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!
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.
Coming Back For Me is an introspective indie pop track about solitude and self-acceptance. What I really like about it is the fragile atmosphere that Canadian-born singer/songwriter Jenny Kern surrounded the track with. The layered production and the ethereal vocals make the whole listening experience a very appeasing one.
Jenny Kern is based out of Brooklyn, NY these days. She’s been active since 2019 and got invited to tour Europe after her 2019 single Slow Burn got some global attention. She started 2021 on a roll, releasing Coming Back For Me in January and getting ready to drop another single in March. If you enjoy dreamy altpop and honest songwriters, you should check Jenny out. Her music will definitely be up your alley.
Ignore for a moment the picture above. If you just listened to Miami-based singer/songwriter Taylor Castro‘s voice, you would find it hard to believe that she’s only 21. She really got a strong voice that will prevent her from sounding like your typical female pop artist. Knowing how to write a hook does help her too. She’s been active in the music business for 3 or 4 years already but was particularly successful last year, with nearly all of her singles from 2020 reaching over 1 million views on Youtube. She’s dropping a 10-track album, Girl, Afraid later this year featuring those songs along with new tunes.
Breathe is one of Taylor‘s new tunes for 2021. Written during quarantine (shocking, I know) in the midst of a rage, it gave Taylor a way to deal with the frustration and calm herself down. It got a catchy melody and a crisp production, as it’s usually the case with any good alt-pop song, but makes this tune particularly interesting is Taylor‘s powerful voice. I think the future is extremely bright for this young talented artist.
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.