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415 // Indie Fascination. Monkey Fighters, Ah Trees, LeWis, The Francos, YONAKA…

Monkey Fighters – Monk Fright Eyes

“This song has been declared Hallowe’en Compliant.” That’s what the band stated for this single. Quirky? Yes. And we like. MONKEY FIGHTERS is the action game hero whom you’d been waiting for. Guitar riffs for days, 90’s hard-rock attitude, humor to win over any gal, and punk energy that are, as they themselves put it: ‘epic’. Let’s not nit-pick. MF is fab, and underneath the ‘funny’ tag lines, MF is serious in their music and fabulousness.

Ah Trees – How Long Must We Wait

AH TREES wants you dancing. Indie-dancing. Like Bowie. Like Bowie’s costumes. Well, if you were there in the 70’s you’d know. But we weren’t there, so, vicariously we go dancing with AH TREES. They don’t step on your toes. They inspire you to be ‘great’ on the dance floor. And it’s easy to do, when delicious beats and guitar ‘sex’ just gets everything right for the conquering. The 5 piece band from Perth knows what they’ve done with this single. We think we’ll need another pair of shoes. If you’re going to the WAMFest at The Bird, Northbridge, see them live on November 3rd.

Danielle Durack – Hold My Heart

DANIELLE DURACK’s single ‘Hold My Heart’ is included in the new project ‘Bashful’. The Phoenix Arizona originating singer/songwriter seems to go seamlessly from pure pop to indie in her offerings. In this particular single, she firmly stays within the indie-pop-rock horizons. And we love her for that, because we just think the lyrics deserved this specific platform. The tint of seriousness is just enough to give the single weight. Danielle’s vocals wraps it in pop-bow of affection, which finishes the furnishings in style.

Gary Mictian – Ritual

“Ritual is a song that capitalises on loneliness post relationship breakdown,” said Gary Mictian. “I found myself in this space more and more, so I realised that’s all a part of the healing process, and grew more comfortable with it.” GARY MICTIAN’s ‘Ritual’ is a very satisfying single. It just works, in all levels. Whether, pop, rock, indie, the all encompassing amalgamations of those elements and sub-elements explode with gumption and celebration. It’s just a repeatable single. And if you don’t, it’s would just be a shame.

Janne Saaristo – Yesterday

A song of personal journey or a journey through a personal pain, is what makes such story-sharing a unique and wonderful experience. It’s not that we wished the artist was in pain for long, but for the all parties, it could become a healing opportunity. That’s what we at CHF sees music is partly about, especially in the folk categories. And boy, JANNE SAARISTO in ‘Yesterday’ sure does help lay the ground work for those re-charging of batteries, in a sense. At the end of it all, just like in this single, it’s about ‘celebration’ and ‘understanding’. Letting go of the ‘hurt’ is a requisite. Enjoying a life forged in past tragedies is what we all should do.

The Francos – Back To Basics

‘Back To Basics’ uses classic pop rock elements to draw you in deep. The hooky chorus, with timing that is reminiscent of songwriters like Billy Joel (‘My Life’), but with the modern indie-rock aesthetics that makes it fabulous. This single is about “waking up to reality, eliminating any ounce of naivety and accepting the need to change,” as the band describes it. But we think its dynamic characteristics make it an offering that shimmers, in every which way you look at it. THE FRANCOS know exactly what to do with their notes in trying to make us smile. And we’re eager to listen. The Wollongong Australia trio will be making a big splash where you are.

Melanie Brulée – Whiskey & Whine

It’s a kind of fairy tale that we could imagine. It starts when the kind of naive, but kind hearted boy moves to a souther town. Wanting to explore, he goes to a town gathering and party on one weekend. With everyone knowing who the stranger was, gets the party going. It was Friday night and everybody seemed to be in a great mood. In the midst of it all, the boy see her. His jaws drop, as they somehow are attracted like magnets to metal. They fall in love as MELANIE BRULEE’s single ‘Whiskey & Whine’ plays. A great reminder of what could be, but making sure together that it doesn’t have to end up that way. The boy and gal, kiss as the song ends. Isn’t that great story? Albeit, succinct? We think so. And this little country song tinged with some honky-tonk makes life a bit better when you need it to be. Très vrai.

Seadog – Words Sometimes Fail

SEADOG is band that we keep one eye peeled for. Not in a creepy way, but in admiration. And that admiration is for their sense of music construction and the highly valued ways of communicating raw emotions in a way that is tempered and worth absorbing. We’d reviewed their single ‘Chance Meeting’ and it was the same result. ‘Words Sometimes Fail’ goes even more deeper presented in the best traditions of rock.

Paul Iwan – Parasite

“Like all of the songs on Resister, this song is a fragment of my life prior to getting clean. It’s a document of the pull of my addiction and control it had, about it becoming a permanent fixture to solve issues, to erase memories and repress feelings.” You can hear the emphasis and strength in the way PAUL IWAN described this single. That’s what you feel throughout ‘Parasite’. It’s exactly what you wanted. There’s no getting away with it. It’s straight up rock, right by your glass chin.

LeWis – Mathilda

Get into the voice of LeWis. Belgian born singer/songwriter, Louis De Roo, is a star with that voice reminiscent of so many cool and fabulous folk-pop singers, current and past. The former The Voice contestant has a step up on most artists, with the sophistication he shows in his way of expressing his songs. Now we come back to his voice. Listen to the chorus. Climb the mountain with him. in ‘Mathilda’ he combines the empathy of Bear’s Den, with the extravagance that is very David Grey-esque. Sky’s the limit? Let’s see more.

Tiz McNamara – Daisy

TIZ MCNAMARA has gone through many ups and downs in his life. It’s just the little things that got in his way, which, indirectly told him that a new ‘path’ was needed. The lesson is not of the difficulties and challenges, but, in Tiz’s case, he understood those hints that life was telling him. Now we come to 2018, and we’re glad that he’d been forged to where he is today. His gift is making songs like ‘Daisy’. An effervescent thought process, in a ‘promissory note’ for love – what it could be – what it should be – if the gates to the heart was open for business. With a slight tinge of pop elements slicing through the chorus, this fabulous offering does its best to help us connect. After all, the lesson isn’t that there were many challenges, but what opportunities you made out of them. She’s worth it.

Cornelis Gerard – It Won’t Kill You

CORNELIS GERARD’s ‘It Won’t Kill You’ makes us want to watch CG live, on a stage, playing, and making us dance. Bet it’s so fun. We note that because this single is THAT fun. If you don’t, we think you don’t have any pulse – like, you’re dead, DOA, out-of-luck. The self described ‘punk-poet’ and ‘insensitive’ singer/songwriter, London based Dutch-Irish artist is a fresh breeze in the scene. The story telling is front and center. But the final product, packaged in brilliance, is something to behold.

Calvero – Vanishing Streets

Wow. That’s what we said when we heard CALVERO’s first bar of notes. ‘Vanishing Streets’ is 80’s big-hair rock reminiscent of (White Lion, Bon Jovi) tempered in the vocal outrageousness of revered AOR artists like Mark Free & King Kobra, all then retrofitted to galactic acceleration with operatic prowess of bands like Queen and Meatloaf. Whew! What a combo! But oh so fabulous! At he end, we just wanted more and more. So, how about it CALVERO?? Dig.

El Cameroon – Quiet Mind

EL CAMEROON is a London based singer/songwriter from Elgin, Scotland. In his latest acoustic single ‘Quiet Mind’, his acoustic guitar driven retrospectives of memories made, gets the lyrical story telling to high flight. The uniqueness of his vocals just makes things delightful and gives off an air of ‘anticipation’ and urgency to hear the next chapter of the single. Clean, clear, direct, the single is that quiet time we all needed in our hectic lives. It’s here. Feel it. The first EP ‘The Obsession’ is available now.

F I N K E L – l e x i c o n

‘lexicon’ is pop and indie-pop you’d want on your next signal to another relationship. Listen to the intro drums. That’s all you need. Why? Because that’s the kind of explorative energy you will need to seek and achieve in your next love. It’s not about him or her. It’s about you. Get your own house sorted. Get the language clear in your head. Reach for something higher. Just like this song when it uses melodies of instrumental and vocal aspects, to maximal sonic effect. Will you reach that height of ecstasy? F I N K E L will wait for you there.

Dreamers Of The Day – Old Roads

DREAMERS OF THE DAY is a fascination unto itself. The band consists of duo, Jonathan Bancroft (Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Keyboards) and Michele Gapp (Vocals, Ukulele, Percussion), and the Americana-folk feel in ‘Old Roads’ takes you to that thought of open plains and friendly neighbors. But the very photogenic duo knows pop, and how to use the elements that are endemic to the genre. The infectious energy of this single contrasts many, but as the band said “We cover a rather eclectic variety of genres due to the fact that we followed the music wherever it took us, therefore we find ourselves in between genres including Folk, Rock, Pop, Classical and Country influences.” Heck yea. That’s why they’re in our list. They’re real. They’re talented. And we expect many more fab offerings to come.

Pretty Vicious – Are You Entertained

You wanna get straight to the point and get rocked? You’ve come to the right place. PRETTY VICIOUS is the antidote to your boredom. And in ‘Are You Entertained’ the band brings the blood curdling pace and excitement that is pre-eminent. In August we’d mentioned this about the band’s single ‘Move’: “The rambunctiousness dabs into the world of classic punk, but staying well and true to some of the current rock trends, which is perfect for consumption.” You want a song for a party? PV is the place to be.

YONAKA – Creature

Brighton UK based 4 piece band YONAKA dropped the single ‘Creature’, which is taken from their upcoming EP ‘Of The Same Name’ is the sweet that will satisfy the pop and rock in you. Bringing the sensibilities that make Lady Ga Ga to the elite levels, YONAKA combines it with the rock features and elements that makes their way of music, quite ‘deadly’ to the non-initiated. But oh boy – once you’re IN, you’re IN. And how fabulous it it. There’s a reason whey YONAKA is so popular. That’s not a reason unto itself, but it sure confirms what everybody’s thinking.

The Dylan Hartigan Project – Some Dogs

Familiar? Yes. THE DYLAN HARTIGAN PROJECT is the puppy of Dylan Hartigan, a singer/songwriter and former finalist on Team Kelly Clarkson from Season 14 of NBC’s The Voice. But that’s just for reference. And in his latest offering of ‘Some Dogs’ he signals the feel of The Strokes to make it so ‘true’ for us listeners. The rock-modern-country aesthetics of the slide guitar play, the fun is ALL about the ‘fun’! Love song? Who cares. Just take your gal next to you and give her a big smooch.

The Wild Things – Better Off Alone

Isn’t it ironic? Some things in life just don’t work out fairly. Or even nearly. Love, games, finances, other ambitions – giving it the benefit of the doubt and moving on is the best medicine. And in ‘Better Off Alone’ the London based quartet THE WILD THINGS they recomend recognizing that unfairness and building a stronger house for another, and better opportunity. That doesn’t mean we should forget the hurt. We just grow from it. As the band tell it: “‘Better Off Alone’ is an acoustic heart-breaker about falling madly in love with the man of your dreams… And then losing him to the woman of his dreams.” Dig.


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