Funeral Lakes – Solstice

ArtistFuneral Lakes

Song: Solstice

Genres: #indierock

Location: Ontario, Canada

Release date: August, 2021

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.

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Jacko Hooper – This Was The Earth

Back in September 2020, British #singersongwriter Jacko Hooper was featured here with his single Beg, Steal or Borrow. I emphasized then how Jacko was able to easily transmit his emotions when he sang and after listening to his latest single, This Was The Earth, I’m happy to report that the above mentioned skill remains intact. Even though the new track sounds very different: there are no Indie Folk traces here, it’s still very intimate and emotional. Jacko’s great vocals really stand out.

This Was The Earth was written and recorded from Jacko’s bedroom with help from producer Josh Trinnaman. Jacko got inspired by how chaotic our lives have been since the pandemic started, especially for people with mental health problems, such as Jacko himself. That being said, the lyrics are generic enough so that everybody could really relate to them, regardless of time and space. It’s impossible not to feel something while listening to Jacko’s emotional vocals on this song. What exactly? That’s up to you but, above all things, I feel in awe of how talented Jacko Hooper is.

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Daniel Etherton – Foundations

Foundations is the debut single of London-based British artist Daniel Etherton, and as far as debut singles go, it cannot get much better than this. Released back in February, Foundations is a sweet tune with an acoustic guitar-based melody that really does sound great. One of the reasons for that is Daniel’s voice, which is perfect for an #indiefolk track such as this one. When he sings the lyrics, which reflect on internal struggles and real friendships from a hopeful perspective, it feels like he really means every single word. The song is long enough to make you appreciate how talented Daniel is as singer-songwriter, but at 2:41, it is also short enough to leave you wanting more.

I do hope Foundations gets enough success and recognition to encourage Daniel Etherton to keep writing and recording music. If this is what he did as a new music artist, just imagine what he will be able to do with more experience and confidence. The sky is really the limit for him.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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