Comment: That Isn’t Me is a gorgeous folk song about focusing on what’s good in life instead of feeling stuck. Northwest Stories‘ lead vocalist, Adam Fink, got a calming voice you won’t want to stop listening to but, on top of that, they recording this song in 432 Hz as opposed to the standard 440 Hz, in order to make it even more soothing. Trust me, it works.
Northwest Stories is composed of Adam (vocals, guitar, piano) and RJ Rouse (background vocals, producer, engineer) and even though most of their songs are written about God, their music can appeal everybody, not just Christians. That Isn’t Me is a great example of that. Enjoy this lovely track!
Comment: Life is funny. Stephanie Nikolas and Eric Breden were high school friends and neighbors, but it wasn’t until they were in their 20s that they started to see each other as partners, both musically and romantically. This sparked Blue Cove into life, which they describe –accurately, I must say– as a blend of modern indie pop with the “nostalgic shoegaze sensibilities of the 90’s”. With a DIY mentality, Steph and Eric do everything related to Blue Cove, and I mean everything, not just mixing and producing their music: from designing their own merch and artwork to capturing their own press photos to filming their music videos. From what I can tell, they’re pretty good at all of those things.
Thrive is the title track of Blue Cove‘s forthcoming debut album (to be released in October), and it is both dazzling and delicate, if such a combination is indeed possible. Think Mazzy Star, but more dynamic. Lyrically, the song talks about thriving despite dealing with social anxiety and negative thoughts, something a lot of us can relate to. Unfortunately, there’s no music video for this vibrant track yet, but you can check below a little guitar piece they wrote and uploaded to Youtube. Absolutely gorgeous.
Influences: Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen, Sam Fender
Release date: June, 2022
Comment: Morning, from British four-pierce band Armstrong, is one of those alternative rock songs that grab your attention from the start. I have always had a predilection for songs that begin with just a guitar and some melodic vocals, and that then explode once all instruments join the fun –usually around the chorus–, and that’s exactly what happens here. The track’s lyrics talk about delaying big life-changing decisions, like breaking up with someone, until the next morning. Don’t delay listening to this infectious track though. It will be well worth your time.
Comment: Sløtface used to be a Norwegian punk band with certain notoriety in some music circles, but earlier this year they announced that it was becoming the solo project of frontwoman Haley Shea after the amicable departure of the other band members. With this change, came as well a transition to a slower and moodier sound, inspired by those artists mentioned above. I have to say that I hadn’t listened to Sløtface before, so I cannot comment much on the band’s previous releases, but I’m digging this new sound.
Back in June, Haley/Sløtface released two new singles co-written between her and producer Mikhael Paskalev: Beta and Come hell or whatever. Both are really good but the latter is the one I’ve been playing on repeat. Check it out
Comment: When I featured Metric‘s Black Sheep about two weeks ago, I mentioned that they had a new album (Formentera, named after the Spanish island where the band recorded it) that was quite good. I also said that I was going to feature one of their new songs soon and here I am making good on that promise. Paths In The Sky is Formentera’s closing track and even though it hasn’t been released as a single yet, I think it is quite possibly the best song in that record. It is a flawless tune.
Comment: A couple of weeks ago, I featured one of Lit’s new songs and this time around, as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday post, it’s time to put under the spotlight one of their most beautiful songs: 2004’s Lullaby. I loved this sweet tune, which guitarist Jeremy Popoff wrote for his then young son after months away in tours, years before I even considered becoming a dad, so don’t feel like you need to be one in order to appreciate it.
Lullaby was the ninth track in the band’s self-title album, aka the black album. Unfortunately, it was never released as a single, so chances are most people have never heard of it. If you’re one of them, I hope you fall in love with it today.
Comment: Covered In Sunshine, from Nashville’s indie-rock trio Goldpark, gives me strong 1990s #poprock vibes. Something like U2 from that decade meets Blur. The song is the second single off the band’s forthcoming EP “Lady Lightyear“, and talks about the effect stepping outside has over your anxieties and fear. Who didn’t feel relieved after a long day studying or in an office as soon as you left the building? Yeah, that feeling.
Formed in 2019, Goldpark released their debut EP just last year but in such a short period of time, they have been able to tour the US in solo gigs, as supporting acts, and participating at festivals. They work very hard and will reap the benefits of that sooner than later. Listen to Covered In Sunshine here.
Comment: Let’s start August with what folks in the UK call a banger. Midnight Island is a super infectious indie rock track by Vancouver-based band, Colour Tongues. It is inspired by young love and early romances and its goal is to transport you back to your youth, that point in time when we all felt anything was possible. It is the title track of a brand new EP produced by Matt Di Pomponio.
Led by an Australian native, guitarist and singer-songwriter James Challis, Colour Tongues survived all kinds of adversities, from mountain blizzards to car crashes, from the moment the band started in early 2018. Luckily for us, those experiences have guided them to where they are today, delivering great indie rock music to us. Let’s enjoy Midnight Island!
Comment: Some people have a gift for making addictive melodies without much effort and I believe that is the case of Matthew Ellis, a London-based producer/singer/multi-instrumentalist who releases a “chill-in-the-park” kind of indie rock music as Burlington. In April, he released his debut album, Daylight Sipping, with several examples of what I said above, That being said, the opening track, Mind For Mind, is my favorite one. I just love that guitar riffs that introduces you to the song and the overall vibe of the piece. It could fit in a Coldplay album (one of the good ones).
The most amazing part is that Burlington recorded this album alone in his spare bedroom, except for one track that he co-wrote with two friends (Roots). Just imagine what he could have done in a professional studio. Seriously, check this talented musician out.
Comment: When I featured Toronto-band Nerima for the first time over a year ago, they were working on their debut EP and I’m happy to report that Have More Fun, which is how they called it, is finally going to be available next week. Earlier this month, they dropped a new single called Amnesia, which didn’t disappoint. After listening to it the first time, I told Connor, the bassist, that it reminded me of Letters To Cleo, a band that had a few indie hits in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The funny thing was that neither Connor nor the other band members had ever heard of them. At least, after listening to I Want You to Want Me, they agreed with me. I’ll focus on that instead of the fact that I’m getting old.
Amnesia, whose lyrics tell the story of a person with dreams bigger than reality, has also been compared to Paramore and Avril Lavigne, two acts that I guess need no introduction. Whatever artist Amnesia reminds you of, the bottom line is that it is a great track by a young and talented band. May their music-industry dreams become a reality.