Author: Casey Gallenberger

March 16, 2024

Song Premiere: Zane Vickery - Hydrangea

Zane Vickery has been trickling out new songs from his forthcoming behemoth of an album, Interloper. These songs have seen Vickery shift toward an incredibly personal and vulnerable approach, watching him wrestle with concept of belonging through a lens of faith, grief, his near-death experience, and the rejuvenated outlook on life which has followed. That certainly doesn’t mean the entirety of the record is bleak by any stretch, and “Hydrangea” is a perfect example of this. It’s addressed to Vickery’s wife and it’s a confession of longsuffering and mutual endurance through life’s challenges.… Continued →

March 3, 2024

Elijah Herrell - not as easy as it seemed

Despite a central theme of the Christian faith being the betrayal, desertion, and execution Jesus endured and the consequent call for us to lay down our lives in similar fashion, the reality is that, to some degree, it’s still okay to be a Christian in the Western world. It’s easy to piecemeal select verses into a textbook suburban life. But what about when a conviction costs you your job? What about when committing to a church means you drop all your hobbies? What about when things like marriage, retirement, a long life, or owning property are off the table?… Continued →

February 9, 2024

Check Out Adjy (Appalachian Prog Rock W/ 100 Min Concept Album)

Even though I covered Adjy in the past here, it’s been a few years and a lot of time has passed. In 2021, the group released their ambitious debut album spanning nearly 100 minutes – the FIRST part of a larger tale. And if you are a fan of conceptual works and multi-media projects, this is THE album for you. An accompanying hard-cover book (purchased separately) lays out the lyrics in a way that might be compared to House of Leaves, and there are all sorts of references to history, psychology, mythology, and literature that abound.… Continued →

Seth Davey (Ex-Attalus) Debuts New Song, Album Fundraiser

Seth Davey of Attalus fame has broken what seems to be a long stretch of silence with a new single and a campaign for a new album. And while Into the Sea will live on as one of the most ambitious things to ever come off Facedown Records, Davey’s first solo album was very stripped back and simple in a way that didn’t seem to quite show the full dynamic I was used to. This time around, the campaign makes it clear there will be plenty of drums, guitar, and strings alongside his trademark piano.… Continued →

January 15, 2024

Opinion: The Bewildering Confusion of "Christian" Music

The following ideas are my own opinion and do not represent IVM as a whole. For all the creeds and confessions we have, for all the things Christians past and present have died and are currently dying for, for all the sentiments of things that were simply understood in regards to what it means to be human, the present understanding of what it means to even be a Christian is about as abstract as trying to define which subgenre of punk this or that band is.… Continued →

January 5, 2024

Strategic Releases New Album 'Possibilities'

Appleton, WI solo outfit Strategic has returned with yet another proper album after several years of wandering between a collection of children’s songs and a Christmas album. While the project’s early work was closer to pop punk and alt rock, the new songs flirt with adult contemporary, jazz, folk, and even hints of classic rock. All in all, it’s quite a deviation from previous albums. These songs are years in the making, and it’s interesting to here the finished result put to tape. This is a 13-track album which runs over 50 minutes, perhaps the longest Strategic album to date.… Continued →

December 28, 2023

Best of 2023 (Casey G)

In some ways, it hasn’t been the most exciting year for music. Perhaps I’m getting older, busier, or pickier. Either way, I know I statistically listen to a lot less music as a whole than I did even five years ago. That said, there were an incredible handful of releases this year that I wanted to highlight. This list is in no particular order as they all play to different strengths. Maggie Miles – The Lack Thereof I wanted to start with an album that we haven’t covered but that you’ll nonetheless want to check out.… Continued →

December 18, 2023

INTERVIEW : Linden Hope Releases Debut Single / Exclusive Q & A

I’m very excited to introduce you all to Linden Hope. She released her first single today, and we had a great opportunity to discuss the context of the song, the ways we truly live out Christ’s mission of being one family, and all things surrounding her forthcoming record. Check out the song below and read on – this is personally one of my favorite interviews in quite a while! Continued →

October 29, 2023

Zane Vickery Releases Haunting Single "Demimonde"

When I first heard “Demimonde”, I was immediately thrown off. Was it a demo, maybe? Maybe it wasn’t mixed yet? The roughness and natural reverb feels distant and uncomfortable. But as I continued to listen, things soon felt “normal” once again. Then, later in the track, things get all echoey again. Enter a conceptual world, a world where love and lust are at war, secret lives intertwine with the normalcy or the family unit, and the choice to use your dignity as currency is ever available.… Continued →

October 28, 2023

REVIEW : American Arson - Sand & Cinder // Tide & Timber

Life often moves in cycles; sometimes those cycles repeat, while other times the seasons are delineated more clearly. American Arson has been an IVM favorite since its inception, and many readers are familiar with Evan Baker from Good Luck Varsity even further back. While there’s always been a core of rock, pop punk, and post-hardcore at play, American Arson’s independent EPs were all adorned in unique personalities and moods. And when the band signed with Facedown Records to much acclaim, their sound continued to shift even further.… Continued →

October 26, 2023

Check Out: Elijah Herrell

Elijah Herrell’s forthcoming EP is titled Casualties, and it’s an appropriate way to describe the population of those faithful to Christ who deal with same-sex attraction. It’s a position of being caught in the middle – too religious and objective for the left; too weak or messy for the right. Many struggle in silence and carry the weight on their own, sometimes their whole lives. Others, of course, deconstruct and renounce their faith. And while there are plenty of albums in the recent years that lean toward this latter approach, Herrell offers a needed and honest perspective.… Continued →

October 23, 2023

"Another Bitter Microcosm" - Zane Vickery's 'Breezewood'

It might seem strange to cover an album that’s already several years old – yet not old enough to warrant any significant anniversary milestone. It might seem even stranger to do so the same week the artist in question is releasing a new song. But I’ve inevitably found myself enraptured in Zane Vickery’s debut album, perhaps even more deeply than when I first discovered it. Sure, songs like “Weighted” and “Scales” stood out to me from the start. But time progresses, we grow older, and the chasm between who we are and were seems to ever widen.… Continued →

October 20, 2023

REVIEW : Joseph Cutshall - Stay Close

Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis” meets The Assembly Line’s “Tonight” on “You Will Find”, the first track off Joseph Cutshall’s latest release. While Stay Close is branded as folk rock, there’s something a bit more intricate at play here – hints of 90s and 2000s singer-songwriters, subdued ambience of acts like The Frozen Ocean, and even more standard indie fare in general. Don’t expect a mostly-acoustic, Americana-flavored release. This is a record adorned in dynamics, evident from its first notes. Neither so is the record fixated on any singular subject for too long – a true theme might like wrestling in the valleys between sight and certainty that we call faith.… Continued →

October 11, 2023

Oyarsa (Ex-Comrades, Eaves) Release Debut EP

Oyarsa, featuring members of Comrades and Eaves, continues in the technical and emotionally-charged lineage of its progenitors, opting for an even noisier, frenetic sound. The band debuted last summer with their first single “Lament” – now, they’ve surprise-dropped their first EP. I don’t know about you, but I think Facedown Records should come pick these guys up right now. The EP isn’t yet on streaming services, so hear it below first! Lost in Familiar Places by OyarsaContinued →

August 23, 2023

Help Zane Vickery Hit His 50% Campaign Goal (4 Days Left!)

Zane Vickery set out with an ambitious $15,000 goal for his new album, Mockingbird. The funding request largely came after he and his family incurred severe medical expenses from a near-fatal car crash last year. And while it seems unlikely he will hit the full goal in these final few days, if he raises at least 50%, he can begin recording. Factoring in other donations outside of the campaign, this leaves about $2000 left. Can we pull together and help him out? Check out the campaign here.… Continued →

July 31, 2023

Zane Vickery Funding New Album - Check Out a Preview!

Zane Vickery’s latest EP came during a difficult period in my life where I personally found myself spiritually, physically, and emotionally exhausted. His words were thoughtful, provocative, and encouraging all the same – yet never denying the things we hold in tension as believers in a broken world. It was like the words of a comforting friend who was okay to share in my suffering but didn’t simply want me to stay there. Now, on the other side of literal life-changing car crash, Zane is working on a full-length album about grief, recovery, and faith.… Continued →

May 28, 2023

REVIEW : Former Ruins - No Creature Is Hidden

I’ll be honest – Former Ruins’ (Levi Dylan Sikes) latest album is one I’m cautious to provide any sort of commentary on. It can be easy to be flippant with certain, or, to be frank, a majority of albums and not fully grasp the humanity behind them. And in many ways, that is the essence of No Creature Is Hidden – what does it mean to be a creature, to be seen, to hold fast to our weaknesses and beauty alike in the eyes of Christ Who saves?… Continued →

May 26, 2023

REVIEW : Fepeste - What You Don't Know

Borrowing its namesake from a Watashi Wa song, Colorado Springs-based Fepeste craft similarly-intricate, chill songs. Fepeste’s second album expands on its predecessor, opting for a greater focus on electric instrumentation and guest collaborations. The result is a surfy/psychedelic approach to songwriting anchored firmly in Scripture. These latest offerings may feel oddly seaborne given their origins in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, but rest assured Eric Jett and crew know what they’re doing. There’s a strong sense of simple honesty at play – the ruminations of an adult with children, navigating hectic life in our post-truth world.… Continued →

May 22, 2023

REVIEW : Nick Webber - All the Nothing I Know

There are certain things that are assuredly deceptive in their simplicity – like the grainy, low-res, underexposed photo of some non-descript church which adorns Nick Webber’s latest album. In fact, if I hadn’t stumbled onto it prior to seeing the art, I think I might have skipped it entirely. I’ve crawled through Bandcamp quite a bit and I’m come to realize that bands who take their music seriously tend to pair it with artwork of a similar level. While the picture might not adequate describe the quality of All the Nothing I Know, it perhaps describes the thematic form – one that hazily trudges through pain, uncertainty, and cynicism.… Continued →

REVIEW : Dylan Case White - Remind Me Your Name

Dylan Case White’s debut LP, Remind Me Your Name, has been a long time in the making. Its genesis is fraught with the loss of entire songs, working remotely with Allen Odell for production, and the realization of musical concepts that go back years at this point. White’s previous work includes a project under the Spoken World moniker (which is NOT spoken word) and some demos from Glow in the Dark. And while these hinted at what he was capable of, Remind Me Your Name feels like the awaited fulfillment of some distant promise.… Continued →

April 28, 2023

March 7, 2023

REVIEW : Chase Tremaine - Accidental Days

Nashville songsmith Chase Tremaine has not slowed down one bit over the past few years, from releasing his debut record to releasing (and re-releasing, to incredible effort) his sophomore album in a short span of less than three years  (as well as a stripped-back album). This is an all-the-more impressive effort given Tremaine finds time to juggle all vocal and instrumental responsibilities while also working full-time and being (mostly) newly-married. Now, in partnership with Post Emo Records, he has unveiled his third album, Accidental Days.… Continued →

December 13, 2022

REVIEW : Jacob James Wilton - Life Wide Open

Brandishing a not-so-subtle love for the likes of Starflyer 59, Jacob James Wilton has finally arrived with his latest LP after months of waiting. Life Wide Open is ambitious, dreamy, and infectious just as much as it is pensive and energetic. Wilton has dabbled in a number of disparate styles over the years, but this album feels like the pinnacle of his work. There are tastes of shoegaze, Americana, indie rock, and alternative. While his approach is undeniably modern, he pays respects to artists of two decades ago (writing this made me feel old).… Continued →

October 30, 2022

REVIEW : Jonathan Allen Wright - Doorways & Tombstones

Every now and then, an artist comes along that makes it clear they mean business. These aren’t typically the arena-rockers or bombastic pop acts. Instead, like Elijah’s encounter with the Lord, these artists employ a certain mundane simplicity in their presentation that places the focus on the message before all else. Don’t mishear me – that’s not to say these artists don’t write incredible compositions with powerful production. But all of this is very much secondary to the lyrical focus. I can’t help but think of Former Ruins, Zambroa, Allen Odell, or Benjamin Daniel who all, to some degree, subvert the typical expectations of the singer-songwriter niche.… Continued →

October 28, 2022

Former Ruins Releases Yet Another Pair of Singles

Former Ruins has returned with another pair of singles off his forthcoming sophomore LP, and these tracks to continue to highlight just what makes this project so captivating. As usual, there’s a lot to unpack lyrically and musically – and as a supporter, I’ve been able to hear these songs shift and take form over months and months to become what they are now (which is an odd sort of gift in itself). “Sign” is a bit of bi-partisan bashing, a wrestling with the ways our political allegiances conflict with the call of the Gospel.… Continued →

September 28, 2022

REVIEW : Zane Vickery - Where is Your Faith?: Volume One

Zane Vickery broke onto the scene last year with his debut album, Breezewood, an album of mythic proportions where the real and fantastical coalesce in parable fashion. It’s an album of love, loss, and lessons that assumes the posture of piano-driven indie pop. Now, he’s following the album up with a collection of decidedly-different songs – both musically and lyrically. Where is Your Faith?: Volume One is, per the title, part of some larger body of songs yet to come. Self-contained, it’s fairly concise. It sits at four songs of which two (“Is There Room Enough for Me” and “I Never Left”) were released as singles.… Continued →

September 9, 2022

Check Out Jacob James Wilton (FFO Benjamin Daniel, Allen Odell, Starflyer 59)

Jacob James Wilton is one of the more unique entries into modern Christian music, taking an alt-country and self-described “prairie pop” approach toward songwriting. There’s a certain sobriety to these songs, and there’s even some nostalgia in the form of alt-roc influence. His full album is still forthcoming, but you can check out his first three singles below. Personally, I find this to be one of the more adventurous angles of indie and I hope you enjoy what you hear.
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August 13, 2022

Check Out Zane Vickery (FFO: My Epic, Last Bison, Benjamin Daniel)

While Zane Vickery’s first album showed a catchy, piano-indie/emo/pop sound, he’s cranked things up with lots more intensity on his latest tracks. These are honest-yet-faithful songs that showcase Vickery’s soaring voice and a backing band that feels equal parts contemporary worship and aggressive post-rock. And while it’s never TOO heavy, it’s decidedly more rock-based than his first release. He has a new EP coming soon, but until then, check out the latest tracks below.  
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August 9, 2022

REVIEW : Rob Ray - The Twilight Gospel

The Twilight Gospel is a culmination of years of spiritual and musical wanderings for Rob Ray. This album is the firstfruits of two previous EPs – Yours is the Day and Yours is the Night – and appropriately finds the midpoint of both, musically and thematically. Even the title itself finds itself somewhere between day and night. There’s a stillness and gentleness of the night here, but the light has most certainly not been extinguished. The album features 11 tracks of Ray’s unique brand of playful indie pop, sultry lofi, and pensive alternative worship.… Continued →

May 19, 2022


Sometimes it feels like the wave of faith-based post-hardcore bands the likes of Least of These, sosaveme, Matter, Attalus, and so on has come and gone. It’s a shame – there are plenty of bands that have opted to go to the saturated metalcore market, and it’s obvious that indie is still a thriving genre – but high-octane, technical bands with captivating lyrics have become a rare breed. DENS feels like a beacon of hope here, but they’re certainly not alone in trying to bring new life to this space.… Continued →