I’m at least a couple of months late to Michigander’s party. This song has been in my backlog for a good while now but for one reason or another, it didn’t make it here until now. That is a shame though because Let Down is an extremely catchy song that certainly deserved to be featured here. It even peaked at #8 on the Billboard Adult Alternative chart, which is something. The song, which talks about the dichotomy of feeling excited about meeting a potential love interest and the fear of being let down by it, is part of Everything Will Be OK Eventually, the band’s latest EP released earlier this year. I say band here but the truth is more complicated than that. Michigander is mainly the work of Jason Singer, but he does have a band helping him out, which includes Aaron Senor, who should be familiar to you now after being featured here twice (here and here).
This EP was reviewed back in March by our friend Jeff (Eclectic Music Lover), and as usual, it was a superb review. I’m well aware Michigander is pretty well known around the Michigan area, but I frankly don’t know how he isn’t a mainstream artist already. His songs are refreshingly good, the production is always top-notch and his band is full of outstanding musicians. The rest of the world might need to wait a bit longer before getting acquainted with Michigander‘s work, but you can start right here, right now.
Superscum is a Danish #indiefolk band formed by five guys who used to play in metal bands. The band’s name is perhaps a bit odd but not their music, which they describe as “a mellow blend of warm melodies and melancholy.” They have released two EPs so far that have been critically acclaimed in their home country, and they are currently aiming to release their debut full-length this fall.
Subtle is one their new tracks released earlier this year and it shows why Superscum is such a promising band. They have enough creativity to sound unique even without doing anything particularly outlandish. This song algo got a positive message about believing in yourself and having no regrets for trying, and that makes the listening experience even more pleasant. If there’s one thing you can be certain you won’t regret at all is giving Subtle a chance. Check it out below.
BANNERS is definitely one of the best indie rock acts of the last decade and if this is the first time you hear about him, you have been missing out. It is the stage name of Michael Joseph Nelson, who grew up singing in the Liverpool Cathedral choir, which included performances throughout Europe. In 2015, he decided to move to Toronto,Canada, to start his solo career there. After releasing three singles that year (the first one under the moniker Raines), he dropped his debut EP in January 2016 to moderate success and another one a year later. His first full-length album was released in 2019 followed by another EP consisting mostly of acoustic tracks last year, and he has already two brand new singles in 2021, with Serenade being the latest one. Despite how prolific he’s been so far, he’s been able to maintain the quality of his work: every single one of his releases is at least well worth your time. By all means check them out if you are not familiar with them.
As its name indicates, Serenade is a romantic song dedicated to a loved one, but it is also much more upbeat than that description would lead you to believe. BANNERS‘ vocal skills are in full display here, but the melody is so infectious that I think we could still enjoy the track if it he had a terrible voice. This indie song is as good as it gets. As usual, BANNERS didn’t disappoint. Enjoy!
In terms of style, I, The Mountain sounds pretty similar to a favorite of T.A.M.: The Strumbellas. That’s not a coincidence though because in addition to being influenced by them, both bands are actually really close. Case in point, Simon Ward (The Strumbellas’ frontman) co-wrote today’s featured song, Wildflowers, with this five-piece band from Kitchener, ON. The song is I, The Mountain‘s latest single and chances are you’re going to love it. It is as infectious as it is uplifting. Vocals are shared between the band’s lead vocalist, Matt, and Allison (keyboard) and they are complemented by the remaining band members with great harmonies throughout the track. I can only imagine how Wildflowers should sound like live but I’m sure it must be great.
I, The Mountain released their debut album just last year at the start of the pandemic but the bad timing didn’t prevent the band from developing a passionate fanbase they call Mountaineers. After you listen to Wildflowers below, I’ll be surprised if you don’t become one as well. With their good vibes and talent, it is impossible not to root for I, The Mountain.
Brothers Anthony and Steven Babino have been surrounded by music all their lives. When at least one of your parents is a musician, I guess that’s inevitable. And after growing up watching their father perform live in front of a big band day in and day out, it is completely natural that the two brothers born and raised in New York City decided to explore a career in music as well. Enter Rebel Kicks, their musical outlet with influences ranging from The Beatles and Sinatra to modern indie rock acts such as Young The Giant and Grouplove.
Rebel Kicks started releasing singles in 2018 and even managed to place a few of them in tv shows and festivals but then, of course, the pandemic slowed things down. The silver lining is that this situation also inspired them to write Floating, a song about achieving mental peace that is perhaps their best song yet. It reminds me a bit of the early work of fellow New Yorkers American Authors. It’s a catchy and uplifting tune that will lighten up your mood right away. I hope Anthony and Steven keep up exploring this style of music (which they claim differs from their previous releases), because it suits them extremely well. Check them out below.
This is going to be a concise entry. Australian singer James Gabriel Keogh, aka Vance Joy, became an international sensation back in 2013 with his hit Riptide and is back now with a new single called Missing Piece. If you liked the former, you’re going to love the latter because it has the same brand of bubbly #folkpop that made Riptide so successful. A song about missing someone you love, this sweet little tune will get stuck on your head. Unless you hate radio-friendly tracks (and some people do), you are really going to enjoy this one.
One of the first bands featured here, The Strumbellas, released a new single earlier this year that is just great. While the band was on hiatus during 2020, lead singer Simon Ward wrote Greatest Enemy as a way to reflect on his internal battles during a rough year that involved a cancelled tour even before the pandemic started. Not only has this song a great message, but it also is anthemic as hell. It’s impossible to listen to that chorus and resist the urge to sing or hum along. What I really love about this tune is that it doesn’t sound like I’ll Wait at all while being just as good. They weren’t just trying to repeat the same formula.
Greatest Enemy‘s music video is worth a watch as well. It was created by Toronto-based animator Luca Tarantini and it is aligned with the song’s concept of battling your own demons. Watch it below.
Canadian band The Strumbellas had a moderate hit a few years ago with their song, Spirits, yet they remained relatively unknown to the casual listener. Last year, they returned with their fourth album, Rattlesnakes, which included the anthemic folk single you can find below. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you must do it now because its infectiously uplifting melody will put a smile on your face and make you sing-along.
I’ll wait became an instant musical crush for me the first time I heard it. I hope it does the same for you.