Rock duo Dragon and Berr release third LP album ‘Existential’

Alt-rock married couple Dragon and Berr have released their third official album, “Existential.” The LP features their popular single track, “Just a Hot Mess,” which dropped March 28. Both have been proudly published as independent releases without the involvement of the corporate music industry on the Loose Bolt Records record label. Eclectic, passionate, and bone-deep in its genuine rock roots, “Existential” proves Dragon and Berr to be a cornucopia of original sounds sure to capture the attention of music fans everywhere.

Dragon and Berr, whose sophomore LP “Pocket Full of Switchblades and Promises” appeared about one year ago at time of writing, have cited as main influences a broad variety of influences. These include Hall & Oates, Styx, Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, Wicked Wisdom, Prince, Aretha Franklin, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, the CoatHangers, the Ron Keel Band, the Beatles, and Halestorm.

But wait, Hall & Oates beside Panic at the Disco? Aretha Franklin in the same paragraph as Styx? Prince beside Halestorm? This seeming disparity reflects the heart of Dragon and Berr, in fact, who make music they love, not music that plops squarely into a box. This was also apparent on their highly experimental debut record, 2018’s “Psychotic Break.”

Asked to describe the overall meaning of “Existential,” Dragon and Berr say it’s a record about relationships. To hear them tell it, though, it’s a good sight more than just that.

The title of the album, ‘Existential,’ is concerned with existence,” they write, “especially human existence. What is more part of being human than relationships?”

This idea is a consistent thread throughout their new LP. They write of it in allusions to tracks on the album:

Every song has some form of relationship theme, be that going out for the first time when you are young and just ‘Livin your Lives,’ Or going out with your wife for a night of ‘Karaoke.’ Sometimes you may be trying to reconnect with a love that you never even told them how you feel. In the album’s case, it happens to be at a high school reunion dance that we hope love blooms. With the song ‘Let Me Turn You On To a New Thing,’ it’s trying to inject something new in an old relationship.”

And of course, D and B hit all kinds of places on the stylistic spectrum.

We pay tribute to some of the ’60s songs we grew up with,” say Dragon and Berr. “We even have a break-up song and sneak a little soul/R&B into our rock with ‘Not My Lady Anymore.’ And not to worry, we do fly our off-beat pop-punk style with a liberal influence of jazz here and there … And if you blink you can miss the big band swing snuck in.”

Ultimately, “Existential” is an album about emotional complexity.

Relationships are all about feelings,” they write. “Sometimes we only think of the basic stuff when we think of a relationship. We don’t always think of maybe not being happy all the time or anxiety or vulnerability, feelings of jealousy, emotional intimacy, outright love and bliss and joy and so many other feelings we should embrace because that is being human. We touch on lots of different palettes of feelings in relationships in this album.”

Existential” by Dragon and Berr on the Loose Bolt Records label is available from quality digital music stores online worldwide now. Get in early, alt-rock fans.


-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer


Existential” by Dragon and Berr –

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Plain releases debut LP album ‘Refinements’

The alternative rock group known as Plain have released their latest official full-length album, “Refinements.” The LP album contains 10 original Plain tracks for an approximate total listening time of 40 minutes. It has been proudly published as an independent release without the involvement of the corporate music industry. A soulful, bluesy, and highly textured form of hard alternative rock, “Refinements” by Plain returns to that raw sound which gave us bands like Mudhoney, Alice in Chains and Nirvana while also offering a unique spin on an old favorite.

Gothenburg, Sweden’s Plain cites as main artistic influences Nirvana, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Grouplove, and Foo Fighters. Of these, Plain’s own style borrows mostly from the Dave Grohl projects, but with an updated, broader songwriting direction which generally allows for greater emotional range than music by any of the aforementioned. Plain also boasts raw, masculine, yet often elegant vocals which sometimes recall The Libertines, sometimes Type O Negative, and sometimes even the more aggressive moments of Sunny Day Real Estate. A punk aesthetic underlies the record.

With an emphasis on grit, narrative, and intriguing songwriting, “Refinements” by Plain has a little something for everybody.

Asked to describe the overall meaning of “Refinements,” Plain writes in humanistic terms.

A common denominator for all songs on ‘Refinements’ is human relations,” writes singer-songwriter Albin Samuelsson. “I believe that the primal part of any relationship is to dare to talk openly with one another. It’s important to show respect for the people in your surroundings and to try to understand others’ situations. If you’re open and talk to each other, you get more perspectives and more ingredients to build your own personality with. Then you no longer have a great reason to judge others because we’re not so different after all. Through speaking more openly, I believe that the world is going to become a more peaceful place.”

Audiophiles for whom lyrics form an important component have much in store with Plain. The band’s current official bio notes that while “many songs you hear nowadays have little-to-no meaning at all, or are essentially about the same things over and over again. Albin has always used his songs to talk about matters that are important to him, and really doesn’t want to repeat himself in either music or words.”

Samuelsson is joined in Plain by bassist Simon Magnussen, guitarist David Barraza and drummer Rémi Valet, who will be performing with him live in the months following the LP record’s release.

Refinements” by Plain is available from over 600 quality digital music stores online worldwide now. Get in early, alternative rock fans.

-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer

Refinements” by Plain –

Plain Official Website –

Altro Sound releases debut EP album ‘Deepest Point – Pt. 1’

The alternative rock crew known as Altro Sound have released their debut official EP album, “Deepest Point – Pt. 1.” The EP album contains four original Altro Sound tracks for an approximate total listening time of 15 minutes. It has been proudly published as an independent release without the involvement of the corporate music industry on the Independent record label. Rolling, eclectic, and bursting with style, “Deepest Point – Pt. 1” showcases Altro Sound as a surprise indie rock treat for Q1 this year, and promises that they’re a name to watch in 2019 and beyond.

Toronto, Canada’s Altro Sound cites as main artistic influences Amy Winehouse, Leon Bridges, Kings of Leon, Paolo Nutini, Sam Cooke, Ray Lamontagne, Radiohead, John Mayer, Interpol, and others. Of these, Altro Sound’s “Deepest Point – Pt. 1” shares elements with Winehouse, Kings of Leon and Radiohead, but with a delivery slightly more Nick Cave than John Mayer. The juxtaposition helps to balance the tone of the record, which is likely to appeal to a broad spectrum of alt-rock and indie fans.

With an emphasis on clean, precise guitar work, raw, genuine vocals, and songwriting with one foot in alternative rock and the other in the American south, “Deepest Point – Pt. 1” by Altro Sound has a little something for everybody.

Asked to describe the overall theme of “Deepest Point – Pt. 1,” Altro Sound writes, “Our debut album is a collection of works written through the highs and lows of adolescence and young adulthood. It’s about the beacons of hope and the letdowns aplenty one experiences when transitioning into a realm of self-direction; the early steps away from institutional socialization of school and into the real world, alone.”

Deepest Point – Pt. 1” has a clear aim, in fact, one which reaches the listener before the opening track is through. Altro Sound want to comfort.

The message of music brings security in times when one is most alone and unfamiliar,” they write. “We want to share that gift – the feeling of unity within the human condition to others through vocally driven, lyrical accounts of growing up.”

Altro Sound’s “Deepest Point” Parts 2 and 3 are scheduled to drop on Feb. 1 and Mar. 1, respectively.

Deepest Point – Pt. 1” by Altro Sound on the Independent label is available from over 600 quality digital music stores online worldwide now. Get in early, alternative rock fans.

-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer

Deepest Point – Pt. 1” by Altro Sound –

Alt-rocker Winter Darks releases debut album ‘Any Place All the Time’

The singer and songwriter of alternative rock music known as Winter Darks has released her debut album, “Any Place All the Time.” The record contains 11 original Winter Darks songs for an approximate total listening time of 42 minutes. It has been proudly published on the Spaceship Radio independent music label without the direction of the corporate music industry. Bearing elements of alt-rock, early indie rock and even pre-millennium emo, “Any Place All the Time” showcases Winter Darks as one of today’s most intriguing rock songwriters.

Portland, Oregon’s Winter Darks cites as main artistic influences Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, classical guitar music, ’90s grunge rock and alternative rock. Elements of these are easily discerned in “Any Place All the Time,” so that fans of the above are sure to find something they appreciate in this Freshman release from Winter Darks.

As her stage moniker hints, Winter Darks began in music under bleak circumstances. Asked to describe her start as an artist, Darks writes, “Isolation + trauma + desperation.” However, she also reveals that creativity in music comes naturally to her: “I started writing melodies and ideas the day I picked up a guitar.”

Darks has described her music as “gloomily optimistic.” A down-to-earth and discernably genuine person, she openly declares her songs “honest and relatable.” Nevertheless, Winter Darks does have an introverted facet to her musical character.

When I started playing guitar,” writes Darks, “I didn’t want anyone to hear what I had written, so I only played guitar for other people’s bands and never sang. I wasn’t that happy, so I tried making my own project using my songs but finding someone to sing my lyrics for me. I never found the right chemistry with anyone, so I tried playing and singing one of my songs at an open mic, and it finally felt right.”

Any Place All the Time,” the debut album from Winter Darks, is available at over 600 quality digital music stores online worldwide now. Get in early, alt-rock fans.

-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer

Any Place All the Time” by Winter Darks –

Official Website –

Livid Lover releases surprise indie-pop single ‘Ayla You Blow My Mind’

The singer-songwriter known as Livid Lover has released his latest rock single, an indie-pop track titled “Ayla You Blow My Mind.” The track has been dropped with an accompanying B-side, “All Reason’s Leaving Now,” as well as an extended version for fans and enthusiasts. They are the first official releases from Livid Lover since his 2015 LP, “Don’t Worry, I’ll Always Love You … And of Course … Mess with Your Head.” Stylistically accessible, emotionally complex, and as creatively colorful as fans of Livid Lover have come to expect, “Ayla You Blow My Mind” is a single to remind us that contemporary pop can still bring depth and texture into the 21st century.

Livid Lover is the stage name of Blake Nolan Hanson. Hanson is also known for his work with Halo Minor, whose 2015 EP “Further Now You’re Close” features Derek Abrams of Ministry on drums. Hanson cites as main artistic influences a broad spectrum of legends including Stevie Wonder, Sia, the Mars Volta, Failure, the Year Of The Rabbit, Flood, Bjork, Deftones, and Massive Attack.

Also notable on “Ayla…” are the talents of Devin Tomczik, who provided drums and percussion which drive the music and lend palpable adrenaline and power.

Fans of power-pop bands like Big Star and the Plimsouls, as well as those of alternative-rock crews like Stone Temple Pilots and Smashing Pumpkins, are likely to find much to appreciate in “Ayla You Blow My Mind” by Livid Lover. “Ayla…” blends acoustic minimalism in its production with unexpected yet effective chord progressions. Livid Lover’s raw vocals bespeak an underlying blues principle, his lyric style on “Ayla…” and its B-side, “All Reason’s…” venturing into the narrative mode of bluegrass.

This makes sense, as the Minneapolis native has since migrated to the American music hotbed of Nashville.

“Nashville has reinforced in me the importance of the lyric and storytelling,” writes Livid Lover. “I would not have written this single had it not been for the move. Any given night, one can find top-level writers performing. It’s just ridiculous. Humbling and eye opening as well.”

While music from Livid Lover does boast a level of maturity beyond typical “bubblegum” pop standards, Hanson, himself, does not wax proud. In fact, he dislikes taking credit for even his solo work.

“[Who writes my songs?] The multi-verse. My background in studying songwriting helps me collaborate with that infinite intelligence.”

He also helps fans understand his creative process in terms of a purposeful aural awareness.

“I gravitate to what sounds beautiful in my ears and try my best to put together what I can with what I feel I am good at doing. I want those who take time to listen to what I and my lovely collaborators do to have a unique experience. I really just want to become a super version of this weird thing inhabiting my body, and I want to see a huge shift in consciousness take place soon.”

Of no small interest, too, is Livid Lover’s unique method of self-motivation. This notably included the ultimatum of a donation to the Westboro Baptist Church, known for its use of inflammatory hate speech in the media. The artist could not allow himself to fail.

“It was part of a list of tasks to activate a quantum leap in my artist career,” Hanson explains. “My penalty for non-completion was a $50.00 check written to the Westboro Baptist Church. (Not my idea, but a great one to motivate me, I thought). This nine-day list had, like, five YouTube vids to post, a complete demo of ‘Ayla…’ 90% done, and some other uncomfortable things. Tiring week, but it all got done. Westboro got $0 from me, I found the exciting chorus, and I was able to send the song to the one who inspired it on her birthday as a gift.”

Music aficionados have similar reasons to celebrate. Songwriting like that of Livid Lover is a gift to music, itself, and to audiophiles everywhere.

“Ayla You Blow My Mind” by Livid Lover is available from over 600 quality digital music retailers online worldwide now. Get in early.

An official music video for “Ayla You Blow My Mind” is also expected soon.

-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer

“Ayla You Blow My Mind” by Livid Lover –

Official Website –

Melodic hard-rock band Z-Sides release debut LP ‘Via Negativa’

The melodic hard-rock group known as Z-Sides have released their debut LP record, “Via Negativa.” The album contains no fewer than 12 original tracks for an approximate total listening time of a full hour, making “Via Negativa” a comprehensive Z-Sides experience. It has been proudly published an an independent release outside the financial and managerial influence of the corporate music industry. Charging, soaring, pounding and at times even beautiful, “Via Negativa” from Z-Sides is clearly one of the most intriguing rock releases of 2015.

Z-Sides are a collection of music aficionados from Redwood City, CA. “We come from different backgrounds and different interests,” the band writes. “All of us have been playing since childhood, but our band has only been in existence since 2013.”

They cite as main artistic influences the Clash, Rush, Queens of The Stone Age, Yo La Tengo, Chavez, U2, REM, the Beatles, and Pink Floyd. Their own sound contains audible qualities similar to each of these (some more than others) but the result is a unique blend that cannot be called derivative. In fact, their overall effect is perhaps most reminiscent of the wildly creative, original independent labels like Dischord Records, Revelation Records and New Age Records in the late ’90s and early 2000s.

Music on “Via Negativa” is aggressive without sounding macho, evocative without feeling melodramatic, violent without being destructive. Vocals and lyrics form an integral part of their songs but never become the focus of the music at the expense of instrumentation.

Asked to comment on the themes of their debut album, Z-Sides write that their record is “Exploring difficult emotions honestly and with a sense of criticism that is as searing on the self as it is on society or anyone else. We seek to express the depth of true heartache, the elation of true joy and the chaotic beauty of living life.”

The band goes on to note that “the music on this album was written collaboratively and reflects a range of influences larger than any one member of the band.”

As of the time of this writing, reports “Via Negativa” entering the alternative music charts at #3, a startling accomplishment for any record less than 12 hours into its first day on the market. The title of the record itself translates from Latin to ‘by way of negation.’

Z-Sides have publicly stated that their second full-length record is already underway, implying that music fans have a real rock dynamo on their hands in this arresting group of musicians from California’s Bay Area.

“Via Negativa” by Z-Sides is available online at over 600 stores worldwide. Get in early, rock fans. Very early.

-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer

“Via Negativa” by Z-Sides at iTunes –
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Island singer-songwriter Jamie Gallo releases new album ‘Awakening’

The singer and songwriter from Hawaii known as Jamie Gallo has released her much awaited full-length record, “Awakening.” The LP contains 10 original tracks for an approximate total listening time of 40 minutes. It has been published as an independent music release without the involvement of the corporate music industry. Melodic, rocking, thrilling, beautiful, powerful and full of the original alternative rock tradition, “Awakening” by Jamie Gallo is the rock record the scene has been wanting.

Jamie Gallo cites as main artistic influences Joni Mitchell, Thom Yorke, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Christina Aguilera, Stevie Nicks, and Al Green. Her own vocal sound and style reflects her great taste in music, having elements of Mitchell and Nicks both, as well as the precision of Houston and the insouciance of Aguilera. Gallo’s overall tone blends groove with grunge and adds a touch of funk. Her “Awakening” album also boasts that particular tenor of folk-rock which gave the original alternative rock groups, bands like Blind Melon and Soul Asylum, the ability to play hard with acoustic instruments or lightly while plugged in.

Like many of the world’s best musicians, Jamie Gallo got her start in music via Sunday psalms.

“I got my first guitar when I was five years old and started singing in church,” she writes. “I was a closet rock junkie as my cousin Johnny turned me on to Beatles and ’70s rock. He was my first inspiration.”

As one might intuit from the title of her record, the themes of “Awakening” remain close to her rock-n-roll roots.

“The songs on this album represent spiritual, relational and social ‘Awakening,’” she writes. “We go through life hoping to gain wisdom from the lessons we learn, and with love that has been burned with each experience we are awakened.”

Jamie Gallo’s current official bio describes her as a mother, writer, advocate, lover and student of life. She has written for film, documentaries, and TV. Playing often on her island home of Maui, her music has been heard as far away as Hollywood, Colorado, Germany, and even China.

“Awakening” by Jamie Gallo is available online worldwide. Fans of alternative rock should get in early.

-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer

“Awakening” by Jamie Gallo –
Website –