Influences:Avril Lavigne, Smash Mouth, The Hotelier
Location: Cologne, Germany
Release date: March, 2023
Comment: If you’re into alternative rock with a pop-punk twist and catchy hooks, you’ve got to check out Still Talk‘s single “Headcheck”, which will be part of the band’s upcoming debut album, appropriately called “St. Banger”. I love that this 5-piece band, fronted by Tanja Kührer, manages to balance different styles while keeping things fresh and energetic. “Headcheck” is a fun, upbeat song that celebrates the friendships within the band. The track is great from the get-go, but that stripped-down ending with the jangling guitar deserves a chef’s kiss.
If you’re in Germany, be sure to catch their live shows this year – I bet they’ll be a blast!
Comment: Dottie Andersson is a unique artist from Sweden with a sound that is both authentic and refreshing. “Heavy Objects”, her promising debut single, skillfully blends electronic and indie elements to create a sound that is both atmospheric and catchy. The cherry on top are Dottie’s vocals, which are just perfect for this type of music.
The song’s lyrics speak to the theme of letting go of emotions and situations that weigh us down, and the accompanying video, filmed as a spontaneous one-take by photographer Nic Schoppet, perfectly captures this sentiment. Without a doubt, Dottie Andersson is an artist to watch in the coming months and years.
Comment: Linebeck’s “Waste My Time” is a fantastic indie track that packs a punch with its raw energy and heartfelt lyrics. This four-piece band from Hamilton, Ontario has crafted a powerful song that speaks to the realities of modern dating in the digital age. Lead vocalist Chrys and guitarist Momo’s transition from an acoustic ukulele-guitar duo to a full band has clearly paid off in the production value of this track.
The lyrics in “Waste My Time” are relatable and thought-provoking, touching on the vulnerability and uncertainty that often comes with the early stages of a relationship. Chrys delivers the vocals with a passion and intensity that captures the emotion of the song perfectly. It’s a sweet and memorable track that is sure to get stuck in your head.
Comment: 17-year-old Sky Katz started as a contestant on season 11 of America’s Got Talent, as a freestyle rapper (when she was just 11), and she continued on the hip-hop lane when she launched her recording career. After landing a series of roles on TV, including the lead on Netflix series: Surviving Summer, she decided to cross genres to melodic pop-punk under the tutelage of Joel Madden of Good Charlotte. Why Did You Call is one of a series of singles Sky has released this year that showcase how talented she is as a #singersongwriter.
As if being able to write catchy melodies and infectious hooks wasn’t enough, Sky also directed the music video, which is essentially a short film starring Sky and her co-star from Surviving Summer, Savannah LaRain. The artist wanted to represent how normal and healthy a same-sex relationship can be, specially for young couples. I think both song and video are outstanding pieces of art that set the bar really high for Sky Katz‘ future releases.
Comment: Madison Deaver could have chosen the easier path to stardom by becoming a hip-hop artist. Instead, she’s been compared to the garage days of Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne, with her music ranging from alternative rock to punk rock, and I applaud her for that. Her new single Denim might be her best one so far and it is as energetic and anthemic as you could expect. Lyrically, Madison complains about people who think relationships are like denim, as if they would last forever no matter how badly one person is treated. Overall, this track is an absolute banger.
Comment: Life is funny. Stephanie Nikolas and Eric Breden were high school friends and neighbors, but it wasn’t until they were in their 20s that they started to see each other as partners, both musically and romantically. This sparked Blue Cove into life, which they describe –accurately, I must say– as a blend of modern indie pop with the “nostalgic shoegaze sensibilities of the 90’s”. With a DIY mentality, Steph and Eric do everything related to Blue Cove, and I mean everything, not just mixing and producing their music: from designing their own merch and artwork to capturing their own press photos to filming their music videos. From what I can tell, they’re pretty good at all of those things.
Thrive is the title track of Blue Cove‘s forthcoming debut album (to be released in October), and it is both dazzling and delicate, if such a combination is indeed possible. Think Mazzy Star, but more dynamic. Lyrically, the song talks about thriving despite dealing with social anxiety and negative thoughts, something a lot of us can relate to. Unfortunately, there’s no music video for this vibrant track yet, but you can check below a little guitar piece they wrote and uploaded to Youtube. Absolutely gorgeous.
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.
Comment: When I first featured beabadoobee almost two years ago, she was still relatively unknown. Today, she’s an international alternative rock darling who is getting ready to release her sophomore studio album: Beatopia next month. For my return after a short break, I’ve decided to feature the second lead single from her new record, the enchanting See You Soon. While still being an #altrock song, it is less “grungy” than her previous singles and got more of an ethereal factor, particularly with the sticky chorus. It’s great to see her experimenting with new sounds instead of simply repeating the formula of her debut album, all this while still sounding great. That’s what sets great artists apart.
Comment: MONOWHALES were featured here more than one year ago and now they’re back with a new single that, while sounding different and fresh, is also very good. This time they delight us with a bedroom pop tune centered about coming of age as an adult.
Comment: 20-year-old Nashville-based artist Caroline Romano was featured here last August (when she was still 19) with her song The Hypothetical, which is part of her brand new album, titled “Oddities & Prodigies“, released in February. The album comes highly recommended with several good songs like the above-mentioned one and Grocery Store, among others. However, my favorite track by far is the eponymous Oddities & Prodigies, which is even better than The Hypothetical. In fact, if you like catchy #poprock songs, you might find it perfect. Check it out!