Comment: Lizzie Esau is just 23 but she must have grown up listening to alt-rock records from the 90s. If you listen to any of her singles (for example, “Bleak Sublime”), you will see what I mean. That said, the Newcastle-based singer-songwriter adds her own experimental touches to her music, making her stand out in the crowded music scene. “Jellyfish” is her exciting new single and it showcases her creativity with a fuzzy guitar riff and spoken-word vocals that lead into a soaring chorus. That chorus is everything! and along with the tempo variations and clever lyrics, they make “Jellyfish” truly a must-listen track.
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: 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: “Birthday” is the last track on Phoebe Go‘s debut EP, “Player,” and even though this is her first solo project, Phoebe has experience as a member of a couple of bands, making her a seasoned performer in the Australian indie scene.
Birthday is my favorite song on the EP, in no small part because of how vulnerable the Australian artist sounds here. The lyrics, paired with the soft instrumentation and sweet melody, create a touching and intimate atmosphere that is both captivating and heartwarming. If you’re a fan of indie music and artists who pour their heart into their work, this track is a must-listen.
Comment: I do not recall how I came across this song, but I’m glad I did because it is truly special. corook is the stage name of Corinne Savage, a talented artist from Pittsburgh who now lives in the Music City. As depicted in the excellent music video below, your mom is a song about being with someone who is not ready to let their closed ones know about you. Corinne’s delivery is flawless and the she makes it very easy for the audience to connect with what she’s feeling. This is a musical gem.
Comment: “Campfire” sounds like a hit song Alanis or Hole could have released in the 90s, but it was actually written by a talented 22-year-old indie/pop artist from Reading, UK. Not only that, it is just the second single ever released by Frankie Bird. To say that she has a promising future would be a massive understatement.
It is no wonder then that when Frankie moved to London in late 2021 and became a regular on the open mic circuit, she proved to be a success all around the city. “Campfire”, in particular, is a little hidden gem that deserves to be found.
Influences: Hozier, Bon Iver, The Milk Carlton Kids
Release date: September, 2022
Comment: At My Feet is a raw but profoundly beautiful song that touches on the way depression can alter the way we see things. With strong vocals from Sam Clark and, particularly, Yasmine Shelton –who make up the Toronto-based indie folk duo Basset, this poignant track is impossible to ignore. It was the last song they wrote for the newest EP, In The Clay, and they almost didn’t make it on time, but I’m really glad they did. Honestly,
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: 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: It is common knowledge that some of the best art comes out of feeling heartbroken. It was that aching feeling that inspired indie artist Jillian Lake to write Steady Hands, a luscious and stripped-down single that forms part of her brand new album Younger Then. After reaching over 100K plays on one of her most recent singles, Jillian is set to keep expanding her audience with her new work.