alt pop

The Perls - The Age of Isolation Review

East Coast meets West Coast with Indie Pop duo The Perls, who quite literally created their debut EP from separate sides of the country - and honestly that alone is impressive. What's even more impressive is The Perls themselves, I mean honestly I'm losing my mind right now.

Composed of multi-instrumentalist Evan Linsey and singer-songwriter Kevin Hupp, The Perls followed up their single release in 2016 with their debut EP, The Age of Isolation, released on December 29th, 2017. Kevin and Evan produced the entire album themselves despite being on opposite sides of the country (Los Angeles and Boston, respectively). The fruition of this hard work and even harder situation is an EP that blends effortlessly, creating a space for listeners to get lost in and fall in love with.

Check out the tracklist below!

Zach Turcich / artwork

Zach Turcich / artwork

The Age of Isola Tracklist:
1. The Age of Isolation
2. Play Cool
3. Anymore
4.Videos (On TV)
5. HNY





This EP is impressive from start to finish. For the first time in a while I was able to just enjoy the listening experience. The Perls have meticulously put together a collection of tracks that effortlessly exist. From mixing/mastering to lyricism to instrumental output, The Perls feel like seasoned veterans when it comes to making music. 

With each track at a little over 2 minutes, and only one being over 3, this EP flies right by you while you're listening, making it an easy EP to put on over and over again. I typically go through every track and dissect them, but The Perls made my job really easy on this one. Every track is it's own persona that sits in the same circle as the rest. While I enjoyed every track vehemently, I also had two favorites that I'd like to focus on for their sound expansion and dynamic.

My absolute favorite track off of The Age of Isolation is "Play Cool," the track has a chorus so fire it made me almost weep the first time I heard it. The Perls have impressively incapsulated this indie/folk/pop hybrid that seeps out of every moment of listening. My second favorite track, and ironically enough it wouldn't load for me so it was one of the last tracks I was able to listen to, was "Videos (On TV)." The track is so gosh darn smooth, another chorus that makes me wanna explode with joy, and just an absolute charm to listen to.

Now, of course, just because these tracks are my favorites doesn't mean the other tracks aren't - let's be real here, this EP is one of the best, well recorded and performed EPs I've had the pleasure of reviewing in quite a long time. We'll definitely be following The Perls as they progress forward, and I sincerely can't wait to hear what they've got coming out next.

Until then, The Age of Isolation is a winner.

To follow these darling pals, check out their social media down below and support their cause, you won't regret this one!

The Perls: Facebook // Instagram

Architect the Destroyer - Tiny Thoughts Review

We're coming out of our hiatus to talk to you about Architect the Destroyer. You might remember Architect the Destroyer, aka Justin Genzo, from The Hook Journal's, The July EP where we featured "Cherry Wine," but if not, let us re-introduce you.

With a background in music, but never a clear place of belonging, Architect the Destroyer was born in early 2017 with an aim to hone in on the cross between indie, folk, & alternative. With the release of The Daisy EP in April 2017, Architect the Destroyer was really only preparing us for
what was to come - a sweet, heartfelt little wound that begs to be heard and paid attention to.

Tiny Thoughts is a 10-track debut album that features The Daisy EP favorites like "Cherry Wine," "Daisy," and "Bedroom Talk." The consistency of Tiny Thoughts is a cohesive, impressive debut for Architect the Destroy that has carved out a special place in my library for a discography as lovely as this.

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

Artwork: Thomas Louis

Artwork: Thomas Louis

Tiny Thoughts Tracklist:
1. Cherry Wine
2. We Are Stars
3. Paper Heart
4. Daisy
5. Bedroom Talk
6. Adventure
7. Oil & Water
8. Sleep
9. Golden
10. Birds


After listening to this album a few times over, I really was left with an overwhelming sense of fullness. Tiny Thoughts pushes listeners into uncomfortable spots without them ever knowing, tracks like "Paper Heart" or "Golden" that etch away at things you're trying to forget. Or maybe you're looking for the way to say that thing to someone you love, or used to love, or never loved at all even though it sure as hell felt like it - "Cherry Wine" or "Oil & Water" might make you feel more whole than before. 

Something that Architect the Destroyer is really good at is encapsulating smallness and making it as large as it seems when it's in our heads. Not only was I impressed by the production of this album, all of which completed by Genzo himself, but the lyricism and musicianship that accompanies it feels weighted and well thought out. Tiny Thoughts matters to the maker, and in turn it matters to the listener.

However, we're about to get real deep into track 8, "Sleep" so how about you stream it down below and we'll catch up with you after.

Is it on? Good.

"Sleep" is one of the most profoundly interesting and underwhelming tracks on the album at first glance. At over 8 minutes long, you may ask yourself what possibly could be happening that is 8 minutes long on this album? But, I recommend not dismissing this track in the slightest, as it truly felt like an embodiment of what Tiny Thoughts felt like as a whole. A dissonant, mellow track that clings onto every moment it exists within. It coddles you, it leaves you be, it gives you nothing to hold onto except for the echo of "sleep." 

Bottom line? This album is worth the listen. It's moving, it's fun, it makes you feel good. Tiny Thoughts is a beautiful addition to a year full of good music, and we're so happy Architect the Destroyer is here to add to that.

To keep up to date with everything they're up to, check out Architect the Destroyer's social media down below!

Architect the Destroyer: Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Above the Moon - The Distance is the Same Review

Photo: Michael Scicolone /  MS3 Photography

Photo: Michael Scicolone / MS3 Photography

Madison, NJ natives Above The Moon have been very busy - and we're just trying to keep right on up with them!

As Fall moves onward, we're branching out our feelers for new tunes, and Above The Moon finds their way onto our radar as of late! Their EP, The Distance is the Same, was just released on September 23rd, and is a 5-track-diddy sure to set your heart on fire! Totally check out the tracklist for The Distance is the Same below so you can follow along!

Artwork: Shawn Murphy

Artwork: Shawn Murphy

The Distance is the Same Tracklist:
1. Feel it Again
2. Silver Tongue
3. More Time
4. Stop Trying
5. Moon





The Distance is the Same is a hearty EP, featuring the talented collective of Kate Griffin (vocals, guitar), James Harrison (guitar, vocals), Shawn Murphy (bass), and John Gramuglia (drums). The quartet forms a tight little union to really highlight on all of their specific talents which create Above The Moon's sound - quirky, somber, and electric with sound!

Each track comes in at a well rounded 3-minutes, and exercise sound in genres closely related to alt-rock. Above the Moon reminds me a bit of Paramore's early work - the more gritty, eccentric guitar and drum work paired with Griffin's vocals set a really nice tone for the backdrop of their lyrics - lovestruck angst, loss, grief, the moon.

Opening track, "Feel It Again" is the opening of the metaphorical healing, but angry wound that The Distance is the Same inhabits. This song is smooth with a steady rhythmic drum and bass beat, the guitar a follower to Griffin's voice. This track sets the tone nicely for the album, a precursor to a lot of the themes to follow - but still allowing for some instrumental surprise to happen later on!

"Silver Tongue" follows up with a gruffer opening. A bass line to catch your ear, and an exciting angst that makes you want to bob your head. This track really opens up the EP to a new, more exciting level that is different than "Feel It Again," but definitely working on the same plane. It is followed up by third track "More Time," which slows us down for a more alternative rock scenescape, one with a catchy guitar line and a softer vocal poignancy from Griffin.

"Stop Trying" rings in as track 4, a track that Above the Moon also recently put out a music video for, which you can check out and hear for yourself below!

"Stop Trying" is reminiscent of "Feel It Again" and "Silver Tongue," which really gives this EP a nice, even flow to the consistency of music and tendencies! We really appreciated the ability to create unique tracks that followed a similar discourse to keep listeners guessing, while still comfortable!

Final track "Moon" is our absolute favorite off of the EP. "Moon" is so beautifully written, not only instrumentally, but lyrically as well. Griffin's voice is like a howling wolf during a full moon, the emphasis on that 'o' sound is so beautiful throughout "Moon." Instrumentally, "Moon" is a somber, sentient, and ethereal track much different than it's predecessors - which we appreciate as two things: an opening and closing.

"Moon" closes The Distance is the Same (using the EP title and their band title all in one song, ugh) while also opening us up to the idea of new sounds. What is next of Above the Moon? For now we'll let them revel in the clear success that The Distance is the Same has accomplished for them. A solid, standout EP that highlights what we loved about Above the Moon in their self-titled EP, but also a growth and change into something new.

For more on Above the Moon, check out their social media below!

Above the Moon: Website // Instagram // Facebook