Monowhales is a 3-piece rock band from Canada that came to light in 2017 and achieved impressive success in the Canadian music scene for a DIY, independent band. They even got supporting slots for bands like Marianas Trench. The band released a few singles last year and started 2021 with a bang with the explosive Out With The Old. The hook-ridden tune got all the elements to get you to move from the moment the first chorus hits your ears.
Monowhales wrote this track about today’s world and feeling that we are given the illusion of choice when there is no choice at all, but staying hopeful for a better future. They got a new single lined up bot this Friday and if Out With The Old is any indication, we should really pay attention to it. They obviously know how to compose a great track.
I don’t know how many alternative/indie rock artists there are out there who started their careers as opera singers but I bet the list is not long. Julia Kennific, who is a soprano from Montreal, certainly qualifies now that she has released her debut alternative rock single as Favourite Daughter. The Canadian artist wrote Long Distance on an unplugged, rented electric guitar after a discouraging call with her girlfriend at the time. Julia had been away in Halifax for an opera gig and they had not seen each other for four months when that call happened. Frustrated and foreseeing the end of that relationship, Julie felt the need to express her feelings on this relatable song.
However, don’t think Long Distance is a sad song to listen to while watching the rain fall on a window. It is a guitar-driven tune with a catchy beat prone to foot-tapping. As Julia puts it, it is a song “to blast on repeat in your headphones while on a long, angry run post-breakup, to sing along to with your best friend on an aimless night drive, or belt loudly and off-key while taking a shower“. Enjoy!
Coming Back For Me is an introspective indie pop track about solitude and self-acceptance. What I really like about it is the fragile atmosphere that Canadian-born singer/songwriter Jenny Kern surrounded the track with. The layered production and the ethereal vocals make the whole listening experience a very appeasing one.
Jenny Kern is based out of Brooklyn, NY these days. She’s been active since 2019 and got invited to tour Europe after her 2019 single Slow Burn got some global attention. She started 2021 on a roll, releasing Coming Back For Me in January and getting ready to drop another single in March. If you enjoy dreamy altpop and honest songwriters, you should check Jenny out. Her music will definitely be up your alley.
Far Away is a really captivating track. Musically, it is reminiscing of the works of acts like Morcheeba, Massive Attack, and even Mazzy Star; which makes sense because Canada-based singer/songwriter BILYK grew up listening to all of them in Western Ukraine. She has been collaborating with Ukrainian ambient/downtempo project Endless Melancholy, resulting in several stunning songs. One Day You Will Be Free, one of their previous collaborations, got featured in one of the renowned Buddha Bar compilation albums. I honestly think that Far Away is even better.
The combination of Endless Melancholy‘s chill ambient electronic background and BILYK‘s gorgeous and soothing vocals result in a truly spellbinding tune. I should also mention the equally outstanding music video, filmed on the shore of the Baltic Sea on Rugen Island by Roman Hense, which you can find below. Watching the beautiful cinematography with Far Away playing in the background is indeed a fascinating experience.
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.
At 5:32, Vancouver-born Nate Adamson‘s debut single, Grace, might appear to be too long but it is not because at 04:06 it switches up a gear and goes from being a good song to an outstanding one. I simply love those guitar riffs that complement the song so well. And did I mention that Nate did absolutely everything related to this song? Besides writing the song, singing and playing each instrument; he also recorded and produced every element using the studio he built from the ground up. Pretty impressive, if you ask me, for somebody who is just starting.
This singer-songwriter started listening to legends like Johnny Cash but later discovered more contemporary acts like Kings of Leon and Phoebe Bridgers, which is what ended up motivating him to create his own music. That being said, Grace reminds me a lot of Duncan Sheik, not just in style but also because of the soothing vocals. A bright song the artist wrote for the daughter he would like to have someday, it brings us hope by telling us that no matter how dire things might look right now, everything will be all right in the end. With more songs like Grace, I could totally believe that.
P.S: Since I wasn’t able to write a post on Monday and Wednesday this week, there won’t be a #ThrowbackThursday entry this week. Hopefully, it will return next time.
Have you had a close friend who’s in a bad relationship but you cannot tell them anything because they’re still in love and won’t listen to you? I think that’s a feeling we can all relate to and that’s exactly what motivated Tessa Violet to write Words Ain’t Enough, which is a heartfelt and melancholic song about being with someone who doesn’t really love you back. As the chorus says: “You can say you love me but words ain’t enough“. It’s not a complicated piece of music, with just a guitar supporting the vocals, but it doesn’t need anything else. It’s a beautiful piece and that’s what matters.
Tessa Violet, who is an American singer-songwriter who started as a successful blogger on Youtube before focusing on her career in music, originally released this song last year on her second full album: Bad Ideas. This year, she re-released it featuring vocals from chloe moriondo, who is a 18-year-old indie/bedroom pop artist who has been garnering quite a following on her own. I’m sure we will be hearing about both artists for years to come. Check this beautiful tune out below.
Maddie Little got a really nice and sweet voice and given how much she loves music, it came naturally for her to pick up a guitar in 2017 and start a band: We Wander. Eventually, she recruited Camilo on bass, Jacob on drums, and Christian on violin, resulting in a sound they call lush and explorative. It’s basically their own brand of indie folk.
Can’t Save You is one of their latest singles. It showcases all of the above, from Maddie‘s beautiful vocals to the contribution of each one of the band’s members and the overall style. The song is a letter that Maddie wrote to herself to be reminded that fighting her own battles is sometimes more important than the actual outcome. If you like indie folk, then make sure to check We Wander out. You’ll be glad you did.
The first Our Lady Peace song I heard was Superman’s Dead, and, at least at first, I didn’t like it that much. It wasn’t until they released Spiritual Machines, their fourth studio album, that I started to take them seriously. I’m glad that happened because otherwise I would have missed out on some great music from these gods of Canada’s alternative rock scene. The band has just released a remastered edition of this double-platinum certified album to celebrate its 20th anniversary, reason for which I decided to feature one of its best songs as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry.
All things being equal, I would probably have chosen Right Behind You (Mafia) for this entry, but Life is just as good and has a beautiful message that is more valid than ever today; message that OLP managed to transmit quite well on the music video (see below). Sure, life can be messed up sometimes but everybody is dealing with some issue, one way or another. We just have to keep moving on. Call me crazy, but I think this song comes in handy this year.
By the way, Our Lady Peace announced that they’re working on a follow-up to Spiritual Machines and plan to release it next year. Color me intrigued.
I think one of the hardest things for a songwriter to do is to write beautiful romantic songs that aren’t cheesy. Seriously, how many are there that don’t say things like “I’ll die for you” or “I can’t live without you”? Not that many. Luckily, that list is slightly bigger now with the addition of this new song from Canadian singer/songwriter Forest Blakk: If You Love Her. It is a nice song with great vocals and a good melody, but what really sets it apart, I think, are its lyrics.
I discovered Forest Blakk two years ago when Apple Music recommended its song Tread Lightly to me. He describes his style as urban folk, mixing the tranquility of folk music with the chaotic rhythm of a city. He’s been releasing his songs to streaming platforms just since 2018 but at a steady pace, so he got a good number of singles out already. Check them out when you feel thirsty for new music.
For the time being, listen to this beautiful song here.