Influences:Avril Lavigne, Smash Mouth, The Hotelier
Location: Cologne, Germany
Release date: March, 2023
Comment: If you’re into alternative rock with a pop-punk twist and catchy hooks, you’ve got to check out Still Talk‘s single “Headcheck”, which will be part of the band’s upcoming debut album, appropriately called “St. Banger”. I love that this 5-piece band, fronted by Tanja Kührer, manages to balance different styles while keeping things fresh and energetic. “Headcheck” is a fun, upbeat song that celebrates the friendships within the band. The track is great from the get-go, but that stripped-down ending with the jangling guitar deserves a chef’s kiss.
If you’re in Germany, be sure to catch their live shows this year – I bet they’ll be a blast!
Comment: Some tracks grab your attention and hold it long after they have finished playing. When this happens with a chill-out/ambient song, it just shows how special that track is. As you probably guessed, that is the case with Halcyon, one of the first singles released by German artist Christoph Sebastian Pabst under the Toteles moniker, which comes from Aristoteles. Christoph has been making music most of his life, initially in projects with some friends and later on under his own name, but Toteles represents a new beginning for him, focusing on electronic music, deep house, ambient, and chill-out music. You need both talent and luck to be successful in the music business. I don’t know how much luck he has, but he certainly got plenty of talent.
Comment: A little over a year after they were first featured here with their delightful single The Sinner, French and German four-piece indie band Sacropolis are back with another banger in Venice, after experimenting with synths, amongst other sounds. Emotionally, the band describe this song as “happy melancholy”, as they wrote it after meeting someone during a trip to Venice and realizing later that it had been just a summer fling. The track got killer bass riffs and an a great chorus that is hard not to enjoy. If you liked The Sinner, you won’t be disappointed with Venice!
Comment: Good 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.
Parra for Cuva is definitely one of my favorite electronic music artists. Originally from Germany, I discovered him when the song being featured here today, his cover of Chris Isaak‘s popular Wicked Games, was featured on a now-extinct Youtube channel I used to follow. The track was a real hit, even reaching number 6 in UK’s official Top 40 in 2014, but, nevertheless, he remains relatively unknown. I mean, he should be more famous by now after that success and also because he has consistently released great track after great track (he’s already released one this year).
Nicolas Demuth, Parra for Cuva‘s real name, grew up in the same small town in Germany as singer-songwriter Anna Naklab and, naturally, they ended up working together in a number of releases, including Wicked Games. Her stunning voice is one of the reasons this song is so good. Event though it was a cover of a really well-known song, they managed to make it sound fresh. By the way, while we are talking about Parra for Cuva, check his remix of Mazzy Star‘sInto Dust (not available on Spotify). Simply outstanding.
If you visit the instagram page of We Meet As Strangers, you will see that they’re now a four-piece act. It all started, however, when two school friends from Stuttgart, Germany, decided to start a band in 2015. Since then, they have released and produced themselves an album, an EP and two singles, always trying to merge different musical styles and instruments, including those typical of traditional German music like brass and strings. With influences that go from Neck Deep to Sufjan Stevens, you can see they have trouble getting defined by a single genre.
Their latest single, which for simplicity I’ll refer to as Everyone betrayed me (the full name is in the title of this entry), is the most 1980s song composed by someone who wasn’t even alive in the same century. Filled with analog synths and lush sounds, the track is about not being the one for the person you love and being OK with that. Something nice about We Meet as Strangers and this song is that they will donate all earnings from it to Doctors Without Borders in order to help those in the Moria camp on Lesbos. Listening to a good track is always nice but, if on top of that, you are going to contribute to such a good cause, it becomes a no-brainer. Check it out below.
This upbeat, extremely radio-friendly tune could be the perfect song for the end of summer and the start of this weekend (which is a long one in some countries). With a catchy chorus and a sticky rhythm that camouflages very well the deep lyrics the song has, Don’t Wanna Die Alone is an indie pop song that allows you to forget about everyday problems and simply have fun.
This German artist, Henrik Steigerwald, goes by the moniker of Henry And The Waiter because it represents two different sides of his personality: the waiter, who is more impulsive and gets ideas for new songs all the time, and Henry, more introspective and the one who finishes the songs by adding his voice to the mix. Henry and his alter ego have achieved considerable success in his home country with over 12 million streams on Spotify, but it is time now to reach a wider audience. With his knack for hook-ridden songs, the odds are clearly in his favour.