We Wander – Rock And A Hard Place

I talked about Canadian #indiefolk act We Wander back in November (time flies), and they are back now with a new single, Rock And A Hard Place, that’s just as good, if not better. Drums and strings take a more prominent place on this song, which is nice, but just as with Can’t Save You, the secret weapon here is Maddie Little‘s vocals. She’s able to transmit emotions of longing, anger or despair in line with the lyrics, which are about a relationship falling apart. I particularly like the chorus because that’s where the songwriter is coming to terms with what is going on and, in some way, that’s exactly how that section of the tune makes you feel.

I would also say Rock And A Hard Place is a grower: a song that you enjoy more and more each time you listen to it. And if you needed further proof that We Wander was going places, watch the song’s music video below . It’s really well made and worth watching.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Ade – Something Good

Adeola ‘Ade‘ Fabola is a Manchester-based singer-songwriter with a folksy acoustic pop style that fits him like a glove. I think he’s in the process of changing his moniker because on Youtube and some of his social media he goes by the name of Dr Fabola, but regardless of what his stage name is, the artist behind it is absolutely worthy of your attention. If you listen to his latest single, Something Good, you will see that he got a sweet and comforting voice and his music is simply beautiful. You can tell he’s passionate about his work and that really makes a difference as well. He’s a true artist indeed.

After learning to play piano and guitar in his home country of Nigeria, he moved to Manchester in 2018 where he continued with his musical development. He’s been cutting his teeth playing in cafes, lounges, and festivals, but always blowing audiences away with his knack for entertainment. Unsurprisingly, he’s been drawing comparisons to artists such as Jason Mraz, Passenger, Michael Kiwanuka, and Jack Johnson. They could still be underselling him.

Watch his video for ‘Something Good’ or listen to it on the mixtapes mentioned below and get mesmerized by Ade‘s beautiful melody.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Weezer – All My Favorite Songs

All My Favorite Songs was released back in January and I’ve been meaning to feature it here since then. For one reason or another, it took me this long but the important thing here is that today’s the day. The lead single from Weezer‘s latest album, OK Human (pretty clever name), I think it is the best Weezer song in the last decade or so. According to the band’s frontman Rivers Cuomo, the lyrics reflect his music taste with the first line being: “All my favorite songs are slow and sad“, but those are far from being the adjectives I would use to describe this tune.

If this is your first time listening to All My Favorite Songs, you’re in for a treat. Enjoy!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Shady Groves – Like You

I’ve featured quite a few good bands from Michigan lately and today I got you another one. I don’t know what exactly is causing this avalanche of great indie music coming from that state but I hope they keep it coming. Shady Groves is a collective of singer-songwriters and multi-instrumentalists formed in 2015 and after going through some lineup changes, it now consists of just original founders: Adam Fitzgerald & Dylan Caron. Adam also started Underflow Records, whose goal is to draw attention to under-appreciated artists from the region.

With influences such as The Smiths and The Shins, it’s not shocking that Like You, the fourth single from their second full-length album, Dreamboat, feels old and modern at the same time. It’s kind of a musical reverie that could have been part of a The Beach Boys album. However, do not think that all Shady Groves songs are like that. They’re really versatile in terms of genre, so if for some reason Like You is not right up your alley, they will probably have something else more suitable to your style. In my case, I really enjoy this track. Check it out in the mixtapes below.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

in earnest – good boy

Back in September, I introduced you to a little indie band from Southend-on-Sea, UK, called in earnest. You may be happy to hear that they are back with a double single that they wrote about their dogs. Any decent human being who has had pets knows how especial they are. They become family members.

The first track, your dog, was inspire by the band’s front-couple’s dog: Murph, and the second one, good boy, is a tribute to Doug, an old dog Sarah and Tom had who sadly passed away in 2019. If you have lost a dog, then you know how painful that experience can be. However, good boy is not a sad song. It is just beautiful. I’m a fan of Sarah’s voice but she sings this track with her partner Tom and their voices work really well together, not unlike Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in the Oscar-winning track Falling Slowly.

Listen to good boy below and get mesmerized by it.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Sean Watson Graham – Your Life Is A Story

Your Life Is A Story is the debut single of Toronto-based musician Sean Watson Graham as a solo artist. His first band, Modern Space, got a deal with Warner Music Canada but unfortunately, that didn’t last. Now, he’s getting ready to release his first EP under his own name, for which this track is the lead single.

Sean wrote Your Life Is A Story after thee major life changes as a way to give himself some closure. It is a song about giving yourself another chance to start over again. The result was an uplifting indie folk track with great harmonies and a very compelling chorus. Good luck getting it out of your head afterwards. You’ll need it. Listen to it at your own peril.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Orange G – Orion’s Arrow

Some people make music for fame and money and others do it because it is their passion. Orange G, a multi-instrumentalist based in Pittsburgh, PA, falls into the latter category. He makes music because he enjoys the process and also because songwriting helps him to cope and process the ups and downs of life. You can feel his raw emotions and the love he has for his craft in his songs and that is what I particularly liked in his latest single, Orion’s Arrow. One of four tracks he has released, not including collaborations with other artists.

As is usually the case with Orange G, he sings and plays all the instruments here. The tune was supposed to be an acoustic, ukulele-only track but he ended up adding a harmonica, trumpets and percussion. All are nice but the harmonica, in particular, elevates the song to another level with the heartfelt emotions it is able to transmit. The track’s subject is time, and the pressure we often feel to spend it wisely while pursuing fulfilment in our lives and careers. I, for one, can relate to that.

If you enjoy indie-folk, Americana or even a bit of blues, please give this independent artist a chance. He deserves it.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Tape Runs Out – Hospital

Hospital is not an exciting song and that is totally fine. Not every song must be a banger or a party starter. Sometimes what you need is just a song that can help you switch off for a while and that is exactly what you get with this tune from Tape Runs Out, a seven-piece band from Cambridge, UK. Their style revolves around alt-indie and dreampop and they use a wide variety of instruments, from violin to a hammered dulcimer. The band started in 2012 and are about to release their sixth EP, Ghost Fruit, for which Hospital, released last month, is the lead single.

Written by main songwriter Liam Goodrum-Bell during lockdown and recorded at home, Hospital is a tune we can all relate to after 2020. It’s a gorgeous little indie track that lets you get immersed into its soothing notes. Just give it a try and check Tape Runs Out.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Ellinor with Dylan Gorini – In Other Arms

If you have been following this little blog since August, then you might remember that I really loved Ellinor‘s debut EP, River Lee. I’m glad to report that she’s back with a new “mini” EP consisting of two tracks co-written, co-composed and co-performed with fellow French artist Dylan Gorini. The two tracks are intimate and heartwarming folk ballads, with In Other Arms being my favorite. Ellinor’s voice is so good that she could simply sing super boring scientific journal papers and the end result would still be mesmerizing.

If you like 60’s and 70’s folk music, please do check this EP out. It will be right up your alley.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Creature Fear – Big Summer Eyes

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.

Featured on the following mixtapes: