Stop, Rock and Roll: What’s dropping in the New Year

The Holiday season has come and gone, and with it goes all that Holiday cheer. New England winters can be brutal, so what better way to heat things up than with some new local music! Rhode Island has seen some truly great releases in the past month, so without further ado, here are five songs from RI bands that I think you all should check out!

The Proles – “Urban Legend – Pub on Park – 8.28.22”

The debut single by RI rock trio The Proles is also, as the title suggests, a live recording. Beautifully crunchy guitars, a groovy bassline, and energetic vocals all shine clearly through the no-frills production. With a vibe and sound that harken back to the heyday of the CBGB’s scene, the band’s new live album Real Time is sure to excite.


Kench – “Stop”

Kench first made a name for themselves as the organizers of 2021’s “KenchFest,” which was a huge success. Since then, they have released their debut album KENCH’D. The track “Stop” begins with haunting keys before a groovy bassline, off-kilter drumming, and tense guitar take over, with both whispered and shouted vocals bouncing around as well. Like the rest of the album, it’s a unique listen.

Maddie McGill – “Surrender”

Maddie McGill released her debut album Surrender earlier this month, and it’s a bluesy, soulful treat. The title track is a strutting tune featuring all the best blues ingredients: rumbling bass, cool organ tones, and languid, fluid guitar licks. McGill’s voice is smooth as butter, working well with both the punchy verses and the wider, fuller sounding choruses – a great take on modern blues.

Balloon Thief – “Crok Rock”

As the title suggests, this track by Balloon Thief is a joyously irreverent take on Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock.” Released solely to Bandcamp, the garage rockers’ latest single fits in well with their previous releases, featuring skittering drum machines, persistent bass, and lo-fi guitars. The band’s stripped down approach to recording is always interesting to hear.

The McAdams Brothers – “Roadside BBQ”

“Roadside BBQ,” one of two tracks released by The McAdams Brothers this past month, starts with vinyl crackle and distant harmonies before the song blooms into a full production. Banjo, slide guitar, and what sounds like mandolin pluck along under the duo’s lyrics detailing their love for the aforementioned Roadside BBQ. It’s an interesting blend of sounds to hear from Rhode Island, of all states.