Comment: Big Nothing is quite something. If you like any of the bands mentioned above, stop what you’re doing and listen to this track right now. It is part of an eponymous EP 4-piece alternative rock band Kanadia released in August with four tracks that will be part of their upcoming sophomore album. Big Nothing is a powerful song about the struggles musicians face while trying to make it in that difficult industry. When you listen to it, you can tell this Oxford-based band is going places. They also sound great live, as evidenced by the video below with a live version of this memorable track. Keep an eye on them!
Comment: During the pandemic, many of us found ourselves with some extra downtime and that was the case for six musicians from various local bands in Ottawa, who decided to collaborate remotely and have some fun, hence the name Gents on Loan. From The Start is the first song to come out of that impromptu collaboration and it is a radio friendly punk rock song that will fill fans of the genre with renovated energy. Give it a listen!
Comment: Jordan Irwin, aka GHSTMDRN, is a talented multi-instrumentalist from Vancouver and one of the nicest guys on Twitter. He draws inspiration from movies and his tracks are always interesting and compelling. That being said, Sleepwalking Through Fire is the one that most closely resembles an instrumental alternative rock song which is why I instantly loved it from the moment I first listened to a demo version about a year ago. Circumstances delayed the release of this song all this long, but the important thing is that it is finally out there as part of GHST MDRN’s new album: Always Darkest Before The Dawn. Give it a listen and enjoy!
Comment: A few days ago when J. Zito was featured here, I compared him to indie rock band Feeder, but some people had never heard of the Welsh band. They peaked in 2001 and 2003, when they won Kerrang! awards, but they’re still going strong today, after 10 studio albums (the last one in 2019) and 40 singles.
Their most popular single is Buck Rogers, a UK top five single in 2001, but the track I’ve decided to feature as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry is 2002’s Comfort In Sound, a personal favorite (fun fact: had The Alternative Mixtapes been taken, I would probably have called this blog Comfort In Sound. It was a matter of time before it showed up here). Feeder’s original drummer, Jon Lee, committed suicide in 2001 and the surviving members of the band were close to calling it quits. Jon’s family convinced them to continue and that’s when they wrote this great track about finding comfort in music even during your worst moments. I, for one, can relate to that.
Comment: If you like distorted guitars, then you’re going to love this vulnerable track from Australian #singersongwriter Ruby Fields, who has emerged as one of the most talented artists in the alt-rock scene from the Land Down Under. Song About A Boy tells the story of a love relationship gone awry and it comes accompanied by a great music video inspired by the movie Midsommar. Both track and video are well worth your time.
Comment: Formed in 2012, DYGL (pronounced “Day-glo”) is an indie rock band from Japan that sounds incredibly good. Half of Me, for example, is all kinds of catchy with a touch of pop-punk rhythms. Their press release calls it a “killer tune” and, quite frankly, I have to agree with that. This song is one of the singles off their latest release, A Daze In A Haze, which is well worth a listen.
I hope this is just the start of a trend of great rock music coming out of Japan. We need this.
Influences:The Strokes, Bruce Springsteen, The Killers
Comment: Silver Lining is the third single off Transistor‘s debut album and despite its upbeat rhythm and fun vibes, it got a sad and deeply moving backstory. Lead singer Patrick Davies’s mom was just like this song: upbeat and energetic, and that did not change even after she got a terminal cancer diagnosis. Silver Lining refers to searching for meaning and something to hold on to despite having everything against you. Don’t get me wrong, Silver Lining is a really good song but knowing it is a homage to Patrick’s mother takes it to a whole new level.
Comment: The Summer Set, a pop-punk band from Scottdale, Arizona that after achieving a decent following went on a hiatus in 2017, surprised their fans in August when they announced that they were back to making music and dropped their first single in 4 years. Street Lightning is as catchy as anything they’ve ever released with, as depicted in the music video below, some 80s music vibes that fit it really well. As lead singer Brian Logan Dales described it on his Instagram: “This song is about chasing the high of life as fast as you can, written by a guy who finally learned how to slow down and take in everything around him.”
Comment: J.Zito very generously recommended Nashville-based singer-sonwritter Allie Cuva (they/them) to me and I was blown away by their song ETYG (which must stand for Even Though You’re Gone). It sounds like a really good alternative rock song from the late 90s that was recorded with today’s tools. Allie’s vocals during the chorus are mesmerizing. ETYG is part of allie’s debut full-length album under that moniker, released back in August. Worth checking out.
Comment: Frontman Stephan Jenkins is kind of a polarizing figure nowadays but there’s no denying that Third Eye Blind is one of the most important alternative rock bands out there. Their heyday was over twenty years ago but they’re still active and relevant. In fact, four of their seven studio albums have been released in the last 12 years, with the last one, titled Our Bande Apart, dropping just last week. It’s not even close to the greatness of their first two records, but it is a decent album that I liked way more than the previous one, Screamer (2019). My favorite song is the fourth track, Silverlake Neophyte, which sounds a bit like a classic Third Eye Blind tune. It’s a song about the insecurities musicians have and never go away, no matter how successful they become. I highly recommend it.