Dawning – Rose Lights

Aaron Senor is the artist behind dream-pop solo act Dawning, who released his debut EP, Petals a couple of weeks ago. You can read a great review of this album over at the Eclectic Music Lover blog (you should follow it if you don’t do it already), but I’m going to focus on just one song here: Rose Lights. A soothing track about a love affair that lasted one summer, it consists simply of an acoustic guitar and layers of Aaron’s soft vocals, which results in an atmospheric soundscape that is much more than the sum of its parts.

This passionate singer-songwriter is clearly going places, having already carved out a space on the Michigan music scene. Don’t be surprised when Dawning starts reaching a national or even international audience.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Orange G – Orion’s Arrow

Some people make music for fame and money and others do it because it is their passion. Orange G, a multi-instrumentalist based in Pittsburgh, PA, falls into the latter category. He makes music because he enjoys the process and also because songwriting helps him to cope and process the ups and downs of life. You can feel his raw emotions and the love he has for his craft in his songs and that is what I particularly liked in his latest single, Orion’s Arrow. One of four tracks he has released, not including collaborations with other artists.

As is usually the case with Orange G, he sings and plays all the instruments here. The tune was supposed to be an acoustic, ukulele-only track but he ended up adding a harmonica, trumpets and percussion. All are nice but the harmonica, in particular, elevates the song to another level with the heartfelt emotions it is able to transmit. The track’s subject is time, and the pressure we often feel to spend it wisely while pursuing fulfilment in our lives and careers. I, for one, can relate to that.

If you enjoy indie-folk, Americana or even a bit of blues, please give this independent artist a chance. He deserves it.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Tape Runs Out – Hospital

Hospital is not an exciting song and that is totally fine. Not every song must be a banger or a party starter. Sometimes what you need is just a song that can help you switch off for a while and that is exactly what you get with this tune from Tape Runs Out, a seven-piece band from Cambridge, UK. Their style revolves around alt-indie and dreampop and they use a wide variety of instruments, from violin to a hammered dulcimer. The band started in 2012 and are about to release their sixth EP, Ghost Fruit, for which Hospital, released last month, is the lead single.

Written by main songwriter Liam Goodrum-Bell during lockdown and recorded at home, Hospital is a tune we can all relate to after 2020. It’s a gorgeous little indie track that lets you get immersed into its soothing notes. Just give it a try and check Tape Runs Out.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Ellinor with Dylan Gorini – In Other Arms

If you have been following this little blog since August, then you might remember that I really loved Ellinor‘s debut EP, River Lee. I’m glad to report that she’s back with a new “mini” EP consisting of two tracks co-written, co-composed and co-performed with fellow French artist Dylan Gorini. The two tracks are intimate and heartwarming folk ballads, with In Other Arms being my favorite. Ellinor’s voice is so good that she could simply sing super boring scientific journal papers and the end result would still be mesmerizing.

If you like 60’s and 70’s folk music, please do check this EP out. It will be right up your alley.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Creature Fear – Big Summer Eyes

While they have been together as a band for at least 3 or 4 years, 2020 was the year Creature Fear, a five-piece indie rock band from Australia, started to break out in their home country. They’re about to release their debut EP this year, from which they have released three singles already. All of them are really nice but whereas the first two were more upbeat and closer to the band’s 60s rock influence; their latest single, Big Summer Eyes, is more intimate with a soft acoustic intro that showcases the gorgeous voice of lead singer Jacqui Lumsden. It is not, however, an acoustic track from start to finish. The full band joins the party soon enough.

A song about hope during the darkest times, it surely brings a ray of light to our lives during covid times. Creature Fear is just another example of the really talented artists coming out from Down Under. Check them out as I’m sure you won’t regret it.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Manuel Bellone – A Case Of An Endless Blue

Happy New Year! Today is not blue monday, but given the fact that for many of us it is the day we return to our daily routines/work after the holiday season, I’d say it comes pretty close in second place. If you’re like me, in days like these you’ll prefer to listen to sad/melancholic songs instead of happy ones, and if that’s indeed the case, I got the perfect song for you. A Case Of An Endless Blue is the latest track from Italian folk-rock singer/songwriter Manuel Bellone, who got inspired by the difficult year we all had in 2020 and being stuck at home for os long. Manuel got a raspy voice that is just perfect for the type of music he makes, including this track.

Despite being from Palermo, Sicily, Manuel got his roots in styles of music that are traditionally associated with America, such as folk, blues and country. Influenced by the likes of Ryan Adams and Neil Young, his goal is to sound classic but unique. He’s been releasing music and touring Europe with his band rather successfully since 2013, with plans to go out on tour again soon and release a new album this year. Give a chance to this true musician and hopefully A Case Of An Endless Blue will get you get through this day.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

HD Bradley – Enough

This is likely to be my last post of 2020 so I’m going to make it count by featuring a song from a talented artist who cares more about his music than himself. If you visit HD Bradley‘s social media pages, all personal info you’ll be able to find is that he’s from Chicago and likes coffee and dogs. I got his real name, Bradley Dean Honeyman, from looking at his songs’ credits on Spotify. His music gets all the spotlight.

HD Bradley is a singer/songwriter who just started releasing singles this year. Most of them consists of just an acoustic guitar and his voice, with a few exceptions. Enough, for example, got some really nice electric guitar in the bridge and backing vocals. However, the important thing to highlight here is that Bradley‘s voice is really satisfying, perfect for this type of music, and his melodies are always nice and interesting. You can listen to them all day long without getting tired. Start with Enough right here and then continue with his back catalogue. Hopefully, he’ll continue making great music in 2021.

P.S: You might notice that some of the mixtapes have fewer songs now. That’s because I have moved their songs to 2020-specific playlists, that way the mixtapes won’t become too big.

P.S2: Hope you are all enjoying the holidays break and have a much better 2021 (the bar is not too high). Thank you for your visit and see you in Jan!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Kendall Street Company – In A Little While

Remember The Shrugs from early November? One of its members, saxophonist Jake Vanaman, also plays in another Virginia-based band called Kendall Street Company, who released recently their fourth studio album, The Stories We Write For Ourselves (I love this album name. Not only do they have a similar vibe to The Shrugs, but they even invited Abbey Potter as a guest vocalist in some of the tracks, like lead single Lady In Green. That being said, the tune that caught my attention was track #11.

In A Little While is a folk rock song with an acoustic charm and great storytelling. The vocals from lead singer Louis Smith are also perfect for that kind of music. However, do not make the mistake of thinking all 15 tracks in the album (including a prologue and epilogue) sound the same. There’s a little bit of everything, with bits of classic and experimental rock mixed in here and there. KSC are becoming a popular jam band in the Virginia region. Don’t be surprised if that starts being the case in other states too.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Tessa Violet ft. chloe moriondo – Words Ain’t Enough

Have you had a close friend who’s in a bad relationship but you cannot tell them anything because they’re still in love and won’t listen to you? I think that’s a feeling we can all relate to and that’s exactly what motivated Tessa Violet to write Words Ain’t Enough, which is a heartfelt and melancholic song about being with someone who doesn’t really love you back. As the chorus says: “You can say you love me but words ain’t enough“. It’s not a complicated piece of music, with just a guitar supporting the vocals, but it doesn’t need anything else. It’s a beautiful piece and that’s what matters.

Tessa Violet, who is an American singer-songwriter who started as a successful blogger on Youtube before focusing on her career in music, originally released this song last year on her second full album: Bad Ideas. This year, she re-released it featuring vocals from chloe moriondo, who is a 18-year-old indie/bedroom pop artist who has been garnering quite a following on her own. I’m sure we will be hearing about both artists for years to come. Check this beautiful tune out below.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

We Wander – Can’t Save You

Maddie Little got a really nice and sweet voice and given how much she loves music, it came naturally for her to pick up a guitar in 2017 and start a band: We Wander. Eventually, she recruited Camilo on bass, Jacob on drums, and Christian on violin, resulting in a sound they call lush and explorative. It’s basically their own brand of indie folk.

Can’t Save You is one of their latest singles. It showcases all of the above, from Maddie‘s beautiful vocals to the contribution of each one of the band’s members and the overall style. The song is a letter that Maddie wrote to herself to be reminded that fighting her own battles is sometimes more important than the actual outcome. If you like indie folk, then make sure to check We Wander out. You’ll be glad you did.

Featured on the following mixtapes: