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.
After experiencing a major adversity, Brooklyn-based singer Andrew Selkōw moved to Alaska for a while to find himself. Being alone and surrounded by nature rekindled his love for literature and music and planted the seed for Middle Part to be born. Inspired by both 1990s and early 2000s alternative bands, Andrew composes sincere music that connects with you at many levels. On December, Middle Part released his debut EP, I Wish I Was Alive, which compiles the singles he had published already.
One of those singles is Busy, a laid-back tune that relies on hazy vocals, acoustic guitars, and soft synths to deliver a message of vulnerability. Influenced by artists like Natalie Imbruglia and Michelle Branch,Middle Part wrote Busy to warn us about the problems ego brings to friendships. I don’t know if it is because of the guitar, the vocals or the steady beat, but somehow this song reels you in and doesn’t let go until long after it’s ended.
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.
Kat Victoria is a young and multifaceted artist that cannot really be tied to any genre in particular. She has released six singles so far and each one of them is different. I mean, one of them is even categorised as freestyle rap. However, the song I’m featuring today, Tell Him, lies in the grey area between alternative rock and pop-punk.
Tell Him is an interesting track with an infectious chorus that I’m sure many listeners will enjoy. I think it’s really impressive what Kat can do pretty much by herself, including shooting a music video for her song (which you can watch below). As her bio on social media pages say, this talented songwriter makes music from her bedroom. I can only imagine what she would be able to do in a top-notch music studio. Definitely, check her out.
Beatrice Laus, aka beabadoobee, took the alternative rock scene by storm after she started uploading her songs to Youtube and they became viral. Taking inspiration from Kimya Dawson and the soundtrack of the movie Juno, this Filipino-born British singer-songwriter has released several singles and EPs already, but her debut album is slated to drop later this year. She was predicted as one of the breakthrough acts for 2020, which is actually coming true despite the pandemic. Don’t lose track of her.
Care is the first single from Fake It Flowers, Bea‘s debut album. It got a strong 90s grunge rock fragrance, complete with guitar riffs and a rebellious attitude. From the moment the muted guitars start playing during the intro, this catchy tune will hook you in and not let you go until it’s over. After you listen to such a great song, you simply won’t be able to believe beabadoobee is just 20 years old. She’s just getting her feet wet.