After an enticing build up for their new single on Tik Tok, Underscore have finally released their sophomore single Never Coming back, and oh boy it slaps like a prima donna.
Unlike their first release Dirty Word, Never Coming Back hits hard and heavy with a lumbering blues groove that finishes on a crunchy chromatic descent. Front man Jonathan Meyer describes the track as a “bitter breakup song that draws on progressive rock influences”. Never Coming Back builds on this idea switching between sarcastic verses and emotionally charged choruses. A soulful solo leads into a fast paced bridge that carries the song into a final heavy iteration of the tracks iconic riff.
Underscore features Hon Manawangphiphat on bass guitar, Josh Johnston on drums, and Jonathan Meyer on guitar and vocals. The trio started playing music together as students at the University of Auckland, and have performed shows throughout Auckland ever since. While Jonathan is the principal songwriter and guitarist, the whole band brings together their backgrounds in pop, rock, metal, and jazz to create the one-of-a-kind sound Underscore is known for.
This track was a lot of fun to listen to, and we’re keen to see where Underscores following releases take them.
The Nighthawk Experience is a joint musical and animated project brought to life by musician Scott McDonald-Bull. The journey takes you into an anime art style world of a 17 yr old Nihilist, Kage who is trying to find meaning and purpose. Other characters are hinted at in his prologue and will be appearing in more detail in later episodes!
The track starts mellow with acoustic guitar and electric guitars wailing apathy. The lyrics speak of skepticism as the character Kage walks around the city viewing crowds of people on a morning commute before sunrise with the homeless already hard at work begging. As Kage sits to ponder at a park bench the sun rises, and with it the music swells into hard hitting cinematic rock reminiscent of The Devin Townsend Project with big and heavy chords and soaring vocals. The track ends with a foreboding keys and the distant ring of a church bell as a new character is teased for the next episode.
Episode 1 of the Nighthawk experience has us on the edge of our seat! It’s fantastic to see an artist collaborating with an animation team long term to commit to a multimedia collection of music like this. We can’t wait to see how this develops.
VÏKÆ is joining the ranks of new artists pulling the rising tide of introspection among younger audiences. With her latest single she self evaluates her own faults when it would be easier to push the blame on to the other. ‘Liar’ explores her struggle with bipolar and the toxic behaviours that come along with it, such as a tendency to lie.
VÏKÆ’s vocals strike similarities with Lana Del Rey evoking a sense of beautiful tragedy fitting for this song dealing with one’s own problematic behaviour. The beat developed by producer Mazbou Q (formerly Unchained XL) is reminiscent of the 90s, smooth and sultry with rich harmonies. The initially sparse track leaves time to soak in the rich soundscape that’s being crafted as it crescendos into a fat catchy chorus.
The single liar has been put to film in VÏKÆ’s music video you can find on Youtube. The video was shot in Melbourne and finishes with VÏKÆ dressed in Ukrainian traditional dress revealing her truest and most authentic identity.
VÏKÆ moved to New Zealand from Ukraine seeking refuge post Chernobyl. We hope she sticks around to keep pushing the New Zealand Music scene up to the next level.
There’s something unnervingly real about the sophomore track on The Cold Year’s album Prey for Me. “Kill Yourself” is raw, edgy, and visceral. Initially it sounds like Chet Faker’s most distressing day, and quickly moves into something so much more epic and angsty. Shrouded in lyrical genius, each horrific sentiment crawls into your ears like a tarantula making its nest. The song opens with the line “swallowing nails and spitting out corkscrews”, and moves into “drinking pesticide like it’s cheap wine.” The poetry in The Cold Year’s lyrics spiked my morbid curiosity. I had to listen over and over again to figure out exactly what it was that it was making me feel.
The instrumentation is overwhelmingly dissonant. Whether deliberate or not, the way the drummer and guitarist refuse to fully lock in with one tempo only adds to the chaos of whatever broken singer Matthew Skaggs has endured. The song moves, though. Just as disturbed as the subject matter, it can’t sit still. From a smokey first section the piece moves into a few bars of circus music followed by an eardrum-shattering monster of a distorted guitar solo. What is it? Gypsy jazz? Hard rock? Psychedelic punk? Who cares!
The singer’s voice emerges from the apocalyptic rubble of the instrumental section for a deflated final chorus, finishing with an unnerving detuned guitar. It’s messy, but I think that’s the point. “Kill Yourself” is an absolute sonic experience. It’s only four minutes, but you’ve lived a life or two by the time it’s over. I’d hate to be whoever inspired this song.