Step Back In Time New Music Premiere From Dallas Cosmas

Indie Artist

Dallas Cosmas

“If You Don’t Know Where You Came From”

I love Exile on Main St-era Rolling Stones. I also love the early albums of Lenny Kravitz and The Black Crowes. The reason I mention this is because I can hear shades of these artists in the latest single from Melbourne-based musician, Dallas Cosmas.


From the upcoming album “Alpha Beta Gamma” (due for release 11 October), “If You Don’t Know Where You Came From” is a funky, slow groove punctuated by wonderful gospel harmonies. Over a slinky electronic piano riff that would not be out of place on a 70s Herbie Hancock release, Cosmas delivers an impassioned vocal, reminding the listener, “If you don’t know where you came from, then you don’t know where you’re going to”. The song breaks for an uplifting middle eight that provides instrumental reinforcement of the underlying, positive message.


Whilst the track is strong, what really stood out for me upon listening to it for the first time is the production. The sounds on offer here and the way they have been mixed are not of this time. Rather, they take you back in time to bands like the Stones, Stevie Wonder and Ohio Players to name but a few. In a world of homogenous production and sound design, this is definitely a plus. For me, this is the true strength of “If You Don’t Know Where You Came From” and I hope to hear more of it on the upcoming album.

Simon says 4 out of 5 stars.

4 Star Rating






Classic Pop Rock For ‘All Of Us’ From The Rallies


Indie Rock Band Album Cover

The Rallies

“All of Us” from the “Upside Down” Album

In the doom and gloom world we’re leaving, it’s sometimes hard to find music that’s uplifting and genuinely fun… If you’re nostalgic for the kind of classic pop rock that started with The Beatles up and until Tom Petty, you’re going to love the new The Rallies album!

Jangly guitars, great harmonies, fun tune, positive message, and the kind of timeless sound that will bring a smile on your face, it’s all there! With this “All of Us” song, they are bringing the best of the fab four epic, starting with vocal harmonies, and a hooky chorus that’s in line with “All you need is love” with its positive memorable message.

The whole album packs up great songs one after another, and you can’t help bobbing your head and singing along to the simple yet extremely effective hooks. There’s no pretense in that collection: just great songs, delivered with conviction and a production that’s modern enough not to be confused with 70s parody. Well worth extended listen, if you ask me!

Verdict: 5/5 beards

5 Beards Rating


Get the song and album on Bandcamp:

Indie Rock Band Lazybones “Trash Talk” Full Of Gusto and Energy

Australian Indie Band


“Trash Talk”

The latest track from Brighton-based alt-rock trio Lazybones, is one hell of a fun listen. “Trash Talk”, due for release on October 9th through SaySomething Records, is unabashed, trashy rock and roll that is about  “That moment when you know you’re about to say something you’ll regret, when you’re right on the edge and you just can’t stop it.”


Like a poppy version of Australia’s Cosmic Psychos, Lazybones waste no time in getting into the track – not a second of the three minutes is wasted. Over the top of this lean song driven by a driving, distorted bass and pounding drums, vocalist Candi Underwood delivers her lyrics with such urgency it seems her life might just depend on it. (Again, I was reminded of another great Aussie band here – Dallas Frasca.)


“Trash Talk” is an excellent song, full of energy and gutsy, rock n roll bravado. I would highly recommend checking it out and (if you live in the UK) getting along to one of their live shows. I am sure that, just like this track, their performances would one hell of a fun ride.


Simon says 4.5 out of 5 stars.

4.5 Star Rating


New Album of Folk, Rock to Blues From Aussie Artist Sophie Klien


Australian Singer

Little Wise

“Don’t Let It Go” from the “Want It All” Album


Fans of Australian Folk and Americana already know Sophie Klein, the eponymous Little Wise songwriter who is back with a great new album that you don’t want to miss.

The collection of 10 songs ranges from folk to blues to rock in a way that reminds me of the Pretenders, with jangling guitars and a great melodic gift, and Sophie’s melancholic and charming voice is a treat that works so well for the material. This “Don’t Let It Go” song in particular has a great laid-back vibe, a simple story yet a memorable chorus that you will hear yourself singing along to after just a couple listen.

Starting with a syncopated guitar and a cool Rhodes, the drums and bass are strong yet relaxed underneath the soundscape that features Sophie’s awesome vocal, sustained by great background vocals. During the chorus, electric guitar and banjo arpeggios are sustaining the vocals, creating a perfect counterpoint which further reinforces the strength of that hooky part. Well done and kudos to the production that leaves the music breathe with minimalistic touches of ear candies for everyone’s pleasure.

Verdict: 5/5 beards

5 Beards Rating




Check out the song and album on Bandcamp:

Sydney Singer, Peta Mai Releases Smashing New Music

Sydney Singer, Peta Mia Releases Smashing New Music

Singer songwriter

Peta Mai

“Hell or High Water”

Listening to Hell or High Water, it is hard to believe that Sydney-based artist Peta Mai once worked in a country outfit that shared the stage with the likes of Keith Urban. Rather, listening to this track, I would have thought she had cut her teeth fronting jazz groups in quiet piano bars, such is the quality of her vocal style and the sounds and harmonies on offer here.


Hell or High Water starts with a restraint that it only occasionally strays from. Over minimal piano chords, Mai delivers a mature vocal performance that explores the depths of devotion and how it feels to give your all to someone. This soulful track slowly builds, adding drums and harmonic interjections and jazz-infused transitions that speak to the quality of the production and songwriting on offer here. Never overstating its case, Hell or High Water reaches its climax with a subtle musical interlude and a closing chorus that is best described as modern gospel.


This is music of the highest order. Peta Mai has crafted a song in Hell or High Water that is timeless yet informed by the soul, jazz and R&B that has come before it. Listening to this track, it is hard to believe that this is an artist still closer to the start of her musical journey rather than the end.


With this track, I have become a fan of Peta Mai and look forward to (hopefully) seeing her play live in the not too distant future.


Simon says 5 out of 5 stars.

5 Stars


Duffy & Bird Deliver Epic New Music ‘Faking a Smile

Duffy & Bird Deliver Epic New Music ‘Faking a Smile

Indie Duo

Duffy & Bird

“Faking a Smile” from the “Spirit Level” EP

Duffy & Bird are back with a great new EP, and you know you want to hear it!

The talented duo has concocted here more of their trademarks Folk/Americana, stripped down goodness, with cool acoustic guitars and beautiful vocal harmonies. The EP is showing a great breadth of musical styles while staying true to the raw simplicity of just voices and guitars. It’s all about the song, and there are great ones on this new output.

Take this “Faking a Smile” song, with its delicate harmonics intro and 3/4 tempo, and the story of a sad waitress longing for her deceased lover, having trouble getting through the day and faking a smile, a lovely vignette full of great imagery which makes you feel for the forlorn heroin.

But it’s not all sad and delicate, as you get some rocking upbeat Americana there too, which shows the duo’s great versatility. So if you’re looking for some acoustic greatness, look no further than this new EP!

Verdict: 5/5 beards

5 Beards Rating



Check out the song and EP on Bandcamp:




HangMan’s One Mistake is A Massive Slice Of Hardcore

HangMan’s One Mistake is A Massive Slice Of Hardcore

Hangman Album cover


“One Mistake”


Here’s something that not a lot of folk might know – a whole heap of electronic musicians like metal. Not sure why that is the case, but it just is. I count myself among this group, so it was with joy that I saw I would be getting to review One Mistake by New York band Hangman this week.


From their forthcoming album, One By One (out on 20 September through Flatspot Records), One Mistake is a massive slice of hardcore influenced by the sort of groove-orientated metal that kept the flag flying in the 90s. Listening to the brutal riffs and the vocal delivery, I was reminded of acts like Biohazard and Vulgar Display of Power-era Pantera. This is a killer track, full of top-notch playing, rhythmic changes and crisp production that doesn’t scrimp on the heaviness.


I really enjoyed this track – One Mistake is powerful advertisement for the upcoming album and I, for one, know that I will be tracking it down upon its release and I suggest that you give it a try as well.


Simon says 5 out of 5 stars.

5 Stars


Erin At Eleven Eclectic EP Are Not Afraid Of Exploring Boundaries

Erin At Eleven Eclectic EP Are Not Afraid Of Exploring Boundaries

Indie EP

Erin at Eleven

“Over You” from the “Eclectic” EP

Many artists confine themselves in a specific genre, which is reassuring to their fans, and comforting for themselves, at the risk of being too predictable. Yet some artists dare explore a wider range to reveal different facets of their personality, and some do this with great success, like Erin at Eleven for example, a singer-songwriter from Glasgow, who is back with an EP which shows its ambition right in its title: it’s Eclectic alright!

From the chilled trip ambient of the opener (previously released “Only Myself to Blame”), to the rocker “One Thing”, the upbeat “All Roads Lead Back” to this one stripped down ballad “Over You”, Erin’s EP fits the bill of its title.

Eclectic it is in its lyrics as well, from self-deprecating to liberating to reminiscing to heartfelt with this final piano ballad, where Erin is announcing how she’s over someone, while a great soprano saxophone is wailing its counterpoint against Erin’s wonderful vocal. The song is a great closer to this “Eclectic” EP which you should really check out, if you’re looking for something different with every track and like artists who aren’t afraid of exploring new boundaries.

Verdict: 5/5 beards

5 Beards Rating



Check out the song and EP on Bandcamp: 

‘Step Off My Wave’ As UpBeat DubStep from Bufinjer Smacks You In The Face



“Step Off My Wave

One of the first tracks I “discovered” after embarking on my personal creative journey and exploration of independent music nearly four years ago was a drum and bass track titled Drop Your Weapons by Buffalo, New York-based artist Dave Bulera, aka Bufinjer. Being a fan of Grooverider, Roni Size and the Metalheadz label, I was immediately drawn to the sound. Well produced, well written and (importantly for a dance track) infectious, the track was one of my favorites of 2016.


Years later and I am still eager to hear the latest releases from this ever-evolving artist. With a discography that covers techno, house, EDM and electronica, Bufinjer moves easily between electronic music genres and demonstrates a mastery of each. On Step Off My Wave, he hits us with an up upbeat dubstep track that, like the monster shark that graces the cover art, is a true beast.  As with all of his offerings, the sounds here are big and the production is first class. This is not music for the faint-hearted but it is music that demands you get up and dance.


As a co-founder of the Electronic Music Alliance (along with DaveyHub and Nicky Havey), Bufinjer has been a key figure in developing and supporting the independent electronic music scene. I would suggest that you show this artist some support as well and give Step Off My Wave a listen as soon as you can.


Simon says 5 out of 5 stars.

5 Stars


An Example Of The Best New Indie Pop Music; Valencia James

Pop Indie Artist

Valencia James


Let me get this out of the way up front – New York born, Sydney bred artist Valencia James has a great voice and it is on full display on her latest single, Dreamers. Moving from the restrained delivery of the verses through to the powerfully delivered chorus (where she proclaims “We are the dreamers – tomorrow can’t contain us”), James’ is a strong voice perfectly suited to the intelligent lyricism of the track.


The production here is also first-class – this is synth-pop that mirrors the vocal changes, moving from quiet, almost haunting electronics in the verses to bold, eighties-flavored synths in the chorus. And at just over three and a half minutes, it never overstays its welcome.


Listening to this track reminded me yet again of just how exciting the world of independent music really is. This is a song of the highest caliber – a song that is not only a match for what graces commercial radio airwaves, but one that surpasses it. As I tell my friends so often, if you want to hear the best new music, look further afield – it is there that you will find the real gems. Dreamers by Valencia James, is the most recent example of this truism. So take my advice and take some time to check it out.

Simon says 4.5 out of 5 stars.

4.5 Star Rating

Dreamers Available

Hold Yourself Together; Everybody’s Talking About Asha Jefferies


Album Cover

Asha Jefferies

“Everybody Talks” from the “Hold Yourself Together” EP


Sure, everybody talks, but not everyone says something!

Fortunately, there are some songwriters around with a lot to say, and do it convincingly, with a voice of their own, and music to go with it. This new EP from Indie singer-songwriter Asha Jefferies, from Brisbane, Australia is there to prove it.

All the songs on this EP are great but I particularly like this “Everybody Talks”. Such a clever song in its construction, alternating between intimate verses, its ternary groove, and the explosive strong hook that will bring a huge smile on your face. And the build-up ending grows to an epic proportion, before subsiding into the lovely final hook reprise. Can it get better than that? “Honestly I wouldn’t know”

Asha seems particularly at ease with laid-back grooves that goes so well with her heartfelt lyrics, and her voice has power and fragility at the same time, which is a great combination. Whether you like folk, folk-rock, indie pop, or whatever lies in between, give this one a listen, you won’t regret it!

Verdict: 5/5 beards

5 Beards Rating




GET the song and album on Bandcamp:  


See Ash Jefferies Perform

21st September – Low 302   , Sydney, NSW, Australia

4th October – The Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood, VIC, Australia

26th October – The Foundry, Fortitude Valley, QLD, Australia













A Musical Antidote To The Current Climate Of Despair

Album Cover

Moody LIttle Sister

“Great Big Mama Sunshine”

I am a sucker for big, bold choruses – the type that have you singing along despite yourself. Great Big Mama Sunshine, from New Mexico based duo Moody Little Sister, has catchy choruses in droves.

Hailing from the improbably named town of Truth or Consequences, Naomi Sparrow and Rob Stroup make impeccably produced Americana. Ranging from the upbeat country-tinged sounds of the title track, through the blues-groove of 711 Luck Street to the gospel flavors of Tell Somebody, the tie that binds this fine album are the superb vocals of Sparrow. Whether belting out a statement of self-empowerment in Child of the Wild or reflecting on a common theme of Americana in Tumbleweed, her voice is never short of excellent. This is accompanied by guitar driven songwriting, with hints of organ, drums and bass that only serves to compliment, rather than distract, from the storytelling at the heart of each song.

For me, the standout tracks are 711 Lucky Street, I Let You Go and closing track, Northern Highway. Having said that, there is not a weak track on this album – an album that serves as a “musical antidote to the current climate of despair”.


With a release date of 31 August, Great Big Mama Sunshine by Moody Little Sister is an album to look out for.

Simon says 4.5 out of 5 stars.

4.5 Star Rating



‘Corners’ Ticks All Boxes For Lovers Of Americana


Indie Artist

B. Knox



From Barrie, Ontario, Canada comes a new songwriter forging songs out of heartbreak and landscape.

His new single, “Corners”, should tick all the boxes to lovers of Americana, with a laid-back groove, jangly guitars, a groovy piano and heartfelt vocals. It’s a portrait of time passing, and the inescapable feeling that it may also be slipping away. From its author’s own words: “It may not be a song of hope, but it certainly is one of honesty and melancholy acceptance”.

Fans of 3 chords and the truth will certainly appreciate. The production is on point, and leaves plenty of space to B. Knox vocals to shine and we can “hear the ticking of the clock, who I am, what I’m not”. Pretty cool song that will warrant more listens and be welcome in the collection of any music lover.

Verdict: 5/5 beards

5 Beards Rating




Get the song on Bandcamp at:

Pop Music That Will Have You Feeling ‘Top Of The Morning’

Single Cover

Layla Haskell

“Top Of The Morning”

So let me be straight up here – as a Gen X male with a wife and kids, a mortgage and a preference for dinner with friends over partying, I am probably not the target demographic for most modern pop music. Whilst I am a fan of genre, it is it is not the first thing I seek to listen to in those rare moments that I have time to spare.


With that said, I can recognize talent when I hear it and am only too happy to admit that I like “Top of the Morning”, the latest single from Layla.. Underpinned by the stunning production work of Darren Martyn, Bournemouth-based Layla Haskell delivers an assured pop-vocal performance. Her voice sit perfectly over the catchy summer vibes, demonstrating a range and control that speaks to her talent. From start to finish, this is a song that makes you take notice and asks you to listen again.


“Top of the Morning” is a pretty damn catchy song indeed and Layla is an artist that I am sure we will be hearing more from.  I would even consider putting this on for a listen when I next get the chance, and from this old man, that’s praise indeed.


Simon says 4 out of 5 stars.

4 Star Rating


Melinda Lavenau Creates A Great Album With It’s Own Peaceful Universe

Album Cover

Melinda Lavenau

“Be All There” from the “Waiting Wild” album


From Kansas City, Missouri comes the first album of Melinda Lavenau, a songwriter who writes song to help you remember quiet things. That’s quite a program and this album is faithful to this goal, with a wide range of beautiful songs and field recordings that weave a peaceful tapestry.

With the intro of this “Be All There”, there is an unrest in from the cello/piano that nicely resolves in Melinda’s vocals, urging everyone with her plea of “Wherever you are, be all there”, an effective Carpe Diem… The piano and cello counterpoint each other beautifully, and the bass and electronic percussion are not overwhelming in this primarily acoustic soundscape but effectively driving the track forward, leaving Melinda’s fragile voice plenty of room to charm. Nice background/double vocals are sparkled here and there to accentuate the melodic attraction of this beautiful song.

The rest of the album is full of surprise, with a production that leaves plenty of space to field recordings (birds, water, people walking/talking) fulfilling Melinda’s promise to make us remember the “quiet things”. The result is a great album that creates its own peaceful universe.

Verdict: 5/5 beards

5 Beards Rating




Get the song and album on Bandcamp:

The Atom Age Makes Rock and Roll That Is Exciting And Raw

Indie Rock Band

The Atom Age

“Never looking”

The Atom Age makes rock and roll that is exciting and raw. Drawing on influences from the The Saints to The Black Keys, the members of this six-piece Oakland band wear their influences on their collective sleeves.


“Never Looking”, the debut single from the band’s upcoming album “Cry Til’ You Die”, is a great example of its sound. The track kicks off with a monster guitar riff and a lyric that serves as a statement of intent  (“I never learned a way to take it slow”) and rarely takes its foot off the pedal in its short, sharp running time. The introduction of a saxophone into the mix only adds to the mayhem and fun.


This is music that I imagine would best be experienced live. It might be hard for me to get over to the US and see the boys in action though, so for now I await the release of their album on August 23. Like “Never Looking”, I will keep this review short and to the point and will wrap things up by simply saying this – check out The Atom Age if you like good rock and roll.

Simon says 4 out of 5 stars.

4 Star Rating

Available For Pre-Order


Upcoming shows:

AUG 23 Slim’s- San Francisco, CA

DEC 27 Kung Fu Necktie- Philadelphia (w/ New Bomb Turks)

Moses Guest Serves Their Music With A Taste Of Bravado

Single cover

Moses Guest

“Light” from the “Light” album

For more than 20 years, Moses Guest has been rocking the US scene with their energetic blend of southern rock, jazz-rock and Americana. Here again with this album, they serve their music with a taste and bravado that will satisfy every picky music lover.

Starting strong with this “Light” song which rocks right away with a great swinging rhythm section, harmonizing guitars, B3 and doubled vocals. You can hear multiple influences in here, from the All man Brothers to Grateful Dead, Steve Miller or The Doobie Brothers, but the band manages to show a strong original voice, at times channeling jazz fusion, most notably during an extended middle-eight, starting with a tasty guitar solo, jazzy at first then Santana-esque, and the rhythm section is here extremely successful, accumulating poly-rhythms while still managing to groove!

The production is on point, everything sounds natural and has a “live” quality which serves the band, since their style is really geared towards extended live solo antics, as their newly released live single (Juke / Right Down) can attest.

Verdict: 5/5 beards – A band to discover if you like your music groovy!

5 Beards Rating

Get the song, album and more on Bandcamp:


Indie DuoBriGuel keep surprising their fans over and over again, this time by unveiling glimpses of their soon-to-come Baltimore Project. Although most of it is still a well-kept secret, they recently posted on Instagram some photos of what seems to be the shooting of a new music video and documentary. 



As frontrow supporters of mindfulness, meditation, and consciousness, always seeking to find alternative ways to tap into our human potential in their numerous song’s lyrics, Briguel seem to have found the perfect structure by collaborating with the Holistic Life Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to nurturing the wellness of children and adults in underserved communities, in order to fight issues such as suicide, anxiety, and drug overdose among children and teenagers. 




View this post on Instagram


🎬 Our latest project has several stages and phases. In addition to shooting a new music video, we’re also producing a short film that deals with many of the issues prevalent today including mindfulness 🔷 meditation 🔷 consciousness 🔷 We’re especially asking: how can we do our part to heal ourselves and the world at large? It’s a profound question, but perhaps answers are closer than we think… With such daunting current statistics, we feel it’s imperative to do something. Right? 🔻 #Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for children & adolescents 🔻 #Anxiety is the leading mental health issue among American youth 🔻 #DrugOverdose deaths continue to increase in 🇺🇸at a rapid rate 🔻 🇺🇸 #incarcerates 693 people for every 100,000 residents, more than any other country ❗ Let’s start thinking about our future and the future of generations to come❗ . . . #wearebriguel #brianna #miguel #new #project #newproject #BALTIMORE #start #betterfuture

A post shared by BriGuel (@wearebriguel) on

This past year, Briguel have released a beautiful collection of songs titled Life Is A Lesson, Without Darkness, and Who Do You Wanna Be, all of them pointing in the same direction; love, non-violence, awareness, and kindness, as essential answers to the chaotic times we are facing.  Follow Briguel on Instagram for all the latest updates on the Baltimore project and upcoming releases!

Ella Fence’s Vocals are Intense And Outstanding with ‘Don’t Feed The Monster’ 

Ella Fence’s Vocals are Intense And Outstanding with ‘Don’t Feed The Monster’


Ella Fence

“Don’t Feed The Monster”

If you haven’t heard of Ella Fence then you’ve been missing out.

Ella’s earlier recordings consisted of strong beats and dark moody emotions which I loved.  

I’ve seen Ella progress with her new music since those early days and have to admit, I was a little concerned that the beautiful dark mood had evaporated.

After hearing this latest release of ‘Don’t Feed The Monster’, I’m pleased to say all my fears have been laid to rest.

Ella’s well-known distinctive style of dark moody and captivating melodies show in a rather different light in ‘Don’t Feed The Monster’.

Fence’s vocals are outstanding as it shows her vocal ability in a way where she doesn’t need to “show off”, moving from one octave to another using clear crisp falsetto bouncing from the lower register combined with her exceptional vibrato adding intensity in the verses making her performance enthralling.

‘Don’t Feed The Monster’ almost feels like a rock musical piece with synth arpeggio’s and sound effects floating around her vocal helping the track carry through while she feeds that monster.

The obvious component that can’t go unnoticed, is the simplicity and space and the clear message about feeding the monster, which I believe makes you want to set this track on repeat.    

One more thing….listen to the scream  after the bridge!

Love it! 

5 out of 5  Purple Hearts from Tracey


Ella Fence’s Vocals are Intense And Outstanding with ‘Don’t Feed The Monster’

Love & Light appeals to anyone with an ecologic conscience and a taste for melodic songwriting

Single Cover


“Love & Light”


Following their latest EP “Nostalgia”, Josef and Jan Prasil, the twin brothers from Amistat deliver here a beautiful new single that speaks of our relationship with the oceans and how we should be more conscious of all the damage we are doing around the planet. It’s all about love & light.

The song is weaving delicate guitar arpeggios and beautiful harmonies, and in contrast with the serious theme, there is an aethereal quality to the music that aspires to our better self. In the vein of a Cat Stevens or a James Taylor, the duo’s melodic abilities are particularly well displayed in this new song, with a production that brings the softness of their vocals on a tasty bed of light drums and percussion, sparse piano, acoustic guitars and that bed of vocal harmonies which is their trademark sound.

Adding a new direction to a worthy discography, this great single will appeal to anyone with an ecologic conscience and a taste for melodic song writing, folk and soft rock and generally good music.

Time to give these guys a follow and a listen?

Verdict: 5/5 beards

5 Beards Rating




Get the song on iTunes: