Best New Rock – T. Lopea, HADEE. , Collective Fear, Tyler Elden

Australian songwriter T. Lopea drops juicy hooks on his new single Not Me.  Whether your grabbed by the sweet revolving licks or the catchy chorus, Not Me is destined to get stuck in your head.  Frantic verses give in to infectious revolutions of “that’s not me,” as the singer repels perils of convention and conformity.  

  Stylistically, T. Lopea presents heavy doses of indie and punk, with a touch of classic nostalgia known to wave’s first movement.  The new wave aesthetic comes through in certain sections of the songs chord design, while the punk swagger is in the swift tempo, the attitude, and the raw presentation.  

  Gritty guitars, cracking drums, and distorted vocals bring warm dirty textures.  The alternating repetitious or ascending guitar riffs, as the root note moves beneath, recall arrangements familiar to The Strokes.  T. Lopea also embraces a touch of indie pop sensibility known to ermerging buzz acts like Del Water Gap.  

  Mixed and produced by Daniel Natoli, the collaboration is fruitful.  Lopea and Natoli are a match made in heaven.  Besides the songs elegant design, fantastic textures and subtle production bits throughout add to the energy and evolution of the song.  

  Not Me hits you quick and never puts you down.  The artist bobs and sways between sections, never hanging on a idea long enough for you to get bored with it.  Within the song are several isolated sections that exist well on their own.  When puzzled altogether it makes for an exciting arrangement in the spirit of classic indie.  

  Get hooked on Not Me now on our Best New Rock playlist.  


HADEE.  pumps it up on their new single 4AM.  The stylish songwriter drips with nostalgic appeal.  4AM is upbeat, uplifting retro gold.  Born out of the 80s and soaking in great indie along the way, this sound originated in 80s pop hits known to Billy Idol and AHA.  With indie rock sensibility, HADEE. will also draw comparisons to hybrid dance indie bands like The Killers and The 1975.  There’s also an undeniable pop sensibility, with the emphatic anthemic appeal known to Ed Sheeran and Charlie Puth.  

  HADEE. has one foot in retrowave, with dreamy atmospheric guitars and a vocal style similar to The Midnight and Ollie Wride.  Coming in fast, it’s retro pop on steroids, filled with youthful conviction and infinite energy.  

  HADEE. has star potential.  He cites Bowie has a major influence, and you can hear a touch of Modern Love in 4AM’s chord design.  The artist is bringing so much of his own flavor and collective inspiration to his works, that it’s hard to pinpoint one overwhelming influence to his style.  But like Bowie and the aforementioned Idol and 1975, HADEE. embraces rocks classic stylish aesthetic.  Ripe with urban sex appeal and rebellious vigor, it recalls Mick Jagger’s recent praise for the controversial Machine Gun Kelly.  Indie rock is often delegated to Dad Rock because these bands lack star power.  There’s a desire among Rock’s classic elite for the genre to return to its fashionable golden years, when stars like Bowie and Jagger were the standard in style.  With chiseled features and a long sleek frame, HADEE. could join rocks emerging poster boys.  

  Enjoy 4AM now on our Best New Rock playlist.  

Collective Fear

The Dark Post Punk of Collective Fear is infectious.  These red noir vibes are on full display on their new record Foster.  Distant buried vocals bring a dreamy affect, as the music alternates between fuzzed out shoe gaze and catchy post wave nostalgia.  

  The 5 song EP kicks off with the catchy White Glove.  Infectious from the start, it recalls a dirtier, more punk derived version of The Cure.  It brings a classic wave sensibility through the 90s, picking up inspiration from The Smashing Pumplkings and suggesting an influence of early Static Prevails era Jimmy Eat World.  

  The affinity for dark wave and brooding atmospheric soundscapes hits harder on the 2nd track, Part of The Plan.  Recalling emerging acts like Pink Milk, it joins a growing movement in gaze-wave.  Though on the outset it appeals to a cultural subset, it’s attraction is undeniable.  These juicy phased out melodies born out of the noise influence of Sonic Youth and Animal Collective immerse you in an auditory dream world.  

  Fading into Victimless Crime, Foster as a collective release comes clearer into focus.  Foster is meant to be absorbed front to back. Collective Fear knows how to craft a record.  Victimless Crime brings a post rock intro before evolving into an upbeat indie rock tune.  The building downbeat thrash recalls crossover indie hits like Band Of Horses iconic Is There A Ghost, with the melodic dreamy appeal of Beach House.  

  The guitars ascend into chorus drenched dream axes on the emotive Novocaine.  This beautiful design flaunts incredible harmonious intellect.  Shimmering psychedelic vibes draw similarities to Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes, as Collective Fear casts a wide dreamy net.  

  The layered collective release is capped off by the unsuspecting final track, Thanksgiving Day.  On the outset it recalls the acoustic melancholy works of Elliot Smith and sections by The Shins.  The vocal is presented bare.  The contrast is charming. 

As their first complete release, Foster is a thick work that shows a breadth of influence and potential.  It should appeal to fans of shoe gaze, indie rock, and even dream pop.  Great melodies can’t be held down, and Collective Fear writes them in abundance.  All killer, no filler, Foster slays front to back.  

Check out White Gloves, now on our Best New Rock Playlist

Tyler Elden

Tyler Elden shines on his new single Warmth Of The Sun.  The Jersey based songwriter has been honing his sound for the better part of the last decade.  Stylistically he’s experienced several transformations, trending between variations of indie and post emo works.  He wears his inspiration on his sleeve, and embraces his Jersey ethos as a working man’s songwriter.  Tyler was bred from the roots of Petty and Springsteen, the great American songbook, up through modern songwriting icons like Jeff Tweedy and Dawes.  Tyler has a shot.  Warmth of the Sun is the best indie country rocker we’ve heard this year.  A genre vacant of credible new contributions, Elden can carve a space for himself.  

  Warmth of the Sun embraces a thick full band presence that could draw similarities to Drive by Truckers or The Hold Steady.  A patchwork band of remote players includes contribution from musicians who’ve recorded with the likes of Emmy Lou Harris.  It works, Tyler Elden carries a bit of alt-country spirit, with subtle emo texture in his vocals that suggest influences like Death Cab.  Its his own twist on this classic sound, and the same tweak that drew fans to Dawes and Wilco.  Tyler can evolve in many ways from here, but as is he writes a damn good rock song.  If you’re still mourning the cancellation of Ryan Adams, you can take solace in Elden’s emergence.  

  Lyrically, Warmth of the Sun is an anthem for the broken spirit.  The progressive arrangement, complete with build-ups and break-downs, conceptualizes the emotional swing of life trivial challenges.  Coming in at under 3 minutes, Elden packages it tight.  He can flesh this rocker out live, but this recording is about quick emotive changes between flashes of flare.  Every instrument lends their own isolated pick me up or feature lead to push the mood forward.  A solid composition, Elden’s intellect is masterful. As an arranger he can hang with the best in contemporary sound.  

  Baske in the Warmth of The Sun, now on our Best New Rock Playlist

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