Best New Rock – Cam Cole, Songs for Sabotage, Sandmoon, Hunter Nelson

Underground icon Cam Cole burst onto the international spotlight when a video of him busking went viral.  The one man band is no novelty, Cole’s riffs and raw appeal are infectious.   He’s a masterful slide player with his own trademark style.  His vocals are full of scorn and attitude.  His new single Truth Be Told smartly showcases his best traits. It recalls the legacy of 90s southern alternative, a byproduct of the Black Crowes mixed with a harder aesthetic known to Rob Zombie. 

Donning biker gypsy threads, the vibe matches the tribe.  Cole attracts more of his own, as well as a crossover mainstream audience hooked on his exotic presence.  From another place, another time, another existential ethos.  Cam lives his truth and does it convincingly.  The envy of corporate punks and non conformists alike, you can only hope to thrive on your lifestyle.  The dude brings a party to match his feel good nature.  The sentiment is on full display with the companion video for his new single Truth Be Told.  

Dig the video and hear Truth Be Told now on our Best New Rock Playlist

Songs for Sabotage are chic and sexy on their cover of Shadow.  The duo reimagines the Chromatics classic with an aggressive electro update.  The arrangement is eclectic, featuring elements of dark wave in the synth contributions and shoegaze in the guitar work.  Dressed in this manner Shadow hits darker, and deeper.  It’s lifted by an impressive performance from the sultry lead Lina Sophie.  Her elegance and star power are on full display in the songs vibrant companion video. Lina and Richey met at a Brooklyn bar in 2017.  Their shared love for new wave and 2000’s indie rock lead to an exciting musical partnership that has been smartly described as “midnight pop.”  

The collaboration is figurative beauty and the beast relationship, as producer Richey Rose has a dark retro tinged sonic palette that suits Lina’s haunting siren vocal appeal.  It conjures the vocal presence of Shirley Manson with the dark retro stylings of Carpenter Brut with a rock touch known to The Smashing Pumpkins.  Much like the Chromatics, the retro flavor could draw fans from the synthwave scene and pop or rock.

Enjoy Shadow now on our Best New Rock Playlist.  

Sandmoon is eclectic on their expansive new album While We Watch the Horizon Sink.  A blend of classic psych pop and indie rock, they bring something rare to his recent indie trend.  It starts with Lebanon-based musician Sandra Arslanian.  Alternating between a groovy smooth delivery and attitude blessed freak-outs, she lives in two stylistic worlds.  She is a smooth indie pop operator or a punk fueled dissonant.  

The album is full of intense arrangements, sometimes full of eastern flare and desert appeal.  It’s heard in the openers Bearable Lightness of Being and Spirals in my Head.  The vibe turns more abstract on Where Do We Go From Here.  With that third track the bands artistic intentions present more clearly.  The record embraces the legacy of albums, with cinematic movements to enhance the overall affect and immersive experience. 

The drama is accentuated on the title track.  Sandra presents like an exotic whispery siren, like a war torn widow or a scorned lover, unable to enjoy her beauty, scarred from the horrors of this world.  Let’s Star a War, Absolution and Silent Leaders accentuate that narrative.  It closes with the jovial, in your face Wake Up.  A more pop inspired number, it doesn’t’ stray too far from the records collective aura.  Sandmoon brings inventive compositions and rich production in tandem.  They have an epic, dramatic appeal in the spirit of post rock.  Collectively we found evidence of Florence and The Machine, Fiona Apple, and Portishead.  The whole album slaps. 

Sandmoon is currently featured on our Best New Rock Playlist. 

Hunter Nelson is anthemic on his catchy new single Hollow.  The energetic tempo palette suits the slightly dark melodic composition.  That contrast gives the single an indie vibe without losing its pop potential.  The innovative arrangement, with pulsating plucked guitars and elusive harmonious atmosphere creates a dreamy musical aura. 

The hard hitting drums keep it in a Rock space, with Nelsons crisp present vocal mixed to retain its legibility and widespread appeal.  Hollow has radio potential, recalling the legacy of turn of the century alternative with an indie sensibility. 

The musics design blends the ethos of A Perfect Circle and Kings of Leon, while the vocal suggest some mainstream influence.  Nelson embraces the correlation, describing his music as “pop-esque vocals with a driven rock instrumentation.”  Altogether its an exciting and unique alteration in the world of Rock.  

Dig into Hollow now on our Best New Rock Playlist. 


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