Single Reviews: 10 May 2023: Felix Rösch, Eyesore & The Jinx, Sergio Díaz De Rojas, Dead Actors, Friendship Commanders

Photo by Zsófia Fehér

Felix Rösch - Vienna


While strolling around a snow-covered Vienna during lockdown, Berlin-based pianist and composer Felix Rösch was having some profound thoughts. Relayed here in the recent single, "Vienna",  Rösch takes melodrama to new heights, with strings that ruminate around a mournful ostinato as fluttery electronics colour the background. An emotionally intense track, "Vienna" burrows deep into the listener's soul, extracting complicated moods to the surface through visceral and highly energizing sweeps of traditional instrumental beauty. Rösch studied classical piano at the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf, sound engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf, and composition at the Film University Babelsberg. His academic sensibilities are apparent here, but not so much that they flatten the intuitively free-flowing nature of his expression. While "Vienna" may have a dark atmosphere to it, it is the kind of darkness that searches for light, like the frail moments of a lunar eclipse, one can anticipate the light ready to break through. 

Eyesore & The Jinx - Do What You Love 


Liverpudlian post-punk trio Eyesore & The Jinx rattle out metronomic drums, meticulously crafted guitar tones, and  sound life advice on their recent single, "Do What You Love". While the lyrics touch on undesirably awkward imagistic lyrics of bruxism, trichotillomania, and overworking, there's an unreserved sense of freedom and optimism to the track which encourages listeners to accept that the undesirable aspects of existence are necessary to face if you want a life of purpose and meaning. It's philosophically poetic post-punk in the vein of Fontaine's DC, but with more of an experimental and grittier delivery, perhaps due to the fact it was produced by Gilla Band's Daniel Fox, who has accentuated the groups wonderful strangeness.  2023 should be a busy year for these likeable punks, who claim there's news of an album "just round the corner". For now, "Do What You Love" should be enough to satisfy your need for irreverence. 

Sergio Díaz De Rojas - Cherry Blossom


Peruvian pianist and composer Sergio Díaz De Rojas paints a moody picture of a quiet contemplation of nature on his recent single "Cherry Blossom". While cherry blossoms are synonymous with peaceful prettiness, there's an aching melancholy to De Roja's composition, as if the artist is expressing the fragility of beauty, the futility of nature, and the complicated emotions that come from changing seasons. Whatever the intention, the result is a highly hypnotic track, that takes just two and a half minutes to weave its delayed acoustic piano notes into a web of intoxicating and impressive sonic tapestry, using the bare-bones minimalism of solo piano. Currently based in Valencia, Spain, Sergio Díaz De Rojas recently sign with Nettwerk Music Group, and is gearing up to release an album later in 2023. Fans of solo piano should expect to hear more from this artist, who uses tried and tested formulas to express his unique perspective. 

Dead Actors - Newsnight 

art rock

Brightonian art rock purveyors Dead Actors may have a macabre name, and their music may take turns down dark alleys of obscurity, with lyrics referencing insomnia, paranoia, and agitation with mass media, but their off-kilter, bendy guitar lines, solid drums, and frank vocal deliveries create a comprehensive and exhilarating song, full of the kind of burning desire to make sense of the world that makes people listen to alternative music in the first place. The group is comprised of vocalist and guitarist Jonah Hartley, guitarist Daniel Brown, bass player Ciaran Harris and drummer Ewan Vellinga. despite being a relatively new group, emanating from pandemic-era craziness, the group sound cohesive and gel together in a hard-hitting punch of alternative rock. 

Friendship Commanders - Fail 

hard rock

Nashvillian hard rockers Friendship Commanders make a whole lot of noise for a duo on their recent single "Fail". Made up of guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Buick Audra and drummer, bassist, and synth maestro Jerry Roe, the group have somewhat of a nostalgic flair to their sultry hard rock stylings, taking cues from 90s grunge acts who placed as much importance as melody as they impact. Crunchy guitars, wailingly emotive vocals, and double kick drum splendor pushes this raucous track forward, eliminating any cringyness that comes from being overly-sincere with enough passion and skill to make this a track worthy of repeating. "Fail" is taken from the duo's upcoming album Mass, a collection that deals with themes of memory, language, and, somewhat randomly, the state of Massachusetts. The album will also include a memoir in essays by Audra, an interesting if not unnecessary addition; this music speaks for itself.