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Growing up on the “wrong side of the Mersey,” James Candlish (vocals), Lee Barry (guitar), James Taaffe (bass), Tom Byron O’Shea (guitar), and James “Peach” Caul (drums) make up Cult Icon. Since forming in 2019, they’ve blessed Birkenhead, UK and beyond with their alt-rock/blues sound.

Don’t expect Hallmark charm or Hollywood farce, from orchestration to vocals, their music thrums with real-world flavor. The opening bars of “Cold Street Shade” push you along under cold city streetlights.

The bass, pushed forward in the mix, sets up the first vocal line. “Been wasting time since the break of day.” Moody, attitude-heavy lyrics pound along with dirty, overdriven guitars. The whole ambiance paints a picture of killing time in a place where time doesn’t move.

Exactly what you’d expect from a group that grew up in the shadow of Liverpool. It’s a sonic snapshot of the city—dark, alone, nothing to do and nowhere to go.

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As their debut single, it encapsulates the quasi-familiarity and alienation born from crowded places. Taste the willfully self-inflicted suffering of the city, and take it as an introduction to their soon-to-be-released EP coming in early 2021.

Stream “Cold Street Shade” below.


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UNXIGNED is all about the indie. As an independently run music and artist discovery blog, UNXIGNED's core values are founded on the belief that music, being a universal language and an essential part of culture, must be celebrated no matter the scene an artist represents. It is our mission at UNXIGNED to help deserving indie artists—seasoned and new—be heard globally and to produce quality content for readers and listeners to enjoy.

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