Comment: Me Nd Adam, the dynamic duo hailing from Austin, Texas, has carved an impressive path through the music industry, captivating audiences with their heartfelt anthems, engaging accessibility, generous merch giveaways, and their spirited, unapologetic demeanor. They’ve earned the moniker of pioneering trailblazers in the genre they call trash-wave.
Their latest offering, “Worse Than This,” is a standout track from their album “American Drip Part II (ADP2).” This sophomore release marks a significant evolution in their musical journey, weaving a tapestry of influences into a sound that’s unmistakably their own. The duo deliberately shifted towards a more organic instrumental approach, toning down the electro-pop elements that adorned their debut album, obviously: “American Drip Pt. I (ADP1).”
Back in November 2020, Me Nd Adam caught our attention with the release of “The More I Grow Up,” a single that swiftly amassed over two million streams. It also piqued the interest of the underdog indie label, Handwritten Records, based in Las Vegas. Since then, they’ve continued to garner acclaim and support from devoted fans and even rock icons like The Killers.
I highly recommend giving “Worse Than This” a listen. If you want to check out their new album afterwards, you can find it here.
Comment: Mitski has been releasing music since 2012, exploring different genres and moods, from indie rock to synth-pop. She has played in big music festivals around the world, including Glastonbury in 2022. However, I hadn’t really registered her existence until I stumbled upon the wonderful music video she made for ‘Bug Like An Angel’ on Youtube. This was the lead single of Mitski’s seventh(!!) studio album, which was released just this week: ‘The Land is Inhospitable And So Are We‘.
‘Bug Like An Angel’ is a poetic song with religious themes that explore the concept of addiction. Musically, it is mainly an acoustic ballad sprinkled with sporadic and striking choral punctuations. The inclusion of a choir echoing Mitski’s words in a dramatic way was a masterstroke. The official music video, which you can watch below, features the artist, a choir, and an impressive dancer who portrays an alcoholic woman. It’s impossible to take your eyes off of her.
Mitsuki Miyawaki, aka Mitski, is undoubtedly a creative artist. Her originality shines through on this hauntingly beautiful song. It is one of the best tracks of 2023!
Comment: Today’s song played during the end credits of the 5th episode of the second season of The Bear, and I was absolutely mesmerised by it. A quick Google search told me that it was called “Welcome”, and the artist was Harmonia & Eno ’76. I found this curious, as the track had indeed reminded me of legendary music product Brian Eno, and I wondered if he had been involved with the track. (Narrator: He was).
Harmonia was a German supergroup formed in 1973 as a collaboration between members of two prominent krautrock bands. Brian Eno was a fan and described them in the mid-1970s as “the world’s most important rock group.” The band dissolved in 1976 after releasing two albums, but reformed briefly for 11 days in September 1976 to record some tracks with Mr. Eno himself. These tunes became the “Tracks & Traces” album, which remained unreleased until November 1997 due to lost tapes. In 2009, the album was reissued with additional tracks and credited to Harmonia & Eno ’76.
“Welcome” is the opening track of the album, and it has a minimalist and meditative quality. If you appreciate the art of soundscaping and the beauty of simplicity, you will find “Welcome” to be a captivating and rewarding listen. I can’t get enough of it.
Comment: Beneath the sun-kissed melodies of summer, Grace & Moji‘s latest release, “Monster,” the second single from their forthcoming debut album, delves into the heart of our complexities, shining light on the shadows that coexist within us. As the dynamic husband-wife indie duo serenades us with their infectious indie pop duet, they unravel a universal truth – the duality of our beings.
In this enchanting anthem, Grace & Moji‘s harmonious voices dance harmoniously, a true testament to their musical unity. Grace Hong’s words echo in every note, reminding us that acknowledging our “Monsters” is an essential step toward understanding the nuances that make us human. Also, the vibrant instrumentation and infectious beats create a whirlwind of emotions, carrying us through the highs and lows of their melodic narrative.
In short, this groovy track is an indie pop gem. Its easygoing tone, well-executed vocals, and captivating storytelling make it a standout piece that leaves a lasting impression. Check it out!
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: Back in April, Canadian band New Friends released their debut EP Camaro; it contains the catchy “Doomed”, which I featured here last year, and three other tracks. I listened to the EP without expecting to find a song I liked as much as “Doomed” in it, but I was wrong. Even though “Find You”, the closing track, is a different kind of song, it got me hooked just the same. The chorus is really something else. It makes you want to sing along.
“Find You” showcases impressive vocal harmonies and captivating guitar riffs, enhancing the richness of its sound. The production is polished yet tasteful, allowing the song’s essence to shine through. With its universal theme of longing for understanding and happiness, this track strikes a chord. All in all, the song sounds like a radio hit, but with a distinct personal touch. New Friends is unquestionably a band to keep an eye on in the pop rock scene.
Comment: If you’re looking for some chill and atmospheric electronica to soothe your soul, you might want to check out the work of Jakliu, an Irish producer based in Dublin. His debut EP, Don’t Forget, is a two-track record that explores the complex emotions that arise when one realizes their love for someone is temporary, yet profound.
The title track, “Don’t Forget,” is a captivating blend of ambient textures and delicate plucks that create an immersive soundscape. The vocal chops glide effortlessly over the ethereal backdrop, expressing the urgency and yearning not to let the ephemeral nature of their love slip away. The track evokes a sense of bittersweet longing and introspection, allowing listeners to connect deeply with its emotional core. The second track, “Not For Long, But I Know,” is just as mesmerizing.
Drawing inspiration from a variety of sources, including classical music, nature, and electronic music, Jakliu has developed a unique sound that blends together different genres and styles to create something uniquely his own. Listen to “Don’t Forget” below.
Comment: If you like covers that are not exact replicas of the original song, you’re in for a treat.
“Tonight, Tonight” is a classic alternative rock song by The Smashing Pumpkins, released in 1996 as part of their double album “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness“. The song is an anthemic ode to hope and change, with lyrics that evoke a sense of urgency and possibility. It reminds us that we’re not alone, we’re not stuck, and we can make things happen.
Smallpools, featured here before for another outstanding cover they did, and Caroline Kole are two indie pop artists who have teamed up to deliver a fresh and fun cover of “Tonight, Tonight”. Smallpools is a Los Angeles-based band known for their catchy and upbeat songs such as “Dreaming” and “Million Bucks”. Caroline Kole is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter who has collaborated with artists such as Reba McEntire and Mr. Gwen Stefani Blake Shelton.
Their cover of Tonight, Tonight is a faithful homage to the original, but with a modern twist. They keep the same structure and melody of the song, but add their own flair with poppy synths, electric guitars, and harmonized vocals. They also strip down the song in an acoustic version that showcases their vocal talents and chemistry. Please enjoy “Tonight, Tonight” by Smallpools & Caroline Kole.
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.