• James Booton

Underground USA - Volume 3

Check out our top 3 emerging artists from the US this month!




Blvck Hippie


The self proclaimed 'sad boy Indie Rock' of Memphis' Blvck Hippie (Josh Shaw) is simultaneously energetic and relaxing. His latest single 'If You Feel Alone At Parties' is the perfect example. The dreamy bedroom vocals and subtle bittersweet guitar sounds of the American coast are matched by a quick paced energetic drum pattern. The track is more focused on atmospherics than a distinct chorus with the best moments coming from the hypnotic guitar line that echoes this sad boy feeling. This, combined with the downtrodden vocal delivery and the lively drums, does incredibly well to evoke the feelings of being lonely when surrounded by people - the main theme of the track's lyrics. The disjointed drum and vocal interplay that slowly builds in tempo in the breakdown at around 2 min 50 is a great addition into the track and proves that he has a real technical talent and is not simply just a bedroom popstar purely focused on the 'vibes'.

Shaw credits Kanye West and Kid Cudi for inspiring him as a black artist and pushing him to always make something different. This is clear to see in his range of sounds that he can produce. His single 'Bunkbed' fro earlier in the year is a good example as it takes on a completely different feel to his new release. It still has American sad Indie vibes yet packs a lot more energy and is delivered in a much scrappier Strokes esc fashion. With three singles under his belt this year, the development is audible and it will certainly be exciting to see what is to come next from Blvck Hippie.

Parents


If Blvck Hippie is making you music for when you are lonely at that party you just don't want to be at, then Orange County outfit Parents are making the music for when you leave, head to the better party down the street with all your closest friends and have one of the best nights of your life. Their anthemic debut single 'Birthday Party' landed last month and was anything but a subtle entrance to the music world. Everything about the track is huge, big production, powerful layered vocals and a thumping blend of acoustic drum sounds and a wild electronic/synth reinforcement that is all reminiscent of Barns Courtney's biggest hits. The chorus is uplifting and so insanely catchy that it is impossible to not be forced to stand up and move along.



'Birthday Party' is an anthem for getting lost in the music, for post lockdown reunions and for letting loose and embracing the joys of life. Of course it is always hard to judge an artist based off just one track but if this first release is anything to go by then Parents could be one of the best new USA acts in the coming years!

Starfox and the Fleet


Psychadleic songstress Starfox and the Fleet was born in the confines of lockdown yet her music is anything but confined. Absorbing the "sick saccharine doo-wop of the 50s, the golden wall-of-sound of the 60s and the playful punk rebellion of the 80s" her music combines the boldest elements of music throughout time to create a unique strutting concoction.

Her new single 'Shelter' opens with light swing allowing her soft vocals to shine through. However, this gentle groove is quickly overran by a deep thick Blues Rock riff. This remains a theme throughout the track as her melodic wandering vocals compete with occasional Psych guitar offerings that swamp the otherwise laid back atmosphere and elevate it into a more powerful and threatening sound. If you are a fan of retro sounds, smooth vocals and tantalizing guitar additions then this one is for you.