Best New Rock – Shae Brock, Big Mountain County, The Heavy Benders, Nocturnal Issues, MilkMan

Shae Brock is an indie chameleon who effortlessly travels between two stylistic worlds, bringing an acute songwriting awareness and undeniable passion to everything she touches.  After teaming up with Lou Ella on one of our favorite indie pop collabs of the year (Snake In The Garden), she has reverted back to her rock and roll roots on the elegant Canyon

Shae is a rare breed of rock who can still recall the aura of 70s classics without devolving into Mom Rock.  She brings a youthfulness and reckless spirit to every performance, an authenticity that shakes you to your core.  The Canyon serves as a calling card to see her perform live, after all, that is where her spirit lives. 

An empress of the stage with the intoxicating appeal of one Stevie Nicks.  She even flaunts her own smoky unique timbre to match Stevie’s signature rasp.  Shae is a crossover artist with mainstream presence. possessing the gravitational pull of pop sensation Dua Lipa .  She has star power and otherworldly appeal, talented and beautiful, it’s hard not to admire her magnetism and mystery. 

The Canyon recalls  the empowering uplfiting vibes of artists like Florence and the Machine but with more gospel rock flavor in the spirit of Brandi Carlisle’s monstrous Story.  Canyon brews and builds before exploding out of your speakers, as Shae is fully realized in the songs second movement, giving everything to the moment and stamping her place in your heart with every emphatic note.  

  Dig into The Canyon now on our Best New Rock playlist. 

Big Mountain County

Italian rockers Big Mountain County bring a big sound to the world of groove on their new single Where Are You?  Bring your baby to the dance floor on this psyched up freak out, as Big Mountain County vamp there way into your soul.  The backbone of a riffing bass and jamming drum conjure memories of Radiohead’s National Anthem, but BMC brings even more raw grit and punk appeal by way of a unhinged vocal, a bi-product of post punks like Public Image Ltd, and the dirty electro pop of Prodigy.  An underbelly of jagged synths and crunchy guitars creates a horror atmosphere for the vocalist to explore, and he does, in fiery delivery.  

  There’s a bit of mod injected into this vamp, and the groups cites Brian Jonestown Massacre and classic krauks CAN as influences.  These real world punks can’t be bothered with your four chord rehashed bull crap, this is about an attitude and the desolation of your implied musical tendencies.  Big Mountain County would have fit well on a bill at the Factory with the Happy Mondays, Joy Division, and others who reinvented punk and injected it with dance music 

  Altogether, Big Mountain County is a machine to be reckoned with. When the sonic textures and appregiating under layers of their instruments sync a psych pop monster appears.  That aesthetic also lifted oft-punk projects like LCD Soundsytem and experimental movements like Animal Collective.  Big Mountain County share their penchant for dance, but leaning more towards garage rock than EDM.  They are carving a sound all their own and would make good company on a fest of genre bending indies.  

  Check out Where Are You? now on our Best New Rock playlist.  

The Heavy Benders

The Heavy Benders pulled a few all nighters and came away with their new album The Greater Scheme.  Carrying on the heavy inspiration from last years Kill Your Heart, the group continues to expand their sound, showcasing a breadth of influence while carving out their own unique style.  The project is prolific, dropping two thick collections of all killer no filler two years in a row.  They do what they love and they love what they do, this sentiment can be felt throughout the new release. 

 The new single  Oh! The Excess is rooted in the classic New Wave of Duran Duran with the guitar fervor of INXS, blended with the modern indie influence of bands like Interpol and The Killers.  It recalls the indie gems of the early 2000s, the bands that redefined rock and pulled it out of its power chord doldrums and back into the dance space.  Groups that were more inspired by post punk than grunge.  A style that culminated in modern indie hits like Arcade Fire’s Reflektor, and The Heavy Benders brings a little of all of this and more.  The new album is filled with catchy hooks, retro beats, and innovative sounds from both synths and guitars.  They’re the juicy chorus soaked guitar licks of innocence and wonder, the same sensation derived from an impromptu 80s movie binge, the capsule of our hearts that redefined pop forever.  

The Heavy Benders are aware of what this means to you and they deliver with refreshing movement and thoughtful arrangements.  They dress their music with careful consideration, as an abundance of textured leads weave in and out of the space, revealing a new moment with every new listen.  

  Enjoy Oh! The Excess now on our Best New Rock playlist

Nocturnal Issues

Nocturnal Issues is a different kind of Broken Social Scene.  Yes they have the lo fi pseudo punk indie rock vibe of the Canadian icons, but instead of existing as a haven for a group of misfit songwriters, Nocturnal Issues was the after hours respite for just one person with an I pad in a bedroom.  On their new single HEAVENS AT CAPACITY, size isn’t all that matters, this one person brings a big sound.  They’ve got the pop intellect of the Smiths and The Cure.  There’s also a hint of the emo spirit a la classic Built To Spill and Pavement, and the raw genuine edginess of TV On The Radio.  So yeah we freakin love it.  

Kicking it off exclaiming “I wanna feel rich, I wanna feel validated and secure,” we get a taste of the open honest lyrical approach.  But these Issues become increasingly vulnerable as they lament   “I used to like it when when you put your hands around my neck, now you put your hands right around my heart then you squeeze it too hard.”

  Nocturnal Issues gives our devilish tendencies a voice.  They package them in a groovy accessible jam that is progressive and incredibly thoughtful.  We were surprised to hear it was a solo effort considering the execution and movement in the arrangement is very band savvy.  Our hats off to the producer and their insight.  

the graphic art of Nocturnal Issues

  Nocturnal has an additional background in photography and videography, and the cinematic visual appeal adds a stylish element to the project.  With influences ranging from King Krule to Turn Over, its no wonder Nocturnal recalls a huge spectrum of indie flavor. 

  Hear HEAVENS AT CAPACITY now on our Best New Rock playlist.  


MilkMan fills your need for sobering sad jams with his new single Ashland.  The artist knows how to make a big statement without saying too much.  

“Lighten up while you still can, It’s your only chance before it passes you by. Sober Up while you still can, it’s your only plan til you get by.”

The painfully relatable sentiment is eloquently revealed in the songs introductory verse, as a droning synth intersects with a glittery appregiating lead before the band breaks the silence in emphatic release.  

MilkMan shares the introspective indie vibes of Delta Spirit and Okkervil River, pairing nostalgia with a college punk aesthetic, and always ready to deploy a timely synth to flaunt his affinity for analog textures.  

  His music is best served big, as this pumping outro drips with post rock influence.  Bringing it to the big stage could be epic, as the big reveal coming out of the somber intro begs to be your favorite part of the night.  

  And considering the songs theme, it makes perfect sense that Milkman would dress it in a big package.  Admitting these truths is difficult, painful, and often fleeting.  Its only a matter of time before we revert back to our old ways, and the instrumental outro has the cinematic feel of one story turned tragic, another triumphant.  

  Get lost in Ashland, now on our Best New Rock playlist.  

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