New Music From The Inbox – Monday Edition! (Aug 31, 2020): The Dead Centuries, Guardrail, Mise en Scene, and more!

Artist: The Dead Centuries

Song: “Crystal Summer ft. Jacob Umansky”

Album/EP: Single

Shimmering and surgical instrumental progressive that plays like the comprehensive big brother of 8-bit star Anamanaguchi, The Dead Centuries have developed a melodic masterpiece in “Crystal Summer”. Bright complementary guitars, not-too-bashy drums, and an irresistible instrumental hook (as in, the entire song really) throw down a sweeping and surging sonic narrative that feels ready-made to soundtrack the listener’s next hardcore daydream.

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Artist: Guardrail

Song: “‘Til We’re Dead”

Album/EP: Yikes

Rallying and energetic punk with a healthy dash of matured pop, newcomers Guardrail’s debut “‘Til We’re Dead” has just the right amount of genre-specific progression to sit comfortably atop its own sound. Poppy and snotty without the nasally tones, hooky and riff-heavy with fresh variance, and just enough experimentation within the confines of pop-punk (standout vocal harmonies and thrash drum fadeout, anyone?) to feel like it’s own thing – these scrappy Chicago upstarts have landed on a heavy-hitting sound here.

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Artist: Mise en Scene

Song: “Dollar Dreams”

Album/EP: Winnipeg, California

Grungy and sludgy rock with a shining layer of viscous pop laid overtop, Mise en Scene strikes the fine balance between affordable means vs. extravagant schemes in the aptly named “Dollar Dreams”. The tune’s verses, full of drawling vocals and strung-out guitars, collide with perky tambourine and grand vocal overdubs in each chorus to present a duality of both sound and lyrical content. Quietly complex yet accessible, whilst still remaining head-bobbingly catchy throughout.

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Artist: Andrew Gabbard

Song: “Cloud of Smoke”

Album/EP: Single

Classic 60s-era singer-songwriter vibes featuring a prominent heartbroken-cowboy slide guitar, Andrew Gabbard’s “Cloud Of Smoke” is a head-turning single from another time and place. Sneaky pops of nouveau jazz percussion, soulful organ stings, and ringing lo-fi vocals add some slippery global inspirations yet blend beautifully with Gabbard’s bittersweet musings.

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Artist: Begonia

Song: “The Other Side”

Album/EP: Fear

A striking, emotional, frisson-inducing choral hymn that pulls no punches, “The Other Side” is a soul-crushing opener from Begonia’s debut full-length Fear. Absolutely bare-bones minimalist instrumentation of singular sustained organ keystrokes pushes Begonia’s stunning vocal performance front and centre, where it without a doubt belongs to shine. Lie down, put your headphones on, and close your eyes for this powerfully sensitive piece.

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Mathew Kahansky

Once upon a time, Mat studied journalism. That's how he became Alan's one-time intern and current-time contributor, and the rest is ongoing history - get it? Mat also studied biology and music, so he has a strangely specific knowledge set that doesn't really apply anywhere other than useless fun facts. He currently works for a music tech start-up in Halifax, and is a big fan of the em dash.

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