While the world goes crazy with global pandemics and socio-political issues, it’s nice to have a comfort zone for resting and relaxation. One of our zones is The Other Side Reviews ‘Keeping It Real’ feature. Come with us and enjoy the melting pot of sound from Kid Violet and Minutes to Midnight to High Heaven and Lex Low.
KID VIOLET – ‘RELEASE’
Take a batch of heavy guitar riffs, mix it with a crate of raw vocals, put a few sprinkles on the top and you have Kid Violet. A combination of Oasis and The Strokes, these London lads are the definition of indie-rock in 2020. Taking inspiration from Arctic Monkeys, Jimi Hendrix and even Jimmy Page, the five-piece are already causing a stir. With their passion for music and high-energy performances, Kid Violet has already performed This Feeling’s ‘Big in 2020’, as well as making the finals of Isle of Wight Festival’s ‘New Blood’ competition. The latest release from vocalist Billy, guitarists Pawel and Charley, bassist Matteo and drummer Tom is ‘Release’.
‘Release’ is a catchy track with a strong likeness to Joy Division. Billy’s throaty vocals blend well with the heavy guitar riffs and steady drumbeat. It was recorded and mixed in a single day at 1-2-3 Studios and produced by Rob Wilks of Squarehead Records. The second of their 2020 releases, ‘Release’ is an honest song with a heartfelt message while maintaining a degree of angst.
“‘Our music is ready to pull at your heartstrings and blow your face off in a matter of seconds.” – Billy, vocalist of Kid Violet.
FENDHALENE – ‘BURNT OUT’
The year is 1994. The location is Sydney, Australia. The band that formed is Fendahlene. Founded in 1994, Paul Whiteley (vocals and guitar), Ashley Hurst (bass) and Ben Felton (drums) started pumping out a brand of indie-rock that would take them through to the next century. Between now and 1994, Fendahlene has performed at the Iron Duke Hotel, released several albums and singles (two of which were used in an advertising campaign for Sharp stereo systems), and worked with renowned producer Garth Porter. In 2006, the trio relocated to Europe and returned to the studio releasing a full-length album called High And Low And Back Again. Their latest release is the single ‘Burnt Out’.
‘Burnt Out’ is a powerful track addressing the issue of burnout. The first track from their upcoming album, to be released late 2020, the indie-rock group explores doubt, confusion and raw frustration for people living in today’s environment. It rails against the negative effect of social and digital media, but also offers a glimmer of hope for listeners. Insightful and intriguing, ‘Bornt Out’ opens people’s eyes to question why they are left out and how we can turn things around for the better.
“The world needs topical music now more than ever. We’re all feeling burnt out at the moment and, sometimes, we just need to let it out.” – Fendahlene on ‘Burnt Out’
MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT – ’13 DAYS’
Minutes To Midnight is the solo project of UK-based producer, bassist and sound designer Simone Silvestroni. Specialising in pop, rock, blues, folk and singer/songwriter genres, Silvestroni provides an experimental alternative-rock sound to share a narrative of real-life imprisonment and liberty. His debut concept album After 1989: A Trip To Freedom tells the story of his grandfather’s escape from Germany in 1945 using the perspective of a curious grandson. Despite the tragedy involved in the tale, After 1989 offers a glimpse of hope for the listener. Recently, Minutes To Midnight released a video for ’13 Days’ – a track off the debut album.
“October 1942. President Kennedy goes live on TV announcing he has proof of a build-up of Soviet missiles on the island of Cuba. The threat of a pre-emptive strike to America is real. The level of military readiness is set one step from a global nuclear war.” – Minutes To Midnight on ’13 Days’ music video
LAWRN – ‘LIKE FOREVER’
LAWRN began, as so many good things do, with two childhood friends who wanted to make a difference. After moving to London, lead vocalist Andy and drummer Harm began working on music; it was in 2018 that the trio came together with the addition of Ollie. A relatively new alt-pop band, the lads released their debut EP Pretty Things in 2019 with ‘Like Forever’ being the follow-up single. Using synths, big choruses and heartfelt lyrics, LAWRN takes typical ’80’s pop and adds a 21st-century twist.
“We wanted to make a big dreamy summer song with ‘Like Forever’. Even though it’s kind of a breakup song, the overall theme is a longing for summer and remembering when things were good. We always try and write about real feelings and situations and hope people relate to the music.” – LAWRN on ‘Like Forever’
LEX LOW – ‘FEEL MORE’
A skilled musician and producer, East London native Lex Low is back with a self-produced single ‘Feel More’. Using swirling synths and rhythmic guitars, Lex Low produces an energetic mix of alt-pop and electro-pop. The latest single ‘Feel More’ is a multi-layered cathartic track to deal with emotional moments in his life. The bold beat and layered choruses are an ode to how he felt during the separation of his parents when he was 10 years old. It marks a new chapter for Lex embracing a more honest songwriting style and allowing the listener to understand him on a personal level.
This song was finished in isolation where I was reflecting on a lot of things, including my early life. It draws on the moment I found out my parents were separating and my father leaving. I wanted to write a track that felt honest and raw; it’s a snapshot of my emotions at the time.” – Lex Low on ‘Feel More’
HIGH HEAVENS – ‘INTO THE DAYLIGHT’
High Heavens is a band with a bit of a history. It was formed in 1996 with the blooming of a friendship between drummer Nick Pellicciotto (working as Fugazi’s live sound technician) and Ernest Salaz, the guitarist from post-punk band Glorium. Fast-forward just over twenty years and now Austin, Texas-based duo decided to write music with Crime In Choir bassist Jonathan Skaggs, free jazz musician Jeremy Erwin and vocalist John Matthew Walker. Pellicciotto and Walker had played together in tribute bands but, as Walker eloquently stated, he wanted to be in a band where he sang more like Sinatra or Mel Torme backing Sonic Youth with loud guitars.
In September 2019, High Heavens released the single ‘Vermouth On Ice’ and began recording songs for their album Springtime Don’t Call, which was released on June 5th, 2020. The record is a diverse collection of moody and uplifting songs evoking Southern gothic storytelling under Western Texas skies. ‘Into The Daylight’ is one of the songs off Springtime Don’t Call’.
“Lyrically, ‘Into The Daylight’ is an exploration of being trapped in a personal hell. Addiction, depression, self-loathing – pick your poison. The knowledge that salvation (the sun) waits for you behind a thin membrane, be it a window or moment of self-discovery, evens that divide.” – John Matthew Walker on ‘Into The Daylight’
GROAN ROOM – ‘GET OFF’
Formed in 2019 by two friends working at an independent record label, groan room is one of the latest (and potentially greatest) grunge exports from Salford. Having played in bands around the North West of England, the two friends quickly added other musicians and mates to complete the four-piece lineup. Unapologetic and dynamically varied, groan room’s sound can be likened to the iconic 1990s bands like Blur, Radiohead and Nirvana. Their debut single ‘get off’ was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and released on June 12th, 2020.
“‘get off’ is a huge, anthemic tribute to our favourite Britpop, lo-fi and grunge bands from the ’90s. The song is written about a very dear friend of mine who was going through a tough time and I was imploring him to open up to us and address it, while also reminding him all of the things that make him wonderful and all of the people who love him.” – Ramin Bostan, vocalist of groan room, on ‘get off’