Sylvan Esso – Funeral Singers

Artist: Sylvan Esso

Song: Funeral Singers

Genres:  #folktronica

Location: North Carolina, United States

Release date: September, 2018.

Comment: One of my favorite tracks in Third Eye Blind’s new album, which we have discussed before, is Funeral Singers, which I thought was an original song until the band shared their influences for the new album on instagram and one of them was Sylvan Esso‘s Funeral Singers. It turns out that Sylvan Esso‘s version is also a cover, with the original being from experimental rock band Califone. Each version is different but if I had to pick just one, I think I’d choose Sylvan Esso‘s. There’s something about lead singer Amelia Meath‘s voice and the acoustic strums in the background that I find mesmerizing.

If, like me, you were not aware of Sylvan Esso before, I hope you enjoy this cover from 2018 (which features American musical ensemble Collections of Colonies of Bees) as much as I do.

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in earnest – i feel alone even if i’m not

Artist: in earnest

Song: i feel alone even if i’m not

Genres:  #indiefolk

Location: Southend on Sea, United Kingdom

Influences: Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers.

Release date: October, 2021.

Comment: Regular visitors to T.A.M. should already be familiar with indie trio in earnest, as they have been featured here a couple of times before. They are back now with their sophomore EP, reasons to stay alive, which is also their most artistically ambitious project to date. It is a six-track record with no gaps between songs that you could listen to on an infinite loop. Ideally, you would listen to the EP from beginning to end but if I had to choose just one song, then it would be i feel alone even if I’m not because of its haunting melody and emotional vocals. If you’re looking for some music to listen to during some alone time, you just found it.

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Chxrlotte – Hey?

ArtistChxrlotte

Song: Hey?

Genres: #indiefolk

Location: Brighton, United Kingdom

Release date: June, 2021

Comment: Ukulele-based indie folk music is hardly a novel idea, but when it is done well and has a compelling melody, who cares? That’s exactly the case with Hey?, the latest single from British #singersongwriter Chxrlotte, a talented young artist with a bright future that you should check out.

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Funeral Lakes – Solstice

ArtistFuneral Lakes

Song: Solstice

Genres: #indierock

Location: Ontario, Canada

Release date: August, 2021

Comment: I featured Funeral Lakes here exactly one year ago and now the duo is back with a brand new EP: Redeemer. As is usually the case with  this act, the songs in the new EP are all filled with social content. It explores themes such as the tension between faith and justice from the moment Solstice, the first track, starts playing. It is a captivating song that sets the tone for Redeemer. I wouldn’t call it a radio-friendly tune yet it keeps your attention with its moody melody and thought-provoking lyrics. Check it out.

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Michael Lane – Good Times

Artist: Michael Lane

Song: Good Times

Genres: #indiefolk #singersongwriter

Location: Germany

Release date: April, 2021.

CommentGood Times may sound optimistic and upbeat with its acoustic folk vibes and catchy melody, but it has a serious and deep message: having a nice house or a nice car does not necessarily make you happier in the long run. German-American artist Michael Lane has transited the road less traveled to get to where he is today as an artist, having served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a US soldier during his twenties. He’s had two top 50 songs in the German charts already, so he’s well-known as a musician in some European countries. It is time for him to get noticed in other latitudes too.

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DR!FTWOOD – 4:45

Artist: DR!FTWOOD

Song: 4:45

Genres: #indierock #alternativerock

Location: Manchester, UK

Release date: April, 2021.

Comment4:45 is one of those songs that become instant earworms right away. It reminds me of the style of Go Radio, in case you’re familiar with that other band. I admit I wasn’t aware of DR!FTWOOD at all before I heard 4:45, but they have been active since 2015 and had big plans for 2020 that they had to suspend because of… you know. After a brief hibernation period, they returned this year better than ever with this great tune. Enjoy 4:45!

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Evan Blair – Survive Myself

Artist: Evan Blair

Song: Survive Myself

Genres: #indierock #alternativerock

Location: Toronto, Canada

Release date: April, 2021.

Influences: Weezer, The Strokes, The 1975.

Comment: If you miss alternative rock songs from the early 2000s, then this song is for you. I have no idea if Evan Blair did it on purpose or not if you told me that Survive Myself was a hit from those years, I would totally believe you (in fact, it reminds me of a little known band called Diffuser). What I do know is that Evan wrote this song about the time of his life just before he got sober (he’s 3.5 years sober now). He’s cut his teeth writing and producing tracks for quite a few artists, such as Tessa Violet and Gnash, so he knows one thing or two about making music. Check his work out.

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Camie – Claudia

Artist: Camie

Song: Claudia

Genres: #indie #acoustic

Location: Toronto, Canada

Release date: July, 2021.

Comment: Toronto-based Camille Intson, aka Camie, travelled alone across Europe in 2019 and ended up spending Christmas Eve in a folk pub just outside of Prague. There, she met a beautiful woman named Claudia who was asked to dance by a handsome man while Camie watched from afar daydreaming about being the one dancing with Claudia in the spotlight. The talented artist wrote Claudia a year later when going through her notes in the middle of the pandemic when she was feeling isolated. It’s a really beautiful ballad about what happened that night and what could have happened as well. The tune got a soothing effect similar to that of drinking hot chocolate in a cold winter afternoon.

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The New Twentys – I Can’t Afford Her

Artist: The New Twentys

Song: I Can’t Afford Her

Genres: #indierock #alternativerock #poppunk

Location: London, UK

Release date: April, 2021.

Influences: The Cure, Talking Heads, The Strokes.

Comment: I could mention here words like “magnetic” and “catchy”, but the bottom line is that I Can’t Afford Her is a really fun track. When you hear the backstory of this tune from London-based 3-piece act The New Twentys, you realise that it could not be any other way. The song is about a misunderstanding one of the band members had with his girlfriend after she saw a video in which he was talking to a prostitute. However, this happened after a nigh out and he hadn’t even realised she was a sex worker, he was just asking for directions but, boys being boys, his friends found it funny and decided to film the whole interaction. When confronted about it, in the middle of the argument with his girlfriend, he said: ‘Well what does it matter? I’m broke and couldn’t afford her anyway.’ Not really the most reassuring defense in that situation. The music video, which you can watch below, pokes fun at the whole situation too. Have a blast!

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Casual Vice – Instead

Artist: Casual Vice

Song: Instead

Genres: #indierock #alternativerock

Location: California, USA

Release date: January, 2021.

Comment: Southern California-based duo Casual Vice is formed by two musicians who cut their teeth with other bands before forming this new act last year. Instead was released as a single back in January and then included in the EP Joie De Vivre in February. It is a great indie rock track with a chorus you won’t be able to get out of your head before December. Check it out!

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