Hopefully, Garrett Kealer‘s solo act Stumble Steady is firmly on your radars after he was featured here back in December. I’m happy to report that he has just released his debut EP, Nobody Told The Wolves, which contains two of the tracks he had released as singles –including Coming To An End–, as well as three previously unreleased tracks, out of which my favorite one is Tired. Even though style-wise it is in the same vein as its predecessor (and just as catchy), Tired is different enough to stand on its own.
Unless you hate infectious, hook-ridden indie pop songs, you should definitely check Stumble Steady‘s new EP, starting with Tired. It might have been inspired by how we all feel after one year of pandemic, but listening to this tune will actually inject you with enough energy to keep going throughout your day. Who doesn’t need that on a Monday?
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.
You might have heard this week’s news on The Wallflowers releasing their first album in 9 years next month. They even released its lead single already, which is okay, I guess, but nothing to write home about. While I’m not a die-hard fan of Jakob Dylan‘s band (I wasn’t even aware they had made an album in the last decade), they do have some really great songs that were very popular during the The Wallflower‘s heyday. Their most famous –and probably best– song is One Headlight, which won two Grammys and became the first song to top all three of Billboard‘s rock charts: modern rock, mainstream and adult alternative.
All that being said, I do have a soft spot for a far more modest single from the same Bringing Down The Horse album: Three Marlenas. It peaked at number 51 on the Hot 100 chart and is not the song most people immediately think about when they hear this band’s name, but it is that song for me. Take a walk with me down memory lane with this week’s #ThrowbackThursday song.
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!
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!
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 TheBeach 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.
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.
Earlier this week I mentioned the Grammy-nominated band Fireflight and it is possible you hadn’t heard of them before (they do have a decent fanbase but they are not entirely household names either). Therefore, I think it would be pertinent to talk a bit about them in this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry.
Fireflight are technically a Christian Rock band but not all their songs are about religious themes (I could be wrong but I think the track I’m recommending today is simply a love song). They are usually compared to bands like Evanescence and Paramore just because they are also female-fronted rock bands that often leaned towards the heavier side (Paramore not so much anymore). They were formed in 1999 and have released seven albums so far, including one last year. For Those Who Wait (2010) is their most successful record to date.
This band from Florida got quite a few nice tracks but my favorite one is this overlooked gem called Wrapped In Your Arms from their third studio album: Unbreakable (2008). It wasn’t even a single but it is a really outstanding song. The first half of it is very laid-back and features the beautiful voice of lead singer Dawn Michele’s prominently, but what I really love about this tune is how all of a sudden the whole band comes in after the second chorus taking everything up a notch. Hope you can enjoy this track as much as me.
There’s a lot to like about Virginia-based indie rock band Starcoast. To begin with, their main mission is to spread love and positivity with their music, which is a welcome goal in this day and age. Secondly, the band’s name was inspired by a meteor shower from a late night beach walk in their hometown of Virginia Beach –how cool is that? And more importantly, their music is really good.
Believe In Love is Starcoast‘s latest single and it really delivers. The tune is an uplifting indie rock track with hooks everywhere. Each instrument adds value, including a sax line that gives the tune a nice yet subtle touch. All of this is matched perfectly with the superb vocals from lead singer Tom Hunter. Somewhat surprisingly, this 3-piece act managed to make Believe In Love sound fresh without having to reinvent the wheel. That’s easier said than done.
I’m here for the outstanding guitar solo in the bridge of At Home In The Dark. It really elevates the whole song to another level: from nice to really good. The tune is the second single from Michigan based-artist Au Gres (aʷ grā), which is the musical project of singer-songwriter Joshua Kemp, who conceived the whole project in his bedroom with, according to him, unimpressive equipment. Au Gres‘ music is a blend of indie rock with bedroom pop and that is particularly true in this new release, which Joshua refers to as being “indie pop with teeth”.
At Home In The Dark is also a love song whose theme is promising one’s partner that you will help them feel at home during the good times but specially during rough times too. You can read a wonderful review of this song at our friend Jeff‘s essential music blog: Eclectic Music Lover, or just listen to it right away at the links below. Whatever you choose, you won’t regret it.