I think Tom DeLonge is the type of person who gets easily bored by routine and repetition. One of the reasons he got into arguments with Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker, was that he wanted to experiment with a more “atmospheric” sound while his friends wanted to keep doing what had been successful for them so far. The bad news is that this is what eventually caused him to leave Blink-182, but –luckily for us– that is also what prompted him to form Angels & Airwaves (stylized AVA). The group is basically a cinematic rock band with a punk-rock flavour, and there is nothing wrong with that.
AVA had been relatively quiet since 2017, partly because DeLonge had been busy looking for UFOs (for real, he co-founded this company), but they are now back on track to drop a new album soon, having released three new singles already since December. All That’s Left is Love is the latest one of them and is also the one that resembles the most the band’s previous work (this is not a complaint, I liked the other two singles as well, especially Rebel Girl). All the proceeds the band makes from this single will be donated to the charity Feeding America to help with the economic impact of COVID-19.
All in all, it is a great song from one of the most curious minds in the music business today.
In yesterday’s entry, I mentioned why I liked cinematic (post-rock) music. Well, I probably have to thank Lights & Motion for that. Reanimation, the debut album of this Swedish one-man band, founded in 2012 by the talented Christoffer Franzén, hooked me in. The “band” is one of the main references in the genre and its songs have been featured in multiple tv commercials, tv shows and movies. Funnily enough, the song I’m recommending here today, from the Lights & Motion‘s latest album: The Great Wide Open, is perhaps the band’s less cinematic songs.
It’s not that I See You lacks Lights & Motion‘s trademark atmospheric vibes and amazing soundscapes –it doesn’t–, but I think it has more elements of indie rock, especially with the hauntingly beautiful vocals of Swedish singer Frida Sundemo. I particularly love the guitars that start playing at 1:42. All in all, it is a mesmerizing track that closes perfectly another great album by Lights & Motion and Deep Elm Records.
Cultures is an alternative/indie rock band from Greater Manchester that started just four years ago but has managed to get some attention in that short period of time. In fact, I would not be surprised if they became the next big thing to come out of the Manchester area. The group certainly got the talent for that.
Away From Us is their latest single and it showcases perfectly how much the band has evolved since 2016. It is a guitar-driven song about what it feels like to live away from home for the first time, something many of us can relate to. If this is an indication of where Cultures is heading to, it is clear then that the band is going up. Watch the brand new video (released today!) or listen to the song in the playlists below, and then you’ll be able to brag about listening to Cultures before they became big.
These British rockers deserve worldwide recognition. Started by Will Irvine (the Bear) and Jimmy Hunter, Hunter & The Bear is now a four-piece rock band that have supported artists like Eric Clapton and played in multiple festivals, but I don’t think the casual listener knows who they are. That needs to change soon.
Hunter & The Bear released a new single in March this year. It is very good and I will probably feature it here in the near future. However, the song I’d like to highlight here today is this gem from their debut album from 2017: Won’t you Ever Come Home. This beautiful song blends the best of Bruce Springsteen with Irvine’s stunning vocals to make it a memorable track that deserves to be played on repeat ad infinitum. It became my musical crush for a while. If you like good rock music, chances are high it was or will become yours too.
Janice Sue Meghan Myers, better known as Meg Myers, is an American singer-songwriter who debuted in 2012. Almost two years ago, she released her second studio album, Take Me to the Disco, for which Numb was the lead single. I know it is not brand new but the song is too good not to be featured here, especially considering the fact that it didn’t reach a very wide audience (that being said, it wasn’t unsuccessful, having peaked at position 182 of Billboard 200.
Numb is perhaps the singer’s most radio-friendly song, which is not something Meg usually tries to achieve. The song’s style reminds me of the late 90’s alternative rock, which feels like a breath of fresh air nowadays. It certainly deserves to be listened to on repeat at a high volume level. Without a doubt, Numb has huge musical crush vibes. Is it yours?
Phoebe Bridgers is the world’s favorite indie/folk artist right now. In fact, when she released her second album, Punisher, one day earlier yesterday, she became a trending topic on Twitter. So, I don’t think you need me to tell you who she is. You probably know that already.
Anyway, that a true singer/songwriter singing this type of music is having so much success in this day and age, is something that I think should be celebrated. It’s pretty rare nowadays. Besides, despite being the song after which the whole album was named, the song I’m recommending here today, Punisher, has not been released a single so far (those have been Garden Song and Kyoto). I cannot say was a huge fan of Phoebe. I mean, I do like her but not in a cannot-stop-listening-to-her kind of way. That being said, I loved the ethereal mood of this song from the first time I heard it. Ms. Bridgers has a soft and delicate voice that pulls you in in a hypnotic way. As a curious side note, musicians use the term punisher to refer –in kind of a condescending way– to super fans that linger at the merch booth in live shows a little too long. Phoebe wrote this song as if she would have been Elliot Smith’s punisher.
Maybe I’ll become a big fan after all. What about you?
Canadian band The Strumbellas had a moderate hit a few years ago with their song, Spirits, yet they remained relatively unknown to the casual listener. Last year, they returned with their fourth album, Rattlesnakes, which included the anthemic folk single you can find below. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you must do it now because its infectiously uplifting melody will put a smile on your face and make you sing-along.
I’ll wait became an instant musical crush for me the first time I heard it. I hope it does the same for you.
The Airborne Toxic Event were extremely active from 2008 to 2015 and then went quiet until now, when they’re back with their sixth studio album, Hollywood Park, which is a concept album accompanied by a book: lead singer Mikel Jollett’s memoir.
The first single out of Hollywood Park is Come On Out, which is not bad at all, but the song I’m adding to the mixtapes here is The Common Touch, which has the band’s signature style and deep, harrowing lyrics. Hope you like it!
Third Eye Blind (3eb) might be alternative rock legends, but that doesn’t mean that your average joe will know who they are. Trust me, I’ve lost track of the amount of clueless looks I’ve received whenever I’ve mentioned them in any conversation about favorite bands. What often happens is that most people can recognize the melody of Semicharmed Life, but not much more than that.
Anyway, the Californian band has just released a cover of an old Joy Division song called Disorder, which is what I’m recommending right now. It is really good and, in my opinion, it could be even better than the original. Do you agree? Also, should I create a mixtape with just covers? Please let me know in the comments section!
I’m going to kick things off with this cool new song from The Mowgli’s, released earlier this year.
Although the Californian band, which is named after a former band member’s dog that was, in turn, named after the character from the famous Rudyard Kipling’s novel The JungleBook, cannot be considered an unknown act, they’re certainly not mainstream yet. If “Wasting Time” is any indication of where the direction they are heading to, then that’s likely to change soon. The song’s chorus cannot be any catchier.