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: 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 hadn’t done one of these (#ThrowbackThursday entries) in a while, mostly due to a lack of time, not a lack of songs. In fact, I wanted to feature Sugarcult last week, after they kindly liked a tweet in which I mentioned them, but alas, I ran out of time. This band from Santa Barbara, California, started in 1999 and had a pretty successful debut studio album in 2001, during the hey-day of early 2000s punk-rock –by the way, last year they re-release that album in its 20th anniversary–. However, something I liked about them was that they were not afraid to experiment and try new sounds: none of their three studio albums sound alike.
Despite still being active (after a hiatus), they have not released a new album since 2006’s Lights Out, which is the one that features today’s track: Do It Alone. This song was the first single off that album and probably ahead of its time, because it wasn’t even as successful as the second single (Los Angeles). I think part of the reason why was that it sounded closer to the music of bands that were becoming popular then, like The Killers, than what Sugarcult had released before. It was our loss, though, because the single was really outstanding and perhaps, in a parallel world in which both track and album were a massive success, we would have had many more Sugarcult albums.
Comment: If you live in Ireland, you might have seen Ian Moloney busking on the streets, playing at a gig or participating at a music competition. He’s involved with the local Irish gig scene like that. I hope those who have seen him play could appreciate how talented he is because it would be a shame if they didn’t. Influenced by The 1975’s debut album and MCR’s The Black Parade, Ian has released the second part to his debut EP, The Insomniac’s Dream, back in December, and it got quite a few good songs in it. I chose Polaroid today simply because Ian recorded a music video for it (see below) but I could have chosen any track. The album, which was recorded by Ian and a friend at their own houses during the pandemic, is that consistent.
I believe this record is just Ian’s starting point, but listen to Polaroid below and you will see how good a starting point it is.
Influences:Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab For Cutie, Sugarcult
Release date: February, 2022
Comment: Derrik Schiersing (Vocals/Guitar) started Lost Like Lions in 2014, when he even recorded a debut EP in Los Angeles that featured guest vocals from A.J. Perdomo (The Dangerous Summer). Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan back then and the band went on a break until 2018, when they decided to give it another try. After releasing an EP in 2020, Lost Like Lions are getting ready to release a brand new EP, “Fear of Letting Go”, later this year.
Back To Life, the lead single, is a track about reinventing yourself and, as you can see from the band’s brief history above, they do know a thing or two about that. I actually think The Dangerous Summer would be a good comparison here because the vibes are pretty similar. Perhaps Lost Like Lions are a bit less punk, more alt-rock, and just as enjoyable. Check them out!
Comment: Twenty-year-old Nashville-based artist Caroline Romano was featured here last August (at the age of 19) with her song ‘The Hypothetical,’ part of her new album, ‘Oddities & Prodigies,’ released in February. The album, highly recommended, includes great songs like the aforementioned one and ‘Grocery Store,’ among others. However, my favorite track by far is the eponymous ‘Oddities & Prodigies,’ even better than ‘The Hypothetical.’ If you enjoy catchy #poprock songs, you might find it perfect. Check it out