The Strumbellas – Greatest Enemy

One of the first bands featured here, The Strumbellas, released a new single earlier this year that is just great. While the band was on hiatus during 2020, lead singer Simon Ward wrote Greatest Enemy as a way to reflect on his internal battles during a rough year that involved a cancelled tour even before the pandemic started. Not only has this song a great message, but it also is anthemic as hell. It’s impossible to listen to that chorus and resist the urge to sing or hum along. What I really love about this tune is that it doesn’t sound like I’ll Wait at all while being just as good. They weren’t just trying to repeat the same formula.

Greatest Enemy‘s music video is worth a watch as well. It was created by Toronto-based animator  Luca Tarantini and it is aligned with the song’s concept of battling your own demons. Watch it below.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Frou Frou – Let Go

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.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Mélanie Laurent – Début

You probably know Mélanie Laurent for her famous role in Quentin Tarantino‘s film Inglorious Basterds or from any of her many other films (with my favourite one being this one), but it is a lesser-known fact that she’s also a musician. In fact, back in 2011 she released her first and only (so far) album, En t’attendant, to moderate success. It was basically a French pop album, with many of those pop songs co-written with Damien Rice. However, the reason why I decided to highlight Mélanie’s album for this week’s Throwback Thursday, is because of the two wonderful piano solos that open and close the record: Début and Fin.

I decided to feature here Début, but I might just as well have chosen Fin. Both songs are incredibly beautiful and delicate, the type of tracks you can listen on repeat without getting tired of them. Unfortunately, there is no “official” video on Youtube, but you can listen to Début on the mixtapes below (or the one on the sidebar here). Enjoy!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

flor feat. MisterWives – yellow

I love cover tracks that are not just karaoke versions of the original songs. In particular, when the artist manages to bring the song to his/her own style in a way that makes it sound as a brand new track (and even better when the styles are very different). This is exactly what flor accomplished with their cover of Coldplay’s iconic song: Yellow, for which they had a bit of help from Mandy Lee from MisterWives.

flor (they don’t use a capital F) is a pretty well-known band in the indie circuit, but in case you don’t know who they are, they started in 2014 in Oregon, US; and have released two studio albums so far. This cover of Yellow, however, is part of a EP, reimagined, that the band released in February this year, containing new versions of two of their most popular songs plus the song being featured here. All three songs come recommended and deserve a listen, but you can start with Yellow here:

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Paul van Dyk ft. Plumb – Music Rescues Me

I don’t think Paul van Dyk needs any kind of intro. Matthias Paul, his real name, is one of the most renowned DJs in the world. However, from the moment I decided to include trance tracks on this website, I knew I had to feature Music Rescues Me. This tune from 2018 was a collaboration with Plumb, who is an American Christian artist who has sold more than 500,000 albums and two million singles worldwide. The song was also co-written by Johnny McDaid, who you might know as Snow Patrol‘s guitarist and lead singer of the extinct band Vega4 (and also as Courteney Cox’s boyfriend).

Music Rescues Me is a gorgeous and uplifting trance anthem that is impossible to get out of your head. It’s the perfect earworm for a Saturday night. Don’t believe me? Try it now and let me know how it goes.

The Dangerous Summer – Where Were You When The Sky Opened Up

The Dangerous Summer is an American band that sits on the border between alternative rock and punk rock. The band has been active since 2006 and even though it didn’t became big –at least not yet–, it got a decent group of fans. The Dangerous Summer’s latest studio album (although they will release a new one soon) was Mother Nature, released last year, and it had the song featured here as it lead single.

Besides having a really long name, When Were You When The Sky Opened Up got a melancholic vibe and a melodic rhythm that make it one of the most memorable songs from the subgenre in a long time. It’s the perfect tune to listen to when you get into a car and start riding. Don’t you think?

Featured on the following mixtapes:

U137 – Have Hope

U137 was a “cinematic post-rock” duo from Sweeden formed by Adam Tornbland and Oscar Gullbrandsen in 2013. Unfortunately, Adam passed away at age 27 in 2017 (and I strongly urge you to listen to the beautiful “Adam Forever”, which Oscar released as a tribute to him), so nowadays Oscar is the sole member of U137.

Back in April this year, Oscar released U137‘s latest single, Have Hope, which he wrote as a message of optimism during these uncertain times. The song has the rich textures and layers for which U137 is known for within the genre enthusiasts and makes you want to hear it again and again. As other U137 songs, it evokes feelings of euphoria and has a calming effect. I find this kind of music ideal to listen to while I work or have to focus on something. I guess the best adjective for Have Hope is, quite simply, beautiful.

Featured on the following mixtapes: