Comment: “Athene” by The Velveteins is a laid-back track that was inspired by Homer’s Iliad. The track emits an easy and relaxed tone with warm, effortless vocals, breezy guitars and a steady beat, creating an overall comforting atmosphere. The song also reminds me a bit of Augustana (songs like “Meet You There”, for example), which is never a bad thing. It’s easy to get lost in the mesmeric sounds of The Velveteins, where you’ll find yourself hitting repeat and staying along for the journey.
Nestled at the crossroads of past and present, The Velveteins emerged onto the scene in 2014, anchored by the creative partnership of frontman Spencer Morphy and co-songwriter Addison Hiller. “Athene” emerges as the third jewel from their forthcoming sophomore album, and it comes accompanied by a cool music video that features an excellent choreography and performance by Anya Allegra Saugstad. You can watch it below!
Comment: If the name Kristian Montgomery and the Winterkill Band sounds familiar, that might be because almost exactly 3 years ago, I featured his single “Razor Wide Heart” on this website. “The 4th of July” is my favorite track from the band’s new album, Lower County Outlaw, and it showcases how Kristian and his bandmates keep getting better and better at what they do. The track is a delightful blend of country and rock that narrates a heart-warming love story.
From the very beginning, Kristian Montgomery’s masterful composition and emotional vocals take listeners on a captivating ride, mirroring the excitement and anticipation of that special moment when he and his wife, April, first connected. The lyrics beautifully capture the comfort and chemistry shared between the two, as if destiny had finally brought them together in the right place and time.
The song’s peak moment comes with a gripping guitar solo and a final chorus sung with an urgent passion that’s impossible to ignore. If you listen to this track and feel nothing at all, do you even truly feel alive?
Comment: Some songs are truly special. From the moment you hear them for the first time, you know that they will become a fixture of your daily soundtrack for months to come. That was the case when I listened to “Egyptian Summer” by Good Strangers. The mind-blowing thing is that this is the band’s first ever single, released ahead of their forthcoming debut EP, ‘Adult Teenage Novels’, coming out this fall.
Good Strangers came into existence as a collaboration of Irish musician friends, united by their shared passion for music and a history of playing together in various bands and projects. The band’s two lead singers, Niamh Kirby and Conor Quinn, who are best friends since they were 3, formed the group in 2022 after returning from Berlin, where they were inspired by the vibrant indie folk scene in the German capital. They chose the act’s name as a celebration of community and the many good strangers the band has met throughout their time touring, travelling and attending festivals.
In “Egyptian Summer,” the Irish band paints a raw and poetic portrayal of the moment when a beautiful relationship begins to unravel. Connor wrote it after going through a tough breakup, reminiscing about a summer in Egypt and searching for signs that everything would go downhill afterwards. Musically, the track has a similar vibe to Of Monsters And Men‘s debut album, without sounding exactly the same. What it really sets it apart for me are two things: first, how well Connor and Niamh’s voices fit together, and second, the emotion that they are able to transmit with their heartfelt vocals.
In conclusion, “Egyptian Summer” by Good Strangers is a sublime testament to the power of storytelling through music. It delves into the complexities of love, loss, and self-discovery, wrapped in an indie soundscape that feels both familiar and fresh. I honestly can’t wait for the debut EP!
“Remember that Egyptian Summer The fork lightning over the bay When we forgot everything We forgot our troubles When love was kind And the silence was noise But Underneath a marble sky I never seen you look so happy In your life.
And you were always cracking jokes And laughing at my funny ways And as the thunder rolled Well so did my sorrow We told lies We told them all the time But underneath a marble sky Nothing mattered.
I need a thunderstorm To distract from the pain Cause tomorrow might be the same damn sorrow I need something to happen The heavens to burst The sky to tear open The passion to run and flow like a river Out of my eyes Once it’s out of my heart It’s such a cold and desolate Happy ever when It’s such a cold and desolate Happiness never came.
We sat at the bar and we talked about the things we used to like And romanticised the pain Always remember it’s a crying shame Like reaching for the heavens but the heavens never came And I’ve played the victim long before you arrived These are not my people It’s not my scene not my style So I’m going back I’m going back to the city Please forgive me”
Comment: Rachel Bochner is an alt-pop artist who has delivered tracks with funny titles like “If I’m Gunna Be Sad (I Might As Well Look Hot Doing It)” and “Here For The Drama.” These tracks will be part of her 6-track EP, aptly named “It’s Not Me, It’s U,” set to be released next week. “Hard To Please” is the latest single she has dropped from the new record, and I have to say that it is my favorite so far.
It is a dynamic alt-pop track that skillfully blends gritty guitars with graceful melodies. The song delves into the pressures placed on women in today’s society. It begins with Rachel contemplating getting a nose ring, hoping that a simple change in the form of a “shiny piece of metal” might solve her problems. The lyrics then progress as Rachel vents her overall frustrations, expressing lines like: “I’m getting sick of it / Targets I’ll never hit / How can I reach the end of it / When there’s no finish line?” The track takes an unexpected turn just as we anticipate a heavy rock chorus, surprising us instead with sweet-sounding vocals and lively guitar strums. Check it out below!
Comment: Brendan Scott Friel is a Canadian singer-songwriter who has been making waves in the indie scene with his honest and heartfelt folk songs. His new single, “Simon the Doubter,” is a catchy and clever tune that tells the story of a man who questions everything, even his own faith. The song features acoustic guitar, piano, harmonica, and subtle percussion, creating a warm and organic backdrop for his smooth and expressive vocals. The lyrics are witty and clever, using biblical references and metaphors to describe the protagonist’s doubts and struggles.
“Simon the Doubter” is the first single from his upcoming second album, Summer Moons, which is set to be released later this year. The song showcases his talent for blending folk elements with pop sensibilities, creating a sound that is both familiar and fresh. If you like artists like Passenger, Ed Sheeran, or Vance Joy, you might want to give this song a listen.
Comment: M. Byrd is a German-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer who has been making waves with his debut album The Seed, a collection of songs that blend intimate moments with wide horizons, inspired by the Laurel Canyon sound and shoegaze aesthetics. The album is meant to plant a seed and encourage listeners’ evolution.
One of the standout tracks from The Seed is “Pyrrhula”, a song that showcases M. Byrd‘s ability to create atmospheric and emotional soundscapes with his guitar, synth and bass playing. The song starts with a gentle acoustic guitar strumming and M. Byrd’s soft vocals, singing about a fire in someone’s eyes and a longing for connection. The song is named after a genus of birds, also known as bullfinches, which are known for their bright colors and monogamous relationships. M. Byrd uses this metaphor to express his desire for a lasting bond with someone who can light up his world.
“Pyrrhula” by M. Byrd is a song that will make you feel something, whether it’s joy, sadness, nostalgia or hope.
Comment: I recently watched the movie A Good Person, written and directed by Zach Braff, who also wrote and directed Garden State, whose award-winning soundtrack has been referred to on multiple occasions here. There is a pivotal scene in the movie in which the main character, played by the scene-stealing Florence Pugh, attends a concert and the song being played when she arrives really grabbed my attention. It turned out to be “Stardust” by Cary Brothers, a singer-songwriter -Brothers is his surname- who was also featured on the soundtrack of, you guessed it, Garden State.
Stardust is a moody indie track that is simply stunning. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
Comment: Housewife is a Toronto-based indie rock project led by 20-year-old Brighid Fry (she/they), who has been making waves in the Canadian music scene with their catchy and clever songs. After touring with Paolo Nutini and releasing the hit single “Fuck Around Phase” earlier this year, Housewife is back with another great track: “King of Wands”.
The song is a fiery anthem of female empowerment and intuition, inspired by the tarot card of the same name. Housewife sings about resisting the patriarchal attempts to silence and undermine women’s voices and wisdom, and reclaiming their power and agency. The lyrics are sharp and witty, with lines like “I wish I was the king of wands / But really, I’m Cassandra / The girl that I’ll ignore / When she’s got all the answers”.
The music is equally energetic and explosive, blending pop melodies with rock instrumentation. The song features heavy drums, distorted guitars, and soaring vocals that create a contrast between the verses and the choruses. By the way, the vocals during the verses remind me of Amelia Meath from Sylvan Esso. The song was co-written with Gabe Simon (Lana Del Rey, Noah Kahan) and JT Foley (GAYLE, Maddy Hicks), who helped Housewife craft their mature and intentional indie-rock sound.
If you live in North America and like what you hear, you can catch Housewife live on their upcoming tour dates across Canada and the US.
Comment: Nat Vazer is a Melbourne-based singer-songwriter who has been making waves with her confessional indie-rock and dream-pop songs. After a successful US tour and SXSW appearance, she is back with a new single, “Strange Adrenaline”, which also serves as the title track of her upcoming album.
“Strange Adrenaline” is a song that captures the feeling of chasing a vision and having the courage to pursue the unknown. Inspired by a Patti Smith novel, the song combines powerful guitar riffs, drum machines, and Vazer’s striking vocals to create an engaging sound. The chorus is catchy and anthemic, while the verses are introspective and poetic.
The song showcases Vazer’s talent as a storyteller and a musician, as well as her ability to blend different genres and influences. It will appeal to fans of boygenius and/or any of its talented members (Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus), and other young gifted singer-songwriters who are shaping the new generation of indie-rock.
Comment: “Primary Colors” by Baseball Game is a catchy, upbeat anthem about finding hope in the midst of uncertainty. The song begins with a simple guitar riff that quickly builds into a driving beat. The vocals are clear and powerful, and the lyrics are inspiring and hopeful. The song is a perfect example of Baseball Game‘s unique sound, which blends elements of indie rock, pop, and electronic music.
The band started in 2019 and consists of Adam (vocals, guitar), Jason (guitar, production), and Ben (bass). The name “Baseball Game” came from a story from Adam’s childhood. When he was in T-ball, he played in the championship game. His team lost, and afterward he went to the wrong dugout. The other team sprayed him with red Kool-Aid and told him to get out because he didn’t belong there. Adam and Jason felt like this story was a metaphor for their band. They felt like their songs were very individual and didn’t necessarily fit together or belong.