Comment: As a band, The Dares current lineup has been performing together since 2010. During this time, they have had the chance to work with both established and up-and-coming producers. While getting help from professionals is always nice, it is also pretty expensive with pricey hourly rates, which is not good for artistic freedom when you got a limited budget. For example, you may have to settle for a less than perfect option just because you cannot afford another recording session. The pandemic gave The Dares the opportunity to set up a home studio on an unused conference room, which allowed them to self-produce a few songs.The band enjoyed having the opportunity to pursue their own vision and that shows in tracks like Pain, from the use of synths to the layered vocals on the bridge and outro.
Despite having a relatively happy melody, Pain got a deep meaning with lyrics that criticise those who prey on vulnerable people (which, sadly, seems to happen more and more these days). It is a track full of contrasts and definitely worthy of our attention. Please check The Dares out!
Comment: MOONWOOD is a Sydney-based alternative rock band that released their debut EP, Everything We Once Knew, less than three months ago. If the band’s name sounds familiar to you, that’s because I featured one of the EP’s lead singles , Sydney Lights, back in December. When I did that, even though I hadn’t listened to the full EP yet, I was convinced that Sydney Lights was going to be hands down my favorite song off that record. I might have been wrong though because now I think that Slow Down might be even better. I lost track of how many times I’ve listened to this song the past couple of months. I just love how it goes in crescendo twice: at the beginning and then after the song switches gears at the 03:10 mark. This represents the increasing tension between two lovers trying to resolve their unspoken issues and differences.
All in all, this is an outstanding alternative rock track. By all means, check it out.
Comment: I bet the ratio of good rock bands to inhabitants in Liverpool must be off the charts. There must be something magical around the Mersey river. Four-piece RIVIA is just the latest example of that. After gaining good momentum in 2019, the pandemic made them take a step back. They still released a couple of songs during that time and now they’re back to full steam with the forthcoming release of their new EP: Scratching the Surface. In The Air is its lead single and it is as anthemic as an alternative rock song can be. A relatable song about how certain things, good and bad, can throw your plans up in the air, you will have a hard time ignoring its powerful chorus. Check it out.
Comment: Less than a year after the catchy I Can’t Afford Her, London-based trio The NewTwentys, are back with a new single that’s not that far behind in terms of energy and likability. Heart’s In The Right Place, the band explains, “serves as as a middle finger to all the people who try to trample on your passions, the types that act like they’ve got life figured out, and want you to share their same small view of the world. ‘They say my heart’s in the right place as though the rest of me ain’t'”.
What could I add to that? When you mix meaningful lyrics with a good melody, you end up with bangers just like this song. Check it out!.
Comment: Tasmanian four-piece act The Namesakes are a rock ‘n’ roll band flirting with college rock, 60s pop, British and Australian indie music and classic punk. Case in point, their latest EP, Super Computer, got a little bit of everything across its six tracks. Leopard Skin, which is the second track, sounds like what would have happened if Oasis, Nada Surf, and Said The Whale had made a song together. It’s the quintessential indie rock song with an outstanding chorus that leaves you thirsty for more.
Listening to The Namesakes, you realize that this is not a band trying to become the next world-famous mega band, but a group of friends making music that they enjoy. If you’re here, chances are that you will enjoy it too. Check them out!
Influences:Regina Spektor, Sara Bareilles, Norah Jones
Release date: February, 2022.
Comment: Angela Sclafani is an independent #singersongwriter from New York City who has released three EPs so far and won numerous accolades as a songwriter. Her new single, Bell Jar, was inspired by Sylvia Plath‘s 1963 novel and is full of evocative lyrics that encourage listeners to challenge those social conventions that keep them down. Melodically, the track reminds me not only of the artists listed as Angela’s influences but also Lisa Loeb and even Sarah McLachlan. If you like sweet melodies with great lyrics, you’re in for a treat.
Comment: DBMK is a Nashville-based alt-pop duo that consists of Kyle Knudsen (vocals) and Colton Ward (drums). They have sold out numerous shows in their home state of Florida and managed their own DIY tours all across the States, amassing a dedicated fanbase denominated the “KULT“. That being said, I hadn’t heard of them until I listened to Chains, their latest single released last month, and came out impressed. From the inviting guitar-based intro to the infectious chorus, the whole song got everything it needs to become a staple of your music library in 2022.
Comment: I’m probably late to Sam Fender’s bandwagon but I hadn’t really paid much attention to him until I heard this song in December and… well, now I’m hooked. I love the jangling guitars and the layered approach to introducing the different instruments in the song. Get You Down is one of four singles released ahead of Sam’s sophomore studio album, Seventeen Going Under. By the time Sam releases a third studio album, I’m sure he’ll be quite a household name.
Comment: Fans of The Gaslight Anthem will love this tune because Old Currents‘ vocalist, Jake Novak, does sound a lot like Brian Fallon. The energetic Here, You Through This Away is the band’s first release since their debut album in 2017, and will be featured in their new album: The Glory, The Defeat, to be released in April. If it is full of songs such as this one, we won’t want to miss that release. It could be one of the highlights of 2022.
Comment: Sydney Lights is a beautiful love song to MOONWOOD‘s hometown, as the lockdown made the band members, even those not originally from there, fall in love with Sydney all over again. The five-piece band started in 2016 and as you can notice here, they clearly know what they’re doing. Sydney Lights got a clean delivery with dreamy guitars that set the right vibe and great vocals from lead singer, Jake. If you are looking for quality alternative rock, you can stop looking right now. Their previous tracks are really outstanding as well.