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Unsigned Spotlight: Bernie & The Wolf

This week’s edition of Unsigned Spotlight shines on Chicago-based indie rock duo Bernie & The Wolf, comprised of singer/songwriter Bernadette “Bernie” Conant and Erik “The Wolf” Lobo. B&TW’s sound is a mix of chaotic alt-rock and indie rock with a few math elements, all balanced with the shimmering beauty of the vocals and occasional acoustic guitar. It combines to create a sound that is very much the duo’s own and firmly stands out from the crowd. Hot on the heels of their 2017 LP Catch Some, Bernie & The Wolf…

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Unsigned Spotlight: Latenightsinmycar (Pop-Punk/Acoustic)

For many artists and fans alike, music isn’t just a source of pleasure – it’s also an essential release, a temporary escape from the world, an unfailingly loyal friend that’s always there to help you through life’s tougher moments. Like it’s personally reaching out to connect with the listener. Relatability and passion personified – that’s what you get from every last moment spent with Wheaton, IL pop-punk/acoustic act Latenightsinmycar. The band’s 2018 EP, titled Daydreams, deals in such intricacies as past relationships and dealing with loss but also the hope and…

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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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Mental Health Matters: Loneliness

It’s 3am, it’s every night for the past month, maybe two; at this point I’m unsure.  I have a cold cup of coffee that I keep reheating before I let it chill again & a notebook full of scrawling scribbles of some nonsensical blabber. There’s an email from my booking agent I’ve been dreading that I can’t open right now.  “Write everything down” I was told, but where to begin?  Touring has been gruelling, I feel so strung out & exhausted by the constant travelling, performing & travelling again. Every…

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ALBUM REVIEW: Mike Llerena & the Nerve

If The Decemberists and Green Day had a baby, they would conceive Mike Llerena & the Nerves. Hailing from Gainesville, FL., the band just dropped their first full length album on June 15th. The first song, “Last Words”, sets the tone for the album – high energy, feel good, real music that instantly gets stuck in your head. Tracks like “Crossfire” and “Mr. Favorite Son,” are the perfect recipe for a crowd of fans jumping and moshing. Halfway through, we hear a sentimental side with “Saturday Night” and “A Long Winter”. There…

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LIVE REVIEW: The Sick Tour w/ New Found Glory and Bayside

They say that seeing your favorite band from high school as an adult is a life changing experience. They’re not wrong. When I saw Bayside and New Found Glory on the same ticket, I screamed out loud. It was a pop-punk dream come true. Opening for them was William Ryan Key, that concert goers would recognize and the former frontman of Yellowcard. Key took to the stage with just himself and his guitar and played through his entire EP, Thirteen. He knew he couldn’t get off the stage without playing…

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LIVE REVIEW: Son Lux and Kimbra

Son Lux and Kimbra hit the road for a quick 10-stop tour mid May, finishing up in California just this weekend. Both acts have recently released new albums, Son Lux’s fifth and Kimbra’s third. Both acts have an eclectic following, so it only made sense to team up for this tour. Son Lux, a trio of musicians who have deemed themselves “genre-less” played a hearty set of tunes that were met with clapping and cheers. It was evident that many concert attendees did not know the group, but based on…

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Album Reviews Alternative Indie Singer/Songwriter 

Album Review: William Ryan Key – ‘Thirteen’

There’s a place off Ocean Avenue, you know the one — we were both 18 and it felt so right sleeping all day staying up all night. In Spring 2017, pop punk rockers Yellowcard announced their farewell tour. Tears were shed as the violin shred for the last time on stages all across the world. Now, a year later, vocalist/guitarist William Ryan Key is releasing a new solo debut EP, Thirteen, out May 25 via Lone Tree Recordings. Key and his fans may no longer be 18 anymore, but after nearly two…

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Kate Nash Releases New Album, Hits the Road

Kate Nash, a singer-songwriter hailing from England, has released a new album entitled “Yesterday Was Forever” and is set to hit the road for 21-date Canada-North America Tour starting in April. Additionally, she released a video for the single “Life in Pink” and tackles the topic of mental illness in her life. “I need the bunnies in my brain and the wild parts of me that send me into the black holes,” she said about the concept of the video, “and I also need the self care routine and to…

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UNSIGNED SPOTLIGHT: Laska

Blending a multitude of genres into your music can be either a blessing or a curse. Sometimes the end result is a mess with no identity, or the band isn’t quite comfortable with any one sound, or the music comes out great but can have difficulty reaching new fans. For Minnesota/Wisconsin-based sextet Laska, however, their mix of folk rock, alt-rock, Americana and soul is the kind of sound some artists strive for a decade or more to create. And their debut album, titled Ceiling Zero, is a blessing in every…

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