“Sunlight” by RHODES

"Sunlight" by RHODES

"Sunlight" by RHODES

Artist: RHODES

Song: Sunlight

Genres: #indiepop

Location:  Baldock, United Kingdom

Release date: August, 2023

Comment: David Rhodes, known by his stage name RHODES (stylized in all caps), is an English singer and songwriter born in 1988 who embarked on his musical journey in 2013. He had a successful duet with Birdy and was featured on Kygo‘s debut album, “Cloud Nine“, but I don’t think he is that well-known yet. Chances are, this is the first time you’ve heard about him.

RHODES has been on my radar for a while, and he recently released a single called “Sunlight” that quickly became my favorite song of his. It’s one of those rare tracks where you might find the verses more captivating than the chorus. From the moment the first note hits, you’re drawn into a world of ethereal melodies and heartfelt lyrics that make you stop and listen. RHODES’ vocal performance is nothing short of mesmerizing. His voice, rich and emotive, carries the song, and the lyrics are relatable yet profound.

In short, I think this song shines as bright as its title suggests. Check it out!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

The Head & The Heart – Hurts (But It Goes Away)

Hurts (But It Goes Away)

Artist: The Head & The Heart

Song: Hurts (But It Goes Away)

Genres: #indiefolk

Location: Seattle, United States

Release date: April, 2022

Comment: They’re not The Lumineers famous, but with 5 pretty successful studio albums, The Head & The Heart are definitely a well-known band. Named after the dichotomy of doing what your head says or following your heart, the band recently released their fifth studio album: Every Shade of Blue, which includes today’s recommended track: “Hurts (But It Goes Away)“. It’s perhaps the most upbeat track in that record and also a perfect piece of folk-pop. I particularly like the following lyrics that they sing in the chorus: ““tell me that I’m going to be okay, tell me that life’s going to find a way…”.

Unfortunately, this earworm doesn’t have an official video (yet) but here’s a live version they performed on Jimmy Kimmel’s show.

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Yon Idy – In Time

Artist: Yon Idy

Song: In Time

Genres: #indierock #indiefolk

Location: Skopje, North Macedonia

Release date: January, 2022

Comment:  Yon Idy is a young musician in a country with no music industry whatsoever, according to the artist himself. He grew up listening to The Beatles and Leonard Cohen, but his latest single, In Time, sounds closer to artists such as Jason Mraz and Vance Joy. This poignant track talks about the hardships of moving on at the end of relationship you didn’t want to end. You won’t want In Time to end either but the good news is that Yon Idy is releasing his full-length debut later this year.

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Jackfruit – stuck in ohio

Jackfruit is the moniker of Jack Braun, a 19 year old musician from NYC. He plays mostly piano and writes all of his music, getting help from Zach Benson on the mixing and production fronts. Jack’s musical style is basically bedroom pop –literally recorded in his childhood bedroom–, which may or may not be your cup of tea, but you’ll surely find his lyrics very interesting. Jack started making music during the start of the pandemic and released his debut EP earlier this year: when they find your body, which consists of four tracks, out of which the most popular one is gas leak with 4 times as many streams as the one in second place. That being said, the song that really stood out for me was stuck in ohio.

The thing that really attracted me to stuck in ohio was how vulnerable Jack’s delivery is on it. A song about an unrequited love, it feels like Jack really means every word coming out of his mouth. This is not a track to dance to or for karaoke night. It is a song to be felt and that’s the beauty in this piece from Jackfruit. I don’t know what the future holds for this talented artist, but it will be fascinating to find out.

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Au Gres – At Home In The Dark

Au Gres - At Home In The Dark

I’m here for the outstanding guitar solo in the bridge of At Home In The Dark. It really elevates the whole song to another level: from nice to really good. The tune is the second single from Michigan based-artist Au Gres  (aʷ grā), which is the musical project of singer-songwriter Joshua Kemp, who conceived the whole project in his bedroom with, according to him, unimpressive equipment. Au Gres‘ music is a blend of indie rock with bedroom pop and that is particularly true in this new release, which Joshua refers to as being “indie pop with teeth”.

At Home In The Dark is also a love song whose theme is promising one’s partner that you will help them feel at home during the good times but specially during rough times too. You can read a wonderful review of this song at our friend Jeff‘s essential music blog: Eclectic Music Lover, or just listen to it right away at the links below. Whatever you choose, you won’t regret it.

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Misao McGregor – She Was Worlds Above Me

At a minimum, what you should know about Misao McGregor is that she’s a singer/songwriter who composes charming music that has roots in indie, pop and soul. You don’t need to know that she’s based in Los Angeles, California or that she was classically trained as singer and pianist, but it adds a little bit of context to her story and it is always nice to have context. Similarly, we absolutely don’t need to know that she’s openly gay, mixed-race American-Japanese and non-binary femme in order to appreciate her music, but it is nice that she generously shares that info because it helps us put everything in perspective. It gives us another lens through which interpret her lyrics and plays and connect with what she’s trying to say.

Misao recently self-released her debut album, Kid In The Corner, which is an autobiographical look into her first 24 years of life and the experiences that made her who she is today, good and bad. The whole album is worth your attention but I particularly liked She Was Worlds Above Me. Not only does it have stunning hooks and great vocals but also a deep meaning. I’ll let Misao explain it herself in the video below. All I can add to that is that I hope you give this talented artist a chance.

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teepee – closer

Every year, tens of artists from over 15 countries from  the Central and Eastern European region travel to Hungary for the Budapest Showcase Hub, aka BUSH Festival. Usually, the bands play live shows across multiple venues and prizes are awarded to some of them. In 2020, however, for obvious reasons, the festival had to be changed at the last minute to a virtual edition through a video extravaganza series in which some light is shed about each band, including fun facts and what make them unique. The musical genres covered on this festival are broad and you are sure to find bands that will catch your attention, whatever kind of alternative music you’re into. You can watch the whole series on the festival’s Youtube channel here.

Out of the 31 artists who participated in last year’s edition of the BUSH Festival, the one that really caught my attention was teepee, a Czech dream-pop duo consisting of Miroslav Patočka and singer-electric guitarist ​Tereza Lavičková. They got two studio albums already, with the most recent one released in 2020, Where The Ocean Breaks, which includes the song being featured here today. Closer is a stunning song that blends indie folk and dream pop. Its soulful vocals elevate it to the next level. If that wasn’t enough, they made a really nice music video as well.

I probably wouldn’t have discovered this talented band if the BUSH Festival organizers hadn’t reached out to me. For that, they got my gratitude.

Featured on the following mixtapes: