Hellogoodbye – Here (In Your Arms)

To be honest, the first couple of times I heard Hellogoodbye‘s Here (In Your Arms), I didn’t like it. I couldn’t deny the extremely infectious chorus, but everything else about the tune seemed odd to me. It was a classic example of a song that grows on you the more times you listen to it. And listening to this song I did. A lot. Because my then girlfriend (now wife) loved it from the first time, to the point that it was her ringtone for a good while (back when that was still a thing). It’s hard to believe it’s been so long already.

Here (In Your Arms) was the lead single from Hellogoodbye‘s debut album, Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!, released in 2006. It peaked a number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum in the US. I don’t think the Californian band has been able to replicate that level of success since then, but they’re still around, with a few lineup changes but still led by lead singer Forrest Kline.

I hope you like this catchy song, because it is this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Young Ritual – Dylan’s Dream

Dylan Grantham is a singer/songwriter from Michigan who writes and performs music as Young Ritual. Having the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and The National as influences, he composes beautiful indie/folk songs highlighted by honest lyrics, his heartfelt voice and his guitar. The global pandemic in 2020 gave him an opportunity to stay creative, releasing a stripped-down EP, Spare Room, earlier this year and even more songs after that. Dylan’s Dream was the first single from that EP.

Written, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Grantham from his home studio, Dylan’s Dream is a captivating song about a fever dream where people act on their worst impulses, leading to a dystopian society. Its title is a callback to an older Bob Dylan song called, Bob Dylan’s Dream. Both tracks are similar in style, but if I had to choose only one of them, I think I would prefer Young Ritual‘s one. I’m not saying you’ll agree with me, but you should at least give it a chance, which you can do on the mixtapes below.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Bedside Manners – What It Seems

This five-piece band from Merseyside, Bedside Manners, epitomizes British rock. Creating what they describe as dirty indie rock/punk, their style feels like an amalgamation of many British bands such as Arctic Monkeys, the 1975 and even Oasis, resulting in riffs-heavy energetic rock. After starting out in 2018 with the release of their first EP, they have quickly garnered a following, with one of their singles gaining over 200k streams on Spotify. As with any other artist this year, Bedside Manners has been impacted by the Covid situation, but that hasn’t stop them from releasing a new single, What It Seems, which is also –in my opinion– their best one yet.

This banger consists of nearly three minutes of shimmy-inducing rock & roll. A song of multiple meanings, it manly deals with the subject of reminiscing about the past and wondering what would have happens if we had made different decisions. One decision you won’t have to regret though, is listening to What It Seems now. It will bring some energy to your Tuesday.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Tyson Kelly – Am I Ever Gonna See You Again

The son of a renowned songwriter, L.A. born but London based artist Tyson Kelly has been fascinated by music all his life. For the past ten years, he’s been touring the world as a sought-after John Lennon impersonator, performing in shows such as Broadway’s Let It Be, and even as a member of The Beatles Bootleg; but now it is time for Tyson to stay true to himself and focus on the music he wants to make. Hence, last month he released his debut EP, Plastic Rockstar, in which he blends modern pop with soundscapes from the 1980s. The EP got 4 tracks, including the upbeat Am I Ever Gonna See You Again.

This infectious tune is full of dazzling synths and hooks. Lyrically, it tells a story of a music star who connects with a fan after a gig but after leaving town for the next gig the following day, the fan wonders if they ever going to see each other again. Despite the melancholic theme, the catchy melody lifts your spirit in a nice way. The song’s production is also spot on, which makes the whole experience even more enjoyable. Listen to Am I Ever Gonna See You Again below. It’ll be fun.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

ThePianoPlayer – Secrets

ThePianoPlayer is a musical project from Italian pianist and composer Enzo Orefice. As ThePianoPlayer, he uses his creativity to experiment with ambient and neo-classical music, but without ending up with abstract pieces. All his pieces are elegantly beautiful yet easily accessible.

Take, for example, one of his releases from 2020, the stunning Secrets. A beautiful song that reminded me of the work Ólafur Arnalds did for the show Broadchurch. Whether you are having a pretty active Sunday or a lazy one, I can’t think of better ways to end it than by listening to this breathtaking piece. Enjoy!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

The Musical Endeavor – Ray of Light

For those of you who might not know, vaporwave is a relatively new music genre that consists of slowed-down samples of smooth jazz, hip-hop and lounge music. The Musical Endeavor is a musical outlet led by Liam Taylor, who describes his music as instrumental lo-fi hip hop with elements of vaporwave. This act recently released its second EP, Ray of Light, whose title track is our song of the day.

You can certainly perceive the jazz vibe on this track, mainly due to its piano hook, an original composition by Liam. Ray of Light has a soothing effect that makes it an enjoyable piece. Next time you have friends visiting (if that becomes a thing again at some point), you can play this song or even the whole EP as a musical interlude and get props for not recurring to the typical lounge music we’re all tired of hearing at bars or restaurants. Enjoy!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Forest Blakk – If You Love Her

I think one of the hardest things for a songwriter to do is to write beautiful romantic songs that aren’t cheesy. Seriously, how many are there that don’t say things like “I’ll die for you” or “I can’t live without you”? Not that many. Luckily, that list is slightly bigger now with the addition of this new song from Canadian singer/songwriter Forest Blakk: If You Love Her. It is a nice song with great vocals and a good melody, but what really sets it apart, I think, are its lyrics.

I discovered Forest Blakk two years ago when Apple Music recommended its song Tread Lightly to me. He describes his style as urban folk, mixing the tranquility of folk music with the chaotic rhythm of a city. He’s been releasing his songs to streaming platforms just since 2018 but at a steady pace, so he got a good number of singles out already. Check them out when you feel thirsty for new music.

For the time being, listen to this beautiful song here.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Oasis – Champagne Supernova

Speaking of iconic albums celebrating 25 years this month, Oasis‘ legendary album, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? also fits the bill. It featured hit after hit and if you ask different people what their favorite song from this record is, you will likely get different answers each time. For example, Some Might Say that it is that song; or Wonderwall, which usually tops ‘Best of’ chats and lists; or Don’t Look Back In Anger, recently crowned as the greatest song of the 1990s by listeners of Absolute Radio. However, if you ask me, the best track is one that wasn’t even released as a single in the UK (it was a single in the US though), Champagne Supernova, which is why I chose it as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry.

At “just” 07:30 minutes, I love the way this song starts. People complain about the lyrics being psychedelic –i.e: making no sense–, but I think they are great. You give them the meaning you want . You can complain about the track being too long (up to you), but everything else is spot on. Oasis might not exist as a band anymore, but thankfully, we’ll always have this record and, in particular, Champagne Supernova.

This writer, he was going on about the lyrics to “Champagne Supernova”, and he actually said to me, “You know, the one thing that’s stopping it being a classic is the ridiculous lyrics.” And I went, “What do you mean by that?” And he said, “Well, Slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball — what’s that mean?” And I went, “I don’t know. But are you telling me, when you’ve got 60,000 people singing it, they don’t know what it means? It means something different to every one of them.

Noel Gallagher, Oasis

Featured on the following mixtapes:

LEK – World Cup

One important quality all artist must have is perseverance. There are countless stories of writers, painters and musicians, among others, who found success only after they were rejected multiple times. If you believe in yourself, just keep trying. That is something that today’s artist, LEK, got in his favour: he doesn’t take no as an answer.

Born in New York and based in New Jersey, this multi-intrumentalist artist has led quite an interesting life. From leaving medical school to follow an Indian guru in California, to backpacking for months in Southeast Asia, India and South America, including teaching himself how to read and write Thai, he has done it all. Now, Lek is focusing on his music, having released 3 full albums in 2020 alone already, each one of them covering different genres: from psychedelic rock to acoustic folk going through Thai rock covers.

Now, I’m not a big fan of psychedelic music, and when LEK reached out to me to see if I would be interested in featuring one his earlier songs from that genre, I declined letting him know that. Then, when he was about to release his latest album, Surya, which leans more towards the indie/folk side, he reached out again to gauge my interest, which led me to discover World Cup. It got a nice melody with beautiful guitars and soothing vocals, but what really sets it apart are its lyrics. Had you heard before a folk song mentioning Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo? This is your chance!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Lomon – Little Visitors

Lomon is a Seattle-based musician who feels out of place, as if he had been born a thousand years early. His style is described as psychedelic indie electronic, and perhaps that is the case in general, but this particular song we are featuring today, Little Visitors, is actually closer to glam rock. There’s certainly a David Bowie vibe to it.

Passionate about science fiction and all things related to space, Lomon, aka Zander Chocron, usually writes songs about our planet, taking care of it, and space exploration. Little Visitors, for example, is a metaphor for the human race not appreciating the beautiful planet we have. All in all, Lomon is certainly an artist with plenty to say and the creativity to do so in quirky and interesting ways. Check him out below.

Featured on the following mixtapes: