TROUBLESHOOT – Inside My Head

I’ve been sick for the past few days, which is the reason why I wasn’t able to post anything since Saturday. Inside My Head is the song I was planning to write about on Monday but things didn’t go as planned. Anyway, that’s life.

I wrote about British artist Troubleshoot four months ago when he released his song Worst Bad Habit and now he’s back with a new track that sounds even better while maintaining a similar musical style. He got help from sound engineer Alex Edge for recording, mixing and mastering Inside My Head, which will be part of Troubleshoot‘s forthcoming debut album and one of his favorite tracks. The song talks about the ideal work Ben has created in his head, which contrasts with the toxic place he perceives the real world to be nowadays. The end result is a powerful and catchy alternative rock song like those that were popular 20 years ago.

Check it out below and support this up-and-coming music artist.

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heartaake – unevershowmeløv

Two friends from Sweden, one a house music producer, John Dahlbäck, and the other one a 3D animator, Erik Ande, decided to work together on a music/motion art project as a way to abstract themselves from their hectic lives that involve, according to them, too many children and dogs around. This project is heartaake, and as you can probably guess already, its music style is basically #lofichillout. John and Eric say that their biggest influence is the silence that surrounds them when they make music.

However, unevershowmeløv –I got no clue what it means but the song is about taking it easy– is not your typical chill out tune. It has personality. Sounds and a melody that make it easily identifiable, which is not something I can say of many chill-out tracks. Also, at just 01:46 minutes, it does not overstay its welcome. As implied by the animation below, unevershowmeløv is a great track to listen to while driving. The artists behind heartaake say that this music is their chill zone and I think they manage to transport the listener to that place as well. What else could we ask for? Welcome to the chill zone!

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The Strumbellas – Greatest Enemy

One of the first bands featured here, The Strumbellas, released a new single earlier this year that is just great. While the band was on hiatus during 2020, lead singer Simon Ward wrote Greatest Enemy as a way to reflect on his internal battles during a rough year that involved a cancelled tour even before the pandemic started. Not only has this song a great message, but it also is anthemic as hell. It’s impossible to listen to that chorus and resist the urge to sing or hum along. What I really love about this tune is that it doesn’t sound like I’ll Wait at all while being just as good. They weren’t just trying to repeat the same formula.

Greatest Enemy‘s music video is worth a watch as well. It was created by Toronto-based animator  Luca Tarantini and it is aligned with the song’s concept of battling your own demons. Watch it below.

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Broken Glowsticks – Funeral Song

Remember The Dangerous Summer? In case you don’t, they were featured here almost one year ago (it feels like yesterday though). Well, Broken Glowsticks is the alter ego of AJ Perdomo, TDS’ frontman, who created this alternative side project as an outlet to showcase a different side to his songwriting. He has released two songs so far as BG, with Funeral Song being the most recent one. A hauntingly beautiful stripped down track that will hit you hard with its heartfelt lyrics.

AJ Perdomo is a great songwriter and the fact that he now has more ways for getting his songs to our ears is nothing but good news to all of us. As much as I like The Dangerous Summer, with lyrics such as “What if we all die before we win” and “I’m drowning in the words I wanna sing”, we can’t help but fall in love with Broken Glowsticks as well. Enjoy!

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Majozi – Close To You

When someone tells you that a recently-released song got a strong 1980s influence, almost immediately you will think of synths of all types and shapes and, most of the time, you will be right. With Close To You, however, you would be very wrong because music from that decade was much more than just synths. Majozi is a South African #indiefolk / #indiepop artist who decided to push his boundaries further with his latest single by incorporating rhythms and sounds typical of tunes from the 1980s. Think Lionel Richie’s All Night Long with a folksy vibe and a sax-based bridge.

Majozi has been active in his home country for about 10 years and has even had several radio hits over there. He has grown a fanbase in South Africa due to his heartfelt lyrics written from his cheerful perspective of the world. Close To You is a good example of that because you will see that the track is pretty uplifting on its own. It’s the kind of music the whole world needs right now: the kind that will make you smile.

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almost sex – Blue Heaven

It’s hard to believe that we’re already in June. It was more than 6 months ago when we were introduced to alternative act almost sex back in January. Since then, they have released a few more singles and even an acoustic EP so to say that they have been very active in 2021 would be an understatement. Each new song has been considerably different to the previous ones and their latest single, Blue Heaven, is no exception. I think it is the one I have liked the most since Charmer, but that does not mean that their others releases are not worth your time. They are.

What I really enjoy about Blue Heaven is its groovy backing track. I don’t know how Nick and Warren do it but it is kind of addictive. You can’t get enough of it. The vocals match the infectious rhythm perfectly well, resulting in a well-rounded song that you will want to play on repeat. Again and again. Check it out below.

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Alex Urwicz – Ardoise

Alex Urwicz is a classically trained pianist and composer based out of Paris. In 2020, he co-created a label called WUCA Records that specializes in classical and neoclassical music, on which he released his debut EP, Couleurs, earlier this year. In addition to that, Alex has worked a composer, arranger, and producer on films, documentaries and advertising for the past 5 years. He clearly knows a thing or two about making music.

Couleurs consists of four tracks inspired by colors. Ardoise, for example, is the French word for a bluish shade of gray. It is the first song in the EP and also my favorite. You could say this of the four tracks but Ardoise is particularly soaked in sweet nostalgia that will transport you to your childhood or another time that you remember with fondness. It reminded me of the stunning soundtrack of the great movie Amélie (I should write about Yann Tiersen at some point). The bottom line is that Alex Urwicz is a talented composer that you should follow if you like sweet piano-based melodies. You won’t regret it.

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Chvrches feat. Robert Smith – How Not To Drown

I had been wanting to feature Chvrches here for a long time now but I was waiting for the right opportunity. They they have just released the second single off their forthcoming fourth album, Screen Violence, and I really liked it, so I decided to take the plunge. I’m a big fan of Chvrches’ first two albums but not so much of the third one, Love Is Dead: it was not a bad album but it wasn’t at the same level as the other two. I thought that He Said She Said, the lead single for Screen Violence, could have been in their previous album but this new song, which features the legendary Robert Smith from The Cure, is something else completely. In a sense, it sounds exactly as you would expect from combining the two bands’ styles, while, at the same time, it’s kind of surprising to see how great that hybrid sounds.

How Not To Drown is a song about coping with everything that’s going on in your life and how sometimes you might feel like you just want to go away. If features Chvrches’ electronic soundscapes they got us used to, and, as usual, great vocals from lead singer Lauren Mayberry, one of the coolest and more down-to-earth music artists out there today. Having Robert Smith as well is just the cherry on top. Check this great song out below and start your weekend with a bang.

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Jacko Hooper – This Was The Earth

Back in September 2020, British #singersongwriter Jacko Hooper was featured here with his single Beg, Steal or Borrow. I emphasized then how Jacko was able to easily transmit his emotions when he sang and after listening to his latest single, This Was The Earth, I’m happy to report that the above mentioned skill remains intact. Even though the new track sounds very different: there are no Indie Folk traces here, it’s still very intimate and emotional. Jacko’s great vocals really stand out.

This Was The Earth was written and recorded from Jacko’s bedroom with help from producer Josh Trinnaman. Jacko got inspired by how chaotic our lives have been since the pandemic started, especially for people with mental health problems, such as Jacko himself. That being said, the lyrics are generic enough so that everybody could really relate to them, regardless of time and space. It’s impossible not to feel something while listening to Jacko’s emotional vocals on this song. What exactly? That’s up to you but, above all things, I feel in awe of how talented Jacko Hooper is.

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Shaun Riley – Secret

Shaun Riley is a solo #indiepop artist from Minneapolis that has just released his debut EP: Drive, written, recorded, and mixed by him at home. He also has a Youtube channel where he uploads acoustic covers of popular songs. In a nutshell, that’s all there is to know about Shaun in terms of biographic details, and, quite frankly, that’s all we need. Well, that and the facts that he got a really good voice for pop songs and can write a great hook or two.

Secret, the first track in Drive, is a great example of that. It’s an unpretentious song about feeling infatuated at the beginning of a relationship but good luck getting that chorus out of your head afterwards. On these short track reviews, rather than describing each element of the featured song, I just try to give the reader reasons for spending 3 minutes of your valuable time listening to a song. For Secret, I can’t think of better reasons than flawless vocals and how catchy the chorus is. Everything else is secondary.

We should definitely keep Shaun Riley in our radars.

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