I got a request last week for this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry: “If You Could Only See” from American alternative rock powerhouse, Tonic. So, naturally, I complied by featuring a different song from the same band (=. I got nothing against “If You Could Only See”. It’s a great song, possible Tonic’s best and undoubtedly their most iconic track to date (after all, it was 1997’s most-played song in rock radio), but that is precisely the reason I opted to talk about a different, lesser known gem included in their 2002 album, Head On Straight, Do You Know.
This song is a guitar-driven alternative rock song with a melodic chorus, but the reason why I’ve always liked it so much is that it got terrific lyrics, which shine the most during the great chorus. I don’t think this tune got much attention back then when it came out, but it’s not too late to give an overlooked outstanding song a second chance. Tonic and Do You Know certainly deserve it.
Blame Baby are a Los Angeles trio that produces catchy indie rock with strong late 90s/early 2000s vibes. They only got three songs in their catalogue, but they got an EP on the way. Silhouette is their most recent release and, in my humble opinion, the best so far. A song about incomplete relationships, it got a nice combination of distorted guitars, good vocals and a chorus that gets stuck in your head. They recently made public the tune’s music video (you can watch it here), which is deliberately bad, in that so-bad-it-is-good kind of way.
I hope they do well enough to keep making music without having to change their sound and feature rappers or K-Pop groups as guest vocalists. They know how to write a good alternative rock song. They should keep doing just that.
in earnesthas the peculiarity of having not one but two lead singers: front-couple Sarah and Thomas, who are also the songwriters. As such, they aim for getting the listeners to connect with them through their honest and raw lyrics, in which they talk about their battles with mental illnesses, loneliness and other difficult subjects. This indie band from Southend-on-Sea, UK, is about to release its debut self-titled EP next month, but three of the tracks are available already, including the song we’re featuring today.
Put Me Under was written by Sarah, who also sings her heart out on this track. Talking about her struggles with anxiety and depression, her ethereal vocals are complemented outstandingly well by ambient soundscapes and acoustic guitars. With this song, in earnest managed to create a mesmerizing track that offers us just a glimpse of what they are capable of. Keep them on your radar and listen to their EP when it’s out.
If you search for Nick Box on Google, most of the results you will get are going to be related to Nickelodeon, but the Nick Box I’m referring to here is a talented musician who, as a solo artist, writes beautiful ambient piano music for our enjoyment. Additionally, he’s been involved in multiple musical projects across different genres, such as alternative/indie rock band, Sleeperstar. He is very talented indeed.
Reveal is one of the singles Nick has released this year under his own name. A magical cinematic piano-based composition that I could listen to all day without getting tired of it. To say that this song is relaxing would be a massive understatement. I highly recommend the work of this prolific musician. As a starter, listen to Reveal below.
Some people get into the music business because they want to get famous and live the life of a rock star. Others are just passionate about music and want to do what they love: writing and recording songs. If they can make enough money to make ends meet, that would be the cherry on top. That is the case of California-based musician Mark Grider, who goes by the moniker Fedbysound. Back in July, he released an album, Resonate, with elements of alternative rock, progressive rock and hard rock. The last two are not really my cup of tea, but the first one is certainly right up my alley.
Face The Day is the track that closes the record. It is an alternative rock song with a chorus that reminds me at times of early 2000s Bush. This catchy tune gets even more impressive once you consider that Mark played all the instruments as well. Even his vocals are a perfect match for this type of music. Give him a chance if you are into the genres mentioned above. You’ll surely find something you’ll like. Artists such as Fedbysound deserve the opportunity to do what they love.
It is a commendable approach when musicians use their art to promote social change, instead of going through the beaten and commercially safe path of writing generic songs about having a good time or moving your body. Canadian indie-folk duo, Funeral Lakes, are an example of such artists, in their case focusing on our planet and environmental issues. Consisting of Sam Mishos and Chris Hemer, this quirky act has released just last week a follow-up EP, Golden Season, to their eponymous debut album from last year. You can read a good review of this EP here.
My favorite track in Golden Season is Earth Falls, which, as its name hints at, talks about the destruction of our planet, and with everything going on at the moment with California’s wildfires (and earlier this year with Australia’s), it cannot be more relevant. Musically, the contrast between Sam and Chris’ voices during their interplay is a nice touch that draws you in, and it gets complemented very well with a pleasant melody and a neat chorus. Earth Falls is an enjoyable track, no doubt about it, but the fact that it is also meaningful makes it even better. Check it out below.
Regiments is a post-rock/orchestral musical project and, you guessed it, another one-man show (I’m starting to believe all cinematic rock acts are like that). Founded in 2019 by New Jersey-based Peter Cipparulo after falling in love with bands such as Explosions In The Sky, Regiments‘ goal is to create something interesting that could also evoke emotions. Well, I think it’s safe for Peter to say: “mission accomplished!”.
Beginnings is the name of Peter’s debut album under the Regiments moniker, and also its title track. It is a beautifully orchestrated song that uplifts your spirit and results in an emotive soundscape. I’ll just keep it short because there’s really no much else I can say here. Listen to Regiments‘ work, you won’t regret it, and you can start with Beginnings ,below.
Icelandic artist Ólafur Arnalds is one of my favorite composers still active. His last album,re:member (2018), was outstanding, for which he even invented a ground-breaking musical system called Stratus. If you have seen the British TV show, Broadchurch, then you are familiar with Ólafur’s work because he composed its gorgeous soundtrack. He started to get noticed when he supported Sigur Rós during one of their tours in 2008. All in all, I think it is safe to say that he is a brilliant multi-instrumentalist.
Ólafur is preparing a new album for November but he has already delighted us with a couple of new tracks. Back To The Sky is one of them but the peculiar thing about it is that it is closer to an indie song than to anything else. To begin with, it is a collaboration with Icelandic singer, JFDR, so it got lyrics and beautiful vocals. Listening to this song is similar to floating in the air. From the flawless instrumentation to JFDR‘s hypnotic voice, everything in it feels like part of a dream. Please don’t wake me up.
Bea Bitter is the stage name of Brenna Kassis as a solo artist, given that she’s also part of indie-rock band, Ill Spector. This prolific singer/songwriter hails from Nashville, TN; is preparing her debut EP, which will be titled The Lull Before The End Of The World; and has released two singles so far this year. Serpent, the most recent one, dropped just two weeks ago.
Brenna got a sweet voice that is perfect for indie folk songs just like Serpent. With a playful melody driven by a solid bass line, this single talks about wanting that person you are infatuated with to have the same feelings about you, something we can all relate to. Overall, Bea Bitter got the talent to write and perform entrancing songs that can crawl through your mind like a real snake. This gorgeous tune is just exhibit A. You’ll see.
Some bands can’t hide how much fun they have playing music and Coopertheband is one of them. Made up of 5 self-proclaimed “music nerds”, this indie rock band from Tennessee has released two full-length albums, two EPs, and a bunch of singles already, with Stuck being the most recent one, released a couple of weeks ago.
This great song got top-notch production and a stunning bridge that elevates it to a whole new level. With a blend of indie rock and some electronic elements, the tune got the right ingredients to make you want to put it on repeat. The band wrote Stuck inspired by the current climate and it talks about that feeling we might get sometimes when we really want to do something but we get trapped by our own thoughts. Luckily for us, that wasn’t the feeling Coopertheband experienced when working on this magnetic track.