Marque Dos

Marque Dos from New York in the USA is the synth-pop quartet of Andrea Scanniello (Vocals / Keys), Kelly McCarthy (Vocals / Keys), Chris Nova (Vocals / Bass) and Ralph Nicastro (Guitar / Keys).

Marque Dos - synth-pop from the USA

Marque Dos


Very recently formed by half the member of Boxed Wine, who remain intact and on course, with two additional players Marque Dos bring back recollections of early pioneers of the genre, but without the gloominess.

Although there is only the one track so far City At Night, if is a signpost to the direction of travel, then I would anticipate if you are a Mediterranean Clubber, you will become very familiar with their sounds this coming summer.

For a change including the term ‘pop’ in a description isn’t a denigration but a vote of confidence.

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Little Sluggers

Little Sluggers is Jason D. Borntreger (Guitar / Vocals) and Jake Faber (Drums / Vocals) a garage rock duo from Tallahassee in the USA.

Little Sluggers - Garage Rock from the USA

Little Sluggers

Despite, or maybe because of, not taking themselves too seriously hurtling across the room comes some easy to navigate music that hits the spot track after track. Little Sluggers have been around for about eighteen months now and haven’t sought to change their lo-fi production in the two EPs so far released and I hope it remains that way.


The duo are able to deliver music which whilst sparse in construct more than makes up for it in heartfelt enthusiasm as they grab hold of the listeners and feed them with catchy hooks inside traditional lyrics. There are myriads of bands around the world who play with a variation on this theme and it is always a pleasure to find a local act which but for the breaks of life would establish a wider audience.

I wish Little Sluggers every success with their time in the music business and with fortune, they will find a far broader audience than so far achieved. They stand as a great example to similar bands who get a real kick out creating music, as despite it all, they continue to play regularly as a live act and making their songs available on recording.

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Love & Thanks

Love & Thanks from Malibu in the USA is the alt-rock band of Jordan StraubelKevin EnstromDimitri SmithGreg Wenhold and Zac Fielder.

Love & Thanks - alt-rock from the USA

Love & Thanks

Newly out of the blocks Love & Thanks deliver sounds which incorporate orchestration, ’60s rock and more than a dash of panache. Whilst there is a sophistication, to the material, the quintet do provide an access point for the likes of me who think that learning a fourth chord is something you do when you change bands.

The well structured mellow sounds do not fade into the background as they have plenty to keep the wandering mind focussed. It will be interesting to see how this transfers to live performance as in their, so far, short career Love & Thanks have been concentrating on finishing a debut EP which is due out imminently. If they are able to make that transition I envisage this is a band you will hear much of over the coming years.

Combining the retrospective with the current Love & Thanks have developed a space for themselves which sits well in the current scene and their combinations of haunting piano and stadium guitars enable the band to fill the room with luscious textures. A little too grown up for my everyday playlist, I have no hesitation in adding this to the ‘evening at home with friends just chilling out’ selection.

I wish them all the best with their career and look forward to hearing the debut EP.

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Summer’s End – Single – Love & Thanks is available on iTunes*

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The Vitals

The Vitals a rock band from Los Angeles in the USA is Kate Strand (vocals, guitar), Henrik Linde (guitar), and Dylan Howard (drums).

The Vitals - rock from the USA

The Vitals – Photo by: Kaleena Zanders (Kay Zee).

Like rolling waves, swooping guitars, tumble into the room sweeping up the listener in sounds which are difficult to accept only emanate from three players. There are complex interwoven layers of music that The Vitals extend to the ears in an unhurried manner, allowing the brain to ingest the big statements which despite their power are tender and textured.

Having gained a few years experience The Vitals have a confidence in their compositions, which is reflected in the songs, that are unforced enabling the audience to relax in the experience. Whilst wrested from rock ‘n’ roll the trio add layers to the sound which provide emotional context and something of a psychedelic feel without becoming trippy. If you are in the mood for some well developed mellow rock there are few bands who will have more to offer.

I believe they are currently working on some new material for another LP and if the music on this new release is in away related to their established material it will be an album worth adding to the collection.

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Qualia – The Vitals is available on iTunes*.

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Foreign Shores

Foreign Shores a shoegaze outfit from Chicago in the USA is Nick Rynott (Vocals / Guitar), Nick Reuille (Guitar), Dominic Gaddini (Drums) and Eric Plançon (Bass).

Foreign Shores - Shoegaze from the USA

Foreign Shores

Find a comfortable posture and relax to the echoes and reverb that is Foreign Shores. The music immerses the brain in velvet as the sounds drift around the room like the imperceptible movements of gently moving cumulus clouds forming new shapes in the sky. The transitions slide across each other smoothly affording the listener the time to immerse themselves in the imagery.

The soft interplay between the quartet allows the two guitars to merge into one and the supporting structure of percussion and bass form gently formed frames within which the music flows. The vocal is equally subsumed giving the whole effect of listening to the vestiges of a sound just passed.

Foreign Shores retain a control on the compositions ensuring they do not drift into flights of fancy and the audience is offered well structured material that has the feel of the extravagant without it ever becoming extraneous.

Relatively new on the scene it will be interesting to follow the journey of Foreign Shores and I wish them the best.

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New View – Foreign Shores is available on iTunes*.

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