Greetings fellow Sputnik users,
The first month of 2018 proved to be a little slow for under-the-radar releases, as it typically is for any music in general. When We Land’s Introvert’s Plight was a pleasant surprise, offering up a very consistent indie-rock record that contained moments of lush folk amidst more sprightly, upbeat melodies. I initially gave that a hype rating of 7 (70%), and it actually earned a 3.8 (76%). On the other hand, EDEN’s Vertigo was underwhelming in just about every way. It did have some unique draw-ins, but they were never successfully strung together in a way that would make it worth revisiting. That album came in just short of it’s 5 (50%) projection, garnering just a 2 (40%) in my recent review of it. All The Luck In The World’s Blind Arcade is still set for a 2/23 release, and it’s very much near the top of my radar. Expect a review for that album soon after it drops!
Anyhow, it’s time for another batch of albums that I have at least some level of interest in. If you’ll recall, I am limiting my 2018 reviewing scope to artists who could be categorically “under-the-radar” – be it on Sputnik or in general. Some of the below artists do have more name recognition that what I’d typically aim for, but none of them are by any means popular and will likely only end up with a handful of reviews across the greater web. Thus, without further ado, here’s Sowing’s Hype Machine #2.
Release Date: 3/27/2018
Hype Rating: 9
As many of you know, I’ve kept in pretty close touch with this band dating back to their debut album Varuna. This familiarity didn’t taint my objectivity when it came to No Matter How Narrow, an album that was disappointingly light and fluffy compared to the dark, brooding rock that the band was founded on. With Shrine, it appears they’ve finally rediscovered their footing. The production still leaves a little bit to be desired, but in terms of pure song craft, intensity, and lyrics, they feel ripe and ready to step into the gaping void left by Brand New’s departure from the scene. “Mitama” is the perfect example of the instrumental recklessness and bleakness that I expect to dominate shrine. If the whole album has solos and breakdowns like this, with a few softer-spoken verses interjected, then it’ll top Varuna and His Old Branches. This gets the same amount of hype from me as Blind Arcade did (a 9) – with the potential to be even better.
Listen to “Mitama”:
Release Date: 2/16/2018
Hype Rating: 7
I only just heard of these guys while browsing for upcoming releases, but the tracks made available so far caught my ear immediately. They seem like the kind of emo/hardcore band that I could easily enjoy. The vocalist is accessible and can hit both the high melodies as well as the rougher, borderline-screams that make it feel like the whole band is on the verge of a meltdown. The guitars are absolutely blissful on “You Coward”, which I’ve adopted as my hype-meter for Vicious Pleasure.
Listen to “You Coward”:
Release Date: 2/23/2018
Hype Rating: 6
As with EDEN in my first installment, this one doesn’t have my full confidence. While I think Lo Moon will end up better off, I still think that if there’s one album here that will end up sounding like millennials trying their damndest to be Coldplay — it’s this. I just couldn’t help but be mesmerized by “Loveless” – with it’s rocking to-and-fro beat, adrift in a sea of electronics…it’s just so…dreamy. Plus, have you seen that cover art? I jest (sort of), but Lo Moon certainly has my attention, and I think it has the potential to be one of the better and more unique pop offerings of 2018. This is their debut so if if any of this sounds intriguing to you, you’d best hop on the bandwagon before everyone else does.
Listen to “Loveless”: