Exclusive Artist Review: West Of House – “Drown The Wind” Album

We’ve reviewed and featured West Of House before and these guys do not disappoint. With 2021 in full force nearing the end of summer, the alt-rockers have put out a subsequent album release that surprised just about everyone that knows them, and intrigued a plethora of new listeners as well. And that release is their newest album ‘Drown The Wind’, which is easily their best effort to date that really brings their signature sound right to the forefront.

Comprised of 11 anthemic and atmospheric songs, ‘Drown The Wind’ is an alt-rock album that encompasses the band’s artistic merit while combining crucial elements from 90s industry heavyweights like REM, Coldplay and Oasis. Anchor single “Entwined” is an excellent example of this and really delivers the production and performance parallels that set the tone for the rest of the album. The song begins with some dynamically executed time signatures, showcasing the band’s driving rhythm section and dueling guitars that bring out the brilliance of the well-written vocal melodies. It’s a very multi layered mix that shines a light on each band member where you can easily hear each of their individual contributions into one precise unit. Another anchor track on this record is “Fall Down”, featuring a glistening mandolin intro that is anthemic, melodic and insatiably versatile. This melody-driven track really showcases the high-range vocals that once again really encapsulate into melody choices that are very next-level. The song is hauntingly ominous, ambient and really adds a layer of magic to the album that puts the band at the top of their game. This is a song that sustains a standout all on its own and will easily be one that people will be talking about.

One more track that needs mentioning is “Where To Begin”, another atmospheric tune with visceral synth parts that implement alongside the chord progressions and add a layer of detail that is crucial and effective. This one is a little more rhythmic and has climactic measures that really serve up a wholesomeness not heard often with independent artists. This track also embraces melodic structures like the previous song, but also diligently blends more atmospheric guitar swells and smooth bass lines. This will easily be a favorite on the album right alongside the sensibility we heard with “Fall Down”. Overall, West Of House have really set the bar higher for themselves and continue to manifest magically with every release. You can hear the evolution of their own signature sound but still get a dose of nostalgia from great callbacks to the 90s alt-rock sound that we’ve come to know and love over many years. ‘Drown The Wind’ from start to finish is brilliantly crafted, melodically visceral and really explores the depths of combining originality and familiarity. You can get your copy of the album now on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and several other digital music streaming platforms.


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Exclusive Artist Interview: Nightbird Casino

Rogue Valley, Oregon-based quintet Nightbird Casino emerged onto the scene as a duo and in the last six months have manifested into the fully functional unit they are today. Known for their ambient and cohesive indie signature sound and inspired by prominent 90s artists like Hum, Interpol, Silverchair and Radiohead, the band formed in 2017 and quickly began hitting the ground running, putting out a handful of prominent releases since their inception into the market and proving that their artistic merit is more than deserving of your undivided attention.

Now in 2021, with their highly anticipated upcoming LP ‘Russian Carpet’ slated to release in two days on September 5th, we got a chance to sit down with the members of Nightbird Casino for a comprehensive interview where we got to discuss the past, present and future of the band.


How long have you guys been active under your artist/band name?

Nightbird Casino has been around in some fashion since mid-2017. The band was started by myself (James Moore, lead vocals/guitar/piano) and Don Shepherd (guitar/piano/backing vocals). We met in a tribute band and branched off to start writing our own original music. It took until 2020 for us to get serious and actually write a full album. It wasn’t until early 2021 that we recruited our other three members (Oliver Orion – drums / Amanda Moore – ondes martenot/keyboards / Patrick Manville – bass) and really took off.

What music scene/city do you currently represent?

Currently we live in Medford, which is in southern Oregon – but there’s not much of a music scene here at all. We’re originally from LA, so ultimately I’d say we have much more of an LA vibe than a rural Oregon vibe.

The pandemic has really thrown a wrench into the live music experience and for artists altogether. How has it affected you and your career (if at all)?

It’s been a mixed bag for us. On the downside, we haven’t been able to tour, which has been frustrating of course. It’s pretty difficult to build an audience without playing any shows. On the plus side, it’s allowed us an enormous amount of time to write and record. I doubt we would’ve finished two full LPs, a live album, an EP, and four singles in just over a year if it weren’t for the pandemic.

What are some of your music influences?

There are five of us in this band and we all draw from different influences. Some of those might include some more indie/alternative rock artists: Interpol, Radiohead, The National, King Krule, Modest Mouse … a lot of early 90s grunge i.e. Nirvana, Bush; The Beach Boys are a big influence, lots of classical music too.

What kind of concepts do you tend to write about as an artist? Shine some light on that.

I don’t have a particular subject matter I plan out when writing lyrics, but I think most of our songs have themes of alienation and anxiety running through them. I tend to use intimate personal stories and dreams as metaphors for more big picture concepts about what’s happening in the world. Frequently I’ll find out what I was writing about after the song is finished… lyrics are usually the last part I finish. I’ll write down words and phrases and stream of consciousness ideas and then I look at it all and think ok, what is this about? What was my subconscious trying to say through these lyrics? There’s also a pretty prominenttheme of psychedelia and the psychedelic experience that comes up again and again.

If you could put together a dream show or tour, what bands/artists would be on the bill?

Oh gosh, that’s a hard question. We’d love to tour with Radiohead or Modest Mouse, I think our style of music would make sense with those bands.

When is your next release coming out?

Our 2nd LP, Russian Carpet, will be released on September 5, 2021. (on all streaming services everywhere, physical copies available to purchase via our website nightbirdcasino.com).

•What’s in store for you in 2021? Give us the goods.

So much. Our second LP Russian Carpet will be released in a few days as I mentioned. We also have a live album / video series that’ll be released in some fashion later this year. Also, with a full band in place and some covid restrictions easing, we’re finally able to start playing shows and touring. We’re currently planning a west coast tour as we speak. Also also, we’re in the beginning stages of LP3 – we’ve just started putting together some ideas for new songs and we’ll be recording that in – hopefully – early 2022 with Matt Talbot of HUM.


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Exclusive Artist Review: Tony Manley – “Another Night In Hollywood” Album/LP

West Virginia’s Tony Manley has been hitting the ground running since the age of 8 when he started playing guitar, and has been writing songs and manifesting his signature sound ever since. Known for his distinctively catchy style and insatiable affinity for the Rock & Punk genres, respectively, Tony’s diligently blended style touches on several Rock elements with innovative musical landscapes and a modern sensibility that truly makes him a multifaceted and multi layered standout of his calibre. And his newest 20-track juggernaut ‘Another Night In Hollywood’ is direct evidence of this.

Accompanied by several feature artists with next-level production value paralleling the strong performances on the album, ‘Another Night In Hollywood’ is an ambitious record that showcases several crucial angles of Tony Manley’s musicianship factors and artistic merit in a way that shines a bright light on his collective levels of talent. It’s an album that diligently balances originality and familiarity, giving the listener a taste of something fresh yet still identifiable. Opening track “I Miss You Here In Hollywood (feat. Zach Cook)” is a direct example of this and really sets the tone for the rest of the album. Tony’s mid-to-high range vocals are brilliantly written and structured with strong melodies in a way that’ll garner your undivided attention throughout the record’s duration. Zach Cook’s verse is very well placed, well paced and really adds a layer of depth that enhances the visceral listening experience, something made apparent from the moment this track starts. It’s a very strong opener that brings Tony’s signature stylization to the forefront in a way that is both effective and articulate.

Another notable track on this album is the more upbeat “Not Sober (feat. Rep)”, an acoustically anthemic number with a Dashboard-esque feel that really brings out the best of Tony Manley’s melodic vocals both lyrically and structurally. This one fits in perfectly with the rest of the album but also explores a whole other angle of Tony’s musicianship factors – bringing his versatile songwriting ability to the spotlight. Feature artist and rapper Rep spits some dynamic bars on this tune that parallels lyrically with the Tony in a way that not only works, but enhances the song’s concept as well. Tony especially brings his vocal A-game to this track, delivering a more charismatic performance that is engaging and crafty. Follow-up track “Chicago (feat. Saint James)” has a similar delivery but is more rhythmic with a swagger that even has R&B textures implemented into the structure. This is another song that explores the multi-genre angle of the album while still remaining true to the record’s signature style and tone.

One last highlight on this album is the more energetic “My Dear Poison (feat. Marissa Silva)”. A guitar-driven Rock infused track with a female feature that serves up excellent duel-flavors and atmospheres. This song is another anthemic effort with brilliant vocal melodies and story-telling lyrics that accompany the melodic guitar progressions and leads. This is definitely one of the stronger feature tracks as well as one of Tony’s stronger performances on the album. It’s also a song that dives deeper into Tony’s versatility as a songwriter as well. Overall, every track on this record ties the album together and really showcases Tony Manley’s distinctive melody structures, songwriting ability and performance execution. It’ll entice you to dive deeper into his discography, career as well as his future subsequent releases. ‘Another Night In Hollywood” has strong staying power, where it’ll stay with you even long after it’s over. The album is currently available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music and several other digital music streaming platforms. You’ll be more than glad you gave it a listen, and it won’t be your last time doing so.


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