Jack White meets The Killers meets Queens of the Stone Age. That’s what I think How Badly Do You Want It? sounds like and, somehow, it still works. This fast-paced indie/Americana tune from British quartet Louis & The Shakes is the first single off their forthcoming album of the same name. Lead singer Louis Antoniou wrote this song with the purpose of encouraging the listener to keep going no matter what and with such an infectious rhythm, no one will be able to keep still. A problem I usually have with this type of music is that often the artists seem to care more about being noisy than having a good melody, but that’s not the case at all here. Don’t get me wrong, this track rocks hard but in a way that lets you appreciate the nice vocals and the craftsmanship of every band member.
In addition to Louis, the band is made up of Jamie Lawson on lead guitar, Manny O’Donnell as drummer and Will Finnerty on bass. Louis & The Shakes started in 2019 with a bluesy 60s influenced debut EP that got support from BBC Introducing and some radio stations in the United Kingdom. Fresh off a new distribution deal, this new single represents the start of the quartet’s exciting new chapter. Hopefully, the new album will help them expand their audience on time for the return of rock concerts. Their music is perfect for live gigs.
I mentioned above that no one will be able to keep still while listening to this track. I dare you to prove me wrong.
Some people make music for fame and money and others do it because it is their passion. Orange G, a multi-instrumentalist based in Pittsburgh, PA, falls into the latter category. He makes music because he enjoys the process and also because songwriting helps him to cope and process the ups and downs of life. You can feel his raw emotions and the love he has for his craft in his songs and that is what I particularly liked in his latest single, Orion’s Arrow. One of four tracks he has released, not including collaborations with other artists.
As is usually the case with Orange G, he sings and plays all the instruments here. The tune was supposed to be an acoustic, ukulele-only track but he ended up adding a harmonica, trumpets and percussion. All are nice but the harmonica, in particular, elevates the song to another level with the heartfelt emotions it is able to transmit. The track’s subject is time, and the pressure we often feel to spend it wisely while pursuing fulfilment in our lives and careers. I, for one, can relate to that.
If you enjoy indie-folk, Americana or even a bit of blues, please give this independent artist a chance. He deserves it.
Remember The Shrugs from early November? One of its members, saxophonist Jake Vanaman, also plays in another Virginia-based band called Kendall Street Company, who released recently their fourth studio album, The Stories We Write For Ourselves (I love this album name. Not only do they have a similar vibe to The Shrugs, but they even invited Abbey Potter as a guest vocalist in some of the tracks, like lead single Lady In Green. That being said, the tune that caught my attention was track #11.
In A Little While is a folk rock song with an acoustic charm and great storytelling. The vocals from lead singer Louis Smith are also perfect for that kind of music. However, do not make the mistake of thinking all 15 tracks in the album (including a prologue and epilogue) sound the same. There’s a little bit of everything, with bits of classic and experimental rock mixed in here and there. KSC are becoming a popular jam band in the Virginia region. Don’t be surprised if that starts being the case in other states too.