Barbara – Don’t Send Me Messages

There’s a special place in everyone’s heart for bubbly songs with that spotless, production glean. It must be noted however that there is also a fine line between the sensational and the saccharine, a curse many artists, who delve into the power pop realms, overstep.

Barbara do a fantastic job at keeping the crystalline features of the pop world without coming across as pretentious. With the vocals of MIKA and the instrumentation of Queen, there is certainly a special place in my heart for Barbara. With a discography featuring tracks like ‘These New Communications’ and more recently ‘Don’t Send Me Messages’, Barbara combine tight harmonies with floating strings. A Disney film soundscape!

Don’t Send Me Messages very cleverly takes the Broadway feel of their earlier works and modernises it, featuring pop culture references lyrically regarding social media and incorporating electric guitar work to add more depth to the bright sounding strings and harmonies. The bridge changes key, allowing the chorus to explode in and be an ultimate sing along track! The sparkling production of the song can be overwhelming to those who aren’t used to the theatre style genre but to those who are well versed in it, it’s a very good addition.

Her Burden – Better Than Me

It’s always fascinating to find a new vocal style. Her Burden’s lead singer melds the vocal style of Titus Andronicus and the band hammers away with the instrumentation of Jimmy Eat World. Success follows this Indie Rock Band, from supporting The Zutons to airplay on various stations.

It’s energetic and full of zest. Complete with the standard power choruses, Her Burden take the blue print for Indie Rock and make it it’s own. Fair play!

Better Than Me chugs power chords through the verses, a fast drum build up and a catapult into a ‘LA LA LA’ chorus. It’s exciting and can instantly get the mood going for a mosh. ‘I don’t wanna be something I don’t wanna be’ replaces the ‘La’s’ while the drums are minimised to the steady rap of the kick drum. It’s very Oasis ‘Rock n Roll Star’ in it’s chorus and lyrical content in not wanting to be ‘stuck in a dead end job’. The vocal style of singing with a snarl can mean some of the words are incomprehensible but then again, it suit’s the fast and loose feel.

Alias Kid – Out With The Boys

With the nasal vocal style of Ian Brown and the raucous guitar work of Green Day, Alias Kid offer a very enjoyable, rock n roll discography, a rarity in the current musical climate!

With songs like ‘Going Out With The Boys’ and albums like ‘Revolt to Revolt’, Alias Kid drive songs with fury and passion, melding Alice Cooper distortion with Oasis lyricism… Not a bad combo for a live show!

PEAK LOW – Don’t Cry For Me

Indie Rock solo artists are a rare breed. To be able to encapsulate the standard indie rock sound alone AND progress the genre is an even rarer feat. It’s safe to say that PEAK LOW certainly sets his sights on this!

Blending wonderfully produced ethereal synth soundscapes with deeply passionate vocals, PEAK LOW’s discography takes inspiration from Radiohead and M83, resulting in irresistible ear worms designed to get you moving or contemplate your existence.

Daniel Lowe – You’ll Make It Through The Night

Daniel knows the formula to creating heartfelt tunes! With the vocal style of Shawn Mendez and the piano work of an Adele song, Daniel operates very well in the pop arena.

His unreleased song ‘You’ll Make It Through The Night’ (released July 15th 2022) takes an alternative style. Bombastic electric guitars cut through a distant vocal, offering an Olivia Rodrigo esque song structure. While emotional intensity is still maintained lyrically, there is more fury and angst compared with his other, more tender, works. It’s pleasing to see experimentation… maybe we have a new pop icon on our hands?

‘You’ll Make It Through The Night’ is produced like it’s pop predecessors and no doubt future pop songs. While it’s nice to see the pop sound being maintained to the same level of his previous works (and the electric guitar offering some variance) it would be nice if there were alterations to the song structure and if this experimentation can be continued in later works.