Listen Local: 6 New Local Music Reviews

Jun 22, 2023 at 11:11 am
Listen Local: 6 New Local Music Reviews

New Music is here!

Anonimuss Rose Lincoln Lounge pt. 2: The Juliet

I hate to tell anyone that they need to leave Kentucky, but Anonimuss Rose, it’s time for you to go. Quite simply, you’re too good for this place. Spread your wings, you’ve grown too big for this cage. Los Angeles, New York, somewhere where your talent can truly shine. Your gift needs to be shared with the world. And given the current state of popular music, the world is practically begging for this. When I say that Anonimuss Rose’s sophomore effort Lincoln Lounge pt. 2: The Juliet is stunningly incredible; don’t take that with a grain of salt. The level of vocal and songwriting talent here is astounding; something you’d expect from an artist headlining sold-out arenas, not an unsigned artist out of Lexington just beginning to make a name for herself. Think Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, India Arie, Mary J. Blige, and Alicia Keys. This is a masterful blend of neo-soul, hip hop, R&B, pop and folk. Ms. Rose’s rich, soulful voice is sincere and calming yet simultaneously powerful and commanding. A dual threat behind the mic; her rap game is every bit as strong as her singing, and she can flow with the best of them. Deep, meaningful lyrics backed by beautiful, melodic, soothing yet catchy and danceable instrumentation and a world-class production effort that not only accompanies Ms. Rose’s vocals, but encompasses them and pushes her into the spotlight. This is a multi-platinum album that the world just hasn’t caught up to…yet!

Chorin “What I’m Showin’”

“I’ve met many, but many have not met me. You will only see what I’m showin’.” Such a great line from the chorus of the latest single “What I’m Showin’” by New Albany trio Chorin. “What I’m Showin’” is a bouncy, folky little roots rock/Americana/indie rock tune in the vein of fellow New Albanians Houndmouth with a bit of The Revivalists and The Lumineers mixed in. The lyrics of “What I’m Showin’” deal with judgmental people who assume they know the real you based on trivial things like appearance or small interactions, when, in fact, they are only seeing what you show them. With not even quite yet a year of existence as a band under their belt, (they formed in July 2022), Chorin is already showing incredibly impressive songwriting skills with this song, as well as with their debut single “Toofer”, which was just released back in February of this year. Very catchy with some great hooks, “What I’m Showin’” is packed with excellent musicianship and a very rich, full, warm production. Having already played several shows in and around the Louisville/Southern Indiana area, as well as in cities such as Indianapolis and Bloomington, the band is well on their way to making a name for themselves around the region. And with an EP on the horizon, Chorin is certainly a band to keep an eye on.

Feral Vices “Lock & Key”

On the surface, it’d be easy to write off Louisville guitar and drum duo Feral Vices as just another White Stripes or Black Keys, as there are more than a few two-piece rock bands out there going for that kind of sound; but you’d be completely wrong. Is this stripped-down rock? Absolutely. Does it sound like any other two-piece band out there? Absolutely not. This is more along the lines of Refused meets Queens of the Stone Age meets Quicksand. Alt-rock with an underlying late 90’s/early 2000’s post-hardcore and even a hint of garage punk; this is not a band that fits neatly into any defined genre. It’s a much larger sound than a two-piece band should be capable of having. Feral Vices has certainly established their sound, and their latest track “Lock & Key” doesn’t deviate from it; and that is certainly not a bad thing. Like their previous work, “Lock & Key” has a hook-filled, solid groove to it that will have you head-nodding along. Lyrically centered on the abusive, manipulative religious system, this is a deep, thought-provoking track that is simply too strong to ignore. The band is currently releasing a five-song ep one track at a time through October, (this being the second single; the first, “Karma”, was released in May). Without a doubt, Feral Vices is a band you’ll be hearing a lot about in the very near future.

GRLwood “Love is Fire”

People are too quick to lump GRLwood in as strictly a punk rock band, which in reality there is so much more to them. Their latest single “Love is Fire” serves as a perfect example, as this is straight up ‘80s pop right here. Of the song, vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Rej Forester said “I wrote this song to sound like an ‘80s ballad with girls singing and a lead shirtless-dude-type vibe.” While there is an undeniable punk influence here, this is more in line with the likes of The Cars, Joan Jett, or Blondie. With its rousing guitar and punchy drums, this is kind of a whole new genre really; new wave garage rock. Definitely a strong ‘80s new wave vibe going on here with fun, upbeat lyrics, of which Rej said “Some of my songs are so dark and heavy lyrically, it feels nice to decompress with a really poppy song about love.” And from what she said during my interview with her in the June 7 issue of LEO, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Look for a slew of different styles and sounds coming from GRLwood when the next full-length album or albums, (there is a possibility of it being a double album), come out. Until then, bask in the glow of GRLwood’s lighter side.

Luke Cissell Serenade

Somewhere between classical, bluegrass, post-rock and indie rock is where you’ll find composer and multi-instrumentalist Luke Cissell. A Louisville-native and Princeton University graduate, Cissel is a professional musician based out of New York City who has worked with a wide variety of artists ranging from Ingrid Michaelson to Philip Glass. He is a New York City Artist Corps Grant recipient, and a returning 2023-2024 Teaching Artist for the Very Young Composers program with the New York Philharmonic. His latest release, Serenade, is made up of two works broken up into nine movements for string orchestra; all impressively written, recorded, produced, and entirely played by Luke himself. A symphony of string instruments, violin and fiddle being the most prominent, Serenade takes the listener on a whirlwind journey through a soundscape of dizzying highs of pure excitement and joy to beautifully gripping melancholy lows. The five movements that make up the first work, “Serenade for Strings,” bring visions of fantasy and mysticism of centuries-old traditions in faraway lands. The four movements of the second work, “Pulp”, inspired by the aesthetics of film noir, bring the listener into a realm of classic romanticism and haunting beauty mixed with intrigue. As a whole, Serenade is seriously compelling and extraordinarily creative music that pushes past the boundaries of classical into a genre all its own. Easy to lose yourself in, yet impossible to ignore, these are quite simply masterpiece works!

Virgin Birth The Forest

From Philip Olympia, the man behind the Never Nervous local music blog and record label, and Jake Miller, (both of whom are in the local punk/metal band Prayer Line), comes the industrial synth rock of Virgin Birth. Make no mistake, this isn’t just someone with a synthesizer making noise, these songs are very well written and produced, falling somewhere along the lines of Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine, Broken, and Ministry’s Twitch, with a hefty dose of KMFDM thrown in. 9 tracks of hard-hitting, dark, pulsing synth-driven industrial rock with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. This could easily pass for a lost Nine Inch Nails album, as the vocals come off sounding almost deadpan Trent Reznor; and I certainly don’t mean that in a bad way, as that is no easy feat to pull off and it works absolutely perfectly with these songs. This is a powerhouse of a record that fans of the aforementioned bands are not going to want to miss! Now streaming everywhere and will be available physically in the form of cassette and vinyl later this year, and lead track “Waiting On The Bad Time” is currently available as a 7-inch vinyl single.

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