Tag Archives: indie rock

Burridge.: ‘Wow this is gross, let’s do it!’

Alt rock singer/songwriter Burridge. recently released her second EP, Here Are Your Words (read our review of it here). We got to speak to her about it, alongside her plans for the future. Check it out down below!

How would you describe your sound?

I would say it’s just generic angry girl rock. I don’t know. I’ve always struggled with… you know when people are like ‘oh, my band is this genre’, I don’t really understand strict genres. A lot of the music I listen to crosses over so many genres. Or maybe I’ve just not got a very good ear for them! But yeah, I’d just say it’s generic angry girl rock.

The EP came out recently, it seems to have gone down well?

I think so! I’ve had some good feedback and some good streaming numbers which is apparently what it’s all about nowadays! So yeah, I think it’s gone down okay!

And is there a specific story running through it?

So there kind of is and isn’t. There wasn’t meant to be. But my first EP, if you listen to it from start to finish, is kind of a journey from me being early 20s, discovering the world and realising God, this is an experience. Then with this EP I’ve not released in order of when I wrote the songs, but the whole thing is me getting to grips with ‘okay, life is not always great, how are we going to work it out’. So, there is a story, but it isn’t linear, it’s kind of everywhere. But then so is life, so it’s fine!

And do you use session players, I assume?

So my producer, Sean Kennedy, plays everything. He’s a genius. I can’t ever thank him enough. I’ve worked with him since I was 22, so like nine years. I’ll go in and Ill hum a tune or I’ll take my guitar and I’ll play something really badly and sing along and he’ll be like ‘no, that’s great, we can make a song out of it’. He’d just pick up his guitar and he just gets me, he gets exactly what I want things to sound like.

But I do have a full live band now. We are a band so we’re gonna start writing together. Kieran, my guitar player, is an incredible songwriter so we’re gonna start. Maybe the next EP or album or whatever we’re going to do, we’ll do it together instead of just me. I’m excited to do that as I’ve never done any co-writing before.

Are you aiming for an album next or EP or more singles?

I don’t know. I never like to force writing. I’ve never sat down and been like ‘I need to write a song because I’m recording next week’. It’s always ‘I’ve written a song, lets get it recorded’. If we start writing stuff together and suddenly we come up with a huge album worth of songs that we feel is great and has out sound then lets do it.

But I’m quite happy to just keep dropping singles every now and then. That way it keeps you relevant. Unless you’re like, Fleetwood Mac where you can disappear for 10 years and then suddenly drop an album. Wehn you’re at my stage you’ve just got to keep as relevant as possible so singles might be the way forward. Maybe we’ll then compile them all onto an album. But we’ll see, you never know what can happen in this industry. It could all change overnight! It’s just about being reactive and proactive.

Do you have a general plan for the next 5 years? Any goals?

I have like realistic goals, and then I have huge goals. I would love to record with Dave Grohl, that’s my pinnacle. But I just want to go out and play as many shows as possible. Now that I have a band and I don’t have to just do acoustic shows, I just want to play everywhere, anywhere that will have me. What I want is to play all the really dirty, small venues that no one else wants to play. I thrive off it, I love it! Like wow this is gross, let’s do it! It’s that like nothing to lose attitude where I can try new things, I can throw myself on the floor I can climb things, whatever. That’s what I want to do anywhere, I don’t mind if it’s central London or a tiny village in North Wales, let’s go!

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Listen Up: Are Excuses Excuses the Next Big Thing in Radio-Rock?

The surprisingly Canadian (hearing them I thought British for sure) band Excuses Excuses made waves with their previous few singles, especially earlier this year with ‘Far From Perfect’. Capitalising on that success, the band are releasing their much anticipated debut album this coming Friday. We managed to get a sneak peak of it and, if the singles so far from it are anything to go by, this is going to be good! Check it out with us down below!

The band waste little time with their opening track, ‘Say’. Opening on a pretty fun riff, the vocals soon come in over the top, walking the line between indie and hard rock pretty masterfully. It all builds through the catchy verse and pre into a huge chorus, the echoed vocals making it sound massive. Speaking of the vocals, the lyrics are great, a fantastic ‘be yourself’ anthem. The brief guitar solo bridging the gap between the 2nd and 3rd choruses was fun, even if it did just follow the same melody as the vocals. Still, it’s an effective way of making both more catchy and memorable. Then we get a final pre and chorus to take us home in style. Good stuff to start the album with, and easily playlisted!

The title track bursts right into the chorus, full of attitude and swagger. A call not just to ‘Listen Up’, but also a call to arms, this track perfectly encapsulates the whole feel and message of the album. The guitars dropping out for the verses is a very well used trope but never gets old, and it works perfectly here. The pre is somehow even catchier than the chorus due to the fantastic backing vocals, the band channeling their inner Queen or Muse. It’d be great to hear live. Even the bridge is catchy. The whole track screams massive radio hit, which is perfect given the lyrics. Another fantastic song and another that makes its way onto our playlist!

Check out our last review here.

‘Feeling Sorry’ is another typical heavy indie rock track. Bouncy, lower verses build up into huge, catchy choruses, with plenty of great lyrics across both. The structure was interesting though, given that it was essentially just verse-chorus three times and then done. In and out in just over two-and-a-half minutes. Straight to the point and I love it. We even get a scream for the last second of the track, which I was not expecting. Good stuff!

‘My Nicotine’ is a little slower paced but channels the same sort of energy as the tracks proceeding it. It’s a love song this time, in case you couldn’t guess from the title. The lyrics are well written and it’s a catchy track. I’m struggling to say much more about it, it’s pretty standard but great radio rock! I guess it’s a ballad, and a good one at that!

‘Wasted Alone’ is another slower track, opening on an almost sleazy guitar riff before the vocals come in over the top. It’s a nice touch to break up the album with something different and it honestly sounds great. The drums come in before the verse ends and turns it into ‘just’ another ballad, but that intro was certainly cool. From there it’s fairly similar to the previous track, but I’d argue it’d make a better single, it’s definitely catchier vocally. The guitar solo, while short, was a nice touch too!

‘Breakdown the Silence’ is another typical indie/punk rock track. Then we reach the final two singles of the album to close us out. ‘Meaning of Life’ is another slower track but all of the vocal lines will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. They’re so memorable and well written. It’s the most indie track on the album so far but to my surprise it’s my favourite. It makes the playlist.

Then we reach the final track, ‘Hardship to Sail’. It’s very similar to the previous track. It’s mid-tempo, fun and catchy. It is just a little samey and not quite as good as the previous track, in this writers opinion. That being said, it’s a fantastic way to close an album, epic, memorable and just a damn good track. The build-up to the final chorus is fantastic and adds to the pay-off perfectly. Plus, the gang vocals in the background of the final chorus makes everything feel more granduous and final. A good closer, but I wish the second half of the album had a little more umph. One more faster track would have been perfect.

Overall: I really enjoyed this. As not typically a fan of indie music, there was enough grit and heaviness here to keep me entertained and make me want to listen to it more. The guys are already making a big splash in the underground scene, but if they keep going like this they’re going to be massive sooner rather than later. A short, to the point album packed full of good songs, catchy vocal hooks and some good riffs!

The Score: 8/10

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Fool’s Gold: Are Lyoness The Next Big Indie Name?

Lyoness are a band formed from the ashes of Gallows’ first incarnation. However, anyone going into this expecting hardcore punk may be rather disappointed. The band have released their debut EP, Fools Gold, and demonstrated their indie/folk rock leanings. I remember checking out one of the singles last year and enjoying it, so I am looking forward to checking out the full EP!

Dylan Nolte World-class Documentary Photography

‘Deliverance’ starts the album off on some tribal-style humming. It’s becoming a rather popular style these days after US indie groups started using it, and has since branched out into other genres like here and with Zeal & Ardor. It’s a fun technique used fantastically well here as the clean guitar builds up behind it. The riff build out of the hum is definitely one to bang your head to but is gone again as quickly as it bursts in. The vocals fit the overall style well, being soft and melodic. The killer riff kicks back in for the chorus and the vocals have a bit more power behind them. It’s very much the dark hard rock-country-folk style that is getting popular these days. It’s a damn good intro track for the band!

‘Fever Dream’ goes in an entirely different direction, heading into almost stoner rock territory with the huge, sludgy riffs. My god is the bass tone pretty in this track too, it’s filled with fuzz and attitude. The vocals are also impressive here, fitting so well that I find it hard to single them out on their own. The guitar was the main highlight here for me but the drums were solid and the vocals were impressively powerful. Playlisted!

‘Heroine’ heads straight into the verse, a fun, simple guitar riff with the vocals playing awesomely over the top. The heaviness comes in for the chorus, the huge guitar chords filling out the track behind the catchy vocals. It drops down to just vocals around the middle and gives the perfect chance to highlight her impressive indie voice. She definitely makes the most of it, too. We even get a guitar solo in the track, albeit a rather basic one. It fits the track well, though! The track stopping dead at the end was a little odd for me and a tad jarring, but it’s a minor gripe really.

For the most part ‘Know Thyself’ seemed pretty similar to the previous two tracks, so much so I wasn’t really going to mention it much. However, it dropping down to the palm-muted electric and then utilising the acoustic guitar was fantastic. It created such an amazing atmosphere for the rest of the track. I honestly wish they’d used it throughout the track, but having it in that part is enough to make it onto the playlist for me!

The distant drumming to open ‘The Silence’ set the track up as slightly more of a jazzy one, continued throughout. It’s an interesting blend with their style as well. However, while it might have just been my laptop, that riff that kicks in mid-way through the verses didn’t hit near hard enough for me. Maybe it’s because the drums didn’t go harder? Lyoness rectify it with the closest thing we’re going to get to a breakdown on the EP too, and it was pretty heavy (for an indie band) and good fun. Another good track on an EP full of them!

The band slow it down, but keep it pretty heavy, on the final track ‘What is Left’. It reminds me of almost a darker Fleetwood Mac, it definitely has those pop-folk-rock elements. She even kinda sounds like Stevie Nicks here, too. It’s an interesting way to close an album by I very much dig it. This is my favourite track on the album, it’s a heavy ballad that blends together so many different styles. I hear everything from Mac to Tool to Evanescence. An awesome track that you should definitely check out from our playlist!

Overall: for going in completely blind, I loved this! While some of the indier stuff isn’t quite my style, their other tracks are phenomenal and could hopefully push them far in this business! A fantastic start and I cannot wait to hear where the band go from here.

The Score: 7.5/10

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Baby Strange: Loud and Direct indie rock music from Glasgow!

Baby Strange are a Scottish indie rock band from the wonderful city of Glasgow. The band have been going strong for nearly ten years and have gained quite the following in the UK due to their mashup of influences – be it rock, punk or even hip-hop. Frontman Johnny Madden describes their sound as ‘high energy, loud and direct.’ The three band members met at a community centre when they were kids, partaking in a seminar that encouraged children to get into music. It later inspired them to form the band Baby Strange. We got the chance to speak to them a little about their music, the industry today for a grassroots band and their plans for the future. 

So, firstly, we had to ask the same question as we ask everyone we interview here at Overtone: What is the one song that Johnny Madden wished he had written?

“Teenage Kicks by The Undertones! Surely that’s everyone’s answer?”

Obviously the last year or so has been very hard on the music industry  with the seemingly endless stream of lockdowns. Baby Strange used the unusual time to produce their latest release.

“It was really weird at first. We’re used to making music together week in and week out so not being able to do that for a while was a strange feeling. We did write the majority of our new EP over lockdown though and we’re really happy with the way it’s turned out.

“There’s a lot of things [we miss] but one that comes to mind is walking out to a packed room and diving into the first song of the set and seeing the place go nuts. It’s a feeling I’ll never get tired of.”

Speaking more widely about the music industry, Johnny listed his most liked and disliked parts:

“We’ve never really seen ourselves as part of the industry to be honest. We just do our own thing, but the best thing about being in a band is getting to play in front of people every night on tour. We love being in the studio recording too, it gives us a real buzz.

“I wish bands and artists were given more time to grow and develop. It’s mostly a major label thing; you get signed, put out a few singles and if it’s not clicking straight away, you’re dropped. I’ve seen it happen too many times and I wish it was different.”

The band released their much-anticipated new EP, ‘Land of Nothing’, back in March of this year. Speaking about the experience, Johnny told us:

“It was recorded at Castle Of Doom studios in Glasgow with Chris Marshall. The major difference this time round was the location, we’d never recorded in Castle Of Doom before, it’s amazing.

‘’There’s Something There’ from our new EP is one of my favourites. Lyrically I pushed myself to talk about things I’d always hid from, such as my struggles with mental health in the past. It was quite freeing, putting pen to paper and doing that. Lyrics aside, the music is next level.”

They have an upcoming UK tour towards the end of the year which are the first shows they have been able to play in months. They also revealed to us that they are planning a European tour for the beginning of next year, although they were unable to divulge any specifics. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram to keep up to date with them and be the first to hear about their tour when they announce it!

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