Music Recommendation: Lingering by Sleep Party People

Every once in a while you come across music that manages to make you beam with stray gleams of happiness as you get teleported to your most coveted sci-fi dreams and revel in the ephemeral clouds of escapism. More than usual, the compositional diversity of electronic music catches you by surprise at every turn and Sleep Party People’s “Lingering” released in the summer of 2017 is no different. Their first self-titled studio album was an ethereal rendition of dream-pop that curbed the idea of tinkering with formula electro-pop and boldly experimented around by even adding snappy bits of house. That being said, the overall sophistication on the production of their latest release renders it absolutely virginal and one of the finest records from last year.


The introductory tracks “Figures” and “Fainting Spell” proliferate with a soulful bliss channeling the sonic variants of a euphoric mind-trip. The weightless clatter of synths might as well be the album’s greatest asset complementing the bittersweet balance of wishful dream-pop and ambient electronic. The old-school tonalities of “The Missing Step” and “Salix and His Soil” bubbling with songbird falsettos and long, gleeful sweeps of keyboard backing possess an innate sense of freshness. Transcendental goodness of “Dissensions (feat. Luster)”, “Limitations”, “The Sound of His Daughter” and “The Sun Will Open Its Core” combined with the monotone beats of drum machine and synth patches honors the retro-styled din with arms wide open. After full-blown bouts of ecstasy the album floats in stasis as the melodic dilution in “Lingering Eyes”, “We Are There Together (Feat. Beth Hirsch)” and “Odd Forms” nonchalantly romanticizes the evolution of a private utopia alienating everything close to reality before frolicking in the landscape of a “Vivid Dream”.


Sleep Party People may be a bunch of high-strung musicians strictly keen on maintaining their anonymity cosplaying as creepy bunnies but are certainly worthy of some serious attention for modernizing ambient sororities as they strategically solve the dilemma of excavating human senses through their playful diction and alien palette of synthetic, slowcore sounds.


Inside The Batcave: Hiss Spun by Chelsea Wolfe

The myriad of spooks liberating from the album art alone for Chelsea Wolfe’s “Hiss Spun”, accredited to Bill Crisafi’s visual imagery strutting the fine line between macabre and absurd makes it fall under the umbrella of goth but you’re definitely in for more. What looks like a pitchblack silhouette of a sorceress curled up like a bat ready to flit out of her cave, if anything, validates the serpentine analogies and the staged dark arts typography. The sludgy mélange of riffwork scrambled with industrially-tinged bass & drum strobes and staccato shreds of sirenic echoes condenses into haunting, moth-eaten melodies. This 48 minute long erotic cabaret is reinforced by proto-gothic influences as the drone-laden arrangements painstakingly intensify the fixation to the occult.


“Spun” suffocates in the fumes of menacing doom and riff-heavy strings as the overall instrumental setting flatters the arch taste for the bizarre. “16 Psyche” unfurls into a dramatic opus under the allure of grisly ambient vibrato from dampened guitars. There’s something exceptionally sensual about Wolfe’s agitated humming on almost every song which sponsors the emotional vulnerability along with its theatrical morbidity. “Vex” rings with legion of  vintage horror movie tune paradoxically defining a fresher take on gothic music. The abrasiveness of a noxious bassline in “The Culling”, “Particle Flux”, “Offering” and “Scrape” is greased with pale synths yet take nothing away from their formless glory. “Twin Fawn” and “Two Spirit” open with dirgelike meditations draped in nightmarish melancholy which only seconds later get charred by pyres of explosive soundscapes before phasing out.

“Hiss Spun” in its entirety is a job well done making it one of the best releases from 2017. Expressing a forward adoration for the supernatural, it pays an out-of-the-textbook tribute to the techno-horror, darkwave techniques as it swoons with the resounding cannon of doom.

Album Review: The Dusk In Us by Converge


The prophets of guttural vocal assault, hammering drumbeats and torrents of dissonance, Converge” released their latest studio album “The Dusk In Us” a couple of months back. My first listen proved to be quite gratifying as I was bent upon recalling the time of my life I spent obsessing over these metalcore titans. The harrowing themes of worldly horrors, political bestiality and firearm violence are delivered with saw-toothed musical arrangements and a cutthroat aggression which is no different a ritual known to their previous releases. The only marked difference would be the cultivation of a creative ground to address more grave issues other than fist-fighting depression or personal anguish. The front-man Jacob Bannon’s newly embraced fatherhood serves as the emotional catalyst to perpetrate this heavily orchestrated protest as he acknowledges his sole reason to fight back and exist.

“As a single teardrop fell,
And was swallowed by the sea.
You outshined the best there was,
Rewrote who I could be.
When I held you for the first time,
I knew I had to survive.”

“A Single Tear” by Converge

The uncontained vitriol seeps through the lyrics for the next forty minutes representing everything it antagonizes. “Eye of the Quarrel” signifies an artist’s struggle to stay true to his own set of laws and subscribe to the DIY ethics exclusive to his personal lexicon. The resistance against the infestation of the mind by conformity is fueled by chaotic counter-rhythms and crisp blast beats as the album proceeds. The deconstructed guitar licks in “Under Duress” interplay with the anarchic composition as Bannon grinds his vocal cords with merciless growls instilling a certain intellectual value to the song. “Akhripov Calm” is about Vasili Akhripov, a Russian naval officer and his sense of maturity which pacified a Soviet nuclear strike. Bannon deep down aspires to achieve that level of mental composure and inner calm in the quest to not let his bad energies spread like an epidemic. I absolutely find it inspirational how Bannon has managed to pen down his most intimate battles and raging emotions with the least bit of wordplay on songs like “I Can Tell You About Pain” and “Thousands of Miles Between Us” which is beautiful in itself. The angst morphed into something more meaningful with bludgeoning drums & oscillating guitars only helps the intended sensitivity to flourish. The melodic desperation in “The Dusk In Us” augments the memory of “Wretched World” on 2009’s “Axe to Fall”, both having enigmatic songcrafts and decipherable verses that quiver the marrow of the soul. The “preciously violent, beautifully abhorrent” stabs of noise accelerated to warp-speed ferocity in “Wildlife”, “Murk & Marrow”, “Broken by Light” and “Cannibals” do total justice to the overflowing verbal bile enthusing about fearless confrontation and individual autonomy.


The laid-back sonic turbulence in “Trigger” saturated with an offbeat groove, symmetrical drumming and a vocal snarl dexterously fills the experimental void in the record. The last track “Reptilian” has a blackened melody most suited to the original album art which amplifies into a more corrosive tune under a veil of atonal guitars and blazing drums owing a nod to everything Converge virtually and artistically stand for.

“The Dusk In Us” lasts for thirteen straightedge hardcore anthems jarred with violent jabs of cynicism and emphatic uproars. It’s a perfect comeback after a five year hiatus as these metalcore architects storm straight out of the depths of oblivion and make a point.

“Futile wars for fruitless words,
Written by shadow kings.
Their shrapnel seeds the desert fields,
And sprouts this fear we see.
Devils do not need a hell in order to exist.”

“Reptilian” by Converge

Album Rating: 4.5/5.

Album Review: What Happens Next by Joe Satriani


The relentless gyrations of electric guitar explode into a supernova of blues rock galore every time a Joe Satriani album drops in. The guitar evangelist is simply terrific when it comes to showcasing the endless aesthetics experimenting solely with its instrumental sensibility. This time around, he has recruited powerhouse performers like Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple/ Black Country Communion) and drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) to mix an album that’s poised with Hendrixian majesty to soar high into the eclectic realms of instrumental rock.

It kicks off with pistoning drumbeats and manically sped-up guitars in “Energy” navigating it towards the bombastic stomps of bass & drums and a rave-driven electric lead masquerading as hard-hitting rock numbers “Catbot” and “Thunder High on the Mountain”. “Cherry Blossom” is evocative of a nostalgic drive through your memory lane as the soft, feminine and thunderously paced guitar counterpoints interweave the outfit of a sonic mirage with tender drum pounding reminiscent of fiery Latin music. While “Smooth Soul” might sound like a restaurant-friendly song, knee-deep in the ocean of memoirs backed by sensational guitar chords which humbly plays in the background whilst adding to the general feel-good vibe, “Headrush” and “Looper” are meticulously exacted with bass-beat dynamization and kinetic excursions of electric guitar. “What Happens Next” is a traditional blues rock tune with a modern twist as it summons the intricate balance of silky leads and stalwart drums & bassline. The hazy and devious melody of “Super Funky Badass” definitely sprints it towards the direction of funk & soul modulation. “Invisible” and “Forever & Ever” are pumped up with improvisational take on the progressive exertions and sweet symphonies hand in hand allowing the maestro’s musical decorum to thrive generously. To be fair, the guitar virtuoso knows how to respect and embrace the various ethos of rock n’ roll authoritatively without uttering a single word.

Album Rating: 4/5.

Album Review: 3218 by Isidor


An artist’s novelty is only authenticated when he intends on reviving the original sound of synthwave that has been integral to Sci-Fi movies, video games and cartoons dating back to the 80’s. “Isidor” being one of the artists hailing all the way from Serbia released their album “3218” only lately that juggles around with the extravagant 80’s synthwave, new retrowave and electronic beats. It fires off with “Star Sheriff” composed around the synth-driven angst and quirkiness reminiscent of yesteryears. The retro-styled chords and metropolitan synthesizers bounce on the trampoline of minimalism and nostalgia, incessantly. The dramatic filler “Secrets of the Universe” is a thematic interlude amidst the speedy tunes and the ongoing frenzy which puts the soaring hypnosis to rest for a while. The luxurious electronica and oddball slaps of synthesizers invested into “Touch the Sky”, “Apollo” and “Grid Surfer” forces a connection to synthwave monoliths like Electric Youth, Anoraak and Kavisnky. The buoyant melody of “Stardust” is mindlessly driven into a directionless oblivion uninhibited by the blaring synths. “Timeline” is definitely a highlight for me in this record that savors the trademark groove of the 80’s and slithering guitars. The ruthless assault of ambient synthesizers and dynamic bass condenses into a sonic aura that’s glutted with intergalactic elusiveness and luster. “The Last Geisha” swivels around booming acoustics and thick electronic conjunctures that manifests into a repetitive melody which manages to keep you hooked regardless. While the overall monotony might not reward an untrained ear as much, the record still has a cohesive arrangement and explosive soundscapes that the fans of the genre would definitely find appealing. “3128” pretty much feels like a propulsive journey through the fluorescent clouds of cosmic dust with a flashy and flamboyant soundtrack sketching the adventurous ascent into the fabric of infinity.

Album Rating: 3/5.

Featured Artist of the Month: The Verve

Resurgence of the alternative wave of rock popularized back in the early 1990’s in the United Kingdom coinciding with the cultural revival that was underway and emerged as “Britpop” which intended on being fairly approachable to the commoners and relevant to the mainstream British culture. Britpop largely stormed out of the UK as a reaction to the US-led grunge music and the two have been heralded as opposing musical forces. Among all the bands that contributed to embodiment of neo-psychedelic swells of guitar with the melodramatic convergence of pop rock and shoegaze, “The Verve” still remains worthy of generous attention despite their short-lived career often associated with the front-man, songwriter and vocalist for the band, Richard Ashcroft‘s inflated ego. Formed by college mates Richard Ashcroft, Nick McCabe, Simon Jones, and Peter Salisbury in 1989, their fresh and minty jams are what the commercial scene of rock music owes a lot to. The guitar-driven solace of their melodies and Ashcroft’s cutting vocals fine-tuned to resonate with the shoegaze sensibility delivered some of the most memorable sing-along tunes of the 90’s. The ornate and hyperbolic themes like love, longing, euphoria, music and sedation mainlined with surreal sonic goodness and bittersweet melancholy navigated the distinct arcs of their vaporous sound. Accredited to their masterful production and genre-based knowledge of the 90’s, in no time they found their niche in the britpop, alt-rock market.


Choosing three best albums out of their discography comprising of four studio albums in entirety was considerably easy. However, the discreet mixing of tracks and inculcation of ambient atmospherics set every album apart from the other which demands a serious intellectual expertise.

3, A Northern Soul


Composed around the intoxicating simplicity and sharpness of acoustic ballads for the most part, The Verve’s second studio album “A Northern Soul” is filled with  and bourgeois psychedelic influences. The magnetism of the album opener “A New Decade” is built upon an array of dizzy guitar hooks and raving vocals. Lyrics like “The youth coming up and making you dance, ’cause I’ve got some living inside of me, so come on I could use the company” are very reaffirming and does justice to the feel-good vibe of the song. “This Is Music” is dissonant and largely a noise rock number. “On Your Own” marks the point where the album is set in the direction of mellow string acoustics and a sadder demeanor. A sense of abandonment, loneliness and complaining is projected with a halcyon vision. However, the low-spirits subjected to heartbreak on “So It Goes” is ubiquitously depressing. “A Northern Soul” written about Oasis’ front-man Noel Gallagher floats in the haze of shrieking guitars and a peachy bass. “I’m gonna die alone in bed, this is a tale of a northern soul, looking for his way back home” versed in Ashcroft’s expressive vocals adds to the structural genius and emotional pacing of the song. “Brainstorm Interlude” is largely an instrumental with a fuzzy melody followed by two back-to-back beautiful ballads ‘Drive You Home” and “History” citing sermons of a doomed lover about helplessness and unreciprocated love immersed in the soulful magma of acoustic guitars and a wrist-slitting tranquility making up for potential tearjerkers. The opening verse “Life’s an ocean, too much commotion, too much emotion, dragging me down, living for today, don’t have time to pray, ready for the game, take a line of fickle flame” is a piece of very well-versed poetry that not only delivers the essence of the song about the apathy of life but waves a little flag of truce with the ending track “Stormy Clouds” which is bleak, dark and zones out into oblivion as it unfolds. “A Northern Soul” gleefully portrays the innerworkings of an emotional wreck and a hopeless romantic in a brutally simplistic way.

2, Storm In Heaven


The Verve’s debut album “Storm In Heaven” can easily be regarded as one of the best shoegaze albums of all time. It is enriched with spaced-out, distorted guitars and breezy repercussions that are universally in proximity with the art of shoegazing. “Star Sail”, “Slide Away” and “Already There” have pensive songwriting that pulsate with summery guitars and wishful lyrics. The bass-oriented stompbox mechanics are utilized to create the perfectly dark and ravenous habitat for the heartsick romantics out there. The lush, dreamy tune of “Beautiful Mind” and “Virtual World” draped in the fabric of escapism finds itself very close to bands like Slowdive on the musical spectrum. “She’s breathing life into lonely dead stars. Have you ever seen it? I ain’t seen nothing at all” symbolizes shimmery-eyed love and chastity.  “Make It ‘Til Monday” and “Blue” strongly hinted towards narcotic escape and tripping hard are honed delicately to be in sync with the drone-laden guitars and ambient delays. “The Sun, The Sea” and “Butterfly” dabble in chaotic symphonies with jangling saxophone harmonics pitched in for a change. “See You In The Next One”, “Endless Life”, “Where The Geese Go” and “No Come Down” melodically and lyrically symbolize the zenith of a hallucinogen-induced coma with somnolent and mind-bending gearing. “Storm In Heaven” is what the name signifies, a tempestuous turbulence in a place as serene as the heaven above which artfully justifies the implied oxymoron.

1, Urban Hymns


Released in 1997, “Urban Hymns” is a strong contender for the greatest album of all time, in my honest opinion. It serves as a detox formula to the lingering trance of the former Verve albums, “Storm In Heaven” to be more specific. Often deemed synonymous with the groundbreaking single “Bittersweet Symphony”, there remain so many multidimensional facets and sonic twists to this record which are more than usually foreshadowed or have gone painfully unnoticed. That rhetoric aside, “Bittersweet Symphony” with those opening strokes of majestic violins will forever have a nostalgic worth authorized to a few rock numbers in this ever-expanding world of music. It elaborates the powerlessness one can’t help but feel over the rigidity of life and its consuming struggles. “Sonnet” is written about the complex subject of love and resonates with Ashcroft’s swooning, heartfelt vocals with a main chorus “Yes, there’s love if you want it. Don’t sound like no sonnet, my lord!” which fits right in. “Catching the Butterfly” reflects the childlike fancies and the innate sense of joy which dances on an undulating psychedelic groove of britpop. “Rolling People” is a song I can do without but had it been a bit shorter, it might’ve worked out just fine. “Drugs Don’t Work” is an acoustic ballad defaming drugs and confessing to find eternal peace only by reuniting with your deceased loved one in the life hereafter. The phantasmagorical interlude “Neon Wilderness” offers to the album is ephemeral yet ecstatic. “One Day”, “Space and Time”, “Velvet Morning” and “Lord I Guess I’ll Never Know” are crafted around McCabe’s delicate guitaring and Ashcroft’s tenor vocal quality with reshuffling themes like love, life, relationships and dreams. Meaningful verses like “You’ve gotta tie yourself to the mast my friend and the storm will end” in “One Day” for instance, quotes human selflessness and liberation from cyclic battles of life in return. “This Time” is a great upbeat alt-rock song. “No time for sad lament. A wasted life is bitter spent, so rise into the light. In or out of time, gonna rise straight through the light” intently reveals the optimism he’s beaming with at this point. The emotional appeal and the haunting analogies of “Weeping Willow” are directly indicative of suicide contemplation. Still, for me it’s unarguably one of the best Verve songs ever recorded. The pacifying guitar chords and the fluttering bassline adds to the sentimental quotient of the song as it dissolves the sorrowful rhyming to progress into the very warm and blissful “Lucky Man” headlining a primal sense of happiness. The violins waltzing  in the outro sound so redeeming and inspirational, it is almost unreal. Finally, the album closes with “Come On” and “Deep Freeze”, the latter giving the album an atmospherically wired finishing touch. “Urban Hymns” is pivotal to The Verve’s transitory career that polished their sound essentially as britpop and alt-rock that rewards the listener with positive vibes and a “start fresh” ideology. Primarily evolving from the shoegaze and indie rock variants, The Verve showcased a more mature songwriting tendency with this record that successfully garnered both, a great commercial reception and critical acclaim which is not warranted to a lot of artists in this business.

Album Review: Modern Addiction by Tender

London based electro-pop duo “Tender” have produced multiple EPs before their first full-length studio album “Modern Addiction” released on 1st September which gave an insight into their artistic capability as the partisans of modern electronic music interspersed with synth-driven pop swagger. Their music is highly contemporary in essence which is generously seasoned with a libidinous mood and promiscuous dance-beats. Let’s just say, there couldn’t have been a better name designated to Tender.


While all the tracks are immersed in the lukewarm substance of  volatile electronics and crooning vocals, the improvisations done in each track bring about the instrumental euphoria that’s transient yet self-sustaining. The album opener “Illuminate” is a wise choice for an introductory track and summons the relaxing elements of music that it is traditionally expected to offer. “Nadir” begins with chiming notes of percussion rendering it plain ecstatic. It later nurtures into a perky symphony laid out to embrace the contrasting lovelorn lyrics. “Hypnotized” has a bittersweet melody with repetitive jangling percussions and soft synths signifying the repletion of self-worth with a main chorus “You don’t define me” and going against the crowd in the process. “Crawl” and “Erode” sound most suggestive of all tracks and are melodically well-schemed to do justice to their aphrodisiac tendency. “Silence” serves as a meek interlude before the albums swerves to the poppy and upbeat tempo of “Machine”. The flamboyance it radiates will definitely get you on your feet to rejoice the electronic spunk of dance music which is also fairly detectable on the second last track “Powder”. “Sickness”, “Blame” and “Vow” feature spiraling synths and beats against the backdrop of chill-wave aesthetics of electro-pop. The wailing vocal tone in “Vow” dictates the oriental somberness and indecent coveting the record unabashedly spews. The last track “Trouble” is precisely warm in texture and minimalistic drumbeats provoke a sense of tranquility especially contributed by the ambient guitar licks and Tender’s signature smooth vocals.


“Modern Addiction” is an ornate mix of rhythmic blues, synth-wave and danceable electronica. Even if it’s not too far from formula-based music, it worked out splendidly. The wavering motifs of uptempo and downtempo sonic variations came forth as blissfully romantic, calm-inducing and seductive. The lightweight melodies with strokes of organic guitars and house-styled beats is tad bit in the vein of Röyksopp. While the duo intended on playing a little too safe with the overall experimentation and the abstract array of instruments, still their modern take on electro-pop reveries is fresh and unfamiliarly emotive. It’s your perfect chill-out music. However, it would be truly amazing if they explore more themes layered with the genre-induced trance and its stimulating allure in their future releases.

Album Rating: 3.5/5.