Comment: Me Nd Adam, the dynamic duo hailing from Austin, Texas, has carved an impressive path through the music industry, captivating audiences with their heartfelt anthems, engaging accessibility, generous merch giveaways, and their spirited, unapologetic demeanor. They’ve earned the moniker of pioneering trailblazers in the genre they call trash-wave.
Their latest offering, “Worse Than This,” is a standout track from their album “American Drip Part II (ADP2).” This sophomore release marks a significant evolution in their musical journey, weaving a tapestry of influences into a sound that’s unmistakably their own. The duo deliberately shifted towards a more organic instrumental approach, toning down the electro-pop elements that adorned their debut album, obviously: “American Drip Pt. I (ADP1).”
Back in November 2020, Me Nd Adam caught our attention with the release of “The More I Grow Up,” a single that swiftly amassed over two million streams. It also piqued the interest of the underdog indie label, Handwritten Records, based in Las Vegas. Since then, they’ve continued to garner acclaim and support from devoted fans and even rock icons like The Killers.
I highly recommend giving “Worse Than This” a listen. If you want to check out their new album afterwards, you can find it here.
Comment: Mitski has been releasing music since 2012, exploring different genres and moods, from indie rock to synth-pop. She has played in big music festivals around the world, including Glastonbury in 2022. However, I hadn’t really registered her existence until I stumbled upon the wonderful music video she made for ‘Bug Like An Angel’ on Youtube. This was the lead single of Mitski’s seventh(!!) studio album, which was released just this week: ‘The Land is Inhospitable And So Are We‘.
‘Bug Like An Angel’ is a poetic song with religious themes that explore the concept of addiction. Musically, it is mainly an acoustic ballad sprinkled with sporadic and striking choral punctuations. The inclusion of a choir echoing Mitski’s words in a dramatic way was a masterstroke. The official music video, which you can watch below, features the artist, a choir, and an impressive dancer who portrays an alcoholic woman. It’s impossible to take your eyes off of her.
Mitsuki Miyawaki, aka Mitski, is undoubtedly a creative artist. Her originality shines through on this hauntingly beautiful song. It is one of the best tracks of 2023!
Comment: After a brief break, I’m back with a thrilling and immersive track from Under Delusion, the first Russian band or artist featured on T.A.M. What immediately captures your attention when listening to “Burning Under Water” is the distinctive, low-pitched voice of her female vocalist (whose name I was unable to find). However, that’s not the only thing that makes this track stunning. The band took care of every little detail, including a climactic guitar solo.
The song is inspired by a real-life near-death experience that a band member had while scuba diving in the Pacific Ocean. Feeling like burning under water, they managed to write the lyrics immediately after surviving, but they were lost in the backlog until resurfacing by chance. The band then decided to turn this traumatic event into a powerful and emotional song that reflects their resilience and courage.
“Burning Under Water” is the fourth single from Under Delusion’s upcoming second album, which is expected to be released later this year. The band has already gained over one million streams with their previous singles, which showcase their versatility and creativity. They clearly have the talent to deserve our attention. We should look forward to that sophomore release.
Comment: Beneath the sun-kissed melodies of summer, Grace & Moji‘s latest release, “Monster,” the second single from their forthcoming debut album, delves into the heart of our complexities, shining light on the shadows that coexist within us. As the dynamic husband-wife indie duo serenades us with their infectious indie pop duet, they unravel a universal truth – the duality of our beings.
In this enchanting anthem, Grace & Moji‘s harmonious voices dance harmoniously, a true testament to their musical unity. Grace Hong’s words echo in every note, reminding us that acknowledging our “Monsters” is an essential step toward understanding the nuances that make us human. Also, the vibrant instrumentation and infectious beats create a whirlwind of emotions, carrying us through the highs and lows of their melodic narrative.
In short, this groovy track is an indie pop gem. Its easygoing tone, well-executed vocals, and captivating storytelling make it a standout piece that leaves a lasting impression. Check it out!
Comment: Shuzhen is a neo-classical pianist and multifaceted producer from Malaysia. She has has taken the emo rock hit “Desert” by ARVAN, a band that has won the “Best Band” award at the 2020 Malaysia AIM Chinese Music Awards and performed at various festivals in Malaysia and Taiwan, and turned it into a sleek and classy deep house gem. The remix, aptly titled “Desert (Shuzhen’s Oasis Rework)”, is part of the musical project “ARVAN’s Rework”, curated by the independent music label mü-nest.
I had never heard of ARVAN before, which is a shame because they seem really talented. But when you contrast the original version of “Desert” with Shuzhen’s version, you can really appreciate her talent as well. Shuzhen transforms the dark and emotive original into a warm and vibrant sonic atmosphere that invites listeners to dance in harmony with the music. The pairing of Aki’s soulful vocals (ARVAN’s lead singer) with Shuzhen’s electronic soundscapes fits like a glove.
With this stylish remix, Shuzhen demonstrates her ability to blend the fluidity and contemporary appeal of electronic music with the distinctive emotional essence of emo rock. People in America and Europe should take a closer look at what’s happening in Southeast Asia’s music scene, starting with this collaboration between ARVAN and Shuzhen, and exploring Shuzhen‘s small yet impressive back catalogue.
Comment: If you are a fan of indie folk and rock, you probably know who boygenius are. The supergroup, formed by Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus released their self-titled debut EP in 2018 and it was full of harmonies, emotions and exquisite songwriting. Since then, each member has been busy with their own projects, but somehow they still found time to release a new album, aptly titled ‘the record’, earlier this year. Even though it probably won’t be released as a single, “Cool About It” is my favorite new track and I’ve been meaning to feature it here for a while now.
The song is a slow-burning ballad that showcases the trio’s vocal chemistry and their ability to create a captivating atmosphere with minimal instrumentation. The lyrics are about trying to act nonchalant in front of an ex-lover, but feeling the pain and regret underneath. It’s a simple yet beautiful track.
Regular readers will probably remember that I’ve written about Phoebe before, but Julien and Lucy are just as talented and compelling, and together they form a powerful and unique musical force.
Comment: Back in April, Canadian band New Friends released their debut EP Camaro; it contains the catchy “Doomed”, which I featured here last year, and three other tracks. I listened to the EP without expecting to find a song I liked as much as “Doomed” in it, but I was wrong. Even though “Find You”, the closing track, is a different kind of song, it got me hooked just the same. The chorus is really something else. It makes you want to sing along.
“Find You” showcases impressive vocal harmonies and captivating guitar riffs, enhancing the richness of its sound. The production is polished yet tasteful, allowing the song’s essence to shine through. With its universal theme of longing for understanding and happiness, this track strikes a chord. All in all, the song sounds like a radio hit, but with a distinct personal touch. New Friends is unquestionably a band to keep an eye on in the pop rock scene.
Comment: I have written about the talented Toronto-based band Nerimatwicebefore, but, after listening to their recent single “Penance”, I knew I had to do a third time. It’s a stunning piece of music that explores the themes of guilt, regret and forgiveness, and I seriously think this is their more mature-sounding track.
The song starts with a gentle acoustic guitar and Alexi delicately singing the first few verses, but by the time the chorus starts, the full band has come in to increase the energy levels. The contrast between the verses and the chorus creates a dynamic and captivating sound that keeps you hooked until the end. The song also features some beautiful harmonies.
“Penance” by Nerima is a song that you should definitely listen to if you enjoy indie rock with a touch of punk-rock. It will make you feel something. Even happiness for witnessing the evolution of such a talented band.
Comment: “Spanish Moss” by Against Me! is an energizing track from their 2010 album White Crosses. This punk rock anthem talks about the need to be who you are without feeling ashamed for it, which takes some extra meaning once you learn about the lead singer’s backstory, who back then was not known as Laura Jane Grace.
The music is catchy and powerful, with driving drums, soaring guitars and Laura Jane Grace’s passionate vocals. Given the fact that this great tune turned 13 last month, I thought it would be a good choice for #ThrowbackThursday. So turn up the volume, sing along and let Spanish Moss take you on a journey. You won’t regret it.
Comment: If you like covers that are not exact replicas of the original song, you’re in for a treat.
“Tonight, Tonight” is a classic alternative rock song by The Smashing Pumpkins, released in 1996 as part of their double album “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness“. The song is an anthemic ode to hope and change, with lyrics that evoke a sense of urgency and possibility. It reminds us that we’re not alone, we’re not stuck, and we can make things happen.
Smallpools, featured here before for another outstanding cover they did, and Caroline Kole are two indie pop artists who have teamed up to deliver a fresh and fun cover of “Tonight, Tonight”. Smallpools is a Los Angeles-based band known for their catchy and upbeat songs such as “Dreaming” and “Million Bucks”. Caroline Kole is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter who has collaborated with artists such as Reba McEntire and Mr. Gwen Stefani Blake Shelton.
Their cover of Tonight, Tonight is a faithful homage to the original, but with a modern twist. They keep the same structure and melody of the song, but add their own flair with poppy synths, electric guitars, and harmonized vocals. They also strip down the song in an acoustic version that showcases their vocal talents and chemistry. Please enjoy “Tonight, Tonight” by Smallpools & Caroline Kole.