Steffan Rundquist

Steffan Rundquist originally from Helsingborg in Sweden, now residing in Rotterdam (Holland) is an alternative indie singer songwriter.

Steffan Rundquist - alternative indie from Sweden

Steffan Rundquist

Taking references of new wave and reggae and transferring it to an acoustic setting enables Steffan to deliver an entertaining and refreshing style of music. Bringing experience as a band musician going back to the late ’70s he has brought that knowledge to a new setting and is able to deliver material of the streets with the knowledge of making the most of the material. An itinerant traveller, he is also able to transfer this into the songs which have a global appeal to them with the earthy realism which immediately captures the attention.


This has the sparseness of construct which requires absolute confidence in ability as there is no-one else to blame if it sounds askew and Steffan Rundquist rises to the challenge with a waving flag. It is when I listen to solo musicians that I often find the most expressive and honest material particularly when played acoustically, as it only works if the audience can find a connection with the performer.

What I particularly enjoy of songs I have heard, is the uplifting sounds, whilst the lyric expresses insecurities and injustices. I am led to believe the eponymous EP which came out earlier this year is not a one off concept as a follow-up EP is under way for release in April 2014.

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Voletta

Voletta is Joe Sheairs and Andre Comfort an alternative indie duo from Philadelphia in the USA.

Voletta - alternative indie from the USA

Voletta

Sometimes the messenger does need shooting. It was the 8th November 2011 that Joe dropped me an email and there is has languished until today. Sorry to both the readers of the Indie Bands Blog stable of websites and as importantly to Joe, as Voletta is a band with much to say.

I was watching the Japanese Grand Prix in the early hours of this morning and on the starting grid we had Vettel with smoke pouring out of his brakes prior to the off and as I jot down my thoughts, I am reminded of that image as Voletta release their music like an overheated brake-pad smoking its way through the speakers as the desk suffers what seems terminal damage, but as with the Renault engine making the brakes smoke, it wasn’t the beginning of the end, just the start of a sparkling performance.

With echoes and reverberations bouncing off the walls and colliding with each other the music gathers magnetism and the mind is polarised into the bouncing and shimmering directions in which Voletta flow.

The lower registers rumble into the brain like theta waves of conductive plasma and the listener sits transfixed in the subtle melodies as they play with the consciousness.

My advice is, don’t take the two years this tarried with me to get round to it.

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Their latest release Unplayed Tapes which came out late September is available on iTunes*.

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Blood Sport

Blood Sport is Alex Keegan (Guitar), Sam Parkin (Drums) and Nick Potter (Vocals) an alternative indie band based in Sheffield, England.

Blood Sport is an alt indie band from England

Blood Sport – photo credit Guy Smith

Lilting rhythms and melodies with influences of Dan Mugala and later derivations of the style of Kadongo Kamu from Uganda interspersed with reminders of Alternative TV give the music an hypnotic timbre in which tracks could become never ending hypnosis of sound and to give the material the time to flourish and develop in the listeners ears they do run pieces to over seven minutes duration, which could happy be doubled in length without loosing any interest.


The transformation of well established cohesive influences dipped in the box of existentialism provides for a triumph of experimentalism which in many ways provides a backdrop to social fracturing across much of the world today, delivering music, which in many ways due to its disparate roots is precisely of its time and an exciting commentary of the second decade of the 21st Century in the so called ‘developed world’.

This is not the first time in recent weeks that I have come across a new band taking influences from the rich seam of Ugandan music and I for one do hope this becomes a wider trend as the journey on which the brain can be taken is breathtakingly extensive.

With a new album – Life In Units – set for release on the 9th September I look forward to hearing more from Blood Sport.

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Sherpa

Sherpa is Early SansBen JackDaniel Barrett and Vince McMillan – an alternative indie band from Auckland in New Zealand.

Sherpa - alternative indie from New Zealand.

Sherpa

There is a retrospective ’60s feel to Sherpa. The music calls to mind glass blowing, as the molten silica is formed into recognizable shapes. Sherpa deliver a slightly fuzzed undercurrent that, as it develops, winds in to focus and the music takes on distinguishable formations.

Easy to engage with and immediately engrossing the quartet have a decent handle on song writing and composition. Their earlier work, despite its undoubted strength, I am left with a slight feeling of the munchies, akin to eating a Chinese takeway – satisfying, but – the hunger pangs arriving soon afterwards. The reason for this is the frequent lack of a well defined percussion and bass line, which as regular readers know, I often need, to shape the out-put. Sherpa benefit by bringing these lower registers more easily accessible to the listener, as they do on their recent  single – Love Films, which sadly I am unable to share with you.

I am hoping that Sherpa continue with this sharper definition in the forthcoming LP as it raises them to a far higher plane and a space which gives them a far stronger impact. It will be interesting to see if the quartet have transitioned to a more powerful sound as the single would indicate, or whether the single is a one off – time will tell.

website

Lesser Flamingo – Sherpa is available on iTunes*.

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