Lena Minder - Christine Tarquinio - Sound&Shape - Chris Tavener - Kindsight - Christine Sweeney - Twain
|Photo - Victoria Byt|
Together Alone is the name of the debut album by Lena Minder, which is about loneliness in relationships. In March 2020, her plans to move back to Switzerland were thwarted by the pandemic. Instead of finding her way back to her roots, she embarked on an inner search and confrontation with herself in isolation.
In her memories, Lena revived past relationships and critically questioned them. She began to put these thoughts into songs and tells with melancholy, nostalgia, but also a pinch of irony about the complexity of interpersonal existence.
The album contains eight songs, some of which are stylistically very different from each other. The beginning is made by the reduced, folky waltz song «Stay Around», which stands out for its sophisticated vocal arrangement. «Stolen Love» or «One More Time» can hardly be assigned to the indie folk genre. They contain elements of soul and gospel and backing vocals reminiscent of the 30s. With the title track Together Alone Lena Minder bids a brilliant, almost anthemic farewell to the journey - time to let go and time to move on. Sometimes you're less lonely alone than as a couple.
==========================================================================Christine Tarquinio - Falling Free.
Australia’s Christine Tarquinio release’s inspiring new pop single, ‘Falling Free’, available on all streaming platforms on Friday 25th February 2022.
‘Falling Free’ highlights the wonderment of life, love and everything in between, via an instrumental soundscape filled with resonating guitar lines, lush strings and a beat that is sure to have you grooving, combined with the hauntingly ethereal and captivating vocals of Christine Tarquinio. It’s a song that will motivate you to take chances, despite the fear of failure.
“I wrote this song just with an acoustic guitar and it was very introspective as we were in one of our many lockdowns. I wanted to express how I was feeling at the time. The song was very easy to write and came together over a number of weeks.” Christine Tarquinio
Working with Producer, Joshua Hennessy of Pivotal Music Melbourne, during Covid-19 lockdowns, the pair were required to adapt their process, working through the process remotely. Melbourne, Australia based singer/songwriter, Christine Tarquinio has a passion for turning the experiences of life, into a creative, storytelling musical journey, inviting listeners join her for the ride.
Having released her first single, ‘Didn’t Even Try’ in 2014, and now with seven singles and an EP under her belt, Christine has spent the years exploring the unlimited possibilities of her creativity and the freedom potential of her music, both as a solo act and in collaboration with other artists.
==========================================================================Sound&Shape - How The Light Gets In.
At a time when subgenres threaten to overwhelm, Sound&Shape make pure, unfettered Rock N’ Roll. Exploring every corner of stylistic possibility within that context, S&S’s songs range from the heavy and fierce to the soothing and gentle. Frontman/songwriter Ryan Caudle’s voice can easily lull you into a false sense of security, only to have his guitars come crashing in alongside drummer Ben Proctor’s herd-of-stampeding-rhinos drumming and bassist Pat Lowry’s soul rumbling low end.
Over the course of several self-released records and relentless national touring, Sound&Shape have honed a sound both familiar and forward thinking. With enough hallmarks of the rock n’ roll history book in which they are descendants of, they honor their heroes alongside a healthy dose of eyes-to-the-future originality. Currently, Sound&Shape has amassed a mountain of new material which they look forward to bringing to the masses for many years to come.
Always striving to expand as much as possible in all directions, the band’s new album, Disaster Medicine, melds the infectious melodies of their previous work with simultaneously the heaviest and most layered, atmospheric work of their discography. Nestled in the heavy riffing and huge choruses lie some of the most personal and heartfelt lyrics of Sound&Shape’s career, supported this time not only by the core instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums, but for the first time by synths and more carefully orchestrated backing vocals.
Sound&Shape has performed at Midpoint Music Fest in Cincinnati, OH (attendance approx. 30,000) as well as shared stages in support of notable bands such as Sparta, King’s X, Fishbone, Crobot, John 5, The Spill Canvas, Tremonti, Jeremy Enigk as well as many tours on their own.
==========================================================================Chris Tavener- How To Truly Win At Life.
“Answer me this, are you happy?” So sings the online life coach in Chris Tavener's pop-rock satire song for the Youtube generation.
In a modern world often focused on fostering dissatisfaction, 'How To Truly Win At Life' is a song brimming with ironic humour, and soothing melodies hiding a darker truth.
It was written during the difficult era of UK Covid lockdown, when Tavener observed a new influx of online adverts from laughably brazen, so-called life coaches hoping to take advantage of the depressing times for financial gain. The almost surf-rock sounds with a powerful infectious chorus take you away to a tropical paradise, as the exaggerated lyrics speak of a dream lifestyle.
The incredibly uplifting, guitar-fuelled energy in 'How To Truly Win At Life' is matched with subtle minor undertones of deception afoot. There's an epic instrumental arrangement that creates a musical playfulness akin to Randy Newman or Elvis Costello, with a rousing choir and buoyant guitar riffs.
The single is the first from Tavener's upcoming EP 'Easy Ways To Be Happy' that focuses on millennial frustrations and modern measures of success. The new classic-rock-influenced, five-song EP will be released later this year.
==========================================================================Kindsight - Hi Life.
Danish four-piece Kindsight make music that draws from 80’s and 90’s alternative rock and combines it with the shimmering Scandinavian pop that the region has become so renowned for, resulting in a sound that is both fuzzy and melodic in equal measure. Releasing their first material in 2020, the up and coming Danish four-piece have been quick on the rise, picking up steam with a series of new singles over the last 18 months. Now, they are announcing their debut album, Swedish Punk, will be released on March 25th, 2022. New single Sun Is Always in My Eyes is out now alongside a DIY video made by the band.
Kindsight formed when front-woman Nina Hyldgaard Rasmussen and guitarist Søren Svensson bonded over a shared love of The Sugarcubes. They went on to recruit bass player Anders Prip and drummer Johannes Jacobsen and over the past few years have earned a reputation within Copenhagen’s thriving indie scene for their exciting live shows.
On the album’s title, Rasmussen says “Swedish Punk’ was an off the cuff term our producer, Adam, came up with when we needed a working title for a new song we wrote during the recording sessions. Our bass player, Anders, then wrote some lyrics based on the working title and we ended up liking the whole ‘Swedish Punk’-thing so much it became the name of the album”.
There’s a real coming of age charm to Swedish Punk. ‘Don’t You Grow Up’ was the first song the band ever wrote together. Written in “a time when we thought to be a sunny teenage rock band, you had to write songs about teenagers in the sun,” they say. Atop jangling guitars, Rasmussen’s distinctive voice dances somewhere between that of Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval and Alvvays’ Molly Rankin, leaving the listener drenched in the nostalgic optimism of summers gone by. Lead single ‘Sun Is Always In My Eyes’, an unrelenting indie-pop earworm, continues in that same vein. Recalling a time when life was carefree, the band say the track is about ‘stealing money from your mother and feigning to run away from home. Being blessed and unable to see because you've got too much sun in your eyes’.
|Photo - Shannyn KT|
Christine Sweeney has one of those rare voices that makes you stop whatever you're doing and pay attention--and she's got the songwriting, guitar, and bandleading chops to back it up, everywhere from a packed, sweaty rock club to a hushed listening room. I've seen it before: literally everyone in a place will turn their heads to see who's at the mic.
To her, the R&B vocal influence isn’t unnatural in settings ranging from hushed folk stages to full band rock shows. Her music reminds her fans of Susan Tedeschi, Brandi Carlile, Sheryl Crow, KT Tunstall, or Grace Potter with music that grooves and rocks but also reveals her story.
Her new album Heart In a Hurry, out April 22, generously dashes blues, pop, Americana, folk, and yes, R&B, in sharp, open-hearted songs, some drawn from hard-earned life lessons. The message has connected with her fans; she’s had people approach her after concerts to tell her hearing her song helped with something they were experiencing. Even when telling a deeply personal story, Christine has the ability to tap into universal feelings. Heart In a Hurry tells a tale of perseverance.
Musically, the album ranges from the rolling soul music of “Feeling So Low,” the message of self-love hidden in the howling blues of “Coyote,” the catchy character studies of “Denial,” full-on New York rocker “Do You Have To Go?,” and the swinging, grin-inducing “Better Parts” (out as a single March 22). In the cathartic, crashing “Down to The River” (single out April 5), she imagines a car driven off the road and into the water and the lightning-strike thoughts that would go through one’s mind. In the heart-rending “Anywhere, Anyway,” she powerfully likens the relationship to taking turns treading water.
|Photo - Wyndham Garnett|
Twain releases a new song “King of Fools” with songwriter Mat Davidson sharing that “The premise of this song is that evil is a numbness; it wonders if numbness is worse than pain.”
Under The Radar premiered “King of Fools” yesterday, calling Twain “a songwriter of uncommon emotional weight” and elaborating, “Davidson fully inhabits the role of the prophetic folk troubadour, exploring the evils of past and present with warm pastoral melodies and raw emotive vocals. He ends the song with a poignant indictment of humankind’s everlasting greed一Now I watch the fighting over the womb of the earth / Spilling blood for proverbs that they neither side have learned / And I see a bunch of children fighting over toys / How long must they die and die and die / To satisfy the king of fools?”
Mat Davidson is a prolific contributor to beloved projects including Big Thief, whose latest album Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You features Davidson on six songs. He's also a current member of Buck Meek’s band. Davidson is a former member of The Low Anthem, Spirit Family Reunion, and The Deslondes and has toured as part of Langhorne Slim and Courtney Marie Andrews' live bands. He made his label debut as Twain with Rare Feeling in 2017.
The album was aptly hailed by NPR as "at once human and otherworldly,” by Consequence of Sound as “devastating, delicate, meditative” and by UPROXX as “cosmic folk, bright and sparkling, but with all the caterwauling and rough bits that the most stoic traditionalist might desire.” Twain's music resonates a transcendental weight, his performances reliably noted as raw and intensely emotional. More to come from Twain in 2022.