The Pretty Reckless released their fourth studio album on February, 12, ending a several year wait for new music. Titled Death By Rock And Roll,” I knew that I and fans of The Pretty Reckless would not be disappointed. With 12 tracks, an average length of four and a half minutes per song, and features with Tom Morello, Matt Cameron, and Kim Thayil, Death By Rock And Roll is here to provide us with an incredible amount of rocking out.
The album kicks off with the title track, which we are all familiar with as it was released as a single previously. Somehow this means that “Death By Rock And Roll”may end up being only one of your many favorite songs on the album. So get excited.
Mixing soft, haunting melodies and tolls with headbanging drums and guitar solos, the music of Death By Rock and Roll is going to stick with you. Constantly touching on themes of life and death and with passion emanating from all of Taylor Momsen’s vocals, the album tells a story and could easily be the soundtrack of its own movie.
The Pretty Reckless graces us by turning it down for a couple of songs. One of them is “Got So High,” which both makes you want to cry and scream the lyrics joyously at the same time. And then they throw in a little interlude with “Broomsticks” that’s a little Halloween fun and sets us up for “Witches Burn.”
So what’s worth living for? And what’s worth dying for? Is it love or rock and roll, or is it nothing at all because the world is so messed up? Take a listen and you might find out for yourself.
Take a listen to Death By Rock and Roll,and then join me in impatiently waiting for The Pretty Reckless’s rescheduled tour dates to finally happen.
Nightly, an alt-pop band based in Nashville, released an EP today that re-imagines a few songs off of their previous album night, love you. which came out last year. This alternative EP shares the same name, so don’t get confused!
The tracks on the EP include a stripped down version of “Not Like You,” acoustic versions of “So Sly” and “Summer,” and a live version of “Older.” To the average listener, these alternative takes might not sound all that different to you. “Summer (Acoustic)” is the one that stands out the most and invites you to learn how to play the song on the guitar. But upon a couple of listens, you may grow to really appreciate the nuances between versions, especially in “Not Like You (Stripped),” just as we did.
If you’re already a fan of Nightly, you’ll be disappointed that there are no new songs, of course. But if you’re new to Nightly, night, love you (alt ep) might be the perfect bite-sized introduction to the band you need! And then you can dive headfirst into the rest of their discography, starting with the album night, love you. We know we’ll be following them and waiting on more music!
Here’s a duo to pay attention to. Sound Of Kalima is made of up Pete and Sal, two young musicians from Vancouver. They captured the USA’s attention with their single “Wild Trash,” an urgent commentary on the destruction of our planet. Self-described as having “no respect for the limitations of genre,” Sound Of Kalima is here to give us electronic music that holds a human element. Today, the duo released their latest, “6789ten.”
“6789ten” is a song filled with variety. The electric guitar and percussion make you want to jam, there’s prevalent anger, and yet some element makes you want to dance. The refrain of “6789ten” is easy to get stuck in your head, but my favorite part of this song are the verses. The melodic contrast with the chorus grabs your attention and the lyrics run deep.
In this world I’m not an equal / that’s not heartbreak to you, why should I bother?
“Wild Trash” showed us that SOK isn’t afraid to write about controversial topics, and “6789ten” is no different. The lyrics address prejudice based on skin color, racial injustice, and lack of faith in the system, and the siren that seemed like a fun sound effect on first listen takes on a new meaning as you pay attention to the words.
I’ll be keeping tabs on SOK, eagerly awaiting to see what they have to say next. Until then, take a listen to “6789ten.”
Brazilian guitarist, singer, and songwriter Leonardo Varella has a new single out, and it’s going to make you feel good. “Pocket Full of Change” has a retro vibe that makes you wish you were on a beach, grooving to the music. The chorus is easy to learn, and the verses tell you to stop stressing, and don’t worry about all the bad things that happened to you today. And of course, that nearly 30 second guitar solo is something you didn’t realize you wanted, but you’re going to listen to it again!.
Along with “Pocket Full of Change,” Leo Varella has two other singles out for you to take a listen to, and collaborations across the globe. Each of his songs show his influences of jazz, hip hop, rock, and Brazilian music. We’ll be sticking around to hear his guitar-playing!
Skyler Cocco is much more than an indie pop artist. With too many hyphens to put in her title, she does it all. Producing, writing, mixing, and performing, there’s no end to her talents. Today she released another single, one of many this year, called “The Drive.”
Skyler Cocco’s breathy vocals, turning staccato at times, mixed with the dreamy synths paints a picture of the open road ahead and wide sky above. “I thought about it on the drive” is a line we can all relate to, as getting in a car provides little distraction and all the time to think and to overthink. She sings of a mistake made by herself and the hopes to start anew, and while the words should be painful, the music is hopeful and fun.
Go take a listen to “The Drive” and stay tuned for more singles from Skyler Cocco, which we most certainly can expect!
Middle Part is an artist bringing us synth-laden indie pop music that speaks to the soul. Unafraid to use music as therapy, Middle Part writes deeply personal stories in his songs. “& Cry” doesn’t stray from that, and gives us permission to shed tears when things are overwhelming.
“& Cry” is an incredibly moving and cinematic piece. The chorus is simple in lyrics – “Go ahead & cry” – but the emotional impact is heavy. “I really wanna hold you / I’m just not all there,” Middle Part softly sings, speaking volumes in those few words about not being mentally able to take on the things that you want. Preceding those lines is “I hate when I’m like this,” and when you hear it you might start crying yourself into a cathartic release. Falling just under three minutes in length, I suggest keeping the song on repeat as one listen isn’t enough.
Middle Part will be releasing an EP in the near future called I Wish I Was Alive, so keep your eyes out for that and stream “& Cry” in the meantime! We certainly are ready to dive headfirst into his intense music and hope you are, too.
You probably know The Unlikely Candidates from their hit song “Novocaine,” which just topped Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart in March. We got to talk with lead vocalist Kyle Morris about their latest single “High Low” as well as making music and staying creative during this pandemic.
CROWDSURFER: It’s been about a month since “High Low” came out, and I wanted to say I absolutely can connect with it. Where did the inspiration for this song come from?
KYLE MORRIS: The song is about growing up, really. I think the older you get, the more people kind of spread out and do their own thing. I wrote this about coming home from tour and realizing that this has kind of happened even more. But I wrote it a week before quarantine happened, and then I rewrote it during quarantine. It took on a new life because the whole thing takes place in a guy’s apartment where he has nothing to do but think about his friends.
CS: You were in tour when things shut down, right?
KM: Yeah, it really sucked. As we were touring, we would hear that the last venue we were at was closing. We were like, this is catching up really fast. Then we played in the middle of nowhere Wyoming and there was a blizzard. So we stayed there in a cabin, completely snowed in, and we had to make the decision to leave tour. It kind of felt like the end of the world.
CS: Was the process of making this song different because of restrictions of the pandemic?
KM: Usually I’ll go and track the vocals at my producer’s studio, but we couldn’t do that. So, I basically had my producer on Facetime and he would help me, but I was just in my closet at home. So that song was recorded in my closet! Like the old days.
CS: We’re all working from home, even in the music industry! Speaking of, what has it been like for you during this odd and difficult time for the industry?
KM: It’s been rough because we had a #1 single, and this was the year that we were supposed to harvest the fruits of our labor. And we didn’t really get to do that. So we started Flatten the Hump Day, our weekly stream, to give people something to do. We’re coming up on our 16th week of doing it which is absolutely insane.
CS: I’m so impressed by that!
KM: Yeah, I think we’re doing it to stay sane at this point! We’re running out of ideas though. We only have so many songs, but we’ve been trying to mix it up. One week we did emo week and covered our favorite emo songs. We all dressed up with black wigs and fingerless gloves, it was pretty ridiculous.
CS: Well, I definitely want to watch the emo week one.
KM: The emo week one was pretty good. Not gonna lie, it was a little rough to sing. Those voices are pretty high!
CS: I realize it might be hard to answer this question, but what’s next for The Unlikely Candidates?
KM: Just trying to write as many cool songs as possible. Last year I didn’t get to write that much because we spent a lot of time promoting “Novocaine.”
CS: Do you think you’ll be able to get out to LA for recording or will there be more closet songs?
KM: It’s basically all closet stuff. But it’s pretty dope! I’ve had people ask me if I’m going to keep doing this afterwards, and I’m like yeah. I think that this works just as well.
CS: Anything else you want us to know?
KM: We have a video coming up for “High Low.” And stay tuned for Hump Days 19-55! Maybe a drive-in theater, too. I’ve been trying to set one of those up.
CS: We’re fans of drive-in concerts, so I hope you get to play one! Thanks for taking time to talk today!
KM: Thank you! Keep watching Flatten the Hump Day at 3PM central!
“High Low” is out now, and you can listen to it here.
The New Regime played in NYC on March 5, 2020, the first of a two-night run at Brooklyn Steel. The dark, moody lighting set the tone and we were treated to a longer opening set, which I certainly wasn’t opposed to. The New Regime ended on “Heart Mind Body & Soul,” which is a song I strongly suggest you take a listen to if you’ve never heard it before!