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Nashville Under-the-Radar Emo: PORTSMOUTH

The solo act out of Nashville, PORTSMOUTH, brings down an avalanche of sentimental reflection with lyricism that speaks from experience. Intricate rhythmic guitar, chock full of ornate suspensions and hammer-ons, beautifully compliment the artist's subtly ambient, yet commanding, vocals. Popular emo themes of loss, past mistakes, and the never-ending search for self-improvement are beautifully embellished with spaced vocal phrasing that often builds to hard hitting choruses. Do yourself a favor and throw some PORTSMOUTH songs into you "in my feels" playlist for maximum self-empathy, and look out for upcoming shows around the Nashville area. - Michael Simpson 

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The Still, Small Voice release 'Manage' EP + play the High Watt (09.19)

With their February release entitled Manage, the Nashville-based five-piece The Still, Small Voice have discovered their own, definitive melodic indie rock sound. The EP, which focuses on questioning that which once felt certain, is a six-track long serenade to Southern rock and pop. Lead vocalist Christiana Benton’s ballads are simultaneously sweet and serious. The track “Fear of Breaking” (streaming below) is just one example where she is able to break into an unexpected soprano that builds the song up over twinkling arrangements. And there’s certainly more where that came from on the rest of the EP. You can find The Still, Small Voice playing their next live show on September 19th at The High Watt. - Lilly Milman





october tooth bring nostalgic lo-fi to The Basement (09.09)

october tooth is the name and minimalism is the game for local lo-fi indie rockers Zachary Threlkeld and Cowboy Sam Gidley (who also drums for The Lonely Biscuits,) the duo behind the project that releases new music every October. Their newest installment is an 8-track LP called easy corners that sounds just as good through headphones as it would on a cassette deck. The album is a nostalgia-tinged journey back through the last year, complete with poetic reflections on personal relationships (“I always seem to turn the lights on you”) and declarations about the future (“it’s alright, I’m not giving up this time.”) Despite choosing to release only one project annually, the band remains active on the live scene and will be performing at The Basement on Saturday, September 9th. - Lilly Milman

Listen to our favorite track “3:00 p.m.” streaming below.





A Deli Premiere: Heathen Sons take on "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown"

For a band whose sound is dedicated to modernizing southern rock, putting a new spin on an old classic is only fitting. In the case of Nashville four-piece Heathen Sons, this track is “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” (streaming below). Their bouncy take on this bluesy 70s hit is fun, fresh, and a solid representation of the rootsy revival rock that is yet to come in their debut self-titled LP, which is being released tomorrow on September 8th via Metropolitan Groove Merchants. Until then, hit the play button below to listen to their take on the track, which includes backing vocals by Leah Blevins and Liz Cooper. - Lilly Milman





FRNDS to bring melodic emo rock to house venue Sunnyvale (09.09)

Nashville 5-piece FRNDS is just one of the many great new bands taking the music scene back from fat-cat record labels and commercialism. Their newest single “Wasting Your Time” (streaming below) a melodic mix of shoegaze and indie rock, complete with emo-influenced vocals and driving guitar riffs. The lyrics, written by lead vocalist and guitarist Nathan Brooks, are simple and show some stoner rock influences (“I’m so afraid you’ve been wasting your time / ‘cause I am not good enough / and I’ll never get it right,”) but they’re not without feeling either. Brooks’ voice can at once be droney and emotional, which is what makes their sound so unique. Catch them playing their next show at their house venue Sunnyvale on September 9th. - Lilly Milman 

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