Lakeside Drake – “Blackened Sky” single

Lakeside Drake are an unsigned, electronic rock duo from Canada.

Blending dreamy drums with prog rock vocals and guitar, this band sound eerily like the softer, jazzier side of Porcupine Tree; demonstrating no less skill or creativity than their legendary prog peers by any means. Their single “Blackened Sky” never really rises above a slightly raised voice, but it manages to convey a subdued poignancy, and a powerful ebb and flow to the momentum all-the-same.

What is particularly magical about this song is the way the ever-building choruses are dramatically cut off by gentle acoustic interludes. The dynamics are truly excellent, and the on-point, sorrowful vocals places them right up alongside the top prog bands in my book.

The band only joined Facebook in March of this year, so with an impressive 20k+ listens on their single so far, the pair are rightfully enjoying the buzz that seems to be surrounding them at the moment. Good luck to them.


Nightbox – “The Panic Sequence” EP

Nightbox are a five piece electronic/pop band from Toronto, Canada, who dip their toes into the cool shallows of glitchy, atmospheric electronica, only to then take a step back, and bask in the warmth of fun, upbeat pop.

As I was listening to ‘Burning’ for the first time (the most listened to song off their latest EP “The Panic Sequence”), I was preparing myself for “that 6 Music Sound”, ie abstract beats and synths, with wistful, airy vocals over the top (I exaggerate a bit of course). But no. In fact, what I heard in the chorus borders on disco to my ears, and it works surprisingly – no, amazingly well. The vocals are front and centre, the drums are driving, and the sheer simplicity of is, frankly, beautiful.

This is also the case for most of the songs off their EP, which draw you in with deep electronic layering and processed effects, and spit you out the other end into catchy pop melodies. The title track is the quickest to jump into things, but it is the journey of songs like ‘Burning’ that makes its chorus feel so rewarding. I love it.

The artwork deserves a mention as well – very nicely done.

The band are currently gigging to support their EP, including a stint in the UK in early May.

Freeze The Atlantic – “Stomp Box” single

It’s hard not to talk about Freeze The Atlantic without referencing Reuben at least once. I’m sure the band are sick and tired of people like me harking to past, but the reason we do it is because it is a guaranteed stamp of quality amongst those of us who recognise the name. Just look at Future Ages and Jamie Lenman’s solo project at the moment: they are all INCREDIBLE, and for me, Freeze The Atlantic (now only featuring the ex Reuben drummer Guy Davis) is my favourite of these projects. At first, it was hard to accept that a combination of John and Guy could play any other style of music, but with time, this band have turned into a seriously regular listen of mine. Enough of the past: time for the now.

“Stomp Box” is the brand new single from the band’s upcoming second album. It’s been a year and a half since their last release “Speakeasy”, and it’s no wonder: the band have had to replace the bassist and the singer for various reasons! Not easy, but I witnessed the change of personnel for the first time last Summer when I saw them live, and honestly, I was very impressed with how the band managed to turn around their misfortune. They were tight, and sounded great – not everyone can do that after a major upheaval of members.

The new single is everything you’d expect from a FTA song: heavy guitars, melodic choruses, and amazingly creative drums. Added bars and fills throughout the song keep it feeling fresh and thoughtful, whilst the vocal hooks make this a great single. With the easy to sing along to chorus (minus the timing issues some of the crowd will have), I’m sure this will go down a storm, live.

What’s interesting about Freeze The Atlantic, though, is the variety to their music. In my experience of rock at the moment, too many bands find a style of song that’s popular with the crowds, and then change tiny elements of it so that their next release appears to be a completely brand new song…when its not. Not these guys though. Every release has a different vibe to it, and you never feel like you’re being insulted by being made to listen to an album that’s made up of maybe two songs, but with four variations of each. As individual items, all of their songs are good, if not great, but for me, it was the balance of their last album that made it such a good listen. Poppy rock songs were balanced against heavier, alt rock songs, whilst there was also a good dose of lighter, more laid back songs too. They’re really clever musicians, and as such, it’s really easy to distinguish between their songs. And so as great as Stomp Box is on its own right now, I expect that I will come to love it even more within the context of the album.

The band have a significant number of live dates this coming May and June, including a London date on May 25th (which you will definitely see me at). Their self-titled second album is set for release on June 16th, so between now and then, I recommend you go get their first album and start learning some songs.