Comment: If you like distorted guitars, then you’re going to love this vulnerable track from Australian #singersongwriter Ruby Fields, who has emerged as one of the most talented artists in the alt-rock scene from the Land Down Under. Song About A Boy tells the story of a love relationship gone awry and it comes accompanied by a great music video inspired by the movie Midsommar. Both track and video are well worth your time.
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.
So Alive came up a few days ago while I was working and it immediately made me look at what other music this little known #alternativerock band called The Rising had released since then. I didn’t know much about them and So Alive was their only song in my library. Sadly, my research revealed bad news only.
The Rising was formed by Australian singer Michael Johns, and if that name rings a bell to you is probably because he finished in eighth place on the seventh season of American Idol (2008). The Rising’s first and only album, Future Unknown, was released in 2003 and then again in 2008 after Johns’ appearance on the aforementioned TV show. It never really sold much but Michael was then able to release a solo album in 2009 that sold 20,000 copies. The really sad news was that Michael passed away in 2014, aged just 35, of dilated cardiomyopathy. Way too young.
So Alive might be a little known song but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of your attention. There are plenty of little gems out there that never received a fair chance. As a tribute to Michael Johns, I thought of sharing one of his best songs with you in this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry in case you weren’t aware of it. I really hope you can enjoy it!
To say that I’m Sorry was a catchy song would be a massive understatement. It’s hard not to get hooked with it after just a couple of seconds in. Nashville-based chill-pop singer and producer Mokita wrote it after a conversation with his brother about past relationships and how regretful they felt about mistakes they made. Trying to make it sound even more nostalgic, he decided to make it a duet and managed to convince Bonnie from Stand Atlantic (remember them?) to join forces with him. I’m glad this happened because her voice gives the tune a really nice touch that makes it even more haunting.
While they have been together as a band for at least 3 or 4 years, 2020 was the year Creature Fear, a five-piece indie rock band from Australia, started to break out in their home country. They’re about to release their debut EP this year, from which they have released three singles already. All of them are really nice but whereas the first two were more upbeat and closer to the band’s 60s rock influence; their latest single, Big Summer Eyes, is more intimate with a soft acoustic intro that showcases the gorgeous voice of lead singer Jacqui Lumsden. It is not, however, an acoustic track from start to finish. The full band joins the party soon enough.
A song about hope during the darkest times, it surely brings a ray of light to our lives during covid times. Creature Fear is just another example of the really talented artists coming out from Down Under. Check them out as I’m sure you won’t regret it.
Gabriel Paris is an Australia-based multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, and producer with a few writing credits in his resumé. He has been focusing on his solo career lately, releasing three singles so far, with Kicks In being the latest one. As a songwriter, Gabriel tries to be authentic and write about what he feels compelled to as opposed to what others might want. This results in honest lyrics such as those in this single, which is a deeply personal song about a time when he relied a bit too much on alcohol to cope with his problems.
Musically, Gabriel lists the likes of Vance Joy and Coldplayas influences, and I can certainly note some similarities. His music got all the necessary elements to make it memorable, from raw emotions to nice vocals and pretty melodies, just as with the hauntingly beautiful Kicks In. Check it out below and don’t sleep on this talented artist.
Nick Kingswell is an Australian singer-songwriter whose music deserves to be featured in indie movie soundtracks. I Didn’t Try is a perfect example of that, with its acoustic backdrop, sweet melody and Nick’s soothing voice; it could very well be the song that started playing when Tom is lovesick after Summer breaks up with him in 500 Days of Summer. And that is a movie with a great soundtrack.
Nick recently moved to the UK looking to push his music career, and the experience of adapting to a new place while longing for your home place inspired him to write a few songs for his new album, Brontide, which will be released this month. Keep him on your radar because this kind of heartfelt music is always welcome. While we wait for the new album, listen to I Didn’t Try and add it to your soundtrack for this week or month.
Punk-rock is still alive. Wishful Thinking is an example of a new generation of pop punk bands ready to take the baton from Blink-182, New Found Glory, and All Time Low (in fact, at times you might think Tom DeLonge is the one singing) . This New Jersey act is not trying to reinvent the wheel as much as simply injecting a breath of fresh air into the genre. They started out in 2016 but after releasing an EP then, the band members decided to take a break to get better at songwriting. They returned this year with new tracks ahead of their debut album, which was released on the 22nd. Preoccupied is one of its singles.
This is a classic pop-punk song with a fast tempo, loud guitars and a catchy chorus. It is a clear example of what Wishful Thinking can do now and the potential they have to keep improving. If you like this genre, you should definitely check them out. You will like it.
For some reason, there aren’t that many rock bands with a female vocalist, let alone punk rock ones. Luckily, we got bands like Stand Atlantic kicking some serious ass while being led by the awesome Bonnie Fraser. This Australian pop-punk band was formed in 2012 and after a series of EPs, they released their debut album in 2018, which made them internationally known amongst punk rock fans. Last month, they returned with their sophomore effort, Pink Elephant, which demonstrates that the band means business.
Blurry is the sixth! single Stand Atlantic has released from this album and it is a great example of what the band does best: high-energy songs with catchy choruses and much darker lyrics. The track got some electronic/synth-based elements that give it a slight 80s aesthetic but it is still a pop punk song with a lot of attitude.
The punk-rock / pop-punk genre was hugely popular in the early 2000s, to the point where it got saturated with plenty of bands that sounded the same, with only a few standouts. Then, things moved to other end of the spectrum when most of those bands either broke up or switched to Pop or something else, and the genre slowly faded away. It looks like the middle ground is not an option for punk-rock.
The above has caused plenty of people who enjoyed this kind of music back then to feel nostalgic about it now, and that is exactly where Home By July fits in. If you miss the heyday of the genre, this Australian band will be right up your alley, and the best example of that it’s their latest single, One In A Million. Don’t expect anything groundbreaking, just good old punk-rock.