Comment: I don’t know much about British artist YUNGBLUD. In fact, when I started hearing his name here and there, I thought he was just another rapper, until I heard his song mars and realized how wrong I was. I know he’s massively popular these days but that should not distract you from the fact that he’s actually good at what he does. Exhibit A is one of his latest singles, The Funeral, which is so catchy I just cannot get enough of it. Drawing heavily, in my opinion, from Billy Idol‘s Dancing With Myself, this 1980s-infused track got a really memorable chorus. The music video, which you can watch below, features fun cameos from Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.
Comment: Colton (vocals), Mikey (guitar), Dan (drums) and Chris (Bass), aka The Break Plans, are four talented musicians who definitely enjoy what they do. Just watch the music video for their brand new single, Fashionably Late, and you’ll definitely agree with me here. The track, which they wrote about the importance of being comfortable on your own skin, no matter how long it takes you to get there, sounds just as fun, with a very contagious melody and the right amounts of 1980s music influence. Well worth a listen.
Comment: If I told you that The Darkness was an entirely self-produced, electronic track by an independent artist who got inspired by nightlife and the 1980s, you would probably assume it was a terrible song and, most of the time, you would be right. Well… not today. The Darkness sounds incredibly well, evoking all kinds of emotions from nostalgia to goosebumps. I could listen to it all day on repeat.
Originally from Honduras, Carlos Caballero, aka Paradise86, makes all his music mostly at night from his home in Manassas, Virginia. He’s seriously talented and deserves to be listened to.
Comment: Last December, New Jersey band The Break Plans was featured here with their catchy single Crossroads. They’re back now with an introspective song about battling your own demons and the fact that it is absolutely OK to feel sad from time to time. It is the first track self-produced by them and even though Sad Sometimes got a slightly different vibe to their previous songs, it still manages to keep The Break Plans‘ essence intact. Writing honest and authentic songs is always the way to go, even if that means getting out of your comfort zone. I got no doubt The Break Plans are headed in the right direction.
If you visit The Break Plans Facebook page, you will find that they describe their music as “Rock n’ roll with an EDM soul” or “indie pop music you can dance to — with an alternative rock vibe”. After listening to some of the singles they’ve released so far, it’s fair to say that both descriptions are pretty accurate. This band from Freehold, New Jersey, started in 2018 when lead singer Colton Braun replied to an add the other two band members, Mike Jahoda and Phil E. Eichinger, posted on Craig’s List. Getting inspiration from bands like Walk The Moon, Coldplay, and The Killers, their songs are certainly catchy and fun.
Their latest single, Crossroads, is exhibit A of everything mentioned above. It is an indie pop track with hints of alternative rock, some cool synths and even some EDM vibes. A song about feeling incomplete without that person who complements you, Crossroads is one of those tunes you could easily play on repeat. If you don’t have an aversion to radio-friendly songs, don’t lose sight of The Break Plans and check their back catalogue out. You won’t be disappointed.
I can’t claim to know much about the work of electronic music composer and producer David Grellier, aka College, because, unfortunately, that’s not the case. His goal is to “synthetize into [his] music the emotions of [his] childhood”, reason for which his music is heavily influenced by ’80s pop culture. If you watched the movie Drive (2011), you should have heard his most widely known song, A Real Hero, co-written with Austin Garrick from Canadian synth-pop duo Electric Youth, duo that also features on the track. If you just listen to this song, you’ll quickly notice two things: a) It certainly has an 80s vibe, and b) It is a mesmerizing track.
Despite getting nominated to an MTV Music Award for ‘Best Music’ and becoming an underground hit, A Real Hero is still relatively unknown to the casual music fan. Even then, it has been covered multiple times by established and not so established artists (and I’m planning to feature one of those covers here soon). In fact, a fun anecdote is that a few years ago, while I was on holiday in Malta, one night there was a really good guitar player performing some music at the hotel we were staying. Near the end, he started playing a song that instantly reminded me of A Real Hero. I quickly dismissed that thought because surely that song wasn’t popular enough to be played randomly by a guitar player in a small island on the Mediterranean Sea. Well, it was A Real Hero and it was one of the highlights of that trip. Enjoy this tune as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry.
Crash Cathedral is a new alternative pop band from Philadelphia with an experimental side. While their music is radio friendly, the background the band’s members have is actually in metal, hardcore and industrial rock, which offers a unique twist to what they do, resulting in a darker-than-usual style of alt-pop. However, I’d like to make it clear that this is not a case of artists making music they hate just because it’s popular. Instead, it is an example of musicians finding the middle ground across the multiple and sometimes dissimilar styles that they enjoy.
Back in October, Crash Cathedral released their debut single, MoodRing, which centers around relationships with people who are not what you thought they were. Musically, it draws influence from ’80s new wave while still sounding modern. What sets this tune apart is its extremely catchy chorus. You will want to put it on repeat. If this is what their debut single sounds like, I can’t imagine how great their songs are going to be once they have more time working together.