Comment: The Pulltops, a duo from Milwaukee, just dropped their latest song, ‘Make Me Smile,’ which reminds me quite a bit of Semisonic — never a bad thing. It captures the simple yet sweet message: “You’ll always be the one to make me smile.” Hopefully, we all have someone like that in our lives.
Mark Pierret and Tom Crowell form the core of The Pulltops. With diverse musical tastes but always rooted in classic pop and indie rock, they bring in flavors from a wide array of styles, blending it all together to make a timeless sound that goes beyond genres. “Make Me Smile” is their seventh song this year, showing they’re all about putting out music. In fact, they are planning to release a new song every six weeks for the next two years and an EP every fourth single.
“I particularly enjoy the big chorus; it has a great melody that makes you sing along in no time. Between that and the sweet lyrics, it’s hard not to enjoy “Make Me Smile.” It’s one of those songs that can lighten up your mood whenever you need it. [Insert here a cheesy pun about how this song makes you smile.]
Comment: Caroline Romano is back with a new single, “girl in a china shop”, and it’s, as they say in the UK, a ‘banger.’ Having written about her twice before, it’s clear that Romano is not just a passing phase, but a force to be reckoned with in the alt-pop scene.
The Nashville-based singer-songwriter has once again demonstrated her knack for capturing the essence of young adulthood in her music. “girl in a china shop” is an emotional rollercoaster, with an explosive chorus that contrasts beautifully with its reflective verses. In the lyrics, Caroline admits to feeling like she breaks everything she touches, and this song is her way of acknowledging that feeling.
With millions of streams already under her belt, and more music on the way, it’s clear that Caroline Romano is an artist whose star will only continue to rise. We can’t wait to see what she does next.
Comment: The Maine, whose song “Face Towards The Sun” was featured here in July 2021, released “How to exit a room” in July this year, and it is a shining example of the band’s consistent ability to deliver fresh and engaging music. Featured on their self-titled album, this track has garnered praise from both fans and critics alike. It kicks off with an attention-grabbing rhythm and boasts introspective and relatable lyrics, tackling the universal experience of desiring an escape from a situation or place.
Musically, “How to Exit a Room” is a finely-crafted pop-rock gem that doesn’t overstay its welcome, offering a delightful listening experience with its melodic chorus and well-balanced instrumentation. The production is polished, ensuring that each element of the track shines without overshadowing the others.
Whether you’ve been a longtime fan of the band or are just discovering their music, this track is unquestionably worth a listen.
Comment: I was aware of the existence of Everything Everything, but I hadn’t really cared about them until a friend of mine made me listen to “No Reptiles” a few weeks ago. When the song started playing, I have to say that I wasn’t enjoying it very much, but by the time it finished, I knew right then that it was a stroke of genius and one of those tracks that grows on you with each listen. Considering I’ve been overplaying this track since then, I suppose I wasn’t wrong.
In a musical landscape often dominated by formulaic melodies and predictable lyrics, “No Reptiles” emerges as a refreshing revelation. The song is a brilliant confluence of art-rock, pop, and unbridled emotion. With an arresting, pulsating beat that serves as the foundation, the song immediately commands attention. The bassline then adds depth and groove, ensuring that this song isn’t just an auditory experience but a visceral one too. Jonathan Higgs’ vocal range and intensity are staggering, and the lyrics, although cryptic, are highly evocative. Supposedly, Higgs wrote this song after a few of his friends became conspiracy theorists, and the title refers to the Reptilian theory.
That being said, what truly elevates “No Reptiles” is its ability to create an atmosphere that’s both hypnotic and liberating. As the song progresses, it swells, cascading into an intricate sonic tapestry that refuses to be confined by any genre or structure. The seamless interplay between the band members showcases not only their musical chemistry but also their innate understanding of their craft. This is why I had to feature it here as a #ThrowbackThursday post. What a masterpiece!
Comment: For those who are not familiar, Sundara Karma is an English indie rock band that originated in Reading, England back in 2011. The group comprises Oscar Pollock as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter, along with Ally Baty as the lead guitarist, Dom Cordell on bass, and Haydn Evans handling the drums. Their band name, derived from Sanskrit, translates to “Beautiful Karma.” In the years since their formation, they have been consistently active and have treated listeners to a series of albums, each offering a refreshing perspective on indie rock. Sundara Karma‘s distinctive musical identity is characterized by the fusion of emotionally charged lyricism with captivating rhythmic melodies, resulting in compositions that are not only enthralling but also profoundly relatable.
Sundara Karma‘s most recent offering, “Wishing Well,” is a good example of that. It presents an uplifting composition juxtaposed with verses that articulate the torment of dwelling on “what ifs.” It’s a track that leaves you contemplative, humming along, and eagerly hitting the replay button. Enjoy.
Comment: I’ve managed to secure tickets to see blink-182 live in London next week, and needless to say, my excitement is off the charts. It’s this exhilaration that led me to feature their latest track, “One More Time,” today. It’s safe to say that I haven’t been this thrilled about a new blink-182 song since the release of “I Miss You.” This new track, in my opinion, stands shoulder to shoulder with the classics, especially when you consider the nostalgic elements present in the music video, the lyrics, and the reunion of Tom DeLonge with the band (also, Travis vocals!). I want to acknowledge that Matt Skiba did a commendable job as a replacement, but what truly made blink-182 special was the dynamic trio of Tom, Mark, and Travis.
By the way, they released another new track last night called “Dance With Me,” and it sounds fantastic. I can’t wait for the new album to be released.
Comment: Mitski has been releasing music since 2012, exploring different genres and moods, from indie rock to synth-pop. She has played in big music festivals around the world, including Glastonbury in 2022. However, I hadn’t really registered her existence until I stumbled upon the wonderful music video she made for ‘Bug Like An Angel’ on Youtube. This was the lead single of Mitski’s seventh(!!) studio album, which was released just this week: ‘The Land is Inhospitable And So Are We‘.
‘Bug Like An Angel’ is a poetic song with religious themes that explore the concept of addiction. Musically, it is mainly an acoustic ballad sprinkled with sporadic and striking choral punctuations. The inclusion of a choir echoing Mitski’s words in a dramatic way was a masterstroke. The official music video, which you can watch below, features the artist, a choir, and an impressive dancer who portrays an alcoholic woman. It’s impossible to take your eyes off of her.
Mitsuki Miyawaki, aka Mitski, is undoubtedly a creative artist. Her originality shines through on this hauntingly beautiful song. It is one of the best tracks of 2023!
Comment: After a brief break, I’m back with a thrilling and immersive track from Under Delusion, the first Russian band or artist featured on T.A.M. What immediately captures your attention when listening to “Burning Under Water” is the distinctive, low-pitched voice of her female vocalist (whose name I was unable to find). However, that’s not the only thing that makes this track stunning. The band took care of every little detail, including a climactic guitar solo.
The song is inspired by a real-life near-death experience that a band member had while scuba diving in the Pacific Ocean. Feeling like burning under water, they managed to write the lyrics immediately after surviving, but they were lost in the backlog until resurfacing by chance. The band then decided to turn this traumatic event into a powerful and emotional song that reflects their resilience and courage.
“Burning Under Water” is the fourth single from Under Delusion’s upcoming second album, which is expected to be released later this year. The band has already gained over one million streams with their previous singles, which showcase their versatility and creativity. They clearly have the talent to deserve our attention. We should look forward to that sophomore release.
Comment: If the name Kristian Montgomery and the Winterkill Band sounds familiar, that might be because almost exactly 3 years ago, I featured his single “Razor Wide Heart” on this website. “The 4th of July” is my favorite track from the band’s new album, Lower County Outlaw, and it showcases how Kristian and his bandmates keep getting better and better at what they do. The track is a delightful blend of country and rock that narrates a heart-warming love story.
From the very beginning, Kristian Montgomery’s masterful composition and emotional vocals take listeners on a captivating ride, mirroring the excitement and anticipation of that special moment when he and his wife, April, first connected. The lyrics beautifully capture the comfort and chemistry shared between the two, as if destiny had finally brought them together in the right place and time.
The song’s peak moment comes with a gripping guitar solo and a final chorus sung with an urgent passion that’s impossible to ignore. If you listen to this track and feel nothing at all, do you even truly feel alive?
Comment: I have written about the talented Toronto-based band Nerimatwicebefore, but, after listening to their recent single “Penance”, I knew I had to do a third time. It’s a stunning piece of music that explores the themes of guilt, regret and forgiveness, and I seriously think this is their more mature-sounding track.
The song starts with a gentle acoustic guitar and Alexi delicately singing the first few verses, but by the time the chorus starts, the full band has come in to increase the energy levels. The contrast between the verses and the chorus creates a dynamic and captivating sound that keeps you hooked until the end. The song also features some beautiful harmonies.
“Penance” by Nerima is a song that you should definitely listen to if you enjoy indie rock with a touch of punk-rock. It will make you feel something. Even happiness for witnessing the evolution of such a talented band.