The Magic Epic – Sally

Sally is a gorgeous song on its own but its music video (which you can watch below) is so beautiful that it makes you like the song even more. It becomes impossible to separate one from the other. The video follows a ballerina dancing through empty streets in a way that matches the delicate piano notes from the track. This ballerina is a tribute to a friend of British singer-songwriter The Magic Epic , who was also the inspiration for Sally. This friend was a professional dancer frequenting clubs and parties until she got pregnant and drastically changed her lifestyle without ever looking back. The Magic Epic is that child’s godfather.

This artist based out of Brighton is a longtime busker and wedding singer who has lived an interesting life doing a bit of everything. This has allowed him to become a seasoned songwriter people can relate to. Influenced by modern and old-school artists, and you can certainly perceive that on Sally, he has released three singles so far and is getting ready to drop a debut album too. If it’s full of songs like Sally, it will be quite a treat.

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Flawes – What’s A Boy To Do

British #altpop band Flawes have been around since 2016 but they didn’t release their debut album until early last year. Then the pandemic hit the world and changed everything. Rather than complaining about their tough luck, they embraced lockdown and went back to work, which resulted in a six-track EP called Reverie, which includes What’s A Boy To Do. Quite simply, this single is a stunning piece of uplifting indie pop.

After a brief acoustic intro, Flawes keeps things relatively quiet during the first verse before erupting into one of the catchiest choruses you will find in an alt-pop song this year. It could become a huge hit with proper airplay. What’s A Boy To Do is that good. Don’t miss it!

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Palma Louca – Stationary Life

Stationary Life, one of two singles released in 2021 by Newcastle-based #indierock band Palma Louca, is a song that critiques the way modern society is constructed. Most people repeat the same routine day in and day out without any hope for breaking that cycle. Despite alluding to such a deep and somber theme, musically the song is actually far from depressing. It’s very atmospheric, with layer after layer of different sounds, including some great drums, cool guitar riffs and spot-on vocals. That being said, it doesn’t feel overproduced at all. Stationary Life should sound just as great live.

With regards to Palma Louca, the British band recently signed with their local label Pillar Artists and continue releasing singles at a steady pace. I hope there is a debut EP or full-length album coming soon because I’m sure it will deserve our attention. The band is formed by Cameron Snow (Drums), Daniel Bailey (Keys/Synth & Backing Vocals), Joe Norton (Guitar & Vocals), Richard Norton (Guitar), and Andrew Thompson (Bass). Please do check them out!

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Louis & The Shakes – How Badly Do You Want It?

Jack White meets The Killers meets Queens of the Stone Age. That’s what I think How Badly Do You Want It? sounds like and, somehow, it still works. This fast-paced indie/Americana tune from British quartet Louis & The Shakes is the first single off their forthcoming album of the same name. Lead singer Louis Antoniou wrote this song with the purpose of encouraging the listener to keep going no matter what and with such an infectious rhythm, no one will be able to keep still. A problem I usually have with this type of music is that often the artists seem to care more about being noisy than having a good melody, but that’s not the case at all here. Don’t get me wrong, this track rocks hard but in a way that lets you appreciate the nice vocals and the craftsmanship of every band member.

In addition to Louis, the band is made up of Jamie Lawson on lead guitar, Manny O’Donnell as drummer and Will Finnerty on bass. Louis & The Shakes started in 2019 with a bluesy 60s influenced debut EP that got support from BBC Introducing and some radio stations in the United Kingdom. Fresh off a new distribution deal, this new single represents the start of the quartet’s exciting new chapter. Hopefully, the new album will help them expand their audience on time for the return of rock concerts. Their music is perfect for live gigs.

I mentioned above that no one will be able to keep still while listening to this track. I dare you to prove me wrong.

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Five Days North – Colours (In My Mind)

Five Days North are not strangers to T.A.M. and now they’re back with a new single called Colours (In My Mind), which is totally on brand with the sound of this indie pop band from Manchester, UK. It combines elements of 1980s synth pop with modern indie rock a la The 1975 to delight us with a tune that is cheerful and nostalgic at the same time. The lush synths and  buoyant  guitars set the scene for Darryl Messer‘s vocals to lifts us all with the anthemic chorus.

If you’re a fan of 1980s-infused music, Colours (In My Mind) will be right up your alley. Listen to it below.

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Andrew Land – Defects

Andrew Land is a British multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer who was classically trained through his youth and then studied contemporary music on his own. This has resulted in a style of music that combines elements of both approaches, neoclassical music with traces of ambient and electronic sounds. It is not surprising then that one of his main influences is Oláfur Arnalds, who regular visitors should be familiar with. This year, Andrew is releasing his debut album, Relevant Matters, and he has given us some appetizers with a few singles and even an EP: (Making Good) Defects, all recorded and produced by the artist in his home studio in the Midlands, UK.

This EP contains three gorgeous tracks, including two versions of Defects: a stripped down version that you can listen to in the video below, and the regular, more atmospheric version, which you can find in the mixtapes mentioned after the video clip. Both versions are stunning and well worth your time. The track (s) got a cinematic vibe that evokes a feeling of peace and tranquillity. I fell in love with it and, hopefully, you will too.

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Lewca – Back From The Dead

Back From The Dead is one of those genre-defying eclectic songs that you just like. Think Parklife from Blur with a catchier chorus and you will have a pretty good idea of how this tune sounds. As an artist, Lewca just wants to do what he feels like doing while having fun as well, not worrying about conventions or what people think they like. I mean, this song mentions going to the barber and having eggs with bacon for breakfast, not your typical lyrics stuff, yet it still works. It does so because the contrast between the chorus (did I mention that it was extremely catchy?) and the verses is high enough to highlight how infectious the former is, and also because the production, in charge of Lewca himself, is top-notch.

With regards to the artist, Lewca is quite a funny character, as evidenced by the bio on his website. Originally from London but living in France since he was 19, he now has 3 Kids & a Mortgage, which is also how he decided to call his debut EP (whose cover art is a drawing his kids made). He has always been involved with arts, studying Fine Arts and working on films, but got as well a passion for making music that he wanted to explore before he was “too old to die young“. Here we hope he achieves his mission of conquering the world.

Check this artist out. Maybe he will be your cup of tea or maybe not, but I guarantee you will have fun.

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Talk Shivi – Shadow Monster

Talk Shivi is the musical project of Jacob Henry, a singer-songwriter, actor, and journalist based out of New York City. I cannot tell you much about him in terms of bio or the meaning behind that moniker, but I can tell you that he is a talented musician whose songs got a really unique feeling to them. He has released just two songs so far as Talk Shivi: Shadow Monster, his debut single back in January, and Let You Slide, just yesterday. Both very good but also different to each other. These are not your typical ‘guy with a guitar’ busking tunes, these are layered songs that will leave you wanting more.

Shadow Monster is a groovy alternative rock track with a sprinkle of psychedelic elements to make it interesting. Lyrically, it has a message about getting through dark times, probably inspired by the global pandemic. Before covid, Jacob used to perform live in NY all the time, which obviously changed last year. This has prompted him to shift his focus to the digital side of things, resulting in these two releases. There’s something magnetic in Shadow Monster that makes it easy on the ears. Check it out below but please do yourself a favour and listen to Let You Slide too. It is even catchier.

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Juline Costa and Six Four Zero Two – I Really Like You

I Really Like You is a post-punk track, a genre I had heart before but wasn’t really familiar with. When you entered that into Google, this is the definition that you get: “a style of rock music inspired by punk but less aggressive in performance and musically more experimental”. I Really Like You is definitely experimental but in a groovy and compelling way. It doesn’t sound close to punk or even punk-rock to me, which is why I chose the Alternative (Rock) mixtape for it, but I certainly liked it. I’m sure it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea but, worst-case scenario, you will find it interesting.

The tune is a collaboration between Portuguese singer-songwriter Juline Costa and British act Six Four Zero Two. The latter is the independent, not-for-profit musical project of Rob Howsam, who joined the Royal Air Force in his youth and had 6402 as part of his Service Number. He enjoys the irony of using something that represents such as restrictive environment as the moniker of his creative endeavour. He was looking for a good vocalist to collaborate with and a contact suggested Juline to him. She was obviously what Rob was looking for.

Now, this is actually the first official release form Juline Costa. She got some songs posted on her Youtube channel and Soundcloud profile, but no studio albums or singles. Hopefully, I Really Like You, which she wrote based on a single acoustic guitar riff on repeat, will help her record an EP or something, because even though it might not be super evident on this track (other than her great tone of voice), she’s really talented and versatile (seriously, check her Youtube channel out). When you add Six Four Zero Two‘s production skills to the mix, the result is really fascinating.

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in earnest – good boy

Back in September, I introduced you to a little indie band from Southend-on-Sea, UK, called in earnest. You may be happy to hear that they are back with a double single that they wrote about their dogs. Any decent human being who has had pets knows how especial they are. They become family members.

The first track, your dog, was inspire by the band’s front-couple’s dog: Murph, and the second one, good boy, is a tribute to Doug, an old dog Sarah and Tom had who sadly passed away in 2019. If you have lost a dog, then you know how painful that experience can be. However, good boy is not a sad song. It is just beautiful. I’m a fan of Sarah’s voice but she sings this track with her partner Tom and their voices work really well together, not unlike Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in the Oscar-winning track Falling Slowly.

Listen to good boy below and get mesmerized by it.

Featured on the following mixtapes: