Shallou is the stage name of Los Angeles-based electronic music producer and climate change activist, Joe Boston. He debuted in 2017 with his first EP but has just issued his first full-length album in 2020, Magical Thinking. He collaborated with the singer Daya for the 10th track on that record: Older, which is today’s addition to The Alternative Mixtapes.
Older is a beautifully melancholic ambient track ideal for drifting away and forgetting about the world. The song’s lyrics are also deeper than you would imagine, with a stunningly morose bridge in which Daya sings: “Maybe one day when I’m older, I might understand why love just doesn’t happen to everyone who wants it.”All in all, this is a musical gem.
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.
The punk-rock / pop-punk genre was hugely popular in the early 2000s, to the point where it got saturated with plenty of bands that sounded the same, with only a few standouts. Then, things moved to other end of the spectrum when most of those bands either broke up or switched to Pop or something else, and the genre slowly faded away. It looks like the middle ground is not an option for punk-rock.
The above has caused plenty of people who enjoyed this kind of music back then to feel nostalgic about it now, and that is exactly where Home By July fits in. If you miss the heyday of the genre, this Australian band will be right up your alley, and the best example of that it’s their latest single, One In A Million. Don’t expect anything groundbreaking, just good old punk-rock.
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.
I got my lovely wife to thank for this discovery, as it showed up while she was listening to a playlist with recommendations from one streaming platform. Hazey Eyes is the moniker of 22-year-old Philadelphia-based electronic artist Thomas Michel, who released in 2019 his latest EP, Love Lost. For its lead single, Emotion, the classically trained multi-instrumentalist collaborated with Panama, the well-known electronic/Indie project by Australian songwriter/producer Jarrah McCleary, and the result was this emotional blend of electronic and indie music with a catchy yet vulnerable melody.
Emotion got serious potential to become your next musical crush and you can stream it below.
If you are into Indie Rock, then I’m pretty sure you are also into Sweet Disposition –the song released in 2008 by the Australian band The Temper Trap–, which has been described as an “indie anthem“. Besides being a great song, it also became popular after it was featured in the soundtrack of one of my favorite movies,500 Days of Summer. Needless to say, I love this song.
It should come as no surprise then that when I heard the first chords of this sublime cover of Sweet Disposition by classically trained harpist, composer, and arranger, Kirsten Agresta Copely, I was simply blown away. The song’s distinctive intro is emulated beautifully by Kirsten’s harp and the rest of the song is just as charming. Copely has had a successful career performing for heads of state and alongside a wide array of top artists, ranging from Andrea Bocelli and Beyoncé to Evanescence.
Listen to the song below and then visit Kirsten’s channel on Youtube or the usual streaming platforms to hear her original compositions as well as other covers. You will thank me later.
Throwback Thursdays are popular on social media as a way to reminisce about things we feel nostalgic about. I thought we can do something similar here, whenever possible, by posting great old songs, such as Punk Rock Princess. Yes, I can’t believe I’m calling this song old but it was released 18 years ago!
Something Corporate was a piano punk rock band from Orange County, California, that despite having a huge following and diehard fans, never made it into the mainstream. The band released 3 albums almost back to back from 2000 to 2003 and were on and off until they broke up for good in 2010. Their lead singer, Andrew McMahon, is still active under the moniker Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.
Punk Rock Princess was the most popular of their singles –as an aside, their most popular song among their fans was Konstantine, which is perhaps my wife’s favorite song ever but it’s almost 10 minutes long and was never released as a single–, part of their 2002 album: Leaving Through The Window. It’s a classic tune from the Hey Day of Punk Rock. You can enjoy it again below.
Who doesn’t remember Kodaline‘s All I Want? That single and their whole debut album were a massive hit for the Irish band, and even though their two subsequent efforts had moderate success, they haven’t come close to the magic of their first release.
The band will be back with a new album, One Day at a Time, two days from now (the 12th) and one of its lead singles is the song featured here, Sometimes, which has a perfect Indie vibe with an upbeat melody, despite deep lyrics talking about the subject of anxiety. Hope you enjoy it (please let me know)!
“Sometimes is a song I wrote while on tour in Asia last year. I had a really bad day dealing with my own anxiety issues and I kind of let it get the better of me. I started writing the song in my hotel room to help me calm down, music has always helped me in that way. For me It’s a song about accepting the bad days and trying to stay positive. We all get lost sometimes…”
This website is already turning out to be useful for discovering talented artists I wasn’t aware of before. Cristina Spinei is a great example of that. The Nashville-based composer and performer, who attended the prestigious Juilliard School in New York, liked my post about Hania Rani on Instagram and that led me to her page there, where she has uploaded some of her pieces. Fortunately, her work is available on all streaming platforms, which allowed me to listen to her brand new (literally released 10 days ago) single, Five O’Clock Waltz, which is a beautiful piano-based piece with a relaxing melody.
Update: When this post was originally published, there was no video accompanying Five O’Clocl Waltz. Luckily, Cristina has just released it today (June 10th) and you can watch it below. It is a collaboration with dancers from both the contemporary and ballet worlds.
You can also listen to this outstanding piece by going to any of our mixtapes below. Highly recommended if you are looking for beautiful music.
The Naked And Famous are releasing a new album, Recover, next month and to support it, they have recorded a flawless cover of The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights. That being said, this cover will not be part of the new album.
While we wait for the album to drop, let’s enjoy this tune from probably my favorite band from New Zealand.