Better Than Ezra – Closer

Artist: Better Than Ezra

Song: Closer

Genres: #indierock #alternativerock

Location: New Orleans, United States

Release date: August, 2001

Comment: I think Kevin Griffin from Better Than Ezra is one of the best lyricists around. BTE are best known for their singles released during alternative rock’s heyday in the 1990s, but Closer was the album that introduced me to them. A Lifetime is one of my favorite songs ever and a great example of how talented Kevin is as a songwriter. However, the song I want to feature today is the title track from that underrated album, a song that always resonated with me even though it I couldn’t really relate to it before.

Closer is a beautiful song Griffin wrote after having his first child. In it, he wonderfully describes the excitement, pride, bewilderment and fear he felt all at once as a new dad. I hadn’t mentioned it here before but I’m about to become a dad as well in the next 24 hours or so, and I’m finally starting to understand what Kevin Griffin meant word by word. Incredibly, I can now say that Closer is even better than I thought.

Hope you enjoy this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry, and please bear with me while I adapt to my new routine.

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Picture Us Tiny – Forever & Always

Cover art: Jessica Haines

Artist: Picture Us Tiny

Song: Forever & Always (Tiny’s Version)

Genres:  #punkrock #poppunk

Location: Syracuse, United States

Release date: December, 2021.

Comment: Picture Us Tiny is the moniker of Jackson Velli, who in April last year posted a short pop-punk cover of Forever & Always (originally from Taylor Swift) that became viral on Tiktok. That success led him to record and release a full version on all platforms, which is great news to those of us who are not regular users of said social media website, as we would have missed it otherwise. One of Jackson’s main goals is to “ensure catchy punk music will never die” and this cover is a great step towards achieving that.

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Sam Fender – Get You Down

Artist: Sam Fender

Song: Get You Down

Genres: #alternativerock

Location: Newcastle, United Kingdom

Release date: October, 2021

Comment: I’m probably late to Sam Fender’s bandwagon but I hadn’t really paid much attention to him until I heard this song in December and… well, now I’m hooked. I love the jangling guitars and the layered approach to introducing the different instruments in the song. Get You Down is one of four singles released ahead of Sam’s sophomore studio album, Seventeen Going Under. By the time Sam releases a third studio album, I’m sure he’ll be quite a household name.

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Old Currents – Here, You Throw This Away

Artist: Old Currents

Song: Here, You Throw This Away

Genres:  #punkrock

Location: New Jersey, United States

Release date: December, 2021.

Comment: Fans of The Gaslight Anthem will love this tune because Old Currents‘ vocalist, Jake Novak, does sound a lot like Brian Fallon. The energetic Here, You Through This Away is the band’s first release since their debut album in 2017, and will be featured in their new album: The Glory, The Defeat, to be released in April. If it is full of songs such as this one, we won’t want to miss that release. It could be one of the highlights of 2022.

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WALK THE MOON – Win Anyway

Artist: WALK THE MOON

Song: Win Anyway

Genres: #electropop #indiepop

Location: Ohio, United States

Release date: December, 2021.

Comment: Cincinnati-based band WALK THE MOON dropped a new single over the Christmas break and it is pretty good. Sure, it’s not as catchy as their mega-hit Shut Up And Dance but that does not mean it’s not enjoyable. In fact, it’s a pretty good song for us to start the new year with. Enjoy!

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MOONWOOD – Sydney Lights

Artist: MOONWOOD

Song: Sydney Lights

Genres: #indierock #alternativerock

Location: Sydney, Australia

Influences: U2, The 1975, Kings of Leon

Release date: November, 2021

CommentSydney Lights is a beautiful love song to MOONWOOD‘s hometown, as the lockdown made the band members, even those not originally from there, fall in love with Sydney all over again. The five-piece band started in 2016 and as you can notice here, they clearly know what they’re doing. Sydney Lights got a clean delivery with dreamy guitars that set the right vibe and great vocals from lead singer, Jake. If you are looking for quality alternative rock, you can stop looking right now. Their previous tracks are really outstanding as well.

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Eliza & the Bear – Friends

Artist: Eliza & the Bear

Song: Friends

Genres: #indierock #alternativerock

Location: London, United Kingdom

Release date: February, 2016

Comment: I’m excited to see this little British band tomorrow as I haven’t attended a live rock concert in a long, long time (and it sounds like it might be the only one in a while too). Named after the title of a collection of poems by Eleanor Rees, Eliza & the Bear are not well-known to the casual music fan but if there is one song of theirs that even them are likely to have heard before is Friends, which became an indie hit when it was released five years ago. Other songs I would recommend are Cruel and I’m On Your Side.

As this week’s #ThrowbackThursday, let’s honor Eliza & the Bear.

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VHS Collection – Space Between Us

Artist: VHS Collection

Song: Space Between Us

Genres: #electropop #indiepop

Location: New York City, United States

Release date: November, 2021.

Comment: NY act VHS Collection wrote Space Between Us several years ago but were unable to come up with a production that satisfied them. After plenty of experimentation, they finally got it right by “combining electronics and a pop-goes-new-wave groove with influence from U2’s With or Without You“. Believe it or not, I actually thought of that classic song the first time I listened to Space Between Us‘ intro, and that was before I knew the U2 tune was their main inspiration. Besides having a cool band name, VHS Collection got a new album they will be releasing very soon and I, for one, won’t want to miss it. It sounds very promising.

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Broken Clouds – Eyes Shut

Artist: Broken Clouds

Song: Eyes Shut

Genres: #garagerock #alternativerock

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Release date: November, 2021

CommentEyes Shut is the debut single from Broken Clouds, the stage name of Scottish musician Gareth John Anderson, and if it is an indication of how good his other tracks are, we’re in for a treat. The guitar-driven track has a really infectious chorus and a sophisticated sound that still manages to evoke alternative rock from the eighties and nineties. Eyes Shut was produced by Rod Jones (Idlewild‘s guitarist/songwriter) at Edinburgh’s Post Electric Studio, and released on Edinburgh independent label Cosmic Peace Jazz.

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Of Monsters and Men – Organs

Artist: Of Monsters and Men

Song: Organs

Genres: #indierock #alternativerock

Location: Reykjavík, Iceland

Release date: June, 2015

Comment: I mentioned Of Monsters and Men in yesterday’s entry and then in the comments section I said that I loved lead singer’s Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir’s voice. If the only songs you know of this quintessential indie band are their biggest hits (Little Talks or Mountain Sound), you might not be aware of her sweet and mildly raspy voice. Both songs are great but do not showcase Nanna’s vocals that much. Instead, listen to Organs, an underrated gem that wasn’t even a single off the band’s sophomore album. It’s all about Nanna and her flawless vocal delivery. Enjoy! #ThrowbackThursday

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