newengland

NPK debuts retro-rugged track "Zodiac"

Boston's NPK has a brand new track that hits the mark titled "Zodiac." The song is a lo-fi hip-hop production that moves quickly and makes its point with a robust layering of synthesizers swells, a plump bassline, and a reverberating flow. While NPK typically leans on his R&B influences, he surely glazes this new single with a sweet, retro synth-pop sound to contrast the rugged nature of his assertive message about domination. The synthesizer embellishments could be something to further explore as the new song sparks curiosity for NPK's future work. Where hip-hop artists like Wale are keeping things clean and soulful, NPK offers something more evocative to a rugged throwback. Stream the new single below to wrap your head around the subtle tributes to '80s hip-hop music. - Rene Cobar 

   

Cold Expectations blend folk and indie with grace in new EP, "No Panic In My Veins"

More indie than folk, more folk than indie, or maybe just perfectly both is the music of Arlington, Massachusetts group Cold Expectations. The band’s latest EP, No Panic In My Veins, opens up with resonant drums and crisp electric guitars. The lead song “Can You Feel The Distance?” displays rich harmonies and lead vocals that are rugged against the clean instrumentation. That same contrast follows in the Growlers-like psych-tinged track “Aliza Don’t Care” which lets its guitar leads linger and its choruses pop. The band keeps things cool and collected and offers music to kick your shoes off to; each tune releases tension. Cold Expectations are what New England cooks up best: comfort indie-folk music. Stream the hopeful track “You Are The Ocean” below and relish in its atmospheric guitar solos. Happy Monday, folks! - Rene Cobar

   

Willzyx demolishes in new record "The Raw Congenital Complex," plays Koto 11.13

Creepy and satisfying is the noise rock of Manchester, New Hampshire's Willzyx. For metal aficionados, the group's latest effort, The Raw Congenital Complex, is jam-packed with tracks that ooze with rage and demolish melodic structures. Take the furiously-paced track "Cauterized Eye" as a prime example of the band's tendency for bursts of distorted vocals, synthesized strains of doom, and eerie overtures. Other songs like "Cast Off" drift into more serene territories, and with patience and a hypnotizing guitar riff bubble into thick, steely-cold compositions. The band is a year-long Halloween special that is too damn creepy and good to pass up. The band's next gig is booked at Koto in Salem, Massachusetts, on November 13th. Listen to the mechanic bassline that leads "Calloused and Cynical" streaming below and drown in the math-rock madness. - Rene Cobar, photo by Selena Barker

   

Rachel Sumner releases haunting track "Between The Bars," plays Lizard Lounge 10.31

Boston's Rachel Sumner's 2019 has been quite eventful: April, June, August, and October single releases all worthy of recognition. The latest of these singles "Between The Bars" displays the singer-songwriter's trademark vocal melodies, known to haunt the mind with their atmospheric nature, giving way to graceful acoustic guitar solos tinged in a bluegrass spirit. The newest track from Sumner balances both light and dark sonic colors that elicit from the listener both hope and despair; the experience is all up to you. Perhaps perfect for the chilly and spirited night ahead, Rachel will be performing her haunting tracks at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge on October 31st. Stream "Between The Bars" by Rachel Sumner below. - Rene Cobar

   

Nick Zaino previews new record with passionate track "Pour Me A River"

Lynn, Massachusetts' Nick Zaino, is a perfect piece in the colorful puzzle of New England's music scene. The serenity found in folk music is captured in his latest single, "Pour Me A River," which is a story of devotion told with nothing more than a mighty acoustic guitar composition and Zaino's country-cordial vocals. The new track is engulfed in a feverish excitement that radiates with each chord change and drops embers in the minds of listeners: a song memorable enough to have one singing along. The bareness of the song is part of the charm and fits perfectly with the honest ode to a loved one. The new track is a preview of Zaino's upcoming album, Habitual Salvation, due out November 29th. We are streaming the new song for you below and looking forward to Habitual Salvation out soon. - Rene Cobar