An impressive and so-far prolific group of Charlotte, NC, Ancient Cities was formed in 2013 by multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Stephen Warwick, who some may recognize from his acclaimed 2010 solo release Talking Machine. Several of his tracks appeared in the 2014 film Wicked Blood, starring Abigail Breslin, as well. Seeking something new, Warwick formed Ancient Cities in 2014, releasing a variety of tracks since then — including releases like a cover album and eponymous 8-track release. The group also released several new tracks in the past few months, with “Marmalade” and “Supermoon Blackout” catching my attention specifically.
“Marmalade” rides immediately on a fun crunchy guitar distortion and handclap percussion, with the playful guitar lick and bluesy vocal presence reminding of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Black Keys, and acts of that ilk. The jingle-laden “na-na-na”ing adds another fun element, with the guitars and keys asserting a melodically dominant presence after that. It’s a fun track through and through. “Supermoon Blackout” takes initial feedback and brings it to an echo-laden blues-rocker, with swagger once again reminiscent of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Similarly with them, the psych-rock and vintage influences here like T.Rex and The Jesus and Mary Chain are evident, with the warbled vocals and bluesy melodic lead making for an instantly contagious sound. Look out for more goodness from this rising act in the near future.