Best New Rock – Flavus Nova, The Upsides, Escapades, Ruebi

The emotive Flavus Nova grabbed us and never let us go with her new single Illusion.  The captivating crossover hit has alternative rock at the root of its sonic design, but with catchy songwriting and punchy drums it retains an element of pop that gives it widespread appeal.  The dense vocal arrangement leaves the artists main intoxicating vocal front and center, as an array of support vocals respond to her and occasionally join as harmonies.  The lead vocal, ripe with passion, lands sugar sweet but powerful enough to break through LIVE. 

The impressive vocal delivery shines on this rock instrumentation, but we could also hear Flavus Nova blend with an indie pop arrangement.  We’re stoked to see how her music evolves with coming releases.  In that way Flavus Nova connects with mega stars like Florence Welch, Jenny Lewis, Paramore. and even Olivia Rodrigo,

  Raised on a healthy dose of classic rock, Flavus Nova was inspired by the masters.  She cites Fleetwood Mac, Radiohead, The Cranberries, and the Cardigans as influences.  In the vein of these icons, Illusion is masterful songwriting.  She dresses it with a sincere vocal that allows the distinctive characteristics of her voice to shine.  Like Stevie Nicks and Thome Yorke, the authenticity is part of her beauty, and she can deliver it in key.  It’s the kind of performance you can try to emulate but never quite capture.  Only 22 years old, the UK based songwriter has already found her trademark sound.  Illusion is her debut single, and an impressive first impression to obsess over in anticipation of her forthcoming EP.  

  Enjoy Illusion now on our Best New Rock playlist.  

The Upsides

Brooklyn buzz band The Upsides recently dropped Patterns, a four song EP that includes two previously released singles Gold Rush and Holy Water.  Along with Patterns and Lucy from Hermosa, it confirms their penchant for catchy melodies and dance ready rock.  The opening title track is their most dance ready yet.  Patterns has the catchy syncopation that defined bands like Phoenix and Maroon 5.  The sultry falsetto lift in the pre chorus introduces a funky chorus section that will draw similarities to The 1975.  This catchy rock suggest an affinity for R&B and pop.  The bridge section brings contrast, with a heavy power chord section in the vein of Foo Fighters or Queens of The Stone Age.  An eclectic opener, its a proper introduction for the 3 diverse works that follow.  

  Their breakout single Gold Rush and the emphatic Holy Water are equally catchy.  On Holy Water, they celebrate their New York roots with cool kid attitude and the city pop swagger known to icons like The Strokes.  The panned wide intersecting guitar parts create an immersive soundscape.  The mix retains the clarity of every instrument and intersecting part.  The crisp texture of the mix flaunts the songs intelligent design.  Holy Water is an elegant indie rock arrangement lifted by superb composition.

  True to form, Lucy from Hermosa fits well with the 3 other singles.  Recalling our previous review of their single Gold Rush, “The vocal embraces the blue eyed soul of Rob Thomas but even more accurate and sure of itself.”  Lucy from Hermosa embraces the same aesthetic, and should attract fans of 90s alternative bands like Matchbox Twenty and Gin Blossoms.  

  Patterns slaps from front to back.  Get started with Holy Water, now on our Best New Rock Playlist


  Escapades bring it LIVE.  They’ve gifted us this recent in studio performance of their single Old.  Recorded at Merciful Sound in Liverpool, it presents the Manchester based four piece as a must see LIVE band.  Charming melodies and layered choruses are lifted by their strong natural vocal abilities. 

A new rock and roll starlet, Liv Nicholls is a rare talent.  Wielding an electric guitar, she rips her way through Old

Ollie Hussey’s harmony that is equally captivating.  The vocals are more indie soul than hard rock, and Escapades see themselves as an indie pop project.  With atmospheric ethereal guitar under layers and progressive rhythmic variation, they recall a bevy of classic indie artists.  Old shares a bit of the groovy shake and sultry croon of Tash Sultana, the building collective choral arrangements of The Decemberists, and the dreamy soundscapes of Slowdive.  It’s an eclectic culmination with cinematic appeal.  Citing Wolf Alice and Black Honey as influences, this is intoxicating anthemic rock that commits to a vibe. 

Old is otherworldly, and what makes this release especially special is the live presentation.  The four piece that includes the rhythm combo of Lewis Fielding and Lewis Barron is always in unison.  Their natural flow defies the constraints of contrived quantized tempo maps, returning rocks to its natural flowing roots.  This band is tight.  The Merciful Sessions are a calling card to see them live, where these heavy vibes hit best.  

  Dig into Old (Merciful Sessions) now on our Best New Rock Playlist. 


Ruebi delivers a dance rock classic with their new single Lovetrain.  The driving backbeat gets under your skin.  There’s a hint of post punk nostalgia with indie sensibility. It has the rebel spirit of Billy Idol and the upbeat snap of 80s Springsteen.  The singer brings an attractive raw ragged delivery.  The snarl and swagger of his voice matches the musics retro rock design, like a punk inspired Future Islands.  

  This is the black leather dystopian motorcycle rock fit for smoky Manchester clubs and dissenting outcasts.  It attracts voyeurs from mainstream culture with its catchy snap and instinctual dance cues.  Lovetrain’s hypnotic tempo entrances you to dance.  Its meant to pump you up and bring you out of your daily doldrums.  

  Inspired during lockdown, Ruebi revitalized the aura of club rock at a time when there were no live concerts to be had.  It displays an affinity for the art and the sacred practice of creating it.  That passion, that joy can be heard in the songs energetic performance.  Lovetrain is relentless.  The driving bass and pumping drums never relent.  A subtle synth stacks above the bass underneath.  In unison with pounding toms and a retro tube toned guitar,  Lovetrain brings a haunting vibe.   

  The Hamburg based project has been dripping singles for the better part of the last year.  Just getting started, expect Ruebi to be hitting a real stage soon. 

  For now, enjoy Lovetrain on our Best New Rock Playlist

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