Hopefully, Garrett Kealer‘s solo act Stumble Steady is firmly on your radars after he was featured here back in December. I’m happy to report that he has just released his debut EP, Nobody Told The Wolves, which contains two of the tracks he had released as singles –including Coming To An End–, as well as three previously unreleased tracks, out of which my favorite one is Tired. Even though style-wise it is in the same vein as its predecessor (and just as catchy), Tired is different enough to stand on its own.
Unless you hate infectious, hook-ridden indie pop songs, you should definitely check Stumble Steady‘s new EP, starting with Tired. It might have been inspired by how we all feel after one year of pandemic, but listening to this tune will actually inject you with enough energy to keep going throughout your day. Who doesn’t need that on a Monday?
Steve Kroeger is an electronic music composer and producer who has had 5 singles on the Billboard Dance charts. He often teams up with singer-songwriter Skye Holland, as was the case in Home, a chill spellbinding tune that feels like summer. Skye, who got Japanese, Dutch and Canadian roots, started her music career at 10 when she joined a Japanese teen pop group. Her sweet voice shimmers all over this track and complements Steve’s smooth production really well.
Home is the perfect track to listen to when you want to lighten your mood. It’s fun and catchy as hell. As far as house/pop songs go, it cannot get any better than this. Enjoy!
Harrison Wood Hsiang, the Vermont-based songwriter who founded the collective of musicians and artists known as Couchsleepers, is upfront in telling you that he actually makes his living as a neuroscientist. After all, it comes up in everything that is written about his band. I can imagine that it could get really tiring, but, at the same time, I can’t blame the people writing those articles. It’s actually a pretty cool fact. He formed Couchsleepers in 2019 during the third year of his graduate studies because he needed a way to express all his creativity. Fast-forward to 2021 and they have received hundreds of thousands of streams and even one fan with a Couchsleepers tattoo. Not bad at all.
All The Best Intentions is the band’s latest single. It’s a song about that feeling we get when we’re about to do something that we know we shouldn’t do but want to anyway. Melodically, it has a really strong Snow Patrol vibe and all the ingredients it needs to become a hit with the right marketing (I know, easier said than done). At the very least, it will help Harrison and Coachsleepers to keep growing their audience organically. I, for one, am now intrigued by the great music they have yet to release.
With the Easter break, I don’t have much time for writing this post, so I’m going to take the opportunity to feature a little gem from a signed #indiepop band that is popular enough to have its own Wikipedia entry: Young Rising Sons. I first heard of this band from New Jersey when their debut single, High, became viral around 2014 and stayed on my radar ever since. They released Halloween in October 2020 but I didn’t pay much attention to it until February or so. Let me tell you, from the moment I really listened to it, I became hooked. I’ve been playing it over and over during this time and am still not tired of it.
Have you ever been in a relationship with somebody who gave you mixed signals? That’s basically what Halloween is about and also what makes the lyrics so relatable. Lead vocalist Andy Tongren wears his heart on his sleeve on this song and the music arrangement during the chorus is really stunning. I know Halloween is the wrong holiday for this time of the year but, between you and me, I don’t really care. Enjoy.
Forever is the latest single from NYC-based brothers Abner and Harper James, aka Eighty Ninety. I don’t know the exact reason why they chose that moniker but if you told me that it was because they wanted to emulate the style of indie pop music from the 1980s and 1990s, I’d believe you because that’s exactly how they sound like. As stated in their bio, they “fuse intimate storytelling, sticky melodies, and minimalist pop productions built on acoustic instruments and electronic sounds in a style they call ‘808s and telecasters‘”. They debuted in 2016 and even got Taylor Swift to add one of their songs, Your Favorite Song, to her official Spotify playlist with tunes she loves.
Forever will be part of Eighty Ninety‘s upcoming sophomore EP. It is a warm song in the duo’s signature chill-pop style . Even though the song’s theme is about unrequited love, it is actually pretty uplifting. The whole tracks feels like a daydream we won’t want to wake up from. Give it a listen below.
Back in September, I introduced you to a little indie band from Southend-on-Sea, UK, called in earnest. You may be happy to hear that they are back with a double single that they wrote about their dogs. Any decent human being who has had pets knows how especial they are. They become family members.
The first track, your dog, was inspire by the band’s front-couple’s dog: Murph, and the second one, good boy, is a tribute to Doug, an old dog Sarah and Tom had who sadly passed away in 2019. If you have lost a dog, then you know how painful that experience can be. However, good boy is not a sad song. It is just beautiful. I’m a fan of Sarah’s voice but she sings this track with her partner Tom and their voices work really well together, not unlike Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in the Oscar-winning track Falling Slowly.
Listen to good boy below and get mesmerized by it.
There’s some rawness in No Sympathy that makes it incredibly compelling. It was written by Duccbod during a difficult period for him in which his inner monologue had turned particularly dark. This song was his way of coming to terms with his emotions and purge himself of them. The result was this haunting piece that is as heartfelt as it is hard to catalogue. I mean, it is an indie rock track with elements of rap at times and one of the most magnetic choruses you will find today. It gets heavier towards the end without losing its contemporary essence. No Sympathy is really something else.
Duccbod is the moniker of Ryan Skidmore, an obviously talented artist from Lincolnshire, UK. With a wide array of influences, ranging from The 1975 to Lil Peep, Sublime and Post Malone; it’s not surprising that No Sympathy has what he calls “sonic fluidity”. After starting composing bedroom pop songs, with over 20 singles under his belt, he has transitioned into a more versatile artist. He’s currently working on his biggest and most industrious project yet, for which No Sympathy is just a little taster. Listen to this great tune below and you will see why I’m genuinely waiting for Duccbod‘s next project with anticipation.
There’s a lot to like about Virginia-based indie rock band Starcoast. To begin with, their main mission is to spread love and positivity with their music, which is a welcome goal in this day and age. Secondly, the band’s name was inspired by a meteor shower from a late night beach walk in their hometown of Virginia Beach –how cool is that? And more importantly, their music is really good.
Believe In Love is Starcoast‘s latest single and it really delivers. The tune is an uplifting indie rock track with hooks everywhere. Each instrument adds value, including a sax line that gives the tune a nice yet subtle touch. All of this is matched perfectly with the superb vocals from lead singer Tom Hunter. Somewhat surprisingly, this 3-piece act managed to make Believe In Love sound fresh without having to reinvent the wheel. That’s easier said than done.
Your Life Is A Story is the debut single of Toronto-based musician Sean Watson Graham as a solo artist. His first band, Modern Space, got a deal with Warner Music Canada but unfortunately, that didn’t last. Now, he’s getting ready to release his first EP under his own name, for which this track is the lead single.
Sean wrote Your Life Is A Story after thee major life changes as a way to give himself some closure. It is a song about giving yourself another chance to start over again. The result was an uplifting indie folk track with great harmonies and a very compelling chorus. Good luck getting it out of your head afterwards. You’ll need it. Listen to it at your own peril.
I was introduced to this song by the video below and I know it’s very “artsy“, but I have to admit that I don’t like this videoclip that much. It’s just not my cup of tea. The fact that I actually enjoyed the song is a testament to how good it is. I was predisposed to dislike it yet I didn’t. I don’t know, I found it hypnotic and the artist, Renay, got a nice voice and obviously knows how to use it. Why can certainly cast a spell on your ears.
Renay and Razteria are actually two monikers used by the same person: Renee Asteria. A singer-songwriter and producer/engineer based in the San Francisco Bay area with Bolivian and Dutch roots. She uses Renay for her pop-oriented work and Razteria for more experimental tracks incorporating different genres including South American music. A true artist, she wrote the first version of Why over 15 years ago when she was still trying to figure out herself. On this finished version, she’s learned to embrace all of her sides, good and bad. Check it out below.