Marcus Lee – Not For You

Something great is going on at Songwriting at Berkeley. Remember Lucy Eaton? She was a VP of that student group at UC Berkeley. Well, today’s featured artist, Marcus Lee, not only is/was a member as well, he co-founded it. And speaking about Lucy, Marcus collaborated with her on recording and releasing her debut single, the stunning Rotten Love. Last Friday, it was Marcus’ turn to release music on his own with Not For You, a hauntingly beautiful indie folk track.

A self-taught producer and mixing engineer, Marcus started as a jazz musician, but his love for folk music eventually led him to start writing songs with a guitar in college. His goal when producing and writing his own songs is to share intimate and impactful experiences through his music, which is something that he certainly achieved with Not For You. This gorgeous song reminds me of Gale Song by The Lumineers, which should give you an idea of the raw emotions Marcus is capable to evoke with his art.

Below, you can watch Marcus performing his single live, and in the mixtapes below, you’ll be able to find the ‘studio’ version. This is not music to be danced to. It is music to be felt.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Lucy Eaton – Rotten Love

As you may be aware now, the one condition I have for featuring songs here is that I have to genuinely like them. The bar is a bit higher for established musicians, but I can certainly say that I have liked every song featured so far. Sometimes, the decision isn’t easy. I’ve received songs from independent or up-and-coming artists that I don’t necessarily dislike, but do not love either; and then I have to ask for a 2nd opinion (usually my wife’s) just to make a decision. On the opposite side of that street, we have something far more unusual, which is hearing a song that I instantly like or even love. There’s something magical about those moments and it is a feeling I wish I could get every single day. Sadly, it is actually rare but the good news is that this happened to me with today’s song, Rotten Love, as it got a really enjoyable melody, a crisp production, great lyrics and sweet vocals. In short, it got the whole package.

It is scary to think that this piece is 21-year-old singer/songwriter Lucy Eaton‘s debut single. Can you imagine what she will be able to do with more experience? This talented artist was born and raised in Australia but then moved to California to study at UC Berkeley. There, she joined the songwriting club almost by chance and eventually became its vice-president, winning a few awards int he process. However, she never envisioned performing the pieces herself. That happened almost by chance but all the better for us because Lucy got a nice dulcet voice.

Musically, Rotten Love is a folksy ukulele-based tune, in the same vein as Grace VanderWaal when she won America’s Got Talent a few years back. Grace’s songs were good and catchy for somebody her age, but Rotten Love is just as catchy and got better lyrics. Even if you hate folk music and the sound of ukuleles, give this terrific song a chance. Lucy‘s talent cannot be denied.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher

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?

Featured on the following mixtapes:

The Strumbellas – I’ll Wait

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.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Maisie Peters – The List

The 20-year old singer-songwriter Maisie Peters won a following after posting her original songs on Youtube in 2017. Not long after that, she got a deal record from Atlantic Records and even though she hasn’t released a full album yet, she has put out a number of singles that got her some notoriety, with the latest one of them being The List. I honestly think that the British singer is one lucky break away from becoming the next big thing, and this song might well be it.

Maisie is not only able to come up with great hooks and catchy melodies, but she’s also a talented lyricist despite her young age. That talent is put perfectly on display on this song (as you can see for yourself with the lyric video posted here), which deals with the subject of liking yourself when you feel the most vulnerable. Something tells me we’ll keep hearing about Ms. Peters for years to come. In the meantime, you can fin The List in the mixtapes below.

Featured on the following mixtapes: