We’re officially halfway through April adding on a few days. Sitting back, I can’t believe how fast this year is passing by! In our latest instalment of ‘Keeping It Real’, we sit back and listen to indie-rockers Modra Luna, Celtic punks Shanghai Treason, alt-rock Elliott Jones and jazz-rockers L/Zard.
MODRA LUNA – ‘CURE’
Just over one year old and with only three singles, Modra Luna is already emerging as a popular indie, alt-rock, shoegaze…hell, I don’t know what genre, but I do know they’re good! The South-West London lads hypnotise their listeners using a combination of Manic Street Preachers and Eagles, but with a modern twist. In fact, the first few chords of their latest single ‘Cure’ are similar to the iconic ‘Hotel California’, but then they diverge into a more ambient The Doors-esque style.
“An ode to one of our favourite bands, this song is Modra Luna’s version of happy/sad. ‘Cure’ is about feeling melancholic without there being a direct cause and recognising it. There is an immense sense of longing to this song. The hopeful twist towards the end tells us about the search for that person that comes and cures everything, who will drag us out of our headspace and give us reasons to be thankful.” – Modra Luna on ‘Cure’
SHISHI – ‘MAFITISHEI’
Did you ever hear a siren sing? Probably not because they belong in Greek mythology, but the idea of a siren’s song exists. Enchanting and surreal, sirens could sing you to your death and you won’t even notice! Hailing from Lithuania, the ladies of shishi are a trio of sirens. Forming in 2017, Victoria, Benadetta and Maria Rosa (totally their real names) produce a unique funky punky sound for listeners. The track ‘Mafitishei’ is the first off their upcoming album of the same name. Powerful and punchy, it’s a true demonstration of the group’s lyrical and melodic abilities with a some “girly badass-ness” thrown in.
” ‘Mafitishei’ is a track about being overwhelmed by people. When nothing makes sense, everything starts sounding like – flachudi kliush mafitishei. You’re lost and confused and tired, and on the top of that too lazy to deal with any of this.” – shishi on ‘Mafitishei’
SHANGHAI TREASON – ‘CAN’T EVEN HANG A MAN RIGHT’
Think of ‘Duelling Banjos’ from Deliverance, add an accordion and some traditional punk vocals ala Buzzcocks, and you have Shanghai Treason. The definition of Celtic punk, this Yorkshire-based quintet are traversing the darker side of humanity at breakneck speed. ‘Can’t Even Hang A Man Right‘ exposes a more sombre view of society dissecting it with a scalpel. If you’re ready for a significant song with a hell of a rush, then Shanghai Treason is what you’re looking for.
“I wrote the lyrics about Brexit. I, like many people, was surprised at how easily those in power at the time built a national narrative around what seemed to me to be such a self-destructive idea. They made such a hash of it and it dragged on forever. I remember thinking ‘bloody hell, these lot couldn’t even hang a man right’ ” – Sam Christie, vocalist for Shanghai Treason, on ‘Can’t Even Hang A Man Right’
GAMBLING HEARTS – ‘I AM A RIVER’
Hailing from Salisbury, Wiltshire, Gambling Hearts is a trio of average guys playing alternative rock. The initial formation was during the members’ late teens/ early twenties when they were filled with juvenile enthusiasm. A little over ten years later, the lads are back with their raw and heartfelt sound. Now in their thirties, these average gents with “real jobs” met and started thinking about having some fun and jamming again. The flame that inspired them ten years ago was quickly rekindled, and now we have Gambling Hearts with their new single ‘I Am A River’.
DEVILS KISS – ‘AT LEAST YOU TRIED, KID’
Described as ‘melodic hard rock’, Devils Kiss is the Australian version of…well, there’s nothing like them. A female-fronted quartet, the Aussies have been navigating the rock scene since 2018. Elle Bates’ aggressive and brash vocals are unforgettable combining well with the guitar, bass and drums. Using a combination of metal, funk, blues and punk, Devils Kid tackles issues of chaos, loss, failure, freedom and, even, hope. They recently released a video for their 2020 single ‘At Least You Tried, Kid’ – their first music video ever! Exploring actual experiences, such as music obsession and hate acts, this is an emotional video despite being a little difficult to watch.
“The video was all about capturing the very best of us trying to save the very worst of ourselves. Our front woman Elle Bates has a degree in Filmography and she directed and shot this video, She wanted to visually express exactly what the lyrics were trying to get a cross. Each of us has had to deal with low points of our lives, it’s very human, but it’s how we drag ourselves out of these low points that make us grow. Th most important thing is that you do not just lay down and die, you get up and you have a go!! So you can always say hey, “At Least You Tried, Kid!” :
LIFE AS MARY – ‘BIKER BOY’
If you love The Pretenders and Juliana Hatfield, you will thoroughly Life As Mary. Infusing punk with some melodic rock riffs and pop-punk bounciness, Life As Mary is infectious. Born and bred in Atlanta, Georgia, this one-woman act is charming, energetic and magnetic. Her most recent track ‘Biker Boy’ is fast and furious, but she also has a slower side evident in her previous track ‘Sixth Street’. Powerful songs with a direct focus, this singer-songwriter can captivate any listener.
THE GLOOM – ‘AEONS’
Using the name ‘The Gloom’, Israeli musician Yoav Landau launched a solo project in 2019. Inspired greatly by post-punk, shoegaze, grunge and alternative rock, The Gloom is an “alternative dream rock for the masses.” After The Gloom’s self-titled debut album in 2019, Landau entered the commercial industry with his latest single ‘Aeons’. Reminiscent of The Cure, ‘Aeons’ is an ethereal track with some strong, gritty vocals. Perfect if you’re looking for something to chill out to while maintaining that “edgy” exterior.
ELLIOTT JONES – ‘I TRY’
Elliott Jones – another smashing indie-rock artist from Southampton. Having played with several bands in the past, Jones decided to step out on his own in 2020. As of today, Jones has released two singles in the style of Dodgy, Weezer and Foo Fighters. His debut track ‘I Try’ is an anthemic indie-rock single with distinct vocals and powerful instrumentation. If you love ‘Best Of You’ then you’ll love ‘I Try’. Another interesting fact about ‘I Try’: Jones wrote, recorded and mixed in his garden!
“It’s an ode to my time in a band really; the frustrations and complications. It seemed a fitting theme for my first solo track and has ultimately led to less pressure and more enjoyment within music.” – Elliott Jones on ‘I Try’
SWAMI LUSHBEARD – ‘#ENEMY’
Los Angeles is full of energetic and captivating bands, but it is Swami Lushbeard that are synonymous with the spirit of rock and roll! For about a decade, the five-piece have been entertaining audiences with powerful guitars, rugged vocals and an overwhelming presence. The latest track is ‘#Enemy’ – an edgy single exploring the state of the nation and how people need to question where questioning must be done. Living in an unprecedented time, ‘#Enemy’ is the song that unites people when they are most divided.
“This song is for those who remember the power of Rock Music!” – Swami Lushbeard on ‘#Enemy’
L/ZARD – ‘COLOUR BLIND’
Take some rock, combine it with some jazz and you will have the alternative rock band L/Zard. Founded in 2018 and known for their energetic performances, this Liverpool foursome wants to reach people on a more intimate level with their music. The most recent track ‘Colour Blind’ reminds me greatly of Chicago with its fascinating fusion of sounds.
“This song is about sobering events that can occur in people’s lives, when the world may carry on, but the outlook on it shifts. A loss of innocence or trust or creeping regret can change the way you view things in to become bitter or futile. – L/Zard on ‘Colour Blind’