We Wander – Rock And A Hard Place

I talked about Canadian #indiefolk act We Wander back in November (time flies), and they are back now with a new single, Rock And A Hard Place, that’s just as good, if not better. Drums and strings take a more prominent place on this song, which is nice, but just as with Can’t Save You, the secret weapon here is Maddie Little‘s vocals. She’s able to transmit emotions of longing, anger or despair in line with the lyrics, which are about a relationship falling apart. I particularly like the chorus because that’s where the songwriter is coming to terms with what is going on and, in some way, that’s exactly how that section of the tune makes you feel.

I would also say Rock And A Hard Place is a grower: a song that you enjoy more and more each time you listen to it. And if you needed further proof that We Wander was going places, watch the song’s music video below . It’s really well made and worth watching.

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Maggie Lindemann – Knife Under My Pillow

Being a young woman dangling with alternative rock and pop-punk, it is inevitable that Maggie Lindemann gets compared to the likes of Avril Lavigne and Hayley Williams (Paramore). However, in this case, that comparison actually makes sense because her tone of voice is not far from Avril‘s and some of her songs do have a Paramore vibe. There is nothing wrong with that, though. Those two are really talented and successful musicians and, on top of that, Maggie is also able to stand on her own. She could become just as big pretty soon.

She’s not a complete unknown either. In 2016, her breakout single Pretty Girl reached the top ten in several countries including Sweeden, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. I didn’t know her by name back then but that song does sound familiar to me. Early this year, this artist from Dallas, Texas, released her debut EP, Paranoia, which features Knife Under My Pillow as its lead single. This pop-rock banger is a song about fear and paranoia inspired by early 2000s horror movies (which also explains the music video, see below).

With grungy guitars, resounding drums, and a catchy chorus, this tune announces us that Maggie Lindemann has arrived and is here to stay.

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Ashland – In Your Head

If you enjoyed recently featured bands such as Rivals, Monowhales and Fireflight, then you’re in for a treat because Ashland is right there in the same league as those bands, delivering guitar-led tracks with powerful choruses. After flirting with pop in their last full-length album, the extra spare time caused by the pandemic made them go back to their rock roots and return with a new EP, I, that leans more towards rock. In Your Head is exhibit A of that.

A song about how we often make things worse than they are in our own heads, In Your Head is filled with all the repressed energy from a year without proper live gigs. As it must be evident by now, Ashland is a band fully deserving of our attention. Led by such a talented vocalist as Asia Marie Dupuy, they got what it takes to reach new highs after each release.

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Rivals – Lavenders

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:

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Sacropolis – The Sinner

The Sinner is the third single from Frankfurt-based four-piece band: Sacropolis. Part of their debut album to be released later this year, it is the quintessential light indie rock song with memorable hooks and catchy guitar lines. The Sinner is a graceful and compelling track about redemption that you would swear was written and performed by an established and popular band, not an independent act from Germany that is just getting started.

Sacropolis consists of two brothers, Jean (guitar) and Leon (bass), and two longtime friends: Ben (vocals & guitar) and Tom (drums). They actually met Ben back in 2013 when he caught their attention during one of his busking performances in Frankfurt. They ended up forming this band with the intention of creating simple and guitar-driven indie pop-rock. As it is more than evident with The Sinner, they accomplished that mission and then some. Check it out below.

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NERiMA – Home

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.

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Munroe – Don’t Rush To Get Old

Don’t Rush To Get Old is a warm and delicate track. A perfect folksy song to listen to while sipping a hot beverage in a winter afternoon. Kathleen Munroe, aka Munroe, sat down to write it after something important to her ended, thinking that something edgy or even bitter would come out of it. Instead, the result was this well-wishing and gorgeous song about slowing down to appreciate what we have, good or bad.

This Canadian artist started releasing music in 2015, with her debut full-length album, Oblivion, coming to light in 2017. She has teamed up with producer Benjamin Schwab to prepare her sophomore LP and Don’t Rush To Get Old is the second single to come out of that collaboration. In addition to being a songstress, Munroe is also an actor and filmmaker, skills she used on the single’s music video (see below), which she co-directed with her girlfriend Sophie Blumenthal. It was filmed on a field in King City, Ontario, while searching for the Richard Serra sculpture, Shift.

Without a doubt, Don’t Rush To Get Old is a deserving addition to our mixtapes below. Enjoy!

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MONOWHALES – Out With The Old

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.

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Favourite Daughter – Long Distance

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!

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Cloe Wilder – I Wanna Be Alone With You

I can’t believe indie-pop singer/songwriter Cloe Wilder is just 14-years-old. Her single I Wanna Be Alone With You, from her just-released debut EP Teenage Lullabies, is as catchy as it comes. Lyrically, the tune is probably what you would expect from a teenager but musically the track is flawless within the indie pop genre. It got more hooks than a fisherman’s kit. When you add it up and also take into account Cloe’s voice, can you blame me for having trouble believing her age?

As many other artists nowadays, the Florida-based songstress started her career uploading covers to her Youtube channel. With her talent, the sky is certainly limit. I just hope she keeps true to herself writing music that she likes as opposed to simply what they think is going to sell. Only time will tell but she could certainly become something special.

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