Alternative New Discovery News Rock Unsigned Spotlight 

UNSIGNED SPOTLIGHT: Dreamhouse (Milwaukee Alt-Rock)

You know that extremely rare but amazing feeling that comes when you hit play on a new band’s song and you realize about five seconds in that it’s love at first listen? In this edition of Unsigned Spotlight, we’re sharing the gold we struck upon finding Milwaukee alt-rock powerhouses Dreamhouse. With their own brand of soaring alternative rock with punk and pop undertones, Dreamhouse leave you in no doubt they’re here to stay with a sound that’s both highly refined and clearly defined. 2017 saw the band follow up their…

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Album Reviews Alternative News Rock 

Album Review: Blue October – ‘I Hope You’re Happy’

“I hope you’re happy” is usually a snarky, slap-in-the-face retort, but for Texas band Blue October, it’s a genuine well wishing, and a genuinely fresh outlook.  An outlook that for many years, has been dark, dismal, and yes — pure rock. The 2018 release of I Hope You’re Happy, via Up/Down Records, and leadsinger Justin Furstenfeld’s label, Brando Records, is out Aug.17. Sobriety sounds good on the often tumultuous Blue October soundscapes, although — it is a stark contrast to what many fans may be used to. Furstenfeld doesn’t label…

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Alternative Folk New Discovery News Pop Punk Singer/Songwriter Unsigned Spotlight 

UNSIGNED SPOTLIGHT: Secret Tree Fort

Standing out as an acoustic artist can be tricky. Some folks hear the term “acoustic” and immediately think slow guitar plucks, soft vocals, earnest lyrics, and that’s about it. Skyler Truth, aka Secret Tree Fort, blows that perception away with his special hybrid of raw acoustic emo and undeniable pop-punk catchiness that chills and thrills in equal measure. Secret Tree Fort’s 2018 EP, titled Willow, sees Truth pouring his deepest, often darkest emotions on the line for everyone to see and feel. These five songs are built on deeply introspective…

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Interviews News 

Warped Tour Interview 2018: Ice Nine Kills

(Photo credit: Fearless Records) (Interview answered by  Justin deBlieck) You wrote “Enjoy Your Slay” after polling fans to ask if they’d prefer a song based off of The Shining or Psycho. I love that kind of fan inclusion! Not only that, but the song features vocals from the grandson of Stanley Kubrick, Sam Kubrick. Which again is just so above and beyond what most bands are doing. Did you have any inspiration for that kind of creativity and ambition or has that always been part of your vision? We’ve always felt…

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Features Music Cities Series News 

Music Cities Series: Athens, GA

(Photo credit: Chelsea Kornse Photography) Nestled just an hour to the east of the state’s capital, Athens, GA is arguably one of the best kept secrets outside the southeast. The sixth largest city in Georgia, Athens is, at it’s heart, a university town. Concentrated around The University of Georgia, the first state-chartered public university in the United States, Athens is an intellectual hub and a refreshing pocket of progressive idealism entrenched within an ever-evolving conservative south. Celebrated for it’s vibrant culture, SEC Saturdays, distinct nightlife, and overall quirky charm, Athens is perhaps…

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Alternative Indie News 

Sparkman Releases Stunning New Single “Fireworks”

(photo credit Katherine Kirchner) In the latest release off their upcoming full-length, Searching for the Dawn, Charlotte, NC trio Sparkman have released “Fireworks,” an irresistibly infectious tune that’s ripe with summer vibes and beachy harmonies. Speaking about the song, Chris Vercauteren says in addition to being all about the search for a meaningful life, it’s “a commentary on the human condition, particularly in the US. The second verse outlines how we all have dreams, yet we have no idea how to achieve them. Instead of pushing our own personal boundaries to get…

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Album Reviews Alternative Post-hardcore Rock 

Album Review: Rise Against – ‘Ghost Note Symphonies, Vol. 1’

The day Rise Against posted a teaser video on Youtube, with a reimagined version of “House on Fire,” from their 2017 Wolves album, I scoured the internet for more details. I’d been waiting on an acoustic solo Tim McIlrath (Rise Against) album for years, and had missed the boat on the 2013 Revival Tour with him, Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Matt Pryor (The Get Up Kids), Toh Kay (Streetlight Maniefesto), and others. Fail. If you’ve seen Rise Against live in concert, you might have experienced the lighter side of the punk rock Chicago…

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News 

Final Warped Tour Review: The End of an Era (Hartford, CT)

  Entering the gates of Warped Tour for the final cross country run feels a lot like you’d imagine. It feels momentous and nostalgic and full of excitement for the day ahead. It also  feels completely normal, just like it has for nearly every year of the last decade that I’ve been attending. There’s a familiarity and comfort as I scan my ticket and take my first view of the festival—for myself and so many kids and even young adults, this place has been another home. Every summer we’d gather…

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Album Reviews News Pop Punk Reviews Rock 

Album Review: Real Friends – ‘Composure’

You know the phrase, “It’s about to get real,” right? Well, Real Friends just released a brand-new record. For real. This is real life. Friday, July 13th, the Chicago pop punkers released their third record, Composure, via Fearless Records. The joke’s on you if you think Composure is anything but gimmicky though. The record has quite the tumultuous backstory, with lead singer Dan Lambton’s anxiety, depression and recent bi-polar diagnosis. He even took a break from the band in its entirety, after manic episodes, panic attacks and breakdowns. The band…

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