Review: Brother Jonathan by Glenn Meling

Brother Jonathan is the standout track of Glenn Meling’s latest album – Minnesota, which tells the story of Norwegian migration in the 19th century to the promised lands of America.



Brother Jonathan was the warmer, friendlier face of America known to European immigrants back in the day, before Uncle Sam the white haired patriot jabbing an accusing finger in your face, became more popularized.

You can almost hear the hopeful yearning in every exclamation of “Brother Jonathan”, beautifully carrying the weight of the collective hopes and dreams of the millions of immigrants who made their way across the ocean.

The chorus takes on a gospel anthem feel, completing the song’s symbolic message of freedom, new beginnings, struggle, and a shared history that all Americans can unite under.

As waves of intolerance and xenophobia rock the country, it is songs like this that remind people of their roots.


Review: Spines of the Heart (double album) by Bryan Deister

Breaking the boundaries of his classical training at Berklee, Bryan Deister embarks on a fusion multi-genre adventure with his behemoth of an album – Spines of the Heart.


There is a dark and dramatic atmosphere, yet none of Deister’s twenty-two tracks ever feel alike, thanks to his flair for creative instrumentation and impeccably timed shifts in musical direction.

As the album progressed, I felt myself descend deeper into his madness, with my sanity finally breaking at “Into The Sky”. WILL YOU, EVER, LEAVE IT ALL BEHIND, INTO THE SKYYYY.

Nihilism set in for the remainder of the album, before I was mercifully resuscitated by the ministrations of the final track “Apart From Me”, signaling the end of this fantastic journey.

Whatever your feelings about Spines of the Heart, you cannot deny its ambition. Taking Deister a good three years to compose, he has described his creation as “an almost too personal album”.

That being said, I hope never to meet the man in person.


Conversations // Post-rock with Oh Hiroshima

Introduce Oh Hiroshima to our readers!

I would say Oh Hiroshima is a modest band from the depths of the woods in Värmland, Sweden. The woods of Småland as well, since Simon joined. There’s a lot of trees in Sweden. We’re 4 good friends who like to make music together. 4 very different individuals.

In your own words, what distinguishes post-rock from other rock genres?

Post-rock for me is that it’s mostly instrumental music. Instrumental music has always made me feel like I can relate so much more to the music, since it’s the association/story that I make myself that matters; there are no lyrics there to tell me what this song is about. I’m free to feel what I feel and make my own connection with the song.

Could you describe the process of creating post-rock music? What inspires its unique sound, and how would you go about producing it?

Our process has changed through the years, but since Simon joined and we became a full band for the first time, I think it’s gone in the right direction. We usually meet at our own rehearsal place, and someone might have an idea for a song. We play with it for a while, just to get a feel for the song, then we go more in depth of what needs changing; how we can make it better. It’s a really organic process, and can’t be described entirely.

The thing with our music is that we’ve never said “we’re a post-rock band”. Me and Jakob leaned towards that kind of music in the beginning, but now it’s more like a mixture of all kinds of different genres that each person has brought to the band and is inspired by. Sure, we know we’re categorized as a post-rock band, but I think you might hear different kinds of inspirations if you listen closely. We’ve always strived to make post-rock more accessible for the average listener.


Tell us about the post-rock scene in Sweden. How has it grown, and where do you think it will go from here?

The post-rock scene in Sweden is basically non-existant. There are a lot of great post-rock bands from Sweden like EF, pg.lost and Immanu El, but the scene in itself has never flourished. Post-rock is a difficult genre to describe, you basically have to experience it for yourself. So when you see a no-name-band playing at a club you don’t know what to expect, so you usually don’t go.

-Leif Eliasson, Oh Hiroshima


Review: Gateways (EP) by The Departure

With a mantra of “music for the sake of music, not music for the sake of making millions of dollars in record sales”The Departure rocks their own special blend of pop punk and post-hardcore, invoking the likes of Three Days Grace and Breaking Benjamin in the process.



Gateways features plenty of dramatic buildup and just enough guitar solos to go around. Starting strong with “For The Best”, this EP delivers wave after wave of 90s nostalgia, teenage anguish, and growing pains.

I particularly loved the heavy atmosphere of “The Sea Part II”, which was artfully contrasted with “Lonely Eyes”, giving the EP a refreshing intermission from all the headbanging before plunging me back in with its final track

Check out The Departure here:




Conversations // Shoegaze with Bloodhounds On My Trail

Firstly, introduce yourselves! 

We are Bloodhounds On My Trail from Melbourne Australia. Born out of the music scene here and hoping to add to it. Johnny has vocal duties along with guitar, Chris on bass, Nik on drums & Chris (aka Donnie) on guitar.


In your own words, what is shoegaze? How does it stand apart from other music genres? 

To me it’s going deaf to beautiful music. To a friend of mind it is “It’s good stretching music”. I think that is complementary.. Something to take you away.  It stands out because of the meticulous care given to the sonic sound of the band playing. Listening to it can take you on a journey. A good way to take you mind off of what it is you’re doing. I also think there is this bond with it. Cause it’s perhaps a niche genre, there is an element to it that when you are listening away you are somehow connecting with others who are into it for the same reasons you love it.



What are some of the different sub-genres of shoegaze? 

Roogaze my friends… Get on that. Coined by a great Melbourne shoegaze band Lowtide, it covers all the shoegaze coming out of Australia at the moment. I could probably just list of some usual suspects like noise rock, space rock etc but I think most bands would like to think that they are a mix of a few things and therefore some kind of their own genre. Some bands are out and out shoegaze, but best ones of recent times are where shoegaze is a element (probably an obvious one) but they blend it with other things well. So in a way each band has is own sub-genre.



What is the Aussie shoegaze scene like? Who are your inspirations?

Fantastic. Really there are too many good bands doing many great things & I reckon we all inspire each other in a good way. Honestly I could list 20 awesome bands and many of them friends but I’m gonna go with the last bands we played with from Melbourne & Sydney shows who are awesome – Parading, Seasloth, Lapse, Sounds Like Sunset.

In your opinion, how do you see shoegaze evolving in the future? Or will it always be a throwback to the retro 90s?

I don’t really believe that anything is a throwback to anything. Bands get influenced, bands write songs based on their influences & to me it comes out a little different each time depending on the year, era or bands style & other influences outside of shoegaze. The only real difference is that shoegazers tend to be more upfront of bands they like and have this community not many others have.
I guess maybe sometimes guitarists can get too caught up in replication of sounds rather than trying to go in a new direction which can draw the “they sound like X or Y or Z” criticism but if you have a deeper understanding I think there are different subtleties with mostly anyone. Still though like any music, there cant just be a “sound”. Good songs still need to be written & constructed well. Here in lies the difference between a good shoegaze band and an average one. 


-Chris Donnie, Bloodhounds On My Trail


Story Behind The Song – In Time by Lake Jons

Like almost all the songs we’ve done, I started recoding some ideas with the guitar in the Lake Jons Garage. The song “In Time” came quite quickly together but the lyrics waited for almost one year to be finished.

 *photo credits to Arttu Kokkonen

It was the song that was born just after we had mastered our two EP’s so it was in some kind of an empty space between the old and new. We had no hurry to finish it and it stayed in the demo folder for a year or so. When we started planning on releasing the second EP and we got an idea to put “In Time” on it even though it was still on the demo stage.

We put it together and finished the lyrics. I listened to my old demo guitars and wondered even though they were recorded kind of carelessly I loved them cause of the sound and the feel. The only thing that we kept having a problem with was the beat. To have it or not to have it. Just couple of days before mastering the song we ended up finding the right minimal beat for the song. But in the end we kept basically every track from the demo session and replaced only a few instruments like for example the vocals.



The key message of the song “I take my chances” is pretty straight forward so I don’t think it needs more unwrapping.

The way the song came together was pretty unusual for us. It was a slow process of one year.


-Jooel Jons, Lake Jons



SBTS – Cash 4 Gold by Rachel Mallin & The Wild Type

I wrote Cash 4 Gold in 15 minutes. I have to start at the beginning to give you context for the song’s inspiration:


“For aesthetically disenfranchised furnishings, we are like the families that adopt troubled children and refugees from around the world – we see beauty within and cannot say no.” - A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Dave Eggers)


For the majority of my life, my mom has owned a larger-than-average, depreciating house at the bottom of a cul-de-sac on Easy Street in Gladstone, MO. I’m not saying Easy Street to be ironic, it’s literally called Easy St.


Over the years, the house has collected antiques and miscellaneous items of sentimental value that grow in number corresponding to the inconceivable amount of life my mom, two brothers, and myself have experienced there. After you live anywhere long enough, you begin to realize how much the place you call home reflects the characteristics of the people who inhabit it. It’s not pretty, nor is it like any other house I’ve visited, but it looks like it was lived in, and it’s seen every inch that we have. Divorce, birthday parties, mom’s home-cooked holiday dinners, loud arguments, loud music, brother’s leaving for college, me leaving for college, relatives we take care of, relatives we plan funerals for. If the memories aren’t tangible enough to leave a presence in the house, I’m sure we could dig through the stacks of bullshit to prove they happened.



I think most people of my generation, including myself at times, have a disposable mentality about the world. How things are made today for the sake of mass-quantity rather than quality leaves us with little objection against tossing something when it no longer fulfills its purpose for us anymore. My mom was raised on a farm by parents who lived through The Depression Era, so our ideas of preservation are a little bit different. The house is essentially furnished with family heirlooms manufactured in the eras spanning between Civil War – present day, and I’m sure they would be worth a pretty substantial amount on craigslist… yet she struggles to dismiss what that particular object means or has meant to her.




It took all of about fifteen minutes to write Cash4Gold, because I’ve seen the medical bills, bank statements, and documents of life expenses that collect on top of the boxes – we live in a big house, but we’ve never been wealthy.


I know what it’s like to watch someone you love caught in circumstances which force them to assign a monetary value to an object that bares a priceless personal and historical value.


A value of memories that reflect the way this object has fulfilled its intended purpose for the children you’ve raised and the human beings you’ve loved and cared for in years passed. Objects that have endured and existed through the years, like we have and we continue to. No matter what these items that cover the tables and line the walls are sold for to someone else; that person will never know how much it meant to us.

-Rachel Mallin, lead vocals



Cash 4 Gold Lyrics:


We just toss our troubles on the shelves with all the rest of our bullshit
I just hope for peace when I come home
You won’t know me like you thought you did


Boxes of posterity
Stacked up to our ears
I don’t care for what it’s worth in ten or twenty years
Cause money comes and money goes
And everybody claims to know
Let’s trade our baby, get rich fast
Spin our gold back into cash
Just so long as it lasts


We love our house, we settle down
We fantasize it burning down
We’re placing bets
On who comes to take it first
Mother nature, or the men from the IRS
Cause it’s all trash


Boxes of posterity
Stacked up to our ears
It’s not worth the trouble in ten or twenty years
Cause money comes and money goes
And everybody claims to know
Let’s sell our child, get rich fast
Spin our gold back into cash
Just so long as it lastsJust so long as it lasts
Darlin’ nothing ever lasts



Story Behind The Song – Love U More by DANI

Love U More was written at my first writing session with my now best friend Omar Khan. We literally had the song finished within an hour.


Usually when you write a song one of two things will happen; you will either sit there for hours banging your head against the wall trying to come up with ideas, or things flow naturally. Gratefully, on this particular day, it was one of those easy sessions that just flowed naturally.  I realize there is this deep dark place inside me when i’m writing songs.


I always feel like I’m doing well in life or like I’m okay, but as soon as these songs come out, they are so emotional and full of pain; I start to question my mental state. LOL.  It’s like I’ve got this sadness about me I can’t really describe.


I’ve had people ask me to write more “upbeat” and “happy” songs but the more I come into my own and figure out who I am as an artist, I more I realize the “happy go lucky” songwriter is just not me.


My songs are emotional and have a sense of loneliness in them because i suppose I like singing about the pain. When I listen to other artists I’m also drawn to low tempo emotional music.



Some of my favourite artists are BANKS, Spooky Black and James Blake.  I love artists who draw from experience and I love it to reflect the music.




Bleachbear 2

Story Behind The Song – Boy by Bleachbear


The song Boy actually began as a soft, acoustic song. I was messing around transitioning between two chords and vocally riffing over them when I came up with the melody. I played the song for my bandmates and they suggested we replace the acoustic guitar with the overdriven bass line that you now hear on the track.



Lyrically, Boy is the simplest song I have ever written.  I transitioned to songwriting from writing poetry and thus I love intricate lyrics. However, I wanted to try something new with Boy by using aloof lyrics and letting the instrumentation convey the story. The emotion I wanted to capture was desperation. The track starts off sparse with just the bass and slowly builds as the other instruments are added in, climaxing with the guitar solo before simmering back down.

The chorus lyric “Can you feel the wind” was a line I cut out from a poem.

In fact, all the songs from the album Cowboy Movie Star are snippets from poems. 

It was part of a project I did last summer where I created a collages from vintage postcards intermixed with phrases from cut-apart poems, in what amounted to an ode to western deserts, 1950´s slow dances, and old Hollywood.  One of the postcards portrayed a lone cowboy and it conjured in my mind this heartbreaker cowboy protagonist who never stays long in one place, hence the verse lyric “that boy he goes like a bird like a ship like a plane.”


“I wrote the song from the prospective of one of his mistresses begging him to stay, her building desperation mirroring the crescendo of the song’s instrumentation as she implores if he can feel anything at all anymore.”


Our debut album Lost Parade was extremely personal, and this upcoming album is no less personal. However, this time around I projected the emotions I was feeling at the time through these cinematic lenses which I think added some depth to the lyrics.  I’ll admit I’m a sucker for love songs, but with this album I wanted the listener to have to work harder to discover meaning behind the lyrics rather than being able to label the tracks as “just another love song” or such.

Although I’ve already solved the puzzle for this track, there’s nine more you can dissect when the album comes out July 30th!

Tigerlily Cooley,

main vocals/songwriter/guitarist






Cicadas in the Sun by Cali Blake

The bittersweet innocence of country meets sultry nightclub jazz to create the singing persona of Cali Blake’s Cicadas in the Sun.

Cali Blake’s debut, 10-track album showcases her many styles and talents. No matter the occasion, you’ll find that Cicadas in the Sun is rarely out of place, whether you’re settling down for a quiet dinner for two or getting ready for a night around town.

A journey for the senses, Cicadas in the Sun takes you on a feelings trip, from melancholic ballads and ambient dream pop, to calming New Orleans blues. Absolutely amazing.


Check out more about Cali Blake below