We Wander – Rock And A Hard Place

I talked about Canadian #indiefolk act We Wander back in November (time flies), and they are back now with a new single, Rock And A Hard Place, that’s just as good, if not better. Drums and strings take a more prominent place on this song, which is nice, but just as with Can’t Save You, the secret weapon here is Maddie Little‘s vocals. She’s able to transmit emotions of longing, anger or despair in line with the lyrics, which are about a relationship falling apart. I particularly like the chorus because that’s where the songwriter is coming to terms with what is going on and, in some way, that’s exactly how that section of the tune makes you feel.

I would also say Rock And A Hard Place is a grower: a song that you enjoy more and more each time you listen to it. And if you needed further proof that We Wander was going places, watch the song’s music video below . It’s really well made and worth watching.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Ade – Something Good

Adeola ‘Ade‘ Fabola is a Manchester-based singer-songwriter with a folksy acoustic pop style that fits him like a glove. I think he’s in the process of changing his moniker because on Youtube and some of his social media he goes by the name of Dr Fabola, but regardless of what his stage name is, the artist behind it is absolutely worthy of your attention. If you listen to his latest single, Something Good, you will see that he got a sweet and comforting voice and his music is simply beautiful. You can tell he’s passionate about his work and that really makes a difference as well. He’s a true artist indeed.

After learning to play piano and guitar in his home country of Nigeria, he moved to Manchester in 2018 where he continued with his musical development. He’s been cutting his teeth playing in cafes, lounges, and festivals, but always blowing audiences away with his knack for entertainment. Unsurprisingly, he’s been drawing comparisons to artists such as Jason Mraz, Passenger, Michael Kiwanuka, and Jack Johnson. They could still be underselling him.

Watch his video for ‘Something Good’ or listen to it on the mixtapes mentioned below and get mesmerized by Ade‘s beautiful melody.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

in earnest – good boy

Back in September, I introduced you to a little indie band from Southend-on-Sea, UK, called in earnest. You may be happy to hear that they are back with a double single that they wrote about their dogs. Any decent human being who has had pets knows how especial they are. They become family members.

The first track, your dog, was inspire by the band’s front-couple’s dog: Murph, and the second one, good boy, is a tribute to Doug, an old dog Sarah and Tom had who sadly passed away in 2019. If you have lost a dog, then you know how painful that experience can be. However, good boy is not a sad song. It is just beautiful. I’m a fan of Sarah’s voice but she sings this track with her partner Tom and their voices work really well together, not unlike Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in the Oscar-winning track Falling Slowly.

Listen to good boy below and get mesmerized by it.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Sean Watson Graham – Your Life Is A Story

Your Life Is A Story is the debut single of Toronto-based musician Sean Watson Graham as a solo artist. His first band, Modern Space, got a deal with Warner Music Canada but unfortunately, that didn’t last. Now, he’s getting ready to release his first EP under his own name, for which this track is the lead single.

Sean wrote Your Life Is A Story after thee major life changes as a way to give himself some closure. It is a song about giving yourself another chance to start over again. The result was an uplifting indie folk track with great harmonies and a very compelling chorus. Good luck getting it out of your head afterwards. You’ll need it. Listen to it at your own peril.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Sacropolis – The Sinner

The Sinner is the third single from Frankfurt-based four-piece band: Sacropolis. Part of their debut album to be released later this year, it is the quintessential light indie rock song with memorable hooks and catchy guitar lines. The Sinner is a graceful and compelling track about redemption that you would swear was written and performed by an established and popular band, not an independent act from Germany that is just getting started.

Sacropolis consists of two brothers, Jean (guitar) and Leon (bass), and two longtime friends: Ben (vocals & guitar) and Tom (drums). They actually met Ben back in 2013 when he caught their attention during one of his busking performances in Frankfurt. They ended up forming this band with the intention of creating simple and guitar-driven indie pop-rock. As it is more than evident with The Sinner, they accomplished that mission and then some. Check it out below.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Munroe – Don’t Rush To Get Old

Don’t Rush To Get Old is a warm and delicate track. A perfect folksy song to listen to while sipping a hot beverage in a winter afternoon. Kathleen Munroe, aka Munroe, sat down to write it after something important to her ended, thinking that something edgy or even bitter would come out of it. Instead, the result was this well-wishing and gorgeous song about slowing down to appreciate what we have, good or bad.

This Canadian artist started releasing music in 2015, with her debut full-length album, Oblivion, coming to light in 2017. She has teamed up with producer Benjamin Schwab to prepare her sophomore LP and Don’t Rush To Get Old is the second single to come out of that collaboration. In addition to being a songstress, Munroe is also an actor and filmmaker, skills she used on the single’s music video (see below), which she co-directed with her girlfriend Sophie Blumenthal. It was filmed on a field in King City, Ontario, while searching for the Richard Serra sculpture, Shift.

Without a doubt, Don’t Rush To Get Old is a deserving addition to our mixtapes below. Enjoy!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Boom Years – Aim For Danger

Jon Wilder spent a decade drumming in various bands and recording on his own as Boom Years before he realized that he needed a change. He moved then from Southern California to Oregon and that prompted him to write and record a new EP through the summer of 2020 using a stripped down approach rather than a full band as he had done before, and the result was Beaming. This EP, released last week, contains five folk and rock songs about personal events such as the aforementioned move to Portland during a tumultuous time for that city, being jobless, family troubles, and having dogs in surgery.

Aim for Danger is the third track in Beaming. The lyrics reflect a tormented soul who is not sure about the way forward but the melody has a calming effect that contrasts with the songs’ theme. Jon’s soothing voice also contributes to making the listening experience a very pleasing one. Boom Years is certainly a skilled lyricist and somehow I got the feeling that he does not give himself enough credit as a talented musician. He surely is one.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

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: