Comment: Caroline Romano is back with a new single, “girl in a china shop”, and it’s, as they say in the UK, a ‘banger.’ Having written about her twice before, it’s clear that Romano is not just a passing phase, but a force to be reckoned with in the alt-pop scene.
The Nashville-based singer-songwriter has once again demonstrated her knack for capturing the essence of young adulthood in her music. “girl in a china shop” is an emotional rollercoaster, with an explosive chorus that contrasts beautifully with its reflective verses. In the lyrics, Caroline admits to feeling like she breaks everything she touches, and this song is her way of acknowledging that feeling.
With millions of streams already under her belt, and more music on the way, it’s clear that Caroline Romano is an artist whose star will only continue to rise. We can’t wait to see what she does next.
Comment: Desert Life, a musical duo hailing from Tenby, Wales, has recently captured my attention with their debut album titled “Let It All Pass,” released last month. The album opens with “Future Dead,” a track that sets the tone for the entire album beautifully. It commences with acoustic folk instrumentals that set a tranquil tempo, soon followed by the melodic vocals.
The songwriting partnership, composed of the singer-songwriter Chris Swales and the multi-instrumentalist Tom Jordan, has expertly fashioned a sound that reverberates with their influences, particularly R.E.M (in my humble opinion). This is particularly palpable in “Future Dead,” where the emotionally charged musical arrangements and poetic lyricism delve into the shadowy recesses of the heart.
If you’re a fan of R.E.M. or similar bands, I wholeheartedly recommend giving “Future Dead” by Desert Life a listen. And if it resonates with you, I encourage you to explore the rest of their debut album as well; you’ll discover plenty more of what you love within.
Comment: LØLØ, also known as Lauren Mandel, is a talented Canadian singer-songwriter, born in 1996, celebrated for her captivating blend of pop and alternative pop music. Her rise to fame was facilitated by her performances on TikTok, where she breathed new life into iconic music hits. Her musical style is a blend of pop melodies, sharp rock undertones, and angsty vocals that brings forth the bitter sting of heartbreak. Is it unique? No, but it is damn good.
A prime example of her prowess is her latest release, “hot girls in hell,” a fiery track that skillfully balances both fierceness and vulnerability. The track kicks off gently, gradually morphing into a pop-punk anthem that will have you headbanging in no time. This structural evolution mirrors the rollercoaster of emotions one experiences when a relationship comes to an end. In summary, check this song out if you are into indie pop. It is truly enjoyable.
Comment: SWiiMS, an indie rock group hailing from Toronto, Canada, has unveiled their latest single, “All I Die For.” This dynamic trio, composed of Mai Diaz Langou on vocals and guitar, Colin Thompson on guitar and vocals, and Cian O’Ruanaidh on bass and vocals, has been crafting their musical synergy since the summer preceding the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Their sound is an interesting blend of 80’s New Wave, 90’s Shoegaze, Indie Rock, Brit Pop, and Dream Pop. The result is vividly apparent in “All I Die For,” a composition radiating an infectious, upbeat energy. This single is a precursor to their forthcoming LP, “Into the Blue Night,” a project conceived and recorded amid the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
“All I Die For” revolves around the nascent stages of a romantic relationship – the way we embellish ourselves to captivate the interest of the other person. It encapsulates the emotional rollercoaster of new love, brimming with hope, euphoria, and a relinquishment of control. Production-wise, it’s evident that each element in this song has been meticulously crafted, from the captivating vocals to the finely-wrought clean guitar melodies.
In essence, “All I Die For” stands as a testament to SWiiMS‘ remarkable prowess in crafting auditory delights. With the resurgence of bands like Slowdive, SWiiMS might just be poised to ascend to the ranks of IT indie bands. They certainly deserve it.
Comment: I had been checking the Youtube app on my smart TV, when I stumbled upon the music video below, which the algorithm was recommending. Baby Queen, a pop sensation hailing from South Africa, now based in London, had somehow eluded my radar until then. The catchy song and video got me hooked from the start, and the funny but relatable lyrics made sure I paid attention until the end. Sometimes, technology truly does deliver.
The relatable lyrics, poignant and unfiltered, delve into the existential turmoil that has been Baby Queen‘s companion for the past five years. However, the chorus, “Open up your mind/Maybe in this life/We can be anything,” delivers a resonant message of liberty and individuality. Musically, it occasionally reminded me of some 90s tracks, such as Republica‘s “Ready To Go,” though not entirely. It’s an alternative pop song that incorporates a bit of everything.
So, in summary, if you’re in the mood for thought-provoking pop tunes, “We Can Be Anything” is the perfect track for you today.
Comment: In the realm of folk-infused serenity, “Better to You” by Elkvilla stands as a radiant testament to the power of musical introspection. With its heartfelt lyricism, masterful instrumentation, and the warm embrace of Elkvilla‘s soulful vocals, this song takes us on a contemplative journey through the intricate landscapes of self-empowerment.
The journey begins with the opening line, “I am the salt in your wound,” a poignant declaration that sets the tone for the entire composition. It’s a song about enduring pain within a relationship, choosing to stay, and ultimately finding strength through personal growth and introspection. The resilience of the human spirit is poetically portrayed through Elkvilla‘s evocative lyrics.
The instrumental canvas of “Better to You” is both minimalistic and richly textured, an artful balance that is influenced by the work of folk artists such as The Tallest Man On Earth and neoclassical ones such as Ólafur Arnalds. The musical backdrop feels as comforting as it is profound.
Elvilla is the moniker of Australian singer-songwriter and producer Adam Dudek. He often crafts his songs on his own in his apartment in Berlin. He started this musical project, which is named after a beloved childhood toy, in 2020 but took a break to improve his producing skills. “Better To You” marks his return, and you can see that he has done a great job producing it. Expect to hear new songs from Adam every 4 to 6 weeks. It will be quite a treat!
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!