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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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