Couchsleepers – All The Best Intentions

Harrison Wood Hsiang, the Vermont-based songwriter who founded the collective of musicians and artists known as Couchsleepers, is upfront in telling you that he actually makes his living as a neuroscientist. After all, it comes up in everything that is written about his band. I can imagine that it could get really tiring, but, at the same time, I can’t blame the people writing those articles. It’s actually a pretty cool fact. He formed Couchsleepers in 2019 during the third year of his graduate studies because he needed a way to express all his creativity. Fast-forward to 2021 and they have received hundreds of thousands of streams and even one fan with a Couchsleepers tattoo. Not bad at all.

All The Best Intentions is the band’s latest single. It’s a song about that feeling we get when we’re about to do something that we know we shouldn’t do but want to anyway. Melodically, it has a really strong Snow Patrol vibe and all the ingredients it needs to become a hit with the right marketing (I know, easier said than done). At the very least, it will help Harrison and Coachsleepers to keep growing their audience organically. I, for one, am now intrigued by the great music they have yet to release.

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Lewca – Back From The Dead

Back From The Dead is one of those genre-defying eclectic songs that you just like. Think Parklife from Blur with a catchier chorus and you will have a pretty good idea of how this tune sounds. As an artist, Lewca just wants to do what he feels like doing while having fun as well, not worrying about conventions or what people think they like. I mean, this song mentions going to the barber and having eggs with bacon for breakfast, not your typical lyrics stuff, yet it still works. It does so because the contrast between the chorus (did I mention that it was extremely catchy?) and the verses is high enough to highlight how infectious the former is, and also because the production, in charge of Lewca himself, is top-notch.

With regards to the artist, Lewca is quite a funny character, as evidenced by the bio on his website. Originally from London but living in France since he was 19, he now has 3 Kids & a Mortgage, which is also how he decided to call his debut EP (whose cover art is a drawing his kids made). He has always been involved with arts, studying Fine Arts and working on films, but got as well a passion for making music that he wanted to explore before he was “too old to die young“. Here we hope he achieves his mission of conquering the world.

Check this artist out. Maybe he will be your cup of tea or maybe not, but I guarantee you will have fun.

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Rotten Kings – Old Town

Mallorca, in case you’re not familiar with it, is one of Spain‘s Balearic islands in the Mediterranean. It’s very beautiful, with sandy beaches and perhaps the warmest water you are likely to find in the Mediterranean Sea. Mallorca is also the home of Rotten Kings, a young alternative rock band that just released their debut EP, Raindrops, last month. The fact that they found the time to write, practice, and record songs pretty much in the middle of paradise is testament of the passion they have for music.

Old Town was released as a single ahead of the EP and it showcases very well how promising this band is. A guitar-driven song about a relationship going cold, it will remind you of late 90s/early 2000s alternative rock tracks. Do not expect to find something groundbreaking here, just a really good rock tune that should establish this young Spanish band firmly on your radar. They are just getting started.

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A Darker Bright – Drift

I love the way Drift starts. Those jangly guitars do a marvellous job at reeling the listener in and inviting them to stay until the end, and while that intro is definitely my favorite part in that song, the rest of it holds its ground rather well too. It is the lead single off Lay The Armor Down, the debut album from Los Angeles-based alternative/indie rock band: A Darker Bright.

Unfortunately, there’s no much more I can tell you at this point in time about this Californian band. I’m not even sure if they have three members or four, but the important thing here is that they make really good rock music and we should definitely keep them in our radars. Definitely check them out!

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Talk Shivi – Shadow Monster

Talk Shivi is the musical project of Jacob Henry, a singer-songwriter, actor, and journalist based out of New York City. I cannot tell you much about him in terms of bio or the meaning behind that moniker, but I can tell you that he is a talented musician whose songs got a really unique feeling to them. He has released just two songs so far as Talk Shivi: Shadow Monster, his debut single back in January, and Let You Slide, just yesterday. Both very good but also different to each other. These are not your typical ‘guy with a guitar’ busking tunes, these are layered songs that will leave you wanting more.

Shadow Monster is a groovy alternative rock track with a sprinkle of psychedelic elements to make it interesting. Lyrically, it has a message about getting through dark times, probably inspired by the global pandemic. Before covid, Jacob used to perform live in NY all the time, which obviously changed last year. This has prompted him to shift his focus to the digital side of things, resulting in these two releases. There’s something magnetic in Shadow Monster that makes it easy on the ears. Check it out below but please do yourself a favour and listen to Let You Slide too. It is even catchier.

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Weezer – All My Favorite Songs

All My Favorite Songs was released back in January and I’ve been meaning to feature it here since then. For one reason or another, it took me this long but the important thing here is that today’s the day. The lead single from Weezer‘s latest album, OK Human (pretty clever name), I think it is the best Weezer song in the last decade or so. According to the band’s frontman Rivers Cuomo, the lyrics reflect his music taste with the first line being: “All my favorite songs are slow and sad“, but those are far from being the adjectives I would use to describe this tune.

If this is your first time listening to All My Favorite Songs, you’re in for a treat. Enjoy!

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Juline Costa and Six Four Zero Two – I Really Like You

I Really Like You is a post-punk track, a genre I had heart before but wasn’t really familiar with. When you entered that into Google, this is the definition that you get: “a style of rock music inspired by punk but less aggressive in performance and musically more experimental”. I Really Like You is definitely experimental but in a groovy and compelling way. It doesn’t sound close to punk or even punk-rock to me, which is why I chose the Alternative (Rock) mixtape for it, but I certainly liked it. I’m sure it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea but, worst-case scenario, you will find it interesting.

The tune is a collaboration between Portuguese singer-songwriter Juline Costa and British act Six Four Zero Two. The latter is the independent, not-for-profit musical project of Rob Howsam, who joined the Royal Air Force in his youth and had 6402 as part of his Service Number. He enjoys the irony of using something that represents such as restrictive environment as the moniker of his creative endeavour. He was looking for a good vocalist to collaborate with and a contact suggested Juline to him. She was obviously what Rob was looking for.

Now, this is actually the first official release form Juline Costa. She got some songs posted on her Youtube channel and Soundcloud profile, but no studio albums or singles. Hopefully, I Really Like You, which she wrote based on a single acoustic guitar riff on repeat, will help her record an EP or something, because even though it might not be super evident on this track (other than her great tone of voice), she’s really talented and versatile (seriously, check her Youtube channel out). When you add Six Four Zero Two‘s production skills to the mix, the result is really fascinating.

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Shady Groves – Like You

I’ve featured quite a few good bands from Michigan lately and today I got you another one. I don’t know what exactly is causing this avalanche of great indie music coming from that state but I hope they keep it coming. Shady Groves is a collective of singer-songwriters and multi-instrumentalists formed in 2015 and after going through some lineup changes, it now consists of just original founders: Adam Fitzgerald & Dylan Caron. Adam also started Underflow Records, whose goal is to draw attention to under-appreciated artists from the region.

With influences such as The Smiths and The Shins, it’s not shocking that Like You, the fourth single from their second full-length album, Dreamboat, feels old and modern at the same time. It’s kind of a musical reverie that could have been part of a The Beach Boys album. However, do not think that all Shady Groves songs are like that. They’re really versatile in terms of genre, so if for some reason Like You is not right up your alley, they will probably have something else more suitable to your style. In my case, I really enjoy this track. Check it out in the mixtapes below.

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Young Rising Sons – Halloween

With the Easter break, I don’t have much time for writing this post, so I’m going to take the opportunity to feature a little gem from a signed #indiepop band that is popular enough to have its own Wikipedia entry: Young Rising Sons. I first heard of this band from New Jersey when their debut single, High, became viral around 2014 and stayed on my radar ever since. They released Halloween in October 2020 but I didn’t pay much attention to it until February or so. Let me tell you, from the moment I really listened to it, I became hooked. I’ve been playing it over and over during this time and am still not tired of it.

Have you ever been in a relationship with somebody who gave you mixed signals? That’s basically what Halloween is about and also what makes the lyrics so relatable. Lead vocalist Andy Tongren wears his heart on his sleeve on this song and the music arrangement during the chorus is really stunning. I know Halloween is the wrong holiday for this time of the year but, between you and me, I don’t really care. Enjoy.

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Eighty Ninety – Forever

Forever is the latest single from NYC-based brothers Abner and Harper James, aka Eighty Ninety. I don’t know the exact reason why they chose that moniker but if you told me that it was because they wanted to emulate the style of indie pop music from the 1980s and 1990s, I’d believe you because that’s exactly how they sound like. As stated in their bio, they “fuse intimate storytelling, sticky melodies, and minimalist pop productions built on acoustic instruments and electronic sounds in a style they call ‘808s and telecasters‘”. They debuted in 2016 and even got Taylor Swift to add one of their songs, Your Favorite Song, to her official Spotify playlist with tunes she loves.

Forever will be part of Eighty Ninety‘s upcoming sophomore EP. It is a warm song in the duo’s signature chill-pop style . Even though the song’s theme is about unrequited love, it is actually pretty uplifting. The whole tracks feels like a daydream we won’t want to wake up from. Give it a listen below.

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