Comment: One of my favorite tracks in Third Eye Blind’s new album, which we have discussed before, is Funeral Singers, which I thought was an original song until the band shared their influences for the new album on instagram and one of them was Sylvan Esso‘s Funeral Singers. It turns out that Sylvan Esso‘s version is also a cover, with the original being from experimental rock band Califone. Each version is different but if I had to pick just one, I think I’d choose Sylvan Esso‘s. There’s something about lead singer Amelia Meath‘s voice and the acoustic strums in the background that I find mesmerizing.
If, like me, you were not aware of Sylvan Esso before, I hope you enjoy this cover from 2018 (which features American musical ensemble Collections of Colonies of Bees) as much as I do.
Comment: Regular visitors to T.A.M. should already be familiar with indie trio in earnest, as they have been featured here a couple of times before. They are back now with their sophomore EP, reasons to stay alive, which is also their most artistically ambitious project to date. It is a six-track record with no gaps between songs that you could listen to on an infinite loop. Ideally, you would listen to the EP from beginning to end but if I had to choose just one song, then it would be i feel alone even if I’m not because of its haunting melody and emotional vocals. If you’re looking for some music to listen to during some alone time, you just found it.
Comment: Ukulele-based indie folk music is hardly a novel idea, but when it is done well and has a compelling melody, who cares? That’s exactly the case with Hey?, the latest single from British #singersongwriter Chxrlotte, a talented young artist with a bright future that you should check out.
Comment: Frontman Stephan Jenkins is kind of a polarizing figure nowadays but there’s no denying that Third Eye Blind is one of the most important alternative rock bands out there. Their heyday was over twenty years ago but they’re still active and relevant. In fact, four of their seven studio albums have been released in the last 12 years, with the last one, titled Our Bande Apart, dropping just last week. It’s not even close to the greatness of their first two records, but it is a decent album that I liked way more than the previous one, Screamer (2019). My favorite song is the fourth track, Silverlake Neophyte, which sounds a bit like a classic Third Eye Blind tune. It’s a song about the insecurities musicians have and never go away, no matter how successful they become. I highly recommend it.
Comment: I remember when Imagine Dragons used to be this alternative band few people knew about. It wasn’t that long ago. Then they hit it off at some point and became so successful that nowadays some people dismiss them for being too mainstream. In my opinion, that would be a mistake because they are actually quite good. For better or worse, they’re not afraid to experiment while they could just repeat the same song again and again and still sell million of records anyway. Their experiments don’t always work out but when they do, they strike gold. Case in point, I only liked two out of the 12 tracks in their new album, Mercury – Act 1, but one of them, My Life, is insanely good. Just listen to it and when you get to that instrumental bridge at 2:25 you’ll see what I mean. On top of it, the lyrics, that talk about mental health struggles, are outstanding as well.
Enjoy your Friday listening to this #musicalcrush.
Comment: Wembley is a stunning single by Italian artist Carlo Aprea, aka Still Charles. The song is sang in Italian but it’s so good that you will enjoy it even if you couldn’t understand a single word (for the record, you should be able to catch at least a few words). Carlo says that Wembley, which he wrote during quarantine, is a love story told from beginning to end, inspired by a real relationship he had that ended because both of them were too proud. The track was produced by Riccardo Foresi, whom Carlo met in June 2020. Wembley has a beautiful music video as well that looks like a movie and that you can watch below. I hope you enjoy Wembley as much as I do. It’s quite a gem.
Comment: I featured Funeral Lakes here exactly one year ago and now the duo is back with a brand new EP: Redeemer. As is usually the case with this act, the songs in the new EP are all filled with social content. It explores themes such as the tension between faith and justice from the moment Solstice, the first track, starts playing. It is a captivating song that sets the tone for Redeemer. I wouldn’t call it a radio-friendly tune yet it keeps your attention with its moody melody and thought-provoking lyrics. Check it out.
Comment: Good Times may sound optimistic and upbeat with its acoustic folk vibes and catchy melody, but it has a serious and deep message: having a nice house or a nice car does not necessarily make you happier in the long run. German-American artist Michael Lane has transited the road less traveled to get to where he is today as an artist, having served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a US soldier during his twenties. He’s had two top 50 songs in the German charts already, so he’s well-known as a musician in some European countries. It is time for him to get noticed in other latitudes too.
Comment: This band –and particularly this song– reminds me of the softer side of fellow British band JET. Despite talking about the desire to sleep with other people when you are in a serious relationship, Simpler in the Dark is honest and delicate. It has been played by Elton John in his radio show, which shows that Montrell have been turning heads in the UK. The band has just released a 3-track EP called Angel, which includes Simpler in the Dark, and is getting ready to start playing live shows again next week across the south of England. Something tells me we will be hearing from them quite a lot pretty soon.
Comment: The song that introduced me to Said The Whale, one of Canada’s most successful indie acts, was 2013’s I Love You, which remains one of my favorite tracks from that decade. I’ve been following them closely since then and I’m happy to report that they will release their seventh full-length album, Dandelion, in October. 99 to the Moon is one of the lead singles and it is the perfect love song for a band like Said The Whale: charming and quirky at the same time. According to the press release, “the song title can either be interpreted as the year 1999, until forever or as the 99 B-Line (a bus that runs east-west in Vancouver) to wherever you are going“. I have to say as well that the music video below is the perfect companion for such a sweet song.