Indie Review Ft. SumVivus, Almelda, Aloa Input, Plastic Birds, and the Uncle Steves

SumVivus – Don’t Give Up

The enigmatic track entitled “Don’t Give Up” is a vocal-drunk harmony in direct response to an artist overwhelmed by the feeling of being unsure of their sense of self-worth. It is a track written to inspire one to persevere through self-doubt and those thoughts of darkness that creeps into all of our minds in our weakest of hours.

The track emulates a cyclical ripple effect through the perceived vocal vibrations of both space and time. Vibrations that emit a picture perfect choral ensemble of harmonic dissonance. A paradigm of exquisite beauty we think you should lend your ear to and listen with all your fractal attention.

The release marks the project’s homage to the freak folk tradition of displaying innate vocal undertones while the audience stumbles upon a hushed tone grasped by the fragility of an honest voice left to bare all to those who will listen.

The track was penned to inspire fortitude amidst the psychedelic vibration filled with youthful exuberance and a ghostly aesthetic.

Check out the project on Spotify and if you dig the music, then be sure to give it a follow.

Almelda – Mind

The dreadfully cool outfit from Hull, Molly Beacock and Harry Oetegenn, proposed the idea of forming a band after they discovered their shared love for the blues, jazz music, and folk.

The pair loved Mazzy Star and Big Thief, among many others. And in due time, the duo eventually embarked upon a collaborative journey that is still unfolding to this very day. And although their thoughts came together like bread and butter, it became more and more apparent that they wanted to share their music with a wider audience, so that’s precisely the moment the band truly came to fruition, and decided to share their gift with the world at large.

Dubbing themselves Almelda seemed like the natural thing to do at the time, after all, Molly was a transient vocalist and sound songwriter, while Harry was the aloof music producer.

“Mind” was fully recorded and mixed in a home studio during the isolation period of 2020.

The project set out with the intention of creating a good old folk track, but in the pursuit of finding their own unique sound, the finished product ended up just a bit dreamier and psychedelic in nature. A beautiful ending to a never-ending love tale of ballads and broken hearts.

The lyrics wrap one up in a feeling of love and a sense of a fleeting hope. The feeling of no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you feel helplessly obliged to be thinking about that one person and doing all of the things that you used to love to do with them, before the death of illusion once again rears its ugly head and snuffs out the candle.

Check out the delectable project on Spotify and if you dig the single, then be sure to give the project a follow you filthy animal.

Aloa Input – The Other Rainbow

“The Other Rainbow”, a track from the kings of Neo-Kraut, Aloa Input, is a delightful piece of twisted psychedelia written in a vacant movie-theatre in the bustling metropolis of Mexico City.

Last year, as the project came to view the cosmos from a fresh perspective, Aloa Input focused their attention upon fixed stars: The concept album and mankind.

On the third album by the Munich Kraut-pop band, members Angela Aux, Marcus Grassl and Cico Beck compile a kaleidoscope of anti-hymns that tell of the doom and reinvention of the evolution of humankind.

A true treat for all you lovers of psychedelic folk-rock. Enjoy with your substance of choice, or clear headed if you’d like. It sounds good either way.

“The album’s making was expansive in time and space as the last 5 years saw the band work on sessions between Mexico City, Montreal and Munich…Hypnotic choirs over complex polyrhythms, singing robots on top of cinematic synth-arrangements, flutes, sparkling hits and lost scientists. Aloa Input creates a hybrid of anti-pop, audio drama and music…full of surprises and magic twists. The first single “Desert Something” is a piece of twisted psychedelica written in an empty movie-theatre in Mexico City and is a guiding light to the brand new album “Devil’s Diamond Memory Collection.”

Check out the intricately faded project on Spotify and if you dig the sound, then be sure to give Aloa Input a follow. You will not regret it my friend.

Plastic Birds – See Me

Plastic Birds are a psychedelic rock project with some lovely garage undertones that some may equate to bedroom pop music, but we like to think of the sound vibration as a subtle throwback to a golden era now dead and gone, but not completely forgotten.

A faded resonance that some feel is a tired reflection of a fragmented nightmare. But we like to remember it as a nostalgic work of folk art. A seed of an ancient breed, planted in fresh soil, and nurtured with clean water.

The vocals are nice and smooth like the bones of Richie and the gang, but deep down inside the harmonic vibrations, one can hear a fresh energy mixed with the faded emotion of a blurry past.

Check out the radical project on Spotify and if you dig the vintage sound, then be sure to give the group of petroleum-based songbirds a follow. Now go take a load off.

The Uncle Steves – Stargathering

“Stargathering” is a psychedelic garage folk jam from The Uncle Steves’ tenth album, Flora and Fauna Rule the World, an eclectic mix of cosmic desert folk art intertwined with the animistic folkloric tradition of mystical song and dance.

The project is a celestial journey through the arid Arizona desert with the likes of a harmonica, acoustic guitar, electric piano, fuzzy guitar and a bunch of other bells and whistles. A truly romantic trip through the wasteland of psychedelia.

To us, the sound is just perfect for a night drive out to Joshua Tree. Or better yet, the Sonoran desert, with a sack full of fungal delights and a dear friend of close acquaintance.

Although you may not believe us, The Uncle Steves is made up of just one individual, multi-instrumentalist Chris Picciuolo, who is the sole producer and mixologist of the project.

Flora and Fauna Rule the World is a genre-bending instrumental soundtrack for a drive through the arid desert, with subtle elements of psych, folk, indie, garage, soul, 80’s synth-pop and more obscure elements of sonic experimentalism.

The project is one of true individuation. An obelisk amidst a wasteland of plastic talking heads. A true and honest psychedelic treat.

Check out the radical project on Spotify and if you dig the sound, then be sure to give the The Uncle Steves a follow.


Published by

Ellis Walker

Poet and freelance journalist.

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