After experiencing a major adversity, Brooklyn-based singer Andrew Selkōw moved to Alaska for a while to find himself. Being alone and surrounded by nature rekindled his love for literature and music and planted the seed for Middle Part to be born. Inspired by both 1990s and early 2000s alternative bands, Andrew composes sincere music that connects with you at many levels. On December, Middle Part released his debut EP, I Wish I Was Alive, which compiles the singles he had published already.
One of those singles is Busy, a laid-back tune that relies on hazy vocals, acoustic guitars, and soft synths to deliver a message of vulnerability. Influenced by artists like Natalie Imbruglia and Michelle Branch,Middle Part wrote Busy to warn us about the problems ego brings to friendships. I don’t know if it is because of the guitar, the vocals or the steady beat, but somehow this song reels you in and doesn’t let go until long after it’s ended.
Do you like the ‘heart in a blender’ song? If this question does not ring a bell to you, then you are not following Eve 6 on Twitter and, therefore, missing out on what has become one of the most entertaining accounts on that social media platform. Max Collins, the band’s frontman, became hyperactive with the account towards the end of 2020, tweeting whatever comes to his mind, from stories about other ‘nineties bands’ (as he usually refers to them) to his opinions about any subject. Sometimes he is joking and sometimes he’s telling the truth but often it is not obvious to figure out which tweet is which, with Max even referring to the whole stuff as a form of art. One of the funny things he’s been doing is asking different personalities and celebrities, from Kamala Harris to Taylor Swift, if they liked the ‘heart in a blender’ song. The Rolling Stone magazine even wrote an article about it.
Inside Out is the heart in a blender song and let me tell you, I’ve always liked it. It was part of Eve 6‘s debut album from 1998 and reached the number one spot on the Modern Rock charts. The band from Southern California broke up in 2004 but luckily got back together in 2012 and released a very nice album that year, Speak In Code. While they haven’t published any new music since then (other than a live album), they’re still together, although with a new drummer. Hopefully, there is some new music coming song. In the meantime, enjoy this week’s #ThrowbackThursday tune.
“I would swallow my pride, I would choke on the rinds
Xavier Valdez is a singer/songwriter from California who debuted as a solo artist in 2020. However, he used to play bass and provide backup vocals on LA-based band MR CALL, so he wasn’t a neophyte to the music business. His style is indie rock with nice pop touches that make it really enjoyable. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that his sound is completely unique, but it’s certainly distinctive enough to be refreshing.
After releasing a few singles in early 2020, Xavier compiled them into his debut EP, Sun, in August. Then, in November, he dropped a brand new single, Bear, that really reflects everything I said above about Xavier’s sound. While Bear is the track I am recommending today, check out the Sun EP too. Xavier Valdez is certainly a talented artist who knows how to make appealing indie music.
Josh Stevens has either been nominated or won quite a few awards, including the Grammys, mostly as a music producer. He got all that success working with dance and/or hip-hop artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Steve Aoki and Pitbull. So, naturally, he now sings and writes indie rock songs. And, let me tell you, he’s quite good at that.
Late last year, Josh released a superb track called Hello Darling, which he wrote for her daughter. It is an upbeat and anthemic song with neat production and great, emotional vocals. The track even features some sleek guitar riffs that are just the cherry on top. Quite simply, it is a really great tune.
Nick Louis, who is a Brooklyn-based multi-instrumental singer songwriter who’s been involved with other bands and is skilful at writing catchy hooks, met HW LaSota, who is an architect and writer, online basically by chance. That led to several months of remote collaboration and eventually to the formation in 2020 of almost sex, which they describe as “a folky alternative post punk rock indie pop duo“. Nick is the lead singer and instrumentalist while HW writes the lyrics. provides harmonies and plays several instruments. They haven’t told me this but I guess the band’s name is meant to imply that their music is almost as good as sex. Clever.
The duo has released two singles so far. The first one, Knockoff, was more acoustic, revealing the folky alternative side of almost sex. The second single, on the other hand, relies more on a groovy electronic soundscape that hypnotizes you for the duration of the track, helped in no small part by HW LaSota‘s subtle harmonies as her voice combines pretty well with Nick‘s. Charmer is inspired by the story of the snake and the charmer (hence its cover art above) and closes with a cool coda that contrasts nicely with the rest of the track. Let me put it this way, this song could have been part of The Neighbourhood‘s debut album and been one of its highlights, that’s how good it is.
Pay attention to almost sex because they really got a promising future.
This is likely to be my last post of 2020 so I’m going to make it count by featuring a song from a talented artist who cares more about his music than himself. If you visit HD Bradley‘s social media pages, all personal info you’ll be able to find is that he’s from Chicago and likes coffee and dogs. I got his real name, Bradley Dean Honeyman, from looking at his songs’ credits on Spotify. His music gets all the spotlight.
HD Bradley is a singer/songwriter who just started releasing singles this year. Most of them consists of just an acoustic guitar and his voice, with a few exceptions. Enough, for example, got some really nice electric guitar in the bridge and backing vocals. However, the important thing to highlight here is that Bradley‘s voice is really satisfying, perfect for this type of music, and his melodies are always nice and interesting. You can listen to them all day long without getting tired. Start with Enough right here and then continue with his back catalogue. Hopefully, he’ll continue making great music in 2021.
P.S: You might notice that some of the mixtapes have fewer songs now. That’s because I have moved their songs to 2020-specific playlists, that way the mixtapes won’t become too big.
P.S2: Hope you are all enjoying the holidays break and have a much better 2021 (the bar is not too high). Thank you for your visit and see you in Jan!
Remember The Shrugs from early November? One of its members, saxophonist Jake Vanaman, also plays in another Virginia-based band called Kendall Street Company, who released recently their fourth studio album, The Stories We Write For Ourselves (I love this album name. Not only do they have a similar vibe to The Shrugs, but they even invited Abbey Potter as a guest vocalist in some of the tracks, like lead single Lady In Green. That being said, the tune that caught my attention was track #11.
In A Little While is a folk rock song with an acoustic charm and great storytelling. The vocals from lead singer Louis Smith are also perfect for that kind of music. However, do not make the mistake of thinking all 15 tracks in the album (including a prologue and epilogue) sound the same. There’s a little bit of everything, with bits of classic and experimental rock mixed in here and there. KSC are becoming a popular jam band in the Virginia region. Don’t be surprised if that starts being the case in other states too.
Jake Atlas, better known by his stage name Thriftworks, enjoys life outdoors and is a self-proclaimed ornithologist and pteranodon enthusiast. So, naturally, this experimental electronic music producer named his latest EP after a large, crested, and toothless pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous period, the Tupuxuara. His goal is to make music that is not quite danceable yet impossible to listen to without moving some part of your body. That is exactly what you will find in that 5-track EP.
Braided and Faded is just the track I chose from Tupuxuara. All of them are pretty consistent in terms of innovation, enjoyability and rhythm, but that doesn’t mean that they all sound the same. On the contrary, each song has its own personality. If you enjoy downtempo electronic music from time to time, Thriftworks will be a perfect addition to your library of that kind of music. Check it out and enjoy your Saturday.
If you visit The Break Plans Facebook page, you will find that they describe their music as “Rock n’ roll with an EDM soul” or “indie pop music you can dance to — with an alternative rock vibe”. After listening to some of the singles they’ve released so far, it’s fair to say that both descriptions are pretty accurate. This band from Freehold, New Jersey, started in 2018 when lead singer Colton Braun replied to an add the other two band members, Mike Jahoda and Phil E. Eichinger, posted on Craig’s List. Getting inspiration from bands like Walk The Moon, Coldplay, and The Killers, their songs are certainly catchy and fun.
Their latest single, Crossroads, is exhibit A of everything mentioned above. It is an indie pop track with hints of alternative rock, some cool synths and even some EDM vibes. A song about feeling incomplete without that person who complements you, Crossroads is one of those tunes you could easily play on repeat. If you don’t have an aversion to radio-friendly songs, don’t lose sight of The Break Plans and check their back catalogue out. You won’t be disappointed.
When I first heard of Fonzy & Company, I could have sweared they were from Nashville or Missouri, not Bristol, England, with members from across Britain and even New Zealand. This alternative rock band certainly flirts with the Americana sub-genre and that still holds true with their latest EP released last month: Is It Me?, which has six tracks including its lead single, Hella Sweet. Their style is guitar-based and got the peculiarity of having multiple vocalists with Olivia Jury’s voice being their secret weapon.
Hella Sweet is a fun and uplifting track that showcases all of the above. You could argue that they’re not breaking new grounds with it but as you can see in the video below, the band had a lot of fun playing this song together and they were able to transmit exactly that. When the music is this good and amusing, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. If you like Americana rock, make sure to give Fonzy & Company a try.