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Alt Reviews

Ian Stafford and Aqualine Reviewed

Ian Stafford and Aqualine Reviewed

Ian Stafford – Wilder

Similar artists: Lord Huron, Noah Kahan, Zach Bryan

Genre: Southern Rock / Red Dirt, Alt-Country

Karaoke singing shows are just as popular on television as they have been for a long time. And, while denying their entertainment potential would be unfair, let’s never confuse them for the real thing. And, more importantly, let’s not get our priorities mixed up. Does the world really need more perfect pitch singers, or does it need singers who can bring truthful emotion to their performances? 

Yeah, yeah, but it’s not just singers is it. Employers love specialists, and regular people can easily get confused about how much they need them as well. Rest assured, when it comes to art, music especially, specialist will always exist. There will always be someone that can sing perfectly in a tremendous range, or a kid that can play every single Hendrix solo. But are they bringing emotion to what they do?

Ian Stafford’s “Wilder” is a song that begins with a courted singing voice and that carries us through the story with the same kind of energy. Strafford possesses an impressive singing voice. But that’s not the point here. This is a song that is an equal measure of love and despair. The singer-songwriter isn’t content with merely telling us how he feels. It’s the tone of the voice and the way that it slides in and out of the tune that shows us. 


Aqualine – Overthinker

Genre: Shoegaze, Indie Rock, Alternative Rock

Listen, any person, something from anxiety to some degree, will tell you that it’s very easy to lose yourself when you shouldn’t. Crunch time? No, thank you. Getting in the zone? Not today. Being a big game player? Surely, somebody will come through. Yeah, making the best of your talent is no easy thing. 

If you’re an entertainer of any sort, the public will forgive a lot from you. If that wasn’t true, there’s no way that many punk-rock bands of the 1970s would have had a career. Yet, what they won’t forgive is wasting their time. It’s because they don’t have much to spare and because there’s always something else to fill it up with. That’s why rock bands need to use the few minutes of interest that they receive from the audience to really let them know what they’re about. 

On “Overthinker,” British indie-rock band Aqualine prove that they’re no deers caught in flashlights and no wallflowers either. Sure, they got some anxiety. But it ain’t plaguing them. In fact, it’s helping them use the indie-rock format in original ways, creating choppy vocal lines and an instrumental part that dances around, never smothering it. It brings to mind the 90s Britpop band Menswear. And, I bet Aqualine have really nice haircuts and suits too.  

Ian Stafford - Wilder

8.0

Aqualine - Overthinker

7.5

Pros

Cons

About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website www.alt77.com. Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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