Single Reviews: 8 January 2023: Simon Linsteadt, Lauren Corrigan, Palms Psalm, Steven Poole, Adrian Miles

Photo by Wuyihale Lin

Simon Linsteadt - Desolation 


New York/Maine-based musician Simon Linsteadt yarns cleverly produced and soulful folk on his recent single "Desolation", taken from the upcoming album Mud Season. The (emo)tive track is full of sadcore sentiments; acoustic guitars playing bewitching chords, lyrics of social rejection ("You don't belong here"), and vocals doused in vocoder, lifting the song from being overly dramatic to something curious and alien. Linsteadt has released six solo albums, and his experience is evident on this rich and perplexing track. It has a haunting melody and successfully blends manipulated sounds with the more naturistic, leaving one with quite an imprint and excitement for the album, which is out on February 1st 2023.   

Lauren Corrigan - Me First 

indie folk

Lauren Corrigan is a singer-songwriter from New York who is now based in Nashville, Tennessee, where she studies music business, majoring in songwriting, at Belmont University. Though already into adulthood, the 19-year-old displays a precocious maturity and voice teeming with experience and life. The acoustic ambient mood of her recent single "Me First" makes for a pensive and reflective listen, driven by Corrigan's flawless vocals and the heavy-but-happy-to-carry songwriting. 

Palms Psalm - Tide 

alternative rock

Tongan-American surf-rock artist Eric Pasi goes by the rather tricky-to-remember-correctly moniker Palms Pslam. The Minnesotan is not only a gifted writer of perfectly ironed-out melodies and ambiguously-edgy songs but a climate change activist and author of the book CleanWave, A Guide to Success in the Green Recovery. His earthly inclinations come across in his recent single "Tide", taken from the upcoming album OTUHAKA. The song wonderfully ebbs in and out of its natural rhythm and vibrational melody. Field recordings of waves play as the epically proportioned rock stylings of the anthemic refrain rise and fall before crashing into the release of bass-heavy aquatic ambient soundscape.


Steven Poole - A Winter's Elegy

solo piano  

An elegy is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a poem of serious reflection, typically a lament for the dead." Such maudlin cultural artefacts don't always make the cheeriest of out-of-context listens, but they almost always make pensive ones. Such is the case for "A Winter's Elegy" from London-based composer Steven Poole, which was "composed as a farewell to a dear friend". This emotionally-led composition is musically rich; alluring key changes, a dynamic performance, and a memorable ostinato make this bittersweet track one fit for the silver screen and the ears of anyone dealing with loss. 

Adrian Miles - Mapping Horizons

ambient / experimental

If a slow, drawn-out bass guitar is your bag, give Australian composer Adrian Miles' "Mapping Horizon" a listen. Taken from his recent EP "It came so late", Miles' work is highly minimalistic and spacey in nature, though this minimalism comes not from a want of notes but from slowness. It emanates nonchalance through haphazard playing and bending electric guitar notes that sometimes disrupt the balanced sense of contemplation with empathic playing in a left-side mono-blast of decibels. "Mapping Horizons" is a peculiar choice of a single from an EP with more accessibility, like "Until the faintest blue", which beguiles with mournful strings and ruminating electric guitar. That being said, "Mapping Horizons" has that bit of edge or character, making it stand out.