Lizzy & the Fanatics – Les fleurs mortes

Lizzy & the Fanatics is a dream pop band from Montreal, Canada, that after playing shows around the region for three years, released last month a bilingual EP with 6 indie pop tracks that taste like candy from your childhood. You can sense some 80s and 90s vibe on the record as well with its nostalgic synths and pastel color melodies.

Even though I don’t speak French (I know barely enough to understand that the name of the song featured here means “dead flowers”), I didn’t have to in order to connect with the song being highlighted here: Les fleur mortes. Music is universal, after all. However, rest assured, the EP has also 4 tracks in English that are just as good. Obviously, it is a matter of personal taste, but if you like dreamy 80s flavored indie pop, Lizzy & the Fanatics will be right up your alley.

‘‘I wrote Les fleurs mortes while riding my bike in

the dead of November last year, while missing the

summer. The song is about nostalgia; how it can

simultaneously make you feel the sad feelings of

losing something from the past, at the same time

as feeling content of remembering something

that was good. I find that this ambivalence of

feeling is a bit like drying dead flowers, preserving

the memory of something nice.’’

Lysanne Picard (Lizzy)

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strawbey – play pretend

I had the pleasure of listening to the debut single of strawbey last week and was looking forward to its official release today so that I could share it with you here. Play pretend is the kind of indie/dream pop that hypnotizes you and leaves you wanting more. Amazingly, the song was written, produced, recorded and released entirely in lockdown; which you wouldn’t know because it sounds as if it had been recorded in a studio by a top-notch producer.

strawbey is the stage name of 19-year-old Norwich singer (and friend of The Alternative Mixtapes), Ruben Pope, who won first place in 2019’s Young Norfolk Writing Competition and has received the support of the likes of the BBC, who featured play pretend in their LGBTQ+ Records of the Year Pride Playlist 2020 for the Norfolk region. Ruben’s debut EP will be released in August but, in the meantime, we can enjoy this honest and raw song about the struggles of playing pretend just to fit in. There is no video yet but you can listen to play pretend in the mixtapes below.

Without a doubt, strawbey is the kind of talent we should all support.

“There are times where we all knowingly ‘play pretend’ and although we often fail to acknowledge this, we’d all rather ‘fake it ‘til we make it’.”

strawbey

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flor feat. MisterWives – yellow

I love cover tracks that are not just karaoke versions of the original songs. In particular, when the artist manages to bring the song to his/her own style in a way that makes it sound as a brand new track (and even better when the styles are very different). This is exactly what flor accomplished with their cover of Coldplay’s iconic song: Yellow, for which they had a bit of help from Mandy Lee from MisterWives.

flor (they don’t use a capital F) is a pretty well-known band in the indie circuit, but in case you don’t know who they are, they started in 2014 in Oregon, US; and have released two studio albums so far. This cover of Yellow, however, is part of a EP, reimagined, that the band released in February this year, containing new versions of two of their most popular songs plus the song being featured here. All three songs come recommended and deserve a listen, but you can start with Yellow here:

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Maisie Peters – The List

The 20-year old singer-songwriter Maisie Peters won a following after posting her original songs on Youtube in 2017. Not long after that, she got a deal record from Atlantic Records and even though she hasn’t released a full album yet, she has put out a number of singles that got her some notoriety, with the latest one of them being The List. I honestly think that the British singer is one lucky break away from becoming the next big thing, and this song might well be it.

Maisie is not only able to come up with great hooks and catchy melodies, but she’s also a talented lyricist despite her young age. That talent is put perfectly on display on this song (as you can see for yourself with the lyric video posted here), which deals with the subject of liking yourself when you feel the most vulnerable. Something tells me we’ll keep hearing about Ms. Peters for years to come. In the meantime, you can fin The List in the mixtapes below.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Hazey Eyes feat. Panama – Emotion

I got my lovely wife to thank for this discovery, as it showed up while she was listening to a playlist with recommendations from one streaming platform. Hazey Eyes is the moniker of 22-year-old Philadelphia-based electronic artist Thomas Michel, who released in 2019 his latest EP, Love Lost. For its lead single, Emotion, the classically trained multi-instrumentalist collaborated with Panama, the well-known electronic/Indie project by Australian songwriter/producer Jarrah McCleary, and the result was this emotional blend of electronic and indie music with a catchy yet vulnerable melody.

Emotion got serious potential to become your next musical crush and you can stream it below.

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The Naked And Famous – Blinding Lights

The Naked And Famous are releasing a new album, Recover, next month and to support it, they have recorded a flawless cover of The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights. That being said, this cover will not be part of the new album.

While we wait for the album to drop, let’s enjoy this tune from probably my favorite band from New Zealand.

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JC Stewart – I Need You To Hate Me

JC Stewart is a young Irish singer that doesn’t even have a full album out yet. What he has is a number of singles and EPs that are already generating some buzz in different circles, such as I Need You To Hate Me. I wouldn’t call this song groundbreaking, but I do think it’s a perfect pop song with a nice melody and a catchy chorus.

Here you can watch its lyric video.

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Sheppard – Come Back

Sheppard is an Australian band that reached an international audience in 2014 with their hit Geronimo (highly recommended if you haven’t heard it). So far, they have been unable to match that success with their subsequent releases, but they got a good candidate in “Come Back”, which is part of their attempt in 2020 to release one new song each month.

Give it a try below (and of course, it has been added to the Indie and Pop Mixtapes already) but be warned: this track could cause Last Song Syndrome. Listen to it at your own risk.

Featured on the following mixtapes: