MONOWHALES – Out With The Old

Monowhales is a 3-piece rock band from Canada that came to light in 2017 and achieved impressive success in the Canadian music scene for a DIY, independent band. They even got supporting slots for bands like Marianas Trench. The band released a few singles last year and started 2021 with a bang with the explosive Out With The Old. The hook-ridden tune got all the elements to get you to move from the moment the first chorus hits your ears.

Monowhales wrote this track about today’s world and feeling that we are given the illusion of choice when there is no choice at all, but staying hopeful for a better future. They got a new single lined up bot this Friday and if Out With The Old is any indication, we should really pay attention to it. They obviously know how to compose a great track.

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Favourite Daughter – Long Distance

I don’t know how many alternative/indie rock artists there are out there who started their careers as opera singers but I bet the list is not long. Julia Kennific, who is a soprano from Montreal, certainly qualifies now that she has released her debut alternative rock single as Favourite Daughter. The Canadian artist wrote Long Distance on an unplugged, rented electric guitar after a discouraging call with her girlfriend at the time. Julia had been away in Halifax for an opera gig and they had not seen each other for four months when that call happened. Frustrated and foreseeing the end of that relationship, Julie felt the need to express her feelings on this relatable song.

However, don’t think Long Distance is a sad song to listen to while watching the rain fall on a window. It is a guitar-driven tune with a catchy beat prone to foot-tapping. As Julia puts it, it is a song “to blast on repeat in your headphones while on a long, angry run post-breakup, to sing along to with your best friend on an aimless night drive, or belt loudly and off-key while taking a shower“. Enjoy!

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The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara – At The Worlds Ends

Continuing with this week’s trend of featuring songs a bit “out of left field” for me, I got today At The Worlds End, the latest single from The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara. Now, I do like TCOMAS, don’t get me wrong. I even featured them here back in October. But as you will notice when you listen to this track, it is much heavier than the kind of music I usually feature here. It is probably be the heaviest one yet. What can I say? There’s something about the way Daphne delivers her spoken word parts that I can’t resist.

The fact that this song’s theme is related to climate change and the impact that our actions have on the planet also helps. This is reflected very well in the accompanying music video, which you can watch below. Check this tune out, particularly if you enjoy loud guitars. It will be worth it.

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Allison Lorenzen feat. Midwife – Vale

Denver-based artist Allison Lorenzen is one half of the synth / percussion duo School Dance, which allowed her to learn the tropes of composing beautiful vocal melodies across minimalistic backgrounds. In January, Allison put all those skills on display with her first release as a solo artist, Vale, for which she got the help of slowcore multi-instrumentalist Madeline Johnston, aka Midwife.

I really like the deceiving simplicity of the track but I also find the main melody quite catchy. Vale is another word for valley, which is often used metaphorically to describe feeling low or depressed, which is the meaning the word has on this ethereal song. Luckily, that’s far from the feeling you get when listening to Vale: the elation of having found a great tune. Check it out below.

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Collective Soul – Needs

As I shared yesterday on Facebook, this great album, Dosage, was released 22 years ago on February 9, 1999. If you only know a few songs from Collective Soul (if you know them at all), chances are those songs are all from the band’s first two albums, as those were their biggest hits: Shine, December and The World I Know. All great songs, hands down. However, this band from Georgia is much more than those 3 tracks, as they consistently released good albums all the way through 2009. The pace slowed down after that year (two albums since then) as they focused on some side projects but they will probably release another album soon as they just dropped a small EP a couple of months ago. I will always have a soft spot for Collective because they were the first band I ever saw live and it was a heck of a live show. Seriously, if have never seen them live, you should prioritize that once rock concerts are a thing again. Ed Roland is one of the best performers I have ever seen.

Anyway, I’m digressing. Dosage was a great album and even though it had a couple of big hits in Heavy and Run, and contains several little gems, the record itself is not as famous as its predecessors. One of those gems in Needs, which, in my opinion, is just as good as any of the band’s bigger hits. Ed Roland’s vocals are great as usual but each component of this song (the strings, in particular) is just stunning. Please enjoy this #musicalcrush of mine as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry.

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TROUBLESHOOT – Worst Bad Habit

Songs like Worst Bad Habit are not that popular nowadays, even within alternative rock circles, but they used to be very popular about 15 to 20 years ago, around the time I was a student, which is why I got a soft spot for them. I’m referring to tunes from bands like American Hi-Fi and Sugarcult. Maybe it is time these songs make a comeback.

With regards to TROUBLESHOOT, that is the stage name chosen by York-based artist Ben Jones, who dreams about becoming the “upbeat Lewis Capaldi“. Time will tell about that but as you can see in Worst Bad Habit, Ben is influenced by alt-rock and even pop-punk music, which consist mostly of guitar-driven songs and catchy riffs, with some synth melodies here and there. He’s released two EPs already as TROUBLESHOOT, with some of the tracks even getting featured on some editorial playlists from Spotify. Definitely check him out if you re or used to be a fan of early 2000s alternative rock bands.

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The Jobs – The Sunrise Over The Hill

The Sunrise Over The Hill is my favourite track from The Jobs‘ new EP: Sailing Upon The Thames, which is on itself a really good album. In case you are wondering who they are, we are talking about an alternative rock band from Cleveland, Ohio that should definitely be on your radar. They started when its two primary songwriters, Trevor Meyer and Thomas Heun, who played on competing bands in high school, decided to join efforts after college. Drawing inspiration from all around the world and adding tones of punk, emo and surf rock to their alt-rock base, they deliver outstanding music with their own distinctive style.

What I love about The Sunrise Over The Hill in particular is, quite simply, its magnetic melody. However, the band added enough rhythmic changes to keep it interesting from beginning to end. The hook-ridden song got the whole package including quality lyrics. See it by yourself below.

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Republica – Ready To Go

While doing some research for yesterday’s post, I got reminded of this classic from the 90s. Ready To Go was an international hit in 1997 (even though it was originally released in 1996) and it is by far the most well-known song from the English band Republica. I can’t say I know much about them, but according to Wikipedia (which of course is always right), they were formed in 1994 and are still active despite releasing their only two albums before the new millennium (they’ve released some compilations afterwards). As an interesting piece of trivia, Saffron, their lead singer, was born in Nigeria.

Anyway, enjoy this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry!

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Stranger Girl – Bad Side

Stranger Girl sounds a lot like a female-fronted and improved version of The Strokes (I’m not a big fan of Julian Casablancas‘ vocals), which makes sense because that band is one of their influences. This British band has released 5 singles since 2017 but 4 of them since 2019, with Bad Side dropping late last year. A song about confronting your inner bad thoughts, highlighted by an anthemic chorus, this tune really showcases how talented Stranger Girl are.

With recurrent themes such as neuroticism and geekiness, it’s not hard to understand the origin of the band’s name. However, there is nothing strange about Stranger Girl‘s music. It is catchy, relevant and distinctive. Please do check them out.

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Foo Fighters – Waiting On A War

Today was one of those days with meetings back-to-back non-stop, which is something that drains my energy levels. For that reason, I’m going to feature today a great band that everybody is aware of. There isn’t much I can tell you about the Foo Fighters you don’t already know.

They’re about to release a new album soon and have dropped 3 song so far, with the latest one being Waiting On A War, released last week. If you haven’t heard it already, do so now. It rocks. I hadn’t liked a new song from the Foo Fighters this much since Walk from 2011’s Wasting Light, so I’m not a diehard fan who will simply love everything Dave Grohl and company do. Believe me when I say that I think this new track is stunning. I love everything about it, from its lyrics (inspired by Grohl’s daughter) to the intro with the soft guitar strums and the strings to its amazing in crescendo finish.

There’s got to be more to this than that!

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