I mentioned this great song recently in another entry and I think it makes sense to feature it as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday song. Frou Frou was a British electronic duo that released only 1 album, Details, back in 2002. They disbanded in 2004 but Wikipedia claims that they reunited in 2017. I don’t know if that is true or not but Imogen Heap, the lead singer, has had a successful career as a solo artist that predates Frou Frou. Her voice is one of those you can recognize right away.
Anyway, Let Go, which was part of the Details album, gained notoriety in 2004 when Zach Braff chose it as the key track on the award-winning soundtrack of his hit indie movie Garden State. The song was also featured prominently in one of its trailers (which you can watch below). The lush electronic strings and Imogen’s distinct vocals are impossible to resist in what ended up being one of the best tracks of that decade.
Continuing with this week’s trend of featuring songs a bit “out of left field” for me, I got today At The Worlds End, the latest single from The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara. Now, I do like TCOMAS, don’t get me wrong. I even featured them here back in October. But as you will notice when you listen to this track, it is much heavier than the kind of music I usually feature here. It is probably be the heaviest one yet. What can I say? There’s something about the way Daphne delivers her spoken word parts that I can’t resist.
The fact that this song’s theme is related to climate change and the impact that our actions have on the planet also helps. This is reflected very well in the accompanying music video, which you can watch below. Check this tune out, particularly if you enjoy loud guitars. It will be worth it.
Hospital is not an exciting song and that is totally fine. Not every song must be a banger or a party starter. Sometimes what you need is just a song that can help you switch off for a while and that is exactly what you get with this tune from Tape Runs Out, a seven-piece band from Cambridge, UK. Their style revolves around alt-indie and dreampop and they use a wide variety of instruments, from violin to a hammered dulcimer. The band started in 2012 and are about to release their sixth EP, Ghost Fruit, for which Hospital, released last month, is the lead single.
Written by main songwriter Liam Goodrum-Bell during lockdown and recorded at home, Hospital is a tune we can all relate to after 2020. It’s a gorgeous little indie track that lets you get immersed into its soothing notes. Just give it a try and check Tape Runs Out.
While doing some research for yesterday’s post, I got reminded of this classic from the 90s. Ready To Go was an international hit in 1997 (even though it was originally released in 1996) and it is by far the most well-known song from the English band Republica. I can’t say I know much about them, but according to Wikipedia (which of course is always right), they were formed in 1994 and are still active despite releasing their only two albums before the new millennium (they’ve released some compilations afterwards). As an interesting piece of trivia, Saffron, their lead singer, was born in Nigeria.
Anyway, enjoy this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry!
The first time I listened to Criminals, the latest single from British band The Trusted, it immediately reminded me of some pretty good alternative rock bands from the 2000s, like Vega4 and Carolina Liar (bands that you definitely should check out if they don’t ring a bell to you). This act from Southend-on-Sea started out of secondary school around 2017, when the band members bonded over their admiration of melodic and atmospheric pop-rock. It’s no wonder then that they’ve managed to craft such a great song like Criminals.
Mixed by Grammy nominated Andy Bradfield (Elbow, David Gray), Criminals features hypnotic synth-strings and guitar loops that complement very well the smooth vocals of Tom Cunningham. Sad, honest and beautifully uplifting are adjectives that The Trusted use to describe the track, and they are spot on. The band have garnered acclaim from several magazines and publications and got a strong following in Italy after two successful tours. After listening to Criminals, it’s easy to see why.
Five Days North must be the band with the highest aggregate IQ. Really. Most, if not all, of the members of this five-piece act from Manchester are scientists or doctors. I don’t think there are many bands out there that can claim that. Their specialty in music is indie pop and they’re quite good at that, even winning a few competitions for unsigned bands in the UK.
Take Me Higher is just exhibit A of the knack they got for catchy melodies. The track, which was written as a collaborative piece amongst the band members, got colorful synths and incisive bass lines that make the whole song really hard to resist to. Released in 2020 after the lockdown, Five Days North have not been able to play it live yet but it will probably become one of the highlights of their live gigs once that becomes a thing again. In the meantime, you can improve your day by listening to this cheerful song below.
Deep.Sleep is an indie rock band from Newcastle upon Tyne that, at least before 2020, was turning heads touring the UK and even The Netherlands pretty successfully. Their music is generally upbeat and anthemic, not that different to bands like The 1975. The Geordie band has spent this year honing their craft, resulting in the release of their latest single, You and I. It is a song about anxiety, specifically the one frontman Dan Frend felt a few years ago when his then-girlfriend moved away to study and the fact that he felt he had to tough it up because of the toxic masculinity mindset that surrounded him. He managed to find a way to make it a light-hearted and catchy tune, and that in a nutshell represents what is great about this promising young band.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to start spamming you with holiday-themed songs. You can get plenty of those pretty much everywhere else. The thing with Give It Up For Christmas is that it got a couple of nice things going for it: first of all, it is actually a really good song, and, on top of that, it is a charity single with ALL proceeds being split between the Music VenuesTrust #saveourvenues campaign and Shelter. The catchy single was released earlier this month and counted with the collaboration of over 40 musicians and artists, including Edinburgh’s The Phoenix Choir. If you like alternative rock songs, you’ll like this track regardless of your position towards Christmas tunes. The fact that Give It Up For Christmas supports two well-deserving charities is just the cherry on top.
With regards to The Lutras, they’re one of Scotland’s hottest emerging rock bands, topping a public vote across nearly 1000 artists to be crown winners of Firestone‘s annual search for the UK’s best independent music artist in 2019. After originally starting in 2013, it wasn’t until 2016 that this 4-piece band recorded its debut EP and things really started to take off in 2018. This year was lining up to be huge for them with a really busy schedule but then coronavirus happened. Luckily, from the sound of their latest single, it seems The Lutras will be able to pick things up right where they left off.
Dave Mathers is a classically trained pianist and composer from Scotland who loves all kinds of jazz music. He has been playing piano for 20 years (since he was 8) but still thinks he has much to learn, which is the right attitude to have. He started to release music last year under the moniker Fradama while working as a piano tutor for a music school in his country, and doubled his efforts this year in order to take advantage of the 2020 situation. Amongst his latest releases, I particularly liked his beautiful piano piece Promenade Sunset, which is a short but captivating track as relaxing as a walk in an actual seafront promenade.
Fradama hopes to get better known with time if he keeps releasing more music. Promenade Sunset demonstrates that he is talented enough to achieve his goals. All he needs is a little bit of luck. Give him a chance below.
Accurately self-described as genre-fluid, 30 is a versatile singer/songwriter from Massachusetts with over 220k monthly listeners on Spotify. In his latest EP, The Introspects Of A Psycho, which is a philosophical introspection into the life of a girl spiralling out of control who is important to the narrator, the artist moves swiftly from rap and hip-hop to alternative rock. While the former genres aren’t really my cup of tea, I certainly dig 30‘s rocker side, such as in the appealing Lost In Colorado.
This tune is a stripped down, guitar-based track with metaphorical lyrics and an engaging melody. The chorus, in particular, is one of those that keeps playing in your head long after the song has ended. It is obvious that 30 got a creative mind that will push him to explore different styles. Hopefully, he will keep a balanced approach and continue embracing his alternative side from time to time.