Comment: I mentioned Of Monsters and Men in yesterday’s entry and then in the comments section I said that I loved lead singer’s Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir’s voice. If the only songs you know of this quintessential indie band are their biggest hits (Little Talks or Mountain Sound), you might not be aware of her sweet and mildly raspy voice. Both songs are great but do not showcase Nanna’s vocals that much. Instead, listen to Organs, an underrated gem that wasn’t even a single off the band’s sophomore album. It’s all about Nanna and her flawless vocal delivery. Enjoy! #ThrowbackThursday
Comment: This song is part of a 3-track EP that was written between Southampton (UK) and Reykjavik (Iceland), so I don’t think it is simply a coincidence that Weekend Punks remind me a bit of Icelandic band Of Monsters And Men. Weekend Punks claim to play Surf Pop with relatively little experience of surf or sun. I think their style is actually some kind of chilled back punk mixed with shoegaze pop and 90s rock vibes. The glue that holds everything together is the lead singer’s magnetic vocals. The Theme from Weekend Punks is the band’s second single and a good example of this very interesting proposition. Check it out!
Comment: I’m glad Phoebe Bridgers collaborated with MUNA on this great tune because I would probably have missed it otherwise, as I wasn’t aware of that music trio until now. Silk Chiffon is a catchy indie pop song with a nice 90s rock vibe, particularly during the intro. It might not be a groundbreaking track but it is deeply enjoyable. At the end of the day, that’s really what matters.
Comment: I don’t know much about this German-born Irish-Canadian #singersongwriter. She achieved notoriety around 2018 with her hit No Roots but I can’t say I liked it that much. Last month, Alice Merton dropped two songs that should be part of her forthcoming sophomore album: Hero and Island. Hero is the one that got a music video recorded but Island is the track that caught my attention. I really dig it and that’s why I wanted to share it here. Hope you enjoy it as well.
Comment: Ukulele-based indie folk music is hardly a novel idea, but when it is done well and has a compelling melody, who cares? That’s exactly the case with Hey?, the latest single from British #singersongwriter Chxrlotte, a talented young artist with a bright future that you should check out.
Comment: The story of School of Seven Bells (SVIIB) is, sadly, a tragic one. It was formed in 2007 by sisters Alejandra Deheza (vocals, guitar) and Claudia Deheza (keyboards, vocals), and Benjamin Curtis (guitar, synthesizers, vocals), but then Claudia left the band in 2010. Unfortunately, Ben, who was Alejandra’s romantic partner, died in 2013 from sudden-onset lymphoma and, as a tribute, Alejandra took some demos Ben had written prior and during his illness and completed the band’s fourth and last studio album, SVIIB, which was released in February, 2016. It is a wonderful album which, despite the circumstances in which it was created, is actually full of hope and even joy.
To me, the best among a collection of great songs is Ablaze, the first track. It’s a cleverly produced song that features Alejandra’s ethereal vocals and sweet lyrics that become even more beautiful knowing the context in which they were written. If you are only going to listen to one SVIIB song, listen to Ablaze, this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry. You will be happy you did so.
As a bonus, I’m leaving below the link to the video of SVIIB’s cover of Joey Ramone’s I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up) (it is not available on streaming platforms). It was written by Alejandra and Ben quite literally while they were ‘sitting in a hospital bed’ and released just before SVIIB.
Comment: Holly Humberstone is a young and immensely talented British artist who in just over one year has managed to make a name for herself in the alternative pop scene. She’s preparing to release her sophomore EP in November, whose lead single is the eponymously titled The Walls Are Way Too Thin. She wrote this song after moving to a small flat in London and it is a catchy piece of “dark pop”. If you were not aware of Holly Humberstone before, write her name down. This won’t be the last time you hear it.
Comment: Higher is a bright and infectious indie pop-rock song from New York-based artist Illicit Ghost, who also play the violin here. This track could become a big hit if it received enough promotion. Quality-wise, it does not lack anything. Higher is quite a refreshing tune.
Comment: BLÜ EYES got a sweet voice that’s hard to ignore. That’s one of the reasons why she’s been collaborating with DJs and electronic music producers as well. However, she’s also a talented songwriter as evidenced by today’s song, supposed to. A humble indie pop track that is very pleasing to the ear. Check it out before this young artist becomes the next big thing.
Aria Pullman Ostrander has done a little bit of everything. She’s been a model; an actress, appearing on numerous tv shows and films and on her own comedy show on Youtube with her friend Alexandra Holden, who you might remember from Friends); a songwriter, writing for herself and also for fellow artists, with several of her songs featured on films and tv shows; and a singer, which is the reason I’m talking about her today. By the way, the Ostrander in her name comes from being married to Josh Ostrander, better known as Mondo Cozmo, for whom she co-wrote several songs in both of his albums. Naturally, he returned the favour by helping her produce her debut solo album, Life Out Loud(LOL).
As a solo artist, Aria uses the moniker AO and her music style is moody indie pop in the same vein as Lana Del Rey. They even have a similar tone of voice, which makes the comparison unavoidable. My favorite songs in LOL are Heaven and Through The Storm, ultimately choosing the latter one because it had a lyric video. It is an entrancing and atmospheric track that couples Aria’s ethereal vocals with layers of sounds that give it a rich texture. This is not a song to sing along or dance to, but you can enjoy it in silence all day long without getting tired. Through The Storm pulls you in like a dream you don’t want to wake up from.