Comment: Life is funny. Stephanie Nikolas and Eric Breden were high school friends and neighbors, but it wasn’t until they were in their 20s that they started to see each other as partners, both musically and romantically. This sparked Blue Cove into life, which they describe –accurately, I must say– as a blend of modern indie pop with the “nostalgic shoegaze sensibilities of the 90’s”. With a DIY mentality, Steph and Eric do everything related to Blue Cove, and I mean everything, not just mixing and producing their music: from designing their own merch and artwork to capturing their own press photos to filming their music videos. From what I can tell, they’re pretty good at all of those things.
Thrive is the title track of Blue Cove‘s forthcoming debut album (to be released in October), and it is both dazzling and delicate, if such a combination is indeed possible. Think Mazzy Star, but more dynamic. Lyrically, the song talks about thriving despite dealing with social anxiety and negative thoughts, something a lot of us can relate to. Unfortunately, there’s no music video for this vibrant track yet, but you can check below a little guitar piece they wrote and uploaded to Youtube. Absolutely gorgeous.
Influences: Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen, Sam Fender
Release date: June, 2022
Comment: Morning, from British four-pierce band Armstrong, is one of those alternative rock songs that grab your attention from the start. I have always had a predilection for songs that begin with just a guitar and some melodic vocals, and that then explode once all instruments join the fun –usually around the chorus–, and that’s exactly what happens here. The track’s lyrics talk about delaying big life-changing decisions, like breaking up with someone, until the next morning. Don’t delay listening to this infectious track though. It will be well worth your time.
Comment: Sløtface used to be a Norwegian punk band with certain notoriety in some music circles, but earlier this year they announced that it was becoming the solo project of frontwoman Haley Shea after the amicable departure of the other band members. With this change, came as well a transition to a slower and moodier sound, inspired by those artists mentioned above. I have to say that I hadn’t listened to Sløtface before, so I cannot comment much on the band’s previous releases, but I’m digging this new sound.
Back in June, Haley/Sløtface released two new singles co-written between her and producer Mikhael Paskalev: Beta and Come hell or whatever. Both are really good but the latter is the one I’ve been playing on repeat. Check it out
Comment: When I featured Metric‘s Black Sheep about two weeks ago, I mentioned that they had a new album (Formentera, named after the Spanish island where the band recorded it) that was quite good. I also said that I was going to feature one of their new songs soon and here I am making good on that promise. Paths In The Sky is Formentera’s closing track and even though it hasn’t been released as a single yet, I think it is quite possibly the best song in that record. It is a flawless tune.
Comment: A couple of weeks ago, I featured one of Lit’s new songs and this time around, as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday post, it’s time to put under the spotlight one of their most beautiful songs: 2004’s Lullaby. I loved this sweet tune, which guitarist Jeremy Popoff wrote for his then young son after months away in tours, years before I even considered becoming a dad, so don’t feel like you need to be one in order to appreciate it.
Lullaby was the ninth track in the band’s self-title album, aka the black album. Unfortunately, it was never released as a single, so chances are most people have never heard of it. If you’re one of them, I hope you fall in love with it today.
Comment: Some people have a gift for making addictive melodies without much effort and I believe that is the case of Matthew Ellis, a London-based producer/singer/multi-instrumentalist who releases a “chill-in-the-park” kind of indie rock music as Burlington. In April, he released his debut album, Daylight Sipping, with several examples of what I said above, That being said, the opening track, Mind For Mind, is my favorite one. I just love that guitar riffs that introduces you to the song and the overall vibe of the piece. It could fit in a Coldplay album (one of the good ones).
The most amazing part is that Burlington recorded this album alone in his spare bedroom, except for one track that he co-wrote with two friends (Roots). Just imagine what he could have done in a professional studio. Seriously, check this talented musician out.
Comment: When I featured Toronto-band Nerima for the first time over a year ago, they were working on their debut EP and I’m happy to report that Have More Fun, which is how they called it, is finally going to be available next week. Earlier this month, they dropped a new single called Amnesia, which didn’t disappoint. After listening to it the first time, I told Connor, the bassist, that it reminded me of Letters To Cleo, a band that had a few indie hits in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The funny thing was that neither Connor nor the other band members had ever heard of them. At least, after listening to I Want You to Want Me, they agreed with me. I’ll focus on that instead of the fact that I’m getting old.
Amnesia, whose lyrics tell the story of a person with dreams bigger than reality, has also been compared to Paramore and Avril Lavigne, two acts that I guess need no introduction. Whatever artist Amnesia reminds you of, the bottom line is that it is a great track by a young and talented band. May their music-industry dreams become a reality.
Comment: Do you remember the band Lit? Their hits Miserable, My Own Worst Enemy, and Over My Head, were almost ubiquitous between 1999 and 2002. The band has actually been active, without any breaks, since 1988, which is quite an achievement on itself, especially after their drummer at the time, Allen Shellenberger, died of a brain tumor in 2009. Even though they never went away, they never hit the same highs as before. That being said, I think that could change now because last month they released their sevent studio album, Tastes Like Gold, and I honestly think it is the closest they have sounded to their heyday since then. Do It Again is one of the record’s lead singles and I find it catchy as hell. If you like their old hits, you will enjoy this tune too.
Comment: Metric is as close to being indie-royalty as you will find in the world, and this electronic-leaning band from Toronto is back with a new album, Formentera, that is really good (spoiler alert: I will feature one of its songs in the near future). While we wait for that, as a #ThrowbackThursday post, we could listen again to one of their most popular songs: Black Sheep. Even though it wasn’t included in any of Metric’s studio albums, the song became popular when it was featured heavily on the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World movie, which became a cult hit.
As an interesting tidbit, actress Brie Larson is the actual singer in the version you hear in the movie (which you can listen to in one of the clips below), not Emily Haines (Metric’s lead singer). There’s some debate on the internet about which version is better. Both of them are pretty good.
Comment: MOONWOOD is a Sydney-based alternative rock band that released their debut EP, Everything We Once Knew, less than three months ago. If the band’s name sounds familiar to you, that’s because I featured one of the EP’s lead singles , Sydney Lights, back in December. When I did that, even though I hadn’t listened to the full EP yet, I was convinced that Sydney Lights was going to be hands down my favorite song off that record. I might have been wrong though because now I think that Slow Down might be even better. I lost track of how many times I’ve listened to this song the past couple of months. I just love how it goes in crescendo twice: at the beginning and then after the song switches gears at the 03:10 mark. This represents the increasing tension between two lovers trying to resolve their unspoken issues and differences.
All in all, this is an outstanding alternative rock track. By all means, check it out.