Alt Pop

Zero Front keeps it simple in new EP "Static Faces"

Like a cup of black coffee, New Hampshire’s Zero Front keeps things quite simple but oh so good. In his new EP, Static Faces, the singer/songwriter/loop perfectionist mixes clean electric guitar strums with modernist sound loops that create an environment fit for both an existential contemplation or escapism rejecting the former idea. “Cold Coffee” is groovy, with sustained sounds like robots conversing. Where “Vanity Plates” is as serene as a walk among a familiar place, “Sea of Tranquility (The Moon Song)” is the wrong turn that ends up being not the wrong turn, almost psychedelic in its slow nature. Zero Front has created a piece of work that feels like it was meant to belong only to him but has accidentally become something for all to enjoy and understand. Stream “Cold Coffee” for a simplicity that just feels and sounds like what you need this weekend. - Rene Cobar, photo by Ryan Burnham

   

Gillian elevates above the norm in new single "High"

Regarding the modern indie-pop aesthetic, Boston’s Gillian perfects it: classy-creeping piano leads, pumping beats, and the singer-songwriter’s honeyed melodies slowly cascading over them. However, the theme of her latest single “High” goes beyond the standard, it digs a bit deeper, tackling a subject that is scarcely discussed in the youth’s pro-recreational mildew: sobriety. Gillian vents, via infectious hooks and exquisite harmonies, frustrations about a partner struggling to remain sober and how that struggle becomes an illness turning love languid, disappointment vivid. The music video for the track, directed by Nolan Knight, captures the exact atmosphere and heartbreak the song so radiates. Gillian is not only a bright beacon of indie-pop and its current influence on the mainstream but also an artist digging deeper, as artists do. Stream the music video for “High” below. - Rene Cobar

   

Holly Halliwell

Indie Christian Pop singer Holly Halliwell has released her first two singles, "Before Me" and "Your Love", this month. Both tracks are filled with a much needed positivity and hopefulness that should transcend genre or classification.

She collaborated with her husband Walter Halliwell and producers Seth Mosley and X O’Connor of Full Circle Music for these tracks and seems poised for something big in the coming months.

   

Similar Kind ushers in the good stuff in new single "Maria"

Hop on, Connecticut’s Similar Kind is taking us on a ride towards the weekend, and it is magical. The beautiful ambiance created by lingering guitar chords, a twisting bassline, and lead singer Julia Breen’s exquisite vocals in the band’s latest single “Maria” engulfs you and transports you to your place of choice. The music has that blend of fierce modern rhythm and ‘80s dream pop that is catapulting acts like Tennis to the top of the charts, it is tasteful, and so cool-retro you cannot help get lost in it. In a time when any dose of endorphins will do, this Norwalk quintet is delivering a heavy dose to the masses. Stream the new single below, and see you on the other side of the weekend, New England. - Rene Cobar

   

PREMIERE: Amy Rage's singular pop vision explodes on debut "Doin' It Right"

Jersey City songwriter and producer Amy Rage debuts her maximalist sound on new anthem “Doin’ It Right,” a dazzling showcase of synth-driven indie pop with nods to 80s femme forerunners such as Madonna and Blondie. A singular product of the artist’s existential crisis earlier this year, induced by the slog of the 9-5 and feelings of office-bound inertia, Rage turned to a small MIDI controller and a makeshift home studio to craft a vibrant sonic escape from the malaise. Hammering synthesizers and a strong emphasis on larger-the-life vocals, alongside emotional lyricism stressing how the right person can render the world’s sanity inane, propel this saturated electronic bop forward, delivering a single evocative of pop’s past and present stylings. Recommended for fans Charli XCX and Perfume Genius, stream our premiere below, and keep an eye out for Amy Rage’s forthcoming debut EP out later this year.