Comment: Jeen O’Brien, or simply Jeen, is a #singersongwriter and music producer from Toronto who has been making music professionally since the nineties. She has been releasing albums as Jeen at least since 2015 and several of her songs have been featured on commercials for very well-known brands and also TV shows such as MTV Catfish. Chances are that we have unknowingly listened to her music before, but that’s changing now.
Jeen is releasing a new album in October and one of its lead singles was the refreshing Mountain, which became available in June. It reminds me a bit of a nice little song that I featured here 2 years ago when this blog was just starting: Shake Your Head Yes by The Mynabirds. The song was Jeen‘s attempt at keeping things in perspective during the pandemic, and it is full of lush sounds surrounding an engaging pop melody. Don’t miss it.
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: Sløtface used to be a Norwegian punk band with certain notoriety in some music circles, but earlier this year they announced that it was becoming the solo project of frontwoman Haley Shea after the amicable departure of the other band members. With this change, came as well a transition to a slower and moodier sound, inspired by those artists mentioned above. I have to say that I hadn’t listened to Sløtface before, so I cannot comment much on the band’s previous releases, but I’m digging this new sound.
Back in June, Haley/Sløtface released two new singles co-written between her and producer Mikhael Paskalev: Beta and Come hell or whatever. Both are really good but the latter is the one I’ve been playing on repeat. Check it out
Comment: Phoebe Bridgers has been featured here before and she’s pretty much everywhere these days, so I don’t think you need me to tell you who she is. What you may or may not know though is that she recently released a brand new song for the tv show Conversation With Friends, and it is truly gorgeous. She started to write Sidelines with her drummer, Marshall Vore, but left it unfinished while they focused on some other things. When the folks from the tv show reached out to her, she and Marshall decided to finish it and I, for one, am glad they did, as it is too good to be left unreleased.
Comment: Emarosa is a band originally formed in Kentucky in 2006, but they have transformed themselves in such a way that they sound today like a completely different band, and I don’t mean simply the fact that they got a new lead vocalist, Bradley Scott, circa 2012. They went from being a post-hardcore act to an indie pop marvel with some synth-wave and 80’s music influence. Their last full album, 2019’s Peach Club, charted on the U.S. Billboard charts and led them to a successful nation-wide tour.
Last month, Emarosa released a new indie pop song, Attention, that is incredibly catchy. The best way I have to describe it is that I guess this is how the child of George Michael’s Freedom and Seal’s Kiss From A Rose would sound. Give it a listen and let me know what you think!
Comment: When I featured Metric‘s Black Sheep about two weeks ago, I mentioned that they had a new album (Formentera, named after the Spanish island where the band recorded it) that was quite good. I also said that I was going to feature one of their new songs soon and here I am making good on that promise. Paths In The Sky is Formentera’s closing track and even though it hasn’t been released as a single yet, I think it is quite possibly the best song in that record. It is a flawless tune.
Comment: A couple of weeks ago, I featured one of Lit’s new songs and this time around, as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday post, it’s time to put under the spotlight one of their most beautiful songs: 2004’s Lullaby. I loved this sweet tune, which guitarist Jeremy Popoff wrote for his then young son after months away in tours, years before I even considered becoming a dad, so don’t feel like you need to be one in order to appreciate it.
Lullaby was the ninth track in the band’s self-title album, aka the black album. Unfortunately, it was never released as a single, so chances are most people have never heard of it. If you’re one of them, I hope you fall in love with it today.
Comment: Covered In Sunshine, from Nashville’s indie-rock trio Goldpark, gives me strong 1990s #poprock vibes. Something like U2 from that decade meets Blur. The song is the second single off the band’s forthcoming EP “Lady Lightyear“, and talks about the effect stepping outside has over your anxieties and fear. Who didn’t feel relieved after a long day studying or in an office as soon as you left the building? Yeah, that feeling.
Formed in 2019, Goldpark released their debut EP just last year but in such a short period of time, they have been able to tour the US in solo gigs, as supporting acts, and participating at festivals. They work very hard and will reap the benefits of that sooner than later. Listen to Covered In Sunshine here.
Comment: Let’s start August with what folks in the UK call a banger. Midnight Island is a super infectious indie rock track by Vancouver-based band, Colour Tongues. It is inspired by young love and early romances and its goal is to transport you back to your youth, that point in time when we all felt anything was possible. It is the title track of a brand new EP produced by Matt Di Pomponio.
Led by an Australian native, guitarist and singer-songwriter James Challis, Colour Tongues survived all kinds of adversities, from mountain blizzards to car crashes, from the moment the band started in early 2018. Luckily for us, those experiences have guided them to where they are today, delivering great indie rock music to us. Let’s enjoy Midnight Island!
Comment: When I featured Toronto-band Nerima for the first time over a year ago, they were working on their debut EP and I’m happy to report that Have More Fun, which is how they called it, is finally going to be available next week. Earlier this month, they dropped a new single called Amnesia, which didn’t disappoint. After listening to it the first time, I told Connor, the bassist, that it reminded me of Letters To Cleo, a band that had a few indie hits in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The funny thing was that neither Connor nor the other band members had ever heard of them. At least, after listening to I Want You to Want Me, they agreed with me. I’ll focus on that instead of the fact that I’m getting old.
Amnesia, whose lyrics tell the story of a person with dreams bigger than reality, has also been compared to Paramore and Avril Lavigne, two acts that I guess need no introduction. Whatever artist Amnesia reminds you of, the bottom line is that it is a great track by a young and talented band. May their music-industry dreams become a reality.