Indie Underground - Up and Coming

Gregory McKillop - "This Song Always Gave Me Hope"

Gregory McKillop is a solo acoustic indie-folk musician from Worcester, currently living in Portland, ME. These are lo-fi recordings, so we're not here to judge the quality of the audio, but rather the content of the music. He writes punk influenced sentimentalities, but in a fun way. It's almost like hiding tragedy in a comedy - he writes about gay rights, dealing with jerks, as well as life and love. The indie-folk style almost reminds one of the Violent Femmes.

Listening to Gregory reminds me of when I used to hang out in Northampton, and there'd be us kids hanging out on the hill by Fire & Water, passing the guitar around and sharing our songs with each other. It has that kind of loose enthusiasm that reminds you of being young and careless. Gregory has a couple of albums on Bandcamp. They're worth checking out. He's done some touring and plays out regularly, so you can track him on his Facebook page.

Simon Waldram - "The Space Between"

Simon Waldram is a British indie-folk / psych-pop artist from Mansfield. For this album, he leans towards the folk side of things as he uses ethereal layers to produce a more mellow, laid back sound. There are a lot of slower, easy passages that would lend nicely to floating down a river in the summertime, or laying in a field and staring at the clouds. There's a spacier element to it, adding depth to the gentle strumming and easy rhythms. At times, he invokes similarities to old Pink Floyd - like the dreamier, old stuff before Dark Side and after Saucerful of Secrets.

In "Broken Hill", he makes nice use of the cello on the chorus, adding a little dynamic character to the piece. As a whole, the album has a cohesion built around idyllic imagery of countrysides, colors and light, as well as stories of love, loss, and regret. This young artist has a very nice singing voice, and a gentle fingerpicking style that lends itself nicely to the indie-folk sound he's aiming to achieve with this album. If you like mellow, gentle music for kicking back and spacing out, "The Space Between" is a good album for just that.