DYGL – Half of Me

Artist: DYGL

Song: Half of Me

Genres:  #alternativerock #poppunk

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Release date: July, 2021.

Comment: Formed in 2012, DYGL (pronounced “Day-glo”) is an indie rock band from Japan that sounds incredibly good. Half of Me, for example, is all kinds of catchy with a touch of pop-punk rhythms. Their press release calls it a “killer tune” and, quite frankly, I have to agree with that. This song is one of the singles off their latest release, A Daze In A Haze, which is well worth a listen.

I hope this is just the start of a trend of great rock music coming out of Japan. We need this.

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Transistor – Silver Lining

Artist: Transistor

Song: Silver Lining

Genres: #indierock #alternativerock

Location: Alabama, United States

Release date: July, 2021

Influences: The Strokes, Bruce Springsteen, The Killers

CommentSilver Lining is the third single off Transistor‘s debut album and despite its upbeat rhythm and fun vibes, it got a sad and deeply moving backstory. Lead singer Patrick Davies’s mom was just like this song: upbeat and energetic, and that did not change even after she got a terminal cancer diagnosis. Silver Lining refers to searching for meaning and something to hold on to despite having everything against you. Don’t get me wrong, Silver Lining is a really good song but knowing it is a homage to Patrick’s mother takes it to a whole new level.

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The Summer Set – Street Lightning

Artist: The Summer Set

Song: Street Lightning

Genres:  #alternativerock #poppunk

Location: Arizona, United States

Release date: September, 2021.

Comment: The Summer Set, a pop-punk band from Scottdale, Arizona that after achieving a decent following went on a hiatus in 2017, surprised their fans in August when they announced that they were back to making music and dropped their first single in 4 years. Street Lightning is as catchy as anything they’ve ever released with, as depicted in the music video below, some 80s music vibes that fit it really well. As lead singer Brian Logan Dales described it on his Instagram: “This song is about chasing the high of life as fast as you can, written by a guy who finally learned how to slow down and take in everything around him.”

Enjoy!

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allie – ETYG

Artist: allie

Song: ETYG

Genres: #indierock #alternativerock

Location: Nashville, United States

Release date: June, 2021

CommentJ.Zito very generously recommended Nashville-based singer-sonwritter Allie Cuva (they/them) to me and I was blown away by their song ETYG (which must stand for Even Though You’re Gone). It sounds like a really good alternative rock song from the late 90s that was recorded with today’s tools. Allie’s vocals during the chorus are mesmerizing.
ETYG is part of allie’s debut full-length album under that moniker, released back in August. Worth checking out.

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Third Eye Blind – Silverlake Neophyte

Artist: Third Eye Blind

Song: Silverlake Neophyte

Genres: #alternativerock

Location: San Francisco, United States

Release date: September, 2021.

Comment: Frontman Stephan Jenkins is kind of a polarizing figure nowadays but there’s no denying that Third Eye Blind is one of the most important alternative rock bands out there. Their heyday was over twenty years ago but they’re still active and relevant. In fact, four of their seven studio albums have been released in the last 12 years, with the last one, titled Our Bande Apart, dropping just last week. It’s not even close to the greatness of their first two records, but it is a decent album that I liked way more than the previous one, Screamer (2019). My favorite song is the fourth track, Silverlake Neophyte, which sounds a bit like a classic Third Eye Blind tune. It’s a song about the insecurities musicians have and never go away, no matter how successful they become. I highly recommend it.

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J. Zito – Colors Off

Artist: J. Zito

Song: Colors Off

Genres: #indierock #alternativerock

Location: Detroit, United States

Release date: August, 2021

CommentColors Off is a groovy song that, had I heard it for the first time on the radio, I would have bet it was a new tune from British band Feeder, a band I really like. However, this interesting track belongs to Detroit-based musician Jason Zito, who after releasing a self-titled album in 2019 that was heavy on synthesizers and electronic music, has just released a rock album that’s big on guitars and political messages: Before it Gets Better. His motto is that “when extreme thinking becomes normal, normal thinking seems extreme“, which is reflected on the album. Colors Off, for example, is a critique of extremism and groupthink; which is also represented on a painting Jason made for its lyric video, and you can watch it below. Enjoy!

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DMA’S – Viol

Artist: DMA’S

Song: Viol

Genres: #indierock #alternativerock

Location: Sydney, Australia

Release date: August, 2021

Influences: Oasis, The Stone Roses

Comment: DMA’s –which stands for The Dirty Ma’s, their previous moniker– are relatively well known this side of the world but they’re huge in Australia, to the point that they got their own MTV Unplugged special. They totally deserve that success because they are talented songwriters and musicians. Even though they are strongly influenced by late 90’s Britpop bands such as Oasis, it would be unfair to say that they sound just like those bands. You can notice the influence but you can also tell they’re a different band.

That being said, their brand new EP, I Love You Unconditionally, Sure Am Going To Miss You, sounds different, with more shimmering guitars and kind of bolder melodies, but I dig the change. My favorite track, Viol, is not even the lead single but it represents what I just said very well. It got a magnificent rhythm and wonderful hooks. Enjoy!

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Black Lab – Ghost In Your Mind

Black Lab is quite possibly the greatest #alternativerock band the average music fan has never heard about. Founded by Paul Durham in Berkeley, California, around 1995, they have scored a few radio hits and placed many tracks in different movie soundtracks and tv shows. The band’s name is an amalgamation of their two biggest influences: Black Sabbath and Stereolab. I’m totally guessing here but perhaps the reason why they remained relatively unknown despite moderate success was that their name was far from memorable. In fact, a google search will get you hundreds of websites about the black labrador dog breed before anything related to this band.

One of my favorite Black Lab songs –and there are a few– is Ghost In Your Mind, released on their 2007 album: Passion Leaves A Trace. The combination of the track’s beautiful melody, flawless lyrics and Paul’s delivery makes it an outstanding song. You can tell Paul really feels every word he sings (which, to be fair, could be said of most of his songs). If this is your first time hearing about Black Lab, by all means check their whole discography out. Otherwise, enjoy this weeks #ThrowbackThursday entry. Hope you like it as much as I do.

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Imagine Dragons – My Life

Artist: Imagine Dragons

Song: My Life

Genres: #alternativerock

Location: Las Vegas, United States

Release date: September, 2021.

Comment: I remember when Imagine Dragons used to be this alternative band few people knew about. It wasn’t that long ago. Then they hit it off at some point and became so successful that nowadays some people dismiss them for being too mainstream. In my opinion, that would be a mistake because they are actually quite good. For better or worse, they’re not afraid to experiment while they could just repeat the same song again and again and still sell million of records anyway. Their experiments don’t always work out but when they do, they strike gold. Case in point, I only liked two out of the 12 tracks in their new album, Mercury – Act 1, but one of them, My Life, is insanely good. Just listen to it and when you get to that instrumental bridge at 2:25 you’ll see what I mean. On top of it, the lyrics, that talk about mental health struggles, are outstanding as well.

Enjoy your Friday listening to this #musicalcrush.

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Michael Lane – Good Times

Artist: Michael Lane

Song: Good Times

Genres: #indiefolk #singersongwriter

Location: Germany

Release date: April, 2021.

CommentGood Times may sound optimistic and upbeat with its acoustic folk vibes and catchy melody, but it has a serious and deep message: having a nice house or a nice car does not necessarily make you happier in the long run. German-American artist Michael Lane has transited the road less traveled to get to where he is today as an artist, having served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a US soldier during his twenties. He’s had two top 50 songs in the German charts already, so he’s well-known as a musician in some European countries. It is time for him to get noticed in other latitudes too.

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