Comment: Me Nd Adam, the dynamic duo hailing from Austin, Texas, has carved an impressive path through the music industry, captivating audiences with their heartfelt anthems, engaging accessibility, generous merch giveaways, and their spirited, unapologetic demeanor. They’ve earned the moniker of pioneering trailblazers in the genre they call trash-wave.
Their latest offering, “Worse Than This,” is a standout track from their album “American Drip Part II (ADP2).” This sophomore release marks a significant evolution in their musical journey, weaving a tapestry of influences into a sound that’s unmistakably their own. The duo deliberately shifted towards a more organic instrumental approach, toning down the electro-pop elements that adorned their debut album, obviously: “American Drip Pt. I (ADP1).”
Back in November 2020, Me Nd Adam caught our attention with the release of “The More I Grow Up,” a single that swiftly amassed over two million streams. It also piqued the interest of the underdog indie label, Handwritten Records, based in Las Vegas. Since then, they’ve continued to garner acclaim and support from devoted fans and even rock icons like The Killers.
I highly recommend giving “Worse Than This” a listen. If you want to check out their new album afterwards, you can find it here.
Comment: Mitski has been releasing music since 2012, exploring different genres and moods, from indie rock to synth-pop. She has played in big music festivals around the world, including Glastonbury in 2022. However, I hadn’t really registered her existence until I stumbled upon the wonderful music video she made for ‘Bug Like An Angel’ on Youtube. This was the lead single of Mitski’s seventh(!!) studio album, which was released just this week: ‘The Land is Inhospitable And So Are We‘.
‘Bug Like An Angel’ is a poetic song with religious themes that explore the concept of addiction. Musically, it is mainly an acoustic ballad sprinkled with sporadic and striking choral punctuations. The inclusion of a choir echoing Mitski’s words in a dramatic way was a masterstroke. The official music video, which you can watch below, features the artist, a choir, and an impressive dancer who portrays an alcoholic woman. It’s impossible to take your eyes off of her.
Mitsuki Miyawaki, aka Mitski, is undoubtedly a creative artist. Her originality shines through on this hauntingly beautiful song. It is one of the best tracks of 2023!
Comment: After a brief break, I’m back with a thrilling and immersive track from Under Delusion, the first Russian band or artist featured on T.A.M. What immediately captures your attention when listening to “Burning Under Water” is the distinctive, low-pitched voice of her female vocalist (whose name I was unable to find). However, that’s not the only thing that makes this track stunning. The band took care of every little detail, including a climactic guitar solo.
The song is inspired by a real-life near-death experience that a band member had while scuba diving in the Pacific Ocean. Feeling like burning under water, they managed to write the lyrics immediately after surviving, but they were lost in the backlog until resurfacing by chance. The band then decided to turn this traumatic event into a powerful and emotional song that reflects their resilience and courage.
“Burning Under Water” is the fourth single from Under Delusion’s upcoming second album, which is expected to be released later this year. The band has already gained over one million streams with their previous singles, which showcase their versatility and creativity. They clearly have the talent to deserve our attention. We should look forward to that sophomore release.
Comment: Today’s song played during the end credits of the 5th episode of the second season of The Bear, and I was absolutely mesmerised by it. A quick Google search told me that it was called “Welcome”, and the artist was Harmonia & Eno ’76. I found this curious, as the track had indeed reminded me of legendary music product Brian Eno, and I wondered if he had been involved with the track. (Narrator: He was).
Harmonia was a German supergroup formed in 1973 as a collaboration between members of two prominent krautrock bands. Brian Eno was a fan and described them in the mid-1970s as “the world’s most important rock group.” The band dissolved in 1976 after releasing two albums, but reformed briefly for 11 days in September 1976 to record some tracks with Mr. Eno himself. These tunes became the “Tracks & Traces” album, which remained unreleased until November 1997 due to lost tapes. In 2009, the album was reissued with additional tracks and credited to Harmonia & Eno ’76.
“Welcome” is the opening track of the album, and it has a minimalist and meditative quality. If you appreciate the art of soundscaping and the beauty of simplicity, you will find “Welcome” to be a captivating and rewarding listen. I can’t get enough of it.
Comment: “Athene” by The Velveteins is a laid-back track that was inspired by Homer’s Iliad. The track emits an easy and relaxed tone with warm, effortless vocals, breezy guitars and a steady beat, creating an overall comforting atmosphere. The song also reminds me a bit of Augustana (songs like “Meet You There”, for example), which is never a bad thing. It’s easy to get lost in the mesmeric sounds of The Velveteins, where you’ll find yourself hitting repeat and staying along for the journey.
Nestled at the crossroads of past and present, The Velveteins emerged onto the scene in 2014, anchored by the creative partnership of frontman Spencer Morphy and co-songwriter Addison Hiller. “Athene” emerges as the third jewel from their forthcoming sophomore album, and it comes accompanied by a cool music video that features an excellent choreography and performance by Anya Allegra Saugstad. You can watch it below!
Comment: Beneath the sun-kissed melodies of summer, Grace & Moji‘s latest release, “Monster,” the second single from their forthcoming debut album, delves into the heart of our complexities, shining light on the shadows that coexist within us. As the dynamic husband-wife indie duo serenades us with their infectious indie pop duet, they unravel a universal truth – the duality of our beings.
In this enchanting anthem, Grace & Moji‘s harmonious voices dance harmoniously, a true testament to their musical unity. Grace Hong’s words echo in every note, reminding us that acknowledging our “Monsters” is an essential step toward understanding the nuances that make us human. Also, the vibrant instrumentation and infectious beats create a whirlwind of emotions, carrying us through the highs and lows of their melodic narrative.
In short, this groovy track is an indie pop gem. Its easygoing tone, well-executed vocals, and captivating storytelling make it a standout piece that leaves a lasting impression. Check it out!
Comment: Shuzhen is a neo-classical pianist and multifaceted producer from Malaysia. She has has taken the emo rock hit “Desert” by ARVAN, a band that has won the “Best Band” award at the 2020 Malaysia AIM Chinese Music Awards and performed at various festivals in Malaysia and Taiwan, and turned it into a sleek and classy deep house gem. The remix, aptly titled “Desert (Shuzhen’s Oasis Rework)”, is part of the musical project “ARVAN’s Rework”, curated by the independent music label mü-nest.
I had never heard of ARVAN before, which is a shame because they seem really talented. But when you contrast the original version of “Desert” with Shuzhen’s version, you can really appreciate her talent as well. Shuzhen transforms the dark and emotive original into a warm and vibrant sonic atmosphere that invites listeners to dance in harmony with the music. The pairing of Aki’s soulful vocals (ARVAN’s lead singer) with Shuzhen’s electronic soundscapes fits like a glove.
With this stylish remix, Shuzhen demonstrates her ability to blend the fluidity and contemporary appeal of electronic music with the distinctive emotional essence of emo rock. People in America and Europe should take a closer look at what’s happening in Southeast Asia’s music scene, starting with this collaboration between ARVAN and Shuzhen, and exploring Shuzhen‘s small yet impressive back catalogue.
Comment: If the name Kristian Montgomery and the Winterkill Band sounds familiar, that might be because almost exactly 3 years ago, I featured his single “Razor Wide Heart” on this website. “The 4th of July” is my favorite track from the band’s new album, Lower County Outlaw, and it showcases how Kristian and his bandmates keep getting better and better at what they do. The track is a delightful blend of country and rock that narrates a heart-warming love story.
From the very beginning, Kristian Montgomery’s masterful composition and emotional vocals take listeners on a captivating ride, mirroring the excitement and anticipation of that special moment when he and his wife, April, first connected. The lyrics beautifully capture the comfort and chemistry shared between the two, as if destiny had finally brought them together in the right place and time.
The song’s peak moment comes with a gripping guitar solo and a final chorus sung with an urgent passion that’s impossible to ignore. If you listen to this track and feel nothing at all, do you even truly feel alive?
Comment: Some songs are truly special. From the moment you hear them for the first time, you know that they will become a fixture of your daily soundtrack for months to come. That was the case when I listened to “Egyptian Summer” by Good Strangers. The mind-blowing thing is that this is the band’s first ever single, released ahead of their forthcoming debut EP, ‘Adult Teenage Novels’, coming out this fall.
Good Strangers came into existence as a collaboration of Irish musician friends, united by their shared passion for music and a history of playing together in various bands and projects. The band’s two lead singers, Niamh Kirby and Conor Quinn, who are best friends since they were 3, formed the group in 2022 after returning from Berlin, where they were inspired by the vibrant indie folk scene in the German capital. They chose the act’s name as a celebration of community and the many good strangers the band has met throughout their time touring, travelling and attending festivals.
In “Egyptian Summer,” the Irish band paints a raw and poetic portrayal of the moment when a beautiful relationship begins to unravel. Connor wrote it after going through a tough breakup, reminiscing about a summer in Egypt and searching for signs that everything would go downhill afterwards. Musically, the track has a similar vibe to Of Monsters And Men‘s debut album, without sounding exactly the same. What it really sets it apart for me are two things: first, how well Connor and Niamh’s voices fit together, and second, the emotion that they are able to transmit with their heartfelt vocals.
In conclusion, “Egyptian Summer” by Good Strangers is a sublime testament to the power of storytelling through music. It delves into the complexities of love, loss, and self-discovery, wrapped in an indie soundscape that feels both familiar and fresh. I honestly can’t wait for the debut EP!
“Remember that Egyptian Summer The fork lightning over the bay When we forgot everything We forgot our troubles When love was kind And the silence was noise But Underneath a marble sky I never seen you look so happy In your life.
And you were always cracking jokes And laughing at my funny ways And as the thunder rolled Well so did my sorrow We told lies We told them all the time But underneath a marble sky Nothing mattered.
I need a thunderstorm To distract from the pain Cause tomorrow might be the same damn sorrow I need something to happen The heavens to burst The sky to tear open The passion to run and flow like a river Out of my eyes Once it’s out of my heart It’s such a cold and desolate Happy ever when It’s such a cold and desolate Happiness never came.
We sat at the bar and we talked about the things we used to like And romanticised the pain Always remember it’s a crying shame Like reaching for the heavens but the heavens never came And I’ve played the victim long before you arrived These are not my people It’s not my scene not my style So I’m going back I’m going back to the city Please forgive me”
Comment: Kirsten Agresta Copely is no stranger to this blog. I have featured her stunning harp music before, in Sweet Disposition and Tableaux, and I’m happy to report that she has a new album, Aquamarine, released in July.
Aquamarine is a deeply personal and emotional album, dedicated to Kirsten’s late mother, who shared her love of the ocean and music. Each of the nine tracks has a water theme and a special meaning for Kirsten, reflecting her memories of her mother and her own artistic vision. The album is a beautiful tribute to the woman who inspired and supported Kirsten’s musical journey from an early age.
The title track, “Aquamarine”, is a perfect introduction to the album. It starts with a gentle harp melody that evokes the calmness and clarity of the sea. The song gradually builds up with layers of sounds created by the mixing engineer, Kirsten’s husband: Marc Copely, creating a rich and dynamic soundscape that captures the power and mystery of the ocean. The song is both soothing and uplifting, inviting the listener to dive into Kirsten’s deep blue world. If you are looking for a song that will soothe your soul and inspire you, here it is: