Comment: Lizzie Esau is just 23 but she must have grown up listening to alt-rock records from the 90s. If you listen to any of her singles (for example, “Bleak Sublime”), you will see what I mean. That said, the Newcastle-based singer-songwriter adds her own experimental touches to her music, making her stand out in the crowded music scene. “Jellyfish” is her exciting new single and it showcases her creativity with a fuzzy guitar riff and spoken-word vocals that lead into a soaring chorus. That chorus is everything! and along with the tempo variations and clever lyrics, they make “Jellyfish” truly a must-listen track.
Comment: British alt/rock band WESSON, led by #singersongwriter Chris Wesson, is formed by four musicians coming from different backgrounds, resulting in a delightful blend of pop, punk rock and indie rock. “Made Me Happy” is just their fifth single, but given how fun and catchy it is, I think it’s safe to say that this band is going places.
The lyrics express the emotions of a person who was hurt by someone’s actions in the past. The song reveals that the person has come to the realization that they might have acted similarly if they were in the same situation, and is finally finding peace in understanding their own and others’ behaviors. Between how relatable the lyrics are and the extremely catchy chorus, “Made Me Happy” is the type of tune that gets stuck in your head. Listen to it at your own peril.
Influences: Bon Iver, Phoebe Bridgers, Fleetwood Mac
Release date: January, 2023
Comment: Some singers are lucky enough to have a vocal style that is nuanced and distinctive enough to be easily recognizable whenever you hear it. I think that could be the case with Brighton-based artist, Benjamin Brett, who has just released a hauntingly beautiful debut track called “In My Head”. This song reminded me a bit of David Gray‘s 1998 hit: “This Year’s Love”, probably because both tracks got gorgeous melodies and unmistakable vocals.
The emotive and raw vocals perfectly capture the vulnerability and honesty of the song’s subject matter, which delves into mental health struggles and the fear of losing touch with one’s real self. With delicate guitar work and touching harmonies, “In My Head” will stay with the listener long after it has ended, and that, my friends, is the best kind of music. Certified #musicalcrush.
Comment: Verra Cruz, a British alt-rock infused trio, has recently released their newest single, “The World Is Crashing In”, a powerful, emotional track that speaks to love, loss, and the rawness of emotion. I particularly like that lovely guitar line in the intro and the anthemic chorus.
Verra Cruz got formed in 2003 and currently consists of Marc James (guitar/lap steel/vocals), Henry Cross (bass) & Jimmy Cooke (drums). However, after being featured by Kerrang! as an ‘Incoming Band’ in 2008 and supporting acts such as Biffy Clyro and Switchfoot across the world stage since then, the band’s career has not taken off yet in the way you could have expected. More people should be aware of Verra Cruz and perhaps “The World Is Crashing In” is the song that will give them the final push to accomplish that.
Comment: “Campfire” sounds like a hit song Alanis or Hole could have released in the 90s, but it was actually written by a talented 22-year-old indie/pop artist from Reading, UK. Not only that, it is just the second single ever released by Frankie Bird. To say that she has a promising future would be a massive understatement.
It is no wonder then that when Frankie moved to London in late 2021 and became a regular on the open mic circuit, she proved to be a success all around the city. “Campfire”, in particular, is a little hidden gem that deserves to be found.
Comment: Conor Rabone, frontman of Gathering of Strangers, a five-piece indie rock band from Manchester, had this to say about their latest single, Red & Gold: “My absolute favourite time of the day is just after sunset, and you have about five minutes when the sun has disappeared, but it has turned the whole sky a golden red. I wanted to capture my feelings during those 5 minutes and put it in a song“. It’s safe to say he succeeded at that because when you listen to Red & Gold, the moment that riff starts playing at the beginning, you feel instantly elated.
With songs like Red & Gold, this band is definitely going places.
Comment: The eponymous track of The Wombat‘s next EP, Is This What It Feels Like To Feel Like This, might not reach the heights of their mega hit Cheetah Tongue, but that does not mean it isn’t a superb track anyway. In fact, I’ve been listening to it on repeat for the past month or so. If you hadn’t heard of it until now, check it out. It has the potential to become your next #musicalcrush.
Influences: Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen, Sam Fender
Release date: June, 2022
Comment: Morning, from British four-pierce band Armstrong, is one of those alternative rock songs that grab your attention from the start. I have always had a predilection for songs that begin with just a guitar and some melodic vocals, and that then explode once all instruments join the fun –usually around the chorus–, and that’s exactly what happens here. The track’s lyrics talk about delaying big life-changing decisions, like breaking up with someone, until the next morning. Don’t delay listening to this infectious track though. It will be well worth your time.
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.
Influences:Catfish and the Bottlemen, The 1975, Elvis Costello
Location: Southend on Sea, United Kingdom
Release date: April, 2022
Comment: Continuing with the theme of T.A.M. regulars, we have today what could be The Trusted‘s best single to date: Millennium. A song about coming of age in the 21st century, this vibrant indie rock track combines traditional rock instruments with synths and other subtle electronic elements, giving it a sound that’s both modern and classic.
The Southend-on-Sea natives recorded Millennium in SS2 Studios and got help from producer Rees Broomfield and Grammy-nominated Andy Bradfield (Elbow, David Gray, Rufus Wainwright), who mixed the single. As you can see, this is a pristine and well-rounded track. Below you can find its lyrics video and, as a bonus, an acoustic rendition of this song that The Trusted performed flawlessly. Enjoy!