Five Days North – Champagne Shots

I didn’t check but I think Five Days North are becoming the first artist or band to be featured here three times. They totally deserve it as they have done nothing but consistently release pretty good tracks every three months or so, which is often enough to stay relevant without saturating us. Champagne Shots is their latest song and perhaps my favorite of them so far. It does sound like a Five Days North song with their distinctive synth lines and overall vibe, but the song’s melody stands out on its own. Just listen to the captivating chorus and you’ll see what I mean.

Lyrically, the song talks about those small bits of luxury we do enjoy from time to time and used to take for granted. After a year and a half of a pandemic, I think we all can relate to that theme now that even going to a restaurant or a live concert seems sumptuous. Champagne Shots is the perfect song to play the next time we do something we once considered normal.

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Casual Vice – Instead

Artist: Casual Vice

Song: Instead

Genres: #indierock #alternativerock

Location: California, USA

Release date: January, 2021.

Comment: Southern California-based duo Casual Vice is formed by two musicians who cut their teeth with other bands before forming this new act last year. Instead was released as a single back in January and then included in the EP Joie De Vivre in February. It is a great indie rock track with a chorus you won’t be able to get out of your head before December. Check it out!

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boy blush – Hell With You

Artist: boy blush

Song: Hell With You

Genres: #indiemusic #indiepop

Location: Los Angeles, California

Release date: April, 2021.

Comment: boy blush is the stage name of Dylan Stone, someone who always dreamed to release music but didn’t dare to do so until the pandemic arrived and some friends heard this tune and gave him a little push. I’m glad they did because if you told me that Hell With You was written by a seasoned songwriter with multiple hits under her name and recorded at a famous studio with a well-known producer, I could totally believe you. I really hope Dylan keeps releasing music.

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Council – I See Sparks

Artist: Council

Song: I See Sparks

Genres: #indierock #indiepop

Location: Baldwinsville, New York

Release date: April, 2021.

Comment: This band is formed by three brothers who honed their craft at night after long days working in the family farm. They started to get noticed about 2 years ago and are planning to release an EP soon. I See Sparks is just a taster of what’s to come and it is one of those songs that get stuck in your head. A total #earworm.

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Michigander – Let Down

I’m at least a couple of months late to Michigander’s party. This song has been in my backlog for a good while now but for one reason or another, it didn’t make it here until now. That is a shame though because Let Down is an extremely catchy song that certainly deserved to be featured here. It even peaked at #8 on the Billboard Adult Alternative chart, which is something. The song, which talks about the dichotomy of feeling excited about meeting a potential love interest and the fear of being let down by it, is part of Everything Will Be OK Eventually, the band’s latest EP released earlier this year. I say band here but the truth is more complicated than that. Michigander is mainly the work of Jason Singer, but he does have a band helping him out, which includes Aaron Senor, who should be familiar to you now after being featured here twice (here and here).

This EP was reviewed back in March by our friend Jeff (Eclectic Music Lover), and as usual, it was a superb review. I’m well aware Michigander is pretty well known around the Michigan area, but I frankly don’t know how he isn’t a mainstream artist already. His songs are refreshingly good, the production is always top-notch and his band is full of outstanding musicians. The rest of the world might need to wait a bit longer before getting acquainted with Michigander‘s work, but you can start right here, right now.

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Superscum – Subtle

Superscum is a Danish #indiefolk band formed by five guys who used to play in metal bands. The band’s name is perhaps a bit odd but not their music, which they describe as “a mellow blend of warm melodies and melancholy.” They have released two EPs so far that have been critically acclaimed in their home country, and they are currently aiming to release their debut full-length this fall.

Subtle is one their new tracks released earlier this year and it shows why Superscum is such a promising band. They have enough creativity to sound unique even without doing anything particularly outlandish. This song algo got a positive message about believing in yourself and having no regrets for trying, and that makes the listening experience even more pleasant. If there’s one thing you can be certain you won’t regret at all is giving Subtle a chance. Check it out below.

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AO – Through The Storm

Aria Pullman Ostrander has done a little bit of everything. She’s been a model; an actress, appearing on numerous tv shows and films and on her own comedy show on Youtube with her friend Alexandra Holden, who you might remember from Friends); a songwriter, writing for herself and also for fellow artists, with several of her songs featured on films and tv shows; and a singer, which is the reason I’m talking about her today. By the way, the Ostrander in her name comes from being married to Josh Ostrander, better known as Mondo Cozmo, for whom she co-wrote several songs in both of his albums. Naturally, he returned the favour by helping her produce her debut solo album, Life Out Loud (LOL).

As a solo artist, Aria uses the moniker AO and her music style is moody indie pop in the same vein as Lana Del Rey. They even have a similar tone of voice, which makes the comparison unavoidable. My favorite songs in LOL are Heaven and Through The Storm, ultimately choosing the latter one because it had a lyric video. It is an entrancing and atmospheric track that couples Aria’s ethereal vocals with layers of sounds that give it a rich texture. This is not a song to sing along or dance to, but you can enjoy it in silence all day long without getting tired. Through The Storm pulls you in like a dream you don’t want to wake up from.

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BANNERS – Serenade

BANNERS is definitely one of the best indie rock acts of the last decade and if this is the first time you hear about him, you have been missing out. It is the stage name of Michael Joseph Nelson, who grew up singing in the Liverpool Cathedral choir, which included performances throughout Europe. In 2015, he decided to move to Toronto, Canada, to start his solo career there. After releasing three singles that year (the first one under the moniker Raines), he dropped his debut EP in January 2016 to moderate success and another one a year later. His first full-length album was released in 2019 followed by another EP consisting mostly of acoustic tracks last year, and he has already two brand new singles in 2021, with Serenade being the latest one. Despite how prolific he’s been so far, he’s been able to maintain the quality of his work: every single one of his releases is at least well worth your time. By all means check them out if you are not familiar with them.

As its name indicates, Serenade is a romantic song dedicated to a loved one, but it is also much more upbeat than that description would lead you to believe. BANNERS‘ vocal skills are in full display here, but the melody is so infectious that I think we could still enjoy the track if it he had a terrible voice. This indie song is as good as it gets. As usual, BANNERS didn’t disappoint. Enjoy!

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I, The Mountain – Wildflowers

In terms of style, I, The Mountain sounds pretty similar to a favorite of T.A.M.: The Strumbellas. That’s not a coincidence though because in addition to being influenced by them, both bands are actually really close. Case in point, Simon Ward (The Strumbellas’ frontman) co-wrote today’s featured song, Wildflowers, with this five-piece band from Kitchener, ON. The song is I, The Mountain‘s latest single and chances are you’re going to love it. It is as infectious as it is uplifting. Vocals are shared between the band’s lead vocalist, Matt, and Allison (keyboard) and they are complemented by the remaining band members with great harmonies throughout the track. I can only imagine how Wildflowers should sound like live but I’m sure it must be great.

I, The Mountain released their debut album just last year at the start of the pandemic but the bad timing didn’t prevent the band from developing a passionate fanbase they call Mountaineers. After you listen to Wildflowers below, I’ll be surprised if you don’t become one as well. With their good vibes and talent, it is impossible not to root for I, The Mountain.

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Rebel Kicks – Floating

Brothers Anthony and Steven Babino have been surrounded by music all their lives. When at least one of your parents is a musician, I guess that’s inevitable. And after growing up watching their father perform live in front of a big band day in and day out, it is completely natural that the two brothers born and raised in New York City decided to explore a career in music as well. Enter Rebel Kicks, their musical outlet with influences ranging from The Beatles and Sinatra to modern indie rock acts such as Young The Giant and Grouplove.

Rebel Kicks started releasing singles in 2018 and even managed to place a few of them in tv shows and festivals but then, of course, the pandemic slowed things down. The silver lining is that this situation also inspired them to write Floating, a song about achieving mental peace that is perhaps their best song yet. It reminds me a bit of the early work of fellow New Yorkers American Authors. It’s a catchy and uplifting tune that will lighten up your mood right away. I hope Anthony and Steven keep up exploring this style of music (which they claim differs from their previous releases), because it suits them extremely well. Check them out below.

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