Lewca – Back From The Dead

Back From The Dead is one of those genre-defying eclectic songs that you just like. Think Parklife from Blur with a catchier chorus and you will have a pretty good idea of how this tune sounds. As an artist, Lewca just wants to do what he feels like doing while having fun as well, not worrying about conventions or what people think they like. I mean, this song mentions going to the barber and having eggs with bacon for breakfast, not your typical lyrics stuff, yet it still works. It does so because the contrast between the chorus (did I mention that it was extremely catchy?) and the verses is high enough to highlight how infectious the former is, and also because the production, in charge of Lewca himself, is top-notch.

With regards to the artist, Lewca is quite a funny character, as evidenced by the bio on his website. Originally from London but living in France since he was 19, he now has 3 Kids & a Mortgage, which is also how he decided to call his debut EP (whose cover art is a drawing his kids made). He has always been involved with arts, studying Fine Arts and working on films, but got as well a passion for making music that he wanted to explore before he was “too old to die young“. Here we hope he achieves his mission of conquering the world.

Check this artist out. Maybe he will be your cup of tea or maybe not, but I guarantee you will have fun.

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Talk Shivi – Shadow Monster

Talk Shivi is the musical project of Jacob Henry, a singer-songwriter, actor, and journalist based out of New York City. I cannot tell you much about him in terms of bio or the meaning behind that moniker, but I can tell you that he is a talented musician whose songs got a really unique feeling to them. He has released just two songs so far as Talk Shivi: Shadow Monster, his debut single back in January, and Let You Slide, just yesterday. Both very good but also different to each other. These are not your typical ‘guy with a guitar’ busking tunes, these are layered songs that will leave you wanting more.

Shadow Monster is a groovy alternative rock track with a sprinkle of psychedelic elements to make it interesting. Lyrically, it has a message about getting through dark times, probably inspired by the global pandemic. Before covid, Jacob used to perform live in NY all the time, which obviously changed last year. This has prompted him to shift his focus to the digital side of things, resulting in these two releases. There’s something magnetic in Shadow Monster that makes it easy on the ears. Check it out below but please do yourself a favour and listen to Let You Slide too. It is even catchier.

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Juline Costa and Six Four Zero Two – I Really Like You

I Really Like You is a post-punk track, a genre I had heart before but wasn’t really familiar with. When you entered that into Google, this is the definition that you get: “a style of rock music inspired by punk but less aggressive in performance and musically more experimental”. I Really Like You is definitely experimental but in a groovy and compelling way. It doesn’t sound close to punk or even punk-rock to me, which is why I chose the Alternative (Rock) mixtape for it, but I certainly liked it. I’m sure it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea but, worst-case scenario, you will find it interesting.

The tune is a collaboration between Portuguese singer-songwriter Juline Costa and British act Six Four Zero Two. The latter is the independent, not-for-profit musical project of Rob Howsam, who joined the Royal Air Force in his youth and had 6402 as part of his Service Number. He enjoys the irony of using something that represents such as restrictive environment as the moniker of his creative endeavour. He was looking for a good vocalist to collaborate with and a contact suggested Juline to him. She was obviously what Rob was looking for.

Now, this is actually the first official release form Juline Costa. She got some songs posted on her Youtube channel and Soundcloud profile, but no studio albums or singles. Hopefully, I Really Like You, which she wrote based on a single acoustic guitar riff on repeat, will help her record an EP or something, because even though it might not be super evident on this track (other than her great tone of voice), she’s really talented and versatile (seriously, check her Youtube channel out). When you add Six Four Zero Two‘s production skills to the mix, the result is really fascinating.

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Serenade The Stars – Rewind

Serenade The Stars are a U.K. based alternative rock act that reminds me a lot of the kind of bands that were popular in the late 90s and early 2000s. Formed in 2017, they have been releasing singles at a steady pace, with Rewind being their latest one, released last week. Now, I got to be honest: I don’t love the way the song was produced. I think there’s something odd with it and, as a result, the song doesn’t sound as neat as it could (and I don’t mean the bits that were obviously done on purpose). That being said, I’m not a music producer and I could be entirely wrong.

Production issues or non-issues aside, I actually like the song and I think the band’s lead singer has a nice voice for alternative rock. Lyrically, the song talks about “rewinding” back to better or easier times, in order to remember what gave us purpose when we feel lost. All in all, I think Serenade The Stars got a lot of potential and we will be cheering for them to live up to it. Listen to Rewind below and please let me know your thoughts (here or on the usual social medial channels). I’m particularly curious about your views on this one.

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Needtobreathe – Hang On

Needtobreathe, stylized as NEEDTOBREATHE, is a band from South Carolina, United States, that has been around for nearly 20 years. During that time, they have consistently released strong and often successful albums (the last one debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart) but, nevertheless, they remain a mostly unknown band to the casual music fan outside the US. Their music style lies on the fence between folk, country and alternative rock. In a way, you could say they are an older and lesser-known version of Mumford & Sons.

The band will release their seventh studio album in August but a couple of their new songs have been made available already, with Hang On being one of those. It is a great song that perfectly represents what the band is about. With its upbeat rhythm and extremely catchy chorus, it got all the necessary ingredients to become a musical crush. Enjoy it below.

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The Illness – Phrases Redacted

I have to say, Phrases Redacted is a weird song. It is basically Bob Nastanovich (from an old school indie rock band called Pavement) speaking over a stream of groovy sounds. Yet, I really dig it, because the music somehow perfectly complements Bob’s words in a hypnotic way. You can certainly tell that the musicians who form The Illness not only know each other well but also have been making music for a long time.

The band is a UK collective of members from different bands on Sea Records, who had been jamming together at times but procrastinating the formal release of new music until –of all years– 2020, when it finally happened. Phrases Redacted is one of two songs the band has dropped, and it got a similar vibe to “Let Forever Be” from The Chemical Brothers.

You have to listen to this unconventional track by yourself to see what I mean (or watch the video below). Good luck getting it out of your head afterwards.

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Fan Theories – Next Great Holiday

Next Great Holiday is the debut single of Fan Theories, a band from Helsinki, Finland, founded by two friends who met while they were playing for different bands. Now a 5-piece, the band was lucky to record a few songs just before the world got into lockdown mode due to the pandemic. This allowed them to released their first song this month, which comes accompanied by a very-well-done music video.

Even though they wrote the song last year, its lyrics strike a chord nowadays when we all dream about going on holidays without knowing when we will be able to (proper holidays without that many restrictions). What I really like about this track is its catchy chorus, which really elevates the whole song to another level. If they keep producing songs like Next Great Holiday, Fan Theories is going to be around for a long time.

Listen to this fine piece of Indie rock from Finland here:

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The Goo Goo Dolls – Tonight, Together

Iris is one of the best alternative rock songs ever written, but The Goo Goo Dolls are much more than that single song. In fact, they have been one of the most consistent bands in the genre, releasing solid-to-great albums every three or four years pretty much since it all started in 1987. I have liked some of them more than others but I can’t recall having disliked any. It can’t get any more consistent than that. In addition to that, they sound really great live.

Just this week, the Goos –who have been pretty active on their social networks during the lockdown– released a deluxe edition of their 2019 album Miracle Pill featuring three previously unreleased songs. Tonight, Together is, in my humble opinion, the best of the bunch and it does sound great, which is why I decided to make an extra entry to the mixtapes today (luckily for me, I got more songs to recommend at the moment than time to write the posts). Do not expect a new Iris (or Slide or Acoustic #3), just enjoy this new track by the band from Buffalo, NY, for what it is: a pretty great rock song!

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