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.
There’s no much background info I can give you on Toys in the Attic. All I know is that this project consists of one person, based in Rhode Island and that he is pretty active on Twitter. According to his songs’ writing credits on Spotify, his name seems to be Alexander, but the fact that really matters here is that this artist is really passionate about making music of all genres, but mostly alternative and synth-based tunes. His catalogue is small but varied, with some songs flirting closely with dance music while others, like Where Giants Sleep, are mellower.
Where Giants Sleep is a catchy track that takes you on an auditive journey. It’s easy to imagine that you are driving through a scenic route when listening to this tune, and the destination is your happy place. By all means, check Toys in the Attic out and you can start right here, right now with this addictive track.
Update: Due to legal reasons, Alexander has had to change his stage name. While old songs will remain under the Toys in the Attic moniker on streaming platforms, new music will be released as Dreddbeat.
Sometimes you got dreams to chase and other times, the dreams are the ones chasing you. You could say this is what happened to Heather Monroe when, one Christmas, her husband bought a full set of instruments for their children, hoping to get them into music. Instead, it was her who got that itch to start creating music. Before long, she was writing songs and becoming the lead singer for a 4-piece band out of Michigan that they decided to call Monroe Moon.
Last month, the band dropped a new EP, Joy, that features New American Housewife as its lead single. Within the alternative umbrella, this song got elements of rock, indie and synth-based pop, without falling entirely into any of those brackets. The track starts slowly with an eclectic but intriguing soundscape that explodes into a fantastic kind of chorus (the song structure is not the traditional one) at 1:43. The fact that it’s not repeated over and over in the way that conventional choruses are, leaves you wanting for more.
Don’t sleep on this great track. It is worthy of your attention. Check it out in the mixtapes below.
Given these options only, would you rather have several successful singles with millions of streams and TV placements while remaining relatively unknown, or international stardom without any successful single? I think most people would rightfully choose the former option and that’s precisely what Bronze Radio Return got going, to the point where they have been dubbed: “the band you’ve probably heard, but haven’t heard of.” Well, I hope that changes soon because this indie/roots rock band from Connecticut is actually pretty good.
With over 80 million streams on Spotify, quite a few high-profile placements like in the 2014 film St. Vincent , a few tv shows and commercials as well as playing the festivals circuit; this band can’t really complain about the level of success they’ve had since they started in 2007. Last month, Bronze Radio Return released this stunning single called Still Wandering (and they’re about to release a new one next week). The track reels you in from the very start and doesn’t let you go until its last chord. It is a song about being constantly searching for a dream, especially when you have none.
And if what you’re searching for is your next musical crush, stop looking. It’s right here.