemingly going wrong.
Graeme Kennedy – No Use For People
Listening to ‘Magician with a trick’, I was immediately reminded of eclectic three-piece “Why?” and their tacit obsessions with mildly offensive lyrical arrangements. But unlike Why?, Kennedy doesn’t devolve his music for the sake of shock humor, rather his message is quite clear. “You can hop a high horse/and ride with hate/but there aint no pride in joining that parade/Ride On”. “Magician with a trick” is a heavy-handed slap-in-the-face to bigots and the intolerant, and a creative way to promote the very Canadian concept of multicultural equality. Don’t be fooled by the message, Kennedy is still the most likely candidate to burn your ass with a cigarette.
Graeme Kennedy – Magician With A Trick
Back overseas on the Isle of Man, multi-instrumentalist Mikie Daugherty tells a different tale with his solo-project Nanaki. Once a full-blown band with many members, Daugherty took the Nanaki moniker to his bedroom and let the music flow, creating the ‘Afterlight’ EP. Unlike the previous artists, Nanaki’s stories are told exclusively through instrumentals, and the narratives are truly left to the listener to discern. Daughterty’s versatility as a musician is incredible, bouncing between rock genres with each song and effortlessly re-imagining his sound in epic four minute bursts. The sophistication is quite evident, especially on the album’s heavier track aptly named “Fuck Spotify”, as Daughterty toys with time signatures and tempo changes.
As an album, it’s completely schizophrenic, but whatever your flavor for rock, one song is bound to speak to you, if not all of them. “Afterlight” is a musicians album, an impressive experiment, and the sum of its parts looks like some sort of interstellar Frakenstein rock monster, with visceral chunks borrowed from a history of post-rock and outer space.
Nanaki – Antisocial Media
Nanaki – Saint Alessa
Singing since the age of 5, Olivia Gilmore is an absolute gem from Hollis, Queens. Drawing inspiration from R&B legends Stevie Wonder, Faith Evans, and Mary J Blige, Gilmore’s raw emotion bleeds through on her latest single “Matrix”. Digging deep, Gilmore confesses that she “wrote this song as candidly as I could in hopes of not only sharing my experience but also encouraging the listener to face their reality head on and decide to let go…” Her vocal prowess takes centre stage, and she’s an absolute powerhouse. It’s beautiful music, channeling the soulful era of 90’s R&B while blending contemporary production elements. Keep an eye on this girl, she only just began her professional career and she’s bound to make a splash.
UK five-piece The Sherpas just released their latest single “Six Steps”, coupled with an extremely bizarre and somewhat frightening video presumably shot in someone’s basement. There’s been a bit of a funk rebirth in the UK as of late, and the Sherpas are one the bands leading us up the mountain of funkadelic, 70’s/80’s infused alt-rock. This one is a real hand clapper, and Pierre Roxon’s eclectic vocals are a standout. The Sherpas are a relatively new band having a hell of a lot of fun, so keep an eye on these gents as they flesh out their sound.
The Sherpas – Six Steps
I’m a sucker for alt rock with unexpected classical instruments (see Raleigh), and it’s not very often that you happen across a band with such a complete sound sporting a mandolin. But lo, we have the Virginian duo Feral Conservatives, with their release 2-song EP release “A D”. Rashie Rosenfarb absolutely kills it with her lofty vocals and melodic mandolin plucks, and rarely have I come across a band so fresh and so new with such polish. There is a delicate balance achieved between Rashie and her bandmate Matt Francis, who’s fuzzy guitars mesh ever so gently with the soft, lush vibrance of Rashie’s mandolin. It’s a versatile sound, and certainly not as tender as one might expect. There’s an sharp edge to the Feral Conservatives, a dipolarism that can be dissected from both their name, their album cover, and their sound. And like yin and yang, Rosenfarb and Francis complete each other beautifully.
Check out their bandcamp here
Feral Conservatives – Wait For Me
Feral Conservatives – Complacent
And that wraps up this edition of the Indie International! Thanks for listening, and remember,
Always stay for the openers.
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