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:
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.
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.
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!
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.