Comment: “Campfire” sounds like a hit song Alanis or Hole could have released in the 90s, but it was actually written by a talented 22-year-old indie/pop artist from Reading, UK. Not only that, it is just the second single ever released by Frankie Bird. To say that she has a promising future would be a massive understatement.
It is no wonder then that when Frankie moved to London in late 2021 and became a regular on the open mic circuit, she proved to be a success all around the city. “Campfire”, in particular, is a little hidden gem that deserves to be found.
Comment: I haven’t done a #throwbackthursday post in a while, but after discovering recently that Augustana was not as well-known as I thought, I decided to feature that musical project today. My intention was to use my favorite Augustana song: “On The Other Side”, from their self-titled album (2011), but for some reason that whole album is not available on any streaming platform. For that reason, I had to settle for my second favorite song, Boston, which also happens to be their biggest hit. If there’s one Augustana song you probably have heard before (even if unknowingly), it would surely be this one.
Augustana has always been led by Daniel Layus, but these days he’s the only member of Augustana left. Boston was part of the band’s debut album and peaked at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2006, pretty good for an alternative rock band at the time. With regards to the meaning of the song, Layus once explained this: “You know, growing up, I had extended family on the outskirts of Boston, and we’d fly out there for the holidays fairly often, and I always loved it out there, in my mind it always seemed like the farthest point away from California that you could go”.
Comment: Roseburg is an alt-rock quartet named after the city where this musical project started: Roseburg, Oregon. Today, they’re based out of Utah and after two and a half years of silence, they came back last month with a new single, Alice, that was actually written a few years ago, when frontman Zach Knell was just 16. Knell, by the way, has the perfect voice for this type of indie rock music. If you’re a fan of bands like The Fray, check Alice out. You won’t want to miss it.
Comment: Conor Rabone, frontman of Gathering of Strangers, a five-piece indie rock band from Manchester, had this to say about their latest single, Red & Gold: “My absolute favourite time of the day is just after sunset, and you have about five minutes when the sun has disappeared, but it has turned the whole sky a golden red. I wanted to capture my feelings during those 5 minutes and put it in a song“. It’s safe to say he succeeded at that because when you listen to Red & Gold, the moment that riff starts playing at the beginning, you feel instantly elated.
With songs like Red & Gold, this band is definitely going places.
Comment: 17-year-old Sky Katz started as a contestant on season 11 of America’s Got Talent, as a freestyle rapper (when she was just 11), and she continued on the hip-hop lane when she launched her recording career. After landing a series of roles on TV, including the lead on Netflix series: Surviving Summer, she decided to cross genres to melodic pop-punk under the tutelage of Joel Madden of Good Charlotte. Why Did You Call is one of a series of singles Sky has released this year that showcase how talented she is as a #singersongwriter.
As if being able to write catchy melodies and infectious hooks wasn’t enough, Sky also directed the music video, which is essentially a short film starring Sky and her co-star from Surviving Summer, Savannah LaRain. The artist wanted to represent how normal and healthy a same-sex relationship can be, specially for young couples. I think both song and video are outstanding pieces of art that set the bar really high for Sky Katz‘ future releases.
Comment: Lomon, a young artist from Seattle who was featured here in 2020, got married earlier this year and he sweetly decided to write and perform a song for his new wife: Multitudes. Just like his previous song, Little Visitors, Multitudes got a strong David Bowie influence, but it’s accessible for everybody, not just Bowie fans. The layered track got an undeniably catchy chorus that fits perfectly with every single piece of this complex song.
Lomon’s wife must feel proud of the little gift her husband gave her. A gift she is now generously sharing with all of us.
Comment: Madison Deaver could have chosen the easier path to stardom by becoming a hip-hop artist. Instead, she’s been compared to the garage days of Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne, with her music ranging from alternative rock to punk rock, and I applaud her for that. Her new single Denim might be her best one so far and it is as energetic and anthemic as you could expect. Lyrically, Madison complains about people who think relationships are like denim, as if they would last forever no matter how badly one person is treated. Overall, this track is an absolute banger.
Comment: The eponymous track of The Wombat‘s next EP, Is This What It Feels Like To Feel Like This, might not reach the heights of their mega hit Cheetah Tongue, but that does not mean it isn’t a superb track anyway. In fact, I’ve been listening to it on repeat for the past month or so. If you hadn’t heard of it until now, check it out. It has the potential to become your next #musicalcrush.
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.