Popular Ego

Andrea, Chad and Jake from Lafayette in the USA combine to form the garage rock band Popular Ego.

Popular Ego - garage rock from the USA

Popular Ego

Stamping across the floor Popular Ego announce their arrival into the the room with a confident swagger, which fills the ears with impetuosity. Of particular personal joy and absolutely appropriate for a garage rock band is when the speakers rattle with distortion, though they are equally able to temper the recordings to a more level mix.


The natural delivery of Popular Ego strikes to the heart of the roots of music as a symbolism and tribal gathering. Whilst for sure there are infinite layers of sound along with devices and techniques to fancy it up, it is when the fluff is stripped away and the skeleton of the compositions exposed that the connectivity, which always marks out for me as to whether the musicians are genuine, is defined. The trio make it easy to pare away the extraneous, as there is none, we are left with a sound that has all that is essential.

Their confident arrival is backed up by music which has a heart and soul and the reason I ask you to take a moment out of your day to consider a band you won’t ever find receiving national airplay simply because of its very honesty.

Long may Popular Ego continue to create their take on everyday life and they are a great example of why I never actually listen to the plastic out-put of the mainstream tat which so many people seem to gain some vicarious association in their plastic lives in a plastic world of disposable consumerism dictated by the thickest wallet.

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Holy Wave

Holy Wave from El Paso in the USA is the shoegaze quintet of Kyle HagerDustin ZozayaJulian RuizJoey Cook and Ryan Fuson.

Holy Wave - shoegaze from the USA

Holy Wave

Holy Wave deploy reverb with abandon to deliver sounds which are richly layered in textures of gossamer. Were the reverb to be further extended we would still be hearing the echoes in the middle of next week, however their ability to manage the transformative nature of the sounds which emerge to deliver coherence is a testament to their ability as musicians.

The psychotropic sounds snare inside the parietal lobe, distorting the senses, leaving the listener fixated by the floating sonics which seem to have physical characteristics. The music glides effortlessly around the room as refrains bounce into each other much like ripples in still water colliding and shearing off in alternating angles.

Currently on an extensive European tour to support the release of their latest LP, Relax, which came out on the 28th January, my advice for those who don’t often get the opportunity to catch them live, grab the opportunity, just plan to take the following couple of days off to allow the brain to resolve itself.

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Relax – Holy Wave is available on iTunes*.

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Far From Eden

Far From Eden is the acoustic rock quartet of Kimberly Weiss (Vocals), Nathan Goff (Backing Vocals / Guitar), Carissa Hays (Djembé) and Donnie Rose (Guitar) from Dayton in the USA.

Far From Eden - acoustic rock from the USA

Far From Eden

Given the fact of the songs reflecting on the realities of life one can only assume the choice of name Far From Eden with the very close references to Steinbeck and being way to the East of the Salinas Valley it is intended to draw a reference point. However that doesn’t make the compositions and output an intellectual conundrum as the quartet deliver sounds with easy approachability. Though equally they are able to lay down trails of bait to explore.


Staying in theme with the previous two articles Far From Eden are on the darker side of the spectrum with their decortication delicately exposing the innards for investigation. The stark nature of the acoustics afford the band the opportunity to deliver material which has a stark naturalism and accessibility which is quintessentially wrapped in a Pandora’s box of aphorisms, affording the listener the opportunity to gain more as each layer is unwrapped, yet equally satiating at each level.

Ever busy on the live performance circuit in their tenure, I would only ask that Far From Eden make the music more widely available to an international audience with additions of recorded material.

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Black Walls

Black Walls is the ambient drone solo songwriter Kenneth Reaume from Etobicoke in Canada.

Black Walls - ambient drone from Canada

Black Walls

People who are new to the site would be forgiven for thinking the only material covered is sombre and melancholic as Black Walls is of similar theme to The Imaginary Suitcase LP reviewed in the previous article, musically they are of different styles completely, thematically both very introspective.


The billowing black clouds roll across the room enveloping the listener in a shroud of darkness in which the brain becomes fixated. Partially shadowed lyric adds to the atmosphere as the music gathers itself in folds. There is beauty in the blackness which curls around the brain.

Black Walls has been around for a while and the most recent release Communion set for release tomorrow is by far the  most introverted by Reaume, having been recorded at night in a bedroom reminiscing over the death of his father. The very personal and considered nature of the material makes this a release more than worthy of consideration as within that self-enveloped space of inward discovery there are semblances of glimmers of cracks in the skyline.

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Torn Beloved

Torn Beloved from Ottawa in Canada is the rock band of Josee Martel (Vocal / Rhythm Guitar), Joel Falardeau (Bass / Backing Vocal), Greg Hanson (Drums) and Chad Spaz (Lead Guitar / Backing Vocal).

Torn Beloved - rock from Canada

Torn Beloved

A melancholic noir feel to the sounds of Torn Beloved is exacerbated by the wide spaces between notes hitting the ears, which gives the feeling of moss creeping up the shaded side of old gravestones. The dark and moody textures enable to quartet to provide the audience with a sensory exploration of deep purple hues, without it becoming overtly gothic. I just had to turn up the heating as I write such is the chill that exudes around the room.

Intelligently written songs give evidence to the groundwork that Torn Beloved have laid over the past three years as they deliver appropriately spaced and textured compositions, which enhance the atmosphere created. The music inveigles itself into the bloodstream, coursing washes of coolant to feed round the body.

Having focussed much of their energy in honing their live performance, it wasn’t until September 2013 that they released their eponymous debut LP and I hope that they are now able to spread their time more evenly between recording and live performance to enable those of us not in the local environs to shiver in pleasure to more songs, particularly, given that the recorded music oft uses judicious amounts of bowed viola and piano to add further to the mood.

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Torn Beloved – Torn Beloved is available on iTunes*.

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