Los Angeles quartet Rivals just released their sophomore album: Sad Looks Pretty On Me and it contains 12 tracks of what they describe as dark-pop. I would call it simply alternative rock but regardless of how you call it, you will definitely enjoy it if you like bands like Fireflight and even Stand Atlantic. My favorite track in the album is Lavenders and even though you could argue that it is a bit formulaic, that does not make it any less compelling. Vocalist Kalie Wolfe got the perfect voice for this style of music.
Lavenders is a song about facing your own demons but nobody said that it couldn’t be catchy. If you are looking for an energetic track to help you get through this week, you came to the right place. Here it is:
I had been looking forward to writing about this song from the moment I added it to my backlog. Not only is it really good, but I also see a lot of potential on this little young band from Toronto, NERiMA. It consists of Alexi, Alex, and Connor and i doubt any of them is over 20. They claim to love both classic punk-rock and modern alternative music and somehow you can feel that in their tunes. Even Home, which they catalogue as soft-rock, got that blend in a perfect way, which is amazing considering their youth. It’s not easy to get that balance right.
And did I mention that Home is just their second single? They are currently preparing their debut album which will hopefully be released soon. As most bands, they faced difficulties during Covid, being so young and having no income from live shows. Fortunately, they survived the worst part but this is where we should step in and give them all the support we can. NERiMA‘s members are really talented and knowing that their music is connecting with people will let them know that they are on the right path and their sacrifices in terms of time, effort, and money have not been in vain. The last thing we want is a bright and talented band breaking up because they didn’t find an audience. Please buy or stream their music, follow them on social media (FB | IG | TW | YT) and let them know that you want them to keep making great music. Don’t do it for them, do it for your future self.
Pop-punk is far less popular today than 15 years ago but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t young artists exploring that genre. We have featured a few here already and today’s artist is another example. Mystery Rose is a 17-year-old indie artists from L.A who writes and records her own music, which ranges from Amy Winehouse-style blues ballads to the genre mentioned earlier. Unlike most teenagers in the music business today, she is not interested in fame, which is why she chose the Mystery Rose moniker. She can show her face from time to time but, for the most part, she prefers to remain largely a mystery.
Mystery Rose‘s debut album, the cleverly titled Socially Distant, will be released this year and its first official single is Stability. A catchy tune about feeling vulnerable after a break-up, it reminisces early ‘00s indie rock tracks, While it doesn’t get bonus points for innovation, it delivers way more than enough in terms of quality rock music. Definitely, check this young artist out.
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!
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.
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.
I discovered Swedish singer/songwriter Elina Stridh, who goes simply by Elina as her stage name, earlier this year when her song Blue was included in an AI-generated playlist on a streaming platform. I kind of fell in love instantly with her sweet voice. Then, more recently, I got an email from a PR agency informing me of the release of her sophomore EP, titled Remember, and of course I had to check it out. The theme of the album is embracing change and it consists of 6 songs, including Blue, but the crown jewel is undoubtedly its title track. Elina is a remarkable songwriter and before she embarked into a career as a singer as well last year, she used to write pieces for other artists such as Zara Larsson and Neiked, so she knows one thing or two about writing hits.
However, when some of the songs Elina had written and loved weren’t picked up by any artist, she decided to release them herself and I’m really glad she did. With a series of stripped-back, folk-inspired tunes, she is showing us her real self in a vulnerable way. Remember, a song about seeing someone you love hurt and letting them know they will always be worthy of love and affection, is just an example. Elina’s beautiful voice and honest lyrics make the listening experience a really enjoyable one. She’s not breaking any ground with sounds you had never heard before, but when the music is this good, who cares?
This iconic album, No Doubt‘s Tragic Kingdom, is 25 years old this month, and, as a homage, I decided to feature one of its songs as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry. Usually, with bands or albums this popular, I try to highlight the lesser-known gems, but I can’t do that this time around. I got a soft spot for Don’t Speak and can’t pick another song (which would probably have been Just A Girl, which is pretty popular anyway) over it. I’m sorry.