Best New Rock – Harvey Jay Dodgson, John Ellwand, Us4, The Midnight Shower

Hailing from the southern coast of England, 19 year old Harvey Jay Dodgson is making waves with catchy hooks and clever lyrics.  He recently released a new song called Caroline,  the first single off of an upcoming EP.   BT TV included the songwriter on their “Ones To Watch in 2021” list. He enlisted producer Michael Smith, who has worked with mega buzz artists like Wolf Alice and Anteros, to produce his new EP.  Dodgson has the chops to back up all of the heavy hype.  Caroline has the sonic polish that could give it mainstream appeal, but the attitude is all indie.  Hints of English faves the Arctic Monkey’s and up and comers like Sam Fender are valid comparisons.  Dodgson embraces his heavy accent, a feature that gives him some backstreet attitude and intercontinental sex appeal.  

Gritty tune tone guitars syncopate over a driving rhythm, as Dodgson tells the story of Caroline, a small town girl who can’t escape her past, and can’t find her future. The poetic imagery in the dense lyrical presentation display Dodgson’s ability as a songwriter. The song’s chorus, propelled by it’s signature cut rhythm, is lifted by strong group background vocals. Trailing Dodgson throughout the song, the support vocals provide great depth and atmosphere, and are the highlight of the production contribution.

Caroline is an inspiring anthem for a lost generation, hear it now on our Best New Rock playlist.

John Ellwand

John Ellwand shines on his new single Roots of Love.  

The Brighton native calls Queens of the Stone Age, Royal Blood, and Tame Impala big influences on his sound.  Combined with his own unique flavor, altogether cultivating into a righteous freak out that blends early 90s mainstream rock and modern indie.

Hints of Scott Weiland’s iconic slow draw and pitch perfect scream can be found in the vocal performance.  The drums bring a crunchy crush, as they push beyond the limits of the compressor.  The feeling is gritty and raw.  

  The song evolves into a full band freak out.  Ellwand provides a single to let loose to.  A solid glimpse into what should be a raging live performance.  The energy is captured nicely on the recording.  You’ve got to have a little chip on your shoulder to rock this hard.  Ellwand embraces the unhinged moments and lets them bleed through.  The result feels genuine and in the moment.   The gritty mix compliments the ferocity of the players.  Like underground cult hero T Rex did in his time, the music rages in dirty contrast to the over polished production of our day.  The indie spirit can be felt, as an evolving arrangement showcases Edwards ability as a songwriter.  All of the vicious passion supports the songs message.  Despite all of its wanted merits, the perils of love drive John mad.  

  Enjoy Roots of Love now on our Best New rock playlist


Irish based rock band Us4 brings a big rock sound with subtle Irish folk influence.  The four siblings who make up the band are impressive multi instrumentalists, each bringing an abundance of talent to the project.  On their new song Tears of A Clown, a driving verse section intersects with a dreamy chorus.  A talk box vocal leads the driving section, as the latter is supported by an ethereal melody layer.  The juxtaposition of the two parts has cinematic appeal. The bridge section brings additional orchestration, as a soaring violin lifts the idea to new heights.  The vibe turns from dreamy to uplifting, as Us4 blend rock and strings as well as the likes of Arcade Fire, Monsters of Men, and Ra Ra Riot.  

  Us4 has a big sound.  The dynamic musical layers have arena rock potential.  Sonically, they cover all dimensions of the musical spectrum.  The drums are big.  The guitars are gritty.  The keyboards and the strings are melodic and dreamy.  The vocals are interesting, and on Tears of A Clown the singer showcases her variety and versatility.  She carries a bit of 90s influence, reviving memories of the Cranberries and The Cardigans.

  As the song evolves, the trippy uplifting vibe and trebly vocal even draw up reflections of the Flaming Lips.  Us4 blends all of this wonderfully, as the musicians really play to each others strengths.  Everything is spaced out and arranged seamlessly, and the big change in the outro keeps you holding on to the end.  It’s a great cinematic twist to an already exciting song, culminating in epic tribulation as the band comes together in powerful unison to close out the track.  

  Hear Tears Of a Clown now on our Best New Rock playlist.  

The Midnight Shower

Berlin based rockers The Midnight Shower want to snap you out of your morning funk with their new single Late Riser

Bluesy riffage and rocking grooves will connect with fans of The Black Keys and The Record Company.  The Midnight Shower pairs the bluesy appeal with some 60 psych pop flavor, as the call and response Yeah Yeah hooks recall the grooviest hits of the era.  

The lyrics are charming and familiar. We’ve all had those days where we just can’t get it going. “Just one more snooze and I’ll be surely up.”  But there’s more undeneath the surface.  Late Riser is an anthem for everyone who takes a little longer to connect with the cultural changes of the day.  The retro vibe of the music enhances the idea, as it serves to portray how this band resists adapting to modern sensibilities in rock.  The Midnight Shower likely isn’t down with the phasey distortion of modern hard rock.  They prefer True Tone tube gain, driving bass, and ride cymbal grooves.  Their vocals are full of black leather jacket attitude.  Their riffs scan the fretboard, and go beyond cookie cutter power chords.  

  Midnight Shower join a rich collection of new retro blues rock masters.   Hear Late Riser now on our Best New Rock playlist 

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