Comment: I think Kevin Griffin from Better Than Ezra is one of the best lyricists around. BTE are best known for their singles released during alternative rock’s heyday in the 1990s, but Closer was the album that introduced me to them. A Lifetime is one of my favorite songs ever and a great example of how talented Kevin is as a songwriter. However, the song I want to feature today is the title track from that underrated album, a song that always resonated with me even though it I couldn’t really relate to it before.
Closer is a beautiful song Griffin wrote after having his first child. In it, he wonderfully describes the excitement, pride, bewilderment and fear he felt all at once as a new dad. I hadn’t mentioned it here before but I’m about to become a dad as well in the next 24 hours or so, and I’m finally starting to understand what Kevin Griffin meant word by word. Incredibly, I can now say that Closer is even better than I thought.
Hope you enjoy this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry, and please bear with me while I adapt to my new routine.
Comment: Picture Us Tiny is the moniker of Jackson Velli, who in April last year posted a short pop-punk cover of Forever & Always (originally from Taylor Swift) that became viral on Tiktok. That success led him to record and release a full version on all platforms, which is great news to those of us who are not regular users of said social media website, as we would have missed it otherwise. One of Jackson’s main goals is to “ensure catchy punk music will never die” and this cover is a great step towards achieving that.
Comment: I’m probably late to Sam Fender’s bandwagon but I hadn’t really paid much attention to him until I heard this song in December and… well, now I’m hooked. I love the jangling guitars and the layered approach to introducing the different instruments in the song. Get You Down is one of four singles released ahead of Sam’s sophomore studio album, Seventeen Going Under. By the time Sam releases a third studio album, I’m sure he’ll be quite a household name.
Comment: Fans of The Gaslight Anthem will love this tune because Old Currents‘ vocalist, Jake Novak, does sound a lot like Brian Fallon. The energetic Here, You Through This Away is the band’s first release since their debut album in 2017, and will be featured in their new album: The Glory, The Defeat, to be released in April. If it is full of songs such as this one, we won’t want to miss that release. It could be one of the highlights of 2022.
Comment: Some people are said to have older souls because they behave like much older people, with similar tastes and hobbies. I deeply believe Kissing Her Goodnight, a soothing new track from London-based artist Eleanor Neish-Melling, aka Eleanor and the Dream, is the musical representation of that concept, as it feels like an indie track from the 1990s. The Blackpool native wrote this song in an attempt to come to terms with a former lover who is now with somebody else. I don’t know if she succeeded at that, but, at the very least, she got a really good song out of that ordeal.
Comment: It’s been a while –fourteen months, to be precise– since the last time incredibly talented band The 93 released new music, so I’m happy to report that they are back with a superb new track that certainly ticks all the boxes. Their sound is evolving without changing too much either. They still have their dreamy guitar lines and distinctive soundscapes we enjoy so much, but Welcome got full lyrics now delivered via muffled vocals that make you feel as if you were listening to the song in the middle of a dream. A dream about space travel.
Enjoy this Christmas present we got from brothers Mazur: The 93.
Comment: Sydney Lights is a beautiful love song to MOONWOOD‘s hometown, as the lockdown made the band members, even those not originally from there, fall in love with Sydney all over again. The five-piece band started in 2016 and as you can notice here, they clearly know what they’re doing. Sydney Lights got a clean delivery with dreamy guitars that set the right vibe and great vocals from lead singer, Jake. If you are looking for quality alternative rock, you can stop looking right now. Their previous tracks are really outstanding as well.
Comment: Delafaye‘s music is not innovative, groundbreaking or even particularly catchy. Dog Day, in particular, is just a guy, Andrew Shockley, and his guitar singing his heart out from his home studio in Indiana. Yet, there’s something about it that keeps getting me drawn to this song over and over again. I don’t know if it is Andrew’s heartfelt vocals, the sweet melody, or the honest lyrics about a relationship coming to an end, but I can’t seem to get enough of it. I highly recommend that you check this talented artist as well.
Comment: I’m excited to see this little British band tomorrow as I haven’t attended a live rock concert in a long, long time (and it sounds like it might be the only one in a while too). Named after the title of a collection of poems by Eleanor Rees, Eliza & the Bear are not well-known to the casual music fan but if there is one song of theirs that even them are likely to have heard before is Friends, which became an indie hit when it was released five years ago. Other songs I would recommend are Cruel and I’m On Your Side.
As this week’s #ThrowbackThursday, let’s honor Eliza & the Bear.
Comment: Norway is not a country you would normally associate with alpacas, but perhaps Grand Alpaca will change that by himself. Last week, he dropped his debut album, Staying Quiet Is An Easy Young Thing To Do, which includes eight solid tracks ranging from indie folk to Americana. Case in point, Julia, one of its lead singles, got a really engaging chorus that makes you feel like driving through the American midwest. It also encapsulates very well what this Norwegian singer-songwriter is all about. Give him a chance.