This is going to be a concise entry. Australian singer James Gabriel Keogh, aka Vance Joy, became an international sensation back in 2013 with his hit Riptide and is back now with a new single called Missing Piece. If you liked the former, you’re going to love the latter because it has the same brand of bubbly #folkpop that made Riptide so successful. A song about missing someone you love, this sweet little tune will get stuck on your head. Unless you hate radio-friendly tracks (and some people do), you are really going to enjoy this one.
One of the first bands featured here, The Strumbellas, released a new single earlier this year that is just great. While the band was on hiatus during 2020, lead singer Simon Ward wrote Greatest Enemy as a way to reflect on his internal battles during a rough year that involved a cancelled tour even before the pandemic started. Not only has this song a great message, but it also is anthemic as hell. It’s impossible to listen to that chorus and resist the urge to sing or hum along. What I really love about this tune is that it doesn’t sound like I’ll Wait at all while being just as good. They weren’t just trying to repeat the same formula.
Greatest Enemy‘s music video is worth a watch as well. It was created by Toronto-based animator Luca Tarantini and it is aligned with the song’s concept of battling your own demons. Watch it below.
Phoebe Bridgers is the world’s favorite indie/folk artist right now. In fact, when she released her second album, Punisher, one day earlier yesterday, she became a trending topic on Twitter. So, I don’t think you need me to tell you who she is. You probably know that already.
Anyway, that a true singer/songwriter singing this type of music is having so much success in this day and age, is something that I think should be celebrated. It’s pretty rare nowadays. Besides, despite being the song after which the whole album was named, the song I’m recommending here today, Punisher, has not been released a single so far (those have been Garden Song and Kyoto). I cannot say was a huge fan of Phoebe. I mean, I do like her but not in a cannot-stop-listening-to-her kind of way. That being said, I loved the ethereal mood of this song from the first time I heard it. Ms. Bridgers has a soft and delicate voice that pulls you in in a hypnotic way. As a curious side note, musicians use the term punisher to refer –in kind of a condescending way– to super fans that linger at the merch booth in live shows a little too long. Phoebe wrote this song as if she would have been Elliot Smith’s punisher.
Maybe I’ll become a big fan after all. What about you?
Canadian band The Strumbellas had a moderate hit a few years ago with their song, Spirits, yet they remained relatively unknown to the casual listener. Last year, they returned with their fourth album, Rattlesnakes, which included the anthemic folk single you can find below. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you must do it now because its infectiously uplifting melody will put a smile on your face and make you sing-along.
I’ll wait became an instant musical crush for me the first time I heard it. I hope it does the same for you.